Another New York Times’ reporter’s son is in the Israeli army

US Politics

Yet another reporter for the New York Times has a son in the Israeli Defense Forces. Isabel Kershner, a correspondent in the newspaper’s Jerusalem bureau, says that her son is in training in the army. This is the third time in recent years that a writer who covers the conflict for America’s leading newspaper has a son serving in an army that is regularly accused of human rights abuses. On each of those occasions, an outside publication has disclosed the army service.

We asked Kershner about her son after a tip last week sent Weiss to the 2005 memoir by Kershner’s husband Hirsh Goodman. The book states that Goodman, an immigrant to Israel from South Africa, and Kershner, an immigrant to the country from England, have two boys, who were then 7 and 10. Facebook posts by the older boy showed him in uniform and holding a gun with an army unit in June. Kershner responded directly:

In answer to your questions, yes, my 20-year-old son is currently performing his compulsory military service as a citizen of Israel and as required by law. He has been in training so far. My 17-year-old is still in high school.

Kershner, an Israeli, is said by the Times to be “a contract writer,” not a member of the Times staff, as such, but she did considerable coverage of Gaza last summer at a time. When we asked her if her son had served in Gaza, she said, “if there were at any time a conflict of interest I would of course recuse myself from covering a particular story. That is the policy for correspondents everywhere, whether in Washington, Moscow or here.” She told us we should direct other questions to her editor Michael Slackman, the Times deputy foreign editor. Weiss wrote him and Foreign Editor Joe Kahn, and Kahn said last week that he would clarify the issue when he returned from traveling.

Update. Kahn writes:

We do take people’s personal and familial ties into consideration in assigning reporters to beats, and our staff in Israel is certainly no exception. We also hold all reporters, regardless of their affiliations, to a high standard of objectivity in their work for the Times.
During the recent Gaza conflict, none of our correspondents had a conflict of interest under our strict standards. In the event of a future conflict, we would make sure that continues to be the case.

The Times has twice come under scrutiny in recent years when it was revealed that a writer’s son was in the IDF. In 2010 Electronic Intifada reported that the son of then-Jerusalem-bureau-chief Ethan Bronner, an American Jew, had entered the Israeli army. EI described Bronner’s son’s service as a conflict of interest the paper had failed to disclose per its own policy on reporters’ attachments. Times editors responded that the matter was Bronner’s son’s personal choice and did not bear on Bronner’s reporting, but then Times public editor Clark Hoyt took a different stance, saying it should have been disclosed, “[Executive editor Bill] Keller and Bronner responded freely to my questions, but the paper has otherwise been tight-lipped so far,” he wrote, before calling for Bronner’s reassignment:

The Times sent a reporter overseas to provide disinterested coverage of one of the world’s most intense and potentially explosive conflicts, and now his son has taken up arms for one side. Even the most sympathetic reader could reasonably wonder how that would affect the father, especially if shooting broke out.

I have enormous respect for Bronner and his work, and he has done nothing wrong. But this is not about punishment; it is simply a difficult reality. I would find a plum assignment for him somewhere else, at least for the duration of his son’s service in the I.D.F.

The Times management differed; Bronner continued to cover the conflict until early 2012.

Then last summer, David Brooks, the conservative columnist for the Times, told Katie Couric that his son had joined the Israeli army during an interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival (video here at 52:00). Brooks is also an American Jew, but he spoke of himself in Haaretz‘s coverage of the matter as an Israeli parent.

Andrew Rosenthal, the paper’s editorial page editor, said the son’s service was Brooks’s business. “I do not think he ever had an obligation to say that his son made this choice, any more than if his son had joined the U.S. Air Force.” But again the NYT’s public editor, who works independently, outside the paper’s editorial structure, said the matter should have been disclosed. Margaret Sullivan wrote:

I don’t think readers usually need to know what the spouses of columnists think or what brothers do for a living, or whether a daughter has joined the U.S. Army. But this situation strikes me as a more extreme case. Mr. Brooks’s son is serving as a member of a foreign military force that has been involved in a serious international conflict – one that the columnist sometimes writes about and which has been very much in the news.

I strongly disagree with those who say Mr. Brooks should no longer write about Israel. But I do think that a one-time acknowledgement of this situation in print (not in an interview with another publication) is completely reasonable.

The Times has never disclosed Brooks’s son’s choice. Nor has National Public Radio, where Brooks also serves as a commentator, often talking about Israel in a supportive manner.

There is a fourth instance of a Times reporter’s son entering the IDF. It took place in about 2010. Weiss learned of this through a personal connection and has never reported it because the reporter was not assigned to foreign policy.

Kershner is author of a book, Barrier, that was critical of Israel’s separation wall, but her son’s service is sure to add to the Times’s reputation as a newspaper that is based on one side of the conflict, the Israeli side—a reputation anchored by the fact that the Times owns an apartment in West Jerusalem that was built atop a house taken from a Palestinian family who were forced to flee Jerusalem during the Nakba in 1948.  Many have called on the paper to hire a Palestinian correspondent, or someone who is based in Ramallah in the occupied territories. Palestinian graffiti artists have had their say, too– putting the Times logo on the concrete separation wall in East Jerusalem some years ago.

