Jan 30, 2013

NY Times Watch: The Great Benevolent Israel

Today's NY Times watch is brought to you in part by Isabel Kershner who pens this lede in an article today (emphasis added):
Israel has decided to transfer to the Palestinian Authority the tax and customs revenue that Israel collected last month on the authority’s behalf, to help ease the authority’s economic crisis, a senior Israeli government official said on Wednesday.
It is hard to imagine a written representation of the reality more twisted than that. Someone reading this lede, the most important and tone-setting part of a news article, is left thinking that Israel is being benevolent and going out of its way to help a charity case whose "economic crisis" it has no role in.

In reality, the "Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territory imposes a huge price tag on the Palestinian economy. Israeli restrictions prevent Palestinians from accessing much of their land and from exploiting most of their natural resources; they isolate the Palestinians from global markets, and fragment their territory into small, badly connected, “cantons”. As recently highlighted also by international economic organisations, including the World Bank, UNCTAD and the IMF, these restrictions are the main impediment to any prospects of a sustainable Palestinian economy."

Israel's military occupation is the main cause for economic woes in Palestinian territory. But you'd never get that idea from reading Kershner's article. Instead, you'd think Israel was doing whatever it could to help.



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