Pro-Israeli Bias at the NYTimes

John Glaser, June 06, 2011

It’s no secret the U.S. media is tilted far in favor of Israel. Just look at how two very similar events are treated in the NYTimes, one about a country deemed “bad guy” by U.S. policy, the other “our greatest friend and ally.”

Children Are Among Casualties of Syrian Military Raids After Demonstrations:

Syrian military forces killed 42 people Wednesday, including a 10-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl, in raids on a string of towns around the central city of Homs as the government continued trying to crush a three-month-old popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, human rights activists said.

Troops and tanks moved against the towns of Talbiseh, Teir Maaleh and Al-Rastan on Saturday after large antigovernment demonstrations on Friday, said Razan Zeitouneh, a rights activist whose organization, the Syrian Human Rights Information Link, collected the names of 42 people killed in Al-Rastan. Though figures for other towns were not available, Syrians reached by telephone described widespread arrests of men and neighborhoods besieged by tanks and snipers.

Now here’s how the same newspaper treats a comparable event:

Israeli forces fired at pro-Palestinian protesters on the Syrian frontier on Sunday as they tried to breach the border for the second time in three weeks, reflecting a new mode of popular struggle and deadly confrontation fueled by turmoil in the Arab world and the vacuum of stalled peace talks.

Wave after wave of protesters, mainly Palestinians from refugee camps in Syria, approached the frontier with the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Israeli soldiers opened fire on those who crossed a new trench and tried to attack the border fence near the towns of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights and Quneitra in Syria.

By nightfall, the Syrian news agency SANA reported that 22 protesters had been killed and more than 350 had been wounded. Israeli officials said that they had no information on casualties but suggested that the Syrian figures were exaggerated.

…“What would any country do if people from an enemy country were marching on its borders?” asked Dan Gillerman, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations. “We tried all other possible means to stop them.”

The Syrian military “killed 42 people” including children in “raids”  responding to “popular uprisings” for “human rights.” These Golan Heights protesters were “fueled by turmoil in the Arab world” and “tried to attack the border fence” with Israel, and the Syrians are likely to have “exaggerated” the death toll. No such statement was taken from Syrian officials, but I’m sure they would have said the same about the military justifications for the offensive: “What would any government do if ‘internal enemies’ were marching on its streets? We tried all other possible means to stop them.” We don’t get such a justification in the Syrian report, but there it is in the Israeli one. The events are similar: government military forces opening fire on unarmed, peaceful civilian protesters. But we wouldn’t necessarily know it from reading the NYTimes. They of course mentioned the children that the Syrian military attacked. But seemed to have forgotten to include that detail, reported here, from the Israeli offensive. The report even goes so far as to blame Syria for the protests:

Syria’s decision to allow the protest appeared to reflect a calculated strategy to divert attention from its own antigovernment uprising.

…anything to absolve Israel from too much blame. These differences can be subtle word changes and alterations in emphasis, but they help uphold a strong pro-Israeli mindset throughout the American electorate.

Update: It seems the Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has been rather explicit about harsh military responses to Palestinian uprisings (via FPIF):

There is a focal player in the Middle East – the street – and it is clear to us that in the coming months we can find ourselves in broad popular demonstrations, which gain public resonance. The IDF is preparing for these demonstrations….we will act with great fire power and full force at the very beginning of the confrontation. Anything the camera can stand or could stand in the first three days of fighting – it will not be prepared to put up with thereafter.




29 Responses to “Pro-Israeli Bias at the NYTimes”

  1. Pro-Israeli bias at the New York Times no doubt. The Times should probably change their name. Maybe they could rename themselves 'Tel Aviv West Times'. "All the news that's propagandistically fit to spin!" Slant?

  2. You are both IDIOTS! It is FACT that the NY Times, if anything, is a liberal paper with an anti-Israel bias. If you had a semblance of a clue and took your heads out of the sand for a minute, you would easily see that. With regard to the news stories, these are 2 entirely different situations. You are obviously jew haters, since you believe that a sovereign nation should just allow foreigners to breach their border through violence.

  3. "you are obviously jew haters . . . " my, how tiresome

  4. Well said Ice Mann. I wonder how these very critics would think about illegals crossing the border with Mexico. Talk about double standards! You can tell this is anti-Semitism because they are holding Israel to a different standard. As a libertarian, I will say all nations/countries have a right to protect their sovereign borders, and yes that includes a Jewish state as hard as it might be to accept.

  5. Ice Mann

    The Palestinians had no choice; the Jews, uninvited and unwanted, were forced on them by the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate, much as they would have liked to defend their borders from the European invaders.

    The Palestinians don't have a country now, the Israelis have it. The Palestinians are simply exercising their right of return. Just because they don't have a country, an army or the US or the Brits to back them doesn't make their cause less just. History is long and will eventually consign the Zionist Enterprise to the dust bin of history.

  6. A good study of the UN Secy Gen. Ban Ki Moon statements would also show the same bias. For example when Syria or Libya fire on protestors he fully condems that. When Israel fires on protestors he "urges" restraint on both sides and calls on the protestors to cease provocation.

    As for Obama comments well there is no need for explanation they are beyond a joke.

  7. It never gets old for these trolls…..

  8. Did the U.S border patrol shoot and kill 23 illegal Mexicans crossing today? Does Israel give us 3 billion a year?

  9. The Balfour Declaration was probably the stupidest thing any British government ever did.

  10. Wrong! The only people that strongly attempted to prevent Jews from immigrating were the British. Look up the White Paper of 1939. Before some Jews moved in, there was no Palestinian national identity. The people of Palestine had tribal identities. To this day, there still is no unified Palestinian nation. As for Israel, it is not going anywhere. As an authentic libertarian, I believe that the Jewish nation, just like the French nation, German nation, Serbians etc. have the right to exericse national self-determination. I don't pick and choose between nations.

  11. Wow! What a bigoted and stupid statement to say. I know plenty of Jews who support border enforcement. Funny, you would probably say the US has the right to protect its borders, which of course it does. But you don't hold the same standard for Israel. Classic Anti-Semitism. Holding Jews to a double standard.

  12. Actually, the Israeli army was trying to warn and stop the protesters beforehand.- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyAO2BMgtLk&fe… And there is not a doubt in my mind that if Mexican drug gangs started coming as a large mass to infiltrate the border with Mexico, and the national guard was actually sent to the border to do its job, then you would see many dead Mexicans. As for the $3 billion given to Israel every year, don't blame that on Israel at all. The US government ultimately makes that decision (and most of the aid comes back to the US anyway by the way). And I'm not trying to sound like I'm so pro-Israel, although I do believe that the Jewish people like all other nations, have a natural right to national self-determination. I think the US should stop all foreign aid and the US should withdraw completely from the Middle East and around the world. I just strongly object to obvious double standards. Israel has a right to protect its borders just like the US has a right to protect its borders.

  13. The NY Times has a well known and decades long pro-Israel bias. You are not going to fool anybody here. It adheres very closely to the neoconservative view on foreign policy and that is extremely pro-Israel. Don't forget that the Times was where Judith Miller was working when she wrote the lies about iraqi WMD, and it's where her co-author Michael Gordon continues to work.

    You don't shoot to death unarmed people crossing your border. That is NOT the policy of the US border control. Imagine if France shot Jews fleeing the work camps in Germany before the start of the war if they crossed the border into France. You'd be okay with it, right?

  14. Judaism is a religion, French and German are not so the comparison should be with other theocracies in the region.

  15. Another thing for the 'honest' libertarian. The Israeli state confiscates private property held by Palestinians (on the grounds of military necessity or some such BS) and then sells it on for Jewish-only settlements. How does that square the libertarian fundamental principle of the sanctity of private property rights?

  16. Actually almost all of the NY Times reporters in the mideast have connections to the Israeli military, which is asn obvious result of the NY Times being owned by zionist fanatics. That is why the NY Times lies to Americans systematically and repeatedly about both Israel and the rest of the mideast.

