We have a thorough account of Friday’s attack by Jewish settlers on a US State Department convoy visiting a village in the West Bank; but in its print edition, the newspaper of record, the New York Times, acted like it’s a nothing story.
The matter rated six informative tweets Friday from Matt Lee, AP’s State Department correspondent, on twitter, saying that it was of deep concern to State and the Israelis are also investigating the incident and will arrest perpetrators. Lee:
.@StateDept official: #US staff were in #WestBank “looking into reports settlers had uprooted some 5,000 olive tree saplings” when attacked.
At +972, “Settlers attack US convoy…”, it’s reported that the U.S. president is looking into it–
According to Ynet, American security personnel drew their M16 rifles as settlers approached the convoy. The State Department later denied that guns were drawn. No one was injured in the confrontation…
The diplomats arrived in the area after Palestinians who live in village of Turmus Aya and have U.S. citizenship asked them to look at the damage caused to their trees…
American sources say that the president is currently looking into the incident.
On its website, the New York Times picked up the thorough AP story describing the “attack” in its headline. It credited Matt Lee, who had used the word “pelted” in a tweet: @statedept official: US diplomatic vehicle pelted w/stones by”armed settlers” in #WestBank. “We are deeply concerned by this incident.” But in the print version of the New York Times yesterday, the story rated one paragraph on page A6, and it was not an attack: “West Bank: Settlers Throw Stones at American Consular Officials.”
Jewish settlers threw stones at American consular officials on Friday during a visit the officials made to the West Bank as part of an investigation into claims of damage to Palestinian agricultural property, the Israeli police and Palestinian witnesses said. A police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, said the settlers threw rocks at the officials who had traveled to the area near the Jewish settlement of Adi Ad to look into Palestinian claims that settlers had uprooted scores of Palestinian olive trees the day before. He said that the Americans left the area and that the police had opened an inquiry after the filing of an official complaint. The State Department said it was “deeply concerned” by the attack.
Of course when the Palestinians go to the U.N. to seek their rights, it’s described as a “provocative” act by the New York Times in news coverage and an editorial. But the US government visiting settlements is also evidently “provocative,” in the Israeli worldview, otherwise the settlers wouldn’t be throwing stones; and the Times doesn’t cover that very much at all. “Seems a bit world turned upside down,” says a friend.
Writes one of the acid commenters on Matt Lee’s posts: “seems US is about to apologize for being attacked by the squatters.”
I can’t help but think of the attack on the USS Liberty: in 1967 Israeli warplanes and gunboats shot up an American spy ship in the Mediterranean off Egypt, killing 34 Americans. Of course the scale and nature of the attacks are utterly different. But they were both attacks. Back then the matter was swept under the rug with the complicity of the leading media, and the families of the victims have had to look to Al Jazeera to keep the story alive, with a recent documentary, The Day Israel Attacked America. Somehow I think this story will work out differently.