“I first realised the enormous pressures on American journalists in the Middle East when I went some years ago to say goodbye to a colleague from the Boston Globe. I expressed my sorrow that he was leaving a region where he had obviously enjoyed reporting. I could save my sorrows for someone else, he said. One of the joys of leaving was that he would no longer have to alter the truth to suit his paper’s more vociferous readers.
“‘I used to call the Israeli Likud Party ‘right wing,” he said. ‘But recently, my editors have been telling me not to use the phrase. A lot of our readers objected.’ And so now, I asked? ‘We just don’t call it ‘right wing’ anymore.’
“Ouch. I knew at once that these “readers” were viewed at his newspaper as Israel’s friends, but I also knew that the Likud under Benjamin Netanyahu was as right wing as it had ever been.”