Monday, July 16, 2012

In The Israel-Palestinian Peace Process, The Media Ignores Half Of The Equation

Barry Rubin addresses what continues to be an unanswered question Why the Mass Media’s Best Effort to Understand Obama’s Failure to Make Israel-Palestinian Peace Fails.

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
This intransigence of Abbas and the Palestinian Authority is not mentioned by the media

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
Read the whole thing.

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.

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1 comment:

Empress Trudy said...

Because even in a bizarro world that Israel actually did retreat to the 1949 Armistice line, the next day, the very next day, the White House would demand they retreat to the 1948 line, then the 1947 line then the Jewish Ghetto map, then the 1929 map and so on and so on. Because American politics has classically failed to do one simple thing - look at a map of the Arab world and tally up the 99.5% ethnic cleansing of Jews that's gone on the entire 20th Century.