The New York Times editorial board has today (Mar. 14, 2016) once again shared with its readers its wisdom and insight regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The editorial is entitled: “Mr. Netanyahu’s Lost Opportunities.” Any guess as to whom the editors are going to blame for the continued conflict?
The thrust of the editorial is captured in three sentences: “Military aid [from the U.S.] alone will never guarantee Israel’s security. For that, there needs to be progress toward a Middle East peace deal. Mr. Netanyahu has never shown a serious willingness on that front, as is made clear, by his expansion of Israeli settlements, which reduce the land available for a Palestinian state.”
It is, I think, rather quaint and almost charming that the editors use the term “Middle East peace deal” to refer to a resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It is as if they were frozen in the last century; as if they had no idea that, in the part of the world referred to as “the Middle East,” Muslims are killing and sometimes butchering other Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Libya, etc., in fierce intra-Islam conflicts that have nothing to do with the State of Israel. The entire region is aflame, but in the minds of the NYTimes editors, a “Middle East peace deal” refers to a resolution of only the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
But, of course, the NYTimes editorial page would naturally focus on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s “lost opportunities.” Speaking of lost opportunities, the editorial manages to discuss that conflict without once using the name “Hamas.” I did not misspeak: the editorial board of the gray lady voices its criticism and disapproval of Israel’s prime minister without ever mentioning the Islamist terrorist group that violently seized control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in 2007 and has, ever since, been busy firing rockets and digging tunnels into Israel. I guess Hamas is, in the very well-thought-out opinion of the editorial board, an irrelevancy, not worthy of even mentioning.
In the universe inhabited by the editorial board, those darn, stubborn Israelis are to be criticized for refusing to enter into a “peace deal” with Mahmoud Abbas, the man who is now in the eleventh year of his four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority. (Mr. Abbas was elected to a four-year term that started in 2005; he is still the “president” of the P.A. Welcome to the peculiarities of Palestinian democrat government.) The editorial characterizes Mr. Abbas as “a weak and aging leader,” and he certainly is that. He is, in fact, so weak that he has never set foot in Gaza since 2007, because he has a pretty good idea that Hamas would assassinate him if he were to do so.
What the editorial board can’t understand is why Israel’s government, headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu, is not willing to sign a “peace deal” with a P.A. headed by Mr. Abbas, who has no control whatsoever over Hamas. That is, Mr. Abbas has no control over the terrorists who believe they have a religious obligation to obliterate the State of Israel. So, a “peace deal” with Mr. Abbas and his neutered P.A. would not actually bring peace, but the editors believe Israel ought to sign on anyway. In fact, not only would such a deal not bring peace, it would bring greater conflict, because Islamist terrorists among the Palestinians (whom Mr. Abbas and his cronies are too weak to control) would take advantage of Palestinian statehood—with its more open borders and freer trade—to import into the new “state” more, and more powerful, weapons with which to attack Israel. Yes, indeed—that is certainly a terrific opportunity Israel is missing.
Question: what would we do without the NYTimes and its editorial page? Answer: think coherently.