Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.
Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.
CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.
The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.
Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683
Thank you for your support,
Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel
CounterPunch PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558
Bias, Racism and the New York Times
The New York Times, in its never-ending fawning over Apartheid Israel, published recently what is obviously meant to be a heart-rending story of a Jewish woman whose son was killed during the intifada of 2001. The article talks about Sherri Mandall, an American living in settlements that the world condemns as illegal. She, herself, is also part of a serious violation of international law that states that an occupying power must not move residents onto occupied land.
The article discusses the ‘murder’ of her son, and her ‘noble’ efforts to assist others who have lost loved ones.
This writer searched the New York Times archives in vain to find an article that interviewed a Palestinian mother whose young son had been killed by IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) terrorists. Was The Times unable to find such an individual? In the last 14 years, while 129 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians, at least 1,530 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis. Surely, one or two mothers could have been located from among that number. Perhaps the mother of Nadim Nawara, 17, unarmed and shot in the back by IDF soldiers, a crime captured by a video camera and shown around the world, might be interested in telling her story. Surely The Times could extract some human pathos from such an interview.
Or perhaps The Times is only interested in interviewing U.S. citizens (Mrs. Mandall holds dual U.S. and Israeli citizenship). This writer also searched the archives for an interview with Craig and Cindy Corrie, parents of Rachel Corrie, a U.S. citizen who was crushed to death by a bulldozer in Gaza, as she was attempting to stop an illegal home demolition. Unfortunately, he was not successful in finding such an interview.
Could it be that The New York Times, once undeservedly revered for publishing ‘all the news that’s fit to print’, somewhere along the line decided to print just what it determines is news?
The recent disappearance of three Israeli teenagers, living illegally in the West Bank, has garnered extensive coverage in The Times. However, the kidnapping of hundreds of Palestinian youths each year, some of them pre-teens, by the IDF, usually does not warrant so much as a mention by the paper. The cold-blooded murder of Nadim Nawara, in May of this year, did receive an unprecedented three articles over a period of a week. But there has been no mention of Mr. Nawara since the end of May. This writer would imagine that his mother may be available for comment.
It is difficult to see this happening, this lack of reporting, without the ugly word ‘racism’ coming to mind. Is the grief of an Israeli mother somehow, in the opinion of The New York Times, more poignant or searing than that of a Palestinian mother? If that is not the opinion of The Times, then what would be the reason for highlighting one while ignoring the other?
Information about home-made bottle rockets being shot into Israel from the Gaza Strip also seems to be considered newsworthy by The Times. But what of the carpet bombing of Gaza, with sophisticated weaponry, including chemical weapons, provided by the United States? If the use of chemical weapons in Syria is so serious, shouldn’t the same standard apply to their usage in Palestine? Or is anything acceptable as long as it’s done by Israel?
Journalism is, by nature, expected to be unbiased. News is reported simply because it is newsworthy. The disappearance of hundreds of Palestinian children each year, often violently taken from their beds in the middle of the night by IDF terrorists, is news. Proportionally, it is more newsworthy than the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers, simply because the numbers kidnapped are so much greater.
This racism is reflected in journalistic circles throughout the United States. The ‘Missing White Woman Syndrome’ describes the disproportionate amount of news coverage given to upper-middle-class white women who disappear, over minority women who disappear. About half of people, including men, women and children, who are reported missing in the U.S. each year are white, and they receive about 80% of the media coverage of missing persons.
So The New York Times, a rag inexplicably popular with the left, is only following the long-standing national trend: report in depth on the sufferings of whites, but let minorities fend for themselves.
One might ask how Israel fits into all this. Why are the children of settlers, living in communities that the world has condemned as illegal, so very precious, while the children of the oppressed Palestinians are somehow expendable? Why does this mindset seem also to permeate the hallowed halls of Congress, and the White House?
There seems to be a perverse symbiotic relationship at work: the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) purchases members of Congress, who then toe the Israeli line. The New York Times, wanting nearly unlimited access to the corridors of power in the U.S., report what those power-holders say, and want reported. And the only thing to get lost in all this is truth.
Since this writer began this article, news that the bodies of the three missing teenagers have been found has been reported. One feels sorrow and compassion for their survivors, but no more so than one feels for the surviving loved ones of Nadim Nawara and the countless other Palestinians murdered in cold-blood by Israel. Palestinian victims are living in their homelands; the three Israeli teenagers were part of an occupying population, living where they were in violation of international law. This does not alter the sorrow of the families, but there is certainly some risk in living in a settlement as part of a brutal occupation.
How will The Times report on this new development, and Israel’s horrifically brutal response? Will the three Israeli victims be honored, while the countless Palestinian victims are ignored and forgotten? Will the anticipated carpet-bombing of the Gaza Strip, and the further crack down in the West Bank, be reported as reasonable responses to the deaths? And will any Palestinian resistance to this unspeakable brutality be ascribed as the work of terrorists?
The Israeli public relations machine, so effective with the U.S. press and political establishment, will shift into high gear, to ensure support for whatever oppressive cruelty, and whatever extreme and shocking violation of human rights, Israel decides to perpetrate. And The New York Times will follow Israel’s game plan to the letter.
Perhaps this will finally motivate that stooge of Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to petition the International Criminal Court for redress. Were he not a puppet of Israel he would have done so long ago, but perhaps even for him there is a tipping point. If the expected brutal barrage that Israel is now expected to unleash on Palestine isn’t enough incentive for him to act, nothing will be. The sooner Palestinian elections are held, and the sooner he can be removed from office, the better it will be for all Palestinians.
But regardless of the actions of the weak, corrupt Mr. Abbas, The New York Times will continue to report on Israel’s ‘victimhood’ and Palestinian ‘terrorism’, once again demonstrating that in the world of U.S. journalism, black is white and white is black. One looks in vain for any real, fact-filled, investigative reporting from The Times.
Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).