“New Light on Hamas Role in Killings of Teenagers That Fueled Gaza War” is the headline of the New York Times story on the latest twist in the incident that set off the massive Israeli raids on Hamas in the West Bank and then a war that killed 2100 Palestinians over the summer. The headline certainly insinuates that Hamas was responsible for the teens’ abduction and murder.
But the Times has disguised the news. The article describes documents of the investigation of the murders released by the Israeli secret police. Concealed in the second paragraph is this information:
But the documents, related to an investigation and indictment of the man suspected of leading the kidnappers, provide no evidence that the top leaders of Hamas directed or had prior knowledge of the plot to abduct the three Israeli youths.
Then, in the fourth paragraph:
Though the documents released on Thursday do not necessarily undercut the Israeli government’s assertions, they present a more nuanced picture.
Present a more nuanced picture? Even the Times of Israel is more honest about the news:
The [investigating] officer revealed that the terror attack is believed to have been a local initiative rather than a directive from above, and that, according to Hussam Kawasme’s confession, Marwan Kawasme arrived at his house at one in the morning on the night of the attack and said: “We wanted to kidnap one, we kidnapped three. We got tangled up. We killed them.”
And late in the Times piece, there’s this admission:
In an interview with Yahoo News last month, Khaled Meshal, the exiled political leader of Hamas, said, “We were not aware of this action taken by this group of Hamas members in advance.”
If you’re leafing through the New York Times on a Friday morning and in a hurry, you’re going to glance at that headline and think that something you already “knew” has just been confirmed. But the headline is in fact a lie. We’ve just watched Israel slaughter 2000 people on the pretext that Hamas was behind the teens’ killing. Now it looks as if the Israeli government’s justification was as flimsy as WMD.