Scott Roth joins Mondoweiss as publisher

We have important news. We now have a publisher, Scott Roth. Scott is a partner at The Nation magazine, an active tweeter (@scottroth76), an executive producer of Dirty Wars, a forthcoming documentary on drone warfare, a world traveler, and a pilot who holds commercial and flight instructor licenses.

Scott is 36 and grew up on Long Island. We met him at the Move Over Aipac conference in 2011 and have worked with him closely for the last year and a half. We were drawn to Scott from the start because of his independence, his strong judgment and his leadership abilities. An idealistic Zionist as a youth who dreamed of emigrating and playing a part in Israeli life, Scott visited Israel often until he realized his own political and moral values were inconsistent with the Jewish state. That intellectual struggle has largely defined his life for 20 years. His incisive manner and moral clarity are evident to anyone who knows him or follows him on twitter, or has read his work.

We asked Scott to be a partner because the site needs broader shoulders and more ambition and vision. Some readers may remember that what began in 2006 as a personal blog for Phil changed decisively and for the better in 2008 when Adam came on as a partner (and the Gaza onslaught gave us added relevance). Adam brought straight-ahead journalistic values combined with political organizing abilities. In the months and years to come we know that readers will discover the worldliness and toughness of mind we have leaned on in Scott. His presence will solidify our mission: to make this site more professional and institutional, and thereby carve out a place for progressive voices on the Middle East and US policy.

For those readers who say, That makes three Jewish partners, we say, You’re right, and we have been surprised ourselves by the degree to which this site has been shaped by a shadow Jewish community that wants nothing to do with religious nationalism and has demanded a place to express itself. That lack of diversity in our leadership only increases our obligation to provide a platform for other voices in the U.S. and in Palestine, from communities that have not been represented in the policy discussion. We feel tremendous responsibility to promote those voices and honor them. Please hold us accountable to those words.

Posted in Features

{ 22 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. pabelmont says:

    This site does have a bit of a Jewish-audience twist, but that’s good as it may help energize the Jewish breakaway from Zionism — not to mention the general American breakaway. Jews can “give permission” to non-Jews to behave ethically in the face of “Jewish” (No! AIPAC) pressure to the contrary.

    So Scott is 36? I hope America doesn’t have to wait for political movement on Palestine until all the “alter kockers” (no reference to anyone we know and love) are passed to a better place.

  2. Welcome Scott to a fantastic site. Just a question for @Mondoweiss (for the non-journalists among the readership): what is the role of Publisher compared to Editor for example?

    • Scott will have a role in all things Mondoweiss, but will bring special attention to the business and operations side of things. His involvement will allow Phil and I to spend a bit more time on content knowing the site is in good hands.

  3. Taxi says:

    Welcome, Scott. Looking forward to your song and dance.

    p.s. Can you guys get some more mods back there – the posts are passing awfully slow lately – for real!

  4. Les says:

    “Two Jews, three opininions.” And now we have three Jews.

  5. James North says:

    Excellent news. Scott has a passion for justice in Israel/Palestine that can only make the site even better.

  6. American says:

    A good addition….not to mention Roth’s obvious sense of humor…LOL

    Tweets

    2 Dec Marc Zell ‏@GOPIsrael
    Recorded history, literature, archeology, and numismatics show clearly that Israel has been home of the Jews for at least 3,000 years. ==>

    Scott Roth ‏@scottroth76
    .@GOPIsrael and I’m a direct descendent of King David. Could I be king of your silly, ahistorical, anti-intellectual monstrosity of a state?

    9:27 AM – 4 Dec 12 · Details 20h Marc Zell ‏@GOPIsrael
    @scottroth76 nice to know that the intellectual descendants of Torqemada are still creeping around. Bask in your self-hatred

  7. welcome scott! excellent.

  8. joemowrey says:

    This may be a little off topic for the typical thread on this site, but I hope you are willing to post my remarks concerning the addition of Scott Roth so that other readers might respond to what is a genuine concern on my part.

    I’m a long time reader, occasional commenter, and great admirer of Mondoweiss, so I say this with only the best intentions. Be careful of the long tentacles of the Nation Magazine. There is a bevy of Obama faithfuls there whom I feel have a less principled vision than they do a commitment to the Democratic Party establishment. If we start seeing nearly daily posts here from John Nichols and Katrina vanden Heuvel, or other unquestioning support for the policies of the Democrats, we should be concerned about the integrity of this site.

    In my opinion, the Nation has had a very negative influence on another excellent site, Common Dreams. I have no way of knowing what exactly the connection is between CD and and the Nation, but the frequent appearance of Nation writers (as well as writers faithful to the Nation Magazine) at that site seemed to marked a substantial change in the editorial tone. Again, that’s just my personal view and analysis. It could just be a coincidence. Common Dreams is still a valuable information source, but I felt that the amount of pre-election fawning they did over Obama (who is anything but a friend to the Palestinian people or the cause which Mondoweiss champions) was unconscionable.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I have been banned from commenting at Common Dreams because I questioned what I thought was the obvious infiltration of the site by Nation Magazine shills for the Dems, and asked, quite innocently one day, if there might be funds coming into CD from the Nation. That post never appeared. I was blocked, without explanation, and never received a response to several appeals I made to the editors there.

    I respectfully ask the same question here. Is the Nation Magazine going to be helping to fund Mondoweiss? If so, I hope Phil and Adam will maintain their usual high standards and not succumb to the influence of the Nation Magazine’s Democratic Party leanings at the expense of the editorial integrity we have come to admire here.

    • Taxi says:

      Thanks, Joemowery.

      The world is full of masters and servants.

      I think it would be quiet hard at this stage to burn out Mondo’s fingerprint.

      Though I did cringe at the use of the word “institutional”.

    • Donald says:

      I stopped reading Common Dreams many years ago, mainly because I thought the headlines were sensationalistic and read more like propagandistic cheerleading than anything else. They were insultingly stupid. There were some good articles, but they couldn’t (for me) cancel out the irritation of the stupid headlines.

      I heard later (at other blogs) about their sleazy banning policies. I have trouble imagining Phil giving in to the Nation if they fund this site and try to impose similar policies here.

    • Thanks for the comment Joe. Although Scott is affiliated with the Nation, there will be no relationship between the Nation and Mondoweiss. Longtime Mondo readers may remember the site was once a project of the Nation Institute, but it is no longer. Even then, the magazine did not exercise editorial control over this site.

  9. kalithea says:

    Hopefully he’s prepared to hammer away relentlessly like a blacksmith, because that’s what it’ll take for Zionism to yield to justice and the truth.

    But, if there’s a mere waver in his conviction, Zionists will be all over it in a nanosecond. I look forward to reading him, but remind him of Michael Corleone’s fateful words: Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in!

  10. Sin Nombre says:

    Phil and Adam wrote:

    “For those readers who say, That makes three Jewish partners, we say, You’re right, and we have been surprised ourselves by the degree to which this site has been shaped by a shadow Jewish community that wants nothing to do with religious nationalism and has demanded a place to express itself. That lack of diversity in our leadership only increases our obligation to provide a platform for other voices in the U.S. and in Palestine, from communities that have not been represented in the policy discussion. We feel tremendous responsibility to promote those voices and honor them. Please hold us accountable to those words.”

    Okay, since you asked, I submit that there’s simply no way you can square these words with your recent change to your comments policy, period. (Which change I now suspect had something to do with Mr. Roth coming on board.)

    Just my opinion.

    • Donald says:

      I just reread the comments policy. Basically it bans the sort of discussion that would blame Jews for the Holocaust or anti-semitic comments. (It also bans other things which have nothing to do with Jewishness or Judaism.) I’m not sure why people think this means we can’t discuss, for instance, the hypocrisy of Jewish organizations which claim to support the 2SS but oppose virtually any pressure on Israel that might bring it about.

    • Sin Nombre says:

      On the other hand, now that I see you have published my comment, I must add that same is to your enormous credit, and indeed lives up in this instance at least to the responsibility that you, again to your credit, expressed.

      Doesn’t retract my feeling that your new comments policy is indeed still directly at odds with your statement about promoting different voices, but when credit is due credit ought be given.

  11. Les says:

    Welcome Scott. Your bio sounds not unlike John Rose’s in this interview.

  12. Shingo says:

    Welcom Scott, this is wonderful news!

  13. radii says:

    as a non-jew let me tell you not to worry about all the “diversity” stuff – Mondoweiss is a point-of-view enterprise … should a black dance troupe have white members? … should a gay group have straight members? … should an atheist group recruit believers? … if you wind up with non-jews as you grow fine, but don’t worry about it … it is the content of your characters (letters) that matter here

  14. Sasha Gelzin says:

    Not just ashkenazi jews, but all male ashkenazi jews… something entirely left out of Phil & Adam’s acknowledgement of the lack of diversity…

  15. Sasha Gelzin says:

    With only three people at the helm, genuine diversity is difficult to achieve. But it would be very disappointing indeed if as Mondoweiss continues to grow, the make-up of the leadership replicates the very institutions this website sets out to challenge.

  16. RoHa says:

    “With only three people at the helm, genuine diversity is difficult to achieve. ”

    Maybe one could convert. Do you feel like being a Hindu lesbian single parent, Phil?