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January 23, 2015 3:21 pm

The New York Times Anti-Israel Style Guide Adds a New Phrase

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Office of The New York Times, in New York City. Photo: WikiCommons.

Office of The New York Times. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Buried in a New York Times article today about friction between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu  is a phrase that the newspaper has never used before:

Famously, many of those conversations have been deeply uncomfortable. The two leaders have often clashed on Israel’s determination to build new settlements, which Mr. Obama viewed as a way to sabotage peace talks. Mr. Netanyahu was accused of lecturing Mr. Obama in front of the cameras in the Oval Office during an angry conversation in May 2011, after Mr. Obama suggested that the 1967 borders with Palestine should be the starting point for peace negotiations. Later that year, after former President Nicolas Sarkozy of France complained in front of an open microphone that Mr. Netanyahu was “a liar,” Mr. Obama said, “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you.”

“1967 borders with Palestine”?

Amazingly, there are three errors in that four-word phrase.

  • There were never any borders, but armistice lines.
  • The armistice lines were drawn in 1949, not 1967.
  • And the word “Palestine” is nonsensical in any context. The 1949 armistice lines were with Transjordan/Jordan. No one in 1967 or 1949 considered Judea and Samaria to be “Palestine.”

The NYT has used the false phrase “1967 borders” or “pre-1967 borders” many times, referring to the 1949 armistice lines as “borders” even as early as June 1967 itself.

The New York Times used the phrase "1967 borders with Palestine" in a June 10 article. Photo: Elder of Ziyon.

But this is the first time they are implying that the land that had been illegally annexed by Jordan in 1949 was considered a separate “Palestine” in 1967.

This sort of thing is not an accident. The New York Times has a style guide – the current edition is not available to the public, but you can preview the 2002 edition here – where the usage of words and phrases is meticulously defined and refined over the years. When the NYT decides to make up a nonsensical phrase like this one, it means that they are changing their style rules to subtly push the lie that every inch beyond the 1949 armistice lines belongs to an entity, that is at least 47 years old, called “Palestine.”

Which means that the “newspaper of record” is willing to influence common usage of American English itself to push a specifically political agenda. Which just happens to be anti-Israel.

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  • Golum

    I really wish I lived in New York so I could cancel my subscription to the Times…those
    A-H**** have been dumping on Israel for years…I just don’t understand how they get away with that crap in a so called Jewish city??? Somebody please clue me in ….and don’t just blame it on the Jewish Democratic Liberals….there’s something else going on!!!

  • Irene

    Where are the NY Times fact checkers getting their facts? The PLO’s text books?

  • Charlie Hall

    It is even worse. In that 2011 speech, Obama didn’t use the term “borders” but used the word “lines”. Here is the link to the transcript of the entire speech:

    This isn’t just about style. It is about publishing falsehoods.

  • cityca

    Ah, so the NYT has joined with the BBC, Guardian and other media organisations in deciding to make the news, rather than report on it.

    So they have become lobbyists now? Hope they add that fact clearly underneath their title(s).

  • Stanley

    The (late) 1967 “boundaries” of Israel included Samaria, Judah, Gaza, Golan, and the Sinai.

    A reasonable person might ask why the New York Times would favor Israel retaking Sinai and Gaza at this time.

    • Charlie Hall

      Actually the boundaries of Medinat Yisrael do not include any of that area other than the Golan and East Jerusalem. The rest of the areas were never annexed and the residents never had any status in the Israeli legal system.

  • A Spindel

    The NY Times is so biased against Israel as not to be believable on any count, but to decide they have authority to create and change borders is outrageous. Their history is antisemitic so I guess its in their ink.

  • Uriel

    So what else is new? The New York Times is well known for its hostile attitude to theState of Israel. Obviously it wants to be among the “best friends who are Jewish” who are in the vocabulary of any antisemites.

