The New York Times Editorial Board should be ashamed of their cowardly full-page opinion in today’s paper. In the past, Times editors have occasionally shown some spine on Israel/Palestine, but this editorial is a dishonest embarrassment.
Some of the editorial sounds reasonably harmless, a tedious recitation of the details of the Trump/Netanyahu “peace plan” that will already be familiar to anyone following the story. But the Times mostly refuses to give the “plan’s” features the contempt or even the skepticism they deserve, so overall the implication is that we should at least take it seriously.
The paper explicitly reinforces that view in this sentence:
Yet the conflict has gone on too long, with too much suffering, to dismiss any new initiative out of hand.
Then, the heart of the paper’s argument:
This could well be the “last opportunity” for their own state that the Palestinians will ever have. . . or at least the makings of the best deal they can expect. . . that may not be a just outcome, but it is perhaps becoming the realistic one.
In short, the New York Times Editorial Board is asserting that “Might Makes Right,” although they are too afraid to come right out and say it.
Here’s another example of the editorial’s dishonesty. It notes that the Trump/Netanyahu “plan” includes a proposal that Israel would “cede some land, including possibly transferring an area of central Israel where Arab citizens of Israel live.” The editorial does not judge this proposal, other than noting: “This is a step long favored by Israeli nationalists as a means of sharply reducing the number of Arab citizens of Israel.”
The Times says its Editorial Board has 17 members. Was not a single one of them aware that what Netanyahu and Trump are proposing is called “denationalization,” and that it is regarded as a crime against humanity?
Another way was possible. The Washington Post, which is usually even more pro-Israel than the Times, published its own editorial the other day, and it was far more hard-hitting, refusing to take the Netanyahu/Trump “peace plan” at all seriously. There was no respectful talk about a “new initiative.” The Post ended by stating the obvious: “Mideast peace was an already distant prospect, but these cynical and self-seeking leaders have made it more so.”