New York Times Roots for Pro-Hamas Competition: 'Al Jazeera Finds Fans On Campus'

May 13th, 2024 8:57 AM

The radical leftists on campus don't trust newspaper like The New York Times for their coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, but the Times doesn't mind. On the front of Monday's business section, they offered a laudatory look at the pro-Hamas, Qatar-funded network Al Jazeera, under “Why Al Jazeera is the Go To News Source for Student Protesters.”

Santul Nerkar, a young journalist at the paper, never used terms like "leftist" or "radical" or even "progressive." They're just "pro-Palestinian." The print headline: “Al Jazeera Finds Fans On Campus.” He began:

Nick Wilson has closely followed news on the war in Gaza since October. But Mr. Wilson, a Cornell student, is picky when it comes to his media diet: As a pro-Palestinian activist, he doesn’t trust major American outlets’ reporting on Israel’s campaign in Gaza.

When conservatives say they don’t trust the mainstream press to cover Republicans fairly, they’re often smeared as ignorant or racist or McCarthyite. (The Times certainly doesn't respect the right-leaning New York Post.) Yet when leftists readers spout distrust, journalists from those same outlets under attack sound supportive. Strange how that works.

Instead, he turns to publications less familiar to some American audiences, like the Arab news network Al Jazeera.

“Al Jazeera is the site that I go to to get an account of events that I think will be reliable,” he said.

Nerkar listed a few freak-show outlets, including Jewish Currents, which spouts about “Israel war crimes and “genocide,” as reliable reportorial options.

Many student protesters said in recent interviews that they were seeking on-the-ground coverage of the war in Gaza, and often, a staunchly pro-Palestinian perspective -- and they are turning to alternative media for it. There’s a range of options: Jewish Currents, The Intercept, Mondoweiss and even independent Palestinian journalists on social media, as they seek information about what is happening in Gaza.


Israel’s recent ban on the local operations of Al Jazeera has only elevated the network’s status among many student protesters. They prize coverage from reporters on the ground, and Al Jazeera has a more extensive operation in Gaza than any other publication. Students also noted the sacrifices it has made to tell the story there. Two Al Jazeera journalists have died since the start of the war.

What didn’t make it into this report: Al-Jazeera’s pro-terrorist coverage like throwing a “birthday party” with cake and fireworks in 2008, to celebrate the release of a Lebanese terrorist who killed four in Israel, including a four-year-old girl. Al Jazeera reporters Ismail Abu Omar and Mohamed Washah were caught moonlighting as Hamas commanders. In February, The Times of Israel reported that "the IDF revealed a trove of images" that showed Washah in a Hamas uniform training fighters how to shoot rocket-propelled grenades, build warheads, and operate drones armed with an RPG.

Nerkar oddly described Hamas as "armed resistance," not as engaged in the slaughter of civilians and hostage-taking.

Critics say its coverage veers into support of the armed resistance to Israel. The Israeli government, which has accused Al Jazeera of acting as a “mouthpiece” for Hamas, last Sunday seized its broadcast equipment and shut down its operations in the country for at least 45 days.

This is apparently Al Jazeera’s idea of balance: Terrorist videos as well as Israeli government news conferences.

Al Jazeera called the government’s accusation “baseless” in a statement, adding that it has broadcast every news conference held by the Israeli cabinet and representatives for the Israel Defense Forces, in addition to videos from Hamas.


The protesters rattle off a list of mainstream American publications as having coverage they find objectionable, including CNN, The Atlantic, the BBC and The New York Times, among many others.

Nerkar approached the truth when he quoted scholar Hussein Ibish that the show’s “distinctly anti-American bent” had found a new fanbase on American college campuses: “There’s a third-worldist, anti-imperial point of view, and that’s also the view that many college kids have adopted.”

Can’t disagree with that.