Summary: The New York Times once again showed its bias against Jews living on the west bank of the Jordan River by painting opinion as international law. It posted a large non news-article during the week of Israeli elections in an attempt to discredit Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
On March 12, 2015, the New York Times ran a cover page story called “As Israeli Settlements take Root, So do Complications” and on its online version it was titled “Netanyahu and the Settlements”. The article repeatedly referred to something called the “Geneva Initiative” as if the initiative carried any backing or legal authority. In actuality, the 2003 initiative is most akin to a present day Facebook Group.
The Times wrote “Two-thirds of new construction over the last two years, the Peace Now report shows, was on the Palestinian side of a line drawn by the Geneva Initiative, an international working group that produced a model agreement in 2003…
Efrat, with nearly 10,000 residents, is to Israelis the capital of the Etzion block. Palestinians, though, do not accept it as part of the block at all,
because it is on the eastern side of Route 60 — their side of the Geneva Initiative map. Annexing it would be far more complicated.”
By reading such statements, one would think that Israel is deliberately building homes on the “Palestinian side” of a road, contrary to existing laws and/or agreements. Palestinians are comfortable with Jews living on one side of Route 60, but not on the other. That is specifically what the NYT intends the reader to conclude by writing such an article. It is completely untrue.
The Geneva Initiative was launched by a handful of people- both Israelis and Palestinians. The civilians met during 2003 and drafted a guideline of how a two state-solution could emerge. None of the people participating were elected or appointed by any governmental body. Their initiative was not endorsed by any government. Neither Israelis nor Palestinians consider this old private working paper at all.
“the 2003 Geneva Initiative is most akin
to a present day Facebook Group”
Meanwhile ACTUAL laws and agreements were deliberately omitted from the NYT article. They include the 1922 British Mandate of Palestine which was signed by the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations. The Mandate stated:
- Article 6: The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.
- Article 15: The Mandatory shall see that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, are ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.
As described above, international law enabled Jews to live everywhere in Palestine. Such freedom of movement and the ability to buy land was also the case under the Ottoman Turks. This is history and law – not the opinion of a handful of private citizens.
The west bank of the Jordan River was an integral part of the 1922 British Mandate of Palestine. It was annexed by the Jordanians in 1950, after Jordan attacked Israel in the 1948-9 war (such Jordan annexation was with approval of the Palestinians but never considered by the United Nations). The Jordanians illegally evicted all of the Jews from the area, including the eastern part of Jerusalem, counter to the Fourth Geneva Convention.
After Jordan (and the Palestinians who were Jordanian citizens) attacked Israel again in 1967, Israel was obligated to launch a counter-attack per The Hague Regulations which state:
- Article 40: Any serious violation of the armistice by one of the parties gives the other party the right of denouncing it, and even, in cases of urgency, of recommencing hostilities immediately.
Jordan was therefore legally attacked by Israel. The Jordanians officially gave up all claim to the land in 1988.
None of these international laws, agreements or actions on the part of governments are mentioned in this large cover story by the New York Times. Instead, the Times chose to paint a picture that Israel is not abiding to laws to make it appear as the belligerent party. It does this with the aid of a private working paper from 12 years ago.
There was nothing new in the story which begs the questions:
- Why give the article such prominence by placing it on the cover with a large color picture, and continue with a full two-page spread in the inside pages complete with pictures, maps and drawings?
- Why use an old private Initiative to make an argument about the location of settlements instead of history and law?
- Why post the article now?
The New York Times posted the piece as they want to see Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu defeated in upcoming Israeli elections. The Israeli elections will take place later in the week, on March 17, 2015. The New York Times, which has a long history of attacking the Israeli Prime Minister, put this non-news story on the front page the week before Israeli elections to make it appear that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was acting outside of the law.
The Times has once again shown it is not a credible source of news and chooses to air its biased opinions throughout the newspaper. It has also shown that it seeks to influence the outcome of foreign elections with large distortions. An interesting piece of hypocrisy, as the day before, on March 11, the NYT posted an op-ed from Thomas Freidman arguing about Sheldon Adelson’s attempts to influence elections in the United States with major contributions to Republican candidates, as well as claiming Adelson’s Israel Hayom newspaper is a biased mouthpiece for Netanyahu in Israel.
Is the Times posting the opinion of Barack Obama or George Soros?
First One Through articles:
NYT’s Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land” https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/nicholas-kristofs-arab-land/
NYT ignores Jihadists in Israel: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/radical-jihadists-in-europe-and-dislocated-and-alienated-palestinians-in-Israel/
NYT minimizing Netanyahu’s election success: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/new-york-times-talking-turkey/
NYT only using “West Bank” instead of “Judea and Samaria” https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/names-and-narrative-the-green-line-west-bank-judea-and-samaria/