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For ‘The New York Times,’ Netanyahu’s opposition to the two-state solution is ‘pragmatic’

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You knew it was coming. The concerted push to put a smiley face on the incoming far right Israeli government has begun on the front page of The New York Times

Ethan Bronner begins his story "Netanyahu, Once Hawkish, Now Touts Pragmatism" comparing probable Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Barack Obama as a former ideologue who has moved to the center to "get things done." Bronner then makes pains to reassure readers that Netanyahu prefers to construct a centrist government in Israel. However he only makes passing mention of the fact that neither Kadima nor Labor is interested in serving with him, and then totally fails to mention what possibilities this leaves Netanyahu – namely Avigdor Lieberman and his fascist Yisrael Beiteinu party. That wouldn't sound pragmatic.

In addition to making Netanyahu's future government seem more palatable to Times readership, the article ignores or elides the actual platform Netanyahu supports. In the past week Netanyahu has supported loyalty oaths for Israeli citizens and told US Jewish leaders that he opposes a sovereign Palestinian state. Bronner puts this opposition forward simply as an alternative plan:

For Mr. Netanyahu, that has meant accepting that much of the West Bank will be part of a future Palestinian state, but with Israel keeping control of the borders, airspace and electromagnetic frequencies. The state would also have no military, by his reckoning.

Whether such a deal would ever be acceptable to the Palestinians is far from clear.

Is it really that "far from clear"? This is clearly the same Israeli plan to make the occupation permanent that Palestinians have been resisting for at least the last decade, not the creativity of a "flexible opportunist."

Phil pointed out yesterday that the Times is maintaining, and cultivating, false hope in the two-state solution. This article is a perfect example. It totally ignores the real implications of Netanyahu's politics and that of his probable government. Instead, the Times wants you to think that he's just like you.
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