    US Media and Israeli Military
    All in the Family http://www.ifamericansknew.org/media/bronner2.htm

  17. OK, lets hold Israel to the SAME standard.

    There are over seven million christian and moslem refugees who are victims of zionist ethnic cleansing and have the right of return to their home and property in Palestine. In fact, the christian and moslem Palestinians (10.5 million according to the UN census) are 65% of the population (5.5 million jewish Palestinians).

    So lets require Israel to allow the return of all these human beings to their homes. OR, lets be consistent and apply strict military, economic, financial, sporting and cultural sanctions and blockades on Israel. Confiscation of all Israeli assets in the US and the arrest and trial for terrorism of all those who finance zionist terrorism from the US would be good places to start.

  18. What jewish nation? The "jewish nation" (or god's chosen people) is a political invention by a sect – much the same as the invention of the "aryan master race".

    SHLOMO SAND'S THE INVENTION OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE-BOOK REVIEW

    …“The Invention of the Jewish People" is a very serious study written by Professor Shlomo Sand, an Israeli historian. It is the most serious study of Jewish nationalism and by far, the most courageous elaboration on the Jewish historical narrative.

    In his book, Sand manages to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the Jewish people never existed as a 'nation-race', they never shared a common origin. Instead they are a colourful mix of groups that at various stages in history adopted the Jewish religion.

    In case you follow Sand’s line of thinking and happen to ask yourself, 'when was the Jewish People invented?' Sand’s answer is rather simple. “At a certain stage in the 19th century, intellectuals of Jewish origin in Germany, influenced by the folk character of German nationalism, took upon themselves the task of inventing a people ‘retrospectively,’ out of a thirst to create a modern Jewish people.”(2)

    Accordingly, the ‘Jewish people’ is a ‘made up’ notion consisting of a fictional and imaginary past with very little to back it up forensically, historically or textually. Furthermore, Sand – who elaborated on early sources of antiquity – comes to the conclusion that Jewish exile is also a myth, and that the present-day Palestinians are far more likely to be the descendants of the ancient Semitic people in Judea/Canaan than the current predominantly Khazarian-origin Ashkenazi crowd to which he himself admittedly belongs.

    Astonishingly enough, in spite of the fact that Sand manages to dismantle the notion of ‘Jewish people’, crush the notion of ‘Jewish collective past’ and ridicule the Jewish chauvinist national impetus, his book is a best seller in Israel. This fact alone may suggest that those who call themselves ‘people of the book’ are now starting to learn about the misleading and devastating philosophies and ideologies that made them into what Khalid Amayreh and many others regard as the “Nazis of our time”…..
    http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/shlomo-sands-the-

  19. "As for Israel, it is not going anywhere." That is only because it was created by the most powerful foreign nations (UK/USA) and is still strongly supported by them (and also by my piece of shit lap-dog nation, Australia). Who cares if the Palestinians who inhabited the area for hundreds of years didn't have a "national identity" at that time? They were still forced out of their homeland by FOREIGNERS who had no right to that property! And I thought Libertarians fundamentally believed in property rights… ps. I don't believe "god" gave that land to anyone so don't try that argument. ALSO, French people live in France, Germans live in Germany and that is totally different to EUROPEAN ASHKENAZI jews living in Palestine/Canaan/Samaria/Judea.

  20. well, the NYT seems to be going for a bogus war with Iran through dis/misinformation from David Sanger, which is totally in line with Israel's interest.

  21. Historically, you are inaccurate. While Judaism is a religion of course, it is also a nation. This is manifested by the national empire of King Solomon as well as the nation state of Judea that existed during the Greek and Roman Empires. To add to that, no other nation today has exercised national sovereignty in historic Palestine other than the Jewish nation. I'm looking at objective facts here.

  22. There are no double standards here. Israel is a racist fascist country that is based on racial exclusion. Zionism is an ideology that is similar to fascism. It's based on racial exclusion, the idea that ethnic Jews all over the world are intitled to all the land in biblical palestine. The gentiles should be kicked out because Israel should be ethnically pure. To unterstand this ideology one needs to read the book of Joshua and how the Hebrews after the exodus settled the land of Palestine. They basically exterminated every one. coexistence was not an option.

