Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The New York Times has ignored Gaza's power outages

In 2008, Israel briefly stopped shipping fuel to Gaza's main power plant.

That was mentioned by the New York Times no less than ten times, starting with a major story on January 21:

Two days later, Israeli fuel shipments resumed, and the Times noted that the Eu called Israel's move "collective punishment."

Two days later again, it was mentioned in a story about Gazans breaking through the border to Egypt. As it was on January 26th and 29th.

On February 9, Israel cut the supply of electricity to Gaza - by 1%. This prompted another major NYT story.

And there were a few mentions of it in other stories during 2008.

Now, for the past five weeks, Gaza has suffered another fuel crisis, closing its power plant three times. Hamas stopped all shipments of power plant fuel from Israel since January 2011 and relied on smuggled fuel from Egypt; Egypt cracked down on smugglers and Hamas has so far refused to allow fuel to go to Gaza via Israel.

While the New York Times had noted Israel's brief stoppages of fuel to Gaza five times in nine days in 2008, it has yet to mention Gaza's current power woes even once. No photos of people protesting with candles, no stories about how a human rights activist was arrested for blaming Hamas for the shortage, nothing about how Hamas refuses fuel from Israel or wants to charge exorbitant taxes on the fuel or is politicizing this issue to gain concessions from Egypt. Nothing at all.

Isn't that interesting? Two identical human interest stories, one that lasted a few days and the other that lasted five weeks, and the New York Times ignores the one that is far worse.

Now, why might that be?

(The BBC isn't much better. It mentioned it - exactly once, the first time the plant shut down. )

(h/t EBoZ)