‘NPR’ and ‘NYT’ present Netanyahu as a– moderate

US Politics
on 14 Comments

The anniversary of the Rabin assassination might have been a time for the mainstream media to pronounce that the settlers won and Israeli society is dominated by rightwing extremism. Nope! Two leading news organizations resolved Israel’s international image problem today by seeking to sell Benjamin Netanyahu and his rightwing education minister Naftali Bennett as moderates.

In the New York Times, reporter Isabel Kershner says that Israeli politics have shifted since Rabin, but there’s now a “moderate” center that wants a two-state solution. That pesky near-50-year occupation? Most Israelis want to end it:

So far, the general desire to end Israeli rule over the Palestinians, together with the perceived impossibility of achieving a peace deal in the foreseeable future, has led to paralysis.

Real there’s a general desire to end Israeli rule over Palestinians? Then why does that rule just expand all the time? Even John Kerry is more honest about this in his Rabin remembrance than the New York Times. Kershner soon follows up with this howler:
Instead, many Israelis appear to be seeking a more moderate middle way. The right-wing Jewish Home party, which sits in the governing coalition and promotes settlement construction, proposes annexing about 60 percent of the West Bank and allowing some kind of autonomy for the 40 percent heavily populated by Palestinians, analysts say.
So Naftali Bennett of Jewish Home, who has said repeatedly that there must be no Palestinian state, is presented as a moderate! And Palestinians having lost 78 percent of their original land should now accept some “autonomy” on a fragment of the fragment in the name of moderation. Bantustans are evidence of moderation. And as for that centrist governing coalition, it was only reelected after Netanyahu promised no Palestinian state and threw in race-baiting about “droves” of Arabs going to the polls.
Last week at the Palestine Center, the political reality was described for what it is: a binational apartheid state. Yousef Munayyer tweeted today:

A new low for the @nytimes – Describing Israelis who want annexation of WB as “moderate”

Donald Johnson writes that the Times is learnin to love apartheid: “The racist contempt and narcissism of mainstream Israeli society is presented as a sensible consensus.  Her article is a masterpiece in how to present apartheid support as a sad pragmatic embrace of reality and giving up of illusions.”

Meantime on National Public Radio this morning, Dennis Ross– the former White House aide who has justifiably earned the reputation as Israel’s lawyer — was interviewed by Steve Inskeep about the Rabin assassination; and he said that Israeli society had made progress since inasmuch as Likud has moved to the left.

There is one way [Israel] has moved forward and that is. When Rabin was laying out this approach, when Rabin was basically telling me he was going to do a partition with the Palestinians either through negotiations or through separation so that Israel could retain its Jewish democratic character– one thing that has changed is that there is at least an increasing consensus among many within Lkud that you will accept a two state outcome. The Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu in his UN speech this year talked about two states for two peoples. Now that’s not where Likud was when Rabin was prime minister.

But again: Netanyahu came out against a Palestinian state in order to win reelection in March. And his U.N. statement is regarded by many as mere lip service; a sop thrown to the international community, on which he is doing nothing.

Israeli society is today “fascistic,” as the liberal Zionist Glen Weyl puts it: its political leadership is shot through with racist, paranoid and militaristic elements. The U.S. media persists in whitewashing this truth because it is under pressure to present Israel as a reasonable western society. And the Democratic Party is corrupted in the same way. Next week the party thinktank, the Center for American Progress, will host Netanyahu. CAP chose AIPAC over President Obama.

About Philip Weiss

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

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14 Responses

  1. Irfan
    November 4, 2015, 12:53 pm

    Actually my favorite passage in the Kershner article is this:

    “In some ways it is Mr. Rivlin, whose role is chiefly symbolic, who exemplifies the redrawing of the political map. A veteran Likud parliamentarian who has long opposed territorial partition and supported Jewish settlements, he has emerged as a strong voice for tolerance and coexistence.”

    So settlements, which lead to occupation, are the paradigmatic example of “tolerance and coexistence.” Meanwhile, belief in a single Jewish state based on the Zionist ideal of Eretz Israel is an example of “a less ideological center, approaching some kind of consensus on the Palestinian issue.” I guess Jabotinsky would have been the perfect example of a pragmatic centrist.

    It’s a problem when the country’s newspaper of record is incapable of distinguishing “news fit to print” from outright nonsense.

  2. Another Dave
    November 4, 2015, 12:56 pm

    “That pesky near-50-year occupation? Most Israelis want to end it:”

    I do believe that is true. The only question is how to get the Palestinians to move away without it looking like the Government of Israel is ethnically cleansing them.

  3. JLewisDickerson
    November 4, 2015, 1:12 pm

    RE: “In the New York Times, reporter Isabel Kershner says that Israeli politics have shifted since Rabin, but there’s now a ‘moderate’ center that wants a two-state solution.” ~ Weiss

    MY SNARKCASM: Dream on, Kershner! ! ! *

    * JOEL KOVEL (1-20-13):

    [EXCERPT] . . . As with everyone I know of in official political culture, [Thomas] Friedman assumes that Israel is a rational actor on the international stage who will obey the calculus of reward and punishment that regulates the conduct of normal states.
    The presumption is that if you tell it the truth, and even pull back US support, it will get the message, reflect, and change its ways. But Israel is not a normal state, except superficially. It will make adjustments, pulling back here, co-operating there, making nice when necessary, crafting its message using a powerful propaganda apparatus employing the most up-to-date social science. But this is simply tactical and no more predicts or explains the behavior of the Zionist state than an individual sociopath can be explained by the fact that he obeys traffic signals while driving to the scene of his crime. . .

    SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2013/01/israel-nominaton-hagel.html

    * P.S. ALSO SEE – “Peres: Netanyahu was never sincere about making peace” | By Aron Heller | The Times of Israel | November 2, 2015
    LINK – http://www.timesofisrael.com/peres-netanyahu-was-never-sincere-about-making-peace/

  4. Ossinev
    November 4, 2015, 1:15 pm

    “Netanyahu – as a moderate”

    Here in the UK we have a range of newspapers with varying degrees of ” left leaning / right leaning” tendencies. Even the most right leaning would IMO never under any circumstances describe Nitay as “moderate”. They would be caned.

    Nitay is quite simply a moron. One of the main reasons he and his ilk get away with their ingrained Zionist fascism is that they are never put on the spot by independent hard hitting interviewers. I haven`t seen an interview with this piece of …. where the inherent contradictions,hypocrisies and lies which he spews out by rote are actually challenged by a credible interviewer. Happy to be corrected on this one.

    As an “incredibly courageous ” IDF soldier I am sure that he could easily be encouraged to face up to an enemy interviewer. He of course would not be allowed to carry an assault rifle just in case the interviewer asked him an existentially threatening question.

  5. amigo
    November 4, 2015, 1:42 pm

    If Israel,s Jewish citizens are so committed to a 2SS then why do they keep voting for ,( in ever increasing numbers ) pols who openly state there will be no Palestinian State.

    It boggles the mind how allegedly intelligent people can write this nonsense , unless of course , they believe the rest of us are just plain stupid.

    I tell you , when the shtf and those who have been duped for so long ,realise it, I would not want to be one of the purveyors of this propaganda.

    There will be no “Safe Haven ” to run and hide in.

  6. Rusty Pipes
    November 4, 2015, 3:02 pm

    I can’t find the comments section for the Kershner article.

  7. Donald
    November 4, 2015, 5:07 pm

    I think this is the wave of the future for hasbara. The 2ss is dead or comatose and even the idea of peace talks isn’t going to fool anyone. A non- apartheid 1ss is unthinkable to Zionists, so what is left? Well, you sell an apartheid 1ss as pragmatism.

  8. CigarGod
    November 4, 2015, 5:45 pm

    What is the word for people who sell their whole body and soul?

  9. JWalters
    November 4, 2015, 8:35 pm

    What a story! All the major news outlets in the U.S. are lying to the voters! This HAS to be one of the biggest stories going. Good reporting on this, which this series is, would seem to merit a Pulitzer prize somewhere along the line. The Pulitzer committee probably wants to do right, but not right now.

  10. Rusty Pipes
    November 4, 2015, 11:17 pm

    Inskeep’s interview of Ross is so risk averse, you’d think it was Entertainment Tonight rather than a news show. Inskeep even asked more challenging questions of Netanyahu than he did of Ross. Netanyahu has been described as risk averse? He’s been described as a propagandist, a war criminal and a thief of American nuclear triggers. Shall we allow Ross to gloss over the question of whether Netanyahu and Rabin are different not only in tone, but in substance? Why, yes we shall. How will the Liberal Zionist who does the ombud’s quarterly assessment of NPR’s I/P coverage rate this report?

  11. brent
    November 5, 2015, 12:14 pm

    Managing the information flow to the American public is fundamental to managing the political leadership! Certainly the NYT, WP and Public Broadcasting are primary tools for managing information, especially the editing out of inconvenient facts that provide insight into the falsity of the dominant narrative. Israel is the victim and Palestinians bring the bad things upon themselves.

    This influence over our media is of long standing and well entrenched. Dennis Ross is the Newshour and NPR’s go to guy. This is not on merit or by chance.

    The whole system will get upended when the campaign for Palestinian equality in Israel gains traction. That will marginalize the security argument and incentivize Israelis, to whom a Jewish state is most important, to reign in their expansionists and propose a viable accommodation with a Palestinian State.

    • lysias
      November 5, 2015, 12:37 pm

      I remember when, during the Monica scandal, legal commentator (and lawyer) Stuart Taylor, who had been quite critical of the Clinton administration on the matter, was suddenly and without explanation replaced on the PBS News Hour by Washington Post political reporter Dan Balz, who was much kinder to the administration.

  12. genesto
    November 5, 2015, 6:14 pm

    Beware of Hillary Clinton, my friends. She will kowtow to the Israel lobby as much as anyone we’ve ever seen in the White House. And, we can count on her to get us embroiled in even more military conflicts in the world, as she attempts to show that she is ‘man’ enough to lead the country.

    She may not be as dangerous as any ot the Republican candidates. But, she is certainly dangerous enough!

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