NYT Rewrites Israeli History

Leo Rennert
In its Nov. 4 edition, the New York Times runs a front-page article on Hamas textbooks in Gaza that erase Israel's existence, while describing the Torah as a fabrication and Zionism as a racist movement with imperial territorial designs on the Middle East. ("To Shape Young Palestinians, Hamas Creates Its Own Textbooks")

Times correspondents Fares Akram and Jodi Rudoren, while reporting the obvious, nevertheless don't want to come down too hard on the Palestinians. In their view, the Hamas textbooks are emblematic of "dueling historical narratives and cultural clashes (that) underpin a territorial fight." As if Israeli textbooks also might contain such wild and inciteful propaganda.

Akram and Rudoren evidently are unable to find anything approaching Hamas whoppers on this scale in Israeli texts. So they just don't back up their questionable claim of "dueling narratives."

What is far more shocking in their article, however, is the lead paragraph, which reads as follows: "GAZA CITY -- When a class of Palestinian ninth graders in Gaza recently discussed the deadly 1929 riots over access the Western Wall in Jerusalem, it was guided by a new textbook, introduced this fall by the Islamist Hamas movement."

So what's wrong with this lead-off sentence? Answer: What is conspicuously missing is the fact that those "deadly 1929 riots" were perpetrated by Arabs. "Arabs" is nowhere to be found in the lead. Readers are simply left to guess whether this was a case of Arab rioters or Jewish rioters. Akram and Rudoren won't say.

Why the omission of "Arab" in referring to the Aug. 23-to-29 Arab riots in Jerusalem that killed 133 Jews, injured another 339 and caused vast destruction of Jewish property. The riots also left 110 Arabs killed and 232 injured, but mostly by British security forces trying to suppress the Arab riots.

This is hard, basic history. Yet, the Times keeps its distance.

If you're going to lead with one of the most infamous Arab massacres of Jews, why let Arabs off the hook? It's not as if there is insufficient historical evidence. An inquiry commission established by the British Government concluded that the fundamental cause of the riots was the "Arab feeling of animosity and hostility toward the Jews."

It's more than ironic that an article whose main theme is historical distortion in Hamas textbooks is itself flawed by distorted history that fails to point out that it was Arabs who slaughtered Jews in Jerusalem in 1929.
The riots didn't just break out as an uprising from nowhere. Why hide real history from Times readers?

In its Nov. 4 edition, the New York Times runs a front-page article on Hamas textbooks in Gaza that erase Israel's existence, while describing the Torah as a fabrication and Zionism as a racist movement with imperial territorial designs on the Middle East. ("To Shape Young Palestinians, Hamas Creates Its Own Textbooks")

Times correspondents Fares Akram and Jodi Rudoren, while reporting the obvious, nevertheless don't want to come down too hard on the Palestinians. In their view, the Hamas textbooks are emblematic of "dueling historical narratives and cultural clashes (that) underpin a territorial fight." As if Israeli textbooks also might contain such wild and inciteful propaganda.

Akram and Rudoren evidently are unable to find anything approaching Hamas whoppers on this scale in Israeli texts. So they just don't back up their questionable claim of "dueling narratives."

What is far more shocking in their article, however, is the lead paragraph, which reads as follows: "GAZA CITY -- When a class of Palestinian ninth graders in Gaza recently discussed the deadly 1929 riots over access the Western Wall in Jerusalem, it was guided by a new textbook, introduced this fall by the Islamist Hamas movement."

So what's wrong with this lead-off sentence? Answer: What is conspicuously missing is the fact that those "deadly 1929 riots" were perpetrated by Arabs. "Arabs" is nowhere to be found in the lead. Readers are simply left to guess whether this was a case of Arab rioters or Jewish rioters. Akram and Rudoren won't say.

Why the omission of "Arab" in referring to the Aug. 23-to-29 Arab riots in Jerusalem that killed 133 Jews, injured another 339 and caused vast destruction of Jewish property. The riots also left 110 Arabs killed and 232 injured, but mostly by British security forces trying to suppress the Arab riots.

This is hard, basic history. Yet, the Times keeps its distance.

If you're going to lead with one of the most infamous Arab massacres of Jews, why let Arabs off the hook? It's not as if there is insufficient historical evidence. An inquiry commission established by the British Government concluded that the fundamental cause of the riots was the "Arab feeling of animosity and hostility toward the Jews."

It's more than ironic that an article whose main theme is historical distortion in Hamas textbooks is itself flawed by distorted history that fails to point out that it was Arabs who slaughtered Jews in Jerusalem in 1929.
The riots didn't just break out as an uprising from nowhere. Why hide real history from Times readers?