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Israel deliberately provoked the latest violence in Gaza, but you won’t learn that in the ‘NY Times’

Media Analysis
on 13 Comments

You can turn to Haaretz, the distinguished Israeli newspaper, to see how the New York Times slanted today’s article about the increase in violence inside Gaza and across the border in Israel. Haaretz quotes Jamal Zahalka, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, who blames Benjamin Netanyahu’s government for the escalation:

The Israeli government is being pushed into a corner by the non-violent demonstrations in Gaza and is initiating a military confrontation to stop them.

The timeline proves that Israeli is provoking the latest violence. On Sunday, Israeli tanks killed 3 members of the small Islamic Jihad group who were inside Gaza. (The Israeli military said it killed the 3 because a bomb had been planted overnight near the border; it offered no proof the dead had anything to do with the alleged bomb.)

In response, Islamic Jihad, and the much larger Hamas, supposedly fired 70 mortars or rockets into Israel, killing no one but allegedly injuring 3 soldiers and one civilian. Israel knows full well that Hamas fears losing support if it makes no answer to the most extreme Israeli provocations. The Times article fails to report that during months of murderous Israeli aggression against Gazan civilians, the Palestinians until now have not launched a single rocket.

The Times breathlessly and at length recounts Israeli anxiety over the limited attacks from Gaza: “Sirens blared again;” “cellphones were buzzing with alerts of incoming rockets.” (The headline in the online report calls it a “barrage,” surely an exaggeration.)

The Times also alleges that over the months of protest, “incendiary kites and balloons” have caused “hundreds of fires in the fields and forest on the Israeli side.” Hundreds! Where are the photos of these conflagrations?

Israel predictably “retaliated” — with air strikes on 35 targets inside Gaza. A Haaretz reporter, Asaf Ronel, had already forecasted Israel’s actions, but the Times did not make the same cause and effect connection — even though Ronel writes in English. What’s more, the Times has a reporter in Gaza, Iyad Abuheweila, but the paper had nothing to say whatsoever about how Gazans were reacting to being under assault. Maybe their cellphones were also buzzing, and their children were also afraid?

In fact, you have to wait until paragraph 32 in the Times to even learn that Israel since March 30 has killed 120 Palestinians, and the paper left out the fact that thousands more have been injured. The BBC report of the same events notes right away in the sixth paragraph that “UN and human rights officials have accused Israel of using disproportionate force” — the Times cites no human rights organizations.

Finally, the Times article nowhere explains that many in Israel believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu is deliberately increasing tensions, in Gaza and elsewhere in the region, to distract attention from the multiple corruption probes zeroing in on him and his wife. The paper doesn’t have to agree (or disagree) with this interpretation. Just tell us about it.

James North

James North is a Mondoweiss Editor-at-Large, and has reported from Africa, Latin America, and Asia for four decades. He lives in New York City.

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13 Responses

  1. just on May 30, 2018, 2:06 pm

    The NYT (and the rest of US MSM) are doing what they do best~ lying to Americans and to themselves. It’s a terrible habit that nobody in Congress or any White House has been honest enough to challenge because they have the very same habit. It’s disgraceful and Palestinians are murdered, maimed, imprisoned, and brutalized as a result of their deceptions. It seems that they are all addicted to Israel.

    It’s bad enough that I can’t persuade some folks that I know to read MW and other articles that I provide to them, but it really stinks that MSM won’t provide any truth because those same folks might actually avail themselves of the truth if it were printed or spoken about in MSM. So, a huge number of Americans are left behind~ Intellectually lazy and ignorant as hell.

    Thanks, James.

    • just on May 30, 2018, 2:25 pm

      One more thing, James. It is always the Israelis/GOI who do the inciting and provoking in spite of what the GOI says. They accuse Abbas/Hamas of the very thing they do so very well and with impunity. It’s some kind of sick projection/blame shifting that the MSM greedily laps up.

      • annie on May 30, 2018, 3:51 pm

        the discourse online supporting israel seems unthinking and just by rote. as if they all have the same attitude and sentiments. it’s disgusting, numbing and rife with accusations of anti semitism.

        and speaking of incitement… catalan’s baiting.

      • just on May 30, 2018, 4:18 pm

        You’re very polite to call it “discourse”, Annie. Your discriptors are spot- on though. As for catalan, it’s the same old song… I remember how easy it was to identify catalan with the very first posts on the very first day here at MW.


