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‘NY Times’ report on Jewish ‘settler’ violence in occupied Palestine is an improvement, but still flawed

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Today’s latest NY Times article, about the 50 percent increased incidence of Jewish Israeli “settlers” assaulting and killing Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, is a considerable improvement on the paper’s usual biased coverage. Isabel Kershner’s report is even stronger because she points out that “Israel’s right-wing government has remained conspicuously silent, wary of alienating settlers and other potential supporters in an election year.”

Hasbara Central will surely be challenged to counter the report, which is one of the lead articles in the international section in the Sunday paper, the day with the highest circulation.

Even so, the Times’s pro-Israel slant is a hard habit to break. Look at the opening two paragraphs, datelined simply “AL MUGHAYIR, West Bank — .” Why not “West Bank, Occupied Palestine”?

Kershner reports that

“a gang of a dozen or so armed Jewish settlers descended from a hilltop outpost to the Palestinian village below and opened fire, witnesses said. Israeli soldiers arrived, and instead of stopping the settlers, the witnesses said, they either stood by or clashed with the villagers.”

Why “clashed with?” Why not say the Israeli soldiers “also attacked” the villagers? 

The next sentence is worse.

“In the melee, Hamdy Naasan, 38, a Palestinian father of four, was shot and killed.”

Why “a melee?” That’s the kind of non-lethal free-for-all you might have on the ice at a hockey game. And why the passive voice? There’s no evidence that the Palestinians were armed. The only question is: who murdered Hamdy Naasan — the Israeli soldiers, or the armed settlers?

Kershner’s report does get better. She quotes Tamar Zandberg, leader of the left-wing party Meretz, who denounces Israeli government officials who don’t criticize the attacks: “Silence. Everyone sees the election on the horizon, and the settler lobby is stronger than any moral standard.”

She explains that the settler assaults are following “the doctrine known as ‘Price Tag,’ which calls for exacting a price through violence or vandalism in revenge for Palestinian attacks on Jews or for army or police moves against rogue settlement activity.”

Larry Derfner, the veteran Israeli journalist, approved of the Times article, but disagreed with using the word “revenge.” Derfner, the author of the acclaimed memoir No Country for Jewish Liberals, said, “The only objection I would have is to the characterization of settler violence as ‘revenge’ attacks, as if Palestinian violence isn’t preceded by countless acts of violence by settlers and soldiers, not to mention the ongoing violence of military dictatorship and land theft.”

Isabel Kershner is not to blame for the linguistic distortion that is in her headline, and at the heart of her article and nearly everything else written about the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. The Israelis who seize land in Palestine, move there, and assault and sometimes kill the people whose homeland it is are by any fair definition “colonists,” not “settlers.” The colonies are illegal under international law, but decades of sanitizing them as “settlements” means that many American readers still have only a fuzzy, geographically vague idea about the true nature of the occupation. 

Back to the “melee,” during which Hamdy Naasan “was shot and killed.” The end of Kershner’s article reports that Naasan was actually evacuating the wounded after the Israeli soldiers and “settlers” opened fire. He had successfully rescued two Palestinians before Israelis murdered him. 

James North
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19 Responses

  1. amigo
    amigo
    February 3, 2019, 4:04 pm

    ““a gang of a dozen or so armed Jewish settlers descended from a hilltop outpost to the Palestinian village below and opened fire, “.Kershner

    Should read !!.

    ““a gang of a dozen or so armed ILLEGALJewish settlers descended from an ILLEGAL hilltop outpost to the Palestinian village below and opened fire, “

    • annie
      annie
      February 5, 2019, 1:23 pm

      “a gang of a dozen or so armed Jewish settlers descended from a hilltop outpost to the Palestinian village below and opened fire, witnesses said. Israeli soldiers arrived, and instead of stopping the settlers, the witnesses said, they either stood by or clashed with the villagers.”

      Why “clashed with?” Why not say the Israeli soldiers “also attacked” the villagers?

      and why not say “a gang of a dozen or so armed Jewish settlers descended from a hilltop outpost” accompanied by Israeli soldiers, as the evidence was captured on camera:

      • eljay
        eljay
        February 5, 2019, 1:31 pm

        “a gang of a dozen or so armed Jewish settlers descended from a hilltop outpost to the Palestinian village below and opened fire, witnesses said. Israeli soldiers arrived, and instead of stopping the settlers, the witnesses said, they either stood by or clashed with the villagers.” …

        IOW: Aided and abetted by their colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist state’s Occupation and Oppression Forces, supremacist Jewish Israeli colonists once again deliberately and unapologetically do evil in militarily-occupied territory outside of Israel’s (Partition) borders.

  2. amigo
    amigo
    February 3, 2019, 4:13 pm

    Not perfect yet but a marked improvement .

    Looks as if US Jews are having a real conversation and both sides are being heard.

    Let,s hope this continues so that one day we can place confidence in the willingness of the NYT to unshackle themselves from zionist influence and tell the truth , the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    Maybe other Newspaper editors will pluck up the moral courage to follow suit.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      February 3, 2019, 7:11 pm

      I hope so, too. To end both Zionism’s physical atrocities in Palestine and its political atrocities in the western democracies.

  3. Kay24
    Kay24
    February 4, 2019, 5:14 am

    We’ll take that morsel or honest reporting, with appreciation, after an endless string of pro Israel articles by Bari Weiss, and Brett Stephens among others, justifying the occupation, land grabs, and the massacre going on, and portraying all Palestinians as “terrorists”. If the situation was reversed Weiss and Stephens would be howling with outrage in every article mourning about precious Jewish lives being lost. They seem to think the Palestinians lives that are being brutally taken by the illegal settlers, are cheap, and do not matter.
    I doubt zionist congresspeople will change their mind set, and open their eyes to what US tax dollars are supporting, and protecting.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      February 4, 2019, 12:34 pm

      More
      Bret Stephens Retweeted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
      Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite, @AOC, a view widely shared by Jewish members of the U.K. Labour Party. Please educate yourself before you embarrass yourself. Again.
      Bret Stephens added,
      Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
      Verified account

      @AOC
      It was an honor to share such a lovely and wide-reaching conversation with you, @jeremycorbyn!

      Also honored to share a great hope in the peace, prosperity, + justice…
      331 replies 700 retweets 2,318 likes

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        February 4, 2019, 6:25 pm

        It’s the vicious Hasbara brigade on behalf of the Israeli lobbies, that demonizes any brave politician that reject Israel’s propaganda, bull shit, and stands up to them, that keep regurgitating the “anti-semitic” which eventually is picked up with zionists around the world and try to make it look so.

  4. Misterioso
    Misterioso
    February 4, 2019, 8:56 am

    https://www.juancole.com/2019/01/palestinians-protection-occupation..html

    “‘Palestinians need Int’l Protection until Israeli Occupation Ends'”

    Maan News Agency, Jan. 30/19

    Informed Comment

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — “Secretary General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, said that the people of Palestine need international protection until the end of the Israeli occupation, in response to Israel’s decision not to extend the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH).”

    “Erekat said in a statement ‘We call upon the United Nations to guarantee the safety and protection of the people of Palestine not only ensuring the continued presence of TIPH in Hebron but also to deploy permanent international presence in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, until the end of Israel’s belligerent occupation.’

    “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday that Israel will not renew TIPH’s mandate, operating in the southern West Bank city since 1994.

    “TIPH is an international civilian observer group that, according to its mandate, is tasked with ‘monitoring and reporting efforts to maintain normal life in the city of Hebron, thus creating a sense of security among the Palestinians in Hebron.’ It also reports alleged human rights abuses and violations of accords in the city between Israel and Palestinians. Observers for the group come from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, and Turkey. TIPH has roughly a dozen staff operating locally and an additional 64 working abroad.

