Saturday, September 11, 2010

NY Times arrogantly severs Ariel from Israel

by Leo Rennert

The Israeli city of Ariel (population 20,000) was founded in 1978 with active encouragement of then-Defense Minister Shimon Peres -- for decades Israel's most dovish political figure. Its location is a mere two dozen miles from the Mediterranean Sea. While it also lies in the West Bank a dozen miles east of the 1949 armistice line, there is a wide Israeli consensus that spans left, right and center on the political spectrum that Ariel must be retained in any final-status peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Ariel fits President George W. Bush's 2004 pledge to Ariel Sharon that Israel, "in light of new realities on the ground, including major existing Israeli population centers," the U.S. will support Israeli retention of these West Bank urban centers in a final peace deal. In other words, the U.S. will not insist on a complete Israeli pullback from the West Bank.

More recently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while softening Bush's formula for territorial adjustments, also has recognized the need to modify the 1949 armistice line (usually referred to by the media as the pre-1967 line) so as to leave some major Israeli towns and cities in the West Bank on the Israel side of the border while still leaving more than 90 percent of the West Bank for a contiguous Palestinian state. Plus, all of Gaza, of course.

Reflecting Israel's strategic interests, Ariel is also protected by a counter-terrorism security barrier.

While Ariel was founded by mostly secular Jews, it resonates among many Israelis with its many biblical roots. Ariel lies in the hill country of Samaria which Abraham, the first Jew, traversed in his journey to the Promised Land. Joshua, who led the children of Israel into the Promised Land, is buried at the foot of Ariel.

Today, Ariel looks like any other Western city. It boasts a university, a hotel, an industrial park that employs thousands of Palestinians, a sports and recreation complex, a modern highway to the coast, and, due to open later this year, a major performing arts and cultural center.

The latter's prospective opening has upset the usual leftist suspects -- in Israel and the U.S. Some big-name artists and performers in Israel are promoting a boycott of Ariel's cultural center, declaring they will not perform there. Their boycott has drawn support from some in the misnamed U.S. "peace" camp.

Major Israeli music and theater companies, however, insist they will honor scheduled performing dates in Ariel. Several boycotters have recanted their endorsement of the boycott. Prime Minister Netanyahu has condemned the boycott as hypocritical in view of the fact that performing artists and their companies are generously bankrolled by the government. Except for the far-left fringe, opposition to the boycott spans the political spectrum.

Enter the New York Times, which in its Sept. 10 edition, carries an article by Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner that purports to inform readers about the boycott, but instead uses it mainly as a springboard to advance her own "peace" agenda -- an agenda that resolutely expects Ariel to become incorporated into a Palestinian state ("An Enclave Of Israel Is On Edge -- Boycott Underlines Flux in West Bank" page A4).

Here's how Kershner -- and the New York Times in its institutional arrogance -- twist and distort the picture of Ariel to suit their own ideological proclivities:

--The lead paragraph identifies Ariel not as a thriving city, but as "this large Jewish settlement." And once the "settlement" label is pinned on Ariel, that, of course, rules out any dispassionate assessment of real facts on the ground.

--Kershner mentions President Peres' role in founding Ariel and his joining in celebrating its 30th anniversary, but she fails to explain how a peacenik like Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize winner for forging the 1993 Oslo accords, still has maintained through all these years his great fondness for Ariel.

--Although Kershner recognizes that Ariel was founded and is still inhabited by mostly secular Jews, she can't resist taking a nasty swipe at religious settlers whom she calls "messianic ideologues who believe in settling the biblical heartland." While the Times ceaselessly campaigns for due respect owed to Islam, it shows no such respect for Jewish biblical roots throughout the West Bank. Imagine the Times referring to Muslims as "messianic ideologues" -- that wouldn't do. Definitely wouldn't pass the Times' PC test. But when it comes to Jews, the Times drops the PC bar.

--Having demonized Ariel as a "settlement" out of place on the Middle East map, Kershner delivers the final -- and all important to her -- coup de grace. The real point, if you will, of her entire piece. She tellingly ends her article -- a time-worn journalistic way of driving home a reporter's main theme and intent -- thusly:

"OrenBen Uziyahu, the owner of a toy store in Ariel, said that in return for genuine peace, most people would 'leave behind their fake leather couches and give up their Ariel homes. It is reasonable to assume that in the end, Ariel will have to go.'"

End of story. Direct peace negotiations to find common ground on, among other key issues, final borders have barely begun, but Kershner and the New York Times already feed readers what in their superior expertise is the proper and inevitable outcome -- Ariel "will have to go."

Leo Rennert

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been reading this blog for years and just now am deciding to post. I love this blog and its tireless efforts to enlighten Americans and hopefully others throughout the world to the undue animosity, violence, and threats endured by Israel that have become part and parcel of its existence. This particular article lends credit, and in my mind definitive proof, to the assertion by Israel supporters that anti-Zionism is in fact nothing more than antisemitism. The world's blatant hypocrisy towards the world's only Jewish state is shocking and reeks of unjust hatred and bigotry. Without historical facts or citing international law the world loves to apply the word "settlements" to Israeli towns and cities because, as the article says, it makes them seem illegitimate constructs. Furthermore they choose to call the natives "settlers" because it has a distinctly pejorative tone and inspires negative associations with colonialism, racism, and ethnocentrism. The news media would never dare discuss how Israel came into possession of Judea and Samaria, and they would certainly never use those words because that would prove a Jewish connection to the land. That might undermine its goal to inspire negative perceptions of Israel and Israelis. Or should I say Jews. It's amazing that when an American or NATO missile accidentally goes of course and kills dozens of innocent Afghanis it is labeled a tragic accident. However, when a Jewish/Israeli missile, tank shell, or even just a bullet accidentally kills even just one Palestinian it is labeled murder. If it is dozens, it is labeled genocide. Also interesting how the world criticizes Israel for expelling illegal immigrants in order to maintain its label as a Jewish state, but the US openly discusses the same thing, and it is largely left to the US alone to decide and largely considered an internal debate. Double standards reek of baseless hatred. I won't go through all the double standards here because so many of the articles on this blog have expertly done that so far. But don't give up on the truth just because the antisemites scream that "any criticism of Israel is automatically labeled antisemitism by the Jews". Don't let them scare you from speaking the truth. Point out their hypocrisy and explain the issue slowly and clearly in order to elucidate every tiny facet of their bigotry and hatred towards the worlds only Jewish Country simply because it is the world's only JEWISH Country.

Post a Comment