Tuesday, August 11, 2009

NY Times: Fatah Good, Pay No Attention to Critics; Op-Ed: How to Solve a Problem, No More Israel, No More Arab-Israeli Conflict

There are two remarkable articles--which means remarkably bad articles--in today's New York Times.

First, Isabel Kirshner's article on the Fatah Congress is amazing, amazingly bad. Basically, it sets down the proper line and tells you, the reader, to follow it. She explains that the Israeli government position is that the meeting has failed so conveying that this is a partisan and false narrative. Then she let's you know what a big success it has been.

In fact, though, she does not deal with a single issue being raised by Fatah's critics--not even to put down these ideas. They just aren't mentioned at all.  Let's see the newspaper's reporters answer this detailed assessment rather than merely sneer at those critical of their claims.

Here's just one example of many: The meeting acknowledged the al-Aqsa Brigades as part of Fatah. Israel has always charged this; Fatah denied, media minimized. Now that we know Fatah claims al-Aqsa Brigades that means it claims all the terrorist attacks they have waged murdering Israeli civilians on purpose. Question: Is this worth mentioning in the Times?

Ok, though at least she added in a later article that the new faces are unlikely to bring much change. Khalid Abu Toameh is still the best reporter by far on these issues.

He writes: "The assumption that Muhammad Dahlan, Jibril Rajoub, Marwan Barghouti and Tawfik Tirawi are more moderate than old-timers like Ahmed Qurei, Nabil Sha'ath and Hani al-Hassan is completely mistaken.

Fatah's strongman in Lebanon, Sultan Abu al-Aynain, who was also elected as member of the committee, is being described by some media outlets as one of Fatah's "fresh faces." But Fatah insiders say Abu al-Aynain is known as a "ruthless thug who does not hesitate to liquidate anyone who stands in his way."

Second, there is an op-ed by Robert Malley (who, if not exposed for his not merely anti-Israel but anti-American positions) might well be today an official or formal advisor of the Obama Administration and his Palestinian co-author Hussein Agha. This article claims, albeit in very subtle ways, that while Israel and Hamas have accepted a two-state solution, this isn't enough. Israel must be wiped off the map altogether. And of course Hamas has not accepted a two-state solution, a deception on Hamas's part and on by these two authors as well.

(For the record, Benjamin Netanyahu accepted a two-state solution in 1996. Hamas has still not and never will accept a two-state solution.)

By their own argument, this would make Malley more extreme than Hamas. This is the new double whammy: On the one hand, all the Palestinians and Arab states supposedly accept a two-state solution (not true) but the West should support Israel's destruction. It is now 2009 and the Times has been going out of its way to publicize the PLO line of a half-century ago which was rejected then.

This article reminds me of a Yiddish proverb: A man's problems aren't solved until he's dead. So once Israel is dead, no more Arab-Israeli conflict!

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