Gazans are ‘ho-hum’ about the deaths of relatives — NYT’s Rudoren

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 121 Comments

(Click on the images below to view them larger.)

Rudoren Facebook

Jodi Rudoren, the New York Times correspondent who has been in Gaza for several days now, has an active Facebook page on which she has lately posted some critical observations about Palestinian culture that are reminiscent of Mitt Romney’s comments last July that got the former Republican presidential candidate in such hot water.

Rudoren’s comments include the statement that Israelis are more “traumatized” by projectile fire than Palestinians because Palestinians, having a culture of martyrdom, “have such limited lives than [sic] in many ways they have less to lose.” Here’s an excerpt of that post (screenshot above):

So great to hear from all these new people, and to see how FB makes the world such a shtetl. Thanks for your compliments and thoughtful questions. I’ll try to address a few and then am going to try to get some sleep…

In terms of Sarah Sanchez’s q about effects on civilians, the strange thing is that while death and destruction is far more severe in Gaza than in Israel, it seems like Israelis are almost more traumatized. The Gazans have a deep culture of resistance and aspiration to martyrdom, they’re used to it from Cast Lead and other conflicts, and they have such limited lives than in many ways they have less to lose. Both sides seem intensely proud of their military “achievements” — Israel killing Jabari and taking out so many Fajr 5s, Hamas reaching TA and Jeru. And I’ve been surprised that when I talk to people who just lost a relative, or who are gathering belongings from a bombed-out house, they seem a bit ho-hum.

Rudoren’s comment that Gazans who have just lost a relative “seem a bit ho-hum” in interviews is sadly reminiscent of the assertion by Israel supporters that Palestinians love their children less than Israelis do.

Rudoren Facebook

In another post (screenshot above), Rudoren ennobled western reporters over Middle East reporters in commenting on the Israeli attack on the Gaza office of Al Quds TV, a Lebanese organization:

On the media thing, Miriam Krezner: There are some local journalists here with real independence and integrity, and many of them partner with us foreigners and really make our work possible. There are also outlets, as there are throughout the Arab world, that are wholly own subsidiaries of the regimes. The spokesman for Al Quds television, the office hit hardest yesterday, talked about news coverage as part of the Palestinian struggle, which is certainly different from the Western media ethic, and that makes the Israeli assertion that these agencies are part of the government/military agenda more understandable, at least.

Rudoren is endorsing the Israeli governmental view of the matter. Washington Post:

A second strike hit the Lebanon-based Al Quds TV in a second media center, causing some damage. Al Quds TV is seen as sympathetic to Hamas…

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev alleged that both Al Aqsa and Al Quds “are integral parts of terrorist military organizations.”

He said those working for the two outlets “are not journalists by any meaning of the word.”

Her critique of Middle East journalists is a bit rich when you consider how important the New York Times was to supporting and furthering the disastrous war in Iraq, with reporting that turned out to be questionable or wrong, and editorials banging the drum that editors have since regretted.

Finally, Rudoren noted (below) that her “first tears in Gaza” were for a friend’s children back in Israel. In that instance, she linked an article on Slate by Dahlia Lithwick, about coming to Jerusalem to be with her parents, who live there:

Rudoren Facebook

Dahlia Lithwick is an incredible writer, and person. My first tears in Gaza came just now reading her piece about what it’s like to be in Jerusalem, where she brought her 2 sons for “a year in which their world became bigger and more complicated, since everything in their lives up until now had been measured out in equal units of comfort and Lego.”

Rudoren was posted to Israel last June with her family, and we have a couple of times now (here and here) commented that she seems culturally bound inside the Israeli experience. These observations in the Facebook shtetl support that view.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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121 Responses

  1. chinese box
    November 20, 2012, 7:49 pm

    OK…so how much longer do we keep giving Rudoren the benefit of the doubt?

    • seafoid
      November 21, 2012, 1:03 am

      ee cummings nailed the mental landscape of the Rudorens of the world in 1944

      link to homepages.wmich.edu

      ygUDuh

      ydoan
      yunnuhstan

      ydoan o
      yunnuhstand dem
      yguduh ged

      yunnuhstan dem doidee
      yguduh ged riduh
      ydoan o nudn

      LISN bud LISN

      dem
      gud
      am

      lidl yelluh bas
      tuds weer goin

      duhSIVILEYEzum

      • tear-stained uzi
        November 21, 2012, 12:31 pm

        Brilliant! Reads like a dimadok comment.

  2. Les
    November 20, 2012, 7:49 pm

    Who does she blame/credit for making the lives of Palestinians cheap?

  3. dimadok
    November 20, 2012, 7:59 pm

    Truth hurts, isn’t it?! How about counter arguments for Palestinians, especially in Gaza, not enforcing martyrdom. I’ll be very grateful to see some- it would show for me that not everything is a lost cause there.

    • Pamela Olson
      November 20, 2012, 9:00 pm

      I have a feeling you will end your days bitter and bewildered, like old folks in the South who wish Jim Crow were still around, long after the rest of the world has blessedly moved on.

    • seafoid
      November 21, 2012, 12:52 am

      Dim- do you realise how inane you sound? Will you condemn the cult of the idf cemetery on mt herzl and the day of the fallen, yom ha whatsitcalled while you condemn the gazans?

      • marc b.
        November 21, 2012, 10:47 am

        do you realise how inane you sound?

        no, he doesn’t. he can’t. the artificial mental landscape he’s built would collapse around him if he experienced a moment of objectivity. just like rudoren. she planted herself in the middle of the carnage and it has no more impact on her than if she were reporting from a movie set. her commentary is just mind numbingly ignorant and her reporting feckless. what skill set does she allegedly have that qualifies her as a journalist, in the true sense of the word, not as ‘journalist’ as propagandist? i don’t see any. she wears her biases proudly on her sleeve, and is a piss poor writer to boot. maybe weiss is waking up a bit. i don’t see any of the ‘saving the jewish soul’ schmaltz that is his usually part of his routine. rudoren is just presented unflinchingly as the revolting personality that she is. but then again, she’s managed to do most of the heavy lifting in that regard all on her own. and can we put to rest completely any hope of unbiased reporting from the NYT? anyone who posts a comment urging readers to give the next rudoren ‘a chance’ to prove themselves should lose posting privileges for a day.

      • Mooser
        November 25, 2012, 4:43 pm

        “do you realise how inane you sound?”

        Do you realise how significant it is that nobody (no other Zionist or Israeli, that is) ever tells Dimmy: “Look, bubele, you’re nopt helping, and you’re making us look bad into the bargain. Why don’t you back off.”

        One of the things which fascinates me about Mondoweiss is the relationship between the far-right Zionists, and the “liberal Zionists” and the “not-a-Zionists”.
        Funny how two of those feel not the slightest need to indicate they know Dimmy exists. Can’t say a word to him. And I thought silence indicated consent. Oh well, what do I know?

    • eljay
      November 21, 2012, 8:06 am

      >> How about counter arguments for Palestinians, especially in Gaza, not enforcing martyrdom. I’ll be very grateful to see some- it would show for me that not everything is a lost cause there.

      What a strange demand, coming from a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist even as he and his supremacist state continue to oppress, steal, destroy, cleanse, colonize and kill.

    • Basilio
      November 21, 2012, 8:18 am

      You do know there’s a blockade and siege of Gaza, a place with limited connections to the outside world. Thus, they have grounds to fight their oppressors. Maybe you wouldn’t fight your oppressors and would be happy in such a situation, but many human beings all over the world would not.

  4. aiman
    November 20, 2012, 8:07 pm

    Excellent post.

    Rudoren: ‘…which is certainly different from the Western media ethic.”

    Having read plentiful books on ‘objectivity’ let me just call this as dishonest as it gets. Proves beyond doubt how the so-called ‘mainstream media’ functions as subsidiary to a favoured state. There are only a few truth-tellers in journalism, many have been shunted as ‘beyond the pale’ by even the liberal-left establishment. The ‘Eastern’ media ethic, if one can call it that, is more honest and reliable than the Western media ethic. The so-called Western media ethic espouses dishonesty and politenesss at once. Why are Chris Hedges and John Pilger treated as pariahs while immoral slobs like Tom Friedman are tolerated? Why is it so rare when a journalist breaks from the mould and questions a dishonest spokesman is a pressroom? Exceptions are sources like mondoweiss and link to medialens.org.

  5. James
    November 20, 2012, 8:13 pm

    one can only imagine if she were to say ‘israelis’ have aspiration to martyrdom.

    on the other hand, maybe she is saying that if hamas were to refer to the new york times for example as part of israel( or the usa government/military agenda, it would be okay for them to bomb the new york times where she works.. bottom line – nothing she says makes any sense especially when you flip it around..

  6. yourstruly
    November 20, 2012, 8:15 pm

    what’s this about israelis being more traumatized by projectile fires, because palestinians, having a culture of martyrdom have less to lose? and the supposed palestinian “ho-hum about the death of loved ones?

    such racist jibberish is so remniscent of what was said about the japanese during ww ii – “death means nothing to them & “they’d gladly die for their emperor.” in wartime it’s part of the demonization of the enemy. here in america we’ve had more than our fill of such nonsense, but what’s striking here is that an american reporter (Rudoren) writes like she’s bought into the israeli demonization of the palestinian. distance/objectivity ms rudoren, where has it gone?

    • seafoid
      November 21, 2012, 12:50 am

      There is no shortage of English speaking gaza psychologists who can explain the mass trauma visited on the kids of the strip by israeli nihilism. Dehumanising the victims makes things simpler. It’s like breathing on a respirator.

    • G. Seauton
      November 21, 2012, 1:28 am

      “what’s this about israelis being more traumatized by projectile fires, because palestinians, having a culture of martyrdom have less to lose? and the supposed palestinian “ho-hum about the death of loved ones?

      such racist jibberish is so remniscent of what was said about the japanese during ww ii….”

      It’s not just racist gibberish — though it certainly is that, as well; it typifies U.S. journalists’ inability to know or understand anything beyond their narrow profession: they know only journalism, according to the current rules in force in America. So many know virtually nothing else.

      You might almost ask how one can even be human and think that the “Other” is less traumatized from being victimized because that “Other” has a less opulent life.

  7. just
    November 20, 2012, 8:16 pm

    It’s all there in black and white now. Thanks, Phil.

    Disgusting, Jodi.

    I just posted a link to a very good piece by EdwardTeller on another thread here.

    It also speaks to the bombing of the media:

    link to my.firedoglake.com

  8. aiman
    November 20, 2012, 8:18 pm

    “Finally, Rudoren noted (below) that her “first tears in Gaza” were for a friend’s children back in Israel.”

    That is permissible. In contrast when the humanist Barbara Plett of the BBC was traumatised by Arafat’s death, it raised hell and fury and led to the BBC commissioning “a wider ranging study into the BBC’s coverage of the Israeli-Palestine conflict”:

    link to guardian.co.uk

  9. David Doppler
    November 20, 2012, 8:20 pm

    The “ho-hum” description calls to mind Meriwether Lewis’s description of Sacagawea, as recounted in Ambrose, Undaunted Courage (260, 276), as showing a stoic lack of “normal” female emotion during the trip [without noticing that the affect could result from being the only Indian, the only woman, the only teenager among White men led by Lewis himself], then separately noting, without making any connection, that when she was suddenly rejoined with her long lost brother as they were crossing the continental divide, how overcome with emotion she was. We’ve all seen real human emotion among mourning Palestinians, so it’s hard to read this “ho-hum” passage without wondering at how insidious bias can be.

    • Philip Weiss
      November 20, 2012, 8:50 pm

      thank you for expanding the historical/ethnic frame. fabulous reference

      • David Doppler
        November 21, 2012, 1:46 am

        So she takes heart, doubles down, by calling you a blogger, who commits the sin of taking her out of context (I guess your not in her shtetl). Not her finest hour. Mondoweiss: first class; New York Times: not so much.

    • pineywoodslim
      November 21, 2012, 12:25 am

      From the opening chapter of the 1935 original version of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “The Little House on the Prairie”:

      “There the wild animals wandered and fed as though they were in a pasture that stretched much farther than a man could see, and there were no people. Only Indians lived there.”

      The language was altered in the 1952 version to read:

      “There the wild animals wandered and fed as though they were in a pasture that stretched much farther than a man could see, and there were no settlers. Only Indians lived there.”

    • Basilio
      November 21, 2012, 8:16 am

      There are many images and videos of Palestinians screaming with grief, but some have been numbed after many years of occupation to where it’s hard for them to express their emotions, but they still care. They’re deeply scarred, but she’s too much far away from human compassion to understand.

  10. dbroncos
    November 20, 2012, 8:33 pm

    How can Rudoren look at the grief and destruction all around her in Gaza and talk about it in such pedestrian terms: “less traumatized”, “…they’re used to it from Cast Lead and other conflicts”. What a shallow and hollow little person. Her lack of perception and concern for Palestinian life tell me alot about why she got the job.

  11. RoHa
    November 20, 2012, 8:54 pm

    And I bet they don’t feel pain the way we do, either.

  12. Pamela Olson
    November 20, 2012, 9:04 pm

    And she’s IN GAZA. She’s there. Right there. Under the freaking bombs (although since they’re nice Israeli bombs, she doesn’t mind).

    And still. Nothing.

    That’s plain terrifying if you ask me.

  13. MRW
    November 20, 2012, 9:06 pm

    Here’s your answer. She wrote it herself:

    So great to hear from all these new people, and to see how FB makes the world such a shtetl.

    She’s having an entre-nous conversation with members of the/her tribe. It’s Facebook. She doesn’t have to be a journalist.

    What’s instructive is that we get to see where she’s coming from, where she writes from au fond.

    • seafoid
      November 21, 2012, 12:58 am

      Web 2.0 tends towards mental shtetls and fractured audiences, self reinforcing echo chambers and information that is prejudice confirming . The climate change non debate in the us is the example par excellence. Tropical storm sandy must have been a liberal conspiracy. Israel is a very special shtetl separated from the world by hebrew.

    • jewishgoyim
      November 21, 2012, 9:49 am

      Yes. And what strikes me is what is “au fond”: sheer tribal stupidity.

      I mean above a certain level, I would have expected Israeli supporters to know they are mistreating Palestinians in order to expand territory and that they would not fall for this kind of racist crap.

      I mean I expect most high level Israel supporters to know they are f—- over the Palestinians and that it’s impossible to do that and look good at the same time. So they are in full damage control mode thinking and that the end justify the means.

      Thinking that a NYT reporter abandons herself to run of the mill racism to escape this inconvenient truth is a testament to how stupid tribal allegiance will make you. It shows how self righteousness takes roots in stupidity. I thought a NYT reporter would be too smart and too educated to fall for that.

      It makes me think I’m too kind to journalists in general. I think they are evil manipulators when most of them are manipulated, clueless tools. Most of them believe their entire career the crap they and their friends are spouting out. Most of them don’t even know they are vile servants to power.

  14. justicewillprevail
    November 20, 2012, 9:08 pm

    An absolute classic case of projecting your own feelings on to others. Because this naive and prejudiced ‘journalist’ lacks any feeling or empathy for others who belong to a different culture to her, she blithely and ignorantly declares that it must be ‘them’ who have none or ‘limited’ feeling, when it is crystal clear that is her who is an utter failure at understanding or assessing other people’s emotions and feelings. How do such incompetent, useless people get the jobs they do? No curiosity, no desire to understand, just a report of her own ignorance and shallowness as reflected in her perceptions of the world. It is hardly Palestinians who have ‘limited’ lives – despite their lack of material wealth they have far more understanding of the world around them than cosseted bimbos from the US who demonstrate the real limited vision of people who live in a superficial bubble – no wonder she can only empathise with those who exhibit the same traits as her, ie Israelis.

