TIME’s double pro-Palestinian apologetics with Peter Beinart and Joe Klein

Posted: June 20, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in Anti-Israel, Hamas, Israel, Own Articles, Palestinians, Press and Media, Terrorism, West Bank

Peter Beinart and Joe Klein

IT SEEMS TO me that TIME magazine is somewhat unfamiliar with the terms ‘objectivity’ and ‘counter-point’, as in its most recent issue it offers none of those when taking on issue of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Judge by yourself: two pages, back-to-back, one op-ed by Peter Beinart (pictured left) and then one by Joe Klein (right). Both criticize Israel without supplying their readers all necessary information to make objective judgment.

Beinart goes first, telling his readers Obama shouldn’t really care if his pressure pushes Benjamin Netanyahu out of office – as it is “not Obama’s problem”. Beinart believes Kadima’s chairwoman Zipi Livni would do a better job – even though two previous endeavors by Kadima (the 2005 disengagement and 2006 Israel-Lebanon war) were a disaster. Why let facts get in the way of ideology, though?

Beinart’s believes reflect those of Mahmoud Abbas (as pronounced by latter in an interview to Washington Post, on May 29): that at one point or another, Netanyahu would bow to US pressure due to concerns on Iran; just as Abbas, author believes Netanyahu would have to concede on settlements in order to gain Obama’s support on Ahmadinejad’s nukes, which in turn would lead to fall of the ruling coalition. For Peter Beinart – and, in his opinion, for the White House – Zipi Livni is the Messiah.

No Messiah, however, could help Mahmoud Abbas and the growing unrest among West Bank Palestinians. FATAH’s corruption leads to strengthening of HAMAS’ positions, with Abbas’ administration mostly impotent – and unwilling – to fix pressing matters. Yes, Abbas takes certain steps (like agreeing on US’ plea to train its militia force), yet, those steps usually intend to maintain tight, armed grip on the West Bank. What Abbas should do, is establish clear-cut policy on building new infrastructure in the West Bank – a first step to improving Palestinian economy and raising the bar on living standards for his people. Only then would Palestinians en masse support Abu Mazen and his movement – if regular Palestinians, living day-to-day lives see recovery heading their way.

In addition, the columnist, misses a certain point: this week, Israel deliberately changed rules of the game, by altering its estimate on Iran. On June 16, Mossad’s chief announced Iran would acquire nuclear weapons by 2014, replacing previous estimate of 2010. This way, Netanyahu substantially damaged US administration’s leverage on settlements issue, as now Israel officially is in no hurry to deal with Iran’s nuclear facilities. No doubt, Netanyahu bought himself several years, expecting Obama’s influence to wane over the years – if he at all gets elected in 2013.

Another point missed is lack of pressure on Palestinian government (forget about HAMAS, for now). After all, blaming all the failures on Israeli settlements will not establish peace – Israel attempted to reach an agreement under which most settlements would be removed – yet, Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas both rejected the deals. Isn’t it time for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to apply pressure to both parties?

In a perfect world – sure. But Obama understands that Abbas’s regime might crumble under pressure. Yet, if Beinart believes it is “not Obama’s problem” that Netanyahu’s regime may fail – why to concern ourselves with Abbas’ regime? He never answers that question.


TURN OF THE page brings us another feature, this time by Joe Klein, a prominent columnist for TIME. Klein interviews HAMAS’ leader – Khaled Mashaal – “about an hour after Barack Obama’s Cairo speech”. Klein’s column is a great example of modern journalists granting terrorist a politician’s stage.

Klein believes the West should “reassess” its “unwillingness to deal with HAMAS”. Why would a well-known journalist offer the West to negotiate with a murderous terror group? Because in a recent interview, Mashaal labeled Israelis as, well, “Israelis”, instead of ‘Zionists’ or anything to that effect. For Klein, such change is a reason sufficient enough for sitting down with the organization who still preaches Israel’s demise. Moreover, when Klein asked Mashaal if this labeling intends to recognize Israel, Mashaal answered with “Don’t conclude this”. In the interview, Mashaal “had no apologies” for dozens of deadly HAMAS attacks against Israeli women and children, claiming “self-defense”. In fact, nothing about Mashaal changed.

It is enough of a change, though, for Klein to advocate talks with the man – and he gives the terror chief plenty of space to label Israel as “oppressor” and “hangman”. Klein himself supports Mashaal’s vision, stating that “Palestinians are imprisoned behind a barrier wall” (only 10% or less of the Separation Fence is an actual wall) and that “they [Palestinians] are forced to endure hundreds of Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks whose purpose seems humiliation as much as security”. Cleverly omitted by Klein are telling stats, reflecting on Fence’s and road blocks’ disastrous effect on Palestinian terror.

After these quotes, Klein finishes the article with an ending everyone would expect by now: “There will be no peace as long as this [settlements, Separation Fence, roadblocks] persists. And there will be no peace without HAMAS as part of the process, as odious as its continuing embrace of violence against innocents may be”.

Thirty years ago, HAMAS and its leaders would be shunned upon, and international spy agencies would have them on their hit list. Today, in world full of Joe Kleins, they are politicians, not terrorists. They are fighting colonialism. And if few Jewish babies get killed in the process – they are just victims of “self-defense”.


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