Sunday, September 21, 2014

Michelle Goldberg on the Salaita case

I never met Michelle Goldberg but we communicated extensively after Sep. 11 on stories that she was writing.  I have to say that her piece in the Nation astonished me: as if she was deliberately misconstruing the words of Salaita: "then it’s hard to see how you can simultaneously claim that Salaita, a professor who has tweeted, “Zionists: transforming ‘anti-Semitism’ from something horrible into something honorable since 1948,” deserves a place in the classroom."  Now this may not be the most elegant way that Salaita could express her point, but why does Goldberge believe that it has no place in the classroom?  If he complains that the Zionists made something as horrible as anti-Semitism "honorable" it does not mean that he is describing anti-Semitism as honorable by his standard. It is quite obvious.  What did Goldberg understand from it? Furthermore, why did Goldberg ignore that on the very same day, Salaita also tweeted this: "
Steven Salaita   @stevesalaita 
@mikehesselmial My stand is fundamentally one of acknowledging and countering the horror of antisemitism.  8:20 PM - 19 Jul 2014 ". This account tells the full story, unlike the really unfair account of Goldberg.  And is Goldberg serious in equating the one tweet by Salaita (which she distorts) to the public and categorical call by Hirsi Ali to "destroy" Islam?