New York Times reporter Peter Baker was confronted on Twitter Sunday after he contrasted Israel’s swift rebound to Gaza’s long road to recovery following tensions that were halted by an Egpyt-brokered cease-fire agreement last week.
“Israel can quickly rebound from the latest war damage but the scale of destruction in Gaza will not allow a return to normalcy for some time,” Baker wrote alongside a Times article headlined “After the Cease-Fire, Gaza Wakes to a Sea of Rubble.”
Twitter users strongly rejected Baker’s choice of words, noting that the latest escalation in the region began when Hamas – the Gaza-based terrorist group – directed a barrage of rockets toward Israeli civilians earlier this month.
“Since normalcy in gaza is launching rockets at the israeli populace that just might have to be okay pete,” one user wrote.
“Gaza shouldn’t return to normalcy,” another responded. “Normalcy since 2006 has been combat tunnels running under apartment buildings and rocket parts stored next to playgrounds and bodega shacks. When Gaza is ready to NOT return to normalcy, this will stop.”
The New York Times article details a Gaza family whose home was destroyed by retaliatory Israeli airstrikes. The story describes “A sea of rubble, several yards high and dozens wide, spread across several streets, blocking half their breadth. A vast crater filled a wide intersection, a burst sewage pipe gurgling at the bottom.”
The Times writers labeled the destruction in Israel and Gaza as “incomparable.” Only at the end of the article do they mention how the conflict began.
“When Hamas fired a barrage of rockets at Israeli towns and cities” – a directive that garnered support among “several people in Gaza City” who believe that the “Hamas offensive had restored Palestinian pride after a humiliating series of police raids on the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem,” the story reads.
“The terrorist organization that controls Gaza & launched 4,000 rockets at Israel with the goal of killing civilians (those who were murdered won’t be rebounding) is responsible. Also, hundreds of their rockets misfired, destroying parts of Gaza & killing Palestinians,” Fox News contributor Guy Benson wrote.
“Maybe they will think twice before launching terrorist attacks against civilian populations next time,” a user responded.
“F–k around, find out,” wrote another. “Scale of destruction and death would be zero if the death cult hamas did not fire any missiles.”
“That is what happens when you fire rockets against a Sovereign State and they defend themselves.”
“Hasn’t Gaza been a warzone for my entire life?” another responded. “Maybe they should consider not blowing up their own power plants, firing rockets at civilians in Israel proper and, you know, actually coming to the table ready to make a deal.
“Kind of makes one think it was a poor idea to launch thousands of missiles at Israel.”
One user questioned whether the destruction on the ground would actually deter the militant group from “initiating rocket launching? Stop digging terror tunnels? Halt their incendiary kites? Their bomb balloons?” in the future.
“Play stupid games. Win stupid prizes,” a user agreed.
Some on Twitter predicted that much of the incoming funds collected to help Gaza civilians get back on their feet will “be used to rebuild terror tunnels and cheap unguided missiles.”
“Gaza is acutely a 150 sq mi Of prime medatranion Beach property,” a user responding to the thread wrote. “It could have been heaven on earth if the leadership invested in the population and not in a violent jiahdisem.”
A cease-fire between Israel and Hamas went into effect early Friday after 11 days of violence. President Biden said Friday that the U.S. is committed to helping Israel replenish its supply of interceptor missiles for its Iron Dome rocket-defense system, Biden said, and to working with the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority – not Hamas – to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza.