While I agree completely with their conclusions I don’t get the sense that Rudoren is malicious or particularly tendentious. Instead, she seems like someone who’s emerged from a milieu where Palestinians are characteristically simple, barbaric, aloof, stoical, etc… (in other words, a Zionist upbringing). Her direct exposure to actual Palestinians – yes, real people – is causing her to reevaluate some of those latent biases. At least, that’s what it seems like to me.
Take her article about the young Palestinian man – Anwar Qudaih – who was shot and killed by an Israeli soldier today (frustrated by a weak leadership and lack of action, the youthful and ardent Zionist took matters into his own hands). Rudoren explicitly highlights unjustifiable Israeli policies and the number of Palestinian children killed by the Israelis:
The buffer zone was established in 2005, when Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, which it had occupied since the 1967 war. Human rights organizations say that Israel drops leaflets warning residents to stay out of the area, and that its security forces killed 213 Palestinians near the fence between September 2005 and September 2012, including 154 who were not taking part in hostilities, 17 of them children.
The framing isn’t perfect, and the stuff about leaflets and Israel’s “withdrawal” is nonsense. Also, the context is provided halfway through the text, but this is still much better than some of her earlier work on the issue – and the facts she conveys are indispensable for understanding what’s actually happening.
For me, this article, along with her second Facebook message, signify a willingness to see the reality with clearer eyes – away from the Hasbara-mongers in NYC. Rudoren’s work also represents a very substantial break from Ethan Bronner’s world which was governed by the spokesperson of the Israeli army. A world where Palestinians were born and died nameless.
My appreciation for Rudoren’s coverage may be a symptom of the impoverished range of discussion on this issue, but I’m grateful for it anyway. I’m also hopeful that her work will continue to improve as she meets more Palestinians in Gaza.
I could be (most likely am?) completely wrong. But I’m willing to give Rudoren the benefit of the doubt.