At first glance, today’s New York Times article on Israel’s massacre in Gaza looks like an improvement from its first efforts at whitewash. The piece actually reports that the respected Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, has taken out newspaper ads asking Israeli soldiers to disobey future orders to shoot at the Gazan demonstrators.
But on closer inspection, the article turns out to be just as biased as the Times’s previous reports. It reads more like a theoretical discussion about when lethal force is justified, instead of a genuine effort to find out what actually happened on March 30 inside the Gazan border.
First, the Times does give the Gazan death toll, which is now up to 19 after four more of the injured died. But it nowhere reports the number of Palestinians who were injured by Israeli live ammunition, which ranges somewhere from 700 on up to 1000. Surely an honest report on the use of force should have included such a figure.
Next, the Times covers up the fact that no Israelis, soldiers or anyone else, were injured at all; none of them got as much as a scratch. Any assessment about whether Israel had the right to open fire should report this fact.
Then, although the paper does have a stringer in Gaza City, the article does not include a single interview with any Gazan eyewitnesses to the slaughter on March 30. But the Times did find time to participate in a “conference call with reporters” conducted by General Ronen Manelis, an Israeli army spokesman, and the paper reported his preposterous claims without vigorous challenge.
At least today’s report ended with one truthful paragraph, even though it was buried at the very end of the article — a lengthy quote from Hagai El-Ad, the executive director of B’Tselem:
This is not complicated. To see Israeli soldiers, inside Israel, firing live ammunition from a distance at unarmed Palestinian protesters inside the blockaded Gaza Strip — with the figures of injuries and fatalities that resulted from that — you do not need to be a legal expert to look at that and say that this is outrageous, illegal, immoral and unacceptable.”
Here’s a suggestion for the Times: contact Breaking the Silence, the human rights organization of Israeli soldiers who are determined to give their eyewitness accounts of the awful occupation of Palestine, and ask them what really happened on March 30.