Jim Wolfensohn’s Invisible Generosity

Jim Wolfensohn, former head of the World Bank, died this week. The New York Times wrote about his life’s work in a long obituary. As is commonplace for the legacy paper, it retold his final acts of generosity to conceal the behavior of its Victims of Preference, Palestinian Arabs.

In the concluding sentences of a 2000-word article, the Times wrote the following:

“His last major undertaking was in the mid-2000s as a special envoy for a diplomatic group known as the Quartet — made up of the United Nations, the United States, the Russian Federation and the European Union — which was seeking an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal in which Israel would disengage from the Gaza Strip. If the deal were struck, he was to help coordinate revitalization efforts once the Palestinian authorities had taken over the area, the U.N. said at the time.

However, the negotiations failed.

“The Middle East,” Mr. Wolfensohn grimly observed, ”turned out to be my mission impossible.”

A casual reader would assume that Wolfensohn was simply one more person who tried to help the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The peace deal described above would have had Israel “disengage from the Gaza Strip” and then his work of coordinating “revitalization efforts” would commence. As “negotiations failed,” Wolfensohn did not actually coordinate any efforts to help the Palestinians.

Not so.

Israel did “disengage from the Gaza Strip” and Wolfensohn coordinated an effort which had Jewish donors around the world buy the Israeli greenhouses and equipment left in Gaza to hand to the Palestinians to jump start their economy. Wolfensohn donated $500,000 of his own money to the purchases.

But the effort proved fruitless. Palestinians looted the greenhouses shortly after the Israelis pulled out of Gaza.

A Palestinian carries a plastic roll he took Tuesday from a greenhouse, background, at the evacuated Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim in the Gaza Strip.Emilio Morenatti / AP

Amid al-Masri, head of the Palestine Economic Development Company’s (PEDC) greenhouse project said the looting “will undermine our efforts to privatise the project as we hoped and also it could frighten investors aiming at other projects.” Indeed, the project designed to restart the Gaza economy once again proved the failure to launch at the start.

James Wolfensohn’s generosity towards the Arabs of Gaza went unmentioned by The New York Times, as to have done so would have required showing the theft and ineptitude of the local population and Palestinian Authority. For the pro-Palestinian legacy media, better to whitewash Arabs shooting themselves in the foot with some generic language about the intractable conflict.


Related First One Through articles:

New York Times Recharacterizes Hamas as a Right-Wing Terrorist Group

For The New York Times, “From the River to the Sea” Is The Chant of Jewish and Christian Zealots

The New York Times All Out Assault on Jewish Jerusalem

The New York Times Excuses Palestinian “Localized Expressions of Impatience.” I Mean Rockets.

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NY Times 2000-word obituary for James Wolfensohn

2 thoughts on “Jim Wolfensohn’s Invisible Generosity

  1. Send not a letter to the editor without critiquing nyt. Just a letter to editor noting an important act of philanthropy omitted from a great man’s obituary.

    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: NY Times Cannot Write About Arab Pogroms | FirstOneThrough

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