Here we are in the middle of peace negotiations that Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, insisted upon, and to which the president of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen, had to be dragged, and Time writes about “why Israel doesn’t care about peace.” Is there no limit to the Israel-bashing that now passes for serious conversion in polite society?Read the above link for more.
The Web version of the story hardly even qualifies as journalism. It’s nothing more than a few sentences strung together, interspersed with links to a series of photographs.
The printed version, at least, has a thesis, and it’s not a bad one. Its claim is that Israelis don’t discuss the peace process much (true), that they have low expectations (true), and that they don’t care (also true). And why do Israelis not care?
Ah, here comes the rub. Part of the answer that Time offers is that Israelis have despaired of peace (though why that might be is never explicitly stated – Palestinian recalcitrance is never actually mentioned, like a dark family secret that everyone knows but that everyone hopes will go away if it doesn’t surface). Israelis have learned to build decent lives even in the face of the conflict, and the Palestinians are now a nuisance, not a strategic threat. That’s true, and a fair point.
But what about the rest of the answer that Time offers? Why are Israelis not more interested in the peace process? Money.
Yes, you read that correctly. The Jews are more interested in money than in peace. In four pages of text, the Israeli (Jewish) pre-occupation with real estate, startups, and high rises on the Ashkelon beaches is repeated again and again and again, like the refrain of a bad country song. “Newspapers print fewer pages of politics … and more pages of business news.” That’s news? How is that different from dozens of other papers throughout the world? It seems that this is important because now we’re talking about Jewish newspapers, and those stubborn Jews who “don’t care about peace” just print more and more pages of business news.[...]
Will anyone react to this story? One certainly hopes so. There’s a line in the Rosh HaShannah liturgy, which many Jews will recite in just a few days, that reads tein kavod le-amekha, roughly translated as “restore some dignity to Your people.” It’s going to take more than prayer to do that, though, and more than a silent shaking of the head. Time will tell (no pun intended) whether Time’s decent readers will make it clear that they have had more than enough, that even today, even with appallingly low standards to which we have become accustomed, not everything is Salonfähig.
Meanwhile, Honest Reporting issued their own critique.
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.
Vick writes:In the week that three Presidents, a King and their own Prime Minister gather at the White House to begin a fresh round of talks on peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the truth is, Israelis are no longer preoccupied with the matter. They're otherwise engaged; they're making money; they're enjoying the rays of late summer. A watching world may still define their country by the blood feud with the Arabs whose families used to live on this land and whether that conflict can be negotiated away, but Israelis say they have moved on.The reference to the "blood feud with the Arabs whose families used to live on this land" is particularly telling. Vick appears to subtly reject Israel's historic claims to the land and to imply that Israelis are at fault in the conflict, since the land really belongs to the Arabs.
The print edition's accompanying photos reinforce Vick's contention that Israelis are preoccupied with leisure. The images feature Israelis lying on the beach, chatting at a cafe, or sitting on park benches. The implication is obvious: Israelis don't care about peace because they are doing fine without it.
Thus, Time distorts Israeli resilience in the face of a decade of rocket attacks and terrorism into an image of decadence.[...]
As a result, we have another cover story on newsstands worldwide accusing Israel of not caring about peace. What we really learn, however, is that Time magazine doesn't care about Israel.