Major U.S. papers heavily skewed opinion coverage towards Israeli and U.S. perspectives in the days after the October 7th attacks.

by Julie Hollar, FAIR

At the New York Times and Washington Post, despite efforts to include Palestinian voices, opinion editors have skewed the Gaza debate toward an Israel-centered perspective, dominated by men and, among guest writers, government officials.

In the first two months of the current Gaza crisis, the Times featured the crisis on its op-ed pages almost twice as many times as the Post (122 to 63). But while both papers did include a few strong pro-Palestinian voices—and both seemed to make an effort to bring Palestinian voices close to parity with Israeli voices—their pages leaned heavily toward a conversation dominated by Israeli interests and concerns.

israel and palestine rally with protestors from both sides

That was due in large part due to their stables of regular columnists, who tend to write from a perspective aligned with Israel, if not always in alignment with its right-wing government. As a result, the viewpoints readers were most likely to encounter on the opinion pages of the two papers were sympathetic to, but not necessarily uncritical of, Israel.

Many opinion pieces at the Times, for instance, mentioned the word “occupation,” offering some context for the current crisis. However, very few at either paper went so far as to use the word “apartheid”—a term used by prominent human rights groups to describe Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

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