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

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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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