Media Analysis

‘NY Times’ covers up Israel’s killing of nonviolent protesters along the Gaza border

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The NYTimes today continues its biased coverage of Israel/Palestine, with a shocking, one-sided report that tries to cover up how Israel has opened fire on the mass nonviolent Palestinian protest inside the Gaza border.

The dishonesty starts in the first sentence of the Times report, which contends that the protests “descended almost immediately into chaos and bloodshed,” with “at least five Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers.”

Note the cunning effort to use vagueness to hide the fact that Israel fired live ammunition (“descended. . . into bloodshed”), and “clashes” — insinuations that both sides are somehow responsible for the five deaths.

The bias continues in the second paragraph of the Times report, which asserts — without quotation marks —  that “thousands of Palestinians were rioting in six locations along the border.” By contrast, both the Guardian and the BBC in their reports put the word “rioting” in quotes, and attributed it clearly to the Israeli military, underscoring that it is a claim from one side, not a proven fact. Here’s the BBC version: “The Israeli military reported ‘rioting’ at six places and said it was ‘firing towards main instigators.'”

The dishonesty continues. The Times describes Hamas as “the Islamic militant group that dominates Gaza and is known for its armed resistance.” OK, somewhat tendentious, but where’s the description of Israel as “a government that has massively attacked Gaza three times since 2008, killing thousands, mainly civilians and many children?”

Next, the Times does mention Israel’s blockade of Gaza, “which Israel calls a security imperative.” But you won’t read the other side, which is that many others, Palestinians and some Israelis, counter that Israel maintains the blockade not mainly to protect itself, but to suffocate and discredit Hamas, which won elections in Gaza in 2006.

Then even more bias. The Times: “Girding for violence, Israel had almost doubled its forces along the border, deploying snipers, special units and drones. . .” But where’s the other, far more accurate side of the story: “Israel, facing a propaganda debacle as thousands of Gazans launched a mass peaceful protest, did everything it could to provoke violence to discredit the protest and intimidate Gazans once more.”

Buried in the Times article is just one hint about what is really happening, a quote from B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization. B’Tselem “warned in a statement that any shoot-to-kill policy against unarmed demonstrators would be unlawful. . .”

What is troubling and disgraceful in the Times report is that so far, there is no first-hand reporting from Gaza. A newspaper genuinely interested in the truth would send reporters to the border in Gaza and ask some of the thousands of Palestinian demonstrators what is actually happening to them —  instead of just parroting the Israeli military.

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The real bias is in the fixation on the bodycount in NYT and a fortiori in the piece above. It overlooks — blinds the reader to — the purpose of the exercise: to establish the “right of return” via mass theatre and plenty of martyrdom. From this perspective, the loss of five lives and not hundreds, among an estimated 17,000 who marched on a fortified and hostile border, amounts to an Israel victory and a… Read more »

At least seven Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli forces in Gaza.
All these Palestinians were on the Palestinian side of the heavily fortified barrier, some were killed by Israeli snipers set up to kill the “Ringleaders”, some were killed by Tank fire. Firing into a prison is murder pure and simple.

The Guardian – once a fine newspaper but now barely distinguishable from the New York Times – has done much the same. We’re told that the victims ‘died in clashes’ as though they suddenly became ill there and then, rather than that they were shot at close range by an occupation army. The first words of the piece are ‘Israel says….” and mos tof it consists of quotes from Israeli officials about their ‘fears’ of… Read more »

I see one of the propaganda lines – in the time-honoured ‘We’re just a normal democracy doing what anyone would do in difficult circumstances” style – is to say “What would you do if masses of protestors approached your borders?” Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I’m pretty sure that Israel has never declared its borders. So why are they referring to them here? Shouldn’t the NYT and other ‘news’ organisations put the word… Read more »

The Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Israeli-embassy linked organisation which has played a major role in the anti Corbyn smear campaign, has come out with a predictable statement blaming the victims. But from Corbyn himself, not a peep. Zilch. Nada. Rien. 3 years ago, maybe even 1 year ago, he would have made a statement comdemning this within hours, I am sure. He has been neutered. The smear campaign has worked. Another one… Read more »