The New York Times vs Netanyahu

Israel hasn’t suddenly become racist, fascist, and supremacist — it’s always been that way

When The New York Times recently ran an editorial attacking Benjamin Netanyahu and his incoming hard-right government for jeopardising “the ideal of democracy in a Jewish state”, it wasn’t only out of concern for the survival of that state. It was also out of concern for the US, whose standing and interests in the Arab and Muslim worlds have been damaged enormously by its backing for Israel’s wars, defence of its massacres against Palestinians under its occupation, and marketing of its ‘democracy’ lie.

It was only to be expected for Netanyahu to snipe back against the paper — which has always stood in his and his government’s trench — in abusive terms on his social media platforms. “After burying the Holocaust for years on its back pages and demonizing Israel for decades on its front pages, the New York Times now shamefully calls for undermining Israel’s elected incoming government,” and “continues to delegitimize the one true democracy in the Middle East and America’s best ally in the region,” he fumed.

This ‘awakening’ by the US’ most influential newspaper is very belated. Part of the reason the Israeli public voted for the most racist extreme right-wing parties is the Western media’s indulgent coverage of Israel’s constant abuses, serial war crimes, escalating assassinations, and unending colonization onslaught against the Palestinians who have lived under its occupation for more than 70 years.

The NYT is very concerned for Israeli democracy and warns that Netanyahu’s government poses a threat to Israel’s future. But it expressed no concern at all for the millions of Palestinian victims of this phoney democracy, nor even the Palestinian fellow journalists murdered by its killing machine under the ‘peace-loving’ government of Lapid, notably Shireen Abu-Aqleh.

The vast majority of the Western media — audio, visual, or print — consistently indulge Israel’s racism, cover up its crimes, and deem any criticism of it and its abuses to be anti-Semitic. It’s as though Israel is a divinely ordained state that is above criticism, so it can commit whatever outrages it pleases and nobody is allowed to reproach or condemn it — and ‘free speech and ‘media diversity’ can go to hell

I disagree with much of what the NYT said, such as its assertion that “the Israel we knew is gone” — as though it used to be a dove of peace and is only changing now with the advent of Netanyahu’s new government. Israel was founded from day one on terror and murder, the displacement of millions of Palestinians and the looting of their property, and treating those who remained on their land as tenth-class citizens. This systemic racism culminated in Itamar Ben-Gvir and his ally Smotrich getting into parliament and their allies gaining senior jobs in Netanyahu’s government from where they can implement their ideologies and plans to kill or expel all remaining Arabs, annex a depopulated West Bank, and create an alternative Palestinian state in Jordan.

The paper didn’t have a word to say about Palestinian suffering under Israeli blockade, the victims of Israeli point-blank assassinations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, escalating settler attacks, or the arrest of 20,000 Palestinian children over the past 20 years and the killing of thousands more — all of which is amply documented.

Israel, whose parliament enacted the racist Nation State Law, is not and can never be a democracy. A democracy that institutionalises supremacism and racism is not a true democracy, and successive Israeli governments have been no less racist and fascist than Netanyahu’s incoming one — with the fulsome support of the NYT and most of the Western media.

The New York Times vs Netanyahu

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