Trending Topics:

‘NYT’ article on roots of recent violence in Israel/Palestine fails to use the word ‘occupation’

on 15 Comments

The New York Times published an aesthetically engaging interactive titled “Roots of the Recent Violence Between Israelis and Palestinians” that attempts to explain the situation since October 1st. Rife with cliches and pro-Israel talking points, the piece fails to use the word “occupation” and tacitly lends support to Israel’s policy of land grabs and ghettoizing Palestinians behind walls.

The article begins with “the wave of attacks by Palestinians against Israelis that began last fall continued in 2016.” This phrase gives a false impression that only Israelis have been killed in this period, when in reality, almost nine Palestinians have been killed for every Israeli, according to data compiled by International Middle East Media Center. The omission of Palestinian deaths can only be understood as intentional, rather than an oversight.

It should be noted that Palestinian attacks on Israelis have been crude and uncoordinated, using knives, molotov cocktails, vehicles, firearms (which are often homemade). In January, all but one attack occurred in occupied Palestinian territory. Meanwhile, Israeli forces operating on a doctrine of on-the-spot executions have killed 49 children and prevented medical care which often ensures death. Both of these policies (1,2) have been blessed by major rabbinical authorities.

The piece then goes on to ascribe Palestinian violence against Israelis to a “dispute” between Israeli and Palestinians over the Al-Aqsa compound, whitewashing the site’s status as occupied by international law. The article does not mention that messianic Israeli Jews – many of whom openly profess their intention to demolish the Al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock in order to construct a temple in their place – regularly enter the compound, often preceded by attacks by Israeli occupation forces.

The following page shows that thirty Palestinian attackers have come from East Jerusalem, again failing to mention its legal status as occupied, and terming Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem beginning in 1967 as a “capture” – a mere spoil of war. The piece reduces the connection of occupied East Jerusalem’s indigenous population to a “claim” to the capital of a future independent Palestinian state, a western-imposed proposition that every Israeli government since 1967 has ensured will fail by its aggressive settlement policy. Even the New York Times very own Thomas Friedman, considered a barometer of elite opinion, has finally admitted that a two-state solution is an impossibility.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 5.31.22 PM

(Image: New York Times)

Next, the article asserts Israeli sovereignty over occupied East Jerusalem, claiming that “many Israelis see all of Jerusalem as their undivided capital.” “Eternal and undivided” is how Israeli officials describe Jerusalem, however, swaths of occupied East Jerusalem are cut off from the rest of the city behind Israel’s separation walls. Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog has called to wall off the rest of occupied East Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhoods – hardly undivided.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 5.31.36 PM

(Image: New York Times)

Whitewashing Israel’s ongoing colonization of occupied East Jerusalem, the authors describe “large Jewish neighborhoods” (segregated, Jewish-only, neighborhoods would be a more apt description) that are “considered illegal settlements by most of the world.” In fact, Israel is the only country that claims its settlements are legal.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 5.31.46 PM

(Image: New York Times)

We then get to the brief mention of Israel’s colonization of occupied East Jerusalem, gently framed as “Jews also live in Arab neighborhoods, some in which Palestinian residents were evicted.” There is no mention of breach of international law, home demolitions, or the severe restrictions on Palestinian construction.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 5.32.07 PM

(Image: New York Times)

The following page might be the worst, recycling the hasbara talking point that the illegal separation wall, downplayed as a “barrier,” was built in response and succesfully stopped Palestinian suicide bombers. As Ben White explained in the Electronic Intifada, both of these claims are false. The policy of separation “can be traced back to the early 1990s, when former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin called for Israel to “take Gaza out of Tel Aviv,” later arguing that “separation as a philosophy” will require a “clear border.”’

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 5.32.25 PM

(Image: New York Times)

Overlayed on an image of shadowy Palestinian figures, the authors offer competing reasons for the increase in violence since October 1st, referring to the official Israeli claim that Palestinian leaders are inciting, however, ignoring senior Israeli military and intelligence concessions that occupation is responsible.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 5.32.37 PM

(Image: New York Times)

In sharp contrast to the previous image, we see a close-up image of Israelis grieving – a humanizing touch not afforded to Palestinians, who are then shown from a distance as a faceless mob.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 5.32.53 PM

(Image: New York Times)

Next, the article points out that the “Israeli victims and Palestinian perpetrators” live nearby each other, again failing to note the mention the 181 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces. This suggests that the mere proximity of Palestinians presents a danger to Israelis and that the Israeli government has no choice but to institute separation (or worse).

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 5.33.03 PM

(Image: New York Times)

Finally, the article justifies Israel’s tightening occupation – termed “bolstered security” on East Jerusalem as a “response” to Palestinian violence. Despite ongoing daily violence, the authors claim that these measures have “deterred attacks.” The article does note that human rights group denounced the measures as collective punishment, but again failed to note that this is in contravention of international law.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 5.33.15 PM

(Image: New York Times)

The authors touch Israel’s policy of demolishing homes of attackers, again failing to note that this is considered collective punishment and is illegal under international law. As expected, readers are not told that this policy is wielded exclusively against Palestinians.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 5.33.29 PM

(Image: New York Times)

Relying on official Israeli talking points – while ignoring more revealing statements – and portraying Palestinians as angry, faceless aggressors, the article manipulates readers into viewing Israel as a helpless victim who has no choice but to occupy, collectively punish and kill Palestinians.

