CAMERA has reported The New York Times‘ penchant for covering racism in soccer, especially where Israelis are concerned. In a Jan. 31, 2013 article about protests by Beitar soccer fans against the recruitment of Muslim players, bearing the headline “Some Fear a Soccer Team’s Racist Fans Hold a Mirror Up to Israel,” the “newspaper of record” used the event as an opening to indict all of Israeli society as racist.
In fact, The Times printed a second article in the span of ten days with the same false narrative — that because there are some intolerant Israelis, there is “a broad phenomenon of racism in all of Israeli society.”
Of course, this is an example of how Israel is held to a separate and unequal standard because, as CAMERA noted:
When The New York Times reported on soccer racism in Europe on Jan. 5, 2013, the story was about the negative response to racism by European soccer fans. The article, headlined “Soccer Racism Prompts Walkout, and Outrage,” noted that this was an acute problem in Russia, Ukraine, the Balkans, Britain, France and most recently Italy, and “hardly a new phenomenon.” There was no suggestion that any of these fans represent their respective nation’s values.
But when the soccer shoe is on the other foot, when there is discrimination against an Israeli soccer player, does The Times or indeed any major news outlet cover it? Well, that depends if you consider The South Wales Evening Post to be a major news outlet. That paper published a story on just such an occurrence. So did Wales Online, that media behemoth.
In the United States, so far only Jewish newspaper The Algemeiner reported:
Jewish Israeli soccer star and Swansea City (UK) striker Itay Shechter has been forced to miss his club’s week-long training decampment because it’s taking place in Dubai. The UAE and Israel do not have diplomatic relations and Shechter could have been arrested and deported if he tried to enter Dubai as the United Arab Emirates does not recognize Israel as a state.
The Algemeiner further reported that Schechter was once given a Nazi salute during a training session, a clear act of hate.
None of this soccer racism made it into the mainstream press. Is it not news fit to print? Is bigotry against Israelis and Jews not as bad as bigotry against Muslims? Is intolerance by a few individuals worse than state-sponsored and enforced intolerance by a government? Is discrimination in Dubai — and for that matter in the entire Arab world — not deplorable? So… Where’s the coverage?