Jeffrey Goldberg is Jewish

US Politics
on 77 Comments

Tablet has published an attack on my piece about Jeffrey Goldberg’s ascension to the editorship of the Atlantic, in which I pointed out that the Atlantic announcement cleanses Goldberg’s resume, leaving out his moving to Israel to escape American anti-Semitism and serving in the Israeli army, his publication of a memoir about serving as an Israeli prison guard, his disastrous support for the Iraq war, his failed promotion of an Iran war, and his Jewishness. Tablet says my assertion that the Atlantic is leaving out Goldberg’s Jewishness is a proof of my anti-Semitism; why does it matter whether Goldberg is Jewish or not? Jews shouldn’t have to wear a yellow star. The ADL has now joined in, calling us an anti-Semitic site. 

The attack is absurd first because I mentioned Goldberg’s Jewishness in the very context that he has mentioned it again and again: We Jews support Israel. More important, it is hard to think of a writer in this world who has so identified himself as Jewish, and as a spokesperson for Jews. Goldberg’s one book put Jew in the very title: Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide (later changed to, A Story of Friendship and Terror).

Goldberg has repeatedly put himself forward as a spokesperson for “Jews and the Jewish lobby,” as he described his brief at this 2007 panel attacking the book The Israel Lobby at the Center for Jewish History:

this book represents the largest challenge to Jewish political enfranchisement we’ve seen since the days of Charles Lindbergh…. It is not up to a white person to tell a black person what is racist and what is not. And it is not up to a non-Jew to tell a Jew what is anti-Semitic. I think that cultural, political autonomy means that we get to define what we think is anti-Semitic.

This Washingtonian profile of Jeffrey Goldberg a couple of years ago noted Goldberg’s role as the judge of all things Jewish in one of its headlines: “Who died and made him Moses?” The piece emphasized that Goldberg had made his career through asserting his Jewishness:

Goldberg, as a matter of personal and professional identity, is proudly and insistently Jewish. This is, after all, a fellow who used to hang a paper on his office door at the Atlantic with the words the misunderstood jew, a sly reference to what certain irreverent wags call Jesus.

“I think journalism is a very Jewish profession,” he says in a podcast, “Life as a Jewish Journalist,” recorded for the Partnership for Jewish Life & Learning. “Jews are very interesting. I think pound for pound we are the most interesting people in the world.”

In that piece, Leon Wieseltier called Goldberg a Mashgiah, or supervisor of what is kosher:

He sees Goldberg not as gatekeeper to the pro-Israel tent but as a would-be, journalistic equivalent of the mashgiah. That’s the Hebrew word for the supervisor—a rabbi or someone else of impeccable credentials—who makes sure everything going out of the kitchen at a kosher restaurant is truly kosher. “Goldberg is a little bit in the business of deciding who is kosher and who is not,” Wieseltier says. The problem, he explains, is that Goldberg fails to qualify for the role: “He’s a blogger. He’s not an analyst, he’s not a scholar.”

Just a few years ago, it was in his role of mashgiah that Goldberg said of Tony Judt, Tony Karon, Richard Falk, Norman Finkelstein, MJ Rosenberg, Naomi Klein, Sara Roy, and myself, that we are “part of a tiny minority of Jews who believe that the destruction of Israel will bring them the approval of non-Jews, which they crave.” Later in the same role, screening Jews, for that “very Jewish profession” of journalism, he declared in the Atlantic that I am not a Jew; a group of bloggers are “anti-Zionists-with-Jewish-parents.” What kind of person does that? A jerk, yes. But a jerk who regards himself as a Jewish leader.

Now I state that Goldberg’s Jewishness is central to his career, at a time when Goldberg is trying to pivot from that role; and I’m evil. As I said, it’s laughable.

Rosenberg also made something of my Jew-counting. How many Jews are at the tops of publications. Sorry, folks, that’s the price of power. People are allowed to notice how many Catholics and Jews are on the Supreme Court (3, and 3-plus-Merrick-Garland) and even criticize it, if they want to. Peter Beinart made the same observation in Haaretz a couple years ago.

As a force in American journalism, we certainly have [arrived]. Jews edit The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Weekly Standard, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Vox, Buzzfeed, Politico, and the opinion pages of The New York Times and Washington Post.

The insinuation of the attacks is that I’m saying a Jewish person should not have been hired for that job or that it makes Goldberg unfit. As Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL said, “thanks @Mondweiss, bc your attack on @jeffreygoldberg 4 his faith is a window into the warped pathology of #antisemitism on the xtreme Left.” That’s very unfair. I don’t care about Goldberg’s faith, but I do insist on talking about the politicization of faith, whether that’s Christian evangelicals or Islamic state supporters or expansionist Zionists like Goldberg. You might say that Goldberg’s whole career has been about politicizing faith. Now he shrewdly understands that his parochialism will not serve him in his new role; and so he is pivoting from that Jewish, pro-Israel self-description. That’s news; and that’s what I wrote about.

Discussing the constitution of power is as American as cherry pie, and as Jewish as an esrog. Yair Rosenberg is just going in for thought control and blacklisting. It won’t work with us.

Thanks to Yakov Hirsch. 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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77 Responses

  1. David Samel
    October 21, 2016, 1:43 pm

    People who fight for Palestinian rights are always going to run the risk of being called anti-Semitic. Because that charge, if true or even plausible, can do much harm to the movement, it is always wise to avoid even the appearance of anti-Semitism. But, as we all know, entirely unfounded smears of anti-Semitism will be hurled at any time. The old standby of automatically screaming “bigotry” at Israel criticism no longer works, and people like Rosenberg are trying to dress up their libel with a thin veneer of pseudo-intellectual analysis. In the end, though, he’s just being an asshole. There is no there here.

  2. yonah fredman
    October 21, 2016, 2:20 pm

    Jew counting is something that stirs reactions, and it is a “walking on thin ice” reaction that it stirs in me. Phil Weiss does not walk on eggshells, but stomps on as many toes as possible.
    P. Weiss did not begin his jew counting with the issue of israel, but as cited in the tablet article, was knee deep into jew counting, when the jews were defending bill Clinton and Phil Weiss was attacking him. Phil also attacked clinton’s jewish defenders as being unjewish. (Phil also called himself a jewy jew in the piece from the archives of the observer.)

    I consider Phil’s relationship to the jews problematic, particularly in the antisemitic article from post passover of 2015.

    Quite often he has been clearly apathetic regarding the idea of jewish continuity and antipathetic towards almost any project with that as its goal.

    I also choose to mention the vibe of alienation that I sensed when I went to hear Phil speak in the west village a few years ago. Two things from his presentation negatively impressed me. The first: a paraphrase: i expected to be the only jew at the upstate gentile cocktail party and when my words elicited response from the other jew unexpectedly present, I was flummoxed, he said. The second:. When describing the jews and their difficulty disowning zionism, he compared them to a dog under a blanket confused and blind and pathetic in its efforts. If the words seem innocent, the tone was definitely, I am not one of them.

    • yonah fredman
      October 21, 2016, 4:07 pm

      Here is the link to phil’s column regarding his presentation at the Brecht forum. http://mondoweiss.net/2012/09/change-of-plan/

    • Mooser
      October 21, 2016, 4:32 pm

      “I consider Phil’s relationship to the jews problematic”

      “Yonah” stick a couple more pins in your Phil Weiss doll. Try lighting matches under the soles of its feet. That’ll show him!

      • RoHa
        October 21, 2016, 10:54 pm

        “I consider Phil’s relationship to the jews problematic”

        Phil and the Jews need to sort out their relationship problems. They should find a counsellor with dangly earrings and a droopy Indian skirt, sit down together, and discuss everything.

    • echinococcus
      October 21, 2016, 5:17 pm

      “When describing the jews and their difficulty disowning zionism, he compared them to a dog under a blanket confused and blind and pathetic in its efforts. If the words seem innocent, the tone was definitely, I am not one of them.”

      Reb Fredman, you just seriously increased my respect for Phil Weiss. Yes, he definitely shows a tendency to recognize facts, no matter how painful personally. Very apt analogy of his, anyway.

    • Keith
      October 21, 2016, 5:34 pm

      JONAH FREDMAN- “Jew counting is something that stirs reactions, and it is a “walking on thin ice” reaction that it stirs in me.”

      Since the primary chroniclers of Jewish success and power are other Jews, I am reasonably sure that you are referring to discussions which include Gentiles, yes? And if Gentile “Jew-counting” were to occur in a country where Jews were disadvantaged, and with the intent to improve their lot, then you would not notice the “thin ice,” yes? Therefore, I conclude that your concern involves Gentiles becoming aware of the impact of Jewish kinship nepotism in a society where the Gentiles are taught to believe in multicultural pluralism? Yes, Yonah, the secret to successful nepotism is to keep the nepotism secret.

      • tokyobk
        October 21, 2016, 9:19 pm

        Successful immigrant groups from all backgrounds employ nepotism. If you look closely at those groups you find even tighter subgroups; such as from a particular city or region, practicing a religious variant, part of a traditional clan. This is true of Indians, Chinese, Somalis, and especially the last century, Italians and Jews and others.

        Elites from the dominant (at least for now) have also employed nepotism (such as the social register).

        Unsuccessful whites have a lot of resentment about this and it shows, after all they are supposed to be successful in a white man’s country (your allusion to the trick of multiculturalism comes up frequently in this brand of lament).

        In a better world there would be no nepotism but its certainly not an exclusively Jewish thing. Look at the hotel industry and South Asians.

        That said, I think its kind of cool that Jews and other tight knit communities share money and break of power for their family members. I’d like to se emote of the same for everyone. I would love to see the dollar circulate many times more in, for example, the black American community.

      • Mooser
        October 21, 2016, 9:59 pm

        “That said, I think its kind of cool that Jews and other tight knit communities share money”

        Gee, “tokyobk” I wish you could give me an example of the “tight knit” community of Jews who “share money”.

      • echinococcus
        October 21, 2016, 10:14 pm

        Mooser,

        Forget the example, I want their address!

      • Keith
        October 22, 2016, 1:49 pm

        TOKYOBK- “Successful immigrant groups from all backgrounds employ nepotism.”

        Indeed, for immigrant groups not fully accepted by the host society, it may be an essential part of starting out. Furthermore, I agree that Blacks would likely benefit from more internal solidarity across class lines. Malcolm X made some valid points.

        Of the various groups you mentioned, perhaps the overseas Chinese more closely resemble the Jewish experience? Yuri Slezkine covers them briefly in “The Jewish Century.” I am under the impression that the overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia tend to dominate the economies of their host countries.One big difference appears to be that Chinese diaspora nepotism seems primarily to involve the economic sphere, their political power not as developed. And, yes, the Chinese diaspora has suffered pogroms from time to time. And while this Chinese nepotism has benefited the Chinese, in the long run is this refusal to assimilate in the best interest of all of the citizens?

        As for the “thin ice” issue, Phil is quite correct to “Jew count” for positions of power and influence insofar as Jewish elite “kinship” seems to be an important factor in explaining American Jewish support for Israel which seems to be a critical determinant of imperial support for Israel. That is the focus of Mondoweiss, after all. And my point about Jewish Zionist nepotism being a significant component of American Jewish success is to argue that it is Zionism and support for Israel which provides the basis for this manufactured kinship, effectively replacing the Judaic religion as the unifying tribal force. In any event, discussing the distribution of power within our political economy is always legitimate and often essential.

