Jim Crow in our time: ‘NYT’ credits Israeli poll that excludes 20% of population who aren’t Jewish

Israel/Palestine
on 17 Comments

Shimon Peres is the new honey-bunny of American liberals, the anti-Netanyahu. Chris Matthews adored him last night. And The New York Times has a big piece on Peres by an… Israeli journalist, Ronen Bergman. Writes Bergman:

Peres is Israel’s elder statesman, who, very late in his life, has attained a degree of popularity that eluded him throughout his earlier career. In a survey conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute, 84 percent of Jewish respondents said Peres was trustworthy, while 62 percent thought Netanyahu was.

So a poll publicized respectfully by the New York Times as a measure of Peres’s “popularity” excludes Palestinian citizens of Israel– and it’s from a “Democracy Institute”! How would Americans feel about a poll of Americans, excluding blacks?

And doesn’t the explicitly-racist poll undermine Peres’s subsequent statement:

“Most of the world will support the Palestinians, justify their actions, level the sharpest criticism at us, falsely label us a racist state.”

More. Peres says:

He [Netanyahu] also made the Bar-Ilan speech [in which Netanyahu accepted the idea of a Palestinian state].”

But as Akiva Eldar points out, Netanyahu has abandoned the speech and his coalition would vanish if he endorsed it. Let alone a word from author of just how watered down Netanyahu’s conception of a Palestinian state was; in apartheid South Africa we would have called it a collection of Bantustans.

Bergman does at least ask this (which leads Peres to go all Brent Musburger on the reader):

Bergman: Today, there are 550,000 settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. There are those who believe that the settlers have eliminated any chance of establishing a Palestinian state, because no one would be able to evacuate these politically motivated people from their homes, which is a necessary condition for any agreement with the Palestinians.

Peres: The settlers have not eliminated the chance for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The settlements today cover 2 percent of the entire area. The Palestinians have already accepted the Clinton parameters, which include leaving three blocs of Jewish settlements and exchanging other territory for them. In my opinion, many of the rest will leave of their own free will. The difficulty with us is similar to that of the man with a hammer who thinks every problem is a nail. Problems are not nails. If there is good will, they can all be overcome. This applies, for example, to the issue of water. Soon there will be a surplus of water in Israel, thanks to seawater desalination, and we will be able to make up the Palestinians’ shortage of potable water. Look, the whole world is in turmoil. The Palestinian problem isn’t the main problem in the Middle East. But there are a billion and a half Muslims. The Palestinian problem affects our entire relationship with them. If the Palestinian problem were to be solved, the Islamist extremists would be robbed of their pretext for their actions against us. Of course, this requires concessions. The problem in this case is not only the prime minister but also his coalition. I am not claiming that peace with the Palestinians will solve all the problems. People who think in sweeping terms are being superficial. There are two things that cannot be made without closing your eyes — love and peace. If you try to make them with open eyes, you won’t get anywhere. Peace is not an exciting thing, and it entails accepting many compromises and tedious details. A woman, too, can sometimes be exciting and sometimes less so. There’s no perfection. Making peace is complicated.

No follow up here from Bergman on Israel’s lack of compliance with international law and demands, though Peres cites international demands on Hamas: 

If Hamas accepts international demands, forsakes terror, stops firing missiles at us and recognizes the existence of the State of Israel, it will be possible to open negotiations.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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17 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    January 9, 2013, 12:56 pm

    At least Peres mentions water — and pretends there can be an equitable resolution of water problems. For 50, 60 years, Israelis talking I/P refused even to admit there was an issue about water. I always thought it was a paramount problem. (Desalination of water requires — by present technology, maybe by ANY technology, application of much ENERGY. In that sense, just as CORN and SOY “are” oil, water is also oil. Or something a bit greener. Where are the Palestinians supposed to get all that oil to replace their own water, stolen over the years by Israel?)

    • Annie Robbins
      January 9, 2013, 3:09 pm

      pabelmont, his water statement jumped out at me also.

      This applies, for example, to the issue of water. Soon there will be a surplus of water in Israel, thanks to seawater desalination, and we will be able to make up the Palestinians’ shortage of potable water.

      palestinians wouldn’t have a water problem if israel wasn’t diverting every drop from the WB aquifiers. israel needs to make up their own shortage of water from the desalinization, not pawn it off on palestinians after stealing WB water and preventing palestinians access to their own wells and springs.

      • Mooser
        January 9, 2013, 6:28 pm

        “This applies, for example, to the issue of water. Soon there will be a surplus of water in Israel, thanks to seawater desalination, and we will be able to make up the Palestinians’ shortage of potable water.”

        And quickly change the subject after that breathtaking claim. And that might be what the Zionists take next, after the water.

      • pabelmont
        January 9, 2013, 7:46 pm

        West Bank aquifer. Exactly. And Jordan’s water. and maybe some Lebanese water (taken in by pipes from Shebaa Farm (?)) and doubtless Syrian water from Golan (and we wonder why Israel won’t relinquish the place!).

        I wonder if Israelis are still growing very water-demanding crops, such as cotton?

  2. amigo
    January 9, 2013, 1:59 pm

    If I had a dime for every lie that this two faced criminal has told I would be a very wealthy individual.

    Are there still those sufficiently naive to be taken in by this fraud.

  3. amigo
    January 9, 2013, 2:27 pm

    When Israel scores low on an international intelligence survey,those Arabs come in real handy.

