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August 03, 2010

The New York Times Stumbles Onto the the Op-Ed Pages


Yasir Arafat and allies in Amman, Jordan in 1970 Black September crisis

The story line in the news pages of the Times is practically immutable -- that resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the key to regional, if not global, peace and harmony. Central to this argument is the view that Muslims and Arabs are overwhelmingly concerned about the plight of the Palestinians and devoted to defending their rights and well-being.

History tells another story and the Op-Ed pages of the Times were host to a valuable column reminding readers of key facts rarely seen on the news side. Rather than being protected by fellow Arabs, Palestinians have often been treated badly. As Efraim Karsh, a professor of Middle East and Mediterranean studies at King’s College London, recounts in an August 1, 2010 column,

For example, it was common knowledge that the May 1948 pan-Arab invasion of the nascent state of Israel was more a scramble for Palestinian territory than a fight for Palestinian national rights. As the first secretary-general of the Arab League, Abdel Rahman Azzam, once admitted to a British reporter, the goal of King Abdullah of Transjordan “was to swallow up the central hill regions of Palestine, with access to the Mediterranean at Gaza. The Egyptians would get the Negev. Galilee would go to Syria, except that the coastal part as far as Acre would be added to the Lebanon.?

Nor did disregard for Palestinian interests end with the birth of modern Israel, but continued in the 1970's with King Hussein's killing and expulsion of thousands of Palestinians, and in the 1980's with the Syrian and Christian Lebanese killings of 3,500 refugees in Lebanese camps. In the 1990's, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were kicked out of Kuwait and thousands killed as punishment for their support for Saddam Hussein's invasion of that nation.

Karsh notes that:

Their retribution was so severe that Arafat was forced to acknowledge that “what Kuwait did to the Palestinian people is worse than what has been done by Israel to Palestinians in the occupied territories.?

Palestinians -- and the reporters and editors who tell their story in the Times and elsewhere -- would all benefit by considering the facts of the past and their relevance to realities today.

Posted by AL at August 3, 2010 12:53 PM


Beyond the Palestinian question, the largest obstacle to regional peace is the current Iranian regime, which continues to do everything in its power to undermine the moderate regimes in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and the good relations that Israel might have with Muslim and Arab countries.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 11, 2010 07:42 PM

I guess we'll find out quickly in what direction things are heading. The two sides will be sitting down face to face within the next month.

This could be the beginning of a long-waited Peace...or the beginning of more terror.

Posted by: Major Medical at August 14, 2010 07:43 PM

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