"Why Not Have Palestinians Cover Israel?"

A Goldblog reader writes:

"I read your post about Ethan Bronner, and I agree. I think Palestinian reporters do a good job of covering the West Bank, etc., as you do, but why stop there? Why not have Jewish reporters cover Gaza? Why not have Palestinians cover Israel?"

A good question. Two answers: First, Jewish reporters do cover Gaza. And Palestinians do, in fact, cover Israel. Anyone who has been in the Knesset press room knows that Palestinians, working for Arab outlets, as well as European and American publications, are busy covering the main issues of the day. Answer number two: There could always be more of this cross-cultural coverage. I, for one, would love to read a Taghreed al-Khodary profile of Bibi, or Gabi Ashkenazi, or whomever, not only because she's a great reporter, but because she would draw out different responses from these men, based on her background and knowledge, than I could. I trust her to be fair and accurate, so why not?

The summer before last, I moderated a panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival -- a debate, really -- between Irshad Manji and Dalia Mogahed on the future of Islam. Afterward, a couple of bloggers took shots at the organizers for allowing me to serve as the moderator. Not because I did a bad job -- though I might have, who knows? -- but because I'm Jewish. This sort of reductionist thinking isn't useful. It ghettoizes writers and thinkers based on the circumstances of their births.