You won’t have Ethan Bronner to kick around anymore . . .

Per the NYTimes World twitter account, Ethan Bronner is being re-assigned to cover national legal affairs from New York. The new bureau chief in Jerusalem will be Jodi Rudoren, who is currently the Times education editor, and was formerly a deputy metropolitan editor for regional news. Rudoren will take up the new post in late April.

Politico has picked up the story and quotes from the internal Times memo announcing the move:

“For those of us who worked with him as deputy foreign editor, it came as no surprise that Ethan Bronner could navigate the Scylla and Charybdis of foreign stories, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as smoothly as he has,” foreign editor Joe Kahn and national editor Sam Sifton wrote in an internal memo, forwarded by a staffer. “Ethan’s deep familiarity with Israel, his unerring sense of fairness, and his nose for what is really new in an exhaustively charted territory distinguished his work.”

I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with Rudoren’s name at all. Here is older bio of her on the New School website from a journalism class she taught there:

Jodi is a Deputy Metropolitan Editor at the New York Times, where she has worked for 10 years. As a reporter for both The Times and the Los Angeles Times, Jodi has covered immigration, education, City Hall, the Columbine killings, the Amadou Diallo shooting, the largest municipal bankruptcy in history, and the 2004 presidential campaign; for five years, she was The Times’ Chicago bureau chief. Jodi lives in ProspectHeights, Brooklyn, with her husband, Gary, a comedy writer and architect, and their 2-year-old twins.
 

And here is an interesting Q & A between Rudoren and Times readers from 2007. Basically she says if you have a problem with the Times’s coverage of Israel/Palestine, it’s your problem, not theirs:

Q. How do you respond to critics from both ends of the political spectrum that claim The New York Times is either part of the so-called “liberal media,” or the outlet for corporate-filtered right-wing propoganda?

— Joe T.

A. Well asked, Joe. As your question implies, people with deeply entrenched political biases are generally the ones accusing The Times of being biased. The folks who cover the Middle East get criticism for being hopelessly pro-Israel and shamelessly co-opted by the Palestinians. I wish I still had the e-mails from readers during the campaign who would interpret the very same words about Howard Dean or John Kerry in exactly opposite ways.

One thing I’ve often urged such critics to do is to think about The Times’s coverage of an issue that they are not involved in or that they know little about. Our hallmark is detachment, and to people who are highly invested in a subject, detachment itself can seem like bias. If you’re a passionate advocate for (or critic of) bilingual education or violence prevention or Mitt Romney for president you are, not, frankly, in the best position to evaluate our coverage of those topics. We’re not really writing for you — the insider, the actor, the stakeholder — but for the mainstream mass of people who are smart and curious but uninformed or inexpert on the particulars.

And one thing I’ve tried to remind colleagues is that while we need to take very seriously the very loud criticism we sometimes see on blogs or in our in-baskets from these impassioned stakeholders, they are a pretty tiny fraction of The Times audience, the vast majority of which consumes the news, happily and engagedly, and maybe talks about it with a friend later in the day but otherwise pretty much forgets about it until the next morning, never thinking of calling or writing to comment or complain.

Over Twitter, Ali Abunimah has pointed to two articles she wrote in 2001 and 2002 — “Jewish Collegians Prepare to Defend Israel on the Campuses” and “American Jews; Unusually Unified in Solidarity With Israel, but Also Unusually Unnerved.” Both seem like cookie-cutter Times pieces, Abunimah remarked:

Mondo commenter munro points to this possibly auspicious tweet from Rudoren about the recent film Five Broken Cameras about Bilin:

Here is an interesting piece from this past December where she discusses her Jewishness, American identity and her kids. Turns out she is a member of Beth Elohim in Park Slope, Brooklyn, which we’ve written about a bunch on the site. From her article “Class Parent: Mama, What Is Our Culture?”:

“Mama, what is our culture?” my son Lev, who is 4, asked the other morning while we were getting ready for work and school.

“Jewish, sweetie,” I responded without thinking.

“You have to write it on the back of our culture flags,” Lev said.

“Sure,” I told him, having no idea what a culture flag was or was for, but happy to oblige. “I’ll do it when we get to school.”

When we got to school — Public School 11 in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, where I am the class parent — it turned out that we were actually supposed to have decorated the culture flags, which the teachers had cut out of thick white paper and sent home with Lev and his twin sister, Shayna, the day before.

Because of baby sitter/husband communication bobbles, our undecorated flags were apparently sitting on the kitchen table rather than ready for posting outside the prekindergarten classroom. No problem, the teachers said, bring them Monday.

But I did have a problem: What is our culture, and how could we possibly depict it on a flag?

The culture flags were a great idea, bringing together December’s two curriculum themes of transportation and “cultures around the world.” The children had been talking for a few days about how they were “going on a cruise,” and we had already filled out faux passports.

On Friday, the teachers had planned to screen an Elmo movie about a world cruise, and that morning we arrived to see a cool ship on the bulletin board outside the classroom, just waiting to be surrounded by an array of diverse culture flags.

