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For the ‘New York Times,’ #PalestinianLivesDoNotMatter

on 38 Comments

Let’s do a thought experiment. Let’s say a young Jewish woman dressed in Orthodox clothing was shot dead by uniformed Palestinian policemen somewhere in the West Bank. Let’s say that several eyewitnesses said the woman — we’ll call her Anna Agustovsky — had done nothing wrong except to possibly misunderstand orders that the Palestinian police had barked in Arabic. There were photos of one policeman leveling his automatic weapon at Anna, and more photos as she lay on the ground after they shot her. A few days later, Amnesty International, citing the many witnesses, called the killing “an extrajudicial execution.”

Would the New York Times continue to ignore the story? Or would there be wall-to-wall coverage?

But 18-year-old Hadeel al-Hashlamoun was Palestinian. And five days after Israeli soldiers murdered her at an occupation checkpoint in Hebron, the New York Times continues to ignore her death.

The Times’s coverage started out to be somewhat promising. On September 22, reporter Diaa Hadid did transcribe the official Israeli justification for killing Ms. al-Hashlamoun, but also quoted two witnesses who challenged the Israeli account, including a “European activist” who “provided photographs of the episode.”

But none of these photographs appeared with that article, or in the Times at any time since — even though they are all over the internet.

And five days later, the Times has not followed up the story in any way. No reporting of the Amnesty International indictment. No effort to write about the reaction among Ms. al-Hashlamoun’s family, or to tell us who she was. The Times has at least 3 reporters in Israel/Palestine, but none of them has apparently tried to independently investigate the Israeli version of the killing. And let us repeat; the newspaper of record has still not published a single photograph of Ms. al-Hashlamoun as she lay dying.

Our hypothetical Anna Agustovsky would matter to the New York Times. Hadeel al-Hashlamoun, being a Palestinian in an occupied land, does not matter.

James North

James North is a Mondoweiss Editor-at-Large, and has reported from Africa, Latin America, and Asia for four decades. He lives in New York City.

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38 Responses

  1. Ossinev on September 28, 2015, 9:46 am

    This particular photograph clearly shows how despite his high tech body armour and rifle how terrified and vulnerable this highly trained and extremely moral IDF hero must have felt before he made the brave decision not to run away from the life threatening “knife” but to confront the evil 18 year old Palestinian female student who had approached the checkpoint and disable her with the use of proportionate force. Not sure that it will count in the IDF “kill” ratings league back at the barracks though as he didn`t appear to manage a shot in the back.

    • CigarGod on September 28, 2015, 10:34 am

      Well done.
      I mean, very dry.

      • turveyd on September 28, 2015, 11:12 am


      • MHughes976 on September 28, 2015, 4:11 pm

        The little twerp with the massive firepower was scared at the time though probably will not admit it – more scared than she was, perhaps. In later days he will be deep down ashamed, though he will probably not admit that either or seek repentance.

      • Mooser on September 28, 2015, 4:28 pm

        “The little twerp with the massive firepower was scared at the time though probably will not admit it”

        I would think the videos of the women and children unmasking the Israeli thug two weeks ago were very much on his mind.

  2. a blah chick on September 28, 2015, 10:57 am

    “Would the New York Times continue to ignore the story? Or would there be wall-to-wall coverage?”

    I remember a suicide bombing in Israel in December of 2001 that got what seems like wall to wall coverage for twelve hours straight. It was nothing but a parade of Israeli government officials and journalists sprinkled with sympathetic observers. And one or two Palestinians brought on to get yelled at. I recall thinking at the time “is there nothing else going on we could be focusing on?”

  3. Curatica on September 28, 2015, 2:11 pm

    For many people in this world the haunting images of this girl paralyzed of fear, facing the killer before death, will not go away as easily as they went for the media.

