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New York Times Opposes Palestinian Self-Determination

by Stephen Lendman Thursday, Nov. 08, 2012 at 11:33 PM


New York Times Opposes Palestinian Self-Determination

by Stephen Lendman

Longstanding NYT articles, op-eds, and editorials are notoriously one-sided for Israel. Palestinian rights don't matter, only Jewish ones.

Life in Occupied Palestine harshness goes largely unreported. Crimes of war and against humanity are ignored. An earlier If If Americans Knew report explained "highly disturbing patterns" of distorted, one-sided coverage.  

Little changed from then to now. In February 2012, Jodi Rudoren became Times Jerusalem bureau chief. Like earlier ones, she's Jewish. A previous article quoted Alison Weir asking "(w)ho is Jodi Rudoren?"

Previously she reported on domestic issues. It's unclear what she knows about Israel/Palestine. She admits having little regional knowledge. She hopes to be a fast learner. Her marching orders are clear.

She's uncomfortable addressing Israeli torture, murder, and other lawless policies. At best she says some call West Bank settlements "controversial." International law calls them illegal. No ambiguity exists.

Early in her tenure, she connected with David Ha'ivri. He's an extremist settler rabbi. He's involved with Jewish Defense League founder Meir Kahane's Kach group.

Kahanism is known for racist, ultranationalist, terrorist policies. Israel, America, EU nations and Canada declared Kach a terrorist organization. Kahanists call Arabs enemies of Jews and Israel.

Times editors bear full responsibility for pro-Israeli bias. On November 4, their editorial headlined "Palestinians at the UN, Again." The title alone expresses arrogance and dismissiveness.

"With peace negotiations at an impasse since 2008 and unlikely to resume any time soon," it said, "the Palestinians have only one diplomatic card left — their status at the United Nations — and once again they are trying to play it."

Fact check

On and off for nearly four decades, so-called "peace" talks were stillborn from inception. Illusion masks an Israeli/Washington partnership intolerant of peace.

Israeli and US leaders don't negotiate. They demand. Palestinians get nothing but take-it-or-leave it diplomacy. Conflict resolution isn't possible because Palestinians have no legitimate peace partner.

Privately, Netanyahu calls talks a waste of time. Going through the motions assures institutionalized injustice. Times editors don't notice or care.

"Last year, the Palestinian Authority toyed with submitting an application for full United Nations membership, but backed off in the face of overwhelming opposition from the United States and Israel."

Now they plan to seek "nonmember observer state" status. They'll likely get it. "It is not a move that will do anyone any good. It will not change facts on the ground, and it will come at a cost."

"Israel and the United States say unilateral moves like these by the Palestinians violate the 1993 Oslo accords, which were intended to pave the way to a 'final status agreement' within five years."

"And it is clear that a negotiated deal is the only way to ensure the creation of a viable Palestinian state and guarantee Israel’s security."

Fact check

Previous articles explained that Palestinian statehood was established on November 15, 1988. At the time, the PLO adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence. It's official and binding. Palestine satisfies all essential criteria for sovereign independence and full de jure UN membership.

On May 11, 1949, General Assembly Resolution 273 recommended UN membership for Israel. On November 5, 1949, it was officially granted. It was conditional on its government accepting and implementing Resolutions 181 and 194.

On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly passed Resolution 181, the Palestine Partition Plan.

It granted 56% of historic Palestine to Jews (with one-third of the population) and 42% to Palestinians.

It designated Jerusalem international city (a corpus separatum - separate body) under a UN Trusteeship Council. It called for an Independent Arab state by October 1, 1948.

It asked "all Governments and peoples to refrain from taking any action which might hamper or delay the carrying out of these recommendations."

It called for the Security Council to be empowered with "the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation."

Israel's 1948 "War of Independence" intervened. On May 14, 1948, a Jewish state was proclaimed. It's on stolen land. It's on 78% of historic Palestine.

International law affirms the universal right of return. It's not negotiable.

UN Resolution 194 (December 1948) said "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage which, under the principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the governments or authorities responsible."

The General Assembly affirmed the right of return 135 or more times. Residents everywhere outside their native lands for any length of time have similar rights. Diaspora Palestinians have no fewer ones than others.

They're not negotiable. International law affirms them. They're binding and won't change. Oslo Accord provisions represented unilateral Palestinian surrender. Negotiating terms were vaguely defined.

Timelines and outcomes weren't specified. Israeli officials obstruct and delay. Concessions aren't made. They never will be.

Official policy reflects occupation harshness and land theft. It's hard-wired and unchanged. Negotiations accomplish nothing. Times reports don't explain.

Perhaps as an afterthought, its editorial admitted that Netanyahu refuses serious compromise. Uniting with Avigdor Lieberman suggests "even more hard-line" policies ahead.

The Times shamelessly endorsed Obama. It did so for the wrong reasons. It ignored nearly four years of unprincipled leadership. It said, "Whatever chance exists of a new American peace initiative after the election is likely to vanish if Mitt Romney wins."

Implied is that Obama's reelection holds the best chance for Israel/Palestinian conflict resolution. Ignored is why no progress occurred during his first term.

He rejects Palestinian self-determination. He won't accept full or partial UN membership. He's one-sidedly pro-Israel. Rhetoric alone separates him from Romney. Both represent rogue governance.

The Times also rejects Palestinian statehood. It does so by ignoring what's existed for 24 years. Dismissiveness defines longstanding editorial policy. Palestinians have no friend in Times Square.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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