September 13, 2005

NYT and Gaza

As AIM has noted, a respected liberal ripping the New York Times editorial page is a "man bites dog" story, and it gets people's attention. So I'm not sure how I missed the recent column by New Republic editor Martin Peretz on the treatment of the Gaza evacuation by The New York Times, until it was brought to my attention by an Accuracy in Media piece by Roger Aronoff. Both articles are worth reading in full, but here's a sample of Peretz railing at the Times, a paper he admits he can't do without, for focusing on the one violent exception to what was on the whole a very peaceful evacuation, given the emotional circumstances:

There was far more hysteria and hatred vented at the police in Chicago in 1968 (I was there) and at the marches on the Pentagon or the bust at Columbia University than there was in Gaza, and there were many more injured. No question about it. But it did not fit the Times' editorial line to admit the fact that almost no one was really hurt, and no one was killed, in Gaza. (I was not at Kfar Darom, the most extreme settlement, where paint, eggs, oil, and some apparently not-very-dangerous chemical agent were thrown at police and army by demonstrators. A few were injured, apparently none seriously. In any event, this distress occurred long after the Times editorial appeared.) For killings, the Times had to focus on the West Bank, where a "settler grabbed a security guard's gun and opened fire, killing several [there were actually four] Palestinians." The Times went on to say that this was "an act that Prime Minister Sharon rightly denounced as 'Jewish terror.'" (What he, in fact, said was that "it was an exceptionally grave Jewish act of terror.") It is indeed Jewish terror, as the atrocity in Shfaram was "Jewish terror," and the Jews of Israel have notably identified the crime with the extremism in their own political culture.

Once again, the renunciation and the denunciation cut through the entire society. But do the Times editorialists have no shame? Finally, they have shed their reluctance to call an act of terror "terror," but only when they can put the adjective "Jewish" before it. Was the Dolphinarium bombing in Tel Aviv, which merited no Times editorial, not Palestinian terror? And to how many of the dozens and dozens of other helter-skelter murders of Israelis has the Times affixed the term? The Jewish killer, standing in the Petakh Tikvah courtroom, asserted that "I hope someone also kills Sharon." When has a Palestinian terrorist been arrested and brought to a Palestinian court as an accused? Does the Times editorial page ever call the murder of 30, 40 innocent Iraqis a day — looking for work or at the market — terrorism? Hardly. It is insurgency.

Lots more where that came from.

Posted by dan at September 13, 2005 11:56 PM