    • MHughes976 on September 28, 2015, 4:17 pm

      It may well be that, as you say,,she was merely seeking to get across the barrier and became, in the horror of the situation, paralysed by fear. Some are suggesting that she knew full well what would happen and was determined to reveal the the horror and inhumanity of the checkpoints at the highest risk to her own life. This suggestion may be made amid ‘Pallywood’ type sneers but those who would sneer merely disgrace themselves. If the suggestion were in fact true I for one would not think less highly of her.

  4. amigo on September 28, 2015, 3:34 pm

    The NYT is a tool of zionism and zionism is the scourge of this planet.Some day and it is not a matter of if but when, zionism is seen for what it really is , then all those who aided and abetted it,s crimes will have to answer for their actions .The Jodi rudorens of this world will be justifiably shunned and booted from the fraternity of decent journalism.They can then write books accusing those who defended human rights of destroying the one and only Jewish state.They will never admit guilt but they will know, we know , that they helped to put an end forever, to the so called “Jewish state”.

    You wont see me shedding any tears.I might just send a few thank you cards to Rudoren and co .

    • Kay24 on September 28, 2015, 4:08 pm

      I wish I had your optimism on this. The NYT with the help of Judith Miller (another zionist/neocon tool) sold us the Iraq war, and yet it has not scarred the NYT and Miller
      occasionally shows her lying face in the media.

    • Sibiriak on September 28, 2015, 11:43 pm

      amigo: ….zionism is the scourge of this planet.


      Whoa! That remark cries out for a heaping dose of righteous whataboutery.

      (And just as Jesus was scourged, so…)

    • hophmi on September 29, 2015, 8:59 am

      Zionism is the scourge of the planet? Lol. Why don’t you just say that Zionism is our misfortune? It would make it a lot clearer to people who you’re channeling.

      • catalan on September 29, 2015, 11:42 am

        “God just might say , fool me once , shame on you , fool me twice , shame on me.”
        I have some questions for Him too; could you kindly forward them?

      • YoniFalic on September 30, 2015, 7:00 am

        Zionism is the last example of that 19th century colonialism in which Europeans destroy or drive out the natives and then move in Europeans.

        Zionism is irredeemably evil and undeniably akin to German Nazi Lebensraum ideology, which only differed by applying the idea to European instead of non-European territories.

        The Zionist leader Nordau supported such genocide long before German Nazism even existed.

  5. Steve Macklevore on September 28, 2015, 3:35 pm

    Could everyone please contact Margaret Sullivan, the ombudsman (woman!) of the New York Times. Here’s how to contact her:

    Send an email to [email protected]. Please include the following:

    To the Public Editor,

    Article Headline: 2 Are Killed in West Bank as Jewish and Muslim Holidays Approach
    Date Published: 22nd September 2015
    Web or Print: Web and print
    Your Concern (please limit to 300 words):

    Your Name:
    Your E-mail:
    Phone Number:

    • Kris on September 28, 2015, 6:09 pm

      Thanks for this, Steve Macklevore. I just sent Sullivan an email.

  6. genesto on September 28, 2015, 5:51 pm

    Is anyone that knows anything about coverage of this issue in this country – particularly in the NY Times – really surprised? Oh, occasionally there will be something pro Palestinian in the Op Ed pages to show how ‘fair and balanced’ the Times is on this issue. But, for all intents and purposes, the Times has been a Zionist mouthpiece practically from Day 1.

  7. peeesss on September 29, 2015, 1:50 am

    There is no shame coming from the Israeli Zionist soldiers, who identify as the IDF or the so called religious settlers They are told , taught, since childhood the call for the death ,and/or elimination of the indigenous Palestinians as being necessary and in keeping with their religious tenets. “Religious” leaders, politicians, the military, educators all reinforce this vicious dogma. Palestinian women, children, men are all to be silenced, enslaved, cleansed. When it comes to the Palestinian people “ashamed” is not in their vocabulary or in their being.

  8. MHughes976 on September 29, 2015, 4:06 am

    I don’t know about that, press. – nice to hear from you again – to some extent shame or at least guilt is part of humanity. So is self-justification, I know – but some of the preening and bombast of the likes of Mr. Shavit, often quoted here, seem like overcompensation for that nagging knowledge that wrong has been done.

