Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.”
Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the response of the foreign editor, Joseph Kahn, and then gave her own take.
First, in pertinent part, the letter from one David L. Mandell of Sacramento:
As a veteran copy editor, I know that even the best headline writers sometimes miss the point of a story. But such sloppiness can’t be blamed for Tuesday’s report “Abbas Takes Defiant Step, and Mideast Talks Falter.” Only four paragraphs down do we read that the Palestinian president’s step followed Israel’s reneging on an unambiguous promise to release a fourth batch of long-serving prisoners.
Foreign editor Mr. Kahn said this story and others about the Israeli-Palestinian talks “have been comprehensive and fair” but conceded: “In retrospect we might have mentioned the broader reasons the talks have stalled in the headline and the first couple of paragraphs.”
Ms. Sullivan weighed in. “My take: The readers have a point. The combination of headline and initial paragraphs failed to appropriately convey the full scope of the situation.”
Ironically, by acknowledging that the broader details of a story should always be conveyed in the headline and opening paragraphs, the Times validated, albeit unwittingly, our longstanding complaint that one of the ways the paper skews its coverage of the Middle East is by routinely placing Israel’s side of an issue well into an article, with the Palestinian position appearing up front.
Even so, the Times has done it again. The complaining readers misread the news story and misstated the facts. And both the foreign and public editor simply adopted that misstatement and misreading.
Actually, it was not until the fifth paragraph that Israel’s position was given: “Israeli officials say they are not bound by their pledge [to release the prisoners to induce the Palestinians to continue with the negotiations] because no meaningful negotiations have taken place since November.”
In the preceding paragraph, though, it was reported:
Mr. Abbas, who had vowed not to seek membership in international bodies until the April 29 expiration of the talks that Mr. Kerry started last summer, said he was taking this course because Israel had failed to release a fourth batch of long serving Palestinian prisoners by the end of March, as promised.
But even more important, the second and third paragraphs said this:
Mr. Abbas’s actions, which appeared to catch American and Israeli officials by surprise, prompted Secretary of State John Kerry to cancel a planned return to the region on Wednesday, in which he had expected to complete an agreement extending negotiations through 2015.
In that emerging deal, the United States would release an American convicted of spying for Israel more than 25 years ago, while Israel would free hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and slow down construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
We can’t say we were thrilled with the idea of releasing hundreds of terrorists, but the point is that the proposed deal in the Times story was scotched by Mr. Abbas’s resort to the UN as an end-run around negotiations and was, in fact, the breaking news of the day.
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With $2 billion on hand the Islamic State is an extremely well-funded terrorist group that may pose a major international crisis for the U.S. and the world. Learn about their rise to power and the toll they’ve taken thus far.
In the recent Gaza war and its aftermath, we saw a totally illogical reaction from the world.
A., a teacher: “I do not know a single Gazan who is pro-Hamas at the moment, except for those on its payroll.”
Like our fabled character, Don Quixote, President Obama has constantly spawned his own reality.
Boroujerdi was informed that “the pressures and tortures will increase until he has been destroyed.”
Fatah: Hamas stole relief aid for Gaza and distributed it amongst its followers in mosques.
Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?
Washington remains ignorant of the need to dismantle alliances with various Muslim countries.
Defeating IS requires bombing its strongholds and recognizing the violent nature of Islam.
Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority cannot even agree to move their clocks back on the same day.
Shemita is about relating to each other by temporarily eliminating gaps of wealth power & status
David transcended adversity to become a leader; Who are we to make excuses for a lack of greatness?
sympathy: Feeling sorrow or pity for another’s tribulations; Empathy:sharing an emotional experience
Particularly galling was the complaint by one Jo Anne Simon about Judge Dear’s supposed “mobilizing on behalf of apartheid and his insensitivity to minority communities.”
A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.
The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.
Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.
His many articles on education showed great insight into the problems facing Jewish teachers in a changing student environment.
We cannot forget Secretary Kerry’s obsessive and relentless focus on the Middle East peace process.
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