Aletho News


Bias, Racism and the New York Times

By Robert Fantina | CounterPunch | July 1, 2014

The New York Times, in its never-ending fawning over Apartheid Israel, published recently what is obviously meant to be a heart-rending story of a Jewish woman whose son was killed during the intifada of 2001. The article talks about Sherri Mandall, an American living in settlements that the world condemns as illegal. She, herself, is also part of a serious violation of international law that states that an occupying power must not move residents onto occupied land.

The article discusses the ‘murder’ of her son, and her ‘noble’ efforts to assist others who have lost loved ones.

This writer searched the New York Times archives in vain to find an article that interviewed a Palestinian mother whose young son had been killed by IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) terrorists. Was The Times unable to find such an individual? In the last 14 years, while 129 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians, at least 1,530 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis. Surely, one or two mothers could have been located from among that number. Perhaps the mother of Nadim Nawara, 17, unarmed and shot in the back by IDF soldiers, a crime captured by a video camera and shown around the world, might be interested in telling her story.  Surely The Times could extract some human pathos from such an interview.

Or perhaps The Times is only interested in interviewing U.S. citizens (Mrs. Mandall holds dual U.S. and Israeli citizenship). This writer also searched the archives for an interview with Craig and Cindy Corrie, parents of Rachel Corrie, a U.S. citizen who was crushed to death by a bulldozer in Gaza, as she was attempting to stop an illegal home demolition.  Unfortunately, he was not successful in finding such an interview.

Could it be that The New York Times, once undeservedly revered for publishing ‘all the news that’s fit to print’, somewhere along the line decided to print just what it determines is news?

The recent disappearance of three Israeli teenagers, living illegally in the West Bank, has garnered extensive coverage in The Times. However, the kidnapping of hundreds of Palestinian youths each year, some of them pre-teens, by the IDF, usually does not warrant so much as a mention by the paper. The cold-blooded murder of Nadim Nawara, in May of this year, did receive an unprecedented three articles over a period of a week. But there has been no mention of Mr. Nawara since the end of May. This writer would imagine that his mother may be available for comment.

It is difficult to see this happening, this lack of reporting, without the ugly word ‘racism’ coming to mind. Is the grief of an Israeli mother somehow, in the opinion of The New York Times, more poignant or searing than that of a Palestinian mother? If that is not the opinion of The Times, then what would be the reason for highlighting one while ignoring the other?

Information about home-made bottle rockets being shot into Israel from the Gaza Strip also seems to be considered newsworthy by The Times. But what of the carpet bombing of Gaza, with sophisticated weaponry, including chemical weapons, provided by the United States? If the use of chemical weapons in Syria is so serious, shouldn’t the same standard apply to their usage in Palestine? Or is anything acceptable as long as it’s done by Israel?

Journalism is, by nature, expected to be unbiased. News is reported simply because it is newsworthy. The disappearance of hundreds of Palestinian children each year, often violently taken from their beds in the middle of the night by IDF terrorists, is news. Proportionally, it is more newsworthy than the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers, simply because the numbers kidnapped are so much greater.

This racism is reflected in journalistic circles throughout the United States. The ‘Missing  White Woman Syndrome’ describes the disproportionate amount of news coverage given to upper-middle-class white women who disappear, over minority women who disappear.  About half of people, including men, women and children, who are reported missing in the U.S. each year are white, and they receive about 80% of the media coverage of missing persons.

So The New York Times, a rag inexplicably popular with the left, is only following the long-standing national trend:  report in depth on the sufferings of whites, but let minorities fend for themselves.

One might ask how Israel fits into all this. Why are the children of settlers, living in communities that the world has condemned as illegal, so very precious, while the children of the oppressed Palestinians are somehow expendable? Why does this mindset seem also to permeate the hallowed halls of Congress, and the White House?

There seems to be a perverse symbiotic relationship at work: the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) purchases members of Congress, who then toe the Israeli line. The New York Times, wanting nearly unlimited access to the corridors of power in the U.S., report what those power-holders say, and want reported.  And the only thing to get lost in all this is truth.

Since this writer began this article, news that the bodies of the three missing teenagers have been found has been reported. One feels sorrow and compassion for their survivors, but no more so than one feels for the surviving loved ones of Nadim Nawara and the countless other Palestinians murdered in cold-blood by Israel. Palestinian victims are living in their homelands; the three Israeli teenagers were part of an occupying population, living where they were in violation of international law. This does not alter the sorrow of the families, but there is certainly some risk in living in a settlement as part of a brutal occupation.

