Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021
News Every Day |

David Halbfinger’s Weird David Friedman Interview Ends Up Appearing More on Twitter than in the New York Times

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks during the dedication ceremony of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun / File.

The outgoing New York Times bureau chief in Jerusalem, David Halbfinger, interviewed the outgoing American ambassador to Israel, David Friedman — and the result, which appeared in Sunday’s print newspaper, was just weird.

Halbfinger’s 1,500-word dispatch included two paragraphs from the hard left Foundation for Middle East Peace, the Alexander Soros Foundation-funded vehicle that supports the anti-Zionist New York Times opinion page contributing writer Peter Beinart. It includes another two paragraphs from “Husam Zomlot, who headed the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington.”

The third-party comments took so much space that there wasn’t room for much of Halbfinger’s actual interview with Friedman. Rather than publish a fuller version to the Times’ website, Halbfinger took to newly Trump-free Twitter — which is outside the paper’s paywall — and published two threads, totaling 44-tweets, of remarks from the outgoing-David-on-outgoing-David interview. Strung together, the tweets ran longer in accumulated word-count than the New York Times article, and were more informative, sticking more closely to Friedman’s comments.

As for the Times article reporting on the interview, it was inaccurate and tendentious. Halbfinger writes, “The Trump administration said it wanted to achieve peace. It will leave office this month as far away from that goal as ever.” Actually, it’s closer than ever to that goal: it succeeded, with the Abraham Accords, in advancing normal relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan.

Halbfinger also writes, “It was Mr. Friedman, 62, who drove the radical overhaul of White House policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, dreaming up the seemingly endless list of political giveaways that President Trump bestowed upon Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his supporters on the Israeli right.”

There was nothing “radical” about the Trump administration’s Israel policy. US-Israel relations have a strong bipartisan foundation based on mutual interests and shared values that transcends any particular presidential administration. Rather than characterizing American actions as “political giveaways,” the Times news article might have more accurately described the policies — such as moving the American embassy to Israel’s capital — as righting historical injustices, fulfilling long-made promises, and adhering to laws like the long-ignored Jerusalem Embassy Act. When the Obama administration provided $150 billion in cash and sanctions relief to the terror-supporting, genocide-pursuing Iranian government, the Times described it not as a “political giveaway” but rather as an exchange “in return for nuclear concessions.”

America didn’t give away anything in terms of the US-Israel relationship during the Trump era. It earned America credibility around the world as a steadfast friend, as the results on the Bahrain, UAE, Morocco and Sudan fronts indicate. Some of what America received in exchange in terms of intelligence sharing or other strategic or tactical gains in the struggle against Iran or other foes may be classified. But describing the approach as “political giveaways” is just weird — language that seems more appropriate for an opinion column or a rival’s campaign commercial than for a news article by an objective journalist.

Ira Stoll was managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of The Jerusalem Post. His media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

Read also

Privacy fears as Indian city readies facial recognition to spot harassed women

Dancing On Ice’s Rufus Hound forced off show after coming into contact with coronavirus

Supercomputer predicts Premier League season with Man Utd title heartbreak and Chelsea failing to get top four

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here