Israeli Children “Detained” in Gaza

“Israeli Strike Kills Hundreds in Hospital, Palestinians Say,” the New York Times headlined its October 17 front-page story, accompanied by a photo of a bombed-out building. As it turned out, the building wasn’t the hospital and it wasn’t an “Israeli strike.” As a replication of Hamas propaganda that was hard to top, but the Washington Post gave it a shot.

On October 19, the Post ran a story about families of hostages, and a caption on the photo of a mother read, “two of her children have been detained by Hamas.” This was quickly spotted and called out, and the Post changed the caption to “taken hostage.” This episode invites a look back to 1979, when the Iranian regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini invaded the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

In the spirit of John Lennon, imagine American headlines proclaiming “Iranian Regime Detains 52 Americans” and “Khomeini Regime Detains Americans for 444 Days.” At the time, even for the NYT and WAPO, it was all about the American “hostages.” In 2023, imagine a NYT headline reading, “No Attack on Israel, Palestinians Say,” and you would not be far off the mark.

Back in the 1930s, when Stalin’s was starving millions of Ukrainians to death in a planned famine, the Times’ Walter Duranty wrote that there was no famine in Ukraine. According to Duranty, the Ukrainians were content under Comrade Stalin’s collectivization campaign and Five Year Plan. For details, see Stalin’s Apologist: Walter Duranty: The New York Times’s Man in Moscow.

Hamas now boasts its very own publication in New York City. Call it the Daily Duranty, and in the words of the great Malcolm Muggeridge, who broke the story of the Ukraine famine, everything in the New York Times is true but the facts. Meanwhile, imagine the “detained” dodge in history and literature.

“Bruno Hauptmann Detains Lindbergh Baby,” would make a banner headline. Instead of Kidnapped, we would have Detained, by Robert Louis Stevenson. The same obfuscation could produce Strong Disagreement on the Bounty or The Caine Argument, and maybe The Rise and Fall of the Hitler Administration by William Shirer.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.