The Palestinians said the NY Times “lacked objectivity and offended the Palestinian people” by publishing an editorial calling on Abbas to resign.
The Palestinian Ministry of Information on Monday lashed out at the New York Times for an op-ed by Roger Cohen which suggested that Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas must resign and make way for capable Palestinian leadership.
The Palestinians claimed that the article, an editorial titled “It’s Time for Mahmoud Abbas to Go,” “lacked objectivity and offended the Palestinian people by publishing fallacies, not least the title, which sided with the [Israeli] occupation.”
The NY Times is not known for its pro-Israel stances. In fact, in 2015, NY Times Opinion editor Andrew Rosenthal conceded that the most common complaint about the paper’s opinion coverage was “that we’re anti-Israel.”
In the op-ed, Cohen accuses Israel’s “occupation” of all manner of injustice and crime.
“But even in this environment, Mahmoud Abbas, the 82-year-old Palestinian president, cannot escape responsibility for failure. His government is now widely seen as a corrupt gerontocracy. It is inept, remote, self-serving and ever more authoritarian,” Cohen writes. “It is time for Abbas to go.”
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Information, Abbas “was elected by the Palestinian people, who live under an abhorrent Israeli occupation supported by an American administration that has lost its place as patron of world peace and security.”
This claim is false. Abbas was elected in January 2005, for a four-year term ending in January 2009. No democratic elections have taken place in the PA in over 10 years.
“The Palestinian people are aware of what freedom and good governance are; they don’t need Cohen or the New York Times to tell them what is an appropriate Palestinian democracy or nature of the regime in Palestine, which is eager for freedom and independence,” the Palestinians charged.
The ministry demanded that the NY Times show “more objectivity considering its pioneering role and deeply rooted history by reporting more on the Israeli occupation and its crimes, including its infringement on international law and Security Council resolutions.”
“The only condition for freedom is termination of occupation,” the Palestinian statement said, claiming “it is not fair to neglect all crystal-clear evidence against occupation and to blame the victim.”
In fact, the NY Times consistently charges Israel with a broad array of crimes. For example, the paper recently likened Israel to North Korea, and asserted that Israel is moving ahead with “annexation” and “apartheid.”