Behind the times


The putative newspaper of record has broken some "news" that is 38 years old.  A hand—wringing article in today's (August 26) edition of the New York Times blares the 'fact' that:

Israel Confirms Plan to Seize West Bank Land for Barrier

Published: August 25, 2005

JERUSALEM, Aug. 24 — Israeli officials confirmed Wednesday that the government had issued orders to seize West Bank land needed to extend the separation barrier around the largest Jewish settlement, Maale Adumim, and link it to Jerusalem.

The land in question, of course, was 'seized' by Israel back in 1967, when it defended itself in a war against Arab forces that ended in the capture of the West Bank and Gaza. What has happened now — that has the Times' Myre so busy expressing dismay and outrage, is simply the inclusion of a very large and longstanding settlement in a suburb some three miles from Jerusalem within the protective area enclosed by the barrier wall being constructed.

Despite the use of the loaded and inappropriate word in the article's headline, what has actually happened is that the Israeli government has, as it said it would do, unilaterally acted to protect citizens in major enclaves that are close to large population areas and which — it believes, with much justification — must be physically separated from the routes used for infiltration by suicide bombers and other terrorists bent of murdering Jewish citizens.

The New York Times has a habit of missing important developments, and playing catch—up.

It was a matter of weeks before the Times got around to reporting on the $875,000 scandal of the money transfer from a Bronx charity to the Air America broadcast organization, although the news had been already reported previously by The New York Sun and various other newspapers in New York and other cities around the nation.

It is still now just a matter of a few days that the Times continues to ignore the police busts of a major crack cocaine house just across the street from the famed 92nd Street 'Y' — a Jewish institution known for its extensive cultural and education programs, athletic facilities, and one of the most admired nursery schools in the city — despite the easy availability of police records and the reportage in other local newspapers.

The paper should be renamed The New York Behind the Times.

Richard N. Weltz   8 25 05