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'New York Times' Now Insists on Evidence

Contact: Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 212-371-3191, pr@catholicleague.org

NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- Bill Donohue comments on an editorial in today's New York Times on the subject of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remark saying that Hitler got the idea of the "final solution" from Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem:

    "While it is a fact that Mr. Husseini met with Hitler in search of support," the Times editorial says, "only a handful of fringe historians have claimed, with no evidence, that he planted the idea of the 'final solution.'"

    The Times is right. As historian Kenneth R. Timmerman has noted, al-Husseini met with Hitler on November 28, 1941, and made clear his wishes. "He had gone to convince Adolf Hitler of his total dedication to the Nazi goal of extermination of the Jews," Timmerman says, "and offered to raise an Arab legion to carry out the task in the Middle East."

    Besides this aspect of the editorial, there is another one that is of special interest to the Catholic League. I recently had an exchange with several senior Times executives [click here] demanding that they provide evidence of the incredible claim made by reporter Laura M. Holson that "Historians agree" that Father Junípero Serra (who was canonized last month by the pope) had Indians "tortured to death." After investigating this matter thoroughly, Greg Brock, the Senior Editor for Standards, concluded that "I agree with Ms. Holson's editors that 'historians' is accurate, and therefore no correction is required."

    I thanked Mr. Brock for his interest, saying, "I have just one question: Who were the 'historians' who claim that Fr. Serra tortured Indians?" There has been no answer, and that's because there is no evidence.

    Yet when it comes to Netanyahu's remark, the Times is prepared to dismiss his position because it is supported by "only a handful of fringe historians" who have "no evidence." The double standard is as sickening as it is indefensible. A correction to the Serra story is still needed.

    Contact Greg Brock: senioreditor@nytimes.com