The Israeli elections are looming Tuesday, and conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former army chief, Benny Gantz, are running a close race. In the runup, the New York Times piled on its usual anti-Israel and specifically anti- Netanyahu hostility. Monday’s front page featured David Halbfinger, the paper’s Jerusalem bureau chief, portraying Netanyahu, who is supported by Trump and derided by many Democrats, as ruthless and desperate, a "rapacious alpha dog" with "an antipathy for liberal voices, a discomfort with Muslim minorities and a willingness to work with the far-right."
Israel, always to blame at the New York Times. A front-page photo of fleeing Palestinian protestors at the Gaza border was deceptively captioned: “Israel Strikes in Gaza – Protesters at the Gaza border flee from an Israeli air assault on Friday. One Israeli soldier and four Palestinians were killed.” The picture introduced Isabel Kershner’s story , “Israel Launches Broad Air Assault in Gaza Following Border Violence.” From neither headline would you learn that it was the Palestinians that attacked first by assassinating an Israeli soldier, with Israel retaliating. Kershner’s story also implied faulty timelines making Israel appear the aggressor.
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 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.
Americans were used to stories about how Barack Obama drew standing ovations in every country he visited. So it was a bit surprising to see this Jerusalem Post headline: “Pence Speech Rife with Biblical References Rocks the Knesset….VP Pence’s Biblical speech to Knesset met with multiple standing ovations.” The New York Times spin was dramatically different. They couldn't even mention the ovations on that day, only the Pence visit being boycotted by Arab Christians.
The New York Times has long maintained a gross double standard of coverage when it comes to Israel’s security. Palestinian terrorists who target Jewish civilians are rarely if ever described as terrorists. Even violently anti-Israel groups like Hamas are at worst “militants” in the Times, or even noted for their “roots in charity.” The ultimate Palestinian terrorist, PLO leader Yassir Arafat, was merely a “father figure of Palestinian nationalism” with a “heroic history.” The Times stepped shamelessly across yet another line of balance in Tuesday’s edition, using the word “terrorism” in a headline about terrorism in Israel – when committed by Israeli Jews
Once again, the New York Times took sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, being dismissive of Jewish victims of Palestinian violence. Isabel Kershner reported from Jerusalem on the wave of stabbings of Israelis by Palestinians under the headline "Israeli Retaliatory Strike in Gaza Kills Woman and Child, Palestinians Say." There is an extremely strange emphasis in both that headline (what, precisely, was Israel retaliating against?) and the underlying article, which skipped what Israel was retaliating against until paragraph seven, while beginning with the deaths of Palestinians during the "retaliation." A follow-up article faulted the Israeli government's "clampdown" for contibuting to the "cycle of violence," a phrase that puts Palestinian murderers and Israeli self-defense on equal moral footing.
The morning after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's surprisingly easy victory against left-wing opposition, the New York Times was still sore. Columnist Thomas Friedman: "It is hard to know what is more depressing: that Netanyahu went for the gutter in the last few days in order to salvage his campaign -- renouncing his own commitment to a two-state solution with the Palestinians and race-baiting Israeli Jews to get out and vote because, he said, too many Israeli Arabs were going to the polls -- or the fact that this seemed to work."
Jodi Rudoren, the Jerusalem bureau chief for the New York Times, is often criticized as anti-Israel and hostile in particular to conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the wake of a tighter-than-expected reelection campaign and Netanyahu's controversial speech to Congress, in which he warned of the dangers of a nuclear Iran, the Times truly "doubled down" on its hostility, accusing the PM of being panicky, power-hungry, and appealing to racism.
The New York Times' labeling bias isn't just aimed at U.S. conservatives; the Times' global reach and bias extends overseas, as demonstrated in Wednesday's New York Times was crammed with dangerous and unpleasant right-wingers in Europe, Asia, and of course Israel.
Over at Hot Air on Tuesday night, Mary Katharine Ham pointed to a headline at the New York Times, present at its web home page as well as at the story itself, which equally blames Hamas and Israel for the end of their cease-fire: "Rockets From Gaza and Israeli Response Break Cease-Fire." Someone needs to tell Isabel Kershner and Jodi Rudoren that it's the "rockets from Gaza" which broke the cease-fire.
There's a bigger problem with the story, and with establishment press coverage of the conflict in general during the past 36 hours, namely that virtually everyone is ignoring a Monday blockbuster report at the Jerusalem Post presenting compelling evidence that Hamas intended to overthrow the Palestinian government and its President, Mahmoud Abbas, in conjunction with its attacks on Israel (Shin Bet is Israel's internal security service; bolds are mine):
As a ceasefire takes hold in Israel, a review of the most recent New York Times coverage of the conflict shows old anti-Israel patterns die hard, with the paper's Jerusalem bureau chief bizarrely suggesting that "in Israel, open discourse and dissent appear to be among the casualties of the monthlong war in Gaza." No mention was made of the violent threats made by the Hamas dictatorship against both journalists and critical Palestinians.
On the front of Thursday's National edition of the Times, Jodi Rudoren and Fares Akram dwelled on the economic miseries inflicted on Palestinians by Israel in "Conflict Leaves Industry in Ashes and Gaza Reeling From Economic Toll." (Hmm...how much did all those rockets fired at Israel cost?)
The New York Times' coverage of the ongoing situation in Israel, which began with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, continued this past week to be marked by intense anti-Israel bias in tone and labeling, and overwhelming emotionalism over the deaths of Palestinian civilians in the crossfire (Israeli deaths from terrorism rarely if ever merited such heart-felt treatment). After the tragic deaths of four young Gazan boys on a beach, the Times let its photographer hint at something sinister: "Children, maybe four feet tall, dressed in summer clothes, running from an explosion, don’t fit the description of Hamas fighters, either."
New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren's straightforward lead story Thursday, "Israeli Invasion of Gaza Is Likely, Official Says -- Brief Cease-Fire Is Set," was accompanied on the front page by a large, tragic photo of dead children over an emotionally manipulative story by Anne Barnard, "Boys Drawn to Gaza Beach, and Into Center of Mideast Strife."