The day after two Israeli reservists were lynched in Ramallah, a Gaza preacher, Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabaya, in a sermon broadcast live on official Palestinian Authority television, verbally matched the lynch mob’s brutality, calling on Muslims to slaughter all Jews:
They are the terrorists. They are the ones who must be butchered and killed, as Allah the almighty said: 'Fight them; Allah will torture them at your hands, and will humiliate them ...’
Have no mercy on the Jews no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them. Wherever you are, kill those Jews and those Americans who are like them – and those who stand by them ... (October 13, 2000, translation by MEMRI)
In the midst of violent disturbances that have shaken the Middle East, how did the New York Times cover this appalling call to the mass murder of Jews by a PA religious leader? By covering it up.
In a story published October 24th, Times reporter William Orme tries to establish a parallel between such Palestinian incitement to the butchering of Jews, and factual Israeli broadcasts of the lynching of its soldiers. But Orme did this without actually reporting the venomous hatred that had been spewed by Palestinian television. Instead, Orme informed Times readers that:
Israelis cite as one egregious example a televised sermon that defended the killing of the two soldiers. “Whether Likud or Labor, Jews are Jews,” proclaimed Sheik Ahmad Abu Halabaya in a live broadcast from a Gaza City mosque the day after the killings.
Celebrating its centennial a few years ago, the Times admitted its shocking failure to adequately cover the Holocaust:
The New York Times has been criticized for grossly underplayed coverage of the Holocaust. Although some reports were given prominence, this display shows that the criticism was valid. (New York Times exhibit at the New York Public Library, as reported in The Jewish Monthly, December-January 1997)
But the Times failure did not begin with muted coverage of the mass murders. It began with its underplaying of the virulent anti-Semitic propaganda assaults on the Jews that laid the groundwork for the genocide. By failing to inform readers, by failing to force the issue to the forefront of public discourse, the “newspaper of record” also failed the millions of Jews who would soon die in the crematoria of Europe. Had the Times not shirked its duty in the 1930's and 40's, millions might have been saved.
Apparently old habits die hard.