Saturday, October 11, 2014

Has the New York Times Editorial Board Finally Decided To Tell the Truth About the I-P Conflict? No.

A New York Times editorial this morning, “Having to Rebuild Gaza, Again,” begins promisingly, reciting the destructiveness of the Israeli attack on Gaza and then asking what’s the point of rebuilding Gaza through international contributions “just so it can be destroyed in the next war?”

Even more promisingly, the editorial continues: “Even during times of relative peace, Gazans have endured soul-crushing deprivation” as a result of the Israeli and Egyptian “draconic blockade.” While the goal of the blockade is to “squeeze Hamas,” the editorial concedes, “innocent people have paid a much bigger price.”

Surely the Times is about to argue that Israel must end the blockade, end the overall occupation and repression of the Palestinian people, and agree to a two-state settlement? But no: the word “occupation” does not appear and the emphasis in the rest of the editorial is on what Abbas must do: “work much harder to assert leadership in Gaza and present himself to the Palestinians there as a credible political alternative to Hamas” as well as end corruption in the Palestinian Authority.

To be sure, the editorial does conclude that the “only long-term answer to a destructive militant group like Hamas is to empower moderates and give Palestinians hope of a constructive future…[leading to] a comprehensive peace settlement and an independent state.” But as for why this has not yet occurred, the editorial says only that the previous negotiations for such a settlement “collapsed and show no sign of reviving.”

As to which side is responsible for the “collapse,” the editorial is silent. Similarly, as to which side is responsible for the destruction of Gaza, and for the likelihood of it being repeated in “the next war,” the editorial is also silent. It would appear these are simply acts of nature.


Rudolph said...

Question 24 of the Israel-Palestine Quiz: Who stated the following on a news program on February 14, 2006? “Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well.”

Answer: Shlomo Ben-Ami. As Israel’s lead negotiator at Camp David, his opinion should carry considerable weight. What Shlomo Ben-Ami recognized was that Israel in fact offered the Palestinians an unviable Middle East Bantustan—several blocks of West Bank land with huge Jewish settlements in between.
-In the words of former Barak aide Tal Zilberstein, “[T]here are still people who say, ‘We gave them everything at Camp David and got nothing.’ This is a flagrant lie.”
-In negotiations with the Palestinians in 2010, Netanyahu “refused to discuss the borders of a Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem, or the problem of refugees. Just about the only major issue he would discuss was the security arrangements that would accompany a peace deal.”

David Judah said...

Rather than this being a quantum leap or a huge step in the right direction, this is at least a small pigeon step by the nyt. There seems to be a very slow crawl towards a more realistic perspective. Maybe pigeon steps was too generous a description. How about at snail's pace or even a severely handicapped snail's pace? However I suppose we should still be grateful for any movement whatsoever

Barbara Erickson said...

The editorial aims at promoting the PA, Abbas and more peace talks. There is reason for this. The PA helps maintain the occupation in the West Bank, Abbas is compliant and Hamas remains defiant. Thus Israel (and the NYTimes editorial board) much prefer the PA. All this ignores the Palestinian perspective. See

Donald said...

There's a pattern of behavior at the NYT that I need to condense down to bumper sticker length. Anyway, it goes like this--

In any circumstance where--

1. Most of the blame can be placed on the Palestinians, the NYT will put all the blame on the Palestinians. There's never been such a situation, of course

2. When the blame can be split roughly evenly, then the NYT will put most of the blame on the Palestinians. I'm not sure this has ever happened either, but one could argue that in the second intifada, when Hamas and other groups used suicide bombings that killed large numbers of innocent civilians, the armed factions on both sides were in the moral sewer. But the NYT would only condemn the Palestinians.

3. When most of the blame can be put on the Israelis, which is nearly all the time, the NYT will at best split the blame, but usually manage to put more on the Palestinians anyway.

David Judah said...

Dear Barbara. Thank you for the link to your article. Although there appears to be microscopic changes in the right direction on the NYT perspective, the facts on the ground wholly support all of your statements.