September 13, 2011
The New York Times front-page story on Egyptian protests against the Israeli embassy largely neglected a primary cause of the anger: Israeli forces’ killing of Egyptians. Egyptian outrage over these deaths grew even greater when Israel’s defense minister Ehud Barak refused to apologize.
The story was co-written by Ethan Bronner, who is the Times‘ Jerusalem Bureau Chief and is based in Israel, not Egypt. The Times failed, as always, 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 the article, which emphasized Israeli victimization, did theTimes 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 failed to report that the Egyptians were not just shot, they were killed; that most reports have called the victims policemen or security personnel (i.e. civilians), not soldiers; and that the number is six, not three.*
It is noteworthy that the Times‘ didn’t bother to find out the number of Egyptians killed, content with simply saying “at least.” Three weeks after the deaths, the precise number should not have been 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 provided no information about these Egyptian deaths: there are no names, no interviews with grieving families, no descriptions of their agony, no photographs. Their killing was simply called “accidental;” an adjective it is difficult to recall Mr. Bronner ever using to describe the deaths of Israelis.