Group designated as a terrorist organization by U.S. and major allies…
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) The New York Times scrubbed references to terror, terrorists and terrorism in an article about Israel‘s military killing Baha Abu al-Ata, a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement.
The Commitee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) noted the differences in The New York Times‘s reporting between the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the killing of Abu al-Ata.
The New York Times said al-Baghdadi was a “terrorist” who led a “terrorist group” that perpetrated “acts of terror” before the United States military killed him in a “counter-terrorism action,” CAMERA reported.
Yet The New York Times‘s Nov. 12 article described Abu al-Ata as a “Senior Islamic Jihad Commander in Gaza.”
An early version of the story, captured by the Wayback Machine, reported that the “[Islamic Jihad Movement] is listed as a terrorist organization by many countries, and is supported by Iran.”
Later versions of the story removed the reference, even though CAMERA said ISIS, like Islamic Jihad, is “indeed designated globally as a terrorist group, including by the European Union, United States, Canada, Japan and others.”
Oddly, The New York Times‘s article does not highlight the success of Israel’s military in killing a terrorist.
Rather, the second paragraph mentions critics of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said the attacks were “politically motivated.”
They said he authorized the operation against Abu al-Ata to raise his public image during the ongoing negotiations over who will be Israel’s prime minister.
CAMERA reported that “Abu al-Ata is a senior leader of an organization responsible for countless attacks targeting civilians, including mass-casualty bombings of Israeli restaurants, markets, buses, and shopping malls.”
The New York Times presented Abu al-Ata as a leader of a group that merely takes a “harder line toward Israel” than Hamas.
The New York Times failed to distinguish between terrorism and policy disagreements.