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January 6, 2022 11:27 am

Peter Beinart’s Antisemitism Strikes Again

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Peter Beinart. Photo: Joe Mabel via Wikimedia Commons.

In Peter Beinart’s Substack, he writes:

In 1984, in an essay in The London Review of Books, Edward Said observed that while Palestinians were increasingly talked about, they still weren’t often listened to. “Never has so much been written and shown of the Palestinians, who were scarcely mentioned fifteen years ago,” he noted. “They are there all right, but the narrative of their present actuality – which stems directly from the story of their existence in and displacement from Palestine, later Israel – that narrative is not.” Said was the exception that proved his own rule. In the 1990s and early 2000s, he was a frequent guest on Charlie Rose. His columns graced The New York Times. But he was largely alone. A study by the University of Arizona’s Maha Nasser found that of the opinion columns in The New York Times that discussed Palestinians between 1970 and 2020, less than two percent were written by Palestinian authors. In The Washington Post, the figure was one percent.

They were absent because America’s public debate about Israel-Palestine largely pitted dovish Zionists against hawkish Zionists. Anthony Lewis versus William Safire. Arthur Hertzberg versus Elie Wiesel. Thomas Friedman versus Charles Krauthammer. Daniel Kurtzer versus Dennis Ross. Jeremy Ben-Ami versus Alan Dershowitz. Roger Cohen versus Bret Stephens. The participants changed but the terms of the debate remained largely the same: The doves said Israel could not afford to stay in the West Bank. The hawks said Israel could not afford to leave. Both sides shared a common belief that the Jewish state must survive.

During the fighting last spring, that began to change. While still underrepresented, Palestinian commentators gained more prominence. Noura Erekat appeared on CNN. Mohammed El-Kurd appeared on MSNBC. Refaat Alareer and Yousef Munayyer published in The New York Times. Rula Jebreal and Rashid Khalidi wrote for The Washington Post. Their presence shifted the terms of debate about Israel-Palestine…

Beinart made a similar claim in 2020, saying that “For decades, Palestinians have been largely excluded from the mainstream US media conversation about Israel-Palestine. That exclusion continues today, and represents one more form of Palestinian dispossession.”

I then noted that The New York Times had published op-eds from the following Palestinians in the years since Oslo:

Marwan Barghouti
Saeb Erekat
Diana Buttu
Ahmed Abu Artema
Mahmoud Abbas
Hanan Ashrawi
Ali Abunimah
Ayman Odeh
Raja Shehadeh
Zena Agha
Daoud Kuttab
Yasir Arafat
Ali Jarbawi
Yousef Munayyer
Rashid Khalidi
Khalil Shikaki
Linda Sarsour
Zahi Khoury

The study he cites included editorial pieces by columnists and editorial boards, who are all Americans. That is really skewing the data. If you actually wanted to prove an anti-Palestinian bias in the media, you would compare the number of Palestinian-authored pieces with the number of Israeli-authored pieces. Probably there were more from Israelis — but if you further subdivide them into whether the pieces were pro-Israel or anti-Israel, I would bet that the number of pro-Israel pieces from Israelis were less than the number of anti-Israel pieces by Palestinians.

If you want “fairness,” then include op-eds by Palestinians who are critical of Fatah and Hamas, and who condemn Palestinian terrorism and payments to terrorists who kill Israeli children. Include op-eds by Khaled Abu Toameh or Bassem Eid. Only then can you claim that these statistics are based on a level playing field. Of course, The New York Times would never publish any op-ed by a Palestinian (or Muslim) who is critical of Palestinian national actions, and they eagerly publish op-eds by anti-Israel Israelis and Jews.

Beinart also shows, again, what a disgusting human being he is. When he says that the overwhelming number of op-eds agreed that “the Jewish state must survive,” he is saying that this is a debatable issue.

How many op-eds in any newspaper say that the Italian state or the French state or the US (or Yemen and Lebanon, for that matter) must be destroyed? The answer is zero. But Beinart, whose propaganda methods are second to none, is saying that Israel’s existence can be acceptably debated, making Israel the only nation on Earth whose very existence is subject to debate.

That is antisemitism. And Peter Beinart is an antisemite.

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