Two Views Of Justice, One American, Another Palestinian

US President Joe Biden announced on July 31 that he had ordered the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, a mastermind of several terrorist attacks against the United States. In his comments about the targeted assassination of one of the leaders of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Biden saidJustice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more.” 

Biden added that “We make it clear again tonight that no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out.” However, it is unclear whether al-Zawahiri posed any current threat to the United States. Biden administration officials made no attempt to relay any planned attacks and did not offer whether there was any attempt to arrest al-Zawahiri instead of killing him.

The justice was seemingly solely based on al-Zawahiri’s past actions killing thousands of innocent lives.

Biden’s view of justice served to terrorists is in sharp contrast to the Palestinian Authority that same day.

To mark the twentieth anniversary of Palestinian Arabs blowing up a cafeteria at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, murdering nine and injuring over 80, the Palestinian Authority raised the salaries of four terrorists by 14.29%.

As reported by Palestinian Media Watch, “Four of the members of the terrorist cell that carried out the attack – Wael Qassem, Wassim Abbasi, Alla Aldin Abbasi and Muhammed Odeh – were arrested shortly after [the bombing], in August 2002. Having now spent 20 years in prison, this month, the PA will give each of the terrorists a 14.29% rise in their basic salary, from 7,000 ($2,251) to 8,000 shekels/month ($2,572). Since the terrorists were residents of Jerusalem, the PA pays them an additional supplement of 300 shekels/month ($96). To date, the PA has paid each of the these four terrorists a sum of 1,034,500 shekels ($332,637). Four of the other terrorists convicted for their part in the attack on the university and other attacks include Muhammad Arman, Walid Anjas, Abdallah Barghouti and Ibrahim Hamed. Each of these terrorists is similarly receiving a monthly salary from the PA. 

To date, the PA rewarded the terrorists responsible for the bombing 8,022,600 shekels ($2,579,614).”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas defended these payment before the United Nations in September when he saidWhy should we have to clarify and justify providing assistance to families of prisoners and martyrs, who are the victims of the occupation and its oppressive policies? We cannot abandon our people and we will continue striving to free all our prisoners.

US President Joe Biden and PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, July 2022. The leaders have very different views of how to deal with terrorists. (photo: Reuters)

The murder of innocent civilians is reprehensible. While it is unfortunate that the offending terrorists are killed instead of tried and imprisoned, it is often necessary. Justice requires as much.

The stain of inhumanity is not confined to the terrorists but permeates those who support, encourage and incentivize them. The Palestinian Authority has shown its moral code in its twisted definition of justice as rewarding terrorists.

In the United States, justice for terrorists and their victims means punishing terrorists. For Palestinian Arabs, justice requires cash compensation for the murderers and falsely labeling the slain victims as foreign invaders.

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The Humiliation of Palestinian Terrorists Standing in Line to Receive Martyr Payments

Existing While Jewish

The Humiliation of Palestinian Terrorists Standing in Line to Receive Martyr Payments

The outrageous and illegal actions of the Palestinian Authority paying the families of convicted terrorists has taken a new turn.

Both Israel and the United States have told the PA that paying terrorists is a form of illegal and dangerous incitement. Nonplussed, PA President Mahmoud Abbas stated before the UN General Assembly that “I salute our glorious martyrs and our courageous prisoners in Israeli jails,” and that he would continue to pay “salaries” to those martyrs, even if he had only “one penny left.”

The US Congress was outraged by Abbas’s statements and actions and passed the Taylor Force Act which demanded the PA “stop payments for acts of terrorism.” Former President Trump cut funding to the PA and to the United Nations Palestinian funding conduit, UNRWA, to stop the provocation payments but President Biden has been looking for a way to turn on the money spigot to the PA even as his hands are tied by the Taylor Force Act.

So Abbas has been looking for a work-around.

In April, the PA announced that it would make payments to 12,000 “martyrs” through the Palestinian Postal System, which is not technically a bank and can therefore circumvent the US and Israeli laws. Additionally, PA’s Chairman of the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr stated that around 7,500 former prisoners would join various departments of the Authority and would thereby qualify for regular salaries like all government employees, whether they show up for work or not.

