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April 26, 2022 10:49 am
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New York Times’ Latest Hire at Jerusalem Bureau Scrubbed Twitter Account of Anti-Israel Posts

avatar by Rachel O'Donoghue

Opinion

The headquarters of The New York Times. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The New York Times has a reputation for biased reporting when it comes to Israeli affairs, as our organization has previously detailed.

The Times’ history of spotty coverage has included the publication of a glowing profile of an antisemitic Gaza-based professor who has frequently likened Israel to Nazi Germany, and promoted modern-day blood libels; the hiring of a journalist who praised Palestinian suicide bombers; and describing the mastermind of Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program as a man who simply “wanted to live a normal life.”

And just last week, the newspaper’s Jerusalem bureau chief Patrick Kingsley penned an article that suggested Israel had acted “aggressively” in its response to Palestinian rioters who had congregated at the Temple Mount armed with stones, Molotov cocktails, and other weapons.

In the piece, Kingsley does acknowledge the violence that prompted a police intervention at the holy site upon which the Al-Aqsa mosque was built:

On Friday morning, video posted online by a Palestinian outlet showed that the clashes began after dozens of Palestinian youths threw stones at and set off fireworks in the direction of a police outpost on the edge of the compound. Only afterward did riot police enter the forecourt of the mosque. [emphasis added]

Yet he goes on to suggest that Israel has responded “aggressively” in dispersing rioters, even while reporting that there is evidence that Hamas deliberately encouraged the mob violence:

Hamas, the militant Islamist group, praised the stone throwers several times this week. Some Palestinians involved in the clashes chanted pro-Hamas slogans and carried the green flags associated with the group — raising questions about whether Hamas operatives had played a role in premeditating the unrest, knowing that Israel would likely respond aggressively. [emphasis added]

Kingsley might not have needed to speculate on whether Hamas was instigating riots if he had simply reported the militant group’s own words.

As HonestReporting detailed more than a week before Kingsley’s April 22 article, Hamas had urged Palestinians to come out in the “hundreds of thousands to protect our nation and our mosque,” adding that there are “Zionist threats to invade the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday [April 15] and conduct sacrifices.”

As we have also noted, these incitements are entirely predictable, and are almost a yearly occurrence.

Which brings us to our latest update about The New York Times’ Jerusalem office, specifically that its latest hire is a journalist who has already appeared on HonestReporting’s radar.

Hiba M. Yazbek, a graduate of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ), has contributed to numerous articles for the Times, including Patrick Kingsley’s April 22 piece.

In February, we drew attention to a number of tweets — since deleted — that Yazbek posted that appear to undermine her ability to report objectively and impartially about matters pertaining to the Jewish state.

In one, she claimed that she was living under “mental occupation,” while in another, she asserted that Palestinians are a “minority in [their] own land,” which seemingly indicates her opposition to Jewish self-determination in any territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

In another tweet, which is still available to view on Twitter, Yazbek provocatively claimed a man — allegedly a Hamas fighter — was “murdered” after he was caught in Israeli airstrikes that were prompted by the terror group having launched a barrage of rockets at Jerusalem last May.

In our piece that exposed Yazbek’s contentious Twitter history, we questioned whether global news wire service Reuters has a habit of associating with and hiring individuals who have openly expressed their hostility towards the Jewish state.

We revealed that one such reporter for the agency, Henriette Chacar, has accused Israel of  “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “Jewish supremacy.” 

Recently, Chacar contributed to an April 15 report that appeared to link the recent Hamas-ordered violence at the Temple Mount to Israel’s policy of demolishing the homes of terrorists who have perpetrated attacks, in addition to a completely incongruous reference to the granting of “building permits to Jewish settlers.”

Such references in a piece that is ostensibly about the recent clashes in Jerusalem tacitly justify the actions of armed rioters who enter a place of worship with the intent of causing bloodshed and mayhem. And given its recent hire, we can also continue to expect more of the same for The New York Times.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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