NYT tries to pass off stock photo of ‘cute Muslim toddler’ as child killed in Gaza

NYT tries to pass off stock photo of ‘cute Muslim toddler’ as child killed in Gaza

The New York Times posted the photo of a child who allegedly died in Gaza in 2021, in fighting between Israel and Hamas, which rules Gaza and fired thousands of rockets into Israel. But it wasn’t a photo of that child. Hussein Aboubakr Mansour says it was “a random photo from ‘cute Muslim toddlers’ online photo stocks that have been circulating for many years. … Hamas and @nytimes are literally trolling the world.”

The same photo was used in 2017 for another child who allegedly died in Gaza, notes law professor David Bernstein. As he observes, the “angelic photo” supposedly of this child published in the New York Times in 2021, was previously used in 2017 for a child with a different name, who supposedly died in that year. As Bernstein notes, “this is what happens” when “the Times ‘reaches out’ to a terrorist-tied organization for information.”

The Times frequently depicts deaths of people below age 18 in Gaza as if they were killings of noncombatants, which can be misleading. As Professor Bernstein notes, “16 is the age of majority in Gaza, and plenty of 16 and 17 year olds are ‘Hamas militants’ (i.e. terrorists),” yet the Times is “including them in [its] list of children” killed in Gaza. The Times’ list of “69 children killed in fighting between Israel and militants” includes a “17-year-old” claimed as a member by a terrorist group.

The Times also published a “historically inaccurate, essentially fake map” that exaggerated transfers of land in Palestine from Arabs to Jews, notes Bernstein. The Times depicted barren desert land owned by no one as being Arab-held land in the past, to exaggerate how much of Palestine’s land was held by Arabs before Israel became a country in 1947, and make it seem like Jews had stolen virtually all Arab-held land. (Nearly half of Israel is uninhabited desert). When confronted about the inaccuracy of the map, the Times defended it by saying that it was “art,” notes The Federalist:

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The New York Times defended an erroneous anti-Israel map … used by one of its guest writers as “art” this week after readers pressured the corporate media outlet to explain how the article made it through the editing process.

In an opinion piece authored by a former adviser to [a] violent group … which calls for the destruction of Israel, the Times used a factually inaccurate map of what it labeled as “Palestine” to assert that Jews have regularly endorsed “Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and its highly discriminatory policies.”

Maps like this have been previously debunked numerous times. In 2015, MSNBC was forced to issue an apology for showing similar factually inaccurate maps on-air. … When Patrick Healy, the deputy opinion editor for the Times, faced complaints about the fallacies in the article, however, he doubled down on defending the anti-Israel rhetoric.

“This artwork is not meant to represent any historical boundaries and it is not meant to serve as a literal, factual map — our data graphics department would handle such maps. This was an illustration conveying a sense of shrinking space for Palestinians. It is art,” he wrote in a statement.

As Shany Mor points out, the map is highly misleading, because it radically understates the percentage of land held by Jews in 1946, prior to the creation of Israel as a country in 1947. It does so by wrongly “labeling every single patch of land not owned by” the Jewish National Fund in the 1920’s — when Jews owned a smaller fraction of land — as being “Arab or Palestinian” in 1946. As he observes, much of the land not held by Jews was desert land owned by no one:

We have incomplete data on land ownership in modern Palestine, and even less on Arab property than Jewish property. … But anyone’s map of private property in Mandatory Palestine from this period would be mostly empty — half the country is, after all, desert. It would show small patches of private Jewish land — as this map does—alongside small patches of private Arab land, as this map shamelessly does not.

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. He also once worked in the Education Department. Hans writes for CNSNews.com and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” Contact him at [email protected]


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