AIM: New York Times Still Misrepresenting Gaza Flotilla Story

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From Accuracy in Media‘s Shana Weitzen:

First and foremost, Israel’s blockade of Gaza is a legal act under international law. It is implemented to prevent the transfer of weapons into Gaza that were sent in order to commit acts of violence and terror against Israeli civilians.

Secondly, when referring to Hamas, it is more accurate to refer to them as a terrorist group—they are not “militants.” This is simply a fact.  However, The New York Times insists on skewing their reporting by naming Hamas a “militant group” instead of a terrorist organization.

On June 26, NYT journalist Ethan Bronner left out some critical context when he wrote an article about a newly planned Gaza Flotilla, its headline reading:  Avoid Gaza Flotilla, Israel Warns Foreign Journalists.

In the sixth paragraph Bronner writes, “Thirteen months ago, Israeli commandos boarded a Turkish vessel whose crew and passengers were seeking to break the blockade and, facing resistance, killed nine people aboard.”

The Times made no mention of the fact that those on board attacked Israeli naval personnel with “live fire and light weaponry including guns, knives and clubs.” Nor did Bronner note that the attack on Israeli soldiers was premeditated. The IDF [Israeli Defense Force] brought paintball guns, anticipating passive resistance, and it was not until “soldiers were beaten, stabbed and shot that they responded with live fire.” All of this was omitted.

Also, as reported by the Jerusalem Post and omitted by Bronner, “The group of over 50 passengers with possible terror connections have refused to identify themselves and were not carrying passports. Many of them were carrying envelopes packed with thousands of dollars in cash.”

Now, “activists” are preparing to set sail to Gaza for ‘Flotilla 2011.’ After the Israeli government announced that it would deport any journalist who takes part in the upcoming flotilla, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to drop those plans and added that the media would be allowed to embed with the Israeli Navy.

Little attention is being paid to the fact that June 25th marked the fifth anniversary of the capture of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas in 2006. Perhaps if these so-called peace activists were really interested in peace, they would demand Gilad’s release.

Yet the Times’ Ethan Bronner still seems uncertain as to why “the country [Israel] increasingly believes that foreign portrayals of its conflict with the Palestinians are harsh and one-sided.”

*Attention New York Times: Israel continues to deliver 15,000 tons of humanitarian supplies to Gaza every week*