Even a New York Times Movie Review Is a Slam-Dunk Case of Anti-Israel Bias

By Ira Stoll

How ridiculously biased against Israel is the New York Times?

How about this for an answer: The newspaper manages to sneak some Israel-bashing into even a 250-word review of a movie about a 1977 Israeli basketball team.

The Times faults the movie, “On the Map,” for being too pro-Israel: “This is an almost relentlessly partisan portrait: Not one player or coach from a team that opposed the Maccabi is interviewed.”

If anyone is relentlessly partisan here, it is the New York Times, which can’t even manage to review a movie about an Israeli sports team without complaining that the other side doesn’t get a voice.

The review complains: “The movie makes no attempt to engage any current situation, basking instead in a one-dimensional nostalgia.”

That’s a silly complaint. It’s not a movie about the current situation; it’s a movie about the 1977 basketball team. And again, if anyone is being one-dimensional here, it is the New York Times, which seems to want to view nearly every piece of art that ever comes out of Israel through the New York Times obsession of the contemporary Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Other publications had a different view of it. The Wall Street Journal published a friendly feature about the film, without attacking it as one-sided and without any complaining that it failed to dwell sufficiently on Palestinian grievances against Israeli settlers. The Hollywood Reporter ran a review that called the movie “inspiring” and “compelling,” as well as “moving and amusing.” The Algemeiner had a friendly interview with the movie’s screenwriter and with an executive producer.

Only the New York Times manages somehow to detect, in an innocuous film about a basketball team, an Israeli stealth propaganda initiative worthy of vigorous denunciation.

As an example of press bias, this one is a slam dunk