Documenting New York Times pro-Israel bias in its coverage of Gaza is tiresome but necessary. In today’s print edition, the paper’s first sentence claims that Israel’s latest aerial assault on the open-air prison territory started “after a Palestinian sniper killed an Israeli soldier along the border fence.”
Hold on. If you read down to the 20th paragraph, you eventually learn that a day earlier, Israel had killed a Hamas “militant” in southern Gaza. You didn’t read it in the Times, but Hamas immediately denounced what it called a “cold-blooded crime” and promised retaliation.
So in fact, it was Israel, not the Gazans, who triggered the latest escalation.
Chronic bias continues throughout the article. The Times takes 3 paragraphs of dictation from an Israeli brigadier general, and, for good measure, adds another paragraph from a lower-level military mouthpiece. But the paper found no room to interview people like Ayman Odeh, the respected Palestinian leader in the Israeli parliament, who counseled restraint. You have to turn to Haaretz to see that Odeh said:
The residents of Gaza have been crying for months under the Israeli siege, and the government has failed to understand that more attacks and fighting will only broaden the bloodbath. This is the time to talk about Israel’s responsibility for Gaza and for justice.
There is more. The Times quotes Israel’s military as claiming that the “dozens of sites” its warplanes hit yesterday were military targets. The report notes that two of its journalists, Iyad Abuheweila and Ibrahim El-Mughraby, “contributed reporting” from Gaza City. So where is their “reporting?” Send them out to confirm or deny that Israel is telling the truth about military targets.
The paper also says that “Israelis’ nerves have also been frayed by a plague of wildfires set by flaming kites and balloons launched from Gaza into southern Israel . . . “
Fine — but why not ask its two reporters in Gaza City to find out the state of Gazans’ nerves as warplanes strike their neighborhoods again and drones hover over their rooftops?
Distortion even applies to one of the photos alongside the article, which purports to show Gazan protesters as they “try to move part of the border fence.” In fact, the barbed wire in the picture is almost certainly within Gazan territory, and the actual “border fence” is a much more sturdy barrier with Israeli snipers perched atop it — the same snipers who have already murdered 140 Gazans and wounded 4000 more.