How will The Times report on this new development, and Israel’s horrifically brutal response? Will the three Israeli victims be honored, while the countless Palestinian victims are ignored and forgotten? Will the anticipated carpet-bombing of the Gaza Strip, and the further crack down in the West Bank, be reported as reasonable responses to the deaths? And will any Palestinian resistance to this unspeakable brutality be ascribed as the work of terrorists?

The Israeli public relations machine, so effective with the U.S. press and political establishment, will shift into high gear, to ensure support for whatever oppressive cruelty, and whatever extreme and shocking violation of human rights, Israel decides to perpetrate.  And The New York Times will follow Israel’s game plan to the letter.

Perhaps this will finally motivate that stooge of Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to petition the International Criminal Court for redress. Were he not a puppet of Israel he would have done so long ago, but perhaps even for him there is a tipping point. If the expected brutal barrage that Israel is now expected to unleash on Palestine isn’t enough incentive for him to act, nothing will be. The sooner Palestinian elections are held, and the sooner he can be removed from office, the better it will be for all Palestinians.

But regardless of the actions of the weak, corrupt Mr. Abbas, The New York Times will continue to report on Israel’s ‘victimhood’ and Palestinian ‘terrorism’, once again demonstrating that in the world of U.S. journalism, black is white and white is black. One looks in vain for any real, fact-filled, investigative reporting from The Times.

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

July 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

Putin to West: Stop turning world into ‘global barracks,’ dictating rules to others

RT | July 1, 2014

Russia’s president has blamed the turmoil in Ukraine on the country’s newly-elected leader Petro Poroshenko. Vladimir Putin also criticized the West for its intention to turn the planet into a “global barracks.”

Russia’s president has laid the blame for the ongoing turmoil between Kiev and south-eastern regions squarely at the feet of Petro Poroshenko, after the Ukrainian leader terminated the ceasefire.

He has stressed that Russia and European partners could not convince Poroshenko to not take the path of violence, which can’t lead to peace.

“Unfortunately, President Poroshenko has made the decision to resume military actions, and we – meaning myself and my colleagues in Europe – could not convince him that the way to reliable, firm and long-term peace can’t lie through war,” Putin said. “So far, Petro Poroshenko had no direct relation to orders to take military action. Now he has taken on this responsibility in full. Not only military, but also political, more importantly.”

On Monday, the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine held a phone call in which Putin stressed the need to prolong the ceasefire and the creation of “a reliable mechanism for monitoring compliance with it and the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] should play an active role.”

Russia offered that checkpoints on the Russian side should be monitored by representatives of the Ukrainian Border service as well as OSCE observers for “the joint control of the border.”

As the violent conflict continues in the east of Ukraine and the number of refugees fleeing to Russia grows, Putin vowed to provide help to everyone who needs it.

“Everything that’s going on in Ukraine is of course the internal business of Ukrainian government, but we are painfully sorry that people die, civilians,” Putin said. He added that the killing of journalists was “absolutely unacceptable.”

“In my opinion, there is a deliberate attempt to eliminate representatives of the press going on. It concerns both Russian and foreign journalists,” the president said.

Speaking in front of ambassadors on Tuesday, Putin expressed hope that Western partners will stop imposing their principles on other countries.

“I hope pragmatism will still prevail. The West will get rid of ambitions, pursuits to establish a ‘world barracks’ – to arrange all according to ranks, to impose uniform rules of behavior and life of society,” Putin said.

“I hope the West will start building relations based on equal rights, mutual respect and mutual consideration of interests.”

Putin recalled the situation with France and the delivery of the Mistral-class ships that was agreed between Moscow and Paris, but was jeopardized in March.

“We know about the pressure that our American partners put on the French so that they would not deliver the Mistral [ships] to Russia,” Putin said. “And we know that [they] hinted that if the French don’t deliver Mistral, sanctions on banks will be gradually removed, or at least minimized. What is this, if not blackmail?”

Russia is ready to have dialogue with the US only on the basis of equality, Putin added.

“We are not going to stop our relations with the US. The bilateral relations are not in the best shape, that is true. But this – and I want to emphasize – is not Russia’s fault,” he told diplomats.

Speaking about international relations, Putin stressed that Russia always tried to be “predictable, to do business on an equal basis”, however, in return, its interests were quite often ignored.

July 1, 2014 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli settler strikes 9-year old girl with his car, leaves her in ditch with head injuries

Child hit by settler car (image by Nasser @PAL_1948 )
IMEMC | July 1, 2014

A child was seriously wounded in the head when an Israeli settler ran her down Monday night as Israeli settlers marched through the city of Hebron demanding vengeance.

Sanabel Attous, 9, from Jab’a village southwest of Bethlehem was hit by an Israeli car which witnesses say deliberately ran her down.

She was taken to the Bethlehem Arab Society Hospital suffering serious fractures and bruises in the head, face and abdomen.

