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Time Spins for the Palestinians

Tony Karon, Time magazine’s anti-Zionist commentator on Israel, delivers a quality howler. Here’s his description of Mahmoud Abbas:

He had bet his entire political career on the expectation that jumping through whatever hoops the White House placed in front of him would eventually earn him the reward of statehood.

That’s strange, because Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post interviewed him in May 2009, right at the beginning of the process where Karon says Abbas expected to jump through all those White House hoops. Opening line of the instantly-famous piece: “Mahmoud Abbas says there is nothing for him to do.” It continues:

Abbas and his team…plan to sit back and watch while U.S. pressure slowly squeezes the Israeli prime minister from office. “It will take a couple of years,” one official breezily predicted. Abbas rejects the notion that he should make any comparable concession — such as recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, which would imply renunciation of any large-scale resettlement of refugees.

Instead, he says, he will remain passive. “I will wait for Hamas to accept international commitments. I will wait for Israel to freeze settlements,” he said. “Until then, in the West Bank we have a good reality.”

Karon’s piece appears in a section of Time called “Global Spin.” Very appropriate title.


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