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May 17, 2019 8:38 am

Times ‘Eurovision’ Article Misleads on Palestinian Goals

avatar by Ira Stoll


The headquarters of The New York Times. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The New York Times is understating the goals of Israel’s enemies in a way that misleads its readers.

A news article in the May 15 Times about the Eurovision Song Contest makes reference to “Palestinians and their supporters in the international boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which opposes Israel’s policies.” The BDS movement doesn’t merely oppose Israel’s policies. It has, as a formal, stated goal, the “return” to Israel of Arab refugees and their descendants, which would effectively destroy the Jewish state. It also calls on Israel to end its “occupation and colonization of all Arab lands,” which for at least some of them isn’t limited to the West Bank or Gaza, but includes the entire Jewish state.

Similarly, the same Times article reports, “most European countries do not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the Palestinians demand the city’s Israeli-annexed, eastern part as the capital of a future state.” Some Palestinians would be content, at least for now, with the eastern part of Jerusalem. But others demand the rest of the city — the entire thing — as the capital of a Palestinian state, or perhaps as an “international city” stripped of Israeli sovereignty.

These may seem like minor, subtle points. I don’t doubt that there are some Palestinian Arabs willing to accept the continued existence of Israel as a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital. But if all Palestinians actually accepted this, the conflict would have ended long ago. The Times depiction of Palestinian demands as less maximalist than they actually are winds up conveying to Times readers a misleading view.

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Ira Stoll was managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of The Jerusalem Post. More of his media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.


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