M.J. Rosenberg, Cut-and-Paste Libeler

M.J. Rosenberg, the former policy director of the Israel Policy Forum, doesn't like my post on the MacArthur grant recipient James Longley and his simple-minded understanding of Gaza. I think the Longley post survives Rosenberg's attack (except if you believe, as Rosenberg apparently does, that Egypt isn't an independent country with its own defense policy), but I wanted to respond to something Rosenberg wrote about me in comments section of his post:

I never was picked on as a kid for being a Jew in schools which (at most) had less than six others. I got picked on sometimes but there was bo (sic) ethnic component.
Maybe all the neocon types are just getting back at the kids who abused them. So Pat Harrington is mean to Jeff and Ahmed pays the price.

Rosenberg is making reference to something I wrote in my recent profile of Quentin Tarantino (an article, by the way, that calls Tarantino's vision of Holocaust retribution un-Jewish) but he is doing so in a wildly dishonest way. He knows perfectly well -- because we've had exchanges on this -- that when I was in the Israeli Army, the opposite was true. On several occasions, I physically protected Palestinians from beatings at the hands of my fellow soldiers. I catalogued the experience here. I never once lost myself to violence (against "Ahmed," as Rosenberg endearingly puts it), and several times I confronted my commanders about human rights abuses occurring under their watch. So Rosenberg is libeling me, and he undoubtedly knows he is libeling me.

This is par for the course. Here's another example of Rosenberg's ethics in action. After he posted a screed attacking me and several others for allegedly supporting the occupation of the West Bank, I reminded him that the opposite was true, that I've been writing against the settlement movement for years, and that I support the creation of a Palestinian state on the entirety of the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital. He wrote in an e-mail back to me:

Well, that was pretty mean.
But deserved!  I would not have put you in there except I think I lifted the whole block of names from some other column so I wouldn't have to re-type.

In other words, M.J. Rosenberg is too lazy even to commit libel properly. 

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.


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