Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Monday's NYT bias

This is the reason I don't read the Western media - because when I do, I can't stop myself from fisking it, and that takes time.

Boker Tov Boulder pointed to an NYT article on Monday:

As preparations intensify for a Palestinian-Israeli summit meeting in Washington on Thursday, the crude outlines of a Palestinian state are emerging in the West Bank, with increasingly reliable security forces, a more disciplined government and a growing sense among ordinary citizens that they can count on basic services.

Personal checks, long shunned as being unredeemable, are now widely accepted. Traffic tickets are issued and paid, movie theaters are opening and public parks are packed with families late into the summer nights. Economic growth in the first quarter of this year was 11 percent over the same period in 2009, the International Monetary Fund says.

“I’ve never seen Nablus so alive,” Caesar Darwazeh, who owns a photography studio, said on Sunday night as throngs of people enjoyed balloons and popcorn, a four-wagon train taking merrymakers through the streets.
Sounds pretty good, right? Netanyahu's plan to create an "economic peace" is paying dividends and Palestinian Arabs are doing well.

Then comes the "but...."

Of course, the West Bank remains occupied by Israel. It is filled with scores of Israeli settlements, some 10,000 Israeli troops and numerous roadblocks and checkpoints that render true ordinary life impossible for the area’s 2.5 million Palestinians.
Hold on - weren't we just reading about "true ordinary life"? Isn't "true ordinary life" the ability to go to the park, to the movies, write checks, have businesses, raise families?

Some 96% of Palestinian Arabs were living in Areas A and B, under PA administrative control. Most are under PA security control as well. How exactly is Israel making their lives impossible?

Is it because of checkpoints, of which many have been dismantled? Does this mean that the thousands of commuters who are stuck for 45 minute delays every day at the bridges and tunnels of New York are not living "true ordinary lives?"

The Times does not say. It is simply a fact: even though their lives are pretty darn good, they are not good enough. They are not indistinguishable from people living in Long Island, which appears to be the reference point.

(Even though a large number of Arab towns visible from the highway actually do look pretty good. Some of their mansions would put those Long Island towns to shame.)

And if they are going to mention the 10,000 Israeli troops stationed in the West bank, why don't they mention how many PA security forces are there? The number was about 15,000 in 2004, far more than what was agreed upon during Oslo. No, context is not exactly what the NYT is going for. 

Here we see the NYT describe in detail why things are good, then declare that things are really bad without giving any examples of how this "occupation" is hurting them - especially for the majority living in Area A, which by any real definition cannot be considered "occupied."

Seems a wee bit biased.