Israeli propaganda dominates front page of ‘New York Times’ today

US Politics
on 41 Comments

Did you get the New York Times today? Hasbara Central took over the front page of the country’s leading newspaper. This article, along with a gigantic photo, fills the top of the front page: “Aided by the Sea, Israel Overcomes an Old Foe: Drought,” by Isabel Kershner. The url says it even better: “water-revolution-in-israel-overcomes-any-threat-of-drought.html.”

Do I even need to spell it out? Here’s the key paragraph:

As California and other western areas of the United States grapple with an extreme drought, a revolution has taken place here. A major national effort to desalinate Mediterranean seawater and to recycle wastewater has provided the country with enough water for all its needs, even during severe droughts. More than 50 percent of the water for Israeli households, agriculture and industry is now artificially produced.

Israel has made the desert bloom.

It’s not till the 23d paragraph that Palestinians are mentioned, and then in a fairyland manner:

Struggles between Israel and its Arab neighbors over water rights in the Jordan River basin contributed to tensions leading to the 1967 Middle East war.

Israel, which shares the mountain aquifer with the West Bank, says it provides the Palestinians with more water than it is obliged to under the existing peace accords. The Palestinians say it is not enough and too expensive. A new era of water generosity could help foster relations with the Palestinians and with Jordan.

The article has comments. I sent in an anodyne comment last night. I wrote:

Palestinians make serious charges that Israel and especially Israeli settlers steal their water. Why does this story only mention this in passing in the 25th paragraph?

And the Times didn’t run it. Not more than 12 hours later.

Other people are making a similar point, about Palestinians’ access to water, but no one’s criticizing the article qua article. You can criticize by saying, Oh, Palestinians say such and such, but to point out the bias in the article itself, that’s another matter. The Times moderators apparently do not want the paper’s reporting and editorial decisions criticized.

And in fact, many of the comments are pro-Israel, pro ecology. Some say, U.S. should follow Israel and do thus and such.

But really, how can you claim to be a newspaper and run an article like this without giving a lot of space to the fact that disputes over water are a central element of the illegal Israeli colonization project? The idea that you can describe Israel as being a leader in the water area and a model for societies everywhere — unbelievable.

This is why I call it hasbara, or propaganda for Israel. One of hasbara’s themes is Israel’s high tech successes, and the idea going back to Ben Gurion that Israeli modernization would be so spectacular that Palestinians would jump on board the Zionist project because they were doing so well. This article is explicitly in that spirit. And just look where the Times played this article!

We will be reporting soon on the actual facts of water usage in Palestine.

But for now, you should know that Palestinians experience water shortages all the time. Israel controls the water resources throughout the occupied territories. That’s more than half the water supply that Kershner mentions in that article. For instance, Israel takes 80 percent of Palestinians’ water from a major West Bank aquifer, says the human rights group B’Tselem. And the distribution of water is grossly discriminatory:

Distribution of water under Israeli control

Distribution of water under Israeli control

And B’Tselem has reported that 90 percent of the water in the Gaza Strip is undrinkable — and 1.8 million Palestinians live there.

Here you can find reports by Ewash, which is devoted to Palestinian water problems under occupation. Here’s another graphic from Ewash on water distribution.

Visualizing Palestine graphic on water use in the West Bank

Visualizing Palestine graphic on water use in the West Bank

 

 

 

 

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41 Responses

  1. Krauss
    May 30, 2015, 12:15 pm

    Thanks for fightning the good fight, James.

    But no, I won’t pretend I’m shocked anymore that the NYT simply pretends that outright water theft doesn’t happen(80% of the Palestinian water stolen in the WB? What Palestinians!?).

    Hasbara central is an apt name to call the NYT henceforth.

  2. hophmi
    May 30, 2015, 12:50 pm

    There is nothing about the story that is propaganda. You’re just throwing a tantrum because you can’t handle any story that doesn’t portray Israel as a demon state as you do.

    What you practice is called hate.

    • Giles
      May 30, 2015, 2:28 pm

      The Zionist dupes run around screaming hate, hate, hate. Will it ever sink in for them that the hate is coming from them, not directed at them?

