Violence toward Palestinians continues to be downplayed or completely omitted by “The Paper of Record,” i.e. The New York Times.
Yesterday, I reported how dead Palestinians have no names in the Times’ coverage, in contrast to dead Israelis who are described in personal, humanizing detail including ages, full names and schools they attended.
But today, the six dead Palestinians and 400 arrested, had no mention at all in a piece by the same author, Elizabeth Kershner. Instead we are vaguely told about “clashes” and “the killings on each side” which dilutes any specific responsibility in the Palestinians deaths or arrests:
Contrast this to the very specific naming of the killed Israelis once again today:
Why does the Times have so much difficulty naming dead Palestinians?
Why do Palestinian deaths and arrests fade so quickly from the headlines, while Israelis ones remain, week after week?
We are told in a subsequent paragraph that “Hamas said seven of its militants were killed” but the paper does nothing to verify any details about these deaths, including the age of those killed or what they were doing at the time despite a total of five Times reporters working on this story. By simply identifying them as “militants” their deaths are made inconsequential.
Even worse is that the Times reporter downplays violent Israeli language, after a police spokesman shockingly calls the brutal murder of a 16 year old an act of “nationalism”
The reporter goes so far as to explain away the very violent language as a technical reference to a previous killing.
Can you imagine if a Palestinian police spokesperson called the killing of an Israeli child a “nationalistic” killing? Can you imagine the headlines and demonization that would generate? One can even imagine talk of sanctions against the Palestinian government.
I wonder if Kershner would have explained it away. Would she have written that labelling the killing of a Jew “nationalistic” as an innocent reference to previous events?
Finally Kershner further whitewashes the idea that violence toward Palestinians could be widespread in Israeli society. Instead, again she invents a more innocent reference, calling Israeli violence marginal, part of a “nationalist fringe”
But as the writer Ali Abunimah pointed out, the violence toward Palestinians is not marginal in any sense but spoken loudly by members of the ruling party in Parliament who have incited hatred and legitimized killing. These include Knesset member Ayelet Shaked who advocates war against “the entire Palestinian nation” including women and children, whom she references as “snakes.”
Of course anyone who has studied the living conditions of Palestinians will know that violence is pervasive and daily under military rule, from the brutality of soldiers to armed settlers to the speeches produced by the office of the Prime Minister, which trickles down to very popular hate pages in Israeli social media as also pointed out by Abunimah’s work.
So how does the world’s most famous newspaper pick its editors and reporters? Do they research the context of the countries they report on? Or does it pick the type of people who omit deaths based on ethnicity, fail to see a system of daily violence and injustice, explain away hate speech as marginal– and worse still– accept terms heard with their own ears from police spokespersons like “nationalistic” murder.