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‘NY Times’ op-ed page gives voice to Hamas-appointed Gaza mayor

"Israeli prime minister in the WSJ Hamas-appointed mayor of Gaza City in the NYT,” wrote Elliot Kaufman. “Glad both sides could find spots in the American media where they feel comfortable.”

Palestinians walking on a road leading to the southern part of Gaza after fleeing their homes in Gaza City on Nov. 24, 2023. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.
Palestinians walking on a road leading to the southern part of Gaza after fleeing their homes in Gaza City on Nov. 24, 2023. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the news, not a keyboard was clanking, except in New York to target the Jews.

The “gem” of Gaza City “was destroyed by Israeli bombardment,” its mayor Yahya Sarraj wrote in a Dec. 24 New York Times op-ed.

“The Israeli invasion has caused the deaths of more than 20,000 people, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, and destroyed or damaged about half the buildings in the territory,” Sarraj adds. “The Israelis have also pulverized something else: Gaza City’s cultural riches and municipal institutions.”

Sarraj writes that “the Hamas administration appointed me mayor in 2019,” but the article doesn’t note that the “20,000” statistic from the “Gaza Health Ministry” represents a terrorist organization making claims about the democracy that it attacked brutally on Oct. 7. (The United States has listed Hamas as a terror group for 26 years.)

“Why did the Israeli tanks destroy so many trees, electricity poles, cars and water mains? Why would Israel hit a U.N. school?” Sarraj writes. “The obliteration of our way of life in Gaza is indescribable. I still feel I am in a nightmare because I can’t imagine how any sane person could engage in such a horrific campaign of destruction and death.”

In passing, Sarraj mentions that “Israel began its war on Gaza in response to the deadly attack by Hamas.” He doesn’t mention that Hamas continues to hold Israeli hostages. (He also writes that his eldest son was killed in a strike on his house.)

“I wonder, would The New York Times also publish an op-ed from Al-Qaeda justifying 9/11? Of course not, but there is no red line to this paper’s Jew-hatred,” wrote Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO of the International Legal Forum.

“I wonder how many of those reading this essay note that, as this Hamas-appointed mayor writes, Gaza had a ‘cultural center, a theater, a public library, a beautiful seafront, a zoo, a Children’s Happiness Center, recreation spaces, small cafes and parks,’” wrote Clifford May, founder and president of Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“The mayor traveled abroad,” May wrote. “He is angry about Israel’s ‘occupation,’ neglecting to note that Israelis withdrew from Gaza in 2005. … He doesn’t mention the massacre, mass rapes and kidnapping of children that were carried out by Hamas on Oct. 10. He doesn’t mention that Hamas still holds hostages and continues to kill Israelis. His editors at the NYT apparently thought none of that relevant.”

“I’m surprised that The New York Times only gave him an op-ed column and didn’t offer him a full-time position,” added Joel Petlin,  superintendent of the Kiryas Joel School District.

“I guess the head of the Taliban wasn’t available,” wrote Eitan Fischberger, a writer and analyst.

Elliot Kaufman, letters editor at The Wall Street Journal, noted that his employer published an op-ed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the following day.

“Israeli prime minister in The Wall Street Journal, Hamas-appointed mayor of Gaza City in The New York Times,” he wrote. “Glad both sides could find spots in the American media where they feel comfortable.”

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