Ethan, take the buyout

To its journalistic credit, Electronic Intifada has confirmed a tip that many of us got over the last few days, that Ethan Bronner’s son has joined the Israeli Defense Forces. Bronner is of course the Jerusalem bureau chief for the New York Times (and did not respond to my inquiry to him on the issue).

EI nailed the story with an email from Susan Chira of the Times: "Ethan Bronner referred your query to me, the foreign editor. Here is my comment: Mr. Bronner’s son is a young adult who makes his own decisions. At The Times, we have found Mr. Bronner’s coverage to be scrupulously fair and we are confident that will continue to be the case."

I don’t know that this is a tenable line. I think this could be a sore point for Bronner, who’s already a sore point… People are going to harp on it; EI regards it as a "conflict of interest." And Ethan Bronner is the burning bush of hasbara. Also, I’ve heard that Bronner’s annoyed by criticism; I wonder if this is going to keep him up at night. I have to think the Columbia Journalism Review or some other keeper of the ethical flames is going to examine the question.

Don’t expect Bronner to write about it. He should; it’s a good story. But he won’t. We don’t talk about Jewish identity and militarism in the NYT.

The larger issue here is of course Zionism in the mainstream media, how deep does it go, and will anyone ever look into it? And on from that, Why are so many of the MSM reporters on Israel/Palestine Jews with intimate ties to Israel? Bronner is married to an Israeli and has a son in the most moral military in the world. The other Times person, Isabel Kershner, is "thoroughly Israeli," per the Jewish Forward, and married to an Israeli. The new Washington Post reporter, Janine Zacharia, is a Jewish woman from Long Island (I’m told) who once went over there to work for the Jerusalem Post. Wolf Blitzer worked for AIPAC and the JPost. Jeffrey Goldberg was in the IDF too. 

It’s like a credential.

Tribe means something: Almost all Arab-Americans I’ve met come out of a political culture that hates the occupation, hates the confiscation of land by Israel, hates the siege of Gaza, and all in all doesn’t especially care for Israel. Aren’t those legitimate American opinions? When do some of those folks get to cover this story?

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Beyondoweiss, Israel/Palestine, US Politics

{ 73 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. RoHa says:

    “Aren’t those legitimate American opinions? When do some of those folks get to cover this story? ”

    When they own the newspapers, the TV stations, the big media companies.

  2. James North says:

    Would an Arab-American whose son joined the Palestinian police force be allowed to cover Palestine for The Times from Ramallah?

  3. Oscar says:

    Message to the NYT’s “ombudsman:” [email protected]

    Clark

    This is shocking and sickening. Are you just a toothless figurehead, a fictitious role-player meant to deflect criticism from the Times for the past transgressions of Judith Miller and Jayson Blair? Seriously, you know Ethan Bronner’s coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict is deeply flawed, and this is the reason. Bronner is hopelessly biased and his assignment is a prima facie violation of the Times policy:

    The New York Times’ own “Company policy on Ethics in Journalism” acknowledges that the activities of a journalist’s family member may constitute a conflict of interest. It includes as an example, “A brother or a daughter in a high-profile job on Wall Street might produce the appearance of conflict for a business reporter or editor.” Such conflicts may on occasion require the staff member “to withdraw from certain coverage.”

    Stunning. No wonder everyone I know no longer reads the Times.

    link to electronicintifada.net

    New York Times fails to disclose Jerusalem bureau chief’s conflict of interest
    Report, The Electronic Intifada, 25 January 2010

    The New York Times has all but confirmed to The Electronic Intifada (EI) that the son of its Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner was recently inducted into the Israeli army. . . On 23 January, Bronner published a lengthy article on Israel’s efforts to refute allegations contained in the UN-commissioned Goldstone report of war crimes and crimes against humanity during its attack on Gaza last winter (“Israel Poised to Challenge a UN Report on Gaza”).

    As’ad AbuKhalil, a frequent critic of Bronner’s coverage, blogged in response that “The New York Times devoted more space to Israeli and Zionist criticisms of the Goldstone report than to the [content of the] report itself” (The Angry Arab News Service, “Ethan Bronner’s propaganda services, 25 January 2010)

    Bronner’s pro-Israeli bias reporting on Israel’s attack on Gaza last year was also criticized by the media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) (See “NYT and the Perils of Mideast ‘Balance’,” 4 February 2009).

    . . . It would appear that despite the highly sensitive nature of Palestine/Israel coverage, and the very high personal stakes for Bronner and his son that could result from full and open coverage of the Israeli army’s abuses of Palestinians, The New York Times does not consider this situation to be a problematic case. It had not even disclosed the situation to its readers — until now.

    • syvanen says:

      Oscar, good catch. I canceled my subscription to the NYT in 2003 (after about 25 years) so was oblivious to what they were doing since. I guess it is important that some continue to document what they are up to since they seem to remain the paper of record.

  4. Oscar says:

    why the NYT is in a downward spiral:
    link to discoverthenetworks.org

  5. Chaos4700 says:

    After Judith Miller and that other plagiarizing journalist I can’t really be bothered to even remember, why exactly does anyone bother reading the NYT at all anymore? It’s just a PR outlet for Zionists and corporate interests at this point. Maybe the paper was worth something back in the good old days when there were actual schools of journalism and not “mass media and communications,” but not anymore.

