New York Times Cover-up of the Gaza Flotilla (continued)

by David Morris

The New York Times continues to ignore journalistic ethics in support of the Israeli government. The Paper buried a scant reference to the September 2010 report by the United Nations that concluded Israel’s flotilla attack was unlawful and resulted in violations of international humanitarian law. Now, today’s NY Times trumpets Israel’s own “investigation” of the massacre, quoting at length how Israel “acted in accordance with international law.”

The Times’ role in the cover-up began seven months ago. The Paper’s complicity ranged from suppression of facts and failure to follow leads that might (and did) contradict Israel’s version of the massacre, to serving as a shameless conduit for Israeli propaganda. The Times persisted in publishing and republishing the official line of Israel and became a virtual bulletin board for crackpot opinions and commentary.

 

The news we Americans received on the massacre seemed written by an Israeli propaganda minister — in fact, some of it was. The Israeli army  generously provided our media with a carefully edited video of their attack, which major news outlets dutifully broadcasted.

Long-distance images of civilians defending themselves against commando killers (including a woman brandishing a deck chair)  were presented as evidence of armed resistance.  The imprisonment in Gaza of an Israeli soldier four years ago was cited as justification for killing nine peace activists, two shot in the back of the head at point-blank range.

Alternative media journalists like Philip Weiss (Mondoweiss), Glenn Greenwald (Salon), and yours truly (USMediaAndIsrael.com) provide examples of the Times’ stonewalling and disinformation. James North on Mondoweiss, for example, writes about the aftermath of Israel’s illegal detainment of hundreds of peace activists and their video evidence. As Israel began releasing the prisoners, the Times’ legion of reporters failed to interview a single flotilla member to get their version of the atrocity. As North wrote, this unconscionable delay gave “Israel’s version of the deadly raid time to harden.”

The  May 31 Times reported “Israeli officials said that international law allows for the capture of naval vessels in international waters…” Israeli officials said. Exactly. With convenient unprofessionalism, the Times published Israel’s claim at face value, offering no comment or analysis by experts in international law. In fact (and as the Times must have known), independent experts call the attack “flagrantly illegal.”

When the Times finally did report something not fed to them by Israel, their front page story lamented the public relations catastrophe for Israel, not the murder of nine peace activists nor the immense suffering caused by the illegal siege of Gaza.

On the contrary, Times reporter Isabel Kershner writes, “Israel says it allows enough basic supplies through crossings to prevent an acute humanitarian crisis.” Again, the paper reported this cruel lie citing only Israeli propaganda as their source (“Israel says…”). No editor  of the NY Times would allow such sloppy journalism — unless directed to do so by top management.

The NY Times has a long history of pro-Israel reporting of events in the Middle East. One notable illustration is their coverage of Israel’s 1967 attack on the USS Liberty that killed and wounded over 200 American sailors. The Times’ only account of this deliberate, hour-long assault on a U.S. ship — a brief summary buried on page 19 of the paper.

The question is who within the New York Times ordered the most recent journalistic stonewalling and submission to Israeli interests. Might it be publisher/owner Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.? Rank-and-file employees and journalists at the Times must be truly embarrassed, even shamed by their employer’s willful deception of American readers.

The alternative media is working diligently to find

evidence that the New York Times willfully aided Israel’s

cover-up of information about their flotilla attack.

The Times’ abetment ranged from journalistic failure to

follow leads that might (and did) contradict Israel’s

version of the massacre to serving as an unabashed conduit

for Israeli propaganda.The Times persisted in publishing

and republishing the official line of Israel and became a

virtual bulletin board for crackpot opinions and

commentary that called the humanitarian flotilla “an act

of aggression” that threatened the survival of the nation

of Israel.

The blogs USMediaandIsrael, Mondoweiss [link to

http://mondoweiss.net/2010/06/new-york-times-fails-to-interview-a-single-flotilla-member-about-killings.htmland]

Glen Greenwald [link to

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/06/04/israel]

provide examples of the Times’ stonewalling of any

information that might damn Israel. James North, for

example, writes about the aftermath of Israel’s illegal

detainment of hundreds of peace activists and their video

evidence.As Israel began releasing the prisoners, the

Times’ legion of reporters failed to interview a single

flotilla member to get their version of the atrocity.

This unconscionable delay gave “Israel’s version of the

deadly raid time to harden.”

The NY Times has a long history [LINK to Steve Landman in

"This is the Greatest Story Never Told"] of pro-Israel

reporting of events in the Middle East.One notable

illustration is their coverage of Israel’s 1967 attack on

the USS Liberty [LINK to USS Liberty Coverup 17 June 2010]

that killed and wounded over 200 American sailors.The

Times’ only account of this deliberate, hour-long assault:

a brief summary buried on page 17 of the paper.

The question is who within the New York Times ordered the

journalistic stonewalling and kowtowing to Israeli

interests.Might it be publisher/owner Arthur Sulzberger,

Jr.?Rank-and-file employees and journalists at the Times

must be truly embarrassed, even shamed by the actions and

inactions of their employer.

We of the alternative media ask someone to come forward.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Warren 01.24.11 at 5:44 pm

Read the final third of Glenn Greenwald’s article in Salon — what Jim Naureckas at FAIR called “Why the Biggest Killers See Themselves as Victims” — for a compelling explanation of the pathology behind the Israel-as-victim mantra. It is ludicrous that our media buys this.

2 Kay Williams 01.24.11 at 7:13 pm

Given that Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians is like apartheid, why isn’t there a movement boycotting Israeli goods? Such a boycott in the 1970′s certainly helped change teh policies of the South African government.

3 David Morris 01.25.11 at 8:39 am

@Kay: There is a growing effort in Europe — most notably in Norway — to organize such a boycott, including divesting of stock in companies doing major business with Israel. In the 1970s the movement in the US began on college campuses. Let’s hope students will rally to this humanitarian cause in this generation.

For more information about Israel divestment, see these links:
http://www.globalexchange.org/countries/mideast/palestine/divestment.html
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11318.shtml
http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel-summons-norway-envoy-to-protest-divestment-from-arms-firm-1.8535
http://israel-divest.org/

Anti-divestment (NOT objective, but good to know their false claims):
http://www.adl.org/main_Israel/Divestment_02_17_05.htm
http://www.divestmentwatch.com/
http://www.forward.com/articles/127439/

4 Brad 01.26.11 at 1:51 pm

Thanks for bringing my attention to the USS Liberty. That’s an awesome story.

5 MacInnes 01.26.11 at 4:27 pm

The Obama administration appears morally bankrupt – more concerned with the next election. I guess he fears Zionist money will fund Democratic opponents if he talks honestly about Gaza.

6 Lizabeth 01.26.11 at 5:43 pm

Terrible journalism. Well-coordinated Zionist propaganda. Misinformed Americans. Suffering Palestinians

7 Jose 01.31.11 at 11:17 am

Remember Leon Klinghoffer thrown overboard from the Achille Lauro? For years after, the US and Israel used the incident as a pretext for pounding all the Palestinian people. One death, 4 renegade hijackers.

Now, the Israeli government hijacks 5 ships and murders 9 humanitarians. Nothing. No consequences.

8 tomhoser 01.31.11 at 12:14 pm

The notion that Israel had to defend itself against this flotilla would be laughable if no one got hurt. As it is they offer pictures of knives from the galley and sticks from the engine room as “a catch of weapons” to justify there actions. Why blackout and confiscate all video if you have nothing to hide? Why jam realtime sat. coverage? They are cowards and murderers plain and simple.

9 Kathleen Bushman 02.01.11 at 7:09 pm

I have been disgusted with the corporate media’s coverage of the flotilla assault and the long aftermath, and I think it is just one more piece of evidence that the mainstream media has become increasingly irrelevant to anyone who is concerned about being well informed.

10 David Morris 02.02.11 at 12:56 am

@Kathleen: You’re absolutely right, MSM keeps dropping the ball. It’s ironic that we have to rely on blogs and other unfiltered alternative media to get a true sense of what’s happening in the world.

11 pabelmont 03.14.11 at 11:32 am

Thanks for this blog. I just encountered it for the first time.

I remember Chomsky saying (1980s) that the NYT had buried the Egyptian peace offer to Israel (1970-ish) and continued to bury it to the extent that its HUGE OBITUARY for Sadat omitted it. [Consistent misreporting appears to be the rule, to avoid embarrassment.]

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