    • Castellio
      November 20, 2012, 10:11 pm

      Yes, I think you have it.

    • James
      November 20, 2012, 11:31 pm

      ..”How do such incompetent, useless people get the jobs they do?”

      hey, she works for the nyt, lol..what do you expect!

    • peeesss
      November 21, 2012, 3:13 am

      Well said, JWP. May I make a , possibly, simplistic comment about the racist FB entry of Rudoren. In my youth in Brooklyn the loudest mouth shouting profanities and jumping on the weak turned out to be the most “traumatized” “fearful ” when somebody actually stood up to them. It reminds me of the Israelis who sip their soft drinks in TelAviv or on the hilltops surrounding Gaza, laughing and ranting about “flatten the whole place”, “kill them all”. But a loud noise scares th s..t out of them . Of course , they will be treated for “shock”. To have this ” journalist” belittle , mock thePalestinian people ,the mothers and fathers as they pick up the pieces of their blown to bits children is disgraceful and sickening . That a human being can show such insensitivity and ignorance is dispicable. 1. 800,000 people “live” , I say that loosely, on this G0d forsaken land 50% under the age of 15. Those children have never scene a day of peace. of “normality”. They see their mothers , fathers, friends being blown to bits. Does Rudoren think, just possibly, these children might be “traumatized”, they might have mental/emotinal issues. And then to listen to these contemptible “spokesmen” and women for the State of Israel dismiss their suffering as their own fault, their parents fault, their need for “Matrydom.” Rudoren is in good company. And , of course, she brings us “all the news that fit to print. “

    • Shlomo
      November 21, 2012, 4:10 am

      It’s like “proving” British servants deserved their lower station because they never engaged in conversations with the swells they served during banquets.

  15. American
    November 20, 2012, 9:10 pm

    “”The spokesman for Al Quds television, the office hit hardest yesterday, talked about news coverage as part of the Palestinian struggle, which is certainly different from the Western media ethic, and that makes the Israeli assertion that these agencies are part of the government/military agenda more understandable, at least””

    ROTFFLOMFAO……different from the western media ethic? Really …the western media has ethics? Like you and your newspaper aren’t outlet organs for Israel? These people like Ruderon are so unconscious in their narcissistic tribal cocoon they have no idea how repugent they sound to others. Seriously, they are like drug addicts who are on reality and mood altering drugs all the time. I’ve never seen anything like it, like a communicable disease among them.

  16. foresomenteneikona
    November 20, 2012, 9:19 pm

    I guess Rudoren missed this:
    link to 972mag.com

    One can’t help wondering if Rudoren has actually talked to many Gazans since she arrived in Gaza.

  17. David Green
    November 20, 2012, 9:35 pm

    Jodi’s pathetic response:

    “A blogger just posted this incredibly unfair analysis of my Facebook posts, taking everything out of context to support his agenda. Luckily, he included fat excerpts of my posts, so people will be able to see how it was twisted; his analysis just does not stand up to scrutiny. There are many, many depressing things about this conflict, of course, deep-seeded depressing things about two peoples profound distrust and misunderstandings of each other. But a perhaps less important one that I find equally depressing is the way upper-class international intellectuals so blatantly and purposely distort in order to inflame. Sometimes, it really seems like no one in the world actually wants to solve it.”

    • aiman
      November 20, 2012, 10:17 pm

      Amazing that Jodi Rudoren prefaces her response by trying to discredit Phil as a “blogger” and ends on “upper-class international intellectual(s)”. As opposed to what? Her shining, noble “Western media ethic”? Everyone outside the stone-faced establishment is a “blogger” and distorter of Rudoren’s enlightened, profound thoughts.

      • pineywoodslim
        November 20, 2012, 11:26 pm

        That term, “upper-class international intellectual(s)” or very similar ones, historically was used to slander Jews.

        What’s next? Phil as a cosmopolitan?

    • Taxi
      November 21, 2012, 12:39 am

      LOL!

      Phil as International Man of Mystery Media – a “blogger”!!

    • G. Seauton
      November 21, 2012, 1:57 am

      I note that Jodi Rudoren, a supposedly literate, well-educated, and well-read person — a “journalist” even — doesn’t realize that the word is “deep-seated,” not “deep-seeded.” Really, this comment shouldn’t be considered pedantic: her error is clearly not a typo. It’s ignorance.

      So it’s now even less surprising that she has such ignorant views about Palestinians — the “Other.”

      • Mooser
        November 26, 2012, 12:10 pm

        Not even spel-chek can help you if you don’t know which word you want.

        Why, I bet Rudiren doesn’t know the difference between “drawing out” and “calling out”!

    • American
      November 21, 2012, 7:53 am

      “about two peoples profound distrust and misunderstandings of each other. “…….says Ruderon

      Their is no ‘misunderstanding’.
      Get off their land
      Quit stealing their resources.
      Quit raping their economy
      Quit blockading them

      I can count on one hand the number of times the media has mentioned WHY the I/P conflict exist.

    • Theo
      November 21, 2012, 8:12 am

      “upper class individual” ???

      Hallo?? Are we in England with its “upper class” snobs?
      Or in the USA where we do not have an “upper class” where you are born into?
      Better educated, yes, but upper class?

    • Edward Q
      November 21, 2012, 8:34 am

      No self-reflection from Rudoren.

    • dbroncos
      November 21, 2012, 10:38 am

      “… taking everything out of context to support his agenda.”

      So now Rudoren is concerned about context!?! That’s rich. Think for a moment, Jodi, about referring to your place in Gaza as part of a world shtetl:

      “So great to hear from all these new people, and to see how FB makes the world such a shtetl.”

      Is there a context in which such a metaphor for your place as a reporter in Gaza is acceptable? I suggest having a look at the recent history of shtetlments in Gaza.

  18. bilal a
    November 20, 2012, 9:35 pm

    Does this make Rudoren an enemy colloborator-propagandist, like Anwar Al Alwaki, and under Israeli American rules of engaagement, subject to drone missile attack by the government in Gaza (to protect lives) ?

    I hope not, I hope the Ghazans have a broader sense of freedom of the press and speech.

  19. Elliot
    November 20, 2012, 9:46 pm

    the Israeli assertion that these agencies are part of the government/military agenda more understandable,

    Israeli journalists know all about serving a government agenda. In such a small country, particularly considering its active censorship laws, any military reporter who wants access has to serve his government master.

    • Avi_G.
      November 20, 2012, 11:03 pm

      Nevermind access, Elliot.

      As you probably know, the military censor decides what gets out and what doesn’t. That office also decides what disinformation or propaganda must be put out during a state of emergency — Israel loves its emergency laws.

  20. bijou
    November 20, 2012, 9:51 pm

    Anyone with even the most rudimentary knowledge of psychology should be able to grasp that the enormity of the trauma of Cast Lead would cause dissociation, a natural human response to unbearable life-extinguishing experiences. Here is a relevant passage:

    Our instinctive reactions to an assault are fight or flight. However, neither works when children are abused by sadistic adults [or civilians by armies that bomb them in penned in areas - Ed.]. The only option left is to freeze, and take flight through the mind. A common initial coping mechanism is to escape the body. It is the beginning of clinical (amnestic) dissociation, which allows a shutting out of an unbearable reality. It is held unassimilated—in effect, frozen in time. A dissociated experience can be split up to store the emotions separate from bodily sensations, and the sensations separate from the knowledge of an event. In dissociating an experience, children split off a part of their self to hold the trauma. In some cases the dissociated aspects of self, immediately or over time, form their own and separate sense of self.

    A dissociated identity, like a dissociated experience, can hold the entire event or parts of it. Alters may hold only a bodily feeling, only an emotion, or only the knowledge. One hundred abusive/traumatic incidents may be held by one identity or by one hundred or more identities….

    link to hiddenhurt.co.uk

    The lack of responsiveness, if indeed her observations were correct and not seen through some Orientalist lens, most likely means they are more traumatized, not less.

    • Inanna
      November 20, 2012, 11:05 pm

      Not to mention that these events are so recent that people are either in shock or anger. Doesn’t she know anything about how people respond to traumatic events?

    • Pamela Olson
      November 21, 2012, 7:50 am

      “The lack of responsiveness, if indeed her observations were correct and not seen through some Orientalist lens, most likely means they are more traumatized, not less.”

      This is so obvious it truly boggles the mind how she could have interpreted it any other way.

    • tear-stained uzi
      November 21, 2012, 10:55 am

      Even apart from the psychological factors you note, what reasonable human would expect that traumatized and grieving Gazans would naturally just open up emotionally to a Jewish reporter from the NYT asking them how do they feel, having just lost their family? It’s clear now from Rudoren’s FB posts that she is culturally insensitive, a quality that her interview subjects would quickly detect, causing them to be guarded in their responses — a “ho-hum” affect, in her interpretation.

      Can you imagine what she would’ve written about Palestinians if, in their raw anguish, they had (G-d forbid!) replied with bitterness or anger? Rather than “aspiring to martyrdom,” we would’ve been treated to the whole “culture of hate” meme. Depressing.

  21. David Samel
    November 20, 2012, 10:11 pm

    Wow! Rudoren is making us all long for the good old days of Ethan Bronner! I’m sure she would have felt that blacks were more accustomed to misery than whites in apartheid SA. After all, they had less to lose. Even if she thought these things, how clueless could she be to say them in public, though I’m glad she did rather than keep her racist insensitivity secret. And how would she feel if the Gazans among whom she is living considered her to be a “wholly owned subsidiary” of the US or Israel or both, thereby making her an “understandable” target of military attack. They certainly could cite her facebook entries as evidence of her lack of independence and integrity. How disappointing! I didn’t have great hopes but I expected a lot better than this.

    • MRW
      November 21, 2012, 4:28 am

      @David, re: she would have felt that blacks were more accustomed to misery than whites in apartheid SA. Closer to home, it reminds me of the adults I heard arguing around me that blacks rioted during the civil rights era because it was hot and they didn’t have air-conditioning.
      =================

      Apparently Rudoren responded and she’s peeved at Phil’s cut & paste. David Green captured a graf at November 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm above. Her response shows she will never be an honest broker for the NYT/Americans. Can’t be. She’s embedded, with prejudice. Rudoren’s assignment is proof that the once-honest practice of newspapers placing only non-attached foreign correspondents in foreign countries was the morally correct and intellectually ethical route. I’ve been reading her communiques from Israel. She doesn’t have the balls to be a David Binder (NYT-43 yrs) or Chris Hedges (NYT-15 yrs), because she’s not the Other reporting from a foreign land.

      If you’re reading this Jodi, get your facts straight. For starters. Your readers are miles ahead of you. Then apply some moral insight.
      link to mondoweiss.net

    • tear-stained uzi
      November 21, 2012, 11:07 am

      “Even if she thought these things, how clueless could she be to say them in public, though I’m glad she did rather than keep her racist insensitivity secret. … How disappointing! I didn’t have great hopes but I expected a lot better than this.” — David Samel

      Agree totally. Better to know the truth, I suppose, but truly discouraging, nonetheless. Being an “improvement” over Ethan Bronner isn’t adequate.

  22. Inanna
    November 20, 2012, 10:14 pm

    I can’t believe such trash is being printed. She even got an NYT article out of it, where she used the lovely term ‘culture of martyrdom’.

    link to nytimes.com

  23. ckg
    November 20, 2012, 10:32 pm

    As’ad AbuKhalil weighs in

    A most racist piece by Jodi Rudoren, who is proving that she can be as zealous in propaganda for Israel as her other colleagues
    So Palestinians don’t cry and they don’t mourn their children. This is the kind of trash that colonialists used to write about the natives back in another century. “There were few if any visible tears at the intense, chaotic, lengthy funeral on Monday of Jamal and seven relatives…But the tone, far more fundamentalist than funereal, was also a potent sign of the culture of martyrdom that pervades this place, and the numbness that many here have developed to death and destruction…the mourners, except for a few close relatives inside the mosque, were neither overcome with emotion nor fed up…” Ms. Rudoren came close to maintaining that the Palestinians expressed gratitude to the Israeli army for killing their children.

  24. pineywoodslim
    November 20, 2012, 10:37 pm

    OT, but related–

    Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada does an excellent take down of the Al-Jazeera anchor during a live interview.

    • Avi_G.
      November 20, 2012, 11:48 pm

      In my personal opinion, I think the condition for Al-Jazeera English (AJE) to broadcast widely in the U.S. was for the network to significantly water-down its coverage, to make it more pro-Israel.

      The fact of the matter is that Al-Jazeera English (AJE) was broadcasting openly in Israel for several years while it was being vilified in the US.

      But with the Arab Spring, with new developments in the Persian Gulf emirates like Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, I started to notice that AJE’s coverage often veered into pro-U.S. propaganda.

      AIPAC fears a well-informed US public; for example, Ha’aretz can print reports critical of Israel’s conduct, but the NYT would never entertain printing similar reports.

      And we’re seeing the effects of that these days with such blatant pro-Israel propaganda on AJE.

      • MRW
        November 21, 2012, 12:36 pm

        @Avi,

        I remember reading about three or four years ago that an Israeli bought AJE. An overseas paper reported it. It was before the Arab Spring happened in Feb/11. I didn’t download it so I have nothing to refer to. I read “bought.” Could it have been “invested in”?

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        November 21, 2012, 1:57 pm

        AJE’s coverage of Gaza is nowhere near as good as it was in the last Gaza war, but it’s still way better than any of the other English language channels. Last time, they had Ayman Moyhedin and Shireen Tadros reporting with great bravery from inside Gaza. Not saying their current reporters aren’t doing a great job, but they are not as passionate yet calm as these two were.

        BTW I heard that Moyheldin has since joined a US channel (NBC I think) and has watered down his journalism considerably, in the interests of meeting a US channel’s idea of ‘balance’ of course. Anybody have more info?

      • Hostage
        November 21, 2012, 10:41 pm

        I remember reading about three or four years ago that an Israeli bought AJE.
        Haim Saban, the Executive Chairman of Univision, and Saban Entertainment brands, like the Power Rangers considered trying to buy a stake in Al Jazeera, but I think that’s as far as it went.

        link to haaretz.com

        Egypt-born Jew looks to buy 50% of Al-Jazeera

        Haim Saban first showed a reported interest in the Doha -based network after a visit in 2004.

      • Cliff
        November 22, 2012, 5:05 am

        I read that Haim Saban wanted to buy a ton of shares in AJ.

        It’s not as if AJ is always going to last. Inevitably it will become Establishment propaganda. Too much pressure.

  25. Mayhem
    November 20, 2012, 10:55 pm

    Surely many people around here are aware of Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ which postulates human needs as being ordered in a prepotent hierarchy? A pressing need would need to be largely satisfied before someone would give any attention to the next highest need.
    That is all Rudoren is effectively saying, so I don’t understand the fuss.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      November 21, 2012, 2:00 pm

      Please explain precisely where Rudoren’s postulated ‘culture of martyrdom’ fits into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

      I would have thought the two blatantly contradict each other, no?

      • Mooser
        November 25, 2012, 5:03 pm

        MDM: You don’t think the little contretemps at Masada settled the question of a “culture of martyrdom”?
        And what about Palestinians consistently referring to all the Palestinians killed in the Holocaust as martyrs? No, they’re gonna have to own that one, huh?

  26. piotr
    November 20, 2012, 10:56 pm

    May be Israeli ARE more traumatized by a single missile that Gazans by the rain of death.

    Having career of “town beat”, Rudoren is perhaps not exposed to the fact that different cultures show emotions differently, and verbalize differently, so one has to take allowance for that. However, Israeli do seem to be unusually hysterical about security threats.

    • RoHa
      November 20, 2012, 11:32 pm

      “May be Israeli ARE more traumatized by a single missile that Gazans by the rain of death.”

      Not just Israeli humans.
      link to jpost.com

    • tear-stained uzi
      November 21, 2012, 11:22 am

      I’ve seen many a sympathetic Western ‘news’ story, also back during Cast Lead, about large numbers of terrified Israelis being treated for shock; not from injury or blood-loss, but from fright.

      The implication in such articles is always that Israeli Jews simply feel and experience life much more richly than do Arabs; they are the “civilized man,” after all, surrounded by brutal “savages.”

  27. Avi_G.
    November 20, 2012, 11:01 pm

    This is NOT exclusive to the NYT.

    There appears to be a concerted effort to put out such false claims about Palestinians

    Tonight, the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen, usually a levelheaded, knowledgeable and professional journalist who knows and understands the Middle East very well, used in his report a similar phrase, “Culture of martyrdom,” he said.

    This indicates a directive from the top, most likely the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    The directive seeks to prepare public opinion — nay to justify — the mass killing of innocent civilians in Gaza.

    This also hints at the likelihood that the ongoing talks to reach a truce will fail, intentionally, mind you.

    Israel will emerge and announce that the two parties did not reach an agreement due to Hamas’s reluctance and intransigence.

    Israel intends for such a development to be a public relations coup.

    ————————————————–

    For those interested in the context of Bowen’s report, he was talking about a Palestinian female child whose father and other members of the family were killed by an Israeli airstrike.

    The young girl was not crying so Bowen pontificated that her lack of grief was due to a “culture of martyrdom”.

    Apparently, reporters are now psychologists, too. Was the child in shock? Was the child still in denial? Not everyone deals the same with grief.

    But that didn’t factor into Bowen’s statement. He was merely interested in making the “Culture of martyrdom” statement.

    • MHughes976
      November 21, 2012, 5:10 am

      I didn’t see Bowen’s report but the attitude he describes seems not unlike the attitude of Londoners under the bombing raids that was publicised and romanticised in 1940.

    • MRW
      November 21, 2012, 5:40 am

      @Avi,

      Maybe Murdoch’s tweet worked.

    • Kathleen
      November 21, 2012, 8:06 am

      Seems like this “the Palestinians like it, they want to be beaten” promotion is permeating the MSM right now. You know the neighbors and relatives of a beaten woman “she asked for it” phenomena. Richard Engel going with in on Rachel Maddow’s last night.

      Very little about the ever expanding illegal settlements crimes being committed in the West Bank. Well on Up with Chris Hayes..Sunday..t

  28. gamal
    November 20, 2012, 11:15 pm

    how can one forget Lieutant Wynkoop (sp?) in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, being astonished when an Indian (sic) chief shed a tear at the burial of his daughter, good to see that some Americans are keeping the old ways alive, as Chomsky has remarked that the lower orders feel no pain is a constant of racist discourse. I like the “elite” as pejorative, as if she is writing for horny handed sons of the soil, the common people who are so assured of their greater humanity, so what fraction of an actual human being are Ahmad and Leila, funny how an old vicarious trauma can explain so much and a live real happening before our eyes trauma is not even incidental. I can remember an NGO person working in an African warzone explaining to me that his charges had weird behavior which he ascribed to culture rather than trauma and also explained to me that his NGO did not offer psychological services as Africans didnt need them, very hip guy, tattoes and piercings, expensive hair cut, like a cyborg i thought.

    Nobody lives forever, Memento Mori, as the christian mystics used to say, as aid to compassion and courage. Have you seen the interview between Rantisi and a young blond American girl who asks him about fear of death and the threat that hung over him, she wont accept his very clear and simple answer. Perhaps they are all fatalistic, I am sure someone is going to say that all Muslims believe in predetermination.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      November 21, 2012, 11:41 am

      I’m not sure it’s even a religous thing, though it may play a role.

      Fact is, people like Rantissi live with the shadow of death hanging over them at all times. That’s part of the job description. They know Israel could (and did) unleash a missile over his head at any time. So they have to be stoical about it, if they weren’t, they would have chosen some more mundane line of work. Same with any high-ranking militants, anywhere in the world. They know they could be ‘taken out’ in an instant. They have to live with the risk, so no point fretting over it.

  29. Donald
    November 20, 2012, 11:28 pm

    “And I’ve been surprised that when I talk to people who just lost a relative, or who are gathering belongings from a bombed out house, they seem a bit ho-hum.”

    It makes one appreciate the late Anthony Shadid all the more. I defended her months ago, but the kindest thing one could say here is that this is a pretty stupid thing to say. Maybe Gazans don’t want to open up to her.

  30. Avi_G.
    November 20, 2012, 11:29 pm

    By the way, despite the fact that I’m geographically very far away from that conflict and despite the fact that the Israeli attack on Gaza in 2009 tore me up to emotional pieces at the time, this time around I feel as though I cannot bear to get too worked up about what is happening on the ground right now.

    It’s a form of defense, of self-preservation. I feel as though I am protecting my soul from long-term damage. In addition, I am too tired, emotionally, to deal YET AGAIN with another Cast Lead murder of hundreds of children and innocent lives.

    I hope I’m not coming across as conceited, but if an outside observer can feel that way, I can only imagine how Palestinians feel after 45 years of pummeling and SIX whole years of living in an open air prison courtesy of Israel.

    People get tired, even from grief. So they may cry for an hour, or a day, or a week. But at some point, one can become so exhausted that he or she cease to cry.

    • Sumud
      November 21, 2012, 1:08 pm

      I hope I’m not coming across as conceited, but if an outside observer can feel that way, I can only imagine how Palestinians feel after 45 years of pummeling and SIX whole years of living in an open air prison courtesy of Israel.

      You’re not Avi. Sometime I just can’t bring myself to look at another video of some zionist screaming “death to arabs” or some IDF soldiers terrorising the locals or some Palestinian man or women holding up the shattered corpses of their dead children, courtesy IDF. I berate myself because how can it even begin to compare to what it must be like to live under the Israeli jackboot??

      On reflection I think any comparison is pointless. It is one kind of horrible to live under Israeli occupation, and an altogether different kind of horrible to constantly be witness to it.

      I’d like to see Rudoren ‘live’ in Gaza for 6 years and see just how she feels about Israel and Palestine by then.

      • bintbiba
        November 26, 2012, 8:17 am

        Avi G, Sumud, My tears are flowing…..over and over …..
        There but for the Grace of God go I..
        Your humanity graces these pages.

    • American
      November 21, 2012, 4:09 pm

      “People get tired, even from grief. So they may cry for an hour, or a day, or a week. But at some point, one can become so exhausted that he or she cease to cry.”…Avi_G

      Nothing wrong with you, that is what happens. People who have suffered lose after lose of life or anything else important don’t stop caring or grieving, they just learn to carry it inside in a private place or they couldn’t go on.

  31. ahmed
    November 20, 2012, 11:31 pm

    While I admire that Rudoren is actually in Gaza, she appears unable to shed her biases. Her shameful article on the Dalu massacre makes basically these same points: there are no tears, victims are hailed as martyrs, a militaristic culture, cries of la illaha and allahu akbar

    link to mobile.nytimes.com

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      November 21, 2012, 11:48 am

      And remember that she’s IN Gaza. She’s attending the funerals and speaking (or her translator is) to ‘actual’ people, as she describes them. And yet she cannot see the Palestinians as real human beings, with thoughts and feelings not so very different from hers. After all, they don’t have fancy houses or play Billy Joel at their weddings, so they MUST be only half-human, eh?

      If this woman, who isn’t even Israeli, can show such callousness after having experienced their suffering first-hand, it’s hardly surprising how so many Israelis seem to think Palestinians have less value than their pets.

  32. ahmed
    November 20, 2012, 11:37 pm

    The new nyt public editor Margaret Sullivan is very proactive; we should write in.

  33. Avi_G.
    November 21, 2012, 12:05 am

    I should also add that it seems to me, at least from an Israeli PR perspective, that Israel understands and realizes that the Human Shields schtick doesn’t work anymore.

    So to explain away Palestinian deaths, especially of young Palestinians, Israel needs to claim that they ASPIRE to become martyrs. One can find similar rhetoric online at various websites and in the comments sections of various YouTube videos; the argument is that when a Palestinian sees an opportunity to die, he will jump into the line of fire, onto an unexploded bomb, or charge at an Israeli military checkpoint in order to accomplish one single thing, become a martyr.

    If Israel can imprint that type of spin into the minds of viewers and readers around the world, then it can go on killing as it sees fit.

    Israeli Hasbara would have one believe that Palestinians are magnetized and that they cannot help but to be naturally drawn toward danger, weapons, or bombs.

    This is the new spin that came out of Tel-Aviv a mere day after Israel killed an entire family in Gaza, an incident that received worldwide coverage and further tarnished Israel’s already tarnished image.

  34. radii
    November 21, 2012, 12:56 am

    Rudoren did not have her eyes opened by spending that much time in Gaza … and she thinks she’s being objective (or skillfully hiding her bias) … instead she has had her bias hardened and she seems more shrill … tribalism at its worst

  35. Taxi
    November 21, 2012, 1:23 am

    Jimmy Carter: ‘Israeli Policy Is to Confiscate Palestinian Territory’

    link to readersupportednews.org

  36. anonymouscomments
    November 21, 2012, 1:34 am

    considering there is daily “collateral damage”, is it wrong to hope that someone indifferent to the gazan plight, become a part of said plight?

    really, i consider all life equal, rudoren’s as well. but if another child can die, or her…. which death would actually alter the landscape of the conflict?

    hmmm…..

    of course i’m sure she spends >95% of her time in the gaza “green zone” around internationals with limited/no bombings, perhaps with a GPS beacon for the IDF for all i know.

    [let me reiterate, i consider all life equal, i even raise combatants to the same level as civilians, on both sides; each lost life is a tragedy.... and assuming such, when holding up two equal lives.... which life lost would alter the landscape of the conflict immeasurably, and which life lost would have *no* effect on the conflict, and simply be one of hundreds....]

  37. iResistDe4iAm
    November 21, 2012, 2:42 am

    Apologists for Israeli occupation/colonisation cannot rationally justify perpetual war crimes, so they typically resort to immoral and racist justifications.

    Unfortunately for Israeli apologists, they must justify every forcible eviction, every home demolition, every uprooting of crops, every depopulation of a village, every revocation of residency, every deportation, every denial of travel for medical treatment, every arbitrary arrest, every kidnapping of a child from bed, every torture, every imprisonment without trial, every summary execution without trial, every curfew, every roadblock, every checkpoint, every impenetrable wall & fence, every walled-in ghetto, every segregated colony & road, every theft of land/water/other resource, every banned import & export, every act of collective punishment, every siege & blockade, every bomb, every missile, every cluster & phosphorus munition, every blitzkrieg, every massacre, every dead man woman & child…

  38. NickJOCW
    November 21, 2012, 3:42 am

    This is complete nonsense. In fact it’s worse than nonsense, it’s wilful stupidity. We all have a capacity to adjust to our environment. I recall London during the blitz, not just the bombs that drove us to shelter in the subways but the constant state of alertness. These threats were not tolerated because Londoners had less to lose but because, like Palestinians today, they were strong and resilient and life must go on.

    • NickJOCW
      November 21, 2012, 4:00 am

      By the way, Hitler’s purpose with the Blitz was to destroy London, demoralise us and force us to come to terms. The word blitz is a shortened form of the German word blitzkrieg, a swift, sudden military offensive. If it sounds familiar perhaps it should be dusted down to describe these indiscriminate Israeli attacks.

      • MHughes976
        November 21, 2012, 9:17 am

        I wasn’t there but I was brought up to be proud of the stoical patience with which the Blitz was met. Ms. Rudoren’s later remarks include the word ‘stoical’, I see, which has resonances opposite to those of ‘cult’ – rational patience vs. crazed indifference.

  39. jon s
    November 21, 2012, 5:17 am

    Breaking news: explosion on a bus in Tel Aviv.

    • Woody Tanaka
      November 21, 2012, 9:11 am

      Breaking news: shit has been exploding for a week in Gaza. There’s a war on and you people don’t spare civilians, judging by the numbers, so why do you expect your victims to spare busses?

  40. MRW
    November 21, 2012, 5:28 am

    There are also [news] outlets, as there are throughout the Arab world, that are wholly own [sic] subsidiaries of the regimes. The spokesman for Al Quds television, the office hit hardest yesterday, talked about news coverage as part of the Palestinian struggle, which is certainly different from the Western media ethic, and that makes the Israeli assertion that these agencies are part of the government/military agenda more understandable, at least.
    [Rudoren quote]

    A tweeter excoriated Anderson Cooper late Monday night:
    “@andersoncooper Report a fair story. Report facts. Why not talk about the rockets being fired FROM Gaza?!?”

    Anderson answered:
    “@Pamela_ Weiss perhaps spend less time tweeting about coconut flan and more time actually following the news.” (Cooper checked her tweets.)

    It’s as if the NYT has sent a Pammy to Tel Aviv. Ms. Rudoren, if you’re reading this, a reminder:
    UNESCO document: “Press freedom: safety of journalists and impunity.”
    link to unesco.org

    Further, from the French UN website:

    2. UNSCR 1738

    At the instigation of France and Greece, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution S/RES/1738 (2006) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict aimed at preventing acts of violence against journalists.

    Resolution 1738, which is the first Security Council text devoted to the protection of journalists in armed conflicts, expresses the Council’s concern regarding the lack of adherence to existing rules and recalls the relevant body of legislation applicable. It therefore reaffirms the basic principles of the protection of civilians in UNSCRs 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1674 (2006) and states that this protection includes journalists, media professionals and associated personnel.

    So the purpose of UNSCR 1738 is not to fill a gap in the law but to remind parties to a conflict (states and non-state entities) of their obligations with respect to protection, prevention and the fight against impunity.

    UNSCR 1738 also provides for the UN Secretary-General to devote a section of his reports on the protection of civilians in periods of armed conflict to the safety of journalists.

    This resolution has become the point of reference for the protection of journalists and has been cited in a number of Security Council resolutions on this issue, in particular UNSCRs 1910 on Somalia (2010), 1973 on Libya (2011) and 1974 on Afghanistan (2011).

  41. Hostage
    November 21, 2012, 7:28 am

    DALLAS (AP) — A freight train slammed into a parade float carrying wounded veterans on Thursday, killing four people and injuring 17 others as the float drove through a West Texas railroad crossing on its way to an honorary banquet, authorities said. link to dfw.cbslocal.com

    Why are we parading around wounded or disabled vets, except to pander to our own “culture of martyrdom” right here in the US? For the past decade, every time some member of Congress would suggest putting an end to one of our wars of aggression, the majority would put an end to the debate by advancing the ludicrous proposition that we needed “to stay the course” in order to “support the troops” (who ended up being killed, maimed, or traumatized in the subsequent fighting).

    That mentality is on display whenever the US uses its veto in the Security Council or Congress adopts resolutions or military assistance bills to give Israel a free hand to carry-out sustained attacks on neighboring civilian populations. The problem originates right at our own doorstep. There’s no need to blame the poor victims in Gaza.

  42. Dan Crowther
    November 21, 2012, 7:42 am

    NY Times vs The New Yorker: Who ya got?

  43. pnkfloid
    November 21, 2012, 7:51 am

    “which is certainly different from the Western media ethic,” – yes, ha, ha, ha, very funny Jodi. Now tell us about the ethic of journalists embedding with the US military and the oh so high quality journalism it produces.

  44. Kathleen
    November 21, 2012, 7:54 am

    Her statements are right in line with Netanyahu’s and other present and former Israeli lives who only mention the death of Israeli children over and over again but NEVER Palestinian children etc. Her words reflect this elitism and this disregard for Palestinians lives that is pervasive amongst Israeli’s and US media outlets.

    I have never bought one New York Times after they printed Judy “I was fucking right” Miller’s lies about Iraq. And their more subtle push for an attack on Iran. Never give them another dime. New York Bloody Times.

    Phil last night (Tuesday) on Rachel Maddow’s Richard Engel was selling the idea that Gazans would like to see Israel invade on the ground. More of this “they have less to lose” promotion idea. More “ho hum” As if MSNBC or Rachel Maddow etc would ever show the world the sobbing Palestinian parents, the Palestinian baby burnt to death, or those who have lost limbs etc in this latest slaughter by Israel. Just so “ho hum”

    Ho Hum
    link to google.com
    link to washingtonpost.com

    We all know Rachel Maddow etc barely ever whispers about the human rights crimes being committed by Israel. Well let’s just be honest…Never. But will say on Maddow’s program last night they actually put up a map for a few seconds that had the settlements on the map. Just for a few seconds

    This is also the link to watch Engel pushing the idea that Palestinians in the Gaza would like it if Israel invaded on the ground in the Gazahttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/

    • tear-stained uzi
      November 21, 2012, 12:06 pm

      I can’t watch him — he is such a smug Zionist tool. He was on Chris Hayes’ show once and he really dragged down the intellectual level of the conversation with his constant immature snarkiness about Arabs and Persians, not to mention his aggressive, me me me attention-whoring.

      Richard Engel, Zio-diva.

  45. Pamela Olson
    November 21, 2012, 8:00 am

    Jodi has responded more at length — some interesting places where she backtracks, and some interesting places where she doesn’t. And it’s interesting what she says here that was in no way implied by her comments or articles. Almost kind of a split personality forming (as it must, when one is forced into not believe one’s own eyes because it would be bad for one’s career). I’m glad Mondoweiss was at least able to shake her up for a moment. Maybe one day the contradiction will become too much to bear.

    From Jodi Rudoren:

    Good morning from Gaza City, where the night was quiet after that huge, close bomb that blew out windows at Al Deira and especially the Beach hotel. Thank you for a round of very thoughtful, honest, smart although certainly tough to read comments about my FB posts and Mondoweiss’s critique of them, which also got tons of Twitter traffic overnight. I’d like to try and address some of it, though I know some people would say I can only make it worse.

    First, a note about tone. My feeling is that my posts on social media have to adhere to the same fairness standards as my work in the NYT itself, but not to the same tone or content standards as I try to bring a bit of reflection/behind the news. So while people are right that I would absolutely never use a term like ho-hum in the newspaper in this situation, I might well use a different word, and probably many more of them, to describe what I have experienced as a kind of numbness and, frankly, strength in the face of all that is happened to the people here. Steadfast probably would have been a much better choice.

    I did not at all mean to imply that people were indifferent to the suffering, or uncaring, or unfeeling — they are passionate about their cause, deeply connected to the land being destroyed, with incredibly close extended families loved and honored above all else. What I meant was that their reaction to the literal things that had been happening this week was (mostly) outwardly calm, even, stoic. There is little panic and little public display of emotion (whether sadness or anger) that you might see in other cultures. Talking to people has made me think this is a mix of resignation, routine and resistance, along with a religious viewpoint that views death in this context as a sacrifice, of course, but also a worthy one. [Um... did you mean to forget to mention trauma beyond anything you can begin to imagine?]

    Regarding the “limited lives” comment: Virtually every Gazan I met in my trips before this one as well as this week have talked about the ways Israel’s occupation/blockade/airstrikes have limited their lives — their mobility, their educational and economic opportunity, their electricity, their futures, their hopes. The incredible Andalib Shehadeh I profiled recently described this as the “psychological siege.” This is one of the main complaints about the situation I hear here (and also in the West Bank, though less and in a different way; mobility being the main focus). I truly did not mean to judge their lives against mine or anyone else’s, I was (trying to) speak of their own assessments.

    I also think that the poverty, import limits and the cycles of loss and violence have made many people less attached to material things than people in say, Brooklyn or Tel Aviv are, so that leaving a small, not very personalized home that UNWRA built for you after yours was destroyed in an attack four years ago — I’m talking about an actual person I met over the weekend, moving out after a bombing three houses down the road that killed a neighbor — maybe hits less hard than….than I don’t know what, actually, but I also didn’t mean to suggest this was a bad thing. On the contrary, people here (like some in other places, of course) seem to very much embrace the notion in the Billy Joel song “You’re My Home” (incidentally, my wedding song) that it is the people that make the home not the stuff.

    One of the main themes I am hearing from people on the street here is about how this escalation is different from others, more like an actual war, because of the pain Gaza has been able to inflict on Israel, the paralysis to society in the south and the shock of sirens in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. While the death counts and destruction tallies are lopsided by any objective measure, Gazans (and I) see what a powerful impact the rockets are having in Israel even when they do not hit anything or hurt anybody (and of course many have). There is no way to measure such impact, of course, or compare it, but I think in terms of the pressures on the leaderships of the two places to come to terms, the pressures from within their populations, I think Gazans may be willing to yet take a lot more in exchange for their aspirations for freedom, the end of the blockade, a state. The cultural, political, sociological roots of this are truly complex, but unraveling them and explaining them feels like a part of the job.

    As for my accusation that Weiss had taken the posts out of context, that was wrong. What I should have said was that he provided his own inaccurate context or embellishment, rather than doing what any good journalist — any decent person? — would have, which is to ask what I meant.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      November 21, 2012, 9:19 am

      OK, where to start?

      ”I did not at all mean to imply that people were indifferent to the suffering, or uncaring, or unfeeling ”

      Whether you ‘meant to’ or not, that’s precisely what you did.

      ”What I meant was that their reaction to the literal things that had been happening this week”

      WTF is a ‘literal thing’? Is it differnt from an ‘illiterate thing’?

      ”There is little panic and little public display of emotion (whether sadness or anger) that you might see in other cultures”

      Oh yeah?link to mondoweiss.net

      ” I’m talking about an actual person I met over the weekend,”

      An actual person? So Palestinians are ‘actual’ people now? Well, that’s progress. Of sorts.

      ”moving out after a bombing three houses down the road that killed a neighbor — maybe hits less hard than….than I don’t know what, actually,”

      You don’t know what, actually? So why should anyone listen to you if by your own admittance you don’t know what?

      ”the Billy Joel song “You’re My Home” (incidentally, my wedding song) that it is the people that make the home not the stuff.”

      Aww…… cute. Oh, and given that you’re (in theory) a war reporter, not a wedding planner, why would anyone care what song was played at your wedding?

      ”One of the main themes I am hearing from people on the street here is about how this escalation is different from others, more like an actual war,because of the pain Gaza has been able to inflict on Israel”

      ‘An actual war”??? Yeah I reckon it is. So for you ‘war’ only begins when someone in Tel Aviv had their beach party interuppted? Glad we got that straight.

      ”the paralysis to society in the south and the shock of sirens in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.”

      ‘the shock of sirens’ eh? Not as big a shock as having your home blown up with you and your family inside it.

      ” Gazans (and I) see what a powerful impact the rockets are having in Israel even when they do not hit anything or hurt anybody (and of course many have). ”

      Oh, spare me! ”Gazans” are too busy digging through the rubble of their destroyed home, burying their dead and fleeing the next indiscriminate bombing to worry about the ‘powerful impact” rockets are having in causing ‘shock’ among Israelis.

      ”The cultural, political, sociological roots of this are truly complex”

      For once, I agree with you. It is indeed complex. Which is why a sheltered, culturally narcissistic and profoundly biased individual like you should never have been let within a million miles of this story.

      I reckon the JP’s ‘story’ on Israeli pets being ‘freaked out’ by sirens would be more on your level.

      Oh, and BTW, Ms Rudoren, there’s no such people as ”Gazans”. They’re Palestinians.

    • Chu
      November 21, 2012, 10:45 am

      I’m not sure she can walk-it-back on calling Weiss a upper-class international intellectual blogger and then try to apologise. Credit her for the effort,
      but the damage is done.

      Remind me why people use Facebook? Jodi should delete her account.

    • Mooser
      November 25, 2012, 5:12 pm

      “any decent person? — would have, which is to ask what I meant.”

      Ah yes, ‘indecency’ must be the only motivation for assuming you, as a, well, you know, writer, meant what you wrote. And know how to write what you meant. Now really, is that ‘indecency’, or just a simple case of asking too much?

    • Mooser
      November 25, 2012, 5:15 pm

      “As for my accusation that Weiss had taken the posts out of context, that was wrong.”

      ROTFLMSJAO!! ‘It was wrong, but since making the “out-of-context” accusation gambit is always my first move, I decided to stick with tradition. And you know what comes next, right?’

      • Mooser
        November 26, 2012, 12:18 pm

        Is this cage match really fair? I mean, we have a little girl from the Shtetl up against an international upper-class intellectual.

  46. eljay
    November 21, 2012, 8:00 am

    >> … while death and destruction is far more severe in Gaza than in Israel, it seems like Israelis are almost more traumatized. The Gazans have a deep culture of resistance and aspiration to martyrdom, they’re used to it from Cast Lead and other conflicts, and they have such limited lives than in many ways they have less to lose.

    Makes sense:
    - Israelis are generation-to-generation, fear-scarred Chosen People – a tiny blue Jewish drop in a sea of Islamic green – who have collectively survived the Holocaust, returned to the Promised Land and made the desert bloom!
    - The Gazans are just Arabs with nothing but limited lives, a culture of resistance and a Nakba that doesn’t even come close to being as good as “The Bestest Genocide Ever!”(c) Hell, they can’t even love their children more than they hate Israelis!

  47. Theo
    November 21, 2012, 8:05 am

    ” ….it seems the israelis are more traumatized…”

    Bullies, who for a long time terrorize their neighborhood, usually are surprised when they get punched out by a smaller and weaker foe. They always believe noone will ever dare to oppose them, until it happens.

  48. Kathleen
    November 21, 2012, 8:07 am

    “former Israeli leaders”

  49. Edward Q
    November 21, 2012, 8:37 am

    Accounts like this make me think of Soviet Apparatchiks uttering party-approved inanities. The NYT is America’s Pravda.

  50. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    November 21, 2012, 9:02 am

    Let’s face it, the NYT has about as much value on the Middle East as Pravda had on the USSR. And this spoiled brat says Arab journalists are unethical? Ha ha! No really, it’s not funny – journalists (real journalists, not trash like Rudoren) have died because for Israel, Palestinians – ALL Palestinians – might as well have a big target sign on their heads.

    Her article is racism, pure and simple. The same nasty, insidious tripe that has characterised Zionism right from the start. ‘We’ll never forgive the Arabs for making us kill their children”, ”the Palestinians love death but we love life” and all the rest of the schlock which, over the years, has dehumanised Palestinians and given the impression that unlike peaceful, reasonable and oh-so-Western Israelis, they do not love their children as much as they love ‘martyrdom’, whatever that is.

    It’s actually quite evil, when you think about it.

  51. Woody Tanaka
    November 21, 2012, 9:05 am

    The funny thing is remembering when the NYT switched out the zio mouthpiece Bronner for this woman and how everyone hoped that this one would be less a fully-owned subsidiary of zionism, Inc. Ha ha. I guess we’re the fools for believing that the NYT would ever anyone but a racist hack in that post. Afterall, as the zionist-booster-club newsletter and Nakba cheerleader, NYT knows who pulls its strings and it ain’t justice or the Palestinians.

    • W.Jones
      November 21, 2012, 7:31 pm

      Woody,

      Even Fox News claims it is “balanced.” Why should Rudoren’s self-image settle for less?

      Hal

  52. kalki
    November 21, 2012, 10:29 am

    Her prejudices simply run too deep, so deep in fact that all she is trying, or able, to do is obliterate the humanity of the other side in her effort to make her views sound credible. There is desperation running all the way through her writing (I don’t want to use a more appropriate but rude word) and I am fearful of the future, not just in the ME, but in the wider world. We are going back in time in more ways than we are imagining and it is indeed a frightening prospect when the vastly more powerful live on the brink of insanity.

  53. MRW
    November 21, 2012, 1:32 pm

    Here’s a Ho-Hum photo.
    link to i.huffpost.com

  54. Taxi
    November 21, 2012, 1:50 pm

    Call me the goof from hell but I sure as shucks am enjoying this cat fight!

    And I don’t wanna hear any purring from you Phil!

    I wanna hear you go khkhkhkhkhkhkhkh!

    • seafoid
      November 21, 2012, 3:29 pm

      I think Ms Rudoren just swallowed a fur ball.

    • aiman
      November 21, 2012, 6:39 pm

      Haha Phil is just ‘the upper class cat’ doing his daily rounds around roofs and hedges. He likes to walk among people. Rudoren is the jealous cat that lives in the glass tower high above and does not know the world and scoffs at Phil for his alleged waywardness. Rudoren then chides the songbirds outside.

  55. DICKERSON3870
    November 21, 2012, 9:53 pm

    RE: “Rudoren’s comment that Gazans who have just lost a relative ‘seem a bit ho-hum’ in interviews is sadly reminiscent of the assertion by Israel supporters that Palestinians love their children less than Israelis do.” ~ Weiss

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [Learned helplessness]:

    [EXCERPT] Learned helplessness is the condition of a human or animal that has learned to behave helplessly, failing to respond even though there are opportunities for it to help itself by avoiding unpleasant circumstances or by gaining positive rewards. Learned helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses may result from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation.[1] Organisms which have been ineffective and less sensitive in determining the consequences of their behavior are defined as having acquired learned helplessness.[2]
    The American psychologist Martin Seligman’s foundational experiments and theory of learned helplessness began at the University of Pennsylvania in 1967, as an extension of his interest in depression. Quite by accident, Seligman and colleagues discovered that the conditioning of dogs led to outcomes that opposed the predictions of B.F. Skinner’s behaviorism, then a leading psychological theory.[3][4]

    Experiment
    Summary
    In the learned helplessness experiment an animal is repeatedly hurt by an adverse stimulus which it cannot escape.
    Eventually the animal will stop trying to avoid the pain and behave as if it is utterly helpless to change the situation.
    Finally, when opportunities to escape are presented, this learned helplessness prevents any action. The only coping mechanism the animal uses is to be stoical and put up with the discomfort, not expending energy getting worked up about the adverse stimulus. . .

    SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

  56. iResistDe4iAm
    November 21, 2012, 10:12 pm

    Is there any particular reason why the heading for this article was changed?

    from: Gazans aspire to martyrdom and lead such limited lives they have less to lose than Israelis — NYT’s Rudoren

    to: Gazans are ‘ho-hum’ about the deaths of relatives — NYT’s Rudoren

    Given the content, the context and reader comments, I thought the first heading was more appropriate.

  57. catherinewriter
    November 23, 2012, 5:28 pm

    She’s a real pip, isn’t she? Not smart to count on anything from the NYT.

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