Times coverage of ‘fly-in’ protest masks nature of Israeli control over Palestinian lives

on 14 Comments

A friend writes:

Isabel Kershner has some useful information about Israel’s hysterical response to the fly-in today, though she leaves out the frightening scenes of angry crowds at the airport.

But she obfuscates the basic reality that the fly-in was mean to underline, that Israel controls all borders and entry and exit of Palestinians and foreigners into and out of the West Bank, and cuts Palestinians off from the outside world. Readers won’t learn these very basic facts about Israeli control over Palestinian lives in the NY Times.

Instead, this is how Kershner describes the initiative to fly-in via Israel’s Ben Gurion airport:

There were persistent reports that the foreign visitors would try to create chaos and paralyze Ben-Gurion Airport, despite strenuous denials from the organizers of the campaign, who advocate nonviolence. They insisted that the foreigners only wanted to transit the airport and “go to Palestine.” (The West Bank has no airport of its own.)

A less knowledgeable reader might ask, “Well why didn’t they just cross a land border to visit the West Bank?” (Kershner didn’t tell you that Israel similarly controls the land borders).

Another reader might ask, “Why don’t the Palestinians just build their own airport rather than using Israel’s? Don’t they get enough foreign aid?” (The NY Times didn’t explain that Israel won’t allow Palestinians to have their own airport).

This is how AP has described Israeli control of the borders in it’s reporting on the fly-in:

Visitors can reach the West Bank only through Israeli-controlled crossings, either through international airports or the land border with Jordan. Citing security concerns, Israel bars most Palestinians from entering Israel or using its airport, meaning they must travel to neighboring Jordan to fly out.

Why can’t the NY Times describe these basic structural realities?

14 Responses

  1. Charon
    July 8, 2011, 5:24 pm

    What a white wash, not that I am surprised

    What would happen if everybody traveled to Jordan and crossed into the WB via the Allenby Bridge? The exact same thing, crazy Israelis at the border crying that it is a threat to Israel’s existence. By focusing on the WB instead of Gaza, Israel has run out of excuses and is even closer to a pariah state

    “Israel has traditionally been welcoming of foreign tourists to the West Bank”

    The West Bank is not part of Israel, it is occupied by Israel. The article barely mentions occupation, it is only used once in the fourth paragraph from the bottom.

    “pro-Palestinian radicals” planning to “arrive on commercial flights from abroad to disrupt the order and confront security forces at friction points.”

    LOL! Actually despite the tone this is kind of true except for the radical part. They make it sound like supporting Palestinians is supporting an enemy. Of course they want to disrupt the order. That order is fascism and Apartheid, it needs to be disrupted!

  2. eGuard
    July 8, 2011, 6:14 pm

    Alice Walker described her passing of the Alleby crossing. With analogies of US segregation (including, like: ‘hey, this we did not have in segregated USA: separate roads’. She says clearly: segregation=apartheid). (her blog; search “Allenby”).

  3. James
    July 8, 2011, 7:40 pm

    we all know the nyt is a sham of a paper that is a good propaganda tool and nothing more… sheeple are slow to pick up on this..

  4. Haytham
    July 8, 2011, 8:44 pm

    annie if you’re out there (and anyone else interested)…

    Your notorious “friends” over at Kos are at it again. What seems like hundreds of them have signed this “community letter.” The gist? They want to create a strict new definition of “anti-Semitism” to use on the site and anyone perceived to have “violated” this rule can be immediately banned.

    This is an incredible effort they are mounting. You must read it all to get the full effect:

    link to dailykos.com

    • Citizen
      July 9, 2011, 5:03 am

      Interesting link, an articulated definition of “anti-Semitism” that is broad-brush enough to sweep away all rational criticism of Israel’s conduct.

    • annie
      July 9, 2011, 12:49 pm

      hytham, oddly enough i saw that for the first time yesterday. there’s some really weird stuff in the comment section and i copied some of it and was even thinking of doing a post on it here since ‘ team shalom’ has written so many derogatory ‘diaries’ on mondoweiss. funny, i was just thinking of that post a few minutes ago watching an excellent video taxi just linked to. ( link to mondoweiss.net ) you can’t watch that video on dkos because they’ve banned RT news. never mind the fact our msm feeds us lies constantly.

      anyway i was checking out some of the links and weirdly their example of holocaust denial was a link to me (they called me an anti semite, i’m so shocked). i recall the incident although i don’t have access to it anymore because i can’t see the hiddens but one example was blockquoting abe foxman’s intro to the transfer agreement (sans commentary) . the topic was originally introduced because after a bunch of insulting remarks (about palestinians re the mufti) one of the palestinians there (simone) made a reference to the fact zionists had way more exposure to negotiations w/hitler than any palestinians did. comment was there for quite awhile before bluecrayon (who is such a bloviating whiner) came along and started a posse after it. she explains why she had to include it:

      for why the Holocaust denial section was included.

      I will add, that for me, personally, those experiences were among the most upsetting things I’ve seen here.

