NYT Shames Israel for Gaza’s ‘Open-Air Prison,’ Attack on ‘Mostly Unarmed’ Hamas Protestors

May 16th, 2018 5:10 PM

The New York Times has been heavily criticized for its blatantly anti-Israeli coverage of the deadly protest in Gaza, after the terrorist group Hamas urged Palestinian civilians to rush the fence guarding Israel’s border from attack. The assault is meant to protest both the moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and the 70th anniversary of the Nabka, the Palestinian exodus from Israel, the causes and blame of which are fiercely contested. Fox News among others noticed.

The disparity continued on Wednesday’s front page, “Israelis Reflect: ‘I Hope at Least That Each Bullet Was Justified.’” Reporters Isabel Kershner and David Halbfinger reported from a kibbutz close to the conflict, near the “open-air prison” that they call Gaza:

Daniel Rahamim, 63, had four Palestinians from nearby Gaza at his wedding in 1983. He remembers sunbathing on Gaza’s beaches, and drinking tea at a friend’s antique shop there.

But that was long ago -- before Hamas, and the wars that traumatized his children, and the security barrier that now fences off the Gaza Strip like an open-air prison.

On Monday, as gunfire echoed across the wheat, sunflower and jojoba fields stretching several hundred yards to the fence, Mr. Rahamim felt conflicting emotions. “When we hear of the dead, it pains us,” he said the next afternoon. “I hope at least that each bullet was justified.”

From the agricultural hamlets with their backs up against Gaza to the busy sidewalks of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and all the way to Israel’s northern borderlands, Israelis grappled in different ways with the staggering casualty reports from the Gaza protest on Monday: 60 killed, more than 1,700 hospitalized, according to Palestinian officials. It was the worst one-day total since the 2014 Gaza war. Israel said that only a small number of those shot had been armed.

Note the weasel wording “mostly unarmed.” Hamas using Palestinian civilians as cannon fodder draws no outrage from the NYT.

That fundamental imbalance -- heavily armed soldiers firing on mostly unarmed demonstrators, many of them bent on breaching the fence -- elicited responses of defiance or defensiveness in some, shame in others, and a healthy dose of served-them-right in some corners. Others only wanted to celebrate the new American Embassy, which was dedicated in Jerusalem as shots were ringing out in Gaza.....It was the lack of empathy he had discerned in some of his neighbors that got to him.

Reporter Elizabeth Dias took an American political angle in Wednesday's “An Embassy’s Move Is a Spiritual Victory for U.S. Evangelicals.”

While the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem has triggered violence and political debate this week, it also stands as a sharp reminder of the close ties between the Trump administration and evangelical Christians -- and of the victories that Mr. Trump has delivered for his evangelical base.

It included this lazy, misleading subhead, conflating a subset of Christians for right-wing evangelicals:

Some dissent on the right

Dias went on to quote three left-wing Christian academics.

Not all American evangelicals view the relocation of the embassy as something to celebrate. While many have long been vocal about their pro-Israel positions, another contingent has raised the plight of Palestinian Christians and others in the region.

First on the “right,” anti-Zionist professor Gary Burge:

“Many evangelicals have never supported Israel’s exclusive ownership of it,” Mr. Burge said, referring to Jerusalem. “Palestinian Christians view the city as something that should be shared by all -- not claimed by a few -- and many evangelicals, myself included, agree with them.”

The author of Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World seems an unlikely right-winger as well.

The Rev. Dr. Mae Cannon, an evangelical and the executive director for Churches for Middle East Peace, an organization that includes Catholic, evangelical and Orthodox churches, said moving the embassy is “devastating.”