June 5, 2018
In Blog News
Finkelstein comments: On May 14, Israel killed more than 60 unarmed protesters and injured nearly 3,000 others. Here’s what the NY Times initially reported:
Though [Israeli spokesperson Colonel Conricus] said the Palestinian fighters were carrying firearms, he acknowledged that there had been no reports of Israeli troops coming under gunfire. An Israeli soldier was wounded by shrapnel from what was believed to be an explosive device, he added. (
“Israel Kills Dozens at Gaza Border as U.S. Embassy Opens in Jerusalem” May 14)
But as international opinion reacted in outrage to the Israeli bloodbath, the Times decided the story needed to be spiced up, so the next day it reported:
The army provided new details on Tuesday about Monday’s confrontation to bolster its contention that the Gaza demonstration was no innocent protest but what commanders called a “terrorist operation” orchestrated by Hamas. Eight of the dead, the army said, were armed Hamas militants in civilian clothes who tried to storm the fence in northern Gaza and attacked Israeli forces with grenades and pipe bombs before being killed in a shootout. A photograph showed what the military said was an Israeli battalion commander’s armored vehicle pockmarked with Kalashnikov fire. Another three militants were killed while laying an explosive device in the south, the army said. . . . [T]he armed Hamas force in the north emerged from the crowds and attacked a patrol vehicle and five of their positions, including those of snipers perched on sand berms along the fence. They said they killed four militants in the first contact, then another four arrived in a jeep. As soon as the militants opened fire, they said, the civilian protesters fled the area. The episode ended after a 20-minute exchange of fire. (“Israelis Reflect on Gaza: ‘I Hope at Least That Each Bullet Was Justified’” May 15)
This poses an intriguing question: Should the Times be awarded two Pulitzers for its coverage of the Israeli massacre?