NY Times, Wash. Post ignore rocket fire from Gaza, pounce on Israel for retaliating

Leo Rennert
On Monday, Aug. 15, an advanced Grad rocket fired from Gaza hit near Beersheba, the capital of the Negev.  As the rocket neared its target, sirens blared and many residents rushed to take cover.  Such attacks by terrorist groups in Gaza using both missiles and mortar shells have escalated as of late.  Since the start of the year, Israel has been hit several hundreds of times.

On Tuesday, Aug. 16, the New York Times and the Washington Post editions ignored the Beersheba attack -- as they've ignored virtually all other such rocket barrages in their next-day editions.

However, on Wednesday, Aug. 17, two days after the event, the Times and the Post finally backed into the story, but only because Israel had retaliated the day before.

The headline in the Times on page A9:  "Gaza:  Israel Kills 2 Palestinians."  The item leads with a Palestinian "militant" being killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza in response to rocket fire from the enclave.  He was part of a group preparing to fire a rocket into Israel.  In the third sentence, there's a brief mention that a rocket had landed near Beersheba.  And the Times also cited Palestinian claims that Israel killed a 22-year-old man at the border.  The Israeli army is quoted as saying that the man had approached the border.  No further Israeli explanation that, with Gaza terrorists repeatedly trying to breach the border by tunneling under it, a no-go cordon has been established by Israel to keep would-be infiltrators at bay.  The tunnels, after all, are dug to permit terrorists to emerge on the Israeli side and shoot at Israelis or look for IDF soldiers they can kidnap

The headline in the Post on Page A6:  "Strike kills 1 in Gaza following rocket fire."  The Post item said the airstrike killed a "militant" and wounded four other Palestinians, then cited the Israeli Army as explaining that Israel struck back in retaliation for rocket fire on southern Israel on Monday night "that caused no injuries."

And that's the crux of the problem.  As long as nobody on the Israeli side gets killed or physically injured, rocket fire from Gaza is ignored in the next day's editions of the Times and the Post.  Never mind that, even without physical casualties, there's an enormous psychological impact on tens of thousands of civilians fleeing to shelters with only seconds to spare before a rocket hits.  Children especially are prone to post-traumatic stress.  The Times and the Post don't care.

Only two days after such rocket fire from Gaza on civilian populations in Israel do they take notice when Israel retaliates.  And then, both the headline and the story portray Israel as having caused the deaths of some Palestinians.

Journalistically, terror attacks on Israel from Gaza are not "news" in the Post and the Times.  It's only when Israel strike back that they pay attention.

In the "news" pages of these papers, Israeli lives don't count as much as Palestinian lives.

On Monday, Aug. 15, an advanced Grad rocket fired from Gaza hit near Beersheba, the capital of the Negev.  As the rocket neared its target, sirens blared and many residents rushed to take cover.  Such attacks by terrorist groups in Gaza using both missiles and mortar shells have escalated as of late.  Since the start of the year, Israel has been hit several hundreds of times.

On Tuesday, Aug. 16, the New York Times and the Washington Post editions ignored the Beersheba attack -- as they've ignored virtually all other such rocket barrages in their next-day editions.

However, on Wednesday, Aug. 17, two days after the event, the Times and the Post finally backed into the story, but only because Israel had retaliated the day before.

The headline in the Times on page A9:  "Gaza:  Israel Kills 2 Palestinians."  The item leads with a Palestinian "militant" being killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza in response to rocket fire from the enclave.  He was part of a group preparing to fire a rocket into Israel.  In the third sentence, there's a brief mention that a rocket had landed near Beersheba.  And the Times also cited Palestinian claims that Israel killed a 22-year-old man at the border.  The Israeli army is quoted as saying that the man had approached the border.  No further Israeli explanation that, with Gaza terrorists repeatedly trying to breach the border by tunneling under it, a no-go cordon has been established by Israel to keep would-be infiltrators at bay.  The tunnels, after all, are dug to permit terrorists to emerge on the Israeli side and shoot at Israelis or look for IDF soldiers they can kidnap

The headline in the Post on Page A6:  "Strike kills 1 in Gaza following rocket fire."  The Post item said the airstrike killed a "militant" and wounded four other Palestinians, then cited the Israeli Army as explaining that Israel struck back in retaliation for rocket fire on southern Israel on Monday night "that caused no injuries."

And that's the crux of the problem.  As long as nobody on the Israeli side gets killed or physically injured, rocket fire from Gaza is ignored in the next day's editions of the Times and the Post.  Never mind that, even without physical casualties, there's an enormous psychological impact on tens of thousands of civilians fleeing to shelters with only seconds to spare before a rocket hits.  Children especially are prone to post-traumatic stress.  The Times and the Post don't care.

Only two days after such rocket fire from Gaza on civilian populations in Israel do they take notice when Israel retaliates.  And then, both the headline and the story portray Israel as having caused the deaths of some Palestinians.

Journalistically, terror attacks on Israel from Gaza are not "news" in the Post and the Times.  It's only when Israel strike back that they pay attention.

In the "news" pages of these papers, Israeli lives don't count as much as Palestinian lives.