  • Jerry Rosenberg

    I am a veteran of World War 11 and Israel’s War of independence.
    I was there to watch Arab trucks and cars with loudspeakers drive
    through the country-side and in the cities and towns and tell their fellow Arabs to leave for a couple of weeks so their
    victorious soldiers could drive the Jews into the Sea.
    Then they could come back to murder rape and loot the the
    remaining Jews. It didn’t turn out that way. The lines drawn
    in 1949 were armistice lines, not meant as borders. These lines
    were drawn by the United Nations mediating team, were never
    intended as a border of any type. Jordan Kept the old City.
    and maintained an army there for the next nineteen years.

  • That the UN was under the thumb of the US State Department and its analogues in the UK will surprise no one. I have been through the Ralph Bunche UN papers at UCLA, and it was clear that the Arab states who invaded the Jewish state in 1948 had no intention to make peace in 1949. Moreover, Bunche viewed his efforts as a failure, in my view because he had a false analysis of the conflict: it was not about two victimized peoples fighting over a small strip of land, but a fight about the resistance to modernity. I explained here:

  • Jerome Verlin

    Very important article focusing on the New York Times newest imbalanced anti-Israel news reporting expression.

    The mainstream media’s loaded lexicon delegitimizes Jewish presence not just in Judea-Samaria (the “Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories,” the “West Bank”) and “East” Jerusalem, but in the entirety of our Jewish homeland of Israel.

    In 2014, these attacks on the Jewish homeland included calling Israel “created” and “founded” in 1948; attributing “Palestinians'” “displacement” and “uprooting” to “the war over Israel’s 1948 creation”; referring to the Arab-Israeli conflict’s refugee issue as “the Palestinian refugee issue”; and claiming that legislation reiterating Israel as a Jewish state, as though it introduced something new, added a “complication” to Israel’s dealings with “Palestinians.”

    The NY Times’ latest – Israel’s “1967 borders with Palestine” – joins this set of pet MSM expressions distorting both what happened in 1967 and, even more gravely, in 1948.

    Algemeiner articles, e.g., “Israel is Engaged in a War of Words” by Varda Epstein, 6/27/14, and “Israel’s Supporters Must Stop Using These 13 Phrases,” by Lee Bender and me, 7/7/14, deal with the broader context in which this week’s article on this newest distorted expression fits. As does Lee Bender’s and my book, “Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed From A-to-Z.”

  • June Grant

    It seems that Goebbels was right – if you tell a big lie often enough it will be taken as fact. Calling the 1949 armistice lines a ‘border” is very big lie. The armistice lines drawn after the mass Arab armies failed to erase the State of Israel were drawn up with Jordan and not with a then fictional entity of Palestine – another big lie.

  • i must comment on the information provided by your site-it is one of the most informative and current news sources available…and arrives to me daily without searching. a big thank you!

  • Cynthia

    If they want to accurately portray the correct borders for the Nation of Israel….let us go back before all of this to the borders that GOD originally gave to his people – Israel. There would be NO Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Most of Saudi Arabia would be erased, Gaza, Parts of Egypt from the Nile all the way to the Great River Euphrates. So if they really want to talk borders, give the lands back to the original 12 tribes. Let us start there and we can go back and see how the people existed then, and how they actually got along with the Arabs and Pushtin peoples. There was nothing strange nor were there contentions, because everyone knew they were the people of GOD. Let us start there!

  • The true basis for a lasting peace in Israel
    A far-sighted Arab-Jewish agreement was arrived at 85 years ago but was never fully implemented. This still-legal agreement provides the basis for a solution today and should become widely publicized and supported.
    In 1919, following the end of World War I, an international Paris Peace Conference was convened by the victorious Allies to settle international questions. Delegations attended from around the world including an official Arab and Zionist delegation. The Arab delegation was led by Emir Feisal I, who agreed that the entire Palestine territory of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 would become the Jewish national home and expressed that position in separate letters to Zionist leaders Dr. Chaim Weitzman and Felix Frankfurter. In return for Arab support the Zionists promised economic and technical assistance to the local Arabs and the Allied powers agreed to grant eventual sovereignty to many of the Arab peoples in the region that were previously under control of the former Turkish Ottoman Empire.
    This conference, and a subsequent one at San Remo Italy, amicably settled the issues among the parties with voluntary, legally binding, international agreements. In 1922 the League of Nations assigned Britain as the Mandatory to faithfully carry out these agreements. It was British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill who in violation of the San Remo Treaty of 1920 unilaterally divided Mandatory Palestine into an exclusively Arab sector (Trans Jordan) and a Jewish sector. The Arabs received 76% of the original territory, comprising 35,000 square miles, located east of the Jordan River. That left the Jewish sector with only 10,000 square miles out of their original 45,000 square miles, which was still less than 1% of the combined Arab areas of 5 million square miles. That remaining Jewish sector is today contested with the ‘Palestinians’ claiming the ‘West Bank’ and Gaza to create, in effect, a second Palestinian state. (Jordan is mostly Palestinian.) It was the British, in 1919, who began to undermine their own Mandate and to instigate the Arabs against Jews.
    “Under this settlement, the whole of Palestine on both sides of the Jordan was reserved exclusively for the Jewish People as the Jewish National Home, in recognition of their historical connection with that country, dating from the Patriarchal Period. … The Palestine aspect of the global settlement was recorded in three basic documents that led to the founding of the modern State of Israel: … The British Government repudiated the solemn obligation it undertook to develop Palestine gradually into an independent Jewish state. … The US aided and abetted the British betrayal of the Jewish People by its abject failure to act decisively against the 1939 White Paper despite its own legal obligation to do so under the 1924 treaty. The UN Partition Resolution of November 29, 1947 illegally recommended the restriction of Jewish legal rights to a truncated part of Palestine. … Despite all the subversive actions to smother and destroy Jewish legal rights and title of sovereignty to the entire Land of Israel, they still remain in full force by virtue of the Principle of Acquired Rights and the doctrine of Estoppels that apply in all legal systems of the democratic world.”
    It has been argued, by scholars of international law, that the agreements of the international Paris Peace Conference of 1919, and their formal assignment to Britain as the Mandatory by the League of Nations, continue to be legally binding on all parties under international law. In addition to Jewish legal claims based on the 1922 law a case can be made that it is also morally binding and that England is guilty of bad faith and for having engaged in deliberate sabotage of that agreement. A most promising beginning for Arab-Jewish relations in the Middle East was deliberately undermined by England and this part of history must be brought to bear upon the present conflict. Israel has a right to make full land claims under that 1922 Mandate by the League of Nations. The Arabs should also be made aware that it was England that instigated them against the Jews in pursuit of British imperial interests and to the disadvantage of both Arabs and Jews.
    Significantly, Arab support for a Jewish state was clearly manifested at the Paris Peace conference of 1919. This should also be part of the legally binding Arab obligations to acceptance of a Jewish state with full rights. Emir Feisal I, son of Hussein, Sheriff of Mecca led the Arab delegation to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Excerpts of two letters from Emir Feisal to Zionist leaders Dr. Chaim Weitzman and to Felix Frankfurter indicate their friendly relations and high hopes for Jewish – Arab cooperation. Also note in the following text the term ‘Palestine’ clearly refers to the Jewish national home and not to any Arab entity or people.
    From Emir Feisal to Dr. Weitzman:
    “His Royal Highness the Emir Feisal, representing and acting on behalf of the Arab Kingdom of Hedjaz, and Dr. Chaim Weitzman, representing and acting on behalf of the Zionist Organization, mindful of the racial kinship and ancient bonds existing between the Arabs and the Jewish People, and realizing that the surest means of working out the consummation of their national aspirations is through the closest possible collaboration in the development of the Arab State and Palestine, and being desirous further of confirming the good understanding which exists between them, have agreed upon the following Articles:” … Article IV: “All necessary measures shall be taken to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale, and as quickly as possible to settle Jewish immigrants upon the land through closer settlements and intensive cultivation of the soil. In taking such measures the Arab peasant and tenant farmers shall be protected in their rights, and shall be assisted in forwarding their economic development.”
    From Emir Feisal to Felix Frankfurter:
    “… We feel that the Arabs and Jews are cousins in race, having suffered similar oppressions at the hands of the powers stronger than themselves, and by a happy coincidence have been able to take the first step towards the attainment of their national ideals together.” “We Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist Organization to the Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate and proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through: we wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.” …. “People less informed and less responsible than our leaders and yours, ignoring the need for cooperation of the Arabs and the Zionists have been trying to exploit the local difficulties that must necessarily arise in Palestine in the early stages of our movements. Some of them have, I am afraid, misrepresented your aims to the Arab peasantry, and our aims to the Jewish peasantry, with the result that interested parties have been able to make capital our of what they call our differences. …” (To read full text go to and
