Thursday, March 30th | 3 Nisan 5777

Close

Be in the know!

Get our exclusive daily news briefing.

Subscribe
June 22, 2016 2:43 am

On US-Israel Relationship, It’s the New York Times Versus the New York Times

avatar by Ira Stoll

Email a copy of "On US-Israel Relationship, It’s the New York Times Versus the New York Times" to a friend
President Obama and Prime Minister Netanayhu. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

President Obama and Prime Minister Netanayhu. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Are the American and Israeli governments in conflict?

The New York Times news department can’t seem to decide.

On June 10, under the byline of Alexander Burns, the Times published an article headlined, “What Hillary Clinton’s To-Do List Might Look Like Now.” The final item on the list was “keep the platform fight civil.” This article reported, “The trickiest debate may come over Middle East issues, as Mr. Sanders has called periodically for a break from the traditional American policy of lock-step support for Israel.”

Related coverage

March 29, 2017 7:31 am
0

How Blind College Liberals Help Foster Antisemitism

“Ending White Privilege Starts With Ending Jewish Privilege,” screams a flyer being distributed on the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois. The...

On June 19, under the byline of Isabel Kershner, the Times published an article headlined, “Israel Approves Additional Funding for Settlements in West Bank.” That article included the following paragraph:

The settlements have long been a source of friction between Israel and the United States, along with much of the rest of the world. Most countries view settlement construction as a violation of international law and an impediment to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the Obama administration has described the settlements as “illegitimate.”

So which is it? Is America supporting Israel “lock-step”? Or are Israel and the Obama administration clashing over settlement construction in the West Bank (not to mention the Iran nuclear deal or the long list of other issues that have flared over the years between Israeli and American governments, from arms deals to spy scandals)?

The fact that the Times could convey both of these competing — in fact, blatantly contradictory — narratives in two articles published less than 10 days apart is just the latest confirmation that what the newspaper is up to in its reporting on the US-Israel relationship isn’t journalism, in the traditional, objective sense of trying to report the truth about an underlying reality. Instead, it is advocacy, advancing whatever version of the situation furthers whatever set of political goals the Times is advancing at a particular moment.

In the first Times article, the explanatory framework that America has been engaged in “lock-step” support of Israel fits with a whole elaborate (and, in my view, totally bogus) theory, in which Israel is to blame for the lack of Mideast peace, and in which America is additionally to blame for failing sufficiently to pressure Israel. If America only did apply such pressure, this flaky theory goes, it would somehow magically induce the Israeli government to make all the concessions necessary to bring about a lasting Mideast peace.

In the second Times article, the explanatory framework that Israel’s settlement activity has been creating friction with Washington fits with a whole nother elaborate (and in my view, also totally bogus) theory, in which Israel is to blame for the lack of Mideast peace, and for worsening its relations with America, by pursuing an extremist and illegal settlement policy. If Israel only stopped with these irksome settlements, this flaky theory goes, it would magically bring about a lasting Mideast peace.

In other words, the Times has managed to present two contradictory views of the US-Israel relationship, neither of which is true. I suppose this is an impressive feat of propaganda, even if it doesn’t amount to anything approaching distinguished or even passably accurate journalism.

More of Ira Stoll’s media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • Theodore Crawford

    Whatever works best to castigate and demonize the Hebrew people; a malicious smear campaign. Hitler would be proud.

  • The New York Times has lost all credibility as a fair balanced Newspaper, I would not wipe my
    B….. With it , let alone to read it

  • stevenl

    The western world antisemitism is demonstrated by their refusal to accept the fact (truth) that J & S are at worst “contested territories” and at best LEGITIMATE (non-Jewish legal experts) part of the Jewish state.

  • Lia

    Mr Stoll, I admire you: I cannot do what you do. Congratulations on trying to keep the NYT accountable to journalistic standards. I cannot even read it.

  • Morton Friedman

    What else but bigotry do you expect of NYT when it praises women only swimming hours for Moslems in Toronto and condemns it for Jewish women in New York.

    • steve epstein

      That is the definition of bigotry; treating similar actions differently when performed by different groups of people. Shame on the NYT.

Algemeiner.com