Following the very public July 14th resignation of New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) revealed the creation of a new hotline, “for journalists at the The NY Times or any other media outlet to call to report any antisemitism, anti-Israel bigotry, bullying, or harassment they are experiencing.”
Weiss made an unorthodox and controversial decision to post her resignation letter on her personal website that has since gone viral and become a leading topic of cable news shows and daytime network shows like The View. The letter, addressed to A.G. Sulzberger, the publisher of the New York Times, describes Weiss’ disappointment with the lack of ideological tolerance at the paper.
Weiss’s accusations of harassment and bigotry are all the more shocking since she was hired, “with the goal of bringing in voices that would not otherwise appear in your pages…”. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, major media outlets, including the Times, dismissed Trump voters and therefore failed to predict the presidential election outcome. As a part of its post-election soul searching, the paper made strategic hires in an attempt to diversify voices. In her resignation letter, Weiss concurred that the 2016 election upset proved the newspaper “didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers.”
Weiss, a Jewish, pro-Israel, pro-choice, bisexual writer says that after being hired she was subjected to “constant bullying by colleagues” who disagreed with her views. Weiss wrote that some coworkers “insist[ed] I need[ed] to be rooted out if this company [for it] to be a truly ‘inclusive’ one, while others post[ed] ax emojis next to my name.”
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She accused her superiors of knowing about the harassment and doing nothing to stop it. “Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery.”
She also decried the ideological conformity and intellectual elitism infecting the NY Times, “… truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.”
ZOA condemned the, “antisemitic work environment now on full and public display at The New York Times.” The statement continued, “Bari Weiss’s decision to resign from her position as a writer and editor at the Times highlights the problems of journalists who call out antisemitism on the right and the left, and stand up for Israel.”
ZOA quoted Weiss’s resignation letter where she revealed that, “her Times colleagues called her ‘a Nazi and a racist’ and criticized her for ‘writing about the Jews again.’”
In their statement, ZOA encouraged journalists who are facing antisemitism to reach out to their organization:
“To all journalists: We are with you and we are here to help you. ZOA has a long and proud record of effectively fighting antisemitism and standing up for the rights of Jews and those that support Israel. We do it in the courts, in Congress, in the media, in schools, and on college campuses. Rest assured, ZOA will stand up for you, too.
“If you have been bullied, harassed, or even threatened for expressing support for Jews or Israel, please contact us. We will guide you and stand up for your right to express those views – and the public’s right to hear them.”