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NY Times to Israel – butt out of Egypt

NY Times to Israel – butt out of Egypt

Mideast Media Sampler 08/19/2013 – The New York Times faults Israel for looking out for its own interests

It wasn’t just one article over the weekend. No fewer than four articles in the New York Times over the past few days have made the case that Israel values its security more than it does freedom for Egyptians. While any country would reasonably put the safety of its own citizens ahead of other concerns, the New York Times makes it appear unseemly. At a time when the United States is uncertain what approach to take, the reports present a selfish Israel attempting to impose its preferences on those who are struggling to do the right thing.

The most explicit of these articles was Jodi Rudoren’s, Israel Escalating Efforts to Shape Allies’ Strategy:

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of an edict from the prime minister not to discuss the Egyptian crisis, said Israeli ambassadors in Washington, London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels and other capitals would lobby foreign ministers. At the same time, leaders here will press the case with diplomats from abroad that the military is the only hope to prevent further chaos in Cairo.

With the European Union planning an urgent review of its relations with Egypt in a meeting Monday, the message, in part, is that concerns about democracy and human rights should take a back seat to stability and security because of Egypt’s size and strategic importance.

The article quotes a number of critics of Israel’s perceived policy. An Israeli academic named Yoram Meital was particularly brutal.

“The Obama administration took a stand that has a lot to do with universal values. Of course, killing hundreds of protesters in this brutal way should be condemned. If we study the Israeli perspective, then these universal values are secondary to the top priorities of security and security.”

Israel handling Egypt with appropriate amount of discretion

Interestingly, two former Israeli ambassadors to Egypt interviewed by Rudoren contradicted the fundamental premise of the article. Both said that Israel was handling Egypt with an appropriate amount of discretion. Israel Matzav cleverly deduces that the likely source for Rudoren’s story isn’t an Israeli as she claims, but someone from Washington.

I thought the tweet above from David Kirkpatrick, the Cairo bureau chief of the New York Times, was dismissive of Ambassador Yitzchak Levanon’s statement about “illusions” the West has about the possibility Egypt has for democracy. Leslie Gelb provided a welcome rebuttal.

Where are the reminders about how President George W. Bush paved the way for free elections in the Gaza Strip, how Hamas won, and how, then, democracy there came to an end and terrorism made a full comeback?

In any case, the theme of Rudoren’s article was repeated several times in three other New York Times reports.

How American Hopes for a Deal in Egypt Were Undercut:

The violent crackdown has left Mr. Obama in a no-win position: risk a partnership that has been the bedrock of Middle East peace for 35 years, or stand by while longtime allies try to hold on to power by mowing down opponents. From one side, the Israelis, Saudis and other Arab allies have lobbied him to go easy on the generals in the interest of thwarting what they see as the larger and more insidious Islamist threat. From the other, an unusual mix of conservatives and liberals has urged him to stand more forcefully against the sort of autocracy that has been a staple of Egyptian life for decades.

Leaving Military Aid Intact, U.S. Takes Steps to Halt Economic Help to Egypt:

Israel and several Arab counties have lobbied the United States not to cut off aid, arguing that the army is still the best hope to stop Egypt from slipping into chaos and that the need for stability should outweigh, for now, concerns about democracy and human rights.

Egyptian Court Is Said to Order That Mubarak Be Released

Israeli ambassadors in Washington, London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels and other capitals planned to advance the argument that the military was the only hope to prevent further chaos in Cairo. On another diplomatic front, ambassadors from the 28-member European Union planned to meet on Monday to review the bloc’s relationship with Egypt, confronting a similar question of whether stability and security outweigh considerations relating to human rights and democracy.

If only powerful forces would let President Obama follow his instincts

To some degree these articles are all written from the perspective that the President really wants to do the right thing (and cut aid) but powerful forces, such as the Israeli government are pushing back against his better instincts.

A parallel Washington Post article, Obama balances goals in Egypt, by contrast, downplays Israel’s role:

Many lawmakers back Obama’s cautious approach. So do Israel and powerful Persian Gulf nations that oppose ousted president Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and are willing to bail out Egypt’s drowning economy.

For that matter, the Washington Post has Israel and Obama on the same side of the issue!

