It hasn’t been a month since a New York Times reporter in Gaza got in hot water for condescending comments on local culture, when Steven Erlanger, of the Times Paris bureau, formerly the Jerusalem bureau chief, shows up and has some anthropological insights to convey on social media.
The two tweets below strike me as “othering”– they treat Palestinians as an alien culture. First, here’s his tweet responding to a Hamas show of force– with his picture. “Dorothy: We’re not in Kansas anymore.”
“Dorothy: we’re not in Kansas anymore” — Erlanger
I wonder how he feels about Israelis with semiautomatic weapons at checkpoints…
Then Erlanger tweeted a picture of a rally at which children were wearing camouflage and had this to say: “Gaza today and tomorrow.” As if militancy is Gaza’s destiny and essence, rather than, say an artifact of occupation.
“Gaza today and tomorrow” — Erlanger
I still think it’s a good thing that Times reporters are on social media; I’m actually interested in what Jodi Rudoren thinks about the conflict. But Erlanger’s observations seem condescending, hoary, lame, bordering on inappropriate. Who does he think he is, Malinowski coming to New Guinea 100 years ago?