      • Mooser
        October 22, 2016, 2:49 pm

        “Forget the example, I want their address!”

        I like ol’ “tokyobk”, he’s a boon to the environment. His ideas have no harmful emissions.
        They are unfailingly pedestrian.

      • echinococcus
        October 22, 2016, 4:54 pm

        Tokyo,

        Apart from the half-baked excuses for mafia-style criminality, there is also an essential problem with your post, that of approximative terminology and fuzzy concepts.
        “Nepotism” usage is mostly for favoring personal kinship by those in power.
        Nepotism thus properly applies to the scandalous examples of Bush Il-Jong, Bush Jong-Un or Hillary Sarantapechaina the Athenian. Meaning mephitic-satanic empty nobodies promoted by the sheer force of immediate kinship.

        Solidarity inside national, ethnic or religious groups is radically different.

        And it’s again totally different from a power grab by an organization that methodically, calculatingly occupies the strategic points of the power structure of a nation, purges it of any opposition and ensures control over that nation’s policy (at least with regard to the points of interest of the criminal group.) The latter is something done by the Mafia or the Zionists. Both are criminal, even though they cannot really be compared: the former is definitely a small-timer. That both exist thanks to an underlying, earlier tribal organization is no reason for discounting one of the most murderous organizations as just a tribal solidarity network.

      • Danaa
        October 22, 2016, 11:47 pm

        Tokyobk, I second Mooser’s request for the calling cards of the august members of that tight community of sharers. You didn’t mean anyone on wall Street, right? because that couldn’t be – they don’t do sharing so well, last I heard….besides, I didn’t get anything for example after they collapsed the economy in 2008. So if you could help direct some my way, i would definitely appreciate it. hey, I AM a member of the tribe, too, so I need to get some precious.

      • rosross
        October 23, 2016, 12:01 am

        Many groups are nepotistic and Jews are not the only religion to be so. Catholics and Protestants were once this way, but they have evolved. Jains, Hindus and Muslims are inclined to stick together, so it is a matter of the culture of the religion as to how common it remains in these more enlightened times.

        The Catholics and Protestants have managed to move on, so no doubt the other less evolved religions will also do so eventually.

        Nepotism of any kind is a sign that the culture is less enlightened because nepotism is always sourced in fear and often ignorance.

    • Donald Johnson
      October 22, 2016, 3:37 pm

      If I remember the post you mention I wasn’t crazy about it, but it is common for people who come from a given background to rebel against it and maybe say things that are over the top.. For Phil to say such things isn’t the same as if I ( a Christian) said them. It would be like me making some derogatory comments about my own background, which in fact I’ve done and I haven’t always been fair. This happens all the time– during the current campaign people are arguing about whether liberals unfairly stereotype blue collar whites or dwellers in poor rural areas or conservative Christians, but nobody associates these kinds of comments with, say, the Nazis or the Holocaust or 2000 years of antisemitism. Well, probably some people do, but they are being melodramatic. I know I’ve heard ex Catholics and ex evangelicals and for that matter, ex secularists making broad negative generalizations about their group or former group.

      Rosenberg and presumably the ADL ( I haven’t read their statement) aren’t trying to give Phil constructive criticism or even doing what you are doing, which I take to be an expression of anger at what you see as Phil being insensitive–Rosenberg is trying to drive Phil out of polite society and utterly discredit this site and everyone associated with it. Do you want to do that?

      Rosenberg himself is an apologist for Israeli war crimes, which I say based on this gushing endorsement of Clinton’s apologetics for the Gaza War on Jon Stewart’s show–

      http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/179536/watch-hillary-clinton-vs-jon-stewart-on-gaza

      And that’s not an accident. The best way to defend the indefensible is to discredit the critics.

    • Danaa
      October 22, 2016, 11:41 pm

      Yonah sees “problematic”. I see his post as emblematic. To a certain class of people (and I don’t mean jews necessarily) who are bigoted against ghosts, which they see everywhere.

    • bryan
      October 24, 2016, 9:31 am

      “I consider Phil’s relationship to the [J]ews problematic…. Quite often he has been clearly apathetic regarding the idea of [J]ewish continuity”

      Have you any idea, Yonah, how feeble that sounds: to characterise as “alienation” the process of outgrowing one’s childish roots is to totally understate what an empowering and liberating experience that can be: to simplistically characterise that process as treachery to one’s community and ancestors, is to do both of those a huge disservice.

      My beloved mother was deeply pious in a respectable C. of E. fashion; I admire her simple faith, her good works, and her dedicated parenting, but I am happy to be an adamant atheist, and feel this is in no way disloyal to her memory. My beloved father, made many sacrifices, both as a soldier against fascism in WWII, and as a sole bread-winner for a growing family, but I have no regrets that I share none of his conservative and petit-bourgeois values, which led him to strongly dislike the Welsh and those with darker skins, whom he only encountered in Iraq and India, whilst on military service, and to despise the miners, dock-workers and factory hands, living in northern council houses. I long ago moved away from the small town where my parents, grandparents and great grandparents lived, and I never looked back. You too should try to forsake your mental ghetto; the big wide world is an exciting place, and you might even learn something new.

      • RoHa
        October 24, 2016, 8:56 pm

        Excellent comment, Bryan. Just the sort of thing Yonah needs to think about. I’m not sure he will, though.

        (Shame about “to simplistically characterise that process as treachery to one’s community and ancestors, is to do both of those a huge disservice.” That comma after the subject clause is a similarly huge disservice.)

      • yonah fredman
        October 25, 2016, 1:35 am

        Bryan, the issue raised by Phil Weiss’s website: Israel’s conduct towards the palestinians, and the ancillary: American Jewish support for israel are very real issues.

        For conscious thinking jews born between 45 and 65, jew is more than a religion, it is a fate.

        I would say more if the venue was friendly.

      • Mooser
        October 25, 2016, 11:56 am

        “I would say more if the venue was friendly.”

        Uh, “Yonah”, maybe you should buy a round or two, or maybe roll a couple out of your personal stash. Like this!

      • Mooser
        October 25, 2016, 12:17 pm

        “For conscious thinking jews born between 45 and 65, jew is more than a religion, it is a fate.”

        And a hearty brit periah to you, too, “Yonah”.

      • RoHa
        October 25, 2016, 6:28 pm

        For conscious, thinking, Jews, Jewishness is a choice. Each one could, if s/he chose, say, “No more of that. I will live my life without being bound to my ancestors.”

      • yonah fredman
        October 25, 2016, 8:40 pm

        RoHa, I’m of the school that the past is not even the past. Of course human beings, whether they are thinking or not, have various propensities regarding religion and history and family and habit. it’s not one size fits all. your prescription is indicative of an intolerant imperious and vain personality, or maybe it’s just that i already know you and put your comments in the intolerant context of your history.

      • RoHa
        October 25, 2016, 10:33 pm

        “I’m of the school that the past is not even the past.”

        If you choose to be bound by the past, that is your choice, not fate.

        “Of course human beings, whether they are thinking or not, have various propensities regarding religion and history and family and habit.”

        And if they choose to be bound by those propensities, that is their choice, not fate.

        ” your prescription is indicative of an intolerant imperious and vain personality,”

        Imperious and vain, yes, but how is it intolerant of me to offer freedom from self-imposed restraints?

        ” i already know you and put your comments in the intolerant context of your history.”

        Do you mean my history of intolerance towards bad grammar and poor logic?

      • Mooser
        October 26, 2016, 12:47 pm

        “RoHa, I’m of the school…/…context of your history”

        Ha ha ha, lol! The Mods have pretty much gelded you, “Yonah”, haven’t they?

      • gamal
        October 26, 2016, 2:52 pm

        “The Mods have pretty much gelded you”

        unless you tell us how much gold the Mods gave him i think your talking bolloxs

      • bryan
        October 27, 2016, 8:34 am

        yonah “I would say more if the venue was friendly.”

        I can appreciate that point entirely: but unfortunately there are some rather vicious personal attacks (e.g. the earlier post at 2:20 pm on October 21st), that somehow evade the moderators’ efforts to maintain courteous standards of discussion. There are also contributors who are not above making snide comments about people who are prepared to plunge the dagger in and then quickly retreat under a mantle of victimhood.

      • yonah fredman
        October 27, 2016, 4:16 pm

        Well, so bryan of semi anonymity has come to protect the honor of Phil Weiss.
        You cite the c of e, but if you were armenian, rwandan, or even Cambodian you would be talking more to the point. There is the immigrant aspect as well, a tradition of survival and continuity, as a group separate, minority ethnic group, self segregating, and then came napoleon and declared freedom from identities other than the state or the conqueror and the winds of change hit the Jewish population of the Russian empire. Russia, the slumbering bear, staggering to and fro, til today, was led by backward Romanovs who had no inkling of the utility of the jews and their words and middlemanship, to an economy. It would be interesting to end the story there with the winds of change and the myopic romanovs. Unfortunately, a saga on one trajectory which involved massive emigration and the Soviet dictatorship in the name of the proletariat, was interrupted by a little kerfuffle that was a major shock comparable to Armenians and rwandans.
        Religion is important too, and modernity and revealed religion do not really mesh all that well. There was a massive loss of faith, but the faith was irrelevant to the Rwandan experience. (I like the wordplay fate vs faith.)
        On this Web site the Jewish “return”to zion against the will of the Palestinians is the primary issue and questions of Jewish identity are commonly raised by our host, Phil Weiss.
        I was watching margaret cho the other day and I realized the different strands of race, immigration, tradition, free will, really are an interesting combination that I shared with her and her fans.
        I consider Phil’s post of April 2015 to be a shocking document. It is exhibit one.
        Phil was raised different than the way I was raised. He was raised by atheist secular jews with a heavy dose of “I had 6 children, for the six million”. He hated the Jewish religion and resented the ethnic solidarity of the jews when he encountered opposition to his marriage to a nonjew. I was raised by modern orthodox jews who believed in God and three times a day prayers facing jerusalem, and also, the idf is the answer to hitler .

      • Mooser
        October 27, 2016, 5:21 pm

        .” I was raised by modern orthodox jews who believed in God and three times a day prayers facing jerusalem, and also, the idf is the answer to hitler .”

        And then Hitler ran out on you, the fink!

        As for the rest “Yonah”, you crazy.

        “Phil was raised different than the way I was raised. He was raised by atheist secular jews with a heavy dose of “I had 6 children, for the six million””

        Stay classy “Yonah”. We gotta show the Gentiles nothing can break down our tribal unity!

      • Mooser
        October 27, 2016, 5:32 pm

        “I consider Phil’s post of April 2015 to be a shocking document. It is exhibit one.”

        Uh- oh! “Yonah” is assembling a case to try Phil Weiss in front of the Sanhedrin!

        “I would say more if the venue was friendly.”

        Don’t worry “Yonah” the Israel Supreme Court will hang on your every word.

      • Sibiriak
        October 27, 2016, 8:50 pm

        yonah fredman: I consider Phil’s post of April 2015 to be a shocking document.
        ————–

        Oh yes. Who could forget that one?

      • RoHa
        October 28, 2016, 1:54 am

        ” if you were armenian, rwandan, or even Cambodian you would be talking more to the point.”

        it is up to each individual Armenian, Rwandan, and Cambodian to decide for him/her self whether to be bound by the past or not.

        “There is the immigrant aspect as well, a tradition of survival and continuity, as a group separate, minority ethnic group, self segregating”

        Do you think this is a good thing?

        Do you think it is just and honourable for a person to migrate to a country, accept the benefits of living there, but refuse to be part of it, to reject its values, and to shum the very people who create the society which sustains him?

        Do you think it is fair for a person to say to his/her children, “Because of my past association with another country, you will not be allowed to become part of the mainstream society of the country you are growing up in”?

        ” and then came napoleon and declared freedom from identities other than the state”

        Good thing, too. What is the point of any other “identity”?

        Does “identity” feed the hungry, or heal the sick? Does it make your cat obedient, or get you a discount at the liquor store, or stop your hair from falling out, or improve your grammar?

        As far as I can tell, it just serves as an excuse for people to deny their common humanity and make trouble.

        What good has this “identity” stuff ever done anyone?

      • eljay
        October 28, 2016, 11:06 am

        || yonah fredman: .. For conscious thinking jews born between 45 and 65, jew is more than a religion, it is a fate. ||

        Jew is a choice.

      • Mooser
        October 28, 2016, 12:29 pm

        “Jew is a choice.”

        You guys probably won’t believe me, but Jewish people do lots more than just sit around and say ‘what a good Jew am I’, and what a bad Jew everybody else is, and make lists of Jewish “self-haters” and kapos. No, really, we do other stuff, too, fun stuff…
        Oh, who am I trying to kid?

      • eljay
        October 28, 2016, 12:57 pm

        || Mooser: You guys probably won’t believe me, but Jewish people do lots more than just sit around and say ‘what a good Jew am I’, and what a bad Jew everybody else is, and make lists of Jewish “self-haters” and kapos. No, really, we do other stuff, too, fun stuff…

        Oh, who am I trying to kid? ||

        Is that the sound of “a fate” talking? ;-)

      • Mooser
        October 28, 2016, 1:24 pm

        “yonah fredman”:” I consider Phil’s post of April 2015 to be a shocking document. “

        An article SO SHOCKING IT CANNOT BE LINKED! The archive lists well over 30 posts in April 2015. from Phil Weiss.
        Are you shocked by all of them, or is there one in particular which will send Phil to the gallows?

      • Mooser
        October 28, 2016, 1:34 pm

        “Is that the sound of “a fate” talking?”

        I just wonder (hmmm, how can I say this, nicely? ) if a discussion about Judaism being “a fate” doesn’t run the risk of descending into a filthy parody, considering the real, physical and bodily attempt at imposing a “fate” on male infants. Let’s just leave it there.

      • yonah fredman
        October 28, 2016, 10:55 pm

        April 27, 2015.

  3. echinococcus
    October 21, 2016, 2:56 pm

    “anti-Zionists-with-Jewish-parents.”

    Genius! The best, most measured characterization for secular, non-tribal people who happen to have names like, say… Goldberg.

    Call me just that, I can live with it. We won’t cavil at one parent being an atheist.

    • Mooser
      October 24, 2016, 2:23 pm

      “anti-Zionists-with-Jewish-parents.”

      And “Jewish parents” never die, either. And, indeed, why should they? That would leave Jewish children having to think for themselves. Indeed, I cannot think of a time when that has ever happened. They wouldn’t do that to us!

      • echinococcus
        October 24, 2016, 3:09 pm

        Which reminds me of an old Sefardí joke (just so they don’t call it Antiseminal):
        “What’s your dearest desire to become when you grow up?”
        “Orphan, sir.”

      • Mooser
        October 25, 2016, 11:45 am

        “What’s your dearest desire to become when you grow up?”
        “Orphan, sir.”

        Oy Gevalt! what a sick joke! It shouldn’t happen to anybody.

  4. Dan Walsh
    October 21, 2016, 3:12 pm

    Q: What is Jeffrey Goldberg’s definition of antisemitism?
    Q: What is the Jonathan Goldblatt/ADL definition of antisemitism?
    Q: What is Mondoweiss’ definition of antisemitism?

    Secular Americans will be prevented from becoming full participants in the war of ideas in the Middle East unless a clear, rational and non-privileging definition of this central term is legitimated.

    Can we not see that the charge of antisemitism, weaponized as never before, is only effective in the absence of a credible definition? Can we not see that the absence of a credible definition of antisemitism that debunks its gratuitious conflation with Zionism is a gift-in-perpetuity to organized Zionism?

    Imagine if we attempted to fight Zika, or any disease, in the absence of a precise, empirical definition of its causes, symptoms and effects? How would professional medicine ever work towards a cure?

    I refuse to accept as credible any argument on antisemitism, by any author, which fails to define its central terms.

    I will ask this question ad infinitum…or until it is answered authoritatively.

    • CigarGod
      October 22, 2016, 10:30 am

      This whole article/comments makes me think of bookmaking. Goldberg and his pals are just trying to identify betting opportunities that represent good value.

  5. Mooser
    October 21, 2016, 4:09 pm

    “Now he” (Goldberg) “shrewdly understands that his parochialism will not serve him in his new role; and so he is pivoting from that Jewish, pro-Israel self-description.”

    Don’t worry. I am sure that Goldberg will be just as observant of Jewish ritual as he ever was. Maybe more.

    • Mooser
      October 22, 2016, 3:26 pm

      “Now he” (Goldberg) “shrewdly understands that his parochialism will not serve him in his new role; and so he is pivoting from that Jewish, pro-Israel self-description.”

      Goldberg knows when it’s time to assimilate!

      • echinococcus
        October 22, 2016, 9:52 pm

        Pivoting, eh, the self-hating blasphemous infidel-with-Jewish-parents, who is too ashamed to call himself Jewish! Won’t even mention it on his résumé, eh?
        So, when does the name change come? Something trendy and Old-English.
        Then he’ll marry in church.
        Oy, the Schande!

  6. Keith
    October 21, 2016, 5:07 pm

    PHIL- “Rosenberg also made something of my Jew-counting.”

    How exactly do you go about Jew-counting? To the degree that I am aware of disproportionate Jewish representation in the halls of power, my sources are usually Jewish. It seems that Jews are keenly aware of relative Jewish power and are uniquely able to identify who is a Jew. Without Jewish interest and scholarship on this topic, I have no idea how I could even begin to obtain this information. Jews such as Rosenberg seem to revel in Jewish discussions of Jewish power while attempting to squelch Gentile awareness of this very topic.

    And why shouldn’t the demographic makeup of the elites be of legitimate interest to everyone? In a supposedly multicultural pluralistic society, shouldn’t we all be concerned that the political economy fairly represents the whole society? Should we not be concerned when one or more ethnicities seem locked at the bottom of the social order while one or more ethnicities seem firmly ensconced at the top in positions of power and control? How can a society be considered even remotely democratic when a relatively small group of elites unduly influence the decision making process?

  7. pabelmont
    October 21, 2016, 5:34 pm

    Always a mistake, Phil, to call someone a Jew when you are criticizing him in a certain context (say Zionism), even if he has consistently called himself a Jew in the same context. Always.

    Much better to say, “Atlantic has hidden the fact that Goldberg is a fanatically-committed Zionist who, because he is also a Jew, has been in the center of the horrible American politics/media conclave that supports Israel’s illegal settlements, supports Israel’s by-now-illegal occupation (now almost 50 years old with unmistakable signs of going on without limitation of time), and supports Israel’s 68-year-long refusal to allow the return (repatriation) of the exiles/refugees who were excluded from territory the Jewish terrorists (and later the Jewish state army) captured in the war of 1947-50.

    This is, to be sure, a mouthful. Easier but less helpful simply to say “Atlantic has hidden the fact that Goldberg is a Jew.” The long-form marks you as an anti-Zionist (or the like) but not (to discerning folk at least) an anti-semite.

    Of course, they’ll get after you no matter what you say.

    And may I add, with approbation in every direction, that MondoWeiss has not, to my knowledge, hidden the fact that Phil Weiss is a Jew.

    • JWalters
      October 21, 2016, 6:43 pm

      “Of course, they’ll get after you no matter what you say.”

      Time to rip the mask of the criminals. A few hurt feelings will be a small price to pay for justice, peace, and a democracy in which all the important issues can be openly discussed.

  8. lysias
    October 21, 2016, 5:42 pm

    I don’t think I’ll be renewing my subscription to The Atllantic any more. I’ve been unhappy with the way it’s been shilling for the establishment in recent years, but this is the last straw, as far as I’m concerned.

  9. JWalters
    October 21, 2016, 6:03 pm

    “And it is not up to a non-Jew to tell a Jew what is anti-Semitic.”

    It is up to any honest person to call out dishonest charges of anti-semitism, especially when these blatantly lying attempts at character assassination are intended to hide the actual facts behind an emotional smokescreen.

    “Jews who believe that the destruction of Israel will bring them the approval of non-Jews, which they crave” says Goldberg of Weiss and others.

    Goldberg could only reach such an absurd conclusion by ignoring the masses of facts put forward by Jewish critics of Israeli policies. In this very article Phil Weiss demonstrates once again how overwhelming evidence is marshaled by these critics in making their cases. By contrast, Goldberg has put forth incredibly flimsy, vacuous cases.

    Goldberg and the Tablet demonstrate their intellectual dishonesty so vividly that any rational person must wonder what is motivating them. It can only be either (1) Jewish supremacism, (2) severe propaganda-induced ignorance, or (3) money. Excellent psychological guidance by the very understanding and humane Jewish psychologist Avigail Abarbanel is in her article Why I Left the Cult
    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/10/why-i-left-the-cult/

    • Sibiriak
      October 21, 2016, 10:58 pm

      JWalters: “And it is not up to a non-Jew to tell a Jew what is anti-Semitic.”

      It is up to any honest person to call out dishonest charges of anti-semitism
      ——————————-

      Absolutely!

      Notice that Goldberg’s formulation contains some subtle but crucial sophistry. He draws an analogy between two oppositions:

      Jeffrey Goldberg : It is not up to a white person to tell a black person what is racist and what is not. And it is not up to a non-Jew to tell a Jew what is anti-Semitic. [emphasis added]

      In the first case, one ethnic decriptor , “whites” is opposed to another, “blacks”.

      In the second case, however, a non-ethnic descriptor “non-Jew”, covering ALL ethnic and religious groupings minus Jews, is opposed to the ethnic-religious decriptor “Jews”.

      Thus, the oppositions are not at all the same and the analogy is really deceptive.

      The first proposition rules out, correctly, one ethnic group having the right to impose its definition of racism on another ethnic group.

      The second proposition rules out ALL HUMANS not ethnically defined–i.e. the mass of INDIVIDUALS qua individuals- from having the right to express an opinion on definitions of racism and anti-Semitism.

      That second notion is completely untenable intellectually and morally.

      • rosross
        October 22, 2016, 10:24 pm

        If we are to deem religious affiliation to be ethnicity, then all religions confer ethnicity and if we are to dictate that only members may comment on their own religion and religious ethnicity then it means only Christians can talk about Christians; only Jews can talk about Jews; only Muslims can talk about Muslims etc. etc. etc, ad infinitum, and that is a total betrayal of the modern democratic world, where equality as citizens over-rides other affiliations, including religion, and where, for the sake of social unity and harmony, all citizens have a right to freedom of speech and can form and voice opinions on anything, including religious belief and behaviour.

        If we were to subscribe to such a limited version of ‘freedom to think and speak’ then we are in essence saying that no-one may voice a comment unless he or she is a member of the ‘group’ which is being discussed.

        In other words, male doctors cannot form opinions about women and therefore cannot treat females, and vice-versa. Male teachers cannot form opinions about female students and therefore cannot teach females, and vice-versa. Male politicians can only form and voice opinions about males and females about females, etc. etc. etc. Madness in essence and a denial of human rights.

        In a civilized society we are all equal and our religion, gender, race, culture is secondary to that citizenship. That ‘recipe’ has been the source of the success of the developed world and we reject it at our peril.

      • ritzl
        October 23, 2016, 3:23 pm

        Well said rosross.

  10. YoniFalic
    October 22, 2016, 1:08 am

    I put the following comment up on Pushed by alumni claiming anti-Semitism, Vassar officials oppose BDS and promote ‘Israel-positive’ programs. Graetz is often considered the founder of the field of Jewish history. I prefer to call myself an historian of modern Jews to distinguish pseudoscholarship from genuine scholarship.

    It is more important to open up a serious discussion of the accusation of antisemitism and of the use to which bigoted “Jews” and genocide supporters or genocide advocates put this accusation.

    We progressives must explain to all Americans that the historical record of this charge from the 19th century to the present day shows that “Jewish” bigots often are completely unwilling to listen to reasonable criticism by people of good-will and respond with unreasonable accusations of antisemitism.

    Thus, antisemitism rarely has clear correlation with hostility toward “Jews”, but it is not surprising that those unreasonably accused of antisemitism might develop anger.

    It is worthwhile to look at the accusations of antisemitism against the German scholar and politician Heinrich von Treitschke. Samson Raphael Hirsch, who was the founder of German Jewish Neo-Orthodoxy, defended von Treitschke. Hirsch attacked Heinrich Graetz, who was von Treitschke’s detractor and intellectual opponent. Hirsch accused Graetz of flagrant intellectual dishonesty.

    The pattern of intellectually dishonest accusations of antisemitism continues to this day.

  11. anti_republocrat
    October 22, 2016, 1:13 am

    On comment threads, I am forever having to explain to non-Jewish residents of the Middle East that there’s a difference between Jews and Zionists. It’s very difficult for them because 1) almost all Jews that live in Israel are Zionists (though thankfully a minority at least of them are not Jewish supremacists) and 2) Israeli Zionists perpetually claim to speak for all Jews, both Israeli Jews and diaspora Jews. You really can’t blame non-Jewish residents of the Middle East for what appears on the surface to be anti-Semitism.

    • rosross
      October 22, 2016, 10:07 pm

      Which is why sites like MondoWeiss are so important. As long as Zionist Israel claims to speak for Judaism and all Jews, it is critical for Jews of integrity, conscience and common sense, to counter those claims and to stand up and speak out against it. This is happening more and more but for the moment, I suspect, most people in the world still hold the view that whatever Israel is and does represents all Jews and Judaism.

  12. iResistDe4iAm
    October 22, 2016, 1:30 am

    Mondoweiss Launches Anti-Semitic Attack on New Editor-in-Chief of ‘The Atlantic’ ~ Yair Rosenberg, Tablet

    Another fatwa to add to the countless other fatwas against countless other “anti-Semites”…

    Tablet issues fatwa against “anti-Semitic” and “anti-Israel hub” Mondoweiss, its “anti-Semitic” founding editor, its “anti-Semitic” editor-at-large, and its comments section “teeming with anti-Semites”.

  13. yourstruly
    October 22, 2016, 3:02 am

    Since Zionism does not = Judaism, anti-Zionism is not anti-Jewish. That’s not to say that an anti-Zionist can’t also be anti-Jewish, but that anti-Zionism itself has to do with opposition to the Jewish colonization of Palestine, not to a bias against Jews. No more, that is, than opposition to formerly apartheid South Africa was a marker (which it wasn’t) for anti-white sentiment.

  14. James Canning
    October 22, 2016, 3:32 pm

    What utter nonsense, to claim it is “anti-Semitic” to note the record of an editor of a major magazine reporting on global affairs.

  15. rosross
    October 22, 2016, 9:06 pm

    Given the minority followers of Judaism are in the US in comparison to other religions, it is of note when they cluster together, particularly in the realms of journalism, in the same way that it would be of note for other significant religious minorities – Jains, Muslims, Rastafarians etc.

    With the high numbers of Christians, it would not be so surprising to see ‘clusters’ since that could reflect the percentage present in the population, and since other nations manage to fill their journalist, editor, publishing jobs with non-Jews, and maintain standards, there is clearly no argument that followers of Judaism are just better at the job.

    Which leads to the possibility that such ‘clusters’ are the result of people employing ‘their own kind,’ as has happened in the less developed past with Catholics, Anglicans etc., and still happens with Muslims, Hindus and it seems Jews.

    None of it matters if the journalists, editors and publishers keep their religion private and maintain editorial objectivity and balance, but there are indications that this is not the case and for Americans, that is of concern, given how much it costs them, financially and otherwise, to support the Israeli experiment.

  16. Danaa
    October 22, 2016, 11:57 pm

    Phil – you accused Jeffrey Goldberg of being “shrewed”! That’s like so anti-semitic! almost merchant of venice like…., don’t you know that? what next? you’ll accuse some jewish person somewhere of being “smart”? imagine the fanfare…. the howls of disapproval… the opprobrium….

    Off to re-education camp with you – and your ilk too, many of whom are present in this comment thread. as long as I can pop in (to the camp) now and then, that is… I heard the wine is first class…..

  17. pabelmont
    October 23, 2016, 1:14 pm

    Here’s something to mumble on. Atlantic hires as a bigwig a sort of self-appointed “chief-media-Jew” and then hides the fact that he is Jewish, strongly Zionist, has a history in Israel, etc. At the same time, Clinton campaign says: we’re gonna tell the big Zionist donors how much we love Israel but we’ll keep talk of Israel out of our daily speechifying.

    This means — taken together and assumed a harbinger of new times — that Israel is poisonous to the public — or so judged by the (liberal) media and the (Dem) pols.

    And notice that, as well, most MSM have said little recently about global warming climate change and nothing was asked by media-reps in the so-called presidential debates. As if talk of GWCC was also poisonous to the public.

    My take is that the powers-behind-the-thrones (oligarchs, big-money-folks) want to keep their desires and the fact of their machinations secret from the people and are fairly successful at doing so. Mentioning Israel brings on moral outrage in far too many folks (too many to suit those oligarchs who actively support Israel), so don’t mention it (and certainly don’t mention it honestly — see NYT generally and for a long time). Prefer inaction over stressful urgent action on GWCC? In that case, make sure people are not talking about GWCC.

    • Mooser
      October 24, 2016, 2:19 pm

      “This means — taken together and assumed a harbinger of new times — that Israel is poisonous to the public — or so judged by the (liberal) media and the (Dem) pols.”

      Wait a minute, if Israel, the Jewish State, isn’t lauded in the media, and it’s accomplishments made known to the world, how can I, as an American Jew, share in any of the glory or credit?

    • MRW
      October 24, 2016, 6:43 pm

      Ex-cuiuiuiuiuiuiuiuize me, pabelmont. But Phil is my CMJ, my chief-media-Jew. lol

      • Mooser
        October 25, 2016, 12:02 pm

        .” But Phil is my CMJ, my chief-media-Jew. lol”

        If there was a cooking and food section in Mondo, he’d be Chef Rabbi!

  18. ritzl
    October 23, 2016, 3:38 pm

    Just as a general observation, nepotism is not evidence of excellence. Not ever. Not nowhere.

    Goldberg seems to assert that it is. That alone should disqualify him for consideration as a managing editor position.

    Great rebuttal PW.

  19. Marnie
    October 24, 2016, 12:36 am

    “Now I state that Goldberg’s Jewishness is central to his career, at a time when Goldberg is trying to pivot from that role; and I’m evil. As I said, it’s laughable.”

    There’s nothing more subversive than stating the obvious. I agree with pabelmont’s pov and I think goldberg should be countered for his zionist bona fides. Anyone can be a zionist after all. Anyone can be a Jew. Oh well, up is down, right is left, black is white, etc. The world of Goldberg is very frightening to me.

    Thank you for not backing down or away from this creep and his supporters/enablers.

  20. lysias
    October 24, 2016, 2:36 pm

    Goldberg was interviewed on NPR this morning about the allegedly anti-Semitic attacks on him on line. He called the people attacking him Nazis.

    • Citizen
      October 24, 2016, 10:57 pm

      Maybe some fine day, when he’s, say age 95, righteous hunters will come after him for his time served as a Zionist army prison guard?

      • echinococcus
        October 25, 2016, 2:01 am

        Sooner, please. I can’t wait that long.

    • Mooser
      October 25, 2016, 1:27 pm

      “Goldberg was interviewed on NPR this morning about the allegedly anti-Semitic attacks on him on line. He called the people attacking him Nazis.”

      But he never specified Mondoweiss by name, did he? He’ll be damned if he will be the one to lead NPR (and NPR listeners) to Mondoweiss. He’s not that dumb.

  21. Annie Robbins
    October 24, 2016, 11:43 pm

    i’ve been offline (broken computer and still can’t access my email or twitter because i forgot my passwords) and just reading this today. rosenberg also attacked me in the article and claimed we deleted the article from our site — we didn’t, it’s right here: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/07/symbols-occupation-settlers/

    btw, the “html” at the end of many of our old articles is no longer there since we changed servers. therefore, if you get a link you can’t open (like this: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/07/symbols-occupation-settlers.html ) just erase the “.html” from the end of it and you should be able to access the page.

  22. Talkback
    October 26, 2016, 9:48 am

    Ralph Gants, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, is Jewish!

    Well that explains everything does it?

    Yair Rosenberg wrote a whole article about him: “Jewish Chief Justice of Massachusetts Supreme Court Vows to Protect Muslim Rights” and how Gants drew from his Jewish heritage and the history of the persecution of Jews.
    http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/196385/jewish-chief-justice-of-massachusetts-supreme-court-vows-to-protect-muslim-rights

    Now does it matter if Gants is Jewish or not? Because Rosenberg’s message is that because of the religious heritage and the history of Jews being Jewish is a key factor when it comes to being just to other people.

    I totally get it why Rosenberg has a problem with Weiss mentioning that Goldberg is Jewish, allthough it is Goldberg himself who needs – like Rosenberg with Gants – to point out that this somehow is a key factor. It destroys Rosenberg racist and prosemitic display of Jews .

    In his racist mindset he accuses Weiss of doing what he himself does with Gants: Creating a prototype Jew: The just, non racist Jew who treats every human equally.

    But Goldberg doesn’t fit the profile at all. So for Weiss to even mention that Goldberg is Jewish can only mean for Rosenberg and his racist protype creation of Jews that Weiss only wants to create an antisemitic prototype of Jews.

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