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Seeing ‘tranquillity’ on West Bank, ‘New York Times’ whitewashes the occupation

Today the New York Times reports on the killings of three Israelis at a checkpoint to the occupied territories, committed by a Palestinian who was then killed. The headline in the paper is:

Palestinian Kills 3 Israelis, Shattering Tranquillity at West Bank Crossing.

The definition of “tranquillity” employed by the Times is one-sided; it can only apply to the Israeli point of view. You need only read some of our recent coverage of Palestinian conditions on the West Bank to see that Palestinians don’t lead tranquil lives. Just last week an Israeli occupying commander vowed to disable half the Palestinian youths in a refugee camp, nine Palestinians were injured in an Israeli raid on an occupied village, and several Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces in dawn raids on their homes.

The occupation is only tranquil if you’re the occupier. Peter Feld put it best, in a response to the New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker.

How long can America’s leading newspaper express such open indifference to Palestinian conditions?

Thanks to Ofer Neiman.

James North and Philip Weiss

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11 Responses

  1. JosephA on September 27, 2017, 7:56 pm

    Normally I hate twitter, but it’s moments like these where we realize that truly, the internet is the great equalizer. Bravo!

  2. DaBakr on September 28, 2017, 5:04 am

    Absolute American far left fringe bullshit that palestinians in both the territories and Israel don’t lead long periods of tranquility while other Palestinians in areas where resistance is more active and or violent do not. And some Israeli settlements where both arab and Jews live experience periods of relative tranquility while Israeli settlements where ultra right wing nationalists and orthodox may not, or, may experience calm only by the presence of either IDF troops or pa security to maintain a forced tranquility.

    As usual, MW exaggerates in a more egregious way then the crappy nyt, which he constantly whines about. (Except for the dozen or more very pro-palestian pieces they’ve printed recently) covers. If pw would be honest about the nyt and report that pro israel groups often have equally legitimate complaints about the anti-israel bias of some coverage

    • Misterioso on September 28, 2017, 12:32 pm



      Eminent Jewish Israeli journalist, Bradley Burston, aptly sums up the horrors Israel inflicts on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem:
      “Occupation is Slavery”
      “In the name of occupation, generation after generation of Palestinians have been treated as property. They can be moved at will, shackled at will, tortured at will, have their families separated at will. They can be denied the right to vote, to own property, to meet or speak to family and friends. They can be hounded or even shot dead by their masters, who claim their position by biblical right, and also use them to build and work on the plantations the toilers cannot themselves ever hope to own. The masters dehumanize them, call them by the names of beasts.” (Haaretz, Feb. 26/13)

      The reverend Allan Boesak , 2011: “Israeli apartheid is worse, not in the sense that apartheid was not an absolutely terrifying system in South Africa, but in the ways in which the Israelis have taken the apartheid system and perfected it, so to speak; sharpened it. For instance, we had the Bantustans and we had the Group Areas Act and we had the separate schools and all of that but I don’t think it ever even entered the mind of any apartheid planner to design a town in such a way that there is a physical wall that separates people and that that wall denotes your freedom of movement, your freedom of economic gain, of employment, and at the same time is a tool of intimidation and dehumanisation.”

      Re: The Gaza Strip:

      The International Committee of the Red Cross: “The whole of Gaza’s civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, bans collective punishment of a civilian population.”

      “In practice, Gaza has become a huge, let me be blunt, concentration camp for right now
      1, 800,000 people” – Amira Hass, 2015 correspondent for Haaretz, speaking at the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University.

      • JeffB on September 29, 2017, 4:51 pm


        In the United States the breeding of blacks was handled like the way one handles livestock. In Virginia you had a situation where young women who were kept on the Virginia plantations were kept almost constantly pregnant. Having child after child until they died in childbirth. The men on those plantations worked moderately hard and the elderly provided additional resources. A fairly good living standard except that 80% of your children were taken away at around age 10. So where were the going.

        Well of course with women dying so often in childbirth there was an abundance of of extra men. Most men were sent west. Black males were shipped to clear land in ways that were dangerous. Average life expectancy after being dispatched to a western land clearing was 4 years.

        The rest of the men and some women went to the deep south to do what you picture as slavery tobacco, cotton… Conditions were so harsh that the average number of children was around 1.3 per female. Remember they had no birth control this was stress and hunger. That’s why they imported new kids from Virginia.

        No the occupation is nothing like slavery.

  3. amigo on September 28, 2017, 3:10 pm

    Reading the following article by Ehud (War Criminal )Barak , one would think there are no Palestinians or even an occupation in any part of “The Land of Israel”.