That work-around did not satisfy all martyrs.

According to Palestinian Media Watch which tracked Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, a UK Arab news website on April 6, 2021, one former prisoner, Arafat Barghouti, said “The prisoners, their relatives, and the released prisoners received the message that they are going to make them social cases, and this is as a result of the wait at the gates of the post office and the feeling of humiliation and degradation after years of struggling against and defying the occupation.

Currently the prisoners are standing and pleading to receive salaries that will support them. The sentence I heard the most today from the released prisoners is that we are standing like beggars to receive these salaries. It is not fitting for the prisoners and their struggle that we stand like this in front of the post office.”

Pro-Palestinian politicians and the progressive press often stress the importance of Palestinian “dignity.” This is surely going to be their new cause: addressing the affront that Palestinian terrorists are now forced to stand in line at the post office to receive their killers’ compensation.

A post office in the city of al-Bireh, about 15 kilometres north of Jerusalem on February 7, 2021.

Related First One Through articles:

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The UN Does Not Want Palestinian Terrorists to be Held Accountable

The Proud Fathers of Palestinian Terrorists

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New York Times Recharacterizes Hamas as a Right-Wing Terrorist Group

For years, The New York Times has refused to label Hamas as a designated foreign terrorist organization and instead has opted to call it an “Islamist militant group.” That changed on September 5, 2020 but not for a good reason.

The Times went so far to label the group in its headline, “The Justice Department Charges Two With Trying to Support Terrorist Group Hamas.” It seemed a moment to celebrate the Times finally calling out this horrible antisemitic group. However, the two pictures of White men under the title gave immediate pause.

September 5, 2020 NY Times article

The article said that the “Justice Department on Friday charged two American citizens with ties to a far-right extremist group with trying to support the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas – a case that shows that extremists have sought to turn protests against racism into opportunities to commit violence, but that also runs counter to President Trump’s assertions that those extremists are predominantly from the far left.” It would continue to call a Hamas a terrorist group two more times before continuing that “the Justice Department has predominantly charged members of Boogaloo with crimes, contradicting claims by Mr. Barr and Mr. Trump that far-left extremists are responsible for the violence and crimes that have occurred at protests.

After a decade of not referring to Hamas as a terrorist group in hundreds of articles which mentioned it, the Times did so FOUR TIMES in a single article as it linked it to a far-right extremist movement. Yet Hamas is not a right-wing movement but an Islamic one, championed by progressives supporting Palestinian Arabs including former Democratic President Jimmy Carter.

The Times is actively moving past its history of ignoring Palestinian Muslim antisemitism and terrorism to actively recharacterizing it as an evil of the right. I wonder whether these efforts will win the praise or scorn of Muslim anti-Zionist Democratic members of Congress like Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

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Palestinian Post-paid Terrorism

Mobile subscribers come in two general varieties: pre-paid and post-paid.

Post-paid subscribers pay AFTER they receive service each month. These customers do not know exactly how much they will pay for service due to the variability in usage but have an understanding with the wireless carrier on the basic parameters of $X for Y voice minutes and Z GB of data usage.

In contrast, pre-paid customers pay BEFORE they use the service. Sometimes this is done because the consumer wants to have a defined liability and ensure they are not burdened by overage charges. Pre-paid plans are often used by consumers with poor credit.

In the early days of wireless, there were only post-paid subscribers as the handsets and calling plans were expensive. The cost kept the marketplace limited to only the wealthy and consumers who truly needed the service. To attract the masses, carriers introduced pre-paid plans which were not only much cheaper but avoided the lengthy contracts and background checks. The mobile industry took off.

This is the template the Palestinian Authority has used with terrorism, inverting pre-paid and post-paid to attract the masses.

Post-paid Terrorism for the Masses

In the early days of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the group took a significant amount of time to recruit and train its killers. Money was spent on guns, ammunition and bombs, and considerable time was invested in surveillance, training and planning. The massacre of the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games, the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre and the numerous airplane hijackings in the 1970’s were carried out by devout fanatics. These were pre-paid terrorist activities with the terrorist group investing a lot upfront, limiting both the number of attacks and PLO membership.

