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A wonderful article by Alison Weir revealing how Americans are continually misinformed by our media on the subject of Israel/Palestine through journalistic (and military) allegiances to Israel, buy femara cod a myriad of conflicts of interest and slanted coverage. All in the Family By ALISON WEIR Recent exposés revealing that Ethan Bronner, buy femara cod the New York Times' Israel-Palestine bureau chief, buy femara cod has a son in the Israeli military have caused a storm of controversy that continues to swirl and generate further revelations. Buy femara cod (See my piece for CounterPunch, buy femara cod The NYT's Ethan Bronner's Conflict With Impartiality.) Many people find such a sign of family partisanship in an editor covering a foreign conflict troubling – especially given the Times’ record of Israel-centric journalism. Times management at first refused to confirm Bronner’s situation, buy femara cod then refused to comment on it. Buy femara cod Finally, buy femara cod public outcry forced Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt to confront the problem in a February 7th column. After bending over backwards to praise the institution that employs him, buy femara cod Hoyt ultimately opined that Bronner should be re-assigned to a different sphere of reporting to avoid the “appearance” of bias. Buy femara cod Times Editor Bill Keller declined to do so, buy femara cod however, buy femara cod instead writing a column calling Bronner’s connections to Israel valuable because they “supply a measure of sophistication about Israel and its adversaries that someone with no connections would lack.” If such “sophistication” is valuable, buy femara cod the Times’ espoused commitment to the “impartiality and neutrality of the company's newsrooms” would seem to require it to have a balancing editor equally sophisticated about Palestine and its adversary, buy femara cod but Keller did not address that. Bronner is far from alone. As it turns out, buy femara cod Bronner’s ties to the Israeli military are not the rarity one might expect. • A previous Times bureau chief, buy femara cod Joel Greenberg, buy femara cod before he was bureau chief but after he was already publishing in the Times from Israel, buy femara cod actually served in the Israeli army. • Media pundit and Atlantic staffer Jeffrey Goldberg also served in the Israeli military; it's unclear when, buy femara cod how, buy femara cod or even if his military service ended. • Richard Chesnoff, buy femara cod who has been covering Mideast events for more than 40 years, buy femara cod had a son serving in the Israeli military while Chesnoff covered Israel as US News & World Report's senior foreign correspondent. • NPR's Linda Gradstein’s husband was an Israeli sniper and may still be in the Israeli reserves. Buy femara cod NPR refuses to disclose whether Gradstein herself is also an Israeli citizen, buy femara cod as are her children and husband. • Mitch Weinstock, buy femara cod national editor for the San Diego Union-Tribune, buy femara cod served in the Israeli military. • The New York Times’ other correspondent from the region, buy femara cod Isabel Kershner, buy femara cod is an Israeli citizen. Buy femara cod Israel has universal compulsory military service, buy femara cod which suggests that Kershner herself and/or family members may have military connections. Buy femara cod The Times refuses to answer questions about whether she and/or family members have served or are currently serving in the Israeli military. Buy femara cod Is it possible that Times Foreign Editor Susan Chira herself has such connections? The Times refuses to answer. • Many Associated Press writers and editors are Israeli citizens or have Israeli families. Buy femara cod AP will not reveal how many of the journalists in its control bureau for the region currently serve in the Israeli military, buy femara cod how many have served in the past, buy femara cod and how many have family members with this connection. • Similarly, buy femara cod many TV correspondents such as Martin Fletcher have been Israeli citizens and/or have Israeli families. Buy femara cod Do they have family connections to the Israeli military? • Time Magazine's bureau chief several years ago became an Israeli citizen after he had assumed his post. Buy femara cod Does he have relatives in the military? • CNN's Wolf Blitzer, buy femara cod while not an Israeli citizen, buy femara cod was based in Israel for many years, buy femara cod wrote a book whitewashing Israeli spying on the US, buy femara cod and used to work for the Israel lobby in the US. Buy femara cod None of this is divulged to CNN viewers. Tikkun's editor Michael Lerner has a son who served in the Israeli military. Buy femara cod While Lerner has been a strong critic of many Israeli policies, buy femara cod in an interview with Jewish Week, buy femara cod Lerner explains: “Having a son in the Israeli army was a manifestation of my love for Israel, buy femara cod and I assume that having a son in the Israeli army is a manifestation of Bronner’s love of Israel." Lerner goes on to make a fundamental point: "...there