A Review of the The New York Times Anti-Israel Bias

The New York Times touts itself as “a leader in its evenhanded coverage of Israel, Palestine and the Middle East.” The paper went so far as to publish a piece by “the Public Editor” after the 2014 War from Gaza called “The Conflict and the Coverage.” It described the paper’s desire to provide more context and provide LESS SYMMETRY going forward in response to complaints about its coverage of the war. Presumably the idea of being “evenhanded” while providing “less symmetry” meant that the Times would just call it as it sees it.

Since that time, in story after story, the Times has imparted its biased opinions as facts to build upon its conclusion that Israel is a racist colonial occupier of Palestinian land. Here is a breakdown with some select articles.

Regarding Israel

On the land:

Zionism is evil:

  • The very basis of Zionism is a violent displacement of the native Arabs. Steven Erlanger wrote an article on February 7, 2016 that stated explicitly that Zionism was a brutal ideology designed to displace the indigenous people.
  • Any Jew living east of the Green Line is illegal and there is no legal or historical basis for any Jewish claim. This is a common refrain from the Times, but for deep color, read the large cover story from March 12, 2015 by Jodi Rudoren and Jeremy Ashkenaz. It was one of the largest single stories about Israel every published, going from the cover page with large color picture onto a two-page spread. In all of that ink, you’d struggle to find anything about the international laws of 1920 and 1922 that specifically encouraged Jews to move throughout Palestine (including the area now commonly called the “West Bank”) and prohibited any person to be excluded from living anywhere because of their religion.

Israelis are right-wing racists:

  • The Israeli government is headed by right-wing fanatics. Consider the two November 15, 2018 articles by David Halbfinger and Isabel Kershner. Both repeated over and again how the Israeli government is the most right-wing ever. An editorial by Thomas Friedman on May 25, 2016 said that Israel is “controlled by Jewish extremists.”
  • Israeli Jews are racist. David Halbfinger wrote an article on December 1, 2018 that said simply “racism is so commonplace in Israeli society,” making the entire people biased, not just the government.
  • The only Jews that live in Judea and Samaria are Messianic war-mongers. Roger Cohen has dozens of op-eds where he bad-mouths the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But on December 17, 2015, he penned an opinion that labelled all “settlers” as radical fanatics. The mother, the school teacher, the nurse, the lawyer. All caught up by Messianic fever.
  • Israel is not progressive. The December 31, 2017 article by Laura Boushnak and Laura Boshnaq claimed that Lebanon was the only place in the Middle East that was welcoming the LGBT community, completely ignoring Israel.
  • Israelis exaggerate the threat of terrorism. The May 21, 2016 article by Dia Hadid and Majd al Waheidi described how Palestinian Arabs in Gaza were scared about tunnels dug by Hamas since Israel might respond forcefully. Jodi Rudoren’s July 29, 2014 article made a joke of Israelis’ concern about the tunnels – almost an excuse to pound Gaza. An article on March 24, 2016 made the Israeli concern about computer hackers taking over Israeli infrastructure seem like a fabricated excuse to arrest Arabs, but when the US arrested Iranian hackers the next day for threats on US infrastructure, the Times implied that it was entirely warranted.

Israeli leaders deserve no honor:

  • Israeli leaders are not respected. On October 1, 2016, while most papers paid homage to the Israeli leader Shimon Peres as they covered his funeral, the New York Times opted to post a picture of a grimacing Mahmoud Abbas on the front page.

The Palestinian Arabs

The manner in which the Palestinian Arabs are treated is in sharp contrast.

