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May 24, 2011

Finally, NY Times Clearly Tells Readers Who Refuses Negotiations

In a rare moment of precision and clarity, the New York Times on Saturday finally reminded readers of the immediate reason for a lack of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Isabel Kershner wrote:

It was the Palestinians who walked out of the last round of peace negotiations last September after a partial Israeli moratorium on building in the settlements expired. In order to return to talks, Palestinian officials say, they want to hear Mr. Netanyahu agree to the 1967 lines as the basis for negotiations and a renewed, if temporary, settlement freeze.

In the absence of negotiations, the Palestinian leadership plans to seek international recognition of a Palestinian state in the United Nations General Assembly in September, an idea that is opposed by the United States and that could isolate Israel.

True, she didn't mention here that the Palestinians held of on commencing "the last round of peace negotiations" for months, until just before the temporary building moratorium was set to expire. But the language is nonetheless much clearer than the newspaper tends to be.

For example, in February Kershner herself wrote: "Short-lived negotiations stalled in September after a 10-month Israeli moratorium on building new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank expired," as if the negotiations stalled mysteriously on their own. Likewise in April, Kershner and her colleague Ethan Bronner opted for language that obscured Palestinian refusal to negotiate with Israel: "The last round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down soon after they started last September when an Israeli moratorium on construction in West Bank settlements expired."

Posted by GI at May 24, 2011 03:58 PM

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