  9. wondering jew on September 29, 2015, 5:17 am

    James North- How does naming this thought experiment victim “Anna Agustovsky” help your thought experiment? Answer: It doesn’t.

    • eljay on September 29, 2015, 8:50 am

      || yonah fredman: James North- How does naming this thought experiment victim “Anna Agustovsky” help your thought experiment? Answer: It doesn’t. ||

      – How does giving a hypothetical Jewish woman a name hurt his thought experiment?
      – What do you find offensive about the name Anna Agustovsky?
      – If you’re not offended by the name, why does it bother you that J.N. used it to describe a hypothetical Jewish woman?

      • wondering jew on September 29, 2015, 9:51 pm

        Anna agustovsky is not a Jewish name, but some kind of a concocted Russian name. Making up names is the stuff of Mad Magazine and the Onion. Best left to professional comedians. (See the interview of Bob Dylan in 65 where someone asks bob, what’s your real name and he says something like Kalmonovitzskystein. that’s the general direction where this leads.)

      • James North on September 29, 2015, 10:19 pm

        Anna Agustovsky was the name of my beloved Jewish great aunt, before the family name was Anglicized in America. Their last name was based on the town of Agustov, in 19th century Lithuania. I learned this when I visited the library/research center at Yad Vashem in 2001.

      • just on September 29, 2015, 10:49 pm

        Thanks for sharing that, James.

        “Anna agustovsky is not a Jewish name, but some kind of a concocted Russian name.”

        That’s a truly asinine comment, Yonah. What’s makes a name a “Jewish name”, anyway? Her name is Anna Agustovsky~ capital “A”, first and last.

      • annie on September 30, 2015, 12:09 am

        Anna Agustovsky is not a Jewish name,

        5 LEYBOVICH Meyer Fayvish Son 18 in 1811 Died in 1815
        15 LEYBOVICH Perka Wife 81
        16 SURMANSKY Zundel Iudel Head of household 46
        16 SURMANSKY Gnesia? Wife 35
        16 SURMANSKY Golda Zundel Daughter 4
        17 BERKOVICH Yankel Head of household 35
        17 BERKOVICH Iudesh Wife 31
        18 MALAKH Abel Movsha Head of household 59
        18 MALAKH Movsha Abel Son 30
        18 MALAKH Chayka Wife 60
        18 MALAKH Leah Abel Daughter 18
        18 MALAKH Dobra Daughter-in-Law 25
        19 CHERNOVSKY Mark Fayvish Head of household 30 Came from Ariogala in 1812
        19 CHERNOVSKY Ester Wife 43 Came from Ariogala in 1812
        19 CHERNOVSKY Reyza Mark Daughter 10 Came from Ariogala in 1812
        20 AGUSTOVSKY Chaim Berko Head of household 30 Came from Ariogala in 1812
        20 AGUSTOVSKY Mariasha Wife 30 Came from Ariogala in 1812
        20 AGUSTOVSKY Fishko Berko Brother 33
        21 KREMENOVSKY Leyb Eliash Head of household 50
        21 KREMENOVSKY Yente Wife 45
        22 VILNOVSKY? Movsha Chaim Head of household 25
        22 VILNOVSKY? Minde Wife 20

        google is your friend yonah. that took me all of 3 seconds to find.

      • annie on September 30, 2015, 12:23 am,history/

        In 1578 King Stefan Batory allowed Jews to settle down in the royal town of Augustow. He granted them the permission for unlimited trade and craft. The permission included the right to sell alcoholic beverages.

        It is supposed the first Jewish settlers came into the town a year before or, according to some sources – as early as 1564. [1.1]. Those days they established the first Jewish colony in the Suwalki Region (Suwalszczyzna).