      • Keith
        May 30, 2015, 3:56 pm

        GILES- “Will it ever sink in for them that the hate is coming from them, not directed at them?”

        But Giles, there is a logic to irrationality when it serves to buttress group ideology and group solidarity, important components of group success.

      • hophmi
        May 30, 2015, 4:56 pm

        There is no logic except the logic of hate to explain people who claim that any story that doesn’t reflect their extreme political viewpoint is propaganda. North didn’t point out a single fact of this story that was skewed or untrue. He simply complained that the story, which is about Israel’s unprecedented success at desalination, didn’t include his required amount of anti-Israel propaganda.

      • eGuard
        May 30, 2015, 8:32 pm

        Hopmy: the logic of hate.

        Grow up.

      • eljay
        May 30, 2015, 10:17 pm

        || hophmi: There is no logic except the logic of hate to explain people who claim that any story that doesn’t reflect their extreme political viewpoint is propaganda. ||

        There is no logic – there is only the hatefulness and immorality of Zio-supremacism – to explain people who claim that any story is anti-Semitic and rife with “Jew hatred” which does not reflect their extreme political and religion-supremacist viewpoint but, instead, reflects the viewpoints of justice, accountability and equality.

        || He simply complained that the story, which is about Israel’s unprecedented success at desalination, didn’t include his required amount of … ||

        …”balance” and “nuances”. Zio-supremacists routinely insist on them, but suddenly they don’t matter. Interesting.

    • James North
      May 30, 2015, 2:41 pm

      hophmi: I have a suggestion for you. Instead of slinging around silly slurs, why don’t you go over to the +972 website, have a look at the collected articles of Larry Derfner, and learn how a man with intellectual and moral courage looks at Israel — where he actually lives — today.

      • hophmi
        May 30, 2015, 4:58 pm

        I have a suggestion for you, James. Why don’t you ask Larry whether he thinks that stories about Israel’s desalination project should include long op-ed paragraphs about the plight of the Palestinians when they have nothing to do with the story? You’re a hater.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 30, 2015, 5:06 pm

        You’re a hater.

        grow up.

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2015, 11:43 am

        “learn how a man with intellectual and moral courage looks at Israel — where he actually lives — today.”

        What on earth is a man “with intellectual and moral courage” doing in Israel? Does he drive a bus?

    • Annie Robbins
      May 30, 2015, 2:59 pm

      pimping israel as a water innovator is a huge priority.

      remember when “NY Times’ and ‘LA Times’ run op-eds by an AIPAC board member without telling readers – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/02/without-telling-readers#sthash.q2n8in7w.dpuf” that was about water:

      Last month the LA Times ran a cute test on its op-ed page to show that Israel doesn’t practice apartheid, and that Palestinians are treated very well by Israel.

      Today the NY Times runs an op-ed saying that Israel gives Palestinians all the water they need, and as the region dries out, Palestinians are going to feel very lucky. Doing damage control after last weeks massive brouhaha pulled by Naftali Bennett (w/his party MKs in tow) during EU president Martin Schulz’s Knesset address? Your guess is as good as ours.

      Both pieces are by Seth M. Siegel– a founder of Beanstalk, a brand-licensing agency, and of Sixpoint Partners, an investment bank, the NY Times says. The LA Times also mentions Beanstalk, and says Siegel is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

      Neither the LA Times nor the NY Times tells you that Siegel serves on the national board of AIPAC, the leading Israel lobby organization.

      More on that water story:

      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/02/without-telling-readers#sthash.q2n8in7w.dpuf

      recall the freak out at the knesset when the EU prez asked about the distribution inquality?

      It appears some Israeli MKs are unaware of the gross discrepancies between water allocations in the areas under their purview. Haaretz reports EU President Schulz was accused of “blatant” and “lying propaganda“, “selective hearing” as well as incitement “against Jews” during a session in the Knesset today when he repeated a question from a Palestinian youth alluding water usage in Israel was several times that of occupied Palestine and questioned if it was true: –

      See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/02/during-speech-knesset#sthash.bRFYZOW6.dpuf

      and then there’s this: Israel allocates 70x more water to settlers than Palestinians in the West Bank – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/07/israel-allocates-70x-more-water-to-settlers-than-palestinians-in-the-west-bank#sthash.A7wAxBd1.dpuf

      There is nothing about the story that is propaganda. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/israeli-propaganda-dominates#sthash.1hyvoxLZ.dpuf

      you crack me up hops.

      • Citizen
        May 31, 2015, 11:30 am

        I guess hops doesn’t see gross lies by omission when what’s omitted is not flattering to Israel’s policies and conduct.

    • Kay24
      May 30, 2015, 5:05 pm

      Hoppy, Israel IS a “demon” state in many ways, and now where water is concerned too:

      :According to a World Bank report, Israel extracted 80% more water from the West Bank than agreed in the Oslo Accord, while Palestinian abstractions were within the agreed range.[17] Contrary to expectations under Oslo II, the water actually abstracted by Palestinians in the West Bank has dropped between 1999 and 2007. Due to the Israeli over-extraction, aquifer levels are near ″the point where irreversible damage is done to the aquifer.″ Israeli wells in the West Bank have dried up local Palestinian wells and springs.[17]”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_supply_and_sanitation_in_the_Palestinian_territories

      It seems you (conveniently) fail to see that this NYT writer of this article is totally biased, and fails to mention exactly how the Palestinians are affected by Israel’s water theft and crime, and has a son who is apparently fighting for the IDF. Ignoring this MDW article and addressing it’s content, while accusing commenters here of attacking Israel, is a typical hasbara move. Face it Hoppy, Israel stinks and resorts to stinky, inhumane behavior.

      • yonah fredman
        May 30, 2015, 5:35 pm

        Kay- Why use the language of demonology when it has such an awful history in the language of hatred of Jews?

      • echinococcus
        May 30, 2015, 6:16 pm

        Mister Fredman now has resurrected another moronic scarecrow:

        Why use the language of demonology when it has such an awful history in the language of hatred of Jews?

        Why indeed, especially when the Zionists are behaving in ways that would have been hard to imagine even for the inventors of Satan in the Dark Ages, let alone in our Nazi-sanguinary times?
        And more especially when no one has even mentioned “the Jews”? The post mentioned “Israel”. Not “the Jews”.

        Of course we understand that statistically a lot of people who call themselves Jewish do support that evil (word used just to remain in sync with the religious terminology) but that does apply to “the Jews” as much as being a supporter of the Red Sox.

        Your reaction, for the x,000th time, only shows you up:
        you are very obviously a rabid enemy of the Jews as a group, whatever your definition of “Jew”, inasmuch as you are attributing to the entire group of “Jews” the crimes against humanity of a band of pirates and their genocidal state. The word “antisemite’ is totally absurd, especially applied to someone claiming to be Jewish but in your case I would see it as a particularly appropriate use of a generally inappropriate term.

      • Kay24
        May 30, 2015, 10:41 pm

        Yonah I am merely responding to Hophmi’s” “You’re just throwing a tantrum because you can’t handle any story that doesn’t portray Israel as a demon state as you do.”
        If a nation behaves in inhumane ways, there are many words that can described it.

      • RoHa
        May 30, 2015, 10:56 pm

        Yonah, why do you look for hatred of Jews in everything?

      • Walid
        May 31, 2015, 1:44 am

        “Yonah, why do you look for hatred of Jews in everything?” (RoHa)

        He must feel that it’s part and parcel of his exceptionalism that’s dear to him.

      • oldgeezer
        May 31, 2015, 1:53 am

        @Walid

        zionists have robbed the term antisemitism off currency with too many people. They did so by using it to deflect valid criticism of Israel. Having done so they seek to create a new meme of hatred.

        They have to do so. There is no other viable option for them.

        Unless they can arbitrarily deflect valid criticism they don’t like they are forced to confront the vile nature of the state that they support.

        Once they’ve overused hatred they will latch onto something else. They will latch onto anything they can instead of facing their crimes head on. Not a lot of difference with even the most petty of criminals. It’s never their fault.

      • Walid
        May 31, 2015, 3:34 am

        Not just the Zionists, oldgeezer, Yonah is not alone in his exceptionalism shtick.

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2015, 10:49 am

        “Yonah, why do you look for hatred of Jews in everything?”

