Batya Ungar-Sargon of the Forward is attacking our website on twitter, implying we’re anti-Semitic. Not long ago she tweeted that I don’t know anything about journalism.
For the record, Batya once asked me to write for the Forward. Here’s the email I got out of the blue in November 2017:
Hi Mr. Weiss,
I would really like to meet you. Please let me know when you’re next in the City.
After the usual exchange of a million messages –“Are we coffeeing or boozing?” Batya asked– we met for tea in downtown New York a month later, shared our love of English literature, and gossiped about various publications, including the Forward. Twice Batya said she wanted me to write for her. Once was when I brought up my theory that #MeToo was a social revolution that never would have occurred if Trump hadn’t been elected. Another topic was Jewish anti-Zionism. Batya was enthusiastic, and I said, “Batya, it’s not going to work, the Forward doesn’t want to publish me.” But that was her goal, cultivating a writer. For my part, I wanted to meet Batya because I believed she was not a Zionist and she was going to shake up the Forward (wrong on both counts).
I liked Batya. She was smart and had an unconventional back story. We continued the conversation on email, and Batya sent me the picture above when she got the book I’d told her she had to read. “Procured,” she wrote.
Batya Ungar-Sargon’s very smart. She has a Ph.D., I think in literature. If Mondoweiss is such a bed of iniquity, why didn’t she figure that out when she was pressing me to write for her?