Photo Credit: Camera
Billboard posted by CAMERA during a previous Hamas war against Israel.

{Originally posted to the author’s blog, Elder of Ziyon}

From The New York Times:

This time around, Hamas has so far refused to consider disarming its fighters and has insisted that it remains dedicated to liberating Palestine, not embracing Mr. Abbas’s project of a two-state solution — despite a new document of principles it released in the spring that accepted the idea of a provisional Palestinian state, without renouncing future claims to the land that is now Israel.


While the newspaper will often put scare quotes around the word “terrorist,” claiming that the definition of that term may be interpreted differently by different parties, it has no problem saying that Hamas’ goal is “liberating Palestine.”

The implication that the Times is giving by not choosing to use those scare quotes is that “Palestine” is  a land that deserves to be liberated – from Jewish rule.

Of course, Hamas’ goal is destroying Israel and expelling its Jewish residents, not “liberating Palestine.”. It says this explicitly; one example comes from a press release last month:

Palestine is a holy land that can not be bargained for, and only its people and its martyrs will live there.

The NYT use of “liberating Palestine” without scare quotes is not a one-off. In 2011 the NYT published an op-ed that used that phrase in reference to Hezbollah’s aims, as well as an article about an anti-Israel Facebook page taken down:

Facebook began closely monitoring the page after numerous complaints in the last couple of weeks, including a letter last week from Israeli Cabinet Minister Yuli Edelstein to the chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg. Mr. Edelstein asked for the page to be removed because of concern that it was calling for the killing of Jews and of “liberating” Jerusalem through violence.
The managers of the page could not be reached for comment. In the information box, they described the purpose of the page as liberating Palestine. “After the Tunisian intifada and the Egyptian intifada and the Libyan intifada comes the Palestinian intifada.”

In this example, by not using the scare quotes, The New York Times is explaining the meaning of a “Palestinian intifada” as being the liberation of Palestine.

But in 2010, referring to Hamas, the newspaper did put the word “liberating” in quotes, noting accurately that it meant destroying Israel, an explanation that was not made clear in this latest case.

Newspapers, especially prominent papers like The New York Times, have style sheets and guides on consistent use of phrases. It seems unlikely that this phrase has been mistakenly kept in its reporting without an editor having made a clear decision to allow it is be used without the scare quotes.

By using the term “liberating Palestine” as a matter of fact phrase and not a quote by Israel’s enemies, the NYT is telling the world that a nation that never existed is in need of being “liberated” from Israel, meaning the destruction of Israel.

That is about as anti-Israel as it gets.



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