There’s a new page up on Jeffrey Goldberg at SHAME (Shame the Hacks who Abuse Media Ethics) that includes some devastating quotes. This is sure to be pored over at The New Yorker, where Goldberg promoted the Iraq war, and at the Atlantic, where Goldberg is now rationalizing no-muss, no-fuss war with Iran. Thanks to Max Blumenthal. Go to SHAME for the complete docket.
- In his 2006 book Prisoners, Goldberg described a scene from Ktzi’ot in which his friend repeatedly hit a Palestinian prisoner in the head with a with a heavy, sharp-edged army radio, beating him to a bloody pulp, a beating that Goldberg “deduced was prompted by something [the prisoner] said.” Goldberg admits that he lied to cover up the crime: “I found another military policeman, and handed off the wobbling prisoner, who was by now bleeding on me. ‘He fell,’ I lied.”
- Goldberg also admitted he took part in beatings of Palestinian prisoners, but justified it this way: “Unlike Yoram, I never hit a Palestinian who wasn’t already hitting me.”
- In 1991, right after finishing his prison guard duty, Goldberg wrote an article for the Jerusalem Post titled “More tear gas, please?” in which he explicitly identified himself as an “Israeli” participating in the “armed administration” of Palestinians. “This leaves us, and by us, I mean Israelis of good will, in a quandary: We administer approximately two million people in the occupied territories…” In the same article, Goldberg mocked Palestinian suffering with crude jokes suggesting, for example, “Arab women … compete in ‘Miss Gaza Refugee Camp’ and ‘Miss Mother Who Sends Her Children into the Street to Catch Israeli Bullets with Their Heads’ contests.”
- After 9/11, Goldberg became one of leading “journalists” responsible for propaganda that drummed up unfounded terrorist fears in order to scare the public into war with Iraq. Goldberg was one of the key Bush administration media assets used to manufacture non-existent links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.
In 2002, Goldberg published a two-part fake scare story in the New Yorker alleging that the Shia Muslim group Hezbollah had penetrated deep into the United States and was, among other things, running a black market cigarette ring on American soil in order to finance its terrorist operations. He aslo claimed that Iraq and Hezbollah were likely to attack Israel in retaliation for the impending U.S. invasion of Iraq: ”Iraq will fire missiles at Israel—perhaps with chemical or biological payloads . . . But Hezbollah . . . might do Saddam’s work itself.” Goldberg won a $20,000 “International Investigative Reporting Award” from the Center for Public Integrity for the story.
That same year, in 2002, Goldberg published a New Yorker article—titled “The Great Terror”—that connected Al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein through a single extremely unreliable source: a jailed drug dealer provided by Kurdish intelligence. The London Observer interviewed this same prisoner and determined that he was “a liar” and his story “simply not true.” But that didn’t stop Dick Cheney, who ”twice waved around that prisoner’s story in Jeffrey Goldberg’s piece . . . on Sunday talk shows in late 2002″ in order to sell the invasion to the American people.
“In five years . . . I believe that the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.”
—Slate; Oct. 3, 2002
Soldiers should also be trained to take their behavioral cues not from the macho American movie stars on which they were weaned, but from waiters in pricey restaurants: ”Hi, my name’s Motti and I’ll be arresting you today. Our specials this week are administrative detention without trial and a lovely salad Nicoise. Would you like some fresh ground pepper with your handcuffs?” . . . Of course, when confronted by unrepentant axe-wielding, Molotov cocktail throwers, soldiers should shoot first, act polite later.
—One of Goldberg’s suggestions on how to improve Israel’s “armed administration” of the Palestinian people; Jerusalem Post, 1991
Oh and speaking of Goldberg, there’s a good interview of Norman Finkelstein up at Tablet by David Samuels. It is a testament to Samuels’s honesty as a journalist that he included Finkelstein’s attack on Goldberg. To wit:
You obviously spent a lot of forensic energy thinking about Jeffrey Goldberg in your new book. Is it your opinion that he acts as a conscious agent of Israeli propaganda campaigns, or do you think that he believes what he writes?
Goldberg is just like [George] Packer. He has some writing talent, but he knows nothing about politics, he has no clue. Just because he lived in Israel for a couple of years … well, there are a lot of people who live in the United States who have no idea what goes on here. He was a prison guard. That doesn’t make you an expert in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There’s no knowledge there.
So, maybe he goes to Israel and they tell him these things, they’re very good at PR, they’re very good at manipulating. He’s a fat kid, and I’m sure they’re excellent in making him feel important—we’re just telling you this, this is your little scoop. And he gets very excited, and he writes it down. Israel is attacking Iran? I think it’s ridiculous, but you have to have some political sense to know it’s ridiculous. No, I don’t think it’s going to happen because Israel went into Lebanon in 2006 and they didn’t kill one Hezbollah leader, so I don’t think they’re going to attack Iran.
Goldberg doesn’t have a political bone in his body. Past the personal and the experiential, it’s just clichés. He knows the cliché about Jewish intoxication with strength, and he knows the cliché about Palestinians needing to embrace Gandhi, and then at the end, I love America, America is beautiful, La-la-la-la. It’s just one bundle of clichés after another because he doesn’t know anything.
He’s a very good writer. Do you envy that?
I’m not a good writer, and I don’t care.