Today, the Washington Post dedicated an entire section of the paper to airing Palestinian grievances and talking points. The section is called “Occupied: Year 50.”
One of the stories is about a Palestinian cancer patient whose children can’t get into Israel to visit her. Another shills for a Palestinian real estate developer who is building a planned city on the West Bank but fears the Israel Defense Force will thwart this noble ambition.
The story I want to focus on is about the difficulties a Palestinian construction worker faces on a daily basis as he must pass through an Israeli checkpoint on his way from the West Bank to his job in Jerusalem. Given the anti-Israel bias that drips from almost every paragraph of the story by William Booth and Sufian Taha, the difficulties may be exaggerated. However, there’s no denying that the checkpoints, as well as the occupation itself, create problems for ordinary Palestinians.
What’s missing from the story is context. The authors don’t explain why Israel thinks it needs the checkpoints and, more generally, an intrusive presence on the West Bank.
The only terrorist acts referenced in the article are the massacre of 29 Palestinians by Baruch Goldstein in 1994 and “young [Palestinian] stabbers and car-rammers” who killed 35 Israelis last year.
The Post reporters seem to be positing an equivalence. But Goldstein’s terrorism was virtually a one-off, thank God. Deadly Palestinian violence against Israelis is chronic. The checkpoints are intended to minimize opportunities to engage in such violence. Booth and Taha don’t acknowledge this or even present it as a possible explanation.
Their article is biased in other key respects. They assert that Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama “failed to find a ‘two-state’ solution.” But Clinton found one. He helped formulate a deal, agreeable to Israel, that would have created a Palestinian state consisting of nearly all disputed West Bank territory.
The Palestinians, through their hero Yasser Arafat, rejected it. They are the authors of whatever misery they experience. They are the ones who failed to “find” a two-state solution.
The Post reporters sniff that the West Bank is occupied “by a country that boasts to be the only democracy in the Middle East.” But there’s no inconsistency between being a democracy and occupying hostile bordering territory. Democracy is not a suicide pact.
The U.S. has occupied foreign lands whose inhabitants posed no threat to our safety. Right or wrong, our occupations did not make us less of a democracy.
The Palestinians are not the first people to have a propaganda section in the Washington Post. China and Russia also get such sections from time to time.
The difference? Russia and China have to buy the space. For the Palestinians, it’s a gift from a newspaper on an ideological mission.
I know people, not all of them conservative, who are disgusted by the way the Post runs non-stop hit pieces on President Trump. They dislike seeing the U.S. president attacked so relentlessly.
What these people may not realize is that the hit pieces are not primarily the product of anti-Trump animus, though there certainly is some of that. The attacks on Trump are primarily the product of the Post’s leftism against which Trump poses a barrier. The same leftism underlies the decision to devote a section of the paper to espousing the pro-Palestinian line.
NOTE: One good thing has come out of this. My non-conservative, pro-Israel wife, after seeing the Post’s “Occupied: Year 50” section, agreed that we will cancel our subscription to the paper as soon as I no longer need it for blogging.