Last February, the New York Times hired Palestinian terrorist apologist Raja Abdulrahim to serve as its correspondent in Jerusalem, focusing on Palestinian affairs. In that capacity, she has written a series of pro-Palestinian screeds that the New York Times has published as purported “news” articles.
On November 27th, for example, the Times published an article by Ms. Abdulrahim, which claimed that Israel’s so-called “blockade” on the entry of dual-use materials into Gaza “has devastated Gaza’s economy,” including its fishing industry. Ms. Abdulrahim lamented that the so-called “blockade,” in her words, has prevented Gazan fishermen “from buying motors, propellers, fiberglass and many other items needed to repair the boats and maintain a functioning fishing fleet.”
First of all, Ms. Abdulrahim needs to bring her “reporting” up to date. If she had checked with reliable sources on the ground in Gaza, she would have learned that Israel has already approved the entry of more dual-use materials recently, including fiberglass and other materials for Gazan fishing boats. Ms. Abdulrahim also conveniently ignored the fact that Israel has increased the number of permits allowing Palestinians from Gaza to work in Israel to their highest level since 2007, the year that the Hamas terrorists threw the Palestinian Authority out of Gaza and took control.
Secondly, Ms. Abdulrahim has failed to report how Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups themselves have brought misery upon the Gazan civilian population as a result of their relentless build-up of military capabilities to attack Israelis. For example, Palestinian terrorist groups have been caught trying to smuggle fiberglass into Gaza for the suspected purpose of building rockets, not to replace or repair damaged fiberglass in Gazan fishing boats. But Ms. Abdulrahim has neglected to provide such factual context for Israeli restrictions on the entry of dual-use materials and equipment into Gaza, which, despite continuing Palestinian terrorist attacks, Israel has actually loosened.
Ms. Abdulrahim wrote an article that the New York Times published on November 18th regarding a deadly fire that engulfed an apartment in Gaza, in which she claimed that “Israel’s presence in the occupied territories” includes Gaza. This is patently false. Israel has had no presence in Gaza since its complete unilateral withdrawal in 2005. Nevertheless, Ms. Abdulrahim blamed the so-called Israeli “blockade,” not Hamas’s malfeasance in administering the enclave that it controls, for “severely damage[ing] Gaza’s infrastructure, health care system and industries by preventing or limiting the importation of ‘dual-use’ items…”
In article after article, Ms. Abdulrahim portrays the Palestinians as innocent victims of Israeli occupation, including in Gaza from which Israel withdrew completely seventeen years ago. Nowhere does she acknowledge the factual circumstances in which Israeli military and police forces felt it necessary to act in response to Palestinian terrorists’ continuing unprovoked attacks against Israeli civilians.
A New York Times article by Ms. Abdulrahim published on April 16th, for example, carries the loaded title “We’re Exhausted’: Palestinians Decry Israeli Raids as Collective Punishment.” Her article focuses on the heavy toll that Israeli military raids in the West Bank, conducted to arrest Palestinians suspected of murdering Israeli civilians inside of Israel, has taken on Palestinians during Ramadan. It has not occurred to Ms. Abdulrahim that Israeli civilians are exhausted from being repeatedly targeted by Palestinian terrorists in Tel Aviv and other Israeli civilian population centers simply because they are Jews.
In a dispatch from the West Bank that the New York Times published on April 10, 2022, Raja Abdulrahim refused to acknowledge as true that there has been a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria (now referred to as the “West Bank”) for thousands of years. Instead, she reduced an historical fact, backed up by archeological evidence that the Palestinians have tried to block from seeing the light of day, to merely an insistent claim by Israeli authorities.
Indeed, Ms. Abdulrahim has never been interested in objectively reporting the facts, no matter where they may lead. This so-called “journalist” is little more than a propagandist for the Palestinians, a role that she has played for more than two decades.
Way back on September 26, 2001, for example, while Ms. Abdulrahim was a student at the University of Florida, she wrote a letter to her campus newspaper denying Israel’s legitimacy as an independent Jewish state from its inception. “Ever since its occupation in 1948, Israel has killed innocent Palestinians, demolished their homes, overrun their businesses and destroyed their farm fields,” Ms. Abdulrahim declared. (Emphasis added) She added that it was erroneous to refer to Hamas and Hezbollah as “fundamentalist” and “terror organizations,” which is exactly what they are. Ms. Abdulrahim wrote this letter just two weeks after the deadly attacks on the U.S. homeland by another Islamist terrorist group, al Qaeda.
In March 2002, Ms. Abdulrahim wrote another letter in which she justified the Palestinians’ rejection of Israel’s good faith peace offers in the Camp David Accord. She wrote that “this offer was as big of a sham as the state of Israel itself” – another denial by the future New York Times “journalist” of Israel’s legitimacy.
In June 2002, this budding “journalist” wrote a guest opinion column for her campus newspaper entitled “Palestinians driven to bombing,” placing the blame for a slew of lethal Palestinian terrorist bombings solely on Israel. Ms. Abdulrahim claimed that “Another suicide bomber has attacked and the finger pointing has begun in every direction. But the fact is that the finger belongs not on the Palestinian Authority or some ‘Islamic militant group,’ it belongs squarely on Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces.”
Ms. Abdulrahim made excuses for the Palestinian terrorist suicide bombers who willingly blew themselves up and took the lives of many innocent civilians along with them. Her ludicrous attempt to shift the blame for the Palestinian terrorists’ own evil acts to the Israelis was reminiscent of the old expression, “the devil made me do it.”
As expected, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), whose co-founder Nihad Awad declared support for Hamas, was so proud of Ms. Abdulrahim’s writings that CAIR awarded her with thousands of dollars in academic scholarships.
Ms. Abdulrahim may have tempered her tone somewhat in the intervening years. But her message has remained essentially the same. Israel is the evil oppressor and the Palestinians are the innocent oppressed.
By hiring Raja Abdulrahim as its Jerusalem bureau correspondent and giving her a platform to disseminate her pro-Palestinian propaganda in the guise of “news” articles, the New York Times is doing a disservice to whatever remains of journalistic integrity.