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‘NYT’ offers Israeli a platform to call ‘Arab spring’ ‘Arab storm’

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 This op-ed by Aluf Benn, defense correspondent for Haaretz, in the New York Times today, shows how hardboiled the New York Times (and by extension American Jewish leadership) can be when it comes to Israel’s relationships with its neighbors. The dictatorship of Mubarak is seen as a good thing, stable and predictable, and no matter the effect on 80 million Egyptian citizens. And the Arab spring is characterized as an “Arab storm.” Why? Because it will stoke democracy demands by Palestinians on the West Bank and perhaps produce a third intifada and ultimately destabilize Israel–unless Netanyahu and Obama cut a deal for a two-state solution now. The horror of this op-ed is that Palestinians are never seen as human beings with human rights who are living under oppression. No, they are just another part of an undifferentiated Arab hatred of Israel that will overwhelm the state if these primitive people are not propitiated. The tone of this piece is neo-colonialist. But if Palestinian voices were granted a forum in the New York Times, Americans might begin to differentiate strains in Palestinian society, and might actually desire to extend the democratic freedoms that we cherish to that place, rather than trading in fear.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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