        Poor Yonah is suffering from a guilty conscience.

    • Annie Robbins
      May 30, 2015, 5:39 pm

      There is nothing about the story that is propaganda. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/israeli-propaganda-dominates/comment-page-1#comment-771211

      that’s not true. this is propaganda:

      Struggles between Israel and its Arab neighbors over water rights in the Jordan River basin contributed to tensions leading to the 1967 Middle East war.

      Israel, which shares the mountain aquifer with the West Bank, says it provides the Palestinians with more water than it is obliged to under the existing peace accords. The Palestinians say it is not enough and too expensive.

      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/israeli-propaganda-dominates/comment-page-1#comment-771211

      it might behoove the journalist to do a tad of her own research to find out if there is any truth to these allegations. because i will tell you right now there’s are deep flaws in the logic behind the oslo allegations. (BIG RED FLAG)

      to begin with oslo was an arrangement for 5 years. there has been population growth in 5 years, so the fact that israel gives palestinians more water than they were obliged to give in ’93 is not, in itself, generous. because if a population doubles and you give them 10% more water you may be technically giving them “more” but everyone knows it amounts to a LOT less.

      2nd, the land in the west bank is occupied palestinian territory, so saying they “share” the mountain aquifier is like saying they share the land. the aquifier belongs to palestine.

      furthermore, there are such things as riparian rights. those right are not determined by israel, they are determined by an international body based on population figures in all the states bordering the jordan and the rivers leading into the region. they were originally set up fairly with riparian rights for a certain amount of water allocation for the future arab state. israel stole the allocations for the future arab state in 67 and acts like it now has a right to those allocations, it doesn’t.

      but of course the journalist can’t be bothered to do an ounce of research, because this information is readily available and she doesn’t say a word about it.

      i bet palestinians said a lot more than “it is not enough and too expensive.” but her paraphrasing likely cut all the remainder out. because you can bet your bottom dollar they said israel is stealing their water — because they are. this is not rocket science hops.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 30, 2015, 5:50 pm

        In the Palestinian territories, groundwater (water that accumulates in underground acquifers and springs) is the primary source of renewable water, whereas surface water in the Jordan River and wadis (valleys) provide a far less rechargeable supply. Studies by the Palestinian Water Bureau show that the majority of rechargeable water for the Israel-Palestine region occurs beneath Palestinian territories in the Mountain Aquifers, but Palestinians are only allotted 17% of groundwater, 10% of the runoff recharge, and none of the Jordan River recharge.14 It should be noted that Palestinian usage is only 11% of the total available water recharge, while Israeli usage is 89% of the total, which includes all of the potential recharge of the Jordan River waters.15 (See Figure 1 for more on water usage.)

        this was written 12 years after oslo. http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1404&context=sdlp

        so maybe the ‘miracle’ of israel water has to do with the fact they thieve it.

    • eGuard
      May 30, 2015, 8:31 pm

      Hopi: hate. Grow up

    • oldgeezer
      May 31, 2015, 12:34 am

      The fact that the story was run, let alone it was on the front page, is proof of it being pure propaganda.

      Israel is neither the world leader in desalination user nor the world leader in creating and improving the technology used.

      Just creating and upholding another zionist myth about a belligerent rogue state that oppresses millions. Trying to whitewash the criminal behaviour of the state that is supported by the majority of the citizens.

      Here is report on the technology used in desalination as evidenced by patent filings
      http://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/patents/948/wipo_pub_948_2.pdf

      It’s easy enough to google the usage of desalination.

      Next you will be telling me that Israel is responsible for my computer and cell phone lol

      Give the myth making a rest. No one with a clue is buying it.

  3. Boomer
    May 30, 2015, 12:54 pm

    Thanks for the analysis. Unfortunately, not new or unique. But water is an important topic. Netanyahu has said that the Palestinians can can their own “flag and anthem,” but not, evidently, their own water, land, freedom to travel, etc.

  4. JoeSmack
    May 30, 2015, 2:14 pm

    Note also that the author has a son in the IDF: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/10/another-reporters-israeli

    Imagine if a US reporter had a son in the Syrian government and wrote op-eds about how Syria had dealt with its water supply? It would be scandal, but if it’s Israel then it’s fine!

