Benjamin Wallace-Wells thinks so:
In many ways the story of this month’s eruption of violence in Israel and Palestine has been depressingly familiar. But in one interesting way it has been a little bit different from the beginning: American audiences are seeing the story of the conflict, perhaps more than ever before, through Palestinian eyes. … [I]n the American press, the human story of the Israel-Palestine conflict — in which more than 400 Palestinians have been killed, and fewer than 20 Israeli soldiers — has stayed, unusually, on the Palestinian side. …
None of this is likely to change the politics of America’s relationship with Israel. … But in a subtler way I think the way the last two weeks have unfolded in the western media has made it more difficult for Americans not personally invested in the conflict to simply assume that the Israelis are necessarily right. There is a reason that apolitical celebrities like Dwight Howard and Rihanna were tweeting out messages of support for Palestine. They, like the rest of us, were are seeing the Palestinians a little bit less as demogogues and terrorists and a little bit more as they see themselves, as ordinary people living in often impossible circumstances.
Yousef Munayyer, the Palestinian political analyst, agrees (via g-chat):
It is kind or hard to measure these sorts of changes, but for those of use who live and breathe this issue and work on it constantly, it is not hard to see the change. This, I think, is due to several things:
1. A generational shift: There is a viewing and reading audience that came into consciousness with the Israel of 2002, 2006, 2008-9, 2012 and now 2014, and not 1948,1967,1973 etc. It is a lot harder to sell the image of Israel as a David facing a Goliath when Israel is using F-16s against a largely civilian population and not columns of tanks.
2. A technological shift: The truth is when it comes to the Israel and Palestinians, the Palestinians have always been the weaker party, but its been hard to see that in the past. Today, social media is the great equalizer. It allows Palestinian voices to come to the fore, along with those sympathetic to them, in the same arena with other voices. In the past, this arena was organized by MSM [mainstream media] which was not nearly as democratized when it cam to including Palestinian voices. …
Lastly, I think a lot of this is about Israeli strategy all together. They call it the “Iron Wall,” which is rooted in the philosophy that if you hit the Palestinians hard enough and into submission, they will come to accept you. But even an Iron Wall, splattered with enough Palestinian blood, begins to rust., and it is an ugly thing to look at. … All of this being said, there is still lots of work to do, lots of bias in the media still when it comes to covering this, but having observed this closely over time, the signs of hope are there and growing.
Noah Pollak, the executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, suggests the New York Times’ coverage has been one-sided:
Something important is missing from the New York Times’s coverage of the war in Gaza: photographs of terrorist attacks on Israel, and pictures of Hamas fighters, tunnels, weaponry, and use of human shields. … It appears the Times is silently but happily complying with a Hamas demand that the only pictures from Gaza are of civilians and never of fighters. The most influential news organization in the world is thus manufacturing an utterly false portrait of the battle—precisely the portrait that Hamas finds most helpful: embattled, victimized Gaza civilians under attack by a cruel Israeli military.
A review of the Times’s photography in Gaza reveals a stark contrast in how the two sides are portrayed. Nearly every picture from Israel depicts tanks, soldiers, or attack helicopters. And every picture of Gaza depicts either bloodied civilians, destroyed buildings, overflowing hospitals, or other images of civilian anguish. It is as one-sided and misleading a depiction of the Gaza battle as one can imagine.
Michael Goldfarb, the founder of Washington Free Beacon and strategist for the Emergency Committee for Israel, adds this (via email):
One gets the sense that the best way to win a media war is to lose a real war … I hope the Israelis don’t worry too much about all that and focus on mitigating the terror threat from Hamas as much as possible and with as few civilian casualties as possible. It does seem like the NYT and others are being more openly hostile to Israel in their reporting than in previous conflicts, but that’s probably how it always seems. If Hamas ever has its way and drives every Jew into the sea, perhaps the Israelis will take some consolation from the sympathetic coverage they finally get in the press.