NY Times test of Clinton diplomacy -- Just handle Bibi and U.S. Jews; No problems with Abbas

In its Sunday, Sept. 5 edition, the New York Times carries a front-page article by Mark Landler about the challenge awaiting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to prove her diplomatic prowess in efforts to steer negotiations toward a permanent peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians ("Clinton Facing A Crucial Test In Peace Talks -- Plunging Into Mideast Where Others Failed").

In his lengthy "diplomatic memo," Landler goes into great detail as to whether Clinton will be able to extract sufficient concessions from Prime Minister Netanyahu while maintaining American Jewish support for a compromise agreement.

In outlining hurdles Clinton may have to overcome, Landler cites first and foremost "the often tense relationship that this administration has had with Israel."  To offset this hurdle, he quotes Clinton aides as saying that "she has a politician's feel for Mr. Netanyahu, which could help her push him to make hard choices."

Landler also weighs Clinton's relations with the American Jewish community, pointing to "arrows" she has taken from that quarter for her "full-throated advocacy of Mr. Obama's pressure on the Israeli government to freeze settlements."  On the plus side, he mentions Clinton's cultivation of close ties with New York Jews as a U.S. senator.

All very fine.  But what about Clinton's diplomatic skills in handling Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and getting him to meet Israel half-way.  That's completely missing from Landler's piece.

It's as if Clinton's only test will be how she manages to bring along Netanyahu and U.S. Jews.  But what about Clinton's challenge to extract concessions and compromises from Abbas?  If there's to be a deal, both sides will have to abandon current positions.  In Abbas's case, this means bidding goodbye to a "right of return" to Israel for millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants.  Also an acceptance of stringent security measures to prevent the West Bank from becoming a launching platform for missile attacks on Israel's heartland.  This may involve a demilitarized Palestinian state and an Israeli military presence along the border with Jordan.  

Aren't these issues just as much a test of Clinton's diplomatic skills as her ability to deal with Netanyahu and American Jews?

Why keep Abbas out of the equation?  Why give him a pass from what loom as difficult challenges for Clinton?

Abbas's absence from Landler's piece is the latest example of Times "news" coverage that puts all the onus in advancing the peace process on Israel, while basically accepting the Palestinian agenda -- lock, stock and barrel.

Landler, for example, demonstrates these pro-Palestinian proclivities in describing Israel and the Palestinians as "wary foes who spent six decades avoiding a deal."

That's simply not so.  Real history -- not false, revisionist history a la NY Times -- clearly shows that the only side that's avoided a deal over this span of time has been the Palestinian side.  Landler apparently doesn't remember that Israel, far from avoiding a deal, offered a most generous one to Arafat and Abbas at Camp David in 2000 and Taba in 2001, only to have the Palestinian side walk away.  Similarly, Landler also seems to have a bad case of amnesia in failing to note that former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, far from avoiding a deal, offered Abbas an even more generous one as recently as 2008, only to have Abbas again walk away.

Why this seemingly ingrained attitude at the Times to skip critical coverage of Palestinian obstacles to peace, as demonstrated again by Landler's piece?
In its Sunday, Sept. 5 edition, the New York Times carries a front-page article by Mark Landler about the challenge awaiting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to prove her diplomatic prowess in efforts to steer negotiations toward a permanent peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians ("Clinton Facing A Crucial Test In Peace Talks -- Plunging Into Mideast Where Others Failed").

In his lengthy "diplomatic memo," Landler goes into great detail as to whether Clinton will be able to extract sufficient concessions from Prime Minister Netanyahu while maintaining American Jewish support for a compromise agreement.

In outlining hurdles Clinton may have to overcome, Landler cites first and foremost "the often tense relationship that this administration has had with Israel."  To offset this hurdle, he quotes Clinton aides as saying that "she has a politician's feel for Mr. Netanyahu, which could help her push him to make hard choices."

Landler also weighs Clinton's relations with the American Jewish community, pointing to "arrows" she has taken from that quarter for her "full-throated advocacy of Mr. Obama's pressure on the Israeli government to freeze settlements."  On the plus side, he mentions Clinton's cultivation of close ties with New York Jews as a U.S. senator.

All very fine.  But what about Clinton's diplomatic skills in handling Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and getting him to meet Israel half-way.  That's completely missing from Landler's piece.

It's as if Clinton's only test will be how she manages to bring along Netanyahu and U.S. Jews.  But what about Clinton's challenge to extract concessions and compromises from Abbas?  If there's to be a deal, both sides will have to abandon current positions.  In Abbas's case, this means bidding goodbye to a "right of return" to Israel for millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants.  Also an acceptance of stringent security measures to prevent the West Bank from becoming a launching platform for missile attacks on Israel's heartland.  This may involve a demilitarized Palestinian state and an Israeli military presence along the border with Jordan.  

Aren't these issues just as much a test of Clinton's diplomatic skills as her ability to deal with Netanyahu and American Jews?

Why keep Abbas out of the equation?  Why give him a pass from what loom as difficult challenges for Clinton?

Abbas's absence from Landler's piece is the latest example of Times "news" coverage that puts all the onus in advancing the peace process on Israel, while basically accepting the Palestinian agenda -- lock, stock and barrel.

Landler, for example, demonstrates these pro-Palestinian proclivities in describing Israel and the Palestinians as "wary foes who spent six decades avoiding a deal."

That's simply not so.  Real history -- not false, revisionist history a la NY Times -- clearly shows that the only side that's avoided a deal over this span of time has been the Palestinian side.  Landler apparently doesn't remember that Israel, far from avoiding a deal, offered a most generous one to Arafat and Abbas at Camp David in 2000 and Taba in 2001, only to have the Palestinian side walk away.  Similarly, Landler also seems to have a bad case of amnesia in failing to note that former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, far from avoiding a deal, offered Abbas an even more generous one as recently as 2008, only to have Abbas again walk away.

Why this seemingly ingrained attitude at the Times to skip critical coverage of Palestinian obstacles to peace, as demonstrated again by Landler's piece?

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