Eyewitnesses said the settler struck her intentionally, and left her in a ditch, on the side of the road without providing assistance to the wounded child, and left the scene.

Israeli troops closed all entrances to the city of Hebron and the village of Halhoul, near Hebron, where the bodies of three settlers were found on Monday.

Israeli extremists attacked two Palestinians in Jerusalem. A taxi driver was sprayed with pepper spray, and a second man was beaten by Israeli settlers in West Jerusalem.

Settlers across the West Bank have stepped up attacks on Palestinian civilians over the past 18 days, since 3 Israeli settlers disappeared.

When the bodies of the three settlers were found on Monday, Israeli settler leaders and Israeli government officials vowed revenge against the Palestinian people and particularly the Hamas party, though there has been no evidence linking the deaths of the three settlers to Hamas.

One former Israeli Knesset (Parliament) member posted a video Monday called Palestinian children “little terrorists”, and called for “Death to the enemy, evacuation, and wiping off of [their] smile”, according to a translation by the Electronic Intifada.

EI also quoted Tzachi Hanegbi, a former cabinet minister from the ruling Likud party, as saying, “I don’t know how many Hamas leaders will remain alive after tonight.”

July 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli Air Force Carries Out 34 Air Strikes Against Gaza Amidst Threats of ‘Vengeance’

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC News | July 1, 2014

gaza_shelling_2The Israeli Air Force carried out, on Tuesday before dawn, at least 34 air strikes targeting different areas of the Gaza Strip, causing excessive property damage, and at least four injuries.

The WAFA news agency has reported that Israeli F-16 fighter jets fired missiles into different areas of the Gaza Strip, mainly in agricultural and open areas, in addition to several homes and civilian property.

WAFA reported that the army bombarded Gaza, Rafah, Khan Younis, the Central District and the Northern District of the besieged coastal region, adding that Israeli navy ships also participated in the attacks.

Local sources said dozens of Israeli drones remained in the Gaza skies all night, while Israeli helicopters also continue to fly over the Gaza Strip, firing rounds of live ammunition.

Medical sources said Israeli missiles struck agricultural greenhouses seriously wounding four Palestinians, in Khan Younis and Rafah, in southern Gaza.

The four, who worked as guards at the greenhouses, have been moved to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis facing life-threatening conditions.

Israeli officials confirmed the strikes against Gaza, and said that resistance groups also fired shells into Israeli areas across the border.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that Hamas would pay the price for the death of the three Israeli settlers, who were found dead, Monday, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, after eighteen days of searches and invasions by the Israeli army.

On his Twitter account, the Israeli Prime Minister posted, “Vengeance for the blood of a small child, Satan has not yet created. Neither has vengeance for the blood of 3 pure youths who were on their way home to their parents who will not see them anymore. Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay.”

The Israeli army has killed five Palestinians since the settlers went missing 18 days ago, and dozens have been injured by Israeli army fire. In addition, close to 300 Palestinians have been kidnapped and imprisoned in the 18-day period. Since the bodies were discovered Monday, Israeli attacks, invasions and threats have increased significantly, so these numbers have likely increased in the last 24 hours.

Despite the threats and calls for vengeance, the Israeli government has released no information linking Hamas or any Palestinian groups or individuals to the deaths of the three settlers.

July 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli forces blow up homes of Palestinian suspects’ families

Ma’an – 01/07/2014

HEBRON – Israeli forces in Hebron late Monday blew up the homes of two Palestinians Israel says are prime suspects in the kidnapping and killing of three teens who were found dead earlier that evening, witnesses said.

The two houses, which are both located in the same neighborhood in northwest Hebron, belong to the families of Marwan al-Qawasmeh, 29, and Amer Abu Eisha, 33.

After Israeli forces in Halhul north of Hebron found three bodies presumed to be those of three Israeli teens who went missing on June 12, soldiers surrounded the houses, forcibly removed the families, and declared the area a closed military zone, locals said.

Witnesses said the homes were then blown up by explosives.

Locals had told Ma’an earlier that soldiers were preparing to demolish the homes.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that the homes “were not demolished,” but said Israeli forces searched the houses late Monday.

Military sources told Ma’an that soldiers used explosives to break down the doors of the houses, and that a fire caused by the one of the explosions “got a little out of control.”

Video footage, not independently verified by Ma’an, emerged showing an explosion in the Abu Eisha home as Israeli forces were stationed nearby.

Meanwhile, Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces, hurling empty bottles and stones at soldiers, who fired tear gas and stun grenades, locals said.

Entrances to Halhul and Hebron were shut down, witnesses added.

Israeli forces have killed six Palestinians in the West Bank military operation that followed the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers from the Gush Etzion settlement on June 12.

