Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Who is This Angry Arab?" Or so asks Jeffrey Goldberg, the Jailer of Palestinians

Goldberg asked this question on his blog yesterday, but I don't have to ask who this Jeffrey Goldberg is. I mean, this is a man who relocated to Israel to serve in its occupation army and to serve as a jailer of the Palestinians--the natives to the land. This American took it upon himself to go and live in Israel to lock Palestinians up, in their own land, in their own homeland. But this is a man who is so hostile to the truth, that he can't even quote anything accurately, not even something I wrote only the other day. Look how he summarizes my points: he claims that I said that he is the worst Middle East reporter. I never said such a thing. I said that he is the worst writer on the Middle East. The difference is rather huge. In fact, a writer is a title that Goldberg does not even deserve: he is a babbler and propagandist, whose own trail of babble is the best refutation of his own work. Reporter? And what qualifies you to write on the Middle East, anyway? You consider your training in the Israeli occupation army, and your stint as a jailer in a prison where human rights violations were commonplace, as qualification to write about the Middle East? That made you a Middle East expert when you have not underwent any serious academic study of the Middle East? Or did you study the Middle East when you were part of an Israeli occupation prison where Palestinians were tortured? And notice that when I stated my goal as the "liberation of Palestine", he changed it into wanting that "Israel be destroyed." This is a typical ploy by Zionist propagandists in the US. But let me tell you something, O Israeli jailer--your real and only title. I am not one of those Arabs in the US who can be intimidated into a defensive stance: I am not one to protest and say: oh, no. I recognize the state of Israel. Oh, no: I want two states side by side, because I don't. I don't recognize Israel and will never recognize it. I am one of those Arabs who still believe in the 3 No's of Khartum, and still believe in the first charter of the PLO, and not the Zionist amended version of the charter. I want one state only, where Zionism does not exist. Only then, can Jews, Muslims, and Christians and atheists live together in peace. That is the peace process that I strive for: an end to Zionism (in all its form) in the Holy Land. Got that? I make no apologies for that position. And you are somebody who does not even know where you stand on anything. You were for the neo-conservative agenda in the Middle East, before you turned against it: one of your colleagues at the New Yorker--a man far more famous than you and with a record of distinction as a journalist, told me a few years ago that you were faulting yourself for serving as an apologist for the neo-cons after you saw the mess in the Middle East for which you cheered. You admit in your lousy and uninsightful book, Prisoners: A Muslim & A Jew Across The Middle East Divide, that you even flirted with the racist ideology of Meir Kahane. (I do recommend your book, I must admit, in the same sentence with Ambien). You are somebody who describes the Ketziot prison camp (in which you served as a military jailer) as an "arts-and-crafts workshop" when human rights organizations found evidence of human rights violations in that prison. He even admits that "moderate physical pressure" was used against the Palestinian prisoners: and notice that he uses the same phrase for torture that is used by the Israel state to rationalize and juridically justify the use of torture against Palestinians. I can go on and on about your lousy book and your silly observations on the Middle East but comrade Norman Finkelstein does a beautiful job against your lousy book in chapter four of his forthcoming book. So I ask readers to be patient until Norman's book comes out so that they can read all about this ostensible Middle East expert. You dare to preach non-violence to Palestinians--typical of Zionists of your ilk--when you admit that what impressed you about "Israel"--I call it the usurping Zionist entity--is this: "Jews with guns, and not just .22s but Uzis and M-16s and bigger guns than these, grenade-spitting guns, great barking machine guns. On a bus tour across the Galilee, we drove in the wake of a tank transport, a mammoth truck carrying a dead Jewish tank. A Jewish tank! And Jewish armored personnel carriers! It was a miracle. Enough of thinking and suffering. Let’s do some shooting."(p. 50-51, as cited by Finkelstein in his forthcoming book). You think that you, as a jailer of Palestinians on their own land are in a position to preach to Palestinians? Are you kidding me??

PS David sent me this (I cite with his permission): "I laughed when you brought up S. Kuntar in describing Jeffrey Goldberg and his Middle East expertise. Rather humorously, he once opined in Slate: "here is not sufficient space, as well, for me to refute some of the arguments made in Slate over the past week against intervention, arguments made, I have noticed, by people with limited experience in the Middle East (Their lack of experience causes them to reach the naive conclusion that an invasion of Iraq will cause America to be loathed in the Middle East, rather than respected). See: The really funny part is that his Middle East expertise comes down to his role as an Israeli prison guard, but we know from his published work that perhaps his most outrageous folly involved him interviewing a prisoner in Kurdistan. Spencer Ackermann, Ken Silverstein, Jason Burke and Alexander Coburn have all taken him to task over it: "Much of what he wrote in a mammoth March 2002 story was based on the testimony of Mohammed Mansour Shahab, a prisoner in a Kurdish-controlled town in northern Iraq. Jason Burke of the London Observer later demolished Goldberg's story when he spoke to the same prisoner and found that he couldn't even describe the city of Kandahar, where Shahab had claimed that he'd traveled on Al Qaeda-related business. “Shahab is a liar,” Burke concluded. “[S]ubstantial chunks of his story simply are not true.” Goldberg also peddled the Iraq–Al Qaeda connection during a February 2003 interview on All Things Considered, delivering the grim news that Saddam's agents had some years earlier helped Al Qaeda “in the teaching of the use of poison gas.”" See: . So he is not even very sharp in interrogating the natives in custody -- perhaps the only basis for his "regional expertise.""