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Jerome Slater on the NYT’s Tepid Gaza Editorial

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Jerome Slater, the author of a groundbreaking article that showed that the New York Times failed to inform opinion leaders in the U.S. of the moral crisis that Israel was putting itself in, even as Haaretz provided Israelis with that news, has another analysis of Times coverage for me today:

In the last one or two years the NY Times has sometimes published
articles that treat the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with greater
balance than has been its norm.  But just when you think there has been
a major change, the paper reverts to form. An editorial today bravely
states that Israel needs to "reexamine" its policies of "collective
punishment" and "economic blockade imposed on the civilian population of
Gaza." 

In the next breath, though, it describes these policies–which
should more accurately be characterized as illegal, immoral,
and devastating to Israel’s longrun security, as just a response to
Hamas rule and a steady rain of rocket attacks,” against which Israel
has a “right and a duty to defend itself.”

Not a word, though, about Israel’s long occupation and
repression of the Palestinian people, not even the suggestion that Hamas
might be fighting back.  Yes, Hamas employs terrorism, and the Times is
right to deplore it.  However, its position would be greatly
improved if it might just mention the occupation, which has been
“defended” by Israel with actions that come close to being nothing less
than state terrorism.

It is hard to find the right words to describe these kinds of
commentaries by the world’s leading newspaper, without sounding
overwrought.  Given what is at stake in this issue, though, I will
content myself with saying that the Time’s position does not rise
to the level of minimal intellectual or moral respectability.  No future
apologies for its performance over the years will be able to
atone for or undo the damage it has done, and is still doing.

[Weiss again. I’d add that Jimmy Carter said the other day on Charlie Rose that some of Israel’s actions constitute state-sponsored terrorism. I believe this view of the situation is slowly breaking into the American mainstream…]

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