18 thoughts on “NY Times Public Editor Slams Jodi Rudoren for Allowing Israeli Security Apparatus to Co-Opt Reporting – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.

    1. Full credit?

      Yes, media outlets abroad took the lead on ignoring the ban, with Electronic Intifada posting the classified transcript of the remand hearing, which prompted a question on the arrest at the State Department hearing on Monday. On this occasion, a growing number of Israeli independent publications also chose to defy the ban.

      “The trend began with Adalah’s own Facebook page, which posted the fact of Kayyal’s arrest immediately after it took place and before the imposition of the gag order the following morning, prompting breaking news coverage on the site Arab48. Arab48 continued its coverage even as the ban was imposed, and several Hebrew blogs picked up on the story – with the blog OR139 even titling its post “Gag order.” Al-Ittihad, the Haifa-based printed newspaper of the Communist Party, went even further, printing news about the arrest during the week.” –972Mag

      1. @ Shoshana: Everyone who campaigned about this first heard about it via Adalah. This was how Jamil Dakwar of the ACLU first infomred Ali Abunimah & I.

        Did you notice what’s missing from the 972 passage you quote? First, I told the author of O139 about the gag & he bravely broke it. Rotter broke the gag as well as another Israeli site. I don’t read Ittihad & so didn’t know about its efforts. I doubt the Israeli authorities cared much about an Arabic language media outlet since they knew it would have limited presence outside Israel. Those were the only Israeli sites that broke it.

        There was also a protest by Israeli activists against his detention which helped. But a huge part of this project originated in foreign efforts, with Matt Lee’s question at the State Dept press briefing, which I asked him to do, being instrumental as well as Electronic Intifada & this blog.

    2. @ carl: Hats off to them all. I thank them. Had they not linked to this blog in their comments I wouldn’t have even discovered the MW omission myself. I think it also helps for MW to understand there are readers who read both our sites & will point out these lapses if they happen.

      BTW, if I ever fail to credit MW reporting that breaks a story I’m reporting, I’m open to readers letting me know that. But my general approach is that if I see MW or EI has already broken a story, I try to look for material no one else, or few others, have reported.

  1. The whole issue of state secrets and state-protected-secrecy are certainly coming into public sight, aren’t they? This small matter and the much larger matter of the Snowden Papers.

    So, what exactly IS an Israel-court-issued “gag order”?

    What does the text of the gag order forbid? How did you or Ali Abunimah know about the gagged events? Does your knowledge indicate (res ipsa loquitur) that someone violated the gag order? that YOU did?

    Regardless of the intent of the gag order, how can it operate in USA? The NYT and your own blog are both on the internet and therefore observable inside Israel. Does the gag order purport to forbid publication by a website observable inside Israel? Part of the internet must operate on computers (routers) located inside Israel. Did the owners, operators of THOSE computers violate the gag order?

    Does the “gag order” forbid actions WITHIN ISRAEL such as mentioning the event by voice? by email? Scribbled on the back of an envelope? Or only “in print” or “on air”?

    Just curious.

    I can well understand that Israel (or the USA for that matter) can (attempt to) make a “secret” unpublishable within its own jurisdiction (hmmm: USA has a habit of defining its “own jurisdiction” for some-but-not-all-purposes as something akin to the solar system if not the-universe, but I digress), but how can it presume to forbid publication outside its own jurisdiction?

    The publication of the Snowden Papers ought to offer a case in point. Snowden seems to have delivered information regarded by the USA as State Secrets to folks such as the Guardian, which published some of them. Snowden may well have violated USA law, but did the Guardian?

    And on and on the questions roll. If it is merely a matter of how BIG the piotential violator is, surely NYT is “too big to jail”. so why did it observe the gag order in the first place? (Oh, that’s easy: NYT has a foreign policy and regards what it publishes much as SecState Kerry regards what he utters in public: public speech is limited in either case to what the speaker believes will move an agenda forward. Neither has any interest in reporting “all the news”. Or informing the public in the public’s interest.

  2. RS: Your idea of the foreign news orgs getting together to jointly ignore gag orders (or, more broadly, to STOP acting merely as megaphones for power) is a wonderful idea. It assumes that the majority of the press do not regard themselves as prisoners. And, of course, they are not prisoners, are they? At least not prisoners of Israel.

