NY Times shift

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Apr 4 07:04:51 MST 2002

As comrades may or may not know, press coverage was uniformly accomodating
to US war aims in Indochina until two things began to happen. One, the
Vietnamese showed that they would not roll over and play dead. Two,--and
closely related to the first--peace activists began to mount effective

This process appears to be developing now with respect to the
Israel-Palestine struggle. Go to this image of the NY Times front page for
this morning, April 4, 2002:

Prominently displayed is a photo of an Israeli cop with his knee in the
stomach of a youth lying on his back, who is trying to fend off a punch.
The Times caption, not visible on the image, says, "Israeli guards at a
border checkpoint beat a peace activist yesterday during a demonstration in
Jerusalem." Needless to say, the decision to emphasize such a compromising
photo reflects a shifting mood among the newspaper's editors.

Ringing this photo on page one are stories like these:

A Little Town in Judea, Besieged by Israelis and by Grief
BETHLEHEM, West Bank, April 3 — They did not know much about the
Palestinian, just his name, and that he came from a refugee camp, and that
they simply could not stop his bleeding.

They found him on the stony street on Tuesday morning, shortly after the
Israeli ground forces invaded. He had a big hole in his right side, it
seemed from shrapnel, and so they helped him into their two-room home and
made him as comfortable as they could on blankets piled on the hard kitchen

As the crimson stain crept over his pale blue shirt, they called for an
ambulance. They called again and again. There was a hospital just a few
blocks away, but no ambulance could pass through the gunfire or get by the
Israeli armored vehicles that were choking the narrow lanes of Bethlehem's
old city.

"They told us to give him water and soup," said Fathia Musa Attiyeh,
sobbing as she remembered how helpless she was. "This morning he said, `I'm
dying.' "

He held out for a few more hours, until about three o'clock this afternoon.
By five, his body was stiffening. As a child stared, Issam Issis, who had
also cared for the stranger, sat beside the body, gently stroking the black
hair and crying softly. The man had been unarmed, Mr. Issis said. His name
was Abdel Khader Abu Ahmed, and he came from a refugee camp in Jordan.

Outside, a wailing woman shouted into the air, cursing the Israelis, the
Arabs, everybody.


April 4, 2002

Israeli Armor Units Continue Sweeping Through West Bank
JERUSALEM, April 3 — A force of Israeli tanks and armored vehicles rumbled
tonight into Nablus, the second largest city in the West Bank, continuing a
relentless sweep even as international criticism gathered force and some
Israelis themselves began questioning the operation.

The occupation of Nablus meant that six days into the operation, the
Israeli Army was in control of all major Palestinian-ruled centers in the
West Bank except Hebron. In each city the army was proving more intense,
ruthless and thorough than in any prior incursion, including the raids last

But despite Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's declared determination to
continue until the "infrastructure of terrorism" has been rooted out, which
was taken to mean weeks, the military operation appeared today to run into
greater resistance with every advance.

In Bethlehem, tanks and armored personnel carriers surrounded the Church of
the Nativity, where about 200 Palestinians have taken refuge, prompting
fierce demands from leaders of local churches that there be no violation of
their sacred sites. An attempt by the Roman Catholic prelate, Patriarch
Michel Sabbagh, to lead a delegation of church leaders into Bethlehem was
turned back by armed police officers at the entrance to the town.

full: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/04/international/middleeast/04MIDE.html

Louis Proyect
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