Palestinians are victims:

  • The Palestinian “Nakba” was like the Holocaust of Jews. The disgraceful imagery that Arabs losing a civil war over land in a war they initiated as being comparable to the slaughter of 6 million Jews is vile in every manner, and commonplace in the Times. Consider Roger Cohen’s July 15, 2014 opinion piece where he directly compared the “Nakba” and the Holocaust, or Nicolas Kristof August 25, 2016 opinion piece in which he said that Anne Frank is a Syrian girl today.
  • Palestinians are brutalized by Israel; Jews are not victims. The split in coverage is horrible. Consider the front page on July 7, 2014 which had a large color picture of an American Arab teenager who was beaten up in a riot in Israel, to a story on November 20, 2015 when an American Jewish teenager was killed for simply riding in a car. The article had no picture for Ezra Schwartz, and the article didn’t even describe him as American until the tenth paragraph. Similarly, over two weeks in June/July 2015, the Times would only show pictures of Palestinian victims with captions of their names and that the killers were Israeli soldiers, but no pictures or captions would be posted for any of the Israelis killed.
  • Palestinians are victims, even when killed during terrorist attacks. There were several stories in October 2015 of Palestinian Arabs stabbing Israelis with knifes, attacking them with cleavers and running them over with cars. But in each instance, the Times posted pictures of the Palestinian Arabs wounded or killed, seemingly victims of Israeli actions rather than defensive reactions.

Palestinians are moderate but resort to violence because they are desperate with their situation and angry with how they’re treated by Israel.

  • The Palestinian leadership is moderate. The same November 15, 2018 articles mentioned above that called the Israeli government right-wing 15 times, chose to call the Palestinian Authority “moderate.” A January 14, 2018 article whitewashed Mahmoud Abbas’ antisemitic violent tirade the day before, and claimed that Abbas stood for non-violence.
  • The Palestinian Arabs are desperate and resort to violence. A December 31, 2014 editorial led that the Palestinians are so desperate that they may be willing to accept anything, or go to war. On June 5, 2018, the Times wrote an article which claimed that Bobby Kennedy was assassinated because of his support of Israel which treated the Palestinians badly, rather than Palestinians desire to eradicate Israel. On May 22, 2018, an editorial by Thomas Friedman said that Palestinians were angry about losing homes to Jews who had lost homes in Germany, making the Palestinians the victim and ignoring Jewish history and basic rights to live in Israel.
  • Palestinians only hope for peace, not the destruction of Israel. This is a constant refrain for the Times. An example can be found in the June 2, 2015 article which described the Gazans’ “hope” that governments around the world would rebuild the neighborhoods destroyed in the 2014 war, never outlining that the neighborhood was the opening of the fanatical funnel of tunnels that entered Israel. On February 28, 2016, Steven Erlanger referred to a convicted terrorist as a potential future Noble Peace Prize winner. Perhaps not a surprise, when the day before on February 27, 2016, the Times described a Palestinian terrorist group simply as “leftist.” Is terrorism against Israel a progressive ideal?

Hamas is not an antisemitic terrorist group, but simply an Islamic militant resistance group against occupation:

  • There are no Palestinian Arab terrorists. Even though the United States, the European Union and many other countries label Hamas and various other Palestinian Arab groups “terrorists,” the Times is loathe to do so, even while it freely labels other groups like the P.K.K., ISIS and others as such. Review a range of articles from June and July 2015 which just called Hamas a “militant group.” The story is the same for individual terrorists, such as when a Palestinian Arab killed an American citizen, the Times wrote a headline on March 8, 2016 that would lead a reader to believe that an Israeli killed the American.
  • Never mention the antisemitic Hamas Charter. The battles between Israel and Hamas have been going on since the organization was founded in 1988. The Times writes about Hamas every month, but never describes the group’s foundation document which quotes from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and calls for the murder of Jews and destruction of Israel. Instead the Times pretends that Hamas is not devoted to destroying Israel and killing Jews, such as the November 19, 2012 editorial in which it wrote that Hamas “is so consumed with hatred for Israel that it has repeatedly resorted to violence.”Not DEDICATED to violence, but RESORTED to violence according to the Times.

There is no Muslim anti-Semitism:

  • Palestinian Arabs are not motivated by antisemitism; that’s just a by-product of being persecuted by Israel. The Anti-Defamation League conducted an extensive analysis of antisemitism around the world. It found that the Palestinian Arabs were the most antisemitic, with almost every single person – 93 percent – harboring antisemitic views. The May 13, 2014 article by Rick Gladstone about the study did not highlight the Palestinians’ Jew hatred, but instead noted that “the Middle east results were not surprising,” whitewashing an underlying cause of the entire conflict.
  • Muslims kill Jews in Europe because of class issues, not religion. Consider the March 27, 2018 article about various Muslims attacking and killing Jews. The paper refused to expressly state the Islamic background of the murderers in each case.
  • Jews were not expelled from Muslim and Arab countries according to The Times. The October 20, 2016 by Ruth Margalit wrote that over 850,000 Jews simply immigrated from countries where they had lived for centuries, not making even a passing comment that their lives were made impossible by the antisemitic government edicts.

