Middle East reporter Neil MacFarquhar brought his usual anti-Israel slant to his Monday New York Times story on the Palestinians seeking United Nations membership: 'Palestinians Turn To U.N., Where Partition Began.'
The Palestinians see the membership application as a last-ditch attempt to preserve the two-state solution in the face of ever-encroaching Israeli settlements, as well as a desperate move to shake up the negotiations that they feel have achieved little after 20 years of American oversight. The question is whether trying to bring the intractable problem back to its international roots will somehow provide the needed jolt to get negotiations moving again.
Palestinians believe that their position has gradually eroded over the past 20 years, when the United States began monopolizing the negotiations with the 1991 Madrid peace conference. They remain under occupation, the number of Jewish settlers has tripled to around 600,000, and they have far less freedom of movement in the territories ostensibly meant to become their state.
MacFarquhar skimmed over the anti-Israel hatred emanating from the United Nations:
Lopsided votes against Israel are not new to the United Nations. But this time the Palestinians are hoping they can muster enough weighty support from Europe to overcome right-wing domestic constraints in the United States and Israel that have helped stall negotiations for at least 18 months. So far the Europeans remain divided among themselves, however.
MacFarquhar often portrays events in the Middle East from an anti-Israel perspective.
In August 2006 he celebrated the 'Disney touch' of a leader of the anti-Israel terrorist group Hezbollah. He notoriously ranted about 'Bush's bombs' going to help Israel on the July 31, 2006 edition of the talk show Charlie Rose:
You know, it just - you saw those heart-rendering pictures in Qana yesterday after the Israeli air strike. And every one of the reports on the Arab satellite channels were saying, you know, this is American bombs that killed these children. And you know, I have lived in this region for a really long time, since I was a little boy, really. And if you talk to people my age, I'm in my mid-40s and who grew up in poor countries like Morocco, you know, they will tell you that when they went to school in the mornings, they used to get milk, and they called it Kennedy milk because it was the Americans that sent them milk. And in 40 years, we have gone from Kennedy milk to the Bush administration rushing bombs to this part of the world. And it just erodes and erodes and erodes America's reputation.