Thursday, 15 January 2009

The New York Times and the Gaza crisis: Israeli War Propaganda in the Guise of News

To bolster the Israeli lie that Hamas is responsible for the mounting toll of death and destruction in Gaza because it uses civilians as “human shields,” Erlanger cites “an Israeli journalist embedded with Israeli troops” to claim that “in one apartment building in Zeitoun, in northern Gaza, Hamas set an inventive, deadly trap,” placing “a mannequin in the hallway off the building’s main entrance.” He continues: “They hoped to draw fire from Israeli soldiers who might, through the blur of night vision goggles and split-second decisions, mistake the figure for a fighter. The mannequin was rigged to explode and bring down the building.”

Leaving aside the credibility of Erlanger’s source, what is the implication this tale? Clearly, that Hamas is deliberately luring Israeli soldiers into blowing up apartment buildings and unwittingly causing civilian casualties.

The author then identifies the Israeli journalist as Ron Ben-Yishai, “a senior military correspondent for the newspaper Yediot Aharonot.” Erlanger does not let on that Ron Ben-Yishai is a right-wing journalist with longstanding ties to the IDF and the Likud Party.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, January 15th, 2009.]

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