Palestinians and Muslim countries are not radical, but progressive:

  • Muslim countries are not radical or violent, only Israel is. The New York Times runs a travel business in which it touts the “beguiling” nature of regimes like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco, but describes Israel as a volatile region.
  • Palestinian women fair well under their leadership; the only issue for women’s right is from Israel. The March 8, 2018 article about international women’s day showed pictures of women around the world protesting their situation – except in Gaza where girls and women were happy. On October 12, 2012, Jodi Rudoren wrote an article about honor killings in Palestinian territories, blaming the situation on Israel, not the misogynistic Palestinian society.

The bias in coverage of Israel and Palestinians is seen in almost every article.

This prevalent bias leads to INVERSIONS of cause-and-effect in the stories the paper writes about the conflict.

Consider the story about Jews buying apartments in eastern Jerusalem from Palestinian Arabs. The Palestinian Authority considers the act high treason and punishable by death. As such, Israelis must be very careful in handling such matters to prevent the slaughter of Palestinian by the PA. But the Times INVERTED that narrative in an October 16, 2014 article by Isabel Kershner. Kershner made the Jews out to be sneaky profiteers doing shadowy illegal transactions, not trying to consummate a legal transaction while protecting the counter-party.

Overall, the framework for the conflict has been recast:

  • It is no longer an “Arab-Israel” Conflict, but a “Palestinian-Israeli” Conflict
  • There aren’t 50+ Arab and Muslim countries hostile to Israel, including 30 countries that refuse to acknowledge the basic existence of Israel, but dozens of United Nations resolutions (sponsored by those some countries) that condemn Israeli actions
  • It is no longer 1.8 billion Muslims against 6 million Jews in Israel, but 5 million Palestinian “refugees” against the government and army of Israel
  • Jews no longer have history, heritage, international and human rights to live throughout the land of Israel, but were granted a sliver of land as a reaction to the Holocaust

The alt-left has called for a new paradigm for viewing society, and The New York Times has embraced that credo: the weaker party is always right and can never be cast as racist, antisemitic or as the aggressor. The underdog’s situation is the fault of an external oppressor, and any action such downtrodden group takes to improve their status is simply “punching up” to establish equality. Their goals are noble and to be encouraged.

The Arab world took note and inserted the Palestinian “refugees” into this miasma of intersectionality, effectively convincing the alt-left to recast the antisemitic terrorists as the victims of colonialist forces. The New York Times is only too willing to help. You see, “evenhanded” to the alt-left progressives means pulling up with one hand and beating up with the other.


Related First.One.Through articles:

In Inversion, New York Times Admits “The Truth is Hard to Find”

NY Times Discolors Hate Crimes

Covering Racism

NY Times, NY Times, What Do You See? It Sees Rich White Males

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11 thoughts on “A Review of the The New York Times Anti-Israel Bias

  1. This from Dec 2017, exactly a year ago, we read this op-ed of the Times of Israel. It explains the psyche of the family owners of the newspaper the NYT. Jews arriving from pre WW11 Germany in USA with Reform Judaism their following, they are liberal and consider social problems theirs to take care of. The fact that their newspaper was referred to as the Jewish newspaper pushed them to attune their articles to the mainstream and hence placed very little attention on the plight of their fellow Jewery in Europe at the time… this was in line with the American policy. The fact that they buckled under in my view is unforgiving as they were an apparatus for news to get out there and they could have made the cry for their Jewish brethren.
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/the-sulzberger-family-a-complicated-jewish-legacy-at-the-new-york-times/amp/?fbclid=IwAR3Nqf5JC6pol5nuTkrOBxGeE0tNB0LOSjJvim69bckfcWrBINX39XqO3r8

    Like

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