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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

May 08, 2003

The Thought Police

This post is an e-mail, sent by Naomi Ragen
By Arlene Peck
For almost thirty years I've been the featured columnist in the National Jewish Post & Opinion. The publisher, who at this writing is 97 years old, never once during that time told me what I could and could not say. Gabriel Cohen was the ultimate newspaperman. Nobel Prize honoree Elie Wiesel once told me that he started his career under Gabe as a "stringer." That was long before me; however, even during my tenure I had never heard the words, "politically correct."
In fact, I happily skipped along, secure in my feelings that whatever I felt as a columnist my paper would see that I was able to air it. However, there were times when I'm sure I angered some and sometimes I even strived to get that reaction. At least from my standpoint, it made them think. And when these readers wrote in
about my strong Zionist feelings, that they didn't agree with, I answered, "Aw, but I'm a columnist, not a reporter. I'm able to write about my feelings and not only report the facts." I wrote about how the self-haters disgusted me. And, the horror I felt at Jew-haters such as Dreyfus, Woody Allen and Streisand, who frightened me, I knew I could write a column and it would be published.
Yet, those days are apparently over. I recently returned to the states from London. I wrote two columns about the events concerning the war and any anti-Semitism I might have found. As usual, I sent in my
articles and was stunned to receive a call from the editor saying that my columns would not be accepted. It seems that according to three children of the publisher's eight, who are running the paper now,
they: "...feel I am not only politically incorrect but ' mean to the Arabs . They are distressed that I write 'ugly' things about them." This, dear readers, only one day after the recent bombing in Tel Aviv.
Folks, it frightens me. Moreover, it angers me when I encounter Jews who are such self-haters. They would do anything to stop someone whose ideas don't coincide with their own leftist views no matter what the
cost. Years ago I wrote a column about the fear I had that the Arabs were traveling to our shores to buy up our country. However, with the leftist tidal wave that has penetrated our schools and yes, even our Jewish newspapers, my fear is no longer solely from the Arabs. It's appalling that there are Jews out there who hate themselves. Even more so, that they are gaining control of the press and classrooms and are determined to muzzle thoughts and ideas that are contrary to their disposition to appease Arab terrorism. These are the same morons who I am sure were, still saying, "Let's negotiate." "We don't have to fight." "War isn't the answer" as they were being dragged into the ovens by the Nazi's sixty years ago.
I suppose I'm just an old fashioned girl. When a reporter/journalist/columnist/ sees something newsworthy, they have a duty to tell it. We are artists that paint with words. And the truth
is something that the folks at the National Jewish Post & Opinion just don't want to admit. Maybe their new newsroom attitude is out of stupidity, or cowardice. I tend to think it's simply hatred for themselves and the Jewish people.Certainly their actions, and control of the press, is dangerous.

To tell the Jewish Post and Opinion your opinion of them, write: Gabriel Cohen is the publisher and Vickey Jones and Ed Stattmen the editors