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Thursday, December 15, 2011

BREAKING UPDATE: Jewish Week and Rabbi Hammerman Issue Apology

UPDATE-- I just received this from the Jewish Week:
We apologize for posting an Opinion column on Dec. 14 by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman entitled “My Problem With Tim Tebow,” the Denver Broncos quarterback who is an Evangelical Christian. The column, in fact, violated our own standards calling for civility in posting comments on our website. The policy statement notes that “name calling in any form will not be tolerated, and comments that denigrate any religion or Jewish religious stream will always be rejected.”

The column was removed from our website later that day.

Rabbi Hammerman is a respected spiritual leader and longtime Jewish Week columnist whose writing over the years has been exemplary. This column, however, was more inciting than insightful, and we erred in posting it, which we deeply regret.

Repentance and forgiveness are cornerstones of all major faiths, as is the recognition that we all make mistakes. We trust that the sincerity of our remorse, as expressed by the rabbi as well, will be taken into account by those whom we offended.

The rabbi’s comment follows:

“I have spent my entire career engaged in dialogue with people of all faiths while speaking out passionately against intolerance and extremism. I have the deepest respect for those who are committed to their faith, including Mr. Tebow. I realize the way in which I attempted to make my points was clumsy and inappropriate, calling to mind the kind of intolerance and extremism my article was intended to disparage. I sincerely apologize to Mr. Tebow, his family, the Broncos and Patriots and all those whom I may have offended.”
Much has been said about Joshua Hammerman, the "Rabbi" who wrote the Tim Tebow article full of venom toward Christians, conservatives, and quite frankly people of all religions whose faith is part of their daily lives. The Rabbi, as part of the J-Street Rabbinical council is part of the George Soros team, pulled the post off his personal blog and the Newspaper it was published in, the Jewish Week pulled it from their site. (Before it was pulled I cut and pasted it here just in case)

Hammerman is not the only "culprit" in this case study in progressive bigotry. The newspaper who published the piece, The Jewish Week, is also culpable. Hammerman could not have picked a more compatible location the Tebow hit piece, the Jewish Week run by Editor/Publisher Gary Rosenblatt has a history of pushing progressive themes and candidates, hit-jobs on political conservatives, and editorializing against people of faith (including Jews).

Here a just a few examples:
  •   An organization called the Coordinating Council on Jerusalem was for all intents and purposes described  as a bunch of right wing Orthodox and politically conservative crazies whose only purpose was to destroy any chance of a negotiated peace.  This was part of the Jewish Week's efforts to disparage Orthodox Jews non progressives. As part of the organization's leadership I can attest to the fact that participating organizations ran the gamut  of Jewish observance and political leanings (I myself am not Orthodox). Also the group had to be very careful not to stray from its Jerusalem mission because some of the groups felt very strongly about Israel making concessions elsewhere to achieve a two state solution. 
  • A few weeks later Jewish Week readers were treated to the real reason for the disparaging article as Editor-in-Chief Gary Rosenblatt proclaimed that the division of Jerusalem is inevitable and we should all just deal with it.
  • To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Israel and the birth of J-street, the Jewish Week ran an Op-ed by Hannah Rosenthal, who now works in the Obama administration, Ms Rosenthals  article accused the American Jewish Community and Israel of not wanting peace, and non progressives as anti-Israel:
  • During the Glenn Beck/George Soros kerfuffle last year, the Jewish Week  published the opinions of various radical progressive groups such as Jewish Funds For Justice and of course the ADL, but never bothered to seek out the opinion of people who weren't pushing the progressive agenda.
  • As the Tea Party movement began to increase in popularity the Jewish Week wrote about how frightened rank and file Jewish Republicans were of the "extremist" Tea Party.  Funny thing is they never even bothered to talk to any Jewish Republicans who were part of the Tea Party (and there are many including me).
  • Most recently Editor-in-Chief Gary Rosenblatt presented one more reason for Jews to support Obama..If we don't, the President will get pissed off. You can't make this up!
I don't know if its 2,000 years of repressed Jewish guilt, or something bad happened to Jewish Week Editor-in-Chief Gary Rosenblatt when he attended Yeshiva University a school that claims to be responsible for the rabbinic ordination of more rabbis than any other school the 20th century (and all of them Orthodox).

The fact is that the Jewish Week could be much more profitable they fired all of their reporters and ran nothing but press releases from Media Matters, J Street and other progressive organizations. And the best part of it all the readers wouldn't be able to detect anything different.

During the past few days people have been legitimately criticizing Mr. Hammerman for his bigoted column, allow me to suggest that some of your "venom" be saved for the newspaper that regularly gives a platform for Hammerman-type columns--the Jewish Week.

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Devorah said...

Congratulations on making the top 40. May you go from strength to strength.

Eric Palmer, PeopleSoft Consultant said...

Rabbi Hammerman's "apology" boils down to "I'm sorry you were offended by the truth; I guess the messaging could have been better."

The fact that the Jewish Week published that apology is proof that they agree with Hammerman, and are just doing PR.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

It's interesting how this "mistake" only becomes one in hindsight and in the aftermath of their readers' moral outrage. Are there no editors at Jewish Week, someone to reign in the nutjobs?

Oh yeah, I forgot.

The answer is, "Of course there are." But if the editors are nutjobs too, who reigns them in?

Well, it would seem that that is the purview of the readers. On the other hand, this writing style has the virtue of letting the writer say what he really believes and then to say something truly idiotic akin to "I didn't really mean it."


It would be as if I said "All Jews are terrorists and I can expect to find my church firebombed this Sunday because of them," but then added, "oh, I didn't really mean that."


If someone offends me but truly repents, then it is my duty as a Christian to forgive them. As it is, this offense is not against me personally, so I don't know what I would have to forgive. And I cannot know whether they are being sincere or not.

But I suspect that we are just seeing the tip of the bigotry iceberg that exists within the hearts and minds of at least some of the people at Jewish Week. I believe they printed exactly what they think of Christians and conservatives. They're just sorry they got called out over it.

As for Rabbi Hammerman, he has shown his whole "interfaith" schtick for what it is--evangelical Christians need not apply.