NYT Takes Offensively Soft Approach in Obit of Proud Mother of Hamas Killers

Saturday's New York Times took an offensively soft approach to the death of a Hamas terrorist instigator who raised her sons to kill Jews: "Mariam Farhat, 64, the 'Mother of Martyrs.'" The text box couched the terrorism in passive terms: "A woman who took unusual pride in how three of her sons died." The word "terrorism" didn't even appear in the obituary by William Yardley, who also called the murderous part of Hamas the "military wing."

Mariam Farhat, a Palestinian lawmaker known as the “mother of martyrs” after three of her sons died in attacks against Israel, one of which was a suicide mission that she encouraged in a homemade video, died on Sunday in Gaza City. She was 64.

Ms. Farhat, who was also known as Umm Nidal, had liver and bowel diseases, according to the Web site of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Hamas movement, which announced her death.

Yardley buried the killings of five Israeli seminary students by one of her sons in 2002.

Ms. Farhat was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006. Four years earlier, her 17-year-old son, Mohammad, was shot to death after he stormed an Israeli settlement with an automatic rifle and explosives, killing five students. Shortly before the attack, Ms. Farhat made a video in which she appeared with Mohammad to show support for what he was about to do.

“I wish I had 100 boys like Mohammad,” she once said. “I’d sacrifice them for the sake of God.”