  6. braciole says:

    I hope Ethan Bonner’s son realizes he is being called upon to defend and possibly die for “a racist state”.

    Now before F Company, the Hasbara Brigade get all shirty perhaps they should reflect that I am quoting an Israeli minister here as reported in the Jerusalem Post, a paper that is not exactly progressive.

    “We are racist. Israel is a very racist society. I know what olim have gone through over the past 20 years. Our nation does not know how to receive new immigrants,” Landver says in a wide-ranging interview ahead of next week’s Ashdod Conference on Immigration and Absorption. The main topics to be discussed during the event will be “Racism in Israeli Society,” “The Immigrant Youth Crisis” and “Absorption Economics – Government Policies Versus Implementation.”

    But the real gem in this article appears earlier.

    In a recent survey, Israelis were asked which sector of the population they would most like to have as neighbors. The results gave veteran Israelis the top grade, followed by new immigrants from the US, immigrants from France, immigrants from the former Soviet Union and lastly immigrants from Ethiopia.

    Yes, Arabs do not exist in Israel. They are non-people and this is the state that Ethan Bonner’s son is prepared to die for? What kind of upbringing did Ethan Bonner give his son so that he is prepared to do this?

  7. Pingback: Times Israel Correspondent Bronner: Son Rumored Serving in IDF | Tikun Olam-תקון עולם: Make the World a Better Place

  8. otto says:

    If the son of the Times’ correspondent in apartheid South Africa had joined the South African military, would the Times just say that ‘[Mr. Bronner]’s son is a young adult who makes his own decisions’…?

  9. You are truly unlucky to have totally corrupt mainstream media in the US.
    By contrast, pick up any European newpaper, and you will find coverage of ME affairs that would be unpublishable in the US.
    Take for example, this article from the Guardian:
    link to guardian.co.uk
    or this: (published letter)
    link to guardian.co.uk

  10. To be fair, it is very possible that Ethan Bronner’s son has Israeli nationality, and is therefore obliged to serve in the IDF, like it or not.

  11. I think you abuse professionalism and flirt with racism, in declaring that anyone with any personal association or life, is excluded from a professional role because of his ethnicity, family, etc.

    The same is NOT applied to you. You use your Jewishness to get access to stories and people that you would not otherwise, and you use your “progressive credentials” similarly. Not unlike Bronner and Kershner.

    They are engaged TO have access to Israeli military, politicians and business. They do make contact with Israeli dissent.

    You got religion back?

    • Cliff says:

      I think it’s a valid question to ask and think about.

      These things influence what people write. You’ve even admitted that the ‘ends justified the means’ with respect to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine to form a Jewish majority, a Jewish State.

      So ethnicity does matter to you, Witty.

      Why do you deny ethnic interest and bias, when you admit to being opportunistic (which guides your opinions).

      • ANYONE that adopts militancy in any respect adopts the view that “the ends justify the means”.

        You certainly do adopt that phrase in your application. Phil does. Israel does. Hamas does.

        I ALWAYS consider the means by which I am pursuing ends adopted. Accusations of me lying are innaccurate. I speak the truth as I understand it. And, I consider the other always in my thinking and writing.

        I’ve summarized that I care more for my children than my neighbors. I care more for my friends that I’ve encountered over my life, than for strangers. And, a portion of that caring results in criticism and commitment to be humane, that our community is humane.

        When Phil declares that that is a driving motive of his, we are allied. Attempting to make our shared communities the best that they can. (With Phil and I, that is common family/friends, common ethnicity, common citizenship).

        When the vainly stated “I am only a humanist” appears, “I am politically pure” that is false. It is false for Phil, false for you.

        The willingness to accept the other, to seek to find intersections that comprise peaceful co-existence, is far superior morally and politically. It results in peace and well-being, in contrast to militancy which is then defended by militancy, in a world in which militants get the street cred, rather than the moral.

        • Cliff says:

          You cannot expect mutual acceptance without accountability and intellectual and moral honesty.

          So long as you continue down the partisan path while calling yourself ‘liberal’ – the Palestinians will not see any reason to pursue Two-States.

          Hence, why so many activists and Palestinians in the trenches, are considering a transition of the struggle. Do you think they fear military suppression of their right to return? Their right for equality and justice?

          Whatever you may believe Witty, those principles and dreams are powerful to them and you cannot counter that hope with your current ideologically informed commentary.

          If you believe in the ‘mutual’ part of mutual humanization, then consider that the entire concept is not the sum of the parts.

        • Shingo says:

          “‘I speak the truth as I understand it. And, I consider the other always in my thinking and writing.”‘

          So tell us Witty, when you are confronted in a debate with information that debunks your argument and you have nothing to sustain your position, why do you dissapear?

          Are you thinking when you run away like that? Are you considering the other or merely ignoring it, and hoping that no one remembers you are lying when you return to your false position?

        • You are confusing doing something else, with “running away”.

        • Donald says:

          “I ALWAYS consider the means by which I am pursuing ends adopted. Accusations of me lying are innaccurate. I speak the truth as I understand it. And, I consider the other always in my thinking and writing.”

          The problem with ideologues is that they are capable of believing anything that supports their ideology–contradictions and contrary facts simply bounce off and logical implications are denied. In your case, you usually run away from posters who put up detailed refutations of your position and simply restate your stand somewhere else. And on those rare occasions when you do post after some detailed response, you never respond to the details. You probably aren’t consciously aware of how dishonest this is. It’s part of the cognitive problem that people who are like this have to deceive themselves first–otherwise they wouldn’t have the energy to keep up the pretense.

