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Stenography Part Deux

November 23, 2010

Ben Smith’s follow-up to his Likud propaganda yesterday in Politico? An article today letting us know that Israeli settlers heart Sarah Palin because “Jerusalem is not a settlement!”

Naturally it doesn’t matter who the Palestinians like, because, well, we don’t identify with the Palestinians.

**Comment about Bronner removed so as to not be misleading and imply he’s a racist**

I wonder if Ben Smith’s trip to Israel was funded by Politico or if he was a “guest” of the Israeli government?

Either way, I hope Politico is getting lots of page views (ie. advertising dollars) as a result of his well-rounded, unbiased stenography reporting. After all, I know it’s a slow news week with the holiday and all.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2010 1:48 pm

    The general attitude indicated by Bronner’s comment is one major reason why I stopped subscribing to the NY Times a few years ago.

    And actually, it’s not looking so much like a slow news week any more. This action between North and South Korea is very dangerous. Reminds me how the Mumbai attacks took place during Thanksgiving week in an earlier year …

    • November 23, 2010 2:00 pm

      Yes, well when I said slow holiday week I was referring to the domestic news cycle but of course, North Korea seems like they are ratcheting up for war- all to try to cement the legitimacy of Kim Jong Il’s son.

      Of course China could put a stop to this immediately because North Korea relies on them to keep at least maybe a third of the population from starving to death and to provide much of their military hardware.

  2. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    November 23, 2010 2:19 pm

    Stacy, I love you, I hope you know that, but Bonner’s statement — read in context — was clearly critical of Israel. He was saying Israel has a major PR problem and is being perceived as an apartheid state by the global community. To isolate that one remark about white versus brown and imply he is racist is misleading, in my opinion.

    • November 23, 2010 2:36 pm

      I understand that Carolyn. I got the imagery- Israel being the bully- bullying the brown Palestinians. I get it, trust me. But the fact is, the reporting on Palestinians is about gutter level at this point and while I understand the point he was trying to make, I also realize that this about the best we’re going to get from him. It would be nice if he would raise the bar a bit. This is the same guy who not long ago said there had been hardly any violence in the Mideast (I-P) in the last two years or so. Maybe he meant except Cast Lead.

      But I’d be more than happy to remove the offending line because I don’t want to be “misleading.”

      I’ll tell you what, we’ll just let Bronner’s brilliant, incisive reporting on all things Israel stand on its own.

      Update: I removed the reference to Bronner.

      • Steve permalink
        November 23, 2010 2:57 pm

        Given that Palestinians and Jews are Semitic peoples, why would Bronner refer to the Palestinians as “brown people” and the Jews as “white people?” I realize the Ashkenazi Jews are often very light skinned, as are some others primarily of European ancestry but Jews that have lived in the ME for generations are brown people to.

        Based on that, I would say Bronner’s statement, while not racist, does introduce a racial element that really isn’t appropriate when discussing two people that are merely of different religions. He really didn’t even have to mention color and to me, that begs the question.

        For what it’s worth – and it may not be worth much- but I didn’t interpret Stacy’s comment as saying he was racist, just more that it was typical Bronner. But I don’t want to speak to her- she spoke for herself above.

        I will say this- why is it that people always bend over backwards to defend people like Bronner? Maybe Stacy shouldn’t have included anything about him but the primary issue is the two days of zionist propaganda issuing forth from Politico. Anyone got a comment on THAT?

  3. November 23, 2010 3:04 pm

    @Steve- I thought it was a strange way to refer to them too but as I said above, I knew what point he was trying to make but I just didn’t think he was doing a good job of making it well. That said, Carolyn is right, I shouldn’t have included it, I let my distrust and dislike of Bronner get the best of me because I really do think he sucks as a ME correspondent. I think he’s totally biased.

  4. November 23, 2010 3:28 pm

    It doesn’t matter if Bronner was trying to explain Israel’s “PR” problem. The Palestinians are not “brown”. They are Semitic, as Steve states. Some are quite pale, while others are more tan. Their skin color varies, as does skin color in many countries (like in the USA). And the fact that Bronner even views the Israelis as “white” and the Palestinians as “brown” is telling.

    • November 23, 2010 3:42 pm

      Agreed. Good points. There was just something not quite right about it.

      • discourseincsharpminor permalink
        November 23, 2010 5:26 pm

        I, too, didn’t think he was being racist exactly, but his comment was strange.

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      November 23, 2010 5:04 pm

      I agree it wasn’t the best choice of words, but in saying “There aren’t many other places in the world where white people with guns tell brown people what to do,” I think Bronner was deliberately using the rhetoric of colonialism to say that even if, in the eyes of Israelis, the state of Israel is not colonialist, for foreigners its actions are very similar to colonialism. He also got into a lot of trouble with the Lobby back in March when asked why Obama is not as popular among Isrealis as, say, the Clintons:

      “I would say that there is some level of prejudice about the fact that he had some Islamic background through his stepfather. But I think it has to do more with the fact that when he came into office a year ago, he wanted to recalibrate the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world. And the easiest and clearest way of doing that was to put some distance between the United States and Israel, and he did that. And that made people nervous. I think there‘s also some sense here that—some degree of racism, to be perfectly honest. ” The headlines blasted himfor his “strikingly jaundiced view of Israelis” : “Bronner Smears Israel as Racist!” Jpost complained, “Equally notable in this matter is Bronner’s double standard. While dubbing Israelis racists, he has avoided applying the term to bigoted Arab attacks against the Jewish state. A Nexis search finds not a single case in which he directly labeled Palestinians or Arabs racists – notwithstanding the many documented examples of anti-Semitic media, political and religious statements from Arab sources.”

      It’s hard to see where his reporting is biased when he’s managing to piss off all constituencies, but I haven’t followed him all that closely.

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