It occurs to me that I ought to have a running commentary on the anti-Israel bias in the contemporary New York Times. It is my home town newspaper and I do read it everyday. Sharing rather than silently swallowing my frustration will be an excellent tonic, and good for my blood pressure.
In today’s edition (May 15th), here is how the Gray Lady summarizes what happened in Israel yesterday.
ATTACKS DURING BUSH VISIT
“President Bush’s trip to Israel to celebrate the country’s 60th birthday was marred by violence. Four Palestinians were killed, including two militants, and nine were wounded in a series of Israeli Army strikes and incursions into Gaza said medics and witnesses there. In Israel, a rocket that the police said was launched from northern Gaza badly wounded four people, including a two year old girl.”
Before we even get to the piece itself which was located at the very bottom of page 6, lemme vent. The first “violence” noted above was that caused by “Israeli Army strikes.” Absolutely no background or context are given in terms of why Israel would strike Gaza. Hundreds, maybe thousands of non-stop Kassam rockets launched against Israeli civilians, children, schoolhouses, hospitals? Could that be it? The Times isn’t saying. And why-oh-why does TimeSpeak keep identifying Hamas terrorists and Islamists as “militants?”
And, now that the Israeli military has been maligned and branded as evil day after day in the Paper of Record, even I tend to trust a smidgen less anything they might have to say. I am meant to; thus, if the Israeli “police” tell us the rocket was launched from Gaza–perhaps, maybe, I am meant to take that with a grain of salt. Not so the “medics and witnesses” of Gaza who have never been maligned and who appear, therefore, as neutral reporters.
Only when you get to the longer piece, do you learn that the Gaza-launched rocket hit a health clinic in Ashkelon (beyond Sderot); that the doctor who was attending to the wounded was also wounded by it; that the rocket was “Iranian made;” that “Hamas has praised the attack.”
Yes, the same Hamas that Presidential hopeful Barack Obama wants us to talk to as does the new left-Jewish group which calls itself J Street– just to make sure you understand that they are truly out of this world. (“J” street in Washington D.C. does not exist, that is their clever point). See James Kirchick’s article “What Does the New Jewish Lobby Really Represent” in The New Republic of May 28, 2008.
But back to the New York Times: In terms of this latest rocket attack upon Israeli civilians, you have to read on to the eighth paragraph to learn that sixty other people were also wounded–but only “lightly.” Not seriously, right? The fact is, that such attacks have been going on for years, the civilian population is being terrorized and traumatized, as well as murdered and maimed. And yes, “lightly wounded” as well.
The Times piece includes lots of other information having nothing to do with the Israeli murdered, maimed, or “lightly wounded.” The piece is also about President Bush’s visit and the diplomats, celebrities, theologians, and Israeli leaders who gathered to be part of it.
Folks: Just for the record let me wearily repeat: Israeli government policy may sometimes be imperfect–but as imperfect as it may be, it does not justify the horrendous, exterminationist assault upon Israeli civilians that Palestinians, Syrians, Jordanians, Egyptians, and Iranians have perpetrated over the decades. I would like you all to read how an Israeli newspaper reported this same event of yesterday.
by Ezra HaLevi
(IsraelNN.com) The Iranian-supplied Grad-type rocket fired at an Ashkelon mall Wednesday was launched from the former Gaza Jewish fishing village of Dugit, which was evacuated and destroyed by Israel in the 2005 Disengagement for the stated purpose of strengthening Israel’s security.
Hamas-affiliated Popular Resistance Committees Spokesman Muhammad Abdel-Al told World Net Daily Wednesday that the attack, which wounded dozens, including children, was launched from Dugit, located along the coast in northern Gaza.
Dugit’s residents, mostly secular Jews who made a living fishing in the Mediterranean, left reluctantly, but without a struggle in 2005, when then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced his diplomatic plan to unilaterally withdraw the IDF from Gaza and destroy all the Jewish towns there. More than 9,000 residents were evicted from their homes in the operation.
At the time, residents and other opponents of the plan warned that the communities would be used as terrorist training camps and staging grounds for terrorist attacks.
Abdel-Al hailed Wednesday’s attack as a “symbolic act” that proved the effectiveness of PA Arabs’ policies of launching attacks on Jewish civilians to achieve concessions from Israel’s government. “Our launching from Dugit is a sign of success,” Abdel-Al told World Net Daily’s Aaron Klein. “Mark my words, just as we liberated Dugit, so we will liberate Ashkelon, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.”
In 2005, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon implemented his Disengagement Plan in which Israel demolished 21 Jewish towns in Gaza and 4 in northern Samaria, forcefully expelled the Jewish residents, and handed the Gaza area over to the Palestinian Authority.
In his speech to the Herziliya Conference in 2003, Sharon explained that “the purpose of the Disengagement Plan is to reduce terror as much as possible, and grant Israeli citizens the maximum level of security… These steps will increase security for the residents of Israel and relieve the pressure on the IDF and security forces in fulfilling the difficult tasks they are faced with. The Disengagement Plan is meant to grant maximum security and minimize friction between Israelis and Palestinians.”