‘NYT”s Erlanger calls Gaza ‘Hamastan’

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A month back we landed on New York Times Paris bureau chief Steven Erlanger for condescending comments he made about Palestinians in Gaza, as if they were an alien species. Well yesterday Strobe Talbott, the head of the Brookings Institution, tweeted that Hamas is a “perfect example of NGO acting like a state,” and Erlanger responded:

Well, can call Hamas many things, i think, including an NGO, but not my first thought. Gaza is Hamastan. not NGOworld!

Hamastan, a pejorative term suggesting that Gaza is like Afghanistan under the intolerant Taliban, has a pedigree in neoconservative circles. Three examples (thanks to wikipedia):

Netanyahu, 2006: “the state of Hamastan – an offshoot of Iran – has been established before our eyes.”

Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a rightwing thinktank, 2007: Iran is building Hamastan in Gaza

Dennis Ross, 2007: “The specter of ‘Hamastan'”: Gaza is being lost to the Islamists

His tweet suggests to me that Erlanger believes the neoconservative view of the Arab world. I wonder if the NYT’s constraints on reporters’ opinions are chafing at him, and if he isn’t headed for a thinktank before long, where he can give full throat to his opinions about Muslims and Palestinians…

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Wasn’t a huge rally held in Gaza just the other day. A rally for Fatah?

Let’s remember that Fatah lost the Palestinian elections due in considerable degree to perception of the voters that Fatah was corrupt.

”Gaza is Hamastan”

Humm… what Israel?…Zioastan? Judastan? Israstan?

I really must get around to taking up twittering…

Does that mean that in the name of balance and fairness, Erlanger will next time describe Israeli politicians as “Jesus Killers”?

Again, we have the familiar American media double-standard. If any prominent journalist at any major news organization were to use comparably loaded language to refer to the right-wing extremist government of Israel, there would be instantaneous and widespread calls for his firing.

When Hamas defeated the PLO in elections in Gaza, one reason was the corruption of the PLO. But another reason was that the PLO had become the party of acquiescence to the occupation: their position was to accept any deal that Israel proposed, no matter how rotten the deal for… Read more »