      This diary was intended to represent a picture of our experiences here. And I believe that it did. The Holocaust denial instances hurt deeply and did not get hidden, not even close. I’m sure you can understand the hurt.

      They needed to be included.

      yeah, they hurt deeply because she was trying to corner me into ‘admitting’ something i had no intention of ‘admitting’ because i don’t blame the holocaust on jews or zionists! and i chewed her a new you know what and didn’t get one hr for it. that was back in 09. so she carries her defeat around like a weight on her psyche and comes to attack me with it time and again. i can find the original, pathetic.

      all throughout the diary they keep insisting it’s not an i/p diary yet they use example after example in their diaries from the i/p threads. i didn’t read all the links , i am sure there are examples of anti semitism at the site. but the idea it is rampant at dkos is crazy. one poster here confronts them on their proposal

      it is for Jews to decide whether something is anti-Semitic — and, incidentally, boycotting Israeli goods is anti-Semitics — then you have got yourself an I/P diary, like it or not.

      but the most hypocritical part of the diary i ran across (albeit i certainly didn’t read all 1500 plus comments) aside from the fact one of the original signers and member of ‘team shalom’ previously expressed muslims should be hunted down in the streets like rabid dogs,( i kid you not) came at the end of the comment section when one of ‘team shalom’s’ members made a blatant derogatory offensive steroeotypical comment about christians, and people defended it. it was made by a poster who had been ‘tasked’ with keeping the thread on topic, he had been accusing anyone who strayed into i/p territory of ‘highjacking’, over and over. how do i know this was prearranged?:

      oh and fizziks was asked by the writers and researchers to try and keep the comments on topic.

      here’s one offended christian:

      How does the commenter, no matter what they look like, know the bigot was Christian? Did they “look Christian”? What would that look like? That’s my question. Sorry I wasn’t clear. It seemed to be ironic to me, at the least, that in a diary condemning bigotry there would be an off-the-cuff assumption that a bigot had to be a Christian.

      As far as arguing, no, when I’m right I don’t know when to give up. If anyone on DK wants to say that of course a bigot in South Carolina was a Christian, I’m going to have to stand up. Even if every single other member on DK tries to shout me down. I’ll take on every single one – shame on all of you who think it’s ok to assume a bigot is a Christian.

      no one saw fit to respond to this offended posters comment. i swear these people are tone deaf.

      • Haytham
        July 9, 2011, 8:42 pm


        I wrote you back several paragraphs on this issue but I deleted them because I decided they were overly emotional and didn’t really add anything to this topic. Instead I will just say this: Those people have no interest in the truth, justice, or even peace. They defend the government and the State of Israel, period.

        They do not care about Israeli citizens, Jewish, Arab, whatever, at all. They don’t care about the rest of the people in the Middle East. They are only interested in portraying the Israeli government and its policies (past and present) in a positive light and, more importantly, they are focused on dehumanizing and demonizing Palestinians and Arabs at every opportunity.

        Do you know if any of these team shalom people are living in Israel? These people remind me of that lecture by David Horowitz where he begins, “I have never been to Israel…” but then he goes on to explain that he knows everything that is happening there and the Palestinians are worse than Nazis and are not fully human.

      • annie
        July 9, 2011, 9:59 pm

        there’s so much anti arab/muslim bigotry there it’s sickening. the derogatory way they speak to people, the insinuations, it’s awful. i don’t know how i put up w/ it for so long.

  5. dbroncos
    July 8, 2011, 9:44 pm

    When Kershner began her NYT coverage of Israel several years ago she made it obvious right away that she was determined to cast Israel in a positive light. She has never waved the flag of objectivity as James Bennett would do on occasion. Both Kershner and Ethan Bronner are shameless Israel-First-And-Always nationalists determined to mask the truth about Israel’s apartheid state status from NYT readers. I find this so disgraceful that I’ve stopped reading the Times mainly because of that newspaper’s shameless loyalty to Israel.

    • Les
      July 9, 2011, 3:58 pm

      Are you certain? Surely both Kershner and Bronner know how quickly they would be canned were they to report seriously on the victims of US supported occupation and ethnic cleansing. Even David Remnick knows the New Yorker’s owners would can him for doing just that.

  6. casaananda
    July 8, 2011, 11:29 pm

    With lots of Jews on staff at the Times, under any circumstances, it would be difficult for the paper to be objective. If there’s ever a turn, it will ONLY come when many Jews realize Israel’s current trajectory is self defeating and destructive of the very things Israel wants to preserve: above all, respect from the international community. Or maybe they just don’t give a damn and feel they can thumb their nose at everyone.

  7. seafoid
    July 9, 2011, 7:03 am

    Congratulations to the flytilla. I thought it was a stupid idea but I was wrong. I didn’t anticipate how paranoid Israel’s response would be. Well done !

  8. CigarGod
    July 9, 2011, 11:27 am

    Until school age children start taking “Bvllshlt Dectecting 101” in pre-school, there will be a ready audience for these kinds of writers and the governments that use them.

  9. robin
    July 9, 2011, 11:01 pm

    This would make a great letter to the editor. The writer should send it in. (Might as well give it a shot.)

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