Mar
11
2014

What if NYT Factchecked Netanyahu's Claims?

Netanyahu-weapons-shipment

If the New York Times pointed out that Israel was making debunkable claims about Iranian weapons programs, it might make readers less inclined to accept Israel's unverifiable claims about Iranian weapons shipments.

Apr
03
2013

Misreporting Israel/Gaza Cease-Fire

Wreckage from Israeli bombing of Gaza, November 2012 (cc photo: Norsk Folkehjelp)

An Israeli airstrike on Gaza yesterday is being reported as a breach of the cease-fire agreement that was reached after violence last November between the Israeli military and Hamas forces. But the new accounts are misleading: They give the impression that Israel hasn't regularly violated the agreement already.

Oct
09
2012

NYT Reverses Time to Put Retaliation Before Attack in Gaza

Media activist Alison Weir (10/8/12) calls attention to a remarkable New York Times report (10/9/12) on Gaza violence. While we've come to expect a pro-Israeli bias from the Times, it's still surprising to find the paper using time travel to make sure that events happen in their proper sequence. The headline of the Times piece is: Israel Launches Airstrikes After Attacks From Gaza But if you read the article, you immediately find that the sequence is exactly reversed: Gaza militants fired a barrage of rockets and mortar shells into Israeli territory on Monday, causing no casualties but some property damage, […]

Feb
22
2012

New NYT Rule: Anonymous Govt Sources Can Call Their Critics Terrorists

In today's New York Times report (2/22/12) about Khader Adnan–the Palestinian hunger striker challenging Israeli "administrative detention" practices–reporter Isabel Kershner allows this: An Israeli official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, called the deal over Mr. Adnan "a workable arrangement" since ultimately he will be almost completing his four-month term of detention. "We faced a dilemma," the official said. "On the one hand we did not want any harm to come to him, or the wider danger in that. On the other hand it is not healthy to set a precedent that every time a Palestinian terrorist goes on hunger […]

Apr
11
2011

Timelines and 'Trading Blows' in Gaza

A headline in yesterday's New York Times (4/10/11): Violence Rises as Israel and Hamas Trade Blows This "blow trading" has resulted in18 deaths, all in Gaza–roughly half civilians and half militants. On the Israeli side, one boy was seriously injured. The Times account tells us: The Israeli military said that if civilians were hit, it was because militants shot from among them. But the deaths on Friday of 19-year-old Nidal Qudeh, who was studying to be a medical secretary, and her mother, Najah, 40, outside the southeastern city of Khan Yunis did not fit that pattern, witnesses said. It would […]

Jan
25
2011

Adventures in Absurd Anonymity, Continued

Anonymous Israeli officials are weighing in at the New York Times today. Let's remember the Times has some rules regarding the use of anonymous sources: The use of unidentified sources is reserved for situations in which the newspaper could not otherwise print information it considers reliable and newsworthy. When we use such sources, we accept an obligation not only to convince a reader of their reliability but also to convey what we can learn of their motivation–as much as we can supply to let a reader know whether the sources have a clear point of view on the issue under […]

Jul
15
2010

Isabel Kershner Misleads on Israel's 'Far-Reaching Proposal'

New York Times reporter Isabel Kershner (7/15/10) writes a news analysis of why "peace talks" between Israel and the Palestinians are at a virtual standstill, despite the "upbeat atmosphere" in Washington following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama's recent meeting. When she attempts to contextualize the "peace talks," Kershner throws in this misleading history: Mr. Netanyahu's predecessor, Ehud Olmert made a far-reaching proposal in late 2008 to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. It included an Israeli withdrawal from 93.5 percent of the West Bank, with land swaps and a safe route for Palestinian travel between Gaza and the West […]

Jun
04
2010

NYT Corrects Its Gaza History

On Tuesday (6/1/10), FAIR said this about the New York Times coverage of Gaza: Other news accounts presented misleading context about the circumstances leading to Israel's blockade. [Isabel] Kershner (New York Times, 6/1/10) stressed that "Israel had vowed not to let the flotilla reach the shores of Gaza, where Hamas, an organization sworn to Israel's destruction, took over by force in 2007." The Associated Press (6/1/10) reported that "Israel and Egypt sealed Gaza's borders after Hamas overran the territory in 2007, wresting control from Abbas-loyal forces"–the latter a reference to Fatah forces affiliated with Mahmoud Abbas. Both accounts ignore the […]

Oct
09
2009

NYT: Gaza War Worked

Isabel Kershner writes a piece in the New York Times (10/9/09) that starts out as a profile of an Israeli artist who makes flowers out of Qassam rocket pieces. The main point, though, is to discuss thechanged reality in southern Israel, thanks to the invasion of the Gaza Strip late last year that killed over 1,000 Palestinians: Israel said its three-week offensive was intended to change the reality in the south. Since January, when the military campaign ended, the rocket fire has significantly fallen off and residents here are trying to accustom themselves to a kind of normalcy amid the […]

May
11
2009

'Tensions' and 'History' in Jerusalem

The New York Times' Ethan Bronner and Isabel Kershner (5/9/09) wrote about the Israeli government's development planin Jerusalem–a "$100 million, multiyear development plan in some of the most significant religious and national heritage sites just outside the walled Old City here as part of an effort to strengthen the status of Jerusalem as its capital." According to the Times report, this will involvetearing down some Palestinian homes around the city, while at the same time cleaning up other areas and putting up "new signs and displays that point out significant points of Jewish history." Bronner and Kershner explain the different […]