Tuesday, March 19, 2013

  • Tuesday, March 19, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Lots of people have written about the New York Times Sunday magazine front-page story (that I wrote about on Friday)  that effectively romanticized and justified violent riots and was an advertisement for a third intifada.

David G summarized many of them well:

The New York Times has done it again. Less then two weeks after publishing an intellectual attack against Israel, it publishes an article glorifying physical attacks on Israel. The front page story of yesterday’s New York Times Magazine, Is This Where the Third Intifada Will Start? by Ben Ehrenriech. (The cover has the more provocative phrase, “If there is a third intifada, we want to be the ones who started it.”
Chemi Shalev of the left wing paper Ha’aretz lets us in on a little secret about Ehrenreich:
In 2009, Ehrenreich published a direct attack on Zionism in the Los Angeles Times entitled “Zionism is the Problem”. In the article, Ehrenreich castigates not only the “deplorable conditions in which Palestinians live and die in Gaza and the West Bank” but “the Zionist tenets on which the state was founded “as well.
“The problem is functional”, Ehrenreich writes. “Founding a modern state on a single ethnic or religious identity in a territory that is ethnically and religiously diverse leads inexorably either to politics of exclusion or to wholesale ethnic cleansing. Put simply, the problem is Zionism.”
In other words, Ehrenreich is every bit the anti-Israel ideologue as Joseph Levine who recently explained why Israel could not legitimately be both a Jewish and a democratic state. The article is written in a measured, professorial tone. So the outrageous aspects of the article will be omissions that indicate that Ehrenreich is not telling the whole story.
For example, Ehrenreich writes:
But little was resolved in Oslo. A second intifada erupted in 2000, at first mostly following the model set by the earlier uprising. Palestinians blocked roads and threw stones.
But the second intifada didn’t just erupt. It was orchestrated by Yasser Arafat. The available evidence is overwhelming. But Ehrenreich isn’t interested.

At the blog, This Ongoing War, the Roths note another omission:
That’s all he writes about Ahlam Tamimi but we can tell you more. She is a Jordanian who was 21 years old and the news-reader on official Palestinian Authority television when she signed on with Hamas to become a terrorist. She engineered, planned and helped execute a massacre in the center of Jerusalem on a hot summer afternoon in 2001. She chose the target, a restaurant filled with Jewish children. And she brought the bomb. The outcome (15 killed, a sixteenth still in a vegetative state today, 130 injured) was so uplifting to her that she has gone on camera again and again to say, smiling into the camera lens, how proud she is of what she did. She is entirely free of regret. A convicted felon and a mass-murderer convicted on multiple homicide charges, she has never denied the role she embraced and justifies it fully.
Yet all the NY Times says about Nabi Saleh’s favourite one-time resident is that she was an escort “who now lives in exile in Jordan”. Period. This is no mere oversight. The editors at the New York Times showcased this same psychopath once before, six years ago. Then, as now, we felt someone needed to push back and we posted two blog articles: “7-Aug-07: Hot House: Cold Truths” and “28-Jun-07: About sweet-faced young women”, and got a little attention for a while. But it was clear to us that those who thought they perceived greatness of spirit in the woman continued to do so.
One of the children killed at Sbarro’s by Ahlam Tamimi, was the Roth’s 15 year old daughter Malki.
Israelly Cool notes the Roth’s story and adds another detail that was somehow omitted:
I will add the following: As I posted recently with regards to a Ha’aretz puff piece on Bassem Tamimi, his Tamimi Press Facebook page clearly indicates he is fighting for a one-state solution – a palestinian state – and supports terrorism and the terrorists who perpetrate heinous killings in support of this very goal.
Ehrenreich’s goal is to portray another intifada as a justified non-violent response to Israeli “occupation.” But as Elder of Ziyon notes, rock throwing isn’t exactly non-violent:
Too bad Mr. Ehrenreich didn’t think of pushing back on Bassem Tamimi’s irritation at justifying his idea that stone throwing is supposedly “non-violent.”
Because today a three year old Israeli girl is in critical condition as a result of a stone-throwing attack.
Then again, that story cannot be found in the New York Times, so it must not be very important.
It’s like the reporters wants it to happen. He wants another violent intifada in which hundreds will be killed, God forbid.
Believe it or not this isn’t the first time the New York Times has glamorized an intifada. The Sunday Magazine of October 29, 1989 featured Inside the Intifada by then Israel correspondent, Joel Brinkley.
In the light from the nearly full moon, the shebab, crouching behind the low boulders, watch the bus approach. Sitting in a front seat is a soldier in olive green, pointing his M-16 out the window. In the jeeps leading and following the bus, troops also sit with their weapons aimed into the dark and their plexiglass face shields lowered. As they reach the town the soldiers hear several shrill whistles – the shebab signaling to one another. From the convoy, as if in reply, comes the sound of rifle bolts snapping into place, loading bullets into chambers.
As the bus lumbers into range, the young Palestinians adjust their face masks and rise quietly in the dark. Each takes careful aim and with all his might hurls his baseball-sized stone. Even as the rocks fly, they turn and run, not waiting to see the results.

Before the crunching sound of shattering glass has stopped reverberating across the field, the soldiers are on the ground, firing volleys of rubber and steel bullets at forms they think they see moving in the dark. The driver, Itzik Meuchas, also leaps down, waving a pistol, agitated and angry.
Joel Brinkley currently teaches journalism at Stanford University. I wonder if he discusses the ethics of running with a group of vandals intent on attacking civilians.
But the bigger problem is with the New York Times. The paper runs frequent editorials castigating the Israeli government for not doing enough for peace. However the paper uses its influence not to encourage compromise, but to promote and prolong Palestinian grievances against Israel. The hypocrisy of the New York is astounding.

Jonathan Tobin at Commentary also wrote an excellent response:

Ehrenreich is a curious choice to write an in-depth piece on the Israeli-Palestinian struggle for the supposedly objective Times. If the piece seems incredibly skewed toward the point of view of the Palestinians, it’s no accident. Ehrenreich has never made any secret about his view about the State of Israel: he thinks Zionism is the moral equivalent of Nazism and believes the Jewish state should not exist. He stated as much in a 2009 op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times titled “Zionism is the problem.” In that piece he didn’t merely repeat the canard that Israel was an apartheid state but actually said the racist South African government compared favorably to the Jewish state.

The author thinks it’s an injustice to say that denying to Jews the same rights that no one would think to deny to every other people on the planet is anti-Semitism. True to the beliefs of his Marxist grandparents, he thinks all nationalisms are bad, but he sees the destruction of the one Jewish nationalism as a priority. The piece is a farrago of distortions, not the least of which is the notion that a single secular state to replace Israel could guarantee the rights or the safety of Jews there. But the main takeaway from it is that he has no interest in even arguing the merits of a two-state solution or lamenting the fading chances of such a deal. That’s because he agrees with Palestinians who continue to refuse to recognize the legitimacy of any Jewish state, no matter where its borders are drawn.


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