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 […]

Jun
21
2010

NYT, WaPo Misremember Gaza War

Blaming Hamas rockets bolsters Israeli PR

In the aftermath of Israel's May 31 raid on the Gaza humanitarian aid flotilla that killed nine activists, the Washington Post and New York Times have propagated an inaccurate historical context that serves to bolster Israeli claims. The conventional rendition is that Israel invaded Gaza at the end of 2008 in order to stop a near-constant stream of rockets fired by Hamas. This history signals to readers that Israel was merely reacting to intolerable and persistent acts of violence. But that is wildly misleading. For much of the second half of that year, a truce between Hamas and Israel largely […]

Jun
07
2010

Pundits in Denial on Gaza Plight

'No humanitarian crisis,' some media figures claim

The May 31 Israeli attack on the Free Gaza humanitarian flotilla has returned some media attention to the humanitarian crisis faced by 1.5 million Palestinians living under Israeli blockade in the Gaza Strip. But some media figures have sought to deny the existence of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza at all. The Gaza Strip remains an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe on numerous levels. Israel has banned imports like cement that are necessary to rebuild Gazan infrastructure--including homes, hospitals and roads destroyed in Israel's 2008-09 invasion (U.N. Development Program, 5/23/10). Water and sewage systems in Gaza are in dire need of repair, […]

Jun
04
2010

James Zogby on Gaza, Scott Horton on Guantànamo

By

Download MP3 On May 31st the Israeli military attacked a flotilla of boats full of civilians attempting to deliver humanitarian supplies to the Gaza strip, and to call attention to the impact of Israel's blockade. At least 9 and as many as 16 activists were killed—we don't know in part due to Israel's tight control over the flow of information. We'll talk with James Zogby of the Arab American Institute about Gaza. Also on CounterSpin today: A new U.S. report says that most of the detainees held on Guantánamo since Obama took office, should be released. That's after nearly three […]

Jun
01
2010

Reporting Israeli Assault Through Israel's Eyes

Attack on humanitarian flotilla prompts little media skepticism

On May 31, the Israeli military attacked a flotilla of boats full of civilians attempting to deliver humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip. Reports indicate that at least nine and as many as 16 of the activists on board were killed, though details remain sketchy due to Israel's censorious limitations on media coverage. Much of the U.S. media coverage has been remarkably unskeptical of Israel's account of events and their context, and has paid little regard to international law. The New York Times (6/1/10) glossed over the facts of the devastating Israeli siege of Gaza, where 1.5 million people live […]

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 […]

Mar
26
2010

Trudy Lieberman on health care, Phyllis Bennis on Israel-U.S. relations

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The long debate over health care reform might be, at least in some respects, over. Will conservatives still warn of creeping socialism and the end of American freedom? Sure. And many policy analysts are unimpressed with the new law-- though those critiques are much harder to find in the corporate press than the views of Tea Party extremists. We'll talk to Trudy Lieberman from Columbia Journalism Review about what we learned-- and didn't learn-- over the past year. Also on Counterspin today: One of the most serious conflicts between the US and Israel in […]

Feb
12
2010

NYT Responds on Family Tie to Israeli Military

Hoyt urges Bronner's reassignment; Keller denounces 'savage partisans'

New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt (2/6/10) responded to messages from FAIR activists (Action Alert, 1/27/10; FAIR Blog, 1/27/10) by affirming that a reporter covering a conflict in which his child is an armed participant ought to be reassigned. But Times executive editor Bill Keller (2/6/10) rejected Hoyt's reasoning, saying that Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner would remain at his post despite revelations that his son had joined the Israeli Defense Forces. Calling Bronner a "superb reporter" with "an excellent track record," Hoyt said the news about his son's enlistment (Electronic Intifada, 1/25/10) raised "tough questions": The Times sent […]