The New York Times “Goldstones” Israel again

April 13, 2011


[Note by Tom Gross]

There is a verb now increasingly prevalent among writers and commentators in Israel – “To Goldstone” – i.e. to make stuff up in order to defame Israel.

But perhaps the verb should be “To do a New York Times” or “To BBC”.

If you want to know why Judge Goldstone could have been so misled about Israel, you need look no further than The New York Times and BBC, two “highly respected” media that simply invent misinformation about the Jewish state on a daily basis.

Lenny Ben-David comments on today’s New York Times misinformation about Israel as follows:

In the middle of an article (April 13) about Justin Bieber’s visit to Israel, a New York Times’ Jerusalem correspondent reports that “an anti-tank missile fired by Hamas militants at a school bus in Gaza...triggered days of intense exchanges of fire, during which 18 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, were killed.”

So how much is “about half” of 18? 8? 9? 10?

Actually, the real number of civilians killed is 5, and, according to Arab sources, 4 were in close proximity to terrorists firing missiles at Israel and Israel clearly hit the terrorists accurately.

[And of course the school bus was hit in Israel. It was not in Gaza as The New York Times printed.]

A list of the 18 dead can be found below and on the site of Muslim News. Next to the names, Lenny Ben-David identified them as “fighters” or “civilians.” That determination is based on linked articles in the Muslim News, the Palestinian Maan News Agency or Human Rights Watch.

1. Mahmoud Al Manasra, 50, Al Shijaeyya. Civilian
2. Mohammad Al Mahmoum, 25, Rafah. Fighter
3. Mosab Al Sufi, 18, Rafah. Fighter
4. Saleh Al Tarabeen, 38, Rafah. Fighter
5. Khaled Ad-Dabary, 23, Rafah. Fighter
6. Mo’taz Abu Jame’, Khan Younis. Fighter
7. Abdullah Al Qarra, Khan Younis. Fighter
8. Nidal Qdeih, 21, Khan Younis. Civilian
9. Najah Qdeih, 48, Khan Younis. Civilian
10. Talal Abu Taha, 55, Khan Younis. Civilian
11. Raed Shihada, 27, northern Gaza. Fighter
12. Bilal Al ‘Ar’ir, 23, Al Shijaeyya. Fighter
13. Mahmoud Al Jaro, 10, Al Shijaeyya. Civilian
14. Ahmad Ghorab, northern Gaza. Fighter
15. Mohammad Awaja, Rafah. Fighter
16. Taiseer Abu Sneima, Rafah. Fighter
17. Ahmad Al Zeitouniyya, northern Gaza. Fighter
18. Zuheir Al Bir, Al Zeitoun neighborhood – Gaza. Fighter

According to Human Rights Watch, “Kamal al-Manasra, a relative of Mahmoud Al Mansara (number 1), who lives next door, and Sami Harazen, said that about 3 p.m. they heard what sounded like a small rocket being launched from somewhere in or near the neighborhood.... ‘Two minutes after the rocket, I heard a shell hit my uncle’s [Mahmoud’s] house,’ said Kamal al-Manasra. ‘My uncle and his son and brother went over to check on the house, and while they were returning another shell fell on my uncle and killed him.’ Harazen gave a similar account, though he believed the Israeli response occurred less than one minute after the rocket launch.”

In the case of Nidal (8) and Najah (9) Qdeih, Nidal’s uncle Fayez Qdeiah told Human Rights Watch that “he heard three mortars fired by Palestinian armed groups from somewhere nearby.”

Human Rights Watch also places another civilian next to a rocket-launching terrorist. “Residents of Shajaiya told Human Rights Watch that members of the armed wing of Islamic Jihad fired mortar rounds from a cemetery in the middle of the neighborhood.... Shortly after the mortar attack, at around 7 p.m., an Israeli strike hit the cemetery but caused no casualties, residents said. About 10 to 15 children from the area ran into the cemetery to look at the strike site. Five minutes later, residents said, a second strike hit the area, killing one of the children, Mahmoud Wael al-Jaro (13), and a member of Islamic Jihad named Bilal al-Areer (12).


UPDATES (April 18, 2011)

Since I sent the above dispatch to a number of key people in the media (including the editor and owner of The New York Times), The New York Times has corrected itself online and no longer claims that the Israeli school bus – referred to below – was hit while travelling inside Gaza, or that “about half” of the Palestinian rocket launching crews and other militants targeted by Israel were civilians.


Daniel Viflic – the 16-year-old boy whose Israeli school bus was targeted by a laser guided Russian-made missile fired by Hamas – has been laid to rest after fighting for his life for the past 10 days. He died of his injuries yesterday afternoon. Hundreds of well wishers attended his funeral last night on the outskirts of the town of Beit Shemesh where he lived, including Israeli President Shimon Peres and several Israeli-Arabs and Bedouins.

Hamas – with help from their collaborators in Turkey, Europe and elsewhere – have managed to smuggle increasingly sophisticated rockets into Gaza after forcing Israel to relax its border policy last year.

14-year-old Odelia Nechama of Jerusalem remains on life-support in Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital following the Jerusalem bomb attack last month, an attack dismissed by The New York Times as a “small” incident.

-- Tom Gross


For more on The New York Times, please see:

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.