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Pulitzer Prize Distracts From Systemic New York Times Bias

The headquarters of The New York Times. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Pop, pop, pop. That’s not the sound of gunfire in Gaza, but the uncorking of champagne bottles in Times Square and the Jerusalem bureau of The New York Times, as the Gray Lady celebrates winning the 2024 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting for “its wide-ranging and revelatory coverage of Hamas’ lethal attack in southern Israel on October 7, Israel’s intelligence failures and the Israeli military’s sweeping, deadly response in Gaza.”

But is The New York Times a deserving winner, and is this Pulitzer Prize a ringing endorsement of the paper’s coverage of the Israel-Hamas war during the past several months?

The Winning Articles

It’s no secret that The New York Times has been the subject of intense criticism from HonestReporting and other organizations for its coverage since October 7. There are clearly systemic problems in the newsroom when it comes to reporting on Israel. Nonetheless, it would be foolish to entirely dismiss the paper’s ability to produce high-quality journalism when dogma and personal agendas are left to the side. And given the enormous output of articles published since October 7, there were plenty of stories for editors to choose from when selecting what to send to the Pulitzer committee.

Most out of the seven selected articles did a professional job of investigating the events of October 7. Others, however, were problematic.

One, “Video Investigation: Visual Evidence Shows Israel Dropped 2,000-Pound Bombs Where It Ordered Gaza’s Civilians to Move for Safety,” claimed Israel’s air force used US-provided 2,000-pound bombs in Gaza, specifically a model that “is one of the most destructive munitions in Western military arsenals.”

According to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, however, The New York Times based its analysis on the wrong bomb, a particular ordinance that explodes on impact with little penetration properties, while Ira Stoll expounded on the other biases in the piece.

Another story, “The War Turns Gaza Into a ‘Graveyard’ for Children,” was written by

Other stories in the package, while not problematic from a textual perspective, do include selected images provided by Mohammed Fayq Abu Mostafa for Reuters and Hatem Ali for Associated Press, both of whose photos were utilized by The New York Times after they knew they had infiltrated Israel on October 7, as exposed by HonestReporting. (More on that later.)

What Wasn’t Included

As interesting as what was included in The New York Times’ seven-article submission to the Pulitzer committee is what didn’t make the cut.

For example, the investigation into Hamas sexual violence and rape on October 7, “Screams Without Words,” did not feature in the Pulitzer package despite being the first mainstream media article to expose these atrocities to the wider world.

The article was subsequently attacked by anti-Israel media and activists who feared that it would promote a “pro-Israel” narrative, and give further justification for Israel’s military campaign to destroy Hamas.

New York Times staff also sought to delegitimize the article in leaked internal arguments, contributing to the rape denial spread by Hamas sympathizers.

Pulitzer Gives Legitimacy to Poor Journalism?

Seven stories don’t adequately sum up The New York Times’ overall reporting since October 7. The Pulitzer committee stated it had awarded the prize, in part, for coverage of the “Israeli military’s sweeping, deadly response in Gaza.”

As far as the general public is concerned, the paper is being rewarded, not for several submitted pieces, but for the breadth of its reporting.

And that reporting leaves a lot to be desired. A look through HonestReporting’s website and social media feeds over the past several months reveals no end of problems concerning New York Times coverage, including:

Israel Accused of Al-Ahli Hospital Strike

“Israeli Strike Kills Hundreds in Hospital, Palestinians Say,” blared The New York Times’ initial summary in the aftermath of what was shortly proven to be a Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket strike on the al-Ahli hospital in Gaza.

The New York Times jumped at the opportunity to lay the blame at Israel’s door, including by parroting the claim in a subsequent headline that 500 people had died without even bothering to mention that Hamas controls the Palestinian Health Ministry.

#MeToo… unless you’re a Jew.
The media has been quick to accuse Israel of sin but “cannot independently verify” any of Hamas’ well-documented atrocities. That’s not journalism, it’s populism. It’s biased. And, it’s wrong. Your readers deserve better, @nytimes.

