Bowing to Israel lobby group, ‘NYT’ editors neuter reporters’ assertion that Israel is nixing two-state solution

I often speak of the pressure that the New York Times is under from rightwing supporters of Israel. What follows is further evidence of the editors’ responsiveness: They bend over backwards to reverse the meaning of an important article saying that Israel is destroying the two-state solution.

Try to imagine them being so responsive on say, gun advocates pushing their case that guns don’t cause violence in the U.S. or global warming deniers insisting that the crisis is man-made. 

A couple of weeks ago the New York Times published a good story by Jodi Rudoren and Mark Landler about Israel’s settlement plans for the E-1 corridor east of Jerusalem, which were a retaliation for the Palestine upgrade at the U.N., and the two reporters stated that the colony could prevent the creation of a “viable, contiguous Palestinian state” because it

would limit access to the the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem to only narrow corridors far from the Old City and downtown Jerusalem. If such a project were to go beyond blueprints, it could prevent the creation of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state.

Well, this is an article that keeps getting updated.

The Israel lobby group CAMERA is bragging that it has prompted two corrections by the New York Times. My boldface:

After CAMERA contacted The New York Times to discuss several erroneous claims about the effect of proposed construction by Israel in the E1 corridor between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim, the newspaper issued the following corrections

Here are the corrections by the Times editors– about as long as the original article!

December 8, 2012

Because of an editing error, an article last Saturday about Israel’s decision to move forward with planning and zoning for settlements in an area east of Jerusalem known as E1 described imprecisely the effect of such development on access to the cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem. While development of E1 would limit access to Ramallah and Bethlehem to narrow corridors far from the Old City and downtown Jerusalem, it would not completely separate those cities from Jerusalem.

December 16:

An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to the effect of planned Israeli development in the area known as E1 on access to the cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem, and on the West Bank. Such development would limit access to Ramallah and Bethlehem to only narrow corridors far from the Old City and downtown Jerusalem. It would also create a large block of Israeli settlements in the center of the West Bank; it would not divide the West Bank in two.

Because of an editing error, the article referred incompletely to the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state. Critics see E1 as a threat to the meaningful contiguity of such a state state because it would leave some Palestinian areas connected to one another by roads with few exits or by circuitous routes; the proposed development would not, technically, make a contiguous Palestinian state impossible.

Thanks to Max Blumenthal and Joseph Dana.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 26 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Surprisingly, the Dec 16th edit is to the best of my understanding completely accurate…

    Istratine has only ever offered the disconnected prison-statelets solution. If the inmates learn to believe that their inhumane punishment is wayyyy better than they deserve and thank the gaolers heartily enough each and every day, then they will be promised one day to be allowed to pay for a slow, torturous connection between the prison cells.

    The connection will never actually be built, of course.

    • Krauss says:

      One thing is for sure: if Apartheid South Africa had as aggressive lobbyists on its behalf, it would still exist. In fact, the media would be filled with sob stories about the evil black ‘terrorists’ and the ‘high tech economy’ of the noble, white colonialists, um, settlers, citizens under duress.

      And you’d have pandering presential candidates riffing about the ‘backwardness’ of black culture, you’d have prominent white liberals agonize about the much too-high black birth rate, and what it would do to the ‘white character’ of the country.

      Of course, anyone who would dare to protest would be labelled an anti-white bigot who is filled with racial animosity and would duly be shunned by the ‘liberal’ establishment.

      • Sumud says:

        And you’d have pandering presential candidates riffing about the ‘backwardness’ of black culture, you’d have prominent white liberals agonize about the much too-high black birth rate, and what it would do to the ‘white character’ of the country.

        And that pandering black president would be Obama, he who will be forever known as the pro-apartheid [in Israel] black President.

  2. Israel’s apparent assumption the border must change because Jews live on a certain parcel or area, is simply wrong.

  3. pabelmont says:

    Because of an editorial error, the NYT, which should be divided in two parts which cannot get together — the Israeli propaganda part and the honest reporting on Israel part — are now overlapping as if they were one. The NYT doesn’t know where one stops and the other starts.

    Hey, stop getting it together, NYT! re-establish the separation before it becomes impossible for any NYT reporting on Israel to be accurate. Your loving readership will abandon you soon! Look at your paper in a mirror instead of in a CAMERA.

  4. Les says:

    The words “occupied” and “occupation” and the term “ethnic cleansing” are very carefully not included in the Times’ articles about Israel/Palestine.

  5. Hostage says:

    How would CAMERA report this story?

