The Jewish Press, the oldest Orthodox newspaper in the U.S., fired its senior online editor Monday after publishing an offensive opinion article critical of the Haredi community.
On Monday, Yori Yanover, the online editor for The Jewish Press, published an article headlined “50 Thousand Haredim March So Only Other Jews Die in War.” The author referred to the mass rally in Manhattan on Sunday. The offensive headline drew complete outrage on Twitter. The Yeshiva World also published an Op-Ed against Yanover.
“There was a mass hysteria,” Naomi Mauer, co-publisher of The Jewish Press, told Haaretz. “Everybody was aggravated, most of all we were. We were getting more phone calls and emails than we could handle. Some people were irate about the article, and other people were saying ‘go for it.’ “
Within a few hours, the Jewish press sent out a statement apologizing for the article and announced it had fired Yanover. “The Jewish Press apologizes to its readers for the unfortunate op-ed article, along with its incendiary and insulting headline, regarding the Atzeres Tefilla in New York on Sunday against the drafting of yeshiva students in Israel that appeared on the Jewish Press website early Monday,” a statement by The Jewish Press’s publishers Jerry Greenwald and Naomi Mauer read. “The article in question was posted without authorization and approval of The Jewish Press newspaper, and the individual who wrote and posted the article on the website has been fired,”
But Yanover didn’t go down without a fight. While his firing was taken place, Yanover defended the article with this reporter. “The truth of that headline is so blunt, it’s driving Haredim nuts. In the end, they stay alive and we die,” Yanover tweeted @ me after midnight.
He went farther is calling the scandal “Haredi BDS, against Zionists who talk back.”
“They use serious economic power to twist the arms of an aging newspaper simply because they can,” Yanover told Haaretz.
Yanover sent an email Tuesday morning to his former employers (disclosure: This reporter used to submit articles to The Jewish Press through Yanover) throwing back the responsibility back to the publishers of the paper. “Your email contains this blatant lie: “The article in question was posted without authorization and approval of The Jewish Press newspaper.” I wrote the article after discussion with my supervisor and then submitted the article for review, as per the protocol you established,” Yanover wrote. “Why you feel the need to spread this lie about me is between you and your Maker, but I must insist on telling the truth. Whether you agree or not with the above is between you and your Zionist readers who must be wondering whatever has happened to their newspaper. I know I have been. This would be a good WWMKS moment (What would Meir Kahane say).”
The Jewish Press publisher, however, maintained that firing Yanover was not a result of Haredi pressure. “He definitely was one of the popular writers on the site, but there is a point where someone crosses the line and has to use seichel (common sense),” she said.