Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Low for the New York Times: Ethan Bronner on Gaza

By As`ad AbuKhalil

I just don’t understand why dispatches of the New York Times from Israel don’t carry the official seal of approval and admiration from the Israeli terrorist occupation army. Really, I mean that. They might as well. But don’t you like it now when they add the name of a token Arab to the dispatches, as if that will add balance to the articles. That token Arab has as much input as that lousy token Zionist Arab at the Jerusalem Post who is known to make quotes and create stories all to appeal to the biases of his editors.

Don’t get me wrong: Taghreed El-Khodary may be permitted—just like those Arabs were allowed to work in the NYT bureau/fortress but were banned from staying overnight like other white man reporters—to fetch hummus and bread for the White Man who runs the bureau.

First, notice that Bronner goes out of his way several times in the article to list the targets of Israel bombing to assure the readers that all are terrorist targets: “his air force struck at the organization’s civic institutions—the Islamic University, Interior Ministry and presidential guesthouse.” Yet he is made to admit: “The death toll surpassed 350, some 60 of them civilians, according to United Nations officials.”

But he then moves quickly to report to you about the horrors of Hamas bombing of Israel, and at one point I almost expected him to report that Hamas fighter jets were bombing the Israeli coast. But the premise of this article—and all other articles and editorials in the New York Times—is quite simple and Arabs have gotten to know it full well: that the Palestinians are inferior to Israeli Jews, and their sufferings are never equal to that of Israelis.

But there is almost an official ratio of racial/ethnic suffering that they adhere to: that the suffering of one armed Israeli is equal to that of 1,000 unarmed Palestinians. They probably have that ratio printed on the wall in NYT bureau in Israel. But I can’t deny that there are some Palestinians who do receive the attention and sympathy of Israel and its supporters at NYT: those are the collaborators, killers, and spies. Notice how much details are provided about them and Bronner is horrified that the collaborators are not treated with the respect and honor that they deserve, just as he is accustomed to the humane treatment that America accords to its enemy and its collaborators in Aghanistan and Iraq.

But there are other reasons why this article cares so much about the plight of the collaboratores: becuase the Palestinians become worthy of sympathy when they serve their Israeli enemy. Their status on the hiearchy of racial/ethnic hatred of Zionism is immediately elevated. Bronner sent a reporter to a Gaza hospital but only to follow the conditions of the collaborators. If it were in his hands, he would have rushed to Gaza with smoothies in his hands. But this is really my favorite part of the article: when Bronner (who until recently served as deputy foreign editor at the Times) is compelled to report about demonstrations against Israel throughout the Arab/Muslim world: “Allies of Hamas in parts of the Muslim world raised their voices. In Beirut, tens of thousands of Hezbollah supporters stood in pouring rain in protest, and in Tehran a group of influential conservative Iranian clerics began an online registration drive seeking volunteers to fight Israel.”

So the only protests were staged by “allies of Hamas”, and not by anybody else, and Bronner did not know of protests except in Lebanon and in Iran. Now, I know that Bronner does not know Arabic but he could have asked one of the bureau Arab servants to put the TV channels for viewing of demonstrations throughout the Arab world and well beyond the Arab world. So is Bronner trying to suggest that only allies of Hamas staged protests? Does that mean that the demonstration in London yesterday or in New York was staged by allies of Hamas too?

But Bronner is committed to fair reporting which explains why he had to add this: “Israel sent in some 40 trucks of humanitarian relief.” The entire world is observing the cruely and savagery of Israeli siege of Gaza, which started long before the two rockets fell on Israel, and Bronner is busy expressing admiration for the humintarian gestures of the Israeli terrorist occupiers.

But Bronner is quite consistent: he has never encountered a civilian Palestinain target bombed that he did not label as political/military in order to justify Israeli bombings and killing. Look at him justify the bombing of a mosque (just as he yesterday justified the bombing of a university): “a mosque where militants often took refuge has been destroyed by Israel.” And if you did not notice that he is willing to justify any and every bombing by Israel, he adds this sentence for exrtra effect: “appeared to be directed mainly at the political, military and academic symbols of Hamas’s rule in Gaza. The Israelis also made targets of the homes and offices of Hamas’s political and military leaders, who did not appear in public during the day.”

If Israel were to bomb a nursery (and of course Israeli terrorist occupiers have bombed nurseries over the years), Bronner is willing to come forward by linking it to a military project: maybe he would volunteer that the babies or children either contemplated terrorist plots in the future, or that they engaged in terrorit paintings. Here, as if it was not enough, Bronner tells you that Israel is going out of its way to spare the lives of the innocent: “Despite an apparent effort to limit the attacks to specific buildings.”

Even when children are killed, Bronner phrases the sentence again in a way to justify the killing: “In the Jabalya refugee camp on Sunday, an attack on a mosque where militants were hiding also struck a nearby house, killing five girls under the age of 18, health ministry officials said.” Of course, the article ends by an account of the suffering of Israelis and the cruelty of Hamas’ fighter jets. I just want to say that Taghreed el-Khodary (whoever she is and I don’t know whether she did a stint like Hassan Fattah at the New Republic School of Zionist reporting) should be ashamed and appalled to have her name to this article.

PS And tell Bronner that Hamas TV is still transmitting (uninterruptedly) although it was bombed by Israeli terrorist occupiers. (He reported: “The Hamas station was taken out by an Israeli missile.")

Reprinted with permission from Angry Arab News Service.

As`ad AbuKhalil is a professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus, and editor of the Angry Arab News Service Web site.


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