Photo Credit: Serge Attal/Flash90

{Originally posted to FrontPage Mag}

Why-oh-why do I still read the New York Times? Am I that much of a masochist?


Here’s why. Because those who rely upon it run media/entertainment/publishing empires, corporations, and governments. These Masters of the Universe do not understand that the articles about Israel and the Muslim world in the Paper of Record are all, essentially, toxic propaganda; to them, it is mother’s milk, God’s own word. Verily, it is The Atheist’s Bible.

That’s why I steel myself every single day. Take yesterday, October 6th.

One would think that the IDF’s October 4th arrest of five members of the Hamas cell responsible for the heinous murders of Eitam and Naama Henkin on October 1st would be front page news. One would be wrong. This dramatic information is contained on page A9 and takes up only a little more than half the page. The hard copy article is 1,083 words long and is divided into 22 paragraphs.

Journalists Jodi Rudoren and Diaa Hadid (with additional reporters from Jerusalem, the West Bank, Ramallah, and Bethlehem), seem to be practicing “proportional” or “equivalency” journalism as opposed to “objective” journalism.

Five Hamas terrorists “confessed to fatally shooting an Israeli couple in front of their children”—and in the same, opening paragraph, they tell us that “Israeli forces fatally [shot] two Palestinian teenagers—one 13.”

As yet, the article does not mention the ages of the Israeli couple or their names or the ages of their children.

Rudoren and Hadid write that “four Israelis and four Palestinians have been killed in the last five days.” Everything is equal, everything is the same; it balances out, right? No. Absolutely missing is the necessary context. Missing is any fact-based understanding of the difference between Israel defending its citizens against Muslim Jihadists who are stabbing, stoning, and shooting innocent Israeli civilians at random—and the fact that we may be looking at what some are calling The Third Intifada. Lone Jihadists. Large vigilante groups. ISIS-inspired Hamasniks.

How can this be? This is all that can be—given that these journalists view Israel as, by definition, engaging in an allegedly “Nazi, Apartheid, Occupation” of Arab Muslims and view all acts of Muslim Jihad as part of freedom-fighting and justified resistance.

Nothing else can explain how this piece is positioned or how many more sympathetic words are used to convey the unjust suffering of Arab Muslim victims versus the non-suffering of Israeli victims.

Thus, we learn the age and name of the stone-thrower who was shot dead by Israelis—it is Abdulrahman Obeidallah; he is the boy mentioned in the first paragraph. But now, for four paragraphs, Rudoren and Hadid quote Arab Muslims who claimed that the boy never threw a stone, was not part of the rioting, was, in fact, “innocent and was shot in cold blood.” They quote a university student, Ahed Amira and Obeidallah’s classmate, Osaid Mohammad Abu Srour, who claims that “None of us were throwing stones. We were watching other kids throw rocks at the army base…I guess this is what we get for being Palestinian and under occupation.”

If this were not enough, the next paragraph (#9) reminds us that, according to a “Palestinian medic,” earlier that day, the IDF “fatally shot Huthayfa Soliman, 18, in the stomach.”

Still missing in action is any information about the Israeli civilian couple mentioned in the first paragraph, so long ago.

Were Israelis really murdered? If so, given the above track record, some would think that they “deserved” to die.

Still, we do not learn their names until paragraph eleven or halfway into the piece. Their names—but not their ages, and not a single humanizing feature. No one is quoted who speaks for them or about them.

Three paragraphs later (paragraph #14 ), we also learn about Nizar Qutri, 25, whom “relatives” said had been “shot in the chest by Israeli civilians.”

The last 216 words of this article (five paragraphs or 23% of the article) is concerned totally with an event that took place on July 31st, in the “West Bank village of Duma…[the] killing [of] a Palestinian child and his parents.” The villains represent the greatest threat known to humanity: “Jewish extremists.”

Nowhere is any greater threat to the region cited. Nowhere is Abu Mazen (Abu Abbas) called an “extremist” nor are those who are throwing rocks, firebombs, fire crackers—the rioters in general—referred to as “extremists.”

No matter that “Jewish extremists” are rare and are usually condemned and prosecuted—as opposed to Arab Muslims who glorify acts of terrorism against Israeli civilians (and against infidels and the “wrong” kind of Muslim). Nowhere do the authors bother to remind us that extremist, terrorist, Arab Muslims sit in Israeli jails and are paid generous stipends for their attempts to murder innocents.

We never do get to learn the ages of the Henkins in this piece or the ages of their four children who were present at the execution of their parents.

Please allow me to remind us about some of some of our holy martyrs in 2015. There may be more. And this does not account for the wounded, some of whom may be disabled for life.

Apr 15, 2015 – Shalom Yohai Sherki, 25, was run down and killed on Wednesday night at the French Hill junction in Jerusalem in a terrorist attack.

June 19, 2015 – Danny Gonen, 25, of Lod, was killed in a shooting attack along a dirt road after visiting the Ein Buvin spring near Dolev in the West Bank.

June 29, 2015 – Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, 26, of Kohav Hashahar, critically wounded in a drive-by shooting attack near Shilo on the Alon road on Monday night, succumbed to his wounds the following day.

Sept 13, 2015 – Alexander Levlovich, 64, of Jerusalem was killed while on his way home from a Rosh Hashana dinner when he lost control of his vehicle after it was struck by rocks at about 23:00.

Oct 1, 2015 – Rabbi Eitam Henkin, 31, and his wife Na’ama, 30, of Neria, parents of six, were killed in a drive-by shooting attack on the road between Itamar and Elon Moreh in Samaria at about 9 p.m. on Thursday night. They suffered multiple gunshot wounds to their upper bodies and were pronounced dead at the scene. Four of their children, aged 4 months to 9 years, who were in the car at the time of the attack were treated for shock. A Hamas spokesman praised the attack by the “brave resistance,” calling the murderous act “heroic”.

Oct 3, 2015 – Rabbis Aharon Bennett, 22, of Beitar Illit and Nehemia Lavi, 41, of Jerusalem were stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist near Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday evening. Bennett’s wife and 2-year-old child were wounded.

October 6, 2015: A female Arab terrorist stabbed a 36-year-old man at the Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City and moderately wounded him. The man shot and critically wounded her.

October 6, 2015: 38-year-old Ribi Lev-Ohayan of Tekoa esaped an Arab lynch mob which rushed her car, hurled rocks, then pulled her door open to kick and beat her. She managed to close the door and escape.

October 6, 2015: Josh Hasten, a freelance journalist was a few cars behind her. The lynch mob of 50 rushed his car bearing cinder blocks and rocks. Hasten fired a warning shot and got away.

October 6, 2015: An Arab terrorist stabbed and IDF soldier in Ashkelon on Lakhish Road (well within the 1949 lines), and got his weapon away from him. The terrorist rushed into a residential building, opened fire on IDF forces who subsequently eliminated him. Another Israeli was lightly wounded in this incident as well.


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Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D is an emerita professor of Psychology, a Fellow at the Middle East Forum, the author of thousands of articles, four studies about honor killing and sixteen books, including “The New Anti-Semitism,” “An American Bride in Kabul," and “Living History: On The Front Lines for Israel and the Jews, 2003-2015.” She archives her articles and may be reached through her website: