The Globe often uses its news columns to reinforce its editorial page. As you know, the slowly expiring daily is hostile to Israel—very hostile. And its hostility is sustained by its simplicity, which is even more simple than that of its papa paper, The New York Times. All Israel has to do is vacate the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the lion will lie down with the lamb. Or the lamb with the lion. Just as they did, I suppose, when Israel left Gaza.
On Monday, under a four-column photo, the Globe ran a four-column headline: “Brandeis commencement draws protesters.” Actually, I hardly know a commencement that is not punctuated by a protest. But this one was a tiny protest, as the first sentence in the story admits: “...about 20 students protested the college’s choice for its keynote speaker, Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the United States.” Now, Michael is, more or less, “family.” He is a great historian: His two best-selling books, Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East (called “the authoritative chronicle of the [Six-Day] war” by The Atlantic) and the more recent Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present (which Newsweek said “will shape our thinking about America and the Middle East for years”), should be required reading for any student of the Middle East.
And, before he gave up his American citizenship to become American envoy to Israel, he was a frequent contributor to our pages. He is also a friend, a very good friend.
Now about the “20 students.” There are seven people in the four-column picture. Plus one placard and one banner. Both protesting Israeli “war crimes.” One old man, sporting a long white beard, is seen carrying—speaking of ending war crimes—the PLO flag. A very old man … really, very very old. Surely not a student. He’s the man you see at every demo. I assume that there were 13 other men and women who came to protest. There were about 3,500 people at commencement, most of whom stood and cheered Oren.
None of this—yes, none of this—was reported in the Globe. After all, why should the paper report on the speech of a friendly ambassador to the U.S. from a friendly country that is now somewhat at odds with the current administration?
Brandeis is a particularly intriguing place for people interested in Israel. Justice Louis D. Brandeis, the first Jew on the Supreme Court and a great liberal, was also for perhaps a decade the most important single Zionist in the world. There is a kibbutz named after him. Ein hashofet, or “Spring of the Judge.” Some of this history might have been an important element in the story. A relevant part. But the Globe chose to devote about 40 inches to 20 protesters, 20 pathetic protesters. And all because its editorial page wants to expose Israel to great perils.
UPDATE: The Globe has already issued a retraction… “Because of a reporting error, an earlier version of this story mischaracterized the group of about 20 people protesting Brandeis University's choice of Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, as commencement speaker. Many non-students were among the protesters.”