New York Times featured on Israel's apartheid wall
by MainStreet, Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 11:22:57 AM EDT
Philip Weiss provided some reasons in this article, Maybe the ‘Times’ reporter in Jerusalem shouldn’t be best friends with Charles Bronfman?, why the New York Times should be featured on Israel's apartheid wall. But it goes far deeper than that. Weiss tells the story.
July 7, 2010
Last week we noted that a first-rate reporter, Taghreed El-Khodary, left the New York Times because she felt that its reputation was "tainted" by the fact that Jerusalem correspondent Ethan Bronner's son had joined the Israeli army. El-Khodary is Palestinian. She is attuned to the Palestinian street--whose view of the Times is reflected by this savage graffiti reported by our correspondent, Anees of Jerusalem.
Well here's more on the Times's positioning:
The Times has begun publishing stories from Israel by Dina Kraft, who has been a correspondent for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. (Here's a story of hers from the Jewish Journal last year). I'm sure she's a pro, but I'm told by someone who's met her that she feels a deep commitment to the state of Israel.
The Times used to bar Jewish reporters from covering Israel, back in its anti-Zionist days. I'd never call for a bar; but I sure would like more diversity. The issue with reporters who have Zionist leanings is that they tend to want to ignore the big story: that the state of Israel is in actual crisis, killing demonstrators, isolated by BDS, a pariah in Europe for the slaughter of children in Gaza, etc.
Just look at Dina Kraft's last story on unbreakable relations between Israel and Turkey. It sounds like everything's hunky dory. And notice there's not a Palestinian in sight in the article.
The Times' Isabel Kershner is also a pro, a very good reporter. I've read her thorough and sympathetic book on the wall. She is also an Israeli whose elder son will soon be eligible for military service; in his memoir, her husband Hirsh Goodman wrote in 2005 that Kershner had relatives living in a Gaza settlement (since uprooted) and that he and his wife are "best friends and neighbors in Jerusalem" with Charles Bronfman and his family. Bronfman funds the discriminatory Birthright program, which sends young American Jews free to Israel, to fall in love with the place and make Jewish marriages and Jewish babies, too.
Hirsh Goodman is an ethnocentric Jew who once regarded it as "axiomatic" that all Jews should move to Israel. And he's a virtual Israel lobbyist; he gave Martin Indyk and Steve Rosen at AIPAC the idea of starting the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, he brags, so that AIPAC could be taken more seriously in the marketplace of ideas in D.C.
I bet that Kershner's Jewish identity is not as refractory as her husband's. I bet Kershner maintains some independence from her husband's militarist flotilla table-pounding. But the attitude I bet Kershner shares with her husband and the Times' Ethan Bronner-- and probably Dina Kraft too-- is that belief you encounter in the nice (Said-family-cleansed) streets of her West Jerusalem neighborhood, the What-me-worry belief that Israel is a democracy that only needs to shear off the settlements, some time soon, so as to redeem its promise. I tell you, the crisis is more profound than that; this is a state without real political representation for half its subjects. At a time when even the Daily Beast is running non-Zionist pieces, and Sam Freedman is reporting straightforwardly in the Times on anti-Zionist Jews, the Times needs to start listening to the American street.
As you can tell, Phil Weiss doesn't care for grammar, but he makes his point. There's just a lot of confused Zionists in Israel and elsewhere, who just don't know what to do about the Palestinians in their mist. Some love them, some hate them. But everyone knows in their hearts that they are not going away. Anti-Zionists like Weiss more easily resolve the problem.
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