The New York Times is once again serving as a mouthpiece for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. An article today titled “Netanyahu Wants Talks With Palestinians on Settlements, Officials Say” takes seriously an insincere effort to start talks that Netanyahu has made only so as to reduce world pressure.
Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren credits the Israeli view that “the Palestinians are not with us at the table,” and that Netanyahu is being very reasonable.
[H]e could be signaling a new willingness to distinguish between the so-called settlement blocs that many international experts expect to remain in place and the far-flung communities they see as making a Palestinian state impossible — and, potentially, to freeze construction outside the blocs.
Wait a second. Who are these “many international experts” who endorse an idea that boils down to I stole from you and now we’re going to talk about how much of what I stole I’m keeping? Are they paid Mafia ideologists?
And are there many experts — really? Name them. I bet none of them are Palestinians, the people whose land was stolen.
The second offense here is the implicit understanding that there will be land swaps to even things out. If the Times‘s “many international experts” believe that these big settlement blocs are going to become a part of Israel, then they surely have drawn borders for land swaps of Israeli territory. Do they want to give the Palestinians portions of the desert? Do they want to award Palestine sections of the Galilee populated by Israeli Palestinians, transferring those people’s sovereignty (in another violation of international law)?
Or maybe they have something bolder in mind. Maybe those “many international experts” want to give Palestine Jaffa back, or Haifa, and create a corridor to the sea? Maybe they want to speckle Israel with Palestinian territory, the way Palestine is speckled with settlements?
If Rudoren’s “many international experts” really have the solution, the Times needs to show us the maps.