No thanks to The New York Times for the mocking tone in its blog coverage of the Target/”World Mini Globe” furor. Late last month Target was found to be selling $1 miniature globes that labeled Israel as “Palestine,” and in response last Thursday a small group of pro-Israel supporters rallied in lower Manhattan on behalf of the Jewish state and against the retailer. Target has said it will no longer stock or sell the item, and the globe is no longer available for purchase on the company’s Web site, if it ever was.
We understand that The New York Times’ City Room is a blog, but its Jan. 28 post on the issue (which has been picked up by myriad other sites) is downright scornful. Of the Florida man who organized the rally in New York, the post reads,:
“‘The attack on Israel is happening on many fronts,’ said Mr. Kunst, a Floridian who said he schlepped up to New York to publicize his concerns about the mini-globe.”
The snark doesn’t end there. “The list [of groups Kunst decried] went on: President Obama, the United Nations, the European Union, Hamas, the liberals, the Muslims, the Nazis. Mr. Kunst warned that the Holocaust was continuing,” it reads. Perhaps this blogger has been so busy deriding people he thinks are mere alarmists that he has neglected to pay attention to the news of the many examples of resurgent anti-Semitism in the world—incidents not unlike those committed in pre-World War II Europe. And apparently worry over a designated terrorist group that has as its stated goal the elimination of Israel constitutes paranoia.
The mislabeling of a novelty item sold at a department store chain may seem insignificant or even petty at first blush, but we are living in post-9/11 times, and none among us should know that better than a New Yorker. Israel is the only democratic stronghold in the Middle East, and its existence and symbiotic relationship with the United States hinges on its victory in every war it fights. Pushing it off the map in any way—even symbolically—is no laughing matter.