The Israeli military should be grateful for the New York Times

US Politics
on 1 Comments
It is really hard to ignore the New York Times’ headline for the story on the disturbing video of the execution of the young Palestinian Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif, (21). Al-Sharif was executed along with Ramzi Kasrawi, (21), in Hebron on Thursday, March 24th.

I know it’s the Times after all, and pointing it out, like we did in hundreds of other cases, might not change anything. But still one can not, and should not, skip such outrageous journalistic practices.

The New York Times chose this headline Israel Soldier Detained in Shooting of Palestinian” to cover a crime that was filmed (otherwise would go unnoticed), showing two disturbing scenes, both are equally severe (and painful): An Israeli soldier executes a motionless and injured young Palestinian man in Hebron, by a bullet in the head from point blank range, the other soldiers carry on as if nothing happened; and second, Israeli medics and soldiers, ignore the injured Palestinian (before he was shot the second time), and leave him lying on the ground like he was a piece of trash.

The problem though is not only with the headline. The 900 word, 18 paragraph article, gave the major weight to Israeli military propaganda.

This is logical, no? Because usually in journalism, if a criminal committed a crime, for example a murder or rape, the article would give the the major weight to the murderer of course, rather than the victim.

The victim in our case, is the least important thing is this article. We should be thankful they mentioned his name and age.

Out of the 18 paragraphs, 12 paragraphs (570 words) were allocated to statements from the Israeli Military and Israeli officials (the first 6 and the last 5 are among them). Only one paragraph was for a Palestinian spokesperson (56 words), and another 3 for an Israeli speaker from B’tselem (113 words).

After each claim that arises from the video (and mentioned modestly by the Times), there is a bunch of Israeli official statements commenting on it.

Also, in other cases, the New York Times predominantly displays the video that is the subject of the article on the page of the article. Here, the editor decided it is enough to hyperlink it!

It makes it seem like the Times’ office in Jerusalem is part of the military spokesperson office, who edits and approves all the reports which come out.

I wonder how many of us need to die, how many more Israeli crimes it will take for the US media to realize that it is not an “isolated incident”, and I wonder when will we see an in-depth article in the New York Times that follows up on the “isolated” cases in which the military claimed they detained a soldier, and tell us what happened with these cases?

Finally, I wonder when the New York Times will dare to realize that it’s an Israeli military occupation, and Israeli soldiers are not victims.

A version of this post first appeared on Abir Kopty’s website

About Abir Kopty

Abir Kopty is a Palestinian activist in several movements and social change organizations focused on feminism and human rights and the struggle to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine. She works as media analyst and consultant and is a former city council member in Nazareth & former spokeswoman for Mossawa, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel. She holds a Master's in Political Communication from the City University of London.

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One Response

  1. Talkback
    March 26, 2016, 6:44 am

    Abir Kopty: ” I wonder how many of us need to die, how many more Israeli crimes it will take for the US media to realize that it is not an “isolated incident”, and I wonder when will we see an in-depth article in the New York Times that follows up on the “isolated” cases in which the military claimed they detained a soldier, and tell us what happened with these cases?

    Finally, I wonder when the New York Times will dare to realize that it’s an Israeli military occupation, and Israeli soldiers are not victims.”

    Well, it’d be quicker to train a monkey.

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