Wash. Post socks it to Israel. Forget about objective journalism
The Washington Post has run an article about the announcement by a donor conference in Cairo that it received $5.4 billion in pledges to reconstruct Gaza (“Donors pledge $5.4 billion to rebuild Gaza – Some say this is the last time they will pay – Kerry urges peace deal” page A9, 10/13)
The article, by Carol Morello and William Booth, misconstrues history by portraying Israel as the culpable party for Gaza’s plight and devastation. The fact that Israel’s 50-day war with Hamas was precipitated by the firing of thousands of rockets by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Gaza terror groups toward civilian populations in southern Israel hardly gets a mention.
Here is how the Post’s correspondents sock it to Israel:
Fairly high up, in the fifth paragraph, they write that Gaza “was devastated by Israeli artillery and missiles during the recent 50-day conflict. Some of the weaponry was provided by the United States, which gives Israel a $3 billion a year in aid, most of it in the form of military assistance.”
Not a word about rocket barrages fired with increasing frequency from Gaza into Israel. It’s all about supposed Israeli aggression, plus a dig at Uncle Sam for providing military assistance to Israel.
In a similar vein, Morello and Booth again point an accusing finger at Israel in their 11th paragraph – “Israel pounded Gaza by land, sea and air over the summer as it targeted Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls the enclave.”
Again, not a whisper about Hamas provocations that triggered the 50-day conflict. Not a hint that Israel actually was the target of Hamas aggression and conducted a counter-offensive. In fact, the article bends toward just the opposite -- Israel as the supposed aggressor, with Hamas in a defensive mode.
It is not until far down in their piece, in the 15th paragraph, when most readers already have moved on to other articles, that Morello and Booth briefly and belatedly slip in a mention that “Israel says its offensive was a response to rocket attacks by Hamas and other militants against Israeli civilians.” Even then, Booth and Morello shy away from simply acknowledging the occurrence of Hamas’ rocket attacks. Instead, they quote Israel as saying so. In line with their entire article, Hamas culpability is kept to a minimum.
Finally, still hewing to their anti-Israel bias, Morello and Booth cite remarks by UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon who mostly blames Israel for Gaza’s predicament. They add that Ban “made only a fleeting reference to what Israel considers the fundamental cause of the recent war – rocket fire from Gaza.” (this appears in the 24th paragraph)
Like Ban spouting the UN’s anti-Israel bias, Morello and Booth prefer to make only a “fleeting reference” to real history.
Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers