The New York Times, Obama, and Israel: A New Low for the Paper of Record

If one needs any more proof of the animus towards Israel coming from the editors of The New York Times, look no further than today’s editorial -- which marks a new low for the paper. Perhaps they were merely lazy and decided to plagiarize editorials appearing regularly in the pages of The Nation. Or perhaps they just realize that most of their readers don’t subscribe to the official publication of the far Left, and need to get the message out on their own.

Whatever the explanation, the editors felt the need to both chastise Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel for defending his country’s interests, and to praise to the skies President Barack Obama for his highly extraordinary and rude treatment of Netanyahu two days ago. According to their account, “the Obama administration had hoped Mr. Netanyahu would give it something to work with.” But instead, he unceremoniously would not condemn the very legal building in Jerusalem that all previous administrations had not contested. Instead, Netanyahu’s firm stance is interpreted by them as an assault on the supposed but really non-existent “peace process,” and a barrier to reaching a “two-state solution” for the Middle East.

As usual, the editors call the government “right-wing,” which means to the Times readers it is evil personified. Moreover, by insisting on the right to build in an area which everyone knows will be part of Israel once peace is attained, somehow to the editors it is to take place in an area “which Palestinians hope to make the capital of an independent state.”  So by refusing to accept Obama’s demands, the editors assert that Obama “has been understandably furious at Israel’s response.”

Meanwhile, just a few days after Secretary of State Clinton told AIPAC that the U.S. would demand  “sanctions that bite” on Iran, we have all learned that instead, U.S. policy is to soften any talk of sanctions in the vague hope that Russia and China will work with us to convince Iran to move away from its program for a nuclear bomb capacity. But while the U.S. can play nice with Iran, the announcement that an apartment complex will be built someday in Jerusalem means to the Times that the administration has to get even tougher with Israel.

As they see it, the Palestinians are “justifiably worried” that the land they hope to obtain will be nibbled away. The paper forgets to ask why their leaders have rejected virtually every settlement offered them in recent years that would have given them almost everything they want. Such an offer was made to Mahmoud Abbas by the previous Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert before he left office, and was turned down to his great consternation. Don’t expect that from the Times editors, who only ask that Israel be “pressed” by the Obama team to “halt building in East Jerusalem.” Only one side to the issue, it seems, is to be subject to pressure.