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Jerome Slater on why Haaretz carries more criticism of Israel than the _NYT_

In 2000 the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for a two-state settlement ended in failure, and the Palestinian uprising (or intifada) broke out. Then, in early 2001 Ariel Sharon was elected prime minister of Israel. In 2006 three events dealt further setbacks to the “peace process”: the Israeli election of Ehud Olmert, the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, and the Lebanon war. Then, the 2007 civil conºict in Gaza between Hamas and Fatah ended with a Hamas victory. As a consequence of these events, the prospect for a two-state solution, necessitating negotiations to create a genuinely viable Palestinian state in Gaza and nearly all of the West Bank, is more elusive than ever. The underlying assumption of this article is that the present situation is disastrous not only for Israel and the Palestinians but also for U.S. national interests. There is a wealth of information and critical commentary, much of it by Israelis, on the terrible consequences of Israel’s policies and behavior toward the Palestinians—and not just for the Palestinians but also for Israeli security, society, civil culture, and even the future of Israeli democracy. …

This article argues that a major explanation for this widespread but erroneous U.S. consensus is the largely uninformed and uncritical mainstream and even elite media coverage in the United States of Israeli policies, a consequence of which is that alarm bells that should be sounded loudly and clearly are muted. In contrast, the debate in Israel is much more far-ranging, and includes a substantial body of dissenting opinion—especially among the elites— arguing that Israel bears a considerable share of the responsibility for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although this is still a minority view, candid criticisms of Israeli policy appear regularly in the Israeli press and news magazines, as well as in public statements by leading scholars, writers, retired military officers, intelligence officials, and even some politicians. To illustrate the striking differences between the U.S. and Israeli public discussions of the Israeli-Palestinian conºict, this article focuses on the two most influential daily newspapers in the United States and Israel: the New York Times and Haaretz.

Jerome Slater (2007), “Muting the Alarm over the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The New York Times versus Haaretz, 2000–06,” International Security 32:84-120. Available here.

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