New York Times false facts about the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
On April 14, 2014, the New York Times published an editorial titled: In the Middle East, Time to Move On.
The article is filled with false facts, expresses anti-Israel opinions and frequently uses anti-Israel sentiment.
While the New York Times is entitled to express its anti-Israel opinion and use anti-Israel sentiment – after all, it is an editorial – falsifying facts and bending the truth, especially for the purpose of supporting a biased opinion, is nothing short of lying.
Here are a few examples of the New York Times false facts (see highlighted text in the original New York Times article*):
(1) “In 2009, the administration focused on getting Israel to halt settlement building and ran into the obstinacy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and resistance from the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to entering peace talks.“
Flat out false.
On November 25, 2009, in a step characterized by top U.S. envoy for the region George Mitchell as “more than any Israeli government has done before, and [a decision that] can help move toward agreement between the parties“, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did agree to a 10-month settlement construction freeze (through Sep. 26, 2010) in the West Bank, yielding to the Obama administration pressure and the Palestinians demand.
The Palestinian Authority rejected the gesture as being insignificant and despite the construction halt, continued to refuse to enter negotiations for almost 10 months into the construction-freeze period. When they finally entered negotiations on Sep. 2, 2010, they immediately threatened to exit them should the looming expiration of the construction-freeze period not be extended. When the 10-month settlement construction-freeze period elapsed and the halt was not extended – the Palestinians broke off the talks.
(2) “Since then, members of Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition government have tried to sabotage the talks.“
Speculation, not a fact.
This speculative accusation has been put forward by Tzipi Livni, the head of a small left-wing faction (Hatnu-ah) that won only 6 seats (5%) in the Jan. 2013 elections to the 120-seat Israeli parliament.
The height of Livni’s political career was her Foreign Minister post under Prime Minister Sharon government of 2006, as a member of the ruling Kadima political faction.
After Sharon’s stroke, and Olmert’s (his successor as Prime Minister) decision to step down, Livni in Sep. 2008 won Kadima‘s leadership by a 1% margin (431 votes).
After Olmert’s resignation as Prime Minister, Livni was tasked in Sep. 2008 to form a government, but was unable to garner sufficient support in the Knesset (Israeli parliament).
In the following 2009 elections, Livni ran against Netanyahu. She was endorsed by the New York Times, and by the left-wing Israeli newspaper Ha-Aretz. Netanyahu endeded up forming a government following the elections, while Livni became the opposition leader. In Mar. 2012, Livni lost her primary elections in her Kadima faction by a wide margin (64.5% to her 35.5%) . She then resigned from the Knesset.
In Nov. 2012 Livni formed a new faction (Hatnu-ah) and ran against Netanyahu for prime-minister position in the Jan. 2013 elections, with its platform emphasizing on its aggressive push for a peace settlement with the Palestinians.
After winning only 6 seats (5%) in the Jan. 2013 elections to the 120-seat Israeli parliament, Livni joined Netanyahu’s government as Justice minister and head of Israeli negotiation team with the Palestinians.
(3) “The process broke down last month when Israel failed to release a group of Palestinian prisoners as promised and then announced 700 new housing units for Jewish settlement in a part of Jerusalem that Palestinians claim as the capital of a future state.”
An opinion, not a fact.
The process broke down because:
– Refused to discuss any recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
– Refused Kerry’s proposed framework which aimed for the formulation of a final agreement.
– Said “No” to Kerry’s request to agree to extend the talks beyond the looming April 29, 2014 deadline.
– Indicated clearly that all they were interested in was the release of the last batch of 28 terrorist before the deadline, after which they would walk away and take unilateral steps to gain international recognition as a state outside of an agreement with Israel.
Released 78 Palestinian terrorist in 3 batches during the negotiation period as a gesture to the Palestinians in order to gain their consent to restart the talks brokered by Kerry.
– Never committed to halt construction in Jerusalem or the West Bank, thus has not violated the conditions under which the talks were held.
– Was prepared to accept Kerry’s proposed framework which aimed for the formulation of a final agreement.
– After realizing that the Palestinians – by their refusal to agree to the extension of talks and their threats to go to the UN – are not interested in continued negotiations but only in the release of their terrorists – Israel postponed the release of the last batch of terrorists while negotiating a broader deal that will tie such a release with the continuation of the negotiations.
(4) “…Palestinians responded by applying to join 15 international conventions and treaties. That move won’t get them a state, but it is legal…“
Flat out false.
The Palestinians applying to join 15 international conventions and treaties was a violation of the terms of negotiations, as well as a violation of previous agreements with Israel in which Palestinians have committed not to take any unilateral steps outside the context of a negotiated agreement with Israel that have any effect of the political status of Palestine as an independent entity (1995 Oslo Interim Agreement Article XXXI Final Clauses 7).
(5) “…[Israel] took its own unilateral steps by announcing plans to deprive the financially strapped Palestinian Authority of about $100 million in monthly tax revenues…“
Flat out false.
The Israeli decision was to deduct Palestinian debt from the monthly transfer of tax collections, which typically amounts to about $100 million per month. Palestinians owe Israel hundreds of millions of dollars for electricity and hospital bills. There was no Israeli specific announcement as to the amount that would be withheld to cover Palestinian debt.
Perhaps the New York Times needs to change its tag line.