The New York Times: Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil
On Sept 21, 2011, Palestinian Arabs threw rocks at a car driven by an Israeli in Samaria. One of those rocks hit a 20-month-old passenger in the face, causing a gruesome injury. Photos of the injured infant showed her clutching her mom as blood streamed from a huge gash in her tiny face. A more serious incident occurred two days later on September 23, when a car driven by 25-year-old Asher Palmer in Judea was hit by rocks thrown by the usual culprits. Again, one of these hit Palmer flush in the face, causing him to lose control of the car. Both he and his one-year-old infant son died in that attack. Neither of these terrorist incidents was reported by the New York Times.
On October 3, 2011, a mosque in northern Israel was set on fire. Graffiti at the scene indicated that the perpetrators of this act of hooliganism were Jews who sought revenge for the murder of Asher Palmer and his son. The arson was prominently featured in the front page of the New York Times online edition along with a talkback section, a feature normally reserved for controversial or newsworthy items.
While the burning of a mosque is abhorrent (as is any hate crime), it is rather strange that the New York Times chose to cover an act of vandalism resulting in the destruction of brick and plywood while completely ignoring acts of murder and assault. What is even more astounding is that it took an odious act, ostensibly committed by Jews, to highlight the horrific stoning that resulted in the murder of Asher Palmer and his infant son.
Had this been an isolated incident, I would have chalked the disparate treatment to shoddy journalism rather than something more nefarious. Unfortunately, this disparate reporting is far from isolated and glaringly reveals the New York Times's hypocritical and somewhat detestable dark side. The following examples represent but a fraction of recent, notable, newsworthy incidents that have gone unreported by the Times.
On September 14, 2011, in a revealing interview with The Daily Caller, Palestinian envoy to the United States Maen Rashid Areikat reportedly told his interviewer that a future Palestinian state would be Jew-free, or Judenrein, as the Nazis liked to say. In an interview with The Weekly Standard, when asked whether homosexuals would be tolerated in a newly formed Palestinian state, Areikat could only punt, stating, "Ah, this is an issue that's beyond my [authority]."
On September 23, 2011, a senior Fatah Central Committee member, in an interview with Al-Jazeera, made one of the most damning admissions ever by any ranking Fatah member concerning the Palestinian strategy of supplanting the Jewish state in stages. Referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama as "scumbags," Abbas Zaki advocated Israel's withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines and followed up by stating, "[E]verybody knows that the greater goal [of conquering Israel] cannot be accomplished in one go." He further noted that reaching the "greater goal" would be impossible initially, and that revealing it would not be smart: "If we say that we want to wipe Israel out ... [c]'mon, it's too difficult. It's not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don't say these things to the world," he warned. "Keep it to yourself."
In an interview with CNN, the radical Islamist leader of Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, echoed the comments of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stating that Israel was obsessed with the Holocaust and used it to perpetuate the idea that "they are victims all the time." He further accused Israel of killing "hundreds of thousands of Palestinians."
Anti-Semitic propaganda of this nature is routinely spewed forth by the hodgepodge of Middle East rejectionist entities and rarely makes headlines. We have unfortunately become numb to such lunacy. But when it comes from the leader of a major NATO member and prospective EU candidate, it is certainly newsworthy and should have at least been given cursory coverage, given the way New York Times columnists like Anthony Shadid and Roger Cohen slavishly fawn over Erdoğan's every word.
On February 11, 2011, veteran CBS war correspondent Lara Logan sustained a brutal sexual assault in Cairo's Tahrir Square at the hands of some two hundred Egyptian "democracy" protestors. The assailants yelled "Yahud" (Jew) and "Israeli" while assaulting her. The New York Times reported the attack but failed to note the blood-curdling, anti-Semitic shrieking that accompanied it.
Collectively, these omissions demonstrate a pattern of deliberate obfuscation. It is no secret that the New York Times has become an advocate of the Palestinian cause, attacking Israel on everything from the Mavi Marmara naval intercept to Israel's so-called settlement policies with ever-increasing vitriol while giving the Arab side a free pass on all but the most outrageous acts. The New York Times appears to have adopted a policy of censoring any narrative harmful to the Palestinian and the greater pan-Arab cause. Hence, anti-Semitic diatribes spewed forth from the lips of the Islamist Erdoğan and murder and mayhem caused by Palestinian rocks and firebombs go unmentioned.
The New York Times lives by the credo, "All the news that's fit to print." That credo may have been true in forgotten times, but it is now a laughable, empty slogan, as meaningless as Mahmoud Abbas's peace overtures to Israel and Prime Minister Erdoğan's empty Islamist rhetoric.
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor.