NYT’s Jodi Rudoren responds to criticism of Facebook comments

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 111 Comments

After we published Jodi Rudoren’s comments on Palestinian culture in Gaza, she responded on Facebook. Below are her two separate posts on the matter.

Statement #1:

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.

Statement #2:

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.

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.

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist and graduate student at New York University's Near East Studies and Journalism programs. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

111 Responses

  1. seafoid
    November 21, 2012, 10:40 am

    upper-class international intellectuals
    is of course the 2012 version of what were known in the 1930s as “cosmopolitans”

    • jewishgoyim
      November 21, 2012, 11:09 am

      Yes what kind of Shtetl is that? One wonders…

      The good thing is that nobody can ignore MW anymore. As a reader of Phil since 2005 or so, I can tell you it has not always been like that!

    • W.Jones
      November 21, 2012, 11:23 am

      “‘upper-class international intellectuals’ so blatantly and purposely distort in order to inflame”
      As opposed to working class nationalist laborers – the ideal of Kibbutz Zionism.

      Seafoid, you wrote that there was a label of cosmpolitanism. This was one reason why the Zionist nationalist movement gave for wanting their own full nationalist society- to avoid perceptions like cosmopolitanism associated with anti-semitism.

      Personally I find universalism much more tolerant than nationalism. And if we are to speak of cosmopolitanism, this is not necessarily good in all its forms I think, because there were and are in fact cosmopolitan imperialists. I think the 19th century orientalists fit this idea, correct?

      In fact, I think universalism and support for egalitarianism is a much better response to nationalistic anti-semitic perceptions, better than going nationalist oneself, because even if one can no longer be labeled cosmopolitan, that nationalist response implicitly accepts that cosmopolitanism is bad and ends up destroying it by removing the cosmopolitans.

  2. mariapalestina
    November 21, 2012, 10:47 am

    I understand acutely (after what was done to my friend Greta Berlin) how easily someone’s character can be assassinated and how one can be accused and convicted of saying things one has not said. I didn’t read Rudoren’s original piece, but if she actually did write: “Gazans aspire to martyrdom and lead such limited lives they have less to lose than Israelis” there is no way she can talk her way around that one. It is racist and obscene in or out of any context.

  3. Taxi
    November 21, 2012, 10:50 am

    “Tell Jodi Rudoren that Palestinians do mourn their dead ” – Angry Arab.

    Looks like Phil is not the only “blogger” who’s pinned Jodi down for her lazy-assed lexicon.

    Cuz that’s her excuse, right? Semantics, ‘casual’ semantics, semantics with slippers on. Of course she’s not ehm racist or anything like that.

  4. Joseph Glatzer
    November 21, 2012, 10:53 am

    Phil probably wouldn’t have expected a response from Rudoren so why would he bother contacting her for a comment? Her written words are her comment, so why can’t he post them and add this comment without being a “bad journalist”?

    • anonymouscomments
      November 21, 2012, 4:40 pm

      and let us see who the “bad journalist” is….

      i’ll be waiting for an in depth analysis by rudoren on WHY jabari, of all people, was killed, precisely *when* he was killed. and how this recent attack on gaza was inexcusable as there are about a dozen things israel could have done to not only mitigate and even end rocket attacks…. but force a clear and lasting peace!!!

      or maybe, like a really good journalist… someday she will lay bare the bird’s eye, longer view…. the entire neocolonial nature of israel, from the colonization of palestine (the words of zionists), to the terror campaigns, to the ethnic cleansing circa 1948, then through 1967 and the depopulation of the jordan valley, and the fully apartheid west bank.

      i’ll be waiting for a good journalist at the nytimes, reporting on IP, till the day i die.

      and wouldn’t it make sense for the nytimes to also get a ramallah based reporter as well? IP seems to be a central topic in the nytimes, so it would not be overkill. i’ll happily accept a jew, but this should not be a requirement for the post…

      • hophmi
        November 21, 2012, 4:52 pm

        The Times uses Fares Akram Al-Ghoul, who actually lives in Gaza, though he works for Xinhua.

  5. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    November 21, 2012, 10:58 am

    My ‘analysis’ (which is still awaiting moderation on the other thread) might be relevant here:

    ” 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.

    • W.Jones
      November 21, 2012, 11:14 am

      “how this escalation is different from others, more like an actual war”

      At first when I read her response I thought she was sympathizing with Hamas’ response. But now that I read your response, it reminds me of something too much on the surface. “An actual war”? Casualty ratio check please!

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        November 21, 2012, 11:34 am

        I think what she meant is that this is an ‘actual war’ because there have been casualties – however few – on the Israeli side. For Rudoren, ‘actual’ wars only happen when real people – ie Israelis, are hurt, or, in most cases, ‘suffer from shock’. As far as she’s concerned, the people of Gaza are ‘used to’ being bombarded from air land and see so in her, um, mind, that kinda sorta makes it all OK. It’s not an ‘actual war’ when mere Palestinians are the ones suffering.

      • W.Jones
        November 22, 2012, 12:57 am

        Maximus,

        when only one side or nearly only one side gets hurt and the other gets slaughtered in high numbers, it is more like a massacre. If you check the casualty ratio, isn’t it like that?

    • Avi_G.
      November 21, 2012, 2:54 pm

      Maximus,

      That’s a good analysis of Rudoern’s nonsense.

    • Betsy
      November 22, 2012, 8:14 am

      @Maximus — perhaps ‘actual’ people are the opposite of made-up people?

  6. Chu
    November 21, 2012, 10:58 am

    This is more proof that the NY Times makes the wrong choice in choosing someone who is Jewish to report on the conflict. This reveals the conflict of interest and those who had doubts are shaking their heads.
    Could not the Times choose let’s say a Methodist, or even better – a Quaker to fill the trust gap of fair reporting?

    • seafoid
      November 21, 2012, 12:02 pm

      The UK Guardian often has Jonathan Freedland analysing Israel- he is also *******. I don’t see the point of employing a Zionist to do that, frankly.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        November 21, 2012, 12:11 pm

        Freedland is AWFUL. He’s the archetypal ‘soft zionist’ and shows all the moral dishonesty of that group. He’s a believer in the myth that there was once a ‘moral Israel’ and that the current Israel is simply a distortion of the ‘real’ Israel full of love and understanding for Palestinians. He’s also written at least 2 ‘articles’ decrying the ‘disproportionate’ attention being given to Israel/Palestine as opposed to, say, Syria. This, from a person who makes a living writing about Israel! He as good as said that those making ‘excessive’ criticism of the holy state did so from a standpoint of…. yes you’ve guessed it, anti-semitism. But he didn’t have the b*lls to say so straight out. As I say, he represents the lack of moral and intellectual courage which so typifies soft Zionism.

      • seafoid
        November 21, 2012, 12:35 pm

        I have a folder of Freedland analysis of Israeli elections. The next election will be the time for decisive peacemaking and a break with the past has been the spiel since 2000. Instead Israel is on the verge of dumping democracy

      • seafoid
        November 21, 2012, 12:41 pm

        He is even worse in the New York Review.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        November 21, 2012, 1:37 pm

        And, I believe, in the ‘Jewish Chronicle’.

        I said above that Freedland is a ‘soft Zionist’. Actually, I bet that once you dust off that ‘moderate’ exterior he puts on for Guardian readers, he’s really a rock-solid zionist, albeit one who likes to present a friendly face to the world.

      • seafoid
        November 21, 2012, 5:19 pm

        I don’t even think he’s soft. Giving Netanyahu the benefit of the doubt is cynical in the extreme. Watch what he writes in the Grauniad in Jan re the Israeli election.

  7. Philip Weiss
    November 21, 2012, 11:02 am

    Here’s my response to Rudoren:
    I don’t see why I should have called you to figure out what you really meant. You’re a writer, I’m a writer; the written word is our performance, and we should be judged on that basis. Imagine Philip Roth writing Michiko Kakutani and saying, You should have called me to know what I meant before you trashed my book!
    I was restrained in my criticism of your posts. They were insensitive and crude, and you should apologize more fully for them. I stand by my criticism of you that you are too inside the Israeli Jewish experience. Our difference represents a fundamental divide inside the Jewish community (especially with the arrival of non- and anti-Zionists who wish to be judged on universal standards, not the opinions of the shtetl that you invoked in your original Facebook comments). I urge you not to dismiss that criticism out of hand, but to acknowledge the new consciousness that is transforming Jewish intellectual life.
    You referred to me as “upper class.” This is mean and inaccurate, and may reflect my self-description to you when I met you last August in Jerusalem as “privileged.” I am privileged, you are privileged. In fact I am probably middle to upper middle class by statistical measure; as I think I told you, I suffered financially in committing myself to my work 7 years ago, and have depended on my wife’s journalistic earnings.
    Lastly, I admire your courage in going to Gaza and wish you a safe return to your family.

    • W.Jones
      November 21, 2012, 11:11 am

      Isn’t it admirable when you, Phil, give up being comfortable, upper class, and receiving high earnings for the sake of 1.5 million whose daily food allowance is put on a minimal quota by those who blockade them.

      One says the blessings inside from this are greater than those on the outside.

    • Cliff
      November 21, 2012, 11:27 am

      Phil, you’re a rock star.

      • Dan Crowther
        November 21, 2012, 11:49 am

        There ya go brother Phil!!

    • hophmi
      November 21, 2012, 11:57 am

      “I don’t see why I should have called you to figure out what you really meant.”

      I think she meant that you could have commented on her fb post. She has a point, given that she’s quite welcoming of everyone’s comments, across the political spectrum.

      ” They were insensitive and crude, and you should apologize more fully for them.”

      I think they were spot on, and reflect statements made by the Palestinians themselves about the stoicism of the culture in the face of ongoing adversity. Despite your need for everyone to exhibit a common Western-style humanity, people do exhibit cultural differences, and our commenting upon them makes neither us nor them less human. This is a perfect example of an issue where Westerners paternalistically take offense and the actual supposed victims of the bias do not.

      And frankly, it’s all very rich coming from someone who REGULARLY generalizes about Israeli society and allows other here to do the same, often using the most offensive terminology.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        November 21, 2012, 12:07 pm

        ‘Stoicism’ is rather different from a ‘culture of martyrdom’, don’t you think? Don’t Israelis like to think of themselves as ‘stoic’ even though in reality they show no great capacity for suffering?

        Oh, and ‘stoicism’ is also rather different from being ‘ho hum’ about death and destruction, which is what that air-head Rudoren was saying. It’s obvious that the person being ‘ho-hum’ in the face of widespread suffering is she herself. After all, the victims were not Israeli, so their sorrow isn’t real sorrow like ‘we’ feel.

      • Keith
        November 21, 2012, 5:44 pm

        HOPHMI- “I think they were spot on….”

        No doubt they accurately reflect the worldview of those who inhabit the global shtetl. I was particularly fascinated by her comment that “…they have such limited lives than in many ways they have less to lose.” It reminded me of Larry Summers comment when at the World Bank that it made economic sense to export pollution to the Third World because their lives were worth less money. Of course, the global shtetl does not encompass the Third World, including Gaza. How unfair of us outside the shtetl to criticize the comments of those within, without permitting the opportunity for the folks within to euphemize their in-group worldview and hide their true feelings. Some things just aren’t meant to be shared with outsiders.

      • eGuard
        November 21, 2012, 6:16 pm

        hophmi: This is a perfect example of an issue where […] the actual supposed victims of the bias do not take offense.

        How do you know? Her stereotypes and terrorist symbols don’t matter for Palestinians? How do you know? Actually, Rudoren is the one who should have contacted someone: those very people she describes while having left all her senses in her stolen, Jerusalem house (her suitcase already filled to the rim with bias and bigotry).

    • MRW
      November 21, 2012, 12:38 pm

      Hats off.

    • tear-stained uzi
      November 21, 2012, 1:10 pm

      A great, typically classy response from Phil Weiss, who kicked the Jewish hornets’ nest.

      I was just over on Rudoren’s FB page and the level of vitriol and hatred directed at Phil is, frankly, disturbing. Here’s Ron Kampeas of JTA, someone Phil often quotes with obvious respect (I’ve never been a fan, but know he’s highly regarded by people like Laura Rozen and Josh Marshall), getting in a few stings:

      You’ve been Mondoweissed. He’s a creep, a semi-stalker and don’t think he’s not asking mutual friends about you so he can cut and paste what’s convenient into a narrative that has little going for it, except that all Jews except for Phil Weiss are venal.

      That’s just one example. (There’s a backstory I’d love to hear!) I know Phil’s tough, but that is some deeply personal, hurtful bile to have to endure for speaking out, and I salute him for his bravery — and his humanity.

      In fact, Kampeas reminds me it’s time I finally donated to this great site.

    • Patrick
      November 21, 2012, 2:26 pm

      Judi Rudoren’s new comments are welcome and appreciated. They show greater effort sensitivity toward the people of Gaza than her previous remarks, and they much more accurately convey their feelings and aspirations.

      I think it’s worth noting, however, that the only reason we now have these comments is because of the coverage she received at Mondoweiss.

      • hophmi
        November 21, 2012, 4:16 pm

        “I think it’s worth noting, however, that the only reason we now have these comments is because of the coverage she received at Mondoweiss.”

        That may be so. I think we have them more because she met Phil personally and because I’m sure people fb’d her about it.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 21, 2012, 4:26 pm

        I think we have them more because she met Phil personally and because I’m sure people fb’d her about it.

        i can categorically state this conversation is not happening because she met phil. the tip on her facebook account was cc’d to multiple staff. had it not been phil the story would have broken by one of the other writers here.

    • Avi_G.
      November 21, 2012, 2:57 pm

      Phil,

      I don’t think she will understand what you wrote. It’s going to be too deep for her.

    • lyn117
      November 21, 2012, 5:47 pm

      Phil, you sound ready to forgive her. I might find her courageous if she made her base in Gaza instead of Jerusalem.

  8. W.Jones
    November 21, 2012, 11:04 am

    Journalist Rudoren writes about Philip Weiss:
    Luckily, he included fat excerpts of my posts, so people will be able to see how it was twisted
    OK, to see whether Rudoren’s comments were slanted, let’s see some of those excerpts from link to mondoweiss.net
    (1) “So great to… see how FB makes the world such a shtetl.” OK, why not “such an Arab village”, since after all he is in Gaza.

    (2) ” The Gazans have a deep culture of… aspiration to martyrdom” Um, isn’t that a stereotype? I mean, sure alot of people many have it, but you have to recognize Gazans aren’t just Hamas. There are Christians, moderates, and secularists too. If martyrdom was a deep aspiration, they would probably be engaging in alot more of it directly, rather than just getting massively bombed in their homes.

    (3) “I’ve been surprised that when I talk to people who just lost a relative… they seem a bit ho-hum.” This could really be true, but you have to ask yourself if they might seem this way to you as a foreign reporter and show stoicism as you say, but then at night cry alot on another relative’s shoulder.

    (4) It’s true that “news coverage as part of the Palestinian struggle… is certainly different from the Western media ethic”. But don’t critics of Israeli policies say that the Western media ethic actually does the opposite and reports with far less frequency attacks on Palestinians. I was shocked when I found out that Palestinian casualties were several times higher than Israeli ones throughout the decades old conflict, when through much of my life before my impression had been that they were roughly similar.

    (5) Phil points out 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
    It’s understanding to cry over articles, but it is very ironic that when she is in Gaza surrounded physically by massive death and destruction herself her “first tears” were over a literature about someone else’s difficult homecoming.

    Thanks, Phil, for your continued insight about media bias that- perhaps sometimes unintentionally- ends up furthering Palestinians’ sadness and hardships. Take heart, my friend, if you are denounced for caring.

  9. eljay
    November 21, 2012, 11:23 am

    Ms. Rudoren back-pedals with such eloquence! :-P

    I suspect, however, that if Israeli/Jews were to find themselves in a similar situation as the citizens of Gaza – i.e., victims of an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist Country X, struggling for their freedom – she would be calling for justice and an end to their oppression, rather than calmly admiring them for their “stoic” natures and their ability to live “limited lives” while lending emotional witness to the trauma being suffered by the citizens of Country X at the hands of the Israeli/Jews they are oppressing.

    Ms. Rudoren’s evident bias is shameful.

  10. jewishgoyim
    November 21, 2012, 11:29 am

    From Rudoren:
    ” taking everything out of context to support his agenda. Luckily, he included fat excerpts of my posts ”

    Ok. Is it me or the first part contradicts the second part? Nobody’s doing a hatchet job of anybody’s writing here. It’s the internet, not the nyt. We have standards.

    • marc b.
      November 21, 2012, 12:02 pm

      no, it’s definitely not just you. she is a charmless buffoon, already mastering the art of the non sequitur like her colleague friedman. and her FB page lists her as a yale graduate? lord almighty. well, good for her. her clown shoes didn’t keep her from climbing her way up the ladder of the meritocracy.

      • Avi_G.
        November 21, 2012, 3:00 pm

        Junior was a Yale graduate, too, wasn’t he?

      • marc b.
        November 22, 2012, 10:27 am

        avi, please, show some respect. ‘jr.’, as you so condescendingly call him, was a visionary. who else could squander the potential for global peace brought about by the end of the cold war and turn a budget surplus into a multi-trillion dollar debt in such a short time? not me. probably not you, either. you may not agree with his politics, but you have to admire his initiative.

        ps yes, he was. the elite sausage factory keeps squeezing out one mediocrity after the other. edward herman (i believe) wrote an article some time back entitled, ‘why turds rise to the top’, criticising the american meritocracy, and the WSJ, back when it was a real newspaper, had an article on the ‘glass floor’ (as opposed to the ‘glass ceiling’), a metaphor for the phenomenon where idiot nieces and nephews seemingly were incapable of ‘failure’, despite their serial incompetences. rudoren and bush II are good examples of this.

  11. Cliff
    November 21, 2012, 11:33 am

    Rudoren used the term, ‘martyrdom’.

    Se didn’t say that Palestinians are willing to die for their liberation – which is contextually different.

    In the ‘clash of civ’ narrative espoused in the West, as well as the nexus of Islamophobia and Zionism (Sam Harris, Pam Gellar, Dersh, Bronner, Goldberg, Friedman; big names and small names and medium names and people associated directly or on related issues) – the martyrdom term is propagandistic and used to slander an entire people as valuing life less.

    Whereas Americans who once said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death’ are romanticized – a Palestinian who espouses ‘martyrdom’ as a means to and end, as per Ruduren’s narrative, is simply crazy and backwards and belongs to the Dark Ages.

    Rudoren sounds like a 10 year old lying to his or her parents after being caught.

    She’s good a bullshit.

    • eljay
      November 21, 2012, 11:58 am

      >> Whereas Americans who once said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death’ are romanticized …

      Zio-supremacists who currently say that they are prepared to fight for their freedom and security are romanticized. Hypocritically, Palestinians who say the same thing are demonized.

      Zio-supremacists who use the colonization of the Americas as justification for their and their supremacist state’s 21st century actions never seem to refer to the indigenous population in the Americas that resisted oppression, occupation and colonization as “terrorists” or “insurgents” or “extremists”. Hypocritically, Palestinians who resist occupation, oppression and colonization are almost exclusively referred to as “terrorists” and “insurgents” and “extremists”.

    • seafoid
      November 21, 2012, 2:13 pm

      Israelis are big into martyrdom too. They even have a holiday for it

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      What’s the difference between”the fallen” and “the martyrs” anyway?

  12. Ellen
    November 21, 2012, 11:38 am

    Have been thinking much about the first Rudoren FB posting and now this:

    “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.”

    But Ms. Rudoren is a professional writer. Written words matter and a professional writes what they mean, even on FB.

    As for the first FB post what struck me most is that she characterized a traumatized people’s emotions as “ho hum.” Not normal as an Israeli’s perhaps.

    Regardless if a better choice of words were used as in a NYT article, it was a judgement onto a traumatized other made by a comfortable person, perhaps a narcissistic person, one who does not understand what real trauma means; what it does to a people over time. She might want to first spend some time in Eastern Congo or parts of the Balkans. Then she might understand what trauma means and not see Palestinian coping as “ho hum.”

    The cultural, political, sociological roots of this are truly complex, but unraveling them and explaining them feels like a part of the job.

    No, it is all quite simple. Zionist came, conquered and have not made peace with those among them and their neighbors. Zionists clinging to Bronze Age stories to make a claim over a people and fantasy ideas of a Zionist paradise. That instead of just making peace with those among you, joining hands and getting on with life.

    Rudoren revealed an incapacity to humanize and understand those among her. How can she do THAT job? Or is her job to work as a propagandist?

    So much more on a depressingly revealing (can I say psychopathic?) FB posting by a New York Times correspondent, but not the time.

  13. seanmcbride
    November 21, 2012, 11:43 am

    “upper-class international intellectuals” — what a bizarre, bumpkinish expression coming from a journalist for the supposedly intellectual New York Times.

    And, yes, there is a whiff of classical antisemitism in that language — Rupert Murdoch, Glenn Beck and John Hagee would no doubt heartily approve.

    Liberal Zionists are a confused lot. The more that Jodi Rudoren tries to explain herself, the more muddled she sounds. I am trying to remember why it was that I once admired the New York Times. Lesson learned: even a little bit of ethnic nationalism can dim one’s intelligence — perhaps even reduce one to absurdity.

    • hophmi
      November 21, 2012, 12:27 pm

      ” what a bizarre, bumpkinish expression coming from a journalist for the supposedly intellectual New York Times.”

      I think it’s genius, a perfect description of the way certain comfortable elites have a tendency to be more extreme than the people on the ground.

      “And, yes, there is a whiff of classical antisemitism in that language — Rupert Murdoch, Glenn Beck and John Hagee would no doubt heartily approve.”

      LOL.

      “Liberal Zionists are a confused lot. The more that Jodi Rudoren tries to explain herself, the more muddled she sounds.”

      You’ve presented no evidence that she’s a liberal Zionist. You’re making things up again.

      • eGuard
        November 21, 2012, 6:24 pm

        Rudoren lives in a stolen house so she’s a Zionist. And the word “liberal”, whatever it may mean here, does not change that.

  14. Betsy
    November 21, 2012, 11:55 am

    We need to flood the Public Editor of the NYTimes with letters – these posts by Rudoren are inhuman, cruel & racist. Far beyond normal human decency. Beyond that, they suggest arrogant habits of mind, that would seem to preclude her objectivity as a journalist — for instance, the way in which she claims to speak for Palestinians, her offensive ethnonationalist ‘in jokes’ signaling where she is in the us/them divides.

    Margaret Sullivan, is the NYTimes public editor and can be reached at [email protected]

    • John Smithson
      November 21, 2012, 12:58 pm

      Done

      • John Smithson
        November 21, 2012, 12:59 pm

        Jodi Rudoren writes:

        “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.”

        And

        “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”

        And

        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.”

        Do these lines not mark her as ‘culturally bound’ within her Judaism and frankly racist?

        How can you keep her on as correspondent in Jerusalem with good conscience?

        You should send someone who at least has a chance of being objective!

        Shame on you!

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        November 21, 2012, 1:47 pm

        The problem, for the NYT, is that nobody remotely objective could go to Gaza and fail to be appalled by what they see. Even Thomas Friedman was horrified by the indiscriminate bombing of Beirut. But because the NYT want us to believe that this is a ‘conflict’ where ‘both sides’ are causing casualties, they have no option other than to send an emotionally embedded ‘journalist’ to ‘cover’ this story.

      • seafoid
        November 21, 2012, 5:22 pm

        You can’t send someone who is objective! No daylight. Rock solid. You have to put a lot of people in place for no daylight.

  15. matt
    November 21, 2012, 12:05 pm

    I’m willing to accept that the intent of her original postings was the intent expressed in her clarification. The problem seems to be that she’s just quite simply a subpar writer. Call it quibbling, but I don’t think someone who writes “deep-seeded” when she means “deep-seated” should be a bureau chief for arguably the world’s most important newspaper.

    • seafoid
      November 21, 2012, 12:15 pm

      I was thinking the same . But her patronising tone is worse .

    • seanmcbride
      November 21, 2012, 12:41 pm

      I also noticed that — “deep-seeded” for “deep-seated.” She is barely literate. What in the world has happened to the New York Times in general? It has devolved into a dull and mediocre publication. It was once (in the opinion of many of us) the greatest newspaper in the world.

    • seanmcbride
      November 21, 2012, 12:54 pm

      The bottom line is simple: Jodi Rudoren is shallow — shallow intellectually, shallow emotionally, and shallow in terms of her knowledge of the situation she is trying to report on. One can easily think of dozens of bloggers and writers for alternative media publications who are much more impressive writers and analysts. The editorial standards of the current New York Times are low. This is the same publication that saw fit to publish Judy Miller.

      What is there about the culture of the New York Times that chooses to promote the careers of mediocre writers like Rudoren?

      • hophmi
        November 21, 2012, 1:40 pm

        “The bottom line is simple: Jodi Rudoren is shallow . . .mediocre”

        Always, when possible, use ad hominem invective when you have nothing to say.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 21, 2012, 3:34 pm

        to be fair hops, she put herself in this situation. she talks about palestinians as if they were some alien strange culture on another planet as if she were an anthropologist. she also said unraveling the cultural, political, sociological roots of the conflict was ‘part of her job’. well, where are her qualifications for that? in that regard her musings are shallow and mediocre. that is not an ad hominem attack, that’s a critique. they are two different things. she is probably very well meaning, she’s is just unqualified to be assessing what’s she’s seeing in gaza for a broader audience.

      • hophmi
        November 21, 2012, 3:37 pm

        ” she talks about palestinians as if they were some alien strange culture on another planet as if she were an anthropologist.”

        And you talk about Israelis as if they were the devil. You guys have no credibility to nitpick the writing of people like this. The response here is predictable; I expected it. You guys are not willing to confront the possibility that the Palestinians are not angels. You’re not immune to superimposing your Western bias just because you’re partisans.

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 21, 2012, 3:57 pm

        “Always, when possible, use ad hominem invective when you have nothing to say.”

        Jesus pete, you really should learn what “ad hominem” means, hophmi. Otherwise you make yourself look like an ignorant donkey. “Ad hominem” does not mean “an argument that is critical of a person.” It means an argument against a person, based on an irrelevant fact or irrelevant criteria about the author.

        Saying that this woman is “shallow intellectually, shallow emotionally, and shallow in terms of her knowledge of the situation” and therefore a “mediocre writer” is not an ad hominem attack. One would expect someone in her position to demonstrate deep intellect, emotional empathy and knowledge of her subject matter and skill at writing; criticism of these things is valid.

        An ad hominem argument would be if you rejected her Gaza writing because she is a bad tennis player. (Or, conversely, rejecting her as a member of your tennis team because she was “shallow intellectually, shallow emotionally, and shallow in terms of her knowledge of the situation” and therefore a “mediocre writer.”) Her intelligence, emotional acuity, knowledge and writing skills are the most relevant aspects to her job, judging her on them is not ad hominem, but is what everyone should be doing.

        Forget it. Look like a horse’s behind for all I care.

      • hophmi
        November 21, 2012, 4:14 pm

        ” It means an argument against a person, based on an irrelevant fact or irrelevant criteria about the author.”

        You’re just simply incorrect as usual. An ad hominem attack is a personal attack on an opponent rather than an attack on an opponent’s argument.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 21, 2012, 4:36 pm

        And you talk about Israelis as if they were the devil

        oh please, i have never called israelis evil nor the devil. i don’t speak on those terms. and this critique is not about israelis anyway. saying she talks about palestinians as if they were aliens is not an ad hominem attack. neither is my critique of her comment. i said ” in that regard” her musings are shallow and mediocre. i am not calling her a mediocre person, i just don’t think anthropology is her specialty and that appears to be the way she’s covering this.

      • hophmi
        November 21, 2012, 4:45 pm

        Are you seriously going to tell me that people do not generalize about Israelis and Israeli culture here? LOL. You must be kidding.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 21, 2012, 4:51 pm

        don’t leap around. you just went from ‘the devil’ to generalizing about israeli culture.

      • hophmi
        November 21, 2012, 4:53 pm

        Oh please. Grow up. I didn’t mean devil literally, and you know that. You know EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN. Stop with the nonsense. Don’t ask people to be sensitive about Palestinian culture when you show zero willingness to be sensitive about Israelis and Israeli culture.

      • seafoid
        November 21, 2012, 5:12 pm

        If Israelis loved their children there would be no need for hasbara and nobody would listen to the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

        Did I get the syntax right?

      • seafoid
        November 21, 2012, 5:14 pm

        Come on , Woody. Israel diverts money from education to YESHA. It’s not his fault.

      • eljay
        November 21, 2012, 6:08 pm

        >> You guys are not willing to confront the possibility that the Palestinians are not angels.

        It’s true that not all Palestinians are angels, just as not all Jews are angels.

        But every Zio-supremacist – by virtue of his/her belief in and support for an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state – is not and can never be an angel.

        And that’s a fact you’re unable and unwilling to confront. :-(

      • Ellen
        November 21, 2012, 6:56 pm

        hopi, it is not about generalizing or not, but instead her dehumanizing a people, her inability for empathy, her imposing a vapid western world view and display of ignorance. All that from a perched platform for the New York Times.

        we are not talking about some random poster in a comments section.

      • Cliff
        November 21, 2012, 7:18 pm

        Hoppy said:
        You guys are not willing to confront the possibility that the Palestinians are not angels

        The issue isn’t whether or not Palestinians are angels.

        The issue is whether Palestinians are imbued with common human characteristics such as empathy and can feel sorrow and despair when they lose a loved one.

        The issue is whether Judi Rodoren believes Palestinians are capable of basic human emotions. She doesn’t seem to think so and neither do you.

        The fact that you’ve politicized what isn’t even a controversial observation is telling, but everyone here (you included) is well-aware of your hatred for non-Jews.

      • Sumud
        November 21, 2012, 7:49 pm

        An ad hominem attack is a personal attack on an opponent rather than an attack on an opponent’s argument.

        So how is sean’s statement about Jodi Rudoren ad hominen by your own definition? He wrote:

        Jodi Rudoren is shallow — shallow intellectually, shallow emotionally, and shallow in terms of her knowledge of the situation she is trying to report on.

        The criticism is about the lack of depth and knowledge Rudoren displays in her writing; her professional performance – not because she is a woman or jewish or an American or because she stole $20 from her Grandma in 1982 (I made this up before you protest).

        Educate yourself hophmi:

        Ad hominem

      • Betsy
        November 22, 2012, 8:39 am

        @Annie — the point you’re making is good — but not fair to anthropologists. The sign that an ‘actual’ anthropologist is writing –they: learn the languages; ask people what things mean; try to be empathic and to listen; live with the people they are ‘studying'; try to reflect constantly on their own biases, to read local / regional scholars /literature/poetry, theology, etc; try to distance themselves from their own ethno/cultural/class background & identity (both in their own mind & how they present themselves) in order to cultivate habits of openness & engagement; take seriously the public role of someone who is representing realities across cultural divides. The best ‘actual’ journalists I have known also have amazing abilities to immerse themselves, to learn new things….

        She’s not doing any of these things!

        (but the point you were trying to make is good one — pretty much what I’m trying to say)

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 22, 2012, 10:08 am

        No, you are simply Incorrect as usual. When you critique a writer’s intelligence, emotional acuity, and knowledge of the subject matter, you are criticizing their argument. It is a shorthand for saying That the argument which is made is wrong because the writer fails to have or employ the elements necessary to reach the correct one.

      • Chu
        November 21, 2012, 3:01 pm

        “What is there about the culture of the New York Times that chooses to promote the careers of mediocre writers like Rudoren?”

        Sean, it been happening for a long time now. Alexander Cockburn had written about the others as well. Abe Rosenthal, Sulzberger and folksy Friedman. His sarcasm is good here:

        I and I: The World According to Tom Friedman
        By Alexander Cockburn
        link to mailman.lbo-talk.org

      • G. Seauton
        November 22, 2012, 1:38 am

        “The bottom line is simple: Jodi Rudoren is shallow — shallow intellectually, shallow emotionally, and shallow in terms of her knowledge of the situation she is trying to report on. One can easily think of dozens of bloggers and writers for alternative media publications who are much more impressive writers and analysts. The editorial standards of the current New York Times are low. This is the same publication that saw fit to publish Judy Miller.

        What is there about the culture of the New York Times that chooses to promote the careers of mediocre writers like Rudoren?”

        I agree. I wanted to shorten your statement, Sean, but there was hardly anything I could cut out that wasn’t worth saying — so let it stand. I have thought the same thing myself many times.

  16. seafoid
    November 21, 2012, 12:05 pm

    “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.”

    Patronising shite. Billy Joel ref unspeakably naff. Or is she just an uptown girl ?

    Would she write the same about single black moms on Staten Island who lost everything when Sandy hit? “those ladies have no money and no ipods anyway so it’s much easier for them than for those poor people in the Hamptons who lost all their Persian furniture”

    In fact what she doesn’t get at all is that it is the people who make PALESTINE.

    • Betsy
      November 21, 2012, 12:08 pm

      Would she write the same about single black moms on Staten Island who lost everything when Sandy hit? “those ladies have no money and no ipods anyway so it’s much easier for them than for those poor people in the Hamptons who lost all their Persian furniture”

      @Seafoid — great post!! Exactly.

      • seafoid
        November 21, 2012, 12:45 pm

        The other thing, Betsy , is that precariousness and the stress of not knowing security kills people much earlier than the comfortable lifestyle of the unafflicted typically does.

        I can’t imagine the LA times sending someone to Haiti who reports back “These Haitians are used to total collapse so it’s no bother to them this time at all. They’ll be over it in a few hours. “

    • Sherri Munnerlyn
      November 21, 2012, 1:38 pm

      To Seafoid, I love your comment here, it is the people who make PALESTINE. Why is someone reporting from there, from Gaza, who obviously has no concern over or about the people who make PALESTINE? We see everywhere portrayed this idea that somehow the people there in Gaza are less human, less deserving of life, less deserving of freedom, less deserving of basic human rights. I was just yesterday reading a comment on a discussion board, yet another comment by an American Jew stating this will all end when Palestinians love their children. And that is such a disgusting and condescending and degrading and dehumanizing and arrogant and hate filled and racist comment. (And I have to say I let that person who made that comment, I let them know exactly what I thought about it. ) And I know most all of us posting here detest those ideas with a passion, we don’t need journalists there in Gaza perpetuating these dehumanizing lies about the Palestinian people, while ignoring the real stories of “the people who make PALESTINE.”

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      November 21, 2012, 1:41 pm

      The notion that the loss of one’s home isn’t that traumatizing because it’s owners couldn’t afford to keep much ‘stuff’ in it is like something Kim Kardashian would say. Marie Antoinette doesn’t even come into it. It would be funny if it weren’t so disturbing.

      • seafoid
        November 21, 2012, 5:26 pm

        Imagine Ahmadi Nejad saying that the Warsaw ghetto was fine really because in the end the people had nothing so they might as well have died. They didn’t even have Walmart in Warsaw in the 40s, you know.

    • Chu
      November 21, 2012, 3:13 pm

      Well said, seafoid. That entire paragraph about Billy Joel was doggy-shite. She needs to stop talking about this issue and cancel her FB account.

  17. seafoid
    November 21, 2012, 12:25 pm

    “Limited lives” is so arrogant. How does she know about the inner lives of people whose language she doesn’t understand? I used to live in Cairo and often rode in the taxis of drivers who lived on less than 200 dollars a month. Money didn’t come into it. Some of them were so interesting. There was one man who drove around the city listening to Umm Kulthoum and he had the most amazing slant on life – he said it isn’t defined by money or how many gizmos a person has. Spirit and decency come before knick knacks. Dignity is priceless. Understanding is always in short supply. Noor el ain – the light in the eyes – is not restricted to the OECD.

    The Gazans are wonderful people and they will have their days in the sun.

  18. adele
    November 21, 2012, 12:47 pm

    Rudoren can’t etch-a-sketch her way out this, her explanations after the fact only make things worse for her by resorting to manipulative methods to silence her critics: e.g., accusing and blaming “upper-class international intellectuals” for distorting her words”. Oh yes, all the people who are outraged by her remarks are a cabal of privileged people who are simply out to get her. Watch out!

    If Rudoren truly wanted to provide “context” to the stoism she has witnessed in Gaza, she would have provided her readers with a historical timeline of the violence and colonialist oppression that the Palestinians have endured . If indeed it is true that the Palestinian Gazans don’t express the same level of emotions as their oppressors on the other side of the electrified, heavily militarized fence, what is her point? She provides no historical context, as if this is just a fact that is not anchored to any reality. Of course, empirical evidence garnered via video reporting totally negate her words, unless I am just hallucinating when I see the grief-stricken, emotionally distraught families.

    Surely any honest, unbiased witness in Gaza who provides analysis of he Palestinians psychological profile will make note of the imposed environmental pressures? Or maybe I am missing something, just as the Palestinians are apparently missing the “crying” gene?

    Finally, Rudoren has totally discredited herself journalistically with her crass, dehumanizing thoughts on the “Other”, words and thoughts that she is constantly trying to retroactively explain, all to no avail.

    PS: A special note to Rudoren: I too as a “privileged” observer of the exonerated Israeli crimes in Palestine have become inured and stoic, my simple, Western mind can no longer process or make sense of the Israeli crimes, I am literally numb in thought, speech and actions. I no longer cry when I see a 10-month old baby lying listless in her mother’s arms.

    • peeesss
      November 22, 2012, 2:18 am

      Adele. My thoughts exactly. I too “can no longer process or make sense of the Israeli crimes.” Rudoren aside, how does one account for the comments made regularly by leading Rabbi’s, members of the Knesset, High elected officials in the govt. including Prime Ministers speaking of Palestinians as “vermin”, “drugged cockroaches in a bottle”, “one Palestinian not worth a single Israeli{Jewish} finger nail”. So called Religious scholars saying the Torah allows the killing of “babies” {Palestinian} A Memorial for the fanatic Goldstein? Where does this hatred truly come from. Why are these people “respected” members in Israeli society. And ,it appears, from recent polls that a vast majority of Israeli Jews agree with these racist, inhuman comments about the “other’. Please Hophmi, explain, bring me into this world.

  19. Talkback
    November 21, 2012, 12:55 pm

    Ìmagine someone wrote that talking to people has made her or him think that Jews being so “ho-hum” about dead Palestinian childrens goes “along with a religious viewpoint that views” collective punishment or genocide against Nonjews or killing their babies “in this context” as an “aspiration” or even God’s command.

  20. bobsmith
    November 21, 2012, 1:16 pm

    The NYT reporter whines, “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.”

    Isn’t the job of a journalist to say what she means? If she said something she didn’t mean, she could always retract it, I suppose. But whining that she was misunderstood when being quoted at length is laughable.

    • seafoid
      November 21, 2012, 2:14 pm

      She was talking to the shtetl and doesn’t understand web 2.0

  21. Sumud
    November 21, 2012, 1:33 pm

    I would encourage Jodi Rudoren to move to Gaza for an extended period (like, years) and see how she likes it. I hope she has a husband and a few young darlings to take with her also.

    Time to really get a handle on what zionism is about.

  22. adele
    November 21, 2012, 1:53 pm

    One more thought: maybe what she is witnessing is a whole society that is literally shell-shocked and traumatized beyond human endurance by the constant violence they are subjected to? Or are Rudoren’s “zionist” blinders so ensconced that she dare not articulate this?

    • Dutch
      November 21, 2012, 5:47 pm

      Exactly. I am always amazed to find so many reasonable people after all these decades of violence that was put upon them. A professional journalist should notice this fact and write about it. Because it’s a miracle.

  23. Dutch
    November 21, 2012, 2:28 pm

    We know who Rudoren is, right? The lady who wrote up a flattering portrait of a settler leader – a well-known war criminal – as a sophisticated man of the world. She even accepted money to do so. So what else is there to know about her?

  24. Betsy
    November 21, 2012, 2:46 pm

    “Hath not a Palestinian eyes? Hath not a Palestinian hands,
    organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same
    food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases,
    heal’d by the same means, warm’d and cool’d by the same winter
    and summer, as any human is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If
    you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?
    And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the
    rest, we will resemble you in that.”

  25. Avi_G.
    November 21, 2012, 3:11 pm

    The following two videos together, should clarify this entire Jodi episode:

  26. seafoid
    November 21, 2012, 5:38 pm

    I wonder where does one draw the line on song lyrics.
    Billy Joel is apparently ok but what about other music ?

    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….On the contrary, people here (like some in other places, of course) seem to very much embrace the notion in

    the Rage against the machine song “Killing in the name of” in the line “F*ck you I won’t do what you tell me”

  27. dbroncos
    November 21, 2012, 7:05 pm

    “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.”

    So, Phil is an indecent person – so says the Bureau Chief from the venerable NYT. Is that what she meant to say? Rudoren struggles with her vocabulary at times so I’ll contact her on FB and find out…

  28. chinese box
    November 21, 2012, 7:14 pm

    They’ll never get me to pay for an NYT subscription after this (wasn’t going to anyway). If they ever put a real paywall on their site I’ll just stop reading it altogether. If I want MSM propaganda I can always go to CNN’s site for free.

  29. W.Jones
    November 21, 2012, 7:53 pm

    Rudoren writes:

    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

    Awesome! So what she actually feels about Palestinians’ personalities does not reach the “tone standards” printable in the New York Times?

    To me, the term “ho hum” doesn’t just mean unaffected, it actually means dismissive, as in “I tried my friend’s ice cream, but I was just ‘ho hum’ about it.”

    She might use “steadfastness” in the NYT, since she reflects that it’s a “better word”, but what she actually expresses in her reflections with her friends is that Palestinians’ inner emotions are just “ho hum”?

  30. W.Jones
    November 21, 2012, 8:21 pm

    When Rudoren writes:

    many people [are] 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… maybe hits less hard than….than I don’t know what, actually

    Doesn’t the grammar of the two comparisons made in the sentence (comparing people’s attachments to homes and comparing things that could be lost) suggest she was going to say:
    ((many people [are] 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… maybe hits less hard than it would leaving a home in Brooklyn or…!))

    However, she stopped short of completing the thought because it would show her slanted perceptions.

    • W.Jones
      November 21, 2012, 8:33 pm

      Yes, I am more attached to my home than you are, so that you leaving your home hits less hard than XXXXXXXXX

  31. W.Jones
    November 21, 2012, 9:47 pm

    Phil originally wrote: Rudoren’s comments include the statement that Israelis are more “traumatized” by projectile fire than Palestinians because Palestinians, having a culture of martyrdom

    Rudoren answered:

    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… 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…

    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.

    Is this an okay reading of what she meant:
    Yes, I was wrong when I said you “took my posts out of context.” I should have said you “kept my posts in context but put them in an inaccurate context and that you might not be a decent person because you didn’t give me a chance to cast my statements showing typical misperceptions in a better light”. For example, it’s not a bad “culture of martyrdom” like you claimed I portrayed it, Phil, it’s “a religious viewpoint that views death in this context as a sacrifice, of course, but also a worthy one.”

  32. DICKERSON3870
    November 21, 2012, 10:51 pm

    ● RE: “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.” ~ Jodi Rudoren

    ● FROM ALISTAIR CROOKE, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:

    (excerpts). . . It was [Ariel] Sharon who pioneered the philosophy of ‘maintained uncertainty’ that repeatedly extended and then limited the space in which Palestinians could operate by means of an unpredictable combination of changing and selectively enforced regulations, and the dissection of space by settlements, roads Palestinians were not allowed to use and continually shifting borders. All of this was intended to induce in the Palestinians a sense of permanent temporariness. . .
    . . . It suits Israel to have a ‘state’ without borders so that it can keep negotiating about borders, and count on the resulting uncertainty to maintain acquiescence. . .

    SOURCE – link to lrb.co.uk

    ● ALSO SEE: Learned helplessness - link to en.wikipedia.org

    • Philip Weiss
      November 22, 2012, 8:06 am

      Yes Dickerson, Mya Guarnieri explained this phrase learned helplessness to me in Israel, then my wife an anthropology student used it too…

  33. Accentitude
    November 22, 2012, 2:07 am

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

    What will panic and public display of emotion do for us? We’re not Hollywood actors pretending to display emotions for your cameras and exciting news stories. We’ve been dealing with the harsh reality of this brutal occupation for 64+ years. We’re used to it.

  34. mcohen
    November 22, 2012, 7:06 am

    Interesting that people feel that the conflict was different this time.the emir and chomsky came to gaza ,thats also a first.egypt sent 400 someones also a first.rockets fired at t.a thats a first.could be a first and last too

    Seven days to decide
    4 have passed

    seven days to decide

  35. Steve Macklevore
    November 22, 2012, 8:00 am

    “upper-class international intellectuals”

    As clear a case of projection as you’ll ever see – Look in the mirror Jodi.

  36. Shlomo
    November 22, 2012, 8:52 pm

    > “…the way upper-class international intellectuals so blatantly and purposely distort in order to inflame.”

    At least she’s candid about her intentions.

    Note, though, how quickly this fierce, feisty feminist hasbarista turns into a tantrum-throwing little girl.

Leave a Reply