Months after New York Times columnist David Brooks told the Aspen Institute that his son is serving in the Israeli army and a controversy erupted over whether the Times should have disclosed this fact to its readers (the Times public editor said it should have; Brooks is a neoconservative who pushed the Iraq war), Brooks has told his readers about his son’s service. The disclosure is swaddled in parentheses deep in a column about Benjamin Netanyahu:
I’m visiting Israel for the 18th or 19th time (my son is currently a member of the Lone Soldiers Program, which allows people from around the world to serve in the Israeli military). I asked a couple of smart Israelis what their coming elections are about.
People from around the world?
From the Israeli Defense Forces Info site, “How to Enlist”:
In order to join the IDF, you must have the right to make Aliyah. This means that you must have at least one Jewish grandparent. If you are not Jewish, and would like to enlist into the IDF, you must convert before making Aliyah or volunteer through Mahal.
The Mahal link goes to this information:
Mahal helps young Jewish men (ages 18-23) and women (ages 18-20) from all over the world volunteer and enlist in the IDF.
Jewish men and women. You must have at least one Jewish grandparent.
So Brooks is evading the major issue. This is a state constructed for one ethnicity, and he skips right over that fact. Why? Because he knows that ethnic discrimination would be offensive to American readers. If a Palestinian American wants to serve in the Israeli military, are they going to be able to? No way. Brooks is simply misleading New York Times readers about Israel because he loves the place. (The US army was desegregated in 1948, by Harry Truman.)
P.S. Netanyahu sounds like Churchill in the piece. Are we really talking about the same leader?
Thanks to Adam Horowitz.