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On the day two Palestinians are killed, ‘NYT’ reporter flashes snark

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Yousef Munayyer

Yousef Munayyer

Yousef Munayyer at the Palestine Center, a leading American writer on the conflict, has been posting important criticisms of New York Times coverage.

His latest article on Friday faults a story by Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren that appeared in the Times last week about traveling through the Galilee using the iNakba app that allows someone to map Palestinian dispossession. Myself I looked on the story as a step forward for the Times, because the Nakba was at last being covered, and Zochrot was featured; but Munayyer pointed out that Rudoren used passive voice to describe the Palestinian catastrophe so as to remove the Israeli role in expelling Palestinians:

What struck me about the story was the linguistic acrobatics that were employed in what can only be understood as an attempt to hide Israeli agency.

Jodi writes: “I saw scores of villages destroyed or abandoned as Israel became a state 66 years ago” and “The app provides details like the date in 1948 each village was occupied, by which military brigade, and Jewish settlements before and since.”

Scores of villages destroyed? Destroyed by whom? The date each village was occupied? Occupied by whom? By which military brigade? Which military?

Unless the reader is familiar with the history, they are not told the answers to these questions. Why go to this extent to hide Israeli agency? As far as the reader is told, these events occurred “as Israel became a state” but what the Israeli state has to do with these events isn’t made clear. The fact of the matter is, and this really isn’t a disputed fact either, the Israeli state engaged in a massive campaign of destroying structures in these villages during and after the war. This was done to ensure the refugees would have no homes to return to. It was, in effect, the enforcement of ethnic cleansing.

We’ve written in the past about how the New York Times’s present day Nakba narratives in news stories does not even correspond with its reporting from the time.

Later in the same article, Munayyer faulted the Times for its slow response to the killing of two Palestinians by Israeli forces on Nakba day Thursday, during a demonstration in the occupied territories near Ofer prison.

Yesterday morning, two Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire at demonstrations in Beitunia on Nakba day…. By the afternoon, there was no reporting in the New York Times of the events so I asked on Twitter whether they will be covering it. 

Munayyer’s tweet:

Jodi Rudoren responded in a sarcastic manner:

Munayyer followed up:

Well, Jodi delivered on her promise. Again she writes in this story about what Nakba day is:

“Two young Palestinian men were killed Thursday in clashes with Israeli security forces during a demonstration for Nakba Day, which commemorates the destruction of Arab villages in battles that led to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.”

Don’t read that too many times, you might get dizzy. She later writes, “Palestinian leaders made speeches about never relinquishing the rights of millions of refugees and their descendants to return to the land where the destroyed villages stood.”

Do you see a pattern yet? Why does Jodi constantly write about this subject in ways that avoid describing Israeli agency in the events? Did these villages destroy themselves? No. Nor were the villages destroyed in “battles.” 

Meantime, James North also called out Rudoren for her response to Munayyer: “You should have something to criticize shortly.” 

Rudoren defended herself. 

North posed another question:

Ali Abunimah then answered for Rudoren:  

I couldn’t reach James North today to elaborate on his point. But I have an idea what he would say:

Let’s turn this around. Imagine that two Israeli soldiers, 18 and 22, were killed at a West Bank checkpoint by Palestinian gunmen during a demonstration on the occasion of an Israeli national day of commemoration. Israeli society would be in an uproar over the loss of these young men and the Palestinian use of violence; and yet the Times, which– stay with the thought experiment— has a reputation for deferring to the Palestinian side, failed to cover the case in a timely manner; and David Harris of the American Jewish Committee tweeted, Are you going to cover the case of the killing of two soldiers?

And the NYT’s Jerusalem bureau chief tweeted back,

“Yes you should have something to criticize shortly.”

Can you imagine how angry the Israel lobby would be at the Times? How insulted they would feel at a time of widespread mourning in Israel over murders by Palestinians? The protests they’d lodge with the Times management about the disrespectful attitude displayed by its reporter on a grim occasion, of actions that Amnesty International was condemning?  

Well you can’t imagine it, for good reason. Because the Times’s reputation for deferring to the Israeli side is well-deserved. See this picture below, of Rudoren addressing the American Jewish Committee earlier this year in Jerusalem. 

Rudoren meets with American Jewish Committee group

Rudoren meets with American Jewish Committee group

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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64 Responses

  1. Ecru on May 18, 2014, 12:18 pm

    Perhaps we’re being unfair to Rudoren, after all it’s not as if she’s an actual journalist with journalistic ethics or anything, time and again she’s revealed that what she’s actually there for is just to be another Jewish propagandist for Israel.

