This article comprises a discourse analysis of <i>The Times’</i> (the British daily newspaper) coverage of Israeli deployment of white phosphorous during the first Gaza war. It argues that this issue is of special theoretical importance as it demonstrates a rare instance of a medium that is considered supportive of an agent (i.e. the state of Israel) offering apparently substantial criticism of that particular agent. The article progresses by uncovering layers of the newspaper’s coverage. It starts by introducing some quantitative characteristics, then moves on to analysis proper – explicit arguments and implicit meaning in editorials. In doing this, the author argues that an understanding of the discourse around criticism and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict needs to account not just for overt arguments but implicit meanings which, consciously or not, are sustaining those arguments.