    “Among other measures, this very resolution also called upon the occupying power, Israel, to confiscate arms of the Israeli settlers to prevent them from committing further crimes against the people of Palestine. Israeli settlements have been frequently condemned as illegal by several UNSC and UNGA and a war crime under the Rome Statute.

    “But to date, said Erekat, ‘Israel has never honored neither international will nor law. Just yesterday, Benjamin Netanyahu again confirmed to the settler movement that even Israeli colonial installations, considered illegal by Israeli law, will not be removed and that the entirety of the land of historic Palestine is for the State of Israel.’

    “’The latest Israeli decision not to renew the mandate of TIPH, which has existed since 1997, is an additional step towards Israel’s nullification of all signed treaties, including the Oslo Interim Agreement. It further consolidates the Israeli colonial enterprise and represents one further step towards a ‘de jure’ annexation of further areas in the Occupied State of Palestine. It is also a shred of further evidence that Israel is a rogue state that abhors international legitimacy and places itself above and beyond international order and the international community. With the support of the current US administration, Israel continues to incite against and violate the fundamental and national rights and freedoms of the people of Palestine and to degrade and insult the very body that unites the nations of our world, the United Nations.’

    “Erekat added ‘This tragic incident is an embodiment of how the Israeli settler movement has now become part and parcel of Israel’s political and executive leadership. It is also a testament to the terror that has been continuously waged by Israeli settlers against Palestinian villages and civilians. Such horrific reality should also imply a further escalation in Hebron now without any monitoring by the TIPH.’

    “’As part of their parliamentary elections, Israeli politicians are waging an immoral dehumanization campaign against Palestine and the Palestinians that constitutes an imminent danger to our safety and security. The continuation of Israeli escalations, including the threat of home evictions facing several Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem, against Palestinian men, women, children and elderly, necessitate the immediate intervention of the international community,’ he said.”

    • eljay
      eljay
      February 4, 2019, 10:19 am

      || Misterioso: https://www.juancole.com/2019/01/palestinians-protection-occupation..html

      “‘Palestinians need Int’l Protection until Israeli Occupation Ends’”

      Maan News Agency, Jan. 30/19

      Informed Comment

      RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — “Secretary General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, said that the people of Palestine need international protection until the end of the Israeli occupation, in response to Israel’s decision not to extend the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH).”

      “Erekat said in a statement ‘We call upon the United Nations to guarantee the safety and protection of the people of Palestine not only ensuring the continued presence of TIPH in Hebron but also to deploy permanent international presence in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem, until the end of Israel’s belligerent occupation.’ … ||

      Good call. My money is on it:
      – unfortunately going unheeded by the U.N.; and
      – predictably being labelled anti-Semitic by Zionists.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        February 4, 2019, 10:43 am

        @eljay

        “Good call. My money is on it:
        – unfortunately going unheeded by the U.N.; and
        – predictably being labelled anti-Semitic by Zionists.”

        Barring a miracle, you’re probably right, but as I’m sure you agree, we must persist and remember that much has been achieved as evidenced by the increasing worldwide alienation of “Israel” and panic in the Zionist camp.

      • gamal
        gamal
        February 4, 2019, 12:04 pm

        “but as I’m sure you agree, we must persist”

        Time to show some solidarity with Ireland and Malaysia who are standing up to American Zionist organizations and the Israeli regime as Miko Peled writes, and recent examples illustrate.

        “As Malaysia and Ireland Find Out, You Stand Up for Palestinian Rights at Your Peril”

        “In a move consistent with the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions, BDS, against Israel, the Malaysian government has refused entry visas to athletes representing Israel in the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships that were slated to be held in Sarawak, Malaysia this July. As might be expected, the Malaysian government has come under severe attack as a result of this move and has, in fact, been stripped of the of the right to host the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships altogether. The move to punish Malaysia was made by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

        Holding Firm

        In an interview with the BBC, Syed Saddiq, Malaysia’s Minister of Youth and Sports, stated:

        If hosting an international sporting event is more important than safeguarding the interests of our Palestinian brothers and sisters, than we have lost our moral compass.”

