Yes on Goldblog

Andrew's mad at me because I didn't post this on my blog. Obviously, as I told Mother Jones, I wasn't meaning to imply that Trita Parsi is a paid agent of the Iranian regime, or somesuch. I was implying that he has made himself the AIPAC of Iran in Washington. My bad. On the larger question of whether Trita Parsi functions as a lobbyist for the Iranian regime, based on what I know, I'd have to say yes: He has argued consistently against any sanctions against Iran, and an end to sanctions is obviously what the Iranian regime wants. So he is working on behalf of a stated interest of the Iranian government. Yes, he also criticizes Iran's human rights abuses, but it's been suggested recently that it is possible to lobby for a country while criticizing it at the same time. The reason I'm for sanctions is that they represent one of the only possible ways to stop an Israeli (or American, for that matter) attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. An end to sanctions means either a potentially-catastrophic attack or a nuclear-armed Iran, neither which is acceptable to me, and, I presume, to Andrew.

One more thing -- a thank you to Mother Jones's Nick Baumann for this clarifcation: "I don't think Goldberg's a neocon, and I hope this post doesn't imply that he is." I would like to add, nevertheless, that some of my best friends are neocons.

And one more final thing: To those Goldblog readers who have asked me to respond to Andrew's intemperate attack on Israel today, you'll have to pardon me but I have the flu and  therefore no energy for any of this right now. Suffice it to say that I know Andrew loves Israel, and he's a Zionist, so I don't actually know how to explain this current level of hostility, but one day I'm going to have the two of us invited to speak together at my synagogue (don't worry, Andrew, it's within bike-distance!) so we can hash this out. 

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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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