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Fact-Checking the New York Times

Barak writes to note that IRIS Exposes 2 Anti-Israel New York Times Falsehoods:

In today’s New York Times, veteran reporter Steven Erlanger presents two anti-Israel falsehoods. Here is the first:

During the first gulf war, in 1991, she says, the Israelis, under the threat of Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons and Scud missiles, handed out gas masks – but only to the guests, not to the Palestinian staff of the hotel.

Here are the facts:

During the Gulf War in 1991, Israel distributed gas masks to every Israeli citizen [i.e. Jewish and Arab] but not to the local Arab population of the West Bank and Gaza. After a petition to the Supreme Court, the court ordered the army to distribute gas masks to the local population, as well.

Here is the second falsehood:

But the Israeli security barrier – a large concrete wall through most of Jerusalem – just makes her angry.

Here is a map of the security barrier, which bypasses Jerusalem almost completely. It appears there are two areas where the barrier enters the boundaries of Jerusalem to any significant degree, in each case to keep an Arab population area contiguous.

It should be noted that while these areas are included in the technical borders of Jerusalem, Jerusalem has greatly expanded over the years and these are very much on the outskirts. These are precisely the areas that the New York Times has protested over the years as not “really Jerusalem.”

One other distortion is that the Israeli security barrier is described as a “large concrete wall” whereas 97% of it is a chain-link fence. The wall only exists where sniper fire had been routinely directed over an extended period from Arab areas into Jewish neighborhoods.

I would add that the entire tenor of the Times article is nostalgia for the good old days before the Israelis arrived. On the other hand, I suppose we should give the Times credit for at least locating the relevant events in the right century.

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