Ethan Bronner.(Mediaite)

Has the son of Ethan Bronner—the New York Times’s current Israel beat reporter—enlisted in the Israeli military? (And, if so, would that constitute an unacceptable conflict of interest for Bronner?) An earlier report of this was subsequently retracted, but yesterday the blog Electronic Intifada seemed all but confirmed the news. The blog—which tends to be extremely skeptical of Israel and its policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians—contacted Bronner after receiving a tip; he referred them to the Times foreign editor, who responded: “Mr. Bronner’s son is a young adult who makes his own decisions. At the Times, we have found Mr. Bronner’s coverage to be scrupulously fair and we are confident that will continue to be the case.” Electronic Intifada’s media blog has repeatedly criticized Bronner for an alleged pro-Israel bias.

Prior Times Jerusalem bureau chiefs include James Bennet, now the editor of The Atlantic, and Thomas Friedman, now the über-columnist. When it comes to shaping U.S. opinion about Israel, it’s a pretty prominent and important gig.

‘New York Times’ Fails to Confirm Jerusalem Bureau Chief’s Conflict of Interest [Electronic Intifada]