Sunday, November 27, 2016

New York Times - J'Accuse

Dear New York Times,
I accuse you of dishonest reporting, of fraudulently manipulating facts. I accuse you of inhumanity, cruelty, of intentionally misguiding to your readers. I accuse you of causing pain. I accuse you of demeaning the very definition of journalism. You have failed to report "all the news that's fit to print" by hiring and supporting self-proclaimed journalists who use the platform you give them to spread lies and inaccuracy.
Sincerely,
One Israeli

Could it be that the New York Times has failed to report over 400 fires burning in Israel? Missed the fact that over 130,000 dunams of land have been destroyed, almost 2,000 homes destroyed or damaged. Have you missed the fact that last week almost 100,000 people were evacuated? This was the question we asked a few days ago. Now, we ask a different one; now we wish you had continued your failures because the reports, when they finally happened, are even worse than the omission.

Days later, it seems you might have almost caught up - you host a video on the fires. You show a restaurant owner in Haifa who lost his much-loved restaurant - perhaps because he makes a point of mentioning how many have offered to help, including Palestinians and the accusation of arson is hidden in terms of "someone said that maybe it was caused by someone throwing a pipe bomb" in the forest.

Yes, yes, you have to put that special angle on everything you report...but okay. What else is in the coverage you finally give? No, no numbers. That would be too much - to tell people of the evacuated, the wounded, the acres and acres of land deliberately burned, the homes destroyed.

A mother caught with a child in the car - that was decent reporting. The scenes are indeed horrific and kudos to you for showing the horror of a city on fire. Terrifying for a mother to have to contemplate where her child would be safer...in a car surrounded by fires and smoke and stuck in a traffic jam as thousands try to flee, or going on foot, out there in the smoke?

So you had to spin this story of a nation under attack, didn't you?

Well, you certainly couldn't speak to the Israeli police or army - they would tell you about dozens of arsonists already arrested.

They would tell you of the evidence they have collected; the videos showing people...Arabs, Palestinians setting fires.

They would show you villages burned, houses destroyed. Hundreds of people huddled together in a shelter waiting for word on whether their homes had been destroyed.

So you couldn't show them, you couldn't talk to them..."what to do?" as my children used to say when they were young.

What can the New York Times do when all evidence proves a massive wave of "pyro-terrorism" has been launched by Palestinians against the very land they claim they love? What to do?


So, you interview someone from "civil defense."

No, not an Israeli one, of course not. But a Palestinian, one who speaks of how THEY have gotten more than 100 messages from their fire fighters that they are READY to share in fighting the fires in Haifa and Jerusalem. Seriously?
And you let the man continue with the lies...

"This kind of fire needs a lot of time to try to investigate before going to identify the direct reason."

Really? Why don't you just ask the dozens of suspects we arrested for setting them? Israel has proved way more than half are direct arson attacks - in some cases, fires starting in FOUR locations surrounding a village - at the same time. A lot of time? It takes minutes.

"Forty-two percent," says the Palestinian chief of mis-information, "is coming from people, you know, people throwing cigarettes."

Cigarettes don't explode a forest in minutes, nor do they start four separate fires on three sides of a village simultaneously.

"Twenty-five percent," the moron continues, "of the fire cases is coming from the playing of children." I guess if you call men in their twenties and thirties children, you might be right. I guess if you call adolescents bent on destruction and murder "children," you may be right.

"The rest of the percentage," because clearly he knows who started all our fires," is coming from all the reasons of the fire, that's including electricity."

Well, this one hits close to home because on Shabbat, Elie was designated as an ambulance driver and David was his volunteer and they were called to a fire in our city. A building's electric system sparked and several apartments were damaged and 12 people injured.

But...but...this fire isn't being counted in the four hundred attacks in the last few days, of which over 200 have been confirmed as arson already.

And then the insult from this obnoxious and ignorant man. He wants to tell the world this is the second big fire we have had in 6 years - never mind that the last one was set by a two Arab brothers from Usfiya who were arrested for negligence which caused fire (police were unable to prove arson as they can in so many cases here).

He says, "they [Israelis] should build the capacity to try to stop these kinds of risks." I guess we should take his advice. Perhaps a large wall, a security wall would suffice. Perhaps from every village that harbors an attacker, we should demand compensation.

The current estimate of damage is well over 500 million shekels. Perhaps the New York Times could ask Mahmoud Abbas to issue us a check, though I think we prefer cash. Yes, that's right - cash from Abbas and an apology from The New York Times.

Following is one video: the narrator explains how the Arabs light the fire and then calmly walk back to their village, unconcerned that they have just committed a crime. He explains that an Israeli car comes by, stops and calls for help and that the Arabs clearly don't know what they are doing. They set the fire in a place unlikely to cause much damage.  It is sheltered from the wind and more, they set it among olive trees, which are extremely hard to burn...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to sending Israeli firetrucks to the PA when their cities are burning to the ground. Amen.

Wolfgang said...

Not just for the New York Times:

"Behold,
all shall be ashamed and humiliated,
all who are provoked with you;
they are as nothing,
and men of your contention are perishing."
(Isaiah 41.11)

Richie Sevrinsky said...

This is a total misrepresentation of the video posted here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/25/world/middleeast/israel-wildfires-arson.html

In the video, the representative of the Palestinian Civil Defense quotes statistics for fires **in general**, not for the current rash of arson attacks.

It would be considerate to demonstrate some appreciation for the assistance given by the Palestinian firefighters, as our Prime Minister has done.

mootcourt said...

But that's just the point - the Palestinian Civil Defense representative wasn't being interviewed about fires "in general", he was being interviewed about these fires. Using his comments as the "remarks from an official" - and only his comments - was a disgrace.

And on a technical note, the restaurant isn't/wasn't in Haifa - it is/was near Sha'ar Hagay, close to Jerusalem.

Anonymous said...

Just for accuracy - the Times ran this story on Thurs. 24.11 http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/24/world/middleeast/israel-fires.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=1

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