New NYT Jerusalem bureau chief guilty of not being a Zionist

Since the departing New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner clearly is a Zionist, I guess some observers thought that being a Zionist must have become a job requirement.

The Washington Free Beacon thus reports with deep concern:

The New York Times’ incoming Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, won’t say if she is a Zionist.

“I’m going to punt on that question,” Rudoren, who is Jewish, told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview yesterday. “I’m not really interested in labels about who I am and what I think.”

Rudoren, formerly the paper’s education editor, has come under fire in recent days for sending out a series of sympathetic tweets to some of Israel’s fiercest non-terrorist critics. Some pro-Israel observers are questioning Rudoren’s ability to remain neutral, as well as her qualifications, as she covers one of the Middle East’s most volatile and fraught conflicts.

Asked point-blank if she considers herself a Zionist, Rudoren demurred.

“I describe myself as a journalist. I don’t describe myself in political terms on any subject,” she said. “I see my role in the world as an observer of what’s going on, so I don’t take on labels that have, sort of, ideological or just activist positions.”

Rudoren added: “I don’t know that I’ve ever described myself as a Zionist in the past. I certainly think that right now in my job, and where Zionism is a subject of discussion, I don’t have any interest in being one or not being one. I’m not a Zionist or anti-Zionist.”

For most observers, Rudoren’s declaration that she is neither a Zionist nor an anti-Zionist would put her in the perfect position of neutrality. But if pro-Israel observers claim to be questioning her neutrality, what they really seem to be expressing is their own inability to trust anyone who is not a Zionist.

In the eyes of the Zionists, Rudoren’s most egregious mistake in her new position was to exchange tweets with Ali Abunimah, one of the most prominent Palestinian activists in the U.S.. She also tweeted with Mondoweiss. There were clear signs that the sky might be about to fall.

Former AIPAC spokesman, Josh Block, told the Beacon:

“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 Washington Free Beacon might be a publication you’ve never heard of — I hadn’t. So you might wonder: why is it that they have such a keen interest in Rudoren’s tweets? Turns out it’s a project of Center for American Freedom which itself seems to be an offshoot of the neoconservative Weekly Standard. William Kristol is on its three-person board and Michael Goldfarb is its chairman.

So the Beacon’s interest in Rudoren should be viewed less as journalism and more as a kind of Zionist police action. Rudoren just got given a ticket — since she’s a Jew but not a card-carrying Zionist, does she, the police officer wonders, have any business reporting in Israel?

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3 thoughts on “New NYT Jerusalem bureau chief guilty of not being a Zionist

  1. delia ruhe

    The NYT appears to have set itself on an interesting collision course, given that this is an election year and war is in the air.

  2. Mndwss

    “a card-carrying Zionist”

    In recognizing a zionist, physical appearance counts for nothing. If he openly declares himself to be a zionist we take his word for it. If a person consistently reads and advocates the views expressed in a zionist publication, he may be a zionist. If a person supports organizations which reflect zionist teachings or organisations labelled zionist by the department of justice she may be a zionist. If a person defends the activities of zionist nations while consistently attacking the domestic and foreign policies of the United States, she may be a zionist. If a person does all these things, over a period of time, he MUST be a zionist!”

    Or was that communist or terrorist? It was something with ist in it…

    How to Spot a ……ist:

  3. dickerson3870

    RE: “the Beacon’s interest in Rudoren should be viewed less as journalism and more as a kind of Zionist police action.” ~ Woodward

    ALSO SEE – Dear liberal American Jews: Please don’t betray Israel, by Dahlia Scheindlin, +972 Magazine, 2/14/12:

    (excerpts)…After two weeks in America visiting family and friends, two observations struck me powerfully. First, the understanding that Israel is committing terrible deeds that are destroying itself and its neighbors, has penetrated among you…
    …On this trip, I was stunned to learn that now you don’t even really want to visit Israel because you can’t face what you’re increasingly coming to see as a brutal occupying entity flirting with fascist notions. . .
    …My second observation is that because of your fear – not of the goyim or the anti-Semites, but of yourselves! – you are keeping a low public profile. On this trip, I suddenly realized how naïve it was to imagine that J Street had sufficiently opened the door for anyone who cares critically for Israel to speak out. I underestimated how deep and terrible the intimidation has become and that one political lobby group is far from enough.
    I do understand: those of you who still call the Jewish community home, are afraid of the onslaught that you will receive from your (our) very own people. I hold no illusions about how vicious the attacks might be. We Jews, not the goyim, will call you the most painful names, will threaten in various ways to label you as beyond the pale of your people, should you voice your critique. You might be chastised in your professional community. You will be hit not only by shadowy bloggers but by the very cherished and established groups you have loyally, even automatically, supported over the years. The anger might come from your friends and it might even come from your family. . .
    …Here’s how that made me feel: abandoned, by the liberal Jews of America. You were swept away by Ruth Wisse’s thesis that liberals betrayed the Jewish cause by believing too much in rational universalism and failing to acknowledge the unique, everlasting threat of anti-Semitism…

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