New York Times May 26, 2014: “Pope Lays Wreath at Tomb of Zionism’s Founder”
The NYT headline would lead a reader to believe that the article is about Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism. Guess again.
1. The article is not about Herzl at all- he is mentioned in passing in the seventh paragraph.
2. The article is about dueling narratives of Israelis and Palestinians. It is clear which one the NY Times favors, as the day beforehand it posted a huge front page photograph of the Pope at the security barrier, compared to this article on page A10 which includes three photographs of the pope at religious sites for Jews, Muslims and Christians.
3. The article does not point to the NYT posting the photograph on its front page, but says that the picture simply “rocketed around the Internet”, making the paper seem uninvolved in its promotion.
4. The author writes of the “graffiti-scarred concrete barrier separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem”. There is no mention that Israel handed control of Bethlehem to Palestinians and that Israel controls Jerusalem, so a checkpoint is appropriate.
5. The fact that the fence was built specifically due to Arabs from the West Bank murdering Israelis is stated only as a quote from Netanyahu, making the statement appear biased rather than factual.
6. The choice of words “the pope acceded to Israel’s request that he add to his packed Monday morning another unscheduled stop” makes Israel appear demanding and unreasonable in bullying the pope.
7. The NY Times decided that a stamp of the pope pressing his head against a security barrier next to a sign that says “Apartheid Wall” is somehow analogous to Israel making a stamp of the pope placing a note in the Western Wall. One is a wall constructed to prevent terror, but has a sign blaming the victim, while the other wall is a religious place of prayer. The Palestinian stamp is a propaganda tool which wipes its crimes clean, while the Israelis post a stamp of hope. (There are four paragraphs in the article to stress this point).
8. The NYT mentions that Peres post of President of Israel is ceremonial and that he leaves his post soon, but does not continue that Abbas’s term of President of the Palestinian Authority ended in 2009.
9. The NYT, as always, included language that make the Israelis appear angry: “incensed some Israelis” and “some Israeli griping”. This language is not used for Palestinians.