NY Times flubs political ad caption, playing into Blue & White propaganda

Blue and White contrasted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-Right allies with party leader Benny Gantz and his party members, offering the popular slogan "The Nation of Israel Lives."

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
April 8, 2019 11:53
2 minute read.
NY Times flubs political ad caption, playing into Blue & White propaganda

A Blue and White campaign billboard that contrasted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-Right allies with party leader Benny Gantz and his party members offering the caption "The Nation of Israel Lives." . (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)

The New York Times may have misunderstood an Israeli ad campaign, captioning the photo of a Blue and White Party billboard as two competing billboards, indicating that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was proudly promoting himself alongside the Far Right Otzma Yehudit Kahanist party.

In reality, it was Blue and White trying to make that leap.

The picture of a Blue and White campaign ad, which accompanies an article that addresses how political parties campaign in Israel, is captioned: "In Tel Aviv, a Blue and White party billboard, left, competing with a campaign ad for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing allies. Polls show the race is close."

Blue and White contrasted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-Right allies with party leader Benny Gantz and his party members, offering the popular slogan "The Nation of Israel Lives." In the Netanyahu part of the billboard, the caption "Kahane Lives" was used by the Blue and White team to discredit the prime minister for supporting and cozying up with Otzma Yehudit and the Union of Right-Wing Parties.

Netanyahu cut a deal last month with Otzma Yehudit, paving the way for the party, an extremist and racist group with roots in Kahanist political philosophy, to sit in the next Knesset when it opens. 

Meir Kahane, to whom the slogan "Kahane Lives" is attributed to, was an ultra-Nationalist who's party was banned from the Knesset in 1984. Both the "Kach" and "Kahane Lives" parties, which are connected to his movement, are considered terrorist organizations by Israel, Canada, the EU and the United States.

The Supreme Court disqualified Otzma's current leader, Michael Ben-Ari, from running for the Knesset.

The faux pax received some criticism on social media with Director of the Israel office of Committee for Accuracy in Middle East, Tamar Sternthal, tweeted about it. Since then, several others have commented.

"If you can't figure out that gray pictures of politicians on a yellow background are attack ads, maybe explaining politics isn't for you," wrote one response.
Another respondent defended the Times: "Watch as they correct this, while Trump or Fox News will never correct their thousands of mistakes and misstatements."



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