“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Jewish Peace Groups Reveal Role in Spoof New York Times That Criticized Paper’s Stance on Israel

Thousands of Fake Copies of the New York Times Hit NYC Streets Reimagining Paper as Balanced on Palestine


Frustrated with the New York Times’ unfair coverage of Israel and Palestine, human rights campaigners took matters into their own hands on Tuesday, printing and distributing a stunning 10,000 parody versions of the paper that imagine the premier news outlet as responsible and balanced.

Titled “Rethinking our 2015 Coverage on Israel-Palestine: A Supplement,” the satirical issue hit the streets of New York blaring headlines such as “In the Footsteps of Mandela and King: A Non-Violent Movement Gains Ground Ten Years On,” a reference to the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Israel. Other articles are titled, “Congress to Debate U.S. Aid to Israel” and "IDF Generals Blame Israeli Government for Recent Violence."
One story reveals that, following his trip to Israel, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will hold a conference on Islamophobia at Brooklyn College. Another article announces that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has decided to ditch her presidential bid and will instead become director of the nonprofit Human Rights for All Women Foundation, which is based in Ramallah, New York, Nairobi and Charleston.

10,000 parody versions of the New York Times hit the streets Tuesday. (Image: Jewish Voice for Peace)

The prank paper even goes so far as to include an advertisement for the company Shalom Cement, which builds “the finest separation walls.” The spoof continues: “No walls say ‘apartheid' like Shalom Cement.”

The prank includes an important Corrections section, which notes: “It has come to our attention that the vast majority of articles about violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories have failed to include the names of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.”

The stunt quickly captured attention and headlines, with the Village Voice speculating that the paper was the work of the Yes Men, who produced their own spoof New York Times edition in 2008 announcing the end of the Iraq war. But the mystery was put to rest Wednesday when groups including Jewish Voice for Peace New York, Jews Say No! and two other unnamed New York organizations “devoted to justice in Palestine and Israel" claimed responsibility in a press statement which was first reported by Salon.

“The articles highlight Israel’s ongoing policies of military occupation, displacement, and oppression, and ‘facts on the ground,’ such as settlement expansion, the rise in settler violence, discriminatory anti-democratic laws targeting Palestinian citizens of Israel and the increase of right-wing voices in the Knesset,” the organizations declared.

“As a leading source for news in the United States and in the world, the New York Times has a responsibility to its readers to provide fair, balanced, and fact-based coverage. Our paper reflects the news that we wish the Times and other papers would report,” said Jewish Voice for Peace New York organizer Candace Graff. “It includes the context and facts too often missing from the New York Times and other U.S. media outlets.”

Sarah Lazare is a staff writer for AlterNet. A former staff writer for Common Dreams, Sarah co-edited the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahlazare.


  1. The flier sent out by Cruz, according to the lawyers on Fox, violated election laws by representing the document enclosed as an official document.

    Cruz is sleeze.

    1. Guy Benson - Ben Carson to hold presser at 3:45 ET on “deceptive Iowa tactics”

      Hot Air

  2. From the previous thread.

    Deuce supports the Palestinian resistance to Jews in the lands of Israel as they are stolen by European and Russians Jews.

    So the question begs?

    Deuce, when a Palestinian knifes a pregnant woman, a child or an old man you support this "resistance"?

    When Hamas kidnaps 3 jewish teenagers, 2 israeli and one american, and murders them, you support this resisitance/

    How are the People of Hamas and Fatah any different than ISIS?

  3. Deuce if you feel that people under occupation are fair targets, are you not a "fair" target by the natives of the Americas?

    1. are the arab occupiers of areas of europe fair game to be knifed and attacked?

    2. Or do you fell that only Jews are legal to murder as a national right of the palestinans seeking to resist the evil occupiers, the zionists?

    3. Do Iraq Jews have the right to murder moslem iraqis that now live in their historic homes?

      The same can be asked about occupying arabs across the middle east?

      So the Berbers, Druze and coptics have a right to start lobing rockets at civilians of moslem descent?

      Or is it a right reserved for only arabs from Gaza towards the civilians of Israel?

    4. .

      What are native Americans demanding? More casinos?

      Obviously facetious, but really, you have to admit that there is a big difference between the situation and status of the Palestinians and native Americans. No doubt, as a people, they have more problems than the majority of Americans. Health, education, poverty, and unemployment are just some of the areas.

      That being said, American Indians today in the United States have all the rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, can vote in elections, and run for political office. Controversies remain over how much the federal government has jurisdiction over tribal affairs, sovereignty, and cultural practices but; in most cases, government jurisdiction is restricted to violations of federal criminal laws, anti-discrimination, right of imminent domain for things like major highways.

      There are serious problems with tribal reservations but much of those problems are created by the tribes themselves and nearly 80% of native Americans choose not to live on reservations.
      Not good.

      Compared to Palestinians? Very good.


    5. In general, at least in Canada, the first people populations are looking for rights in addition to what other Canadian citizens have. Palestinians, on the other hand, are trying to achieve the rights Israelis have.

  4. An Israeli policewoman was killed in a Jerusalem shooting and stabbing attack near the Damascus Gate. Authorities say they were attacked by three heavily-armed Palestinians, all of whom were killed.


    Police said the attackers were carrying three automatic weapons and knives as well as two explosive devices that did not detonate, leading police to suspect they could have been planning a mass attack on civilians.