Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Times Reaches Back for a Smear

The New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Stephen Erlanger, in a profile today of Israel's new foreign minister Tzipi Livni, reached way back into history to mention the Irgun -- the underground movement in the pre-Independence Israel, which was disarmed and integrated into the Israeli armed forces after a painful, and sometimes violent, intra-Jewish struggle.

It's a useful historical analogy -- one that the notoriously pro-Palestinian Erlanger did not, of course, make in his caustic portrait of Livni. Instead, he used Livni's parents' involvement in the Irgun to take a gratiutous slap at her, saying that Livni "is also a deeply Israeli figure, the daughter of Zionist guerrillas — terrorists in some eyes — who met in the Irgun, the underground organization that fought the British and the Arabs, and that blew up the British headquarters in the King David Hotel in 1946, killing 91 people."

The ghost of the Irgun is again brought up in the same profile, again for no apparent reason, as Erlanger observed that "the Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, compared Hamas to Likud. . . [and Livni] was quick to point out that Likud is a parliamentary party with no military wing and a commitment to democracy, which has supported all government decisions."

Gee, you'd think that Erlanger was trying to make a statement here, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, rather than just spit it out -- in, say, an opinion piece in Counterpunch -- he just drops in "Irgun" references.

This from the newspaper that goes out of its way to distance Hamas from the terrorism that is its only "military" tactic.

As an example of the extent to which the Times functions as a daily apologia for Palestinian terrorists, in another article today we get the following surreal comment:

"Mr. Abbas has called on Hamas to abide by existing agreements made by the Palestinian Authority, which included the internationally backed peace plan known as the road map."

The road map, of course, calls for action against terror groups -- in other words, Hamas. If the road map had been implemented, there would be no Hamas at all. Leave it to the Times to not mention this logical absurdity from the present day, while at the same time diligently dragging up historical trivia to smear Israeli officials.

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