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January 21, 2008

LA Times Distorts Hamas' Fabricated "Crisis"

The Los Angeles Times has once again published anti-Israel propaganda in the guise of serious reporting about the Middle East. "Gaza dark amid Israeli blockade," (Jan 21) blames Israel for the shutdown of Gaza's only electric power plant, "plunging most of this city into darkness and threatening such vital services as hospitals, bakeries, water supply and sewage."

Not until the 12th paragraph does it report Israel's contention that the shutdown is a PR-inspired crisis of Hamas's own making:

The Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a statement alleging that power was still flowing to Gaza's rocket-making facilities. It questioned the severity of the fuel shortage and suggested that "propaganda considerations" were behind Hamas' decision to shut down the plant.

But this is insufficient. Compare this with the New York Times' article "Fuel Shortage Shuts Gaza Power Plant, Leaving City Dark" (Jan. 21), which noted the following:

Israeli officials disputed Mr. Meliha’s assertions, saying that Israel still supplies Gaza with about 70 percent of its electricity requirements, while another 5 percent comes from Egypt. "That is all going on as usual," said Shlomo Dror, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry. "Sure, the Palestinians can say they have no electricity and take down their turbines, but there is no crisis," he insisted, adding that it is up to the Palestinians how they allocate whatever electricity they have within the Gaza Strip.

The New York Times also put the shutdown in context, noting that:

Israel's defense minister, Ehud Barak, ordered a temporary halt on all imports into the Hamas-run Gaza Strip late last week. The measure, along with stepped-up military operations in Gaza, was meant to persuade Palestinian militants there to stop firing rockets at Israel. ... Five rockets had been launched from Gaza by nightfall on Sunday, two of which landed in and around the Israeli border town of Sderot, an army spokeswoman said. There was a marked decrease in rocket fire over the weekend, compared with the roughly 130 rockets that the army said had been launched from Gaza during four days last week.

This follows on the L.A. Times publishing an anti-Semitic cartoon and publishing a factually flawed anti-Israel screed by Walt and Mearsheimer on January 6, 2008.

- Stephen Silver

Posted by LG at January 21, 2008 05:57 PM


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