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In life and death, some are more equal than others at the ‘NYT’

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Jodi Rudoren

Jodi Rudoren

Have you heard? Three Israeli teenagers have gone missing. Three settlers – one of whom may have been a soldier – have disappeared from an area patrolled by their army, the ultimate enforcer of apartheid. According to Jodi Rudoren and Benjamin Netanyahu, they’ve been kidnapped. A Palestinian did it, they say. Forget the evidence – they just know.

The King of the Jews made a proclamation and it’s suddenly news that’s fit to print – by a journalist who’s evidently incapable of asking questions.

Anyway, the fate of three missing settlers is less important than the murders of seven Palestinians in the past week. Who murdered them? The Israelis did. That’s not guesswork. It’s not conjecture. It’s fact.

To her credit, Rudoren names some of the victims – an enormous improvement over her predecessors:

Palestinian health officials said that Muhammad Mahmoud Atta Ismail, 31, was slain on a Ramallah rooftop by an Israeli sniper, and that in a separate shooting, Ahmad Said Saoud Khaled, 27, bled to death after he was wounded in the abdomen, back and thigh by Israeli troops he encountered en route to a mosque in Nablus for the dawn prayer…

At Friday’s funeral for 15-year-old Mohammed Jihad Dudeen, who was killed hours earlier while throwing stones at Israeli soldiers, dozens in the crowd of 6,000 shouted, “How sweet and fine the abduction was!” while brandishing the yellow, green, black and red flags of various Palestinian factions.

Elsewhere, we’re invited to think about the three Israeli mothers; their Palestinian counterparts don’t exist. Or if they do, they’re animals who fuck and birth in the streets. Their yapping is too unintelligible for the United Nations or the New York Times, so they don’t count.

One may wonder, What sort of society practices collective punishment? What sort of society locks down 4 million people for politics and on a hunch? Rudoren does the thoughtful reader a service:

“This goes to the most basic D.N.A. of the society: We are a society that lives and survives in the Middle East because we send our sons into situations of unbearable risk,” Mr. Halevi said. “All of our communal feelings and all of our existential feelings converge on this event, and it’s enforced by everything that’s happening on our borders.”

So there it is. A settler-colonial society – an alien society, foreign and violent and brutal – survives in the Middle East, but only by sending its young men.. to hitchhike. Truly, heroic.

Ahmed Moor

Ahmed Moor is a Palestinian-American who was born in the Gaza Strip. He is a PD Soros Fellow, co-editor of After Zionism and co-founder and CEO of Twitter: @ahmedmoor

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20 Responses

  1. just on June 24, 2014, 4:39 pm

    Thanks Ahmed. Some are more equal…it’s worse than that.

    “we send our sons into situations of unbearable risk”

    Hitchhiking on Palestinian land. So why don’t the parents encourage them to stay on their side of the Green Line or give them a ride. Or take some responsibility for their kids? Oh yeah, they are settler types.

    “All of our communal feelings and all of our existential feelings converge on this event, and it’s enforced by everything that’s happening on our borders.”

    So where are your borders? Why don’t you stay inside them? Oh yeah, you want it ALL. You think you own it all.

  2. Bumblebye on June 24, 2014, 4:40 pm

    Toadi Rudoren is working for the zionist cause. After all, she’s the right ethno-religious group and employed for exactly that purpose. Only the most minor criticisms will be allowed to sneak into the very occasional piece.

  3. jenin on June 24, 2014, 4:49 pm

    Ahmed, you captured it perfectly. I think someone else described Israel/the occupation as an Orwellian dystopia in a comment to another article today…I think the “more equal than others” quote comes from animal farm. they have truly managed to create a nightmarish Orwell novel in Palestine.

  4. ritzl on June 24, 2014, 5:22 pm


  5. Henry Norr on June 24, 2014, 5:58 pm

    Excellent. For additional smart discussion of NY Times’ coverage of the disappearance of the three settlers and its aftermath, see also two pieces by Barbara Erickson at the consistently insightful
    “The NY Times and the Kidnapped Teens: What Else is Missing Here?”

    “In The NY Times (and Israel) Abbas Gets a New Role”

    On similar problems with coverage on BBC and other international media, see also Amena Saleem’s “International media ignore Israel’s abduction of Palestinian teens” on the ElectronicIntifada

    In the first ten days of June, seventeen teenage boys were abducted in the occupied West Bank. The youngest was thirteen, the oldest seventeen.

    Some were dragged at gunpoint from their homes and family in the middle of the night; others were seized from the streets in broad daylight.

    All of the abductions were documented by the Palestinian Monitoring Group. None were reported by the international media. No Western politicians called for the release of the boys.

    On 12 June, three more teenage boys went missing in the West Bank. Their disappearance sparked worldwide media coverage, cries of terrorism and demands for their release by the US Secretary of State and the UK Foreign Secretary.

    Those three are Israeli. The seventeen others are Palestinian.

  6. wondering jew on June 24, 2014, 6:34 pm

    Ahmed Moor says about one of the settlers that he may have been a soldier. This is certainly not one of the facts that is beyond the reach of reporters. He may have been a soldier, but he wasn’t. Is that what Moor means?

    • Woody Tanaka on June 24, 2014, 6:36 pm

      Who cares? He was an adult, living illegally on stolen land. This idea that these people who are living in these settlements or whatnot are to be considered innocents is frank nonsense. They’re the sword pointed at the heart of Palestine, they’re no less occupation forces than the goons and terrorists in uniform and they should be treated exactly the same.

    • piotr on June 24, 2014, 10:16 pm

      Perhaps he meant that one of the boys was of military age. I think it is impossible that he was on active duty, and clearly too young to finish his service.

  7. a blah chick on June 24, 2014, 7:19 pm

    Well, we might think that those missing settlers are getting more than their share of coverage but not everyone thinks that. Over at Haaretz there is an opinion piece by someone who says that the world is showing “indifference” to the plight of those missing young men.

    OMG! You mean the world is not stopping in its tracks and discussing the fate of 3 missing youths 24/7? This is an outrage! If something happens to an Israeli it automatically trumps anything else that is happening to anyone else in any part of the world.

    Unless said Israeli is an Arab.

    • jenin on June 25, 2014, 11:56 am

      My friend’s boyfriend, who is Israeli, have the nerve to tell me I only have the views I do because the American media is biased in favor of the Palestinians. I really wonder how someone could possibly come up with this nonsense (not to mention it was completely insulting given that my father is a West Bank Palestinian who grew up under the occupation, and I have heard his stories and read about the situation my entire life–but that’s a different story). The Haaretz thing reminded me of that because it is just so mind-blowing to me that there are people out there who can actually believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the western world doesn’t care ENOUGH about Israel. as though that’s the problem

  8. Daniel Rich on June 24, 2014, 8:41 pm

    It’s not that much about what we do say [obituaries of Israeli Shin Bet Chief Avraham Shalom], but all about what we leave out [The death of CIA veteran John Lloyd Hadden].

    Original article

  9. seafoid on June 24, 2014, 8:52 pm

    “All of our communal feelings and all of our existential feelings converge on this event, and it’s enforced by everything that’s happening on our borders”

    That just incentivizes kidnappers. It is so hard to leave the shtetl, isn’t it?

    “Unbearable risk”. Of course Palestinians just have to suck on it. Poor Zionism has zero self awareness.

  10. palijustice on June 24, 2014, 9:18 pm

    Jodi Rudoren is extremely biased in her reporting, as many of us on this sight are aware of. She and the Ombudsman of the NY Times need to be contacted about this. A major aspect of the story is the collective punishment, which is a human rights crime, and the long list of Palestinians killed and injured by Israeli troops and settlers too.

    The PA is totally discredited now. They need better leadership. They have justice on their side, but don’t know how to use it.

  11. iResistDe4iAm on June 24, 2014, 10:08 pm

    “…we send our sons into situations of unbearable risk”

    Why does Israel deliberately place ~600,000 of its own civilians in Israeli-subsidised settlements on stolen foreign land deep inside occupied enemy territories (territories with which it is still technically at war)?

    Why does Israel build impenetrable walls to control Palestinians but still allow its own Jewish settlers to steal and live on land beyond those walls?

    “You ask Israel to cease building settlements on the West Bank, which are intended not only to house Israelis, but to provide a defense bulwark when the Islamist armies of the surrounding states, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria – Assad or his opponents – and Iraq, again try militarily to crush Israel” ~ Ed Koch, 2013

    Israel uses Jewish settler families as human shields.

  12. Eva Smagacz on June 25, 2014, 3:02 am

    Right after they went missing there were two pictures floating on the net of an oldest settler: one of him with a weapon, and the second in military uniform. I haven’t seen them since the first day or so: maybe the gag order meant that they cannot be reprinted?

  13. just on June 25, 2014, 8:33 am

    “Giant #BringBackOurBoys ad goes up in Times Square
    Bought by Manhattan synagogue, digital billboard shows photos of three kidnapped boys, reads, ‘These boys are not soldiers. These boys are our sons.'”

    wow. what’s next?

  14. eljay on June 25, 2014, 9:01 am

    “Giant #BringBackOurBoys ad goes up in Times Square
    Bought by Manhattan synagogue, digital billboard shows photos of three kidnapped boys, reads, ‘These boys are not soldiers. These boys are our sons.’”

    Only one of them is an American son. The other two are Israeli sons, as are all other non-Jewish, non-military Israeli boys.

    • just on June 25, 2014, 9:28 am

      Full ad follows:

      “An Upper West Side synagogue bought a 40-by-40-foot advertisement in Times Square begging for the safe return of three Israeli teens allegedly kidnapped by Hamas.

      The massive digital billboard, on Broadway between 47th and 46th streets, went live Tuesday afternoon with color photos of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, who were abducted in the West Bank, and the hashtag #bringbackourboys.

      “On June 12th, 2014, three teenage boys were kidnapped in Israel, one of them an American citizen,” the giant ad reads. “These boys are not soldiers. They are not fighters. They are not violent. These boys are our sons. Our brothers. Our grandchildren. Our nephews. Our friends. Please help create global awareness.””

  15. ahmed on June 25, 2014, 12:57 pm

    All the people who cry about the world’s “hypocrisy” in focusing on Israeli abuses now want us to focus exclusively on three missing Israeli youths, ignoring missing children all over the world?

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