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Big front-page NYT article on ‘settlements’ does not quote one single Palestinian

US Politics
on 23 Comments

Today’s long look at the Israeli Jewish colonies in occupied West Bank Palestine, complete with huge photos and detailed maps, has room for quotations from 11 different people, ranging from Benjamin Netanyahu to Nitza Farkash, an employee at the Eli settlement.

But not one Palestinian is asked for his or her reaction. Not one.

The reporters, Jodi Rudoren and Jeremy Ashkenas, did at least briefly notice the people who live under Israeli military occupation and whose land is being seized.  One solitary sentence said that “. . . a  Palestinian man grazed a few cows and sheep on a grassy hillside, and scores of teenagers in white Islamic head scarfs walked home from school.” But the reporters did not stop to ask them any questions.

(This short description is a masterpiece of Orientalist haiku.  The Palestinians are only backward shepherds and young women in “Islamic head scarfs,” contrasted with the nearby “boomtown” Jewish settlement.)

There is more.  We learn that back during Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister he “irked Washington in 1997 by adding 300 homes in Efrat.”  He probably did more than “irk” the Palestinians who lost their land, but we won’t learn it from this article.

Our reporters did find that the settlements might cause human problems in the future.  They warn that a peace agreement might eventually pose “the challenge of someday uprooting Israelis, who are now raising a second and third generation in contested areas.” But somehow, the two Times reporters could not find any Palestinians who are being uprooted today.

James North
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23 Responses

  1. chocopie
    March 14, 2015, 12:12 am

    Typical. And this conspiracy by our media to keep Palestinians invisible and out of the conversation might help explain why young Zionists at U.S. universities claim to feel so “unsafe” and get so terrified and triggered when their real live Palestinian peers speak openly on campus. The media protects US Zionists from Palestinian viewpoints. So when young Zionists suddenly encounter in real life the people and ideas that have been hidden from them, they’re unnerved and feel “unsafe.”

    • DavidDaoud
      March 15, 2015, 2:39 pm

      Their young asses are so red from lifelong kissing that they expect nothing else.

  2. Krauss
    March 14, 2015, 1:29 am

    This is Jim Crow journalism. Let’s not call it by another name, but for what it is.

  3. eGuard
    March 14, 2015, 5:56 am

    NYT: isolated settlements, which are outside anyone’s conception of blocks, Map and wording keeps repeating that these are “isolated”, “insular” groups of houses.

    Modiin Illit, an insular … enclave … that is widely expected to stay in Israel. Duh. Of course, if you don’t speak with Palestinians.

  4. eGuard
    March 14, 2015, 6:32 am

    NYT: the Etzion block, stretching south from Jerusalem along Route 60. There were Jewish communities there before Israel’s establishment in 1948, … “it must be part of Israel for eternity.”

    Brooklyn, this is your future.

  5. just
    March 14, 2015, 8:49 am

    I couldn’t finish the article, James. I feel dirty after plunging in. The massive photos on a biblical scale are front- paged as if it’s the most important story of this century! You are exactly right, of course, about the “masterpiece of Orientalist haiku.”. But this behemoth of propaganda leaves out the true people of the land~ all of them.

    They disappeared the Palestinians. Then again, that is Israel’s plan and they are always working away at it~ every minute of every day for decades now.

    And the NYT dutifully does its not insignificant part for Israel first, always, and only.

  6. Boomer
    March 14, 2015, 10:04 am

    re; “a masterpiece of Orientalist haiku.” So it is. And there is something even older than Orientalism at work. Not being Israeli or Jewish, I won’t speak to what motivates them. But as an American, I’m reminded of something that Charles H. Long, the African-American scholar of religion says in an essay on “Shadow and Symbols of American Religion.” He comments on a passage from Sidney Mead on the ‘epic of America,’ which was the sudden mastery of a “vast, stubborn and oft-times brutal continent.” Mead noted that Americans have “celebrated the external and material side” of their progress, while concealing “even from themselves” much about the experience. Long then observes:

    “It is from the concealment that the innocence and naivete of the American emerges. The American has for one reason or another never taken time to contemplate the ambiguity of act and value, the horror and the evil which is synonymous with the conquest of this new land. But this innocence of the American is not a natural innocence, that innocence which is prior to experience; rather, this innocence is gained only through an intense suppression of the deeper and more subtle dimension of American experience.”

    from “Significations” page 156

  7. SonofDaffyDuck
    March 14, 2015, 10:19 am

    But this is the rule…not the exception. Go to Brookings Institute…go to foreign policy…listen to Charlie Rose…the Washington Post. You don’t even have more than the occasional gentiles, let alone Palestinians or other Muslims who might be sympathetic voices.
    This is just another article among articles and must be pointed out.

    The last line about “American Innocence” is apt since, like the ethnic cleansing of Natives here, we are supporting and participating the the cleansing of the Palestinians….

    “this innocence of the American is not a natural innocence, that innocence which is prior to experience; rather, this innocence is gained only through an intense suppression of the deeper and more subtle dimension of American experience.”

  8. Kay24
    March 14, 2015, 10:44 am

    According to this article, the Israeli election is a referendum on Netanyahu. No wonder he keeps throwing little tantrums and accusing other nations of “conspiracies”.

    “JERUSALEM (AP) — Deeply divided and foul of mood, Israelis are headed toward what seems like a referendum on their long-serving, silver-tongued prime minister, the hard-line Benjamin Netanyahu.

    But with so many of them having despaired of peace talks with the Palestinians, the focus is mostly on Netanyahu’s personality, his expense scandals and the soaring cost of living.

    And as no candidate is likely to win big in the wild jumble of Israel’s political landscape, the outcome of the March 17 election could well be a joint government between Netanyahu and his moderate challenger Isaac Herzog. It’s an irony, because the animosities are overwhelming.”


  9. Krendall Mist
    Krendall Mist
    March 14, 2015, 11:01 am

    Zionism loves debate about the “settlements.” Their condemnation defines the “progressive” agenda–leaving untouched nominal “Israel”, whose presumed legitimacy exists beyond question. But “Israel,” of course, is the root settlement. Whining about “bias” in corporate media reporting on the “settlements” accomplishes nothing but perpetuation of the fundamental bias of the legitimacy of the Jewish state.

  10. March 14, 2015, 3:24 pm

    ‘He probably did more than “irk” the Palestinians who lost their land, but we won’t learn it from this article. ‘

    Good catch.

    I remember an article in the Times, winners and losers from the canceled summit between Obama and Putin. (The White House says it canceled the summit because the two leaders had nothing in common; i.e., the reason we used to hold summits is now the reason we cancel them.)

    In the piece it said Putin was one of the losers because it “deprived him of an opportunity on the world stage,” and went on a few sentences more in that vein, and I heard only the faintest of bells going off.

    Then, someone in a comment, said: “Deprived Putin of an opportunity on the world stage”??? He’s the president of Russia!!

    And I thought: oh yeah. I find so many other sentences in the Times so much more objectionable that I almost missed that. The Times was trying to make it seem as if a gymnastics troupe had their visit to the White House canceled because the president had a tummy ache. I think the president still gets tummy aches.

    I might be on to something. (The last president not to get tummy-aches? Carter?)

  11. Pamela Olson
    Pamela Olson
    March 15, 2015, 11:16 pm

    There’s also a HUGE inaccuracy right at the beginning of the NYT article, saying there are only 350,000 settlers in the West Bank.


    Later they add this little (buried) caveat: “In addition, there are another 300,000 Israelis living in parts of Jerusalem that Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 war and later annexed in a move most of the world considers illegal.”

    The NYT ALWAYS gives these phony numbers as if the East Jerusalem settlers aren’t settlers, or are barely settlers. It drives me up the wall. Legally, they have EXACTLY the same (lack of) leg to stand on as all the other settlements. They should just say 650,000 settlers and quit trying to whitewash it.

    Not holding my breath, sadly…

  12. Elisabeth
    March 16, 2015, 5:34 am

    The contrast between the comments that the readers picked and the ones that NYT picked is telling: The first are all very critical of Israel, while the NYT picks contain a considerable number of strongly pro-Israel comments

    • seafoid
      March 16, 2015, 7:50 pm

      Israel needs media gatekeepers – when it doesn’t have them ie on social media the memes collapse

  13. just
    March 16, 2015, 5:19 pm


    via Max B’s twitter:

    “Likely because @Rudoren proved incapable of covering Palestine, NY Times signs up @diaahadid. A welcome move IMO. …”


    They heard you, James et al!

  14. just
    March 16, 2015, 6:28 pm

    Contact HBO. If they don’t listen, boycott it!

    “HBO is turning “My Promised Land,” Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit’s New York Times best-seller about Israel, into a television documentary.

    “The great hope is that the HBO documentary ‘My Promised Land’ will be able to open people’s minds and hearts to realize once again that, with all its flaws and problems, Israel is a man-made miracle and an astonishing human endeavor,” said Shavit
    HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler told the audience Monday at Keshet Media’s third annual INTV conference of global television executives that as soon as he read “My Promised Land,” he wanted it for HBO, Variety reported.

    “When I first approached Ari I told him that I’ve waited my whole adult life to find this book,” Variety quoted Plepler as saying at the Jerusalem conference. “And I thought, my goodness, what a privilege, to capture the essential truths of this book and to make a film that could reach millions of people not only in Israel and the U.S., but all over the world.””


    • seafoid
      March 16, 2015, 7:41 pm

      Doug Stanhope has a line in this monologue about the bots knocking hasbara out of the Shoah as long as the history channel is in operation . Shavit on HBO would be in a similar vein.

      • just
        March 16, 2015, 8:03 pm

        That is a new one for me… hadn’t seen it before, seafoid.


    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      March 16, 2015, 9:56 pm

      “Israel is a man-made miracle and an astonishing human endeavor,” said Shavit”

      Where else could a man have discovered the life-affirming qualities of sex in public toilets.

  15. seafoid
    March 16, 2015, 7:43 pm

    “They warn that a peace agreement might eventually pose “the challenge of someday uprooting Israelis, who are now raising a second and third generation in contested areas.” –

    Better not to do anything until some iteration of ISIS turns up and cuts the Gordian knot. Right, Israel ?

  16. seafoid
    March 16, 2015, 8:25 pm

    The NYT is supposed to be the paper of record, right ?
    Take it away , Mahmoud Darwish

    Record! I am an Arab
    And my identity card is number fifty thousand
    I have eight children
    And the ninth is coming after a summer
    Will you be angry?

    I am an Arab
    Employed with fellow workers at a quarry
    I have eight children
    I get them bread
    Garments and books from the rocks..
    I do not supplicate charity at your doors
    Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber
    So will you be angry?

    Record! I am an Arab
    I have a name without a title
    Patient in a country
    Where people are enraged
    My roots
    Were entrenched before the birth of time
    And before the opening of the eras
    Before the pines, and the olive trees
    And before the grass grew
    My father.. descends from the family of the plow
    Not from a privileged class
    And my grandfather..was a farmer
    Neither well-bred, nor well-born!
    Teaches me the pride of the sun
    Before teaching me how to read
    And my house is like a watchman’s hut
    Made of branches and cane
    Are you satisfied with my status?
    I have a name without a title!

    Record! I am an Arab
    You have stolen the orchards of my ancestors
    And the land which I cultivated
    Along with my children
    And you left nothing for us
    Except for these rocks..
    So will the State take them
    As it has been said?! Therefore!
    Record on the top of the first page:
    I do not hate people
    Nor do I encroach
    But if I become hungry
    The usurper’s flesh will be my food
    Beware.. Beware..
    Of my hunger
    And my anger! –

    • just
      March 16, 2015, 8:39 pm

      Thanks, seafoid.

      “Had it not been for his untimely death, March 13th 2015 would have marked Mahmoud Darwish’s 74th birthday although even after his death his work and vision remain alive in many Palestinians today. In al-Birwa Park in Ramallah, the museum stands as a small but significant tribute to a man whose life work was devoted to the struggle for Palestinian rights. Inscribed at the monument alongside his tomb are the words ‘From Palestine to Mahmoud Darwish’.”

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