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December 23, 2000
IDF can always count on Sontag
By Ahmed Amr.

Senior Israeli officials have acknowledged a new tactic of hunting down and killing individual Palestinian militants whom Israel holds responsible for planning attacks on or attacking its citizens.
Deborah Sontag, New York Times, December 22, 2000

Sulzberger's Sontag is new to this line of work. Until a few years ago, she was covering municipal New York City issues. So, forgive her Brooklynese excitement about everything Israeli. She just can't get over her new "foreign correspondent" status. Fawning over the IDF assassins is what you might expect from the girl from Brooklyn Heights.

Her very first sentence excuses the assassinations as a 'new tactic' to 'hunt militants' that have been identified by Israel as being "responsible for planning attacks on or attacking its citizens." Now, these citizens she writes about just happen to wear the uniform of the Israeli Occupation Army. She uses the word "hunting" to convey the subliminal message that the IDF was just killing "animals".

You can always count on Sontag of Sulzberger's New York Times Publishing Company to whitewash an IDF criminal spree. Usually, she does so in the first sentence of a 'news' article.

Sontag who is by now infamous for her 'one word obituaries for Palestinians' appears to be moonlighting for the Israeli Army. I am just guessing, but I bet the IDF assigns her to the laundry section at the press offices. This shameless pro-Israeli partisan is an IDF spokesman's dream conveyor belt. Just count her words and you will see what I mean.

The whole Sontag article comes down to about 740 words. When you read a "Sontag" column, it is always good to have a calculator handy. By my count she devoted nearly a third of the article quoting Ephriam Sneh, the deputy defense minister. The quotes come from an Israeli radio interview with Carmit Guy, a big fan of Netanyahu who queries the IDF about "our eliminations".

The real news is that the Israeli army, due to the overwhelming weight of the evidence, has been forced to admit that it is in the business of assassination. That is what the Palestinians and more reputable foreign correspondents have been saying for weeks. Sontag has some kind of aversion to quoting the spokesman on the 'other' side. Sontag's articles are usually devoid of any quotes from Palestinian officials. Maybe they just have her number. If the phone doesn't ring, it’s the Palestinians.

As a stand-in for the Palestinians, Sontag presents us with the analysis of Amos Harel, the military correspondent for Haaretz, a major Israeli paper. This is what he has to say "After a dozen such revenge attacks, the army has developed a tactic that takes into account media coverage of the event". He continues "When operations do not involve an exchange of live fire, the Israeli Defense Forces spokesman declines to respond."

Well, the Israeli Army can always count on Sontag and her paymasters at the New York Times publishing company to report events any way the IDF wants.
When the IDF issues a press release, you can sure that Sontag is right on top of it.

Sontag notes at the end of the article that "in Israel there has been little protest over the policy." She obviously concurs with the Israeli majority. Some badly needed 'publisher to publisher' advice for Sulzberger is in order; Either move Sontag to Malta or transfer her to the editorial pages of the Boston Globe where she can keep company with that bigot Jacoby. In the meantime, we at NileMedia will keep our calculators handy.


  January 3, 2001