    However, some may believe themselves to be prisoners of BIG-ZION (AIPAC, BICOM, et al.) and others may actually be owned by owners who are (in effect) part of BIG-ZION. These would have little interest in reporting general news rather than repeating government-issue and military-issued press releases.

    (Query: What would happen in the USA if (on a given day, say next October 1) all Congressmen and Senators stopped acting as conduits for AIPAC? For the BIGs — BIG-BANKS, Monsanto, BIG-OIL, Kochs, etc. ?)

  3. RS: “My thanks to a number of those readers in the comment thread who linked to my reporting and offered credit.”

    You’re welcome!

    1. Thanks so much. I saw your comment first in the thread, but didn’t notice how many others followed you & offered the facts. Phil wrote to me and acknowledged the omission and said he would “try” to correct it “when he got a chance.” Would’ve been nice to hear something more definitive than that. But I’ll take what I can get.

  4. It is a sad fact that in the UK a large amount of political reporting relies on official PR output from central and local government agencies. There is some original reporting but nowhere near enough independent investigation. The scandal of people in high positions in politics, the police and judiciary involved in paedophilia is widely discussed in blogs but rarely taken up seriously in the press and broadcast media. So the blogs have it, which is why I read Tikun Olam. Keep up the good work.

  5. UN envoy Serry says Israel tried to bar him from pre-Easter rites

    Robert Serry, the United Nation’s peace envoy to the Middle East, said in a statement Israeli security officers had stopped a group of Palestinian [Christian] worshippers and diplomats in a procession near the church [of the Holy Sepulchre], “claiming they had orders to that effect”.

    Last month UN envoy Robert Serry was harassed in Crimea by pro-Russian forces and told to leave immediately.

  6. Self congrats and gag orders aside, can you tell us whether or not an Israeli with an Israeli passport can enter Lebanon?

  7. Couple of points, Richard:
    a) Just want to express my general appreciation for your work, on this and other stories.

    b) I also want to congratulate you on the way you’ve responded to the other sites and pubs failing to credit you on this – – forthright but not at all petty. I jumped to raise this issue at MW, but CKG had already beaten me to it. This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed a reluctance on the part of Palestinian solidarity sites (not this one) to credit one another, and I don’t like it. I wish they’d all take the last line of your post here as their watchword!
    I also pointed out your role in a comment I tried to make on the public editor’s piece at nytimes.com, but for some reason the moderators refused to publish it.

    c) I’ve tried a bunch of times over the last two or three days, using current versions of both Safari and Chrome on a Mac, to make a donation to this site, but it never works – a box gets drawn, but the cursor just spins indefinitely. I suppose the problem could be at my end, but I’m not having trouble with anything else. You might want to check it out at your end.

    1. Henry Norr: Thanks so much Henry for your support. I saw your comment at MW.

      The problem with sites like MW & EI is that they’re echo chambers. They have external sites which they monitor and generally don’t widen their sights to incorporate other media outlets. I use Feedly to let me scan a large number of media sites, even ones I don’t usually use as sources for posts. Every so often, you find a great story you wouldn’t have known about. I include MW & EI in my Feedly feed so I know what they’re writing about. That helps me by allowing me to avoid stories they’ve already reported (unless I have something new to add). Clearly, this isn’t important to MW or EI. They know what they know. They also have good sources which sometimes permit them to break fresh stories generated by them.

      I’ll try to e mail you about the donation issue & see if I can fix it for you.

      1. I personally have no problem with MW, EI, and so on picking up stories other sites have already run (and I wouldn’t mind if you did that too, though I certainly appreciate it when you come up with original or otherwise obscure stories). After all, each site has its own audience – while there’s some overlap (like me), I know that a lot of the people who follow MW, say, don’t read EI, and vice versa, and it seems that few of them read you. In some cases it’s because people are stuck in a rut or in some sense narrow-minded, but it’s also a reality that everyone’s time is finite and for many it’s very limited, so it’s inevitable that people rely on a few sites as their primary news sources..

        So when one has a good story, it makes sense for the others to pick it up and bring it to attention of their particular readers. Ideally, each site would add some value – additional research, or just its own particular spin – but I think it’s useful even if they don’t add anything. But whenever they pick up something from another site, to me it’s basic netiquette – and just simple civility – to give credit and a link to that source.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *