The New York Times: Hamas a Terrorist Group or a “Terrorist” Group?

March 21st, 2006 1:35 PM

The New York Times pro-Palestinian reporter Steven Erlanger files “A New Landscape: Hamas Digs In” for Monday’s edition, suggesting the anti-Israeli terror group has some legitimate gripes.

“Some diplomats suggest that if Hamas supports a moribund 2002 Saudi peace initiative, it will somehow ‘recognize’ Israel without having to say so; some suggest that a Hamas offer of another cease-fire may be enough to ‘forswear violence.’ But so far, Hamas is not playing along. It sees the agreements with Israel as a honey trap and recognition of Israel as impossible. In the meantime, Hamas is working on the heartstrings and sense of justice of the West, to keep aid flowing. Hamas's victory also signaled the death of the ‘peace process’ as it has been practiced.”

Erlanger puts the blame for that "death" on bad faith by Israel, not the terrorists of Hamas.

“The diplomatic assumptions of recent years -- a peace treaty after a territorial compromise, or ‘land for peace’ -- have been blown apart. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel tried to redefine the bargain as ‘a state for security’ -- an independent Palestinian state in return for dismantling all armed ‘terrorist’ groups, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades. That was a commitment undertaken in the ‘road map’ by Yasir Arafat and reconfirmed by Mr. Abbas.”

Amidst that flurry of quotation marks are the ones around the word “terrorist” to describe three groups that murder Israeli citizens.

Some of Erlanger’s insights read less like “news analysis” and more like a pro-Palestinian opinion piece lamenting Israeli power and emphasizing alleged Palestinian helplessness.

“Israel, which has done little to support Mr. Abbas, now says it has no partner. Hamas gives Israel more freedom in the West Bank, creating borders, thickening settlements, or dismantling them, as it pleases. Last Tuesday, as troops crushed a Jericho prison to extract wanted men, acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would keep the settlement bloc of Ariel in the West Bank. Washington did not complain.”

For more examples of New York Times bias, visit TimesWatch.