NewsHour Poses a Moral Conundrum

PBS‘s NewsHour‘s Gwen Ifill (9/15/09), quizzing Richard Goldstone on his U.N. fact-finding mission that found that both Israel and Palestinian fighters had committed war crimes in the Gaza conflict:

The term “even-handed” is the problem that Israel has with the conclusions in the report. Your criticism of Israel seems so much harsher than that of the Palestinians. Why is that?

CBS News (9/9/09), summarizing a report by Israel’s leading human rights group:

Well over half of nearly 1,400 Palestinians killed in Israel’s Gaza war were civilians, including 252 children younger than 16, a leading Israeli human rights groups said Wednesday, challenging Israel’s claim that most of the dead were militants…. The Israeli rights group B’Tselem on Wednesday published figures it said were compiled in months of research, including visits to families of victims. It said 1,387 Gazans were killed, including 773 civilians and 330 combatants. Thirteen Israelis also died, including four civilians.

So why would the U.N. be more interested in the war crimes that killed nearly 200 times as many people? Thanks to Ifill and the NewsHour for challenging this strange moral reasoning.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.