Thursday, October 22, 2015

The NYT:
An Oct 17 article by Isabel Kershner is typical: "Anger Spreads With 5 Attacks on Israelis." One sentence at the end by "Palestinian leaders" is immediately contradicted by Israel's minister of defense. The rest is a cataloging of Palestinian atrocities   committed against Israelis.

An Oct 18 article entitled "Mismanaging the Conflict in Jerusalem" By Nathan Thrall states quite amazingly that, "Contrary to claims that Israel’s occupation is growing only further entrenched, the decades since Israel conquered East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza have been characterized by a slow process of Israeli separation, often reluctant and driven by violence." 

An Oct 17 article entitled "East Jerusalem, Bubbling Over With Despair," does give a greater voice to Palestinians. Jodi Rudoren's article starts off with stabbing attacks by Palestinians, which is then condemned by a "successful" Palestinian businessman. Yes, he "shares the frustration and alienation," but doesn't mention the snipers, checkpoints, and decades of occupation. In fact, NYT articles like the ones above never even include the word "sniper." 

After mentioning "stollen lands" and an "ugly barrier," Rudoren goes on to frame the unrest as part of "feeling like the neglected stepchildren" who "seethe as they pump gas or stock shelves for better-off Jewish peers." Yes, it's not the occupation but economic envy. 

Then comes the surprise: "The uptick in aggression did not begin with the two dozen attacks that have killed seven Israeli Jews, five of them in Jerusalem, since Oct. 1. (At least 16 suspected assailants have been shot dead by Israelis, including four Saturday, along with more than 20 other Palestinians in clashes with security forces)." It is no doubt a huge step forward to write that, the assumption being in almost all NYT articles that the Palestinians commit violence and the Israelis respond.

--> Being more straightforward about Palestinian suffering is a breakthrough, but not enough. When will The NYT actually state that Israel creates the suffering by its continued occupation? That ethnic cleansing has been the Israeli agenda since 1948?


Jewish Voice for Peace:
"Our analysis of over 30 New York Times stories over the last few weeks shows clearly that the New York Times still values Israeli lives more than Palestinian ones. Even though the vast majority of those killed and injured are Palestinian, and Palestinians are facing extreme collective punishment, Israeli violence against Palestinians doesn’t make the news:
Over 50% of headlines depicted Palestinians as the instigators of violence, while no headlines depicted Israelis as aggressors.
No headlines referenced racist mobs that have roamed the streets of Jerusalem shouting “Death to Arabs.”
Palestinians were referred to as terrorists 41 times, while the term was used four times (including quotes from Palestinians) to refer to violent Israeli actions intended to terrorize Palestinians.
The terms “violent” or “violence” were used 36 times to refer to Palestinians, and 2 times to refer to Israelis.
The terms “attack(s)” or “attackers” were used 110 times to describe Palestinian actions and people, and 17 times to describe Israelis."

-->It is a big step forward that Jewish based peace groups can unequivocally criticize the reporting of the NYT.


Common Dreams:
"Over four years later, the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster remains a post-apocalyptic landscape despite massive reconstruction efforts, paltry steps forward - a soon-to-be re-opened skating rink - and less-then-impressive P.R. efforts ... 

Meanwhile, scientists are reporting immense bird die-offs, children's thyroid cancer rates are soaring, officials are ignoring profound safety issues to dump radioactive water into the sea, 120,000 of 160,000 evacuated residents are still living elsewhere, often in temporary housing, and a reported 90% of them are too frightened to want to return anyway. ...

Armed with permits, swathed in protective gear and navigating checkpoints, Podniesinski visits the 12.5 mile no-go Exclusion Zone, the most contaminated area where no work has been done, residents are unlikely to ever return, and brush is eerily overtaking the carcasses of cars abandoned during evacuation."

-->A 12.5 mile zone of no return. For outer areas, no place to put the cleanup soil. A disaster at Indian Point would affect millions of Americans. Maybe that is why the NYT didn't print this story. Our newspaper of record protects the image of the nuclear industry just as carefully as the image of apartheid Israel.

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