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July 25, 2012

Double Standards at The New York Times

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In an article about Romney's election campaign, The New York Times saw it necessary to "correct" the candidate's suggestion that "The people of Israel deserve better than what they have received from the leader of the free world.'' The quote by Romney was immediately followed by The New York Times clarification:

Some Israeli leaders do not share this view; Ehud Barak, the defense minister and former prime minister, said last year that Mr. Obama had been an ''extremely strong supporter of Israel in regard to its security.'' They also have praised Mr. Obama for opposing the Palestinian Authority's bid for statehood at the United Nations.


While there is nothing in itself wrong with a political opinion being countered with additional information, the problem is that The New York Times does not do this consistently across the board.


Clearly, The Times is not always so diligent about clarifying statements by non-reporters. For example, in an article last year about an Israeli group involved in the illegal smuggling of Palestinians across Israel’s 1967 lines, then-bureau chief Ethan Bronner quoted verbatim an entire advertisement by the group that was fiilled with demonstrably false accusations against Israel. Yet no clarification followed to correct the false assertions.

Not only did the newspaper's editors feel it unneccessary to vet the claims in the quoted ad, they also felt it unnecessary to issue a subsequent correction or clarification of the falsehoods the article relayed.
Just another example of the double standards employed by The New York Times.

According to Bronner's article, “Where Politics Are Complex, Simple Joys at the Beach” (July 27, 2011):

In a newspaper advertisement, the group of women declared: ‘We cannot assent to the legality of the Law of Entry into Israel, which allows every Israeli and every Jew to move freely in all regions between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River while depriving Palestinians of this same right. They are not permitted free movement within the occupied territories nor are they allowed into the towns and cities across the green line, where their families, their nation, and their traditions are deeply rooted.’”

But, in fact, all of the advertisement’s main points were false.

A) The Law says nothing at all about allowing “every Israeli and every Jew to move freely in all regions between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River” — and in fact, Israeli Jews are not permitted to enter Area A (PA controlled territory) of the West Bank or any part of the Gaza Strip.

B) The Law does not mention let alone bar Palestinians from “free movement within the occupied territories.”

C) The Law does not prevent Palestinians from entering “towns and cities across the green line.
Israel’s Law of Entry. It focuses on Israeli legal residence and nationality, and governs the entry of non-citizens into the sovereign State of Israel.

D) Current restrictions on freedom of movement, put into place following the first Palestinian Intifada when violent assaults against Israeli civilians by Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza increased, apply both to Palestinians and Israeli Jews – and are a direct result of the security threat presented to Israel and Israeli citizens. Thus, Israeli Jews are barred from entering Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip, while Palestinians are issued permits to cross Israel's pre-67 boundaries. The number of permits granted to Palestinians are directly related to the security assessment.

So a political opinion made in the context of an election campaign is quickly clarified (when the newspaper's journalists disagree) but clearcut errors are left to stand.

Posted by RH at July 25, 2012 12:19 PM

Comments

Re: NYT double standards

Perhaps it's better to have double standards than no standards at all. But then, it IS the NYT that we are discussing, the same paper that published the "Pentagon Papers" during Viet Nam and numerous articles that exposed classified information over the past decade, putting our current military personnel and our nation at risk.

Posted by: Ben N at July 27, 2012 08:36 AM

to the first point about Romney...why would the leader of the free world owe anything to the people of Israel? am i missing something? i understand that we are close allies, but not sure the US President owes Israel anything.

Posted by: mike at August 1, 2012 02:36 PM

Yes, Mike, you ARE missing something -- you apparently cannot even read correctly. Romney never said that the "leader of the free world OWES anything" to the people of Israel, as you assert. He merely said they "deserve better than they have received." In other words, it means the treatment they have already gotten has in some way been flawed, but that doesn't say anything about being OWED anything. The difference is quite significant, if you think about it.

Posted by: DavidAK at August 2, 2012 01:22 PM

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