The Post sees only Israel as obstacle to peace

The Washington Post, in its July 28 editions, ran an article by Jerusalem correspondent Janine Zacharia, with a four column headline that reads: "From Israel, mixed signals on peace effort."

So what are those mixed signals and by whom are they sent? According to Zacharia, she points mostly at Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his firm support of West Bank Jewish settlements -- versus Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who's more dovish.

Fair enough. I would have no problem with the Post running this kind of a story, if it were equally avid in allotting as big a spread to an article about mixed signals about the peace process emanating from the Palestinian Authority. That kind of complementary perspective, however, is totally lacking at the Post. The result: completely unbalanced coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

If Zacharia were as eager to probe mixed signals from Mahmoud Abbas and the PA, there's no shortage of material. After all, while Abbas assures President Obama that he will finally put an end to vicious anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incitement in PA media, mosques, TV programs for children, textbooks, etc., he does the very opposite when he returns to the West Bank, fueling ever more such incitement, which of course doesn't bode well for the peace process. In fact, under the U.S-sponsored "road map," the PA is supposed to end all such incitement in the first stage of substantive peace-making.

The PA's glorification of suicide bombers and other mega-terrorists by naming public squares and public events after these "martyrs" is as much of an obstacle, if not more so, as West Banks settlements, the vast majority of which Israel repeatedly has offered to dismantle as part of comprehensive peace plans rejected by the PA and its leadership.

And whatever differences may exist between Lieberman's approach to the peace process in comparison with Barak and Netanyahu's strategies, they pale by comparison between the "mixed signals" being sent to the international community by Abbas's PA and Hamas, which rules nearly half of what a prospective Palestinian state might look like. Hamas, after all, vows never to abandon its objective to destroy Israel -- all of it. How's that for "mixed signals" from the Palestinian side?

So why the constant Post drumbeat against Israel, but total silence by Zacharia about the failings and shortcomings of Abbas and the PA in terms of advancing -- or blocking -- the peace process? And certainly no articles from her about that little Gaza obstacle -- Hamas's firm control of this enclave.

Without that, the Post can lay no claim that its coverage is fair, responsible and even-handed.


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