Zachary Wales

The New York Times: Reality Bites

Last week Zachary Wales read New York Times’ Greg Myre’s latest attempt to save Israel from itself. The article, titled, “Israeli TV Tackles War for Hearts and Minds,” described Israel’s new “reality” show, The Ambassador, in which multi-lingual Israeli youths are flown around the world vying for bragging rights in Israel’s propaganda campaign. The show’s most recent loser, Ofra Bin Nun, took her exit after trying to “make it clear that Israel has not taken anything from anyone” (her words). Myre wrote about a “reality” show while ignoring “reality” altogether. The Ambassador’s judge is a former Israeli military spokesperson — a burning bush of irony that Myre somehow misses. 

The Economist Sheds Some Bad Habits

The Economist has a way with cover art. In early 2001, the magazine lampooned George W. Bush’s first transatlantic trip with a cover photo of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon: “Bush goes to Europe,” the caption read. Intellectual, witty and harmless, it was the Monty-Python-meets-MI6 humor that characterizes a magazine that’s above the vainglory of bylines. Last week’s cover showing a photo of Ariel Sharon with an olive branch in his mouth—“Israel’s unlikely dove”—had a different resonance. What was mildly amusing for Economist readers was a cheap shot to Palestinians: Israel’s mass destruction of olive groves is a frustration tactic that Israel has used to displace Palestinians for the past 56 years. 

The New York Times' coverage of Operation "Days of Penitence" in Gaza

One need not look further than the present, Gaza’s “Red October”. To date, Israeli forces have killed over 140 Palestinians, while some ten-times that number are homeless and starving. For the most part, the Times has its snake oils out again. A few exceptions stand out, like the vaguely balanced and grimly titled feature by Steven Erlanger, “Intifada’s Legacy at Year 4: A Morass of Faded Hopes”; or the October 4 op-ed by Michael Tarazi, which, unlike other Times op-eds, was pulled from the Web site the following day. Zachary Wales reports. 

Liberation Art of Palestine

Samia Halaby was twelve-years-old when Israeli soldiers arrived in Jerusalem. Born in the midst of Palestine’s bloodiest uprising against British occupation, Halaby was no stranger to colonial oppression, but something was different this time. She sensed it in the indescribable arrogance a British soldier used when he searched her school bag: His expressions, his motions, were the presage of a storm. As a Palestinian artist, Halaby’s work is, intrinsically, cultural resistance. Compared to many of her contemporaries, her circumstances have been rather fortunate. Following several years of exile in Beirut, her family moved to the U.S., where Halaby studied Cubism, Soviet Constructivism, American Abstract Expressionism and the Mexican Mural Movement. 

New York Plays the Arab Card

The “terrorist” charges against Shahawar Matin Siraj and James El Shafay of New York are nothing short of illegal entrapment. Regardless of what happens from this point on, their futures are ruined. Ironic that Siraj, a 21-year-old Pakistani immigrant who works longer hours than President Bush, in addition to attending night school, came to America for freedom and opportunity. His crime, as spelled out clearly in the complaint filed against him last weekend, was his “hatred of America.” In the coming days, the tabloid press will demonize Siraj and El Shafay, , while the moderate New York Times will dance around the digestible semantics of “Other” and the “anti-Americanist” template of Other’s mindset. 

Protest March New York, includes Jewish support for refugees' return

Take the A train to Brooklyn, the message said. Walk one block west. Meet at the basement. Call this number if you’re lost and don’t forward this message. Palestinian Activist Forum of New York (PAFNY), was planning a demonstration in Manhattan, the Big Apple turned Orange. With the Republican National Convention around the corner, the city would amputate a bridge over one suspicious package. So as PAFNY convened last Friday night to prepare banners, placards and leaflets, security precautions were necessary. Any responsible political group takes precautions into their own hands. 

The New Yorker’s Israel: Where Objectivity Fails

Where objectivity fails, investigative and feature-oriented journalism plays a potent role. On May 31, the New Yorker published Jeffrey Goldberg’s 21-page “Among the Settlers.” Unfortunately, his essay is not more than an attempt to legitimize Zionism, an ethnically exclusive colonial project, as a liberal idea. Moreover, by eliminating the legitimate and empirical arguments against Zionism, Goldberg leaves his readers with few moral conclusions. The direction he intends those conclusions to take is partly revealed in his omission of the most convincing anti-Zionist argument: the right of return.