NY Times Blind to Palestinian Opposition

Leo Rennert
The New York Times, in its April 26 edition, runs an article by Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner about a small group of ultra-right-wing Israelis staging a protest march in Jerusalem against a two-state solution that might re-divide Israel's capital ("March on East Jerusalem Stirs Anger as Envoy Visits -- Right-Wing Israelis Protest New Peace Effort" page A9).

Unfortunately, the article -- by focusing entirely on opposition by far-right Israelis to peace talks -- presents only a half-reality.  It glaringly leaves out the other half -- that a more appreciable segment of Palestinians is unalterably opposed to ceding any part of the Holy Land to Jewish sovereignty.

It just so happened that during the same news cycle eight Palestinian parties, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, met in Damascus and warned Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas not to participate in U.S.-mediated peace talks.  Why?  Because their objective is a one-state solution -- from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea -- under Arab rule.  Their aim is to swallow all of Israel.

Yet, Kershner's piece makes absolutely no mention of any Palestinian objections to U.S. envoy George Mitchell's attempts to resurrect long-stalled peace talks. In her telling, only Israelis object.

Had she instead taken a look at BOTH the Israeli and Palestinian political landscapes, she would have found that a far bigger number of Palestinian factions is dead set against peace talks than is evident on the Israeli side.

In Israel, there is a ruling coalition under Prime Minister Netanyahu, including several right-wing parties, that's eager to proceed with U.S. mediated negotiations.  There is only one Israeli political party -- National Union -- that opposes any conceivable territorial compromise, and it's outside the government.

In contrast, a badly fractured Palestinian polity includes EIGHT political groups opposed to peace negotiations.  And among them is Hamas, which won the most recent Palestinian parliamentary elections and rules over 1 million Palestinians in Gaza.

Yet, the New York Times devotes a six-column article to anti-peace talk protests by a small group of far-rightist Israelis, but totally ignores far bigger obstacles on the Palestinian side.
The New York Times, in its April 26 edition, runs an article by Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner about a small group of ultra-right-wing Israelis staging a protest march in Jerusalem against a two-state solution that might re-divide Israel's capital ("March on East Jerusalem Stirs Anger as Envoy Visits -- Right-Wing Israelis Protest New Peace Effort" page A9).

Unfortunately, the article -- by focusing entirely on opposition by far-right Israelis to peace talks -- presents only a half-reality.  It glaringly leaves out the other half -- that a more appreciable segment of Palestinians is unalterably opposed to ceding any part of the Holy Land to Jewish sovereignty.

It just so happened that during the same news cycle eight Palestinian parties, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, met in Damascus and warned Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas not to participate in U.S.-mediated peace talks.  Why?  Because their objective is a one-state solution -- from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea -- under Arab rule.  Their aim is to swallow all of Israel.

Yet, Kershner's piece makes absolutely no mention of any Palestinian objections to U.S. envoy George Mitchell's attempts to resurrect long-stalled peace talks. In her telling, only Israelis object.

Had she instead taken a look at BOTH the Israeli and Palestinian political landscapes, she would have found that a far bigger number of Palestinian factions is dead set against peace talks than is evident on the Israeli side.

In Israel, there is a ruling coalition under Prime Minister Netanyahu, including several right-wing parties, that's eager to proceed with U.S. mediated negotiations.  There is only one Israeli political party -- National Union -- that opposes any conceivable territorial compromise, and it's outside the government.

In contrast, a badly fractured Palestinian polity includes EIGHT political groups opposed to peace negotiations.  And among them is Hamas, which won the most recent Palestinian parliamentary elections and rules over 1 million Palestinians in Gaza.

Yet, the New York Times devotes a six-column article to anti-peace talk protests by a small group of far-rightist Israelis, but totally ignores far bigger obstacles on the Palestinian side.