Kershner’s family life came under scrutiny earlier this year, when the Times public editor said that Hirsh Goodman’s work for an Israeli thinktank fighting Israel’s information wars should be disclosed to readers, a conflict highlighted by our own Alex Kane.

The children of Times Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, are too young to go into the army, but Rudoren has stated that she first visited the country with a Zionist youth group and that she is “knowledgeable about the Jewish American or Jewish Israeli side of this beat.” She only seemed to enhance that resume when she said on Facebook that that Palestinians seem “ho-hum” about their relatives’ deaths or when she chatted with leading Israel lobbyist Abe Foxman about when “the Arabs” bought the Essex House in New York. And her husband made a cameo in an Israeli government film urging American Jews to immigrate to Israel.

The Times has Jewish ownership, the Sulzberger family, which maintained a policy in the 1950s and 60s of only assigning non-Jewish reporters to Jerusalem lest the paper might appear to be exercising bias in favor of the Jewish state. That policy was reversed in the 1970s; and today some call that policy anti-Semitic. But the policy the Times replaced that one with seems to be fulfilling some of its early concerns.

107 Responses

  1. Nevada Ned
    October 27, 2014, 11:30 am

    Don’t forget Joel Greenberg, an American Jew who served in the IDF, and later served as Jerusalem Bureau Chief.

    Certainly no conflict of interest there !!

    Since the NYT won’t do anything about this, and since the NYT maintains that there’s no conflict of interest, I suggest disclosure. By Mondoweiss!

    Once a month, Mondoweiss should print a piece about NYT correspondents and their Israeli connections. And also include other media people e.g., Wolf Blitzer of CNN, who earlier worked at a propagandist for AIPAC.

    • lysias
      October 27, 2014, 12:12 pm

      I believe I read some place that the book Blitzer wrote early in his career about the Pollard case very much played down the Israeli government’s role in what happened, i.e., amounted to damage control. I haven’t read the book, so I can’t confirm this. I have no desire to read a book written (or at least ostensibly written) by Blitzer.

      • Sudhama
        October 27, 2014, 11:09 pm

        here is all you need to know about wolf blitzer’s views on israel, he was explicit and far from unbiased:

    • ziusudra
      October 29, 2014, 2:44 am

      Greetings Nev. Ned,
      I’m sure most US service available Jews would rather serve in the IDF, but would never want to lose time serving in our army. We also remember the strong feelings of our Irish immigrants of the 19th C, who sided with Irish freedom against English tyranny. I don’t blame them for thinking as they do. We’ve had enough Clintons who dodged service too. I will only say that anyone who serves could be serving for the interests of corrupt governments such as the US,UK & Zionistan. We’ve lost a lot of men since Korea & Viet Nam.
      ziusudra

  2. Kay24
    October 27, 2014, 11:41 am

    If her son is in the Israeli military she should do the right thing and resign from her present post.
    Maybe she should work for the Spanish bureau and write about bull fights.
    Has it become so ridiculous that we must now be suspicious of all the Jewish correspondents who are either posted in Israel or write about our foreign policies concerning Israel.
    The NYT’s should realize that they are having biased reporting from Israel.
    Folks who carry the water for Israel should not be posted there, and certainly no reporter with kids in the Israeli military, or have deep connections to their armed forces, should pretend to write articles about that nation, other than articles on cooking of course.

    • Krauss
      October 27, 2014, 1:38 pm

      I mean, can anybody really pretend that the NYT isn’t totally biased for Israel anymore?

      It’s a serious question. Do they even try? Even their public editors agree.
      Despite all the hype about “anti-Israel bias”, by Matti Friedman and others, the reality is the opposite and these stories merely confirm this – time and time again.

      • Kay24
        October 27, 2014, 5:07 pm

        There is no anti Israel bias in the US media at all. Between AIPAC and the zionist owners, they have made sure any criticism of Israel is squashed, those who dare to speak out are demonized, and Israel crimes are never mentioned.

  3. hophmi
    October 27, 2014, 11:48 am

    The notion that because the Times has a Jewish owner, it covers Israel in a certain way, is antisemitic on its face. You provide no evidence of any link between the two. You simply make an antisemitic assumption.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 27, 2014, 12:44 pm

      you might have a point had they written that the times covers israel a certain way because it has a jewish owner. but they didn’t. they wrote that the times has a jewish owner and “maintained a policy in the 1950s and 60s of only assigning non-Jewish reporters to Jerusalem lest the paper might appear to be exercising bias in favor of the Jewish state” and later reversed that policy. and then mention that some people today think that policy was anti semitic.

      and then they wrote “But the policy the Times replaced that one with seems to be fulfilling some of its early concerns. ”

      and what would those concerns be? “the paper might appear to be exercising bias in favor of the Jewish state”

      You provide no evidence of any link between the two.

      not sure if i agree with you there hops. if the times had reporters whose children were serving in palestinian militias some of their pro israel readers might raise concerns. the evidence, or “link” is the mere fact of their children serving in the military on one side of a conflict the parents are reporting.

      • Ellen
        October 27, 2014, 2:47 pm

        Annie, excellent and intelligent response!

    • Mooser
      October 27, 2014, 12:47 pm

      “You simply make an antisemitic assumption.”

      And there’s that squelching sound….

      • Mooser
        October 27, 2014, 12:50 pm

        Hophmi, did you ever hear the joke (stop me if I’ve told it before) about the dog who chases cars? He get’s back from chasing a car down the street, barking like crazy, and when he gets back, he says: “I love chasing cars!”
        And another dog says: “Yeah, that’s great, but exactly what do you intend to do when you catch one?”

    • Krauss
      October 27, 2014, 1:37 pm

      The notion that because the Times has a Jewish owner, it covers Israel in a certain way, is antisemitic on its face.

      No, it’s common sense.

      The same would be true if the NYT had Irish Catholic owners during the Irish conflict before the Good Friday agreement. Sorry hophmi, nobody buys that BS you’re putting out there anymore.

      That ship has sailed.

      • Mooser
        October 27, 2014, 3:17 pm

        “The same would be true if the NYT had Irish Catholic owners during the Irish conflict before the Good Friday agreement.”

        An American newspaper owner who was “Irish Catholic” couldn’t avoid interfering with the editorial department on the subject of the “Irish conflict”? Okay.

        And I thought that ship had sailed.

      • lysias
        October 27, 2014, 3:53 pm

        The Irish Catholic Patterson family, which founded and long ran the New York Daily News, ensured that it espoused the politics of many Irish-Americans. Until Pearl Harbor, it was isolationist and anti-British. After World War Two, it was fiercely anti-Communist and backed Joe McCarthy when he was riding high.

      • lysias
        October 27, 2014, 4:05 pm

        It was probably what the Pattersons believed anyway, but it was also good business for the Daily News to adopt these politics. These were the politics of most of its working-class largely Catholic readership.

        Similarly, it was — and probably still is — good business for the New York Times to be as pro-Israel as it is. I believe I’ve read that the Sulzbergers dropped their former anti-Zionism because they came under pressure from advertisers, especially the big department stores. And the readership of the paper has long been disproportionately Jewish. (I say that although I and my father were long readers of the Times, at least after the demise of the Herald Tribune in 1966. The Herald Tribune had been New York’s WASP rival of the Times, but my father, although Irish, perhaps because of his conservative politics and dislike of what he considered the anticlericalism of the Times, read the Herald Tribune for as long as it survived.)

    • American
      October 27, 2014, 2:28 pm

      There is no “assumption”………Assigning Jewish reporters and Israelis to cover Israel and I/P is a PATTERN of the NYT.
      How those Jews and Israelis report on it and how they favor the Israelis side is also a PATTERN.

      You know what a Pattern is dont you?

      Pattern:

      “Consistent and recurring characteristic or trait that helps in the identification of a phenomenon or problem, and serves as an indicator or model for predicting its future behavior.’

      Just like your Hasbara Pattern–we always know what you’re going to say.

    • michelle
      October 27, 2014, 5:25 pm

      .
      it sounds like you haven’t read the times
      though you should know just based on
      the times excerpts shared here
      .
      why it’s as plain as the nose on your face
      .
      G-d Bless
      .

    • Horizontal
      October 27, 2014, 5:53 pm

      hophmi ~

      The notion that because the Times has a Jewish owner, it covers Israel in a certain way, is antisemitic on its face.

      Close, but no cigar.

      I prefer to start with the fact of the NYT’s repeated bias in favor of Israel and then work backwards from there. The owners must read their own paper occasionally and therefor must be fine with its coverage. So those are two facts: The paper has a pro-Israel bias and its Jewish owners are fine with that.

      Not knowing the owners, I’d have to inquire whether it is because they really support Israel, it’s merely a monetary decision, or some combination of the two. Whatever the reasons, it stinks.

      Aside from that, I find it interesting that after reading the entire article, you had nothing to say about it except one misquoted complaint about a face full of anti-Semitism. Don’t you like knowing, as a reader, about any potential whiff of conflict of interest by the reporters filing their stories, whether they deal with Israel or not?

    • bryan
      October 28, 2014, 3:59 am

      Hophmi – “The notion that because the Times has a Capitalist owner, it covers economic matters, corporate affairs, taxation policy, global warming and many other issues in a certain way, is antisemitic on its face. You provide no evidence of any link between the two. You simply make an antisemitic assumption.” The capitalist press does not simply dominate the mass media in order to make profit but in order to control the narrative and to achieve hegemony for its world-view. The Murdoch media empire is an excellent example especially in its UK acquisition of the Sun and its US acquisition of Fox News of exerting editorial pressure to further its corporate and class interests. Everyone concedes that capitalist and conservative press ownership influences coverage – why on the face of it should Jewish media ownership be any different?

    • DavidDaoud
      October 28, 2014, 11:06 am

      Should we disregard the simple fact that Canada’s ‘National Post’ is owned by the Asper Family, as in Israel “Izzy” Asper the patriarch of that family? Should we disregard the simple fact that more than 90% of Canada’s news media is owned by this family? Is it only a coincidence that Canada’s newspapers consistently portray Israel as the victim in any conflict with the Palestinians? Is it antisemitic to point that out?

    • eGuard
      October 28, 2014, 2:40 pm

      Mondoweiss Comment Rule #1 (the eGuard-rule): unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism are not published. Recidivists will be banned.

      Should have been applied here.

  4. Qualtrough
    October 27, 2014, 11:52 am

    It is hard to imagine a bigger conflict of interest than for a mother or father to have a child serving in the military of the country they cover as a foreign correspondent. This type of thing is outrageous, and it goes a long way toward explaining why the coverage of this conflict in the USA is so biased.

    • In2u
      October 27, 2014, 2:42 pm

      Maybe it’s an experiment to see which is mightier, sword or the pen?

      • Annie Robbins
        October 27, 2014, 11:06 pm

        israel’s sword is dependent on it’s pen. what would the slaughter/ethnic cleansing look like without the narrative to go along with it. either way it’s a slam dunk tho; israel is loosing the media war because no amount of hasbara can erase the war crimes or the agenda.

      • Mooser
        October 28, 2014, 10:26 am

        Let’s lose the dogs of war!

  5. Patrick
    October 27, 2014, 11:54 am

    Andrew Revkin who writes the ‘The Earth’ blog on climate change for the NY Times mentioned that his son had served with the Israeli army. This is mentioned in passing in this post from last year: link to well.blogs.nytimes.com

    • bilal a
      October 27, 2014, 2:35 pm

      what is most startling is that every one of the outed reporters appear to be good liberal multiculturalists , left leaning secularists abroad, but violent ethno nationalists in their home , spare , country.. The christians are helping some to come home:

      Help the Christians bring the Jews Home to Israel
      link to c4israel.org

      Ali Abunimah [email protected]
      .@AmbShapiro When you retire as US amb. to “Israel” do you think you’ll renounce your citizenship like @AmbDermer did & become Israeli amb?

      link to twitter.com

    • Marco
      October 27, 2014, 2:38 pm

      Incredible.

      We have to interrogate the NY Times’ coverage not just of Israel but of U.S. foreign policy in general.

      What should we make of the Gray Lady’s positions on America’s habitual military interventions when it seems as if more of its journalists have children in the IDF than in the U.S. military?

  6. Nevada Ned
    October 27, 2014, 11:55 am

    Alison Weir has a more complete list of NYT journalists who have family in the IDF.

    link to ifamericansknew.org

    and see “related links” from the weir website.

    Even if you think this conflict of interest is OK, it should be disclosed to NYT readers.

  7. lysias
    October 27, 2014, 12:09 pm

    The Times has Jewish ownership, the Sulzberger family, which maintained a policy in the 1950s and 60s of only assigning non-Jewish reporters to Jerusalem lest the paper might appear to be exercising bias in favor of the Jewish state. That policy was reversed in the 1970s; and today some call that policy anti-Semitic.

    One wonders if the policy was reversed during A.M. Rosenthal’s stints as managing editor (1970-77) and executive editor (1977-88). He was a much more committed Zionist than the Sulzbergers, wasn’t he?

    • Mooser
      October 27, 2014, 12:52 pm

      “He was a much more committed Zionist than the Sulzbergers, wasn’t he?”

      And the Sulzbergers getting older?

      • Mooser
        October 29, 2014, 11:44 am

        “One wonders if the policy was reversed during…”

        link to wrmea.org

        link to wrmea.org

        . “And equally, no one has been more responsible for the present-day “Israelism” of this most powerful of all papers than Abe Rosenthal.”

      • Mooser
        October 29, 2014, 11:53 am

        From the link:

        “It was clear to the Sulzberger family that Rosenthal was not their kind of a Jew. This, and perhaps the fact that he had a non-Jewish wife and non-Jewish mistress, only intensified his drive to advance Israel’s image.”

        Okay, I’m really liberal about out-marriage, but there is such a thing as going too far!

  8. pabelmont
    October 27, 2014, 12:26 pm

    How honestly can a reporter report about Israeli atrocities or war-crimes (when these occur) when they have a son or daughter in the IDF whose life might be endangered by such a report?

    • Kay24
      October 27, 2014, 5:17 pm

      No credible reporter can, and unfortunately, the NYT has lost their sense of rationale and seem to have no qualms about having some who can never have any unbiased opinions and write in a professional way. They will always have cloudy judgement, slants that favor Israel, and will help sell Israel’s narrative, right or wrong. But it seems the NYT does not care about it’s reputation. It is becoming more and more obvious they are a pro Israel rag.

      • Mooser
        October 28, 2014, 10:29 am

        “No credible reporter can, and unfortunately, the NYT has lost their sense of rationale and seem to have no qualms about having some who can never have any unbiased opinions and write in a professional way.”

        NYTs report; ‘Israel was accused of an atrocity in Gaza today, but all the reports from my son say it isn’t true! And besides, he wouldn’t do such a thing.’

  9. Blownaway
    October 27, 2014, 12:27 pm

    This is only an issue if the Times were trying to pass themselves off as unbiased. That ship sailed long ago

  10. DoubleStandard
    October 27, 2014, 12:40 pm

    What difference does it make? Her reporting is totally skewed against Israel as it is, even with her son in the army.

    If the Times brought a Palestinian on whose son was connected to Hamas, you’d be getting off like there’s no tomorrow.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 27, 2014, 12:53 pm

      Her reporting is totally skewed against Israel as it is

      could you post some examples of this alleged “totally skewed against Israel” ? w/link and blockquote?

      like this:

      kershner’s title: “Israel Claims Nearly 1,000 Acres of West Bank Land Near Bethlehem” link to nytimes.com

      Israel on Sunday laid claim to nearly 1,000 acres of West Bank land in a Jewish settlement bloc….Palestinians aspire to form a state in the lands that Israel conquered in 1967.

      laid claim? they seized the land. conquered?

      and what about this: link to blog.thejerusalemfund.org

      The story here was the massive number of units (20,000!) slated for development. Every Israeli newspaper managed to prioritize that part of the story correctly. Yet for the New York Times the story, written by Jodi Rudoren, was not that 20,000 new settlements units were closer to being built but rather that Netanyahu put a stop to some settlements.

      It is absolutely dumbfounding that Israeli papers continue to report more critically of their government than papers in the United States. In fact, the headline of the NYT story yesterday was “Netanyahu halts some settlement plants, but others to proceed.” It would make you think that the majority were initially halted and the minority were to proceed but in fact it was the other way around, twenty-fold!

      i highly recommend opening the entire link. we’ve had numerous articles here critiquing the bias of the nyt. and there’s a great blog dedicated to exposing bias at the times: link to timeswarp.org

      so please offer some example of how they “totally skewed against Israel”.

    • Mooser
      October 27, 2014, 12:54 pm

      “What difference does it make? Her reporting is totally skewed against Israel as it is, even with her son in the army.”

      Oh, please, DS, do tell us more about the “totally skewed against Israel” reporting in the NYTs. That should be very interesting.

    • ckg
      October 27, 2014, 1:48 pm

      How about her reporting on Ban Ki-moon’s trip to Gaza on Oct 18? Amazingly she does not once mention the fact that Palestinians were killed and injured during the “50-day war between Israel and Hamas.” But she devotes the final two paragraphs to three Israelis who were killed by mortar fire and the implications for Israel’s security.

    • just
      October 27, 2014, 4:17 pm

      Israel is ‘skewing’ itself!

    • straightline
      October 27, 2014, 4:23 pm

      When the NYT hires a Palestinian whose son has a Hamas connection we’ll believe it’s unbiased. But it hasn’t and it has hired several reporters and columnists whose sons are members of the IDF. Double standard?

    • Horizontal
      October 27, 2014, 6:27 pm

      If the Times brought a Palestinian on whose son was connected to Hamas, you’d be getting off like there’s no tomorrow.

      About time for the false equivalency meme to show up.

      See, if the NYT had a Palestinian reporter (stop me while I’m laughing) with a son fighting for Hamas, I’d still want to know about it. It’s called being an informed reader. That way, I know what I’m being fed, and if I know the biases of my reporters, I can still pretty much tell where the truth lies. Folks in the former Soviet Union had to operate that way for years.

      The difference between you and me, is that I want the facts as much as possible and then make decisions based on those facts; you, instead, just want to ensure that the “right side” is controlling the information.

      Two totally different mindsets.

      • Mooser
        October 27, 2014, 8:08 pm

        Darn, I’m a little disappointed. I really hoped “jon s” would favor us with some examples of NYTs “anti-Israel” reporting. I don’t get to see something like that every day.

      • Horizontal
        October 27, 2014, 10:29 pm

        I really hoped “jon s” would favor us with some examples of NYTs “anti-Israel” reporting. I don’t get to see something like that every day

        With so many examples, it’s going to take him a while to sort through them all.

        Let’s be patient . . .

      • DoubleStandard
        October 28, 2014, 2:32 am

        I believe that the nyt is more anti Israel in the selection of its reporting more than in the actual substance itself. They are generally neutral in the actual reporting, but neutrality inherently favors the Palestinians because they will always look like the victims. Lack of power = leftist sympathy.

        In terms of selection, the nyt focuses in Palestinian suffering way disproportionate to the actual number of deaths and accepts data from Hamas agencies which openly brag about there dishonesty.

      • Mooser
        October 28, 2014, 10:32 am

        ,” but neutrality inherently favors the Palestinians because they will always look like the victims.”

        I never knew neutrality is anti-Israeli! Oy Gevalt is there no relief?
        What a world! When neutrality and reality are anti-Semitic, what can you do?

      • Mooser
        October 28, 2014, 10:33 am

        We need an edit window. I forgot to add “ROTFLMSJAO!!”

      • Mooser
        October 28, 2014, 10:54 am

        “Lack of power = leftist sympathy.”

        Good Lord, how un-Jewish those “leftists” are!

        “In terms of selection, the nyt focuses in Palestinian suffering way disproportionate to the actual number of deaths”

        Jeezuz, you’re insane, aren’t you, DS? Just plain insane.

      • oldgeezer
        October 28, 2014, 11:06 am

        @Mooser

        Makes you wonder why they will always look like the victims, doesn’t it. Where do they get such nifty halloween costumes.

      • Horizontal
        October 28, 2014, 11:59 am

        They are generally neutral in the actual reporting, but neutrality inherently favors the Palestinians because they will always look like the victims.

        Yeah, pummeling civilians with cluster bombs tends to do that.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 27, 2014, 11:03 pm

      hey double standard. re your trashed response, you should try that again without the equivalent of ‘jews are not a people other than the collective identity to screw over humanity’ thrown in. you know we don’t publish that crap.

      • DoubleStandard
        October 28, 2014, 4:40 am

        And no grammar comments. I see the mistakes but I can’t correct them.