This spin of the New York Times isn’t exactly new.

At the end of July an analysis, U.S. Balancing Act With Egypt Grows Trickier presented the administration’s options as being limited by Israel, though a bit more subtly.

For the Obama administration, the problem is not simply its relationship with the Egyptian military but also with Israel, whose security interests are weighing particularly heavily on administration officials as they try to nurture a new round of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel depends on Egyptian troops to root out Islamic extremists in the Sinai Peninsula, and Israeli officials have publicly and privately urged the United States not to cut off the aid, which underpins the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

Yet Saturday’s attacks on members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which left more than 80 people dead, combined with signs that the generals are paying little heed to American officials, have made it increasingly difficult for President Obama to keep striking the balance between security and democracy, according to several analysts.

Again, it is Israel that prevents Obama’s ability to strike a proper “balance between security and democracy,” as if it were such a simple and clear issue.

Presenting Israel as an impediment to liberalization in the Arab world and in Egypt, specifically, goes back further still. At the beginning of the Arab Spring, Thomas Friedman wrote Postcard from Cairo Part 2:

Rather than even listening to what the democracy youth in Tahrir Square were saying and then trying to digest what it meant, this Israeli government took two approaches during the last three weeks: Frantically calling the White House and telling the president he must not abandon Pharaoh – to the point where the White House was thoroughly disgusted with its Israeli interlocutors – and using the opportunity to score propaganda points: “Look at us! Look at us! We told you so! We are the only stable country in the region, because we are the only democracy.’’

The past two and a half years – with the violence and instability sweeping Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq – have borne out the attitude that Friedman (and his source in the administration, if there was one) so easily dismissed. Israel wisely stayed out of the fray then (if Israel had said that it supported the protesters the Mubarak regime would have used that to discredit the protests) and is quietly pursuing diplomacy now.

There’s nothing wrong with that, except in the eyes of the New York Times.


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“The most explicit of these articles was Jodi Rudoren’s, Israel Escalating Efforts to Shape Allies’ Strategy:”

There you have it. It’s well documented (if Google is up and running)

It’s those darn JOOoooo shape-shifters at it again!

What the New York Times has to say would be a little more credible if they criticized Obama for his past and continued support of the Muslim Brotherhood. He loves them so much he has given them free reign even here in our government let alone in Egypt.

Typical NYT trash. Egypt has 90 million and Israel 6 million +/- one or two. I would be very concerned about my survival if there were a possibility that several million screaming Arabs were coming through Gaza to terminate me any mine.

    Musson in reply to OldmanRick. | August 20, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Speaking of survival – Egypt is facing STARVATION of biblical proportions. They import 1/2 of everything they eat and pay with tourist dollars. With the US cutting economic aid and tourist dollars evaporating – Egypt’s foreign currancy reserves are probably down to 3 or 4 months at most.

    There is not good choice in Egypt. But the USA must go with the military to IMPOSE order. Or, millions could starve.

Israel to NYT – Butt out of Israel.

I am sure the Israelis are trembling at the thought of provoking the wrath of the Gray Lady.

    The problem is, that they are. At least in the Leftist circles that actually run the country, regardless of the elections. LATMA had a cute parody of the worship of Tom Friedman.

    By the way, below the lowest circle of Hell, down on the very floor, they are busy excavating a huge pit. That’s for the journalists.

Henry Hawkins | August 19, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Henry Hawkins to NYT – Butt Out of America

Well, many of the Times’s top people are of Jewish extraction and I can see why in the salons they habituate it might be kind of embarrassing for Israel to be looking out for itself and not leaving itself open to terrorist attack. Of course, a little change in Israeli policy would doubtless lead to a flowering of secular democracy in Egypt.

It’s like Bishop Tutu: “The Jews are a peculiar people and cannot expect to be judged by the standards applied to other people.”

