After Cain killed his brother, the Lord told him, “A fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be in the earth.”
But the natural order has been reversed, instead the Abels, if they survive, become homeless wanderers and the Cains build their Caliphates on the tombs of their victims.
“Cursed shall you be from the earth,” the Lord said, and so it has been.
The earth under their feet may be cursed, it yields nothing but sand and thistles, but they are nomads, forgetting agriculture, remembering only their tradecraft of murder. They become worshipers of death dreaming of the green verdant fields of paradise which they can reach only if they kill enough men, women and children.
Leaving devastation behind them, dead lands, lost cultures, widows and orphans, they claw their way up to heaven on a ladder of bones.
Everything around them dies until the only green is on their flags. They are cursed from the earth and they curse the earth. Where they go, the world dies.
It is not murder that makes it impossible for Abel to live with Cain says the State Department, says the European Union and says the New York Times. It is Abel’s fields and houses that provoke Cain.
The PLO formed a unity government with Hamas and the loud voice of consensus, the voice of men who imagine that they become god when they speak in a single voice, is that it was the Israeli houses that were to blame. It is not Cain’s fault that he kills. It is Abel’s fault that he builds.
Of the three kidnapped and murdered boys, two Israeli and one American, Jodi Rudoren of the New York Times wrote, “Palestinians… see the very act of attending (school) yeshiva in a West Bank settlement as provocation.”
Abel is forever provoking Cain who rises up and kills him. And if only Abel hadn’t had so many sheep, if only he hadn’t built so well, if only he hadn’t made the desert bloom, if only he hadn’t won so many wars and if only G-d didn’t appear to favor him.
Cain sows fields of corpses of the innocent for the Lord and he still does not understand why his sacrifice is not accepted and why the earth he dwells on is cursed.
Abel does his best to appease Cain with gifts of earth, but the earth is useless to Cain. What good is cursed earth to cursed men? What can a man plant in the desert? What can he harvest when everything dies at his touch? All he can offer is a harvest of death.
That is what he brings to the faintly remembered Creator he calls Allah. From Iraq to Iran, from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia, from Nigeria to Somalia, from Pakistan to Indonesia, he holds up human heads and cries, “Allahu Akbar.”
As if G-d needs such petty proofs of superiority.
Cain cannot be appeased with earth. The earth is his curse. All that lives hates him and he hates all that lives. He tortures animals and raises dead crops. He kills his daughters and sisters, his mother, the source of his life and the source of his future, for the same honor that made Cain the first killer.
There is no use negotiating with Cain. There is no compromise that he will accept. Cain is his own curse. He loves death and that is all he will ever have. His acolytes cry, “We love death, you love life.”
Cain was meant to wander the earth. To be a rootless nomad whose curse of death would not collect in any single place. He was not meant to build kingdoms of death. He was not meant to rule over a Caliphate of death and a culture of death.
Marwan Barghouti is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for premeditated murder in attacks that killed five people, plus a few other crimes. The original prosecution charges accused him of perpetrating 37 attacks, running terrorist organizations, and recruiting and training terrorists.
The fact that Barghouti is also the most popular Palestinian Arab leader tells worlds about the Palestinian Arabs’ unreadiness for a credible peace agreement. Barghouti was a terrorist kingpin during the second intifada and unapologetically calls for a third intifada. He’s definitely not a Gandhi-type figure with peaceful instincts.
But that’s not the way the New York Times describes him in an article at the top of the foreign-news section in the April 8 edition (“Prisoner In Israel Is Linked To Talks – Popular Palestinian Serving Life Terms,” by Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren, page A4).
Rudoren suggests that releasing Barghouti could be the key to revive moribund negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. To buttress her argument, she digs up Palestinian Arabs who view Barghouti as the Palestinian Arab parallel to Jonathan Pollard, the convicted U.S. spy for Israel who’s serving a life term. A perfect trade, it would seem. – Barghouti for Pollard. Never mind that the former is a serial murderer – a charge not affixed to the latter.
What it comes down to, according to Palestinian Arab fans of Barghouti that Rudoren is eager to quote, is simply: “Why not? Pollard is very important to Israel and Barghouti is important to us.”
But it happens that this quid pro quo is more the product of a feverish Rudoren imagination than the key to revival of peace negotiations. Still, Rudoren and the Times are determined to go the extra mile to humanize Barghouti.
Consequently, Times readers are told that Barghouti “has a roommate and a television with 10 channels. He can read any newspaper published in Israel but cannot have a computer.” If the Times had its way, this nice Palestinian Arab fellow would not be so deprived.
In similar solicitous vein, Rudoren adds that Barghouti’s wife sees him every other Tuesday for 45 minutes, through glass; the last time they touched was in 2006.” Ah, those tough Israeli prison conditions.
And here comes the ultimate punishment of Barghouti: “Last month, Ms. Barghouti brought their only grandchild, Talia, who was born last summer, but the baby was barred at the last door before the visiting room because she is not a first-degree relative.” Get out the hankies!
To give the appearance of evenhanded reporting, Rudoren lays out in detail the charges against Barghouti – but not until the second-before-last paragraph. How many readers, one might ask, get that far? Which is of course, why Rudoren arranges that Barghouti’s dark side takes second place to all those up-close-and-personal, heart-tugging descriptions of a thoroughly scrubbed clean arch-terrorist.
And no cameos, of course, of Israeli victims of Barghouti’s terrorist forays. That would go counter to Rudoren’s agenda.
Originally published at The American Thinker.
Yesterday The Jewish Press ran an article about a group of Harvard college students who visited mass-terrorist Yasser Arafat’s grave while on a trip funded at least in part by Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropy, and supported by Harvard Hillel.
That trip, the Harvard College Israel Trek 2014, is billed as an effort to bring a diverse group of Harvard students to Israel to facilitate “a nuanced first encounter with the country, its history, narratives, culture, politics and people. Student participants represent diverse religious, national, and cultural backgrounds, and are all leaders in various capacities on campus.”
The posting of the picture of the Harvard Trek students at Arafat’s grave unleashed a storm of criticism. Many supporters of Israel and donors to Jewish communal institutions were outraged that a Jewish-funded and sponsored Israel trip for college students included a visit to the risibly ostentatious mausoleum dedicated to a man who was responsible for more dead Jews than almost anyone else in the last fifty years.
But there was another wave of fury, and this one emanated from the people who were responsible for the sponsorship of the Trek, Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropies and Harvard Hillel.
Let’s deal with the second one, as the first does not really require a response.
This reporter spent the day trying to get the head of the CJP on the telephone, so that he could comment on the story as it was unfolding. Barry Shrage was unavailable all day, but after several telephone calls, a lay leader, Gideon Argov, made contact in the early evening.
Argov is the co-chair of the CJP’s Israel Advocacy committee. He helped create the itinerary for this year’s Israel Trek and he has been involved in many other trips in which students are brought to Israel to experience the country first-hand. He firmly believes that it is imperative to bring students to Israel, especially those from “elite” schools, where they are likely to be exposed to the worst anti-Israel activities such as the BDS movement, Islamists, intimidation of Jewish students, and worse.
For Argov, there is “no better single way to get people to understand Israel than to bring them there.” And, Argov explained, “the Israel Trek program is one that is organized by Israeli and Jewish students who are among the strongest supporters of Israel on campus.”
It was clear to this reporter that Argov fully believes in the Trek program. He said that the goal of the program is to take campus leaders – on this trip there is the editor of the Harvard Crimson as well as the captain of the football team, and many other leaders – and put together an itinerary that exposes those leaders to all walks of Israeli life and to do it in a multi-faceted fashion. To do all of this with the intent of creating knowledgeable leaders to advocate in, when they return to the States, in an effective way for Israel.”
I was convinced. Convinced that this is what Argov wants the Trek program to be and what Argov believes the program to be.
But I still wanted to understand how it was that the students went to pay their respects at Arafat’s grave.
For this, Argov was more reserved.Why did they go? According to the itinerary, the Harvard Trek group was supposed to go to Ramallah on Monday, March 17, and meet with local business people and leaders, but somehow the group also went elsewhere.
“The students obviously found themselves in a set of circumstances, where they were at Arafat’s grave. They were somehow put in such a position,” is how Argov put it.
When pressed, Argov insisted he was “not worried in the least about the safety of the students on the trip.” He said it was “unfortunate, but we will find out why and how it happened” when the students return.
The one thing Argov said he was worried about was that “focusing” on the fact that the students were taken to the Mukata “misrepresents the basic rationale for this trip.”
“I am 100 percent convinced that these students will come back, able to articulate why Israel is critical as an American ally, why it is critical as the Homeland of the Jewish people,” and why it should be protected as it is the one stable nation in a region devolving into chaos.
Pressed even further, Argov said that while the sponsors back in Boston are in regular contact with the Israel Trek leaders, “they were not in daily contact.”
