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May 18, 2010

All the News That's Fit to Print at the New York Times?

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Update: The Times did publish an article on the subject the day after this post went up. The piece did not make it into its internet listing until today. The fact that it took several days for the paper to publish this account contrasts with the focused coverage of Israel's decision to deny radical anti-Israel activist Noam Chomsky entrance to the West Bank. However, that said, it is worth reading the posted piece to notice the tone, which gives weight to the Hamas argument of the importance of upholding the law and not allowing unapproved building on state land. Is this balanced tone different from how the Times handles the plethora of articles on Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes? Even the article's title suggests ambivalence.

Original Posting
The New York Times relentlessly shines a bright light on any Israeli practice that it finds objectionable. With all its coverage of Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes, it is curious that a recent news item about Hamas demolishing the homes of Gazan residents apparently did not make it into its coverage.

A Reuter's report recorded the responses of several Palestinians whose homes were destroyed by Hamas,

Issa Al-Sdodi, an employee of the previous Fatah-led administration, said Hamas policemen accompanied by bulldozers knocked down his three-storey house without advance notice. "I put my savings into building it and now my family of 10 is homeless," Sdodi told Reuters.

Fatheya al-Ghezawi, 52, sat in the sand with her daughter near the rubble of her home, which had housed her family of 15.

She said she fled Gaza city last year after the house she had been renting was destroyed by Israeli forces. "This time, it wasn't the Jews. It is Islam against Islam," Ghezawi said.

The Associated Press reported on May 16, 2010

Hamas police wielding clubs beat and pushed residents out of dozens of homes in the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Sunday before knocking the buildings down with bulldozers, residents said.

Some 30-40 homes were reportedly knocked down after being declared illegal by the Hamas government.

Apparently the "paper of record" did not feel this was newsworthy as an on-line search of New York Times news items on the Middle East did not turn up any report on the Hamas demolitions. It did however, give extensive coverage to anti-Israel activist Noam Chomsky being denied entry into the West Bank, to a Palestinian youth who was shot by a settler during a stone throwing incident, to a story critical of Israel's maintenance of mine fields at its borders, to a story of two Arab "activists" arrested for collaborating with Hezbollah and to yet another story about how there are American Jews who do not support Israeli policy.

Posted by SS at May 18, 2010 04:51 PM

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