The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

Jodi Rudoren, Another Member of the Family: Meet the New York Times’ New Israel-Palestine News Chief

with one comment

By Alison Weir
CounterPunch
February 21, 2012

Michael Lerner, the editor of Tikkun Magazine, is known for his frequent condemnations of Israeli violence against Palestinians. He is labeled “pro-Palestinian” for such statements and is regularly attacked by pro-Israel zealots who charge that he is disloyal to the Jewish state.

Yet, in reality, Lerner frequently speaks of his devotion to Israel and states that his actions are taken in considerable part to protect it.

A while ago Lerner explained the difference in his feelings about Israelis compared to his feelings about Palestinians. “[T]here is a difference in my emotional and spiritual connection to these two sides,” Lerner said.

“On the one side is my family; on the other side are decent human beings. I want to support human beings all over the planet but I have a special connection to my family.”

This statement comes to mind when one considers the New York Times bureau chiefs who cover Israel-Palestine.

The most recent person to be chosen for this powerful post at arguably the most influential newspaper in the United States is Jodi Rudoren. She takes the place of Ethan Bronner, who was preceded by Steven Erlanger, who was preceded by James Bennet, who was preceded by Deborah Sontag. All, according to an Israeli report, are Jewish.

Most Americans — particularly those who would object to only white reporters covering racial issues or only male reporters covering gender issues — are reluctant to discuss the potential bias in such a profoundly un-diverse system, having been conditioned to fear that such discussion would be “anti-Semitic” or would open the commentator to this extremely damaging accusation.

In Israel, however, it is considered appropriate to discuss the Jewish roots of American politicians and journalists since Israel was created specifically to be “the Jewish state,” Jews have elevated status in it, and the vast majority of Israeli land is officially owned by “world Jewry” (although some individuals have publicly opted out).

An article on the Jerusalem Post website, a major Israeli newspaper, focuses on this aspect. The article, “Judaism at the New York Times”, reports that “all New York Times’ bureau chiefs for at least the last fifteen years have been Jewish.”

The article’s author, Ashley Rindsberg, notes that “the Times doesn’t consistently send Russian Americans to its Moscow bureau… or Mexican Americans to lead its Mexico City bureau…” and asks, “Why does the New York Times consistently send Jewish journalists to head their central office in the Jewish State?”

Rindsberg, who like many conservative Israelis considers the Times’ reporting anti-Israel, provides a somewhat convoluted answer. The Times’ Jewish owners, Rindsberg posits, are uncomfortable with their Jewish identity. Therefore, he claims, they “would just as soon as not have reporters who could be identified for their Jewishness. And to prove it, they send Jews to the Jewish State to report in a most un-Jewish way.”

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

February 22, 2012 at 10:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Much like Pat Buchanan, I am not convinced that the site actually cares about Palestinian rights so much as U.S. nationalism. Max Ajil has summed up this phenomenon quite nicely and he is actually in favor of rights for Palestinians rather than only hating Israel because it gets in the way of “National Interests”

    maurer88

    February 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm


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