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May 21, 2017

New York Times Downplays Clash as Demonstration

The New York Times downplays a Palestinian attack in an incident Thursday that ended with an Israeli settler shooting dead one of the Palestinians who bombarded his car with rocks. The Times' online headline states that the Israeli fired on Palestinian protesters and ignores the Palestinian rock-throwing, as if the Israeli fired on demonstrators doing nothing more than waving flags:

nyt demonstration.JPG

Similarly, the print edition headline is "Protester Is Shot Dead By Settler in West Bank."

The article's first three paragraphs refers to "demonstration," "protest," "demonstrators" or "protesters" a total of six times to describe violent clashes in which Palestinians attacked soldiers and/or civilians with rocks:

An Israeli settler whose car was caught up in a pro-Palestinian street demonstration in the West Bank on Thursday opened fire on the protesters, killing a 23-year-old Palestinian man and wounding a news photographer.

The protest, held in support of Palestinian prisoners on a hunger strike that has now lasted 32 days, was one of several marred by violence recently.

At a protest near the city of Ramallah on Thursday, Israeli soldiers fired on demonstrators, wounding one Palestinian. The day before, a settler fired a gun at protesters blocking roads near Ramallah and throwing stones; a 19-year-old Palestinian was injured in that episode.

Though the second paragraph does refer to "several [protests] marred by violence," it fails to indicate that in the deadly incident Thursday Palestinians used violence, while the preceding paragraph did note the Israeli shooting, which was the result of the unmentioned Palestinian attack.

Not until the fifth paragraph does The Times acknowledge: "Israelis point to video images showing the settler's car, a small silver hatchback, being pounded by rocks and surrounded by dozens of demonstrators." The digital edition also provides a hyperlink to the video.

Contrast The Times' articles downplaying the Palestinians' attack on the Israelis to those of the wire services, which clearly state that Palestinians attacked the Israeli's car. The Associated Press, whose own photographer was injured, apparently by the Israeli, noted in the headline that the "protesters" engaged in violence citing a clash: "Protester killed, AP journalist wounded in West Bank clash."

It included in the first paragraph (not the fifth, like The Times') the fact that Palestinians were throwing rocks at the Israeli's car:

An Israeli settler opened fire on Thursday at Palestinian demonstrators after his car was pelted with stones, killing a young man and wounding an Associated Press photographer who was covering the unrest, according to witnesses, video footage and medical officials.

The shooting occurred at the Hawara checkpoint in the northern West Bank, where dozens of Palestinian protesters were demonstrating in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Hundreds of prisoners are taking part in the strike, which began on April 17.

Security camera video from the scene shows a large crowd of demonstrators blocking a main road, preventing cars, including the one driven by the settler, from passing.

As a Palestinian ambulance crosses into his lane, the man's vehicle lurches through the crowd, pushing into some of the protesters, prompting demonstrators to kick and pelt the vehicle with stones. (Emphases added.)

Reuters, also referred to "clashes" in the headline, and likewise noted in the first paragraph that Palestinians were attacking the Israeli ("Palestinian killed as settler opens fire during West Bank clashes"). Reuters' story begins:

A Palestinian man was killed in the occupied West Bank on Thursday when an Israeli settler opened fire as protesters crowded around his car and pelted it with rocks, according to multiple accounts.

A Reuters photographer and other witnesses said hundreds of Palestinians had gathered near the city of Nablus to show support for Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails. During their demonstration, they blocked a main road used by both Palestinians and Israeli settlers.

The Israeli military said the Palestinians began throwing rocks at passing vehicles, including one belonging to a settler. (Emphases added.)

Posted by TS at May 21, 2017 06:22 AM


appreciate your more factual & trust worthy account: in a 6 month period i saw mass media report on alledeged loss of families & home poised through out contested areas. upon closer look it is the same woman-lost 8 husbands,32 children, ex-tended family 7 homes.THANK YOU for something real People need to see & hear palestinians don't want peace: death to the west, Israel, & America is their mission statement. Keep up your good work.

Posted by: w e teel at May 24, 2017 05:11 AM

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