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The Pecking Order in Israel

Posted on Apr 29, 2012

Israeli institutions’ decision-making processes exclude women, Arabs and Mizrahim; television shows reflect how isolated white America is actually becoming; meanwhile, can women reclaim and redefine “slut” during the war against women? These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

Israel’s politics of discrimination
How an informal process of decision making keeps Ashkenazi men at the top, while women, Arabs and Mizrahim are denied their fair share of power and resources.

Selective bin Laden leaking
Earlier this week, an Obama-appointed federal judge ruled in favor of the government in a national security case (needless to say), when he denied a FOIA request to obtain all photos and videos taken during and after the raid in Pakistan that resulted in Osama bin Laden’s death.

Selling ‘The Scream’
One of the best-known images in modern art comes up for auction for the first time ever next week, with an $80 million estimate. Putting a price on angst.

Can Sluts Across America Reclaim a Dirty Word?
It’s no secret that culture skirmishes can begin and end on the battleground of language.

A Victory for OWS in Philadelphia
An interview with attorney Paul Hetznecker after his legal team’s defense led to full acquittal for one of the largest groups of Occupy protesters brought to trial so far.

Under Fire From Catholics, Paul Ryan Ditches Rand For Aquinas
Rep. Paul Ryan became a conservative hero for promoting policies based on the philosophies of “Atlas Shrugged” novelist Ayn Rand, such as a devotion to laissez-faire capitalism and the belief that selfishness is a virtue.

White TV Actually Mirrors Increasingly Isolated White America
The recent media firestorm over the whiteness of the HBO series Girls is somewhat puzzling for two reasons: One, why pick on Girls when so much of television is glaringly white and two, why be surprised that a show set in New York City could still lack racial diversity?

Noam Chomsky: Occupy Points to a ‘Different Way of Living’
Noam Chomsky is uniquely skilled to provide context to the Occupy movement and encourage its growth into new stages of energetic initiatives.

Pandora: The No. 1 radio station in Los Angeles?
Pandora, the Internet streaming radio service, is the No. 1 radio station in Los Angeles by audience size, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Media Audit.

Is Electricity the New Smart Drug?
Right now Adderall is in short supply, which, according to some reports, is making it harder for pharmacists to fill prescriptions, driving up black-market prices on campuses, and perhaps forcing some students to rely on their native brainpower to write essays on religious symbolism in Billy Budd.

Facebook and Google Turned Into Government Spies?
April 25—The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to pass a reprehensible cyber-security bill this week that seeks to protect online companies—giant social media firms to data-sharing networks controlling utilities—from cyber attack. It is reprehensible because, as Democratic San Jose Rep. Zoe Lofgren said this week, it gives the federal government too much access to the private lives of every Internet user. Or as Libertarian Rep. Ron Paul also bluntly put it, it turns Facebook and Google into “government spies.”

UCLA professor warned about Israel views
An Associate Professor at UCLA has been formally admonished for the crime of including a link on his course website to a political statement about Israel that some students dislike, as reported by The Daily Bruin: David Shorter, an associate professor of world arts and cultures, was the subject of a late March complaint from an organization of University of California faculty that fights anti-Semitic sentiments on college campuses.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication.

A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

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By Stevenkuch, April 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

Dr. Zing,

I cannot argue with the factual side of what you say. However, first of all the media
does not portray Israel as being “right” but as being partly right and partly wrong.
With the possible exception of FOX News, which I can’t speak for since I never
watch it.

For myself I have only seen Israel being “right” in Jewish sources though I’m sure
Christian sources do as well.