The world changed after the jihadist terrorism against the United States on 9/11/2001. The U.S. pushed the world to fight terrorist groups directly with arms AND by cutting off their source of funding. Even the United Nations got involved.

The impact was felt in Israel.

HAMAS, the Palestinian jihadist terrorist group, was forced to wage war on a more limited budget and use less expensive weaponry to kill Jews including cheap and poorly constructed missiles, bombs attached to balloons and thousands of young men with rocks.

For its part, the Palestinian Authority employs a “pay-to-slay” program, a post-paid terrorism financing plan in which it needn’t directly recruit individuals or invest in armaments for attack. The PA pays the terrorists and their families based on how long they spend in Israeli jails which is correlated to their crimes – more dead Israelis equals more jail time and more money.

This contract is considered sacrosanct. Acting-President of the PA Mahmoud Abbas said[e]ven if we have only a penny left, we will give it to the martyrs, the prisoners and their families…. We view the prisoners and the martyrs as planets and stars in the skies of the Palestinian struggle, and they have priority in everything.”

Consider Hakim Awad, just 18-years old when he burst into a Jewish family’s home one night while they slept. He stabbed the parents and three children to death, including a three-month-old infant. The PA considers his actions noble and pays his family $14,000 per year. Should Awad live to the age of 80, the PA will pay nearly $2 million to Awad’s family.

Hakim Awad leaving court. He received five life-sentences for murdering five Jewish civilians (Photo: Hagai Aharon)

This system of “pay-to-slay” works well for all the Arab parties. The terrorists and their families get the money directly rather than it going to weapons, and they have clarity that the greater destruction they can inflict, the more money will go to their families. The Palestinian Authority gains millions of terrorists-in-waiting while it maintains that it is not involved in terrorism as the world is accustomed to thinking about terrorism on the basis of pre-paid financing. This allows Abbas to stand at the General Assembly of the United Nations while playing the victim and continue to receive millions of dollars from countries.

Abbas’ post-paid terrorism has worked. Stabbings, rock-throwings and car rammings ballooned after Hamas’s failed war against Israel in 2014. Countries around the world continue to give monies to the PA considering it “humanitarian” support because they are in favor of an independent Palestinian state, even though it is clear that they are funding terrorism. The Palestinian terrorists-in-waiting read about the funds transfers and consequently know their families will be paid well and that they will be honored as heroes in their communities.

In the early days of mobile, post-paid wireless subscribers were considered much more valuable than pre-paid subscribers, as they spent much more money each month and were more loyal, less likely to leave the carrier. That has changed over time with each spending roughly the same amount today.

In terrorism, the dynamics have also converged. The loyalty of post-paid terrorists-in-waiting has matched the devoted jihadists, knowing that the monies and honor are guaranteed.

As long as donor charities and countries continue to fund the Palestinian Authority, the value of the post-paid terrorists will continue to rise and the blood of Israeli Jews will continue to flow.

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The United Nations Must Take Its Own Medicine Re the Palestinian Authority

Empowering Women… To Murder

The New Salman Abedi High School for Boys in England and the Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel Soccer Tournament in France

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While Palestinians Fire 400 Rockets, the United Nations Meets to Give Them Money

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CNN’s Embrace of Hamas

Many people in the pro-Israel community continue to be frustrated by the refusal of many media outlets and some political organizations to designate Hamas a terrorist organization. While the phrase “one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter” is often bandied about, organizations have no difficulty clearly labeling some organizations as terrorist groups.

Consider CNN which highlighted five jihadist groups in February 2015 as terrorist organizations: Al-Shabaab; Al Qaeda; Boko Haram; ISIS; and the Taliban. The groups are consistently labeled as jihadist terror organizations that seek to destroy reigning governments.


CNN has clearly labeled Al-Shabaab as a terrorist group:

Al-Shabaab was specifically designated as a  terrorist organization by CNN, which did not couch the language as a suggestion that it could be considered a terrorist group by some third party.


