A NY Times picture worth a thousand-fold bias

On Jan. 18, Israeli aircraft and tanks fired four missiles at a terrorist cell trying to camouflage bombs at the Gaza border, killing two terrorists.  The Israeli strikes set off a series of bomb explosions, confirming IDF direct hits, according to Israeli witnesses and media reports. 

The incident took place a few hundred yards from an Israeli kibbutz, Kfar Aza, where the IDF maintains a small base.  Farmers from the kibbutz work the fields between the IDF outpost and the security fence.  It's not the first time that they've been actual or presumptive targets of fire from the Palestinian side - whether by rockets, mortar shells or gunfire.

A kibbutz resident told Israeli media:  "There was a series of explosions, and I felt the windows shaking.  I went outside and saw clouds of black smoke."

The New York Times published no article about this latest Gaza cross-border engagement, just as it shrugs off continued Palestinian terror attacks on Israelis -- whether in the West Bank, Jerusalem or near the Gaza border.  Latest Israeli statistics on the number and frequency of such attacks, including firebombings and stabbings, show that Israel at the end of 2011 was sustaining on average two terror attacks a day.

The Times sees none of this as fit to print.  Instead, in its Jan. 19 print edition, it features a four-column color photograph of a sobbing Palestinian man with a caption purporting to give an account of the previous day's IDF attack on the Gaza terror cell.

The caption is headed: "2 Palestinians Killed Near Israeli Barrier."

The caption reads:  "A Palestinian grieved Wednesday at a hospital in Beit Hanoun, Gaza, as the victim of an Israeli strike was brought in.  Two Palestinians were killed when Israeli forces fired on what the military said was a terrorist squad near Israel's border fence.  Witnesses said that three people in a donkey cart were hit.  No group immediately claimed the dead as its members."

Never mind the big explosions on the Gaza side as the terrorist bombs sustained direct hits.  Never mind available first-person accounts on the Israeli side to confirm this was a terrorist bomb squad

As far as the Times is concerned, the terrorists killed in the Israeli strike were "victims" grieved by a sobbing Palestinian.  And the Times, reflexively skeptical about Israeli accounts, reflexively prefers to rely on Palestinian propaganda   Again, for the thousandth time, the Times immediately empathizes with the Palestinian side -- regardless of the facts -- and gives another black eye to Israel.

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

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