    What remains now is for all parties to courageously and boldly cast off the mindless schemes of Oslo and the Road Map and return to the sanity and statesmanship of the 1919 agreement. Those Arabs who have an acquired identity as ‘Palestinian’ should be given a far better alternative option than to be buried alive inside a non-viable illegal micro-state carved out of the Israeli heartland.
    The Win-Win solution
    Contrary to popular belief, the Arab-Israeli conflict has a reasonable solution. An orderly resettlement elsewhere of the so-called Palestinian Arabs would solve this long-standing ‘intractable’ problem. To propose this solution today elicits automatic rejection by almost everyone and perhaps even anger and hostility at its very mention (although attitudes may finally be changing). This is because the minds of many have been so thoroughly conditioned, with layer upon layer of repeated falsehoods, such that open-minded reconsideration is almost impossible. But resettlement could become the basis of a win-win solution for both sides.
    For example Saudi Arabia comprises some 750,000 square miles. It has a very low population density of only 33 per square mile vs. 1,000 for Israel including the territories. A modest 4% of Saudi Arabia, some 30,000 square miles, should be set aside for a new Palestinian state. That state would be 13 times the size of the present Palestinian area proposed under the Road Map and would now have ample space for natural growth. All of the intractable problems facing both Jews and Arabs, arising under the present schemes, would be eliminated. The Palestinians could now construct their own state with full political independence, self-rule and full dignity. The sources of friction between them and Israel would now be removed along with all the immense human and material costs associated with the current conflict.
    Palestinians could begin using their legitimate ‘right of return’ to exit the territories, and the refugee camps, and migrate back to their ancestral home in Arabia and thereby also be closer to Mecca and Medina. A fraction of the countless billions spent on weapons by the Arab governments could fund the cost of establishing new settlements for the Palestinians. Israel would be free of Arabs, and the Palestinians would be free of Israel. The deep wounds of both peoples would now have a chance to heal.
    In early 2004 a poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion shows 37% willing to emigrate in return for a home, a job and $250,000. And this is before a far better deal has been offered, including true self-rule, peace and security, plus their own ample territory. What if ‘Palestinians’ were offered a homeland territory, drawn from lands donated by one of the more spacious Arab countries, one expressing continuous concern, love for, and outrage at the treatment of these very same folk?
    Israeli Arabs could play a constructive role in this because of their higher level of education and their experience living as full citizens in democratic Israel. They would become the managerial and entrepreneurial class and provide valuable assistance and leadership for fellow Palestinians who were stagnating in refugee camps inside other Arab countries. This crime was committed by their own brother Arabs, who refused to allow them to settle.
    Once the migration starts toward a far better future the movement could well accelerate voluntarily because the first ones to relocate would receive the best ‘ground floor’ opportunities and the last ones to move would get what remains. Today there are tens of millions of people on the move around the world in search of better living conditions, so relocation is a long established and viable option for everyone.
    Another important advantage is that Israeli-Palestinian interaction would be limited to the selling of Arab homes in the territories and an orderly exit. No more frustratingly complex agreements as with Oslo where Israel honors all commitments and Arabs violate all commitments, and even U.S. assurances often prove worthless. The less need for Israel to depend on agreements with Arabs, Europeans and even Americans the better.
    The Arab states are intentionally not addressing their expulsion of over a million Jewish people from their countries and confiscating their assets, businesses, home and real estate holdings 5-6 times the size of Israel, valued in the trillions of dollars.
    Part of the problem are those Arab governments who deliberately keep the Israel-Palestinian conflict alive to divert attention from their own corrupt regimes. Also, western governments still pander to their corrupt Arab clients for purely expedient reasons. But new progressive voices are emerging among Arab intellectuals and even among some Moslem clerics that call for Arab societal reform, and who also recognize Jewish rights in the land of Israel. These voices need to be encouraged and enlisted in this quest for sanity.
    What is also needed is Saudi cooperation and active support. The Saudis have long been responsible for promoting anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, and anti-American hatred along with funding terror and the teaching of a hateful form of Islam. With their ‘royal’ family of thousands of princes living lavishly, off of oil income and the labor of foreign workers, they are a cesspool of corruption that even Osama bin Laden finds offensive.
    It is time to demand that the Saudis make a major contribution to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. They caused much of the problem and they must now assist with the solution. It is time for the Bush administration to make the Saudis ‘an offer they can’t refuse’ and have them realize they have a direct interest in providing ‘land for peace’.
    For too long many people have labored under a collective mindset resembling a bad dream where big lies become entrenched wisdom and truth is constantly strangled. Unless we change direction there will be dire consequences extending well beyond the peoples of the region. Those who still have minds and morals intact now have an obligation to think clearly and with sanity and support this approach to finally resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict.
    The mandates for Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine were assigned by the Supreme Court of the League of Nations at its San Remo meeting in April 1920. Negotiations between Great Britain and the United States with regard to the Palestine mandate were successfully concluded in May 1922, and approved by the Council of the League of Nations in July 1922. The mandates for Palestine and Syria came into force simultaneously on September 29, 1922. In this document, the League of Nations recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and the “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”

