As the discourse shifts, ‘NYT’ stays rooted in the past (the 1800s to be exact)

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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“The only way to stop this evil is for the red man to unite in claiming a common and equal right in the land, as it was first, and should be now, for it was never divided.” – Tecumseh

While the New Yorker may be changing the mainstream UWS paradigm with its publication of Munayyer’s excellent article, The New York Times remains firmly entrenched in Zionist talking points.  An new editorial explicitly puts the blame for a hundred Palestinian deaths in Gaza on Hamas, rather than the bombs dropped and missiles fired by Israel.  Many canards are repeated – Hamas has a nihilistic ideology of “hate”, it cares not about the deaths of Palestinian in Gaza, it resorts to violence, it “took control of Gaza in 2007 – all without even a pretense of actual fact-checking.  No mention is made of Hamas winning a democratic election only to be blockaded and attacked.  Naturally, no mention whatsoever is made of Hamas’ primary role as a much-needed social service organization, the actual timeline of recent events, of the historical context of occupation and siege and ethnic cleansing and apartheid.  Unsurprisingly, the editors even throw in the requisite garbage about “the threat of Iran’s nuclear program” and Israel’s “right to defend itself.”

One can only assume that, had the Gray Lady begun publishing 40 years earlier than it actually did, scouring its archives for 1811-12 editorials would surely reveal its scathing contempt for the rhetoric and actions of Shawnee leader Tecumseh, who dared resist the ongoing white settlement, genocide and ethnic cleansing of Native Americans.  He would be the blood-thirsty one, while the soldiers under future-president William Henry Harrison’s command would be righteous defenders of white civilians, those inspired settlers who claim the land as their own and destroy the lives and livelihoods of the indigenous people.

History will not remember the New York Times editorial board fondly when equal rights and justice finally come to Palestine.

About Nima Shirazi

Nima Shirazi is co-editor of the Iran, Iraq and Turkey pages for the online magazine Muftah. His political analysis can be found on his blog, WideAsleepinAmerica.com, where this post first appeared. Follow him on Twitter @WideAsleepNima.

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  1. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    November 20, 2012, 11:38 am

    Hi all,

    First time poster. Very much enjoying the articles and commentary.

    Of course the NYT is utterly worthless when it comes to the ME. That’s been known for years, nay decades. Sadly, however, the Guardian, which once used to be one of the few mainstream newspapers which didn’t toe the Israeli line, is morphing into the NYT by the day. Their ‘live blog’ has been one IDF tweet after another. They excuse Israeli murder by referring to ‘Hamas houses’ and ‘Hamas banks’. Even more despicable is this, from yesterday’s blog:

    ”An Israeli strike on a home in north Gaza, inside the Jibaliya refugee camp, has killed a couple and two of their children, according to local media reports.
    There are reports of many injured in the attack, which reportedly leveled a home belonging to the Hijazi family. Any ties to militant groups were not immediately known.
    Killed in the attack were parents Fuad and Amna Hijazi and children Suhaib, 2, and Mohammad, whose age has been given as 3 or 4.”

    Essentially, the Guardian is saying that children are under suspicion of ‘ties to militant groups’. Which would make their murder in their homes OK, I suppose – after all, it was probably a ‘Hamas house’.

    Absolutely bloody disgraceful.

    • tree
      November 20, 2012, 1:47 pm

      Essentially, the Guardian is saying that children are under suspicion of ‘ties to militant groups’. Which would make their murder in their homes OK, I suppose – after all, it was probably a ‘Hamas house’.

      And of course this justification for the killing of civilian children is NEVER applied to the deaths of Israeli children, or even adults. With “universal” conscription in Israel, a large majority of Israeli civilians have “ties” to the IDF, but that is never mentioned, least of all as a justification for their deaths. Just another indication of the wildly biased manner of the discussion in the MSM.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        November 20, 2012, 1:55 pm

        Exactly. Just about all Israeli Jewish males between the ages of 18-40 are either conscripts or reservists. Jewish women also do ‘national service’. In other words, the military permeates all levels of Israeli Jewish society. But could you imagine the Guardian referring to the home lived in by a 35 year old man and his family as an ‘IDF house’ or them speculating as to the ”IDF links’ of the (very few) ‘civilian’ victims of rockets? They would never even consider doing that. And rightly so IMHO. But the same standards should apply to Palestinians.

