Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Times Votes for Hamas


Supplemented bluster with deeds

Triple-header in the New York Times today: An article and editorial on the upcoming Palestinian elections, and a front-page Steve Erlanger piece on the horrible, unjustified, mean and rotten "separation barrier." The three predictable expenditures of wood pulp can be summed up thusly: "Israel -- bad! Why don't you leave those poor, innocent Palestinians alone?"

The Erlanger piece was... well, it was a Steve Erlanger piece. What more can I say? This is the man who feels that Yasir Arafat had a "heroic history." I can just see Erlanger's story memo: "Say [foreign editor] Susan Chira, we haven't done a piece in a few days on how terribly the poor, innocent Palestinians are being treated by Israel. Let's do a nice long story quoting mainly opponents of that awful apartheid wall, with a few underplayed 'flicks' at why it was built in the first place?"

Hey, a story like that sells itself at the daily edition of Counterpunch!

The elections piece focuses on bad, mean, undemocratic Israel objecting to the poor, innocent, democratic Palestinians letting Hamas run in the Palestinian elections. Note the following carefully worded paragraph:

Israel says it will not allow voting in [East Jerusalem] on the ground that the Palestinian Authority is violating the interim peace agreement by allowing the
participation of Hamas, which is committed to Israel's destruction.


The above is classic Times-speak: characterizing an established fact as a "position" of Israel or the U.S. government.

In fact, it is not an "Israeli position" but a fact that Hamas is prohibited from participating in the election by Article III of the Oslo accords, which says:

"The nomination of any candidates, parties or coalitions will be refused, and such nomination or registration once made will be canceled, if such candidates, parties or coalitions:(1) commit or advocate racism; or(2) pursue the implementation of their aims by unlawful or nondemocratic means."

Honestreporting commented, when the issue first arose a few months ago, that "Hamas clearly falls under both categories ― its official charter (calling for jihad against all Israelis and universal conversion to Islam) is as racist as they come, and its terrorist means are certainly 'unlawful and nondemocratic'. "

That point is covered with vaseline in the article and missed entirely by the editorial. Instead, the typically clueless Times sermonette makes Hamas seem like a dissident co-op board faction instead of a murderous terrorist group. And we get this real gem: "To be sure, the other option, letting Hamas run, is hard to stomach. But it is the lesser evil because any movement, once in power, is compelled to supplement its bluster with deeds."

True. The Nazis certainly "supplemented their bluster with deeds," didn't they?

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