A front page piece in the New York Times today on the fact that Penny Pritzker, his finance chair in 2008, has apparently cooled on the president, is irresponsible in its refusal to address the effect of Obama’s policy toward Israel on her attitude.
The article of about 2500 words, “Leading Role in Obama ’08, but Backstage in ’12,” by Jodi Kantor and Nicholas Confessore, goes at great length into the ways in which Pritzker’s close association with Obama embarrassed her– because he has to be pro-labor and she has been opposed to labor as part of the family that owns the Hyatt hotel chain, because she wanted to be Commerce Secretary or at least a White House insider and she’s not in the loop.
But the article also speaks of Pritzker’s support for “Jewish causes” and hints that Israel played a role in her disaffection. Well into the jump:
She has drawn business and Jewish leaders to support Mr. Obama, but when many of them turned hostile toward the president because of his policies, some directed their ire toward her, even though she had her own criticisms, too.
What does this mean? What are his “policies”? What are the money people saying to her? And what are Pritzker’s “own criticisms”? The word Israel isn’t even in the article!
The basis of a democracy is a people’s right to know. Here the Times alludes to a central question of foreign policy as it touches on a politician’s ability to raise money, and refuses to address the question openly and honestly. It is hard not to reach the conclusion that the Times is in the Israel lobby: it is actively suppressing issues of political influence that could only damage Israel’s toehold in our politics.
I am told that Ali Abunimah has been asking the Times reporters on twitter how they could justify not referring to Israel. How long can this blackout last?