I’m on record saying that Ethan Bronner’s son serving in the IDF is going to affect his assignment at The New York Times. The Times doesn’t like its reporters making news, and Bronner’s making it. From Anshel Pfeffer at Haaretz, who advises Bronner how to spin the deal:
I’ve been thinking about this a great deal since discovering the mini blog storm brewing in recent days regarding the New York Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner. Apparently his son has joined the Israel Defense Forces and some pro-Palestinian bloggers believe this is [etc]…
While I of course respect Bronner’s desire to shield his family from undue scrutiny, I wish his or his paper’s response could have been something more along these lines: "Bronner Junior has indeed recently joined the IDF and we believe that Bronner Senior can only benefit as a journalist from his son’s experience."
For better or worse, the IDF is a major player in this region. I’d certainly hope that Private Bronner’s stories at the Shabbat dinner table (if such a thing exists in Chez Bronner) would enrich his father’s reports, as I am sure they will a few months down the road if the by-then corporal gets sent with his unit to the West Bank.
How much better to learn of the injustices of the occupation up front, rather than have a source on the frontline.