For several years, the New York Times has written about the Israeli – Palestinian Arab conflict from a Palestinian point of view. The biases included portraying Israelis as aggressors and Palestinians as victims. It softened the image of Palestinian fighters by not calling on Hamas as a terrorist organization, even while it is so designated by many countries including the United States.
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Most recently, the Times has extended that Palestinian narrative to a new level: Palestinian terrorists are freedom fighters. Their fight against Israel is noble and just and should be welcomed by progressives:
- On February 27, the Times called the terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine as a “leftist group,” embracing the murderers of Israeli civilians as part of the progressive global movement.
- On February 28, the Times awarded a convicted murderer a Nobel Prize-in waiting, by calling Marwan Barghouti a “Palestinian Mandela.”
These are new and problematic lows.
Feeling sympathy for people who suffer is natural (ignoring for a moment the debate about the cause for such suffering). But labeling terrorist groups and murderers in glowing terms is a hairs-breadth from endorsing murder and terrorism.
Barghouti was jailed for his direct involvement in murdering several civilians.
Between January and June 2002, Barghouti was directly involved with killing of: Yula Hen at a gas station (January 2002); Yosef Havi, Eliyahu Dahan and Selim Barachat in a restaurant (March 2002); and Gur Pzipokatsatakis, a Greek Orthodox monk (June 2002). For those crimes, he received five life sentences.
In addition to those direct murders, Barghouti was also held responsible for a failed suicide bombing at a major shopping mall in Jerusalem. For that crime, he received another 40 year sentence.
His involvement in the murder of scores of other civilians was beyond dispute, however, the Israeli courts deemed it was beyond its authority to convict him.
Barghouti is credited with launching the Second Intifada at the end of 2000. Tanzim, the terror arm of Fatah, targeted Israeli civilians around the country, such as on buses and at bat mitzvah celebrations. The Tanzim attacks went on continuously in 2001 and early 2002 until his arrest, and sporadically afterwards.