‘The New York Times’ throws another sop to lovers of Israel

US Politics
on 36 Comments

In selecting and filing stories about the conflict, New York Times reporters have to be as politically sensitive as former members of the old Soviet Writers Union: they have to send the right signals to powerful groups that monitor their every move.

That semi-official role helps explain the long profile of a rightwing Israeli lawyer published by Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren two days ago. The headline lets you know that Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, 40, who pursues cases against attackers and critics of Israel in international fora is something of a loose cannon: “Crusading for Israel in a Way Some Say Is Misguided.”

But Darshan-Leitner’s organization, Shurat HaDin, has an annual budget of $2.5 million, and several friends are quoted. The takeaway of the article is, Sure, this woman sounds a little extreme, but who could be against what she’s doing to these heinous terrorists?

And because the piece is effectively done, and long, the woman is kind of interesting. Darshan-Leitner is the daughter of a retired dressmaker and teacher from Iran. The piece ends with a loving detail.

For Orthodox Jews like Ms. Darshan-Leitner, challah is one of three commandments required for women. It is a ritual process in which a piece is removed and burned, and a blessing recited.

“It’s a time that God is listening, so you can say a personal prayer or personal wish,” she explained. She thinks of sick people, she said, and also “about my cases.”

The piece is a sop to Israel supporters; the Times is signalling, We’re pro Israel here. It’s a repeat of the “worldly and pragmatic” settler portrait Rudoren gave us 3 years– loving detail about an extremist.

When will the Times find a Jewish woman who works for the human rights organization B’Tselem and makes challah, and profile her, and tell us how she got to be a leftist? Or tell us how Haneen Zoabi got to be such a compelling political leader in Israel?

We expect equal treatment. We’re not saying don’t write about Darshan-Leitner, but humanize the other side, too. Tell us what foods they prepare.

Donald Johnson adds:

The portrait brings out Darshan-Leitner’s kookiness (suing Jimmy Carter for defrauding customers with his Palestine: Peace not Apartheid book). But I wonder why Rudoren doesn’t do profiles of people who work for, say the Palestinian Center for Human Rights? Obviously this story is meant in some way to balance or make you forget about the Palestinians going to the International Criminal Court, but rather than write a series of serious stories about people who genuinely do favor using the courts to achieve justice, the NYT seems to be trying to discredit any attempt at using the courts as a partisan exercise. There is at least the possibility that the ICC could do an impartial investigation of the crimes of both sides, which is the opposite of what Darshan-Leitner wants.

The New York Times still feels more pressure from the right than it does from the left. Algemeiner reported on Jodi Rudoren complaining last fall about the heat from pro-Israel critics:

Jodi Rudoren, the New York Times bureau chief in Israel, has launched an unprecedented attack on pro-Israeli critics of her journalism, declaring that there “is a very active and very noisy group of advocates who has decided that tearing apart coverage of the conflict is a good tool of advocacy.”…

Rudoren reserved special opprobrium for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA,) a media watchdog that has regularly uncovered factual errors and editorial bias in her reporting…

Rudoren sharply criticized Jewish politics and culture magazine Tablet for running an article on August 28 by Richard Block, a leading Reform rabbi, entitled “Why I’m Unsubscribing from the New York Times.”

It’s hard for a reporter to deal with such pressure. The Times must stand behind its reporters four square when facing the Israel lobby, instead of leaving them out there alone to take all the heat.

 

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36 Responses

  1. just
    January 26, 2015, 5:25 pm

    I’m left to wonder if she is a friend of Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Rubin- Amanpour.

    “When will the Times find a Jewish woman who works for the human rights organization B’Tselem and makes challah, and profile her, and tell us how she got to be a leftist? Or tell us how Haneen Zoabi got to be such a compelling political leader in Israel?”

    A very good question. Maybe they could even bring themselves to do a story about a person from Ta’ayush or JVP or ISM….. there are many. David Shulman and Tzvia Thier are very wonderful beings:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/micro-incidents-hope

    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/06/zionist-believe-myself

    Or, maybe they could just hire Max B. or Dan Cohen or Allison Deger or Kate to report the truth… perhaps even Phil Weiss!

