On Monday, as the United States celebrated moving its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thousands of Palestinian protesters were shot by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at the border fence separating Israel and Gaza. At least 60 Palestinians died as a result, and the seemingly never-ending conflict between Israel and Palestine was once again at the top of the international news. On May 16, the front page of the New York Times displayed a poignant image of the Gaza landscape, the sky a striking yellow with blue smoke surrounding the border fence. Beneath, the headline read, “Israelis Reflect: ‘I Hope at Least That Each Bullet Was Justified.’”
Supporters of Palestinians were outraged. “Even as #Palestinians are massacred NYTimes finds a way to humanize the #Israelis,” James J. Zogby, the founder of the Arab American Institute, wrote on Twitter. “Completely disgusting,” commented Jacobin’s Alex Press. “The NYT soft on the criminal Israeli shooters and has no heart for Palestinian victims in Gaza,” another Twitter user remarked.
Meanwhile, on The Onion, the nation’s other paper of record, this was the headline:
“IDF Soldier Recounts Harrowing, Heroic War Story Of Killing 8-Month-Old Child.”
This was a shockingly brutal joke, but it fits with the satirical website’s tone when it comes to Israel. In April, The Onion published “Teen On Birthright Trip Hadn’t Expected To See So Many Dead Palestinians.” On May 10, as the conflict between Israel and Iran heated up, the paper wrote a story headlined “Netanyahu Begins Calling For Israeli Return To Ancient Homeland Of Iran,” presumably a follow up to its May 1 article, “Netanyahu Provides Stunning New Evidence That Iranians Planned Sacking Of Babylon In 539 B.C.” [Continue reading…]