Saturday, January 15, 2011

NY Times Blames Israel for Tunisian Revolution

by Ed Lasky

President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the autocrat who ruled with an iron hand over Tunisia for decades is forced by street protests to flee in the wake of discontent over repression, frustration over lack of economic opportunity, and high food prices. He was an ally of America and was a valued partner with us in fighting Al Qaeda. His loss can be seen as a blow to America.

So who does the New York Times blame


Yet the street protests erupted when Arabs seemed more frustrated than ever, whether over rising prices and joblessness or resentment of their leaders' support for American policies or ambivalence about Israeli campaigns in Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2009....

That the events in Tunisia took place far beyond the region's traditional centers of power did little to diminish the enthusiasm they seemed to generate. In fact, the very spectacle of crowds surging into the streets and overwhelming decades of accumulated power in the hands of a highly centralized, American-backed government seemed an antidote to the despair of past years - carnage in Iraq, divisions among Palestinians and Israeli intransigence and the yawning divide between ruler and ruled on almost every question of foreign policy.

Of course, the Israeli have made a range of concessions and have been very willing to engage in peace talks. The intransigent party is the Palestinians. The word intransigence is redolent of the slur that Jews are a stiff-necked people-but the Times only is concerned with political correctness when it can be used against Republicans.

Only later on in the column does the truth come out:

Tunisians' grievances were as specific as universal: rising food prices, corruption, unemployment and the repression of a state that viewed almost all dissent as subversion.

Even the interviews and checks of blogs that the writer, Anthony Shadid, quotes don't mention Israel at all. Regardless of the facts, Shadid just had to insert some of his own biases into the column.

Shadid has been criticized in the past for appearing as a speaker at a fundraiser for an Arab-American group that has criticized Congress for being too supportive of Israel.

That happened while he worked for the Washington Post and it violated company policy. However, it was probably a plus for the powers-that-be at the New York Times that hired him.

How did the Washington Post cover the Tunisian Revolution? There was not one mention of Israel or the Palestinians in its coverag [sic]. Instead, the paper blamed the repression, police tactics, poor economy, and high food prices for the people's revolt

What world does the New York Times cover? How can this paper of record so willfully distort the news to fulfill an agenda (in this case, blame Israel for the possible loss of an American ally). Next the paper will claim that Israel is sending "spy birds" to do its dirty work.

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Ed Lasky

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