The New York Times today has a vicious editorial with a vicious headline: “Mahmoud Abbas Gives Up on Peace.” It blames the Palestinians for the impasse in the endless peace process; because the Palestinian president said yesterday at the United Nations that he wants to dump his responsibilities under Oslo to cooperate with Israel in providing security for the occupation.
The Times lists the causes of the breakdown of the peace process:
suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism, intifadas, rocket barrages, unceasing expansion of settlements, military clashes
So Israel’s unceasing colonization of the land is a mere footnote to Palestinian violence. And what are military clashes? Donald Johnson explains:
When they list crimes, the emotional words are reserved for the Palestinian crimes–“terrorism” “rocket barrages” and they even include “intifadas” as though the act of rebellion itself is a crime. On the Israeli side there is “unceasing expansion of settlements”, which doesn’t convey the violence or the extreme racism involved and then they talk about “military clashes”‘ which is apparently the category one uses for Israeli massacres.
The usual 50-90 rule is in effect–that is, if Israel should get 90 percent of the blame or more, the NYT will split it 50/50 but if the Palestinians ever deserve 50 percent of the blame on a given incident, the NYT will award them 90 percent.
This is why I think the pro-Palestinian side has to stress how much racism (probably unconscious) there is on the pro-Israeli side, rather than allowing the liberal PEP (Progressive Except Palestine) types to focus only on antisemitism.
Matt Duss at Slate is ahead of the Times here:
Abbas is largely correct when he claimed that the Palestinians had met their commitments while Israel has ignored its own
The Times is also ignoring the forthright statement from Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely that the Israeli government will give up no lands on the West Bank:
according to the official policy of the Israeli government, “[Handovers of] Judea and Samaria aren’t even on the list of options we’re offering the Palestinians,” she announced. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while professing to support the creation of a Palestinian state in principle, “never said that the evacuation of Judea and Samaria is an option. He says we learned the lessons of the [2005 Gaza] Disengagement and that the world needs to get used to this idea. That’s one of the messages that I place great emphasis on.”
The world needs to internalize that the West Bank is to remain under Israeli “de facto sovereignty,” Hotovely said. “It’s not a bargaining chip. It does not depend on the Palestinians’ goodwill. It’s the land of our forefathers. We don’t intend to evacuate it.’
Netanyahu’s new ambassador to the U.N. has also said clearly: “God promised the land” to the Jews, we’re not giving that up.
When you read about the quarter-century peace process, you should bear in mind a pointed observation that former ABC Middle East bureau chief Charles Glass makes in his new book.
The Palestinian revolution sold out, making the lives of the people it claimed to represent more wretched in the Israeli-occupied territories and in exile.
The world powers committed to supporting the Palestinians in that sell-out, because they were committed to Israel’s existence. But the world did nothing to provide rights to Palestinians. The political bitterness of the Palestinians, and the great violence they experience, and often resist, are all inevitable consequences. Any people in their situation would be launching “intifadas.”
Thanks to Mitchell Plitnick.