The New York Times has long been anti-Israel.
It's fashionable in New York and other so-called progressive urban areas to hold Israel to standards to which no other nation in the world is held.
And The New York Times is predictably, reflexively, uncontrollably, impulsively, knee-jerkingly "progressive," in the worst sense of the word.
But as both a former New Yorker and a former newspaper guy, I never thought I would see the day when the Times would actually display blatant anti-Semitism, even in its zeal to undermine Israel.
Sadly, that day has come.
Because I don't read the Times daily as I once did — and as every newsman once did — I had to learn about this scandal from tips by Jewish organizations.
It seems the Times has launched a website aimed specifically at tracking how Jewish lawmakers vote on the Iran nuclear agreement.
Imagine the horror and outrage if a news organization tracked exclusively how Catholic lawmakers vote with the policies of the Vatican.
Imagine the protests that would ensue if a news organization tracked exclusively how Muslim lawmakers vote on efforts to combat terrorism.
Imagine the reaction if a news organization tracked exclusively how Mexican-American lawmakers vote on immigration issues.
Let's face it. It's unimaginable.
But the Times created an online chart to track how exclusively Jewish lawmakers vote on Iran, prompting concerns among Jewish leaders that the paper has gone off the deep end and is suggesting Jews in Congress somehow have national loyalties — even though Americans of all faiths, ages, genders, ethnic backgrounds and races overwhelmingly oppose the Iran nuclear deal.
What's most stunning about the chart is that most Jews in Congress support the deal, which has been strenuously protested by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"Though more Jewish members of Congress support the deal than oppose it, the Democrats against the deal are more likely to be Jewish or represent Jewish constituencies," the Times wrote.
The site shows in graph form all lawmakers in the House and Senate who oppose the deal and then asks the question, "Jewish?" It also includes the composition of each lawmaker's district, displaying the percentage of Jewish individuals represented.
Crazy? Insensitive? Anti-Semitic? Yes. Yes. Yes.
And for the record, I am not Jewish.
"It's a grotesque insult to the intelligence of the people who voted for and will vote against (the deal)," said Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which combats anti-Semitism.
Cooper said it brings to mind images of "Jewish pressure" and "Jewish money" influencing the vote on the deal.
This type of reporting "does a disservice to the issue, and that's the exact opposite job of The New York Times," Cooper said. "They have some explaining to do. Why'd they do it? Shame on The New York Times for the timing and implications of this piece."
I couldn't agree more.
And this comes at a time of increased anti-Semitism worldwide — including in the U.S.
One senior official with a Jewish organization based in Washington, D.C., expressed shock over the site to The Washington Free Beacon: "I guess we should be grateful The New York Times chose not to illustrate its Jew tracker by awarding a six-pointed yellow badge to every Jewish opponent of this catastrophic sellout."
What did The New York Times have to say for itself? No official comment.
But after publication of the story, the Times quietly and without fanfare removed the column from the chart that asked whether the member of Congress is Jewish.
I suppose that's better than the alternative.
But what kind of editors work at The New York Times these days?
Who is putting together these graphics and charts?
What kinds of people are setting the tone for The New York Times?
It's been obvious for a long time that they are anti-Israel. But anti-Jewish? What else are we to conclude?
To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.