As of early 2015, CNN considered Al Qaeda’s central command structure under threat while it spread around the world. It was clear in all circumstances that they were terrorists:


CNN often localized Boko Haram to Nigeria and neighboring countries (compared to the growing global threat of Al Qaeda), but consistently referred to the group as terrorists.


ISIS/ ISIL/ Islamic State has been extremely active in 2015 and gathering many news reports on CNN and all media outlets, particularly as the United States has been engaging them in Iraq and Syria:


The Taliban has not been as prominent in the news lately.  However, when it was, CNN was clear that the group’s actions and the group itself was involved in terrorism.

These five organizations are identified by CNN as terrorist groups. They are Islamic jihadists. They terrorize and attack. They seek to overthrow existing governments through murder and mayhem.

Now compare them to CNN’s description of Hamas.


On February 28, 2015 CNN had an article entitled Egyptian court designates Hamas as a terror organization, state media says.  Note that CNN clearly did not make the designation, but repeated an assertion from Egypt.  The article read: “Hamas, the Islamist group which dominates the Gaza strip, has been at odds with the Egyptian government…” made it seem that there was simply a political disagreement between Hamas and Egypt, between two ruling parties. CNN referred to Hamas only as “Islamist” and not “jihadist”, “militant” or “terrorist”.

CNN continued: “Hamas quickly denounced the decision at a news conference…. “It is a shocking and dangerous decision that targets the Palestinian people,” Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said at a news conference”.  The article highlighted that Hamas was designated a terrorist organization by one country (as opposed to actually being a terrorist group) and CNN made the effort of showing that the group challenged such opinion.  The quote chosen by CNN further tried to show that such designation was itself an attack on “the Palestinian people” making the group the victim.

How is that for a turn?

On January 6, 2015 CNN wrote another piece that seemed all about politics. “Senior Hamas official Izzat Risheq denied reports Monday that the group’s political leader Khaled Meshaal has been expelled from Qatar” making the group appear as purely s political party. There was no mention that the group is in favor of jihad, destruction of Israel or is terrorist group.

On November 27, 2014 a CNN article entitled “Israel says it broke up Hamas terror plot” specifically gave attribution of the plot to Israel, and not as a clear fact. The article stated that “Authorities arrested at least 30 members of Palestinian militant group Hamas” which at least referred to the group as “militantwhich is much more than it typically writes to describe Hamas.

These were the recent articles while Hamas licked its wounds from its 2014 war against Israel.  How did CNN describe Hamas during the 2014 campaign itself?

CNN’s Assertion of No Hamas War Against Israel 

In its August 22, 2014 article “Hamas leader admits militants abducted slain Israeli teens,” CNN quickly distanced the group leadership from the abduction and murder of three Israeli boys.  The three leading paragraph’s took pains to absolve the group’s leadership:

“Three Israeli teens kidnapped in the West Bank in June and later found dead were abducted by Hamas militants who did not inform the group leadership about
the kidnapping, a Hamas official said Friday.
“At that time, the Hamas leadership had no knowledge about this group or the operation it had just carried,” Saleh Aruri, a Hamas Political Bureau member, said in a statement from Doha, Qatar. “It turned out later, however,
that they were members of Hamas.”
Aruri said the operation to abduct the teens was not approved by the Hamas leadership or its military wing, the Qassam Brigades.”

The article (in its entirety) quoted no Israelis. CNN repeatedly referred to Hamas as a political entity (does CNN ever quote Boko Haram’s main political spokesman?), as the article sought to distance Hamas from the murders.

These actions were done repeatedly by CNN, most egregiously on August 4, 2014 when it aired an interview “CNN exclusive: Inside the mind of Hamas’ political leader

Meshaal CNN Meshaal “Political Leader” on CNN

The introduction to the interview with Khaled Meshaal made it appear that CNN was going to have a serious exchange: “CNN’s Nic Robertson had tough questions for Hamas’s political leader.”   Well, maybe not- CNN was again directing the public that Hamas is simply a political organization. Did the article ever mention:

  • that the Hamas Charter calls for the complete destruction of Israel?
  • the Hamas Charter calls for jihad and murder of Jews by every man, woman and Palestinian child?
  • the Hamas Charter which declares that there is no possibility of peace with Israel through any negotiation, and that all of Israel must be destroyed through military means?
  • the Hamas Charter’s repeated use of anti-Semitic slurs, stereotypes and conspiracy theories?
  • the repeated calls by Hamas and Palestinian leadership to attack Israel?