In a majority-minority school like P.S. 11, where 10 percent of the students are white like my children, sharing and studying roots is important and interesting both. There is a boy in our class whose dad is Austrian and mom Japanese — his flag looked awesome.

Before Thanksgiving, there had been a multicultural potluck, with chicken tikka masala, Irish soda bread, Korean sushi and be bim bop, potato latkes, chicken wings, coconut chicken, beef patties mac ’n’ cheese, and kabak goregi filled with spinach. But what did my little towheaded twins have to add?

We could, of course, make American flags — we are, after all, American. (Then again, so is everyone else.) One classmate had done a classic pre-K American flag, from the abstract-scribble school, and another had done one with silver-star stickers, the kind you use on behavior charts.

Maybe we should make an American flag with six-pointed stars, signifying Jewish-American. Or would that feel like defacing the flag? Did I want them primarily identified as Jews? (I know, I already sent them to public school with Hebrew and Yiddish first names.)

What about the Brooklyn flag — is there a Brooklyn flag? Lev loves rainbows: if we did a rainbow flag, would everyone assume he has two mamas (and would those who have met my bald, goateed husband be very confused)? Maybe we should just leave the flags white, since that’s how I was feeling: white; bland; boring.

Over the weekend, Lev was playing with blue paints, making what he described as a pool, and we decided to do the same for his flag. Shayna messed around with some reds and browns on hers. So for now, our culture is, um, free artistic exploration for 4-year-olds.
 

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Media

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

  1. OMG!!!!

    Our hallmark is detachment, and to people who are highly invested in a subject, detachment itself can seem like bias.

    that could be a first. a person detached from bias on i/p. ok rudoren, show us your stuff. we’re ready.

  2. seafoid says:

    His coverage of Israel is going to be priceless in terms of legal insight LOL.
    From now on in NYC anyone who screams antisemite! and pays for enough hasbara is acquitted.

    • lysias says:

      Isn’t it odd that he wouldn’t be reporting on national legal affairs from Washington, the seat of the Supreme Court? I’ve met Linda Greenhouse. She lives in Washington. At least she did before she retired from the New York Times. (She’s presently a journalist in residence and senior fellow at Yale Law School, in New Haven, but I imagine that’s temporary.)

      By the way, Greenhouse has a law degree, from Yale Law School. Bronner’s only advanced degree is in journalism.

  3. munro says:

    Auspicious tweet from @rudoren Jodi Rudoren:
    Fascinating piece re West Bank documentarian. NYTimes: From Unyielding Cameraman, an Acclaimed Film link to nytimes.com

    • Thanks for this, I’ll add it to the post.

    • Henry Norr says:

      The “auspicious” tweety to cites links to a piece by Ethan Bronner. That piece is surprisingly positive about the Bil’in movie, but given who wrote it, I’m not sure how auspicious the tweet really is.

    • eGuard says:

      Auspicious? Note that the tweet is about Bronner’s piece, not the film. And of course, on January 23 both writer and tweeter knew that this transfer was coming.

      Jodi Rudoren wanted to hoard some credibility in her suitcase and tweeted positive about something resistence related (related as in: I am related to Obama).

      And Ethan Bronner? Time for Ethan to clean up the house and finish some loose ends. A murder is mentioned in his piece, but it seems to have ended up there by coincidence, lost. Well, it was a murder by Israel at the Bilin protests he did not write about when it happened in 2009.

      This whole piece is again on “coexistence” as in July 2009, and Bronner took the time to note that the protesters had caused “$60,000 worth of damage” to the Apartheid Wall in August 2009. But about the murder, the violence, the occupation, the raids, the uprooting of trees, the nightly arrests, the land theft the film is about: not a word from Bronner. When it was his job.

      Oh, and Bronner and Rudoren both must have smiled about the grand journalistic trouvaille Bronner had wiggled in, near the end.
      In late 2008, [the movie maker] Burnat accidently drove a truck into the separation barrier [damage! eG] and was badly injured. A Palestinian ambulance arrived at the same time as Israeli soldiers, who [...] took him to an Israeli hospital. “If I had been taken to a Palestinian hospital,” Mr. Burnat said, “I probably wouldn’t have survived.”

      You see, those occupiers saved his life. Because Palestinians don’t even have a hospital, Burnat the protester says it himself. And THIS Bronner turn is what Rudoren tweeted about: “fascinating”.

  4. LeaNder says:

    the vast majority … consumes … happily.

    well, yes, we (human right?) stakeholders prefer “to consume” stuff like this.

  5. Kathleen says:

    Hopefully the NYT’s coverage of I/P issues do not go from bad to worse. Never pay a dime for that bloody rag. Read it periodically picking it up where someone leaves it behind…but after allowing Judy “I was fucking right” Miller to print any unsupported claim about Iraq that she could come up with and now their clear push for a confrontation with Iran. No way will I ever spend a penny on that bloody paper. They are drowning in the Iraqi peoples blood and they clearly don’t give a rats ass

    • marc b. says:

      kathleen, i pay the $6 from time to time for the sunday edition. the arts, style, etc. make for an enjoyable afternoon reading while watching hockey or whatever. not to be taken seriously as a news source, except to the extent it sheds light on a particular set of biases, despite runherins’ standard of journalistic ‘detachment’. well, she’s got a sense of humor at least.

      • Kathleen says:

        Will read it in a bookstore or coffee shop if someone has left it behind. Pull it out of a trash bin. Will never give that bloody war machine paper another dime. Never

        • marc b. says:

          kathleen, rudoren’s recent journalistic output is pretty light stuff, with articles such as an ‘ode to snowbanks’ and buzz light year. i must be missing the foundation previously laid by her to warrant assignment as israel bureau chief.

    • chris o says:

      The NY Times is simply the best newspaper by far in the United States and one of the most important journalistic institutions in the world. (I am NOT saying it is perfect or beyond reproach.)

      I don’t think the New York Times is in any way part of the problem when it comes to Israel-Palestine.

  6. Kathleen says:

    Max Blumenthal and the Mondo team deserve a round of applause
    link to maxblumenthal.com

    Just hope Ruderon has her integrity in tact

  7. Another media story:

    Roger Cohen has an op-ed in today’s NYT, about “the manipulation of Jewish victimhood in the name of Israel’s domination of the Palestinians,” etc. It was originally entitled “The Dilemmas of Jewish Power.” Somehow that has gotten changed to “The Dilemmas of Israeli Power.” Apparently some aspects of victimhood are just too hard to give up.
    link to nytimes.com

  8. eGuard says:

    Will he give back his Jerusalem house to the Palestinian owner?

    • eGuard says:

      Correction. The Qatamon, Jerusalem house is NYT’s or so they claim. Bought in 1984, with Thomas Friedman present. ei:

      The New York Times-owned property Bronner occupies in the prestigious Qatamon neighborhood, was once the home of Hasan Karmi, a distinguished BBC Arabic Service broadcaster and scholar (1905-2007). Karmi was forced to flee with his family in 1948 as Zionist militias occupied western Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods. His was one of an estimated 10,000 Palestinian homes in West Jerusalem that Jews took over that year. And ei then quotes NYT: “Neither The Times nor Mr. Friedman knew who owned the original ground floor prior to 1948.”
      link to electronicintifada.net (link by munro)

      The “NYT” house you’re are gonna live in, Jodi Rudoren, is a spoil of war, looted, stolen, terrorised into emptyness, “absentee property”, Nakba history. And fenced by the NYT, who “do not know about prior to 1948″ (which might actually be true, although deliberately then).

  9. Kathleen says:

    Glenn Greenwald has a great one up
    link to salon.com

    U.S. media takes the lead on Iran
    “I used to find somewhat baffling this bizarre aspect of American public opinion: time and again, Americans support whatever new war of aggression their government proposes, then come to regret that support and decide the war was a “mistake,” only to demonstrate that they learned no lessons from their “mistake” by eagerly supporting whatever the next proposed war is. Thus did the widespread belief that Vietnam was a “mistake” have no impact on their support for the attack on Iraq, and now — with some polls showing Americans, before their government even proposes it, preliminarily willing to cheer on an attack on Iran — it is clear they have learned nothing from their acknowledged “mistake” in supporting the attack on Iraq. Most Americans continue with this strange mindset: we realize we were wrong to support those past wars you gave us, but we stand ready and eager to support this next one!”

    Call your Reps…No war on Iran…

    • Daniel Rich says:

      @ Kathleen,

      Q: Most Americans continue with this strange mindset: we realize we were wrong to support those past wars you gave us, but we stand ready and eager to support this next one!

      R: The abundance of flags [and the allegiance to it] resembles the pride of latter day Nazis, they argued after the war [2nd] ended: “Wir haben es night gewusst…” – “We didn’t know…”

      Enter groundhog day.

    • lysias says:

      All that’s needed is a casus belli like the bombing attack on Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia the other day. Posters on Tikun Olam and Moon of Alabama are suggesting that that could well have been a false-flag attack. After all, they say, would Iran have been responsible for a bombing attack in the capital of India a few days after India had struck a deal with Iran for the purchase of Iranian oil?

    • American says:

      We will never see the NYT or any media put out the real explainations/reasons for all Iran War saber rattleing by Israel. Israel’s games are always about what they get out of the US…..a war to take out a regional threat to their desired hedgemony–or more money– more favors. Bascially the same manufacturing Jewish hysterica and mass propaganda to create political pressure to aid them in the same kind of blackmail and con games Israel has always practiced on the US.

      Yousef Munayyer , explains how Netanyahu is hedging his bets in the 2012 election.
      Last Modified: 09 Feb 2012 15:24

      Netanyahu knows that if Israel went ahead and attacked Iran on its own before the election, he would put Obama in an extremely compromising position [GALLO/GETTY]

      Why Israel’s rattling sabers

      Washington, DC – If Iran strikes Israel with a nuclear weapon, every member of my family living throughout Israel and Palestine could be killed or injured and my place of birth and ancestral homeland would likely be rendered uninhabitable. The scale of loss for me personally, and for humanity, would be immeasurable. Yet I have little fear.

      If one divorces the reactionary and emotional impulses from the rational assessments necessary for understanding geopolitics, it becomes rather clear to see that there is no persuasive argument supporting the possibility of an Iranian strike on Israel or a so-called pre-emptive strike on Iran that makes sense.

      Many of those in support of an Israeli or American strike on Iran will tell you that reason does not apply to the assessment of Iran’s behaviour as the Islamic Republic’s ideological commitment is paramount. Adherents of such thinking, like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will have us believe that Iran is akin to Nazi Germany and that it is anti-Semitism that fuels their desires.

      Who is responsible for US-Iran tensions?
      Most analysts, myself included, however, look at Iran’s past behaviour as the best indicator of its future decision-making and note the many steps the Iranian regime has taken to ensure regime survival and act rationally as a political power in the region.

      Iran’s use of a nuclear weapon against Israel would assure its destruction, as Israel could launch any of the hundreds of nuclear weapons it has and the United States could use some of the 5,000 they have as well. Not only would Iran’s destruction be assured if it struck Israel, but again, if it did so, it could kill millions of Palestinians and wipe out one of Islam’s holiest sites in Jerusalem.

      The advocates for war would have you believe that the Islamic Republic hates Jews more than it loves Muslims. They might also note that Palestinians are mostly Sunnis and Iranians are Shia so Iran, which is locked in a regional sectarian battle, wouldn’t think twice to strike. Yet some of these same Iran hawks argue that Iran is joining forces with al-Qaeda, an exclusively Sunni organisation, in its efforts across the region. In short, Iran hawks are trying to have it both ways as most conveniently supports their bellicose plans.

      None of these arguments for striking Iran makes any sense and still the arguments and the headlines that accompany them bear a striking resemblance to those that preceded the war on Iraq. We all know how that turned out – chaos, casualties, and with Iran very much involved
      in the running of Iraq.

      Israeli strike on Iran

      A recent report noted that former senior White House official, Dennis Ross, who is known for his closeness to the Israelis, estimated an Israeli strike on Iran could come in the next nine months.

      In about nine months, the US will hold a general election to decide who shall be its President and all the noise about striking Iran could have more to do with American domestic politics than any real or perceived threat to the Israelis.

      It is no secret that the right-wing government in Israel led by Netanyahu would prefer a new US president in January 2013. This is not simply because Netanyahu had some tense moments with President Obama, but also because in a second term Obama would not face the type of electoral constraints he faces in his first term.

      It is no secret that US Presidents who have engaged in Israeli-Palestinian peace-making have been most active in their second terms as Bill Clinton was at Camp David and George W Bush was in Annapolis. Those that were particularly active in first terms – Jimmy Carter and George HW Bush – were defeated. Netanyahu does not want an unrestrained Obama demanding he halt settlement expansion in 2013. He’d rather have Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich as they are more likely to be more susceptible to the pro-Israel pressures AIPAC is apt to apply.

      Netanyahu also knows that if Israel went ahead and attacked Iran on its own before the election, he would put Obama in an extremely compromising position. Obama does not want to get into a war with Iran, nor should any American as it is completely against American interests, but Obama also knows that should Israel go it alone, he’d be obligated to participate lest he appear weak before the electorate and a Republican opponent who’d be more than happy to attack Obama on what would immediately become a major international crisis before the election.

      The spectre of an Israeli strike on Iran will have Obama asking Netanyahu what he can do to change Netanyahu’s mind and put off the strike to say, at least after November. Netanyahu’s response might be something like, “Mr President, I thought you’d never ask!”

      From this position, Netanyahu can ask for specific guarantees, similar to the ones George W Bush made, which Obama does not recognise, about Israel’s retention of major settlement blocs in any deal with the Palestinians. He could ask for guarantees about the future of Jerusalem, which he wants to keep in violation of international law, and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, over which he seeks to maintain a long-term military presence, rendering a would-be Palestinian state dead on arrival.

      No one benefits from Israel actually striking Iran, except for the military industrial complex, but the Netanyahu government has a great deal to gain from hanging the possibility of a unilateral strike ominously over the head of President Obama before an election. They are hedging their bets for November in the hopes that they will either get a first-term Republican facing domestic constraints that prevent him from pressuring Israel, or a docile Obama, who has already given
      away the house on Jerusalem and settlements.

      Don’t be surprised if news of such guarantees emerges prior to November, perhaps even as early as the March AIPAC policy conference, where Obama is expected to speak.”
      link to aljazeera.com

      Coincidently Israel, who earlier claimed they had a 2 billion surplus in their treasury, is now claiming their budget is so strained that it will affect their military. And gee they just happen to be 3 billion in the hole toward what they need–even with the current US 3 billion each year.
      Look for some extra billions emergency aid to Israel as part of the bribe Obama will have to give.

      link to upi.com
      Report-Israeli-military-strapped-for-cash/UPI-13511329050903/
      Report: Israeli military strapped for cash

      link to globes.co.il
      IDF to fire 700 career personnel
      The Israel Defense Forces say budget cuts mean layoffs, less training, and cancelling procurements of weapons systems.

      Iron Dome, career officers on chopping block after IDF funding shortfall

      Jewish Telegraphic Agency – ‎Feb 12, 2012‎
      JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli military reportedly will make serious cutbacks due to a shortfall in funds. Despite a government decision last month not to make a drastic cut in the defense budget in order to pay for new social benefits, the department

      IDF to ground warplanes, freeze Iron Dome production over budget woes

      Haaretz – ‎Feb 12, 2012‎
      Military officials say army missing NIS 3.7 billion from promised budget; top officer: measures could severely damage Israel’s preparedness for war. By Amos Harel Tags: IDF Iron Dome The Israel Air Force may stop the production of the Iron Dome and

      link to jpost.com

      • Kathleen says:

        Lots in the MSM about Netanyahu’s claims that the attacks on Israeli diplomats was as he claims Iran…but nothing about US officials confirming that Israel hired, trained MEK to assassinate Iranian scientist. Nothing about Richard Engels report that US officials have confirmed this

        Mark Perry..

        link to foreignpolicy.com

        False Flag
        A series of CIA memos describes how Israeli Mossad agents posed as American spies to recruit members of the terrorist organization Jundallah to fight their covert war against Iran.
        BY MARK PERRY | JANUARY 13, 2012

        link to theatlantic.com
        Israel and Proxy Terrorism
        By Robert Wright

        Buried deep in the archives of America’s intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush’s administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives — what is commonly referred to as a “false flag” operation

        —————————————————————————————————

        link to rockcenter.msnbc.msn.com

        Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News

        link to rockcenter.msnbc.msn.com

        Thu Feb 9, 2012 5:16 AM CST

        By Richard Engel and Robert Windrem
        NBC News

        Updated: 11:14 a.m. ET — Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.

        ROCK CENTER EXCLUSIVE

        The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.

        The attacks, which have killed five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.

        U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign but has no direct involvement.

        The Iranians have no doubt who is responsible – Israel and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, known by various acronyms, including MEK, MKO and PMI.

        Feb 13 2012, 8:43 AM ET 83

        Should Israel be classified as a state sponsor of terrorism? That question is being debated in the wake of a story that NBC News broke late last week.

        Citing unnamed US officials, NBC reported that Israel has used an Iranian opposition group to carry out those much-publicized assassinations of Iranian scientists. The group in question is the M.E.K. (Mojahedin-e Khalq, or People’s Mujahedin of Iran), which since 1997 has been designated a terrorist group by the United States because of its alleged assassinations of US citizens.

        The argument for considering Israel a supporter of terrorism comes in two varieties:

        1) According to NBC, Israel gives the M.E.K. the funding, training, and weapons to carry out the assassinations–and that would seem to constitute support for a terrorist group.

        2) Leaving aside the M.E.K. involvement, there’s the argument that the assassinations inherently constitute terrorism. Andrew Sullivan and Kevin Drum had previously suggested that whoever is behind the assassinations is committing terrorism, but this NBC story is the first mainstream media corroboration of the widespread suspicion that Israel is behind them.

        After the NBC story broke, Paul Pillar, a former CIA official who teaches at Georgetown, dusted off the definition of terrorism used by the US government for purposes of keeping statistics: “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.” That, says Pillar, is what these assassinations are.

        —————————————————————————-

        Israel, MEK and state sponsor of Terror groups

        The link
        link to salon.com

        “One of the most under-reported political stories of the last year is the devoted advocacy of numerous prominent American political figures on behalf of an Iranian group long formally designated as a Terrorist organization under U.S. law. A large bipartisan cast has received substantial fees from that group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), and has then become their passionate defenders. The group of MEK shills includes former top Bush officials and other Republicans (Michael Mukasey, Fran Townsend, Andy Card, Tom Ridge, Rudy Giuliani) as well as prominent Democrats (Howard Dean, Ed Rendell, Bill Richardson, Wesley Clark). As The Christian Science Monitor reported last August, those individuals “have been paid tens of thousands of dollars to speak in support of the MEK.” No matter what one thinks of this group – here is a summary of its activities – it is formally designated as a Terrorist group and it is thus a felony under U.S. law to provide it with any “material support.”

        No need to wonder why so many of our congress folks,Dean and others were pushing several months to get MEK off of the US terrorist list. Wonder why Greenwald refers to MEK as being “formally designated” as a terrorist group?

        ——————————————————————————————–

        link to theatlantic.com

        Israel and Proxy Terrorism

        By Robert Wright

        Feb 13 2012, 8:43 AM ET171

        Should Israel be classified as a state sponsor of terrorism? That question is being debated in the wake of a story that NBC News broke late last week.

        Citing unnamed US officials, NBC reported that Israel has used an Iranian opposition group to carry out those much-publicized assassinations of Iranian scientists. The group in question is the M.E.K. (Mojahedin-e Khalq, or People’s Mujahedin of Iran), which since 1997 has been designated a terrorist group by the United States because of its alleged assassinations of US citizens.

        The argument for considering Israel a supporter of terrorism comes in two varieties:

        1) According to NBC, Israel gives the M.E.K. the funding, training, and weapons to carry out the assassinations–and that would seem to constitute support for a terrorist group.

        2) Leaving aside the M.E.K. involvement, there’s the argument that the assassinations inherently constitute terrorism. Andrew Sullivan and Kevin Drum had previously suggested that whoever is behind the assassinations is committing terrorism, but this NBC story is the first mainstream media corroboration of the widespread suspicion that Israel is behind them.

        After the NBC story broke, Paul Pillar, a former CIA official who teaches at Georgetown, dusted off the definition of terrorism used by the US government for purposes of keeping statistics: “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.” That, says Pillar, is what these assassinations are.

        The counter-arguments have tended not to be big on legalisms. There is the “Look who’s talking” argument. “Isn’t Iran itself the leading exporter of terrorism in the world?” asks The New York Post. And there’s the argument that Iran is an existential threat to Israel and therefore all is fair. “Israel is entirely justified in using whatever means it has to prevent Khameini’s government from achieving its genocidal ends,” writes Jonathan Tobin in Commentary.

        Daniel Larison, writing in The American Conservative, was aghast at Tobin’s argument: “In other words, Israeli state sponsorship of a terrorist group is acceptable because it’s in a good cause.”

        This whole issue is in one sense moot. Adding a country to the list of states that sponsor terrorism requires executive branch initiative. And unless I’m misreading the political winds, placing Israel alongside Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism isn’t high on President Obama’s list of election-year priorities.What’s more, strict and consistent enforcement of America’s anti-terrorism laws could raise uncomfortable questions about some of America’s drone strikes.

        Still, there may be some consequential fallout.

        There has been a movement afoot to “de-list” the M.E.K.–to remove it from America’s list of terrorist groups on the grounds that it has renounced violence and, anyway, hasn’t killed an American in a long time. This argument gets made mainly by Americans who support bombing Iran or even engineering regime change–a project the M.E.K. would love to abet. (A few other high-profile Americans have signed on to the de-list-the-M.E.K. cause, but as The Christian Science Monitor reported, they have shown a tendency to get paid tens of thousands of dollars for the speeches in which they express their newfound yet heartfelt sympathy for the M.E.K.)

        As Glenn Greenwald wrote in Salon, the NBC report should, if nothing else, “completely gut the effort to remove the M.E.K. from the list of designated terrorist groups; after all, murdering Iran’s scientists through the use of bombs and guns is a defining act of a terror group, at least as U.S. law attempts to define the term.”

  10. seafoid says:

    I thought the National Legal Affairs bureau was in Israel !
    I mean that’s where everything is decided, isn’t it?

  11. American says:

    It’s possible this Jewish woman from the NYT could be objective about Israel and I/P. But the percentages are against the NYT picking a Jew neutral on Israel considering the track record the NYT has in appointing ones like Bronner with obvious conflicts. ..that they knew about before they assigned him.

    The NYT isn’t a serious ‘news’ paper anyway, it writes to keep the mostly disinterested masses disinterested..as Ruderon admitted. So ho hum, nothing changed.

  12. Daniel Rich says:

    Q: “Ethan’s deep familiarity with Israel, his unerring sense of fairness, and his nose for what is really new in an exhaustively charted territory distinguished his work.”

    R: Early last year I visited a cemetery with my youngest daughter. After having walked around for a while she turned to me and said, “Daniel, where did they bury all the bad people?”

    It took me several days to figure out the depth of that question.

  13. seafoid says:

    Bronner did his time in Israel spinning for the settlers and now he gets rewarded back in Gotham with the job he always wanted. That is how the system works. If you are loyal to the cult you will be treated very well indeed.

    If you are from Gaza fahgedaboutit

  14. lysias says:

    I just read Alfred Lilienthal’s What Price Israel? (1953). Largely dealing with the late 1940′s, he calls the New York Times of those days “non-Zionist”.

  15. thetumta says:

    Never mind?
    Hej!

  16. Bumblebye says:

    My prediction:
    Rudoren will be ‘love-bombed’ to the max by full on zio cultists until she too is inducted into the Stepford Stenographers club. I’m sure they’re researching every last little thing about her life and family now, and planning her first few weeks and months meticulously.

  17. RoHa says:

    I never did kick him. Missed my chance.

  18. “The Times audience, the vast majority of which consumes the news, happily and engagedly, and maybe talks about it with a friend later in the day but otherwise pretty much forgets about it until the next morning”

    Pretty much forgets about it – yep, that’s exactly the problem. The countless drones who are not able to respond to the significant political problems around them. Good to know that the NYT considers them their main audience.

  19. dbroncos says:

    Love the headline, Adam. Great post – thanks

  20. Citizen says:

    Might not have Bronner to kick around anymore–but he’s still kicking, and hard–here he is, again beating the war drums to bomb Iran like crazy–why not, he says, it will be a war on the cheap: link to veteranstoday.com

    The article points out the obvious: that all the threats of war in the last five years have not come from Iran, but from USIsrael.

