16 thoughts on “Jeffrey Goldberg, Willing Tool of Israel’s Perception Management Campaign for Iran War – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Bravo, Richard. This is an exceptional, well needed contribution in countering the Israeli propaganda machine. I hope you sent it to the NYT as a rebuttal to Goldberg’s hysteria.

    I had just finished reading G’s. piece in the IHT and was considering my own rebuttal in the form of a letter. But yours cannot be improved on. Thanks. I’m sending it on to my own mailing list.


  2. And to think I was sure Goldberg would never be able to surpass the dishonest warmongering of his 2002 OMGSaddamhaschemicalweapons piece in the New Yorker.

    The NY Times has been co-opted into the campaign for war on Iran for at least four years now. What else were all the ‘nuclear crisis’ headlines about?

    The key for every American who cares about a future for our country, and for every supporter of Israel who’s to the left of Avigdor Lieberman, is to demonstrate some sanity by refusing to be stampeded. The IAF is going to strike Iran without U.S. agreement? I think not.

  3. Hard work essays like this are the reason I read here. Thank you. As for the NYT, I disagree with “allowed” My conviction, after 40 years of reading the NYT, is that it continues to wilfully implement a decision made at its highest level to do everything it can to foster public acceptance of the Zionist revisionist goal of ridding Palestine of its indigenous Arabs. It is not a noble institution.

  4. I second this. I found Goldberg’s op-ed deeply disturbing as well and I am glad that Richard took it to pieces so effectively.

    Goldberg argues that a nuclear umbrella will enable Iran to target Israel, or have it targeted, with rockets. Even if this were true how would such pinpricks lead to the “Second Holocaust” Netanyahu is talking about?

    When Professor Shahak pointed to the Amalek-complex of certain Israelis he was accused of slander. But now this form of genocidal paranoia is preached from the very top as the latest in political wisdom.

    And Goldberg attempts to give his imprimatur to it.

    I understand that Goldberg didn’t have much credit to lose before publishing this piece.

  5. i saw this not as a co-option but as goldberg’s attempt to set the record on how bib thinks – and hence here is my take.

    There is a scary Times op-ed today by Jeffrey Goldberg about Benjamin Netanyahu’s beliefs in Amalek.

    The column is an amazing and penetrating review of Netanyahu’s worldviews as they pertain now especially to Iran. As we interpret it, Goldberg argues that in the guise of historical narrative, Bibi was fed by his father a set of religious and mystical beliefs about the nature of antisemitism in the world and the recurring danger of a transcendent archenemy of the Jewish people, who must be labeled by the ancient near Eastern tribal name “Amalek.”

    My rebbe, the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, lectured frequently on the truth of the two-part Amalek narrative in rabbinic Judaism. In every generation, the first part of the story goes, there is a tribe or nation that rises up to obliterate our people. The Rav proposed that in the 1940s Amalek was the Nazis. In the 1960s Amalek was the Russian communists.

    These instances of national antisemitism are political and historical facts that can be examined and verified or falsified. The notion that this trend repeats itself eternally — well that is a mystical religious belief and one that we really don’t want our political leaders to base their decisions on.

    The second part of the Rav’s (and Judaism’s) Amalek narrative is where the religious obligation kicks in with a literal vengeance. You see the rabbis teach that it is a high level mitzvah to attend synagogue to hear the reading of Parshas Zachor — the ominous warning about Amalek — on the Shabbat before Purim, before the reading of the book of Esther in which Haman — a descendant of the Amalek tribe — proves the religious and mystical theory to be absolute historical fact. In that biblical book’s narrative, Haman tries to exterminate the Jews of Persia. But through cunning and guile and an implied divine intervention, Mordecai and Esther foil his plot.

    According to the rabbis, and the biblical text is quite clear on this too, the mitzvah in the Torah is to blot out the very memory of Amalek. Hence, and this is what scares me, the very essence of ancient near Eastern account of Amalek is the license to kill. You must obliterate the nation that wants to obliterate you.

    Goldberg makes it clear that he believes that Bibi Netanyahu operates under the license of Amalek. What he does not spell out in the Times is that religious Jews believe that gives them a blank check to do anything and everything to their mortal enemies — including to commit a preemptive genocide against them.We specifically filled in the blanks to spell out the whole religious and mystical narrative of Amalek.

    But wait. Today there is more. As if reading the script right out of the Bible, the Persians in Iran recently have clearly proclaimed on their own religious grounds that they are Israel’s mortal enemies and that they do in fact want Israel to disappear from the map. Bibi calls Iran’s leadership a “messianic apocalyptic cult.”

    So yikes. Now we have both sides reading from the religious texts of the ancients — only they are not in Sunday School. Both sides possess the weapons and armies and are loudly beating the drums of war.

    It appears to us that Goldberg comes to the Times with a raw message so urgent that he puts it up in his op-ed’s title, “Israel’s Fears, Amalek’s Arsenal.”

    Our fears go way beyond Goldberg’s op-ed. We fear an imminent conflagration between two sovereign political states — both possessing great resolve and both possessing way too much religion and mysticism which colors and even guides their worldviews and their policies.

    Accordingly, we hope that Goldberg has overstated his case regarding Netanyahu’s worldview. We pray that Bibi is not a true believer in the ancient mysteries of Amalek – rather that he is a tough and imaginative pragmatic and realistic political leader and modern-world statesman.

    1. the mitzvah in the Torah is to blot out the very memory of Amalek

      That’s a contradiction in terms, isn’t it? In order to blot out the memory, parts of the books Exodus, Deuteronomy, Samuel, Chronicles and the entire book of Esther would have to go – and the very mitzvah with them.

  6. Jeffrey Goldberg is not honest.

    At a panel discussion on terrorism at UCLA, I asked him what motives the terrorists — what motivates men to take flight lessons to fly huge airplanes into the WTC and kill thousands of people? He answered that they did not like our culture — recounting the story of a Muslim acquaintance who did not like the liquor stores on Wisconsin Avenue.

    Surely, he had read the 9/11 Commission report in which KSM who was the mastermind of 9/11 stated that while he liked Americans (when he attended college in NC), it was US foreign policy — namely our support of Israeli treatment of Palestinians that enraged him.

    I will never again believe Jeffrey Goldberg.

  7. the Amaleq analogy is much worse than you make it sound. The book of Samuel mentions the requierment:

    Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox, and sheep, camel and ass,”(Samuel I, 15:3). By comparing the Iranians to Amalek, this article is providing grounds for a genocidal attack.

  8. I don’t know anyone who calls anyone living an Amalekite, so I don’t know how that label gets used. When a guy like Netanyahu invokes the name “Amalek”, to what extent is he in fact also invoking the obligation to kill all the Amalekite men, women, children, and their little dogs too? (According to Goldberg’s gloss, he does not have that in mind at all.)

  9. I find it amusing how people get so worked up about the “wipe Israel off the map” comment that Ahmadinejad DIDN’T make (he talked about the ” ‘Zionist regime’ disappearing like the Soviet regime disappeared”), and yet so casually make analogies to peoples who are supposed to be sytematically exterminated. Maybe he didn’t have that in mind, but why are we so generously giving him the benefit of the doubt, while people go wild about every Iranian statement?

  10. RE: “How many leaders in history have had similar views of their own “chosenness,”…..?

    HERE’S ONE – BUSH TOLD CHIRAC: “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East”

    FROM THE ARTICLE “When God Spoke to Me”:  …..During those private interviews, Jacque Chirac had purportedly confessed to the journalist some personal remarks regarding the faith of George W. Bush that seemed quite daunting. He told the journalist that the latter called him twice beseeching him basically, in the name of their common “spiritual faith”, i.e., “Christianity”, to join the collective effort of the coalition being formed to wage a preemptive war against Iraq. In his first telephonic call he reportedly said to Jacque Chirac: “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East” and then added that “the biblical prophecies are being fulfilled”…..

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=14890

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