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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New Times J'lem bureau chief continues to cozy up to terrorists

Okay, I admit it. I've had the Twitter feed of Jodi (Wilgoren) Rudoren open since her appointment as New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief was announced last night. And with all of the caveats about following and retweeting not being an endorsement - which is something that all of us who use Twitter try to bear in mind - some of the tweets I have seen there are deeply disturbing. Adam Kredo has some of the ... highlights.
Already, Rudoren is beaming out cutesy [4] missives [5] to prominent, self-described anti-Zionist players such as Ali Abunimah [6], co-founder of Electronic Intifada [7], a website that contains a treasure trove of writings highly antagonistic [8] toward the Jewish state.

Rudoren also Tweeted yesterday with the website [5]Mondoweiss [9], an online portal that is known to traffic [10] in Israel-bashing [11].

Early yesterday afternoon, Rudoren Tweeted a friendly dispatch to Abunimah, who has referred to Zionism as “one of the worst forms of anti-Semitism in existence today.”

Abunimah initially had criticized Rudoren for moving to the Time’s Jerusalem office building, which Abunimah described as “stolen” from the Palestinians.

“Hey there. Would love to chat sometime. About things other than the house. My friend Kareem Fahim says good things,” Rudoren responded, referencing her Times colleague [12] who covers Syria.

A few minutes later, Rudoren responded to a tweet from Mondoweiss. The message included a link to an article [13] the website had published discussing Rudoren’s upcoming move to Israel.

“FYI,” she tweeted back, “one reason ur not familiar w my name is most of my reporting career was under different byline.”


“Obviously a New York Times reporter is expected to talk to everyone in the context of reporting a story, perhaps even terrorists at times. But it’s concerning to see the tone of these exchanges,” said Josh Block, a Middle East analyst and former top official at a pro-Israel group. “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.”

Noah Pollak, executive director of the pro-Israel Emergency Committee for Israel, added that this serves as “a window into the disturbing workplace culture at the New York Times that a reporter, Kareem Fahim, would recommend a well-known bigot to help another reporter prepare for an assignment.”

He added that “it’s too early to draw any conclusions—maybe Rudoren has no idea who Abunimah is—but one hopes that she’ll approach her new assignment with a little more rigor than what’s been demonstrated today.”
Well, yeah. But wouldn't you expect to see those kinds of tweets in both directions? The only tweets that I've seen on that feed that lean right are a retweet of the Forward's account of Judea Pearl's speech in Los Angeles on Monday night (which I blogged here) and a tweet to Lenny Ben David asking for suggestions for Gan Hova (the local equivalent of pre-1A in the US).

Maybe Rudoren is just bending over backwards to be seen as impartial and not as an ardent Zionist. Or maybe not. I'll reserve judgment for now, but I found the 'playing footsie' with likes of Abunimah and Mondoweiss quite discomforting.

Read the whole thing.


Rudoren apparently realized she went overboard and has just posted this.

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