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May 30, 2016 7:33 am

In the Case of Gay Gaza Commander Executed for ‘Moral Crimes,’ New York Times Editorialists Are MIA

avatar by Ira Stoll

Email a copy of "In the Case of Gay Gaza Commander Executed for ‘Moral Crimes,’ New York Times Editorialists Are MIA" to a friend
Mahmoud Ishtiwi. Photo: Screenshot.

Mahmoud Ishtiwi. Photo: Screenshot.

A brief news article in the New York Times last week reported that Hamas has called for resuming the death penalty in Gaza. According to the report, capital punishment there has “mostly stopped” since 2014, though “an exception was the case of Mahmoud Ishtiwi, a Hamas commander, who was fatally shot in April for ‘moral crimes’ after he was accused of theft and of having sex with another man.”

Good for the Times for reporting on the issue, and for its earlier enterprising page one coverage of the Ishtiwi case. But, one wonders: Where is the follow-up from the Times’ editorial page and columnists?

The appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as Israel’s defense minister generated a lead Times editorial denouncing him, in part, because, he “has proposed instituting the death penalty for convicted terrorists.” The Times also ran two op-ed columns hostile to Mr. Lieberman.

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So, in the case of an Israeli official who merely proposes executing terrorists, the Times mounted a full-fledged editorial campaign. In the case of the Palestinian Arab regime in Gaza actually carrying out a death sentence on a suspected homosexual, the Times editorial page fell totally silent. And not merely silent.

It’s as if the paper’s editorial writers are contorting themselves to avoid mentioning the issue. A recent “editorial observer” column about places where “gay and transgender people are widely stigmatized” singled out Uganda, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Gambia, Russia and Nigeria. Bizarrely, the column did not mention Gaza at all.

Likewise, as of this writing at least, there has been no Times editorial denouncing Iran for the 30 college students who, the Times news section reported, were each given a punishment of 99 lashes “for attending a graduation party that included men and women.” This, despite the flood of Times editorials advocating the US-Iran nuclear deal and denouncing Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel for opposing it.

It’s a classically anti-Israel and anti-Jewish double standard. An Israeli Jewish politician merely suggests executing genuinely criminal terrorists, and the Times editorial page whips itself into a frenzy of outrage. Meanwhile, Gazan and Iranian Muslims actually impose the death penalty on someone suspected of being gay — or order an extensive public violent beating of college students for the “crime” of attending a co-ed social event — and the Times editorialists take a pass. It’s pathetic.

More of Ira Stoll’s media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

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  • The New York Times has a long history of anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli comments or lack thereof regarding current events. I am actually surprised they even mentioned Mahmoud Ishtiwi at all.If I want an unbiased opinion or story I go to far more reliable sources.

  • chana boas

    they’re not spineless. they’ve either been paid off, or are happily anti-semitic for free.

  • Another atrocious thing that the Times did:
    In December, 2015, Rouhani held an Islamic Unity Conference in Teheran attended by over 300 Muslim leaders from different countries.
    Their main conclusion was that they have to improve the image of Islam by uniting to wipe out Israel.
    The New York Times didn’t report at all on Rouhani’s conference.
    But, shortly after it ended, the Times’ Roger Cohen published an op-ed in which he praised Rouhani’s “diplomatic style.”

  • Sally

    Geoffrey Ben Nathan has a great idea. Then use it!

  • Myron Slater

    Of cause, the Times is antisemitic!

  • You may not wish to publish this.
    If the behaviour of the New York Times is ‘pathetic’, what is even MORE pathetic is the abject failure of your, and anybody else’s, media to phone them up and ask for an interview on the matter so that we can have an explanation of this, and any other bizarre behaviour, straight, so-to-speak, from ‘the horse’s mouth’.
    Get on the phone and let us know what they say.
    A report on their unwillingness to give an interview would, itself, speak volumes.
    In addition, give your readers a contact number / email address and WE will do the job.
    So much of Jewish reaction is characterised by a long moan (“isn’t it TERRIBLE”) and then running around like a headless chicken. It’s simply NOT good enough!

    • michele

      geoffrey… this is all public information. why don’t you do the research and post it?

    • RC

      Join CAMERA they have a very active letter writing campaign.

  • stevenl

    For the West, it does not matter what the Muslims do to Muslims. It is what Jews do to the rest of the world that matters. Of course not the good, but the bad and ugly and if need be the left will invent, fabricate, etc.

  • Those anti-Israel and anti-Jewish living dirt, are STUPID.

  • Linda Golden

    Pathetic does not begin to cover the spineless NYTimes. Until people hurt them by canceling their subscriptions they will not care. The media is the problem all over the world. Nothing is news anymore. Lies are regurgitated 24 hours a day so these incompetents stay in business. It is easier to vilify Israel than be locked out of a story by the terrorists in Gaza…and after all, the scoop is what’s important today not the truth. A fake story that gets published “first”, is more important than the truth, as integrity has no place in modern media today.

  • Hillel

    What is to be expected. Wasn’t it the times which reported the excellent conditions that the concentration camps offered Jewish detainees during WWII. These people at the NYT are a disgrace to humankind.

  • Kerry M. Berger

    The Times should also have mentioned Red States like North Carolina and Texas that continue to promote anti-LGBT discrimination. Clean up our house at home before we criticize the rest of the world. The US is no paragon of virtue and stellar performance on human rights.

    • Jacque

      Kerry
      Why don’t you move to gaza. Passing a law to not allow gender free bathrooms is a little different than beheading a gay man.

  • Yaakov

    Yes, it is a double standard, and rightly so. Israel, as a minimum, should adhere to the standards of the Western world, not to those of less civilized countries.

    • RC

      Standards of the West is not the same as Double standards.

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