Left-Wing Israeli "Peace" Group Knows Just Who to Call

Steven Erlanger gets the first look at a report from what he calls an "Israeli advocacy group" that advocates Israelis move out of "occupied territories" - and gets the lead story as well.

Tuesday's Times leads with a story handed to it by a left-wing anti-Israeli settler group by resident pro-Palestinian reporter Steven Erlanger, "IsraeliMap Says West Bank Post Sit On Arab Land - A New Obstacle To Peace - One-third of Jewish Area Is on Private Property, Organization Says."

"An Israeli advocacy group, using maps and figures leaked from inside the government, says that 39 percent of the land held by Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is privately owned by Palestinians.

"Israel has long asserted that it fully respects Palestinian private property in the West Bank and only takes land there legally or, for security reasons, temporarily.

"If big sections of those settlements are indeed privately held Palestinian land, that is bound to create embarrassment for Israel and further complicate the already distant prospect of a negotiated peace. The data indicate that 40 percent of the land that Israel plans to keep in any future deal with the Palestinians is private."

This "Israeli advocacy group" (which actually advocates for Palestinians in getting Israeli to move out of the so-called occupied territories)apparently knew to go to Erlanger for reliable pro-Palestinian spin: "Peace Now, an Israeli group that advocates Palestinian self-determination in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, plans to publish the information on Tuesday. An advance copy was made available to The New York Times."

The liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz accurately terms the group "left-wing" in its own story.