The Times of Israel and the 5 Towns Jewish Times removed a blog post from their websites calling for the consideration of genocide as an option in the Gaza conflict. The Times of Israel also dropped the blogger.
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In his blog post, titled "When genocide is permissible," Yochanan Gordon called for a consideration of the argument that Israel would never obtain quiet until it had committed genocide in the Gaza Strip. “If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?” Gordon wrote in the article, which was posted on both sites on Friday.
The Times of Israel removed the post within hours of its posting and published an article in which it said it "will not countenance blog posts that incite to violence or criminal acts."
“The blog post, which was both damnable and ignorant, was uploaded by a blogger,” Miriam Herschlag, the Times of Israel op-ed editor, said in an email. “It was removed by the Times of Israel for breaching our editorial guidelines. The blog has been discontinued.”
The blogger in a note to JTA apologized for the entry.
“I wish to express deep regret and beg forgiveness for an article I authored which was posted on 5TJT.com, Times of Israel and tweeted and shared the world over,” Yochanan Gordon said in an email to JTA.
“I never intended to call to harm any people although my words may have conveyed that message,” he said.
“With that said I pray and hope for a quick peaceful end to the hostilities and that all people learn to coexist with each other in creating a better world for us all.”
Yet, the author tweeted that he is disappointed in the Times of Israel for "caving to pressure" and deleting his post.
Disappointed in Times Of Israel for caving to pressure, deleting my article "When Genocide Is Permissable." PDF copy https://t.co/hEPfZUo0Uq
The 5 Towns Jewish Times, a Long Island paper founded by Gordon’s father, also deleted the post.
Gordon had immediate posting rights at the Times of Israel, and did not need an editor’s clearance; it is not clear what rights he had at the 5 Towns Jewish Times, where the post had appeared on a rotation of top home page articles illustrated with a picture of a sunset.
“An article that was posted earlier today on our website dealt with the question of genocide in a most irresponsible fashion,” the Long Island newspaper’s editors said in a statement on the site.
“We reject any such notion or discussion associated with even entertaining the possibility of such an unacceptable idea,” it said. “The piece should have been rejected out of hand by editors but escaped their proper attention. We reject such a suggestion unequivocally and apologize for the error.”
Gordon engaged for a while with critics of the piece on Twitter; he had also posted the piece on his Facebook page, which appeared to be shut down mid-Friday.