A New York Times article discussing Palestinian attempts to bring charges against Israeli commanders at the International Court in the Hague offers a revealing glimpse of the bias that finds expression at the paper. The paper equivocates on clear-cut criminality on the part of Hamas, while relying upon a biased source to comment on allegations of Israeli war crimes.
In “Palestinians Press for Wartime Inquiry on Gaza” (Feb. 10, 2008), Marlise Simons writes, “Hamas’s practice of sending rockets into southern Israel, which often landed in civilian areas, might be viewedas a violation” (emphasis added). Simons’ wording suggests that Hamas’ attacks against civilian areas (Israeli towns and cities) could be unintentional, a by-product of inaccurate rockets. If the rocketing of towns and cities “might be viewed as a violation,” then by implication, it might also be seen as a legitimate act.
Later she reports that “critics of Israel’s recent conduct” have “also said (emphasis added) that Hamas has violated the rules of war and committed war crimes with indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and the use of its own civilians as human shields.” It is unclear why the Times chooses not to state unequivocally that intentionally targeting the civilian population of Israeli towns is a war crime.