    Even today in the so-called democratic country of Israel, Israeli Arabs are treated as second rate citizens and many politicians are openly talking about deporting them. As for the other Palestinians they were mopped up and placed in huge open sky prisons in Gaza and the West Bank.

    Any one who heard Netenyahu's speech in the Knesset understands that Israel doesn't want to trade land it conquered in 67 for peace.

    Judaism and Zionism are not the same thing, it's like equating being a Nazi with being a German. I personally have nothing against the Jews as an ethnic group, some of the people I admire most are Jews (Mises, Rothbard, Hayek, Einstein, Chomsky, Finkelstein etc.). But I despise Zionism just as I despise Nazism, Apartheid, Islamic fundamentalism and any other racist, violent and intolerant ideology

  23. Okay, you are making an invalid logical assumption that I support all of Israel's policies simply because I support the right of the Jewish nation like any other nation, to exercise national self-determination. Personally, I believe in the protection of all private property, both Jewish and Arab. Individuals and nations have their natural rights, including the Jewish nation.

  24. You are making too much of a provincial definition of nation-hood by confining the definition to Intellectual revolutions in Europe in the nineteenth century. But nation-hood existed well beforehand obviously.
    "Sand manages to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the Jewish people never existed as a 'nation-race', they never shared a common origin. Instead they are a colourful mix of groups that at various stages in history adopted the Jewish religion."- I never argued that the Jewish people were a race first of all, because they are not. The Jewish people are made up of individuals from many different races. But to argue they shared no common origin is absurd. Forget the Bible. Any true historian recognizes that the Jewish nation originated in the Middle East. True, many Jewish people today are not from the Middle East, although many are. However, identification with a nation is not solely defined by racial and/or ethnic identity. Take a look at Britain or the ideology of the UKIP party. The Jewish nation clearly exercised its uniifed national sovereignty under King Solomon's national empire and under the historic state of Judea.

  25. "Who cares if the Palestinians who inhabited the area for hundreds of years didn't have a "national identity" at that time?"- Because then it disproves the false notion that a nation existed and exercised its national sovereignty there before the State of Israel. Thus, the state of Israel never unjustly stole Palestine from any nation that existed there beforehand.
    "They were still forced out of their homeland by FOREIGNERS who had no right to that property! And I thought Libertarians fundamentally believed in property rights…" –First of all, you are making an invalid assumption that I don't fundamentally believe in property rights. I do. However, to argue that the Palestinian inhabitants as a whole, many of whom were Jewish I might add, were forced out is inaccurate, because approximately 3.5 million Palestinians still live in Israel, many of whom by the way are not original inhabitants of Palestine. To further explain my libertarianism, just as I believe in the natural rights of individuals, I believe in the natural rights of nations, including the Jewish nation.

  26. "It's based on racial exclusion, the idea that ethnic Jews all over the world are intitled to all the land in biblical palestine." You are mistakenly mixing up race with nation-hood. The two are different.
    "The gentiles should be kicked out because Israel should be ethnically pure. To unterstand this ideology one needs to read the book of Joshua and how the Hebrews after the exodus settled the land of Palestine. They basically exterminated every one. coexistence was not an option." This is a very inaccurate point. True, while the Bible and historical artifacts show that Joshua and the Israelites attempted to expell the Caananite nations, it is historically inaccurate to say that co-existence was not an option, because it is a historical fact that non-Jews lived throughout Biblical Israel, even during the First Temple and Pre-First Temple Era. Joshua and the Israelites' beef was specifically with the Seven Caananite nations. And of course today, non-Jews live throughout Israel. There is nothing in mainstream Zionism that endorses the idea of expelling non-Jews as a necessity.

  27. [...] Peninsula members; how Bahrain crushed internal protests with US and Saudi-financed troops; and the NY Times’s favorable treatment of Israel on the massacre of protesters in the Golan [...]

  28. [...] Peninsula members; how Bahrain crushed internal protests with US and Saudi-financed troops; and the NY Times’s favorable treatment of Israel on the massacre of protesters in the Golan [...]

  29. Apartheid, Islamic fundamentalism and any other racist, violent and intolerant ideology