Saturday, October 13, 2007

Newspaper Bias (or Ignorance) Masquerading as Fact

I must be a masochist to continue to read the Boston Globe.

Here’s the first bit of so-called “news’ I read this morning:

“Abbas rules out talk with Hamas – Contact would kill Israeli peace bid”

So Abbas will not talk with Hamas unless it gives up control of the Gaza Strip. Why would he talk to Hamas? But wait a minute!! Wasn’t Hamas the popular choice of the Palestinians in the democratic election held on January 25, 2006? Didn’t Hamas win 74 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) to the ruling Fatah’s 45 seats? Did I just say democratic election? I thought that they were fighting against the government of Israel because they hate its freedoms and its democracy. And didn’t the government of Israel arrest members of Hamas duly elected to the PLC? And didn’t Israel cut off, and the “Quartet” threaten to cut off, funds to the Palestinian authority after the election won by Hamas?

And didn’t Abbas illegally dissolve the unity government on June 14, 2007 and dismiss the Palestinian Minister Ismail Haniya, a member of Hamas and illegally establish himself (Abbas) as ruler over Gaza and the West Bank? And didn’t the spokesman for Hamas state that Abbas had no legal right to do that and that therefore Haniya remained the head of the government resulting in a new Gaza Strip government?

So Hamas wins a majority of the seats in the PLC and enough pressure is brought by outside forces to prevent it from taking power and then Hamas takes control over the Gaza Strip but not the West Bank which it would have had legislative control over had democracy been allowed n the Occupied Territories?

And Abbas, who staged a coup d’(if-we-could-only-have-an)etat and has no legitimate authority among the Palestinians, rules out talks with Hamas.

How do you say “Chutzbah” in Palestinian?

And the media actually doesn’t realize that Abbas is only a figment of deluded imagination and a creation of the governments of the United States and Israel.

The reporters might have provided some background to support an assertion that the elected representative of the Palestinian people is Hamas and the party that should be at the negotiating table is Hamas.

Abbas says that the reason that he would not talk with Hamas because “dialogue with the Islamists could torpedo a peace deal with the Jewish state.”

Did Abbas just fall down the rabbit hole and have a conversation with the Mad Hatter?

That brings me to the next sad excuse for a “news” article:

“Two sides appear far apart in Mideast peace talks – Palestinians, Israelis look to US to bridge gap”

The two sides have reached an impasse and the “Israelis look to US to bridge gap”!!


The Government of Israel wants to have the product of the negotiations be something which might look like this: “Wow, wasn’t that great to get together to have peace talks? There is nothing like sharing the delicious crabcakes in Maryland to generate visions of peace. The Government of Israel strives for peace and sincerely looks forward to getting together again to seek peace during the seventh year of the presidency of the next peace-loving President of the United States who undoubtedly will be looking to end her presidency on a high note by bringing about peace between the terrorists of Palestine and the Government of Israel (which will still be desperately searching for a partner for peace as well as the killer of Nicole Brown Simpson.)”

The Palestinians, of course, do want to find a permanent resolution to the conflict that would result in the establishment of a viable Palestinian state.

And they call that an impasse!! A gap??

The Palestinians are urgently seeking a solution and the Israelis are doing what – offering what, proposing what?

The article states that the Bush administration is “leery to take an active role in mediating the core issues of the conflict: the borders of a new Palestinian state, what part of Jerusalem it will include, and whether any of the millions of Palestinian refugees would be allowed to return to Israel.”


Why do the reporters not follow up on this and provide factual background that would point out the implications of this position of the Bush administration?

The reporters might have noted that the United States has all the leverage needed to pressure the government of Israel to end the conflict and reach a just peace agreement.

Who (unless their materials have been provided to them by The Israel Lobby) would believe that there is any reason for the Bush administration not bringing pressure on the government of Israel other than that the United States supports whatever the Government of Israel wants to do and that neither government wants to grant the Palestinians a viable state.

The reporters might have read somewhere that for forty years the Government of Israel has maintained the illegal occupation and has illegally built settlement after settlement in the West Bank and that its goal is to make the West Bank part of Israel without Palestinian interference and that it has never made a good faith offer which would result in a contiguous viable independent Palestinian state.

The reporters might have supplied facts indicating that if there is an impasse, it is because the government of Israel is not a good faith participant in these negotiations and that the Palestinians do not, in fact, have a “partner for peace”

The reporters, while pointing out that the Bush administration has prodded the parties to negotiate “for the first time in nearly seven years”, might have noted the minimal amount of financial support and resources that the Bush administration has provided to impoverished Palestinians and the number of occasions in which the Bush administration has not come to the aid of the Palestinians when they have been attacked by the government of Israel (such as the bombing of the power plant in Gaza).

The reporters might have pointed out that during those seven years of unforgivable inaction the Bush administration has given the government of Israel everything it could want – money (averaging 2 billion dollars a year, most of it for military assistance), autonomy and no serious objection to whatever it does to oppress the Palestinians (whether in Gaza, the West Bank, or Lebanon).

The reporters might have helped the readers conclude that the United States is far from being a neutral party.

The reporters might have helped the readers conclude that the Government of Israel has absolutely no need or reason at this time to look for help from the US to “bridge the gap”.

The reporters might have compiled a list of the categories of international human rights laws that have been violated by the government of Israel in its treatment of the Palestinians and described the desperate situation of the Palestinians.

The reporters might have helped the readers conclude that it is the Palestinians who urgently need the United States to demand that the Government of Israel actively work on efforts to bring about a “just” peace.

“Israel said that talks between Hamas and Fatah could “ruin efforts” ahead of a US-sponsored conference on Palestinian statehood.”

Why do I not think that the Boston Globe Editorial Board will respond with this "Memo to the Government of Israel: There is nothing to 'ruin' when you are not making an 'effort'?

Bias or Ignorance? You decide.


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