I too oppose the bombardment, but I'm talking about the non-stop bombardment of readers with false information in the media about Israel's war against Hamas, especially in The New York Times. Theirs is an obsessive attempt to influence America's foreign policy and mob opinion on the ground.
If anyone is still wondering why so many pro-Hamas "demonstrators" are out there in support of a barbarian death cult, it's no secret. For many years, they have been thoroughly brainwashed, and not only by universities, human rights groups, the United Nations and in mosques and synagogues. The media has played a deplorable role in distorting the truth and engaging in blood libels against the Jews. My colleague Richard Landes has just published a magnificent piece about this at Quillette, which focused on a broad range of media.
I have spent years writing my heart out about how my very influential hometown paper, also known as "The Paper of Record," covers Israel. Their overkill never fails to disgust. My most recent article on this subject focused on how many first section articles they published about Israel in the last six months of 2022. The number was 127 articles with an average word count of 1,700 words each.
Now, 10 months later, The Paper of Record is still at it.
Even as loud and hateful pro-Hamas demonstrations have just taken place in Brooklyn and Manhattan; even though Jewish students had to barricade themselves in the Cooper Union Library and Jewish professors at Columbia were terrified by a pro-Hamas on-campus rally; after Jewish students have been—and are being—harassed, humiliated and physically threatened on campuses around the country and around the world; even after Israeli civilians were butchered, massacred and kidnapped by Hamas in an attack that was 11 times bigger than 9/11 per capita, here's what the New York Times has to say:
On Oct. 26, their hard copy first-section featured nine articles, which amounted to 11,826 words, all about and all against Israel.
In the Times' coverage and in their opinion pieces, only Gazan civilians are suffering. Only Israel is inhumane. Allegedly, "colonial, apartheid" Israel is always to blame for its own victimization.
On the front page, three columns across, Declan Walsh had a piece titled "As Bombs Fall, History Hangs Over Gaza Family." The photo is captioned: "Homes in Khan Younis in southern Gaza showed damage on Wednesday from Israeli airstrikes." The piece continued on page A9 across six columns.
Back to the front page: Right next to Walsh's piece, we have Patrick Kingsley's, which is titled "Israel's Strikes on Gaza Are Some of the Most Intense This Century." It also continues for two full pages (A10 and A11) with 12 photos obviously chosen to arouse sympathy for Palestinians, and one photo titled: "Israeli forces evacuating a woman and her children from an unauthorized Jewish settlement in Gaza in 2005."
That's not all. Also on the front page, there were two more articles about Gaza. One is titled "Often Cited Missile Video Fails to Shed Light on Hospital Blast." This article by seven journalists continues for a full page (A8) and attempts to cast doubt on the thoroughly proven accurate Israeli version of what happened at or near the Al-Ahli Hospital. The reporters provide a huge map and 18 screenshots based on coverage by Qatar's Al Jazeera, CCTV and Israel's Channel 12.
All informed sources know that Israel did not hit that hospital. A Palestinian Islamic Jihad missile misfired and hit the parking lot adjacent to the site. The number of dead is disputed but cannot be more than 50, rather than the 500 that Hamas insisted was the case about one minute after the explosion. Initially, the Times repeated Hamas's blood libel without question. It now seems that, even after being exposed as liars, the paper's reporters are still intent on selling the false Hamas narrative.
In case a reader skipped over these front-page articles, fear not, there's still more propaganda. Right above the hospital article, there is yet another six-column article by Monika Pronczuk entitled "With Fuel Scarce, U.N. Aid Group in Gaza Faces 'Very Tough Decisions'."
Even such extensive coverage is not enough. In this same issue, we have an opinion piece by Charles M. Blow and another by Nicholas Kristof entitled "Despite Their Losses, These Israelis Oppose Invading Gaza."
Kristof focuses on an Israeli whose parents were massacred by Hamas and whose friend has been kidnapped. OK so far, right? Not exactly. This Israeli opposes the "further destruction (of) Gaza, even in the name of destroying Hamas." Kristof's man wants the "cycle of violence" to end and this somewhat Christian attitude is one that Kristof finds "majestic."
Leave it to Kristof to find another Israeli who represents almost no one in that beleaguered country. This man's uncle was murdered by Hamas but says, "Civilians there (in Gaza) are being killed in massive numbers and they are not being killed by Hamas. They are being killed by us."
Kristof finds this man to represent a "triumph of compassion at a time of personal and national trauma."
Finally, Kristof speaks to a man whose mother, the Women Wage Peace activist Vivian Silver (someone I knew long ago) "went missing and was probably kidnapped." Although Silver's kibbutz was destroyed, her family home burned to the ground and her friends murdered, her faithful son Yonatan believes that, even in captivity in Gaza, Vivian would be "appalled by the relentless bombing of Gaza and preparations for a prolonged ground invasion." Yonatan says, "I just don't think it will bring us any closer to a better position."
Kristof approves, writing, "If even people like him, personally shattered by a barbaric terror attack, can muster the clarity to understand that relentless bombardment and a ground invasion may not help, maybe there's hope for the rest of us. May we learn from their wisdom and humanity."
Has Kristof interviewed more than three Israelis? Have the others told him what the overwhelming majority of Israelis believe: That Israel must now do whatever it takes to rid Gaza of Hamas? That this is essential for Israel's survival and, for that matter, for Gazans too, in order to live free of totalitarian tyranny? Consider my colleague Bassem Eid on the subject.
Stop this bombardment now!
Phyllis Chesler, a writing fellow at the Middle East Forum, is an emerita professor of psychology and women's studies and the author of twenty books, including Women and Madness, Islamic Gender Apartheid, An American Bride in Kabul, A Politically Incorrect Feminist, and A Family Conspiracy: Honor Killings.