Jul
01
2010

Gaza's Ongoing Crisis Is Not News

Routine killing, hunger off TV’s agenda

Since the Islamist movement Hamas won democratic elections in the Palestinian territories in January 2006, Israel has been waging what it has referred to as “economic warfare” (McClatchy, 6/9/10) to collectively punish Gazans for their choice. The economic sanctions increased after Hamas’ June 2006 capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit; a full-blown air, land and sea blockade was imposed by Israel (and Egypt) in June 2007 after Hamas routed an attempted coup by the rival, U.S.-backed Fatah party and took control in the Gaza Strip. The blockade against the coastal strip has had devastating consequences for the one-and-a-half million Palestinians […]

Jul
01
2010

The Flotilla Story U.S. Media Won't Report

Ignoring evidence that counters Israeli claims

At a June 10 press conference (Cultures of Resistance, 6/10/10), passengers from the Mavi Marmara released new footage of the Israel Defense Forces’ deadly May 31 raid on the ship, which killed nine activists attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza in defiance of the Israeli blockade. Days earlier, another video was released allegedly showing the IDF beating and then executing a U.S. citizen, although the identity of the passenger in the video has not been confirmed (Informed Comment, 6/10/10; Tikkun, 6/10/10). Obviously, two videos alone could not possibly tell the whole story of what happened that night, but they […]

Jul
01
2010

Hamas and 'Israel's Destruction'

This article was originally published as a sidebar with "Reporting Israeli Assault Through Israel's Eyes."   In the aftermath of the deadly Israeli assault on the international flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the establishment press has repeatedly distorted the political positions of Hamas, the Islamist movement that governs Gaza. The New York Times’ Ethan Bronner (6/5/10) reported that Hamas “rejects Israel’s existence.” USA Today’s Oren Dorell (6/7/10) wrote that “Hamas has been designated a terrorist group by the United States and European Union and seeks the destruction of Israel.” A New York Daily News editorial (6/5/10) referred […]

Apr
01
2010

Covering a Son's War at the NYT

Editor rejects call for Jerusalem chief’s reassignment

Can a journalist neutrally cover a conflict that his child is fighting in? That’s the question posed by the news that the son of New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner joined the Israeli Defense Forces. The Times’ policies acknowledge that family members’ activities might require a journalist to “to withdraw from certain coverage”; their example is a business reporter or editor with “a brother or a daughter in a high-profile job on Wall Street.” If a child’s livelihood might color one’s reporting, wouldn’t that child’s life itself do so even more? When activists asked New York Times public […]

Oct
01
2009

'Law-Abiding' Israelis, 'Unwelcoming' Palestinians

U.S. journalists sympathize with Israeli colonists

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Decode Jerusalem

The Obama administration’s push to freeze Israeli construction of illegal colonies in the West Bank has brought the settlement question back to the fore of media coverage. On July 27, Time published a rather long piece by Nina Burleigh on Israeli settlements under the headline “Two Views of the Land.” The first view was Israeli: The Katzes, very normal, gentle people readers can identify with (they’re even from New York!), “consider themselves law-abiding citizens” and do earnest and upstanding things like “publish a small community magazine and take part in civic projects. Sharon raises money for charity by putting on […]

Mar
01
2009

The 'Right to Exist' as an Arab Israeli

U.S. papers of record regularly erase Israel’s Palestinian citizens

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/nealunger

On January 11, 2009, a Washington Post article (“The View from Israel: Victors in a Necessary War”) declared that “Israelis have been . . . resolute” in their support of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s three-week assault on Gaza. What the piece did not mention was that some 20 percent of the citizens of Israel are Palestinians. While a common criticism of Palestinian political groups is their refusal to recognize Israel’s “right to exist,” U.S. corporate media repeatedly fail to recognize the existence of Palestinian Israelis. During Cast Lead, from December 27, 2008, until the tentative cease-fire unilaterally declared by Israel […]

Jan
01
2008

Get Carter

NY Times punishes an ex-president for criticizing Israel

Though the New York Times ignored Jimmy Carter’s book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid when it was first published--it didn’t review the book until it had already been on the Times’ bestseller list for five weeks--that didn’t stop the paper from running an article about a former Carter employee who didn’t like the book. The December 7, 2006 article began by reporting that Kenneth W. Stein, a former executive director of the Carter Center in Atlanta, had resigned, “citing concerns with the accuracy and integrity of Mr. Carter’s latest book.” It quoted Stein charging the book was “replete with factual errors, […]

Aug
01
2006

Mid-East Blame Game

Leading papers ignore Israeli contribution to conflict

In the wake of the most serious outbreak of Israeli/Arab violence in years, three leading U.S. papers—the Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times—have strongly editorialized that Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon were solely responsible for sparking violence, and that the Israeli military response was predictable and unavoidable. These editorials ignored recent events that indicate a more complicated situation. Beginning with the Israeli attack on Gaza, a New York Times editorial (6/29/06), “Hamas Provokes a Fight,” declared that “the responsibility for this latest escalation rests squarely with Hamas,” and that “an Israeli military response was inevitable.” […]