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Saudi and Israeli denials of human rights atrocities carry different weight in the ‘NYT’

Middle East
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Today there is a tiny paragraph in the New York Times story on the resignation by the United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian territories, saying Israel gave him no access to the West Bank and Gaza.

“I took up this mandate with the understanding that Israel would grant me access, as an impartial and objective observer,” Mr. [Makarim] Wibisono said in a statement, adding that he had made repeated written and verbal requests for access.

The NYT balances this with three paragraphs of Israeli accusations of bias by the council. They have to know this is a cliche and people who never visit the HRC website won’t know how much work they do on other countries.

But what is really fascinating is seeing the comparative honesty about Saudi Arabia and its violations and how the news stories blend with the editorials and the op Ed pieces. Nothing remotely like this on Israel. The stories are a little too sympathetic to the US government. But there was a great article on how Saudi Arabia has killed 2700 civilians in Yemen and bombed schools and hospitals with American help back on December 23 and no pretense that Saudi denials have any weight. In fact, the official Saudi line wasn’t even quoted, beyond this glancing reference:

In an unusual gesture, Saudi Arabia promised to set up a fact-finding committee to determine what happened [in the bombing of a Doctors Without Borders facility in the city of Taiz], but it also warned aid agencies to stay away from areas controlled by the Houthi rebels.

The Saudi lobby has a lot of power, but they don’t suppress criticism with anything like the success of Israel’s. The Saudis are the Other; and no amount of lobbying quite suppresses that. The Israelis are seen as like us.

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2 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    January 5, 2016, 4:26 pm

    Are we (USA’s MSM) any better on reporting on USA H/R violations (police killings come to mind, as do ill-treatment of prisoners and undoc’d immigrants).

  2. amigo
    January 7, 2016, 8:47 am

    Slightly off topic.

    Israeli Knesset member claims Jews should not be accused of terrorism!!!!.

    “‘No Such Thing as Jewish Terror’ and More From the Poster Boy of Israel’s Far Right

    Lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich wants Israel to annex the West Bank, calls gays ‘abnormal’ and thinks the burning to death of a Palestinian family was not a terror attack because it was done by Jews. ”
    read more:

    He goes on to say !!.

    ” But still, as Smotrich charged in the Channel 2 interview, none of these Jewish murder suspects or wedding dancers should be called terrorists or terror supporters. Rather, he prefers to call them “well-intentioned youngsters” gone astray, unable to “overcome their disappointment” with the realities in Israel.

    “They are on the very fringe,” he stresses, but then adds: “Like many of us, they are disappointed. The difference is that they are impatient and can’t deal with complexities … It takes a lot of patience not to lose one’s mind here.”

    Well , if that isn,t the very essence of chutzpah, I do not know what is.

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