Monday, June 1, 2009

Controlling Hatred

Even though The New York Times did report on January 27 that hundreds of trucks carrying clothing, baby food, rice, juice, sugar and flour donated from around the world “sat in the hot sun, going nowhere” at the border,[1] I have given up expecting the Times to hold Israel responsible for its role in the Middle East turmoil.

For example, reflecting on the recent visits of Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas to the White House, the Times, in its top billing editorial last week, laid out a litany of “must dos” for Abbas if he is to maintain his presidency of the Palestinians. The Times even threw in a “must” for Obama and one for the Arab leaders. What was missing was a single “must” for Mr. Netanyahu:

"When Mr. Netanyahu visited the White House last week, Mr. Obama publicly pressed the Israeli leader to freeze settlements and commit to a two-state solution. Now he has set markers for Mr. Abbas, urging him to make greater efforts to rein in militants and halt incitement against Israel. We hope he will do the same for leading Arab states."[2]

I think it is somewhat disingenuous to write, “He (Abbas) must redouble efforts to halt the constant spewing of hatred against Israel in schools, mosques and media.” How can Abbas or any other leader of an occupied people halt the anger of those victimized by a calculated and brutal imperialism?

I am amazed that the Times did not address the causes of such “hatred,” including the ever expanding settlements, mostly occupied by lawless zealots who without impunity harass, steal from and sometimes shoot those whose lands they have occupied. How can the Times, as a responsible reporter of news, turn its back on the continued demolition of homes and the uprooting of olive trees? Add in, the humiliation inflicted by 600 military check points, the assassinations and imprisonment of Palestinian leaders and a wall separating farmers from their fields, kids from their schools and the sick and injured from hospitals, and who among us would not be enraged?

Just one “must” directed toward Israel would do more to diminish the level of hatred than all the punishment measures inflicted upon the Palestinians, many of whom have somehow managed to control their rage and actually seek peace with Israel.

Thomas Are
June 1, 2009

[1] Cited in The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Rachelle Marshall, Israel Changes Leaders but Not its Goal: No Palestinian State, April 2009, p.8.
[2] The New York Times, May 30, 2009, Editorial, Mr. Obama and Mr. Abbas, p. A16.

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