24 March '11
Usually, you have to get outside sources to debunk New York Times articles minimizing anti-Israel incitement and violence. After the Gaza flotilla, Isabel Kershner slanted early reporting with an uncritical quote about how “it was inconceivable” that the passengers were armed. Disproving that required photos and film released by the IDF. She made a similar move when a Palestinian New Year’s Eve protest turned violent, declaring outright that a woman had died because of tear gas inhalation. Addressing that one required investigating the medical conditions that actually killed the woman. When Fatah held elections Kershner described the winners as “moderates.” To see why that was wrong required going to the Jerusalem Post.
You get the pattern. The New York Times publishes something and readers have to go elsewhere to find out why it’s wrong. That’s what makes Kershner and Goodman article on the Jerusalem bus bombing so special. Here’s the lede:
A small bomb exploded at a crowded bus stop outside Jerusalem’s main bus station on Wednesday, killing one woman and leaving at least 24 other people injured, two seriously. It was the first bombing inside Jerusalem in four years.
Here’s paragraph 15 of the 16 paragraph article:
Two weeks ago, a municipal worker lost his hand when a pipe bomb exploded in a trash bag in the southern section of Jerusalem. There were no claims of responsibility or arrests in that case.
Not to belabor the obvious, but a pipe bomb planted on the side of a Jerusalem road counts as a previous “bombing inside Jerusalem,” especially when the subject is a second bomb planted on the side of a Jerusalem road.
A decision has apparently been made to escalate the violence against Israel, and Israel will eventually have to retaliate. When that happens the media spin will be somewhat split. Some of the coverage will imply that the Palestinians have exhausted their numinous patience with “the stalled peace process,” and can’t help but lash out. Other stories will insist that the Palestinians are merely reacting to an Israeli-triggered “cycle of violence,” and can’t help but lash out. Glossing over Palestinian violence at the beginning of the escalation is critical to making both narratives work.
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