NJJN’s partisan shift

NJJN’s partisan shift

On Aug. 2, NJJN announced its partnership with the Times of Israel. Perhaps simultaneously, but unannounced, was the partnership with the Democratic Party. So much for independence.

On that day, NJJN gave Tom Malinowski a full page to make his hollow and hypocritical comments about his commitment to fight anti-Semitism, but only from his opponents on the right and not his fellow travelers on the left (“Morality and decency trump demagoguery,” Aug. 2)

On Oct. 11, NJJN published a 1,000-word letter from his supporters in a full-page promotion (“Tom Malinowski’s support for Israel is ‘unbreakable’”).

I can only imagine that NJJN sees no reason to be fair or balanced because Rep. Leonard Lance, Malinowski’s Republican opponent in Dist. 7, is well-known as a friend to the Jewish community.

Although my concern is directed at NJJN’s continuing partisan shift (after all, in the age of Trump, isn’t everything excusable?), I turn to two points in the Oct. 11 opinion piece  that should not be taken at face value.

In touting Malinowski’s supposed affinity for Jewish issues, the authors cite his tenure as the Washington director of Human Rights Watch (HRW). Fortunately, NJJN has published a number of articles letting its readers know that HRW is no friend, such as the editorial “What if the Israelis didn’t shoot?” (June 7). HRW is an organization criticized by its own founder for its rampant anti-Israel bias and for being a leader of the BDS movement. In short, an HRW credential is cause for concern, not comfort.

The piece goes on to say, “We approve of his backing for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.” What exactly does Malinowski say about the move and where does he say it? It’s not mentioned on his website. It’s not important to most of his identified supporters; it’s probably objectionable to some of them. Candidates don’t always get to choose who supports them, but they do get to choose with whom they associate.

When I asked him in an email about the move, he wrote, “I believe that the implementation of the embassy move was botched — timing it on a particularly sensitive day …” Sensitive to whom? It was Israel’s Independence Day.

We have an expression in my community: “If not now, when?” An oft-repeated objection by those not committed to something is that doing the right thing requires delay.

We cannot and should not wait for the convenience of others to do the right thing. Imagine if that was the thinking when landmark decisions were being considered during the Civil Rights era of the 1950s and ’60s. If we waited for the approval or convenience of Bull Connor, we would all still be waiting to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Jonathan Hirst

Editor’s Note: NJJN did not solicit the two opinion pieces cited in the above letter. We welcome submissions from Rep. Lance and other candidates regardless of party

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