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) December 29, 2023

Showcasing Gazan Photojournalists Who Infiltrated Israel on Oct. 7

Last November, HonestReporting exposed the presence inside Israel on October 7 of Gazan photojournalists who had illegally crossed the border with Hamas. In addition to those already mentioned above, the work of freelance photojournalist Yousef Masoud from inside Gaza throughout the Israel-Hamas war was featured in The New York Times, which submitted his photos to the prestigious George Polk Awards — a Pulitzer precursor that he won last February.

After more information emerged, including Masoud citing Hitler on a social media post, HonestReporting publicly called on the Pulitzer Board not to reward such behavior.

Ultimately, Masoud was not honored with a Pulitzer.

Rehiring a Pro-Hitler, Pro-Terror Freelancer

We were appalled when The New York Times rehired a freelancer previously exposed by HonestReporting for his pro-Hitler, pro-terrorist social media posts.

OUTRAGE: @nytimes has rehired Gazan freelance filmmaker Soliman Hijjy (also spelled Sulaiman Hejji) who praised Adolf Hitler on social media and later posted he was “in a state of harmony as Hitler was during the Holocaust.”

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) October 20, 2023

Following a significant public outcry as a result of HonestReporting’s campaigning, Soliman Hijjy quietly disappeared from New York Times bylines, despite the paper’s attempts to defend his employment.

No Gold Standard

The New York Times should be recognized when it does what it aspires to and produces fair, balanced and professional stories. It should also be called out when it all too often deviates from those aspirations and descends into the anti-Israel bias that characterizes so much of its reporting.

The awarding of a Pulitzer Prize has effectively given the seal of approval for all of the paper’s Israel-Hamas war coverage — including all of those times that the Gray Lady has not lived up to appropriate standards. Bad behavior has been swept under the carpet.

Where The New York Times goes, other media follow, along with politicians and influencers. Appointing the Gray Lady’s coverage as the gold standard makes accountability even harder in an already febrile atmosphere.

The author is the Editorial Director of HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

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Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction

Toronto Police have arrested and charged a man for assault over an incident May 9 near the protest encampment at the University of Toronto’s King’s College Circle on its downtown campus.  Toronto Police Services (TPS) say they responded at 3:45 p.m. that day to a call for assault in the area of the road around […]

The post Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘Any Chance the Media Would Cover This?’ New Video Shows Terrorists in Gaza Using Humanitarian Aid to Help Prepare Rockets

Terrorists in Gaza using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets. Photo: Screenshot

Terrorists in Gaza have been using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets they were preparing to shoot at Israelis, new video circulating on social media reveals, underscoring the challenges of delivering aid to Palestinian civilians in the Hamas-ruled enclave without it being stolen.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — which is the armed wing of Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbasused bags from Turkey and UNRWA — the UN agency responsible for the Palestinians — to prop up the rockets, according to the video.

At least three of the bags say they contain “wheat flour,” and the bag from Turkey specifically says it is supposed to go “to the Palestinian people.” It is unclear whether the bags had previously been opened to extract the food and then refilled with sand, for example, or if it still contained the food that was intended to feed Palestinian civilians.

“Any chance the media would cover this, yet another violation of international humanitarian law?” pro-Israel commentator Hen Mazzig wrote on X/Twitter while sharing the video.

Rafah, Gaza: Hamas is using UN humanitarian aid bags as rocket launchers today.

Any chance the media would cover this, yet another, violation of International Humanitarian Law?

— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) May 29, 2024

Almost every day for the past seven months, Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations have been shooting rockets into Israel from civilian areas, which is a war crime. Tens of thousands of Israelis are internally displaced and unable to return to their homes as a result.

There is mounting evidence that Hamas has also operated in civilian clothing and in civilian infrastructure such as hospitals. However, these violations of international law are rarely noted by much of the media.

The latest video of terrorists using humanitarian aid for military purposes underscores the issue of making sure such aid gets to Palestinian civilians. 

