NYT Portrays Hamas Terrorist as Sympathetic Family Man

March 2nd, 2006 9:43 AM

Pro-Palestinian reporter Steven Erlanger’s West Bank filing on a Hamas member’s release from Israeli custody is titled “Head High, Hamas Member Returns From Israeli Jail.”

Here’s part of the photo caption, at the bottom of a heartwarming column of photos running through the middle of the article:

“The first to get a hug from Mr. Barghouti was his son Basel. Then he stopped at the grave of a neighbor’s son who died in a clash with Israelis, before a festive meal, with his son Bilal on his lap.”

Each of those loving scenes featuring the family hero are documented in pictures.

“On Sunday, Mahmoud Youssef Barghouti came home to a different kind of reception. His family and friends traveled to a rainy checkpoint to greet him, pale and bearded in new black jeans and silvery running shoes, which he tried to protect from the mud. His daughter, Hanin, 12, was in tears, burying her face in his waist; he lifted his son Basel, 5, a serious boy in a crew cut who stared around him. He hugged his wife, Fadia, brushing his lips along the embroidered brown scarf that covered her hair. Mr. Barghouti, 39, an active member of Hamas, was released at 5:30 a.m. from Ketziot prison, a collection of tents in the Negev, after 14 months of administrative detention by Israel, held without charges.”

Erlanger finally notes that in Israel, “membership in Hamas, considered a terrorist organization, is a crime.” Actually, Hamas demonstrably is a terrorist organization. How much proof does Erlanger need?

And this detail could have been lifted straight off a left-wing protest banner:

“In the Ketziot desert jail, Mr. Barghouti said, prisoners live 20 to a tent, 6 tents to a section, each section surrounded by the same nine-yard-high sections of concrete wall used in the separation barrier [between Israel and the West Bank].”

For more examples of New York Times bias, visit TimesWatch.