Is the NYT entering a new era on Israel?

1 February 2014

The New York Times’ oped pages have recently been opening up to much more critical commentary on Israel. This trend has not been quite as dramatic as it may appear. Two strong recent opeds by Ali Jarbawi and Avi Shlaim looked liked they had been made available to US audiences in the NYT but were actually only available in the international edition – or what used to be called the International Herald Tribune.

In a recent email, John Whitbeck explained that the NYT had made them all but impossible to find on its website:

I have subsequently discovered that [Shlaim’s article] is invisible on the Times’ website to anyone trying to check out published opinion articles. As was the case with the article by Ali Jarbawi entitled “The Coming Intifada”, … Avi Shlaim’s article can be found on the site only by searching the author’s name. … Accordingly, not only were these articles not deemed “fit to print” for domestic American readers, they can only be accessed online by someone who is already informed of their existence and is actively and assiduously searching for them.

However, by all accounts the NYT domestic print edition is going to print an oped by BDS leader Omar Barghouti tomorrow. If that happens, it will mark quite a milestone. Omar includes many issues usually unmentionable in the NYT. But more so than the content of his article, the fact that the NYT is prepared to give a platform to him and the boycott movement – currently viewed by Israel as an enemy potentially even greater than Iran’s supposed nuclear weapons – would truly constitute a revolution in what can be said in the US establishment’s paper of record.

Here is a link to the piece:

www.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/opinion/sunday/why-the-boycott-movement-scares-israel.html?_r=0

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