    • Your suggestion is valid, but outdated.

      Egypt’s President Sisi offered PA President, and all Palestinians, a huge section of the Sinai that touches along the entire Gaza border, that would make his proposed Palestine far larger than what is currently being sought by the Arabs and Palestinian supporters.

      The only condition is that Judea & Samaria would no longer be sought by the Arabs in any future ‘Palestinian’ dispute.

      The new territory, composed of Gaza together with the extra land in Sinai, would be a demilitarized state that would serve as a home to which Palestinian refugees could return.

      The proposal was rejected outright by Abbas. After a generation of lies, assigning undeserved importance to Judea and Samaria, how could he now tell the truth, and abandon ‘historical’ finds that they connivingly attributed to the made-up ‘Palestinians’ and not the Jews?

      So, you see, their generation of lies has forced them into a conundrum. Hence, your suggestion has been ‘tried and rejected’.

    • Charlie Hall

      So many falsehoods here it is impossible to list them all in a brief comment. Neither the Paris Peace Treaty nor the San Remo agreements had any legal standing regarding the territory of the Ottoman Empire, as the Ottoman Empire was not a party to the talks and neither signed nor ratified the treaty. Not until the Treaty of Lausanne — which went into effect in 1924 — did the legal status of territories that had belonged to the Ottoman Empire change, and by then the Ottoman Empire no longer existed, the territory east of the Jordan had already been taken over by the Hashemites (specifically, Feisal’s brother Abdullah), the League of Nations Palestine Mandate recognized this division, and furthermore none of these agreements, binding or not, specified the borders of the Jewish National Home.

      And of course none of this suggested in any way that there would ever be a sovereign Jewish state.

      It is a shame that we have been reduced to promoting falsehoods the way our enemies do.

  • Fred

    The New York Stuermer a most perverse rag. A mouthpiece of the enemies of the Jews in general. Bending low to the Arab petrodollar.

  • steven L

    The NYT is the flagship of the mass media antisemitism in the US.
    In the EU: BBC and the Guardian share this privilege.

  • Reform School

    The OCCUPY boss who installed A.C.O.R.N. activists as local Judges of Elections has used them since 2008 to overturn elections everywhere he could, with considerable success. More and more Liberal Progressives are regretting sending their ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’ to the White House, as they are increasingly bitten on the butt by their action.

