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Three ‘NYT’ stories propagate official Israeli narrative

Israel/Palestine

Ben White posts a critique of a Times story:

The New York Times publishes a report on education in East Jerusalem (by a contributor called Kate Shuttleworth). How many times is East Jerusalem described as occupied? Zero. Or illegally annexed? Zero. So how *is* it described then? Like this: “East Jerusalem, a predominantly Arab neighborhood…”

Rudoren meets with American Jewish Committee group

Rudoren meets with American Jewish Committee group visiting Jerusalem earlier this month

Donald Johnson sends this critique of two other Times pieces:

NYT Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren writes another piece entirely on the “Israel needs to feel secure” theme (“Region Boiling, Israel Takes Up Castle Strategy”). Not a word about Palestinian needs, or the possibility that one way Israel could enhance its security would be with attempts at treating Palestinians as human beings with rights. This isn’t snark–it’s common sense. If Israel is so concerned about external threats, why add to the danger by treating the people under their rule like dirt?

Serge Schmemann writes a love ode to Sharon. (“The security of the Jews was Mr. Sharon’s guiding principle.”) The only redeeming feature is that he quotes Avnery using the term “war criminal”. Schmemann uses the term “ruthless”, which is Timespeak for “war crimes and terrorism” when the acts are committed by Israelis or other favored Westerners. He’s an epic hero to old Serge, beyond good and evil. If he were a Palestinian terrorist–well, it’s the NYT. The rules are different for Palestinians.

Ilene Cohen also offers a critique of Rudoren’s “castle” article.

It did not cross reporter Rudoren’s mind to make clear that Israel’s “castle strategy” involves someone else’s “castle”– occupying and illegally colonizing someone else’s land. If from 1967 on, the Israelis had been interested strictly in security, they would not have engaged in the colonial Greater Israel project that illegally moved Israeli civilians in to the occupied Palestinian territory. That is, they would have maintained the military occupation until such time as they could sort out their security issues. And that would have been legal according the the Fourth Geneva Convention, though they still would have been bound by the convention’s terms for protecting the occupied people. Of course, that isn’t what Israel opted to do: it colonized and it did not protect the rights guaranteed an occupied people by international law.

It would not have taken much for the Times to tell the colonial story against at least a paragraph of context, just as many others in the MSM, when writing about settlements, have gotten into the habit of including a sentence indicating that the rest of the world considers the settlements illegal according to international law.

See, for one example, the AP report of Netanyahu’s fulminations about how criticisms of the settlements as an obstacle to peace are “bogus,” in his annual address to the international press corps the other day.
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday dismissed international critics of Jewish settlements, calling them hypocrites and saying claims that the construction on occupied lands poses an obstacle to peace were ‘bogus.'”
The article reports and quotes Netanyahu’s ravings at length but also reminds readers:
“Israelis and Palestinians began peace talks in July after years of stalemate and the Israeli government has come under heavy criticism for continuing its construction plans throughout talks. More than 500,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem…
“The Palestinians, and the international community, view the settlements as illegal or illegitimate. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently said the construction raises questions about Israel’s commitment to peace.”

It’s time for the Times to get with that program.

[Editor’s note: Here is former Times reporter Judith Miller’s remembrance of the “lion,” Sharon, in which she slights his role in the Beirut refugee camp massacres as an allegation. Miller now works at Fox; but it’s not like the Times has turned the page on these pro-Israel attitudes.]

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11 Responses

  1. Krauss
    Krauss
    January 20, 2014, 10:43 am

    Am I fair to say that the verdict is more or less in now? Namely:

    Rudoren is actually worse than Bronner in her coverage on I/P.

    She completely excludes Palestinian voices to an even more extreme extent.
    Under her, the coverage of Israel has become surreal. Palestinians resisting Apartheid are being described in neo-colonial manners as “for Palestinian Youth, stonethrowing is a way of life”. Hagiographic bootlicking of Israeli generals overseeing the brutalization of Palestinians in the West Bank and 100% sympathetic articles on Israel.

    The Castle Israel story, which doesn’t really say anything new other than what we already know, landed on A1. Nothing about Palestinians or the occupation of any substance.

    And of course the relentless praising of Sharon after his death.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      January 20, 2014, 10:50 am

      For me the burning question is, and I’ve speculated about this before but I can’t seem to get a good answer, why now?

      The coverage was actually better, in many ways far better, in 2010.
      The operating assumption I work under is that the Times’ saw what happened in 2009/2010 as an abberation. I guess they assumed the liberal Zionists would get back, even if there hasn’t been a Labor-led government since the late 1990s.

      Once they started to understand there wasn’t any going back, and started to see the BDS movement grow, the ranks were closed. I can’t really justify what has happened any other way because the way Israel acts has certainly not gotten better and in some ways worse(which David Sheen has documented).

      I’m guessing the Times’ sees where the movement is on Israel among the left, they see the open-cleaved debate in the Nation. They understand that their man in the fight, Eric Alterman, is living in borrowed time in the left.

      At any rate, Rudoren has completely assimilated the Israeli viewpoint at this stage. She doesn’t even see Palestinians any more. She has even assimilated the concerns of Israeli leaders and print them as a natural reflex.