is a difference in my emotional and spiritual connection to these two sides [Israelis and Palestinians]. Buy femara cod On the one side is my family; on the other side are decent human beings. Buy femara cod I want to support human beings all over the planet but I have a special connection to my family. Buy femara cod I don’t deny it.” For a great many of the reporters and editors determining what Americans learn about Israel-Palestine, buy femara cod Israel is family. Jonathan Cook, buy femara cod a British journalist based in Nazareth, buy femara cod writes of a recent meeting with a Jerusalem based bureau chief, buy femara cod who explained: “… Bronner’s situation is ‘the rule, buy femara cod not the exception. Buy femara cod I can think of a dozen foreign bureau chiefs, buy femara cod responsible for covering both Israel and the Palestinians, buy femara cod who have served in the Israeli army, buy femara cod and another dozen who like Bronner have kids in the Israeli army.” Cooks writes that the bureau chief explained: “It is common to hear Western reporters boasting to one another about their Zionist credentials, buy femara cod their service in the Israeli army or the loyal service of their children.” Apparently, buy femara cod intimate ties to Israel are among the many open secrets in the region that are hidden from the American public. Buy femara cod If, buy femara cod as the news media insist, buy femara cod these ties present no problem or even, buy femara cod as the Times’ Keller insists, buy femara cod enhance the journalists’ work, buy femara cod why do the news agencies consistently refuse to admit them? The reason is not complicated. While Israel may be family for these journalists and editors, buy femara cod for the vast majority of Americans, buy femara cod Israel is a foreign country. Buy femara cod In survey after survey, buy femara cod Americans say they don’t wish to “take sides” on this conflict. Buy femara cod In other words, buy femara cod the American public wants full, buy femara cod unfiltered, buy femara cod unslanted coverage. Quite likely the news media refuse to answer questions about their journalists’ affiliations because they suspect, buy femara cod accurately, buy femara cod that the public would be displeased to learn that the reporters and editors charged with supplying news on a foreign nation and conflict are, buy femara cod in fact, buy femara cod partisans. While Keller claims that the New York Times is covering this conflict “even-handedly, buy femara cod” studies indicate otherwise: * The Times covers international reports documenting Israeli human rights abuses at a rate 19 times lower than it reports on the far smaller number of international reports documenting Palestinian human rights abuses. * The Times covers Israeli children’s deaths at rates seven times greater than they cover Palestinian children’s deaths, buy femara cod even though there are vastly more of the latter and they occurred first. * The Times fails to inform its readers that Israel’s Jewish-only colonies on confiscated Palestinian Christian and Muslim land are illegal; that its collective punishment of 1.5 million men, buy femara cod women, buy femara cod and children in Gaza is not only cruel and ruthless, buy femara cod it is also illegal; and that its use of American weaponry is routinely in violation of American laws. * The Times covers the one Israeli (a soldier) held by Palestinians at a rate incalculably higher than it reports on the Palestinian men, buy femara cod women, buy femara cod and children – the vast majority civilians – imprisoned by Israel (currently over 7, buy femara cod000). • The Times neglects to report that hundreds of Israel’s captives have never even been charged with a crime and that those who have were tried in Israeli military courts under an array of bizarre military statutes that make even the planting of onions without a permit a criminal offense – a legal system, buy femara cod if one can call it that, buy femara cod that changes at the whim of the current military governor ruling over a subject population; a system in which parents are without power to protect their children. * The Times fails to inform its readers that 40 percent of Palestinian males have been imprisoned by Israel, buy femara cod a statistic that normally would be considered highly newsworthy, buy femara cod but that Bronner, buy femara cod Kershner, buy femara cod and Chira apparently feel is unimportant to report. Americans, buy femara cod whose elected representatives give Israel uniquely gargantuan sums of our tax money (a situation also not covered by the media), buy femara cod want and need all the facts, buy femara cod not just those that Israel’s family members decree reportable. We’re not getting them. Original article can be found at: http://counterpunch.org/weir02262010.html Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew and a board member of the Council for the National Interest (CNI). Buy femara cod For more information on Ethan Bronner and his upcoming speaking tour on college campuses, buy femara cod join IAK’Semail list. Buy femara cod Alison can be reached at contact@ifamericansknew.org