        When I pointed that out on their blog, my comments were deleted. Surprise eh?

    • seafoid
      November 20, 2012, 2:48 pm

      The Grauniad wasn’t that bad really. There was some great stuff in the comments section and they had Greenwald and Giles Fraser on Israeli madness.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        November 20, 2012, 6:18 pm

        I suppose from a US perspective the Guardian might seem quite open-minded on Israel. But as a long-time reader and commentor, I can tell you that there’s been a VERY noticable change in their policy towards I/P in the past year or so. It’s OK to criticise Israel, but they are extremely sensitive about any emphasis on AIPAC or the UK ‘Friends of Israel’. Mention them, and you’ll be zapped.

        Also, they’ve also simply stopped covering Palestine in recent months, and when they do, it’s done from an Israeli perspective. All the Israeli violence in the run-up to the latest ‘war’ for example, was ignored until the murder of Al Jaabari. And take a look at their ‘live blog’. It’s IDF tweet after IDF tweet. No Arab pov. No attempt at showing anything other than an ‘official’ Western/Isareli view of the massacre. It’s almost as bad as their laughably biased pro ‘rebel’ blog on Syria. And that’s really very bad indeed.

  2. seafoid
    November 20, 2012, 11:51 am

    link to blogs.ft.com

    But on the international stage, this conflict and the response it has provoked from moderate governments like Turkey’s are game-changers. There are no longer persuadable partners in the region.
    Washington will defend its old friend. President Obama has made crystal clear that Israel’s operations in Gaza have his full support. Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, is expected to travel to the region today. Yet, the US is not the power looking to become more active in the Middle East in years to come. That country is China, a still-emerging power that has no cultural and ideological ties with Israel to protect as it looks to ensure the steady long-term flow of crude oil.
    For all these reasons, it has never been more important for Israel’s long-term security for Israelis leaders to build and protect a workable peace with Palestinians.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      November 20, 2012, 2:10 pm

      But what response has this war provoked from Turkey? I see pretty much the same ‘response’ as from Egypt – that is to say, all talk and no action.

      Agree with you re. China. They have no historical or cultural ties whatsoever to Israel. The Chinese are a pragmatic bunch and their policies in the ME will be dictated by their shifting political, financial and strategic interests. They will have no interest in ‘protecting’ Israel, and it’s hard to see a Chinese version of AIPAC having much sway in the Great Hall of the People.

      The world is changing, and not in ways favourable to Zionism.

      • seafoid
        November 20, 2012, 3:09 pm

        Israel wants to fly over countries to bomb Iran. Turkey might have obliged in the past.

        Israel wants to trade with Central Asia. Turkey would have helped once .

        Israel has no dependable allies left in the region. Mr David Gruen would be very disappointed.

        • Maximus Decimus Meridius
          November 20, 2012, 6:13 pm

          Fair points, but when push comes to shove, I don’t trust Turkey to grow a backbone re. Israel. Compare the way they reacted to the murder of 10 of their citizens aboard the Mavi Marmara with how they responded to what even they agree was accidental shelling from Syria. The latter was met with a military response, while the far greater crime from Israel was met with a few ‘rousing’ speeches, but no concrete action. I don’t think Turkey will antagonise the Yanks and Nato for the sake of the Palestinians, sadly.

        • seafoid
          November 21, 2012, 8:57 am

          Israel is like a powerful businessmen who happens to be a child abuser. Everyone around him knows but the power prevents them from speaking up. Eventually it all falls apart. Turkey will stick the knife in when it suits.

  3. yourstruly
    November 20, 2012, 1:03 pm

    contrary to tshe NYT the LA Time has been more even-handed in its coverage of the IDF attack upon Gaza. Take today’s lead article, “Gaza strife an obstacle for Obama” (subtitle, “A ground invasion by Israel could further weaken the U.S. infgluence in the Mideast”), includes quotes from, among others, Brooking Institution’s Shadi Hamid (“the bottom line is that this will poison everything the U.S. is trying to do in the region” & “..it would appear to people in much of the Islamic world that in Gaza, it’s the U.S. that is enabling the killing of Palestinians and that the Russians & Chinese don’t look like such bad guys anymore. Moreover if the United states appears to be giving Israel unconditional backing in an unpopular conflict, it becomes harder & harder for Arabs & Turks to stand with the U.S.” There’s also the requisite comment from the usual suspects (Israel-firster) members of Congress), defending Israel’s right to defend itself and warning Egypt that it must do more to stop Hamas’ attacks or risk losing billions of dollars in U.S. military and economic aid, ec. etc. But it’s the LAT’s inclusion in its news reporting of a bit of reality into the P/I equation that differentiates it not only from the NYT, from its own coverage* of the region as well – until very recently. This, from someone who’s been reading this rag since the late thirties.