      I keep saying: someone should write a book about the Times’ coverage of the conflict. I keep hoping Phil will do it, but honestly, anyone with journalistic experience should do it. It’s more than past time someone held them accountable in bookform, even if these articles are very helpful.

      • David Doppler
        David Doppler
        January 20, 2014, 1:09 pm

        Amen, Krauss.

      • Edward Q
        Edward Q
        January 20, 2014, 2:07 pm

        There is a chapter on the Times in “The Zionist Connection”. According to the author, in the 1950’s, the paper faced bankruptcy because of a boycott over its refusal to publish an advertisement for Yitzak Shamir,whom they considered a terrorist. The Times gave in to the boycott, changed its staffed, and has promoted Israeli propaganda ever since.

        The NYT does not care that it gets its facts wrong; they do not publish corrections. Back in the 90’s I know someone was working on a book of letters that were rejected by the Times.

    • mjordan
      mjordan
      January 20, 2014, 1:08 pm

      It’s very clear now…Rudoren is not up to the job. She’s just there to go along and get along, worse than Bronner. It’s really time for her to go. Rudoren could easily write an article like this just underlining the threats Palestinians are under from the occupation itself in Gaza (shooting & aggression against fisherman, farmers, children picking up gravel, water situation, electricity, tunnel economy, role of Egypt, etc.) or the West Bank (home demos, land theft, exprop. of natural resources, settlers, soldiers & the rare indictment for attacks) – but that will never happen. Also, it might be too hard for Rudoren to do that story w/o quoting any Palestinians.

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        January 20, 2014, 1:56 pm

        Very wise point about Palestinian narrative. They also have a security concern, a huge one. Why isn’t that a story?

  2. Fritz
    Fritz
    January 20, 2014, 11:23 am

    I read the piece from Shuttleword about education before the mondoweiss covering and I think that it is very different from Rudorens approach. Reading the article about education in East Jerusalem every open minded reader will understand that a cultural occupation is brought forward by Israeli officials who are lying about it. The Palestinian point of view is presented in some diversity and clear facts (4 out 185 East Jerusalem schools accepted the Israeli curriculum because their is no choice if You want to get access to an university without loosing an additional year).

  3. phylliprezzel
    phylliprezzel
    January 20, 2014, 11:47 am

    As someone posted a few days ago, that book has been written by Howard Friel and Richard Falk: Israel-Palestine on Record: How the New York Times Misreports Conflict in the Middle East. It was published in 2007, but an update would be in order.

  4. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    January 20, 2014, 11:53 am

    “Editor’s note: Here is former Times reporter Judith Miller’s remembrance of the “lion,” Sharon, in which she slights his role in the Beirut refugee camp massacres as an allegation. Miller now works at Fox; but it’s not like the Times has turned the page on these pro-Israel attitudes.]”

    Are they banking on short memories and how Judy “I was fucking right” Miller helped sell the invasion of Iraq based on lies to the American people? Oh yeah it was the NYBloodyTimes that gave her the space to do so. What a bloody rag.

    If there is a hell this woman is going along with the bloody liars in the Bush administration. They are responsible for hundreds of thousand of dead Iraqi people, dead American soldiers and those injured for life.

  5. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    January 20, 2014, 12:38 pm

    RE: “It did not cross reporter Rudoren’s mind to make clear that Israel’s ‘castle strategy’ involves someone else’s ‘castle’– occupying and illegally colonizing someone else’s land. ~ Ilene Cohen

    MY COMMENT: “Castle Strategy” is just a more palatable name for Jabotinsky’s “Iron Wall Strategy”. Calling it a “Castle Strategy” rather than an “Iron Wall Strategy” is akin to putting lipstick on a pig.

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [Iron Wall (essay)]:

    [EXCERPT] . . . [Ze’ev] Jabotinsky argued that the Palestinians would not agree to a Jewish majority in Palestine, and that “Zionist colonisation must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an iron wall, which the
    native population cannot breach.”[1] The only solution to achieve peace and a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, he [Ze’ev Jabotinsky] argued, would be for Jews to unilaterally decide its borders and defend them with the strongest security possible. . .

    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Wall_(essay)

    ENTIRE ‘IRON WALL’ ESSAY: “The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs)”, By Vladimir Jabotinsky, 1923 – http://www.marxists.de/middleast/ironwall/ironwall.htm

    P.S. ALSO SEE: “The Ethics of the Iron Wall”, By Vladimir Jabotinsky, 1923 – http://www.jabotinsky.org/multimedia/upl_doc/doc_191207_181762.pdf

  6. American
    American
    January 20, 2014, 1:13 pm

    Related:……NPR claims that they have had independent audit of I/P coverage and they are definitely not biased in favor of Jews or Israel.
    So I made a comment that I disagreed with that and that Jewish pundits and Jewish pro Israel dominated almost all their coverage….I commented in the comment section on this yesterday, went back today for this link just now and my comment had been removed as well as 2 or 3 other negative comments that had preceeded mine.
    Yea they arent biased are they?…. and they prove it by censoring dissent they dont want seen ..so typical.

    Fairness In Covering Israel And The Palestinians: The End Of An Accounting

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/ombudsman/2014/01/19/263470385/fairness-in-covering-israel-and-the-palestinians-the-end-of-an-accounting#commentBlock

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