During the interview, did Robertson get answers to questions:

  • if Hamas is fighting for the Palestinians, why was Meshaal sitting comfortably in Qatar?
  • if Hamas was intentionally firing rockets from civilian neighborhoods in Gaza?
  • if Hamas targeted Israeli civilians with such attacks?
  • if Hamas built tunnels to abduct and kill Israelis?
  • if Hamas would abolish its charter?
  • if Hamas would recognize Israel?
  • what lands Hamas considers as “occupied” since Israel left Gaza in 2005

It is noteworthy that Robertson asked Meshaal how he was helping his “resistance” to Israel (Robertson used Hamas’ terminology instead of terrorism). Meshaal responded that Palestinians understood that military resistance was needed to get rid of Israeli occupation, the same way that the Americans got rid of the British and the French got rid of the Nazis.  Robertson let the statement stand and did not follow up about the absurdity of the comparisons. The French repelled the Nazi invading force that took over France. The US sought separation from a colony to an independent country. But here, the Palestinians were attacking an independent country, once again seeking its complete destruction and murder of its people.

Neither in the interview nor accompanying article did CNN’s Robertson ever call out Hamas as a jihadist terrorist group.  It did however, allow Meshaal to air his propaganda and assume a victim status both at the hands of Israel and the global community:

“”We the Palestinian people have, since 1948, have listened to the international community and U.N. and international regulations, in the hope they end the aggression against us. But the international community failed in ending the Israeli occupation and failed in helping our people to have self-determination and have its own state.”

Imagine CNN airing such an interview and article about any other terrorist group.

Related FirstOneThrough articles:

Differentiating Hamas into Political and Military Movements

The New York Times wants to defeat Terrorists (just not Hamas)

Cause and Effect: Making Gaza  

Recognizing the Palestinians

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

Why the Media Ignores Jihadists in Israel




New York Times Confusion on Free Speech

The attacks on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January 2015 sparked a plethora of articles describing the freedoms of speech and press. The New York Times, like many other media sources, fiercely defended the right of people to offer their opinions, even if such views are unpopular. Despite the clarity of its overall stance, the paper appeared confused about “double standards” in its articles which failed to clarify and distinguish between free speech and hate speech.

In the NY Times lead front page story of January 14 referring to such “double standards”, the paper contrasted the right of Charlie Hebdo to make cartoons of the Islamic prophet Mohammed, to the arrested French “comedian” M’bala M’bala who stated that a Jewish journalist should have been killed in the Nazi gas chambers and that he considers himself like the terrorist who shot and killed four Jews in the Parisian supermarket. Neither clarification nor education was given about the differences and limits of free speech.


The NY Times continued to confuse the public (or itself) in a story the next day by David Carr, which included the following:

  • “Not all the French were reveling in unbridled expression of speech. Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, a comedian who has made highly provocative statements since the shooting at Charlie Hebdo’s offices, was detained as an “apologist for terrorism” for statements he made on his Facebook page that were seemingly in support of one of the attackers.
  • His arrest highlights the fact that one man’s free expression is another man’s hate speech or sedition. In Israel, the conservative Jewish newspaper HaMevaser scrubbed out the German chancellor Angela Merkel from a photograph, along with other female leaders who had participated in a solidarity march in Paris, because photos containing women are considered inappropriate in ultra-Orthodox publications.”

In an effort to educate the Times and its readership, here are three important points to distinguish between various types of speech:

  • Concept versus People
  • Active versus Reactive Incitement
  • Editing versus Censorship

 Concept versus People

A central dividing line between freedom of speech and hate speech has to do with the right to discuss concepts as opposed to the right (and limit) to discuss people. Everyone is free to say anything they want about concepts such as: capitalism, communism, Islam and Buddhism. Whether it is religion or economic theory, each topic is considered a concept worthy (perhaps?!) of discussion and debate in a positive or negative fashion. However, speech can descend into “hate speech” (or libel) which is banned by many countries, if people attack either groups or specific human beings.

