A Blood Libel Every Day: The New York Times Does It Again
De-humanizing the Israeli victims of terrorism and over-humanizing the Palestinian aggressor-victims.
I do not understand why a lawsuit has not already been launched against the New York Times for incitement to genocide. Please understand: I am serious.
There is little doubt that the poisonous propaganda of Hamas, Fatah, and the Palestinian Authority has, is, and always will lead to terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians—babies, toddlers, senior citizens, as well as adult men and women. So, too, does the daily—and I literally mean the daily—coverage of Israel and Palestine in the Gray Lady which has, is, and will lead to a great hardening of their readers’ hearts towards Israel, and an opening of their readers’ wallets to fund boycotts against Israel as well as terrorism against Jews globally.
Yesterday here at Frontpage, I wrote about how the New York Times disappeared the suffering and humanity of the Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism. Yesterday’s article, by Jodi Rudoren and Diaa Hadid, named the Palestinian victims and gave their ages and they did so early on and consistently. The “couple” murdered in front of their four children—Eitam and Naama Henkin, were not named until much later in the article, and then only once. Their ages were not given.
Yesterday’s article, also by Rudoren, is 1,158 words long and is divided into 29 online paragraphs. Rudoren quotes Palestinians, both civilians and experts, first, and often at length. There are five Palestinians quoted. She quotes only two Israelis, one of whom, Etgar Keret, who is known for his Blood Libels against Israel, Libels which he penned in the very pages of the New York Times.
Rudoren quotes President-for-Life Mahmud Abbas—but not the democratically elected Israeli Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu, whom she merely names. Rudoren quotes Diana Butto, who was once a lawyer for Abbas—but she does not quote any lawyer who may have represented PM Netanyahu. Finally, Rudoren mentions “Palestine” (a country that has never existed), and “Palestinians” twenty times and mainly in positive ways. She mentions the sovereign nation of “Israel” less often (only fourteen times)—and primarily in negative ways.
For example, the article states: “Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has accused Israel;” “Fighting in Aida Refugee camp…raged for hours after 2,000 mourners [buried the child] killed by Israeli forces;” “Israeli surveillance helicopters thrummed overhead.” Only one Palestinian (a civilian, Assad Abu Jamalla) and one Israeli (a major rabbi, author, and scholar, Daniel Gordis) are allowed to speak about their own lives in personal and poignant ways at this terrible time. Perhaps Rudoren believes that an unknown civilian’s point of view is “equal” to a scholar who has won major literary prizes.
In addition, Rudoren lacks historically objective context. She writes, matter-of-factly but almost in passing: “The current escalation…has been lent coherence by a cause: the fate of the Old City holy site revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.”
Al Aqsa (the Noble Sanctuary) is merely a rallying cry for territorial, expansionist Jihad but it is one she honors as equal to or as even more legitimate than the Jewish claim. However, anyone who knows anything at all knows that the Jews do not necessarily “revere the Temple Mount” but rather, revere the fact that both the first and second Jewish Temples once stood where Al Aqsa now stands—and the first Temple stood there at least 1,500 years before the rise of Islam. Gloria Greenfield’s film, Body and Soul, presents this history in a very credible and dramatic way.
Despite Palestinian efforts to erase all traces of Jewish history at that very site, an effort which far outpaces the harm to humanity’s legacy perpetrated by the Taliban and ISIS combined, archeologists recently discovered a seal from the era of King David. According to Jonathan S. Tobin:
“The whole point of the dispute about the Temple Mount isn’t really about protecting Muslim holy places that are in no danger from Israeli interference. To the contrary, the goal of Palestinian activists who operate on the Temple Mount is to exclude Jews from the area just as they were excluded from all of the Old City of Jerusalem including the Western Wall before Israel took control of it in June 1967.”
Rudoren continues to believe that apples are oranges. Thus, the IDF and Israel are more competent at self-defense, and because more competent, hold an unfair, unjust, perhaps even an evil advantage over the less competent Palestinian terrorists. After all, she alleges that Israeli soldiers killed 3,000 Palestinians over the last fifteen years, the majority of whom used their own civilians as human shields so that they could accuse Israel of “war crimes.” However, Rudoren fails to note that these Palestinian victims were primarily men of fighting age. She treats this number as equivalent to the alleged (only!) 1,000 Israelis murdered by terrorists who, she fails to note, were mainly civilians who were murdered by terrorists over the last five years.
Last year, on August 5, 2014, Rudoren quotes the following casualty statistics in the terror-tunnel war started by Hamas in Gaza:
“The Times analysis, looking at 1,431 names, shows that the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20 to 29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll: They are 9 percent of Gaza’s 1.7 million residents, but 34 percent of those killed whose ages were provided. At the same time, women and children under 15, the least likely to be legitimate targets, were the most underrepresented, making up 71 percent of the population and 33 percent of the known-age casualties.”
Statistics may lie, be incomplete, inaccurate, or may fail the test of context. But what Rudoren herself is saying is that civilian women in Gaza were less likely to have been killed than their numbers in the Gazan population warrants and that men of fighting age were “overrepresented in the death toll.”
Will the real Jodi Rudoren please stand up?
Finally, just in case a New York Times reader does not read all, most, or any of this article, they can, nevertheless, be moved and perhaps manipulated to draw the politically correct conclusions from the photos that accompany the article.
In this case, the top photo that accompanies the hardcopy article shows mainly Palestinian women mourners at the funeral of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, Abdulrahman Obeidallah, who was killed by IDF forces, possibly by accident, and in the midst of a riot. (The caption does not say this.) The women’s faces are contorted by grief and agony. We see them up close and we are moved.
Beneath them is a photograph of the funeral for Rabbi Aharon Benita-Bennett. It does not draw us in. We are distanced from these mourners, perhaps because they are all men; as such, they show no emotion—at least, not in this chosen photograph. We do not learn that Bennett was 22-years-old and left behind a wife and 2-year-old child.
Oh, I do go on, don’t I? But I am convinced that just such lethal propaganda is what has led to the rise of the “new anti-Semitism” in the world; and that it has emboldened Palestinian Jihadists and all their enablers (the UN, the EU, Germany, Scandinavia, Western intelligentsia, the human rights groups) to attack Israeli civilians freely and at random, in packs, lynch mobs, and as lone Jihadists, not only in the West Bank and in Jerusalem, but also as they did today, in Kiryat Gat, in Petach Tikva, well within the “49 lines.”
As I have said, sadly, for years: The “settlement” that offends the Islamic world is not Jerusalem. It is Tel Aviv, Ashdod, Haifa—it is the Jewish presence in the Arab Middle East. Islamists mean to exterminate Christians, Jews, and all other infidels in order to cleanse all the land can occupy and re-occupy.
The New York Times is helping them do just that.