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News media’s ‘both sides’ framing distorts events in Israel’s favor

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News media coverage routinely frames Palestine-Israel as a story of two sides deserving more or less equal portions of blame for the absence of peace and of Israelis and Palestinians experiencing comparable pain as a result. I call this approach the “both sides” narrative and argue that it is untenable. In the following excerpt from my book, The Wrong Story:  Palestine, Israel, and the Media, I examine the use of the “both sides” frame in New York Times editorials on Israel’s 2014 attack on Gaza, Operation Protective Edge. Both sides-ism distorts events in Israel’s favour—and thus also in favour of its patron, the United States, for whom Israel is a crucial proxy—by grossly inflating Palestinian wrongs while understating Israel’s.

As I contend in my book, the “both sides” narrative is not the only frame through which media outlets misrepresent Palestine-Israel in ways that are advantageous to Israel. This tendency has persisted in mainstream news media accounts of Palestine in the years since 2014. For example, in the fall of 2015, Israelis killed 43 Palestinians and injured 5,100 while Palestinians killed seven Israelis and injured 70 and major US papers obscured the larger context in which Palestinian attacks occur and focused on Israel’s “right to defend its citizens” without concerning themselves with Palestinians’ right to self-defence. During the Palestinians’ Great Return March, news outlets have partaken in linguistic gymnastics to avoid stating the simple fact that Israel is shooting hundreds of demonstrators with live ammunition. When Israel killed 62 Palestinians on May 14th 2018, media sources de-humanized Palestinians and victim-blamed. Throughout the demonstrations, news outlets have suggested that “violent” Palestinian protests are at fault for Israel shooting thousands of unarmed Palestinians and presented Palestine-Israel as though it were a civil war, or a “he said, she said” story where the reality of what’s happening—ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and resistance to these—is impossible to unravel. Such deeply flawed reporting persists because the institutional structure of the media remains in tact:  the Western ruling class both controls the media and is deeply invested in Israeli settler-colonial capitalism but has no comparable interests in Palestinian liberation.

***

The first Times editorial on Protective Edge was on July 7th 2014 and, in assessing responsibility for the violence, it deploys the “both sides” frame. The article discusses the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers by Palestinians in the West Bank and the subsequent kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager by Israelis. The editors write that these incidents could lead to a full-blown war and that “It is the responsibility of leaders on both sides” to stop that from happening. The editors then assert that the “hostilities and recriminations began with the kidnapping and murder” of the three Israeli teenagers. The claim that this round of antagonisms “began” with the abduction of the Israeli youth is dubious even if one sets aside the broader context of Israeli colonialism in which these events played out.

The cover of The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel, and the Media

The cover of The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel, and the Media

The three Israelis were kidnapped on June 12th, whereas on May 15th the Israeli military shot and killed two unarmed Palestinian teenagers at a demonstration organized to both express solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on a hunger strike and to commemorate Nakba Day, which is when Palestinians mark their mass dispossession of and displacement from their homeland that took place during the creation of the state of Israel. If Operation Protective Edge was partially a consequence of the mutual killings of teenagers, it is only possible to say that these episodes “began” with the deaths of the Israeli youth if the killing of the Palestinian teens less than a month earlier is overlooked. Further underscoring this point is that the killings of those two Palestinian youth brought the total of Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces in 2014 to four, according to the UN-affiliated Defense forChildren International-Palestine.

Blame for the violence leading up to and during Protective Edge is addressed in the editorials from July 7th, July 18th, and August 6th. Yet none of them note that Israel started the violence. The July 18th editorial lays most of the blame on Hamas. It says that Israel sent ground forces into Gaza “to keep Hamas from pummeling Israeli cities with rockets and carrying out terrorist attacks via underground tunnel.” In other words, the paper claims that Israel’s land incursion was a response to Hamas’ violence even though Israel provoked the rocket fire and even though there is a paucity of evidence that the tunnels were being used to attack Israeli civilians. The editors say that Hamas leaders “deserve condemnation” for allegedly inviting Israeli fire on Palestinian civilians while the harshest criticism that the paper offers of Israeli leadership is to say that military action is “not a long-term solution” and that President Obama was right to “express concern” about “the risks of further escalation and the loss of more innocent life.” 

Meanwhile, the August 6th editorial says that “both sides” are worthy of blame for the carnage. Yet the first rockets fired from Gaza were on June 13th, whereas Israeli airstrikes began on June 11th when the Israeli Air Force targeted an alleged militant riding a motorcycle together with a ten year old child. The motorcyclist was killed instantly. The child sustained serious injuries and died three days later. Two civilian bystanders were also injured. Omitting this essential piece of information benefits the Israeli state by contriving the Palestinians’ responsibility for the bloodshed while hiding Israel’s. 

In these editorials, the “both sides” narrative operates by selecting starting points for Protective Edge that favor Israel because this version of events rationalizes the destruction inflicted by Israel on Gaza, which as I show below was far greater than the destruction Palestinian armed groups caused in Israel. The story of Protective Edge is told in a way that speciously implies that Israel is at fault for going too far at times but that Palestinians are at fault for starting the fighting and that therefore both sides are in the wrong. This narrative depends on concealing Israel’s killing of the two Palestinian teenagers on May 15th and Israel’s June 11th airstrikes, to say nothing of the larger historical and contemporary picture.

A more accurate accounting of what happened would be that the Israeli state had started a war against a population made up mostly of people that it made refugees. The long-running siege of Gaza is also a crucial context. In 2005, Israel dismantled its settlements in Gaza, evacuated their residents, and withdrew its military forces from inside of the territory. Israel, however, maintained effective control over its points of entry to and exit from Gaza and over Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters. In short, Israel still occupies Gaza. When Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian election, Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza and tightened it in 2007 when Hamas won control of the territory in a struggle with the PA. The siege’s effects have been devastating.

The blockade was one of the central concerns of the Palestinians during Protective Edge. In a 2012 ceasefire that was reached to end Israel’s operation Pillar of Defense, Israel agreed to “Opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements,” which would have meant lifting or significantly easing of the siege. Israel, however, did not follow through on this agreement and that was a crucial factor behind the 2014 violence. Early in Protective Edge, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups rejected a ceasefire, which they had no part in crafting and which was put forth by their enemies in Israel and Egypt, largely because it offered no assurances that the siege would be lifted. 

Yet of the five Times editorials written during and immediately before Operation Protective Edge, the blockade of Gaza is only mentioned in the one published August 7th. This lack of attention is necessary for the “both sides” narrative to hold: since only “one side” was besieging the other, the mere existence of a siege is itself enough to puncture the “both sides” narrative. Keeping to the “both sides” framework deprives readers of a crucially important context. Obscuring the importance of the siege to Palestinians distorts the narrative of Protective Edge in Israel’s favor. Paying so little attention to the blockade removes one of the Palestinians’ major grievances, thereby hiding a key reason for their willingness to fight while also consigning to the background what both the Palestinians and many respected international organizations see as a major Israeli wrong.

Similarly, editorials in The New York Times repeatedly presented Operation Protective Edge as a war in which both Israelis and Palestinians were harmed to comparable degrees. The TimesJuly 18th editorial tells readers in the second sentence that “The tragedy is that innocent civilians on both sides of the border are paying the price, once again.” Having this phrase at the outset establishes “both sides” as the article’s operative frame. The frame is reinforced by the structure of the article, which primarily consists of shifting between the sins the paper attributes to Hamas and to the Israeli government as well as between the difficulties faced by civilians in Gaza and in Israel. This framing arguably mitigates the casualty figures noted in the editorial, which reveal that one side is paying a much steeper price: “Only two Israelis have died” whereas there had been “260 Palestinians killed, three-quarters were civilians, including more than 50 children.”

The paper deviates somewhat from its practices in other Protective Edge editorials by providing concrete examples of Israeli attacks on Palestinians: “Innocent Palestinians are being killed and brutalized: four Palestinians boys playing on a beach; four children playing on a rooftop; a rehabilitation hospital, all destroyed by Israeli firepower.” These deaths, however, are subsumed within the “both sides” narrative as they follow the paper’s account of how “Well over 1,000 rockets have fallen on Israel since July 8, and they have reached farther than ever, threatening Tel Aviv and beyond” and of how “Israeli citizens are running for cover from incoming rockets.” The equivalency is false: Palestinians were “threatened” by and “running for cover” from Israeli weaponry to a far more dramatic extent than were Israelis from Palestinians. This is clear given that Israeli deaths occurred at 1/180th the rate they did in Gaza and given that 22,900 Gaza residents had been displaced by Protective Edge at that point while Israelis did not face displacement on a similar scale. In its July 24th editorial, the Times writes that “the war is terrorizing innocent people on both sides of the [Israel-Gaza] border.” At the time, two Israeli civilians had died since Protective Edge began compared to a minimum of 578 Palestinian civilians, including 185 children; the Israeli military had declared 44% of Gaza a “no-go zone,” which together with “unremitting hostilities” was “restricting the movement and security of Palestinian civilians and the ability of humanitarian actors to carry out even the most basic life-saving activities, adding to the growing despair” of Gaza residents. Considering the gaps in these casualty figures, considering that 44% of Israel was not declared a “no-go zone” and that Israelis were not being denied access to life-saving activities, significant features of the situation are obscured when readers are merely told that “innocent people on both sides” are being terrorized. 

