Articles
September 1, 2010
  Quotes of the Day


" We will not let the
blood of Israeli civilians
go unpunished. We will
find the murderers.
We will punish their
dispatchers.
"

Israel's Prime Minister, after Hamas gunmen killed four Israelis, which prompted a pledge by West Bank settlers to defy the construction freeze and resume building on Wednesday night.

         Time allows Netanyahu to have a Quote of the Day after a terrorist attack left four dead. Yet the second half of
         the caption is entirely unnecessary. Certain settlers pledged to defy the construction ban every day yet had no
         power to do so. Why link this murderous attack to such a "pledge."

September 1, 2010
  Mahmoud Abbas: Pressing the Flesh for Peace

Time devotes an entire photo essay to pictures of Mahmoud Abbas shaking hands
with world leaders. The introduction uses the word "moderate" to describe him
and a picture of Abbas with Lebanese President Saad Hariri is refered to as the
"Axis of Moderation." It would seem unusual to have an entire photo gallery
devoted to one person shaking hands, unless your editorial policy was to build
up the Palestinian leaders as a moderate tirelessly working for peace. 

In the above article, Time repeats as inaccurate view of why the peace process failed under President Bill Clinton.

         Bill Clinton's explicit public guidelines for talks gave the opponents of peace political targets, exposing Arab and Israeli
         leaders to criticism before they could deliver results.

Israeli Prime Minister Barack offered Arafat a peace deal that Arafat rejected. Barack withstood political pressure to make
the offer while Arafat himself was the biggest opponent of peace.

September 2, 2010
  Quotes of the Day


" We are not interested
in spilling Israeli blood.
"

The quotation was taken from a statement by Abbas after the terrorist attack which left four Israelis dead. The reason Abbas
said that the Palestinians were not interested in spilling Israeli blood was it would undermine efforts to end the occupation.
Not that murder is inherently wrong.

HonestReporting has written about this outlandish cover story here. The story,
as this report shows, breaks no new ground in Time's coverage. They just repeat
the theme of an Israel indifferent to peace while moderate Palestinians plead
for progress. As we wrote when the article appeared:

         Polls repeatedly show that Israelis strongly support a two-state solution
         to the conflict. But it may, indeed, be true that Israelis have grown
         skeptical of any breakthroughs with the Palestinian leadership now
         divided between Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in control of Gaza.
         Israelis have seen that new peace talks are usually accompanied by new
         terror attacks.

         The Time article, written by Karl Vick, however, glosses over any
         legitimate reasons why Israelis may have lost interest in the details of
         the peace process, instead presenting Israelis as callous, insensitive,
         and decadently more concerned with beaches, water sports, and Tel Aviv's          cafe culture than with matters of real substance.

The cover – with daisies forming a Jewish Star is the worst aspect of this story and borders on antisemitism. The implication that Jews do not think highly of peace would be laughable if it were not so insulting.
Friday, September 3, 2010
    Peace Talks: Lowering the Bar on Progress

Again Palestinian demands are set as a minimum:

         Abbas is convinced, with good reason, that Netanyahu won't offer what he needs. After all, the Israeli Prime Minister refused          to halt settlement construction or accept the 1967 borders as the basis for talks, and he insists Israel won't share Jerusalem.          ...Even getting Netanyahu to use the words Palestinian state took some doing by the Obama Administration. He eventually          complied in a speech last year but added conditions unacceptable to Abbas or any other Palestinian leader.

Time does not inform its readers that the two conditions were that the Palestinian State be demilitarized and after creation
of the state, all further territorial demands against Israel would be dropped. It is important for readers to understand that the conditions Netanyahu made are not as unreasonable as the Palestinians make them out to be. After the withdrawal from Gaza
led to attacks on Israel, it seems natural to require these two conditions before there are any more withdrawals. Readers are
also reminded that the Israeli public does not care about peace:

         ...peace with the Palestinians is simply no longer a priority for the Israeli body politic.

The article also makes a comparison between Hamas and settlers and implies that settlers will start killing Palestinians:

         Even as the new conversation starts, Hamas is killing settlers, and the more militant settlers are no doubt
         planning their revenge.
Time repeats its theme that Netanyahu will not offer the Palestinians what they need (without spelling out Palestinian
demands or how much Israel can offer.)

         ...he's (Abbas) is at the talks because he has been left no option, not because he believes Netanyahu intends to
         offer terms acceptable to any Palestinian leader.

In an article about the Gaza police force, Time paints a picture of an efficient force whose main responsibilities involve directing traffic and settling minor disputes. Time accepts without further investigation the claims of an officer:

         Street security, he says, is the policeman's security. That doesn't mean, however, that the Israelis won't treat the beat cop
         as an enemy combatant. Abid lost 10 of his police colleagues on the first day of the Israeli invasion in December 2007,
         when police bases were among the first targets hit. But despite his loyalty to Hamas, he and his men didn't fight
         during the war:
that's not the police force's job, he says.

Yet six months prior to this article's publication, Israel made public a report detailing the involvement of police like Abid's men
in anti-Israel attacks:

         ...in the year prior to Cast Lead, the Hamas Police participated in anti-Israel attacks, collected intelligence on IDF
         patrols along the Gaza border and provided logistical support for Hamas’s military wing. "Intelligence information
         obtained by Israel shows a clear and formal level of cooperation between Hamas police and internal security forces
         and the military wing," the Malam report said. The report brought close to a dozen examples of how policemen
         participated in anti-Israel terror attacks and therefore were legitimate targets. In February 2008, policemen
         participated in a gunfight with Israeli soldiers, andn in April one of the members of a Hamas terror cell that
         attacked the Kerem Shalom Crossing was a senior police investigator in Deir el-Balah.

