Today’s New York Times front-page story on Egyptian protests against the Israeli embassy largely neglects a primary cause of the anger: Israeli forces’ killing of five Egyptian policemen. Egyptian anger over these deaths grew even greater when Israel’s defense minister Ehud Barak refused to apologize.
Today’s Times‘ story is co-written by Ethan Bronner, who is the Times‘ Jerusalem Bureau Chief and is based in Israel, not Egypt. The Times fails to disclose that Bronner’s son is in the Israeli military (and that Mr. Bronner is living in a house Israel confiscated from Palestinians).
Only in the third-to-last paragraph of today’s article, which emphasizes Israeli victimization, does the Times mention that an “episode” that may be related to the Egyptian protests is the “accidental Israeli shooting of at least three Egyptian soldiers inside their territory…”
The Times fails to report that the Egyptians were not just shot, they were killed; that most reports say the victims were policemen (i.e. civilians), not soldiers; and that the number is five, not three.
It is noteworthy that the Times‘ doesn’t even bother to discover the number of Egyptians killed, content with simply saying “at least.” Over two weeks after the deaths the precise number should not be difficult to ascertain. It is hard to imagine Mr. Bronner being so blithe about Israeli deaths, which the Times covers at disproportionately high rates.
The Times provides no information about these Egyptian deaths: there are no names, no interviews with grieving families, no descriptions of their agony, no photographs. Their killing is simply called “accidental;” an adjective it is difficult to recall Mr. Bronner ever using to describe the deaths of Israelis.
The Times also fails to include the fact that Israeli forces then killed 14 Gazans, including two toddlers and a 13-year old (and injured at least 50), whom they chose to hold responsible for a lethal border attack by unknown gunmen against Israel, and that in the past two weeks Israeli air strikes have killed 9 more Palestinians, including a 13-year-old. In the past few days Israeli forces have abducted at least 5 Palestinians, fired on non-violent protesters in Palestinian villages, and demolished Palestinian homes, wells, and agricultural land.
Such Israeli actions have long outraged Egyptians living next door. However, thanks to such filtered reporting by the Times and others, Americans almost never learn of them. Instead, we just hear about Israel, which has the third to fifth most powerful military in the world, once again being victimized by attackers.
Since the Times‘ also almost never reports that Americans are Israel’s number one funder, giving more US tax money to Israel than to any other country, despite Israel’s wealth and diminutive size, many Americans fail to understand the growing hostility against the US created by our tax money to Israel.
On the eve of September 11th, we need to learn about the fundamental source of anger against the US. But don’t look to the New York Times to tell us.