The New York Times did the bare minimum today in reporting on the Israeli soldier who was sentenced to only one month in prison for murdering a young Gazan demonstrator last year. The victim was a 14-year-old boy, Othman Helles, and video evidence showed he was clearly unarmed. In the print edition, the Times headline did not include the shocking short prison sentence, and the Times used some of its other techniques to minimize the damage to Israel’s reputation.
Use the passive voice: The second paragraph reports that “. . . hundreds of Palestinians were killed during the [Great March of Return] protests. . .” Why not “Israeli soldiers killed 183 Gazans and wounded another 9204. Gazans killed 1 Israeli and wounded 11.”
Ignore the leading Israeli human rights organization: B’Tselem has issued impassioned warnings ever since the Israeli snipers first opened fire on Gazans back in 2018, including calling on soldiers to disobey orders to shoot. And just the other day, B’Tselem accused the Israeli military of wrongly dropping inquiries into 3 other killings and said the probes had only been originally opened to give “an illusion of a functioning apparatus for seeking accountability.”
Cover up Israel’s vicious right wing: No doubt Israeli settler/colonists and others are already blasting the one-month sentence as too harsh. Let’s hear from them.
On the plus side, Times reporter David Halbfinger did give the victim’s father a chance to speak. Rami Helles said that he feared the Israeli soldier’s light punishment would continue to “encourage his colleagues to kill in cold blood.”