Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mississippi on the West Bank

The New York Times today gives us a vivid reminder of its disconnect from reality in the Middle East, as well as its expected pro-Palestinian bias.

An atrocious front-page article by the reliably anti-Israel Steve Erlanger describes a "segregated" - as in Bull Connor and antebellum Mississippi and KKK - road on the West Bank.

The poor, poor Palestinians can't travel into Jerusalem unless they have proper permission. Horrible! Segregation! Apartheid! How could those bad bad Israelis do such a thing? The animals!

Little things such as terrorism or the day-to-day bloodletting did not intrude into the picture Erlanger painted. The road will eliminate the need for checkpoints, and is only a few miles long, but that is not mentioned in the article.

But then, right above the continuation of the article on an inside page, we have another article by the same reporter explaining why the road is needed. A Palestinian decided to grab a gun from a security guard in the Old City of Jerusalem, and went on a shooting spree. This is precisely the kind of terrorism that makes it impossible to allow West Bank Palestinians free access to the Old City.

If they weren't killing people there would be no need for roads without exits or separation barriers. But Erlanger makes no mention of the Jerusalem shooting spree in his article on the road.

That would allow reality to intrude, and reality is a concept that does not exist in the Times's coverage of the Middle East. Better to paint a picture of Bull Connor and Mississippi of 1960.

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