Josef Stalin would be proud.
Agriprocessors ran a fully-paid junket to Postville last week so hand-picked rabbis and friendly Jewish journalists could see Agriprocessors in action.
Of course, that action…
…was planned in advance by Agriprocessors.
Worse yet, these rabbis and journalists did not meet with workers off-site, did not meet with former workers and not meet with local clergy and volunteers who have fed, clothed, housed and provided medical care for displaced Agriprocessors workers and their children.
Of the 25 rabbis and journalists on the trip, only four eventually met with one clergy member and another activist off-site –– the others couldn't make it.
Now the Five Towns Jewish Times – a newspaper in the sense that Pravda was a newspaper – has released a video of the Agriprocessors tour.
Most of the line workers on the video are too new to have experienced the raid, and early on in the video a line worker says many new workers have left because the work environment is "intense."
But for the most part what you see are seasoned mid-level managers who have nothing bad (on camera, at least) to say about Agriprocessors or the Rubashkins.
You'll also note that allegations of criminal wrongdoing are always referred to as "rumors" by the narrator and by the mayor of Postville and no one – not one rabbi – objects to this perversion of truth.
Yes, some of the allegations surrounding Agriprocessors are rumors. But many other – the majority, I'd say – are not. They are allegations made by law enforcement based on documents taken during the raid, by the statements made by hundreds of workers, each independent of the other, and by informants placed in the plant by ICE.
Further, at least 18 underage workers were arrested in that raid. One was 13 years old.
Two senior plant managers are in jail charged with federal crimes, and a third fled indictment and is now hiding in Israel.
About 75% of Agriprocessors' workforce was illegal on the day of the raid.
And none of this even touches on previous Humane Slaughter violations, EPA violations, and OSHA violations.
These are not rumors – they are facts waiting to be heard in a court of law and adjudicated.
The little Postville Herald Leader knows this, as do hundreds of large and small newspapers across America,
But Orthodox rabbis and journalists prefer Pravda to journalism.
Here's a great line from Luke Ford:
If you’ve been reading me, you know I don’t think Agriprocessors is much worse than any other meat processing plant.
I don’t know anything about the place beyond what I read online.
But how stupid are the following rabbis to take a trip and a one-day tour sponsored by Agriprocessors and then give the place a clean bill of health? Didn’t the Red Cross do something like that at various concentration camps in World War II?
And you can see one of those Red Cross visits here:
UPDATE: Who is the publisher of the Five Towns Jewish Times?
Another Chabad follower, Larry Gordon.
5TJT website describes Gordon this way:
About the Publisher:
Larry (Arye Leib) Gordon was born and raised in Crown Heights, and is a resident of Lawrence in the 5 Towns since 1992. Larry is a veteran journalist, writing stories on Jewish life and related issues for thirty years. He is also the acknowledged creator of modern Jewish radio.…
Larry’s interest in journalism is inspired by his father, Nison Gordon, a”h, who traveled from Poland when he was 18-years-old to report on life in New York City as the American correspondent for a Polish newspaper. Larry’s father’s became a well know Yiddish writer, writing for “The Day,” “The Day Morning Journal,” and “The Algemeiner Journal,” during a career that spanned over 45 years.
Larry’s own foray in newspaper reporting began in 2000. In response to an aggressive and antagonistic effort led by the Lawrence municipality to limit the establishment and growth of local Orthodox shuls, Larry wrote a series of articles for the local Nassau Herald, which resulted in an abrupt policy reversal.
Recognizing the necessity for an unfettered Orthodox Jewish voice (the Herald’s editor was fired for printing Larry’s articles and his subsequent articles were refused) in the 5 Towns, Larry established the 5 Towns Jewish Times, what was then a thin newspaper published twice a month. Today, the 5 Towns Jewish Times is published 50 times each year.
Larry’s ultimate vision for the 5 Towns Jewish Times is the fluid juxtaposition of print, broadcast, and online media to provide one reliable resource for information, news, advocacy, fundraising, and promoting achdus within and throughout all the disparate Jewish communities of the United States and the world.
Gordon comes from a Chabad family. The Algemeiner Journal his father wrote for was (and is) controlled and run by Chabad followers.
What is the mission statement of Gordon's newspaper? Here is what Gordon himself posted:
The 5 Towns Jewish Times is committed to showing the best of our Orthodox Jewish community, while reflecting reality. The 5 Towns Jewish Times is committed to address all matters of note from a position of intelligence, integrity, and accuracy; and to report difficult social, political, and religious issues from all viewpoints without bias, whitewashing, or journalistic oversimplification.
I guess that last line goes out the window when the subject being reported on is Chabad-connected. Josef Stalin truly would have been proud.
Hat Tip for the update: Ploni.]