    And really does anybody truly expect the NYT to hire real reporters for the Jerusalem gig? Why that would run the risk revealing the truth and hurting the feelings of Israelis. And we all know the NYT can’t have that.

    • MRW on May 18, 2014, 2:28 pm

      The NYT should never have put a Jew or an Israeli in Israel as a foreign correspondent. You don’t do that in the news biz. The NYT has become a synagogue newsletter when it comes to Israel, and Rudoren is the diarist for the women’s committee, just like the photo shows.

      • annie on May 18, 2014, 3:02 pm

        The NYT has become a synagogue newsletter when it comes to Israel

        i agree

      • bilal a on May 18, 2014, 5:51 pm

        We do not have the right to speak or record them, this is their ‘festival’:

        Rania Khalek ‏@RaniaKhalek

        She was saying “f_ck ur mom” to pro-Palestine protesters in front of her kids. A white man passerby got upset, told her “this is America!”

        raniakhalek vvideo at Israel festival
        http://instagram.com/p/oJu7e8Gzbv/#

      • Ecru on May 19, 2014, 3:52 am

        @ MRW

        I wouldn’t mind the NYT putting a Jew in place who was actually a good reporter, honest and with the ethical strength to record the truth – no matter which group was offended by it. It’s these partisan mouthpieces (I’d call them hacks but that would insult hacks) I object to.

        Actually are Zionists even Jews? They don’t worship Yahweh, they worship the Divine Ethnos and Holy Eretz Yisrael. They’re part of an ethnic land cult not Judaism.

      • on May 19, 2014, 8:44 am

        The NYT puts ONLY Jews in this job.

  2. on May 18, 2014, 12:19 pm

    Such an unprofessional, nasty, racist reply from Ms. R.

    She is clearly quite defensive over being called out on her biased reporting. Probably imagines that she is a victim, not the Palestinians.

    • Krauss on May 18, 2014, 3:24 pm

      There are two things at play.

      1. She’s a Jewish Zionist, so she’s naturally biased. No correspondent in Israel/Palestine should be Jewish(nor should they be Palestinian). That should be basic journalistic ethics in such a conflict.

      Nobody would have sent an Irish catholic or an Anglo Protestant with clear ideological leanings to Northern Ireland 20 years ago, for reasons that wouldn’t even need to be spelled out. Yet this is what is being done, consistently, when it comes to Israel/Palestine.

      2. Power difference. The pro-democracy side can just get at her with tweets, basically. The other side can do serious institutional pressure. Sulzberger meets a lot of Zionists at parties, he’s one himself, albeit faintly. How many Palestinians are in his orbit? Probably not a great deal.

      We can’t really change the 1st until we change the 2nd. And websites like these are helping building up the pressure. Or to view it from another way: 10 years ago people like Rudoren could easily ignore people like us. Today she can’t. She’s still sarcastic and contemptous of even having to deal with us – imagine being accountable! – but she does have to deal with us.

      Over the next decade or so, there will be a lot more pressure from liberal people. We’ll never rival the AJCs and the others in sheer fundraising and influencemongering behind the scenes, but we may not need to.

  3. Ismail on May 18, 2014, 12:21 pm

    This makes me recall how so many on this site felt (cautiously) buoyed by the appointment of Rudoren to the post of Arbiter of Reality in the Levant, as though the Times’ reportage depended on the individual decency or wisdom of any particular person. As though the issue were psychological rather than political.

    No one can achieve Rudoren’s position and be expected to report accurately re the Middle East. This is axiomatic, only a little less certain than “All triangles have three sides”.

    Fool me once, shame on you…..you know the rest.

    • Krauss on May 18, 2014, 3:32 pm

      Well, first, she reached out to Abuminah. Which made folks like Goldberg go nuts(always a good sign).

      Second, Bronner was just a total disaster. And as bad as Rudoren is, she isn’t as bad as sidehustling for an Israeli PR firm doing hasbara plus having her kid in the army.

      (Still cracks me up that Bronner to this day insists he is “neutral” in the conflict).

      As for the rest of your comment, some of it is true, some of it is overblown. The NYT made a serious left-wing turn from 2009 to 2012 or so. It wasn’t at all certain to think that they’d made a hard-right turn, and if you think you’d knew, you’re fooling yourself.

      The NYT’s hard-right turn is interesting. I think that it went a lot tougher on Israel as a way to get a deal. I think what we’ve seen in the past few years is a slow realization on their part that the 2SS isn’t coming and as such the NYT has decided to prolong the inevitable, to shield Israel as long as it humanly can, until it is axiomatic that Israel’s an Apartheid state and the 2SS is dead even for the beltway types.

      Kerry’s A-word usage behind closed doors is as good an indicator as any that we are getting there. But how fast we get there is an open question.

      • Krusty on May 18, 2014, 5:23 pm

        “The NYT’s hard-right turn is interesting. I think that it went a lot tougher on Israel as a way to get a deal. I think what we’ve seen in the past few years is a slow realization on their part that the 2SS isn’t coming and as such the NYT has decided to prolong the inevitable, to shield Israel as long as it humanly can, until it is axiomatic that Israel’s an Apartheid state and the 2SS is dead even for the beltway types.

        Kerry’s A-word usage behind closed doors is as good an indicator as any that we are getting there. But how fast we get there is an open question.”

        Krauss, I think this is a big part of it. The prevailing wisdom in the Beltway (and if nothing else, the Rothkopf/Oren exchange nailed this part: facts drive perceptions and those perceptions drive policy) is that the 2SS is endangered not just by demography but by the ultranationalist Likud-YB coalition. The perception in DC is that since Arafat, the PA has become the best peace partner Israel is ever realistically going to get: Abbas is finally tentatively willing to sign off on the Barak/Olmert/Kerry Framework (it’s all really close) and Fayyad was an example of the sort of Western Palestinian leadership that could close the wounds with economic development. However, the Likud-YB coalition and the ongoing settlements are demonstrable evidence of Israeli intractability, and that’s the part of the narrative that’s really changed.

        If the NYT, which has actually been much cooler to Israel on the whole over the last few years, can create enough frostiness, perhaps it could serve as a sort of “wake up call.” If not, c’est la vie. In either event, it accurately reflects the bifurcation of elite opinion (which Rothkopf/Oren really demonstrated.) I think the rising tide for now isn’t anything near one state, but rather a sort of “tough love” hardline liberal Zionism (ex. Beinart), if that makes any sense.

    • Citizen on May 18, 2014, 8:05 pm
  4. on May 18, 2014, 12:23 pm

    Back when there were things called videotapes, when you made a copy, that copy was a little less clear than the one you were copying. And if you copied that copy … and so on and so on.

    And Munayyer himself falls prey to the dilution when he writes: “… the two Palestinians killed today by Israeli fire …” — as opposed to being shot and killed by the Israeli army, almost as if the rifle wasn’t aimed in their direction.

    And that brings up the greater point: the way the Times/entire MSM covers the killing of Palestinians: as being “killed in clashes” with the Israeli army. Oh how many times have we read that phrase? The Times article then goes on to say that at least one of those Palestinians was killed by a shot to the chest. It’s always a shot to the head or the chest when Palestinians are “killed in clashes with Israeli troops.” Nothing to suggest an Israeli soldier fixed his sights on a 14-year-old Palestinian rock-thrower, squeezed the trigger, then watched his head explode.

    • annie on May 18, 2014, 12:50 pm

      Nothing to suggest an Israeli soldier fixed his sights on a 14-year-old Palestinian rock-thrower, squeezed the trigger, then watched his head explode.

      which undoubtably has happened time and again. i wrote a post called sport hunting. it was never published here. but there are a lot of similarities.

  5. Blownaway on May 18, 2014, 12:25 pm

    If your not guilty why be so defensive? It’s like Livni getting immunity while in the UK. If she’s not guilty what is she getting immunity for?

    • annie on May 18, 2014, 1:02 pm

      i think she is limited by her ability to divorce herself from her personal attachments. as a result, her reporting suffers. as a result she is criticized, and as a result she feels personally insulted, possible boxed in. so she lashes out. it’s probably gotten to her.

      but i ask myself, how can she maneuver around her descriptions of the nakba so seamlessly? does it require an effort on her part? to not tell the story or even allude to it? is it a willful conscious decision of hers or is she so programmed that she’s unaware?

      some of her infractions in the past are so blatant it is hard to comprehend they were done purposely. perhaps it is just me giving people the benefit of the doubt. i really do not think she tried to squirm out of saying ‘the nakba, the catastrophe, is the commemoration of palestinians forcefully losing their lives and land by zionist forces to make way for a jewish state.’ and it is still going on today, literally. maybe she just can’t face it herself.

      • Blownaway on May 18, 2014, 1:40 pm

        I rather think that she is attacked so often by both sides that she feels she can’t win. It’s the reflex that happens once you touch a hot oven. She’s naturally choosing the oven that burns least. Crapping on Palestinians never got anyone fired….but being “insensitive to Jewish causes” can.

      • Citizen on May 18, 2014, 8:11 pm

        I see Rand Paul has learned that “crapping on Palestinians never got anyone fired…but being insensitive to Jewish causes” can lose your POTUS hopes almost before they’v begun. How else to explain his new bill?

      • annie on May 18, 2014, 9:36 pm

        the hot oven effect. i’ll remember that blown away

      • wondering jew on May 19, 2014, 12:13 am

        off topic i want to continue the line of thought from the rothkopf piece where comments are closed, but first, I am not a journalist, so I am not shocked by the lack of journalistic ethics, but rudoren is clearly not trying to make her mark for breakthrough journalism but rather appointed to be the arbiter of the cross complaints on Israel Palestine circa 2014. I don’t think that now is the time for the times to get in front of the issue on their front page and I think she is a symptom of the times realizing that they cannot lead on this issue.

        donald pointed out that i should not focus on personalities that i react poorly to (bad english, huh?) but instead focus on the issues and find some personality that suits me among the vanguard and let those who are not guilty of atzmon like rhetoric, let them have their air time without comments from me.

        annie- you called my attacks on max b. ad hominem. i realize that this is a court of law in a way and therefore evidence needs to be offered, but let me sum up my impression of goliath- it is an impressive indictment of current day israel. It is written with exclamation points. Like an early teen girl, underlining and gushing with exclamation points. Why call something repression when you can call it: under the jackboot of repression. This is the journalism of exclamation points.

        i am adjusting to the new post john kerry reality that has been developing for the last 5 years under netanyahu. reading yeshaya leibowitz in goliath and watching battle of algiers a little less than 2 months ago gives me a new perspective on the issue when combined with the breakup of the kerry effort. I spend most of my time (face to face with real conversation time) with people who are to the right of me on I/P, who consider my ideas either disloyal or dangerous or both.

        Let me be frank, regarding Jews with Christmas trees whether they’re Herzl or Phil Weiss, I think of them as cultural traitors that are signposts on the disappearance of an important sector of the Jewish people. Ah, to have lived 100 years ago on the lower east side with the people who birthed the Phil Weisses and wouldn’t have ever given a first thought to the idea of bringing a Christmas tree into their house. They still spoke yiddish and if they scoffed at religion quite often they were quite knowledgeable and they weren’t scoffing out of ignorance, but out of recognition. they were dreaming of new lives for themselves and dreaming of becoming full fledged yankee doodle dandies, filled with the energy of the ghetto unbound, but with the tune of the ghetto in their ears and hearts. but these 2014 sons and great grandsons of that ghetto and what’s come since: let them sing silent night and boast about how they hate the pharisees in the jesus story and let them claim their jewish heritage as well, while scoffing at a talmud that they have never read in the original.

        but back to the point on hand. max b. and phil weiss are preaching to the choir and i am not of their choir. and you can call it ad hominem, but I admit my lack of empathy for them and their 2014 post judaism universalism. they are Jews who are working against zionism and pointing out its weakness. ( and it is weak and it seems headed towards a worse and worse condition.) so i focus on the aspect of personality and say about phil and max that they are jews of the universalist wing of the people. there were jewish universalists 100 years ago on the lower east side too and i love them too. but they had the tune of the ghetto in their heart and not silent night. and if that’s ad hominem, it’s also human politics.

      • tree on May 18, 2014, 11:25 pm

        I rather think that she is attacked so often by both sides that she feels she can’t win.

        I disagree. She’s a partisan who doesn’t have the moral fiber to report dispassionately. I’m reminded of an article I’ve posted a few times before from Donald Neff, written nearly 20 years ago, describing his stint as Time Magazine’s Jerusalem Bureau chief, twenty years before then (almost 40 years ago, from 1975 to 1978). Its a fascinating read of how an American reporter with a predisposition to favor Zionism came to open his eyes to the ugliness of Israel’s occupation and the hatred he faced when reporting a true incident of Israeli brutality.

        In April 1978 Neff reported that IDF units “went wild” in the West Bank and Gaza, and among other brutalities, units arrived at Palestinian high schools and lobbed tear gas into classrooms after demanding that the windows be closed and in the resulting panic among the students several fell from second story classrooms and broke arms and legs. Other teens had been picked up by the IDF for no known reason, had their hair crudely shorn and were made to do exercises all night long. When Neff went to file his report his fellow Bureau employees nearly refused to file it, relenting only when he insisted that he would use the telex himself if they refused. He was immediately called an anti-semite for authoring such a report, and even though, after an initial IDF denial, Ezer Weizman, the then Israeli Defense Minister, confirmed Neff’s report, issued an investigation and fired several IDF commanders, Neff was still ostracized and hated throughout Israel and in Zionist circles in the US. All for telling the unvarnished truth.

        Shortly after Weizman set the record straight I left Israel. I was, quite frankly, worried about my personal well being under a Begin government and I was drained by Beit Jala and heart-broken and discouraged by the display of prejudice and unprofessional conduct of my colleagues covering the story, who I had admired. Not only would they not have used the story if it had been up to them, but after Weizman’s confirmation some of them confided to me that they had known in their hearts from the beginning that the story was true.

        This amazing confession struck me as the worst example of bad journalism and ugly prejudice I could imagine. The experience left me highly skeptical about the wisdom of employing reporters in areas where they were partisans.

        http://www.ameu.org/getattachment/e0c1e006-1186-4a26-8ef4-2f5ee94b03f3/Epiphany-at-Beit-Jala.aspx

        Ruderon can’t even bring herself to report honestly on events that happened over 60 years ago. It’s not fear that is holding her back from an accurate description of the Nakba. Its partisanship, prejudice and bad journalism.

        On edit, I think another important point made in Neff’s report is that this kind of cruelty has been going on for multiple decades. Recent events are not a sudden souring of an initially “benign” occupation, or a benevolent ideology that turned bad. They were both born of a racist and cruel ideology from the start.

      • RoHa on May 19, 2014, 12:27 am

        “Let me be frank, regarding Jews with Christmas trees whether they’re Herzl or Phil Weiss, I think of them as cultural traitors that are signposts on the disappearance of an important sector of the Jewish people.”

        Using the term “traitors” implies a moral obligation to maintain the culture and prevent (or not contribute to) the disappearance of that sector of the Jewish people.

        Could I ask what basis you would offer for this claim of a moral obligation?

        ” they were dreaming of new lives for themselves and dreaming of becoming full fledged yankee doodle dandies,”

        You make that sound as though it were a bad thing to want to leave the ghetto and be fully part of the society they lived in. Why would it be bad?

        “let them sing silent night and boast about how they hate the pharisees in the jesus story and let them claim their jewish heritage as well, while scoffing at a talmud that they have never read in the original.”

        Unless you are misusing “heritage” to mean “ancestry” (frequently done in these debased times) I don’t see how they can “claim” a heritage while at the same time rejecting every component of the heritage. Of course, your point might be to claim that their attitudes are logically inconsistent.

      • jon s on May 19, 2014, 1:56 am

        Yonah, I agree with much of what you say. I would add that Phil and Max and the other Jewish Anti-zionists are actually continuing the Jewish tradition of intellectual and ideological debate within the community. It’s been said that our arguments are what keeps us together. Jewish Anti-Zionists have been around since modern Zionism itself appeared on the scene, and have been considered a legitimate part of the community, as long as they don’t cross certain lines (and I don’t think the Mondoweiss crowd have crossed the lines- though supporting bds comes close. ) Therefore I disagree with any initiative to ban them from discussions in the community -in synagogues, Hillel , publications, etc.

      • Walid on May 19, 2014, 2:52 am

        “Let me be frank, regarding Jews with Christmas trees whether they’re Herzl or Phil Weiss, I think of them as cultural traitors that are signposts on the disappearance of an important sector of the Jewish people.” (Yonah somewhere above)

        Yonah, you can’t imagine what you have been missing all these years but you must feel good now that you have gotten this off your chest; you’ve been carrying that Christmas tree grudge against Phil for a while and trying to turn Phil back into a good Jew like Witty used to do. Is there a Jewish hell where Jewish Christmas tree lovers and other sinners end up?

      • wondering jew on May 19, 2014, 3:30 am

        Cute, Walid. No, I don’t think there is a hell. (not after death at least.) nor am I trying to get Phil and the christmas tree jews to come back home. i feel out of place in 2014 with 2014’s american jewry and yearn for 1914 america’s jewry. i actually think that judaism is not an easy sell. i think islam is an easier sell because it is simplified and universal. judaism is much more complicated and particular to a specific history of communities, the eastern european branch to which i trace my roots having recently (to my generation it was quite recent) suffered an abyss. Christianity is an easier sell, certainly in america than is either islam, which with its extensive laws is not suited to american or modern allergy to excessive rules and regulations. and of course Christianity is universal.

        i think america is great and the fact that phil can sing silent night and be given that choice is great. there has been a contentious battle between universalists and particularists within judaism since at least the time of mendelson and i understand the attraction of universalism and the big pond of the world and its christmas tree rather than the small pond of yom kippur and purim. I’m certainly not trying to convert phil, but i am asserting that politics is local. and my politics likes the universalists of 1914 who still spoke yiddish and knew a thing or two about torah to the universalists of 2014 who speak woody allen and love the new testament better than the old and better than the talmud. that’s who i am. i was raised orthodox and the nostalgia for the world i abandoned still weighs heavy on me. but go ahead and mock. you’re good at it. don’t quit your day job, you’re not that good at it, but here you’re good enough at it. ouch, when you mock me, it hurts.

      • Ellen on May 19, 2014, 3:41 am

        Tree, I remember Neff’s byline in Time. He wrote when I first started reading things like that and Time was still run by serious Journalists. Thank you for your link. It is an important read and one to save.

      • Walid on May 19, 2014, 6:30 am

        Yonah, I wasn’t mocking you at all; I may not go along with your 1914 version of Judaism, but I wasn’t mocking you. But when it comes to picking and choosing, you’re not much different yourself since you abandoned your yiddish world to live in a Hebrew one. You picked up the Hebrew habit just as Phil picked up the Christmas tree one.

        You are right about Islam being much simpler and flexible than Judaism and Christianity. This is seen in the way it’s spreading all over Africa at a great pace while the other two are lagging behind..

      • lysias on May 19, 2014, 10:23 am

        We don’t know how much of the wording is imposed on her by editors in New York.

      • RoHa on May 19, 2014, 10:09 pm

        Fings ain’t wot they used t’be, eh, Yonah?

        So your principle is “the world should be changed back to a form that makes Yonah feel comfortable”.

        Well, you have got the structure right, but not the particulars. It should be “the world should be changed back to a form that makes RoHa feel comfortable”.

        If everyone followed that, all would be well.

  6. W.Jones on May 18, 2014, 12:49 pm

    Nice analysis.

  7. American on May 18, 2014, 1:21 pm

    Lone wolf nutcase shoots 3 people at Jewish center and its news.
    Israel shoots unarmed young Palestine men every week for 40 years and its not news.
    IDF officer pumps 12 bullets into 8 yr old Palestine girl and its not news.
    Such is the establishment running the US (unfree) press.

    • Kay24 on May 18, 2014, 4:25 pm

      This is the zionist media of the US. Not one word about the peace talks failing, and Israel being accused by many involved, of being the guilty party that refused to cooperate, built more illegal settlements, and did not keep it’s word and release prisoners, not one word about the almost daily killing of unarmed civilians, not one word, or discussion, about our intelligence officials warning congress to not allow open visa status for Israel, because it is the biggest threat to our state secrets, and security. Not one news channel dares to even refer to it. The criticism of the President, his administration, Congress, and our policies get targeted very often, but when it comes to any news, discussion, or criticism, of Israel, nah, not going to happen. We are supposed to be the world’s largest democracy, with free speech being part of our Constitution!

      • RoHa on May 18, 2014, 8:18 pm

        “We are supposed to be the world’s largest democracy,”

        No, India is generally acknowledged to be the worlds largest democracy.

  8. Les on May 18, 2014, 1:34 pm

    When Israel muders Palestinians the US media treats them as anonymous, usually without mention of age, sex, etc., of the victims. If the reverse happens, we get full color pictures along with the details of the Israeli victims.

    • Ellen on May 19, 2014, 3:45 am

      And never with a name. To do so would run the danger of humanizing the victims.

  9. HarryLaw on May 18, 2014, 1:37 pm

    Reading about those two Palestinians killed by the Israelis, reminds me of a story Chomsky wrote about in ‘Understanding Power’, “A few thanksgivings ago I took a walk with some friends and family in a National Park, and we came across a tombstone which had been put in along the path. It said “Here lies an Indian woman, a Wampanoag, whose family and tribe gave of themselves and their land that this great nation might be born and grow”. Okay, “gave of themselves and their land”- in fact, were murdered, scattered, dispersed, and we stole their land, that’s what we’re sitting on. You know, there can’t be anything more illegitimate: the whole history of this country is illegitimate”. Perhaps the Israelis want to emulate the good old USA, but without the tombstones, sure seems like it.

  10. David Doppler on May 18, 2014, 1:55 pm

    Covering Middle East issues is no doubt one of the most emotionally challenging beats around, both for Phil Weiss and Jodi Rudoren, and much of that mostly negative emotion would come from being personally assaulted (hopefully only verbally) from impassioned critics. Jodi obviously comes “with personal familiarity” with the Israeli narrative, while Phil comes with that plus a cycle of disillusionment with it that has driven him to switch poles. I am certain that, no matter what Phil or Jodi write, they each receive personal attacks on their character for whatever it is they say. Phil has several years additional experience in dealing with this, while Jodi is still relatively fresh, and takes the establishment versus the anti-establishment side, so she hasn’t built up as much scar tissue that makes for a truly thick skin. She’s also shown no flash of brilliance that I recall, so seems shooting for lower targets than Phil, who is changing the world. I can’t help but feel sympathy for people when they are personally and publicly attached, and I read Jodi’s “snark” as coming from being so thoroughly and constantly criticized from all sides. She’s trying to cope with humor, and, yes, it is insensitive, but those scars are still forming. I sometimes think that some non-Jew, non-Arab or Muslim should be assigned this desk at the Times, but then I think, how could they possibly survive, with only a non-tribal dedication to truth in journalism as a security blanket, and no one around with whom to commiserate?

    • philweiss on May 18, 2014, 2:03 pm

      I take your point re Jodi Rudoren; she is under a magnifying glass… I feel some sympathy as a journalist toward her, which is why I have tried to hold back at times. That said, she said plainly a few weeks back to Hadassah that she comes at this knowing the Israeli and Jewish side of the story. I dont understand why the Times doesnt also have someone who comes with the other side’s understanding, or why Rudoren hasn’t done more to listen to that other side.

      • Blownaway on May 18, 2014, 11:31 pm

        Its because the Palestinians are marginalized. The US negotiates with Israel and reports to the Palestinians. Its because peace is important and good for Israel and the Palestinians are along for the ride. Israel reaped the reward of Oslo (diplomatic relations with over 100 countries)and gave up nothing and its because the NYT an organ of the US mainstream doesn’t feel the need to include Palestinian voices any more than the US government

      • Ellen on May 19, 2014, 3:56 am

        Phil, her snark in return on reporting of the killing of two children tells us she is waaaay over her head.

        She was clearly sent as a propagandist, not as a reporter.

        She is not a deep thinker. Just look at the self understanding reflected in her public profile.

    • MRW on May 18, 2014, 2:36 pm

      I sometimes think that some non-Jew, non-Arab or Muslim should be assigned this desk at the Times, but then I think, how could they possibly survive, with only a non-tribal dedication to truth in journalism as a security blanket, and no one around with whom to commiserate?

      Chris Hedges had the Middle East NYT job until he quit over the Iraq War. No serious paper sends a native to cover a foreign desk. Ain’t done. Rudoren should be back in the US and someone dispassionate put in her place. David Binder covered Yugoslavia for 30 years. Christopher Dickey was foreign correspondent for Newsweek for decades.

    • ritzl on May 18, 2014, 3:34 pm

      Great comment, DD. Or have two “dedicated to truth” journalists, one Palestinian, one Jewish, so they could alternately fight to accurately present the situation and lean on each other for support once they have made a collective decision. Two problems hypothetically solved.

      You know, be an example of cooperation across the divide. Think ahead. Form a prism of experience that will help the NYT get out in front of what’s coming and hopefully help the rest of us lean into it, including the policy establishment.

      Well… maybe someday.

      • David Doppler on May 19, 2014, 1:45 pm

        Great thought, ritzl. From your lips to Sulzberger’s ear. And after they form that prism, then some more of us who don’t have an axe to grind on either side can wade in to make sense of it for what some elitists like to deride as “Dick and Jane,” but which I tend to think of as America’s backbone. What Phil quoted some historian of Abolitionism as a “school of opinion” formed over years of watching Abolitionists draw the “valuable hatred” of slaveowners, and which ultimately carried the Union through the Civil War to end slavery.

  11. amigo on May 18, 2014, 2:15 pm

    Isn,t Rudoren in Sudan covering Israel,s humanitarian aid in helping to find the Kidnapped Schoolgirls.

    She cannot possibly have time to check the facts at Ofer prison so accepts the IDF spin.

    Poor Jodi, so misunderstood.

    • jon s on May 19, 2014, 10:24 am

      The kidnapped schoolgirls are in Nigeria, not Sudan.

  12. talknic on May 18, 2014, 2:34 pm

    @ Philip Weiss ” I feel some sympathy as a journalist toward her”

    Why? Do you think she isn’t well aware of who she’s been working for and writing weasel words towards? Perhaps Netanyahu should feel some sympathy as a leader towards Hitler?

    • Shuki on May 18, 2014, 9:53 pm

      That is hilarious quote. Thanks Phil, for the comedic relief. And thanks talknik, for the ironic and hypocritical comments… One need only take a look at the cast of characters and their vile comments to the original article to see who Phil is writing weasel words for.

      • talknic on May 20, 2014, 11:05 am

        @ Shuki Ironic certainly! Hypocritical in what way?

  13. joemowrey on May 18, 2014, 7:27 pm

    ” I looked on the story as a step forward for the Times, because the Nakba was at last being covered…”. No, as Munayyar points out, this was not “coverage” of the Nakba, this was another Rudoren propaganda tool disguised as journalism. We (and in particular you, Phil) need to quit giving Rudoren and the Times credit for these obvious and disgusting pro-Zionist articles. It is not a step forward to have anyone disguise Israel’s role in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Why give it any legitimacy at all? Call it what it is, cheap propaganda and an insult to the notion of actual journalism.

  14. Citizen on May 18, 2014, 8:18 pm

    Yes, imagine the story if it had been two Jewish Israeli kids who were killed while celebrating Israel’s Independence Day.

  15. Citizen on May 18, 2014, 8:39 pm

    A moment of levity for you all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlArfV5KFZY&app=desktop

    He fits right in with Jodi, who gives U all the news fit for youse.

  16. Shuki on May 18, 2014, 9:50 pm

    I heard she is also running a very one sided piece about the girls who were kidnapped in Africa. I don’t believe she dedicated even a single sentence to provide the kidnapper’s narrative.

  17. Daniel Rich on May 18, 2014, 10:20 pm

    What does the forum think of Juice Rap News: Israel vs. Palestine?

    The Wiesenthal Center labels it ‘antisemetic’ despite the fact that Norman Finkelstein appears in it. I think it’s [to paraphrase my British friends] ‘spot on.’

    The fact that this spoof had been flying under the radar is fully self explanatory.

  18. iResistDe4iAm on May 19, 2014, 12:06 am

    Philip Weiss says: “I dont understand why … Rudoren hasn’t done more to listen to that other side.”

    But Jodi Rudoren has listened to that other side. Here’s a few Facebook snippets…

    “it seems like Israelis are almost more traumatized.”
    “The Gazans … have such limited lives than in many ways they have less to lose.”
    “And I’ve been surprised that when I talk to people who just lost a relative, or who are gathering belongings from a bombed-out house, they seem a bit ho-hum.”

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/11/gazans-have-aspiration-to-martyrdom-and-have-such-limited-lives-that-they-have-less-to-lose-than-israelis-nyts-rudoren.html

  19. Daniel Rich on May 19, 2014, 4:29 am

    “Courting powerful Jewish donors for the second time in two months, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called Sunday for a more aggressive foreign policy that defends American values abroad — even in “in some very messy, difficult places.” LINK

    When will it ever end?

  20. Kathleen on May 19, 2014, 9:47 am

    Absolutely nothing about the Israel Palestine conflict on the WorldPost pages of the USA today of blogs Huffington Post . Absolutely nothing…just the way Israel and the I lobby wants it now. Just keep expanding those illegal settlements and the hot shots will ignore it.

  21. Pixel on May 19, 2014, 2:07 pm

    Reply to the post by Yonah, above, that begins with off topic i want to continue…. (I’m not sure why there isn’t any “reply” button underneath your post but there isn’t one that I can find in either of my browsers or the mobile version of the site.)

    Yonah, thank you for this post. On a very subtle level, I sense something different about it from other posts of yours that I’ve read. I’d describe it as an almost imperceptible “movement” in a personal process that you’re engaged in here – or one that has engaged you. If so, I want to honor that and tell you that I think it takes a lot of courage to remain open to change.

  22. Ellen on May 20, 2014, 6:18 am

    Now that video footage of the shootings has been released — showing what is murder by snipers — I wonder if the NYT will revisit what was proven to be their false or mistaken report of the killings. Rudoren’s snark (and as a mother herself) is now even more disgusting.

    Those boys were murdered in cold blood.

    I won’t link to the videos.

  23. Kay24 on May 20, 2014, 7:38 am

    According to Haaretz the two victims who were killed, were NOT near the protests.
    The stinking IDF kills innocent civilians, and lie like criminals do. Disgusting lot.
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.591738

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