    *not to mention today’s Op-Ed “A failed strategy – Israel’s deterrence in Gaza only feeds the cyle of violence” by Daoud Kuttab, which includes a photo showing Gaza airstrikes by Israeli jets

    • Nevada Ned
      November 20, 2012, 9:38 pm

      The Los Angles Times is more likely to run articles critical of Israel, including articles authored by Palestinians and Palestinian-Americans, such as Saree Makdisi. It’s a rare breath of fresh air.

  4. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    November 20, 2012, 1:34 pm

    I haven’t read the LA Times articles, but from the headlines you quote, it sounds as though they are more concerned over the impact of this war on US politics than on the people of Gaza. It appears that the writers are not concerned about the fact that civilians are being massacred, but that it might make life tricky for Obama and Clinton. Not much to celebrate.

    • yourstruly
      November 20, 2012, 2:31 pm

      partly so, but turkey’s pm Erdegon also was quoted saying “Israel is the aggressor, & though very little is being said*about Palestinian casualties, what’s new is the LATs noting that U.S. support for Israel could lose it friends & influence.

      *re: photographs of damage & casualties, perhaps sl more about gaza than israel

  5. David Green
    November 20, 2012, 1:46 pm

    Worth it to read the Comments below the article, sorted by Reader Picks.

  6. mikeo
    November 20, 2012, 2:13 pm

    The Guardian are put under enormous pressure by Pro-Israel activists in the UK and I would imagine there is some support from the US as well as the Guardian website is quite well read in the States as an alternative to US corporate media. This website “CIF Watch” link to cifwatch.com was set up specifically to pressurise their comment section (I imagine it was seen as being influential). I’d speculate that it is one of the top targets on the web for organised Hasbara “advocacy” of the GIYUS, Megaphone, JIDF etc variety. Long standing commentators often complain about the change there, and about the moderation policy.

    I cannot comment there anymore as I am “pre-moderated”. I think it was for suggesting that some “pro-israel” commentators were being organised and sent from the aforementioned advocacy organisations and pasting links to those organisations. At least those were the comments that were deleted before I got banned.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      November 20, 2012, 6:09 pm

      Snap! I’m in the ‘sin bin’ on the Graun, presumably for making too many comments about their transparently biased ‘coverage’.

      It’s been obvious for about a year that Cif Watch has prevailed. The moderators are palpably terrified of them – a mere mention of their name will see your comment zapped. Not deleted, zapped. Last year they had an editorial basically pledging to examine every mention of the word ‘anti-zionist’ for ‘anti-semitism’. link to guardian.co.uk

      Since then I more or less stopped posting on I/P issues on the Guardian. I still posted on the live blog, as I – mistakenly – thought the moderation was a bit less suffocating and the ‘swarm’ of GIYUS bots not so intense. I was wrong. In short, the Gaurdian is no longer any kind of alternative to ‘corporate media’. At all. It’s desperately cultivating a US readership and as such is very careful not to antagonise the GIYUS brigade. Thing is, no matter how much they walk on eggshells, it will never be enough.

    • Andre
      November 20, 2012, 7:01 pm

      Correct, Mikeo.

  7. seafoid
    November 20, 2012, 2:50 pm

    I bought something off the Ha’aretz site a while ago. Israel as presented in NYT front pages. Went all the way back to the first Zionist congress. 1967 , Sabra Shatila, everything. They have been pleasuring the bots for a very, very long time.

    But when the game is up they will, of course , stick the knife in.

    • Stone
      November 20, 2012, 8:01 pm

      Yes, I think this is the same book that I have. It’s called “Israel-Palestine On Record: How the New York Times Misreports Conflict in the Middle East”. It’s by Howard Friel and Richard Falk. A very good book. I have it on my shelf next to the Israel Lobby which is also a very good book.

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