The Israeli army said on Thursday that it was still searching for Abu Eisha and al-Qawasmeh.

Abu Eisha’s family has denied the allegations.

July 1, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kafka on duty at Allenby Bridge Checkpoint

By Yossi Gurvitz | Yesh Din | June 30, 2014

About two weeks ago, we filed a petition to the HCJ, which is unusual even given the cases we regularly deal with; it deals with Kafkaesque behavior by the security forces. We are petitioning on behalf of Akhlas Sayel Mustafa A-Shatiyeh and her sister, Suhad Sayel Mustafa A-Shatiye.

The story of the sisters is unique. Akhlas was born blind, and their father – Sayel Jabara A-Shatiye – was killed in 2004 by a settler, Yehoshua Elizur, a resident of the settlement of Itamar. He was convicted of homicide, but – lo and behold – managed to escape Israel before he began serving his sentence.

Despite this background, Akhlas managed to finish a master’s degree in English and literature, and served as a counselor for female students suffering from disabilities, in the University of Beir Zeit. Presently she works as an investigator for the Stars of Hope Society, a Palestinian NGO promoting the rights of disabled women. She is often sent on behalf of the Society to conferences abroad; her sister Suhad accompanies her and aids her.

Last December, the sisters arrived at Allenby Checkpoint, after Akhlas represented the Society at a UN conference promoting the political rights of disabled women in Jordan. Arriving at the checkpoint, they found themselves under interrogation, which lasted eight hours. At the end of it, the army confiscated all of the money held by the sisters, refusing to leave them even enough money to return home, forcing them to spend the night outside, in the cold. In total, the army seized a sum of some 5,000 NIS. The sisters presented the soldiers with receipts, showing some of the money was travel expenditure they received, and that the rest was given to them by their mother in order to purchase gifts in Amman; but the army claims the money is of “an unallowed association,” and issued a confiscation order.

And here another problem came up. Until recently, a Palestinian whose property was confiscated by our troops, could turn to the military courts in the West Bank and demand it back. Since 2013, Amendment nr. 36 to the Order Regarding Security Provisions is in force, and it reads: “The decision of the Military Commander, according to Article 61, or the decision of the Military Commander to seize, sell or confiscate property, according to the Defense (Emergency) Regulations – 1945, cannot be appealed before the military court, and is final.” In other words, if the army decides to seize your property, there’s nothing you can do.

Hence, the A-Shatiye sisters had no choice but to petition the HCJ, demanding inter alia the cancellation of the draconian Amendment nr. 36. It’s important to note that in many cases, the cost of an appeal to the HCJ is greater than that of the confiscated sum, so this route is also Kafkaesque; you have to lose money to get yours. Furthermore, an appeal to the HCJ requires either an Israeli advocate, or an entrance permit into Israel. This is one more factor which may cause the prospective claimant to give up his property, where formerly he might just have appealed to the military court. Our petition against Amendment nr. 36, it should be mentioned, follows two previous petitions on this issue by the Center for the Defense of the Individual, also demanding its repeal.

When the A-Shatiye sisters tried to understand why their money was confiscated, the Legal Advisor to the territories of Judea and Samaria (LAJS) replied that it did so “in light of reliable, double-checked intelligence presented to him, which shows that these are funds belonging to an association that is not allowed,” and hence the confiscation was appropriate. This information, needless to say, was not presented to the A-Shatiye sisters.

As our petition states, “it was also noted that even when the petitioners were allegedly given the right to present their arguments in writing before the bureau of the LAJS, they were forced to do so without having any knowledge of what charges were alleged against them, and therefore could not defend themselves. The petitioners were not informed of any relevant information on which the intent to confiscate was based, a fact that fatally harmed their right to argue, and in fact, to this day they do not know why the respondent reached the conclusion that their money belongs to an unallowed association. […] the petitioners were asked to defend themselves against vague accusations, the nature of which was not detailed, and based on documents they were not allowed to review.”

If the government of Israel wants to confiscate the A-Shatiye sisters’ money, it should act as a civilized country, not as the heir to Kafka’s court: let it stand in open court and present its evidence. A person’s right to know what crime he is being punished for, and his right to defend himself against an accusation, is a fundamental right, without which you cannot speak of a trial, but at most of a kangaroo court. The same goes for Amendment nr. 36, which allows the Military Commander to confiscate property without being accountable to anyone.

As a human rights organization, we find ourselves in an unusual position: petitioning the Israeli Supreme Court so it might restore to the military courts, which are not known for doing justice to say the least, authorities stripped away from them. And yet, this new situation is considerably worse than its predecessor, and leaves us no choice.

July 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment