CAMERA Media Analyses..
26 September '16..
The New York Times would have you think there was a neat symmetry between two recent speeches by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, both of whom spoke at last week's opening of the UN General Assembly.
In his article on the speeches by the Middle East rivals, Times Jerusalem bureau chief Peter Baker evoked a split screen, with Netanyahu on one side and Abbas on the other, saying the same things and going through the same motions. The New York Times reporter began:
They took the stage, one after the other, two aging actors in a long-running drama that has begun to lose its audience. As the Israeli and Palestinian leaders recited their lines in the grand hall of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, many in the orchestra seats recognized the script.
"Heinous crimes," charged Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president. "Historic catastrophe."
"Fanaticism," countered Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister. "Inhumanity."
Mr. Abbas and Mr. Netanyahu have been at this for so long that between them they have addressed the world body 19 times, every year cajoling, lecturing, warning and guilt-tripping the international community into seeing their side of the bloody struggle between their two peoples. Their speeches are filled with grievance and bristling with resentment, as they summon the ghosts of history from hundreds and even thousands of years ago to make their case.
It was all very balanced, calibrated to allow for Baker's tidy (or some might say lazy) narrative technique of equating parallel speeches.
Were the Two Speeches Equivalent?
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