Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security
Muting the Alarm over the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The New York Times versus Haaretz, 2000-06
The prospects for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remain poor, largely because of Israeli rigidity as well as Palestinian policies and internal conflicts. The United States has failed to use its considerable influence with Israel to seek the necessary changes in Israeli policies, instead providing almost unconditional support. The consequences have been disastrous for the Palestinians, for Israeli security and society, and for critical U.S. national interests in the Middle East. A major explanation for the failure of U.S. policies is the largely uninformed and uncritical mainstream and even elite media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the United States. In contrast, the debate in Israel is more self-critical, vigorous, and far-ranging, creating at least the possibility of change, even as U.S. policy stagnates. A comparison of the coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by the two most prestigious daily newspapers in the United States and Israel—in particular the breakdown of the peace process in 2000 and the ensuing Palestinian intifada, the nature of the Israeli occupation, the problem of violence and terrorism, and the prospects for peace today—underscores these differences. While the New York Times has muted the alarm over the dangers of the United States’ near-unconditional support for Israeli policies toward the Palestinian, Haaretz has sought to sound the alarm.