This post is more in sorrow than in anger, though if I start thinking about it I might get angry. I love Krista Tippett. She does the On Being show on religion on Sunday mornings on National Public Radio. She has a great voice and an open mind. Well then she went to Israel and Palestine, and once again we see a putatively fair person in the American media corrupted. She gave an hour or some large portion thereof to Yossi Klein Halevi, a rightwing Zionist who has opposed giving up settlements and who lives in occupied East Jerusalem and who as we reported opposes integration/open-housing in Jerusalem neighborhoods– Tippett described him as “redemptive.” This is an intemperate political actor who regards the Holocaust as a living reality of the Jewish condition and who says Jews have a right to “greater Israel” and who wants an Israeli military presence in the West Bank forever because he fears the Arab spring.
Tippett could have chosen so many inspiring Israelis. Noam Sheizaf, Jonathan Pollak, Jerry Haber. No, she chose a rightwinger. And I would note that in a blogpost she describes the Guardian as “fiercely partisan towards the Palestinian cause.”
I know what she thinks she is doing, supplanting the brutalized political plane with a human/spiritual plane. But Palestinians have few rights–and so their lives are necessarily political. It would be like going into the Jim Crow south and talking about blacks reading the gospels and whites reading them, too, as surely they all did. And embracing a segregationist.