  • Obama’s relations with Israel and other Nations r3
    Obama has no respect from many of the International community. Obama has no credibility, he has the least experience in real politics, he is the worst president the U.S. has ever had.
    Obama has alienated many nations and has caused foreign policy damage that is costing the American taxpayer trillions. His decisions are also costing numerous American lives in vain.
    Obama has abused his executive powers and should be prosecuted for his violations. Obama is ignoring the true sovereignty of the Jewish people in Israel and the various treaties and international agreements entered into after WWI and the various congressional resolutions on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people since WWI. Obama’s blatant disrespect of Netanyahu and Israel’s International legitimate rights shows his naivety in International matters and foreign policy.
    Obama’s lack of etiquette is an outright embarrassment to the United States.
    Natanyahu is trying his best, but he will not compromise the security of Israel and that is the way a leader should perform. No other decent leader of the free world perform differently.
    It is interesting to note, that Jordan is a country that never existed in history before WWI and nobody is contesting its legitimacy or territorial sovereignty and control. The same powers that established 21 Arab States plus Jordan after WWI also re-established the State of Israel based on the Balfour Declaration and the San Remo Treaty of 1920.
    On the other hand, Israel and its Jewish people have over 4,000 year of recorded history.
    Many Nations and people are questioning Israel’s control of its liberated territory. No one is mentioning that the Arab countries had ejected about a million Jewish people from their countries, confiscated their assets, businesses, homes and land. About 650,00 of these expelled Jewish people were resettled in Greater Israel. The Land the Arab countries confiscated from the Jewish people 120,000 sq. km. which is over 5-6 times the size of Israel, and its value today is in the trillions of dollars.
    Let the 21 Arab countries resettle the Arab Palestinians in the land they confiscated from the Jews which is 5-6 times the size of Israel. Provide them with funds they confiscated from the million Jewish people they expelled and let them build an economy, This will benefit both the Arab-Palestinians and the hosting countries, The other alternative is relocate the Arab-Palestinians to Jordan, (originally land allocated for the Jewish people under the San Remo Treaty of 1920) which is already 80% Arab-Palestinians, and give them funds to relocate and build an economy. This will solve the Arab-Palestinians refugee problem once and for all. It will also reduce hostility and strife in the region.

    If this is not discrimination against Israel, I do not know what is.
    It seems like nobody cares about land violations in other countries in the world, but when it comes to Israel, everyone has a say. Israel’s rights in the terms of the treaty of San Remo of 1920 are in affect in perpetuity, it clearly states that the Jewish people are the only ones with political rights in the British Mandate of Palestine and that the Jewish people can live anywhere in the British Mandate.
    If the U.S., Europe and other countries will stop meddling, and stop its criticism and involvement in the politics of Israel and the Arabs, than there will be a chance for peace.
    We know the great powers are only interested in the OIL and nothing else, that is the bottom line.
    A true and lasting peace in Israel will bring mammoth economic prosperity to The Israelis and The Arabs alike.
    An approach to peace starts by teaching your children and the people not to hate and condemn any acts violence that hurts civilian population and stop celebrating and rewarding the death and destruction of each other.

    YJ Draiman

    No Jew has the right to yield the rights of the Jewish People in Israel –
    David Ben Gurion
    (David Ben-Gurion was the first Prime Minister of Israel and widely hailed as the State’s main founder).
    “No Jew is entitled to give up the right of establishing [i.e. settling] the Jewish Nation in all of the Land of Israel. No Jewish body has such power. Not even all the Jews alive today [i.e. the entire Jewish People] have the power to cede any part of the country or homeland whatsoever. This is a right vouchsafed or reserved for the Jewish Nation throughout all generations. This right cannot be lost or expropriated under any condition or circumstance. Even if at some particular time, there are those who declare that they are relinquishing this right, they have no power nor competence to deprive coming generations of this right. The Jewish nation is neither bound nor governed by such a waiver or renunciation. Our right to the whole of this country is valid, in force and endures forever. And until the Final Redemption has come, we will not budge from this historic right.”
    at the Basle Session of the 20th Zionist Congress at Zurich (1937)

    “No country in the world exists today by virtue of its ‘right’.
    All countries exist today by virtue of their ability to defend themselves against those who seek their destruction.”

  • All Jews should boycott the New York Times until they clean up their act.

  • anon

    Good catch. Scary.