Larry Derfner, an American-turned-Israeli, is one of the most experienced and one of the best reporters in Israel. He has been following the terrible events inside the Gaza border, and his preliminary findings contradict the biased New York Times coverage.
The astonishing dishonesty in the Times continues in today’s paper. The headline is “Confrontations at Gaza Fence Leave 15 Dead.” The front-page article does immediately report that Israel killed 15 Palestinians, although it suspiciously waits until the 21st paragraph to add that another 1000 Palestinians were injured. But the Times insinuates right away that the Gazans are to blame for starting the violence: “. . . as some [Palestinians] began hurling stones and rolling burning tires at the fence, the Israelis responded with tear gas and gunfire.”
Larry Derfner is having none of this. He noted yesterday on his Facebook page that no Israeli soldiers stationed along the border with Gaza have been hurt at all:
I’ve checked Haaretz, Yediot Aharonot, Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, NY Times, Guardian and even Israel National News, and I saw no mention of any Israeli soldiers getting injured. Did I miss something? Were there any Israeli soldiers injured while they were killing at least 15 Palestinians and wounding over 1000 others in these ‘confrontations?’
In an email, Derfner, who has decades of experience reporting in Israel and has served in the Israeli military, added:
What the [Israeli Defense Force (IDF) ] was saying before Friday was that they would shoot at anybody who tried to break through the [Gaza border] fence or endangered the lives of soldiers. . . So the 1000 or so Palestinians who got shot (about 750 of them by live fire) were all breaking through the fence? That doesn’t make sense — the fence would have come down, and it didn’t. So it seems the IDF fired at people who were using slingshots and Molotov cocktails and rolling tires that hit no one, and possibly at people who were simply moving ‘suspiciously’ toward the fence.
Contrast the Times’s bias with a more balanced report in the Washington Post, which stated simply and accurately: “More than 700 [Palestinian] people suffered gunshot wounds after Israeli sharpshooters deployed to the border opened fire with live ammunition.”
The Post also reported clearly that the “Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said Israel’s response to unarmed protesters was ‘illegal.’”
Meanwhile, the British Guardian actually reported from Gaza, quoting a Gazan ministry of health spokesperson: “Most of the dead [Gazans] were aged between 17 and 35 years old. The injuries were on the upper part of the body.”
[Larry Derfner’s compelling memoir of his evolution from liberal Zionist to a sharp critic of Israel, entitled No Country for Jewish Liberals, appeared last year.)