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August 04, 2014

UPDATE: The New York Times Changes Problematic Web Article

Original Posting

In typical New York Times fashion, an online story today spun the events of the day to hide and whitewash Palestinian terrorism and highlight Israeli hostilities, presenting the Palestinian side of a disputed version of events as fact.

The article, by Steve Erlanger, was originally headlined "Israel Suspends (later changed to "Halts") Attack in Parts of Gaza, but Strike Kills Girll." The reporter began the article by stating as fact:

Minutes after Israel began a unilateral and partial cease-fire in Gaza on Monday, the air force struck a house in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, killing a girl, 8, and wounding at least 29 others.

Yet several paragraphs later, he suggested that this version of events was disputed:

Ashraf al-Qedra, a spokesman for the Health Ministry in Gaza, said that the strike on the house in Shati took place several minutes after the announced start of the cease-fire, but one Israeli official from the army agency that controls coordination with Gaza told Israel Radio that the strike took place just before the cease-fire began.

Given that the Gazan spokesman and the Israeli official differed on the timing of the strike, it is telling that Times reporter's inclination was to present the Palestinian version of events in the lede as undisputed factt rather than noting that "around the time that a unilateral and partial cease-fire went into effect, the Shati refugee camp in Gaza city was struck....The timing of events is disputed."

More disturbing, however,was the way the terror attack in Jerusalem that killed a Jewish pedestrian and injured three others was hidden in the very llast paragraph of the article, not to mention its complete absence from the headline.

Of course, this is typical for the New York Times, which tends to bury and whitewash accounts of Palestinian aggression and terrorism against Israeli victims. Indeed, the brief account of the Jerusalem attack whitewashes the terrorist's actions and reverses the sequence of events by beginning with his shooting death. Erlanger wrote:

In East Jerusalem, the police shot and killed a local Palestinian who drove a construction vehicle over a pedestrian, killing him, and then knocked over a bus, which happened to be nearly empty, slightly injuring three people.

The aggressor in this version of events is the Israeli police who "shot and killed" the "local" Palestinian who happened to run over a pedestrian and knock over an empty bus. There is no indication that this was a deliberate act of terror rather than just a case of a local Palestinian being shot dead by trigger-happy Israeli police after losing control of a vehicle. When describing a terror attack like this, it would be obviously be more intuitive to start with the death of the innocent victim before the death of the perpetrator. A more objective, journalistic version of events came from the wire services:

AP: "An Israeli-declared temporary cease-fire and troop withdrawals slowed violence in the Gaza war Monday, though an attack on an Israeli bus that killed one person in Jerusalem underscored the tensions still simmering in the region...The lull was broken by the Jerusalem assault, which saw a man ram the front end of a construction excavator into an Israeli bus. Police described the incident as a "terrorist attack," indicating Palestinian involvement."


Reuters: "A Palestinian killed an Israeli and overturned a bus with a construction vehicle on Monday and a gunman wounded a soldier in attacks in Jerusalem that appeared to be a backlash against Israel's Gaza war."


AFP: " One Israeli was killed and five others injured Monday when an excavator rammed into a Jerusalem bus, turning it over before the driver was shot dead by police, officials said. "

Let's hope that the print edition of the newspaper tomorrow will present a more accurate and objective version of today's news events.

Update:

The New York Times updated the online article. The originally problematic sections now more accurately reflect the day's events. The disputed time of the strike on the al Shati refugee camp is now described as follows:

Israel’s desired outcome could unravel if Hamas continues to attack Israel — at least 53 rockets were fired on Monday, while Israel had decreed a seven-hour unilateral and partial cease-fire. And Palestinians accused Israel of violating its own cease-fire when the air force struck a house in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, killing a girl, 8, and wounding at least 29.

Palestinians said the attack came minutes after the cease-fire, while one Israeli official, Yoav Poli Mordechai from Cogat, the army agency that controls coordination with Gaza, told Israel Radio that the attack was several minutes before. The Israeli military, for its part, said the strike, aimed at “a senior Hamas operative,” was at “approximately 10 a.m.,” when the cease-fire began.

And the Jerusalem terror attack is now described in this way:

In an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem on Monday, a Palestinian drove a heavy construction vehicle over a pedestrian, killing him, and overturned a nearly empty bus, injuring three people, before the police shot the driver to death.

Posted by RH at August 4, 2014 03:00 PM

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