Trending Topics:

‘NYT’ carries water on ‘Israeli offer’ (but there’s a hole in the bucket dear Ethan dear Ethan)

on 19 Comments
images 2
Ethan Bronner at Tel Aviv Univ. Photo:Itzik Edri

Sometimes I like reading the url because it tells us about how a writer plans on pulling the wool over our eyes. Ethan Bronner’s article, headlined “Israelis Say Settlements Must Be Part of Israeli State” is like that. The article is about the Quartet’s Jan 26th deadline for both sides to present “comprehensive proposals on territory and security“, although Bronner, unsurprisingly, adopts Israel’s framing of the proposal deadline as merely a request for “an approach”:

 [T]he European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States —required both sides to present their approach to borders and security by this week.

But look at the url, and the very top of the browser page:  “Details Emerge on Israeli Offer on 2 State Solution”.

There’s no offer of a 2 state solution in the making and no proposal, but we are all quite familiar with the Israeli ‘approach’ by now. Bronner claims Wednesday night the GOI ” formally told the Palestinian Authority how it would seek to handle the territorial part of their negotiations.”

Formally? There’s a lot of wordsmithing going on here and nothing formal about “how it would seek to handle the territorial.” Why, it wasn’t even written down:

A Palestinian official said the offer “effectively abandons international law and the framework we have been focused on for the past 20 years.” Speaking on the condition of anonymity on the subject of the talks, as did Israeli officials, the Palestinian said, “If you put it in perspective, it is as if the West Bank were not occupied, just disputed, with both sides having legitimate claims, while the rest of Israel remains outside the dispute.”

“Israel’s response does not lead us to real negotiations,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian official who spoke anonymously added that the Israeli negotiator, Yitzhak Molho, did not provide any written documents or maps in his discussion with the Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, and did not include Jerusalem or the Jordan Valley in what he discussed.


“In some ways, this is their way of reframing the occupation.”

Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

Other posts by .

Posted In:

19 Responses

  1. Alex Kane
    Alex Kane on January 28, 2012, 11:57 am

    Good stuff, Annie.

    FYI–the “Israeli Offer on 2 State Solution” framing is also in print. I’m a subscriber to the NYT, and I flipped to A2, their table of contents-esque page and it had that headline at the top.

    • annie
      annie on January 28, 2012, 12:11 pm

      thanks alex, i wasn’t aware nyt used it in their print edition. what a pr snowjob.

    • Jane A.
      Jane A. on January 28, 2012, 8:17 pm

      It’s even worse in my New Jersey edition: “Palestinians Reject Proposal for Two-State Settlement.”

      • annie
        annie on January 28, 2012, 10:17 pm

        ahh! here, i just found this in the latimes

        Abbas told one of his guests that “Israeli intransigence and refusal to submit clear proposals on the issues of borders and security as requested by the quartet of Middle East peace mediators have blocked the way to continue with the exploratory talks,” according to the official WAFA news agency.

        In the second meeting, Abbas briefed his guest on the latest developments in the peace process, “particularly the impasse in the exploratory meetings being held in Amman as a result of Israeli government rejection of the two-state solution and a stop to settlements,” WAFA reported.

  2. ahmed
    ahmed on January 28, 2012, 12:21 pm

    annie, far be it from me to defend ethan, but reporters do not write headlines, which are where the urls come from. whatever headline a copy editor puts on the first time the story is published is what beomes that part of the url. the url is ususually never reedited, unless there is something egregiously wrong in it, since it will break older links pointing to that article.
    also, A2 headlines in most large papers are done by a different set of editors who work off whtever might be on the story at the time. By the end of the night a couple of editors may have reworked the final headline on the article page depending on print specifications and that is what is usually the final headline on the web, too.

    • annie
      annie on January 28, 2012, 12:33 pm

      hi ahmed, somebody wrote that headline and ethan’s article is like that. whether he specifically wrote the headline or not is irrelevant to me. the article is full of wordsmithing, if you’d like a more specific explanation of how i came to that conclusion let me know.

  3. pabelmont
    pabelmont on January 28, 2012, 12:31 pm

    “JERUSALEM — Israeli negotiators told their Palestinian counterparts this week that their guiding principle for drawing the borders of a future two-state solution would be for existing settlement blocks to become part of Israel, an approach that the Palestinians rejected as unacceptable.”

    I don’t see how this “We win and you lose” can be considered anything but a demand for “unconditional surrender”, which is what USA (and UK and USSR) did to Germany and Japan in 1945.

    This is not consistent with advances in I/L, and is inconsistent with Israel’s promise (made when applying to join the UN) that it accepted the UN Charter (which denies the acceptability of acquiring territory by war or threat of war), and is inconsistent with UNSC-242.

    On the other hand, it is far softer than some of the murderous stories to be found in Israel’s “founding charter” (the old testament), and is actually softer than the behavior of the IOF, etc., on the ground, today.

    The USA, whose founding charter (the constitution) was written by folks who didn’t know of today’s corporations or the lobbies of the super-rich individuals (such as AIPAC, which I call BIG-ZION to place it up there with BIG-BANKs and BIG-ARMs and BIG-OIL), now allows, as matter of law, these usurpers to perform both “regulatory capture” (long known to students of administrative law, not an everyday topic, but the reason the regulatory agencies are so docile to the corporations they are supposed to regulate) and nowadays also “electoral capture” by which the BIGs have captured BOTH parties on matters of concern to them (thus the two-party BANK BAILOUT and the two-party LOVE FEST WITH ISRAEL).

  4. Kathleen
    Kathleen on January 28, 2012, 12:36 pm

    “the Palestinian said, “If you put it in perspective, it is as if the West Bank were not occupied, just disputed, with both sides having legitimate claims, while the rest of Israel remains outside the dispute.”

    “disputed” has been promoted by NPR and many other MSM outlets for decades

  5. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw on January 28, 2012, 1:30 pm

    It is disputed territory, Israel claims the whole of the occupied territory, the rest of the world does not accept that, rather like Charles Manson who disputes that he is responsible for all those murders, quite an apt anology really.

    • MLE
      MLE on January 28, 2012, 2:17 pm

      Maybe when Israel refers to it as Occupied, they mean Occupied by Palestinians

    • Shaktimaan
      Shaktimaan on January 30, 2012, 5:32 am

      Obviously Israel doesn’t claim the whole of the occupied territory. Are you just joking around here or are you making this statement with the hope that people will accept it as accurate? Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that Hamas claims all of Palestine which Israel disputes while Shas also claims all of Palestine, which the PA also disputes.

  6. Les
    Les on January 28, 2012, 2:02 pm

    Just as all (who mattered) agreed at the time that the Sudetenland was disputed territory before transfering it to Germany.

    • on January 28, 2012, 2:54 pm

      As a matter of fact, the Nazis had a much better claim on Sudetenland than the Zionists over (any of) Palestine; it had been the home of a substantial German population for over 600 years. Not that having a better excuse than the Zionists would excuse anything.

      • Shaktimaan
        Shaktimaan on January 30, 2012, 5:35 am

        That’s different how?

      • Cliff
        Cliff on January 30, 2012, 7:05 am

        Shank, what are you even asking. Are you so lazy you cannot use Google?

        Stop asking people here to spoon-feed you.

  7. Sin Nombre
    Sin Nombre on January 28, 2012, 5:09 pm

    Forget this headline, can anyone imagine the NY Times penning one to the (true) effect of “Israel Once More Refuses To Even Discuss Where It’s Boundaries Stop.”

    And that’s the biggie here: Remember some time ago when a Palestinian negotiator (I think it was Erekat) was in Washington or New York for talks, as was some Israeli? And the U.S. was trying to get them to at least talk? So the Israeli does indeed agree to meet with the Palestinian and the Palestinian tries to hand him a map showing the Palestinian proposal for borders.

    And what does the Israeli say? Something along the lines of “If I even touch this my government falls.”

    Some context then with which to regard this story of no map and just vague “principles” coming from Israel’s side: Israel has *never* I don’t think ever declared its borders, and no government of Israel dares to come even close to being seen as giving up even a square inch of the occupied territories.

    Indeed, given that to many apparently “Eretz Yisrael” is taken to mean Israel’s Eastern border being the Euphrates, I wouldn’t be surprised if no government of Israel could survive if it merely said Israel’s borders *do* stop at the West Bank of the Jordan.

  8. Carllarc
    Carllarc on January 28, 2012, 10:13 pm

    The Quartet sponsored I/P negotiation of course won’t produce anything like a path towards a settlement for a 2ss; anyone who isn’t a complete idiot knows that the 2ss is long gone. But the Palestinians must be willing to go through with this to expose the Israeli charade. The supposed talks take away Netanyahu’s masquerade that it is he who really wants to negotiate and the Palestinians are intransigent. Much more important, this forces the Israel to say something about borders. Obviously, any offer that Netanyahu/Israel will make will not be in the ballpark for any kind of 2ss settlement, and the world (including the US) will know this. Thus, once Israel actually express their boundary position, it will be obvious that their claim to be serious, wanting a 2ss, is a complete charade. At this point, the Israeli position becomes indefensible; thus, the Palestinians will have much more leverage with the UN; the US’s support (domestically and internationally) will be left ‘without clothes’; and the BDS movement will become an accepted the standard of morality.

    • annie
      annie on January 28, 2012, 10:20 pm

      thanks carl. i agree. especially:

      the Palestinians must be willing to go through with this to expose the Israeli charade

  9. lobewyper
    lobewyper on January 29, 2012, 7:05 am

    Just as I’ve said more than once before, I’m glad we’re on the same side in all of this, Annie. Nice analysis!

Leave a Reply