NY Times sheds more tears for Palestinian terrorist killers than for Giilad Schalit
The New York Times, in its Oct. 18 edition, runs an article by Mideast correspondent Stephen Farrell and Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner about preparations in Israel and in Gaza on the eve of the release of Gilad Schalit, the abducted Israeli soldier held by Hamas for more than five years, in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners ("Israel and Palestinians Prepare to Swap Prisoners" page A8).
Setting the scene for the prisoner swap, the article tells Times readers that "the Tuesday handover will end five years in captivity for the Israeli soldier, Staff Sgt. Gilad Schalit; hundreds of the Palestinians have been held much longer."
It's an odious, invidious, amoral comparison between Schalit and Palestinian terrorists -- as if the only thing that matters is the lengths of their captivities. But this phony comparison doesn't hold. The real news is in the glaring contrast between Schalit, a soldier serving in an army held to high standards in dealing with civilians, and Palestinians who deliberately set out to kill as many civilians as possible.
Nowhere in the article do Farrell and Bronner point out that the Palestinians who "have been held much longer" than Schalit include bloodthirsty barbarians sentenced to lengthy prison terms for such atrocities as the lynching of two Israeli soldiers with the perpetrator proudly displaying his blood-soaked hands to an applauding mob, or the bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria which killed 15 Israelis, or the attack on a Tel Aviv nightclub that claimed 21 lives, or the massacre of 29 Jews at a Passover seder in Netanya.
In the Times article, the only "news" about the released Palestinian prisoners is the length of their stay behind bars in Israeli prisons. Otherwise, total silence about the horrors they perpetrated and for which they drew such lengthy sentences.
Nor does the Times see fit to remind its readers that during their imprisonment, Palestinian terrorists could communicate with relatives, take advanced courses and stay in touch with the outside world, while Schalit was held incommunicado, totally cut off from the world, with Hamas even refusing to let the Red Cross visit him. In fact, his family didn't know whether he was even still alive.
No, the entire article is penned in antiseptic fashion to spare readers the real depravities to which these Palestinian prisoners sank. All that matters to Farrell and Bronner is the fact that hundreds of Palestinian prisoners were "held much longer" than Schalit -- an expurgated narrative propagated by Palestinian leaders of all stripes who go on to celebrate such hard-core terrorists as heroic role models for new generations of Palestinians.
Leo Rennet is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers