Friday, January 06, 2006

Jokes and Fantasies in the Times

Today's joke comes from Neil MacFarquhar of the New York Times, in a story today:
Although Mr. Sharon was the architect of Israel's settlement policy, it was he who decided to dismantle some 25 of the settlements, including all of the small but ideologically fervent outposts in the Gaza Strip that retarded peace prospects during Israel's occupation of the strip.
Yes, no missiles or Hamas or nuthin and hey, did you notice how peaceful the place has been since the Israelis withdrew. Right! Yuk yuk yuk. Come on, can't you take a joke? This guy is funny.

On the editorial page, meanwhile, all is serious and solemn, as the beloved Sulzberger template was hard at work:

... Likud Party, now headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, represents the same old Likud way: inflaming Palestinian tensions through war and continuing settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank.
This, remember, is not a joke. The Times has decided, by editorial fiat, that the entire West Bank is "Palestinian," and that's that.

Similarly, the Times is perfectly serious when it contends that "Palestinian tensions" would simply subside if the "right wing" Likud would stop with this "war" stuff. Stop making war, Likud, damn it! Then all will be peaceful, as we see lately in Gaza.

What we have here is a "Pinch" Sulzberger fantasy. Don't forget: Pinch (Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.), as publisher, runs the editorial page, and these views are his. Pinch's editorialist continues:

The vision pushed forward by Mr. Sharon for the past year has been built around the central tenet of separation: the idea that the Israelis can't live with the Palestinians, so they will separate from the Palestinians and build a wall to make the separation visible and permanent.

Again, it is possible, though not likely, that Pinch & Co. seriously believe that preventing suicide bombers was not the reason for the security fence.

It is possible, though not likely, that Pinch & Co. seriously believe that preventing suicide bombers was not the reason for the security fence. That's what's known as a "lie." Ditto for their statement that the fence is a "wall," because for most of its length it's a fence and not a wall.

But hey, we're talking about the grandson of the publisher (Arthur Hayes Sulzberger) who ignored Auschwitz. What's a couple of fantasies and a lie or two when you have that kind of legacy to carry on?

UPDATE: A reader points out that Steve Erlanger's front page wrapup piece devotes all of one sentence at the very end to the continued violence in Gaza -- and leaves out an important fact. The Pals on Thursday released the kidnappers of a British family after a rampage by terrorists. Not fit to print. Why?

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