  21. howard lenow says:

    I wish folks would give up on the gratuitous attacks on Ethan Bronner. Frankly, I think his reporting was often brilliant and ground breaking. Yes, he wasn’t the public relations director for the BDS movement (which I support, by the way) but he covered on the ground stories in the West Bank and Gaza and East Jerusalem and he has a deep knowledge of the conflict and the history. I believe he did his level best to be fair, as he saw things, and he contributed to opening up the dialogue and the reporting in the New York Times on the issues that had never been covered by the Times with any sensitivity to a Palestinian narrative. I will miss his reporting as Bureau Chief.

    • Cliff says:

      Is this a joke? LOL

    • Dan Crowther says:

      howie wowie!!!!

      Bronner doesn’t even meet the standard of high school basketball referee – no way a ref gets to call a game with his kid on one of the teams…….

      But your right, having “any sympathy” to the palestinian narrative, as you say, really is “groundbreaking” with regards to the Times reporting on this issue.

    • seafoid says:

      He kept Israel going for another few years.

    • American says:

      “I believe he did his level best to be fair, as he saw things, and he contributed to opening up the dialogue and the reporting in the New York Times on the issues that had never been covered by the Times with any sensitivity to a Palestinian narrative. I will miss his reporting as Bureau Chief.”

      Bronner is small potatoes, it is the Times executives who have the conflict of interest….that’s why they appoint who they do.
      They can’t find one single non Jewish, identity neutral reporter to send to Israel?

      The NYT has a conflict of interest. That’s all anyone needs to know about their reporting on Israel.
      Even if a Jewish reporter assigned to Israel should write something critical on Israel it will not be printed…as Tom Friedman can attest to because he said publicly that the Times deep sixed some of his Israel critical pieces in his early days at that paper.

  22. howard lenow says:

    Friends:
    I don’t think being Jewish disqualifies a reporter from reporting on Israel/Palestine. I don’t think having a son or daughter serving in the IDF does either. If that logic is extended, we wouldn’t pay attention to Palestinians reporting from Gaza or the West Bank or East Jerusalem, or we shouldn’t pay attention to so many of the important blogs and other outlets where similar “conflicts” may exist.. It is a silly argument, in my view. It’s the actual reporting that matters, so long as any “conflicts” such as they are, are disclosed.

    I don’t want to be put in the position of defending the NYT or any other media outlet and that is not what I was saying. I do think Ethan Bronner was unfairly villified too often on this site and in our movement generally. I also know that he has been villified from the right as being too sympathetic to the Palestinian narrative. So, again, he is a reporteer, not an activist. I just think we should pick our battles where they make sense and not fall prey to the same shibboleths that characterize the shrill and unfair attacks from the right.

    • Cliff says:

      Howard Lenow,

      No one is saying that being Jewish undermines credible reporting of the conflict.

      The contention is that there is a disproportionate amount of Jewish people providing a perspective that is Zionist, on this conflict. It has to do with the lack of a Palestinian perspective in the mainstream media on a consistent basis.

      Not as a novelty, which is always then ‘balanced’ with a Zionist perspective.

      Sarah Schulman is not Palestinian. However, after she wrote her ‘pink-washing’ piece in the times, it was followed up with pure Israeli propaganda.

      When she was asked about the backstory to the piece, she elaborated in detail how much scrutiny her article had to endure before publication. She emailed the editor or whomever she had corresponded with previously during the writing of her article, to ask him whether the Israeli propaganda piece went through the same internal fact-checking process.

      She received no reply!

      You may think whatever you want about what deems someone credible or biased, Howard.

      However, the issue of Bronner’s son being an IDF soldier, his position on a settler PR firm, his association with an pro-Iran-War propaganda film and other telling scandals are simply corroborating evidence.

      Bronner was first judged on his reporting. Not by his Jewish descent. So stop your straw-man of opposition to an obvious Zionist ideologue like Ethan Bronner.

      I would first judge the reporting of a source, and argue the facts presented and the editorialization of said facts. If someone is dishonest then you call them out for it.

      You don’t make asinine statements like ‘well, Bronner is criticized by the Right too’ – because then I see absolutely no proof that you have any clue as to what you’re talking about.

      Your implication is that the Right is correct in their criticism. That is implicit in your comment because you place them parallel to the criticism from the Left or from the pro-Palestinian camp.

      Well then, I guess there is no truth right? Everything is mystified into a neutral mess.

      This is not a symmetrical conflict and it is not a fair fight and there is a clear oppressor and a clear oppressed. To say otherwise is your right and also an opinion shared by many people but that in and of itself does not confer legitimacy.

      Hence, there is only one simple conclusion.

      Judge the content first. If a case for bias can be made then make one with a substantiated argument.

      Then, things like a son in the occupying army or associating with illegal Jewish colonists or whatever else, is all icing on the cake.

    • GalenSword says:

      It used to NY Times policy and that of many other newspapers not to station Jewish correspondents in the State of Israel.

      • GalenSword says:

        Obviously, I meant, “It used to be NY Times policy…”

        Anyway, from link to hks.harvard.edu .

        Topping did not, for example, mention that when Abe Rosenthal, the paper’s executive editor, chose Shipler to be the Jerusalem Bureau Chief, it was with the explicit but mistaken belief that the man he was sending to Israel was Jewish. Rosenthal believed he was breaking an invidious pattern at The Times of declining to send Jewish reporters to Israel. It was a practice predicated on the speculative notion that a Jewish correspondent would have an inherent conflict-of-interest that would leave the coverage open to criticism.

        After his decision, Rosenthal remarked proudly to a small group on his decision to end the practice. Joseph Lelyveld, then the deputy foreign editor, told Rosenthal he was puzzled because he thought the paper was sending Shipler. We are, Rosenthal said. Lelyveld then told an amazed — and somewhat embarrassed — Rosenthal that Shipler was, in fact, Protestant.

        No Jewish journalist that believes the (essentially false) pogrom and persecution narrative of historic Jewish victimization by non-Jews should be sent as a correspondent to the State of Israel because his reporting will invariably be distorted by falsehood and propaganda.

    • “… or we wouldn’t pay attention to Palestinians reporting from Gaza or the West Bank or East Jerusalem.”

      Where in the NYT are you seeing these reports? My copy doesn’t have them. (Presumably because they haven’t gotten through the Jerusalem Bureau Chief.)

    • Donald says:

      The fact that the NYT is criticized from the right as “anti-Zionist” (a charge I’ve seen) doesn’t mean that the NYT is therefore doing a good job and reporting the issue fairly.

      As for Bronner, his reporting was mixed–sometimes okay, sometimes not. Below I’ve linked to an example from 2004 where he betrays his bias. I’m thinking of the moral obtuseness on display, where he seems to equate Zionist war crimes against Palestinian civilians with recommendations by Arab leaders that people flee war zones. This is idiotic. If one wants to argue that both sides committed atrocities, that’s fair, because both sides did commit atrocities. That would be revolutionary in a NYT context, because it would be an admission that the Zionist side was guilty of war crimes and it isn’t just Arabs who target civilians. Instead, though, Bronner tries to spin it as though war crimes committed by Zionists against Arab civilians are the same as telling your own civilians to flee for their own safety.

      link

      I’m sure it would never cross Bronner’s mind to say something like that if he was discussing Arab crimes against Jewish civilians. He wouldn’t say that both Jewish and Arab leaders shared the blame for the expulsion of Jews from parts of Palestine because Arabs killed or expelled Jews, while Jewish leaders might have recommended that Jewish civilians should be prepared to flee their homes for their own safety.

    • American says:

      If that logic is extended, we wouldn’t pay attention to Palestinians reporting from Gaza or the West Bank or East Jerusalem, “….

      Howard, I don’t know so I’m asking…Does the NYT have any Palestine or Palestine American ‘reporting’ from Gaza or Palestine or Israel?
      I’ve seen occasional opinion pieces published for Palestine but never seen any Palestine reporting for the NYT on I/P.

      But on Bronner once again. His son joined the Israel IDF during a time when he could have joined the US military and fought in a US conflict going on. I call a US Jewish citizen joining the military of Israel activism in the extreme for Israel. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t see it that way. Where did his son get his extreme activism for Israel? Most people would conclude it was instilled in him at home by his parent(s).
      This to me is a huge red flag in Bronner’s reporting. Someone dedicated enough to Israel to bless his son’s serving their military would have to have super human compartmentalization abilities to be truly objective and unbiased in his reporting.
      The NYT knew this when they assigned him…therefore the NYT has no credibility on Israel.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        Especially since Bronner’s son joined the IDF during a time when the US military (maybe for the wrong reasons) needs people. Bronner’s family is basically turning their back on the United States. That HAS to be a factor in assessing his bias.

  23. American says:

    The question we could ask is why he is being replaced.
    If we take Howards remarks about Bronner trying to be fair we might conclude he was too fair and the Times didn’t like it and replaced him.
    Or we could believe the NYT gives a rip about all the complaints they and their reporters are Israel centric…which if that is the case, chalk one up for our side.
    We’ll just have see how Ruderon does.
    But I doubt I’m ever going to see the NYT as anything but an organ for Israel in I/P and US-Isr relations.
    Who could ever trust them after the Judith Miller trail of lies.

  24. Citizen says:

    Is there a US MSM pundit on any geographical area in the world other than Israel’s who has a child in a foreign military there, or one who has served the foreign military either directly or in a support military unit? Who would that be, other than when the foreign country is Israel and the family defense-military link is to Israel?

  25. Salubrius says:

    “Ethan’s deep familiarity with Israel, his unerring sense of fairness, and his nose for what is really new in an exhaustively charted territory distinguished his work. . . ”
    What nonsense. This is what he wrote today:

    Commentators on the left and the right stuck to their scripts, with the left asserting that the country’s treatment of the Palestinians. . . . .[has] made it isolated and stagnant

    Bronner has always been a slave to a “poetic truth” The Narrative of Perpetual “Palestinian” Victimhood.
    “Poetic truths like that are marvelous because no facts and no reason can ever penetrate. Supporters of Israel are up against a poetic truth. We keep hitting it with all the facts. We keep hitting it with obvious logic and reason. And we are so obvious and conspicuously right that we assume it is going to have an impact and it never does.”
    Shelby Steele, link to gatestoneinstitute.org