Someday, the AP might actually present a thorougly unbiased article on Israel and the Palestinians, but on that day, I suspect the Moshiach will have arrived.
Let’s take the current article describing the continued Palestinian refusal for direct negotiations with Israel. The AP appears to be incapable of using the words “without preconditions” when describing the Israeli side, and will not describe Abbas’ preconditions as, well, preconditions. Here’s what they write instead:
The Palestinians are wary of entering open-ended negotiations with Israel’s hardline prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. They want Israel to first accept the principle of a Palestinian state in the lands it captured in the 1967 Mideast War, with some alterations.
Yeah, open-ended negotiations—why, those are like, two sides sitting down to, you know, negotiate differences. As in, well, what negotiations are supposed to be all about. Note now how the AP spins this as Netanyahu being the bad guy.
Netanyahu has endorsed the creation of a Palestinian state but refuses to be pinned down on the details before direct talks begin. Since May, U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell has shuttling between Abbas and Netanyahu to try to narrow the gaps, so far in vain.
In other words, Bibi is perfectly willing to negotiate with the Palestinians, but does not want to be told what he can or cannot discuss in the talks. Because, you know, that’s what negotiations are for. But no, the AP’s systemic bias against Israel—and especially against Netanyahu—require that the narrative be that Israel is intransigent. For wanting to have negotiations without preconditions. Those bastards!
And now, watch the AP push the Palestinian talking points. Direct negotiations? Must have a “reference.” No mention of preconditions. The last time I could find an AP reference to the phrase “without preconditions” was on July 7th, when the AP quoted Netanyahu, and it’s in response to the Palestinian demand for a total settlement freeze before talks:
“The simplest way to advance peace is to put aside all the grievances and all the preconditions,” he said, asserting he’s “ready to sit down” with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to discuss peace “without preconditions.” There has been no use of that extremely descriptive phrase since then. Instead, we get the Palestinian propaganda line of “clear reference”. To what? Why, the preconditions, of course.
“The entire world is asking us to go for direct negotiations, but going to negotiations without a clear reference might make them collapse from the first moment,” Abbas told the radio from Uganda, where he was visiting.
“We are not against meetings, whether in Ramallah or Tel Aviv,” Abbas added. “The issue is to set the … reference for negotiations. After that, we are ready to go anywhere.”
You see? No talks without preconditions. It’s easy, AP writers. And brief! You should try it sometime.