For example, Louis Farrakhan, a bombastic anti-Semitic Muslim preacher referred to Judaism as a “gutter religion”. He was not brought up on any charges, despite the hateful speech. Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi was not prosecuted for calling Jews the descendants of monkeys and pigs, which could have perhaps been classified as hate speech in some countries because he addressed people rather than a religion.

 Active versus Reactive Incitement

A key factor in the distinction of permissible versus prohibited speech revolves around “incitement”. Many countries prohibit speech that incites violence, as does the recent United Nations Resolution 16/18. The UN language:

  • “condemns any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, whether it involves the use of print, audio-visual or electronic media or any other means”

The phrase incitement to violence is clear. For example, when an imam in Germany called for killing Jews, that fell under hate speech to incite violence, and the country is now investigating that imam.

However, it is considered completely legal to say things that may involve “reactive incitement”, that is, saying something that may annoy people to the extent that they would use violence. To ban reactive incitement would stifle free speech completely which is what the press sees as the essence of the Charlie Hebdo assassinations. Just because Muslims were insulted by the publishing of cartoons of their prophet, their reaction cannot be the basis to ban that freedom of expression.

Based on the United Nations language, the incitement to discrimination would have to be explored further. Did Charlie Hebdo promote discrimination against Muslims? Was the paper simply making pictures of Mohammed or was it attempting to foster intolerance of all Muslims? The new United Nations law makes a distinction.

The M’bala M’bala calls for a Jewish journalist to be killed in gas chambers and supporting terrorists who killed four innocent Jews are calls for direct and indirect incitement to hostility and violence.  Acting Palestinian Authority President Mamoud Abbas praise for martyrs who slaughtered innocents could also be called incitement to hostility and violence.


Fatah officials at naming of Dalal Mughrabi square,
murderer of 38 civilians including 13 children

 Editing versus Censorship

Every media outlet edits their news stories. Papers constantly select only those parts of interviews that confirm a thesis it promotes to its readers. That is (theoretically) its right. Michael Moore edited interviews about global warming and the auto industry to convey a particular narrative that he wanted to portray in his movies. The public may ultimately view the half-stories they receive as accurate, half-accurate or completely inaccurate because of the known bias of the producers of the content.

However, no one considers editing to be a form of censorship or an infringement on the freedom of speech or press. If a paper opted to not publish a sports section, that is its right. If it crops a picture to focus on a particular image to reinforce its narrative, that is also its right. It may be bad journalism, but it is not censorship (and certainly not by a governmental authority).

In its ramble on free speech above, the New York Times highlighted the Israeli “conservative” newspaper Hamevaser’s choice to edit the picture of the Paris unity march to remove the female leaders. Hamevaser is run by and serves an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community (not politically conservative) that is against showing pictures of women due to their interpretation of modesty. Such action is a form of editing that newspapers engage in to meet the tastes of its readership. To somehow suggest that it is a form of Israeli censorship is absurd. Why would the Times possibly lump this example in with examples of freedom of speech and hate speech? It is completely off topic.

People in the western world rallied behind Charlie Hebdo because they see this situation as falling completely within the framework of free speech: it poked fun at a religion (a concept), not people (Muslims); and it did not call for any violence, rather the attacks came from a reaction from incensed Muslims. The case of M’bala M’bala has to do with inciting violence against people, and the Hamevaser picture has nothing at all to do with government censorship.

So how did the Times develop this list of irrelevant examples and not try to educate its readers (and actually confuse them with calling out “double standards”)?


NYtimes articles and picture Jan 14:

NY Times article January 15:

Louis Farakhan on Judaism:

Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi calling Jews names:

UN Resolution 16/18:

German imam calling for killing Jews:

PA Abbas praise for terrorists:

Naming square and centers after terrorist who killed 37 civilians:

Related First One Through articles:

Blasphemy or terrorism:

Klinghoffer opera: