How can a ‘New York Times’ reader possibly know what is truly happening in Israel/Palestine?

Israel/Palestine
on 25 Comments

Let’s say you are a typical New York Times reader. You have a job, a family, and a busy life. You trust the Times to give you an accurate daily overview of the world. You don’t, for instance, feel that you have to check alternate news sources to make sure that the paper is honestly reporting whether Hurricane Joaquin is a threat or not.

So you open your Times this morning, to “Anger Rises to West Bank After Deaths.” The article is devoted to Eitam and Naama Henkin, the Jewish settlers who were killed in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, apparently by Palestinian gunmen. You learn at some length what the president of Israel said at their funeral, what the prime minister of Israel said, and what one of the couple’s neighbors said. The article is accompanied by a photograph of a mourner at the graveside of the couple. The article links to an earlier Times article that describes “photographs of the parents and their bloodied car on Twitter” — a link that takes you to the Israeli army spokesman’s extremely graphic pictures of the murder scene (deep inside Palestinian territory). You finish the article with a feeling of sadness and resignation, “Why can’t those Palestinians stop their endless terrorism?” you may ask yourself.

Nine days earlier, Israeli soldiers killed the Palestinian teenager Hadil al-Hashlamoun at a checkpoint in Palestine. Your newspaper has had nothing at all to say about her since its first, somewhat confusing report. The Times made no effort to talk to her neighbors or her family, (even though this site had no trouble interviewing them). There are striking photographs of the Israeli soldier in uniform pointing his automatic weapon at her just before he killed her, but you have never seen those photos in your daily newspaper.

Hadil al-Hashlamoun at a Hebron checkpoint, moment before an Israeli soldier shot and killed her. (Photo: Youth Against Settlements)

Hadil al-Hashlamoun at a Hebron checkpoint, moment before an Israeli soldier shot and killed her. (Photo: Youth Against Settlements)

The circumstances of Hadil al-Hashlamoun’s death are suspicious to say the least, but none of the three Times reporters in the area have looked into it. In today’s article, she is not even mentioned.

If the typical Times reader got to read articles about Hadil-al-Hashlamoun, and to see the stark photographs of her killing, how long before public opinion started to change even faster than it already has?

No one expects the Times to turn into a pro-Palestinian propaganda organ. No one is suggesting that the Times ignore events like the killing of the Henkins. But the newspaper should live up to its own stated values of balance and objectivity, and stop suppressing the news about Hadil Al-Hashlamoun.

 

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25 Responses

  1. just
    October 3, 2015, 12:38 pm

    The NYT is completely complicit in Israeli/US crimes against Palestinian humanity.

    Their readers will know the truth about Palestine and Israel when they begin to allow the scales to fall from their eyes and realize that this pretentious fish wrap and status symbol of a rag belongs in the millions of trash cans around the world. It’s home to a very special branch of Hasbara Central.

    Readers of the NYT will know the truth when pigs fly.

    Thanks, James.

    • talknic
      October 3, 2015, 2:38 pm

      @ Just

      Don’t be silly, the pig is too heavily laden with lipstick to fly

      https://youtu.be/AkETwxtuo0A

      • just
        October 3, 2015, 6:27 pm

        That video is always welcome!

        (Sadly, there’s even more faces to add…)

    • bryan
      October 3, 2015, 6:00 pm

      Let’s not get too carried away here – the readers of the New York Times are not all idiots – and probably far less idiotic than supporters of a Republican party who apparently at the moment regard Trump and Carson as the two top candidates which that party can offer to the electorate. The admittedly small number of NYT articles that I have read demonstrate, via readers’ comments, a far more sophisticated and informed knowledge of the Middle East than their journalists can possibly express.

    • JWalters
      October 3, 2015, 7:16 pm

      Honesty could be easily achieved by changing the name to The War Profiteer Times.

      For new Mondoweiss readers, see “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”.

  2. a blah chick
    October 3, 2015, 2:49 pm

    The Times is wedded to the narrative (as is all our MSM) that Arabs are naturally violent and inherently bigoted against Jews. Jewish violence is self-defense or a response to an Arab outrage. And if Jews are bigoted it is because Arab violence has made them so.

  3. JLewisDickerson
    October 3, 2015, 6:59 pm

    RE: “No one is suggesting that the Times ignore events like the killing of the Henkins. But the newspaper should live up to its own stated values of balance and objectivity, and stop suppressing the news about Hadil Al-Hashlamoun.” ~ North

    MY COMMENT: Perhaps the New York Times coverage of the Middle East will become a bit more balanced/objective when Mexico’s Carlos Slim (or his heirs) finally takes over. That’s the only hope I see for balance/objectivity in the NYT‘s I-P coverage. And it’s a very meager hope indeed!

