New York Times' Pro-Israel Bias On Infographic Display

Is this how things really are at the New York Times? And is the fact it does often seem this is how things are influence other American MSM outlets to parrot the Times' pro-Israel bias? We should note that the Times is often criticized by pro-Israel groups for not being sufficiently lockstep with the Israeli government's pronouncements. But, considering the facts (especially those concerning the Times' main journalistic players in Jerusalem), that is a dubious suggestion, and evidence that Israel is actively and successfully lobbying (or bullying) American media to publish Israeli propaganda as factual news.
That there is an American media bias in favor of Israel and against Palestinians (and especially Hamas), has been clear from that start of the latest Gazan war.

While papers like the New York Times, published for over a century by descendants of the same Jewish-American family, try to give the superficial impression of providing fair coverage of the war, the subtext of many Times articles is that the IDF (Israeli Defense Force), is responding to a terroristic onslaught of Hamas rockets, which have killed and injured many Israelis.

For example:

1. Mirroring the American MSM tendency to refer to any Palestinian attack on Israel as coming from "terrorists", or "extremists", in reporting the story, "Gaza Deaths Spike in 3rd Day of Air Assaults While Rockets Hit Israel", the Times' Jerusalem correspondent, Isabel Kershner wrote about the increasing intensity of the Israeli air campaign (which preceded the ground assault in Gaza):
"Palestinian deaths from Israel’s aerial attacks in Gaza rose sharply on Thursday, while militants there fired more than 180 rockets into Israel, reaching new targets spread across a vast area of the country."
The "Palestinian deaths from Israel's aerial attacks" are distinguished from the "180 rockets", by the fact that Israel always launches attacks on Palestinians, while only "militants", or "terrorists" or "extremists" launch attacks on Israel. So, on the one hand, a legendary people and a heroic state, acting in "self-defense", launch air attacks, or now devastating ground assaults, on stateless "Palestinians"—whatever they are—while the Palestinian response to this, presumably conducted by Hamas, the democratically-elected leadership in Gaza, is the shadowy perpetration of unauthorized and illegitimate outlaw organization.

This continual drumbeat of the subtext of so much American MSM reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, helps to create a positive feeling about Israel's legitimacy, and a negative feeling about Palestinian illegitimacy. After all, why shouldn't Israel's attacks be counted as coming from "militant" Zionists? Isn't that the case?

Further, the "vast area" being hit by all these new rocket launches sounds very dire, doesn't it? But buried deep in the article is this surprising revelation:
"As the air campaign entered its third day, the Palestinian death toll rose to at least 78, a majority of them civilians, according to officials in Gaza. No Israelis have been reported killed." [Note: this was the case at the time the story was reported.]
Really? Hundreds of rockets flying all over Israel and the impact of that is "no Israelis have been reported killed"?

Why not report that in the first paragraph? But Kershner, who is married to an Israeli writer, who is a member of an Israeli national security think tank, figured it was more important to leave the false impression that Israeli airstrikes and the 180 rockets from the militants posed equally dangerous threats to each other.

2. Kershner was also responsible for the reporting on the death of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy, kidnapped and murdered—and his body burned—by Israeli terrorists. Kershner is quick to point out that the killing of Khdeir had touched off "rioting" in Palestinian East Jerusalem:
"The killing of the teenager set off fierce riots in the ordinarily quiet and relatively well-to-do East Jerusalem neighborhood where he lived, threatening to ignite broader unrest and underlining deep fissures in Israeli society."
Only the day before, Kershner had also reported about the funerals of the three Israeli boys. Her article noted how all Israelis had come together to remember the three boys:
"People from across this small but deeply divided country were united in grief. Many said they were also uplifted by a rare sense of commonality and inspired by the grace and self-restraint of the bereaved families, who have become public symbols."
When Kershner's boss, Jodi Rudoren, the Times' Jerusalem Bureau Chief, reported three days later on Khdeir's funeral, it was evident that the idea was to present the Palestinian version of coming together as a threat to Israel's security:
"Before the body arrived, young Palestinian men, some with faces covered by kaffiyehs, filled the main street, chanting about blood and guns, sacrifice and struggle." 
First off, Rudoren (her Times bio notes "Jodi was included in the 'Forward 50,' a list of the world’s 50 most influential Jews"), recently admitted she allowed the Israeli government to dictate to her what stories she could, and what stories she could not, publish in the New York Times. This reportedly came as news to the managing editor at the Times, Dean Baquet. The Public Editor at the Times said about Rudoren's ready acceptance of foreign-state-imposed censorship on the Times: "I find it troubling that The Times is in the position of waiting for government clearance before deciding to publish."

One thing Rudoren made sure she did publish, in reporting Khdeir's funeral, was the drumbeat equivalence statement about the Palestinian rockets:
"The funeral was accompanied by some clashes between mourners and Israeli security forces that injured some mourners and police officers. It came against a tense backdrop of recent rockets and airstrikes between Israel and the Gaza Strip and fears that they would explode into a full-scale battle."
Again, the "backdrop" and presumably some kind of justification for the "full-scale battle"—mainly to be fought between Israelis and Palestinian women and babies, the chief targets of Israels anti-terror strikes—was the equivalent threat posed by the "rockets". Again, this was a misrepresentation of the facts.

Finally, regarding Rudoren's kowtowing to Israeli government orders regarding what she should report, we have this disturbing story, which helps illustrate the basic problem of having someone like Rudoren, who can hardly be described as unbiased, as a bureau chief in Jerusalem.

3. And then yesterday, there was this rather amazing infographic support for the same, misleading, pro-IDF meme about the terrible threat posed by the Palestinian rockets:

The clear implication of this graphic, supplied as a helpful summary to the world by the New York Times, is that, while the effectiveness in killing people of the rockets launched at Israel is obviously less impressive than the numbers of Palestinian women and children killed by Israeli attacks on Gaza, still the rockets had caused 46 Israeli deaths. And, as everyone knows—certainly they know this in Israel and in most American evangelical Christian houses of nuttery (including in Congress), one Israeli life is worth at least 1,000 Palestinian lives, so actually Israel is losing the war on that count. But, also lost in that twisted assessment of the data is the fact the rockets have actually only accounted for 10% of the Israelis killed so far in the Gazan war. The rest were Israeli soldiers killed in combat with the Hamas defenders of Gaza. Note that the most recent totals show 2,612 rockets fired at Israel and 54 Israeli deaths total.
The message seems clear—if bereft of any facts—Hamas missile launchers, often (according to IDF) located in places like UN-run schools, caused the deaths of many Israelis since the start of the war.

Only if a person read the article (see Day 19), would they encounter an explanation for the real cause of the Israeli casualties:
"42 Israeli soldiers killed in combat"
Combat—against Hamas forces defending Palestinians from the Israeli invaders—not from Palestinian rockets fired into Israel.

Readers should ask whether the New York Times is really so inexperienced at doing professional, accurate, infographic elements of their articles that they would accidentally (and continually) misrepresent the facts in this manner. Or is this a blatant example of the New York Times pushing an IDF-friendly propaganda message to misinform its readers?

It is one thing for the New York Times to act as a propaganda ministry for America's lunatic war machine. That is bad enough. But for the Times to perform that same service for Israel is a betrayal of any reasonable notion of journalistic integrity—and contradicts the claim the New York Times is an American paper, serving the interests of the American people.

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