Barely one hour into the cease-fire announced by Secretary of State Kerry and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on July 31, Hamas suicide fighters killed three Israeli soldiers including 2d Lt. Hadar Goldin, initially believed to have been kidnapped.
President Obama and Secretary Kerry – but not the Times – denounced that “outrageous” cease-fire violation. Rudoren and Kershner merely noted that “neither side” is ready to end the conflict until its goals are met (8/2). Columnist Roger Cohen (8/3) preposterously blamed “the open-air prison of Gaza” on Israel’s “failing to reach out to Palestinian moderates and extending settlements in the West Bank.” After all, “millions of Palestinians are oppressed” under “Israeli domination.” About Hamas oppression and domination in Gaza he remained silent.
One month after Hamas launched its war against Israel the Times spearheaded the media chorus of denunciation of the Jewish state. Two lengthy front-page articles (8/4) were devoted to Israeli damage to Gaza civilian sites and harm to their inhabitants. Buried near the end of one came the brief, but hardly irrelevant, aside: “Israel said that 55 rockets were fired from Gaza” the day before. But that was not a story line the Times cared to pursue.
On the first day of the first August cease-fire, the Timesran a poignant article about a traumatized Gaza psychologist and lengthy wartime diary extracts by a Gaza writer. By then, however, even the pretense of moral equivalency had vanished. There was no mention of Israelis, traumatized by incoming rockets and underground tunnels, who had fled their homes for safety. No interviews with Israeli psychologists treating terrified children were included.
But two weeks earlier, in its Sunday Travel Section (7/20),readers were invited to participate in a forthcoming “Times Journey” through “the geographical, cultural, historical and political landscapes of Israel and the West Bank.” Its leader was identified as a “featured expert” – none other than Hanan Ashwari, a member of the PLO Executive Committee. So much for Times objectivity.
No careful reader of the Times could be surprised by the anti-Israel tilt of its reporting and editorializing. The newspaper that buried the Holocaust on its inside pages, whose publisher resolutely opposed Jewish statehood, and whose editors, reporters, columnists and op-ed contributors routinely engage in Israel-bashing, undermines Adolph Ochs’s commitment to “all the news that’s fit to print.”
Its current translation means all the news that fits its unrelenting castigation of Israel.