Blogger campaigns to make Israel's voice heard in NY Times

Elad Nehorai, who runs the Jewish blog Pop Chassid successfully raised money through crowdfunding to put a full-page ad in the New York Times to combat the media bias.

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October 14, 2015 16:12
2 minute read.
The headquarters of the New York Times is pictured on 8th Avenue in New York

The headquarters of the New York Times is pictured on 8th Avenue in New York. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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NEW YORK – As terrorism in Israel continues to make international headlines, social media has been flooded with angry posts by Israeli and Jewish people from around the world complaining about foreign outlets’ coverage of the events. For some the coverage is too minimal, for others, it is biased against Israel.

Elad Nehorai, who runs the Jewish blog Pop Chassid out of Brooklyn, has felt very frustrated following the US media.

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“Every year it’s the same thing: Israel gets this violence, Israel responds, and only then it’s front page news, and people think Israel is the aggressor,” he told The Jerusalem Post.

“It’s become really like a meme on Facebook among people who are pro-Israel,” he added. “They talk about how the media is not reporting or reporting badly, and when I read this I sense hopelessness from them, like there is nothing we can do. That’s a very crippling feeling.”

Nehorai felt something needed to be done, so he turned to the place he is most familiar with – the Internet.

Last week, he started a crowdfunding page on gofundme.com in order to raise enough money to buy a full-page ad in The New York Times. The goal is to use it to publish a “comprehensive list of all the attacks against the Jewish people of Israel” and expose the paper’s readers to “the other side of the story.”

“I wanted to make a statement,” he explained. “The media is not telling our story and we know for a fact that the moment Israel starts responding in any kind of strong way, it’s gonna be a front-page headline.”

At the beginning of his campaign, Nehorai needed to raise $118,000 dollars. But after gaining more and more popularity online, Nehorai’s initiative was noticed by StandWithUs, an organization that advocates for Israel. StandWithUs offered to let him buy the advertisement under its nonprofit status, which significantly brought down the price.

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The new goal was set at $33,000 and with hundreds of people donating to the cause, it was reached a day before the set deadline of Wednesday morning.

Beyond balancing out the Times’ coverage of Israel and perhaps convincing some readers to look beyond the headlines, he hopes the ad will “unify people who feel they don’t have a voice.”

“It’s hard especially for Diaspora Jews, but a lot of Israelis also feel very alone,” he told the Post, “so what I wanted to do in a sense, is give a gift to all these people.

“It wasn’t a political thing, it’s more that there is an injustice in the world, people are feeling voiceless and hopeless and I wanted to give people hope in that sense.”

Nehorai has been updating the text for the ad to include the latest attacks in Israel and working with a graphic designer to make it as appealing as possible. He hopes that “at the very least, this will help educate the New York Times’ readers, if they are not already [educated].”

While close to a thousand people donated funds to the initiative, the gofundme.com page has been shared on social media by over 8,000 people. Nehorai will submit the ad to the Times for publication on Saturday.

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