          There’s also something grandiose and delusional-sounding in your claims of “ALWAYS” doing this or that. You take the Other into account, but if the claims of the Other hurt you in some way, by challenging your beliefs, you smack those challenges down any way you can. You cannot and will not accept that your side might be more responsible for an atrocity–even when Israel commits atrocities it’s really more the fault of the Arabs.

          It’s all very human, of course. That’s why the conflict has been unresolvable so far–many of the people who profess to want peace don’t want it badly enough to be honest about the faults of their own side and so they blame the Other. It’s called “shooting and crying” in the Israeli context.

        • Donald says:

          It happens too often. “Doing something else” would explain some disappearances, but it’s a pretty consistent pattern. You virtually always disappear when a detailed refutation appears. For instance, here you are again defending Benny Morris and reaching the same conclusions as him, when several of us have repeatedly linked to his interview where he explicitly defends ethnic cleansing both of the Palestinians and the Native Americans. You never acknowledge what he said and say “Well, that was bad” or alternatively “I defend ethnic cleansing of lesser cultures just like Morris.”

          Nothing is ever resolved with you, because you never confront head-on facts and logical implications that refute part of your position. I suspect you don’t want to look at it too closely yourself. A lot of people, including Zionists, were horrified by Morris’s interview. Not you.

          Note that I said “part of your position”. Not all of your positions are unreasonable–one can make a case for the two state solution, for instance. But you link that position up with everything else you say, including heartless euphemistic defenses of some of Israel’s worst crimes.

        • “even when Israel commits atrocities it’s really more the fault of the Arabs.”

          I was far more specific than that generalization. Specifically Hamas militia. Don’t you read?

          What “belief” do you believe that you’ve contested convincingly?

          Interrogator. I just spent three hours grading papers. I come and go. There is nothing else implied. I do choose to not to respond to harrangue. That is true. You want to call that “cowardly”, enjoy yourself.

          What were you horrified by in Morris? That he considered that ethnic cleansing at an instant might have been more just than keeping an unclear stressful conflict brewing for decades? As a parent, and as a proponent of BDS, that kind of logic might have made some sense.

          Or, Native Americans, I don’t know the specific comment you are referring to. I’ve often conflicted with Native American activists on their interpretation that whites are colonial, intentionally murdering all of the red men, imprisoning them on reservations. The observations of the tragedy of Native Americans are seen, and I’ve marched hundreds of miles with organizations insisting on color-blind application of written current treaties.

          And, at the same time, I do not demonize the majority of Europeans that arrived on the shores here, that have settled, some respecting and accepting individual Indian communities, some conflicting harshly (initiated from both communities). I do not describe the deaths of 90% of Native Americans in the 1700′s as genocide, but primarily as disease due to lack of resistance to things like colds. (There were instances of genocidal intent, but I reject the generalization.)

          I didn’t know enough to agree on some speculative “should have”, but I understand much of his reasoning from my own references.

          It is still possible to understand others’ reasoning, even appreciate them, and choose differently.

          “Israel’s worst crimes”.

    • A parallel to Bronner having access to Israeli officials and querying them seriously and critically, would be for you to critically query the dissenters that you interview.

      It makes you look either gullible or propagandistic to never publicly express skepticism about your sources. Why? Because you don’t want them to fear talking to you I assume, so they will continue to.

      • Cliff says:

        Witty, I do not support Hamas. I do not support suicide bombing.

        I don’t support the rocketing.

        I support the Palestinian people. Do you support the Israeli people, or Zionism?

        Is ideology more important than mutual humanization? Do you believe mutual humanization can arise if grievances are not addressed?

        Furthermore, do you believe that mutual humanization should be honest? It does not have to be the sum of parts. It cannot be, because Israel is the occupier and colonizer. The logistics do not translate to mutual anything.

        However, there can be a goal of an idealistic ‘mutual humanization’ but getting there requires honesty.

        As to my ‘sources’ – can you question them? You must read them first, Witty.

        You did not read Morris’s interview carefully. Remember? I quoted passages from the interview that contradicted your assumption that he was a ‘maybe’ as a opposed to a ‘it was necessary’.

        Now, before you question my critical thinking, I would ask you to first read the Goldstone Report and form a counter-argument. One can exist, but it requires that you do your homework.

        If you are sincere about Two-States then meet the minimal requirements of knowledge.

        • Currently, I don’t have the time to read the report.

          You’re right that I should though.

          Phil also wrote about it for six months before reading it. I doubt that most that post here have read it.

        • I know Morris’ theses, so I disagree with your assessment of his motives, statements, contexts.

          His conclusion I believe is similar to mine, which is that the external realities of Jews’ objective desparation following the war, compelled Zionism to be a need, not an idea.

          External events occur. (You know “shit happens”).

          The significance of my position of “enough Israel” is that, not more than enough, not less than enough.

          Live and let live.

          In contrast to the either/or formulations of militancy.

          When you support militancy, you functionally support Hamas. You say that I functionally support current Israeli policies, which I differ with, as I also attempt to influence Israeli policy in my very very small way, even as I am only an American citizen, and not a significant financial contributor to any organization or lobby (none to lobbies).

          Phil doesn’t seem to acknowledge that his actions in publishing this blog in the tone that he does, is a militancy as well. Its not just a witness, or even a journal of his impressions.

          He affects the market now.

        • Shingo says:

          “External events occur. (You know “shit happens”).””

          What about when your founders were talking about plans to make that shit happen half a century earlier Witty?

        • Shingo says:

          “‘Live and let live.”‘

          Unless we’re talking about Gaza, in which case, it’s live and deny life to the Palestinians right Witty?

        • edwin says:

          The significance of my position of “enough Israel” is that, not more than enough, not less than enough.

          A little disceting is needed here.

          Witty is implying that Israel is a racially pure state. If there is any doubt, then his idealization of Benny Morris clinches it. Israel is not a country, but a Jewish homeland. Of course that means converts to different religions are heretics and not entitled to live in Israel.

          The second is that international borders are not important. What is important is the arbitrary “enough”. The real question is just how much greater Israel is required. To the Latini river? To Bagdad?

          The third is that non Jews – Palestinians in particular, do not matter. They are not entitled to justice.

        • Cliff says:

          Richard, let me repeat, I do not support Hamas. I would not like to live under their rule. However, I sympathize with the Palestinians. I can understand the feelings of Jews who sought refuge in Palestine.

          However, I think if one truly claims to be ‘liberal’ and to support ‘mutual humanization’ you must take an honest historical revenue.

          As I said, this ‘mutual humanization’ does not imply the sum of parts. So while, I think it’s clear that Palestine is not occupying and colonizing Israel, there can be – after honest inquiry into facts and context and also, yes, feelings – ‘mutual’, mutual humanization.

          People can acknowledge the history sans the feelings (reality) and also the emotional context, without becoming enemies afterward in a new history. The inquiry is important, and you really do want to move forward you need to hold your views accountable to the same standard across the board.

          I don’t believe at this stage, you want mutual anything. You want to sacrifice a necessary confrontation of ideas and accountability for a fictional peace.

          Witty, Zionism does not exist simply in your mind or feelings.

          You are telling the Palestinians to forget who they are and where they came from.

          Zionism was enforced, not negotiated. Certainly, if Zionism means a Jewish majority.

          Force, Witty. Not ‘live and let live’. You want, ‘let us live and we will let you live‘.

          Except, moving beyond violent resistance. You characterize the life (‘let us live’) of an Israeli as, his or her ‘claim’ to the history of this conflict as it will be understood and applied to a solution.

          This is why I see no problem with One-State. Palestinians experience lots of brutality and dehumanization already. So what more can you or the Israeli leadership, whether they are polite or thuggish, do to them?

          Israel cannot drive out millions of Palestinians. And as time passes, the Palestinian cause will become more visible and I doubt the various techniques of obfuscation/etc. will affect the uninformed observer any longer.

          This is in effect, the kind of resistance Israel fears. The kind that changes the narrative dramatically. One-State is the path to justice and peace. It is also the result of assessing the kind of Two-State solution that will be available, as per your ‘liberal’ Zionism.

        • Donald says:

          “I know Morris’ theses, so I disagree with your assessment of his motives, statements, contexts.

          His conclusion I believe is similar to mine, which is that the external realities of Jews’ objective desparation following the war, compelled Zionism to be a need, not an idea.

          External events occur. (You know “shit happens”).”

          Morris explicitly defends ethnic cleansing. If you defend him and reach similar conclusions, so do you.

        • Donald,
          Let Morris make his own statements, and don’t misrepresent mine to be identical to his. We live different lives.

          Cliff,
          You still don’t acknowledge that in 1948, ethnic cleansing was attempted both ways. The Palestinian revolt of 47-48 and the Arab military invasions 0f 1948 (in contradiction to UN ratification), had as a component the objective to “drive them to the sea”.

          It is NOT a one-way conspiracy, NOT an orchestration of Zionist plotting. Definitely a response, and in a state of war, of great upheaval, discipline breaks down, and opportunists thrive.

          The signficance of a humane order in which the rule of law is the dominant theme, rather than a suppressive order, and rather than militant disorder, is that reconciliation occurs.

          In BOTH settings of radical militancy and of suppression, reconciliation (the quieting of the pendulum swings) doesn’t occur.

          Reform is the needed approach. If BDS for example is set in only that context, then it might succeed. To the extent that it is set in any “which side are you on?” solidarity orientation, it is more oppressive than serving reconciliation or justice.

          You and dissent, including Phil, have FAILED at presenting the arguments and witness in a way that can be heard.

          They make a more exciting tennis game, from harder hits and faster action, but don’t realize either peace or justice.

          You err in characterizing my views as racist or disregarding Palestinian lives. The ONLY element that I oppose is militancy. When people that claim to respect others shift to militant, coercive and dismissive approaches, I consider that they have abandoned their status as dissent, and instead shifted to partisanship, adopted war as theme rather than humanity as theme.

          I get how frustrating it is to attempt to influence Israeli policy, practice and public opinion. It is frustrating for me in the venues that I attempt that.

        • Donald says:

          “Let Morris make his own statements, and don’t misrepresent mine to be identical to his. We live different lives.”

          Nobody is under the illusion that you and Morris are the exact same person, but thanks for clearing that up.

          You’ve defended him repeatedly and said you and he reach similar conclusions. So what does that mean? Do you still defend his defense of ethnic cleansing Do you endorse his racism? Where do you agree and where do you disagree? Or have all the statements you’ve made about your agreement with him been empty of content?

        • Donald says:

          “You still don’t acknowledge that in 1948, ethnic cleansing was attempted both ways. The Palestinian revolt of 47-48 and the Arab military invasions 0f 1948 (in contradiction to UN ratification), had as a component the objective to “drive them to the sea”.

          It is NOT a one-way conspiracy, NOT an orchestration of Zionist plotting. Definitely a response, and in a state of war, of great upheaval, discipline breaks down, and opportunists thrive.”

          This is progress, but not nearly enough. Yes, Arabs also practiced ethnic cleansing and here you admit it on the Zionist side. Then you retreat back to the obfuscations. It wasn’t “discipline breaking down” and Ben Gurion was part of the whole process. Furthermore, the decision not to allow Palestinians back was policy, not “discipline breaking down”.

          Just face it–yes, Arabs have behaved barbarically, but so has your own side, and it’s not just the result of a few bad apples or opportunists losing discipline. It was national policy. And the injustices of today are a direct extension of what’s been going on from the very beginning (before 1948).

          I agree that some (or many) on the left try to make the whole conflict a morality play of good vs. evil, but you show the same tendency in your relentless attempt to downplay Israel’s guilt. If you’d stop playing those games you might have more success pushing the legitimate or at least defensible parts of your agenda.

        • I reach similar conclusions to Norman Finkelstein on the proposal for a two-state solution at the green line. Norman and I disagree on a great deal as well.

          “Defend him repeatedly”. I thank him often for turning me on to Israeli history in ways that I never considered before, particularly that there are two important narratives to the history, that are each so subjective (and both true), so as to make the militants’ “what really happened” a joke.

          You run an interrogation theme Donald. Anyone that doesn’t know of or react to some words in the same way as you, is inhumane, racist, rejected.

          Different people honorably add up the same data differently. Differ with my comments on Morris if you like. Share what you experienced. Stop the interrogation approach though.

        • The national policy of Israel in 1948 was to secure the state.

          That is a rational approach.

          It was bad apples that conducted terror.

          What is going on today is 120 degrees from what was going on in 1948. Great objective changes have occurred that both the Arab world including Palestinians and Israelis have not taken the opportunities offered.

          What is necessary at a time, does not remain necessary forever. I’ve described the significance of the 1950′s laws here consistently and clearly, and the possibility now of current reform.

          I downplay Israel’s guilt because accusations are exagerated and relentless. They are an interrogation. You are not urging a change in behavior, but an accusation of guilt.

          A change in behavior is what is needed, and a change in objective conditions of assaults directed at Israel and Israelis is a component of Israel changing its behavior.

          To the extent that you and others metaphorically shoot at Israel and any that sympathize with Israel in any way, you continue the status quo.

        • Shingo says:

          “‘Great objective changes have occurred that both the Arab world including Palestinians and Israelis have not taken the opportunities offered.”‘

          Really Witty? Why stop there and not elaborate?

          And what great objective changes have occured?

          What opportinities have neen offered? And please, don’t insutl our intelligence about Arafat walking away from Camp David, and Bronner reported to the world.

          “‘I downplay Israel’s guilt because accusations are exagerated and relentless. ”

          You mean, you will always assume they are exagerated because of your ideology. How do you know if they are exagerated if you refuse to read the Goldstone report?

          And speakign of exageration, isn’t it you that keeps referrign to the irreconcilable trauma experiencd by Israel during the 2nd Intifada and all the suicide bombings? Yes Richard, with you it’s big news when Israelis are killed, but exagerated when Palestinians are massacred.

          “You are not urging a change in behavior, but an accusation of guilt.”

          How doesone acheieve change in bahavior if guilt is not established? You keep driving home your theory that smothering Israel in kisses will enourage change, but all it has done in convince them that they can get away with anything.

          You also seem to beoleev that the “behavior” itself is the problem, while again refusing to accept that this behavior is a consequence on Israeli policy.

          So Richard, how are we to achieve this change in behavior?

          “‘To the extent that you and others metaphorically shoot at Israel and any that sympathize with Israel in any way, you continue the status quo. ”

          Absolute rubbish of course. The status quo has always been that the tha Arabs are terrorists and Israel are defeneding themselves. That is the reality you prefer is it not Richard?

        • Shingo says:

          “‘The national policy of Israel in 1948 was to secure the state. ”

          There was no state to be secured Witty. The land was to be shared between Jews and Arabs. It was Israel’s idea to create a state.

          No it was not bad apples that conducted terror, because the leaders of those terro groups went on to become successful leaders in Israel.

          It was not bad apples that conducted terror, because Zionist founders had talked about drivign our the Palestinains from half a century earlier. The terro was to achieve entjhnic cleansing and enthic cleansign was embraces from highest point of Israel’s leadereship.

    • James North says:

      Richard, you are missing the point. The Times, the Washington Post and presumably others do not allows their reporters and editors to join political parties, make campaign contributions, even attend demonstrations if they are not covering them. Here, they seem to be violating their own policy. (Len Downie, the former top editor at the Post, said proudly he didn’t vote because it could compromise his objectivity.)
      Phil doesn’t work for The Times.

      • Its a dilemma. Should the same standard apply to a reporter that has a child in the US military, that they should not be permitted to comment on any US foreign policy?

        I get your suspicion, but I sincerely believe that Phil and others dislike the content that Bronner presents, and is taking a potshot at him for that. His assertion of dual loyalty is associated with the accusation of conflict of interest.

        Do you get that that functionally also constructs an ethnic exclusion from Jewish professional journalism, say on Israel? In the name of opposing ethnic bias.

        • Oscar says:

          RW says: I get your suspicion, but I sincerely believe that Phil and others dislike the content that Bronner presents, and is taking a potshot at him for that. His assertion of dual loyalty is associated with the accusation of conflict of interest.

          Richard, man, I can’t believe you’re squandering your hasbara ammo defending Bronner and the NYT. We know he has access to top IDF “anonymous sources” — and we get their perspective time after time. Bronner appears to have zero Palestinian sources.

          You noted the two reporters are Kershner and Bronner. Where’s the Palestinian perspective? It’s sad to see the New York Times’ downward spiral into a propaganda organ for corporate interests and pro-Zionist hasbara. Pinch has run the paper into the ground, and it’s the modern day Pravda.

    • Mooser says:

      “your Jewishness”

      Richird, I’m fascinated! Exactly what does that consist of, and how does he use it? C’mon Witty, I need some help here! Look at me, Richard, I’m wearing a cardboard belt!
      Outside of my spiritual life, where it is essential, my Jewishness hasn’t really done a darn thing for me. I was depending on Dale Carnegie. How could I have been so stupid.

      But it’s nice for you to finally come out and admit that you see Jewishness as an exclusive club, and the key to sucess.

  12. edwin says:

    External events occur. (You know “shit happens”).

    750,000 refugees – then keeping them refugees for 4 generations and counting is a lot of shit Witty

    Hitler needed a figure of hate in order to create his fascist state. You know “shit happens”.

    One thing I will agree with you on Witty, is you agree with Morris’ theses:

    Even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians. There are cases in which the overall, final good justifies harsh and cruel acts that are committed in the course of history.”

    And in our case it effectively justifies a population transfer.

    “That’s what emerges.”

    And you take that in stride? War crimes? Massacres? The burning fields and the devastated villages of the Nakba?

    “You have to put things in proportion. These are small war crimes.

    Actually, Benny is more honest than you are Witty.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Yeah but then again, a broken clock is more honest than Witty. At least the clock will be accurate twice a day.

    • A friend related an important experience following Oslo, that I took in as it reflected my feeling as well.

      That was that this couple went to Ramallah while the Oslo accords were being discussed, and stayed their for two weeks. When the agreement was ratified, they and another couple hundred liberal Peace Now Zionists, celebrated on the streets with their Palestinian neighbors.

      The experience of hope and genuine good will, genuine intent for Palestinian improvement in objective and political life, was common (certainly not unanimous).

      That proved to me that at least a moderate actual majority of Israelis at that time, had benevolent intentions, did not regard the West Bank as Israel, did not seek expansion, did not seek to suppress.

      Immediately following that period of genuine expression of goodwill, both ways, Rabin was assassinated and Hamas began its intimate terror campaigns in Israel, both for the purpose of negating that goodwill.

      When dissenters now claim that “Israel always sought to suppress the Palestinians”, that conflicts with what I observed and believe myself.

      I don’t know how much Phil was paying attention to the issue at that period. My sense is that he wasn’t very much. Those ten years were startling, for the critical events that took the risk of pursuing hope, and then the very great fall from hope that occurred.

      Again, the method of militancy, is what destroyed the hope and actual possibility. In contrast, consideration of the other is what constructs it.

      • Mooser says:

        That’s a great idea Richard, one I have to admit I am very susecptible to.
        Yup, let’s just hang on to the good feelings of an event far away from Israel, and ignore what actually happened. How high are you?

        And “Rabin was assasinated”…. By Hamas? Gosh no, the Israelis did that!

        The real Israel doesn’t even exist for you, and the essence of your Zionism is the annoyance you feel when Israel is not portrayed in line with your fantasies. It’s a bring-down.

        • Avi says:

          The real Israel doesn’t even exist for you, and the essence of your Zionism is the annoyance you feel when Israel is not portrayed in line with your fantasies. It’s a bring-down.

          Nicely put.

      • Donald says:

        As usual, you forget the fact that settlement building never stopped under any Israeli government. The conflict is all the fault of the far right and Hamas. Never ever has a liberal Zionist been responsible for anything bad that happens.

        • Perhaps you didn’t read for a change Donald.

          The conflict is the fault of militants, those for whom live and let live is not a viable perspective.

          “We accept”.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Witty, you are a militant. Or has your opinion regarding the use of military force on Palestinian civilian centers changed?

        • Hamas attacks began after the settlement construction accelerated after the Oslo Peace Accords.

          Also not to mention several massacres committed by settlers and the IDF during this same “peace process.”

      • Chaos4700 says:

        Immediately following that period of genuine expression of goodwill, both ways, Rabin was assassinated and Hamas began its intimate terror campaigns in Israel, both for the purpose of negating that goodwill.

        You, of course, skipped the intermediate step whereby Rabin’s successors accelerated settlement building on occupied territory. But then again you would gloss over that, wouldn’t you?

        • Shingo says:

          Immediately following that period of genuine expression of goodwill, both ways, Rabin was assassinated and Hamas began its intimate terror campaigns in Israel, both for the purpose of negating that goodwill.

          Yes Witty, Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli extremist, an extremist who woudl be regarded as a moderate in today’s Israel.

          And for someone who reflexively regards all criticism of Israeli actions as “exageration”, you are only to happy to exagerate the extent of Hamas’ crimes.

        • Your wrong about reflexively. The presence of rhetorical language is the give-away between criticism and demonization.

          When dissenters present arguments, it is then necessary to address the points made, and the logic by which they conclude from what they think is important.

          When dissenters harrangue (even very intelligent and respectable ones) using buzzwords rather than descriptive words, their comments become (and deserve) to not be taken very seriously.

          What happens with ideologs, is that they forget that they are speaking about and to people. Its common to go onto thinking of their opponents of machines (in the name of opposing the depersonalization of those that they are defending).

        • Shingo says:

          It’s always a dead giveaway with you Witty, when you write an entire paragraph and manage to remain completely incoherent throughout.

          The disctinction between buzzwords and descriptions in is entirely subjective, and need we remind you that you are the one who dismisses criticism of Israel on teh grounds that you believe it to be exagerated, while refusing to read reports documenting Israeli crimes.

          You speak about ideologues as though you expect anyone to believe you are not one. Ideologues as those that don’t base their argument on sources, or facts, but insist on turning debate into phylospohical discussions.

          If you want to know what an ideologue looks like, take a look in the mirror.

        • Cliff says:

          Witty, you have said the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was justified to create a Jewish majority and hence, a Jewish State (as you currently advocate as well).

          You have no read the Goldstone Report. I doubt you have read the HRW or AI reports too.

          You apply double standards and trivialize the suffering of Palestinians.

          Why do you think Two-States is viable? Do you think you can force Two-States upon the Palestinians?

          Is that what you intend? To force them to sign a contract?

          Your inability to apply the same standard to both sides and to make fair judgments, renders your perspective corrupt and irrelevant except for constructing counter-arguments for use in public debate.

          For example, do you think you could convince an impartial crowd of your perspective, Witty?

          I doubt it. Your opinions are informed by your ethnicity and ideology.

          What stake does the average American have in your ideology or ethnocentrism?

          Get real, Witty. You can’t keep lecturing us when you continually contradict yourself and we – as INFORMED commentators – know the history.

          Why do you continue to post here? I wonder. Since you have been rebuked by both the civil and uncivil anti-Zionists here.

          By both Israeli and Jewish and non-Jewish posters. Etc. etc.

          Why then Witty? You are rigid ideologically, not in terms of analysis. I’m sure you’re capable of applying the same standards and not being a racist, opportunist but you purposefully choose not to.

        • Cliff says:

          Oh let me also say, that while you lecture us about our alleged support for Hamas, you clearly support the IDF and Israeli government policies of oppression and cruelty.

          You support the terrorism needed and used to create a Jewish majority.

          Hence, you support terrorism so long as it is within your interests.

          You are an opportunist and hypocrite. So why should a Palestinian, reading you posts, accept a Two-State solution?

          They are already suffering. Do you intend to kill more Palestinians? Starve more Gazans?

          Do you intend to force them into Two-States?

          It’s their land as much as it is Israeli land now. One-State, to overcome your racism and the injustice of the Zionist project.

  13. VR says:

    The NYT does not deserve to be a publicly traded company, it has no objectivity to speak of when it comes to this issue. It needs to be cut back to domestic enterprise, and be put on the chopping block for private ownership – that is where it belongs. The continued defense of these prejudicial screeds from what is supposed to be its jewel of reporting does not hold muster. The defense of obvious conflict is just a call to wake up for its readership, and brings us to the question – what else is handled in this same way?

  14. Larry says:

    I am looking forward to 2011 when the NYTimes is supposed to go to a mostly pay-per-view type format. It will shrink the Times already shrinking opinion base to Upper Westsiders who do not wish to be troubled while shopping at Zabars. I base this opinion on my years at Columbia University where the Zionists students were out in full force with tables set up in front of the Low Library to stop the proposed sale of AWAC planes to Saudi Arabia and I would cross paths literally with Edward Said equally disgusted at the one-sided pre-internet monopoly the Zionists had on American public opinion. The NYTimes is one of the last vestiges of that monopoly (I hope).

  15. Larry says:

    “I base this opinion on my years at Columbia University where the Zionists students were out in full force with tables set up in front of the Low Library to stop the proposed sale of AWAC planes to Saudi Arabia and I would cross paths literally with Edward Said equally disgusted at the one-sided pre-internet monopoly the Zionists had on American public opinion.”
    Yes that’s a long sentence. …

  16. Citizen says:

    Here’s a macro view of “What’s wrong with the Arabs?”
    Note the alleged contributing cultural factors.
    Do they also apply to the Persians? To the Israelis?
    To the operation of organized American Jewry?
    Where does the notion of objective journalism fit in here?

    link to agenceglobal.com

    • Citizen says:

      Excerpt from the referenced article:

      “…asabiyya — solidarity between members of a family, clan or tribe. Such solidarity can provide security and protection for individuals but the reverse of the coin is that (in the words of the Arab Human Development Report) it “implants submission, parasitic dependence and compliance…”

      … the obsession with kinship in the Arab world undermines the principles of meritocracy and equality of opportunity. Nepotism hampers economic development and places Arab countries at a disadvantage in relation to those parts of the world where such practices are less prevalent.

