The Grey Lady speaketh:
I used be respected but not anymore
Hey Barry, the Hel-singin-sanomat is much of the same caliber! These newspapers would be better off stripping themselves from their veneer of a false impartiality, and publicly stump for their pet causes. It’s the very same here in Finland, with the Helsingin Sanomat providing it’s readers with the same biased journalism as the NYT. KGS
NOTE: When you want to know something, anything, about Israeli politics, the Arabs’ war against Israel, the media’s war against Israel and US-Israeli relations, visit Barry Rubin’s website Rubin Reports. He offers insight found nowhere else.
The New York Times has now crossed the line from being a grossly slanted newspaper in its Middle East coverage to being one so partisan, blinkered, and defensive as to lose its value altogether. I do not write this lightly and have no wish to exaggerate. But the newspaper’s editorial of March 26 is so mendacious, so made up to suit the political purposes of the Obama administration without any reference to the facts that it is a work of politically tailored fiction.Basically, the themes or omissions are as follows:–Israeli policy is the result of extreme right-wing politicians.–Most Israelis support Obama rather than their own government.–The U.S.-Israel agreement of last October never existed.–The Palestinians don’t exist and one doesn’t need to mention their actions or the administration’s total catering to them.–Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has done something so awful that it proves he doesn’t want peace. What did he do? Precisely what he told the U.S. government he was going to do five months ago and which it then called a major step toward peace!The Administration’s and Times’ goal is to portray the issue as not being one of Obama versus Israel but rather Obama plus the Israeli majority against a relatively small number of right-wing extremists who have hijacked the country.If only such tactics were used against America’s enemies.Unfortunately, it is necessary to discuss this editorial in detail. It begins:“After taking office last year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel privately told many Americans and Europeans that he was committed to and capable of peacemaking, despite the hard-line positions that he had used to get elected for a second time. Trust me, he told them. We were skeptical when we first heard that, and we’re even more skeptical now.”
Netanyahu not only said this privately but also publicly, as is clear in the official Israeli government peace plan about which the Times has never even informed its readers. It offers a two-state solution and lists Israel’s needs: end of conflict, resettlement of Palestinian refugees in a Palestinian state, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, demilitarization. So Netanyhu hasn’t “grudgingly” accepted this solution, he’s offered it himself.Of course, Israel has things it wants in exchange but neither the U.S. government nor the Times discusses these matters. As a result, the apparent position of the U.S. government is that Israel will have to accept a Palestinian state without conditions. No wonder Israel’s public is suspicious.Moreover, this government is not merely one of Netanyahu but also of Labour Party leader Ehud Barak and former Labour leader Shimon Peres who was also in Kadima, and is now president, as a supporter of its program. It is not a “right-wing” government but a national unity coalition including the biggest party of the left and of the right.The story being set up portrays the problem as being Netanyahu neither committed nor capable of making peace. The Times is clearly never skeptical about the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership. But what has Netanyahu done to demonstrate this claim? There was no problem before the recent crisis, set off by the announcement that a plan to build apartments in Jerusalem-still years off-had passed one more of seven stages toward approval.It bears repeating over and over again that last October, Netanyahu reached a deal with the Obama Administration: No construction on the West Bank; construction to continue in Jerusalem. In addition, the White House agreed that this ban would be limited to nine months. The obvious concept was that the U.S. government was wagering that it could produce either enough progress on talks, benefits to Israel, or both that it could persuade Israel’s government to extend that freeze. Netanyahu never broke that agreement, which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed as a great step toward peace.So has Netanyahu done something horrible or is this a largely fabricated crisis?