    In this article , the term “occupation ” or Palestinians is never mentioned .

    How tranquil is that.

    “The ceremony in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc marking the 50th anniversary of our return to every part of the Land of Israel, the cradle of our birth as a nation and as the bearer of a universal mission, is anything but a national ceremony. It’s a cheap, crude political attempt by the right to appropriate the achievements of the Six-Day War and love of the land – and to hell with the truth and the facts.”

    read more:

    No paywall using this link.

  4. just on September 28, 2017, 5:08 pm

    This is such S****! :

    “Israel only occupies 2% of West Bank, says US ambassador …

    The US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has made a second dramatic intervention in US Middle East policy, suggesting that only 2% of the West Bank is occupied by Israel and that the international community always intended for Israel to keep some of the land it seized during the six-day war in 1967.

    The comments, made in an interview with the news channel Israeli Walla, came a day after rightwing Israeli politicians celebrated 50 years of Israeli settlement building, prompting condemnation by Palestinian officials.

    “I think the settlements are part of Israel,” Friedman said, in comments that seem at odds with decades of US foreign policy.

    “I think that was always the expectation when resolution 242 was adopted in 1967,” he said, referring to the UN security council resolution made at the end of the six-day war, when Israeli forces occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip. …

    “The idea was that Israel would be entitled to secure borders,” he told Israeli Walla. “The existing borders, the 1967 borders, were viewed by everybody as not secure, so Israel would retain a meaningful portion of the West Bank, and it would return that which it didn’t need for peace and security. So there was always supposed to be some notion of expansion into the West Bank, but not necessarily expansion into the entire West Bank.

    “And I think that’s exactly what Israel has done. I mean, they’re only occupying 2% of the West Bank. There is important nationalistic, historical [and] religious significance to those settlements, and I think the settlers view themselves as Israelis and Israel views the settlers as Israelis.”

    Resolution 242 demanded the “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” while “emphasising the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”.

    While the figure of 2% has been used in the past by Israeli officials to define occupation as the physical footprint of settlement buildings, “area C” – the part of the West Bank under Israeli administrative and security control – accounts for 60% of the West Bank.

    In addition, reports compiled by the UN and NGOs suggest up to 39% of all land in the occupied West Bank is under the control of Jewish municipalities, local authorities and regional councils, with Israel effectively prohibiting Palestinian construction and development there.

    Nabil Shaath, an adviser to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, said: “Sometimes ambassadors can be ignorant and sometimes they can be biased but this is completely ignorant, not just of US policy but the fact that the occupation refers to the whole of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It also shows a complete ignorance of resolution 242, in which there is no reference to settlements.

    “If this is a preview of President Trump’s ultimate deal, I shudder, but we have a situation where decision-making capability and soundness of judgment is totally lacking.”

    Another Palestinian official said: “Israel occupies 100% of the West Bank. If I was a US citizen I would be extremely concerned that my ambassador in Israel is using his position to try to emphasise the importance of settlements to Israel.” …”

    • RoHa on September 28, 2017, 11:07 pm

      “The idea was that Israel would be entitled to secure borders,”

      I love this idea of being entitled to secure borders. I think that Lebanon is entitled to secure borders, and its borders would be much more secure of the highlands of Galilee were part of Lebanon.

      Canada is also entitled to secure borders. I think the Canadian borders should be along the Rio Grande, and then a line running across to the top of Baja California. That would be shorter and thus much more defensible. (There are people living in the area, so if they don’t all accept Canadian rule – though I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t – a bit of transfer of populations might be necessary.)

      • RoHa on September 29, 2017, 9:12 am

        “If”, not “of”.

      • Mooser on September 29, 2017, 1:50 pm

        “Canada is also entitled to secure borders. I think the Canadian borders should be along the Rio Grande”

        We in Washington State were knuckling under to Canadian domination for years. But then we passed I-502, and declared our independence!

      • eljay on September 29, 2017, 2:05 pm

        || RoHa: … Canada is also entitled to secure borders. I think the Canadian borders should be along the Rio Grande, and then a line running across to the top of Baja California. That would be shorter and thus much more defensible. … ||

        Our current border with the U.S. is extremely secure thanks to a continent-spanning glacier topped by a line of igloo outposts manned by reindeer-riding lumberjacks. Eh?

    • RoHa on September 28, 2017, 11:08 pm

      “The existing borders, the 1967 borders, were viewed by everybody as not secure,”

      Nor were they. The Jordanian Army was not able to successfully defend them.

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