(Update: Since posting this originally, the Times did finally post my comment…it’s #62 in the list).

Once again the New York Times editorial board has chosen not to post my comment on an editorial op-ed that they have published. In their op-ed, “A Way Out of Gaza?” the Times’ editorial board call for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and a return to peace negotiations as “the only real hope for guaranteeing Israel’s long-term security.” (“A Way Out of Gaza“, The New York Times, January 16, 2009). The Times starts the opinion piece with a bold statement : “We agree that Israel had to defend itself against Hamas’s rocket attacks” (“A Way Out of Gaza“, The New York Times, January 16, 2009) and then immediately backtrack as though the previous statement was a momentary lapse of reason. But what really irks me is that my comment, which is reasoned and balanced, is not worthy of acceptance whereas nearly all of the other comments, which are vociferously anti-Israel, are.

Here are some examples of the comments that the editorial board of the Times consider worthwhile to accept:

The NYT refuses to recognize the reality that Israel has gone berserk with indiscriminate violence. (comment #7, “A Way Out of Gaza“, The New York Times)

What are the boundaries between a “civilized war” and outright mass murder? I don’t know; as in many things, the best we can hope for are general principles that should be interpreted in good faith to specific situations. Here the principle of proportionality has been violated. Israel has crossed the line, in my humble opinion, between legitimate defense and an unjustifiable infliction of death to cow a populace into submission.(comment #16, “A Way Out of Gaza“, The New York Times)

Despite tragic loss of lives, near complete destruction of infrastructure and homes in Gaza, it is clearly evident that the occupying regime has failed to accomplish any of their objectives. Additionally the onslaught has become a public relation disaster for the Zionist camp.(comment #29, “A Way Out of Gaza“, The New York Times)

It’s really nauseating to hear about Israel’s right to defend itself when that terrorist nation is murdering in cold blood hundreds of people everyday.(comment #31, “A Way Out of Gaza“, The New York Times)

In a blatant attempt to claim that they are “balanced,” the New York Times editorial board intersperses between the venemous anti-Israel comments a token few comments from individuals, mostly in Israel, supporting Israel’s case in this conflict. But if you submit a truly “balanced” comment as I did, don’t bother…the editorial board doesn’t want to hear it. It doesn’t “add” to the conversation apparently. So, having had my say, I give you the text of my comment:

It never ceases to astound me that the world is content to sit quietly by while Isrealis die from continual rocket barrages by Hamas (even during a 6 month “truce”) and then when Israel says “enough is enough” and goes to take care of the problem the first thing the world says is “let’s make nice.” How can Israel be expected to make “nice” with Hamas when it’s sole aim is the destruction of the state of Israel along with the concommitant explusion or mass extermination of the Jews there? You talk about the conditions for peace. Peace will only happen when the Palestinians truly accept that Israel is the Jewish homeland, that Jews have a right to live there in peace and quiet and when the Palestinian leadership understands that the two-state solution is their only option.

You mention that President Abbas “believes in a two-state solution” — a statement which is not credible since the PA still displays the entire land of Palestine on their emblem. In addition, the findings of a February 2007 report by the Palestine Media Watch on the content of 12th grade Palestinian schoolbooks show that students are systematically taught that Israel does not have a right to exist nor do the Jews have any ties to the land. I find your claim that Abbas truly believes in a two-state solution specious given the evidence.

A two-state solution IS the only way out – but all parties must be committed to this solution — completely. Israel must be willing to make the hard sacrifice of stopping the settlements and to help develop the economy of the West Bank and the Gaza strip. However, the Palestinians must truly be committed to this as well…and that means abandoning Hamas, abandoning terror, and embracing coexistence. Lip service from both sides will simply prolong the conflict and result in the death of many more innocent lives that are caught in the middle — both Palestinian AND Israeli.

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