How biased is the NYT on Israel?

Leo Rennert
1.  On Nov. 4, Israeli naval commandos boarded and inspected a cargo ship 100 miles off the Israeli coast.  On board, they discovered numerous containers consigned from an Iranian shipping line with hundreds of tons of weapons, including thousands of rockets, headed for Hezb'allah in Lebanon via Syria.  The ship was towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod where its military hardware was unloaded for all the world to see.  Here was concrete proof, if more were needed, not only of Iran's hostile intentions against Israel, but of its ongoing massive shipments of weapons to terrorist proxies like Hezb'allah, committed to the same agenda as Iran -- to eliminate the Jewish state.

The event merited some serious coverage by the New York Times.  Instead, the paper, in its Nov. 5 edition, buried the story in a measly two paragraphs in a World Briefing digest.  Even then, the Times wasn't entirely satisfied that what happened actually happened.  So it qualified its report of the ship's lethal cargo and its destination by telling readers that it was a vessel "that Israeli officials said was carrying rockets and ammunition bound for Hezb'allah."  As if the Times, with a fully staffed Jerusalem bureau, couldn't have sent its own reporters to Ashdod to see for themselves what the cargo consisted of and obtained information from the ship's captain and crew about how it got on board their ship and where it was headed.

But once Times editors decided to limit to a minimum coverage of a story buttressing Israel's security threats emanating from Iran's aggression-by-proxy against the Jewish state, readers were bound to get shortchanged by a paper that ironically and falsely boasts that it publishes "All the News That's Fit to Print."

2.  Having given Israel's interception of a massive arms shipment to Hezb'allah short shrift, the Times in the same Nov. 5 edition then allots copious space to the latest UN Israel-bashing feast ("U.N. Set to Endorse Inquiry Into Possible War Crimes in Gaza -- Critics say Israel had an obligation to shield civilians").  The article is spread across the entire top of page A15.  To pour more salt into Israel's wound, correspondent Neil MacFarquhar even strays from Israel's conduct in its three-week offensive against Hamas to the plight of Gazans unable to rebuild damaged or destroyed structures.  "Israel maintains a blockade," he reports, "that prevents importation of material necessary to rebuild extensive destruction caused by the war."  Readers, however, are not told that such materials could be diverted by Hamas to its own nefarious purposes, nor even more importantly that this is NOT an Israeli blockade but an Israeli-Egyptian blockade.  Gaza has a border with Egypt.  If Cairo wanted to open its Rafah crossing to shipment of building materials into Gaza, it could do so.  But Egypt, like Israel, has its own good reasons to squeeze Hamas's rule of Gaza.

But when the Times goes into Israel-bashing mode, fair, accurate journalism goes out the window and readers never get the full picture.

3.  On Nov. 3, the U.S. House of Representatives, by a resounding vote of 344 to 36, approved a resolution calling on the Obama administration to do its utmost to squelch a highly biased UN report by South African jurist Richard Goldstone that accuses Israel of war crimes in Gaza -- the subject of the Nov. 4 General Assembly's Israel-bashing session.  The House resolution goes into great detail about the multiple distortions and pro-Hamas propagandistic elements in the Goldstone report.  The resolution also expresses full solidarity with the Jewish state and endorses its right to self-defense against terrorists who embed themselves among civilians and launch attacks on Israeli civilian targets.  Yet, the Times chose to ignore completely the House's adoption of the anti-Goldstone resolution by sweeping bipartisan majorities.  

Evidently in response to criticism from better informed readers, Times editors then decided to back into the House action a day late, on Nov. 5, in the most inconspicuous way possible -- with a two-paragraph, kiss-off addendum at the very end of its extensive article devoted to Israel bashing at the UN General Assembly.

The first of these final 2 paragraphs mentions the House vote.  And that's immediatley followed by a twice-as-long paragraph entirely devoted to Goldstone's rebuttal of the House resolution, which he sent to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  Thus doth the Times neuter the House's vote.

