COMMUNIQUE: 11 January 2011
Tear Gas Or Palestinian Smokescreen? New York Times Takes Sides Against IDF
Following reports that a Palestinian woman was killed by tear gas fired by the IDF at a Palestinian demonstration, we asked why the mainstream media had reported this as fact even though there were more than enough question marks surrounding the circumstances of the death.
Considering that there are no recorded instances of anyone in the world dying as a result of tear gas inhalation in an open space and the fact that out of all of the Palestinians present at the demonstration, only one person was allegedly fatally affected, shouldn’t the media approach the Palestinian “eyewitnesses” with a certain degree of skepticism?
In light of the ever-increasing holes in the Palestinian story that were coming to light, it was disappointing that virtually no media outlets were prepared to follow up on a story that had all the hallmarks of an anti-Israel libel.
The New York Times, however, did follow up. Would this bastion of supposedly professional reporting re-examine its initial story? Unfortunately not. Instead, Isabel Kershner decided to concentrate on the supposed battle of narratives in an article headlined “Israeli Military Officials Challenge Account of Palestinian Woman’s Death”.
The article stated:
Pro-Israel advocates quickly pounced on the Israeli military official’s anonymous conjectures, accusing the Palestinians of fabricating the story of death from tear gas for propaganda purposes.
Considering the poor record of reliability and actively promoting Big Lies in order to discredit Israel, we wonder why many media outlets operate such a double standard when it comes to official or unofficial statements from Israeli sources such as the IDF.
In this case, Robert Mackey, writing on the New York Times’ blog The Lede, Mackey dismissed the views of a couple of pro-Israel bloggers by virtue of the fact that they had been invited to an IDF briefing on the matter, instead giving carte blanche to a group of left-wing Israeli bloggers commentating from one site with a very pronounced political bias. Rather than question the veracity of Palestinian claims, Mackey turned the issue into whether tear gas should be used at all to disperse Palestinian protestors.
Meanwhile, James Hider of The Times of London (subscription only) included the following statement in a separate story, filing this days after it was well known that the facts of the case had certainly not been established:
Last week, a Palestinian woman died after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers during a weekly demonstration against Israel’s huge security barrier built inside the West Bank.
.... for the rest of the report, go HERE