For the record, The Jerusalem Post is not backing either Barack Obama or Mitt
Romney in next month’s presidential elections.
As Israel’s top
English-language newspaper which prides itself on its balanced news coverage and
opinion columns, we are certainly committed to providing our readers with as
much material as we can on the candidates and their campaigns.
dispatched a correspondent to cover both the Republican and Democratic
conventions. We have run op-eds both in favor of Obama and Romney. And our
editors and reporters have served as neutral moderators in debates across the
country between representatives of Democrats Abroad Israel and Republicans
Co-sponsored by the non-partisan ivoteIsrael organization
and the Association of Americans & Canadians in Israel (AACI), these debates
have turned out to be well-attended and successful.
More than 50,000
American Israelis have registered to vote in the November 6 elections. For them,
and for many Americans – Jews, Christians, Muslims and others – the candidates’
stand on Israel is an important factor when considering their vote.
it is our job as a newspaper to report on the presidential race as best we can,
in an unbiased but informative way.
At the same time, however, The
Jerusalem Post – like any other newspaper – is a business. As such, we are open
to advertising from both the Republican and Democratic parties.
paid ads in our print edition and on our website and sending them to our
subscribers does not mean that we are endorsing one side or the other.
order to give our readers first-class, original content, we need the resources
provided by such advertising. As it says in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers),
“If there is no flour, there is no Torah; if there is no Torah, there is no
Supporters of Republican challenger Romney recently produced and
posted on YouTube an anti-Obama documentary called Absolutely Uncertain. It
featured interviews with The Jerusalem Post’s editor-in-chief, as well as with
other Israel-based journalists who were told they were being filmed for a
documentary on the US and Israel.
They had no idea that their statements
were going to be used for political propaganda.
Last week, an
advertisement for the video was disseminated to email addresses on the Post
mailing list, many of whose recipients live in the US.
the email, a reader from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida wrote: “Israel’s security
is extremely important to me and my family. As a Democrat strongly supportive of
President Obama’s record on Israel’s security, I was disheartened to see The
Jerusalem Post engage in disseminating a RJC propaganda film to its list-serve,
giving the appearance the paper endorsed its views, when in fact it was nothing
more than a paid advertisement.”
To make things perfectly clear, we are
in no way affiliated with the video or its producers, and the email was sent in
the form of a paid advertisement, and not as the paper’s position.
in no one’s interest for Israel to be a wedge issue in the upcoming US
elections. To play political football with the enormous challenges facing
Israel, the US and the entire world today, especially when it comes to Iran’s
quest for nuclear weapons, is irresponsible and immoral.
Such issues must
be addressed not in propaganda ads with a clear political agenda but via
channels that promote robust discourse and free thought.
This applies to
the coverage of the US election campaign in our newspaper and on our website, as
it does in other media, particularly ahead of the remaining vice-presidential and
In the spirit of the Post’s integrity and good
name, we remain neutral in the race between Obama and Romney.
written before, Obama has proven during his first term to be a true friend of
Israel, and Romney’s statements about his policies if elected indicate that he
advocates a close US-Israel relationship.
It is our fervent belief that
the White House and Congress will continue to be strongly supportive of the
Jewish state no matter who wins the election, and we reject any attempts by
interested parties to use deception and subterfuge to achieve their goals.