        The oldest preserved sources confirm the presence of the Jews in Augustow, who mostly dealt with fishing and trade as from 1630. An independent Jewish community that owned a wooden synagogue and mikvah was established in 1674. In the 18th century Augustow became the seat of the “county kehilla” consisting of few surrounding towns and villages.

        In the mid-1760s there were 239 Jews in Augustow whose main occupation was hewing forest, timber floating from Gdansk and trading. Although the Russian government forbade Jewish from settling in the Polish-Russian-border town, that was in force from 1823 to 1862, the number of Jewish population kept increasing during the first half of the 19th century so that in 1860 it reached 45% of the total population in the town.

        In 1840 an impressive classical synagogue called the Great Synagogue (Hebrew: Beit ha-Knesset ha-Gadol) was erected in the corner of ulica Polna and ulica Zygmuntowska. There was also another synagogue, that had been built a bit earlier, operating in the intersection of ulica Zygmuntowska and ulica Szkolna. At the beginning of the 20th century, apart from the two previously mentioned synagogues at ulica Zygmuntowska there were three others that operated in the town – the first one was situated near ulica Mostowa (near the present-day “Albatros” restaurant), the second one – between ulica 3 Maja and ulica ks. Skorupki and the third one, erected in between 1925 – 1928 and called after its founders “Jatke Kalniz Beit Midrasz”, located at ulica Zabia, on the site where these days you can find the right wing of the Internal Revenue Service building.

        In the 1890s small groups of supporters of various Hasidic factions started to emerge in Augustow. Each of them had their own house of prayer.

        At the beginning of the 19th century, the Augustow Jews dealt mainly with craft (food processing, tanning and tailoring), small trade and fishing. Starting from the mid-1820s, some Jewish inhabitants made a living by working at the construction site of the Augustow Canal.

        In the second half of the 19th century a group of rich business people, merchants, tenants and owners of huge factories emerged from the Jewish community in Augustow whose businesses were ran over the local basis creating the financial elite of the town. At the end of the 19th century, almost 98% of all the industrial plants (breweries, brickyards, tanneries, tile works, a mead brewery, soap works, a water windmill, a foundry, sawmill, locksmith workshops) belonged to the Jewish business people. The town’s population included many Jewish shopkeepers, people who sold alcohol beverages and rented houses. Among those there were some who delivered food for the Russian garrison that had stationed there from 1868. In the 1880s and 1890s, Jewish business people set up small textile factories in Augustow. [1.2]. There was also a small group of representatives of the Jewish community worked in the education, health service and administration.

        In the mid-1880s the first Jewish political parties were established in Augustow. The Zionist organization was established there in 1885 and in 1905 – the General Jewish Labour Union “Bund”– the left-wing, secular and anti-Zionist party whose activists participated in the strikes and demonstrations during the revolution in 1905.[1.3].

        During the World War 1 many Jewish inhabitants left Augustow and most of them never returned to the town. It led to the decreasing in the number of Jews there. In 1921, the Augustow Community consisted of just 2,261 members – mainly craftsmen who dealt with tailoring. [1.4].

      • just on September 30, 2015, 12:39 am

        Thanks for your research, Annie.

        Hey Yonah, is “Amir” a “Jewish name”?

        Why, yes it is! (It’s also used by other folks):

        “Amir (also spelled Ameer or Emir, Arabic: أمير‎, Persian: أمير‎‎, Hebrew: אמיר‎, pronounced [aːmˈiːr]) is a masculine name with two meanings, one is Arabic/Hebraic origin derived from the three letters AMR which means ‘to give orders’ or a “Prince”. The title Emir in Arabic, which is essentially the same word as Amir, therefore means: “one who gives orders”. It also means summit of a tree in Hebrew; and other one in Persian is pronounced in the same way but it has a different meaning, it consists of two parts; “A” which means “Un” and “mir” which is the root of the verb “Mordan مُرَدن” ( to die ), so Amir in Persian means the one who [his sprit and his memory] will never die.[citation needed]”

      • YoniFalic on September 30, 2015, 7:05 am

        The Hebrew and Arabic names from the root אמר/أمر are more akin to dictator than to prince.

