American Jewish Committee Sderot ad refused airtime on NY station

AJC head David Harris compares attacks on Sderot to London blitz

The American Jewish Committee, the group known for efforts to oppose congressional recognition of the Armenian genocide, has this video about the refusal of New York Times-owned radio station, WQXR, to run their ad raising money for an emergency fund for the people of Sderot, Israel.

AJC head David Harris, in criticizing the refusal of the station to run the ad, doesn’t do his cause any favors when he compares the situation of the residents of Sderot to the London blitz in 1940 and 1941 (and by extension, Hamas to Nazis) in which over 43,000 were killed. He asks if an ad about the London blitz would also be refused by the station “on the grounds that we failed to refer reciprocal British miltary actions against Nazi Germany.”

In fact, according to the UN, from 2000 through the beginning of 2008, 11 residents of Sderot were killed by Qassam rockets, while 2,677 Gazans were killed by Israeli rocket fire and incursions. It is likely the one-sidedness and sensationalism of the ad which caused the station manager to reject it. (Other writers will likely give the ad the detailed critique it requires.)

Nonetheless, the ad should have been accepted–and also, any ad which talked about the Gazans who have also endured. It is in the nature of wars and conflicts, in which people on both sides endure real and terrible suffering, that people only tell the story from their side. Can more really be expected? And can a free and open society withstand that kind of speech? I think so. Watch the video here: AJC video about Sderot ad

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