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Media Analyses

New York Times Lax on Covering Palestinian Bombing Attempts, Aggression

Despite the New York Times’ intense coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the paper has recently overlooked two Palestinian attempted bombings and a Palestinian official’s condoning of the murder of Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza. (One oversight was belatedly rectified.)

On July 11, three Israeli plainclothes police officers in Afula arrested a Palestinian suicide bomber as his hand was reaching for the detonator. The bomb, filled with nails, was particularly deadly and would have inflicted a large number of casualties if not for the vigilance of the policemen. The following day, major national newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune all mentioned the potentially disastrous incident. For some unexplained reason the Times did not cover the averted suicide bombing.

The Times was also derelict on Monday, July 16, not reporting the death of two Palestinians when the bomb they were transporting exploded prematurely, just one kilometer from the Maccabiah Games in Jerusalem, an international sporting event. The other leading dailies, including the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune, all again covered the story. So, how come the Times missed the story? After CAMERA contacted the Foreign Desk yesterday, today’s paper did, while reporting the latest suicide attack, also report the earlier attempted terror attack (“Suicide Bomber Kills 2 Israeli Soldiers; 3rd Is Badly Wounded,” July 17, 2001, by Joel Greenberg).

But, the Greenberg story today was not completely forthcoming in reporting Palestinian threats against Israelis; it did not make clear that a top Palestinian official sanctioned the killing of Jews. The article states:

Several hours before the [Binyamina] bombing, Jibril Rajoub, the Palestinian security chief in the West Bank, spoke out against attacks inside Israel. “It does not serve us,” he told Palestinian radio. “It only serves the right wing in Israel.”

While the Times quotes Rajoub more or less accurately, the paper misleads readers by obscuring that in speaking out only against attacks inside Israel, Rajoub is supporting continued killing of Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza.

Rajoub’s actual words were:

I hope that there will be maturity and a high sense of responsibility by all the Palestinian political forces on the issue of operating inside Israel. This carrying out of operations inside Israel should stop because it is not in our interest and does not serve us. (Voice of Palestine, July 16, BBC Monitoring)


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