Moreover, less than a week before this editorial was published, “intense Israeli bombardment of [the Gaza City neighbourhood] Shuja’iyyeh killed more than 60 people, including at least 17 children,” according to Amnesty International, and Doctors Without Borders says there were hundreds of civilians wounded in the neighborhood. No mass violence against civilians on the scale that took place in Shuja’iyyeh occurred in Israel so it is a distorted picture that simply describes “terrorizing innocent people on both sides” without even mentioning that Israel had inflicted mass killings and injuries on Palestinians in Shuja’iyyeh. Furthermore, in Gaza at the time, 149,000 people were displaced, 167,000 were in need of emergency food assistance, 18 health facilities were damaged or destroyed, and 1.2 million of

Gaza’s 1.8 inhabitants had no or very limited access to water or sanitation services. Remotely comparable conditions did not exist in Israel so it’s misleading to speak of undifferentiated, terrorized innocent civilians on both sides. Using the “both sides” narrative papers over these differences between the Palestinians’ experience of the fighting and that of the Israelis’ experience. This narrative erases what the reports from Amnesty, Doctors Without Borders, and the UN make clear:  far more Palestinians than Israelis were suffering. In these respects, the Times offers a version of events that misrepresents what was happening in Israel’s favor.

The paper’s August 6th editorial, like the one from July 25th, emphasizes the feelings of terror associated with the violence. The article notes that at that point 1,800 mostly civilian Palestinians had died, including 408 children, compared to 67 Israelis. After the editorial gives an overview of the damage done in Gaza, it says that “There are important but less tangible costs: the way ordinary Israelis have had to live in fear of rocket attacks.” The fear Israelis experienced is presented as a counterweight to the discrepancy in the casualty toll. The suggestion that there is a balance between the harm done to Israelis and that which was done to Palestinians in Gaza rests on the notion that mass Israeli fear is comparable to mass Palestinian death and injury. The premise that terror is as undesirable as death is itself questionable but the equation entirely falls apart when one considers that, while casualties in the thousands were unique to the Palestinian experience of Protective Edge, living in fear was not unique to the Israeli experience. For example, in Rafah, a Palestinian city and refugee camp in southern Gaza, Israel killed 45 Palestinians between August 1st and August 3rd, including 40 civilians and 10 children, wounding another 50 civilians, 21 of them children. Inhabitants of Rafah, therefore, had ample reason to “live in fear.” In these ways, the “both sides” narrative favors the Israeli government by downplaying the harm Israel has inflicted on Palestinians and inflating the harm done to Israeli civilians.

Greg Shupak

Greg Shupak is the author of The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel, and the Media. He has a PhD in Literary Studies and teaches English and Media Studies at the University of Guelph in Toronto. His fiction has appeared in a wide range of literary journals and he regularly writes analysis of politics and media for a variety of outlets including Electronic Intifada, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, The Guardian, In These Times, Jacobin, and, Salon.

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8 Responses

  1. Misterioso on August 12, 2019, 8:40 am

    A must read!!

    https://www.memopublishers.com/images/uploads/documents/20150720_CheGuevarainGaza-web.pdf

    “Che Guevara in Gaza: Palestine becomes a Global Cause” by Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, Middle East Monitor, First published August 2015.

    EXCERPT:

    “Che Guevara’s visit to Gaza in 1959 was the first sign of transforming the Zionist colonization of Palestine from a regional conflict to a global struggle against colonialism. The trigger was the Bandung conference in 1955 and the resulting Non-Aligned Movement, whose members has just recently shaken the yoke of foreign domination. The stature of Nasser, as a world leader in the struggle against Imperialism and colonialism, brought world leaders to see for themselves the devastating results of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, clearly demonstrated in Gaza refugee camps.

    “The Gaza Strip became the symbol of Palestine. This tiny sliver of land (1.3% of Palestine) remained the only place raising the flag of Palestine. It carried a major part of al Nakba burden when it became the temporary shelter for the inhabitant of 247 villages, expelled from their homes in southern Palestine. Villages in the south were ethnically cleansed by the Israeli military operation ‘Yoav,’ also termed ‘The Ten Plagues,’ in October 1948. Not a single Palestinian village remained. This act of total ethnic cleansing was propelled by several massacres which took place in Al Dawayima, Bayt Daras, Isdud, Burayr, among others.

    “Refugees, now corralled into Gaza Strip, were not immune from Israeli attacks even after their expulsion. The Majdal hospital was bombed in November 1948, as was the nearby al Joura village, which stood on the site of ancient Ashkelon and from which many future Hamas leaders would emerge. In January 1949, Israelis bombed food distribution centers in Dayr Al Balah and Khan Younis at peak hours, leaving over 200 bodies decimated by air raids. These raids led the usually restrained Red Cross to described it as ‘a scene of horror.’

    “The occupation of Palestinian land and the expulsion of its population gave rise to a resistance movement, known then as the fedayeen. These resistance fighters crossed the Armistice line to attack the occupiers of their land.

    “In order to stop the incursions of the fedayeen and eliminate the idea of resistance, Israel continuously attacked the Gaza Strip refugee camps. In August 1953, Unit 101, led by Ariel Sharon, attacked Bureij refugee camp and killed 43 people in their beds. In August 1955, Israel, again led by Ariel Sharon, blew up the Khan Younis police station killing 74 policemen. In the same year, the Israelis killed 37 Egyptian soldiers in Gaza railway station and 28 others who were on their way to defend the others. The last attack changed the course of history in the region.

    “Egyptian president Gamal Abdel-Nasser, who assumed power in Egypt in July 1952, signed the first armament deal with the Soviet Block for arms denied to him by the British. He also authorised the fedayeen resistance by officially organising them under Colonel Mustafa Hafez.

    “On 29 October 1956 Israel invaded Sinai in collusion with Britain and France. The attacking Israeli soldiers entered Khan Younis on 3 November 1956, and collected all males between the ages of 15 and 50 from their homes and shot them in cold blood at their doorstep or against a wall in the town’s main square. The names of the 520 people killed have been listed. The following week, another massacre of refugees took place in Rafah. There were a deafening silence in the West about these massacres until the gifted cartoonist Joe Sacco immortalised them in his book Footnotes in Gaza.

    “These tragic events came to the world’s attention when Nasser became one of the recognised leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement starting with Bandung conference in 1955. Gaza Strip and Palestine came globally to light as the latest case of colonialism and ethnic cleansing.”

  2. Misterioso on August 12, 2019, 10:34 am

    Sad news:

    https://israelpalestinenews.org/paul-findley-longtime-advocate-for-palestinian-human-rights-dies-at-98/?utm_source=mailpoet&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Passing+of+Paul+Findley

    “Paul Findley, long time advocate for Palestinian human rights, dies at 98”

    “If Americans Knew blog” by Alison Weir, Aug. 9/19

    “Former Congressman Paul Findley, a long time advocate for Palestinian human rights, has passed away at the age of 98. Findley was a forefather of the movement for justice in Palestine, speaking and writing on the issue for almost half a century.

    “Findley was a Republican Congressman from Illinois when he began speaking out about Palestine in the 1970s. Before long, the Israel lobby targeted him, and after serving 22 years in Congress, he was pushed out in 1982.

    “Findley then wrote a ground breaking book: They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby. He described in riveting detail how Israel partisans had similarly worked to push out other Americans who had spoken out about Palestine, from positions in Congress, the media, academia, and elsewhere. (A PDF is available here.)

    “He once wrote: ‘I marvel—and recoil—at the grip the government of Israel, a small nation of about five million people, maintains over America, a nation of nearly 300 million. After many years in politics, I am convinced that this is America’s greatest burden today.’

    “In the introduction to They Dare to Speak Out, Findley wrote:

    ‘Much of the information provided here is volunteered by career government officials who want the public to be aware of how the lobby functions but insist that their own names be withheld. These requirements tell a lot about the sensitivity of the subject matter.’

    “Findley revealed that It had been extremely difficult to get the book published:

    ‘Declining to represent me, New York literary agent Alexander Wylie forecast with prophetic vision that no major U.S. publisher would accept my book. He wrote, ‘It’s a sad state of affairs.’ Bruce Lee of William Morrow and Company called my manuscript ‘outstanding,’ but his company concluded that publishing it ‘would cause trouble in the house and outside’ and decided against ‘taking the heat.’ Robert Loomis of Random House called it an ‘important book’ but reported that the firm’s leadership decided the theme was ‘too sensitive.’ Twenty other publishers also said no.’

    “Eventually, a small company published the book, and for a brief time it was a Washington Post bestseller. Soon, however, the explosive book was largely buried. Today, even many Palestine activists haven’t heard of Paul Findley or his book – a testament to the degree to which information about the Israel lobby continues to be obscured from Americans’ knowledge.

    “Findley went on to write several more books, including Deliberate Deceptions: Facing the Facts About the U.S.–Israeli Relationship, and Silent No More: Confronting America’s False Images of Islam. Many of his reports and analyses were published in The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

    “Findley also cofounded the Council for the National Interest, a non profit organization in Washington DC that works to counter the Israel lobby and advocate for rational, moral U.S. Mideast policies. He was a founding board member of If Americans Knew, which works to inform Americans on the American connection to Israel-Palestine. He also served on the National Council of Americans for Middle East Understanding (AMEU), which has published a magazine on the issue since 1967.”

    “Findley was also a strong advocate for the crew and family members of the USS Liberty, which had been lethally attacked by Israeli forces. He wrote a detailed report on the incident in which he stated:

    ‘Israel’s war crimes against the USS Liberty and its crew on June 8, 1967—midway in the Six-Day War Israel launched against its Arab neighbors—provoked a startling, profound U.S. response, a cover-up that signaled the beginning of America’s 38 years of Israel-centric foreign policies. It marked a costly, radical turn for the worse that sent America’s prestige and credibility plunging and imposed on the American people ever-growing new burdens—even war—with no end in sight.’

    “Principled and courageous”

    “Findley was known as a profoundly principled, committed, brave warrior against racism and injustice.

    “A Midwestern Presbyterian who grew up in Depression-era America and served in World War II, Findley was soft spoken, passionate about the need for justice, and quietly intelligent. His personal warmth and self-deprecating humor may have misled the Israel partisans who tried to bully him, only to have him produce a devastating exposé of their tactics.

    “Findley spoke out for Palestinians when most people were silent.

    “Today some young Congress members are courageously daring to speak out again – and coming under the same vicious assaults.

    “Findley’s revelatory book helped to wake up many people about Palestine and the power of the Israel lobby, and his long fight for human rights inspired people around the world.”
    ______________________________________________________

    I have Paul Findley’s book “They Dared to Speak Out” and heartily recommend it – as well as his other books.

    • RoHa on August 12, 2019, 7:17 pm

      Indeed sad.

      Findlay was a problematic figure for me, though. My world view does not easily accommodate politicians who show signs of integrity and decency.

  3. annie on August 13, 2019, 12:59 pm

    An important topic, one covered many times at MW, especially by phil and james. much appreciate this rundown by Shupak.

    but.. i couldn’t help from noticing that my recollection of the primary onset of the 2014 summer slaughter, or primary backdrop or climate, was completely absent.

    while i totally agree the Nakba Day killings were related, weeks before the kidnapping saw a parade of israeli officials going on US media claiming (as oren did) “youths may not even be dead”, the body was exhumed and day before the teens were kidnapped was the day it was announced “Autopsy reveals Nakba Day protester killed by live ammunition”
    https://mondoweiss.net/2014/06/reveals-protester-ammunition/

    but let’s go back a couple weeks before that. one may recall the end of the 2013-2014 “peace process” was halted by israel not carrying out their end of the bargain and releasing prisoners. instead, they said ‘if you agree to more negotiations then we’ll release them’. palestine was going to go to the UN, and had agreed to hold off on that and enter this process for the prisoner exchange. when israel refused, palestine said no (remember kerry said “poof” and blamed israel), and hamas and fatah agreed to a unity deal in preparation to go to the hague.

    there’s nothing like a palestinian unity deal to get israel’s rankles up. on june 3rd we reported “Palestinian unity deal pits Netanyahu & Congress against White House” https://mondoweiss.net/2014/06/palestinian-netanyahu-congress/

    just take a look at the total freakout going on in netanyahu’s tweets. the build up of pressure was insane. it was this backdrop that led to israel’s provocative attack gaza june 11, prior to the kidnapping. and as your link to weekly events confirms, https://www.ochaopt.org/content/protection-civilians-weekly-report-10-16-june-2014 “large scale military operations have been ongoing since june 13th”.

