NY Times sanitizes, rationalizes terror attack at Tel Aviv nightclub

In the early Monday morning hours, a Palestinian terrorist commandeered a taxi in Tel Aviv, drove it to a packed nightclub and ran over several policemen before coming to a halt and stabbing several bystanders.  As he repeatedly stabbed Israelis, the terrorist shouted in Arabic, "God is great."

But that's not exactly how the New York Times is reporting this terrorist rampage in the heart of Israel.

In a dispatch posted on the Times' website, Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner is ever so careful not to impute any terrorist impulses to this bloody-minded terrorist.  In fact, Bronner bends over backwards to rationalize what may have prompted him to aim for a nightclub packed with a thousand teens at an end-of-summer celebration.

In his lead paragraph, Bronner reports that "a Palestinian man from the occupied West Bank wounded eight Israelis early Monday...."

Note that the attack was not carried out by a "terrorist" on a murderous rampage.  It was a "Palestinian man" -- a neat euphemism to hide his terrorist tactics.

Also, Bronner hints that there may be a good and sufficient reason for his repeated use of a lethal knife -- after all, this "Palestinian man" hails from the "occupied West Bank."  That immediately puts Israel -- not the terrorist -- in the dock. According to Bronner, Israel is an "occupier" and thus has no business in the West Bank because presumably that's Palestinian territory.   But that's not the case.  There never was a sovereign Palestine that somehow has been displaced by the Israeli "occupier."  At most the terrorist's Nablus home is in "disputed" territory -- the Palestinians may claim it for a future state, but that doesn't give them a recognized right of possession.  If anything, Israel's claims are much stronger.

But none of this bothers or interests Bronner.  By appending the "occupier" label on Israel, he provides a rationalization for the attacker's bloody motives.

Thus, Bronner proceeds to write about the "Tel Aviv attack" and about "the man accused of mounting the attack."  Anything to avoid use of the T-for-terrorist word in writing about this terrorist attack.  In Bronner parlance, the terrorist is not a terrorist and Nablus is not "disputed" territory but in Israeli "occupied" Palestine.  His is a semantic attack on Israel, with an apologia of Palestinian terrorism

It's not that the T-word is totally absent from Bronner's dispatch.  He writes about Israel stepping up security against "terrorist" attacks and that "terror" attacks were relatively common during the Palestinian intifada but rare in Tel Aviv in recent years.  But that's all in the abstract.  It's when an actual terrorist rampage stares him in the face that he feels compelled to avert his eyes.

Thus, a specific terrorist attack in the heart of Tel Aviv by a fully committed terrorist still can't be reported as such in the pages of the New York Times.

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