Reacting to the Israeli prime minister’s decision not to visit Washington next week, the New York Times subjected him to an editorial condemnation. Ira Stoll writes:
Begin with the criticism “that Mr. Netanyahu’s government announced this decision in the media rather than to the White House.” Isn’t there something strange about a newspaper attacking a government for talking to the press? . . .
The Times calls the Netanyahu leak “not a surprise, considering the disrespect the prime minister has shown Mr. Obama in the past.” There’s no mention of the disrespect that Mr. Obama has shown Mr. Netanyahu, beginning with the president’s failure to stop in Israel during a visit to the Middle East early in his first term. Even PBS and former members of the Obama administration acknowledged that was a mistake.
The next paragraph describes Israel as “the top recipient of American aid.” That is not factually accurate. . . . The Times [further] says that Mr. Netanyahu “has reportedly asked for a big increase in American aid to more than $4 billion per year, which seems unreasonable.” The Times doesn’t explain or argue why it is unreasonable; it just asserts it. The real unreasonable party here is the Times editorial writer, who ignores the effect of inflation. . . .
Next, the Times claims that Mr. Netanyahu “has never shown a serious willingness” when it comes to “progress toward a Middle East peace deal.” “Never”? It’s as if the Times editorial writers don’t read their own newspaper. . . .