It's not really an expose, because who doesn't know this stuff about reportage from Israel. Still, nice to see it in black and white.
Who are the foreign press correspondents and their NGO/UN friends?
"Their SUVs dominate sections of East Jerusalem and their expense
accounts keep Ramallah afloat. They provide reporters with social
circles, romantic partners, and alternative employment—a fact that is
more important to reporters now than it has ever been, given the
disintegration of many newspapers and the shoestring nature of their
"Mingling occurs at places like the lovely Oriental courtyard of the
American Colony hotel in East Jerusalem, or at parties held at the
British Consulate’s rooftop pool. The dominant characteristic of nearly
all of these people is their transience. They arrive from somewhere,
spend a while living in a peculiar subculture of expatriates, and then
How they think:
"In these circles, in my experience, a distaste for Israel has come to be
something between an acceptable prejudice and a prerequisite for entry.
I don’t mean a critical approach to Israeli policies or to the
ham-fisted government currently in charge in this country, but a belief
that to some extent the Jews of Israel are a symbol of the world’s ills,
particularly those connected to nationalism, militarism, colonialism,
and racism—an idea quickly becoming one of the central elements of the
“progressive” Western zeitgeist, spreading from the European
left to American college campuses and intellectuals, including
journalists. In this social group, this sentiment is translated into
editorial decisions made by individual reporters and editors covering
Israel, and this, in turn, gives such thinking the means of mass
"Many freshly arrived reporters in Israel, similarly adrift in a new
country, undergo a rapid socialization in the circles I mentioned. This
provides them not only with sources and friendships but with a
ready-made framework for their reporting—the tools to distill and warp
complex events into a simple narrative in which there is a bad guy who
doesn’t want peace and a good guy who does."
"This is the “Israel story,”
and it has the advantage of being an easy story to report. Everyone here
answers their cell phone, and everyone knows what to say. You can put
your kids in good schools and dine at good restaurants. It’s fine if
you’re gay. Your chances of being beheaded on YouTube are slim. Nearly
all of the information you need—that is, in most cases, information
critical of Israel—is not only easily accessible but has already been
reported for you by Israeli journalists or compiled by NGOs. You can
claim to be speaking truth to power, having selected the only “power” in
the area that poses no threat to your safety."
"Many foreign journalists have come to see themselves as part of this
world of international organizations, and specifically as the media arm
of this world."