“Israel Provides Cancer Treatment to Palestinian Children from Gaza.”
The above could very well have been the headline for the New York Times story that instead was published under the title “Even a Stationery Logo Pits Palestinians Against Israel.”
In fact, not just the headline but the entire article could have created a far different impression. With just a few minor changes, it could have highlighted the fact that even as rockets continue to be fired from Gaza into Israel, Palestinian men, women, and children are being allowed to cross the border and obtain life-saving treatments at Israeli hospitals.
Yet the Times instead focuses on the dispute about the legal documents that must be used to apply for treatment, referring to applications to cross a border and be admitted to Israeli hospitals as mere “stationery.”
The real story is that rather than doing everything possible to make sure that people can obtain the medical treatment they need, the Palestinian Authority has started trying to score political points by writing “State of Palestine” on the applications.
Should Israel really be taken to task to objecting to this change?
Patients like the 13 year old boy in the article are used as pawns by a Palestinian leadership more interested in politics than saving lives.
Yet this is in no way reflected by the headline or the lead paragraph:
JERUSALEM — The latest skirmish between Israel and the Palestinian Authority does not concern settlements or refugees, but stationery.
What is interesting is that all the correct information is in the article. Yet the style used diverts the reader’s attention away from what is really newsworthy, namely that Israel continues to provide medical care to Palestinians in need.
Sometimes news reporting can be both factual and misleading at the same time.
And that’s a shame because what is really happening could give readers a different perspective on both Israel and the Palestinian Authority if reported objectively.