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December 24, 2017

'Crux' of the Conflict, According to The New York Times

What is the crux of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? According to a New York Times headline in yesterday's print edition, and online here, it is religious settlers encroaching on Palestinian land ("An Israeli Settler, A Dead Palestinian, and the Crux of the Conflict").

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The article itself addresses tension surrounding land between Palestinians and Israelis living in the West Bank, but does not describe this friction as the "crux" of the conflict:

This is the story of one Palestinian village and an adjacent settlement in the hills south of Nablus — formerly friendly communities now tinged with hostility and suspicion. The deterioration reflects the broader strife from a volatile mix of populations, 50 years of Israeli occupation and a competition over the same land that is only intensifying.

Indeed, just six months ago, The Times cited a different issue as the "crux" or core of the conflict. The The Times reported in June:

For Israel, the capture of the Old City, with its ancient holy sites, from Jordanian control was the emotional pinnacle of its swift victory in 1967. It is the nucleus of the city that Israel has declared its sovereign and eternal capital. It is also the hotly contested core of the conflict.

In a lengthy 2015 feature ("Netanyahu and the Settlements"), The Times quoted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who rejected the notion that the settlements sit at the crux of the conflict:

Mr. Netanyahu now explains his building initiatives as an inevitable accommodation to natural growth and says they have not materially affected the map, only added, as he put it, “a few houses in existing communities.? He rebuts any suggestion that settlements are the core of the conflict, noting that Arabs and Jews were fighting in this land long before they existed.

“From 1920, when this conflict effectively began, until 1967, there wasn’t a single Israeli settlement or a single Israeli soldier in the territories, and yet this conflict raged,? he said in a May interview with Bloomberg View. “What was that conflict about? It was about the persistent refusal to recognize a Jewish state, before it was established and after it was established.?

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So, while The New York Times promises holiday readers facts "in abundance all year" and urges them to "[g[ive the gift of understanding, with on the ground reporting from more than 140 countries," it fails to deliver understanding on the crux of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Posted by TS at December 24, 2017 03:22 AM

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