The de facto hasbara alliance between the New York Times and the Israeli government just made a blunder, revealing complicity and ineptness on both their parts.
Yesterday we jumped on the staggering service that the New York Times had performed for the Israeli government, when the paper published a front-page article saying Israel has solved its water issues — without mentioning that much of that water is taken from Palestinians, whose use of water is highly restricted.
Well, it didn’t take long for the Israeli Embassy to tweet the image above. Mission accomplished! As we observed recently, the Times has evidently made an editorial decision to be a weapon for Israel in the hasbara wars — “hasbara” is Hebrew for propaganda.
And it didn’t take long for the New York Times to tweet an image for the story either: of young men in a pool.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 30, 2015
Just one problem. That pool is not in Israel. It’s in the occupied West Bank, and it’s Palestinian. According to the Times’s own caption on the Uriel Sinai photo in its slideshow:
Palestinians swam in spring water at Ein Mabu’a in the West Bank. Israel, which shares an aquifer with the West Bank, says it provides the Palestinians with more water than it is obliged to under the existing peace accords. The Palestinians say it is not enough and too expensive. A new era of water generosity could help foster relations with the Palestinians and with Jordan.
And just one other problem. In a 2011 report on “Dispossession and Exploitation”, B’Tselem, the highly-respected Israeli human rights organization, describes the spring as an exploited Palestinian site, inside the occupied Ein Prat Nature Reserve.
In August 1967, shortly after its occupation of the West Bank, Israel began to generate income from the nature, tourist, and vacation sites in the northern Dead Sea area, and around Jericho and the Dead Sea shores. Israel does not presently deny Palestinians access to these sites, but few Palestinians visit them…
Since the 1970s, the [Ein Prat] reserve has been managed by the Nature and Parks Authority, which collects an entry fee of NIS 20 for an adult. In 2009, it had 73,340 visitors. The Authority plans to collect an additional fee for access to one of the reserve’s main springs, Ein Fuar (Ein Mabu’a), adjacent to the Allon settlement. The Separation Barrier is planned to be built inside the reserve, on the southern bank of the Fara (Prat) Stream. The plan is now frozen. If implemented, it would irrevocably damage the site’s landscape and ecology
Shouldn’t the New York Times be telling its readers about these stolen resources?