NY Paper Retracts Editorial On Attacks

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(AP) The Oneida Daily Dispatch, after getting complaints of anti-Semitism, retracted an editorial that quoted a Pakistani as saying Jews were to blame for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The retraction was published Thursday on the editorial page, below a masthead that no longer contained the name of Managing Editor Jean Ryan.

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reported that Ryan and City Editor Dale Seth, who wrote the Sept. 19 editorial, were fired Wednesday. Dispatch Publisher Ann Campanie would not confirm the report Friday, saying it is the paper’s policy not to publicly discuss personnel matters.

“I am not working at the Oneida Daily Dispatch as of yesterday because of repercussions from allowing the Sept. 19 editorial to be published. I am not anti-Semitic, and anyone who knows me knows that,” Ryan wrote in a statement issued Thursday. A message left Friday for the only Jean Ryan listed in the phone book was not immediately returned.

Seth declined comment.

The paper’s three-paragraph apology said, in part, “We understand that readers of the editorial found it offensive, poorly reasoned, and based on flawed facts. We agree with those observations.”

The newspaper said it would allow a full rebuttal to be published on the editorial page in coming days.

The Sept. 19 editorial quoted an unidentified Pakistani as blaming Jews for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

“The fact is that in many areas of the Middle East it is believed that history has taught them to carry out such acts,” the editorial said. “Until 1948, there was no Israel. The United Nations took Palestinian land and gave it to a number of Jewish terrorists to rule — Jewish terrorists who had bombed and killed Palestinians and others in an effort to force hands of power to see an Israel formed. Today’s freedom fighter, in many cases, was yesterday’s terrorist.”

Campanie said the apology spoke for itself, and declined further comment.

Community members met with Campanie and a representative of the paper’s parent company, Journal Register Co., on Wednesday afternoon.

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