Rudoren writes up settler/colonist leader as ‘worldly, pragmatic’ wine-lover

Israel/Palestine
on 55 Comments

Are other readers of the New York Times as enraged as I am by the latest piece from the paper’s new Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren? It’s a glowing profile of settler/colonist leader Dani Dayan, suitable for framing on the Dayan family wall. A couple of weeks after Dayan was given ample space on the Times op-ed page to say the settlers are here to stay, Rudoren tours “Samaria” with Dayan and describes him as “worldly and pragmatic.”

In his mind, he and his family, just by living here in the West Bank rather than yielding it to become a Palestinian state, are a “shield” protecting those theaters and museums, and the survival of Israel itself…

Passionately ideological yet profoundly secular, he defies the caricature of settlers as gun-toting radicals who attribute their politics to God and the Torah — he travels the world collecting art and wine

There is not even the standard evasive Times boilerplate in the article making passing reference to the fact that the settlements are illegal under international law. No, they are “disputed.” And Rudoren does not ask Dayan’s unwilling Palestinian neighbors for a token sentence of rebuttal, let alone describe the fractional amounts of water from their own land that they can draw compared to Dayan and his ilk. Who cares if he likes art and nice wine?  What are he and his fellows and the Israeli army doing to make Palestinian lives miserable?

It was OK that Rudoren profiled Israeli human rights attorney Michael Sfard a month back, but lately she did a glowing profile of American Jews emigrating to Israel to join the army– “Enlisting from afar for the love of Israel”–a valentine to the Israel lobby group Nefesh b’Nefesh. Evidently this is her role: to pit leftist Israelis against rightist Israelis without giving Palestinians any voice. It’s the old internal Israeli argument all over again.

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55 Responses

  1. Scott
    August 18, 2012, 11:10 am

    Yeah, I saw it and had the same gag reaction. But perhaps she was subtly trying to advance the one state solution. (kidding)

    • MRW
      August 18, 2012, 5:09 pm

      Wise newspaper/magazine publishers in the past always assigned outsiders to foreign desks.

  2. Shmuel
    August 18, 2012, 11:20 am

    In his mind, he and his family, just by living here in the West Bank rather than yielding it to become a Palestinian state, are a “shield” protecting those theaters and museums, and the survival of Israel itself…

    The perfect complement to Geller’s “savage” ad. Meet Dani Dayan, civilised man!

  3. seanmcbride
    August 18, 2012, 12:02 pm

    Well, Jodi Rudoren has removed all doubts: she is a “liberal Zionist.” What else would one expect from the New York Times?

    Joseph Goebbels was also a charming fellow with an appreciation of culture, the fine arts and high cuisine. (I just read Erik Larson’s “In the Garden of Beasts.”)

    Definition of “liberal Zionist” — someone who runs interference for Likud Zionist and neoconservative policies behind an obfuscating cloud of vague feel-good liberal rhetoric. That describes most Democrats.

    Extremist Jewish settlers in Israel, with the help of the Israel lobby, are dragging the entire American political system behind them over the cliff and into the abyss.

  4. American
    August 18, 2012, 12:48 pm

    And Hitler loved his dog and had impeccable table manners.
    Not good reasons for not pointing out he was also a mad man.
    Rudoren is on ziocaine.

    • marc b.
      August 19, 2012, 3:17 pm

      american, dayan does like his wine though, a sure sign of high culture.

      a quick quiz: who said the following:

      “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti!”

      a. dani dayan;
      b. hannibal lecter;
      or
      c. julia child.

      i will post the answer later. no googling please.

      • American
        August 19, 2012, 3:43 pm

        @ marc b.

        rotflmao…funny you should mention that.
        Something on here earlier this week brought Dr. Lecter to my mind..I think it was the comments about how ‘intelligent” Marc Zell was.

        • marc b.
          August 19, 2012, 5:53 pm

          Something on here earlier this week brought Dr. Lecter to my mind..I think it was the comments about how ‘intelligent” Marc Zell was.

          it’s almost beyond parody at this point, american. although, i’ll admit it, i experienced a glimmer of hope when rudoren came on board. nice of her to self destruct in such lunatic fashion. she should be doing profiles in ‘cigar aficionado’ or ‘time out – new york’ or some similar journalistic enterprise. magazine.

  5. Donald
    August 18, 2012, 1:09 pm

    Things look pretty bad, but maybe she’ll eventually redeem herself by writing an equally glowing profile of various Palestinians, including Hamas leaders and without citing a single Israeli. It’s the only way she could be fair at this point.

    Of course I don’t expect that. It is possible she might write a sympathetic story about a nonviolent Palestinian activist, but that’s closest thing to balance you could hope for at the NYT. And it will surely contain some Israeli views.

    ” But as The Atlantic noted, he faces an internal battle among the settlers over tactics; many prefer a more principled, confrontational stand to his pragmatic, businesslike approach.”

    That’s the fetish of the moderate centrist “pragmatic” type that has deformed our own politics in America. The Overton Window keeps shifting rightwards over the past few decades because you have some screaming maniacs on the far far right and then some polite soft-spoken merely far right person can be portrayed as “pragmatic”. So we have center-right Democrats labeled as liberal socialists and of course Obama himself helped anoint Paul Ryan as a serious thinker a couple of years ago.

    I just looked at the Atlantic piece linked in the NYT article. It’s better.
    The author states that underneath the moderate facade Dayan is an extremist.

    link

    • Citizen
      August 19, 2012, 7:18 am

      @ Donald
      Ron Paul is a serious thinker, at the very least on monetary and fiscal policy and, especially, on foreign policy. Too bad Obama was not thinking of any of those things.

    • chinese box
      August 19, 2012, 12:36 pm

      “Things look pretty bad, but maybe she’ll eventually redeem herself by writing an equally glowing profile of various Palestinians, including Hamas leaders and without citing a single Israeli. It’s the only way she could be fair at this point.

      Of course I don’t expect that. It is possible she might write a sympathetic story about a nonviolent Palestinian activist, but that’s closest thing to balance you could hope for at the NYT. And it will surely contain some Israeli views. ”

      ___________________________________

      I don’t think it matters what she does at this point. She’s already established an equivalency between the two groups, when in fact one side is far worse than the other. She’s not reporting the truth.

    • ColinWright
      August 19, 2012, 10:48 pm

      Donald says “Things look pretty bad, but maybe she’ll eventually redeem herself by writing an equally glowing profile of various Palestinians, including Hamas leaders and without citing a single Israeli. It’s the only way she could be fair at this point…”

      Lol. It could happen.

  6. ColinWright
    August 18, 2012, 2:51 pm

    “…Passionately ideological yet profoundly secular…”

    That almost sounds good. It would also describe most of the leading butchers of the twentieth century.

  7. ColinWright
    August 18, 2012, 2:58 pm

    The story — as so often — is in what isn’t covered. Unless I missed something, neither Rudoren nor the New York Times covered that horrific fire-bombing of a Palestinian taxi with two four year olds in it, nor did they cover the completely unprovoked lynching of three Palestinians in Jerusalem.

    You can bet — and I’ll give you great odds — that should the ethnicities in these stories be reversed, that Rudoren will be right on it. It’s like reading the air war between Britain and Germany in 1940-41 as a matter of every British raid on Berlin being covered in excruciating detail with no mention of the Blitz itself at all.

    Simply choosing what to cover is even more effective than the most blatant propaganda.

  8. Roya
    August 18, 2012, 4:02 pm

    Funny, I remember when Phil wrote a glowing profile on Rudoren when she first got the job, painting her as some closet anti-Zionist who would actually do the NYT some good. Nope, not quite.

    • ColinWright
      August 18, 2012, 4:59 pm

      “Funny, I remember when Phil wrote a glowing profile on Rudoren when she first got the job, painting her as some closet anti-Zionist who would actually do the NYT some good. Nope, not quite.”

      I recall the general tenor as being hopeful rather than glowing.

