The Monday, April 11, print edition of the Washington Post carries a brief story about Israel and Hamas moving toward a Gaza cease-fire after four days of cross-border fire exchanges that began when a Hamas anti-tank missile hit an Israeli school bus, critically injuring a teenager.
The Post goes on to report that "Israeli retaliatory air strikes have killed 19 Palestinians," not bothering to specify that most of them were terrorists. By failing to distinguish between Palestinian civilians and Palestinian combatants, the Post leaves a misleading impression that Israel responded with random strikes that conceivably might have killed only civilians.
The New York Times, whose coverage also tends to be hyper-critical of Israel while sanitizing Hamas, nevertheless in this instance was quite specific in reporting that Israeli fire "killed 18 Palestinians, 10 of whom were militants and the rest civilians, according to officials in Gaza." The Washington Post, with two full-time correspondents in Jerusalem and one or more stringers in Gaza, was privy to the same information as the Times, yet decided to keep the number of Palestinian terrorist fatalities a deep, dark secret. An omission that opens the way for anti-Israel campaigners to accuse Israel of using disproportionate force.
Having failed to report responsibly about Israeli retaliatory strikes, the Post then fails to give a full account of how each side behaved in the run-up to the expected cease-fire. "No Israeli airstrikes were reported Sunday," the Post tells readers, omitting that on Sunday -- while Israel held its fire -- Gaza terrorists still fired about 10 rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel,. The New York Times found this newsworthy; the Post excised Hamas's continued fire from its report. Bad behavior by Hamas, as in this instance, more often than not gets a pass from the Post.