The anti-Israel prejudice at The New York Times (“NYT”) is so extensive and persistent that it takes looking back only to the last few weeks to easily find a dozen examples of this bias.
1) On September 10th, the NYT singled out Jewish lawmakers on the Iran deal.
2) On September 15th, the NYT suggested that the Israeli who was murdered by rock-throwing Palestinians had died of a “self-inflicted accident” after the attackers had merely “pelted the road” (rather than his car). The National Review provided a detailed critique of this farcical reporting.
3) On September 29, New York Times reporter Diaa Hadid used an anonymous European advocate of Palestinian rights as a witness to contradict Israeli army claims that a Palestinian woman shot at an IDF checkpoint was armed with a knife, but then omitted confirmatory reports from another witness mentioned in the article, a Palestinian named Fawaz Abu Aisheh, who said the woman had dropped her knife after being shot (even though Amnesty International mentioned Aisheh’s corroborating testimony about the knife).
4) The explanation for the glaring prejudice underlying items #2 and #3 above is simple: both of the articles in which these biases appeared were written by Hadid who, alleges pro-Israel blog Israelly Cool, penned works for Electronic Intifada, an anti-Israel hate site.
5) On September 30, the NYT struck again with false historical information and tendentious coverage of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’ UN speech. The article, by Rick Gladstone and Jodi Rudoren, noted that “Mr. Abbas accused Israel of having systematically violated these pacts” without mentioning the many violations of the Oslo Peace Accords by Palestinians.
6) In an article exceeding 1,000 words, the reporters made not even one reference to Palestinian terrorism, a basic historical fact that is essential to any fair and balanced understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Indeed, since the Oslo Peace Accords, there have been 22 years of Palestinian terrorist attacks — including 140 suicide bombings — which have murdered over 1,500 Israelis (in U.S. population terms, about 60,000 people killed) and made Israeli compliance with a complex and risky “peace” agreement even harder.
7) The paper’s token attempt at balance, in the September 30 article, was to quote some perfunctory response to Abbas’ speech from Israel’s foreign ministry (“Israel does uphold its agreements”), as if anyone could — in a quotable soundbite — possibly provide sufficient details to refute the sweeping accusations that Abbas made in his speech.
8) The article editorializes by noting that “Mr. Abbas delivered the speech… against a backdrop of growing frustration among many Palestinians over the paralysis in peace negotiations with Israel,” as if the Israelis were not equally frustrated, and as if the Palestinians were not largely responsible for the lack of peace progress.
9) Gladstone and Rudoren then combine outrageously skewed reporting with blatantly false historical claims: “Compounded by new strife over contested religious sites in Jerusalem and other festering issues, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most protracted dispute vexing the United Nations since the organization’s founding 70 years ago.”
11) Equally egregious is their patently false claim that “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most protracted dispute vexing the United Nations since the organization’s founding 70 years ago.” Some basic Wikipedia research reveals that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict began in 1948 and has produced about 24,000 fatalities since then, while the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan began in 1947 and has produced about 47,000 fatalities, and the conflict over Kurdish separatism in Iran began in 1946 and has caused at least 30,000 fatalities.
So Gladstone and Rudoren have twisted history to suggest that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the world’s most pressing issue. When combined with Abbas’ quotes (left unbalanced by any other perspective or facts), their article implies that Israel is to blame for lack of peace after 70 years — as if Israel had not participated in numerous peace efforts and withdrawn from conquered territories (for peace with Egypt and for rocket attacks from Gaza and Lebanon).
12) The reporters then suggest that Abbas has unilaterally pursued Palestinian statehood out of frustration with Israel but conspicuously fail to inform readers that such Palestinian unilateralism is itself a violation of the Oslo accords.
And any NYT readers who want facts and unbiased reporting should find another source of information, because the NYT’s anti-Israel bias calls the entire newspaper into question. After all, if the NYT cannot be trusted to report fairly and accurately on a conflict that is closely watched by millions of people — which interest level should create a strong incentive to achieve fair, balanced, and precise reporting — then why should it be trusted to provide reliable information on any other topic? What other latent agendas or biases skew the news produced by the NYT? Indeed, the severity of the NYT’s anti-Israel bias should defrock the newspaper of its status as the “paper of record.”
Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.