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Policing The Discourse….redux

It appears that The New York Times has a new Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren and she has quickly become accustomed to the, shall we say, expectations‘ that appointment entails.  It first started with a post by Adam Kredo, attacking Rudoren for having the ‘temerity’ for tweeting to people he disagrees with.  Just to give you a taste of how utterly ridiculous Kredo’s piece is…

The New York Times’ newly appointed Jerusalem bureau chief played Twitter footsie on Tuesday with some of Israel’s most extreme non-terrorist critics.

Yes, thats correct, even ‘non-terrorist’ (!!!!) critics of Israel should be out of bounds for the New York Times Jerusalem correspondent.  I have previously commented on attempts like this to police debate, but I wonder if Adam could tell us, just who the New York Times (and indeed the entire MSM) is allowed to have contact with…to adequately report on a conflict with two opposing sides?

Kredo continues his bullying rant…

Abunimah initially had criticized Rudoren for moving to the Time’s Jerusalem office building, which Abunimah described as “stolen” from the Palestinians.

Unfortunately for poor Adam, his bias is demonstrated by the quote marks around the word stolen, as that word is most apt for describing the fate of that particular property.

Kredo continues by sounding a warning…

Pro-Israel observers are already beginning to question Rudoren’s impartiality on issue of Israel.

Would it be too cheeky of me to ask Kredo for a link to where he questioned Jodi Rudoren’s predecessor Ethan Bronner’s impartiality? Considering Mr Bronner’s son served in the IDF during his tenure at NYT’s Jerusalem bureau. Kredo continues his piece by quoting a man who gained notoriety recently for a failed smear campaign against reporters/bloggers critical of Israel’s repression of Palestinians.

These are not people you engage like this, especially your first day as Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the paper of record. You really don’t even want to be seen in public with them—it’s just a mistake.

The man in question is Josh Block and considering Block’s odious smear attempt and efforts to close down debate surrounding the Israel/Palestine conflict was only a few weeks ago, Kredo’s omission of this information is in itself quite illuminating.  But we should also note as Glenn Greenwald highlighted, Block considers that there should be a tight rein around debate concerning issues pertaining to Israel …

As a progressive Democrat, I am convinced that on issues as important as the US-Israel alliance and the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, there is no room for uncivil discourse or name calling, like ‘Israel Firster or ‘Likudnik’, and policy or political rhetoric that is hostile to Israel, or suggests that Iran has no nuclear weapons program, has no place in the mainstream Democratic party discourse. I also believe that when it occurs, progressive institutions, have a responsibility not to tolerate such speech or arguments.

There you have you it, Adam Kredo quotes a man looking to shut down debate and neglects to mention his instigation of a failed smear campaign.  What does this tells us about Kredo?

From Kredo to a man who has served in the IDF, but apparently can’t remember taking the oath, which I call bullshit on, as that day is seared in the memory of any young man or woman who volunteers to serve under a flag.  Goldberg refers to Rudoren’s contact with Ali Abunimah, describing Ali as an ‘extremist’, which is a rather telling terminology used to describe a man who simply advocates equality for all before the law, regardless of colour or creed.

Goldberg thinks that..

…it would have been better if she had twinned this reach-out with one to a Kahanist or some sort of radical settler rabbi, for balance.

Got that? Jeffrey Goldberg thinks that when contacting a Palestinian activist who advocates equality for all, one man, one vote – one should ‘balance’ that out by contacting ethno-supremacist land thieves.

Goldberg goes on to critcise Rudoren for praising a book he admits he hasn’t read.

Praising Peter’s book is fine, if she weren’t meant to be an objective reporter (I haven’t read Peter’s book, just a propagandistic missive about it, and for all I know I might like it).

You may indeed like it Jeffrey, but best to bite your lip on it until you actually read it though…no?

What we have here are basically pro-Israel attack dogs rounding on a woman taking up a new position, who had the audacity to have contact with people who do not hold acceptable views (according to them) of Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians.  Even more than that, I consider it indicative of how Palestinian voices are virtually nonexistent when it comes to debate in the US over Israel/Palestine.  Britain used to debate the fate of my own land in much the same manner.  What does it say about the US that it adheres to Victorian standards of discourse?

When you can’t even contact ‘non-terrorist critics’ (think about that) of Israel, or even review books other people haven’t yet bothered to read,  I for one don’t envy Jodi Rudoren, but I do wish her all the best.


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