‘New York Times’ tour of conflict is led by Israeli who works for AIPAC, Birthright, and Israeli army and prisons

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The New York Times hosts expensive “journeys” to important spots in the world, where travelers with “intellectual curiosity and high standards” can glean the newspaper’s expertise:

“Each exclusive travel experience is inspired by Times content and joined by either a New York Times journalist or Times-selected expert.”

The Israel Palestine Conundrum” covers nine days with 25 elite travelers next October; and the “scheduled expert” is Avi Melamed. As he was in 2014. But Melamed is on only one side of this conundrum:

“As a former senior Israeli official on Arab affairs, I spent most of my intelligence career in Arab-speaking areas. I look forward to helping you understand the story behind the story.”

If you go to Avi Melamed’s own site, his client list includes several Israel lobby organizations and Israeli government arms, including the Israeli army. AIPAC is the leading Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The Israel Project is a pro-settler organization.

AIPAC… American Jewish Committee… Birthright… Friends of the IDF…. Israel Border Police Senior Command… Israel Defense Forces; Israel Ministry of Defense; Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Israel Police; Israel Prison Authority… Jewish Council for Public Affairs… Jewish Community Relations Council… Jewish Federations of North America; Jewish National Fund… MASA… The Israel Project… the United States Army…

Melamed says he “works as a lecturer” to AIPAC and other rightwing groups:

Avi works as lecturer to a plethora of organizations including, AIPAC; American Jewish Committee USA and Israel; Birthright; American University; Canada Israel Committee; CIC (Canada Israel Committee); Georgetown University; Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation; Herzeliya Interdisciplinary Center (IDC); Israel Border Police Senior Command; Israel Consulate; Israel Embassy; Israel Ministry of Defense; Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Jewish Agency; Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA); Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC); Jerusalem Foundation; Jewish Federations of North America; Jewish National Fund; Katedra: The Network of Israeli Colleges; MASA; Peres Center for Peace, The Israel Project; Tufts University; United Jewish Communities – USA and Israel; University of California Berkeley; World Bank Board of Directors, YPO (Young Presidents Organization) and WPO (World Presidents Organization) and more.

The New York Times knows it’s in the tank. From its brochure:

Of Special Note: A Palestinian expert will be announced shortly

More on Melamed’s approach, which is cross-cultural with the aim of promoting Israel:

His analysis, tours and briefings, based on Arab sources, decades of field experience, policy design and intimate connections throughout the Arab world, offer an insider’s view of the constantly-changing Middle East landscape and future regional implications.

Avi is also the founder and creator of Feenjan – Israel speaks Arabic, a non-profit initiative which presents contemporary Israeli society and culture to the Arab world in Arabic, and serves as an online platform for Israelis and Arabs to discover and discuss issues of common interest.

Melamed addressed this pro-Israel Jewish tour from St. Louis a couple of years ago — along with NYT Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren, who has a penchant for Jewish groups.

More about that Times tour. This description of occupied Jerusalem is safe and wrong:

Jerusalem: A Shared and Disputed City

It’s annexed, the world is against the annexation; and it’s not shared; Palestinians are forced out of their homes all the time.

And look, they’re going to the Potemkin Village of occupation:

Then head north from Jerusalem for a visit to Rawabi, the first Palestinian planned city and the largest private-sector project ever undertaken in Palestine.

I’m sure that’s neoliberalism at work; and the travelers will also see the checkpoints; but the imbalance here is grotesque. Beyond.

Check out James North’s analysis that the New York Times has gone all in with Israel, who decided he doesn’t know.

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Bourgeois Apartheid tourism.

Taking a few token natives along, whose sole purpose will be to sooth these bigots’ conscience over their vulgar and racist safari trip, changes nothing from what it is.

This is truly cancerous. The Times is not even bothering to hide its virulent racism toward Palestinians anymore.

Another well-paid recipient of the Zionist Gravytrain.

But the Israeli occupation won’t even let the PA’s Potemkin village, Rawabi, have any water so it could actually, you know, function. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31154138

We are so conditioned, we would listen to an apple tell us all we need to know about oranges…and then support a War on Oranges.

What a marvelous tag line in the NYT’s description of its tour: Feel the connection with both Israeli and Palestinian cultures as you “break bread” with local residents. One wonders how realistic this promise is — how fair and balanced their itinerary will be. Will they, for example, also offer… Read more »