Latest Whitewash of Terrorist Group Hamas by NYT's Steven Erlanger
New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Steven Erlanger has long been known for his pro-Palestinian reporting, and his Sunday magazine profile of Gaza's Khaled Abu Hilal, who went from the "mainstream" Palestinian group Fatah to the overtly anti-Israeli terrorist group Hamas, certainly fit the pattern.
Erlanger began with this cloying, sorrowful harangue:
"Palestinians never used to do these things to one another. Putting bullets in the back of the heads of men on their knees. Shooting up hospitals. Killing patients. Knee-capping doctors. Executing clerics. Throwing handcuffed prisoners to their deaths from Gaza’s highest (and most expensive) apartment buildings. There is a madness in Gaza now."
Is there not "madness in Gaza" when Palestinian terrorists blow up Israeli citizens in markets and pizzerias? Palestinians may have "never used to do these things to one another," but they do them to Jews, yet Erlanger failed to confront Hilal about terror attacks on Israelis or even address such terrorism.
As usual, Erlanger also failed to designate Hamas as a terrorist group, merely stating that it is "classified as a terrorist organization" by Western powers.
"Hamas -- a religious political-military organization that dominated the last Palestinian elections -- claimed it was fighting infidels, with a holy sanction to kill. Fatah -- the largest group in the Palestine Liberation Organization -- was nearly as brutal as Hamas and claimed it was fighting the Nazis. Poor young men from the squalid, stinking refugee camps of Gaza, their heads filled with religious slogans and revolutionary cant, took off their knitted black masks to pose in front of the gilded bathrooms of the once-powerful and rich men of Fatah. Then they stole the sinks, toilets, tiles and pipes, leaving the wiring and the metal scraps for the ordinary, unarmed poor."
Once again, Erlanger treated former PLO terrorist leader Yasir Arafat as some kind of hero:
"Fatah lost touch not only with the grass roots but also with its soul, and when it largely traded armed resistance against Israel for negotiations that failed to produce either peace or a better life for Palestinians, it seemed to lose a certain amount of self-respect. When Arafat died, it lost its defining symbol, the one charismatic man who combined the idea of war and politics in his tiny, uniformed self, his kaffiyeh carefully tied in the shape of British Mandate Palestine, and who could gather together the many strands of Palestinian politics."
(That paragraph recalled Erlanger's notorious January 6, 2005 statement: "[Palestinian candidate Mahmoud] Abbas, with no heroic history like that of his predecessor as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasir Arafat, has been campaigning in Mr. Arafat's footsteps if not in his clothes.")
And notice which trait of Hamas was emphasized last: "Hamas, working to Islamicize Palestinians and recruit them, combined religious fervor, well-financed charitable and social work and an effective strategy of military confrontation and terrorism. It is classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, and both try to disrupt its financing through charitable contributions and bank transfers."
For a fuller version of this article and more New York Times bias, visit Times Watch.