      • YoniFalic on September 30, 2015, 7:13 am

        The beliefs of Yonah Fredman and Hophmi like those of any true-believer Zionist derive from ignorance within ignorance. In my mind I always see a matryoshka doll when the stupidity of such a person’s belief is exposed. There will always be yet another ignorant belief inside that must also be brought out into the light.

      • eljay on September 30, 2015, 7:55 pm

        || yonah fredman: Anna agustovsky is not a Jewish name, but some kind of a concocted Russian name. Making up names is the stuff of Mad Magazine and the Onion. Best left to professional comedians. … ||

        || James North: Anna Agustovsky was the name of my beloved Jewish great aunt, before the family name was Anglicized in America. Their last name was based on the town of Agustov, in 19th century Lithuania. … ||

        Scoffing is the first step towards dialogue? I don’t think so.
        – yonah fredman

      • wondering jew on September 30, 2015, 10:47 pm

        Fascinating that it was the name of your aunt, James North, but irrelevant to the original question: does the introduction of this hypothetical name improve the journalistic thrust of this story? It does not. It is a distraction. As a result of this distraction we know more about you than we did before.

        (Question: If you had a professional editor you had to answer to, do you think she/he would have allowed that line to pass without commenting? You’re the journalist. Tell me.) (Of course in this age of blogs a professional editor is a rarity if not an anachronism.)

        to the others: The name John Smith is not a Jewish name, although I am sure there are John Smith’s (and certainly Jon Smith’s) who are Jewish.

      • Mooser on October 1, 2015, 10:59 am

        The name John Smith is not a Jewish name, although I am sure there are John Smith’s (and certainly Jon Smith’s) who are Jewish.”

        I see your point, “Yonah”. And I’ll raise it.
        It’s true, if Pocahontas had known that about the name “John Smith”, American history might have been completely different. When her daddy tried to kill him, would she still have said: “Daddy, oh, don’t you dare! He gives me fever, with his kisses, fever when he holds me tight! Fever! I’m his Mrs.! Daddy won’t you treat him right?” if Pocahontas knew there was little chance he was Jewish?
        I’m with you, “Yonah”, I really doubt it.

      • eljay on October 1, 2015, 11:11 am

        || yonah fredman @ September 30, 2015, 10:47 pm ||

        You are an incredibly petty man person, y.f.

      • oldgeezer on October 1, 2015, 11:29 am


        The name is only a distraction as you’ve worked very hard to make it one while, in typical fashion, working equally hard to avoid the topic at hand.

    • hophmi on September 29, 2015, 9:02 am

      Don’t take James seriously, Yonah. I don’t. It’s perfectly clear that he’s trying to copy what organizations like CAMERA do.

      • James North on September 29, 2015, 9:17 am

        hophmi: In other words:
        1) You condone an Israeli soldier murdering Hadeel al-Hashlamoun, and
        2) You don’t approve of CAMERA

  10. Ossinev on September 29, 2015, 6:47 am

    “Overcompensation for that nagging knowledge that wrong has been done”. Spot on. It also helps to ease that nagging guilt when there is clear evidence of daily atrocities by the other side. Have just read a classic news piece in that well balanced Israeli daily “Arutz Sheva” headlined “Not Europe 1939 – Jerusalem 2015 ” and “Terrified Jewish Children hounded by Arab mob”

    Yet another great example of the “we are the real victims” in this conflict mentality. More importantly if you then look at the attached comments you will see evidence of the overcompensation and the scary direction this overcompensation is taking .These people are increasingly becoming the norm in the Jewish Israel population and all the decent moral Israeli Jews,the Gideon Levys, who have been doing their best to stem the tide of this growing Fascism will soon I fear themselves be under direct physical threat from these droogs.

  11. Kathleen on September 29, 2015, 7:14 am

    There would be wall to wall coverage….for days. Always do that thought experiment. Clears so much up in one’s head applying the standard of fair.

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