Just when it seems like The New York Times could finally put aside, at least for the moment, his relentless obsession with the Israeli “occupation” of “Palestinian” land, he falls into the same anti-Israel rut that has long framed his unease with the Jewish state. Sometimes in pieces, other times in columns by its own journalists or by outside contributors, the consensus is invariably to blame Israel first.
So it was in its May 21 edition. In his front page article, Jerusalem bureau chief Patrick Kingsley revealed his obsession with Israel’s “occupation” of the “West Bank” (his biblical homeland of Judea and Samaria). Apparently unknown to him, this label referred to Jordan’s occupation of the territory west of the Jordan River between 1948 and 1967. He therefore remained until Israel’s victory in the Six Day War reestablished peace. land biblically identified as Judea and Samaria with the Jewish state. Kingsley seems either oblivious to this story or determined to ignore it.
In a supporting article, Lara Jakes, diplomatic correspondent of the Time Washington office ignores a different reality. She mentions “more than 5.7 million Palestinian refugees” who receive financial assistance from the United Nations Relief and Works Administration (UNRWA). The agency is a scam; there are only about 30,000 actual Palestinian refugees still alive. But their descendants, it seems for eternity, will continue to be referred to as ‘refugees’, so UNRWA employees will continue to have jobs and Israel may perpetually be blamed (in the Time) for the problem of Palestinian “refugees”. Acknowledging the scam, the Trump administration suspended lavish funding for UNRWA but, as expected, President Joe Biden reinstated it.
The centerpiece of the Time trifecta of Criticism of Israel was a chronicle by Yousef Munayyer, identified as “a writer and scholar at the Arab Center in Washington, DC” Munayyer – born in the city of Lod, a site of intense fighting during the War of Independence of ‘Israel – grew up in New Jersey and (like famous Palestinian lawyer Edward Said) became a staunch land defender of the United States for the alleged rights of Palestinians in the Land of Israel.
According to Munayyer, the war on Gaza initiated by Hamas represents the Palestinian objective of “breaking free from the shackles of the Israeli system of oppression.” These “hindrances” include “the imminent eviction of Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem”. The only problem (ignored by Munayyer) is that these houses are not theirs; in 2008, the supreme court of israel ruled that the property belonged to the Sephardic jewish community, who bought it more than a century ago.
Based on this false claim, Munayyer writes: “Palestinians across the country who identified with the experience of being dispossessed by Israel rose up together. In translation, the Palestinians were justified in pursuing their false claim to land ownership with waves of violence in Jerusalem and a cascade of rockets from Gaza. The Palestinian challenge, especially in Gaza where the Arabs are “caged and besieged”, exposed the “ugliness” of the Israeli regime. The only problem is that Israel does not rule Gaza; Hamas does and bears full responsibility for launching rocket waves – against Israel.
Munayyer appears to be in favor of the (absurd) goal of “equal rights in one state if the two state solution fails.” But the two-state solution failed because the Palestinians repeatedly rejected it, preferring the disappearance of Israel, through war if necessary. The alternative, for Munayyer, is another fantasy: “equal rights in one state”. It would only require Israel to renounce its identity as the Jewish state that it is and always will be – a state, he fails to notice, where twenty percent of its population are Arab citizens.
But even a two-state “paradigm”, suggests Munayyer, is “dead.” Why? Because, as you might expect, “Israel buried him under the settlements a long time ago.” Ultimately, Munayyer is the perfect New York Times plead for the disappearance of the only Jewish state in the world. No coincidence, he found himself in the biblical homeland of the Jewish people.
Jerold S. Auerbach is the author of twelve books, including Print to Fit: The New York Times, Zionism and Israel 1896-2016, selected for Mosaic by Ruth Wisse and Martin Kramer as best book for 2019.