      • Mooser
        October 28, 2014, 10:34 am

        “But Mamila, what if the Turk kills me?”
        “Why should he do that? What have the Jews ever done to him?”

      • Horizontal
        October 28, 2014, 7:34 pm

        I see the mistakes but I can’t correct them.

        That is actually a very good description of my take on Israel.

      • Mooser
        October 29, 2014, 6:56 pm

        “but neutrality inherently favors the Palestinians”

        Not everybody has hands are quicker than the eye, but sometimes the hand is more honest than the man.

  11. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    October 27, 2014, 12:49 pm

    If a journalist had a son enlisted in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, or in any Palestinian militant group, I highly doubt they would get any sort of journalistic post at the New York Times at all, let alone one covering the Middle East.

  12. seafoid
    October 27, 2014, 2:26 pm

    Sending an American child to fight in the IDF, where child killing is an art form, is an indictment of parenting more than anything else.

    • Mooser
      October 27, 2014, 3:25 pm

      “Sending an American child to fight in the IDF, where child killing is an art form, is an indictment of parenting more than anything else”

      However, I’m sure they got lots of good maternal advice on the way to their military assignment.

      • Mooser
        October 28, 2014, 10:44 am

        “But Mamila, what if the Hamas tries to kill me”
        “Why should he do that? What have the Americans ever done to him?”

  13. In2u
    October 27, 2014, 2:49 pm

    It’s like having a mother of drug dealer on jury service and the accused is her son.

    Nope, no conflict of interest there.

  14. Jackdaw
    October 27, 2014, 3:02 pm

    There’s a creepy, voyeurist feeling to this article.

    • just
      October 27, 2014, 4:38 pm

      Yep, truth appears that way for ‘some’.

    • benedict
      October 27, 2014, 6:27 pm

      its called stalking.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 27, 2014, 10:56 pm

        ts called stalking.

        bwahhh. and what are you doing here benedict?

      • oldgeezer
        October 29, 2014, 6:41 am

        Stalking? Hardly. No one has been digging into anyone’s private personal life. A journalist’s (amongst other professions) conflicts of interests are fair game. Conflicts of interest are fair game for anyone. Nobody has delved further into anyone’s personal life than that or if they have (which I would disagree with) then they haven’t made such info public.

    • Mooser
      October 27, 2014, 7:27 pm

      “There’s a creepy, voyeurist feeling to this article.”

      That’s because a creepy “voyeurist” is reading it. Why kids in IDF uniforms gives you that “creepy voyeurist” feelings I don’t know, and hopefully, you won’t tell us.

  15. a blah chick
    October 27, 2014, 4:23 pm

    Wow, just look at all that multiculturalism!

    Looks like Kershner’s spawn has been studying his hasbara bullet points.

    • Horizontal
      October 28, 2014, 7:46 pm

      I wonder what they said to get them all to smile like that?

      I bet it wasn’t “cheese!”

  16. Daniel Rich
    October 27, 2014, 4:30 pm

    Let me get this right; if I join any army anywhere in the world I’ll be tried for treason and be shot against the backdrop of a wall, but… when I join the IDF I’ll be whaling wailing against the backdrop of Al Quida Al Buraq a wall and be hailed for it [in certain circles]?

  17. seafoid
    October 27, 2014, 4:40 pm

    All the smiles with the guns but when they were losing soldiers by the hour on days in Gaza this summer they didn’t know how to react.

    Israel takes soldiers killed pointlessly during lawnmowing very hard.
    Losing a kid to one of bibi’s wars of choice is something parents find very tough.

  18. joemowrey
    October 27, 2014, 5:36 pm

    Here is a link to a good article from Jeffrey St. Claire at CounterPunch about this penchant those of us on the left have for quoting the Times, over and over again, no matter how biased and absurd we realize its coverage is.
    link to counterpunch.org

    The substantive quote from the article:

    “Chomsky taught two generations how to read the paper of record, how to detect the warps in its stories, the subtle biases and false constructions, the decisive elisions of context, and servility toward elite power. What Chomsky could do not was to teach us how to stop reading the New York Times.”

    And how to stop legitimizing it by using it as a reference as if it were an actual news organization. We’ll see plenty of criticism of the NYT pro-Zionist coverage, but then the very next article we read will be littered with quotes from the Times.

    I believe a good term for this paradox is “epistemic closure: In US political debate, a reference to closed systems of deduction that are unaffected by empirical evidence.” In other words, despite the overwhelming evidence that the NYT is nothing more than a propagandistic rag, we continue to refer to it as a source for real information.

  19. Horizontal
    October 27, 2014, 6:04 pm

    About time to dust off my favorite Upton Sinclair quote:

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

    How much more difficult it must be then, when your child is involved.

  20. Mooser
    October 27, 2014, 7:20 pm

    Poor old NYTs! There it is, doing its best, and the ‘anti-Israel bias’ of the times is a constant complaint of RW Zionists.
    Sort of gives the lie to the old “if-you-are-pissing-both-sides-off-you-must-be-right” thing.

  21. Nevada Ned
    October 27, 2014, 7:58 pm

    To see what the situation was a number of years ago, check out this statement by Edward P. Herman. Herman blasts the US media for misrepresentation of the plight of the Palestinians. Chomsky and Herman, in their great book The Political Economy of Human Rights, discuss the mass media at great length. C&H have led to the creation of the field of media studies.