The US built a pier to deliver 2,000,000 meals daily to Palestinian civilians, but after a few weeks of operation, the Pentagon said none of the aid unloaded from the pier had made it to those who needed it. On one occasion, about 70 percent of the aid has been stolen while en route to a UN warehouse. In other cases, it just never showed up.

Israeli estimates suggest approximately 60 percent of the aid that has gone into Gaza has been stolen — either by Hamas or other groups and individuals. Oftentimes, that aid is then sold to the population at high prices, making it difficult to impossible for most Gazans to gain access to it. 

According to Ehud Yaari, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hamas has made more than $500 million in profit from selling humanitarian aid since Oct. 7.

The terror group began the war last October by massacring 1,200 people in Israel and taking more than 250 people hostage, about half of whom have still not been released.

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Columbia University Anti-Zionist Group Endorses Hamas

Demonstrators take part in an anti-Israel demonstration at the Columbia University campus, in New York City, US, Feb. 2, 2024. REUTERS/David Dee Delgado

Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has endorsed Hamas, a US-designated terrorist organization, the latest sign of its growing extremism and willingness to embrace antisemitic violence.

“The Palestinian resistance is the only force materially fighting back against isr*el [sic],” the group said in a series of posts shared by Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus, a social media account which exposes antisemitism on college campuses. “There is no way to eliminate the resistance without ending the occupation. When you see a video of a young palestinian [sic] boy traumatized in a hospital talking about how iof [the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF] shot his pregnant mother in cold blood in front of his own eyes, do not question how he chooses to resist years later.”

.@Columbia and @BarnardCollege, @ColumbiaSJP is actively promoting terrorism and anti-Israel rhetoric on their social media channels. They are sounding more and more like Hamas spokespeople every day. When is the university going to permanently ban this “student group”?

— Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus (@CampusJewHate) May 26, 2024

Campus Reform, a higher education watchdog which first reported Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus’ posts, noted that Columbia SJP has added an “inverted red triangle” to its social media biography, further indicating its support for Hamas. The Palestinian terrorist group has used an inverted red triangle in its propaganda videos to indicate an Israeli target about to be attacked, and anti-Israel protesters on university campuses have been using the symbol in their demonstrations.

Columbia SJP, a group that has reformed under multiple organizations since being suspended by school administrators during the fall semester, has been central in staging a slew of riotous demonstrations in which anti-Zionist activists verbally assaulted Jewish students with antisemitic epithets, clamorously expressed support for terrorism and Hamas, and caused thousands of dollars in damages to school property.

The group’s behavior after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel is the subject of a lawsuit filed by the StandWithUs Center for League Justice (SCLJ).

The complaint alleges that after bullying Jewish students and rubbing their noses in the carnage Hamas wrought on their people, the pro-Hamas students were still unsatisfied and resulted to violence. They beat up five Jewish students in Columbia’s Butler Library, according to the lawsuit. Another attacked a Jewish students with a stick, lacerating his head and breaking his finger, after being asked to return missing persons posters she had stolen.

Following the incidents, pleas for help allegedly went unanswered and administrators told Jewish students they could not guarantee their safety while SJP held its demonstrations. The school’s apparent powerlessness to prevent anti-Jewish violence was cited as the reason why Students Supporting Israel (SSI), a recognized school club, was denied permission to hold an event on self-defense. Events with “buzzwords” such as “Israel” and “Palestine” were forbidden, administrators allegedly said, but SJP continued to host events while no one explained the inconsistency.

The explosion of end-of-year protests held by the group forced Columbia officials to shutter the campus in April and institute virtual learning. Later, the group occupied Hamilton Hall, forcing President Minouche Shafik to call on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for help, a decision she hesitated to make. According to The Columbia Spectator, over 108 arrests were made.

“Yes, we’re all Hamas, pig!” one protester was filmed screaming during the fracas, which saw some verbal skirmishes between pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist partisans. “Long live Hamas!” said others who filmed themselves dancing and praising the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization. “Kill another solider!”

Amid the chaos, a prominent rabbi at the school urged Jewish students to leave the campus for the sake of their safety. Ultimately, the university cancelled its main commencement ceremony.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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