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August 22, 2010

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Jeffrey Goldberg-Bashing?

What a dumb question. Of course not:

[Goldberg] manages to undo his self-created image as the paragon of tolerance by slipping in an ugly stereotype all of his own. He describes a meeting he had in January with the late Hamas leader, Abdulaziz Rantisi, commenting:
We were in his apartment, in Gaza City, which was filled with his grandchildren when I arrived. They provided him with protection. Rantisi never picked up a ringing telephone; he always had one of the children answer. (The Israeli security services have managed to kill at least one prominent terrorist with an exploding telephone.) At the end of the interview, a telephone rang on a table next to my chair. No children were available to answer it, and Rantisi asked me to pick up the receiver. I declined.

You’ve only read one paragraph about him, and don’t you hate Rantisi already? He fills his apartment with grandchildren to protect himself, and even has them answer the phone for him, so that they can get blown up instead of him if the phone explodes! And then, in the absence of a child to hide behind, he even tries to recruit Goldberg himself as answerer of the potentially-explosive phone! But Goldberg sees through him, and doesn’t play along…

What melodrama. And what utter rubbish. Read that paragraph again, and ask yourself if it really makes sense...

I don’t doubt that Rantisi had other people answer his phone for him, for reasons I'll explain below. But Goldberg’s assumption that this was because Rantisi was happy to let an innocent bystander – even his own grandchild – be blown up in his place, is ill-informed and just plain wrong.

That's from a 2004 Lawrence of Cyberia post about a Goldberg article in the New Yorker. Read it all.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at August 22, 2010 12:44 PM

Obviously a heat seaking Muslim terror fighting phone, he would have been fine had it blown up two feet away from him.

Posted by: demize at August 22, 2010 04:13 PM

I'd like to think that perhaps Goldberg feels a little bad about people, terrorists or not, being assassinated with a cell-phone, and that this little anecdote quiets his conscience.

Or not. Maybe he's totally fine about it. That still leaves room for the claim that he did it for show - so that if you suspect him of schadenfreude, as many are pressured to feel in regards to the Palestinians (either that or worshipful of the IDF and their incredible cleverness), you might excuse it.

Finally, he could be against it altogether, and simply have fabricated this whole story to discourage the assassinations altogether. Wouldn't that be something?

Posted by: LT at August 22, 2010 04:41 PM

I guessed Goldberg didn't answer because he had bombed the phone himself, while the guy wasn't on the room.

Posted by: BillCinSD at August 22, 2010 05:23 PM

Jeffrey Mark Goldberg (born September 1965) is an American-Israeli journalist.

From Wikipedia.

Now is he a journalist or a propagandist for Israel?

Posted by: Less Isbetter at August 22, 2010 06:17 PM

Congratulations Less you have mastered the art of the self answering question.

Posted by: demize! at August 22, 2010 07:15 PM

Goldberg chose #6.

Posted by: CR at August 22, 2010 09:33 PM

I don't think Goldberg ever actually interviewed Rantissi. It's curious how none of his palestinian interviewees are alive to deny the interview! And him being Jeffrey Goldberg, I don't think it's such a stretch to imagine the whole thing as a fabrication.

Posted by: Omar at August 22, 2010 09:43 PM

Interesting, it appears they have taken the article in question down, wonder if that means anything. But often propaganda is presented as a human interest story (usually a product of fertile imaginations), it’s kind of a give-away for the half awake.

Posted by: Rob Payne at August 22, 2010 09:52 PM

Rob, thanks for that -- changed the link. Peace Now took it down but it's still on Goldberg's personal site.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at August 22, 2010 10:09 PM

I like to play a game we call "Palestinian Roulette." I call Jeffrey Goldberg on the phone-if he answers I say "Boom!" If he doesn't answer I leave a message, "You have outsmarted the terrorists today, but stay vigilant Jeffrey."

He does the same thing to me-keeps us on our tiptoes.

Posted by: seth at August 22, 2010 10:41 PM

Considering that it's the Israelis who, according to Goldberg, are killing "terrorists" with exploding telephones, shouldn't that be "Israeli Roulette", seth?

Posted by: Duncan at August 22, 2010 10:58 PM

Duncan-I suggested that but Jeffrey insisted we call it "Palestinian Roulette" because they forced the Israelis to come up with weaponized phones.

Posted by: seth at August 22, 2010 11:11 PM

Jonathan, Your'e welcome and thank you for the great education on how things work.

Posted by: Rob Payne at August 22, 2010 11:27 PM

I'm looking forward to the Hitchcock remake: Dial P For Propaganda.

Posted by: Paul Avery at August 23, 2010 03:01 AM

I've had enough by and about Jeffrey Goldberg this week for the next several months, so am not going to pursue the link to his New Yorker article. I assume, though, that he fails to mention the effect on children and other living things of an earlier Israeli effort to kill Rantisi in June 2003: two civilians dead, thirty wounded (half children under 12).

In assassinating Rantisi in April 2004, again by firing missiles from a helicopter at a vehicle in which he was riding, the IDF killed two bystanders, a mother and daughter, in addition to Rantisi's son and a bodyguard.

[CR wins the thread.]

Posted by: Nell at August 23, 2010 06:50 PM

Like a dope dealer who started using his own product, J started believing the propaganda he was supposed to be selling for the cartel back in Tel Aviv.

There is one major discrepancy with his analysis about all those children present (read human shield), the zionist entity has never had a problem with murdering Arab children - Surely Senor Rantisi must be aware of this.

Posted by: Ali Abdurahman at August 24, 2010 11:34 AM