    • pabelmont
      January 26, 2015, 9:24 pm

      Or just to suggest topics and people to profile. But of course they don’t want to do that. They know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are and let’s not confuse the readers.

      A profile of Diana Buttu would be nice. A lawyer for the Palestinians for a change.

      • Walid
        January 26, 2015, 10:16 pm

        Buttu and fellow lawyer Michael Tarazi were doing super great in representing Palestinians to the outside world until the Zionists twisted Abbas’ arm to fire them. Buttu and Tarazi were Canadian and American Palestinians working for the PA that actually spoke English coherently. Too coherently it seems and the Palestinians returned to relying on the bumbling stuttering Erekat as the official mouthpiece.

  2. ivri
    January 26, 2015, 5:49 pm

    A good looking woman, lawyer, politically skilled organizer, aggressive, eccentric – the media loves this kind of figures, makes a living out of them.

    • Elliot
      January 26, 2015, 9:19 pm

      @ Ivri –

      So sorry you don’t find the ladies the article suggests to fit your criteria of attractiveness. I actually find women with progressive politics to be sexy.

      • seafoid
        January 26, 2015, 9:48 pm

        I can imagine Ivri’s idea of sexy- – strips for Cast Lead morale boosting , runs checkpoint humiliation programs, looks great in shades and uzi, never reads books other than the Torah and doesn’t understand Israeli patriarchy and how she is used

      • ivri
        January 27, 2015, 7:02 am

        @seafoid
        Don`t forget that the “Israel project” is also about “the normalization” of the Jewish people – part of that is being able to do to your sworn enemies what beforehand only the Goyim seemed to know….

      • ivri
        January 27, 2015, 7:53 am

        @Elliot
        There is no contradiction in that. Today`s “progressive” person, woman or man, is often the most aggressive creature around – every second word of theirs is some kind of a wild accusation (fascists, racists and worse), accompanied by some dire threats (as boycotts)…

      • Mooser
        January 27, 2015, 12:00 pm

        “Don`t forget that the “Israel project” is also about “the normalization” of the Jewish people”

        “Ivri” if you are worried about not being normal, see a shrink. Maybe that traumatic incident of genital mutilation is still troubling you?

        “part of that is being able to do to your sworn enemies what beforehand only the Goyim seemed to know….”

        Israel is going to attack Germany?

        Notice how whenever a Zionist talks about the “sworn enemies” of Jews, all of a sudden America disappears? All of a sudden it’s all Czars and Hitlers!

        Gee, “ivri” if you are so worried about your sworn enemies, (not to mention worrying about being abnormal, which must be distressing) why not examine the situation in which Jews have done best, and emulate that set-up?

      • eljay
        January 27, 2015, 12:20 pm

        ivreee: Don`t forget that the “Israel project” is also about “the normalization” of the Jewish people …

        Terrorism, ethnic cleansing, theft, colonialism, expansionism, torture, murder, intransigence, oppression and supremacism = “normalization”. Huh.

        Not sure why the “Zio-supremacist people” think the “Jewish people” would want to “normalize” that way. Perhaps they feel it’s the “moral” (goal + methods) thing to do.

      • RoHa
        January 27, 2015, 5:56 pm

        “Don`t forget that the “Israel project” is also about “the normalization” of the Jewish people ”

        Actually, most of the Jews I have actually met and worked with in Australia and Britain and the US seemed pretty normal. They didn’t wear odd hats, or dress in weird clothes, or wear dreadlocks, or talk funny. They looked and acted just like everyone else.

        So it looks as though normalization is going strong outside Israel.

      • Mooser
        January 27, 2015, 6:11 pm

        I don’t know eljay. When somebody worries about becoming “normalized” it’s strictly a personal problem. Naturally, they try to project it, but if “ivri” is worried about being abnormal, he should see a therapist. Maybe he can learn to accept it.

      • Mooser
        January 27, 2015, 6:30 pm

        “Today`s “progressive” person, woman or man, is often the most aggressive creature around – every second word of theirs is some kind of a wild accusation (fascists, racists and worse), accompanied by some dire threats (as boycotts)…”

        Worried about not being normal, and frightened by any little imaginary noise? “ivri” are you sure you’re the kind of raw material the Zionist project can use? Frightened children with emotional problems are not what they need, but suit yourself. Hiding under the bed every time you see a pair of Birkenstoks won’t get the job done.

      • just
        January 27, 2015, 6:50 pm

        “Today`s “progressive” person, woman or man, is often the most aggressive creature around – every second word of theirs is some kind of a wild accusation (fascists, racists and worse), accompanied by some dire threats (as boycotts)… ”

        Do you really think this way, or are you just being provocative? Do you think that Israel is a fair and good country for all people living there? Do you really fear BDS?

        btw, “Progressives” are generally very good humans,and are quite committed to justice for all. Yes, they do tend to call things as they see them. Israel is fertile ground for finding the worst behavior toward an indigenous population. You’ve taken hyperbole to new & astronomical heights.

      • Mooser
        January 27, 2015, 8:51 pm

        “Just”, it’s all part of this “Tea Party Zionism”.

    • oldgeezer
      January 26, 2015, 9:32 pm

      “A good looking woman”

      And if she wasn’t?

      At least you’re not a sexist haha

      • Mooser
        January 27, 2015, 6:19 pm

        Oldgeezer, cut “ivri” a little slack, okay? He’s worried he’s not normal, so he tries to compensate. He’s seems to be very worried that (jeez, I hate to talk like this, but I like to say things plainly) something about being Jewish prevents him from being normal. That’s a hell of a state to be stuck in, you gotta feel for the guy.

        And his definition of normal is quite distressing, too. Here it is, verbatim: “that is being able to do to your sworn enemies what beforehand only the Goyim seemed to know”

        Well, I must admit, old “ivri” has a point. He’s not normal, is he?

      • oldgeezer
        January 27, 2015, 6:46 pm

        I certainly don’t see any need for ivri to worry. That would suggest uncertainty and he is clearly abnormal. Especially his fascination and infatuation with being able to inflict harm on others.

        On this day it’s clear he never learned the lessons from 70 years ago.

    • Giles
      January 27, 2015, 8:00 am

      Good looking? With that hateful scowl all over her puss?

      • eljay
        January 27, 2015, 8:17 am

        >> Giles: Good looking?

        I think so. :-) It’s a shame that she’s a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist, but I suspect those are the qualities that really turn ivreee on… ;-)

      • Kris
        January 27, 2015, 11:00 am

        Hateful scowls are attractive these days, Giles. The fashion magazines I leafed through in my dentist’s waiting room were full of lovely models deliberately looking sulky.

      • Giles
        January 27, 2015, 11:37 am

        Sulky is one thing. Hateful scowls another. This lady’s nastiness is displayed all over her face. Haven’t seen anything like this since those pics posted on Caroline Glick a few weeks back. Both women could be attractive but wearing hate on your facer puts paid to that.

  3. joemowrey
    January 26, 2015, 7:23 pm

    “The New York Times still feels more pressure from the right than it does from the left.”

    Seriously? North expects us to believe that the reason the NYT is a Zionist (and Corporatist) propaganda rag, with Judi Rodoren as their star Zionist propagandist, is because they are under pressure from the right?

    The NYT willfully engages in the most transparent and disgusting forms of yellow journalism and blatant propaganda because the owners and editors want to. And Judi Rudoren has proven time and time again that she is an extremely skilled spin doctor who crafts misrepresentation and misdirection into every piece she writes. She is a liar for hire.

    North needs to get a clue.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 26, 2015, 9:11 pm

      nah, the right is all over the nyt claiming it is a left liberal biased paper. they have professional goons that hound the news sites. they get them to change the wording and then write articles bragging about it. try googling “CAMERA and new york times” to read all about it.

      here’s wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_for_Accuracy_in_Middle_East_Reporting_in_America