    By the way, I hope that all Mondoweiss readers know that both Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman are Jewish. Some of the sharpest, most incisive criticism of Israeli policy comes from Jews.

    Herman and Peterson wrote another important book, The Politics of Genocide, which (among other things) shows that the mainstream account of the massacre in Rwanda is all wrong.

    • Mooser
      October 28, 2014, 10:42 am

      “By the way, I hope that all Mondoweiss readers know that both Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman are Jewish. “

      Yeah, according to themselves. Frankly, I’ve heard different from a lot of people. Aren’t there Jewish authorities who can make a proper and definitive determination?

  22. Daniel Rich
    October 28, 2014, 2:51 am

    Yes, send Juan and Pepe to die fight in America’s bloodbaths liberating operations elsewhere, so Aharon and Yishayahu can go shoot Palestinians guppies in a barrel on empty plots of land, in a place where nobody lives…, yet.

  23. Accentitude
    October 28, 2014, 6:47 am

    Ahh such a charming young group of lads and lasses, especially for ethnic cleansing racist baby killers. Hell, I bet, outside of their uniforms, they could even be advertisement models for Abercrombie & Fitch. How could you be against their actions? Just look at their smiles!

  24. eGuard
    October 28, 2014, 2:29 pm

    Phil, There is a fourth instance of a Times reporter’s son entering the IDF. It took place in about 2010. Weiss learned of this through a personal connection and has never reported it because the reporter was not assigned to foreign policy.

    Didn’t you wrote a few weeks ago you didn’t disclose it because it was personal? And “not foreign policy”, does that men not any topic that AIPAC is involved in? (What could that be?)

    Why not leak it to electronic intifada anyway. I’d like to judge by myself if his/her writing in NYT is to be re-read.

  25. eGuard
    October 28, 2014, 2:48 pm

    The NYT can state: “If the shoe is on the other foot, we do the same”.

  26. lysias
    October 28, 2014, 4:50 pm

    Foreign Fighters bill now being considered by Australian parliament would forbid Australians fighting in other foreign militaries, but not in the IDF.

    • Horizontal
      October 28, 2014, 7:39 pm

      There’s a shocker.

    • Accentitude
      October 29, 2014, 4:07 am

      If foreign fighters can proudly fight in the IDF, then it should also not come as a shock that other foreign fighters could fight in ISIS or Al Qaeda. It’s all a matter of perspective. In my mind, there is no distinction between the massacres committed by the IDF and the massacres committed by ISIS and if you think about it both are equally motivated by religion as they are by politics.

    • oldgeezer
      October 29, 2014, 7:00 am

      There are two issues here. One political and one practical.

      I will be upfront and state I have issues with people holding multiple citizenships. I personally was entitled to US and UK citizenship but chose to seek neither. The rules are age limited and as far as I know I am no longer entitled to either.

      I don’t think anyone should be allowed to have dual (or more) citizenship or passports. Declare your citizenship and stick with it. I have been called antisemitic for that position but I’m ok with that.

      If your nation is not at war with an entity then joining a foreign army should have consequences. For whatever reason, good or bad, your nation has chosen not to go to war. If you choose to do so then you are either going against your nation’s interest or you disagree with the democratic results of your nation to the extent you are willing to volunteer to kill people over it. That is a redline for me and should be for anyone, in my opinion. That should have consequences without exceptions for the nation/side you have chosen.

      So that’s the political side.

      The secondary/practical side is PTSD. If my country decides to not go to war with X and given the frequency of PTSD why should I as a taxpayer be required to fund your future treatment for the ailment given that an individual decided to go against my nation’s interest. Why should my fellow citizens carry the burden that was created by some third party nation in order to treat you. And I’m not just talking about the financial burden but also referring to it occuring in incidents of spousal abuse, those inclined to take out their whole family before taking their own lives, suicide rates. PTSD is something we have yet ot get a good firm grasp on.

      You chose country X over the nation whose passport you carry. Let them carry the consequences of their actions and, as well, the consequences of your decisions given that they derived a benefit from it. I really don’t want you back in my country.

      As a liberal I would still want to ensure someone was looked after and that the fallout didn’t hurt my society but on principle why shouldn’t Israel care for those who are mentally and emotionally damaged by virtue of the crimes they commit.

      I have no great issues with these laws that impact on those enrolling in foreign military/militias but no exceptions.

      In closing, I can’t imagine serving in the idf which is dedicated to oppressing and killing civilians and coming home sane anymore than signing up to ISIL. I am completely surprised that people see a difference between the idf and ISIL. Both wantonly kill civilians to secure their objective. The type and quality of weapons is the only difference.

      • Mooser
        October 29, 2014, 10:43 am

        Any competent military administration gets pretty good at making risk-benefit assessments. And you can be sure the risk of a NYTs reporter’s issue breaking so much as a fingernail has been assessed, and rejected by the IDF.

        Do you think the kid is worth more to the IDF as a soldier, or more as an example to his parents of the fine people the IDF training creates? I think they are at very little risk.

    • straightline
      November 3, 2014, 10:37 pm

      To be fair, it is framed in a way that does not explicitly make Israel an exception. Rather the bill requires the minister to make a determination of a “prescribed organisation” based on a number of criteria, such as being engaged in subversion of a country allied to Australia, or being engaged in human rights violations.

