Letters to the Media

New York Times coverage of Arafat's death

The New York Times’s coverage of the death of Arafat, particularly with its November 12th Op-Ed essays, exemplifies what is so wrong with American perspectives of the Palestinian struggle for independence. What voices are missing? Palestinian ones. This is the recurring problem of American and European approaches to the Middle East. Arab voices are systematically undervalued, discounted, or actively suppressed — not just by their own autocrats but also by Westerners claiming to be acting “in Arabs’ best interests”, as if the Arabs were children needing a Western parent. 

Response to Benny Morris' "Politics by other means" in the New Republic

In a 17 March 2004 article, “Politics by Other Means”, Benny Morris offered a “review” of Ilan Pappe’s new book, A History of Modern Palestine; one land, two peoples (Cambridge University Press, 2003), which tells the history of Palestine from the point of view of its workers, peasants, children, women and all the subaltern groups that make the society and not its political elite. Morris’ “review” consisted of a series of ad hominem attacks and outright factual distortions. Ilan Pappe sent the following reply to the New Republic, who refused to publish it. 

Letter to NPR about its coverage of the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin

“Like most American media organizations (and some international ones with a reputation for caving to Israeli pressure), NPR is largely avoiding the term “assassination”. In an interview during the 7 am segment, Peter Kenyon slavishly uses the expression ‘targeted killing’, foisted upon journalists by Israeli government propagandists. Why? (And bystanders were also killed — does NPR claim they were also ‘targetedly [sic] killed’?).” Hugh Sansom, a regular writer to NPR, forwarded this letter to EI

Response to "Events Explore Middle East Controversy"

Rabbi David Rosenberg of the Newberger Hillel Center complained that a February 12 panel about the separation barrier Israel is building on occupied Palestinian land was unbalanced because “no campus group or outside group that is known to be supportive of Israel was extended an invitation to cosponsor” and that “no speaker has been chosen who will articulate why Israel might have chosen to have built a fence” But what does Rosenberg really mean when he calls for balance? None of the Israel-related events that the Rabbi’s organization has endorsed or promoted reveal any attempt to live up to the lofty standard he proposes. Benjamin J Doherty writes to the Chicago Maroon. 

Response to NYT: 'Lost Tribe' Finds Itself on Front Lines of Mideast Conflict"

In an article about Israel’s importing immigrants from India into an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank, the New York Times’ Greg Myre, writes “Amishav, the group that champions the Bnei Menashe, wants to bring all 6,000 of them to Israel.” While the article is clear that the new settlers are being located on Palestinian land, the term “Israel” is clearly inappropriately used in editorial comment. Partners for Peace’s Michael Brown comments on this in a letter to the NYT, and makes the point that “bumping desperate people up against one another like this is the height of irresponsibility.” 

Response to National Post editorial of 20 August 2003

Regarding the editorial, “Another reason to build the fence: Separating Israel from the West Bank will help prevent attacks such as yesterday’s bus bombing” (20 Aug), The National Post has missed the point entirely. The Post argues that a description of Israel’s Wall on our website as “a colonial project that embodies within it the long-term policy of occupation, discrimination and expulsion” was “nonsensical” and that Israel is building the Wall “to protect its citizens from terrorists based in the West Bank”. EI’s Nigel Parry wrote this letter in response to an editorial in the National Post (Canada). 

Persistent Partners for Peace squeezes a correction out of the New York Times Magazine

A Partners for Peace letter was published in the New York Times Magazine of September 14, 2003. The letter appeared after weeks of effort to have the Magazine acknowledge that the illegal settlement of Har Homa (Jabal Abu Ghneim) is not part of Israel. Michael Brown reports.