When it was explained that information available on the Internet suggested that perhaps not everything was running precisely as the sponsors anticipated, and that there had been reports in the Arab press that Harvard students visiting in Ramallah on Monday had been subjected to pretty raucous anti-Israel and anti-American sentiment from Palestinian Arab leaders with whom they met, the tone of the conversation changed.
Eventually three of the people on the ground – three of the Israeli leaders on the Israel Trek program - were reached in Israel and put on the phone to speak with The Jewish Press.
And what they explained about the program and about the Mukata and other extra-itinerary excursions was very important to hear.
First, the student leaders were unabashed about their visit to the Mukata. They explained that bringing smart people on a trip to Israel and not sharing with them all facets of reality in the Middle East would not be effective. They spoke with passion and with certainty that exposing these students to the many differing narratives was essential in order to educate them and to create Israel supporters who can relate to the complex issues which exist in and around Israel.
“We wanted to show these students – 50 of the brightest and smartest American students – the Israel that we love,” said Zaki Djemal. Djemal is a Harvard undergraduate, but did many things before enrolling in college, including serving three years in the IDF. He worked in the Israeli Army radio station and as vice editor of the daily morning news program and as a military correspondent.
Yoav Schaefer, another one of the student leaders, made aliyah at 18. Schaefer also served three years in the IDF, as a combat soldier and a self-defense instructor.
Schaefer is the one who explained why the group went to the Mukata.
“We believe the students need to see all of Israeli society, they need to see the reality in which we live. And in order for us to be able to meet with Palestinian leaders, one of the things we must do is take a tour of the Mukata,” Schaefer said.
“It is important for the students to understand the Palestinian narrative, and the only way to engage seriously with them is by legitimizing the Palestinian narrative in a responsible way,” he explained.
So, in order to ensure that bright student tourists take to heart what the ardent lovers of Israel student leaders have to say, they feel it is imperative to also have them hear the Palestinian narrative first hand. Even if that means doing what, essentially, amounts to paying their respect to the arch-terrorist leader, Yasser Arafat.
“We later were able to explain to the students why that experience was so difficult for us,” Djemal said. But he was quick to point out that he “didn’t want to sound as though he was being apologetic for having gone to the Mukata. We really could not have gone to Ramallah without going to visit the Mukata.”
It’s a choice that was made by the student leaders, a choice that was complex, as is almost everything having to do with the Middle East.
Still, the nagging sensation of wondering, if visiting the Mukata was believed to be an essential aspect of any visit to Ramallah, why was it left off the itinerary?
The student Israel Trek leaders were very angry that the picture of the group at the Mukata had been the focal point of several news stories and much criticism. But if the decision was so clearly the right one, made for the right reasons – as these student leaders insisted – why the subterfuge? Why the anger over revealing an accurate picture of a decision about which they claimed to be comfortable? Had they posted the picture on their Facebook page – it is conspicuously missing – and provided their well-thought-out reasoning, the distraction about which they are so angry might have been avoided.
And if the controversy wasn’t avoided, perhaps that is because it is appropriate to have the discussion. Should a program funded by Harvard Hillel and Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropies – all of which are funded by Jewish donor dollars – take students to Yasser Arafat’s shrine?
And if the Palestinian Arab leaders will only meet with American students with a “tour of the Mukata” as a prerequisite, what does that say about their openness? Should American students be turned into propaganda tools as a trade-off to get the leaders to sit down with those students…and it all begins to sound a bit like some of the distortions in the”peace process” negotiations.
Another group that was very angry about the Harvard student Mukata picture is Hillel.
David Eden, Chief Administrative Officer of Hillel International, issued a statement which was posted at another media site which covered the Harvard Israel Trek visit to the Mukata.
But, not surprisingly, Eden also appeared to be angry only that the picture was posted, and not that Harvard students were taken on a pilgrimage to the burial shrine of Yasser Arafat.
We did learn some things from Eden’s statement, however. It was the first time it was revealed that Harvard Hillel not only “supported” the Israel Trek, as was stated on the Trek website, but that it was a financial supporter. We also learned from Eden that all of the money for the trip came from “staunchly pro-Israel donors.” That had not been clear from the Trek website.
Eden’s statement contradicts some of what we learned from the itinerary posted online and which the people at CJP confirmed. Eden wrote that the “itinerary of the Trek, approved by the sponsors, includes a very impressive roster of meetings and outings with representatives of the very highest echelons of Israeli government, armed forces, business, and culture. The trip also includes a visit to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian leadership.”
