par Liliane Messika
A condescending Western view of the Middle-East
In French, when someone states the obvious, there is always someone to ironically congratulate him or her: “Bravo! You’ve discovered America.” The New York Times, whose website advertises “Journalism like no other,” has just discovered America. Or, rather, the American woke party, of which the NYT is the propaganda booklet, is to be congratulated for having discovered the difference between democracy and tyranny. How so?
In an article entitled “Palestinians and Israelis Both Vote Soon. The Differences Are Stark,” journalist Patrick Kingsley compares two geographical neighbors at odds with each other on civil rights. On the one side, Israelis will endure their fourth elections in two years, trying to form a majority out of a multitude of political parties (including several Arab-Israeli anti-Israel ones that were, until very recently, joined in an Arab list). On the other side, the first elections in fifteen years are to take place in the West Bank. There, citizens will try to replace a President elected in 2005 for four years. They don’t know yet who will be eligible as a candidate (if any) against the throne-holder.
There is another French saying we use, when we don’t understand something. It goes: “This is Hebrew for me.” Democracy vs tyranny is Hebrew to the NYT journalist, and he obviously wishes everything were subtitled in Arab.
Let’s try and help with a translation
What does this mean exactly? “…a seemingly unending series of elections in which no party has been able to win enough support to form a stable majority. It is the embodiment of the profound political paralysis that has been partly caused by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to remain in office while standing trial for corruption”? The inability to form a stable majority stems from two different things. One is the political system inherited from the British occupier, which is based on full proportionality, and the other one is the thriving democratic system of the Jewish state.
A Hebrew saying goes “where there are two Jews, there are three political parties (and as many synagogues).” It is not a pun, just a statement of fact. Hence the impossibility of reaching a consistent majority by uniting innumerable tiny parties, each of which has fixed ideas that are irreconcilable with the fixed ideas of the others.
Activist Kingsley, oops, journalist Kingsley sympathizes so much with the other side of the Green Line that it blinds him to the most obvious: Hamas, which reigns in Gaza, got its absolute power through a coup against the Palestinian Authority. With a political correctness verging on sycophancy, Mr. Kingsley refers to this coup as “the 2007 split.”
Understatements and accusations
“In the West Bank, Israel … frequently conducts military raids even within places nominally under Mr. Abbas’s control”, complains Mr. Advocate. “In Gaza, the Israeli and Egyptian governments control what and who can come in and out, as well as most of the electricity and fuel supply” he goes on as Mr. Lobbyist.
Why are the Israeli and Egyptian governments so mean to those peaceful Palestinians? Kingsley doesn’t elaborate. If he did, he would have to admit it is because they live directly under the fire of the Gazan missiles and above the tunnels, AKA terrorist’s highways, in and out of Israeli and Egyptian territories. Readers will not learn about this through an explanation in the article. Nor will they know that “the military raids” are always retaliatory. “Retaliatory” implies there has been a trigger action first, doesn’t it? Yes it does. But Mr. Biased has not noticed.
When he quotes the advocacy director at the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, which he calls “an independent campaign group in Ramallah”, he forgets that those who try to be independent from the almighty resident of the Mukataa are in jail. It doesn’t prevent him from playing the cheerleader
. Here goes the quote: “Millions of Palestinians living under occupation can’t vote for the people who effectively rule and control their daily lives. This is no democracy.”
Democracy according to the NYT
Palestinians in the West Bank will vote for the candidates their 85-years old President will endorse.
Those who live under Hamas rule might vote someday, if Hamas lets them, and it will be for the only candidates authorized by Hamas, that is, Hamas candidates.
It is truly not democracy. To transform it into democracy, these Palestinians would have to vote AGAINST the people who rule and control their daily lives.
But this is not what readers understand in Mr. Sycophant’s sentence. It sounds like these Palestinians should be allowed to vote for the occupiers. “For” or “against,” one way or another, this means intervening in the electoral process of their neighbor-cum enemy. Mr. Journagandist admits it in so many words. Here is Mr. Referee himself speaking: “Palestinians in the occupied territories cannot vote in the election that will have the greatest effect on their lives — the Israeli one.”
How would Mr. Palestine-Über-Alles consider Israelis voting in the Palestinian elections? The word “imperialism” comes to mind… Let’s guess he would probably encourage Mexicans voting in the US elections.
Once upon a time, a journalist discovered reality
His name is Hunter Stuart and he left his nice liberal American life in New England in 2015, to go and help the Palestinian people, victims of the horrible cruel Israelis. He started by being very popular among Western newspapers who bought his articles. No surprise here, since he wrote: “The Occupation is an act of colonialism that only creates suffering, frustration and despair for millions of Palestinians”. There are many clients for this style of ready-made opinions. Hunter Stuart had fast learned to “take the perspective that most news outlets wanted – that Israel was to blame for Palestinian violence.”
But, living in Jerusalem, he realized what it meant to be under “homemade bombs” day in day out. Once, he even escaped being lynched, thanks to a magical formula an Arab friend had taught him: “Ana mish yahud,” in English: “I am not Jewish.”
His Arab friend was happy he had used the amulet: had he been Jewish, he would have been killed in Arab areas. When Israeli Jews told him the same thing, he had accused them of racism and islamophobia.
A first miracle happened: he was spared from terror attacks during his 18-month stay in Israel. In the long run, an even bigger and rarer miracle took place: Hunter Stuart opened his eyes and saw what was in front of them: “I admire the liberal desire to support the underdog. They want to be on the right side of history, and their intentions are good. The problem is that their beliefs often don’t square with reality.”
Such an outcome is very unlikely to occur among The New York Times staff.
“Journalism like no other”?
Sorry to ruffle Mr. Journalist’s ego, but The New York Times appears to French eyes as journalism exactly like the vast majority of all the others.
Stating (or bending) the facts according to the narrative of one side, while pretending to be unbiased, is the very M.O. of every mainstream media in France.
That is exactly the way Patrick Kingsley operates, and as far as his media is concerned, it resembles faithfully (up to its distinctive Gothic font) its French equivalent: Le Monde.
Although “le monde” means “The World,” it only means the world to its faithful readers, who feel safe seeing their prejudices copy-pasted in their missal. They are faithful to cancel culture and would feel threatened if a diverging opinion appeared in their prayer book.
We can’t be sure it also describes the readers of The New York Times, but we do remember Bari Weiss’s resignation letter from this very newspaper: “…a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.”
Within the scope of this orthodoxy, cancel culture has a specificity that should raise fright or hilarity: the absence of chronological perspective, which leads to judging the past according to present criteria. One of the latest extreme lunacies performed by the NYT was calling Napoleon a “white supremacist” on the 200th anniversary of his death. The concept was not invented at the time of the French emperor, when every single country in the world tried to colonize other, weaker ones.
The worst abusers were probably the Black African kings, who sold their enemies and enslaved their citizens; and the Arab tribes, that specialized in the trade of human beings.
Wake up, “woke” people: if the dream of your ideology came true, you would live in an actual nightmare, not in the fantasy you are so comfortable with…