When the Evidence Fails, the “New York Times” Libels Israel by Insinuation

During one of the episodes of rioting at the Gaza border fence, which have occurred every Friday since last March, a Palestinian medic was killed. Last Sunday, the New York Times featured a lengthy front-page story on the subject, with elaborate graphics, produced by ten journalists and one photographer. The article concludes, with certainty, that the medic, Rouzan al-Najjar, was killed by a ricocheting bullet fragment. Ira Stoll comments:

The problems with the article begin with the front-page subtitle: “Israel Killed a Medic. Was It an Accident?” . . . Usually [a question mark in a] headline is a veil for journalism that falls short of reaching a conclusion. In this case, the Times wants to accuse Israel of murdering this woman, but it can’t prove its case. . . .

The Times poses as evenhanded. “Each side is locked into an unending and insolvable cycle of violence,” the Times claims, using a cliché of moral equivalence. It adopts an above-the-fray pose, like the umpire at a tennis match: “To the Palestinians, [Najjar] was an innocent martyr killed in cold blood. . . . To the Israelis, she was part of a violent protest aimed at destroying their country.”

But a closer examination shows the Times isn’t really evenhanded at all. [For instance, it] describes the conflict as “insolvable,” but it also complains that Israel “continues to focus on containment rather than finding a solution.” It seems unfair to criticize Israel for failing to solve a problem that the Times itself concedes is “insolvable.” [Likewise], the Times reports that “rocket attacks and bombings after the second intifada erupted in 2000 prompted Israel to cordon off the strip and eventually abandon its settlements there.” . . . The rocket attacks and bombings just “erupted” on their own, to hear the Times tell it, rather than being launched or perpetrated by Palestinians with violent, murderous intent. The Times doesn’t tell us about the victims of those rocket attacks and bombings. . . .

For whatever reason, [however], the Times has decided that this Gaza death is worth the time of ten journalists and three pages of the Sunday newspaper, while it didn’t deem the death of an Israeli American, Ari Fuld, [murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in September], fit to print at all.

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More about: Israel & Zionism, Journalism, Media, New York Times

Yasir Arafat’s Decades-Long Alliance with Iran and Its Consequences for Both Palestinians and Iranians

Jan. 18 2019

In 2002—at the height of the second intifada—the Israeli navy intercepted the Karina A, a Lebanese vessel carrying 50 tons of Iranian arms to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). But Yasir Arafat’s relationship with the Islamic Republic goes much farther back, to before its founding in 1979. The terrorist leader had forged ties with followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that grew especially strong in the years when Lebanon became a base of operations both for Iranian opponents of the shah and for the PLO itself. Tony Badran writes:

The relationship between the Iranian revolutionary factions and the Palestinians began in the late 1960s, in parallel with Arafat’s own rise in preeminence within the PLO. . . . [D]uring the 1970s, Lebanon became the site where the major part of the Iranian revolutionaries’ encounter with the Palestinians played out. . . .

The number of guerrillas that trained in Lebanon with the Palestinians was not particularly large. But the Iranian cadres in Lebanon learned useful skills and procured weapons and equipment, which they smuggled back into Iran. . . . The PLO established close working ties with the Khomeinist faction. . . . [W]orking [especially] closely with the PLO [was] Mohammad Montazeri, son of the senior cleric Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri and a militant who had a leading role in developing the idea of establishing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) once the revolution was won.

The Lebanese terrorist and PLO operative Anis Naccache, who coordinated with [the] Iranian revolutionaries, . . . takes personal credit for the idea. Naccache claims that Jalaleddin Farsi, [a leading Iranian revolutionary], approached him specifically and asked him directly to draft the plan to form the main pillar of the Khomeinist regime. The formation of the IRGC may well be the greatest single contribution that the PLO made to the Iranian revolution. . . .

Arafat’s fantasy of pulling the strings and balancing the Iranians and the Arabs in a grand anti-Israel camp of regional states never stood much of a chance. However, his wish to see Iran back the Palestinian armed struggle is now a fact, as Tehran has effectively become the principal, if not the only, sponsor of the Palestinian military option though its direct sponsorship of Islamic Jihad and its sustaining strategic and organizational ties with Hamas. By forging ties with the Khomeinists, Arafat unwittingly helped to achieve the very opposite of his dream. Iran has turned [two] Palestinian factions into its proxies, and the PLO has been relegated to the regional sidelines.

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More about: Hamas, History & Ideas, Iran, Lebanon, PLO, Yasir Arafat