NY Times trumps Palestinians in libeling Israel

Leo Rennert
Of all the journalistic horrors perpetrated by the New York Times against Israel, this one takes the cake and gets the gold star.  Let me set the scene:

Amid widespread tensions and clashes in the West Bank, an IDF post near a settlement was attacked by Palestinians, who lobbed Molotov cocktails and hurled stones at Israeli troops.  Both such weapons can have lethal effects.  Responding to the attack, Israeli soldiers returned fire and killed two assailants.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said Israeli forces killed two Palestinian "civilians" in the West Bank.  The boys, it reported, had thrown "stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers."  Empty bottles?  Unlikely.  Bottles in these cases are usually turned into Molotov cocktails.  But at least a Palestinian source made clear that there had been an attack on the IDF post.

Now, let's see how the New York Times reported this incident, which fueled Palestinian rage amid talk of a third intifada.  Under these circumstances, one would especially expect an accurate report by the Times to set the record straight about who did what to whom.

Instead, Jodi Rudoren, the Jerusalem bureau chief of the Times, posted a dispatch on the paper's website on April 5 that tells readers that unrest was stoked by "the killing by Israeli soldiers of two teenagers who approached an army post during a demonstration."

And this is the sum total of her description of this incident: two Palestinian teenagers just ambled toward an IDF post.  They were just taking a walk during a demonstration, and suddenly, for no reason at all, they were murdered by the IDF.  No stones, no Molotov cocktails.  Nothing that would justify live fire by IDF troops.

It's bad enough that Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian officials have been on a relentless propaganda campaign against Israel, blaming it for the death of a Palestinian inmate who actually had received medical treatment since his cancer was diagnosed in February.  But even they have not resorted to such depths of inciteful, provocative misreporting as displayed by Rudoren and the Times.

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers.

Of all the journalistic horrors perpetrated by the New York Times against Israel, this one takes the cake and gets the gold star.  Let me set the scene:

Amid widespread tensions and clashes in the West Bank, an IDF post near a settlement was attacked by Palestinians, who lobbed Molotov cocktails and hurled stones at Israeli troops.  Both such weapons can have lethal effects.  Responding to the attack, Israeli soldiers returned fire and killed two assailants.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said Israeli forces killed two Palestinian "civilians" in the West Bank.  The boys, it reported, had thrown "stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers."  Empty bottles?  Unlikely.  Bottles in these cases are usually turned into Molotov cocktails.  But at least a Palestinian source made clear that there had been an attack on the IDF post.

Now, let's see how the New York Times reported this incident, which fueled Palestinian rage amid talk of a third intifada.  Under these circumstances, one would especially expect an accurate report by the Times to set the record straight about who did what to whom.

Instead, Jodi Rudoren, the Jerusalem bureau chief of the Times, posted a dispatch on the paper's website on April 5 that tells readers that unrest was stoked by "the killing by Israeli soldiers of two teenagers who approached an army post during a demonstration."

And this is the sum total of her description of this incident: two Palestinian teenagers just ambled toward an IDF post.  They were just taking a walk during a demonstration, and suddenly, for no reason at all, they were murdered by the IDF.  No stones, no Molotov cocktails.  Nothing that would justify live fire by IDF troops.

It's bad enough that Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian officials have been on a relentless propaganda campaign against Israel, blaming it for the death of a Palestinian inmate who actually had received medical treatment since his cancer was diagnosed in February.  But even they have not resorted to such depths of inciteful, provocative misreporting as displayed by Rudoren and the Times.

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers.