NYT’s Bronner says Netanyahu demonstrates ‘territorial flexibility’ on the basis of no evidence

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Ethan Bronner’s NY Times reports are of fantastic comedic value. Check out the latest spin from the Israeli Army Daddy:

Days before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to meet with President Obama, he laid out his principles Monday for accepting a Palestinian state, showing greater flexibility on territory

So Bibi is willing to trade land for peace, more than ever before. On what evidence?

Mr. Netanyahu showed more willingness to yield territory than he had before, strongly implying that he would give up the vast majority of the West Bank for a demilitarized Palestinian state. He said Israel needed to hold onto all of Jerusalem and the large settlement blocs in the West Bank, thereby suggesting that he would yield the rest.

Implying? Suggesting? Mr. Bronner speculates, with no evidence whatsoever, that Bibi’s position has changed, turning this into a press release.

And why would you call an Israeli leader “flexible on territory” when Bibi’s current position as stated is a) a total non-starter for Palestinians and b) vastly less flexible than Barak’s outgoing negotiation team demonstrated during the 2000 Taba talks that eventually lead to the Geneva Initiative?

I love Bronner’s use of the “vast majority of the West Bank,” implying the shop-worn “generous offer” frame. Even if Israel kept, say, 35% of the West Bank, that would leave Palestinians with 65% of 22% and a Swiss Cheese, fragmented Bantustan state. But that would be the “vast majority” of the West Bank, right?

Finally, of course, there’s the elision of all elisions: When has Bronner ever clearly and honestly stated, “Even as he makes speeches about wanting a two-state solution, Netanyahu continuously oversees a policy of land theft and ethnic cleansing”?

P.S. – Haaretz’s Yossi Verter tears Netanyahu’s speech apart, calling it “a dove masquerading as a hawk.” How come Verter can tell it like it is in an oped, whereas Bronner sings Bibi’s praises in a news report?

Update: Earlier version of this post included reference to a purported C.I.A. study saying Israel will be done within 20 years. The study was a hoax. 

About Matthew Taylor

Matthew A. Taylor is co-founder of PeacePower magazine, and author of "The Road to Nonviolent Coexistence in Palestine/Israel," a chapter in the book Nonviolent Coexistence.

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