NYT Blames Israel in Teen Kidnapping

It’s been four days since the kidnapping of three Israeli youths by Palestinian terrorists. Israel understandably is engaged in a massive search operation.

Its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, declares that the kidnapping was the work of Hamas. But he also holds Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority responsible, arguing that the kidnappers came from West Bank areas under the PA’s control.

As for Abbas, he tends to play a double game. On the one hand, he condemns the kidnapping. But on the other hand, he aims his harshest criticism at Israel’s search operations for disturbing the peace of Palestinians in areas combed by the Israeli military.

For its part, the New York Times wades in with a dispatch by Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren that puts the blame on Israel for harming relations with the Palestinians. Never mind that Palestinian terrorists who abducted the Israeli teens are the obvious culpable party. Rudoren manages to blame the victim rather than the perpetrators.

Here’s how she puts it in a June 16 dispatch, “Netanyahu Says Three Were Taken By Hamas -- Israel Arrests 86 After Kidnapping”on page A4:

“The growing search for them (the three youths) and their captors further destabilized Israeli-Palestinian relations, and challenged the new Palestinian government’s ability to hold together disparate political factions and reunite the West Bank and Gaza after a seven-year split.”

It boggles the mind to read that it’s not the kidnappers who are destabilizing Israeli-Palestinian relations but “the growing search for them.” A world-upside-down piece of writing as Rudoren shifts blame and responsibility from Palestinian terrorists to Israeli search teams. It amounts to another Times exercise in cleansing Hamas. Terrorists get excused while Israel ends up bearing the blame.

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