The United Nations Human Rights Council just issued a damning report that said Israel may have committed crimes against humanity during the Great March of Return in Gaza last year, and the New York Times responded with a brief, mediocre 750-word account.
U.N. investigators charged Israel with far worse crimes than anything that the government of Venezuela has been accused of, but Times coverage of the South American nation has been considerably more extensive. The Times did say that the U.N. report on Gaza
concluded that there were reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers had deliberately shot at journalists, health workers, children and people with disabilities.
The Times article could have been worse. It was written by Nick Cumming-Bruce, datelined from the Human Rights Council’s headquarters in Geneva, instead of by the paper’s correspondents based in Israel. Cumming-Bruce only gave the Israeli government two paragraphs for their denials — by contrast with the Times reporters in Jerusalem, who normally spend paragraph after paragraph taking stenographic exonerations from the Israeli military.
U.N. investigators reported that Israelis killed 189 Palestinians, and wounded another 6,106 with live ammunition. By contrast, Cumming-Bruce noted dryly,
The panel found that four Israelis were wounded in the clashes, and none were killed.
The Times report explained that Israel, following its standard procedure, did not allow the U.N.’s 3-person investigative panel to enter either Israel or Gaza. So the panel
drew on 325 interviews and more than 8,000 documents, including affidavits and medical reports, as well as photographs and video and drone footage. Along with its report, it released a video compilation showing some of the shootings.
Cumming-Bruce did not quote any Israeli human rights organizations, who have been indicting the Israeli military in similar ways since the Great March of Return started last March 30. The highly respected B’Tselem has consistently pleaded with Israeli soldiers to refuse orders to fire on civilians, but the Times apparently has a long-standing policy to ignore the group. Not surprisingly, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a better report, which included reaction from human rights groups inside Israel.
At least the Times covered the story, even though it was inside the print edition on page A9. So far, the Washington Post has not published a single word.
CORRECTION: The Washington Post *did* report on the U.N. investigation; here it is.
H/T to Commenter “just”.