The UN Human Rights Council has issued its report on last summer’s war in Gaza, and the New York Times story about it just went up: “U.N. Report on Gaza Finds Evidence of War Crimes by Israel and by Palestinian Militants.”
The Times article is filled with numbers, but there is one conspicuously missing statistic in Jodi Rudoren’s quick summary of the long-awaited U.N. report. While she points out that 2251 Palestinians died, she leaves out the numbers of Israeli dead: 72. (Of these, 67 were Israeli soldiers.)
The Times fails to fill the picture in because doing so would have undermined the article’s strenuous effort to equate Israeli and Palestinian war crimes.
In the same vein, the article fails to note the starkly different numbers of children killed during the conflict — more than 500 Palestinians, and one Israeli — but it enthusiastically enumerates the number of Israeli air strikes and the number of Palestinian rockets launched, as if the attacks were equivalent:
Along with more than 6,000 Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, the report counted 4,881 rockets and 1,753 shot by Palestinians toward Israel between July 7 and Aug. 26.
By my rough count, the article includes six paragraphs that are pro-Israel/designed to undermine the report:
Israeli officials have since pointed to what they see as prejudgments in the commission’s founding resolution, which “condemns in the strongest terms the widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms” involved in the “Israeli military assault” on Gaza, saying it “involved disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks.”. .
Naftali Bennett, Israel’s far-right education minister, went further, calling it “a report with blood on its hands,” and Avigdor Lieberman, the ultranationalist former foreign minister, said “the picture will always be one-sided” and “parts of the facts there are simply not true.”
These six paragraphs actually come before most of the seven paragraphs that do talk exclusively about Israel’s crimes. In other words, the Times tries to discredit the U.N. human rights report before telling the reader what is actually in it.
The two photos that accompany the article also try to create more fake “balance” — one showing each side’s suffering. Beit Hanoun reduced to rubble, Israelis taking refuge in a concrete pipe.
Again, though, no accounting of how many children/civilians died on each side.
Palestinian and Israeli children were “savagely affected by the events,” the report said in a distinct effort at evenhandedness, adding that children on both sides “suffered from bed-wetting, shaking at night, clinging to parents, nightmares and increased levels of aggressiveness.”