web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

Malley’s Disciples


Media-Monitor-logo

Share Button

Recent news reports identifying Robert Malley as one of Barack Obama’s foreign policy advisers took the Monitor back a few years, to the summer of 2001 when the previously obscure Malley was suddenly popping up all over the place, castigating Israel for the collapse of the Camp David talks in 2000.

In early July of that year, The New York Times ran an op-ed piece by Malley, who had served as a special assistant for Arab-Israeli affairs to President Clinton, that took issue with those who presumed to blame Yasir Arafat for the failure of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations at Camp David and, later, Taba. (One of those blaming Arafat happened to be Malley’s own former boss, Bill Clinton.)

The following month, the liberal-left New York Review of Books featured a lengthy essay on the same theme by Malley and Palestinian academic/activist Hussein Agha.

(In a prime example of left-wing networking, London’s virulently anti-Israel Guardian carried a brief adaptation of the Malley-Agha essay, and Americans for Peace Now immediately gave it prominent placement on its website.)

Jumping aboard the Malley Express that summer was Deborah Sontag, who’d already demonstrated time and again throughout her regrettable stint as New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief that she was nothing if not an absolute sieve through which flowed any pro-Palestinian argument or viewpoint.

In an extraordinarily long July 26 article (which began on the Times’s front page and sprawled across two inside pages) Sontag, basing much of her account on Malley’s assertions, attempted to refute the (in her words) “simplistic narrative” that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s generous offers at Camp David had been rewarded with Palestinian intransigence and hostility.

(That the Times chose to devote the sheer amount of space it did to Sontag’s seemingly endless editorializing disguised as reportage should have been enough to silence the few who still harbored doubts about the newspaper’s political agenda.)

Reaction to the Sontag piece was quick in coming, starting with the obligatory letters to the editor from pro-Palestinian Arabs, pro-Israel Jews, and self-hating Israelis and Jews (an over-used term to be sure, but how else to describe individuals who argue their enemies’ case better and with more passion than the enemies themselves?).

Detailed criticism of Sontag’s article also appeared on the Web and in various magazines and newspapers. One of the best was a withering analysis in The New Republic by Robert Satloff who opened on a sardonic note:

“Imagine The New York Times covering the sinking of the Titanic with only a passing reference to the iceberg. Absurd? Not really. On July 26 the nation’s newspaper of record devoted 5,681 words to a retrospective by Jerusalem bureau chief Deborah Sontag titled ‘Quest for Mideast Peace: How and Why It Failed’ and mentioned the word ‘intifada’ just once.”

In Sontag’s view, wrote Satloff, “the failure of the peace process was due to bad chemistry (Barak chatting up Chelsea Clinton instead of Arafat at Camp David) and bad timing (Bill Clinton waiting too long to offer his own peace plan). In her telling, the Palestinian uprising is just part of the background landscape. But it is not just part of the background landscape. The uprising so transformed the Israeli-Palestinian political context that by the time the two sides were, in Sontag’s telling, agonizingly close, it no longer mattered …. But to discuss the intifada, its roots, and its impact would complicate Sontag’s tale of imminent peace gone awry, so she sets it aside…”

Satloff characterized Sontag’s article as the product of “lazy reporting, errors of omission, questionable shading, and an indifference to the basic fact that the Palestinian decision to wed diplomacy with violence, not American and Israeli miscues, damned the search for peace.”

This was hardly a surprise to regular readers of Sontag’s tendentious dispatches, just as it was no shock when the Israel-based journalist Judy Lash Balint reported earlier that year that at a special taping of Ted Koppel’s “Nightline” in Jerusalem, “several smartly dressed, attractive, young English-speaking Arabs made sure they saved a chair for New York Times bureau chief Deborah Sontag. When Sontag arrived, she was greeted with kisses by one of the young women in the group.”

Sontag’s massive piece of Malley-fueled revisionism was essentially her swan song as the Times’s Jerusalem bureau chief. She’s been writing for The New York Times Magazine since her return to the U.S. For his part, Malley has continued writing opinion pieces from a decidedly pro-Palestinian perspective and now, apparently, has the ear of the Democratic Party’s front-running presidential hopeful.

Share Button

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


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.

No Responses to “Malley’s Disciples”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Indepth Stories
matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

Masked Palestinian Authority Arabs hurl blocks at Israel Police during and after "worship" at Temple Mount mosque. (archive photo)

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

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 […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Bob Grant

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

Camelot-112213

With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.

As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.

George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.

Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.

Shakespeare had it right. The evil that men do indeed lives after them. Case in point: Nahum Goldmann, who served in a variety of Jewish and Zionist organizational leadership posts from the 1920s through the 1970s.

Oscar “Ossie” Schectman, who scored the first basket in the history of the league that evolved into the National Basketball Association, died last week at age 94.

It’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it? And yet it seems like the conversation was never really interrupted, as I’ve enjoyed, in the three and a half months since this column last appeared, many an interesting exchange, via e-mail and phone, with some very intelligent readers.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/malleys-disciples/2008/02/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: