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October 23, 2012

NYT's Erlanger Skew(er)s Israel

The propensity to hector and criticize Israel seems bred in the bone at The New York Times, as commentary by Paris Bureau Chief Steven Erlanger underscores in a telling passage on October 23, 2012. A News Analysis column entitled "Foreign Policy Debate’s Omissions Highlight Skewed World View" deplores the various world issues overlooked in the October 22 presidential debate on foreign affairs.

But Erlanger's own skewed world view is what's on display. In reviewing the neglected world hotspots, he touches on the Palestinians and Israelis, writing:

There was a glancing reference to the Palestinians, but no discussion of their divisions, of the role of Hamas, of the separate status of Gaza, of the weakening grip of Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement, of what might happen if and when Mr. Abbas, the Palestinian president and leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, leaves the scene.

And there was no criticism of Israel, its settlements or its occupation of the West Bank. Mr. Romney did say that Mr. Obama had not visited Israel as president even after his 2009 visit to Cairo in which he pledged a new era in relations with the Muslim world.

Get that?

Regarding the Palestinians, Erlanger faults omission of "discussion" of internal "divisions" among the factions.

Regarding the Israelis, he faults omission of "criticism of Israel, its settlements or its occupation of the West Bank."

This discrepancy in treatment of Israel, with the Jewish state cast as warranting serious criticism for activity related to the Palestinians while the Palestinians warrant only benign reference -- in this case discussion concerning internal, factional issues with no onus on them related to Israel -- is a pattern in the paper.

Equally notable and related to the distorted emphasis on blaming Israel is the omission of deplorable Palestinian conduct. The veteran Times correspondent, formerly the bureau chief in Jerusalem, previously had similar difficulty expressing criticism of Palestinian actions, in particular of their denigration of Jewish presence in the land of Israel, their glorification of terrorism against Jews and their calls to destroy Israel.

The saga of Erlanger's avoidance of coverage of anti-Israel incitement until he'd left Israel was noted by CAMERA in 2008. That bout of candor by the Times writer seems to have long passed.

And, as they say in Paris, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!

Posted by AL at October 23, 2012 10:24 PM


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