NY Times regurgitates Mahmoud Abbas' propaganda lies

Leo Rennert
On Sept. 5, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas invited 20 left-wing Israeli intellectuals to his office in Ramallah.  Abbas' Israeli guests, in opposition to their own government, proceeded to urge him to go to the UN and seek a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood. Journalists were invited to cover the meeting, reports Ethan Bronner, the Jerusalem bureau chief of the New York Times, who dutifully accompanied the group.  ("Abbas Affirms Palestinian Bid for U.N. Membership," Sept. 6, page A6).

Bronner, in a four-column spread, uncritically passes on to Times readers Abbas's claims that his UN bid is in sync with getting to direct negotiations with Israel, that he is committed to a two-state solution and that his goal is for a "Palestinian state and Israel to live in peace and security next to one another."

"We don't want to delegitimize Israel," Abbas tells his guests.  "We want to legitimize ourselves.  We are going to complain that as Palestinians we have been under occupation for 63 years"

At this point, any reporter worth his salt might break in and ask Abbas a couple of pertinent questions, such as:

--"President Abbas, how can you say that you're not delegitimizing Israel when you teach Palestinian children that 'Palestine' includes all of Israel, when you keep glorifying as holy martyrs suicide bombers, and when even your supposed two-state plan would strip the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest shrine, from Israel?"

-- Or, "President Abbas, how can you assert that your goal is a Palestinian state side by side with Israel when you claim that Palestinians have been under 'occupation' for 63 years?   A 63-year span doesn't roll back history to 1967 when Israel conquered the West Bank.  A 63-year span gets you back to 1948, which means that you really want to cancel Israel's founding as a sovereign state,, doesn't it?"

Bronner, however, never bothers to challenge the contradictions and inconsistencies in Abbas's honeyed words.  As a presumed journalist, he doesn't even do his math and point out that, by reverting to 1948, Abbas puts in play Israel's very existence.  Bronner's objective instead is to portray Abbas as a genuine peace partner, notwithstanding the propaganda menu of lies that Bronner and the anti-Israel Israeli intellectuals swallow wholesale.

In fact, Bronner goes beyond uncritical acceptance of every word uttered by Abbas and adds his own pro-Abbas propaganda.  In dealing with the issue of stalled negotiations, Bronner makes it appear that both sides are responsible for lack of direct talks -- a gross inaccuracy.

Setting up a phony equivalence, Bronner writes that Abbas, as conditions for resumption of talks, wants them to proceed on the basis of the 1967 lines and also wants another freeze in settlement building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which is all true.  But Bronner seeks to balance this with Netanyahu's "calls on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as Jewish state," which is cleverly misleading.  Yes, Netanyahu insists that any final peace deal must include Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, but that's what Israel wants to emerge from negotiations; it's not a pre-condition to get them going again, like Abbas's insistence on conditioning the resumption of talks on the basis of the 1967 lines and another Israeli building freeze.

There is no equivalence in obstacles to negotiations -- that's a Bronner invention.  Abbas alone has been stalling with his pre-conditions.  In contrast,  Bibi has proclaimed a hundred times that he's ready to go to Ramallah tomorrow to engage in negotiations without any pre-conditions by either side.

But again, Bronner goes the extra mile to prop up Abbas as a worthy statesman -- even in the teeth of  glaringly contrary evidence.

On Sept. 5, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas invited 20 left-wing Israeli intellectuals to his office in Ramallah.  Abbas' Israeli guests, in opposition to their own government, proceeded to urge him to go to the UN and seek a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood. Journalists were invited to cover the meeting, reports Ethan Bronner, the Jerusalem bureau chief of the New York Times, who dutifully accompanied the group.  ("Abbas Affirms Palestinian Bid for U.N. Membership," Sept. 6, page A6).

Bronner, in a four-column spread, uncritically passes on to Times readers Abbas's claims that his UN bid is in sync with getting to direct negotiations with Israel, that he is committed to a two-state solution and that his goal is for a "Palestinian state and Israel to live in peace and security next to one another."

"We don't want to delegitimize Israel," Abbas tells his guests.  "We want to legitimize ourselves.  We are going to complain that as Palestinians we have been under occupation for 63 years"

At this point, any reporter worth his salt might break in and ask Abbas a couple of pertinent questions, such as:

--"President Abbas, how can you say that you're not delegitimizing Israel when you teach Palestinian children that 'Palestine' includes all of Israel, when you keep glorifying as holy martyrs suicide bombers, and when even your supposed two-state plan would strip the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest shrine, from Israel?"

-- Or, "President Abbas, how can you assert that your goal is a Palestinian state side by side with Israel when you claim that Palestinians have been under 'occupation' for 63 years?   A 63-year span doesn't roll back history to 1967 when Israel conquered the West Bank.  A 63-year span gets you back to 1948, which means that you really want to cancel Israel's founding as a sovereign state,, doesn't it?"

Bronner, however, never bothers to challenge the contradictions and inconsistencies in Abbas's honeyed words.  As a presumed journalist, he doesn't even do his math and point out that, by reverting to 1948, Abbas puts in play Israel's very existence.  Bronner's objective instead is to portray Abbas as a genuine peace partner, notwithstanding the propaganda menu of lies that Bronner and the anti-Israel Israeli intellectuals swallow wholesale.

In fact, Bronner goes beyond uncritical acceptance of every word uttered by Abbas and adds his own pro-Abbas propaganda.  In dealing with the issue of stalled negotiations, Bronner makes it appear that both sides are responsible for lack of direct talks -- a gross inaccuracy.

Setting up a phony equivalence, Bronner writes that Abbas, as conditions for resumption of talks, wants them to proceed on the basis of the 1967 lines and also wants another freeze in settlement building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which is all true.  But Bronner seeks to balance this with Netanyahu's "calls on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as Jewish state," which is cleverly misleading.  Yes, Netanyahu insists that any final peace deal must include Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, but that's what Israel wants to emerge from negotiations; it's not a pre-condition to get them going again, like Abbas's insistence on conditioning the resumption of talks on the basis of the 1967 lines and another Israeli building freeze.

There is no equivalence in obstacles to negotiations -- that's a Bronner invention.  Abbas alone has been stalling with his pre-conditions.  In contrast,  Bibi has proclaimed a hundred times that he's ready to go to Ramallah tomorrow to engage in negotiations without any pre-conditions by either side.

But again, Bronner goes the extra mile to prop up Abbas as a worthy statesman -- even in the teeth of  glaringly contrary evidence.