Fri, April 29, 2011 | Rubin Reports | By Barry Rubin
U.S. Government, Media Completely Wrong on Egypt, Now Advise on Peace Process
One of my readers points out that last February I mockingly quoted the New York Times’ assurances that everything would be all right with Egypt’s revolution:
“The New York Times piece…answers Israeli concerns with a ‘reassuring’ response:
“‘Arab analysts counter that new Arab realities and democracies should be welcomed by Israel, because the new Arab generation shares many of the same values as Israel and the West. [That remains to be seen, doesn’t it? BR] They argue that there is no support among Egypt’s leaders for the abrogation of the 1979 peace treaty, though it is unpopular with the public, and that the Egyptian Army will not disrupt foreign policy.’”
Note that while in this paragraph the newspaper was quoting “Arab analysts,” this was precisely the line the newspaper was taking. Before Mubarak fell, none of the concerns about the revolution were even reported seriously. After it took place, they were still sneered at these warnings.
Now, without a single mass media outlet admitting that they were wrong, the Times runs pieces like this:
“Egypt is charting a new course in its foreign policy that has already begun shaking up the established order in the Middle East, planning to open the blockaded border with Gaza and normalizing relations with two of Israel and the West’s Islamist foes, Hamas and Iran.”
And one has to add to that the attacks on the natural gas pipeline that supplies 40 percent of Israel’s needs and the Pew poll showing hostility to the United States and majority support and presidential candidates for throwing away the peace treaty with Israel. Indeed, there was even a protest by social network types urging the peace treaty be ended.
Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post gets it but his comprehension is so rare it is almost jarring to read him while holding a newspaper in one’s hands:
“If Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas moves forward with the reconciliation with the Islamic Hamas movement, it will mean he has written off the Obama administration and the peace process it has tried to broker, once and for all.”
One cannot sue the media for malpractice. But most of these same newspapers daily urge Israel to make more unilateral concessions and take risks. They have no awareness of how this situation fits perfectly with the question of Israel-Palestinian negotiations.
Here’s what the Times and other media might say as a Palestinian state was being created:
“‘Arab analysts counter Israeli concerns that a new Palestinian state should be welcomed by Israel, because now the Palestinians will settle down to developing democracy and their economy.They argue that there is no support among Palestine’s leaders for discontinuing the peace treaty with Israel, though it is unpopular with the public, and that the Palestinian security forces will not disrupt foreign policy.’”
And then two months later:
“Palestine is charting a new course in its foreign policy that has already begun shaking up the established order in the Middle East, planning to let Palestinian groups cross the border with Israel to launch attacks, stepping up anti-Israel propaganda, and normalizing relations with two of Israel and the West’s Islamist foes, Hamas and Iran.”
What then would President Barack Obama and the European Union, and the academics, and experts, and media say then, when Israel faced cross-border terrorist raids from the state of Palestine along with no dimunition in Arab and Muslim hatred?:
Sorry about that? Who knew they’d break their word? Why did you listen to us?
No, they wouldn’t even say that.
Don’t worry. Israel has already understood that game very well and won’t listen to them, which won’t stop them from criticizing it for following its interests rather than their advice.