Thursday, September 28, 2023

In a long New York Times Magazine profile of Benjamin Netanyahu by Ruth Margalit, we see this:

Admirers credit Netanyahu with “changing the paradigm” around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Boaz Bismuth, a Likud lawmaker, told me. Netanyahu did so by effectively bypassing the Palestinians and signing normalization agreements with other Arab countries in the region. But those agreements, known as the Abraham Accords, are the diplomatic end result of an arms deal in which Israel would provide nearly all signatories with licenses to its powerful cybersurveillance technology Pegasus, as an investigation in this magazine revealed last year. “He made use of knowledge and technologies to get closer to dictators,” a former senior defense official told me.   
According to this article, the Abraham Accords are just a cover for a cyber-arms deal that enriched a private Israeli firm.

This is an insane perspective. Even though written by a Tel Aviv based Jewish writer, it plays into classic antisemitic tropes. After all, she is saying that the most consequential peace deal in the region in four decades is really about Jewish greed and disregard for human rights.

The Abraham Accords deal resulted in the US selling $23 billion of arms to the UAE. Can you imagine the New York Times claiming that the US only brokered the deal our of greed to enrich US defense contractors?

Every negotiation involves give and take in an attempt to find results that benefit both parties. The Obama-brokered Iran nuclear deal gave Iran the ability to refine uranium after a time period in exchange for short-term pause (that they ignored anyway)  If there is a Saudi peace agreement, the US would be giving the Saudis access to nuclear technology which is just as dual-use as spyware is, but on a quite larger scale. The downsides in both cases are merely nuclear weapons in the hands of Islamic fundamentalists facilitated by the US. 

And every Western, democratic country makes compromises to their own human rights standards in order to maintain relationships with countries whose own human rights records are less than stellar. 

But only for Israel are negotiations viewed through such a bizarre lens of how Israeli greed and disregard for human rights is what drives its desire to reach peace agreements with other Middle Eastern countries - countries that all happen to be repressive Muslim and Arab dictatorships to begin with.

And there are more articles in the media against Israel for allowing cyberweapons to be sold than against the regimes that abuse them. 

Pegasus is a tool, like a hammer. It has legitimate uses but it also can be abused to attack dissidents, just like bullets or surveillance drones. The New York Times, though, seems to regard spyware as an exclusively Israeli, magical tool. As I noted earlier this week, when similar spyware tools to Pegasus were misused by Greece and Egypt, the New York Times didn't mention that newly blacklisted spyware developers came out of  Greece, Hungary, Ireland and North Macedonia - but highlighted that two of them were headed by a former Israeli general. 

The hypocrisy doesn't end there. When Israel does put restrictions on dual-use items to be transferred - meaning, when it stops items at the Gaza border that could be used to build missiles and other weapons  aimed at Israeli civilians - Israel is blamed by the NYT for unfairly hurting Palestinians for no good reason.

There are no limits to the double standards Israel is subjected to by the New York Times. 

(h/t Yisrael Medad)

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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