Rubin's starting point is an article last year in The Washington Post by Scott Wilson: In meeting with Obama, Netanyahu rules out Israeli withdrawal to 1967 boundaries
The basic problem is that even an article that Rubin agrees is well-written and researched such as Wilson's lacks a context--there is an entire side to the Israel-Palestinian story that is being ignored:
And this can be largely explained by a curious but constant missing ingredient in mass media coverage. About 95 percent of the article is concerned with Obama’s relationship with Jews and Israel. The Palestinian side of the factor is hardly mentioned. Yet it was this aspect that caused the failure. What makes this stranger in this case is that Wilson is not trying to excuse the Palestinian side for refusing to want to make peace and even for its reluctance to negotiate.For example,Wilson does not mention:
- In 2008, the Arab states refused to help Obama by offering Israel something
- In his 2009 interview with the Post's Jackson Diehl, Abbas revealed his disinterest in the peace process
- In 2009, when Obama called for peace talks--Netanyahu accepted and Abbas refused
- In 2011, Abbas attempted to make a statehood bid at the UN against Obama's opposition
Putting aside the question of whether there may be antisemtitic or anti-Israel biases involved, Rubin lists a number of possibilities, for example:
- The fear of being accused of bias towards Israel, or of Islamophobic racism
- The view that the Palestinian Arabs--and Muslims generally—-are somehow "inferior" and cannot be held responsible for their actions, rather can only be victims.
- Ignorance about both Palestinian and Israeli politics and society
While the media is slowly coming around to realizing Why Palestinian Corruption Matters, it appears they still view any peace process as straightforward and just requiring applying pressure.
Inevitably, that means applying the screws to Israel, which is viewed as more dependent on the US than the Abbas regime.
It is not clear if that view is going to change in the near term.
Technorati Tag: Israel and Palestinians and Peace Process.