The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The New York Times is certainly no friend of Israel—the only democracy and steadfast ally of the United States in the Middle East. In its news and editorial pages, the NYT subtly and repeated characterizes Israel as an oppressor of the beleaguered Palestinians—a people, the Time claims—that simply want to live in peace. When Israel defends itself from wanton Palestinian terror attacks against civilian targets, the NYT leads the left-wing media in sensationalizing Israel’s defensive attacks. But when the terrorist group Hamas, now a partner of Fatah, launches rockets across the border, when it murders innocent families, when it calls for all its people to pray for the destruction of Israel, the NYT is strangely silent. If the news is reported, it appears under the fold on page 23.

Today, the NYT provides op-ed space for Mahmoud Abbas, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. In what is nothing more than a propaganda piece, Abbas states:
The State of Palestine intends to be a peace-loving nation, committed to human rights, democracy, the rule of law and the principles of the United Nations Charter. Once admitted to the United Nations, our state stands ready to negotiate all core issues of the conflict with Israel. A key focus of negotiations will be reaching a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on Resolution 194, which the General Assembly passed in 1948.

It the stakes weren’t so serious, that statement would actually be funny. The Palestininian authority (Fatah) has given no sign that it “intends” anything of the sort. Its new partner, Hamas, calls for the outright destruction of Israel. Both Hamas and Fatah refuse to even agree that Israel has a right to exist. Abbas blithely avoids any mention of the terrorist atrocities committed by his organization and its new partner, avoids mentioning that the Palestinians have walked away from offered peace deals repeated over the past 50 years, and avoids and admitting that they have offered nothing tangible—absolutely nothing—except broken promises in return for very tangible concessions made by the Israelis (e.g., unilateral land concessions, housing freezes). And UN resolution 194—a 70 year old document that has no bearing in modern times—mandates a return of all “refugees”—a move that would, in itself, destroy Israel (oh wait, that’s exact what the Palestinians want).

Abbas also distorts history suggesting that the “refugees” were forced to flee. In reality, the Arab armies of 1948 were so sure they’d push the infant country of Israel into the sea, that they asked Arab residents to leave, promising that they’d be able to return and take over confiscated Jewish property. When that didn’t happen, the “refugees" were allowed by their Arab brothers to fester in camps that soon became small cities. Their suffering is wholly self-inflicted. And those many "Palestinians" who remained in 1948—they are now third generation Israeli citizens and lead productive lives.

This week President Obama will likely continue to champion the Palestinian cause and pressure Israel into still more tangible concessions, matched by empty Palestinian promises, or more likely, nothing at all. The President cannot accept the hard reality that the Arabs want to see Israel go away. They will stop at nothing—including using the Palestinians—to accomplish that goal, including creating an alternative history. But what is really shocking is that Barack Obama appears to believe the Abbas' distorted history, and defines his policy based on it.