However, for Truthdig to only focus on the negative of Israel because nobody else
does only serves to further polarize the situation. Furthermore, by focusing on the
negative side it will be accepted only by the people who already agree with it.
That’s fine if all you want to do is preach to the choir. But to make a difference, to
open up the hearts of people who might be willing to really take a look at the fact
that Israel is not everything it claims to be, you need to be wholesome in the

As for the Palestinians, it’s true they don’t claim to be not bigoted. They also don’t
admit that they are, while they do claim that Israel is. I have also never heard them
say that Israel is hypocritical and that that is the problem, but that they are racist,
as bad as the Nazis, etc. Why don’t you admonish them for THAT rhetoric? Yes,
Israel has a lot of hypocrisy. I don’t deny that. Yet with all that the Arabs living
there are freer and better off than most of the Arabs in the Arab countries. Some
of them are in the government. Some of them are in the military.  That doesn’t
excuse their faults. But it behooves an honest paper to paint the whole picture not
only to serve the truth but to have any hope of giving people space to modify their
own viewpoints.

If you say black because the other papers say white then you are still letting them
dictate what you say rather than telling the truth. Whether you mimic or do the
opposite you either way let them define your reaction rather than reporting in an
impartial and upright manner.

On a personal note it does not bother me when conservatives or antisemitic
papers denounce Israel. It bothers me when a liberal paper like Truthdig does
BECAUSE I identify with them and admire their stance on many issues. So a liberal
paper is where I would MOST want to see the whole truth being reported.

Also please don’t refer to the expression of my opinion as “complaining.” That
only illustrates that you are not willing to respectfully listen. That also only serves
to further polarization and hinder communication and understanding.

Report this
D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, April 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps, Stevenkuch, it’s because Israeli leaders
repeatedly state Israel is the only democracy in the
Middle East. 

And, well, that’s true in the sense that America was
a democracy in 1780, when women were not allowed to
vote, when we were conquering land and labeling its
former owners savages, when we had slaves and
regarded them as subhuman.

Those attributes do not apply to Israel. Certainly
not in fact. But neither is Israel a shining beacon
of democracy in the Middle East. It is a militaristic
democracy manipulated largely by military leaders and
their concerns. 

For that matter neither is the United States a
shining example of democracy. We do a pretty poor job
of representing democracy. For example, I don’t like
it that my tax dollars supplement the Israeli
military, thereby generating untold hostility for
America in the Arab world, but I’m not allowed to
vote on the issue and the television news won’t even
discuss the admittedly complicated and nuanced issues
surrounding US aid to Israel.

So, you can complain all you want.  The fact is, if
Israel doesn’t want criticism from the United States,
it should stop accepting our loans, our loan
guarantees, our military aid, and the aid we provide
as part of the Camp David peace agreements with

Beyond that fact, you have FOX, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC
and PBS doing all they can to rarely mention the
amount of aid we provide to Israel, the Palestinians, 
or the Egyptians. 

Israel gets favorable news coverage in the United
States. No doubt about it. What’s apparently
upsetting here is a rare exception to the rule.

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By heterochromatic, April 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

Stevenkuch—- Palestinian society makes no claim to not
being bigoted and there’s nobody who would believe them
if they did.

Israel, on the other hand, DOES make such claims and is
increasingly failing to live up to them.

While your correct that Truthdig won’t print much or
anything about the noxious side of the Palestinians,
that’s really beside the point.

Report this

By Stevenkuch, April 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

Howard Zinn in his book “People’s History of the United States” talks about how
the media fails even if they present the facts by choosing what NOT to print. In
this sense Truthdig is as guilty as FOX News. For example, in printing articles like
“The Pecking Order in Israel” Truthdig fails to present any commentary on the
existence of prejudice or racism in Palestinian society. Is it because it does not fit
the Truthdig agenda? Or is it because an article like that would not be news to
anybody? Or both?

Or is it because there is no prejudice in Palestinian society? If so, I would love to
see an article of how accepting they are of other races and religions.

My request to Truthdig:  To really deserve your name, when you dig up the truth
examine the whole shovelful instead of filtering out the parts you don’t want to

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, April 29, 2012 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

“Libertarian Rep. Ron Paul also bluntly put it, it turns Facebook and Google into “government spies.””

Back in the 60’s and 70’s the FBI, CIA, NSA.. had to earn their money and work to create “Dossiers” on potential targets. These days we do the heavy lifting for them.

Could you imagine if MLK had a face book page; J. Edgar Hoover’s job would have been a lot easier.

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By chinny, April 29, 2012 at 9:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fuck Israel.

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