Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rudoren Responds

As requested by some, here are Rudoren's responses to my chastisement, in their entirety (she has given me permission to publish her emails to me, or I would not do so):

Rudoren:

It looks like you did not read the whole story.  Every sentence can't say every thing. That one was about israeli Jews' aspirations

Palestinian yearning for end to occupation was a few down (original draft has them side by side but structure changed)

Slater:

I read the whole story.  You are referring to this sentence:  "Gaza residents, and the broader Palestinian public, yearn, primarily, for freedom from Israeli restrictions on the crowded coastal territory (and in the West Bank) and the establishment of a sovereign Palestine."
It is hard for me to believe that you really think the term "Israeli restrictions" is an adequate description of the reality of 47 years Israeli occupation, extensive repression, blockades, deliberate impoverishment, assassinations, repeated military attacks, including on civilians and the economy and societal institutions, and so an, ad nauseum.
I thought in the beginning you might be a significant improvement over the egregious Ethan Bronner, but except for some  apparently heartfelt descriptions of the effects of the recent attacks on Palestinians, you have repeatedly failed in your responsibilities to tell the truth about Israeli policies.  That includes your recent story in which you reported as if it was a proven fact that it is Hamas that was responsible for the ongoing conflict.  I wrote about this on my blog: 
http://www.jeromeslater.com/2014/08/jodi-rudoren-loves-winner.html

For shame.

Rudoren:

That, and then the whole discussion of Abbas initiative. Etc. 

 

I'll not take this any further--she needs to hear from others.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Is Jodi Rudoren Incapable of Learning ANYTHING?

Here is an email I just sent to Jodi Rudoren of the NY Times:

 
In your news story today, "50 Days of War Leave Israelis and Palestinians Only More Entrenched," you wrote:   "The vast majority of Israeli Jews want, most of all, to feel safe, physically, and to secure the future of Israel as a Jewish democracy." 


No mention of the fact that Israel occupies and represses the Palestinians, and that this might have something to do with Palestinian attacks that make Israelis feel unsafe.


No mention of the fact that the Palestinians, who by orders of magnitude are far more threatened than the Israelis, no doubt also want to feel safe and have a democracy of their own.


No mention of the fact that the Israeli Palestinians--let alone the residents of the occupied territories to whom Israel has no intention of granting democracy--have a problem with the concept of a "Jewish democracy."


No mention of the fact that even democracy for the Jews--if they are "leftists," of course--is increasingly threatened.


In short,  That one sentence is either breathtakingly stupid, or a piece of shameless Hasbara worthy of Netanyahu himself. 

1944: "The vast majority of Germans want, most of all, to feel safe."
Jerome Slater

Friday, August 22, 2014

Jodi Rudoren Loves a Winner

On July 20, Gideon Levy of Haaretz—if current trends continue, Levy may be the last sane man in Israel—published an oped entitled “What Does Hamas Really Want?” He wrote:

“Last week 10 conditions were published in the name of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, for a 10-year cease-fire. Hamas and Islamic Jihad demand freedom for Gaza. Is there a more understandable and just demand? Read the list of demands and judge honestly whether there is one unjust demand among them: withdrawal of Israel Defense Forces troops and allowing farmers to work their land up to the fence; release of all prisoners from the Gilad Shalit swap who have been rearrested; an end to the siege and opening of the crossings; opening of a port and airport under UN management; expansion of the fishing zone; international supervision of the Rafah crossing; an Israeli pledge to a 10-year cease-fire and closure of Gaza’s air space to Israeli aircraft; permits to Gaza residents to visit Jerusalem and pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque; and an Israeli pledge not to interfere in internal Palestinian politics such as the unity government; opening Gaza’s industrial zone.”

In the second lead story in this morning’s New York Times, “Israel Kills 3 Top Hamas Leaders As the Latest Fighting Turns Its Way,” Jodi Rudoren begins:

“Hamas is the party that keeps extending this summer’s bloody battle in the Gaza Strip, repeatedly breaking temporary truces and vowing to endlessly fire rockets into Israel until its demands are met. But the latest round of fighting appears to have given Israel the upper hand in a conflict that has already outlasted all expectations and is increasingly becoming a war of attrition.”

Rudoren then interviews three prominent former Israeli officials, beginning with Michael Oren, a shameless propagandist for Netanyahu, an “historian” whose writing and public statements are invariably thoroughly disingenuous. Rudoren quotes him:

“There’s a longstanding conventional wisdom that Israel doesn’t do well in wars of attrition,” said Michael B. Oren, an Israeli historian and a former ambassador to the United States. “That overlooks a broader historical view that Israel’s entire existence has been a war of attrition, and we’ve won that war.”

Later in the story Rudoren interviews two other pillars of the Israeli military and intelligence establishment:

“These [the assassinated Hamas leaders] are senior people,” said Michael Herzog, a retired Israeli brigadier general and fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “People in Gaza know exactly who they are, people in Israel know exactly who they are. In our bilateral context, it resonates strongly.”

“Amos Yadlin, a former Israeli chief of military intelligence [said]….We’re now going to a war of attrition that was a threat of Hamas. Israel basically turned it upside down and said, ‘You want attrition? You are welcome. …Our firepower and our intelligence and our capability to sustain more days is much bigger than yours.’ This is the strategy.”

“There are growing calls for a more aggressive ground invasion," Rudoren continues, "which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has resisted, and intense opposition to the idea of making concessions in a cease-fire agreement that might seem to reward Hamas.”

Rudoren apparently did not interview any Israeli opponents of “Operation Protective Edge.”

.......

 

I have tried to imagine how Jodi Rudoren would have covered the French Resistance attacks on the Nazi German occupiers of Paris in June 1940. I’m assuming that after France surrendered and Paris was occupied, the primary reason that there wasn’t a “peace,” of sorts, is that the Resistance didn’t give up, “demanding” the end of the occupation.

So, in my imagined past this how Rudoren might have covered the ongoing battle in a lead New York Times news story dated August 22, 1940, “Germany Kills 3 Top Resistance Leaders As the Latest Fighting Turns Its Way.”

The story begins: “The Resistance is the party that keeps extending this summer’s bloody battle in Paris, repeatedly breaking temporary truces and vowing to endlessly attack Nazi Germany until its demands are met. But the latest round of fighting appears to have given Germany the upper hand in a conflict that has already outlasted all expectations and is increasingly becoming a war of attrition.”

“There’s a longstanding conventional wisdom that Germany doesn’t do well in wars of attrition,” said Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Foreign Minister of Germany. “That overlooks a broader historical view that Germany’s entire existence has been a war of attrition, and we’ve won that war.”

“These [Jean Moulin and other Resistance leaders killed by Germany] are senior people,” said Alfred Yodl, a leading German general: “People in France know exactly who they are, people in Germany know exactly who they are. In our bilateral context, it resonates strongly.”

“Reinhard Heydrich, a high official in German military intelligence said….We’re now going to a war of attrition that was a threat of the Resistance: Germany basically turned it upside down and said, ‘You want attrition? You are welcome. …Our firepower and our intelligence and our capability to sustain more days is much bigger than yours.’ This is the strategy.

“There are growing calls for a more aggressive ground invasion," Rudoren continued,  "which Chancellor Adolph Hitler has resisted, and intense opposition to the idea of making concessions in a cease-fire agreement that might seem to reward the Resistance.”

......

 

Stepping back into the present:  For many years I have resisted drawing parallels between Nazi Germany's occupation and repression of European countries and Israel's occupation and repression of the Palestinians.  Lately, however, more and more Israeli and American critics (like, for example, Henry Siegman) have started to do so; and it is likely that such comparisons will increasingly be made. It ought to be blindingly obvious that anyone calling attention to some parallels are hardly suggesting that Israel is equivalent to Nazi Germany--only idiots would think that. 

So, to make the obvious explicit, Israel is not Nazi Germany, and murder is not genocide.  What a relief!   That there should be any parallels between the Israeli and German occupations, however, is staggering, and proof of the moral collapse of Israel.