The Monday edition of The New York Times featured coverage of pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protest rallies in Manhattan and treated them with an offensive moral equivalency under the headline “Pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrators stage impassioned protests in New York.”
The report, by three local reporters and one Midwest-based one, allowed the pro-Palestinian side to get away with condoning Hamas’s brutal rampage of rape, kidnapping, and murder, including of civilian women and children. The online photos from the rallies were similarly censored.
Pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel demonstrators faced off in contentious but nonviolent protests in Manhattan on Sunday as a full-scale conflict erupted along the Gaza Strip following the Hamas attack on Israel.
About 1,000 protesters gathered early in the afternoon in two locations, in Times Square and at the United Nations headquarters. The demonstrations were among dozens of largely peaceful protests across the United States, with events in Chicago and Atlanta drawing hundreds of people.
But tensions rose in New York City later on Sunday afternoon as roughly 500 pro-Palestinian demonstrators and supporters of Israel confronted one another outside the Israeli consulate in Midtown Manhattan.
Several pro-Israeli protesters verbally threatened a few people on the Palestinian side, who then snatched an Israeli flag and ripped it apart. Israeli demonstrators shouted “terrorists,” and the pro-Palestinians replied “Allahu akbar.”
The Times’ “faults by both sides” coverage ignored the Jewish eliminationist rhetoric (“Smash the settler Zionist state,” “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”) from the pro-Hamas protestors, and the use of Nazi imagery like swastikas at the Times Square gathering, always the target of media condemnation when spotted at right-wing rallies, was also ignored.
Earlier, in Times Square, about 300 demonstrators joined a pro-Palestinian rally organized by several socialist and pro-Palestinian groups, including the Palestinian Youth Movement and Party for Socialism and Liberation. It was promoted on social media by the New York City branch of Democratic Socialists of America.
The report somehow neglected to mention Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s membership in the DSA, or the paper’s own previous bizarre crusading (like this promotional quiz) on behalf of the group and its failed political candidates.
One of the demonstrators was Mohammad Jarrar, a 33-year-old Queens resident, who said his family was displaced by Israel from Palestinian land in 1948 and 1967. “All the Palestinians want to do is for people to return to their homes,” he said.
Mr. Jarrar, who still has relatives on the West Bank, said he was saddened by the conflict. But “when you feel that the whole world is against you,” he said, “you flip the table on the bully.”
The reporters couldn’t find a single full-throated defender of the Jewish right not to be murdered:
Loren Mindell, a Jewish supporter of the Palestinian cause, held a sign that read “Jews for Liberation.” Mr. Mindell, a 39-year-old librarian from Chicago, said, “Jewish liberation can’t predicate on oppressing other people.”
Brian Bean, 43, a social worker who brought his 5-year-old son to the Chicago event, said that the “loss of life on both sides is sad.”
What’s also sad is the Times playing a similar “both sides” game, when the reality is that what happened Saturday was a terrorist attack by Palestinian Hamas on Jews in Israel. Then again, the Times has a history of indulging, if not glorifying, Hamas’s violence.