NY Times Reporter: Shame How Netanyahu and Conservatives Ignored Obama's 'Nuances' on Palestinians

May 23rd, 2011 1:16 PM

Saturday’s lead from New York Times reporter Steven Lee Myers did its best to paint Israel’s conservative, pro-security prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as being disingenuous and stubborn in the face of President Obama’s reasonable offer for Israel to give up land to the Palestinians: "Israeli Leader Rebuffs Obama On ‘67 Borders – Both Denounce Hamas – Meeting at White House Underscores Barriers to Peace Process."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel told President Obama on Friday that he shared his vision for a peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and then promptly listed a series of nonnegotiable conditions that have kept the two sides at an impasse for years.
Sitting at Mr. Obama’s side in the Oval Office, leaning toward him and at times looking him directly in the eye, the Israeli leader bluntly rejected compromises of the sort Mr. Obama had outlined the day before in hopes of reviving a moribund peace process. Mr. Obama, who had sought to emphasize Israel’s concerns in his remarks moments earlier, stared back.

Myers accused both Netanyahu and American conservatives of getting Obama’s "nuances" wrong.

Most significant among his public objections, Mr. Netanyahu said that Israel would not accept a return to the boundaries that existed before the war in 1967 gave it control of the West Bank and Gaza, calling them indefensible.
On Thursday, Mr. Obama said for the first time that those borders should to be the starting point for negotiations to create a Palestinian state, though he emphasized that they would be adjusted to some degree through land swaps to account for Israeli settlements. Mr. Netanyahu simply ignored that nuance -- as did many conservative critics here in Washington -- further exacerbating tensions with the administration.

Myers also made the Times's front page with an anti-war screed in February 2008 which opened: "Mr. Bush never sounds surer of himself than when the subject is Sept. 11, even when his critics argue that he has squandered the country's moral authority, violated American and international law, and led the United States into the foolhardy distraction of Iraq."