From the Archive: Often annoying her press colleagues, the late Helen Thomas was one of the few Washington journalists who would shatter the predictable frame for discussing tough issues. When she heard lazy rationalizations, Thomas would press the policymaker on why, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern wrote in 2010.
The Egyptian military has ousted President Morsi and Syria is in a civil war, but Secretary of State Kerry has invested much of his time on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some pundits question Kerry’s priorities but they ignore how corrosive the Israeli occupation has been to U.S. interests, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Holocaust expert Elie Wiesel has urged audiences around the world to reject apathy and to resist injustice. But Wiesel and many other Zionists fall silent when the victims of oppression are the Palestinians, as Lawrence Davidson writes.
While paying lip service to a two-state solution, some Israeli officials bluntly acknowledge that their goal is to repress the Palestinians and eventually absorb most of the West Bank into a Greater Israel. This strategy anticipates the continued acquiescence of the U.S., says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Sailing against a strong prevailing wind is not easy, certainly not like breezing along with the wind to your back. Author Alan Hart discovered that truth in criticizing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, but his acceptance of defeat should not stop others from advocating for truth and justice, says Lawrence Davidson.
The pro-Israel lobby has been so effective dominating U.S. policy toward the Middle East that the success, paradoxically, has made Washington increasingly irrelevant to the peace process. That has created a vacuum that China and other nations may try to fill, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Many journalists are confronted with a choice in their careers: pursue a difficult truth by taking on powerful interests or protect their livelihoods by going with the flow. While readers may think the choice is obvious – pursue the truth – it often comes with a high price, as journalist Alan Hart learned.
In the 1980s, the Reagan administration decried “liberation theology” as Marxist and quietly approved when right-wing regimes murdered priests and nuns. But new scholarship reveals that “liberation theology” was carrying forward the real-life demands of Jesus for social justice, as Rev. Howard Bess explains.
Biblical miracles about Jesus – the virgin birth, walking on water, the resurrection – have caused rationalists to dismiss his very existence as just an ancient myth. But there is another possibility, that a real historical figure emerged as a doomed but popular leader and his followers then padded the story, as Rev. Howard Bess explains.
If journalistic objectivity is applied honestly, it means that all people must have equal standing whether they’re “on our side” or not; outrage over human rights crimes can’t be selective. But Israeli journalist Amira Hass faced fierce attack when she said Palestinians had a right to resist, as Lawrence Davidson notes.