OF COURSE: New York Times Goes Hostile and Cynical Against Pompeo, Israel

November 21st, 2020 5:27 PM

The New York Times atavistic hostility to Israel shows through in Friday’s piece, “Pompeo Trip to Israel Delivers Parting Gifts, Delighting Hard-Liners.” The text box was breathtakingly cynical: “Placing political land mines ahead of the Biden administration.” 

Neither reporter David Halbfinger and Isabel Kershner can be accused of being sympathetic to Israel, yet this latest entry is especially hostile and cynical in its treatment of what is possibly U.S. Secretary of State’s Mike Pompeo last official trip to the country (click "expand"):

The high point of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s valedictory trip to Israel could easily have been the long, grateful recitation by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday of the gifts that the Trump administration has bestowed upon his right-wing government.

But then Mr. Pompeo unwrapped some new ones.

He announced that the United States would henceforth view the international boycott-Israel movement as anti-Semitic. He stopped on the occupied West Bank, becoming the most senior American official to visit one of Israel’s settlements, which much of the world considers a violation of international law.

All told, Mr. Pompeo’s whirlwind day was scarcely a mere victory lap. It was a last chance to reinforce Israel’s hard-line approach to the Palestinians and, as Democrats and other supporters of a two-state solution cried foul, to place political land mines in the path of the incoming Biden administration.

It was also a day filled with photo opportunities that could be useful for Mr. Pompeo, particularly with the evangelical Christian voters he has long courted, were he to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2024.


Mr. Pompeo’s admirers say his support for Israel, like his evangelical beliefs, is deeply felt.

But there is also a rushed sense to the Trump administration’s diplomatic moves on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the clock runs down as if, like settlers themselves, they are frantically pouring concrete in hopes that it will set before Jan. 20. It is the same approach the lame-duck administration is taking with Iran.

That Pro-Palestinian cynicism was followed by several overdone paragraphs about Pompeo’s stop at a local winery, paired with left-wing whining.

Local Palestinians and Israeli land experts say that many of the vines that supply the Psagot winery grow on plundered soil….

Munif Treish, a 70-year-old Palestinian-American who said his family owned land in Psagot, called Mr. Pompeo’s visit astonishing.

“By law, Pompeo is supposed to protect the property and interests of American citizens all over the world,” he said. “But he is coming here to give legitimacy to the Israeli settlers who are trespassing, grabbing and cultivating our land illegally.”

The Times has issued many defenses of B.D.S. It stands for the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement, the anti-Israel, often anti-Semitic movement that targeting the country as a unique offender against human rights in the Middle East, and the Palestinian people in particular.

This story flew the same tattered banner:

Modeled on the fight against apartheid in South Africa, B.D.S. seeks to mobilize international economic and political pressure on Israel in solidarity with the Palestinians. Many supporters see it as aimed primarily at ending Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. But its opponents say the movement’s real goal is the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.

Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian leader in the West Bank who is a proponent of the boycott, assailed Mr. Pompeo’s announcement as another attempt by the Trump administration to box in Mr. Biden by placing before him “obstacles that they think are irreversible.”

“B.D.S. is a peaceful, nonviolent movement,” Mr. Barghouti said. “Calling it anti-Semitic is another way of suppressing people’s rights of freedom of expression and freedom of choice, and also a harassment of the American people who have the right to choose whether to participate in it or not participate in it.”