Monday, November 1, 2010

Media Coverage of U.S.-Israel-Palestinians: Who Gets It, Who Doesn't

By Barry Rubin

Gets it. The Washington Post:

“Egypt's backsliding is not Mr. Obama's fault. But Mr. Mubarak's actions reflect a common calculation across the Middle East: that this U.S. president, unlike his predecessor, is not particularly interested in democratic change. Mr. Obama has exhibited passion on the subject of Israel's West Bank settlements; he and his top aides have publicly pressured, and sometimes castigated, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. If the president is similarly troubled by Mr. Mubarak's defiance, he has yet to show it.”

Doesn’t get it. The New York Times:

"We think the burden is on Mr. Netanyahu to get things moving again. The settlements are illegal under international law, and resuming the moratorium, which expired on Sept. 26, will in no way harm Israel's national interest. But Mr. Abbas also has to recognize that the issue has become a distraction from the main goal of a broader peace deal. The two leaders must not squander this chance."

Right [sarcasm]. Israel should make still another unilateral concessions because you’ve forgotten all the unilateral concessions it has made in the past at your insistence, when it got shafted, and then you began the cycle over again.

And there's also the usual phony bilateralism: Both sides are wrong, the argument runs, but Israel has to do something material and the Palestinians don’t.

But why is there a “burden” on Israel’s prime minister when supposedly it is the other side that is suffering so greatly and is so unhappy with the status quo. Isn’t it up to the side that most (supposedly) wants and needs change to do something to bring it about?

Are you really so stupid to think that PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is just foolishly falling for a distraction? Or maybe getting “a broader peace deal” is not his “main goal.” Did that ever occur to you? Will it ever occur to you?

Of course they will “squander” this chance. Maybe you, and a lot of other conventional wisdom viewpoints on the Middle East, should start thinking about why you are always wrong. It shows how blindly foolish the New York Times is that the headline for this misguided editorials is: "Enough Game-Playing." Who's playing games with other people's lives?

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