In the wake of the slaughter of a Jewish family in the West Bank, the New York Times finally discovers that vicious incitement against Israel in Palestinian Authority mosques, schools and media may be an obstacle to reaching a peace agreement. But unlike Israelis who mourn the loss of five members of the Fogel family, stabbed to death in their beds, the Times still hews to its illusion that Mahmoud Abbas remains a "moderate" peace partner with Israel.
Here's how Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner puts it in a March 15 article:
"The new focus on incitement against Israel, together with Israeli dissatisfaction over the Palestinian response to the brutal attack, seemed to pose a question about the Israeli government's readiness to deal with Mr. Abbas as a serious peace partner -- even though Mr. Abbas and Mr. Fayyad (the Palestinian prime minister) are widely considered moderates who have repeatedly said they would never resort to violence."
Words bound to bring greater comfort to Mahmoud Abbas than to mourners of the Fogel family, grieving over the loss of five of its members at the hands of killers inspired by "moderate" Palestinian incitement against Israel. Somehow I doubt Israelis will be impressed by Kershner's reassurances.
Virulent anti-Israel incitement by PA organs under the control of Abbas has been around for years -- with the Times turning a blind eye to its deleterious effects on the peace process. But even now, when Kershner belatedly takes note of such incitement, the "peace process," however illusory, takes precedence over clear-eyed recognition that the prevalence of such incitement rules out any peace deal with the likes of Mahmoud Abbas.