Saturday, 13 August 2011

Forgetting 242. The ongoing one-sided criticism of Israel

How do I know that when I see an article in the New York Times written by an Israeli/Palestinian duo it's going to be critical of Israel and touch not one whit on what the Palestinian leadership needs to do to attain peace?  Well, first because it's the NYT and they miss no opportunity to lay into Israel.
The second is that any time there's Israel-Palestinian cooperation on writing about the country or "working for peace" -- the likes of Barenboim -- the outcome is the same: unsparing criticism of Israel; no call for any of the prerequisites for peace from the Palestinian leadership.
One of the clearest pre-requisites?  In Resolution 242 of the United Nations in 1967 is the requirement that, in return for Israel's return of "territories" (not "the" territories, allowing for some flexibility on what is returned), there must be recognition of the Jewish state and guarantees of its security.
Israel has on several occasions since offered its half of this pact; no leadership on the Palestinian side has come near offering its side of the pact.
Two articles in the International Herald Tribune (the international edition of the New York Times) on the same day, both hyper-critical of Israel; and neither taking account of article 242, or even drawing Palestinian attention to it....
  1. In Israel the Rent is Too Damn High, by Dimi Reider and Azis Abu Sarah, Aug 3
  2. Seeking Balance on the Mideast, by Nicholas D. Kristof, Aug 3 [sick irony in the use of "balance" in the headline]
As a counter: "Wild Bill" on the invention of the "Palestinian".  He's pretty earthy in his description, but it's correct history: as recorded in contemporaneous accounts from both sides: the Arab and Israeli and also the nascent UN at the time.

Prequel: James Carrol writes Israel's opportunity to stop a train wreck along the same lines -- yawn! -- as the two pieces above: ie all the blame/responsibility on Israel, none on the Palestinians.....  Which led to a sensible letter (which appears unsigned):
RE JAMES Carroll’s July 18 column “Israel’s opportunity to stop a train wreck’’: In the run-up to the Palestinian Authority’s planned September request of the United Nations to make Palestine a recognized state, Israel is right to be concerned and make moves to protect itself. That is because a Palestinian state in the middle of Israel would spell destruction for the Jewish nation and democracy in the Middle East.
Carroll calls for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Knesset to view this as a chance for “coexistence,’’ but apparently fails to take into account the history of the past six decades. Since 1937 the Palestinians have rejected more than 30 opportunities for statehood. Why? Because all of these opportunities have included the existence of the state of Israel, anathema to the Palestinian cause. How many more offers does Israel have to make? Or will only the elimination of a Jewish presence from the Middle East satisfy Israel’s critics?