The days of quiet diplomacy between the government of Israel and the New York Times are over.

Israel has declared an uprecedented war against the New York Times, for what it calls tendentious and unfair coverage of the Jewish state.

At the focus of the storm is the Goldstone report.

The Israeli delegation in the UN sent an official complaint to the newspaper’s editorial board.

The complaint, signed by the Israel UN delegation’s spokeswoman, Mirit Cohen, says that the newspaper uses subjective negative language about Israel and failed in writing fair and accurate coverage.

The New York Times has yet to respond. ========================

Letter sent on Nov. 5, 2009

Dear Mr. Clark Hoyt, Public Editor of The New York Times,

I write in connection to a series of articles published in The New York Times in recent weeks regarding the Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, colloquially referred to as the Goldstone Report. I am deeply concerned by the subjective and often damning language that The New York Times uses towards Israel as it fails to accurately reflect the nature and scope of the report.

Over and over, The New York Times’ articles on this matter employ language that easily leads the reader to believe that the Goldstone Report found conclusive evidence that Israel committed war crimes. In Neil MacFarquhar’s “U.N. Council Endorses Gaza Report” (Oct. 16), the article states that the Goldstone Report “details evidence of war crimes committed by the Israeli Army…” In Sharon Otterman’s “Gaza Report Author Asks U.S. to Clarify Concerns” (Oct. 22), the Goldstone Report is described as having “found evidence of war crimes committed by Israel…” In yet another example — MacFarquhar and Otterman’s “Palestinians, in Reversal, Press U.N. Gaza Report” (Oct. 14) — the Goldstone Report is once again described as having “found evidence of Israeli war crimes…” These articles reflect only a sample of the many that discuss Israel vis-à-vis the Goldstone Report in conclusive and condemnatory terms.

In stark contrast, a Reuters article carried by The New York Times on Oct. 14, “Israel Urged to Investigate Gaza War Crimes Charges,” describes the Goldstone Report as reflecting “U.N. allegations of possible war crimes.”

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The description offered by the Reuters piece is a critical component of any factually accurate discussion of the Goldstone Report. In sharp contrast, the aforementioned Times articles fail to reflect this vital distinction as readers will falsely assume that the Goldstone Report found conclusive evidence of Israeli war crimes.

I wish to reiterate Israel’s position that the Goldstone Report is deeply flawed and one-sided as it offers legitimacy to Hamas terrorism and its deliberate strategy to launch attacks, store weapons and use as shields the civilian population and infrastructure of Gaza. At the same time, the report’s mandate predetermined its findings that wrongly condemned Israel’s legitimate exercise of its right to self-defense. The tendency of The New York Times to gloss over such realities must be rectified and I sincerely hope that paper will use accurate and appropriate language to ensure that its coverage of the Goldstone Report and the wide Middle East is fair and honest. I remain at your disposal if you would like to further discuss this matter.

Yours truly,

Mirit Cohen, Spokesperson, Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN


  1. thank you to MIRIT COHEN from all thinking people who have relied on the New York Times not only for all the news that’s fit to print but also for journalistic integrity.

  2. My thanks to Mirit Cohen for speaking out, as silence can be anything but golden when infamy needs to be exposed. This black mark on the reputation of the NY Times will not easily be erased.
    Readers, please circulate this letter widely.

  3. How is it possible that commentators living in democratic countries are not standing alongside another tiny, TOTALLY democratic country like Israel? How can it be that, instead, they use their freedom of press and lie about the truth? By doing so, they are supporting mass murderers and terrorists (with all the consequences this brings about on world level…), implying themselves in the aims and atrocities of evil dictators… Could it be that by being collaborators to the cause of evil they feel more "safe", I wonder? How terrible!!!

  4. Personally,I have been aware of The NYTimes distortion of Israel- Middle East news and cancelled my subscription years ago. I urge all readers who desire truth in the media to do the same.

  5. Well, it’s about time. Israel should have objected to the NYT bias a long time ago. By now Israel should be doing a lot more than objecting. They should be suing the NYT for defamation, libel, and/or slander. And pro-Israel New Yorkers should be calling the advertisers of the NYT and asking them to drop their support of that libelous paper.

  6. As a past subscriber to the LA Times I felt their pro Palestine bias but they never responded to my mail. As last resort I canceled my subscription. Now I get all the news I need from the WSJ.

  7. Your paper should be sued by the Government of Israel for defamation, libel and slander. I hope the people who support New York Times would cancel their subscriptions as well as readers of this dirty rag you call a newspaper.

  8. Dear editor of the New York Times, Shalom!
    Hereby my response to your antisemitic reports to the Goldstone report.
    See article / video of British Colonel Richard Kemp’s speech before the UN Human Rights Council on 16.10.’09 in reply to the Goldstone Report. at:
    "The IDF faces a challenge that we British do not have to face to the same extent. It is the automatic, Pavlovian presumption by many in the international media, and international human rights groups, that the IDF are in the wrong, that they are abusing human rights.

    The truth is that the IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gaza civilians notice of targeted areas, dropping over 2 million leaflets, and making over 100,000 phone calls. Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties. During the conflict, the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid virtually into your enemy’s hands is, to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks.

    Despite all of this, of course innocent civilians were killed. War is chaos and full of mistakes. There have been mistakes by the British, American and other forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq, many of which can be put down to human error. But mistakes are not war crimes" End quote.
    Yours sincerely,
    Ria Westerman, Jerusalem


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.