NYT Weeps for Gaza
Spreading from front page to two-thirds of an inside page, the New York Times, in its Aug. 18 edition, goes all out to document the miseries of life in Gaza.
Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren, reporting from Gaza City, informs readers that “telltale signs of the displaced are everywhere in Gaza”. (“In Torn Gaza, If Roof Stands, It’s Now Home”)
And, very diligently, she doesn’t miss any of these signs. In her piece, a lawyer’s office becomes a makeshift home for kids. An Internet café is pre-empted by more than a dozen Gazans who “have set up house in two high-ceiling rooms that lack running water and working electric outlets.”
On the grounds of Al Shifa Hospital, scores of families hang sheets and scarves to create shady spaces. “Neither food nor water is provided to a makeshift camp that sprawls outside the internal medicine building,” Rudoren reports. At the village of Khuza, “little at all is left,” she notes.
And so it goes for 31 meticulously descriptive paragraphs, plus a color photograph across four columns on the front page that depicts destruction of an apartment house. Plus three more heart-tugging photographs on an inside page that depict families huddling in a camp for the displaced and the ruins of Beit Hanoun, where refugees are boiling water for bathing.
However, while Rudoren proceeds in lengthy detail about Gaza’s new plight, she is far more circumspect in tackling the causes of all these miseries. All she mentions is that “a month of fierce fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants killed more than 1,900 Gaza residents” and that a mother of eight fled her neighborhood “at the onset of Israel’s ground incursion on July 17.”
No further details regarding accountability.
Not a single word about Israeli casualties, whether before or since July 17. Not a single word that Israel’s counterterrorism operation was prompted by the firing of thousands of rockets by Hamas and other terrorist groups against civilian populations in southern Israel. Not a word about the life of thousands of Gazans who survived the fighting thanks to extra precautions by Israel’s military to keep from hitting civilians. Not a word about Hamas embedding its terrorist fighters in civilian neighborhoods and using these civilian neighborhoods as launch pads to fire rockets at Israel.
Nor does Rudoren in her many interviews with Gaza residents ever broach the question of whether they would have been happier without Hamas’ rocket-firing blitzkrieg. Somehow, in Rudoren’s perception of Gaza’s woes, there is no room for Hamas culpability. Only Israel-bashing makes the grade with Rudoren and the New York Times.