The below linked article in the 2 October 2010 edition of the New York Times [Attachment 1] is a good example of the pro-Israeli bias in the US mainstream media when it comes to portraying Israel’s relations with the Palestinians.
Note the paragraph I marked in bold which says unequivocally that “Israel halted most settlement construction for 10 months last November …” This statement is clearly central to the reader’s understanding of the questions of whether or not Israel has been negotiating with good will and who is responsible for the crisis in the peace talks. It is also outrageously wrong, and that crucial fact was known at least five days before it was written. That this is indisputably true can be seen in Attachment 2 beneath it, a 28 September 2010 report in Ha’aretz, perhaps Israel’s most prestigious newpaper — ironically, Ha’aretz is often referred as the New York Times of Israel. Ha’aretz tells the reader that the Israeli government’s own official statistics show that the settlement freeze was barely a slowdown.
There is no way the author of the NYT report, Ethan Bonner, the senior New York Times reporter based in Israel, could have been unaware of the Ha’aretz report, and his (or his editor’s) countenancing such an unequivocal statement, without at least a caveat, can only be construed to be a deliberate attempt to mislead the reader with respect to the nature of the settlement freeze, and by extension, the good will in Israel’s negotiating stance vis a vis that of the Palestinians. His biased outlook becomes transparently clear when one compares the tone and context to the two reports.
To those readers, who think I am nitpicking, I would urge them to think about the wisdom embodied in the following two quotes: The first is by James Madison, the father of the US Constitution, describing the importance of popular information to effective functioning of a representative democracy. The second is Edward Gibbon’s assessment of how ignorance and fanaticism sapped the cognitive faculties of the Roman peoople:
“A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” – James Madison, from a letter to W.T. Barry, August 4, 1822
”Their credulity debased and vitiated the faculties of the mind: they corrupted the evidence of history; and superstition gradually extinguished the hostile light of philosophy and science.” – Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
NEW YORK TIMES DECEPTION AND DECEIT
October 2, 2010
By ETHAN BRONNER, New York Times, 2 October 2010
RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian leadership said Saturday that four-week-old direct talks with Israel should be suspended if Jewish settlement construction resumed in the West Bank. It called on the international community to pressure Israel to stop the building but withheld a final decision on the talks until an Arab League meeting on Friday.
HA’ARETZ CLARITY AND INTEGRITY
What took place in the past few months is, in the best case scenario, not more than a negligible decrease in the number of housing units that were built in settlements.
The official statistics supplied by the Central Bureau of Statistics describe the story behind the 10-month construction moratorium in the West Bank. The story can be called many things but “freeze” is certainly not one of them. What took place in the past few months is, in the best case scenario, not more than a negligible decrease in the number of housing units that were built in settlements.
Phi Beta Iota: Apart from facts in isolation, context matters. The Israeli settlements are unsustainabile in relation to available water and the continuing atrocities against the Palestinian people on their own land is an ongoing crime against humanity that is easily, in today’s context, as terrible as the Holocaust was in Hitler’s time. None of this has entered the human consciousness of the US public because their leaders lack integrity, as do the corporate media led by the New York Times.