The New York Times is using a new tactic to downplay Israel’s March 31 murderous assault on Gazan demonstrators: dueling narratives. Today’s article can be summarized as: ‘Israel says “X.” Palestinians say “Y.” Who really knows the truth?”’
The article continues to ignore a central fact: Israel killed 15 Palestinians, and injured as many as 1000 more, but not a single Israeli soldier got as much as a scratch.
International law forbids lethal violence unless your own life is in danger, so whatever the Israeli army says it should be presumed guilty of crimes.
The article appears a day after the Times ignored the story entirely, and American cable news channels have also blacked out news from Gaza. The omission in the Times was particularly suspicious because its first story prompted 1013 comments, suggesting the public is interested.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post did publish a new report from Beit Lahia, Gaza, which included several interviews with Palestinian eyewitnesses to Israel’s murderous assault.
The Post also quoted Amit Galutz, a spokesman for B’Tselem, the respected Israeli human rights organization, (B’Tselem is missing in the latest Times article):
These are the predictable outcomes of a manifestly illegal command: Israeli soldiers shooting live ammunition at unarmed Palestinian protesters. What is predictable , too, is that no one — from the snipers on the ground to the top officials whose policies have turned Gaza into a giant prison — is likely to ever be held accountable.
The Times also fails to note that Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu is beleaguered by multiple corruption investigations, and may have wanted to attack Gaza as a distraction. If Donald Trump launched a U.S. assault somewhere to divert from his legal troubles, you can bet the Times would make the connection.
The closest the Times came to criticizing Israel’s attack was in quoting a retired Israeli general, Shlomo Brom, who described it as a “a failure” — not for moral reasons, but because
The Palestinian aim was to raise international consciousness and to put the Palestinian issue back on the international and Israeli agenda. It succeeded.
Contrast Brom with Gideon Levy, the courageous Israeli columnist in Haaretz:
Tanks and sharpshooters against unarmed civilians. That’s called a massacre. There’s no other word for it. . . You can’t even call it a war crime because there was no war there.