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January 20, 2016 1:55 am

Repetition and Avoidance at The New York Times

avatar by Jerold Auerbach

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New York Times headquarters.  Photo: Wiki Commons, via Haxorjoe.

New York Times headquarters. Photo: Wiki Commons, via Haxorjoe.

Six years ago, The New York Times published a poignant six-column report (March 10, 2010) by Isabel Kirshner about the eviction of a Palestinian family from their home in the “mostly Palestinian neighborhood” of Sheikh Jarrah. Living in a tent across the street from their former two-story stone house just north of Jerusalem’s Old City, their plight symbolized “the abiding grievances of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war.”

But the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the property “originally belonged to Jews.” Indeed, Ms. Kirshner noted that “the last remnants” of the  Jewish community had departed from the neighborhood during that war but Jewish land deeds there stretched back into the 19th century.

Last week, the Times published another mournful article of equivalent length about the pending evictions of Palestinian residents from their rented apartments along “a narrow cobblestone alley” inside the Old City. Written by Diaa Hadid, it focused on the plight of families who claim that their pending evictions are based on “seemingly arcane violations of their rental agreements” in an attempt “to create Jewish enclaves inside the historic Muslim Quarter.” In translation, they are living in property owned by Jews who were expelled from the Old City by the Jordanian army in 1948. Once again the Supreme Court will decide whether the property belongs to its Palestinian occupants or its Jewish owners.

Sometimes, even in the Times, less is – or, at least, conceals — more. Yesterday it published a two-inch report by Ms. Kershner entitled “Pregnant Woman Stabbed.” Two sentences recounted the wounding of a pregnant Israeli woman, a settler as it happened, who was stabbed while shopping by a 15-year-old Palestinian who was shot, wounded and taken to a Jerusalem hospital.

The attack, Ms. Kershner noted, occurred “just as a funeral convoy was headed to Jerusalem for the burial of an Israeli woman who had been stabbed Sunday in another settlement.” In one sentence she identified Dafna Meir as the mother of six who was “fatally stabbed at the entrance to her home.” End of story.

It was, however, a story that dominated Israeli news coverage for two days. Yesterday’s Times The Times of Israel, that is – devoted three articles to Dafna Meir, the 39-year-old the mother of four children and foster mother of two others, who worked as a nurse in a Beersheba hospital. With three of her children at home when the attacker arrived, her 17-year-old daughter witnessed their mother wrestling with her assailant to keep him away from her children. Three months earlier, after the murders of a father and son near her settlement of Otniel, she had expressed fears “for my husband and children, my friends and family” that kept her awake. She even feared for the rescue teams that rushed to the aid of terrorist victims.

The accounts of her funeral, with photos of her grieving young daughters next to their father in front of the wrapped body of their mother, were heartbreaking. Her oldest daughter, expressing sorrow that “I didn’t manage to help you,” lamented: “We won’t drink tea at midnight any more . . . You won’t come with me to my wedding, to the army, to the delivery room.” Education Minister Naftali Bennett eulogized her as a “special soul” who “brought life to every place.”

The New York Times is so attentive to the narrative of Israeli villainy and Palestinian victimization that it virtually repeats its account of the eviction of Palestinians from homes that are not theirs. But it can barely bring itself to mention the death, no less the life, of a truly righteous Jew. How sad.

Jerold S. Auerbach is a frequent contributor to The Algemeiner.

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  • naro

    The answer is to boycott ALL the advertisers in the NYSlimes. It is a shame to see Jews frequent those merchants. Let the advertisers know of your displeasure.

  • When a Jew says: “I read the New York Times” he is really saying: “I am an stubborn idiot with no loyalty to the Jewish People and no loyalty to the Jewish land and little or no loyalty to the Jewish Faith”.

  • Mickey Segal

    CAMERA has done the investigative reporting the NYT failed to do for its Old City eviction story. It turns out that the “arcane violation” of the lease was nonpayment of rent.

    Details at

  • Shirley Smith-Rhodes

    Israel must take back the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria, currently called ”the West Bank” for their own security and the security of the people who live there! Isaiah 19:25 states that Israel is God’s Inheritance! Some 3,500 years ago the Canaanites inhabited the land that God promised to give to the offspring of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There are no such thing as Palestinians nor a country of Palestine! They are lawless muslim, Arab rebels from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan, etc. who are so radical these countries don’t want them! They are dedicated to the proposition of annihilation of Israel! You know, that mosque in Jerusalem should be leveled! That is the location of Solomon’s First Temple which he built during the 10th. Century BC, more than a thousand years before mohammed was a gleam in his father’s eye! The palestinians and muslims claim a right? GIVE ME A BREAK! The year in which islam occurred, 622AD, is the date at which the Muslim calendar begins! mohammed wasn’t even born until 570 AD! According to their own history they recognize islam beginning in 620 AD! Therefore what on earth are these idiots doing there in Jerusalem! They have NO RIGHTS AND NO PURPOSE EXCEPT TO SUPPLANT THE JEWS!

    Sheikh Ahmad Adwan, who introduces himself as a Muslim scholar who lives in Jordan, said on his personal Facebook page that there is no such thing as “Palestine” in the Koran. Allah has assigned the Holy Land to the Children of Israel until the Day of Judgment (Koran, Sura 5 – “The Sura of the Table”, Verse 21), and “We made the Children of Israel the inheritors (of the land)” (Koran, Sura 26 – “The Sura of the Poets”, Verse 59).