The New York Times continues its history of relegating news about Israeli victims of terror out of sight, while publicizing so-called Palestinian victims on the front page.
Ezra Schwartz, an 18-year-old American spending a gap year in Israel, was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist on Thursday along with two other innocent victims. A student at Yeshivat Ashreinu in Beit Shemesh, where studies and community service are combined, he had just delivered food packages to IDF soldiers in Gush Etzion, where the shooting occurred.
In July 2014, American-Palestinian Tariq Abu Khdeir was beaten up by an IDF officer while participated in an anti-Israel riot in eastern Jerusalem.
The New York Times (NYT) – and, for that matter, most mainstream media outside of Israel – apparently did not consider the murder of an innocent American Jewish teenager in Israel to be of major importance. As reported on FirstOneThrough, a site of Israel analysis, the story was placed at the very bottom of page A6, with no accompanying photo and no indication that Schwartz was a “victim of Palestinian Arab barbarity.”
On July 7, 2014, however, the NYT featured Khdeir in a photo on the front page, in which he was surrounded by Israeli police.
“Tariq led the world news, on a day when over 100 people were slaughtered in various attacks,” FirstOneThrough noted. “The beating of an Arab American who participated in a riot got front page attention, while the murder of a Jewish American who was simply riding in a car got nothing.”
According to FirstOneThrough, “The New York Times has a long history of ignoring Israeli deaths and highlighting Palestinian injuries… The New York Times has extended its bias against American Jews as well.”
Dating Back to the Holocaust Era
In fact, the “bias” or, more accurately, seeming decision to withhold news about victimization of Israel and American Jews extends beyond those borders and back to the time of the Holocaust, when the NYT failed to report prominently the persecution and murder of millions of Jews. The lack of reporting on this urgent issue at the time was documented by a number of historians, including Northeastern University Professor Laurel Leff, a veteran journalist, who recounted the paper’s consistent downplaying of news about the Holocaust in a book she authored, titled Buried by the Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper (Cambridge University Press, 2005). A scholarly work, it recalls how news of Hitler’s Final Solution was hidden from the readers and, because of the Times’ influence on other media, hidden from the majority of the American public.
“No American newspaper was better positioned to highlight the Holocaust than the Times, and no American newspaper so influenced public discourse by its failure to do so,” Leff wrote.
In the age of social media, the news is more readily available than in the World War II era. Nonetheless, the majority relies on mainstream news reports for information on current events. On Facebook and Twitter, many among those who are more aware of the situation beyond the regular TV and online reports have expressed frustration at those outlets, especially at the NYT, for promoting anti-Israel activists as victims while leaving Schwartz and others like him out of the news.
The Obama administration has also largely ignored Ezra Schwartz, although it has taken an interest in the well-being of Abu Khdeir.