Middle East studies in the News
In LA Times Op-Ed, Makdisi Wrong on 'Palestine Papers'
by Tamar Sternthal
Saree Makdisi's frequent Op-Eds in the Los Angeles Times are often riddled with outright falsehoods in his efforts to vilify Israel. So while the depiction in today's Op-Ed ("A great betrayal") of the Jewish state as an oppressor, colonizer and ethnic cleanser is not particularly noteworthy, what's novel this time is that his error smears the Palestinian Authority negotiators as being too moderate, an unforgiveable sin as far as the radical UCLA professor is concerned.
Misrepresenting the leaked so called "Palestine Paper" documents, Makdisi falsely writes that the papers "show Palestinian negotiators eager . . . to accept Israel's illegal settlements in the West Bank." In fact, as reported by the Los Angeles Times' own Jerusalem correspondent, the documents reveal that the Palestinian negotiators were unwilling to cede large settlement blocks in the West Bank to Israel. Thus, Edmund Sanders reported yesterday ("Leaked documents show Palestinians ready to deal"):
Writing in a Babylon & Beyond blog entry earlier this week, Sanders first noted that the Palestinian negotiators refused to allow Israel keep West Bank settlements:
The minutes from the May 21, 2008 meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators show Tzipi Livni telling Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: "Clearly we have huge difference, [sic] one being Maale Adumim."
The Israeli negotiator continues to lay out the disagreement between the Israeli and Palestinian sides on the issue of West Bank settlements: "Then we have Givat Zeev, which is very important. . . .Then we have what we call the fingers of Ariel, and . . ."
Israeli negotiator Udi Dekel finishes her sentence, stating, "Qedumim."
Abbas responds: "We cannot accept Maale Adumim, Givat Zeev and Ariel . . . If this is your proposal, let us wait. . . I am serious."
Makdisi concludes his lengthy Op-Ed by praising the Palestinian's "new strategy [of] turning the tables on Israel," which he describes as a "campaign of protests and calls for boycotts and sanctions that offers the only hope of bringing Israelis -- like their Afrikaner predecessors -- to their senses." We of course call this campaign delegitimization, and its use of outright lies and falsehoods is once again on display.
The Los Angeles Times should uphold its journalistic responsibility to correct a falsehood which is contradicted by its very own coverage, and not enable an extremist campaign based on deceptions and falsehoods.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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