Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: New York Times manages to miss the point once again

16 January 2009

New York Times manages to miss the point once again

gaza-funeral.jpg
The carnage in Gaza has further radicalized the populace

A recent New York Times report indicates that Israel's attack on Gaza has strengthened the radicals in Hamas at the expense of the moderates in Fatah:

Israel hoped that the war in Gaza would not only cripple Hamas, but eventually strengthen its secular rival, the Palestinian Authority, and even allow it to claw its way back into Gaza.

But with each day, the authority, its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, and its leading party, Fatah, seem increasingly beleaguered and marginalized, even in the Palestinian cities of the West Bank, which they control. Protesters accuse Mr. Abbas of not doing enough to stop the carnage in Gaza — indeed, his own police officers have used clubs and tear gas against those same protesters.

The more bombs in Gaza, the more Hamas’s support seems to be growing at the expense of the Palestinian Authority, already considered corrupt and distant from average Palestinians.
This report appears to show remarkable naivety. Israeli authorities know that every time they engage in wanton slaughter in the West Bank or in Gaza, it enhances the prestige of the radicals and discredits the moderates. Because Israel continues to use the same tactics, one can only conclude that they desire the same results.

It's the oldest tactic in the imperialist playbook. First, kill off the moderates. Then, agitate the radicals. Repeat until the resistance to imperial rule is radical and violent enough to justify an escalation of violence. The more violence the imperial power wants to employ, the more radical they have to make the resistance.

Of course, the editors of the Times are well aware of this tactic. They know that Hamas is
largely a creation of Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency. They know that Hamas has always gained power and prestige whenever Israel escalates its campaign against the Palestinians. And they know that it was Israel, not Hamas, that triggered the current conflict by violating its ceasefire with Hamas. So how can the editors at the Times be so naive as to believe that "Israel hoped that the war in Gaza would not only cripple Hamas, but eventually strengthen its secular rival, the Palestinian Authority"?

The answer, of course, is that they aren't that naive. The editors at the Times understand that Israel is trying to radicalize the Palestinians in order to justify future operations against them, especially in the West Bank. But they continue to pretend that Hamas is the aggressor and that Israel is seeking to pacify the Palestinians because when it comes to Israel, the New York Times doesn't function as a neutral observer, but as a promoter of Israeli propaganda.

(cross posted at appletree)

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