      Anyway, there’s still hope. Rudoren might unleash a bombshell. It could happen…

      She’s probably getting flooded with pro-Zionist demands. These people have e-mails (at least her predecessor did) — sometimes they even answer. Flood her the other way.

      She does! I just sent her what I posted above. It’s easy! It’s fun! Unless you’re an idiot, it can’t do much harm.

      link to myaccount.nytimes.com

      • Roya
        August 18, 2012, 9:16 pm

        Rudoren might unleash a bombshell. It could happen…

        Colin did you not read this article? Do you really think that the New York Times would hire a non- or anti-Zionist “progressive” Jew as the Jerusalem bureau chief? Seriously? What gives you this optimism, I’d like to ask. And am I supposed to applaud and throw a party because there may exist some weak hope that this woman just maybe, maybe, maybe will come to her senses and express a glimmer of truth about Israel from time to time, knowing full well that such weak but well-deserved criticism would be coupled with an equal or greater criticism of the oppressed Palestinians? No thank you, I’ll stay away from the foolishly optimistic camp unless she gives me good reason to think otherwise.

        • ColinWright
          August 19, 2012, 1:58 am

          “… No thank you, I’ll stay away from the foolishly optimistic camp unless she gives me good reason to think otherwise.”

          Okay, so what are you going to do instead?

          Unlike you, I’m not completely confident I know Rudoren to the roots of her soul. I also think people are influenced by what they read. I think e-mailing her is a good idea. At a minimum, the thought of the next hundred e-mails her article will generate is likely to influence what she says.

          …and one of those e-mails can be yours, or it can be some Zionist’s. Up to you.

          What’s the down side? Tell me that.

        • Donald
          August 19, 2012, 1:05 pm

          “Unlike you, I’m not completely confident I know Rudoren to the roots of her soul. I also think people are influenced by what they read. I think e-mailing her is a good idea. ”

          I agree. And it’s also a good idea if you’re trying to persuade someone to be polite and stick to the facts. In Rudoren’s case I think Phil did have some small grounds for optimism about her (though Phil also seems to get a little giddy sometimes).

          I was more or less serious in my earlier post above. It’s hard or impossible to imagine the NYT publishing a sympathetic portrayal of a Hamas leader (not that I particularly want them to, but it would balance this portrayal of Dayan). But I could imagine them publishing a sympathetic portrait of, say Mustafa Barghouti or some other nonviolent Palestinian activist. That wouldn’t be “balance”, because you’d have a sympathetic portrayal of a racist extremist on the one hand and a genuinely good person on the other. But logically that would actually work out in the Palestinian side’s favor.

          But only if Rudoren does such a piece. Which is where polite emails might come in. I don’t have any reason at this point to think she would be opposed to doing such a story. I’ll give it a shot in day or two.

        • Donald
          August 19, 2012, 1:10 pm

          “And it’s also a good idea if you’re trying to persuade someone to be polite and stick to the facts.”

          Rereading that, it might sound like I was saying you were an advocate of being impolite and telling lies. That’s not what I intended to suggest. I was just advocating polite emails.

        • ColinWright
          August 19, 2012, 1:50 pm

          Donald says: “…Rereading that, it might sound like I was saying you were an advocate of being impolite and telling lies. That’s not what I intended to suggest. I was just advocating polite emails.”

          Don’t worry, it didn’t read that way.

          I also think it’s worth pointing out that I don’t see this struggle as a matter of miraculously getting Rudoren to see the light. It’s more a matter of incrementally shifting enough people to move the center of gravity.

          If, without any input from those of us to the ‘left’ Rudoren would take the Zionist point of view as self-evident truth, but with our input, she may throw in the odd qualifying adverb and/or even occasionally look at matters from the other side of the hill, then the e-mails have worked.

        • Roya
          August 19, 2012, 8:06 pm

          Colin that wasn’t a response to your idea about emailing her. I think that’s a great idea, and I definitely don’t see any downsides to it.
          My comment was a response to your thought that she “might unleash a bombshell. It could happen…” I just don’t see the point in sharing this optimism since I have been given no reason to do so. The CEO-publisher-chairman (one extremely powerful man), vice chairman, opinion editor, and executive editor of the NYT are all Jewish, as is Rudoren. While I don’t personally know each of them nor the roots of their souls, I do know that mainstream American Jewish opinion is pro-Israel, and I also know that NYT has a consistent track record of being pro-Israel. And even if Rudoren wanted to come to her senses, she would have to answer to the Jewish-dominated NYT bureaucracy. So you see, I don’t care to waste any hopes that Rudoren will do a 180, and I will continue to have this mindset until there is a tangible reason not to.

        • Roya
          August 19, 2012, 9:10 pm

          Also Rudoren recently wrote this lovely infomercial encouraging Americans to go enlist in the Israeli army. I stand my ground.
          On the bright side, Nima Shirazi dissected that infomercial here.

        • ColinWright
          August 19, 2012, 10:24 pm

          Roy says: “Colin that wasn’t a response to your idea about emailing her. I think that’s a great idea, and I definitely don’t see any downsides to it.
          My comment was a response to your thought that she “might unleash a bombshell. It could happen…”

          Chalk it up to a failure to communicate then. I actually meant that such an event wasn’t very likely but always worth trying for. Watch ‘Wayne’s World.’

          Or don’t. It has its moments, though.

          ” So you see, I don’t care to waste any hopes that Rudoren will do a 180, and I will continue to have this mindset until there is a tangible reason not to.”

          It’ll have me buying a bottle of wine to celebrate and buttonholing strangers on the street if she does.

          However — and perhaps more realistically — as I pointed out elsewhere, we are all influenced by public opinion, and every judiciously worded e-mail to the ‘left’ can plausibly have the effect of bumping Rudoren in the desired direction.

        • ColinWright
          August 19, 2012, 10:42 pm

          Roya: “Also Rudoren recently wrote this lovely infomercial encouraging Americans to go enlist in the Israeli army. I stand my ground….”

          You may well be right. That article makes me entertain the bleakest possible suppositions about Rudoren myself.

          However, (a) I may be wrong, and (b) the less certainty she has that she is right and applauded by all, the better.

      • Kris
        August 20, 2012, 11:41 am

        Here are my email to Rudoren, and her reply:

        URL:fawning Dani Dayan article
        Comments: Wow. Your article about Dani Dayan was even beyond fawning. I think you need to inform yourself about Israel’s ethnic cleansing and theft of Palestinian land, as well as about APARTHEID.

        One would think that a NYT reporter would note the irony of Dayan’s principled refusal to visit apartheid South Africa, given his role in imposing apartheid on the Palestinians. And given the fact that eminent South Africans, including Archbishop Tutu, have described the situation in Israeli-occupied Palestine as even worse than apartheid was in South Africa.

        You should go to the Jewish Voice for Peace website link to jewishvoiceforpeace.org and to mondoweiss.net, and become better informed.
        Sincerely,
        Kris

        jodi rudoren [email protected]
        10:23 PM (10 hours ago)
        to me

        Kris,

        Thanks for your note. Actually the reason I included the Apartheid quote was precisely because of the juxtaposition, given many people’s belief that West Bank occupation/settlements are akin to Apartheid. So, I’m glad that worked for you, even if you didn’t realize it; I try to present my observations and let redraws make connections and draw conclusions.

        I’ve met with the heads of both Jewish Voices for Palestine and Mondoweiss, and I do look at those sites occasionally. But it’s a good reminder to be reading widely and broadly.

        Thanks again for writing — and reading.
        Jodi

        • Donald
          August 20, 2012, 5:40 pm

          Jerome Slater has also had an email exchange with Rudoren and she gave him permission to put it up on his site. I haven’t read it yet.

          link

          I’m going to write her too (politely), but it looks like a few people have beaten me to it.

        • Shmuel
          August 20, 2012, 6:06 pm

          Thanks, Donald. It’s an interesting exchange. I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but I’m afraid I might actually have to read Rudoren’s piece :-(

        • American
          August 20, 2012, 6:09 pm

          “So, I’m glad that worked for you, even if you didn’t realize it; “…Jodi

          It worked for us precisely because ‘we did realize it’.
          But does everyone?
          No, some true believers will think the bad stuff they’ve heard about illegal settlers is exaggerated.

          The test…did Rudeon use the word “illegal settler” or mention the international law community has declared Israeli settlement illegal when describing him?

          No?…well then, that’s all that you need to know about her intentions.

        • Donald
          August 20, 2012, 6:25 pm

          “So, I’m glad that worked for you, even if you didn’t realize it; “…Jodi

          It worked for us precisely because ‘we did realize it’.
          But does everyone?
          No, some true believers will think the bad stuff they’ve heard about illegal settlers is exaggerated.”

          Good point. I forgot about that aspect of it in my reply (not up yet last I checked) at Slater’s blog. I restated what I said here, that I wouldn’t mind these “humanizing” stories about polite advocates of massive human rights violations so long as she is also willing to do a similar story about some Hamas leader who planned terrorist attacks.

          “I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but I’m afraid I might actually have to read Rudoren’s piece ”

          Yeah, you should. It’s not that long. I actually think Rudoren might be somewhat persuadable–for a big time journalist she was remarkably free of arrogance towards someone who criticized her quite severely. Anyway, I’m going to assume so when I write her.

        • American
          August 20, 2012, 6:58 pm

          I didn’t go for her replies.

          Ruderon says:

          “I find such profiles to be among the most revelatory types of journalism”

          Me: Correct me if I am wrong but my understanding is Ms Ruderon is suppose to be the foreign correspondent to Israel for the NYT.
          That implies covering Israeli government and current events.
          Vanity pieces on personalities is not what I call journalism or fit her title as a news correspondent.

          “Also I never said he was pleasant. Yes, I described his home and his relationship with his daughter and brother.
          Yes, I described his strategic approach and his educational and professional background. But search again; I described these things and did not judge them.

          Me: Not judging and omitting pertinent facts about your subject such as he is living on land declared by international law to be illegal, taken illegally from someone else, is in effect ‘judging’ and in his favor by omitting that fact.

          “Only that you are seeking to use facts and evidence to build an argument based on an advocacy position. That it is one derived from your observation of facts in my view makes it more respectable, but still in the realm of advocacy, which is not where I work”

          Me: Facts and evidence are used to present the ‘facts’ about something…as in what the press use to do, what ‘journalism’ use to be. Don’t you think you’re better suited to doing profile pieces for Vanity Fair or a Celebrity column? “Foreign correspondent” is not how any serious person would describe your view of your job.

          Listen, from her replies this lady thinks she is too slick and too cute by half and can use polite replies and her own definition of ‘journalism” to justify how and what she writes about.
          Maybe she’s not biased, maybe she’s just stupid and in over her head as a real journalist. What was it she covered before this assignment…families or life styles or something like that?

        • Shmuel
          August 21, 2012, 2:08 am

          Yeah, you should. It’s not that long.

          OK, I have. It was not as unpleasant as I’d feared, but that’s precisely the problem. It’s a puff piece in the worst journalistic tradition. Apart from a few references to the “West Bank”, it could have been commissioned from a PR firm. That she should defend it as representing some sort of sophisticated approach to journalism is actually pretty arrogant (and wrong), despite her polite tone.

          Another thing that struck me is the mistakes (mostly corrected). So she got Itzik Shadmi’s title wrong and the family relationship between Dayan’s father and Gen. Moshe Dayan. No big deal. But Jabotinsky head of the Haganah? That shows abysmal ignorance of Israeli history (even as a slip of the fingers – and where were the bloody editors? This wasn’t exactly “breaking news”.) A slight mistake that was not corrected, but one which also tells me she is unfamiliar with the ground she’s covering is the reference to Hananel Dorfman as “Hanamel”. There is no such Israeli name. I understand that Rudoren is not an expert and mistakes happen (although she should have been prepared enough not to confuse the Haganah and the Etzel), but the NYT bureau has a local staff. If I were her, I’d have one of the assistants/stringers/translators look over my articles for a while, for glaring mistakes.

  9. Winnica
    August 18, 2012, 5:41 pm

    chortle chortle

  10. notatall
    August 18, 2012, 8:06 pm

    Some people will never learn (like Charlie Brown and the football).

  11. dbroncos
    August 18, 2012, 9:41 pm

    Ian Smith enjoyed a good Bordeaux now and then. A true art lover, he kept his home decorated with what some called the finest collection of African ceremonial masks to be found anywhere on the continent. He loved dogs and kept a beautiful garden. A good man.

  12. Nevada Ned
    August 18, 2012, 9:47 pm

    This is about the NYT, but not about the Rudoren piece.

    In the Saturday newspaper (8/17/12) the NYT editorialized that the Romney/Ryan campaigns ought to be distancing themselves from Sheldon Adelson.
    link: link to nytimes.com
    The editorial, entitled “In Thrall to Sheldon Adelson”, details the many investigations now besetting the Las Vegas Sands corporation, Adelson’s base of power. Fines are only a minor annoyance for multibillionaire Adelson. But a conviction under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act could send him to prison, for what at his age would be a life sentence.

    The Times did not point out that Adelson has made a lot of enemies, in the course of becoming one of the wealthiest men in the world.

    • MLE
      August 18, 2012, 11:57 pm

      Nothing fills me with more hope then Sheldon Adelson dying behind bars. And Romney /Ryan losing the election because of him.

      • ColinWright
        August 19, 2012, 3:01 am

        …Losing with Adelson firmly identified with them and Israel firmly identified with both.

        Kind of ironic. Adelson could be the worst thing for Israel since…since…make that the worst thing ever. And he so wanted to be a mighty warrior for her too. That wife of his will not be pleased.

    • CloakAndDagger
      August 19, 2012, 3:13 am

      @ Nevada Ned

      If Adelson was indicted, that would be huge!

  13. Peter in SF
    August 19, 2012, 5:40 am

    Passionately ideological yet profoundly secular, he defies the caricature of settlers as gun-toting radicals who attribute their politics to God and the Torah — he travels the world collecting art and wine

    I think she is telling her readers that he is the kind of person that we want to be living there. She probably reads her own newspaper, which a few days ago ran an op-ed by the noted American Middle East expert and former (ahem) diplomat Aaron David Miller, saying about Israel: “The country’s demographics look bad — too many ultra-Orthodox Jews, Palestinians and Israeli Arabs and not enough secular Jews.

    • American
      August 19, 2012, 3:39 pm

      “”Passionately ideological yet profoundly secular, he defies the caricature of settlers as gun-toting radicals who attribute their politics to God and the Torah — he travels the world collecting art and wine ”

      He defies no caricature…. rich ‘thugs’ who try to adopt some refinement for their self image and image are everywhere today.
      Does show us however the ‘crassness” of Ruderon’s values that she thinks it is important to praise how ‘tasteful’ a settler thug is.
      Ruderon and this settler will never get it….No Class includes more than the wrong wine and lack of art appreciation.

      • MHughes976
        August 19, 2012, 4:57 pm

        Would someone who had really touched the bottom of the profound pond of secularism make much play for here and now purposes with an ancient name like ‘Samaria’ whose only importance comes from being prominent in a sacred text?

      • Citizen
        August 19, 2012, 5:44 pm

        @ American,
        I agree, because someone is rich enough to buy top brand wine and fine art, and so collects such items is totally irrelevant. Further, the most vulgar and ignorant person who knows how to make a lot of money will customarily buy experts to give him or her, and get for him or her a collection of brands, a veneer or facade of “real class.” I mean, Goering collected fine art, and Hitler’s chief diplomat was a wine connoisseur and salesman. The Nazi leaders were not all like Julius Streicher.

  14. Citizen
    August 19, 2012, 7:23 am

    Meanwhile, for the first time, the 2012 official US Report on Terrorism lists settler violence against Palestinians as terrorism:

    link to maannews.net

    Think that will make the nightly news on Fox, CNN, or MSNBC, or on the weekly news roundup at PBS? In the NYT, WAPO, WSJ?

  15. evets
    August 19, 2012, 11:01 am

    I’m still waiting to find out about those ‘Jewish values’ he considered so crucial in his op-ed. So far all I’m getting is a devotion to real estate.

  16. Linda J
    August 19, 2012, 11:49 am

    I tweeted Nima Shirazi’s article featuring Israelis describing their embrace of apartheid to Rudoren. ;)

    link to wideasleepinamerica.com

    Tweets are good b/c other folks can see them too.

  17. piotr
    August 19, 2012, 11:52 am

    I am appalled by anti-Semitic stereotypes deployed by Rudoren. [warning: snark started]

    “Passionately ideological yet profoundly secular” is simply a verbose version of “fascist”.

    ” he travels the world collecting art and wine” sounds like deracinated rich person for whom the oppression of the natives as one of many hobbies.

    • chinese box
      August 19, 2012, 2:32 pm

      ” he travels the world collecting art and wine”

      —————————————————–

      It sounds like another case of putting lipstick on a pig, to use a phrase that’s recently come into popularity. If anything, I find people like this guy and Marc Zell even more vile than the other settlers. You could make an argument that the more garden variety settlers are mentally unbalanced brainwashed, or at least unwitting pawns in the Israeli government’s game, and therefore not 100% responsible for their actions. But can you make the same claim about the aforementioned types, with their pricey educations, fine taste in wine, etc.?

      • MHughes976
        August 19, 2012, 3:14 pm

        The main point that leaps to mind when hearing of someone who doesn’t just enjoy fine art and wine but travels the world collecting it is that he is seriously rich. The very rich do not usually carry guns in order to defend themselves or their well or ill gotten gains. Others, some no doubt quite thuggish, are paid to do that. The rich do quite often patronise the arts, though they may not (and we don’t have much proof in this case) be really cultured people. I have never thought that the settler movement was afflicted by poverty – they plainly have huge resources behind them. So that there are some individuals in this very advantageous position, doing the cultured thing, doesn’t shatter my stereotypes very much.

        • chinese box
          August 19, 2012, 4:20 pm

          @MHughes976

          I’ve always been under the impression that a lot of the settlers are people who couldn’t afford to live within the Green Line and moved to the West Bank to take advantage of government tax inducements to move there. That doesn’t absolve them of the moral responsibility for their choice to live on occupied territory, but I doubt most of them are wealthy. Many would probably prefer to live in Tel Aviv if they could afford it. As for the Hebron types, I have no idea of the state of their finances, or what planet they beamed down from.

  18. ColinWright
    August 19, 2012, 2:37 pm

    ” he travels the world collecting art and wine” sounds like deracinated rich person for whom the oppression of the natives as one of many hobbies.”

    So? For many wealthy Zionists, Israel is a hobby. That’s one of the worst things about it.

    In your usual ethnic conflict, we’re talking about the protagonists genuinely having everything at stake — or at least seeing it that way. The village or valley they’re killing for is their whole universe. That doesn’t justify their behavior, but it does at least help to make it understandable.

    So many of these mighty warriors for Zion don’t actually have to do this. They could easily let this go. It strokes their ego to adopt the cause, and it allows them to erect a more satisfying self-image, but they don’t really have to have it. Absent Israel, their lives would go on.

    • notatall
      August 20, 2012, 7:17 am

      Colin Wright: “Absent Israel, their lives would go on.”

      Yes, but think of those who would lose their winter homes on the Mediterranean coast, refuges from their real lives in London, Paris, Toronto and New York City.

  19. Kathleen
    August 19, 2012, 10:52 pm

    “rather than yielding” “disputed” Ruderon flying her Zionist flag. Who actually expects anything else from the New York Bloody Times? Really

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