    New Zealand government fund divests from Israeli firms over settlement construction: Elbit, Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel and its construction subsidiary Danya Cebus, and Shikun & Binui were excluded from the 23.5 billion dollar New Zealand Superannuation Fund:

    In a statement, Anne-Maree O’Connor, the fund’s manager for responsible investment, said, “Findings by the United Nations that the separation barrier and settlement activities were illegal under international law were central to the fund’s decision to exclude the companies. The fund also factored in votes by New Zealand for U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding the cessation and dismantling of the separation barrier, and the cessation of Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

    link to haaretz.com

  6. ariel already nearly bisects the west bank!!! and the jordan valley has been largely depopulated.

    i suppose those lobbying the NYTimes would contend, jaffa (in tel aviv) could even be the capital of a palestinian state…. cause you know, roads do go from jaffa to the west bank! just like some roads still connect EJ to the west bank.

    i suggest jodi or ANY people who can get in the NYTimes, does an article which explicitly includes the MAP of the west bank. when i showed the map to my aunt (a colonel who was studying the ME and israel for a degree course, and was representing labor/left in her class; pro 2-states)…. she fell silent.

    she never even knew what the west bank LOOKS like currently.

    the map, in a NYTimes article, will tell ALL. no retraction possible, on an israeli or israeli NGO map.

    link to btselem.org

    link to btselem.org
    (coloring can be more stark, for print)

    jimmy carter, fatah rep, a pal activist, or some notable person needs to get this in the NYTimes. the map which never gets shown…. the apartheid map.

    ironically, i bet the NYTimes has printed articles claiming israel’s pre-1967 borders are “indefensible”, with no sober retraction of that (provable from history multiple times even) lie.

  7. mondonut says:

    Right-wing pressure or not, the edits are benefited by being correct. The E1 project does not prevent a contiguous Palestinian state. And the narrow corridors are only relevant if for some strange reason the Israelis decided to allow the division of Jerusalem.

    A contiguous and viable Palestinian state is entirely possible with both the lack of a Jerusalem capital and a narrow 22 km passage between the north and south. The only missing piece is the political will of the Palestinians to accept it as a solution.

    • Hostage says:

      Right-wing pressure or not, the edits are benefited by being correct.

      Of course. Maybe you can show us links to all of the pages on the CAMERA website which correct erroneous Zionist claims that say the armistice lines are “Auschwitz borders”? I’ve looked, but there don’t seem to be any corrections about that.

      • Hostage says:

        P.S. The Forward has complained about the use of the term 1967 “Auschwitz” borders, e.g.:

        The Zionist Organization of America accused the president of “promoting and supporting the establishment of a Hamas/Fatah/Iran terrorist state on the Auschwitz 1967 indefensible armistice lines.” Even the Simon Wiesenthal Center referred to 1967 “Auschwitz” borders. Both statements are morally and intellectually repugnant: Millions of European Jews did not die at the hands of Hitler’s henchmen for the honor of becoming political footballs..

        link to forward.com

        Obviously, if Israel thinks that returning to a 9 mile wide corridor will make it a non-viable State, then the Palestinians can claim the same thing with regard to settlement blocks that bisect the territory of their State, with more than ample justification.

      • mondonut says:

        Hostage says: Of course. Maybe you can show us links to all of the pages on the CAMERA website which correct erroneous Zionist claims that say the armistice lines are “Auschwitz borders”
        =============================
        I assume that as you chose to change the subject from the Philip Weiss essay, that you concede that the Camera requested corrections are accurate.

        • Hostage says:

          I assume that as you chose to change the subject from the Philip Weiss essay, that you concede that the Camera requested corrections are accurate.

          I’m talking about the proposed borders of the two states. So, that’s NOT changing the subject. Zionists look pretty dumb when they engage in propaganda campaigns and claim that they can’t possibly live within the confines of much more generous border proposals than they themselves are willing to offer the Palestinians.

          They look even more clueless when they say that the status of the territory can only be decided by negotiating without any preconditions, while at one and the same time claiming unilaterally that they will simply retain vast blocks of stolen territory on the Palestinian side of the 1967 borders.

    • Sumud says:

      A contiguous and viable Palestinian state is entirely possible with both the lack of a Jerusalem capital and a narrow 22 km passage between the north and south. The only missing piece is the political will of the Palestinians to accept it as a solution.

      For real? Luckily for them Palestinians aren’t nearly as stupid as you might like. You underestimate them at your peril.

      Tell me Mondonut – in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention why does Israel STEAL over half it’s potable water supply from the aquifer under the occupied West Bank?

      • mondonut says:

        Sumud says: Tell me Mondonut – in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention why does Israel STEAL over half it’s potable water supply from the aquifer under the occupied West Bank?
        ==============================
        What does that have to do with this essay? Nothing? But for the record, water supply and aquifer use are dictated by the Oslo Accords, which of course the Palestinians agreed to.

        • Eva Smagacz says:

          Mondonut, the water issues are dictated by Oslo Accords, which of course Palestinians agreed to. So did Israelis, but Israelis, after agreeing to Oslo Accords, totally disregarded (and continue to disregard ) the accords, with water issues being prime example.

        • mondonut says:

          Eva Smagacz says: …but Israelis, after agreeing to Oslo Accords, totally disregarded (and continue to disregard ) the accords, with water issues being prime example.
          =======================================
          Again with the off topic but that is pretty much a fact free accusation. The Israelis are not stealing over half it’s potable water supply.

