update deskIsrael at War

‘LA Times,’ accused of Jew-hatred in past, calls for ceasefire in editorial 

The paper’s editorial board claimed that Israel’s strike on Hamas is “non-surgical” and wrote that the “world cannot stand by to witness more slaughter of civilians.”

“The Los Angeles Times” building in Southern California. Credit: Juli Hansen/Shutterstock.
“The Los Angeles Times” building in Southern California. Credit: Juli Hansen/Shutterstock.

Although it stated that “no one should harbor illusions about Hamas,” the editorial board of The Los Angeles Times wrote on Nov. 16 that “it has become impossible to distinguish between Israel’s decidedly non-surgical operation against Hamas militants in Gaza and the indiscriminate killing of Palestinian civilians.”

“It is time for a ceasefire. It is time for the Biden administration to assert strong and sustained pressure on the government of Benjamin Netanyahu to stop attacks that have reportedly already killed more than 11,000 Gazans,” the paper stated in an editorial. “The world cannot stand by to witness more slaughter of civilians.”

When the Times said that 11,000 Gazans were “reportedly” killed, it linked to a BBC article headlined “How the dead are counted in Gaza,” which recorded the statistic of 11,240 dead, citing the “Hamas-run health ministry,” which “is Gaza’s official source for death numbers.”

“The figures have been publicly doubted by Israel,” the BBC reported.

“There is no reason to doubt that Hamas would treat Palestinian civilians as human shields. But Hamas’s atrocities do not justify atrocities in kind,” the Times editorial board stated. It noted that Israel told Palestinian civilians to vacate areas that the military would target. The Los Angeles paper did not say that Hamas terrorists have fired on civilians trying to flee for safety.

“We are past the time to excuse the horror in Gaza. Biden has to press Netanyahu hard to stop the mass, indiscriminate killing. That starts with a call for a cease-fire,” the editorial board concluded.

It did not note that Hamas has said it won’t agree to a ceasefire and intends to repeat its terror attacks of Oct. 7. New data from the Arab World for Research and Development suggests that 48.2% of Palestinians see Hamas’s role as “very positive” and 27.8% see it as “somewhat positive” (for a combined 76%). Nearly all (98%) said the Oct. 7 slaughter made them feel “prouder of their identity as Palestinians.”

Last month, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis, a media watchdog, told JNS that the social-media account of Sara Yasin, managing editor of The Los Angeles Times, “clearly indicates favoritism towards Hamas terrorists over the victims of horrific Hamas terrorism, and her personal bias seems to be influencing the content produced by the paper.”

Hillary Manning, vice president of communications at the Times, told The Wrap at the time that the paper stands behind Yasin. “Any suggestion that Sara Yasin sympathizes with Hamas is inaccurate, irresponsible and reckless,” she said.

Officers in a county near Los Angeles arrested a man on suspicion of murdering a pro-Israel, 69-year-old man, Paul Kessler, on Nov. 16. Earlier this month, a Jewish-owned deli in the city was vandalized with antisemitic content, and late last month, Los Angeles police investigated a home invasion as an antisemitic hate crime.

Faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles recently wrote a letter to university leadership urging it to do more to curb antisemitism.

Earlier this year, the Anti-Defamation League said that California set records in 2022 for antisemitism, with Jew-hatred up 30% in Los Angeles.

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