Malachy Browne is a senior story producer with the New York Times.
Objective he ain’t – he lets his hatred of Israel shine through from time to time.
I say this as way of preface to his latest piece: a painstaking look at how palestinian medic Razan Najjar actually died. At 5,500 words, front page presence and including a 15-minute documentary, you can bet he means business. Heck, when was the last time we saw anything like this from the New York Times? Clearly Browne wants so desperately to convict Israel, and he spares no time and effort to do so.
After all of his investigations, Browne’s findings contradict the narrative that Najjar was deliberately shot! Rather, his investigations can only conclude that she was killed by a ricocheting bullet.
The Israeli military maintains that the 6:31 p.m. shot targeted and hit a protester wearing a yellow shirt who was throwing stones and pulling at the coils of barbed wire laid out 40 yards from the security fence. We identified several men and boys wearing yellow shirts that day. Only one was near the direction of fire. From several videos, we could determine that he was standing around 120 yards from the fence and that he did not appear to be protesting violently in the minutes leading up to the shot. Indeed, we didn’t see any violent protesting in that area in the minutes before the fatal gunshot, suggesting that the shot contravened the Israeli military’s own rules about targeting protesters. What’s more, behind the target was a group of bystanders and medics in white coats. Former snipers in the United States Army and the Israel Defense Forces told us that, without a backstop, it was a reckless shot to take.
The bullet missed and hit the ground a few yards in front of the medics. Michael Knox, a forensic ballistics investigator, told us that the type of bullet used by the Israeli sniper could skim like a stone off the rocky soil. When it hits soil at a low angle, it pushes the soil ahead of it into a miniature ramp and projects itself up and out of the ground. Mohammed Shafee was hit in the torso with shrapnel. The bullet grazed Rami Abo Jazar’s thigh and continued its upward trajectory to pierce Rouzan just above her chest, severing her aorta.
Though Israel claims Rouzan’s killing was unintentional, our investigation shows that her shooting appears to have been reckless at best, and possibly a war crime, for which no one has yet been punished.
Browne’s conclusion that Israel is culpable for her killing cannot obfuscate the fact that the findings admit she was not killed deliberately as the palestinians and Israel haters have been claiming.
And in case you think I am somehow spinning this, I am not the only person to notice: Take Israel hater James Zogby, for example:
I am horrified by this @nytimes whitewash of the murder of #Razan – 20 yr old Palestinian medic murder by Israeli sniper in July. Israeli closes story w/ “accidents happen”. Not an accident when you shoot into a crowd from 120 yards away. It’s murder. https://t.co/rFz4rWAfEJ
— James J. Zogby (@jjz1600) December 30, 2018
The title of Browne’s piece also alludes to the fact this is not the smoking gun he had hoped for: How Times Reporters Froze a Fatal Moment on a Protest Field in Gaza.
Had he found Israel had murdered Razan, you can bet that would be reflected in the title and the lede. Because that is how the New York Times rolls, and certainly Malachy Browne.