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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, cheap clomicalm online a myriad of conflicts of interest and slanted coverage. All in the Family By ALISON WEIR Recent exposés revealing that Ethan Bronner, cheap clomicalm online the New York Times' Israel-Palestine bureau chief, cheap clomicalm online has a son in the Israeli military have caused a storm of controversy that continues to swirl and generate further revelations. Cheap clomicalm online (See my piece for CounterPunch, cheap clomicalm online 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, cheap clomicalm online then refused to comment on it. Cheap clomicalm online Finally, cheap clomicalm online 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, cheap clomicalm online Hoyt ultimately opined that Bronner should be re-assigned to a different sphere of reporting to avoid the “appearance” of bias. Cheap clomicalm online Times Editor Bill Keller declined to do so, cheap clomicalm online however, cheap clomicalm online 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, cheap clomicalm online 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, cheap clomicalm online but Keller did not address that. Bronner is far from alone. As it turns out, cheap clomicalm online Bronner’s ties to the Israeli military are not the rarity one might expect. • A previous Times bureau chief, cheap clomicalm online Joel Greenberg, cheap clomicalm online before he was bureau chief but after he was already publishing in the Times from Israel, cheap clomicalm online actually served in the Israeli army. • Media pundit and Atlantic staffer Jeffrey Goldberg also served in the Israeli military; it's unclear when, cheap clomicalm online how, cheap clomicalm online or even if his military service ended. • Richard Chesnoff, cheap clomicalm online who has been covering Mideast events for more than 40 years, cheap clomicalm online 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. Cheap clomicalm online NPR refuses to disclose whether Gradstein herself is also an Israeli citizen, cheap clomicalm online as are her children and husband. • Mitch Weinstock, cheap clomicalm online national editor for the San Diego Union-Tribune, cheap clomicalm online served in the Israeli military. • The New York Times’ other correspondent from the region, cheap clomicalm online Isabel Kershner, cheap clomicalm online is an Israeli citizen. Cheap clomicalm online Israel has universal compulsory military service, cheap clomicalm online which suggests that Kershner herself and/or family members may have military connections. Cheap clomicalm online The Times refuses to answer questions about whether she and/or family members have served or are currently serving in the Israeli military. Cheap clomicalm online 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. Cheap clomicalm online AP will not reveal how many of the journalists in its control bureau for the region currently serve in the Israeli military, cheap clomicalm online how many have served in the past, cheap clomicalm online and how many have family members with this connection. • Similarly, cheap clomicalm online many TV correspondents such as Martin Fletcher have been Israeli citizens and/or have Israeli families. Cheap clomicalm online 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. Cheap clomicalm online Does he have relatives in the military? • CNN's Wolf Blitzer, cheap clomicalm online while not an Israeli citizen, cheap clomicalm online was based in Israel for many years, cheap clomicalm online wrote a book whitewashing Israeli spying on the US, cheap clomicalm online and used to work for the Israel lobby in the US. Cheap clomicalm online None of this is divulged to CNN viewers. Tikkun's editor Michael Lerner has a son who served in the Israeli military. Cheap clomicalm online While Lerner has been a strong critic of many Israeli policies, cheap clomicalm online in an interview with Jewish Week, cheap clomicalm online Lerner explains: “Having a son in the Israeli army was a manifestation of my love for Israel, cheap clomicalm online 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]. Cheap clomicalm online On the one side is my family; on the other side are decent human beings. Cheap clomicalm online I want to support human beings all over the planet but I have a special connection to my family. Cheap clomicalm online I don’t deny it.” For a great many of the reporters and editors determining what Americans learn about Israel-Palestine, cheap clomicalm online Israel is family. Jonathan Cook, cheap clomicalm online a British journalist based in Nazareth, cheap clomicalm online writes of a recent meeting with a Jerusalem based bureau chief, cheap clomicalm online who explained: “… Bronner’s situation is ‘the rule, cheap clomicalm online not the exception. Cheap clomicalm online I can think of a dozen foreign bureau chiefs, cheap clomicalm online responsible for covering both Israel and the Palestinians, cheap clomicalm online who have served in the Israeli army, cheap clomicalm online 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, cheap clomicalm online their service in the Israeli army or the loyal service of their children.” Apparently, cheap clomicalm online intimate ties to Israel are among the many open secrets in the region that are hidden from the American public. Cheap clomicalm online If, cheap clomicalm online as the news media insist, cheap clomicalm online these ties present no problem or even, cheap clomicalm online as the Times’ Keller insists, cheap clomicalm online enhance the journalists’ work, cheap clomicalm online 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, cheap clomicalm online for the vast majority of Americans, cheap clomicalm online Israel is a foreign country. Cheap clomicalm online In survey after survey, cheap clomicalm online Americans say they don’t wish to “take sides” on this conflict. Cheap clomicalm online In other words, cheap clomicalm online the American public wants full, cheap clomicalm online unfiltered, cheap clomicalm online unslanted coverage. Quite likely the news media refuse to answer questions about their journalists’ affiliations because they suspect, cheap clomicalm online accurately, cheap clomicalm online that the public would be displeased to learn that the reporters and editors charged with supplying news on a foreign nation and conflict are, cheap clomicalm online in fact, cheap clomicalm online partisans. While Keller claims that the New York Times is covering this conflict “even-handedly, cheap clomicalm online” 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, cheap clomicalm online 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, cheap clomicalm online women, cheap clomicalm online and children in Gaza is not only cruel and ruthless, cheap clomicalm online 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, cheap clomicalm online women, cheap clomicalm online and children – the vast majority civilians – imprisoned by Israel (currently over 7, cheap clomicalm online000). • 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, cheap clomicalm online if one can call it that, cheap clomicalm online 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, cheap clomicalm online a statistic that normally would be considered highly newsworthy, cheap clomicalm online but that Bronner, cheap clomicalm online Kershner, cheap clomicalm online and Chira apparently feel is unimportant to report. Americans, cheap clomicalm online whose elected representatives give Israel uniquely gargantuan sums of our tax money (a situation also not covered by the media), cheap clomicalm online want and need all the facts, cheap clomicalm online 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). Cheap clomicalm online For more information on Ethan Bronner and his upcoming speaking tour on college campuses, cheap clomicalm online join IAK’Semail list. Cheap clomicalm online Alison can be reached at contact@ifamericansknew.org