NYT Corrects Its Gaza History

On Tuesday (6/1/10), FAIR said this about the New York Times coverage of Gaza:

Other news accounts presented misleading context about the circumstances leading to Israel’s blockade. [Isabel] Kershner (New York Times, 6/1/10) stressed that “Israel had vowed not to let the flotilla reach the shores of Gaza, where Hamas, an organization sworn to Israel’s destruction, took over by force in 2007.” The Associated Press (6/1/10) reported that “Israel and Egypt sealed Gaza’s borders after Hamas overran the territory in 2007, wresting control from Abbas-loyal forces”–the latter a reference to Fatah forces affiliated with Mahmoud Abbas.

Both accounts ignore the fact that Hamas won Palestinian elections in 2006, which led the United States and Israel to step up existing economic restrictions on Gaza. An attempt to stoke a civil war in Gaza by arming Fatah militants–reported extensively by David Rose in Vanity Fair (4/08)–backfired, and Hamas prevailed (Extra!, 9-10/07).

Today (6/4/10), the New York Times printed this correction:

An article on Tuesday about the deadly Israeli naval commando raid on an aid flotilla that had attempted to defy Israel’s blockade of Gaza referred incompletely to the governance of Gaza by Hamas, the militant group that opposes Israelâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s existence. While Hamas took over Gaza by force in 2007, as the article said, the groupâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s representatives had won elections there in January 2006, defeating the more moderate rival Palestinian group Fatah. Subsequent tensions between Hamas and Fatah forces in Gaza led to open fighting, and Hamas routed Fatah from Gaza in June 2007.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.