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February 16, 2018

The Song Remains The Same: NYT Backs Off the Palestinian Authority

abbas hiding frame.jpg

Earlier this week, in a moment of candor, the New York Times acknowledged that the Palestinian Authority does, in fact, have agency in shaping the situation in the Israel and the territories.

A Feb. 12 article about the "unraveling" of the Gaza Strip explained that the PA, the West Bank-based government headed by Mahmoud Abbas, and Fatah, its conjoined political party, are most directly responsible for the financial crisis that has set back Gaza and its residents in recent weeks.

According to reporter David Halbfinger,

Across Gaza, the densely populated enclave of two million Palestinians sandwiched between Israel and Egypt, daily life, long a struggle, is unraveling before people's eyes.

At the heart of the crisis — and its most immediate cause — is a crushing financial squeeze, the result of a tense standoff between Hamas, the militant Islamist group that rules Gaza, and Fatah, the secular party entrenched on the West Bank. Fatah controls the Palestinian Authority but was driven out of Gaza by Hamas in 2007.

That the strained relationship between Hamas and its Fatah rivals plays a key role in Gaza's troubles is beyond dispute. But as the week progressed, the New York Times seems to have forgotten its assessment about the central cause of Gaza's decline. An article in today's print edition again mentions Gaza's troubles — its "unraveling," reporters again said, borrowing from Monday's story — but altogether replaced Fatah with another culprit.

In laying out the map of the Middle East, David Halbfinger and his colleague Isabel Kershner cited "the beleaguered Gaza Strip unraveling under Israel's own pressure and Hamas's control."

Israel certainly pressures Hamas, a terrorist group sworn to its destruction. And Hamas control is certainly oppressive. But what happened to Mahmoud Abbas, his Palestinian Authority government, and his Fatah party, whose ongoing power struggle with Hamas was just a few days ago the "heart of the crisis" and its "most immediate cause"?

Old habits die hard. The New York Times, which has long insisted on framing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as one of Israeli wrongdoing and Palestinian victimhood, and which in recent months has refused to report on vile, hateful rhetoric by Mahmoud Abbas, seems to have quickly forgotten what it reported last Monday about the Palestinian leader's role in Gaza's situation.

Posted by GI at February 16, 2018 11:57 AM


While the original report at long last outed the PA as a significant contributor to the problems of Gaza, it failed to assign responsibility to the overwhelming cause of Gaza's failures - Hamas.
This absurd omission - for which there is no possible excuse - needs to be communicated to the Times on as wide as scale as possible.

Posted by: H Lewis at February 22, 2018 03:38 PM

Dear CAMERA friends,

The NYTimes is pushing hard to get subscribers -- nonstop online ads: 50% off for one year.

Forgive me, but I couldn't resist responding. I wouldn't subscribe to the NYT if they were giving it away -- not with the kind of biased coverage and lack of fairness they give to Israel.

CM Dubin

Posted by: Anonymous at February 24, 2018 07:46 PM

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