WHY IS THE NEW YORK TIMES SO AFRAID OF ISRAEL?

I wonder if the resort to timid and euphemistic language is a form of reflexive self-censorship to avoid the bullying wrath of the anti-Palestinian lobby that hounds any journalist too willing to state unadulterated facts.
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Why is New York Times reporting on Israeli settlements so timid?

 Ali Abunimah 
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Israeli settlements under construction near Jerusalem, occupied West Bank.

 (Issam Rimawi / APA images)

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The New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren reported today on the EU decision to ban cooperation or financing agreements with Israel unless they explicitly exclude Israeli settler institutions in the occupied West Bank.

Rudoren quoted several Israeli ministers including:

Zeev Elkin, the deputy foreign minister, [who] said that it was inappropriate for one side to stipulate terms of bilateral agreements in advance, and that the move would “impede Israeli organizations as a whole, and not only in the territories.”

And Uri Ariel,

the pro-settlement housing minister, [who] went further, saying the move was racist and “reminiscent of boycotts of the Jews in Europe over 66 years ago.”

Rudoren failed to mention the fact that Elkin is himself a proud settler, squatting on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank.

While she called Ariel “pro-settlement,” she also omitted to mention that Ariel too is a settler who has personally helped establish several illegal colonies on occupied Palestinian land.

(For some quotes from Ariel, Elkin and other Israeli ministers that reveal the extremism behind their support for the settlements, see this new fact sheet from the Institute for Middle East Understanding).

Obscuring illegality of settlements

These omissions weren’t the only problems with Rudoren’s report. She writes that the EU announcement reflects “the increasing tension between Israel and Europe over Jewish settlements in the West Bank that world leaders have long considered illegal.”

While this is a little better than we might have seen from the Times in the past, why can’t Rudoren just say clearly that the settlements have been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice, the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly and almost every government in the world, repeatedly and consistently, for decades?

It is only Israel that disputes this. Rudoren could even cite, say, Security Council resolution 465, which declared that:

all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War …

In other words, the settlements aren’t just illegal, they are war crimes. And those who build them are war criminals.

I wonder if the resort to timid and euphemistic language is a form of reflexive self-censorship to avoid the bullying wrath of the anti-Palestinian lobby that hounds any journalist too willing to state unadulterated facts.

Excluding Palestinian voices

What does the EU measure really mean? It is very limited – as Rudoren notes, it binds only the EU’s central executive, and not its 28 member states individually.

It was striking that the only Palestinian voice Rudoren included was a brief quote fromHanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, headed by Mahmoud Abbas. Ashrawi lauded the measure as “a qualitative shift that will have a positive impact on the chances of peace.”

But is it really anything substantively new? Does it really advance Palestinian rights? Is it the first step toward more vigorous EU action, or is it the culmination of decades of European talk amounting to very little action? Is it a canny move to head off demands for more effective measures, such as banning EU trade with settlements?

Those questions are likely to be debated in coming weeks, especially by Palestinians. But Rudoren was really only interested in what Israelis think. In addition to Israeli ministers Elkin and Levy, she quoted:

Surely Rudoren could find some additional Palestinian voices if she tried.

Written FOR

6 Comments

  1. DDearborn said,

    July 18, 2013 at 13:46

    Hmmm

    The Times isn’t afraid of Israel. The Times is owned and run by fantical Zionists who consider it an honor to work for Israel. The Times has been a 100% supporter of Israel and Americans who support Israel since Israel’s illegal creation.

  2. July 18, 2013 at 15:16

    The NYT has been the the “house organ” for International Jewry for more than 125 years . The lede is really a “no brainer.” The NYT is to International Jewry as the L’Osservatore Romano is to the Vatican..

  3. Kit Holz said,

    July 18, 2013 at 19:25

    Does it matter? Who owns this rag? Right!

  4. July 18, 2013 at 22:01

    NEW YORK TIMES AS THE WASHINGTON POST TWIN SISTERS OR BETTER THE TRIPLETS WITH THE JERUSALEM POST ,THE TRIPLETS ARE MOUTHPIECES FOR ZIONISTS.SOME ACLARATIONS IN THIS ARTICLE ARE WORTH READING ABOUT ISRAEL IS AN INTERNAIONAL OUTCAST BECAUSE OF ITS ARTIFICIAL CREATION AND CONTINUED SUBJUGATION,HUMILIATION AND OCCUPATION OF PALESTINIANS.

  5. July 18, 2013 at 22:08

    MY COMMENT WRITTEN ABOVE I LIKE TO SHARE ON MY FACEBOOK,THANKS.

  6. July 20, 2013 at 00:22

    […] WHY IS THE NEW YORK TIMES SO AFRAID OF ISRAEL? […]


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