In recent weeks:
- A court in Germany ruled circumcision illegal.No New York Times editorial condemned the ruling.
- A Jewish student in Toulouse France was harassed. No New York Times editorial condemned the attack.
- An Iranian politician made vicious antisemitic statements. No New York Times editorial condemned the libel.
- A leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood called on all Muslims to liberate Jerusalem. No New York Times editorial condemned the threat.
- Mahmoud Abbas refused to negotiate with Binyamin Netanyahu, because the latter wouldn't release enough murderers from jail. No New York Times editorial condemned the intransigence.
- An Israeli committee concluded on the basis of historical fact, that Israel is not an occupying power. A New York Times editorial condemned the history.
Palestinian hopes for an independent state are growing dimmer all the time. Israel is pushing ahead with new settlements in the West Bank and asserting control over new sections of East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim as their capital. Meanwhile, peace talks — the best guarantee of a durable solution — are going nowhere.As noted above, Netanyahu made an offer to get talks restarted. Abbas refused the offer. There is no such entity as "East Jerusalem." In any case whatever Israel is doing (and building "settlements" isn't one of them) it is the Palestinians who refuse to talk. But there is no criticism for that.
Now comes another, potentially disastrous, blow. An Israeli government-appointed commission on Monday issued a report asserting that Israel’s 45-year presence in the West Bank is not occupation. The commission endorsed the state’s legal right to settle there and recommended that the state approve scores of new Israeli settlements. It proposed stripping the military of its authority to force settlers off land claimed by Palestinians."Occupation" has a specific meaning. It does not apply here for a number of reasons. The most obvious reason is that there was no clear ownership of the land before 1967. Another is that the Six Day War was a defensive war (closing the Straits of Tiran was an act of war.) Those who resort to the term "occupation" (especially post-Oslo) are trying to erase that history.
But what the editorial fails to recognize is that the term "occupation" makes peace less, not more, likely. As long as Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria is recognized as illegitimate it gives the Palestinian Authority no incentive to compromise. As long as the PA claims that Israeli concessions are not enough, Israel is illegitimate in the eyes of much of the world (and all those years of engaging in terror to get recognized are forgotten.)
Israel Matzav has a fuller critique of the editorial.