Dan Cohen

Dan Cohen is an independent journalist and filmmaker based in Palestine. He tweets at @dancohen3000.

Other posts by .

Posted In:

15 Responses

  1. amigo on February 22, 2016, 3:05 pm

    Most of what we read of the NYT seems as if it came directly from the zionist foreign office.It is too bad that the majority of the NYT readership is intellectually lazy and only accepts one side of the story.

    What to do.

    • JWalters on February 22, 2016, 7:31 pm

      Perhaps the majority of NYT readers think they are “special”. That attitude is not an excuse for crimes, and needs to be decisively defeated for the good of humanity.

      • amigo on February 23, 2016, 1:53 pm

        “Perhaps the majority of NYT readers think they are “special”.JWalters.

        It,s also possible they are cowards who know that speaking the truth about Palestine in New York , just might get you the wrong attention.

  2. eljay on February 22, 2016, 3:22 pm

    NYT: Roots of the violence between rapist and victim:

    Joe enjoys the company of women such as Gerri Salem, whom he captured several weeks ago. She claims a right to her person, but Joe fervently believes that her person belongs undividedly to him. As proof of ownership, he points to a large diary which he has filled with the phrase ‘Next year in Gerri Salem!’.

    Not only does Gerri unhelpfully continue to dispute Joe’s claim, but she keeps trying to kill him. Recent stabbings have succeeded in drawing blood and lightly wounding him. Joe has taken to heavily sedating Gerri – a measure that, thankfully, has deterred attacks.

  3. Boomer on February 22, 2016, 4:40 pm

    Thanks for the report. One wonders if this is a new low for NYT. I suspect that most readers of NYT know the truth (though they may repress it from consciousness), and for that reason some of them crave help in rationalizing their preferences.

  4. JimMichie on February 23, 2016, 8:18 am
  5. RobertHenryEller on February 23, 2016, 9:07 am

    Israel is building a ghetto for itself, with the same walls it constructs to create a ghetto for Palestinians.

    • Sibiriak on February 23, 2016, 9:26 am

      Still, Israel is managing to increase political and economic ties with many countries. Two recent examples:

      Israel, Cyprus and Greece have agreed to deepen their energy, security and tourism ties in the Eastern Mediterranean, a deal that may have implications for Israel’s testy relationship with the European Union, too.

      […]Israel and the two EU members all have sound commercial, defense and political reasons for closer cooperation. As well as attracting more visitors and investment, Cyprus and Greece hope some of Israel’s high-tech success will rub off on them and lift their economies, both bailed out by the EU and IMF. There’s also Israeli know-how in defense, migration, cyber-security and counter-terrorism to draw on.


      Moscow and Tel Aviv are planning to sign a free trade agreement in the near future, Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergey Levin told journalists on Friday.

      “Such decisions aim at maximizing cooperation between Russia and Israel in terms of agriculture and new technologies; creation of joint ventures, as well as the prospects of a free trade zone agreement which the government expects to sign with Israel as soon as possible,” Levin said following Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich’s meeting with Israeli businessmen.”

  6. James Canning on February 23, 2016, 1:03 pm

    Does the NYT want to help conceal the fact that hundreds of thousands of Jews now live illegally in the occupied West Bank, thanks largely to stupidity on the part of foolish American politicians?

    • MHughes976 on February 23, 2016, 3:52 pm

      The answer to that question is a very confident Yes. And the deception still works. Who in the Western world is on our side when it comes to seeking justice for the Palestinians? Many in academia, students especially, a few in the entertainment industries, a few journalists. That’s not enough. We haven’t broken through the barriers of deception and false values yet.

  7. Talkback on February 23, 2016, 2:26 pm

    The New York Times is as despicable as the deniers of the Holocaust.

  8. Herchel on February 23, 2016, 4:25 pm

    I also recently read a NYT article about the uber driver who went on a shooting spree in Michigan. That too was very one sided. They didn’t give any coverage from the shooter’s perspective.

    This one-sided reporting is an affront to journalism!

    • Mooser on February 23, 2016, 5:45 pm

      “They didn’t give any coverage from the shooter’s perspective.”

      Like you always ask us to do when the IDF shoots a Palestinian girl, huh?

    • smithgp on February 23, 2016, 7:48 pm

      Well, Herchel, if the shooter’s first cousin and a dozen neighbors had recently been killed by the victims’ gang under protection of the police, maybe it WOULD be responsible reporting to cover the shooter’s perspective.

  9. Krendall Mist on February 23, 2016, 8:08 pm

    Trying to get it right–and yet even this piece accepts as fact that Palestinians have been attacking Israelis, reports that originate with Israeli officials, lack corroboration, and are preposterous in both the alleged circumstances and stunning similarity. My moral intuition tells me that the vast majority of these “attacks” are unprovoked executions by Israel.

Leave a Reply