What Nicholas Kristof Didn’t Mention

Nicholas Kristof criticizes both leaders of Israel and Hamas in his latest column for The New York Times. If you decide to read it, keep in mind the following two oversights and errors.

First, there’s one word he doesn’t use: occupation. Since 1967, *every* Israeli government has taken Palestinian land and built settlements. This isn’t just an action by conservative or “right wing” Israeli governments. Israeli settlement construction — and the brutality towards Palestinians involved — has been supported by both Labor and Likud parties.

Second, Mr. Kristof ignores the history of nonviolent campaigns by Palestinians that Israeli security forces have brutally repressed in the occupied West Bank. Get this: Under Israeli Military Order 101, it is illegal for Palestinians to peacefully protest the Israeli military occupation without an Israeli military commander’s permission.

The many indiscriminate rockets fired by Hamas into Israel are war crimes. The same is likely to be true for many Israeli attacks in Gaza. Gaza civilians are now reeling under the latest Israeli invasion and the seven years of an ongoing Israeli blockade. But American readers of The New York Times need to know that over the decades of US-armed Israeli occupation, there are other details to this sad story that should have been mentioned in Kristof’s latest piece.

5 responses

  1. Thank you for this post. Nick Kristoff retweeted it on his feed, which is respectful and generous. As an academic on the fringe of the Israel-Palestine conflict, but who is interested in how we construct a narrative around rightdoers and wrongdoers, I especially thank you for the smart mention of US complicity in arming Israel.

    -heleana

    • Thanks Heleana for your comments and for flagging Nick Kristof’s retweeting of my post.

      You are right — it was a respectful and generous act on his part. And your work sounds quite interesting as well. I look forward to reading your blog.

  2. Kristif says (for at least the third time now) Palestinians need a non-violent, Gandhi-type figure? There have been MANY of them, ALL ignored by western media, rotting in jail, or both.

    Kristof abd NYTimes NEVER ONCE given the light of day to Adeeb Abu Rahma, Mohammed Khatib, Khader Adnan, Mustufa Barghouti or the non-violent BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) Movement.

    Kristof wants a powerful image of nonviolence to reverberate around the world, but there are many he and his colleagues ignore. There was a beautiful documentary “Budrus” highlighting the non-violent protests in that town that garnered praise in independent circles but not a word in the mainstream.

    When do Kristof and 99% of other columnists outside of the Middle East actually write about Israel/Palestine? When there’s violence! If people are only going to care when there is violence, that is what you’ll see more of.

    He admits that the Palestinian Authority is MORE corrupt than Hamas yet still call for their empowerment and farcical negotiations with Abbas! Funny how Israel and the US were the ones who helped guide Hamas’ inception in the first place. Time to stop propping up the corrupt and incompetent Fatah. Disband the PA and give Israel the responsibility of administering the occupied territories. The One State solution is the only realistic remedy now.

    Israel does not want peace, it wants submission from its occupied victims and more land to colonize. This war was planned long ago, “mowing the lawn” as the IDF crudely calls it. Read the latest from Gideon Levy in Haaretz to hammer that point home.

    Hamas’ and other extremists’ crimes are abhorrent, but this is unsurprising when one party forcibly removes millions of people from their homes (with full backing from the US) & deprives them of basic human rights. Enough of the false equivalence in a misguided attempt to show balance when it is painfully obvious how one-sided it is.

  3. Thank you for this. We need more people pointing out this slack journalism, which basically supports Israel’s point of view, all the time

  4. Full disclosure, I am an israeli who does *not* support the israeli gov’t actions. However, this seems one-sided.
    To your points:

    First, yes – the occupation is horrible. and it is hurting both the Palestinians and Israelis. but the land wasn’t occupied from Palestine but from Jordan. and Israel went on Oslo, and twice later, offering to establish a Palestinian state and returning 95-97% of the territories. Oslo was sabotaged by Hamas’s suicide bombs, and the two other offers (Barak & Olmert) were rejected by Arafat and Abu-Mazen respectively. as the saying goes “the Palestinians didn’t miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity”.

    Second, the nonviolent protests of Palestinians were never major, or the leading way. Palestinians chose the militant struggle from very early stages – 50’s and 60’s. first PLO, now Hamas. horrible attacks on Israeli civilians, never only on soldiers. I am completely fine with blaming Israel for its aggression, but not seeing the fanatic and irresponsible side of Hamas is simply one-sided.

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