Didn't Time consider this information important for readers to evaluate Abid's claim that his men did not fight in the war?  

A picture above this article about settlements show the Jerusalem neighborhood
of Har Homa, once again blurring the lines between settlements and Jerusalem.
The article says that giving up settlements may equate to Palestinians giving up
their ancestral homes within Israel.

         Whatever the fate of the moratorium, the evacuation of most of
         Israel's settlements has been cast as something close to inevitable in
         any peace deal- a difficult, even elemental sacrifice that might let
         negotiators ask the other side to give up the right of most Palestinians
         to return to ancestral homes inside Israel.

But why does Time equate the issue of settlements with that of Palestinian refugees? By its choice of language ("the right,")
Time accepts that the return of Palestinians and their descendents to houses they fled when Israel was created is a right. But
doing so without providing proper context of either the refugee or the settlement issues leaves out key context. Jewish
refugees were driven out of Arab countries when Israel was formed in even greater numbers that the Palestinians who left
what would become Israel.

Also, why does Time recognize Palestinian "ancestral" homes without explanation that most of the Israeli settlements have
been built in "ancestral" Jewish lands? While a Palestinian state can easily be created without the 3% of land that settlements
are located on, a return of millions of Palestinians to Israel would mean the end of the country. Yet for Time, the two
issues are equal.
September 25, 2010
  Tensions Rise as Israel's Settlement Deadline Looms


Netanyahu is one again referred to as a "hawk" while his sincerity is question.

         The famously hawkish Netanyahu may or may not be sincere in his newfound enthusiasm for a two-state solution, which
         would require Israel leaving most of the territory it captured from Jordan 43 years ago.

Despite continued glorification of terror within the Palestinian Authority and his own clear rejection of recognizing Israel as a J
ewish State, Abbas' sincerity about making peace with Israel is never questioned.
September 30, 2010
  Israel's Undiplomatic Chief Diplomat Strikes Again

One of the biggest misconceptions about the Middle East is that in 1967, Israel conquored and began the occupation of a
Palestinian State. In fact, no Palestinian State existed in the West Bank. Before the 1967 War, the area had been under
the control of the Ottoman Empire, then the British Mandate, then the Jordanian Army. This may be news to Time which
begins the above article with:

         Avigdor Lieberman declared that the boundaries of a new Palestinian state should not be drawn based on a map from
         1967, which was the last year an Arab state existed to the immediate east of Israel.

In 1967, the West Bank – under Jordanian military control – lay between Israel and Jordan. Where is the Arab state that Time is writing about "to the immediate east of Israel?"
October 4, 2010
  Quotes of the Day

" Only somebody who
doesn't fear God would
do this. .
"

Time elevates an act of vandalism against a mosque by selecting this quote. It's a shame Time did not use any of the quotation
of the Israeli religious and political leaders who condemned the act and brought new Islamic holy books to the mosque.
Combined with the quote, the picture of Muslims at prayer reaffirms Time's vision of moderate Palestinians and radical Israelis. 
October 8, 2010
  Israel: A Belly Dance Video and the Specter of Deligitimization

Time makes note of the comments on embarrassing Facebook postings by members of the Israeli military to make a wider
case that Israel has lost the moral high ground in the conflict. But Time presents little evidence beyond comments on these videos. Certainly Hamas and Fatah have engaged in human rights abuses against their own people that go far beyond what was in
the three Facebook examples referred to in the article.
October 10, 2010
  The Israeli Loyalty Oath: What is Netanyahu Up To?

Would Time ever profile the leader of any other country in the following way?:

         There is muddling through, and then there is whatever Israel's prime minister has been up to in the last two weeks.
         While the world wonders whether peace talks with Palestinians will survive the resumption of Israeli settlers building more          homes on what would become state two in the two-state solution, Benjamin Netanyahu dances to music only he can hear.
         And no one knows where he's headed next.

Besides mocking the Prime Minister of Israel, who actually has been quite open about Israeli policy, the article again accepts
that it is the settlers building homes on Palestinian land that is responsible for the breakdown in the peace process.

The final article in our review begins under a picture of a Palestinian praying.
It is perhaps appropriate (at least for Time) that the image of the Palestinian in prayer is connected with an article that once again makes Time's editorial bias
clear: That Israel refuses to offer the Palestinians what they reasonably
need to make peace:

         The Palestinian leadership believes that the current Israeli government has          given no indication that it will offer what Palestinians would consider to
         be a credible peace agreement absent pressure from Washington.

Again, the secondary theme that support for Israel in the U.S. is only due
to domestic "political" concerns is repeated:

       ...they (the Palestinians) have grown exasperated at a U.S. mediating role perennially tilted - for domestic political
       reasons - in Israel's favor.

U.S. support for Israel has far more to do with shared values and national strategy than to chalk it all up to politics. But not according to Time.

Conclusion:

Unfortunately, the biased, anti-Israel reporting at Time continues today.
As we reported, Time saw fit to write a glowing obituary on the death of a
leader of the terrorist group Hezbollah whose dying wish was to see the
State of Israel not exist.

What can time do to regain credibility? Here are a few suggestions:

Time needs to change its reporting on the Middle East to bring in more objectivity.
The opinions of reporters should not be portrayed as fact
Any assertions of Israeli or Palestinian popular views must be backed up by
   credible polling data.
Quotations of the Day should provide readers with a balance set of views.
Time should avoid using language that is not only inaccurate, but heavily subjective.

Please share your thoughts with Time directly by writing to them at: Letters@time.com