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June 18, 2014 1:22 pm

For The New York Times, It’s the Palestinians Who Are Suffering

avatar by Simon Plosker

The New York Times building in New York, NY. Photo: Haxorjoe.

Three Israeli boys have been kidnapped yet The New York Times is still more concerned with Palestinian “suffering.” It’s only been a few days since the IDF launched a major operation to find the three kidnapped Israeli teens Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frankel, 16, and Gil-ad Shaar, 16. Judging from Jodi Rudoren’s report for The New York Times, you’d think that Hebron had been “under siege” for months or even years.

We hear how the Jaber brothers are “worried that Monday’s wedding party for Kayed’s 17-year-old daughter would be ruined.”

We are told that the local radio station is playing “warlike anthems interspersed with bulletins about how many tanks were invading what neighborhood” and how along “the main thoroughfare, sweet shops and cellphone stands, car dealerships and clothing boutiques all sat idle behind roll-down gates or wooden shutters.”

Hebron’s mayor is quoted about the misery of the Palestinian people who are “all in a big jail.”

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The only Israeli response are a soldier’s reference to a sniffer dog and another telling a reporter to “go away.” Nowhere is it suggested that the Israeli military operation could come to an end if and when the three teens are liberated. Israel’s actions are portrayed as punitive, designed solely to cause Palestinian misery.

And for the icing on the cake, a Palestinian is quoted giving his opinion that the kidnapping didn’t even happen:

But many here and elsewhere in the Palestinian territories questioned whether the abduction even happened. Leaders referred to the “alleged kidnapping” in some of their official statements, and social networks were filled with conspiracy theories of how Jewish settlers staged the event or the Israeli government was using it as a pretext to oust Hamas from the West Bank and thwart the Palestine Liberation Organization’s recent reconciliation with Hamas.

Ahmad Abu Eisheh, 27, noted that no credible claim of responsibility had yet emerged.

“Hamas announces when they kidnap,” said Mr. Abu Eisheh, who works at a cleaning company. “For sure it’s a film. They want to destroy the reconciliation.”

When The New York Times considers the inconvenience for the Palestinians of Israel’s attempts to find its boys to be the moral equivalent of the terrorist act that led to this situation, there is clearly something wrong. This article shows a serious lack of balance.

UPDATE: One reader received the following from Jodi Rudoren:

We decided to do twin articles rather than mix the two disparate things together. Seemed more respectful and a way to give each more space. A journalistic choice, aimed at balance and thoroughness.

We are aware that the twin articles both appeared on the same page in the print edition of The New York Times. However, this excuse simply does not wash for the online edition. Nowhere within Jodi Rudoren’s article is there a direct link to the other piece. Put simply, Rudoren’s article online should be taken as an individual item and not part of a package.

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