The other day the The New York Times published a favorable review of Ben Ehrenreich’s important new book on how Palestinian resistance is an inevitable response to occupation, but that turns out to be tokenism. Today the newspaper reverts to form, piping hasbara to Americans, in this case publishing an impossible-to parody valentine to Israelis for their tough attitudes and policies when it comes to Palestinian “enemies,” titled, “To France from Israel: Lessons on Living with Terror,” by Isabel Kershner and James Glanz.
The article is filled with righteous advice from Israelis about how to stop amorphous terrorism.
In Israel, ordinary citizens, security officials and experts feel they have seen it all and say they have adapted to a perennial, if ever-changing, threat. They speak of constantly staying alert, exercising caution and growing accustomed to what some may find to be intrusive levels of security, but essentially carrying on…
The bias of the article is not far removed from the vicious Israeli propaganda that Dan Cohen spotted, above. There are a number of lectures about what France is doing wrong, and about wicked Palestinian “enemies”:
Hundreds of armed civilian guards have been deployed to protect public transportation in Jerusalem in recent months amid the wave of attacks, which have been glorified by some Palestinians on social media. The guards stand at bus and light-rail stops, and hop on and off buses along main routes, with the same powers to search and arrest as the police.
Israel has also invested hugely in intelligence, its tactics evolving as its enemies change theirs…
That the attack occurred at a mass gathering for Bastille Day, France’s national holiday, had Israelis shaking their heads. Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, said that to secure a major event like Independence Day celebrations, when tens of thousands of people gather along the Tel Aviv seafront to watch an air and naval display, officers gather intelligence for weeks beforehand, and erect a 360-degree enclosure of the area, with layers of security around the perimeter.
There is of course no mention of Israeli occupation (besides a glancing reference to occupied Hebron) or of Palestinian dispossession. No indication to the reader that Israel established its state on Palestinian land and forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to abandon their homes; and that this is the root of the conflict, and only a political solution, not more armed civilian guards, will resolve that. As Donald has pointed out before, failing to convey anything about the Palestinian experience that has produced violent resistance is a form of racist denial.
Does the Times really think that there is anything admirable about Israel’s response to terror attacks? It’s morally clueless, like interviewing avowed white racists about what to do about attacks on police without ever mentioning their racism.