The CJP people, as well as the student leaders, all admitted that most of the people with whom the Trek group met were not mentioned on the itinerary, and we know for sure that the visit to the Mukata was not approved, at least not by the CJP sponsors.
None of these squabbles necessarily means that the Harvard College Israel Trek 2014 will not do exactly what Gideon Argov and the Harvard Trek student leaders told The Jewish Press is the program’s goal: an experience for bright college students to learn about Israel and to return to campus as better, more informed and more committed advocates for Israel.
We hope it does achieve its goal. We cheer that goal. But the attempt to hide one piece of highly flammable information certainly threw off a lot of smoke.
Another article will discuss the wide variety of important, influential and interesting people with whom the Harvard students met while on their Israel Trek.
But the blog entry of one of the Harvard student participants after having listened to a talk by one of those interesting people does not exactly quell the concern raised by the Mukata incident.
JODI RUDOREN OF THE NYT IS STILL SPINNING THE ROMANTIC ROCK-THROWING THEME
The Harvard College Israel Trek 2014 students met with Jodi Rudoren, the Jerusalem bureau chief of the New York Times, on Saturday, March 15.
Rudoren, for those who do not recall, got into a bit of hot water when she first came to Israel. She was highly criticized for tweeting out friendly messages to people like Ali Abunimah, the editor of the Electronic Intifada. Abunimah is a devout supporter of the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel movement.
In a previously unheard of form of reprimand, Rudoren was assigned a social media editor, in an effort to curb her public and repeated faux pas.
Last summer Rudoren was again widely criticized for an article that was understood by many to be not just justifying, but romanticizing the rock throwing by Arab youth.
As CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, responded to the piece: “Stones kill, maim, wound and change people’s lives forever. Israeli infants have been slain, toddlers critically wounded and adults too have been killed, sustained severe head injuries or were hospitalized with lighter injuries, all due to Palestinian stone throwers.”
Just three quick examples:
•5-month old Yehuda Shoham whose skull was crushed by stones hurled at his car and who died after a six day struggle for life in 2001.
•3-year-old Adele Biton who spent four months in the intensive care unit of a hospital fighting for her life and is now confined at a rehabilitation hospital, relearning how to eat, talk and walk after Palestinian rocks struck her mother’s car this past March.
•1-year-old Yonatan Palmer and his 25-year old father who were killed in September 2011 when their car was struck in a Palestinian stone attack.
Given all the negative attention, you’d think Rudoren would stop romanticizing the conflict, and deal just with the facts. But if you thought that, you’d be wrong. This is how one of the Harvard students described Rudoren’s talk to the Harvard College Israel Trek 2014 group in her blog.
Our first speaker was Jody, who is the editor in chief for the Israel bureau of NYT. She’s so funny and chill, I loved it. One thing she said that really stuck out to me was that the “face” of the Israeli conflict is the Palestininan [sic] stone thrower. It’s painful to be in the face of guns and soldiers whom you feel have wronged you, your history, your family, and all you have are stones. But you make do, taking back some of the earth that was taken from you to gain it all back. Hope and resilience, anger and love. These emotions really rule the world, no matter what your background and where you come from. Although I would never want to compare the Palestinian experience to anything because there is nothing like it and that would neglect the nuanced complexity of the situation, I see similarities between the Palestinian struggle and other movements for justice, based on narrative. It’s painfully, beautifully sad, that no matter how much time has passed in history, suffering for the same reasons occurs time after time. (emphasis added).
If the goal of Israel Trek is to create students who are “knowledgeable student leaders who can advocate in an effective way for Israel,” this student’s “takeaway” from Rudoren is not reassuring.
The New York Times recognized that its correspondent in Jerusalem, Jodi Rudoren, had gone too far this time in blithely vilifying Jews who live and breathe beyond the so-called Green Line.
Rudoren ascribed a position to the United States government about Israeli policy which was flat out wrong. That was the only part of the otherwise slanted and deceptive article which merited a slap on the wrist. Rudoren wrote that the position of the U.S. is that Israeli towns and cities beyond the Green Line are illegal, when in fact this government has taken no position on the legality of Israeli Jewish towns in that region. The actual correction appears at the end of this article.
Before we get to the begrudging but still humiliating factual correction, take a stroll through the rest of her article.
In this article headlined, “Israeli Decree on West Bank Settlements Will Harm Peace Talks, Palestinians Say,” Rudoren not only originally falsely stated that the United States believes the “settlements” are illegal. Her language throughout the piece makes clear her hostility to Jews daring to live beyond what the esteemed Israeli statesman Abba Eban had termed the “Auschwitz borders,” the lines drawn in 1949 at the end of the war against the newly-reborn Israel, when surrounding Arab states attacked it rather than permit a Jewish State in their midst.
For one thing, she described the early stage approval of subsidies to homeowners in various places including in “Jewish settlements in the West Bank territory that Israel seized in the 1967 war.” You’d never know that in 1967 Israel (again) fought a defensive war and gained the land in a battle for its existence. The verb Rudoren chose, “seized,” suggests an aggressive action by the belligerent in military hostilities.
Given that the New York Times is treated like Torah from Sinai by most American Jews, no wonder they and the organizations those Jews tend to support believe that Israel should give away that territory to people who never possessed it, and never – until Israel legally acquired the land – expressed any interest in owning or governing it themselves.
And it was not until the sixth paragraph of a 10 paragraph story that Israel is even permitted a voice to counter what Rudoren already set up as a move by the Israeli government to expand “settlements” which upset the Arab Palestinians and may now torpedo the “fragile peace talks.”
In the sixth paragraph the reader – if he is still reading – learns that all that happened is the Israeli government has made a completely routine and preliminary decision to provide assistance to homeowners in authorized towns and villages for things like “education, housing, infrastructure projects, cultural programs and sports, along with better mortgage rates and loans for new homeowners.” Isn’t that what governments are supposed to do? Take care of their citizens?
Rudoren distances her readers from identifying with Israelis who might otherwise be considered normal homeowners. She points out that, “Among the newcomers to the list are three formerly illegal outposts — Bruchin, Rachelim and Sansana — that obtained government recognition last year.” Rudoren chose not to more concisely and correctly refer to those three towns as “legal and legitimate villages.”
But before Israel was permitted to offer a different point of view, Rudoren first ran condemnations of the move by the infamous Hanan Ashrawi, whose latest evidence of Jew and Israel hatred was the promotion on the website of an NGO she founded which claimed that Jews drink Christian blood on Passover.
In the space of three sentences, Rudoren paints a clear picture with Ashrawi’s words. Ashrawi describes Israel’s move as a “confidence-destruction measure,” “attempts to grab more Palestinian land,” “provide settlers with preferential treatment” and the announcement that “the decision would have ‘a destructive impact’” on the current Israeli-Arab Palestinian talks.
Of course, Mark Regev was given a cameo appearance in the sixth paragraph. But not to worry, because in the concluding three paragraphs of the article there is plenty to ensure that the lasting impression is one of an intransigent Israeli government filled with “many right-wing settlement supporters” which “refused to formally freeze settlement construction” in order to induce the oh-so-compliant, peace-supporting Arab Palestinians to even sit at the table with the Israelis.
Like Europeans, Israelis are mad for their soccer. For some, soccer is the true religion of the Middle East, one shared by Muslims and Jews alike.
But just as in Europe, not all soccer fans follow the normal rules of civility, and the behavior of some fans of one Israeli soccer team in particular, Jerusalem Beitar, has been reprehensible. Beitar was the last of the 30 Israeli soccer teams without any Muslim players. The anti-Muslim racism of its fans has led to Beitar being banned from some soccer matches and being fined, as well as having demonstrations by Israelis denouncing their behavior.
When Beitar management last week brought in two Muslims from Chechnya to join the team, the response by the haters was ugly, if not unexpected. Despite official efforts to celebrate the inclusion of Muslims into the Beitar family as an important Israeli value, some fans responded at a game over the weekend with shameful calls for “Beitar purity,” and unfurled a vicious banner: “Beitar, pure forever.”
But today’s New York Times story about the incident is shocking in its narrow focus and excessive reliance on Israel haters to suggest that the racism of the worst Beitar fans accurately reflects Israeli society.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center told The Jewish Press by telephone from Berlin, “You want to know what “mirrors” Israeli society? Walk in the Mamilla Mall on a Saturday night, Arabs and Israelis, Muslims and Jews, all strolling, eating and shopping together – that’s the mirror of Israeli society.”
The official response to the boorishness was swift and unequivocal: the team was fined 50,000 NIS ($ 13,400) and 50 of the worst offenders were banned from an upcoming match.
Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon slammed the ugly behavior, saying “I was shocked by the racism displayed in the Beitar Jerusalem stands yesterday against having Muslim or Arab players on the team.”
“We cannot ignore these displays of racism which not long ago were directed – and are still being directed – towards the Jewish people,” he wrote on Twitter.
And in a show of solidarity, Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat attended the Tuesday press conference welcoming the Muslim Chechen players, Zaur Sadayev and Gabriel Kadiev, who had previously played on the premier Russian team Terek Grozny.
Barkat said, “I want to tell viewers around the world that we will not put up with racism or violence. This is an ethical statement that goes out from Jerusalem to the world.”
And Beitar’s team captain Amit Ben-Shushan said at the press conference welcoming the new players, “We do not engage in politics. As far as we’re concerned, we will do our best to welcome the players in the best possible fashion.”
The Russian-born billionaire owner of Beitar, Arkady Gaydamak, rejected the nasty response to the new players, telling Israeli Army Radio last week that the “small group of so-called supporters of the team do not represent the general opinion of the Israeli public, and they should not be allowed to win.”
No one suggests there is no racism in Israel or amongst Israeli sports fans – far from it. A horrible incident received a lot of attention last spring when Beitar fans, chanting “death to the Arabs” after a game in Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium poured into the nearby Malha Mall, where Arab workers were allegedly assaulted by some participants.
But the only “experts” quoted in the NYT article are ones whose professional livelihood is built and dependent upon denouncing Israel as a racist society.
For example, Professor Moshe Zimmerman, chair of Hebrew University’s German Studies Department, is quoted as expressing strong support for the article’s headline, that the racist Beitar fans reflect Israeli society.
It might have been useful for readers of the NYT article to know that Zimmerman was chastised by the relatively restrained Anti-Defamation League as far back as 2005, for repeatedly comparing the Israeli Defense Forces and authorities to Nazis.
Yet the NYT writer places Zimmerman as the first expert in the article. “People in Israel usually try to locate Beitar Jerusalem as some kind of the more extreme fringe; this is a way to overcome the embarrassment,” and Zimmerman continues, “the fact is that the Israeli society on the whole is getting more racist, or at least more ethnocentric, and this is an expression.”
Incoming New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren has been exhibiting not only questionable judgment but also an overt bias against Israel even before she’s landed in the country. Her Twitter praise of extremists like the Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah and her laudatory references to Peter Beinart’s book trashing Israel indicated that she saw no reason why the public should have to wait until she started filing slanted stories to understand where she stood on the issues.
In an attempt to do some quick damage control, Rudoren submitted to an interview with Politico media reporter Dylan Byers to explain herself. But it did little to repair her image or to undermine the notion she has already made up her mind about how to report the conflict.
Rudoren claimed her tweet to Abunimah was meant to be private, not public. But the idea that she considers Electronic Intifada “important” already shows her frame of reference about Israel. It is one thing to say, as she does, a reporter must talk to all sides. It is quite another to make nice in this manner with advocates of economic warfare on Israel.
Even worse is her insistence that her praise of Peter Beinart’s tendentious attack on Israel isn’t an indication she supports his point of view. Indeed, she doubles down on her praise for Beinart:
“…I will absolutely not apologize for thinking that this is a good book…. I don’t agree with everything in the book, I don’t even have an opinion about the arguments in the book, but it’s really well-written, it’s really provocative, there’s tons of reporting in it with things people don’t know….”
The very fact that she thinks Beinart’s book, filled with left-wing clichés, contains original reporting demonstrates she has a poor grasp of what constitutes good journalism and she has come into this post knowing little about the conflict or the literature about it. Moreover, her claim she doesn’t agree with everything in the book is a weasel-worded excuse that will convince no one. You don’t give a gushing endorsement to a polemic such as Beinart’s if you are neutral about its thesis.
The Times has clearly made a mistake in appointing someone to this post with a clear bias against Israel. But the fact that she has been so indiscreet about her bias ought to alert her editors to not only her lack of political savvy but also her complete unsuitability for such a delicate position.
Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of Commentary magazine with responsibility for managing the editorial content of its Contentions website as well as serving as chief politics blogger.
Jodi Rudoren, the new Jerusalem bureau chief for the New York Times, tweeted praise for Peter Beinart’s new book The Crisis of Zionism.
Rudoren, who is Jewish, wrote that the book is “terrific: provocative, readable, full of reporting and reflection.”
This comes after another questionable tweet the day before, in which Rudoren sent out introductory greetings to the founder of anti-Israel website Electronic Intifada. Rudoren wrote to Ali Abunimah that she “would love to chat sometime.”
Rudoren is taking over for Ethan Bronner in April.