L – Land Swaps are Kosher Unless an Israeli’s Proposal
Few issues expose the M.S.M.’s Arab-Israel double-standard as clearly as “land swaps.” Proposed territorial exchanges between Israel and Palestinian Arabs were reported matter-of-factly when made by Ambassador George Mitchell and Mahmoud Abbas. But when comparable land swaps were proposed by Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman, the M.S.M. reacted angrily. The issue gained added importance after President Obama expressed his belief, in May 2011, that the final borders between Israel and a Palestinian Arab state should be “the 1967 lines with agreed swaps.”
Israeli Proposing the Same Land Swaps as Palestinian Arabs “Rules-Out” Peace Talks
? An article (A.P., 10/31/06, Inq. A10, “Israeli Cabinet Adds Hawkish Partner”) portrayed appointment of Yisrael Beitenu party leader Avigdor Lieberman to the Israeli cabinet as having “effectively ruled out any serious moves to revive Middle East peace negotiations.” This conclusion stemmed from his alleged advocacy for “trading Arab towns inside Israel for Jewish settlements in the West Bank” because this “would effectively strip Israeli Arabs of citizenship by shifting them to a Palestinian state.” Curiously, that article’s final paragraph noted that Hamas—which had “won Palestinian parliamentary elections in January and formed a government”—calls “for Israel’s destruction”; yet, that posture apparently hadn’t “effectively ruled out” peace talks.
? An article (10/29/06, Inq.) by staff-writer Warwick called Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party a
far right-wing party, led by the polarizing Avigdor Lieberman, who bluntly believes Arabs and Jews can’t live together,
a man who is an
ultra-nationalist who his critics say is a racist for his attitudes toward Arabs.
? Inquirer world affairs columnist Trudy Rubin opined (3/15/09) that Lieberman is
notorious for calling on Israel to rid itself of most of its Arab citizens and relocate them to a future Palestinian Arab “entity.”
Ms. Rubin warned that Lieberman’s
Inflammatory views may undercut any new peace moves in the region.
? A.P. (6/30/10, Inq., A8): “Lieberman is a contentious figure because he supports redrawing Israel’s borders to push areas with heavy concentrations of Arabs into Palestinian jurisdiction.”
? In contrast to these heated characterizations, many of them in news articles, of this Israeli minister as far-rightwing, polarizing, ultra-nationalist, racist, notorious, inflammatory, contentious, because of his plans “to rid Israel of most of its Arab citizens by relocating them,” is Lieberman’s dispassionate, reasoned op-ed in the Jerusalem Post (6/24/10) explaining his proposal in peace-promoting, diplomatically-recognized terms:
There needs to be an exchange of populated territories to create two largely homogenous states, one Jewish Israeli and the other Arab Palestinian. Of course, this is not to preclude that minorities will remain in either state where they will receive full civil rights.
Lieberman cited a U.N. General Assembly resolution (55/153 of 2001) recognizing territorial exchanges and specifying nationality changes in such cases.
? The M.S.M. likewise misstated Lieberman’s “loyalty oath” legislation attempt. (A.P., 6/30/10, Inq., A8): “He (Lieberman) also undertook a failed effort to force Israeli Arabs to take a loyalty oath or lose their citizenship.” Not exactly. Here’s how the Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth phrased what Lieberman advocated after she interviewed him on March 1, 2009: “One of the reasons you are so popular is because you called for a loyalty oath for all citizens of Israel….”
Media’s Calmer Portrayal of Palestinian Arabs’ and American Land Swap Proposals
? A.P. (10/11/07): “The Palestinians are ready to yield parts of the West Bank to Israel if compensated with an equal amount of Israeli territory, the lead Palestinian negotiator [Qureia] told the Associated Press yesterday.”
? A.P. (5/23/10, headlined by the Inquirer as “Abbas Sheds Light on Mideast Talks”): “The Palestinians are ready to swap land with Israel, although differences remain over the amount of territory to be traded….In previous negotiations, the two sides agreed that Israel would swap some of its territory to compensate the Palestinians, but gaps remained on the amount of land to be traded.”
? Arutz Sheva reported (6/10/09): “U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell sounded out the Palestinian Authority on a land swap that would allow Israel to retain large population centers in Judea and Samaria in return for the PA’s receiving land that includes Arab cities….The land swap idea originally was proposed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beitenu party.”