David Brooks’s son joining Israel army is an ‘extreme case’ — NYT public editor

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As you surely know, the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, and the son of New York Times columnist David Brooks has joined the Israeli army; Brooks disclosed the service in an interview in Israel in which he spoke of himself as an Israeli parent. Now the New York Times Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan, has weighed in. She quotes a person or two who are outraged over Brooks’s son’s service, and editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal saying it is no big deal:

“I do not think he ever had an obligation to say that his son made this choice, any more than if his son had joined the U.S. Air Force.”

Sullivan begs to differ. She says the matter should be disclosed in the New York Times.

In general, I agree with Mr. Rosenthal about columnists and their family members. I don’t think readers usually need to know what the spouses of columnists think or what brothers do for a living, or whether a daughter has joined the U.S. Army. But this situation strikes me as a more extreme case. Mr. Brooks’s son is serving as a member of a foreign military force that has been involved in a serious international conflict – one that the columnist sometimes writes about and which has been very much in the news.

I strongly disagree with those who say Mr. Brooks should no longer write about Israel. But I do think that a one-time acknowledgement of this situation in print (not in an interview with another publication) is completely reasonable.

Will the Times follow through? (Adam says the Times won’t.)

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach jumps on Sullivan’s commentary:

Incredible. The @NYT attacks it’s [sic] own columnist David brooks because his son serves in IDF.

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“I do not think he ever had an obligation to say that his son made this choice, any more than if his son had joined the U.S. Air Force.”

Yes but what if he joined ISIS?
Oh, I just remembered . ISIS doesn’t kill children.

Let’s hope Brooks’ son doesn’t commit suicide like other American IDF warriors.

And a number of IDF soldiers who fought in Gaza recently have been choosing suicide rather frequently as well. But it’s not as if Zionism gives a f#ck about them. Manifest destiny.

The @NYT attacks it’s [sic]

Orthodox education , tsk tsk.
And it’s not like Shmuley has any empathy to fall back on either.

Is there such a thing as too stupid to exist? There may be. Brooks ‘s son isnt unusual, these Zionist Jews actually believe US Jews have no obligation to the US, military or any other kind. The casino King didnt even blink at saying in public he regrets serving in the US military and wishes it had been Israel. And listen to this guy: Jewish Leader Attacked at Brooklyn Nets Game by Pro-Palestinian Demonstrators Leonard… Read more »

“Mr. Brooks’s son is serving as a member of a foreign military force that has been involved in a serious international conflict – one that the columnist sometimes writes about and which has been very much in the news.” Good for you Margaret. It’s also a foreign military funded in large part by many US taxpayers who are against this and other IOF genocidal massacres. Brooks is a very visible paid pontificator who gives full-… Read more »