web analytics
April 19, 2015 / 30 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


The Times Gets An Early Start In The Blame-Israel Game

It will be interesting to see whether the Palestinians will gut the new round of negotiations with Israel over the announcement of new Israeli settlement construction –and whether Israel will draw the major share of blame should that happen.

Of course, planning for the negotiations proceeded even though Israel never announced the freeze demanded by the Palestinians as a precondition. On the flip side, Israel did go along with another precondition involving the release of Palestinian prisoners – doubtless under intense pressure from Secretary of State Kerry, who has expended much political capital to get the negotiations started.

In the meantime, an editorial in Tuesday’s New York Times underscores what Israel can expect in the blame department. Titled “Shortsighted Thinking on Israeli Settlements,” the editorial had this to say about the reconvening of talks:

 

There was a certain internal political logic to two announcements made by the Israeli government, just days before Wednesday’s scheduled resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians. Early Monday, the government released a list of 26 Palestinian prisoners to be released Tuesday, most serving sentences for murder and other violent crimes. A few hours before that, the government published bids for the construction of more than 1,000 new housing units in East Jerusalem and existing West Bank settlements – a move apparently designed to mollify right-wingers who would oppose the prisoner release.

This balancing act may have made sense in the narrow world of the Knesset. But, in the broader world beyond Israeli domestic politics, giving the green light to more settlement construction in contested territory is not just untimely but a fresh cause for pessimism about the prospects for successful peace negotiations.

Secretary of State John Kerry has set an ambitious goal of reaching a comprehensive peace settlement within nine months. In any conceivable agreement, at least some West Bank settlements will have to be uprooted. And East Jerusalem is where Palestinians hope to locate the capital of their eventual state.

Why further complicate these already complicated negotiations three days before they start? And why add to the abundant distrust that already divides the two sides after nearly two decades of failed peace efforts?

….Announcing settlement bids now embarrasses Mr. Kerry, who worked very hard to persuade the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, to drop his earlier demand for a settlement freeze. It also unhelpfully embarrasses Mr. Abbas, whose good faith now appears to have been abused and who may now find it harder to sell difficult-but-necessary compromises to his people….

 

The views expressed in that editorial border on, if they don’t actually breach, the obscene. After acknowledging that “most” of the prisoners to be released are “serving sentences for murder and other violent crimes,” the Times speaks of the settlement announcement as “a move apparently designed to mollify right-wingers who would oppose the prisoner release.” Actually, the vast majority of Israelis are opposed to the prisoner release, so the Times is being disingenuous at best in labeling it a right-wing concern.

And to find fault with the Israeli government for engaging in what the Times interprets as some kind of political tradeoff is the height of hypocrisy since in the same editorial the paper expresses concern that Mahmoud Abbas “may now find it harder to sell difficult-but-necessary compromises to his people.” The Times, of course, would never fret about the challenges faced by an Israeli prime minister in trying to “sell difficult-but-necessary compromises to his people.”

Moreover, why is it legitimate for the Palestinians to build in the West Bank but not Israel? Last Sunday the Times ran a story by correspondent Isabel Kershner headlined “Birth of a Palestinian City Is Punctuated by Struggles.” The story was remarkable for the matter-of-fact way it described Palestinian construction, at a site halfway between Jerusalem and Nablus, as “Palestinian flags fluttered from the tractors and cranes, and a huge one flew outside the tasteful sales office, a symbol that was clearly visible from Ateret, a Jewish settlement of 100 families on a nearby hilltop.”

To be sure, Israel is cooperating to some extent with regard to permits and access to water and other utilities, but there is no final agreement on borders for both Israel and the Palestinians and yet only construction by Israel draws international ire.

The release of 26 Palestinian prisoners with blood on their hands (with more waiting in the wings) is a very big deal for Israel as is the issue of a settlement construction freeze, which is tantamount to a declaration that Israel’s claim to the land is suspect. Israelis have paid a frightfully high price in blood and treasure defending themselves against aggressors dedicated to their destruction. Yet they are being told, in effect, that Palestinian demands must drive Israel’s deterrence policy.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Times Gets An Early Start In The Blame-Israel Game”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reviews details of a "bad deal" with Iran.
Netanyahu Warns of Increased Iran Aggression in Middle East
Latest Indepth Stories
Temple Israel Of Boston

“The resentment towards us (Jews/Israelis) was really intense. They clearly hate Zionism & Zionists”

US has no problem with Egypt's bombing hundreds of homes of Gaza civilians but can't stand to see Israel destroy a terrorist's home.

Egypt has been more effective against Gazan smuggling tunnels than Israel’s military operations

Mrs. Golda Katz a"h

She had many names and was many things to many people, but to me she was just Babineni.

ISIS terrorist carries the group's black flag.

Is ISIS in Gaza? “No, but there are ISIS loyalists here..we pray to God they unite under ISIS’ flag”

Rabbi Portal was that great “inspirer,” changing people for the better, enriching the lives of all

Iran knows Obama, Putin, and the Europeans don’t have a Red Line beyond which they will go to war

There is no way to explain the Holocaust. I know survivors who are not on speaking terms with G-d. I know many who are the opposite. I have no right to go there…

When a whole side of your family perishes, friends become the extended family you do not have.

“We stand with Israel because of its values and its greatness and because its such a wonderful ally”

Mr. Obama himself inelegantly cautioned members of the Senate to be careful not to “screw up” the negotiations by seeking to have input into the future of the sanctions regime that has been imposed on Iran.

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

Mitchell Bard is nothing if not prolific. He has written and edited 23 books, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East” and “The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.” Bard, who has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA, is also the executive director of both the […]

Understanding the process described in Dayenu reveals deep relevance for us today.

For Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, the tanks, planes, and uniforms of the IDF were implements of mitzvot

More Articles from Editorial Board

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

He went on to say that the United States would defend Israel if it were “attacked by any state.”

In their zechus may we all come to appreciate that life is a fleeting gift and resolve to spend every precious moment of it as if it were the last.

A worthy idea any way you look at it.

If nothing really changes in the hearts and minds of the Palestinians, is Israel obligated to provide them and its other adversaries launching pads for attacks?

The United States placed enormous pressure on Israel to relinquish its gains, which Prime Minister Ben-Gurion did with great reluctance.

The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.

Former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, writing in the Washington Post on Sunday, provided one of the clearest and most compelling analyses we’ve seen of the importance of the prime minister’s speech.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-times-gets-an-early-start-in-the-blame-israel-game/2013/08/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: