October 31, 2014

New York Times Op-Ed Index


New York Times Op-Ed Index For May 2012

A) Syria’s Threatened Minorities by Jonathan Randal – May 4, 2012

Then, that September in neighboring Lebanon, Maronite Christian militiamen, egged on by allies in Israel’s invading army, slaughtered hundreds of unarmed Palestinians in Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

My usual rule is that in order to qualify for inclusion in the index, the op-ed has to be substantially about Israel. I will bend the rule this time.

By charging that Israel "egged on" the Phalangists, Randal is rehashing the false (though, according to a jury, not libelous) charges Time Magazine made against Ariel Sharon. What happened, according to Daniel Pipes, didn't reflect well on the IDF – "…their culpability was in fact limited to giving the Phalangist militia access to Palestinian camps and then not intervening to stop them" – but it wasn't the same as encouraging the massacre.

It's also worth mentioning that, in the credits, it mentions that Randal's book is being republished by Just World Books. Just World Books is run by anti-Israel activist and terrorist cheerleader, Helena Cobban.

Anti-Israel – 1 / Pro-Israel – 0

B) Power with Purpose – by Thomas Friedman – May 23, 2012

Whenever a nation or leader amasses this much power, with no checks coming from anywhere, the probability of misreading events grows exponentially. Bibi could be assuming that the Palestinians in the West Bank can be pacified simply with better economic conditions. Don’t count on it. Humiliation remains the single most powerful human emotion. It trumps economic well-being every time. Bibi could be assuming that the Palestinian security services will indefinitely act as Israel’s forward police force in the West Bank — absent any hopes of Palestinian statehood. Not likely — eventually they will be viewed as “traitors.” Bibi could be assuming that Israel could strike Iran — and upend the world economy — and still continue to build settlements in the West Bank. I would not bet on that; the global backlash could be severe. Bibi could be assuming that the West Bank Palestinian leadership will always be moderate, secular and pro-Western. If only …

Friedman here is arguing that unless Israel placates the Palestinians there will be violence. Aside from blaming Israel for Abbas's refusal to negotiate, Friedman is effectively saying that terror would understandable if not excusable, if the Palestinians don't achieve statehood.

Anti-Israel – 2 / Pro-Israel – 0


C) Iranians Taking Solace in the Past – By Camelia Entekhabifard – May 22, 2012

Today, life in the Islamic Republic is more difficult than it has been since the eight-year war with Iraq. International economic sanctions, the harshest since the 1979 revolution, have squeezed the struggling middle class even further. Ordinary Iranians live in constant fear that Israel — one of Tehran’s strongest political allies before 1979 — may soon decide to bomb them. So many of the country’s best and brightest students have left Iran to study abroad, and are certainly not willing to come back.

It's true that Israel is only mentioned twice in this op-ed. On the other hand, both times it is to make the point that the average Iranian fears Israel.

Anti-Israel – 3 / Pro-Israel – 0

D) Not All Israeli Citizens Are Equal – By Yousef Munayyer – May 23, 2012

Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport is on the outskirts of Lod (Lydda in Arabic), but because my wife has a Palestinian ID, she cannot fly there; she is relegated to flying to Amman, Jordan. If we plan a trip together — an enjoyable task for most couples — we must prepare for a logistical nightmare that reminds us of our profound inequality before the law at every turn.

This is a very skilled piece of propaganda. Various disconnected facts are presented all attributed to a single cause. But much is left out. For example, why does Munayyer's wife have a Palestinian ID rather than a Jordanian one? The history, law and rules that keep the Munayyer's apart are varied. Munayyer suggests a single cause: Israeli prejudice. There are of course many real causes, such as the Arab refusal to accept Israel and terrorism that led to the situation he described. Honest Reporting noted that another recent article in the Australian had made similar charges and suggests that this might be a coordinated effort.

Munayyer is a contributor to Peter Beinart's Open Zion. This is a further indication that Beinart's goal is not to support Israel but to attack it.

Anti-Israel – 4 / Pro-Israel – 0

E) Going Directly to Israelis and Palestinians - Shlomo Ben-Ami, Thomas C. Schelling, Jerome M. Segal and Javier Solana – May 30, 2012

Once UNSCOP-2 successfully identifies a set of compromises that both peoples can support, perspectives may shift. Possibly, in response to a directive from the Security Council, both sides will accept the UNSCOP plan as the basis for resumed negotiations. If that is not possible, the Security Council will have to consider its next step.

As much as I'd like to call this "anti-Israel" because of co-authors Jerome Segal (who is a pro-Palestinian activist) and Javier Solana, this is really just an unrealistic proposal that will never come about. Yes, it treats both sides equally, which is frustrating, but it isn't overtly anti-Israel. NEUTRAL.

Final Tally: Anti-Israel – 4 / Pro-Israel – 0

Methodology: I searched the archives for the New York Times for op-eds and unsigned editorials from the New York Times from May 1 – 31, 2012. I did not include letters to the editor or articles that were not mainly about Israel or the Palestinian-Israeli conflict – though this time I made one exception. The impetus for these exercises was a 2007 column, The Danger of one sided debate, in which the previous public editor, Clark Hoyt, justified giving a column to a Hamas spokesman, lest the paper's opinion section be too pro-Israel. As I've regularly found, there hasn't been any danger that Israel's views would be overrepresented in the opinion pages of the New York Times in recent years. I've been tracking the New York Times opinion pages and this is the first month in which I have not seen even one pro-Israel essay.

About Daniel Goldstein

Daniel Goldstein is a media critic and recovering blogger. He has been critiquing media bias against Israel since his first letter to the editor in 1987.