Related Topics
middle east

President Bush Job Approval

RCP Average
Send to a Friend | Print Article

The New York Times' Anti-Israel Bias

By Ed Koch

The British Broadcasting Corporation and The New York Times consistently carry news stories and editorials that are slanted against Israel and sympathetic to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

In response to charges of bias leveled against the BBC, an independent panel report was published in May of this year. According to an article published in the European-Jewish Press on May 5th, the report "recognized lapses sometimes in tone, language and attitude," in reports on the Middle East. However, it concluded that, "there was little to suggest systematic or deliberate bias."

I don't agree with the panel's conclusion. I continue to believe that the anchors and those who prepare the scripts have a strong bias and hostility toward Israel which they demonstrate in their work product.

For example, on a Channel 13 PBS evening news show last Wednesday, May 24th, I witnessed a clear example of that BBC bias when anchor Matt Frei said:

"Welcome. Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert pushed all the right buttons for an American audience. Addressing a joint session of U.S. Congress, Mr. Olmert said he was extending a hand to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas but that Israel would not yield to terror. Israel has not recognized the new Hamas government and Hamas does not recognize the existence of Israel. The new Prime Minister also warned that his government would not wait forever for a Palestinian peace partner but would seek a unilateral solution."

The language that struck me as demonstrating an incomplete and misleading picture hostile to Israel was the statement, "Israel has not recognized the new Hamas government and Hamas does not recognize the existence of Israel." Frei equated Israel, the victim of terrorism, with the Hamas government. The unabashed and publicly-stated goal of Hamas, when it was not in government and now that it is the government, is to occupy all of historic Palestine, from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean Sea, and destroy the Jewish state.

In referring to the goal of Hamas, a May 27th New York Times article stated:

"Hamas has refused to recognize the right of Israel to exist as a permanent, sovereign state, insisting that all of the former Palestine is waqf - land given by God to Muslims, who can neither cede nor sell it."

The European Union, often a supporter of the Palestinian Authority, criticizes Israel when it seeks to protect its people by building a wall to keep the terrorists and suicide bombers out of Israel. But even the E.U. has denounced and continues to refuse to recognize the Hamas-dominated government in Gaza and the West Bank. The E.U. has stated that it will not recognize the Hamas government or finance it with payments which in the past exceeded a billion dollars a year, unless and until Hamas recognizes the right of Israel to exist, repudiates acts of terrorism, and recognizes all prior agreements made by the Palestinian Authority with Israel. In its new role as the governing authority on the West Bank and in Gaza, Hamas' reply is that it will make no such commitments.

That same Times article quoted a Hamas representative:

"Ziad Dia, a Hamas participant in the talks with Fatah, said in a statement that any document that even implied recognition of 'the Zionist entity and ceding an inch of Palestine,' would be rejected. That is also likely to be the view of the Hamas political leadership in exile, including central figures like Khaled Meshal and Mousa Abu Marzook."

Since 1948, the Israeli people have suffered through and won five wars and two intifadas waged against them by five Arab state armies, and the Palestinians. Had Israel lost a single war or either of the intifadas, the consequences for it would have been total destruction, the Jewish people being slaughtered in large numbers and survivors expelled from the land. I have no doubt that the Palestinian terrorists believe in the battle cry of Osama bin Laden's second in command, Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, who has stated, "Killing the infidels is our religion, slaughtering them is our religion, until they convert to Islam or pay us tribute."

Israel having prevailed, the U.N. in 1967 adopted resolution 242 which "calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied in the war that year and the acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force." The language specifically omitted the article "the" in describing the territory from which Israel was to withdraw so as to leave open the drawing of defensible borders.

The U.S., European Union, the U.N. and Russia, known as the Quartet, have demanded of the Palestinian Authority under the terms of the agreement known as "The Roadmap" two separate states in the area west of the Jordan River that was part of historic Palestine. The agreement, which has been accepted by Israel, calls for the Palestinian Authority to dismantle and disarm the infrastructure of terrorism within the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority. That never occurred under Yassir Arafat or his successor as President of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Abbas. To the contrary, the terrorists under the banner of Hamas were elected in an election declared fairly conducted by former president Jimmy Carter and the U.N. Having been elected in a democratic election held in Gaza and the West Bank, no one has the right, states The Times, to "punish the Palestinian people by endorsing any unilateral proposal (a reference to President Bush's support of a land exchange of about eight percent of the West Bank containing Jewish settlements) - doing that would punish them for exercising their democratic right to vote."

What idiocy on the part of The Times. Of course, the Palestinian people should be punished for their election decision.

That same view - not to criticize or take action - was in vogue in 1932 and thereafter following Hitler's democratic victory in Germany when he became the lawful Chancellor of the German government and began his war against the Jews and later the nations of Europe. Had the German nation been criticized and punished for electing Hitler in 1932, the world may have been spared the slaughter by the Nazis of 50 million people including six million Jews. All of this historical background was ignored by The Times and it was ignored by the BBC anchor in his commentary when he simply stated, "Israel has not recognized the new Hamas government and Hamas does not recognize the existence of Israel."

In the 1930s and '40s, the critical failure of The Times, reported on and acknowledged by The Times after World War II, was its omission to adequately report on the murderous war against the Jews undertaken by Hitler and his Nazi government.

A Times editorial of May 25th defines the Israel/Palestine problem as follows:

"Anyone who has ever really looked at a map of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza can see how hard it will be to form a Palestinian state. Even a future Palestine that includes all of the West Bank ad Gaza is still going to be in two pieces with Israel in the middle, separating Gaza from the West Bank.

"To get an idea of this, imagine a map of Manhattan. The West Bank would be, very roughly, East Harlem and the Upper East Side. Gaza would be Battery Park City, far to the southwest. Now imagine trying to create a fully functioning city with its own economy out of those pieces while an entirely independent antagonistic city remained in between.

"Yet that is what the Palestinians will have to do if they even manage to get back to the 1967 borders. (If the Sharon-Olmert plan, now tentatively blessed by Mr. Bush, goes into effect, they won't achieve that.) If Mr. Olmert moves forward with his plan to retain large settlement blocs in the West Bank, the Palestinians may well lose huge parts of their 'Upper East Side' and be left trying to form a country out of what's left, and their Battery Park City."

What else can one draw from The Times, other than if it were drawing the lines, it would place Israel in an even worse position than going back to the 1967 indefensible borders which Israel has no intention of doing? We don't know the name of the person on The Times editorial board who wrote that unsigned editorial. We do know as part of its regular practice the entire board approved the language before it was published. In my opinion, The Times, editorially, is back to where it was in the '30s and '40s - unconcerned with Hamas' stated goal of destroying the Jewish nation.

Ed Koch is the former Mayor of New York City.

Email Friend | Print | RSS | Add to | Add to Digg
Sponsored Links
 Ed Koch
Ed Koch
Author Archive