For years, The New York Times has engaged in advocacy journalism regarding the peace process, as part of its general coverage geared to indicting Israel. (See, for example, “New York Times Plays Blame Game on Negotiations Impasse” “New York Times Promotes (Actual) Palestinian Talking Point” “New York Times Selective About Apportioning Blame in the Arab-Israeli Conflict” and “The New York Times Guide to Peace Negotiations.”)
Correspondents Jodi Rudoren and Isabel Kershner’s current post-mortem on the latest US-brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, entitled “Arc of a Failed Deal: How Nine Months of Mideast Talks Ended in Disarray,” once again displays the abandonment of journalistic objectivity in the quest to blame Israel. This overtly partisan article could more aptly have been entitled “How Israel Undermined the Peace Process,” or “It’s All About Israeli Settlements” or “Let’s Blame Netanyahu and Justify Abbas.”
But Mr. Netanyahu refused to risk alienating Israel’s right wing by restraining construction in West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements.
…The first turning point came Nov. 5. After the second of Israel’s four promised batches of prisoners were released, amid anguished protests in Jerusalem, various plans for nearly 20,000 settlement units were pushed forward over five days (some were later withdrawn)…. [emphasis added]…Tzipi Livni acknowledged that continued settlement construction was a problem…. [emphasis added]
… Mr. Kerry condemned the construction. [emphasis added]
Mr. Abbas, looking for a dignified exit from the public stage and furious over the settlement building, never responded to the ideas Mr. Kerry’s team had formulated for a framework to guide further negotiations.…
“He had shut down,” said one of several American officials interviewed. “As he comes to the end of his life and certainly the end of his term in office, he’s fed up.”
“His experience in the last nine months, of settlements gone wild,” this official added, ” I think has just convinced him that he doesn’t have a partner.”
But the next day, Palestine Liberation Organization leaders held hands aloft with those from Hamas. Israel immediately canceled the scheduled negotiating session, and 24 hours later, froze talks indefinitely.