      No minister in an Australian government would describe what any action by Israel as a violation of human rights – they have to worry about the lobby here too.

  27. Carlo
    October 28, 2014, 6:15 pm

    You’ve all got it wrong. The truth is that some parents of IDF recruits are embedded in the NYT.

  28. Horizontal
    October 28, 2014, 7:40 pm

    Forgot to add:

    I thought Israel wanted to be treated like every other country?

    Except when they don’t.

  29. traintosiberia
    October 28, 2014, 9:36 pm

    Nice bilateral arrangemnets between the two. NYT reporter gets some access and Isreal gets to vet any news before it makes to the pages of NYT . It also possibly offers deals and promises the possibilities of the various career develpoments to the young soldier including spots in lucrative intelligence,financial sectors , ambassadorship to western countries or offers opportunities for political future in Israel.

  30. Wisdo
    October 29, 2014, 10:12 am

    It would be interesting to find out how many (if any) New York Times reporters sons or daughters are currently serving in the armed forces of the United States.

  31. W.Jones
    October 29, 2014, 11:48 am

    One of the things I noticed about this photo is how it looks like a groupie shot from a smiling, college outing club.

    • Mooser
      October 29, 2014, 7:07 pm

      Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda,
      Here I am,
      In Israel’s Army
      I’m getting lots
      intensive training!
      Yesterday I think I saw a Palestinian!

      • seafoid
        October 29, 2014, 7:18 pm

        Hello Mudda,
        Hello Fadda, Here I am,
        In Camp Hasbara
        I’m getting lots of intensive training!
        Fighting pure anti-Semitism is so draining
        I went hiking with Milikovsky .
        I’d rather be fucked unconscious by a husky .
        You remember Naftali Bennet ?
        He got ptomaine poisoning last night after dinner.
        Ma sha allah

        All the Americans hate the Sabras .
        And the lake has no fish .
        And the head coach wants no Arabs,
        So he reads to us from something called the King’s torah
        Now I don’t want this to scare ya,
        But my bunk mate has Ziocainia .
        You remember Jeffrey Goldberg ?
        Very forgettable .
        Take me home.

        Oh Muddah, Fadduh,
        Take me home.
        I hate Givati
        Don’t leave me
        Out in the forest where, I might
        Get eaten by a Hezbollati.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 29, 2014, 8:42 pm

        seafoid gets my vote any day! sorry mooser ;)

      • seafoid
        October 30, 2014, 9:43 am

        Hey Mooser

        Thank you so much for posting that riff of Hello mudda. I hadn’t heard the song in years.
        It’s so funny. And so apt for camp Kimama and other Zionist indoctrination processes.

        I went over to youtube and found the song with one very interesting comment underneath

        link to youtube.com
        WHEN STUFF STARTS GETTING RIDICULOUSLY FRUSTRATING AT WORK I START PLAYING THIS AMUNGST THE KAOS AND DULL ROAR. LMAO!! A COWORKER AND I WERE CRYING LAUGHING SO HARD ABOUT ALL OF IT TODAY. ITS BECOME OUR RUNNING JOKE.

        The sort of nuance you just can’t get at AIPAC.

      • Mooser
        October 31, 2014, 11:32 am

        “seafoid gets my vote any day! sorry mooser ;)”

        Absolutely, Seafoid! I just ran it up the flagpole, to see who would set it on fire.

      • Mooser
        November 2, 2014, 11:31 am

        Well, if Seafoid wins, I can always be moving to Shaker Heights, where I’ve got some connections in dry goods!

    • oldgeezer
      October 29, 2014, 8:21 pm

      I’ve always loved that song.

      Good humour.
      Lousy lyrics.
      Neither of you are Bernie Taupin and I claim my $5

      • Mooser
        October 31, 2014, 11:35 am

        “Neither of you are Bernie Taupin”

        Thank you! In return, you can tell everybody, this is your song.

    • eGuard
      October 31, 2014, 2:19 pm

      Two women in the picture. They are the only ones without a weapon.

      • Mooser
        October 31, 2014, 9:34 pm

        “Two women in the picture. They are the only ones without a weapon.”

        Yeah, the weight of a weapon slows the girls down when they’re running pizza and soft-drinks out to the front-line soldiers.

  32. Kathleen
    October 30, 2014, 11:42 am

    Great piece. Wondering if children of reporters for NYbloody Times are serving in other foreign countries militaries?

    Kahn “We also hold all reporters, regardless of their affiliations, to a high standard of objectivity in their work for the Times. ” Such bullshit. Judy “I was fucking right” Miller was a huge player pushing for the immoral invasion of Iraq on the front pages of that bloody lying rag. Do they really expect people to have such short memories? The NYbloody Times is absolutely guilty for hundreds of thousands of dead, injured and displaced Iraqi people. They were complicit in war crimes being committed. “High standards” like this sure have gotten lots of innocent people killed.

    About Brooke’s comments on NPR “often talking about Israel in a supportive manner. ”

    He always talks about Israel in a supportive manner. Always

  33. michelle
    November 4, 2014, 11:52 am

    .
    Israels youth
    Israels fruit
    Israels shame
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

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