Protecting Mahmoud Abbas

Leo Rennert
The New York Times' and Washington Post's Mideast news coverage appear to have Mahmoud Abbas's back. It would seem so when perusing their July 7 reports on the White House summit between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.  

Both articles  focus on Obama's decision to "reset" U.S. diplomacy with Israel after several months of tensions and discord and on getting both sides to move forward with the peace process.  This was widely expected and duly reported by the Post and the Times before the summit.

However, what was totally unexpected -- and therefore really newsworthy -- is that President Obama, with Netanyahu at his side in the Oval Office, would deliver a sharp rebuke to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority for continuing to foment toxic anti-Israel incitement -- a course not likely to engender necessary trust for upcoming peace talks.  In by far his sharpest criticism of Abbas's leadership, here's what Obama told reporters:

"It is very important that Palestinians not look for excuses for incitement, that they are not engaging in provocative language, that at the international level they are maintaining a constructive tone, as opposed to looking for opportunities to embarrass Israel."

No such sharp words had ever crossed Obama's lips before.  Yet, Post and Times  reporters who covered the summit totally expunged them from their stories .

Obama's mention of Palestinian incitement against Israel at the international level was a clear rebuke of Abbas's failed lobbying campaign against Israel's accession to membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a prestigious club of the world's major economic and financial powers -- as any reporter with a modicum of knowledge of Mideast affairs well knows.  It also was aimed at Abbas's attempts to get pro-Palestinian judges in Europe to issue arrest warrants for senior Israeli officials visiting their countries on the propagandistic pretext that they should be charged with alleged war crimes.

Let Israel fail to conform to international pressures to make unilateral concessions or be criticized by self-styled human rights groups and the Post  and the Times  will make sure that they cover  any and all such developments.  But let Abbas eulogize terrorist killers or countenance vicious anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incitement in PA television programs, publications, textbooks and in sermons by Abbas-appointed clerics, and the Post  and the Times avert their eyes.

A silence that speaks loud and clear about their glaring  anti-Israel bias.
The New York Times' and Washington Post's Mideast news coverage appear to have Mahmoud Abbas's back. It would seem so when perusing their July 7 reports on the White House summit between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.  

Both articles  focus on Obama's decision to "reset" U.S. diplomacy with Israel after several months of tensions and discord and on getting both sides to move forward with the peace process.  This was widely expected and duly reported by the Post and the Times before the summit.

However, what was totally unexpected -- and therefore really newsworthy -- is that President Obama, with Netanyahu at his side in the Oval Office, would deliver a sharp rebuke to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority for continuing to foment toxic anti-Israel incitement -- a course not likely to engender necessary trust for upcoming peace talks.  In by far his sharpest criticism of Abbas's leadership, here's what Obama told reporters:

"It is very important that Palestinians not look for excuses for incitement, that they are not engaging in provocative language, that at the international level they are maintaining a constructive tone, as opposed to looking for opportunities to embarrass Israel."

No such sharp words had ever crossed Obama's lips before.  Yet, Post and Times  reporters who covered the summit totally expunged them from their stories .

Obama's mention of Palestinian incitement against Israel at the international level was a clear rebuke of Abbas's failed lobbying campaign against Israel's accession to membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a prestigious club of the world's major economic and financial powers -- as any reporter with a modicum of knowledge of Mideast affairs well knows.  It also was aimed at Abbas's attempts to get pro-Palestinian judges in Europe to issue arrest warrants for senior Israeli officials visiting their countries on the propagandistic pretext that they should be charged with alleged war crimes.

Let Israel fail to conform to international pressures to make unilateral concessions or be criticized by self-styled human rights groups and the Post  and the Times  will make sure that they cover  any and all such developments.  But let Abbas eulogize terrorist killers or countenance vicious anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incitement in PA television programs, publications, textbooks and in sermons by Abbas-appointed clerics, and the Post  and the Times avert their eyes.

A silence that speaks loud and clear about their glaring  anti-Israel bias.