New York Times Headline Blames Israel For Murder of Saudi Columnist
“Goyim kill goyim, and they immediately come to hang the Jews,” was Menachem Begin’s memorable remark in 1982 after Lebanese Christians killed Palestinian Arabs in Beirut.
Whatever one’s view of Israeli culpability in the massacres at the Palestinian refugee camps Sabra and Shatilla in 1982 — an Israeli commission of inquiry eventually did find Israel indirectly responsible — the pattern Begin observed then is on display again 36 years later. Arabs kill another Arab, and Israel gets blamed.
The latest case of this phenomenon involves the Saudi Arabian Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was apparently killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi agents in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabians kill a Saudi Arabian, and who gets blamed? You get one guess:
“Israeli Software Helped Saudis Spy on Khashoggi, Lawsuit Says” is the web headline The New York Times hangs over its own article. The Times reports, “A Saudi dissident close to the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi has filed a lawsuit charging that an Israeli software company helped the royal court take over his smartphone and spy on his communications with Mr. Khashoggi.”
The Times, alas, doesn’t apply much skepticism to this strange theory of culpability. The newspaper doesn’t ask, say, why the Israeli nationality of the Saudi software is somehow a key issue, or, say, which country made the weapons the Saudis used to kill Khashoggi, the cars they drove to and from the consulate, the airplane on which they flew in and out of the country, the phones or computers they used to plan and carry out the mission, or the shoes and socks they wore while walking to and from the alleged crime scene. If the software had been made in Silicon Valley, or in Shanghai, do we really think the Times, or the litigious Saudi dissident, would be complaining about it?
The Times reports that “the lawsuit was filed by an Israeli lawyer, Alaa Mahajna, in cooperation with Mazen Masri, a lecturer at the City University of London.” The Times chooses to identify Mahajna as an Israeli but does not mention Masri’s work “as legal adviser to the Negotiations Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization.”
Ira Stoll is the former managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of The Jerusalem Post. More of his media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.