...Her piece only demonstrates how far she’s prepared to stretch her copy so as to blacken the Jewish state. Reflexively, whenever she tackles Gaza woes, she feels an immediate need to brand Israel. At bottom, for Rudoren and the Times, Israel has no right of self-defense.
27 October '14..
Just when you think that Jodi Rudoren, the New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief, finally filed an article devoid of Israel bashing, it turns out it’s not quite so.
At issue is a piece in the Times’ Oct. 26 edition which exposes mishandling of Gaza reconstruction work --- with building materials, including cement, steel and gravel, piling up in warehouses while thousands of Gaza families are desperate to fix their homes (“Aid Is In, but Gazans Can only Look at Supplies” page 4)
An initial, cursory reading of Rudoren’s piece suggests that, for a change, she may be putting the monkey on the back of Gaza’s Hamas rulers. After all, she acknowledges that Israel has allowed huge quantities of construction hardware into Gaza. So one would assume that Israel is free and clear now. Presumably, it has done its work, while Hamas is shortchanging its own people. Actually, this Palestinian scandal gets even worse. Rudoren also reports that there is some reconstruction work under way, but it’s only for studios that broadcast Hamas propaganda.
If there still are reconstruction woes in Gaza, the fault presumably lies with its rulers -- not with Israel, one would think. Well, not quite.
Because a closer reading of Rudoren’s piece brings to the fore another thing -- several pokes at Israel. Not once, not twice, but five times no less.
Here is how Rudoren stretches her copy to malign Israel after all:
In her lead paragraph, readers are told immediately that Israel was responsible for the damage to Gaza homes -- “damaged by Israeli attacks” as she puts it.
In the sixth paragraph, there is mention of preferential supply treatment for Hamas with a dozen men rebuilding the headquarters of Al Aqsa TV, “one of the Hamas-affiliated media network’s four sites “struck by Israel.”
In the ninth paragraph, which reports reconstruction of a four-story building, Rudoren adds that its studio and offices “were hit by Israeli bombs.”
In the very next paragraph, Rudoren tells reders that the skyrocketing price of cement is “caused by Israeli import restrictions.”
And a very determined Rudoren, intent to continue her pejorative treatment of Israel, wants readers to know that in“ Shejalya, a neighborhood devastated by Israel’s ground offensive,” roads still remain obstacle courses.
Standing by themselves, Rudoren’s multiple mentions of Israeli destruction scars remaining from this summers’ Gaza war, can’t be refuted, except when she erroneously refers to the devastation of a neighborhood “by Israel’s ground offensive.” Rudoren notwithstanding, Israel engaged in a defensive, counterterrorism operation -- not in “offensive” aggression.
Which brings up the wider bias in Rudoren’s piece. If she is so determined to point a finger at Israel for Gaza devastation, which she is, it behooves her to also inform her readers that Israel was forced into a defensive operation to put an end to thousands of rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel. Terror groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad are the real culprits for all the damage caused by the 51-day war between Hamas and Israel.
Yet, Rudoren completely fails to pin the real cause of Gaza destruction where it belongs -- on Palestinian terrorism. Persistent rocket barrages from Gaza against Israeli civilian population centers remain a big dark secret in her report.
Consequently, her repeated attempts to place blame instead on Israel reflects a clear Israel-bashing agenda, after all. Her piece only demonstrates how far she’s prepared to stretch her copy so as to blacken the Jewish state. Reflexively, whenever she tackles Gaza woes, she feels an immediate need to brand Israel
At bottom, for Rudoren and the Times, Israel has no right of self-defense.
Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers
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