    israel put the west bank on total lockdown and started rearresting prisoners that had previously been released in the shalit exchange. we reported June 21, 2014:
    “Israel has arrested 330 people in the West Bank since the 3 Israeli teens went missing a week ago. On Friday its soldiers shot and killed two Palestinian youths, three overall in the last week”

    you write “the first rockets fired from Gaza were on June 13th”, i recalled it differently, that the rockets started after the massive sweeping night raids and abductions of previously released prisoners. here’s wiki’s recollection of attacks during that time period: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Palestinian_rocket_attacks_on_Israel_in_2014

    June 1
    A rocket was fired early Sunday morning at the Eshkol region. The rocket landed in a field and no casualties were reported. [45]
    June 11
    A rocket fired from Gaza narrowly missed a main artery in southern Israel as it landed in a nearby dirt field without causing any injuries.[46]
    June 14
    2 of 3 rockets fired from Gaza fell in the Hof Ashkelon regional council in the afternoon. No injuries or damage were reported.[47]
    June 15
    In Ashkelon a series of explosions were heard in the evening. 4 rockets were fired from Gaza, 2 of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome. Fragments of the rockets fell across the city. There were no reports of injuries or material damages.[48]

    i don’t think it could be said rocket fire from gaza on june 13th initiated anything significant. it was only after the invasion of the west bank …

    furthermore (and i know i reported this somewhere but don’t have a source for it at this moment), netanyahu was taking political hits from the settlers months earlier, their biggest complaint was making concessions to return palestinian prisoners, the exchanges. so the immediate response to the kidnapping of weeks of lockdown of the WB, the rearrest of over 500 ex prisoners (as i recall), especially finding out later all along they already knew the kidnapped teens were dead, under the pretext of finding them, all of that, considering the massive freakout over palestine unity and going to the UN (remember how they plummeted gaza for weeks in 2012 “Pillar of Cloud” before palestine went to the UN for the statehood bid: “Palestinian UN envoy: Attack was ‘deliberately timed to torpedo the UN vote’” https://mondoweiss.net/2012/11/palestinian-un-envoy-attack-was-deliberately-timed-to-torpedo-the-un-vote/).
    it’s history repeating itself.

    the kidnapping was used as a pretext for the summer slaughter, another grass mowing was already in the works.

    Alex Kane reported on June 18, 2014 “How Israel is exploiting the reported kidnapping to weaken Palestinian reconciliation” https://mondoweiss.net/2014/06/exploiting-palestinian-reconciliation/

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has linked the abductions to the unity government.

    “You remember that Israel warned the international community about the dangers of endorsing the Fatah-Hamas unity pact,” Netanyahu said in a statement on the abductions. “I believe that the dangers of that pact now should be abundantly clear to all.”

    when we consider the brutal 2014 summer slaughter, it’s important to recall the backdrop of that war. it wasn’t the kidnappings, or rockets from gaza, it was the threat of palestinian unity, the hague, and netanyahu’s political fortunes, getting back those prisoners at all costs.

    but, israel thought it would be a walk in the park, they didn’t expect all those rockets…

  4. DaBakr on August 14, 2019, 12:09 am

    Because, g-d forbid that a news organization accused of biased reporting from both sides of the conflict should report on……both sides of the conflict. If the author is so upset he can anyways turn to arabic press or al Jazeera English. They do not have a ‘both sides’ policy

    • bcg on August 14, 2019, 9:36 am

      @DeBakr: What does your comment have to do with the point of the article – that the New York Times distorts events in Israels favor? Is it not valid to point out that Americas flagship news outlet doesn’t report accurately on this topic?

      • DaBakr on August 15, 2019, 7:25 am

        @bcg

        Americas so-called “flagship” reports news on the Arab /Israeli conflict in terms that are considered ‘biased’ by both anti-zionist pro-palestinian and also, pro Israeli, pro zionist. . So, they are either doing something right or you are miffed at the bias. Either way, you can always read al Jazeera or watch Iranian Press TV for a more concrete viewpoint.

  5. bcg on August 15, 2019, 11:57 am

    @DeBakr: The article contains a number of concrete examples of how the New York Times fails to report accurately on the situation in Israel. Care to comment on any of them?

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