    Abe Foxman is busy over at the JP trying to soften his earlier stance on Hagel,s nomination, so we wont have the pleasure of reading his comments on Israel,s racist Jewish participants only poll.

  4. Avi_G.
    January 9, 2013, 4:19 pm

    Shimon Peres is the anti-Netanyahu only in the sense that he would like to have Netanyahu’s position/job.

    Peres could never win a prime ministerial election on his own. He was never liked by the Israeli public and only managed a short stint as PM as a result of a rotation agreement within a national unity coalition.

    And in 1995 he got to the PM office by mere accident when he replaced Rabin as his deputy PM.

    Anyway, the idea of Peres as some kind of liberal savior of Israel — at least in the American media — is laughable given his track record.

    What does Chris Mathews know about Israel politics? Nothing.

  5. Nevada Ned
    January 9, 2013, 5:35 pm

    If you wanted to conduct an honest poll, you would survey both Israeli Jews and Palestinians (who live in Israel, the Occcupied Palestinian Territories, and in refugee camps in Lebanon and elsewhere). The total population surveyed would be approximately half Jewish and half Palestinian.

    My guess is that results would look approximately like this:

    Respondent Is Peres trustworthy? Is Netanyahu trustworthy?
    Israeli Jew 84% yes 15% no 62% yes 38% no
    Palestinian 0% yes 100% no 0% yes 100% no
    OVERALL 42% yes 58% no 31% yes 69% no

    The headlines would then be

    NEARLY 60% THINK SHIMON PERES UNTRUSTWORTHY
    and
    OVER 2/3 THINK NETANYAHU UNTRUSTWORTHY

    If you’re looking for an analogy in the US, ask yourself how last November’s Presidential election would have turned out if blacks and Hispanics didn’t vote. Romney would have won.

  6. Mooser
    January 9, 2013, 6:32 pm

    A woman, too, can sometimes be exciting and sometimes less so. There’s no perfection.”

    Perhaps, but they should at least “pass the test”?
    Shmuel’s comment about Zionism, Judaism and delayed modernity really jolted me.

  7. chinese box
    January 9, 2013, 8:01 pm

    Read the reader’s comments in the Times. At least half of them see right through Peres.

    Could it be that the NYT is printing these ridiculous puff pieces to appease a segment of their readership, while at the same allowing the reader’s comments through to show what they (the Times’ writers) really believe?

    • NickJOCW
      January 10, 2013, 5:08 am

      I believe you are right. The divergence between article and comment on this subject and on Israel generally is becoming noticeably more pronounced in the NYT, Washington Post and LA Times. That is, perhaps, the way peaceful change comes about, like a slow but inexorable tide.

  8. southernobserver
    January 9, 2013, 9:15 pm

    I would like to suggest that we stop using the Bantustans comparison.

    My reason is simply that what is being proposed as part of the Allon plan is far more unjust and punitive than the Bantustans ever where.

    What has been offered in the past is best described as the self-funding prison solution.

  9. NickJOCW
    January 10, 2013, 7:04 am

    The Palestinian problem isn’t the main problem in the Middle East. But there are a billion and a half Muslims. The Palestinian problem affects our entire relationship with them. If the Palestinian problem were to be solved, the Islamist extremists would be robbed of their pretext for their actions against us. Says Peres.

    To which one might well point out that there isn’t a Palestinian problem, there is an Israeli problem and has been ever since the arbitrary division of the ME post WWII. Even were there a 2 state settlement, Israel would continue to cross borders, over fly air space, steal water and generally harass and intimidate its neighbours. To my mind, the only solution is one state with a demilitarised autonomous region for those Jewish folk who can’t abide to live with others. Anything else is just fiddling while Rome catches fire.

    • seafoid
      January 10, 2013, 9:25 am

      There are 2 fundamental problems in the Middle East

      1. Zionism and how this is more important than the rights of the people in the Levant
      2. The dependence of the advanced economies on ME oil and how this trumps the rights of the people of the region.

  10. eljay
    January 10, 2013, 9:46 am

    >> Making peace is complicated.

    Yes, it’s a tough slog “making peace” when you’re an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state that refuses, among other things:
    - to halt its 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder;
    - to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace; and
    - to be held accountable for any of the numerous crimes it has committed.

    Aggressor-victimhood is a tough gig… :-(

  11. iResistDe4iAm
    January 10, 2013, 9:50 am

    “If Hamas accepts international demands, forsakes terror, stops firing missiles at us and recognizes the existence of the State of Israel, it will be possible to open negotiations” ~ Shimon Peres

    If [Israel] accepts international demands, forsakes terror, stops firing missiles at [Palestine, Lebanon & Syria] and recognizes the existence of the [Palestinians & the sovereignty of Lebanon & Syria], it will be possible to open negotiations.

    In fact if Israel had accepted international demands and forsaken terror after it was established, it would be living in peace today, and the PLO (1964-69), Hezbollah (1982) and Hamas (1987) would NOT even exist.

  12. US Citizen
    January 10, 2013, 11:06 am

    Peres needs to stop the rhetoric. The world has had enough of Israel and should say this to Peres and them:

    If Israel accepts international demands, forsakes terror, stops firing missiles at Gaza and anyone else that does not agree with their failed policies and recognizes the existence of the State of Palestine, it will be possible to open negotiations.

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