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November 13, 2014

Where's the Coverage? Joint Chief Chairman Declares "Israel Went to Extraordinary Lengths" to Protect Gaza Civilians


Discussing Operation Protective Edge at a forum at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in New York City, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey stated:

I actually do think that Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties.


In this kind of conflict, where you are held to a standard that your enemy is not held to, you’re going to be criticized for civilian casualties.

To their credit, Reuters reported this speech and The Volokh Conspiracy, a blog affiliated with though not under the editorial control of The Washington Post, ran a piece. It was covered in niche publications as well as the Jewish and Israeli press, but none of the major news outlets reported this remarkable admission.

Especially since it was already published by Reuters, it would have been easy for news media to report on America’s top general stating unequivocally that Israel went to extraordinary lengths to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza. But they didn’t.

The Times of Israel wrote::

Dempsey listed Israel Defense Forces measures such as the “roof-knocking? and the dropping of warning leaflets as part of their attempts to protect civilian lives.

“The IDF is not interested in creating civilian casualties. They’re interested in stopping the shooting of rockets and missiles out of the Gaza Strip and into Israel,? Dempsey argued.

The American general recounted that an American delegation visited Israel three months ago to learn lessons from the conflict, “to include the measures they took to prevent civilian casualties and what they did with tunneling.?

Dempsey’s statements stand in stark contrast to a recent Amnesty International report accusing Israel of displaying “callous indifference? in attacks on family homes in the densely populated coastal area.

Naturally, the Amnesty International report critical of Israel was widely reported in such major outlets as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Time Magazine, Newsweek, The Guardian and many more. Yet, when it comes to something positive - and true! - about Israel… Where’s the coverage?

Posted by SC at November 13, 2014 09:31 AM


I wrote to the Public Editor of the NY Times, pointing out the hypocrisy of their giving major play to anecdotes from Amnesty International, while refusing to cover General Dempsey's statements.

I also pointed out to them that according to Google News, there were 4200 articles on General Dempsey's statements, INCLUDING AL-JAZEERA.

I asked them if the NYT was that far to the left of Al-Jazeera that they refused to print the words of someone who actually knows what war is.

I typically get a response from the NYT Public Editor, but not this time.

Posted by: Harry Pierson at November 15, 2014 09:42 AM

It is a disgrace that the NY Times failed to even mention Martin Dempsey's statement about Israel's serious efforts at minimizing civilian damage in Gaza. I hope your account of this matter is sent to the editors of the Times.

Posted by: Thomas Kaplan at November 15, 2014 01:17 PM

when the times admits biased omitions or additions have you asked for their motivation?

Posted by: mishel greenberg at November 17, 2014 01:54 PM

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