    FROM WIKIPEDIA (Carlos Slim):

    [EXCERPT] Carlos Slim Helú (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkaɾlos esˈlim eˈlu]; born January 28, 1940) is a Mexican business magnate, investor, and philanthropist.[3][4] From 2010 to 2013, Slim was ranked as the richest person in the world.[5] . . .

    . . . Slim was born on January 28, 1940, in Mexico City, Mexico,[18] to Maronite Catholic parents, Julián Slim Haddad and Linda Helú Atta, both of Lebanese descent.[19][20][21] His father, born Khalil Salim Haddad Aglamaz, emigrated to Mexico from Lebanon (then part of the Ottoman Empire) at the age of 14 in 1902 and changed his name to Julián Slim Haddad.[19] It was not uncommon for Lebanese children to be sent abroad before they reached the age of 15 to avoid being conscripted into the Ottoman Army . . .

    . . . In 2008 Slim took a 6.4% stake valued at $27 million in the troubled New York Times Company, as the global recession and declining advertising revenues took a particularly heavy toll on print-based “old media” companies across the United States.[22] Slim increased his stake to 8% by 2012.[47] Slim’s stake in the Times increased again to 16.8% on January 20, 2015 when he exercised stock options to purchase 15.9 million shares, making him the largest shareholder in the company.[48][49] . . .

    SOURCE – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Slim

    • Mooser
      October 3, 2015, 9:12 pm

      “as the global recession and declining advertising revenues took a particularly heavy toll on print-based “old media” companies across the United States.”

      I wonder if it is no more than that, slanting the newspaper toward Israel/Zionism could relieve them of some of that “heavy toll”. And it was certainly easy for them to do, simply a continuation and hardening of their editorial practices.

  4. italian ex-pat
    October 3, 2015, 7:10 pm

    Not sure the ‘typical’ NYT reader deserves the dismissive tone expressed in your article, Mr. North. If he/she is anything like me – who subscribes and reads the paper online everyday –
    he/she will also want to get information daily from other sources. Why else am I checking MW every single day? Trust but verify – very wise words.

    You might get a different sense of the NYT readership if you were to read the comments posted by readers in response to many of the articles, especially the most controversial. You would be surprised by how the ‘most recommended’ are often in line with your (and my) views.

    I have to agree that the NYT is not ‘fair and balanced’ in its reporting on the I/P issue, but just look at who its ME bureau chief is. Then again, which US medium is? The bigger question you should be addressing iswho’s controlling what gets published? If every single US administration since 1948 has been unwilling or unable to take a fair position re: the illegal Israeli occupation and continuous expansion on Palestinian land, how can any news outlet dare speak up against it?

  5. Mayhem
    October 3, 2015, 7:29 pm

    And Mondoweiss reciprocates by presenting its blind-sided view of reality in Israel/Palestine!
    You would get the impression around here that Palestinians were the only people getting killed in this conflict.

    • eljay
      October 3, 2015, 9:46 pm

      || Mayhem: And Mondoweiss reciprocates by presenting its blind-sided view of reality in Israel/Palestine!
      You would get the impression around here that Palestinians were the only people getting killed in this conflict. ||

      Never mind the blind-sided fact that for years the rapist, with impunity, has been kidnapping women, chaining them in his basement and violently abusing them both physically and sexually.

      Gotta stay focused on the pure, unvarnished truth that the women who have spent time in the home of this respected local businessman have slapped, punched and even bitten him!

      Sure, what he’s doing might be wrong in the eyes of some people but, hey, at least he’s not a serial killer!

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2015, 10:05 pm

        blind-sided view of reality(sic)

        Hoo-boy! So that’s what it feels like Mayhem, like you’re being “blind-sided”? Good. But why is any of this a surprise to you?

    • bryan
      October 4, 2015, 2:51 am

      @Mayhem “And Mondoweiss reciprocates by presenting its blind-sided view of reality in Israel/Palestine!”

      Nonsense mayhem – Mondoweiss is a community of contributors, readers and commenters that range from ardent and passionate supporters of Palestine (whose views are sometimes tinged with bigotry) to ardent and passionate supporters of Israel (whose views are sometimes tinged with bigotry). Moderation is generous, and a wide range of opinions are expressed, as your present comment demonstrates. Your real gripe is that your viewpoint is very much a minority one, hardly surprising given that the readership is generally highly articulate, well-informed, principled, and committed to justice, international law and human rights.

    • diasp0ra
      October 5, 2015, 11:47 am

      A cornered mouse will bite a cat. This does not reclassify the mouse as a predator or the cat as prey.

      Deal with the consequences of your occupation.

      Or do you want the occupied population to lay down and die? Do you want us to cater to your security when you shoot us in the street based on classified claims seen by classified soldiers and classified evidence?

      • RoHa
        October 5, 2015, 7:38 pm

        “Or do you want the occupied population to lay down and die? ”

        Well, yes. Or at least go away somewhere. But if you don’t have the deceny to just disappear and let the Israeli Jews take over your land, homes, businesses, farms, etc., what is a poor Zionist to do? They have no choice but to gun you down in the streets, drop white phosphorous on you, blow you to bits with bombs and shells, and so forth.

        While weeping about it all the time, of course.

        Do have some sympathy for the poor chaps. They are only trying to make the world a better place by creating a society that incorporates the best Jewish values. You’ve seen them doing that, haven’t you?

  6. Mooser
    October 3, 2015, 9:08 pm

    “You would get the impression around here that Palestinians were the only people getting killed in this conflict.”

    I’m sure some Israelis get killed. What they are doing, colonization through violent expropriation, and not an outright military rule, is a very, very risky business, for the colonists. They can get themselves killed trying to steal land like that. But you know that, of course.
    But tell me, Mayhem, why do you Israelis tolerate people, almost every one with an escape ticket in his pocket, coming in and playing out their ‘Wild Middle-East’ fantasies on your poor country? Those foreigners are going to get you in deep deep shit and then skip out on you. Oh well, no skin off my nose.

  7. Ellen
    October 4, 2015, 1:47 am

    Isn’t the purpose of reporting by the New York Times to make sure that readers DO NOT know what is happening in Palestine and Israel?

    I mean give it a break. Just look at the reporters covering that region for The NYT. It says it all. Cherry tomatoes anyone?

  8. Antidote
    October 4, 2015, 7:29 am

    I don’t think the problem is limited to the I/P conflict, much less the NYT. How can a NYT reader possibly know what is truly happening in Syria? Or, for that matter, in Washington?

  9. John Fearey
    October 4, 2015, 10:50 am

    In addition to Mondoweiss, see Barbara Erikson’s TimesWarp for a good antidote to the NYT.
    http://timeswarp.org/
    I happened to see Abbas’s speech to the UN General Assembly and it bore exactly zero resemblance to D. Ross’ piece about it in the NYT in which he described a “fizzled” bombshell. (I don’t bother to read Rudoren’s stuff.) What I saw and heard on C-Span was an impassioned and heartbreaking speech based on the irrefutable fact(s) that peace talks and the rest of the Oslo accords, from which the Palestinians officially withdrew, are a charade that permits the Israelis to commit genocide (my word) against the Palestinians, and that the international community (UN) needs to hold Israel to international standards and law for what is the longest running occupation since WWII and protect the Palestinians who are being slaughtered (my word I think) by Israel. The speech produced a long and sustained standing ovation from the UN audience (ex- the US and Israel, of course).
    So what, Mr. Ross, was there to “fizzle” other than the liquid excrement that flowed from your brain to your keyboard.
    The NYT, don’t get me started! It’s like reading “Goodnight Moon.” Just keep the power structures in place and all the orbs in the sky will continue to orbit and you’ll have a good night’s sleep.

  10. yourstruly
    October 4, 2015, 12:38 pm

    Gaza and the Warsaw Ghetto
    same place
    different time
    while the world stands by
    genocide
    live

    Zionism and Naziism
    same deadly hatred
    different target
    while the world stands by
    genocide
    live

  11. Donald
    October 4, 2015, 3:27 pm

    This goes beyond the coverage of Israel/Palestine. I think you’d also have had great difficulty as a NYT reader knowing how many civilians our forces were killing in Iraq and Afghanistan– the most recent study on mortality in the Iraq war published in 2013 in PLOS found that 35 percent of the violent deaths ( though this would include insurgents) were caused by coalition forces. You would not have gotten much or any sense of civilians killed by our forces except on rare occasions– virtually all coverage was on the sectarian war ( of course, even much of that was our doing.)

    I once tried writing a piece on Fallujah and the contrast between even the conservative numbers of Iraq Body Count vs. the NYT, but didn’t fully finish it. To do a really good job tracking down all possible sources of info would be beyond me, but even just relying on IBC the NYT looks bad.

  12. Pixel
    October 8, 2015, 5:03 am

    Israel/Palestine

    Palestine/Israel

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