A sophomore Yale student whose pro-Israel column published in the Yale Daily News was edited without her knowledge spoke out on Tuesday.
An Oct. 12 column by Sahar Tarak titled, “Is Yalies4Palestine a hate group?” was hit with an editor’s note on Oct. 25, reading, “This column has been edited to remove unsubstantiated claims that Hamas raped women and beheaded men.”
Tartak wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Free Beacon this week about how the Yale Daily News, the university’s independent student newspaper, edited a section referring to Hamas’ atrocities in their terrorist attack against Israel.
The paper removed the sentences “Yes, they raped women.” and “Yes, they beheaded men.” Edits that, according to Tartak, were made without her knowledge.
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Tartak’s original column still contains lines about beheadings by Hamas, condemning the “barbarism” that was carried out by “terrorists from Gaza who seemed intent on killing as many Jews as possible.”
She also directly addressed Yale students in that column, in a paragraph that does not appear to have been edited.
“You fortunately weren’t abducted by Hamas fighters (if you’re a woman, child or elderly person), or shot or beheaded or killed in some other creative way on the spot (if you’re a man),” Tartak wrote. “You certainly weren’t Shani Louk, the young woman with a bullet in her head depicted stripped to her underwear with her legs ‘bent at unnatural angles’ in the back of a pickup truck driven by the men.”
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She wrote in the Free Beacon about an Oct. 25 protest at her school where she said “Yale students publicly admonished” her column and shouted “resistance is justified.” She claimed that by editing her piece on the same day, “the Yale Daily News had done its own part to help the ‘resistance.’”
Tartak said she found out about the edits over the weekend. “The Yale Daily News editor in chief told me that at the time my piece was published—five days after Hamas carried out a pogrom reminiscent of the bloodiest 19th-century atrocities—’there was swirling unsubstantiation [sic] of the rape and beheading claims,'” she wrote, while pointing to several sources substantiating the allegations.
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She also reported that another column by a friend, titled “Stop justifying terrorism,” was updated by the Yale Daily News without the author’s knowledge to include a similar editor’s note that read, “This column has been edited to remove unsubstantiated claims of rape.”
But Tartak said, “Yale Daily News editors are not such sticklers when it comes to lobbing accusations at the Jewish state,” in reference to other anti-Israel op-eds they published.
She warned about “history repeating itself” and how the attitudes of Yale students on campus reverberate into the greater media ecosystem when they graduate.
“I wish I could write off my classmates’ foibles as youthful stupidity, but I see professional journalists making the same mistakes. It’s not an accident: The Yale Daily News is their breeding ground, and in a few years, the editors who wrote and approved that correction will go on to careers in the mainstream press, which is chock-full of Yale Daily News editors and reporters. Take the New York Times, where the author of the flagship daily newsletter, the paper’s diplomatic and Supreme Court correspondents, and the host of the paper’s hit podcast The Daily are all Yale Daily News alumni,” she wrote.
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“This pipeline is full of sewage, and it shows. The Yale Daily News is now a home for modern-day Holocaust denial, where brutalizing Jews does not need to be justified. It’s just denied outright,” Tartak concluded.
Yale Daily News editor-in-chief Anika Seth did not respond to a request for comment.
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Fox News’ Jeffrey Clark contributed to this report.