Israeli Embassy promotes paid speech by Ethan Bronner ~ by @MaxBlumenthal


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Soon after I revealed the unethical business relationship between NY Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner and Lone Star Communications, a right-wing Israeli PR firm, Times “ethics cop” Phil Corbett circulated a memo to staffers reminding them of the paper’s rules on speaking engagements. According to the memo, Times staffers are required to report speaking fees totaling over $5000 a year, and are “not allowed [to accept fees] from companies, lobbying groups or other sources that might raise questions about our impartiality.” Though I had informed Corbett prior to the publication of my piece that Bronner was acting in apparent violation of Times ethical guidelines, Corbett stonewalled, delegating VP of corporate communications Eileen Murphy to issue a statement expressing total confidence in Bronner. I wonder if Corbett now regrets his casual dismissal of the serious transgressions I brought to his attention.

Since Bronner’s scandal was exposed, he has agreed to deliver a paid speech for the University of Maryland’s Institute for Israel Studies on October 26 entitled, “Reporting and Misreporting the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” The speech is being promoted by none other than the Israeli Embassy’s “Israel on Campus” program, which supports university events that feature prominent pro-Israel figures and Israeli government spokespeople. Besides Bronner, the embassy is advertising an appearance at Georgetown University by Dan Schueftan, a longtime Israeli government advisor who is considered the intellectual author of hafrada, or the policy of unilateral demographic separation, and who has a long track record of racist remarks about Arabs.

Why is the Israeli Embassy promoting Bronner’s speech? Who authorized them to do so? Did Bronner, the University of Maryland, or both, and does the Times know? Certainly Bronner should be required to explain to Corbett why this engagement does not raise questions about his impartiality.

Then there is the issue of Bronner’s fee. I was told by a source close to the University of Maryland that Bronner is being paid close to or in excess of $5000 for his speech. If true, this would require Bronner to report the fee to the Times. Has he done so? The Times had the chance to put these embarrassing questions to rest when Bronner’s ethical breaches were first exposed. But the editors stood by their man, and now, it…is…happening…again.

Source & More at Al-Akhbar 




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