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Commentary :: Human Rights
New York Times Anti-Palestinian Bias
14 Apr 2013
New York Times Anti-Palestinian Bias

by Stephen Lendman

On April 4, The New York Times headlined "Palestinian Defiance on Display at West Bank Funerals."

It discussed their anger in response to Israeli murder by torture and medical neglect. The Times didn't explain. More on that below.

According to New York TimesThink, Palestine isn't occupied. Gaza isn't besieged. The Nakba never happened. Israeli settlements are legitimate. Israel's more victim than aggressor.

Palestinians choose conflict over peace. They're responsible for their own misery. They don't deserve self-determination and UN membership.

NYT pro-Israeli bias is palpable. It's longstanding. It's distorted and one-sided. It blames Palestinians for Israeli crimes. It ignores its own ethical policy stating:

"The Core Purpose of The New York Times Company is to 'enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.' "

"The central place of our news and editorial units in fulfilling that promise is underscored by the No. 1 statement in our Core Values: 'Content of the highest quality and integrity: This is the basis for our reputation and the means by which we fulfill the public trust and our customers' expectations.' "

"(O)ur goal is to cover the news impartially and to treat readers, news sources, advertisers and all parts of our society fairly and openly, and to be seen as doing so."

"The reputation of our company rests upon that perception, and so do the professional reputations of its staff members."

"In keeping with its solemn responsibilities under the First Amendment, our company strives to maintain the highest standard of journalistic ethics. It is confident that its staff members share that goal."

A previous article discussed institutionalized Israeli barbarity. It explained murdering Palestinian political prisoners by torture and medical neglect. It covered justifiable Palestinian anger.

Resisting occupation harshness is legitimate. So are street protests for any reason. Haaretz correspondent Amira Hass defended stone throwing. She did so responsibly.

It "make(s) sense for Palestinian schools to (teach) resistance," she said. "Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule." Doing so "is an action as well as a metaphor of resistance."

Persecuting young children throwing stones "is an inseparable part….of the job requirements of the foreign ruler, no less than shooting, torture, land theft, restrictions on movement, and the unequal distribution of water sources."

Hass' commentary stirred a storm of right wing anger. Other commentators called stone-throwers terrorists. Hass was assailed for giving them legitimacy and respect.

The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel supports occupation harshness. So does Israel's Yesha Council. They represent settler issues. They're committed to unlimited expansions. They're militantly hardline. They want Palestinians displaced. They promote Jewish exclusivity.

They responded to Hass' commentary. They did so harshly. They filed complaints with Jerusalem police and Israel's Attorney General. They wrongfully accused Hass of promoting violence.

Cellu Rosenberg is a right wing historian and national security specialist. Haaretz gave him op-ed space. He took full advantage. He headlined "Amira Hass' glass house," saying:

Her "defense of Palestinian stone-throwing is logically inconsistent, morally indefensible and a rejection of Israel's right to exist."

She "implies that 'resistance and steadfastness' inside sovereign Israel is also legitimate. And this is a dangerous crossing of the boundary, because it implies a rejection of the Zionist enterprise."

Rosenberg ignored international law. Resisting repression is an inalienable right. It's universal.

Zionism is racist, destructive, extremist and undemocratic. It promotes Jewish supremacy, exceptionalism and exclusivity. It chooses confrontation and violence over peaceful coexistence.

It endorses militarism, belligerence, intimidation, and state-sponsored terrorism. Alan Hart calls it "the real enemy of the Jews." Joel Kovel says it's "a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses."

It's a monster threatening humanity. Palestinians have two choices - resist or perish. Stone-throwing is one among other ways. It hardly matches Israel's military might.

It's used lawlessly against Palestinian civilians. They're attacked viciously on land, at sea and from the air. They're slaughtered in cold blood. They're assaulted for wanting to live free in their own homes, on their on land, in their own country. They're murdered for praying to the wrong God.

They've endured decades of occupation harshness. Israeli Arabs are denied equal rights. They're treated like fifth column threats. The New York Times calls legitimate resistance "defiance."

Doing so spurns fundamental rights. It's longstanding Times policy. Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev was quoted saying:

"We are concerned that there are elements in the PA that seem to refuse to jettison the harsh language of confrontation, and try to exploit different incidents to stir up trouble."

"The only path to Palestinian statehood is through peace and reconciliation with Israel. Extreme confrontational language, incitement to violence, does not serve that end."

The State of Palestine exists. Its creation dates from November 15, 1988. Regev and The Times ignore it. They turn a blind eye to Israel's longstanding intolerance for peace. Palestinians never had a legitimate partner. They don't now.

The Times blames them for Israeli crimes. It equates lawful resistance with terrorism. It legitimizes Israeli airstrikes and incursions. It's dismissive of murder by torture and medical neglect.

West Bank unrest "has been simmering for months," it said. It erupted after Maisara Abu Hamdiyya's death. He was one among thousands of Palestinian political prisoners. Israel killed him by neglect. The Times didn't explain.

Daily Israeli violence went unmentioned. In the week ending April 3 alone, Israel conducted 65 West Bank incursions. It did so violently. Palestinian families were terrorized in the process. Two Anabta village youths were killed. Another was wounded.

Two children were injured during a Hebron incursion. Israeli forces used excessive force against peaceful West Bank protesters.

An Irish journalist was hurt in al-Nabi Saleh. A Palestinian was wounded in Kofur Qaddoum. A young boy was attacked in central Hebron. Forty-one Palestinians were abducted.

Dozens of new West Bank checkpoints were established. Palestinian fishermen were attacked at sea. Two airstrikes targeted Gaza.

Settlers attack Palestinians with impunity. They do so regularly. They commit vandalism and physical harm. Israeli security forces do nothing to stop them.

An East Jerusalemite was forced to demolish a room attached to his house. Palestinians aren't sure each day if they'll live, die, be abducted, injured or maimed for life.

Thousands of Palestinian political prisoners fill Israel's gulag. It's one of the world's worst. Arbitrary arrests are made daily. Torture and abuse follow.

Occupation harshness is policy. Freedom of movement, assembly and speech are denied. So are other fundamental human rights.

Children are attacked at play, heading for school, or running errands for parents. Bulldozed homes and dispossessions happen regularly. Diaspora Palestinians can't return.

Times editors, commentators and correspondents don't explain. It's longstanding Times policy.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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