I listen to Krista Tippett’s thoughtful NPR show about religion and meaning, called “On Being,” even though it dismays me that she avoids asking any hard questions about Israel/Palestine/Zionism. Three years ago I was appalled by her referring to rightwing Zionist Yossi Klein Halevi, who lives in occupied territory, as “redemptive.”
Today Tippett interviewed the artist Ann Hamilton and about 35 minutes in they started talking about Israel/Palestine in an anodyne manner, saying that it was important for the sides to see each other as human. Tippett then said that she had gone to Israel three years ago and visited the Western Wall and though put off by the gender discrimination at the holy site, had had something of a religious experience when she put her hand on stone touched by so many before her over the millennia.
The Western Wall is not in Israel, it’s in occupied East Jerusalem. The global community regards that occupation as illegal, even if Americans don’t know about it. Krista Tippett’s show purports to address political and intellectual questions of great moment; it should not be misinforming people about such a basic fact in the conflict. It’s a sad reflection on our media that someone with such broad appeal would be so oblivious of the Palestinian experience.