        • Hostage says:

          What does that have to do with this essay? Nothing? But for the record, water supply and aquifer use are dictated by the Oslo Accords, which of course the Palestinians agreed to.

          Correction: the rights of an Occupying Power are limited to usufruct under the laws and customs of war and international humanitarian laws reflected in the rules annexed to the Hague Convention of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. Articles 7 & 8 of the latter prohibit the Occupying Power from negotiating special agreements with local officials that renounce any of the protections afforded by the Conventions.

          In addition, any treaty procured by the threat or use of force is null and void. See Article 52 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. link to untreaty.un.org

          The Economic and Financial Committee General Assembly adopted a resolution in November of 2012 that noted Israeli acts of violence, including acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, and which:

          1. Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and of the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land, water and energy resources;

          2. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease the exploitation, damage, cause of loss or depletion, and endangerment of the natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan;

          3. Recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to claim restitution as a result of any exploitation, damage, loss or depletion, or endangerment of their natural resources resulting from illegal measures taken by Israel, the occupying Power, and Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and expresses the hope that this issue will be dealt with within the framework of the final status negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides;

          4. Stresses that the wall and settlements being constructed by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, are contrary to international law and are seriously depriving the Palestinian people of their natural resources, and calls in this regard for full compliance with the legal obligations affirmed in the 9 July 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice 3 and in relevant United Nations resolutions, including General Assembly resolution ES-10/15;

          link to unispal.un.org

  8. edwardm says:

    Originally made in reference to Faux news – “a relentless agenda-driven, 24-hour news propaganda delivery system.” J Stewart
    I expect the news to have at least some bias – a good reason to seek a variety of sources ( and not just those that support your own views), but this is absurd.

    • Mooser says:

      “I expect the news to have at least some bias – a good reason to seek a variety of sources ( and not just those that support your own views), but this is absurd.”

      Could you be a bit more specific?

  9. Basilio says:

    This would have the effect of cutting off parts of the West Bank from those areas because people would have take some cumbersome route to get there. It’s one thing if you’re correcting something and another if it’s to be technically correct in favor of an occupying power.

  10. yourstruly says:

    a december 8 nyt article stating that the proposed new jerusalem settlement, if built, “could prevent the creation of a viable, continous palestinian state?” wow & unprecedented! with or without the retraction. more evidence that the challenge to the zionist narrative is going public.

  11. piotr says:

    I think that explanation provided by NYT is mostly correct. “the proposed development would not, technically, make a contiguous Palestinian state impossible.”

    In American usage, “technically” often means “stretching legal definitions far beyond common sense meaning”. Perhaps it could help to provide some comparison: if New Yorkers could go to New Jersey only by driving up to Poughkeepsie and then driving south through some narrow and twisty mountain road through Catskills the connection would still be technically possible. And the border between the settlements and areas allowed for Palestinians is already so maddeningly twisty that E1 is not killing the peace process. It is not a straw breaking the camel’s back but a nail in the coffin that has a lot of nails already.

  12. RE: “Bowing to Israel lobby group, ‘NYT’ editors neuter reporters’ assertion that Israel is nixing two-state solution” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Elliott Abrams must be very, very proud! ! !*

    * FROM ELLIOTT ABRAMS, The Washington (Neocon) Post, 04/08/09:

    [EXCERPT] . . . Is current and recent settlement construction creating insurmountable barriers to peace? A simple test shows that it is not. Ten years ago, in the Camp David talks, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat approximately 94 percent of the West Bank, with a land swap to make up half of the 6 percent Israel would keep. According to news reports, just three months ago, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered 93 percent, with a one-to-one land swap. In the end, under the January 2009 offer, Palestinians would have received an area equal to 98 to 98.5 percent of the West Bank (depending on which press report you read), while 10 years ago they were offered 97 percent. Ten years of settlement activity would have resulted in a larger area for the Palestinian state. . .

    SOURCE – link to washingtonpost.com

    P.S. Elliott Abrams has totally convinced me [by the sheer power of his (il)logic and his very impressive math skills] to wholeheartedly support the Israeli settlement project in the West Bank.
    As I understand it, the ‘Abrams Principle’ stands for the proposition that more Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank will result in a larger area for the Palestinian state. That’s why I say: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” with the settlement actvity; so as to result in the largest Palestinian state possible (from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River). Fiat justitia! ( “Let Justice Be Done!” )

  13. Accentitude says:

    “It would also create a large block of Israeli settlements in the center of the West Bank; it would not divide the West Bank in two.”

    That says it right there. These people are delusional to believe that placing a big piece of a foreign country “in the center of” what would constitute lands of another country would “not divide” said country in 2. Would Germany allow Russia to build settlements in Berlin? Would Italy allow Greece to build settlements in Milan? What idiots would think that this is totally normal?