        Malaysia’s prime minister, Mahathir bin Mohamad, said, “Israel is a criminal state and deserves to be condemned,” according to a piece in the Malay Mail. Dr. Mahathir also called for “those who sympathize with the Palestinian cause to voice their condemnation.” ”

        https://www.globalresearch.ca/as-malaysia-and-ireland-find-out-you-stand-up-for-palestinian-rights-at-your-peril/5667523

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        February 4, 2019, 12:43 pm

        @eljay, Good call. My money is on it:

        Of course it is unheeded by the UN – nobody pays attention to that fool Erekat. Nor does the UN have a mandate to invade Jerusalem to enforce an agreement that expired by mutual consent.

        As for your strawman, we will have to wait and see how predictably bad that is.

      • eljay
        eljay
        February 4, 2019, 1:55 pm

        || mondonut: @eljay, Good call. My money is on it:

        Of course it is unheeded by the UN – nobody pays attention to that fool Erekat. Nor does the UN have a mandate to invade Jerusalem to enforce an agreement that expired by mutual consent.

        As for your strawman, we will have to wait and see how predictably bad that is. ||

        You might want to refer to a real dictionary instead of your Zionist re-definition “dictionary”. There’s nothing “strawman” about my genuine expectations regarding the reaction to Mr. Erekat’s call.

  5. Elizabeth Block
    Elizabeth Block
    February 4, 2019, 9:59 am

    It’s a start. And will probably come as a surprise to a hell of a lot of readers of the NYT.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      February 4, 2019, 12:35 pm

      More
      Bret Stephens Retweeted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
      Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite, @AOC, a view widely shared by Jewish members of the U.K. Labour Party. Please educate yourself before you embarrass yourself. Again.
      Bret Stephens added,
      Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
      Verified account

      @AOC
      It was an honor to share such a lovely and wide-reaching conversation with you, @jeremycorbyn!

      Also honored to share a great hope in the peace, prosperity, + justice…
      331 replies 700 retweets 2,318 likes

  6. John O
    John O
    February 5, 2019, 11:43 am

    Meanwhile, over at the Guardian, tributes to Jeremy Hardy for his support for Palestinian rights.

    https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2019/feb/04/jeremy-hardy-the-honorary-jew-who-held-out-an-olive-branch

    For those not familiar with him, he was one of Britain’s finest stand-up comedians and radio entertainers, who died last week at the age of only 57.

  7. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    February 5, 2019, 1:12 pm

    @Amigo
    “Not perfect yet but a marked improvement”

    Definitely agree. Leaving aside the fact that the NYT Editors either cannot quite yet bring themselves or are not allowed to routinely use the terms “occupation” “occupied ” or “considered illegal under international law I have noticed a very significant increase albeit from what appears to have been a longstanding zero in the number of articles actually broaching the subject of the I/P conflict in the context of settler and IDF(same thing) “activities” in Palestinian territories.

    As the Zios double down with the party front runners vying with each other to be the most extreme bespoke settler supporting Fascists the MSM bubble in America is certain to burst.

    Tick tick

  8. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    February 5, 2019, 1:23 pm

    Off topic but interesting article in the Times of Israel:
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/report-us-ordered-strike-on-pro-assad-porta-potty/

    Made me wonder if port a potties are on the most moral`s list of ” legitimate” targets for elimination along with all those other alleged Hamas “operational” sites such as kindergardens,schools,hospitals and UNWRA centres. A difficult call for the Zios. They would have to wait until they are being used by “human shield” children or families before their most moral missile strikes. Then they would probably justify the strikes by claiming that Hamas “terrorists” were digging “attack tunnels” underneath the PAP`s.

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