The New York Times’ ‘Non-Threatening’ Terrorists
by Simon Plosker
In a “visual investigation” whose goal is to disprove Israeli accounts of events and promote alternative versions that incriminate Israel in supposedly criminal acts, The New York Times charges Israel with the killing of “at least four people who did not appear to pose a threat” during a major exchange of fire in the West Bank terror hub of Nablus.
According to “How an Israeli Raid on a Safe House Ended With Civilians Killed,” videos prove that the Israel Defense Forces “used deadly force against unarmed Palestinians” during its February 22, 2023, counter-terror operation.
.@nytimes accuses Israel of “killing at least four people who did not appear to pose a threat” during a major gun battle in Nablus.
Let’s take a look at some of those people the paper of record deems to be non-threatening and some other things it hasn’t told you. 🧵 https://t.co/uAHEQ0gkRm
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) March 2, 2023
The Times states:
Nablus is technically under Palestinian control, but Israeli forces often run missions into the city to arrest members of armed groups like the Lions’ Den, which Israeli officials accuse of being involved in terrorist activities. [emphasis added]
The Lions’ Den terror group has carried out shootings against civilian targets in the West Bank, and attempted to carry out a large-scale attack in southern Tel Aviv. But for The New York Times, the Lions’ Den is only “accused” by Israeli officials of being involved in terrorist activities?!
And who are some of the terrorists America’s paper of record deems to be non-threatening?
Here is what they wrote about Muhammad Anbousi and Jasser Qaneer:
Twenty minutes later, Muhammad Anbousi, 24, approaches the same intersection and, concealed by a parked car, sets off fireworks toward a military vehicle parked there… Mr. Anbousi calls for help, and another man, Jasser Qaneer, comes to his aid. A minute later, the two men begin running away from the Israeli vehicle… They appear to be posing no threat to the Israeli forces when they are shot from behind.
In an attempt to whitewash members of a murderous terror group, The New York Times depicts an attack with improvised explosive devices as “fireworks,” while failing to mention that the Lions’ Den terror group has publicly claimed both Anbousi and Qaneer as members.
Indeed, it is hard to imagine the IDF would not return fire when declared terrorists hurl explosives in the midst of a gun battle. Unsurprisingly, the newspaper relies solely on Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch, an NGO that routinely denies Israel’s right to self-defense, to back up its claim that the two terrorists did not pose any threat.
Here’s what they wrote about Musab Awais:
Security camera footage shows that as one Palestinian fighter, Musab Awais, appears to take aim with a rifle at an Israeli vehicle across the street, he is shot and falls to the ground.
Once again, The New York Times fails to note that Musab Awais is a member of the Balata Battalion of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a terror group designated as such under US law.
Next the Times writes of Israeli troops: “‘They didn’t care if they hurt civilians,’ said Amid al-Masry, a political leader in central Nablus.”
Al-Masry is no “political leader,” but rather an activist, with AFP Arabic calling him a “local Fatah official.” In the AFP article, Al-Masry seemingly comes out in support of the Lions’ Den, saying that the “Fatah movement … is with any resistance & supports resistance regardless of affiliation.” With the Lions’ Den explicitly targeting innocents, the Times should perhaps have searched for a less hypocritical source to accuse Israel of hurting civilians.
Video footage of the chaotic events that day in Nablus certainly tells some of what went on. Ultimately though, The New York Times fits the images into its pre-determined framing of the IDF counter-terror operation, downplaying the threat presented by terrorists and relying on biased and unreliable analysis to promote their biased case.