The response to Goldstone by Committee Chairman Howard Berman, D-Calif., who cites chapter and verse in demolishing Goldstone's dubious assertions is NOT reported by the New York Times.  At the Times, it's Goldstone who gets the final word, not the U.S. House of Representatives.
1.  On Nov. 4, Israeli naval commandos boarded and inspected a cargo ship 100 miles off the Israeli coast.  On board, they discovered numerous containers consigned from an Iranian shipping line with hundreds of tons of weapons, including thousands of rockets, headed for Hezb'allah in Lebanon via Syria.  The ship was towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod where its military hardware was unloaded for all the world to see.  Here was concrete proof, if more were needed, not only of Iran's hostile intentions against Israel, but of its ongoing massive shipments of weapons to terrorist proxies like Hezb'allah, committed to the same agenda as Iran -- to eliminate the Jewish state.

The event merited some serious coverage by the New York Times.  Instead, the paper, in its Nov. 5 edition, buried the story in a measly two paragraphs in a World Briefing digest.  Even then, the Times wasn't entirely satisfied that what happened actually happened.  So it qualified its report of the ship's lethal cargo and its destination by telling readers that it was a vessel "that Israeli officials said was carrying rockets and ammunition bound for Hezb'allah."  As if the Times, with a fully staffed Jerusalem bureau, couldn't have sent its own reporters to Ashdod to see for themselves what the cargo consisted of and obtained information from the ship's captain and crew about how it got on board their ship and where it was headed.

But once Times editors decided to limit to a minimum coverage of a story buttressing Israel's security threats emanating from Iran's aggression-by-proxy against the Jewish state, readers were bound to get shortchanged by a paper that ironically and falsely boasts that it publishes "All the News That's Fit to Print."

2.  Having given Israel's interception of a massive arms shipment to Hezb'allah short shrift, the Times in the same Nov. 5 edition then allots copious space to the latest UN Israel-bashing feast ("U.N. Set to Endorse Inquiry Into Possible War Crimes in Gaza -- Critics say Israel had an obligation to shield civilians").  The article is spread across the entire top of page A15.  To pour more salt into Israel's wound, correspondent Neil MacFarquhar even strays from Israel's conduct in its three-week offensive against Hamas to the plight of Gazans unable to rebuild damaged or destroyed structures.  "Israel maintains a blockade," he reports, "that prevents importation of material necessary to rebuild extensive destruction caused by the war."  Readers, however, are not told that such materials could be diverted by Hamas to its own nefarious purposes, nor even more importantly that this is NOT an Israeli blockade but an Israeli-Egyptian blockade.  Gaza has a border with Egypt.  If Cairo wanted to open its Rafah crossing to shipment of building materials into Gaza, it could do so.  But Egypt, like Israel, has its own good reasons to squeeze Hamas's rule of Gaza.

But when the Times goes into Israel-bashing mode, fair, accurate journalism goes out the window and readers never get the full picture.

3.  On Nov. 3, the U.S. House of Representatives, by a resounding vote of 344 to 36, approved a resolution calling on the Obama administration to do its utmost to squelch a highly biased UN report by South African jurist Richard Goldstone that accuses Israel of war crimes in Gaza -- the subject of the Nov. 4 General Assembly's Israel-bashing session.  The House resolution goes into great detail about the multiple distortions and pro-Hamas propagandistic elements in the Goldstone report.  The resolution also expresses full solidarity with the Jewish state and endorses its right to self-defense against terrorists who embed themselves among civilians and launch attacks on Israeli civilian targets.  Yet, the Times chose to ignore completely the House's adoption of the anti-Goldstone resolution by sweeping bipartisan majorities.  

Evidently in response to criticism from better informed readers, Times editors then decided to back into the House action a day late, on Nov. 5, in the most inconspicuous way possible -- with a two-paragraph, kiss-off addendum at the very end of its extensive article devoted to Israel bashing at the UN General Assembly.

The first of these final 2 paragraphs mentions the House vote.  And that's immediatley followed by a twice-as-long paragraph entirely devoted to Goldstone's rebuttal of the House resolution, which he sent to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  Thus doth the Times neuter the House's vote.

The response to Goldstone by Committee Chairman Howard Berman, D-Calif., who cites chapter and verse in demolishing Goldstone's dubious assertions is NOT reported by the New York Times.  At the Times, it's Goldstone who gets the final word, not the U.S. House of Representatives.