The president's high-profile interview with Jeffrey Goldberg will make it extremely hard for the administration to blame the Palestinians for the expected failure of Kerry's peace initiative. Obama’s interview with the Bloomberg news agency on Sunday, in which he basically blamed Netanyahu and exonerated Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for the intractability of the occupation, is a very important event, and very good news. With Netanyahu and Abbas jockeying to avoid the blame for the likely impending failure of Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace initiative, the Obama interview with Jeffrey Goldberg will make it very hard for the administration…Read More... | 49 Comments
The Zionist story, re-told by the elite, for the elite. A new book by Haaretz journalist Ari Shavit won rare compliments in recent weeks from the liberal Jewish elite in the United States. A couple of prominent Jewish writers—Leon Wieseltier and Thomas Freidman—praised the book on the pages of the New York Times, the New Yorker’s editor held a party for the book and its author at his home, Bloomberg’s Jeffrey Goldberg handed the Natan Prize to Shavit, and more. The 17 chapters of My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel (Random House, English only) re-narrate the story…Read More... | 23 Comments
Palestinian citizens have many rights in Israel, but they are not equal citizens. Only by removing all discriminatory elements from the legal system will Israel cease to be a democracy of racial profiling. Following one of his visits to Israel, Jewish-American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg praised last year the ease with which he underwent the security procedures at Ben-Gurion International Airport, compared with the long waits he experienced in U.S terminals. Racial profiling made all the difference: while Israeli Jews and many white Westerners – especially those with Jewish names - are rushed through the lines in Israeli terminals and gates, every person…Read More... | 16 Comments
Our post-election depression comes from being reminded that an end to tyranny and inevitable war is as distant as ever. It's time for new ideas - or old ideas that haven't been tried. Well, that was fun. And now it's over, and who really cares whether Yair Lapid becomes minister of this or minister of that; the twin elephants of tyranny over the Palestinians and the inevitability of war are still in the living room, and if anything, the country seems more determined than before to pretend they aren't there. For those who do see those elephants, there's a sense…Read More... | 39 Comments
The irony: Sheldon Adelson’s Israel Hayom paper is quoting top Likud officials that accuse President Obama for trying to interfere with Israeli elections. A few weeks ago, a well-known Israeli politician visited one of the large daily newspapers. During a meeting there, this person discussed his meetings with a top-level official in the U.S. administration. “Do the Americans know that the window of opportunity to influence Israelis ends on January 22?” the politician was asked. The answer he gave was somewhat positive. It seems that the Israeli politician got it right: in an article for Bloomberg, Jewish-American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg…Read More... | 13 Comments
If you follow Israeli and American mainstream logic, all it takes for the occupation to end are a few nice words from Palestinian leaders. We have been asking the wrong questions: A popular debate in the days following the military escalation between Israel and Hamas had to do with the prospect of negotiations with Hamas, and whether the organization "has moderated." In this conversation, evidence is tossed around from both sides in the forms of quotes from political figures, militants, supporters and spiritual leaders, followed by heated arguments over their meaning, context, quality of translation, status of the person…Read More... | 37 Comments
Wednesday, November 14: Israeli forces have just killed a four-year-old and a seven-year-old in Gaza. Two children. Jeffrey Goldberg tweets*, correctly, that the fighting won’t solve anything. But his phrasing embodies everything that’s wrong with the mainstream media. It also points at the Israeli attitude towards both the Palestinians and the region: Prediction: Assassination of Hamas terror commander will not even partially solve Israel's Gaza problem. Israel’s Gaza problem? The fatalities suggest it’s the other way around. According to B’Tselem, 6500 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces from the start of the Second Intifada in September 2000 until to September…Read More... | 11 Comments
The only way you can think of the poem 'What must be said' as anti-Semitic is if you think of Grass as an anti-Semite. His history as well as the poem itself point in the exact opposite direction. If Gunter Grass had ever said or done anything that showed hatred of Jews or of Israel, then I, too, might take a very uncharitable view of his warning in the poem "What must be said" that this country, or even this government, is liable to nuke Iran and "annihilate the Iranian people." Like I wrote before, that's a misleading suggestion; for all the past reports about "bunker-busting" bombs and future scenarios about a regional WMD war, Israel is not…Read More... | 83 Comments
In his response to Jeffrey Goldberg's enthusiastic description of Ben Gurion Airport's security procedures, my colleague Noam Sheizaf makes some salient points about historical accuracy and racial profiling. Particularly resonant is the final point - that Jeffrey Goldberg, a Jew born and raised in the United States, is treated far better by Israel's airport security personnel than Israeli citizens with Arab names. Over the past few years, there have been several cases of prominent Israeli citizens with Arab names who were subjected at Ben Gurion Airport to humiliating procedures so egregious that they were widely publicized in the media. Sayed…Read More... | 31 Comments
Jeffery Goldberg, one of the most well know Jewish American journalists, had an entry in his blog raving about Israeli security procedures at Ben Gurion airport. Ben Gurion (TLV) has no naked-scanning machines and you don't have to take off your shoes. Instead, security personnel use racial profiling, thoroughly checking Arabs in back rooms while exempting Jewish Israelis and tourists with a few standard security questions. "I find answering a series of questions about my travel less invasive than posing like a mugging victim in a machine that takes pictures of you naked," Goldberg concludes. A perfect example of self-inflicted blindness: As…Read More... | 20 Comments
Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg just flew out of Israel and decided to write a post revering security at Israel's Ben-Gurion airport, comparing it to the much less effective and what he considers more humiliating American airport security. (I do agree with him that Israeli security is way more effective than American security, since Israel is indeed better at racial profiling). He appreciates that he doesn't have to worry about packing his nail clippers and understands that non-Jews face problems at the airport - he notes that he knows of some Arab-Israelis and Arab-Americans who have been stuck in the screening proces…Read More... | 25 Comments
The demand that the New York Times new Jerusalem bureau chief - who has yet to take up her post here - be “unbiased” towards the Netanyahu government is the height of 'chutzpah' Jeffrey Goldberg, the former IDF prison guard and self-appointed gatekeeper of all things Jewish and Zionist, is not happy with the incoming New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren. He has two problems with her. The first, and most important, is that Rudoren had the temerity to read Peter Beinart’s new critical book about Israel and, lo and behold, support it. Goldberg whines that she is…Read More... | 29 Comments
Andrew Adler, publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, urged Israel to consider assassinating President Obama. In doing so, he resolved a silly debate Andrew Adler is the publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, and soon he’ll have to spare some time from his busy schedule to answer questions from Secret Service agents. Why? Because, when opining last week on just how Israel should deal with Iran, Adler unleashed a fantasy, and wrote that “[option] three, give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take…Read More... | 51 Comments
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