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April 23, 2008

Injured Israeli child not news "fit to print"?

When the New York Times published Ethan Bronner's article "Carter Says Hamas and Syria Are Open to Peace" on its web site on April 21, 2008, the article stated that

"Hamas fires rockets on Israeli towns and communities in an effort to hurt and kill civilians. On Monday a 4-year-old child was injured from shrapnel after a rocket hit a home on a kibbutz and caused damage, the Israeli army announced."

The next day, the International Herald Tribune published Mr. Bronner's article ("Hamas and Syria are ready for peace, Carter says," April 22). The Herald Tribune omitted the reference to Hamas intending to hurt and kill civilians, but did report that

"On Monday, a 4-year-old child was wounded by shrapnel after a rocket hit a home on a kibbutz and caused damage, the Israeli Army announced."

However, when Mr. Bronner's story appeared in the April 22 print edition of the New York Times, both the reference to Hamas's intentions in firing its rockets and the report of the injury to the Israeli child had been deleted and were nowhere to be found in the published 22-paragraph article. Nor were these words still available on the nytimes.com web site.

A Google search shows that they used to be there, but when one clicks on the posted article, the words are missing.

Carter Says Hamas and Syria Are Open to Peace - New York Times... and declaring a 30-day unilateral cease-fire with Israel — Hamas fires rockets on Israeli towns and communities in an effort to hurt and kill civilians. ... www.nytimes.com/2008/04/22/world/middleeast/22mideast.html?ex=1366516800&en=c712aec36630ab9d&ei=5... - Similar pages


The final published version of the New York Times article, with the words deleted, is available here.
The International Herald Tribune version is available here.

By contrast, the Associated Press prominently noted the injury to the Israeli child in its report. The AP's Karin Laub ("Carter says Hamas willing to be Israel's neighbor") stated in the third paragraph of her 35-paragraph story that day:

"Actions on the ground — seven rockets were fired on Israel from Hamas-ruled Gaza Monday, including one that wounded a 4-year-old boy — contradicted the Islamic militant group's positive words about coexistence and a truce."

The AP report also mentioned the injury to the Israeli child in the story's 22nd paragraph as well.

The New York Times prides itself on publishing "all the news that's fit to print." So why did the Times decide to not just ignore, but actively censor, a newsworthy report on the injury of an Israeli child in a Palestinian terrorist missile attack, as well as the words of the Times's Jerusalem bureau chief explaining Hamas's intent to "hurt and kill Israeli civilians"?

Letters can be sent to the Times at: letters@nytimes.com

Stephen A. Silver

Posted by LG at April 23, 2008 12:30 PM

Comments

On May 2, 2004 Mrs.Tali Hatuel was driving to her home of 12 years in the Israeli settlement in Gaza strip, when she and her four girls Hila (11), Hadar (9), Roni (7), and Meirav (2), were attacked by Palestinian militants who shot execution style, bullet in the head, murdering pregnant Hatuel and her four daughters who were in their car-seats. The Popular resistance Committee and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the deaths. This heinous crime received little coverage, only a paragraph in an article. An article, pictures and maps described the unfortunate death of members of Abu Maatak family. The dead were identified as Rudayna and Hana Abu Maatak, ages 6 and 3, sisters; their brothers Saleh, 4, and Mousad, 15 months; and their mother, Miyasar, youngest of three wives of Ahmed Abu Maatak, 70. The circumstances of their death suggest that two Hamas soldiers carrying explosives were hit by IDF fire and they exploded killing Abu Maatak family. What ever the cause, IDF did not plan to kill the family. Difference media coverage of these two families terrible tragedy is troubling. The Israeli pregnant mother and her four daughters were executed by Palestinian criminals. The Palestinian family fell victim as human shields or bystanders in the wrong place in the wrong time. Israeli family got no news coverage while the Palestinian tragedy got full attention. No symmetry in media handling of these two tragedies reflects anti Israel bias. Isaac Barr MD,

Posted by: Isaac Barr MD at May 1, 2008 10:26 PM

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