I guess the New York Times doesn't appreciate sarcasm
On August 1, the New York Times ran the photo above with this caption: "A Gaza home destroyed by Israel Monday. The Israeli Army called the homeowner to warn him about the attack, and his family was evacuated."
The photo accompanied an article (now archived and no longer freely accessible) by Steven Erlanger about Israel's attacks in Lebanon, in which the statements of various Israeli military and government officials, named and unnamed, were dutifully reported without critique or challenge.
I was moved by the photo caption to write the following letter:
To the editor:
In today's online version of your newspaper I read this photo caption: "A Gaza home destroyed by Israel Monday. The Israeli Army called the homeowner to warn him about the attack, and his family was evacuated."
I write to thank you for highlighting the humanity of the Israeli Army. A naive reader might have wondered why Israel was systematically destroying the homes of Gaza residents, but your caption, by focusing on the positive, helps to deflect such negative thinking. Many critics of the American media have deplored its excessively negative coverage of Middle East wars; I applaud your efforts to portray events there in a more positive light.
I do, however, have two questions which remained unanswered after I read the article. First, why is there a picture from Gaza above an article about Israel's attacks in Lebanon? And second, did the homeowner and his family, whose names and faces you omitted from your coverage, no doubt due to space limitations, manage to evacuate safely, or were they fired on and killed by an Israeli helicopter, as happened to the 23 family members of Ali and Ahmad al-Ghanam while fleeing, on Israeli orders, the Lebanese village of Marwaheen on July 20?
Regrettably, the Times did not see fit to print it. Can't imagine why. Though I do detect a definite pattern here, because they haven't printed any of the dozen or so letters I've written in recent years. Is it something I said?