The New York Times has painted itself into a corner: without previously reporting that Palestinian prime minister Mahmud Abbas, known as Abu Mazen, is basically powerless due to Arafat’s continued control of the Palestinian security forces, the New York Times now finds itself having to explain Abu Mazen’s inability to do anything based on Israel’s actions.
That is why in today’s editorial the Times can write:
“the gravest political damage is being done by Israel’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon, whose reflexive military responses to terror threatens to undermine the authority of Mahmoud Abbas, the moderate new Palestinian prime minister.”
Yes, I agree that the strikes do not seem to have been absolutely necessary, and I do condemn all violence in principle, but with Abu Mazen absolutely powerless, to think that a Hudna would serve Israel’s security is to deny history: as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy pointed out, the Hamas has agreed to ten such cease-fires in the past 10 years, and each one was followed by an even greater wave of violence.
The New York Times has started out on the right path by issuing a correction yesterday to an article stating the commonly held myth that Palestine ever existed as an Arab state. Now it has to issue a correction to the myth of Abu Mazen’s potential, drop the term “militants,” and start calling terrorists by their name.