      … Arabs cannot emerge into a new era of freedom, citizenship and good governance while their society continues to be dominated by the obligations of kinship, whether at a family or tribal level…the central challenge the Arabs face today.”

      • Citizen says:

        Barney: Hes not gonna give you up, Charlie. Youre family.
        Charlie: Family, that fuckin kid? Were third cousins.
        Barney: Third cousins. For Italians. Thats like twin brothers with
        the Irish.
        (The Pope Of Greenwich Village, 1984)

        • Citizen says:

          Diane: When are you going to outgrow him, Charlie?
          Charlie: Outgrow him? I dunno Diane, Maybe WASPs outgrow people. Im
          Italian. We outgrow pants, not people.

          (The Pope Of Greenwich Village, 1984)

      • The central challenge Arabs face today is family?

        LOL?

        I love how Orientalist type language is still permissible in this day in age…

        So what kind of ridiculous problems do the “Africans” have to overcome?

  17. Why isn’t the NYT included as part of the BDS boycott?

  18. Citizen says:

    “Whichever ethnic group dominates the mass media, it would be safe to assume that there would be an intrinsic bias, WHOEVER the group is in power — whether the Saudis, the French, the Senegalese, or the JEWS. This is not too difficult to grasp, unless you try really hard to miss the obvious. Two of the pillars of modern American Jewry are: Israel and the “Holocaust.” If Jews dominated too much of popular culture, we could expect those standard Jewish concerns of collective identity to come up quite a lot. They DO.
    It does not matter whether Jews who dominate the mass media are “bad.” Those that dominate mass society steer culture to their liking, to their understanding. In a democracy, and in a “multicultural” one, this is patently unjust. Jews have been in the vanguard in overthrowing the “WASP” establishment, as you know. Your emphasis upon only “white racism” (and not the Jewish version of bigotry) is a good example of this. 

When it comes time to turn the tables with an emphasis upon the JEWISH establishment in many spheres of culture, Jewry claims “Foul!” “Bigotry!” “Racism!” “Antisemitism!” It is a Jewish double standard. It is hypocrisy. It is endemic to Jewish history and identity.”
    link to jewishtribalreview.org

  19. @Witty

    Immediately following that period of genuine expression of goodwill, both ways, Rabin was assassinated and Hamas began its intimate terror campaigns in Israel, both for the purpose of negating that goodwill.

    This is a dishonest presentation of facts.

    You’re ascribing more importance to Hamas than to settlement building. The ones who are creating irreversible things are the Jews, not the Palestinians. Although it might be cynical to say so, a hundred suicide bombings are not a hindrance to a 2-state solution. A new 3,000-home neighborhood for Jews only is. And Israeli Jews have been building on stolen land before, during and after Oslo. At the same time that Israeli peaceniks danced with Palestinians in Ramallah, settlements were being extended at an unprecedented rate. And that was violence. Not spectacular violence, but one much more harmful to the peace process than anything Hamas has ever done. (This is not a moral judgment, but a practical evaluation of facts.)

    The militancy of the suicide bomber is nothing (in terms of its ability to torpedo the peace process) compared to the militancy of the bulldozer and the militancy of the brick. If you truly believe that Israel and Palestine should be two separate countries, you should devote all your energies to stopping the colonization of the West Bank.

    • edwin says:

      It’s too late for the 2 state solution. There will be a one state solution, in some form or another. Facts on the ground have made it impossible. The question is how many Palestinians will die in the process, and whether the final product will be secular or a Jewish theocracy.

      I was interested in the interview with Sari Nusseibeh that touched on this topic.

      link to lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com

      • VR says:

        This is what happens with murderous and selfish beasts, they think they are going to have one state minus “Arabs” (see earlier End Game Post), but what they are going to end up with in one state with both parties having equal rights.

  20. Dan Kelly says:

    The New York Times has now confirmed to us that Jerusalem Bureau Chief Ethan Bronner’s son has recently entered the Israeli army.

    Despite this extremely serious conflict of interest, Times Foreign Editor Susan Chira is refusing to remove him from his post. This is an egregious violation of journalistic ethics and must not be allowed to go through unremarked.

    According to the Times’ ethics guidelines, even a bumpersticker on a family car or a “daughter in a high-profile job” could be grounds for a conflict of interest.

    According to Times’ policy, “In cases where newsroom management considers the problem serious, the staff member may have to withdraw from certain coverage. Sometimes an assignment may have to be modified or a beat changed.”

    This is one of those times.

    Please contact the New York Times ombudsman Clark Hoyt asking for the removal of Ethan Bronner and requesting that the Times pursue ethical, accurate, unbiased journalism:

    Clark Hoyt,
    Readers Representative
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Phone: (212) 556-7652

  21. Dan Kelly says:

    Mr. Clark Hoyt,

    Ethan Bronner’s son is in the Israeli military. This is a clear conflict of interest for Ethan as Jerusalem Bureau Chief. Please stop making an exception to your ethics rules when it comes to anything related to Israel.

    I would like to see more Palestinian Americans covering the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

    I look forward to your response.

    Sincerely,

    Dan Kelly