Monday, September 14, 2009

New York Times: No Islamist "Terror," No Arab "Terror," just "Jewish Terror"

Many newspapers and wire services, thinking that terrorism is just a state of mind, have style policies not to use that word. Some only use that word if their own country is attacked; others never use it.

And so, it is quite revealing that when, for the first time in a long time, the New York Times uses the word, it fits with the broader theme and even ideology that seems to govern the paper nowadays.

In an article on Jewish settlers on the West Bank--you can imagine every word of the article before reading it--we find the following:

"Jewish terror is not new. A religious student assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, and a settler, Baruch Goldstein...."

Now of course these were acts of terrorism. But so have been the thousands of acts of terrorism perpetrated by Fatah, Hamas, and other groups against Israel as well as against Western and Third World countries over the years.

I'll bet that this was not a deliberate and conscious action from the top to say that the only terrorists are Jews. The writer and editors just didnt' think about it. But that's the point, isn't it? It reveals a huge amount of who the newspaper defines as good and bad guys, plus the fact that it and some others do far too much of that to remain credible and observe what used to be considered professional standards.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books: To see or subscribe to his blog, Rubin Reports,

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