With a cease-fire in the Middle East and President Obama promising renewed diplomatic efforts, there's tentative new hope for a lasting end to the decades-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
So it hurts more than ever to see that distant conflict played out in peace-loving Portland—and at our own community radio station, no less. For kicking an outspoken Palestinian-American off his show, we're naming KBOO's Portland Yiddish Hour co-host Ed Kraus this week's Rogue.
The weekly Sunday-morning program featuring Jewish music and community news held an on-air fundraising drive May 10. Liz Schwartz, another co-host on the program, invited Portland lawyer Hala Gores on to help raise money.
Gores, who co-hosts a KBOO program called One Land, Many Voices and is often critical of Israel, says she was eager to build bridges between communities. "I said I would be honored to do it," says Gores (whose cousin Tom Gores just bought The San Diego Union-Tribune).
But the day before the show, Gores says, she got a call from a KBOO staffer in tears who said Kraus wanted Gores off the show after an unidentified trial lawyer protested to Kraus. Local lawyers knew about Gores' appearance because she had sent mass emails to members of the legal profession in hopes of raising more money.
Kraus, who owns Kraus Music Products in Clackamas, confirms he asked KBOO management to bump Gores, but he declined to say why. "It's a tempest in a teapot," Kraus says. "It's not a big deal."
But we agree with Gores that it was a peace-making opportunity squandered. "It cuts deep," she says, "to be rejected when you're trying to reach out and work at a positive level."