The “Every Picture Tells a Story” series has exposed the long history of the New York Times in using its pictures and captions to portray Israelis as militant occupiers and Palestinian Arabs as victims. However, one would imagine that the paper would rally behind one of its heroes: the liberal Israeli statesman and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Shimon Peres. But at the funeral of Peres, the Times once again dismissed the Israeli leader and promoted the Palestinian Arabs.
Consider first the coverage by the conservative newspaper the Wall Street Journal:
The top half of the front page contained three pictures from the funeral of Shimon Peres, two of which portrayed the Israeli flag-draped coffin of the esteemed leader. The pictures were of: the honor guard carrying the coffin of Peres; Israeli Prime Minister shaking hands and welcoming acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas; and US President Barack Obama with a somber expression placing his hand on the coffin.
The caption of the picture read:
“HONORED: Members of a Knesset guard carry the flag-draped coffin of the late Israeli statesman Shimon Peres; Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas; and President Barack Obama takes a moment.”
The Wall Street Journal led with the word “honored” of the “late Israeli statesman.” It showed world leaders like Obama and Netanyahu considering the Israeli leader. It led the entire collage with a bold header “World Leaders Say Farewell to Israel’s ‘Biggest Dreamer.‘”
A respectful farewell by the paper indeed.
Contrast that with the New York Times picture and caption.
On the bottom half of the front page was a single picture. It featured no Israeli flags. It did have Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu or US President Obama.
It featured Mahmoud Abbas, front-and-center.
The caption read:
“Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, center, at the funeral of Shimon Peres on Friday.”
Not only did the caption pay no homage to Peres, it focused squarely on “the Palestinian president.” But there is no country of Palestine recognized by the United States or Israel. Abbas is simply the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority, whose term expired close to eight years ago.
The title of the article stated: “World Leaders Gather to Mourn Peres, and Possibly His Dream.” Is a reader to infer that Abbas is a world leader? That he’s the president of a country? That Peres ended life as a failure?
It is both remarkable and frightening that a paper that theoretically loved the liberal Israeli leader, would opt to belittle him as their eulogy.
Or perhaps this was yet another declaration of the NYT, that the Jewish State never deserves a tribute.
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