  2. Jasonius Maximus on May 30, 2018, 4:47 pm

    Why are we even surprised! The NY Times pulled the same BS during the lead up to the 2014 war. They conveniently forgot to mention that Israel had recently assasinated a senior Hamas operative in March, and that IDF the live fire had killed a Palestinian teenager just before the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers. They also conveniently forgot to mention that the Israeli government, despite knowing the teenagers were already dead within 24 hours of their kidnapping, placed an official gag order on the media while they proceeded to use the media blackout as cover to spend over a week, raiding, rounding up, arresting, interrogating, and killing any and every male Palestinian in the West Bank they could get their grubby hands on. Not to mention a few Israeli “pre-emptive” Airstrikes on Hamas targets in Gaza . All before a single rocket was fired from Gaza…

  3. just on May 31, 2018, 5:34 pm

    Nikki Haley is not happy:

    “Nikki Haley Slams Security Council Over Gaza Rockets: Hamas Committed to Israel’s Destruction

    ‘It’s outrageous for the UN Security Council to fail to condemn rocket attacks,’ U.S. ambassador to UN says, adding Gaza residents need protection from Hamas, not from Israel

    U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed the Security Council early Thursday with a defiant speech in the aftermath of the flare-up between Palestinian militants in Gaza and Israel, saying it was “outrageous for the UN Security Council to fail to condemn rocket attacks” by the Hamas “terrorist organization.”

    Haley expressed regret that a statement proposed by the U.S. deploring the attacks from Gaza was blocked, claiming representatives at the council use a double standard when it comes to condemning actions against Israel.

    “We all know that certain actions in and around Gaza receive an enormous amount of attention both here in the Security Council and throughout international media. Strangely, other actions do not receive nearly the same attention that they deserve,” Haley said with sarcasm.

    Haley said that the “desired outcome” of attacks directed against Israel was “to maximize civilian casualties.” Five Israelis sustained shrapnel wounds and a kindergarten was hit by mortar fire some 30 minutes before it was opened.

    Haley said the “outrageous terrorist attack” carried out by Hamas naturally triggers a reaction of Israel in self-defense, adding that the people of Gaza “need protection from Hamas” and not from Israel. She spoke of a “disconnect” and of “hypocrisy” in relation to the Security Council attitude toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    “Hamas’ stated purpose is the destruction of Israel, aim is to create as much damage as possible and to provoke a response in self-defense that will provoke international condemnation of Israeli action,” Haley said.

    During the emergency session, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, who had promptly condemned the launching of rockets into Israel on Tuesday, noted however that “the dangerous escalation” in Gaza can’t be divorced from two months of mass protests at the border fence with Israel in which some 110 Palestinians were killed and large numbers injured by Israeli military fire. …”

    video @

    “UN: Kuwait blocks US resolution condemning attacks on Israel”

    Israel and the US must be writhing… in shock.

  4. DaBakr on June 1, 2018, 12:21 am


    (((((you won’t learn this at the nyt because they still try and base their articles on facts. And of the reporting at the times continues to anger staunch zionists the same way it angers you the I jade always surmised they must be doing something right. Now their opeds i find deplorable but that is separate from journalism. hopefully you don’t consider yourself a journalist because you write nothing without an extremist angle. your much better here writing for a known hate-blog)))))))

  5. Emory Riddle on June 1, 2018, 8:10 am

    Oh those “rockets”. Always raining down on poor Israel.

    • DaBakr on June 3, 2018, 10:37 pm


      May it only happen to you and your loved ones and see how you like people calling them firecrackers. You’d probably sht your panties for certain

  6. John Douglas on June 1, 2018, 9:46 am

    Rumor has it that the NYT word processor have an unusual extension. Every time it senses that a verb is to follow the word “Israel” it automatically inserts, “in response to Hamas’ …” and requires a fill-in before anything else can be written.

  7. just on June 1, 2018, 7:28 pm

    In another grotesque move by the US:

    “U.S. Vetoes UN ‘Grossly One-sided View’ Resolution on Gaza …

    The United States vetoed on Friday a Kuwait-drafted UN Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s use of force against Palestinian civilians, criticizing it as a “grossly one-sided view” that failed to blame Hamas for the recent violence.

    “The terrorist group Hamas bares primary responsibility for the awful living conditions in Gaza,” Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said ahead of the vote.

    Out of the council’s 15 members, 10 voted in favor, including France, and only the United States voted against. There were four abstentions including Britain.

    A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, Britain, France, Russia or China to be adopted. …”

  8. Kay24 on June 2, 2018, 6:40 am

    Haaretz is more critical of Israel than the New York Times. Ironic.

  9. just on June 2, 2018, 1:18 pm

    It’s O/T, but it belongs under ‘US Politics’ and/or ‘Activism’:

    “Tamika Mallory on Israel: You Needed a Place, Cool, but Don’t Throw the Natives Out …

    ….Speaking via video at an event hosted by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Justice Delegation – the group of lawyers and civil rights activists, including Mallory, who traveled to the Holy Land last month to learn more about the occupation and the lives of Palestinians – she encouraged Americans to challenge elected officials over the U.S. government funding of Israel.

    “My soul would not rest, standing by and doing nothing about it, to know that the U.S. government – my taxpayer’s money, $10 million a day – is going to a government, a military, that takes the lives of people who were there first,” she told the audience at an event called “Palestine is Everywhere,” where members of the Justice Delegation shared their lessons from visiting Israel with a few dozen friends and allies. …

    “This is not about stopping one side. This is about ensuring that the native people are able to enjoy the land. They shouldn’t ask anybody for their land! This is their land!” added Mallory, to murmurs of approval from the audience.

    Mallory then addressed the formation of Israel in 1948. “When you go to someone’s home and you need a place to stay, you ask ‘Can I come into your home and can I stay here, and can we peacefully coexist?’ You don’t walk into someone else’s home, needing a place. It’s clear you needed a place to go – cool, we got that! I hear that! But you don’t show up to somebody’s home, needing a place to stay, and decide that you’re going to throw them out and hurt the people who are on that land. And to kill, steal, and do whatever it is you’re gonna do to take that land! That to me is unfair. It’s a human rights crime.” …

    Mallory’s Women’s March co-chair Linda Sarsour also spoke at Friday’s event. In a speech about pro-Palestinian activism, she addressed the challenges of intersectionality and the recent backlash from Jewish activists and others who have said they feel unwelcome in the progressive movement under Sarsour’s and Mallory’s leadership.

    “For people in the social justice movement, all these conversations happen online and offline – people who are apparently very uncomfortable because we talk about Palestine, and [how] it might alienate some people. Well, people are going to have to come to terms with being uncomfortable: Palestine is the global social justice cause of our generation,” said Sarsour.

    “This is apartheid happening in Palestine, funded by our taxpayers’ money,” she continued. “So don’t tell me about North Korea – because, guess what, I don’t fund North Korea’s human rights violations.”

    Sarsour said she is willing to hold conversations with people who feel uncomfortable or have concerns, but that these controversies cannot be allowed to derail the whole progressive movement.

    “Something that’s been happening that’s really bothered me is that we have to stop everything we are doing because a couple of people got some hurt feelings, because they feel uncomfortable. We can’t stop!” she said, without giving any examples of who she was referring to. …

    “People are being detained! People are being deported! Black people are being killed in our streets! Muslim families are being separated. So those private conversations that need to happen – let’s have them. I want to know why you’re hurt. I want to know why you’re uncomfortable. But the whole movement can’t stop to have these conversations,” she said.

    However, Sarsour said activists who may be feeling comfortable must also assume some responsibility and examine their feelings.

    “If you’re in a space where you’re feeling uncomfortable, it’s not our job to make you comfortable,” she said. “It’s your job to reflect and say, ‘What is it about the space that’s making me feel uncomfortable? What is it about this particular form of injustice that’s making me feel uncomfortable? Why would a Jewish American feel alienated by speaking about the atrocities and human rights violations that the Israeli government is committing against Palestinian people,” Sarsour asked the audience. “Why would it make you uncomfortable?”

    “It really breaks my heart when people say that,” she said, adding that she and her family have been receiving threats due to those accusations. She called on her supporters to challenge accusations of anti-Semitism of the movement, or its leaders, over political disagreements.

    “I want you to challenge people who continue to throw out inaccurate labels against activists and community organizers,”’ she said. “Sisters and brothers, Palestinian rights activism is not your enemy. We are not the enemies of Jews! In fact, as I have said earlier, some of the most staunch supporters, people we have deep and transformative relationships with, are Jewish Americans. They have stood unapologetically and boldly, through their prophetic tradition and their Jewish faith that has told them over and over again that they have to stand up against injustice.

    “So when you hear people calling me an anti-Semite, or saying that the CCR [Center for Constitutional Rights] is an anti-Semitic organization, you have to stand up and say no! Because actually it’s a disservice to Jews to call people like us anti-Semites when there are true anti-Semites in the White House!”

    In addition to Mallory’s video appearance, other members of the Justice Delegation took the stage in person to share their experiences and lessons from the trip, which visited the West Bank, Jerusalem, Hebron and Bethlehem.

    The delegation made headlines when two of its members, Katherine Franke and Vincent Warren, were detained at Ben-Gurion International Airport for 14 hours upon arrival. After being questioned, they were refused entry to Israel and flown back to New York the following day. Franke was deported because of her alleged links to pro-boycott organizations, but it was unclear why CCR Executive Director Warren was refused entry.

    Warren also appeared at the event, speaking at length about his detainment. “They questioned me and my colleagues for a long time. But they didn’t beat me, they didn’t threaten me, they didn’t threaten my family, like they [do] with the Palestinians,” Warren said.”

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