On March 11, HonestReporting presented a lengthy critique of Washington Post reporters Lee Hockstader and Daniel Williams and their coverage of the Mideast conflict. In continuing to monitor the Post, we discovered that Hockstader is now reporting that some Palestinian casualties are combatants and gunmen, something that wasn’t always clear in his earlier reports.
On other points, however, Hockstader has escalated his biased reporting against Israel. On March 13, Hockstader filed a front-page story about Palestinian casualties entitled: “Father, Son Dead; Family Wonders Why… Some Civilians Slain Without Apparent Provocation.” The article details the tragic death of Abdul Rahman Izzadin who was shot on the roof of his Gaza home during an Israeli army operation.
Long-time Washington Post readers wrote to HonestReporting saying they could not recall a page-one story with interviews with the bereaved Israeli victims of Palestinian terror. Even the Hockstader-Williams story following the March 9 homicide bombing of a Jerusalem cafe and the attack in Netanya which killed 13 Israelis, waited until 1000 words into the story to interview any survivors of the attack.
Given the Post’s front-page headline declaring that Palestinian civilians were “Slain Without Apparent Provocation,” readers also could not recall the Washington Post ever referring to Israeli victims as “slain without apparent provocation.” On the contrary — the Post often tries to find some “justification” for Palestinian terror. When a Palestinian bomber killed nine Israelis (including six children) on March 2, Williams declared an apparent provocation in the second paragraph: “Fatah officials said [the bombing] was in retaliation for the Israeli army’s raids on two West Bank refugee camps.”
======= HOCKSTADER’S BOYS =========
In recent days, Hockstader has repeatedly reported on Israel rounding up “Palestinian boys and men” for arrest or screening.
Hockstader on March 12 (page one): “Well over 2000 Palestinian boys and men have been rounded up… Some 600 boys and men said goodbye to their parents, wives and children, surrendered to the soldiers and were herded into a dust-choked stone quarry…”
Hockstader on March 13 (page one): “…Israeli forces have rounded up more than 2,500 Palestinian boys and men for questioning…”
Other news agencies called the young Palestinians “teens,” but Hockstader’s use of the less-accurate term “boys” invokes a stronger reader response, and presumably revulsion. Hockstader undoubtedly knows that some Palestinian attackers and homicide bombers have been as young as 17. They are not innocent “boys.”
Hockstader should also refer to The New York Times’ classic report, “Palestinian Summer Camp Offers The Games Of War” (August 2, 2000). The article details the training received by 15- and 16-year-old Palestinian “boys,” including a camp exercise involving a “mock attack on an Israeli military post, ending with a sentry being grabbed by the neck and fatally stabbed. Finally, there is the opportunity to excel in stripping and reassembling a real Kalashnikov rifle.”
Write to The Washington Post editor at:
(include home address, and home and business telephone numbers)
Letters to the Editor
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20071
Write to The Post ombudsman, Michael Getler, at: