Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The New York Times' straw man

The New York Times' editorial on Gilad Shalit sets up a straw man and proceeds to attack it (Hat Tip: Debbie R; NY Times straw man by MR, Daughter #3 Child #5).
One has to ask: If Mr. Netanyahu can negotiate with Hamas — which shoots rockets at Israel, refuses to recognize Israel’s existence and, on Tuesday, vowed to take even more hostages — why won’t he negotiate seriously with the Palestinian Authority, which Israel relies on to help keep the peace in the West Bank?
Mr. Netanyahu has expressed his readiness to 'negotiate seriously' with the 'Palestinian Authority' - without preconditions - on literally hundreds of occasions since he was elected Prime Minister in 2009. To suggest that Netanyahu won't negotiate seriously with the 'Palestinian Authority' is a straw man, which the Times then proceeds to demolish.
Mr. Netanyahu’s backers claim that his coalition is so fragile that he can’t make the compromises needed to help revive peace negotiations. But he was strong enough to go against the grief-stricken families of those Israelis killed by the Palestinian prisoners he just freed. “I know that the price is very heavy for you,” he wrote to them. Why can’t he make a similarly impassioned appeal for a settlement freeze for the sake of Israel’s security?
The reason Prime Minister Netanyahu (I wonder if the Times will ever call him that rather than 'Mr. Netanyahu') was able to make the deal with Hamas - a deal which I and many other Israelis find abhorrent - is that some 70% of Israelis favored turning over mass murderers in exchange for Gilad Shalit. 70% of Israelis do not favor another 'settlement freeze' after 'Mr. Abbas' allowed the clock to nearly run out on the first one before responding by asking that it be extended. In fact, 70% may be at the low end of estimates of the number of Jewish Israelis who oppose another 'settlement freeze.'
The United States and its partners should keep trying to get negotiations going. Mr. Abbas should see the prisoner swap for what it is — a challenge to his authority and credibility. The best way to bolster his standing is by leading his people in the creation of a Palestinian state, through negotiations. As for Mr. Netanyahu, we saw on Tuesday that the problem is not that he can’t compromise and make tough choices. It’s that he won’t. That won’t make Israel safer.
Of course, the Times doesn't ask the question it should be asking: If 'Mr. Abbas' is a man of peace, as the Times claims that he is, why did he sponsor a massive celebration of the release of mass murderers in Ramallah on Tuesday, similar to the one sponsored in Gaza by Hamas. In fact, the implications for 'peace' of the orgies of celebration for these mass murderers' release seems totally lost on the Times. They don't even mention it and don't seem to be at all fazed by it. Why?

Labels: , , ,


At 12:50 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I wouldn't take much comfort in those numbers.

It took Israel's leftist media five years to break the government's resistance to surrendering to Hamas.

They have some more work to do to convince Israelis a withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines will bring peace but in a country where people rarely get to hear two sides of the story, the media can set the agenda.

What is a beleaguered Prime Minister to do in the face of media opposition and public pressure?

What could go wrong indeed

At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A prisoner exchange buys into one set of political errors: seeing illegal non-combatant terrorists as a natural en masse swop for kidnapped IDF personnel--a general Israeli OK that the world need not honor the rules of war at all.

But agreeing to a Palestinian demand for "settlement freeze" in Yesha and East Jerusalem is acceding to a Palestinian national and political demand that Israel recognize a Judenrein Palestine to the east of the 1949 demarcation lines and generally concede the lack of legitimacy to the west of same. For sure, public opinion ain't there yet.

It's easy for the New York Times to treat Israeli legitimacy as an inconvenience which should be bartered away salami-style for "negotiations" or "peace"--when the actual subtext is for good riddance.

It's a little bit more difficult for even today's up-to-the-minute smart-power Likud to make that step--to follow the NYTimes logic that a containable stategic fiasco and moral failure ipso facto demonstrates the logic of committing irreversible suicidal follies.

But yes, public opinion is malleable.


Post a Comment

<< Home