      The New York Times ’​ coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict[edit]
      In a 2012 monograph of its study of The New York Times, CAMERA asserts that the newspaper shows a clear preference for the Palestinian narrative. It further says that The New York Times treats Israel with a harsher standard and omits context.[45] The study called “Indicting Israel – New York Times Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict – A July 1 – December 31, 2011 Study” is part of the Monograph Series. In the executive summary senior CAMERA research analysts Ricki Hollander and Gilead Ini, say that the dominant finding of the study was a disproportionate, continuous, embedded indictment of Israel that dominated both news and commentary sections. It further states that “Israeli views are downplayed while Palestinian perspectives, especially criticism of Israel, are amplified and even promoted.”[46] According to Rick Richman, writing in Commentary Magazine, the CAMERA study examines all news and editorial sections in the print version of the newspaper directly relating to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (july 1 – december 31, 2011).[47]

      i kid you not. and like pam gellar’s group these guys (probably) threaten lawsuits and such. they are really rude, pushy, threatening and well funded.

      • oldgeezer
        January 26, 2015, 9:35 pm

        Camera, all propaganda, all the time. cifwatch, bbcwatch and so many others. Specious articles and arguments to delude the faithful that they are being oppressed.

      • joemowrey
        January 27, 2015, 11:39 am

        “they get them to change the wording”; “these guys (probably) threaten lawsuits and such. they are really rude, pushy, threatening and well funded.”

        Sorry, but this doesn’t strike me as a legitimate defense of the Times. Even if one is willing to ignore the obvious propagandistic nature of their coverage of Israel (and foreign policy in general), what does it say about any so-called journalistic organization that they are willing to slant their coverage to accommodate a few loudmouths? One could and should expect more from what is allegedly one of the most powerful and respected newspapers in the country.

        I”m usually right there with you on your views, Annie. But IMO you’ve got this one wrong. The Times’ campaign of misinformation is deliberate and well orchestrated. It’s not about caving in to pressure groups. It’s about advancing a very carefully crafted agenda. Again, just my take on the situation.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 26, 2015, 9:17 pm

      oh look, speak of the devil

      http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=35&x_article=2932

      January 25, 2015 by Alex Safian, PhD

      Israel Law Center and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner Attacked by the New York Times

      • RoHa
        January 26, 2015, 9:37 pm

        As long as you don’t confuse nasty CAMERA with nice CAMRA.

        http://www.camra.org.uk/

      • Annie Robbins
        January 27, 2015, 9:52 am

        pubs matter!

      • Mooser
        January 27, 2015, 8:56 pm

        Gee, I was hoping Yonah would come by and get the opinion of a “real journalist” (not those artificial journalists, which are never any good) on the use of the word “atrocity”

        Very surprised he hasn’t, I mean there he was, with Phil Weiss square in his hind-sights, and he’s gong to let him go.

  4. oldgeezer
    January 26, 2015, 10:14 pm

    She may make challah but based on the history of lawswuits filed by the organization the group she belongs to specializes in fruitcake.

  5. gamal
    January 27, 2015, 7:17 am

    the Guardian has Ephraim Mirvis of the Holocaust Education Trust, which is also hosting exhibits of photographs of “Assad’s” child victims, recounting the lessons that we all should have learned from that atrocity: his 7th and then final paragraphs are the meat.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/26/70-years-trauma-auschwitz-lessons-holocaust?commentpage=1

  6. Sulphurdunn
    January 27, 2015, 9:17 am

    declaring that there “is a very active and very noisy group of advocates who has decided that tearing apart coverage of the conflict is a good tool of advocacy.”…

    Well, yea, I suppose so, especially if the coverage contains factual errors used to support a position. Duh.

  7. Kay24
    January 27, 2015, 11:36 am

    It seems Republicans are getting a freebie trip to the mothership, and guess who is sponsoring them:

    “U.S. NGO: ‘Hate group’ funding Republican trip to Israel
    Evangelical political operative planned 9-day freebie trip for national committee members, on behalf of the conservative Christian AFA group which blasts Muslims, gays. SPLC rights group staffer: Our issue is not with the trip, but with the ‘heinous beliefs’ of those sponsoring it.

    NEW YORK – Some 60 members of the Republican National Committee, including its chairman, are heading to Israel at the end of the month on a trip fully paid for by an organization described as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.” Haaretz

    Are they intellectually challenged or arrogant?

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