    Treating racism and colonization as normal, not a conflict of interest.

  5. Kay24
    May 30, 2015, 4:55 pm

    Not a word about how Israel makes the “desert bloom”, it is over the blood, sweat, and tears, of those they occupy, steal from, and often kill.

  6. yonah fredman
    May 30, 2015, 5:28 pm

    How many hard copies does the NYT sell every day? How many in NYC and how many around the country? I bet the demographics of the hard copy purchasers is your answer to the positive spin (hasbara) that you are focused upon.

    • lysias
      May 30, 2015, 5:35 pm

      I think hard copy purchasers matter a lot less than advertisers.

    • Mooser
      June 1, 2015, 10:52 am

      Yonah has a point. Paper-and-ink newspapers can lose a tremendous amount of money. And if the advertising revenues won’t cover the loss, the owners may look to monetize other parts of the paper, like the news.

  7. lysias
    May 30, 2015, 5:37 pm

    Could other countries fund desalinization plants in Gaza? Or would Israel prevent that?

    • Annie Robbins
      May 30, 2015, 6:05 pm

      israel would prevent it. israel prevented germany from donating a water treatment facility after the 08-09 slaughter. it got turned around midway as i recall. and if it had been there they probably would have bomb it like they did the power plant.

    • Eva Smagacz
      May 30, 2015, 6:13 pm

      Desalinisation plants require very substantial input of electricity and results in large quantities of salty “brine” that is really, really polluting.
      Gaza would need to have electricity generating capability and means of disposal of effluent from the plant.

      Israel keeps the water from reaching Gaza aquifer – without that little trick there would be no shortage of freshwater in Gaza.

  8. Eva Smagacz
    May 30, 2015, 5:54 pm

    With shortage of water in areas of America, the NYTimes front page “infomercial” is designed to promote the Israel’s “miracle” of defeating the drought. Just like Israel’s weapons and crowd control equipment are “battle tested” so a case is being made that Israel’s prowess in water management is “drought” tested.

    I expect lots of contracts for Israeli companies. But I wonder if there is a (very) small print in a contract that says

    You must have access to your neighbour’s fresh water aquifers (from which water can be extracted at no cost and with no penalties) to achieve results stipulated in this contract. As a party to this contract, this [Israeli] company cannot guarantee the miraculous results unless the above condition is fulfilled.

  9. Bornajoo
    May 31, 2015, 7:21 am

    “you’re a hater” (Hophmi)

    Hey Hophmi, you left out the word “Jew” because that’s what you really mean right? You are definitely ‘Chief Conflator’ in Hasbara Central aren’t you?

    Every justified, proven and recorded criticism of Israel is simply anti semitism in disguise to our deeply programmed Hophmi. There is no justified criticism of Israel, only jew haters

    James, a couple of months ago I wrote in a comment to Hophmi:

    “Stop the horror, the terror and the injustice and we’ll all go away, promise!”

    And his reply was:

    “I don’t believe you, not for a second. You won’t go away until Israel no longer exists”

    – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/hophmi/69#sthash.aRQfyK0D.dpuf

    Do you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat yelling these words Hophmi?
    “I don’t believe you, not for a second. You won’t go away until Israel no longer exists”

    Scary stuff.

    • Mooser
      June 1, 2015, 11:48 am

      “I don’t believe you, not for a second. You won’t go away until Israel no longer exists”

      You are so right, Hophmi. Jews will never rest until they have destroyed Israel! Oh wait, do I have this straight?

  10. Jackdaw
    May 31, 2015, 12:05 pm

    Considering that Californians are rationing water on account of a years long drought, I’d say that this news from Israeli is quite topical.

    • oldgeezer
      May 31, 2015, 12:55 pm

      Except it isn’t news, California already uses desalination. If news was needed they could have writte anout the world’s largest desalination plant which was due to come online last month in California (construction of which was aided by an Israeli company)

      In the kindest spin it was a frontpage advert.

  11. eusebio
    June 1, 2015, 9:00 am

    Representative Democracy of Israel has an obligation to contribute to peace and progress in Palestine and Israel in respect for nature and the human rights

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