Our President got a not-so-subtle smack-down in a Nightwatch Report dated 8/17/13:

[… Egypt-US:The Egyptian Presidency issued a statement to respond to US President Barack Obama’s speech. President al-Mansour’s remarks follow:
“While, Cairo appreciates the US concern over the developments in Egypt, it had hoped that things would have been understood correctly and for all the facts on the ground to be realized. In this regard, the Presidency would like to assert the following: ………..
This included six points….
Comment:The Egyptian President said,in essence, that the US President does not understand the situation, is not well informed and his remarks might have encouraged armed violent opposition. …]
This appears to be one of the unforeseen consequences of the President’s 2009 Pay It Forward Apology Tour.
His treatment of Israel has always been cavalier bordering on rude, and there is absolutely EVERY reason for Israel to be VERY concerned as to how the Military/Muslim Brotherhood issue will play out. Of all the sovereign states in the Middle East, Israel has the most to lose.

“… Israel values its security more than it does freedom for Egyptians…”
Why is this a surprise?

The Muslim Brüderbünd claims that General al-Sisi is a Zionist.

Dutifully, the NYT accuses Israel of interfering in Egypt.

As Colonel Hannibal would say, don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

DEBKA says it’s not Israel getting involved in Egypt’s affairs; it BANDAR! It’s saudi arabia pulling the strings from behind the curtain.

Russia’s already inside of syria. If they get to go into Egypt, then Israel is surrounded on two borders by the russians.

While over in Jordan, through big, big military expense; we have the antisemitic General Dempsey in the “war room” dug undergrand, waiting for “no flying pants” petunia in the white house to unleash the 3,000 trained Jordanians … who will “guarantee” the “no flies to see here” zone over Syria.

Will these trained soldiers rappel into syria, and force Assad off the Golan? Stay tuned.

In 1973 the IDF, through great sacrifice in blood, pushed all the russian equipment in Egypt into burned out hulks.

Then, there’s the other “detail.” The Egyptian military has to deal with the Islamists, who get along with the Bedouin, in the Sinai. And who just killed a couple of dozen Egyptian policemen. All the while obama golfs.

As hillary would say “WHY DOES IT MATTER, NOW?”

If NYT would print their rag on a quality TP, they would be useful.

I wasn’t aware the NY Times was still in business.

What is it they do again?

I love how the NYT can do their best to cover Obama and blame Israel all in one breath.

Watching their mental gymnastics as they contort themselves to absolve their favorite Leftist president and blame those darn Israelis who are just too darn worried about their nation’s and cistizen’s security is kind of entertaining– if you can fight down the disgust and look at it as an academic exercise.

There is a mistake in the Venn diagram. It need to be surrounded by a huge circle containing the words: “Anti-Israel; Anti-Semitic”.

All one needs to know about the NYTimes is that “Pinch” Sulzberger is a way too big a name for him. A more appropriate moniker would be “Prick Sulzberger.”

The New York Times’ position can be summed up as “Who do those Jews think they are, protecting their own interests? Don’t they know their proper role in the world is to die at the hands of genocidal conquerors, so we liberals can weep crocodile tears over their graves in a safely Judenrein world?”

    katiejane in reply to pst314. | August 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    “that Israel values its security more than it does freedom for Egyptians”

    I may not be the most informed but isn’t the protection of its citizens one of the prime responsibilities of any country’s government? I would like it if the Obama administration felt the same way about us.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to katiejane. | August 20, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      KJ, you don’t need to be well-informed on this – it’s a matter of morals and common sense, which you clearly have in spades.

      The formula they use is this:

      1. I am a liberal.

      2. I believe X.

      3. Therefore X is correct.

      You, being of sound morals and with common sense, see the ‘X’ problem immediately. If you asked them about it, they’d say:

      1. I am a liberal.

      2. I believe that Israel should place Egypt’s security ahead of its own.

      3. Therefore, Israel should place Egypt’s security ahead of its own.

      Their set of morals is different, always changing from issue to issue, and they struggle with common sense.

NYT, Please butt out of everything you do. That story you are doing about the Clinton foundation even though probably true in some aspects still reeks of a shore up of Hillary and her daughter since they have inserted themselves into the foundation. This is purely to show Hillary and her daughter pretending to clean up so she can say she can run the country which we know she can’t.

[…] The NYT has strong form in its anti-Israel stance of course, and the blogger David Gerstman publishes a regular column monitoring their bias. This week he detailed several other instances in his column at Legal Insurrection entitled NYT to Israel: Butt out of Egypt: […]