16 thoughts on “End of My Run at Comment is Free – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. From reading about your relationship with them, I get the feeling that there is much more to it than:” we’re waiting for the right time to publish it” ! And they won’t tell you for good reasons. There are so many people behind a publishing decision. So many interest and personal agendas.
    Beware of info. campaigns. They are much more sophisticated then one might suspect. It’s like Salome and the Dance of the 7 veils: you never know what’s gonna be behind the veil and when are they all going to come down! It can be like internet Honey-pots! If you’re distracted here, you won’t go there making noise where you can be more potent! Who knows what it is.

    They are entitled to not tell you their own hidden agenda after all. But not writing you after you notified them of your decision is not only unprofessional, it is arrogant and rude.

    But in this case the best plan is to go with your guts. And i’m glad you did. It is maybe that God wants something better for you. I sure pray so.


  2. I sympathize … I write occasionally for the Huffington Post and they always sit on my posts, especially when they are critical of Israeli Government policy (and Palestinian Government policy by the way). I also share the contempt for the phoniness of Tom Friedman. I think he is condescending and so transparent in his biases. Anyway, just wanted to share similar stories. Writers seeking to define moderate voices are treated like extremists by the mainstream media which loves free speech, except in certain areas, and no matter what your journalism credentials.

    1. Thanks, Ray. I guess we all have our war stories. I’m sure editors have their own as well. BTW, I stopped writing for HuffPo too because the only posts of mine they refused to publish were the 2 I wrote severely censuring the IDF for abuse of Palestinians. They wouldn’t even reply to a query about what they found objectionable (they generally don’t explain their decisions unless you’re an important writer or know an editor personally).

      I note though that you have a nice gig at Ynetnews & I’m glad you do. Israelis & Diaspora readers need to read Arab voices like yrs. Wish Ynet would publish me too, but hey at least they feature you.

      1. I’m eager to read your Tom Friedman piece. To me he is symbolic of everything wrong with the mainstream press in America. He’s an “expert” on globalization and the Mideast and spectacularly arrogant and wrong in both areas on a regular basis. That first globalization book of his lionized the wisdom of the financial markets and the discipline they placed on governments. Yeah, boy, we sure see the sort of wisdom the financial markets have brought to the economy. When you think of all the utter nonsense he’s written while still being treated as some sort of pundit demigod, it makes you realize that there’s no way to lose credibility in the MSM so long as you make the right sorts of mistakes.

  3. I have to ask whether this is a remuneration issue.

    My wife writes freelance for the Arab and South Asian English language media, which probably pay less than their British and American counterpart.

    While there are occasional delays, everything she has submitted has been published, and a few of the articles seem to have had tremendous circulation.

    She gets some persistent criticism from Hussein Ibish: The Incredible Bulk Attacks Karin Friedemann.

    We are not sure of the reason for Ibish’ apparent obsession. Our current working hypotheses include possible Palestinian political issues and perhaps competition between the Beirut Star and the Khaleej Times.

  4. A friend of mine who also used to write for CIF ( EXCELLENT comments) had the same problem with the editor. I would be looking for his posts ( he used to write frequently) and suddenly they stopped appearing and I asked him why and he told me the editor ( apparently a new one!) would just sit on his posts. Later, it became a money issue and they wanted to pay him only one third of what they used to pay him!!!!! He said, no thank you and that his time was worth more and he quit.
    Recently I have checked the CiF section and there are MANY new writers and have lost interest in it.

  5. I’d appreciate some feedback to this post from all of you, including. Thank you all in advance for reading.

    You are wonderful writer, very balanced and terribly under appreciated. As an American Jew whose fairness and balance on the Mid East conflict, would be welcomed by the Mid East media as an alternative to the extremist often distorted views of Israeli’s that other Arab channels provide, I thin your voice should be heard in the Arab world. They tend to pick the most extremist Kahanist to prove how wicked the Israeli’s are. The people who hear the Kahanist view, are unaware that the majority of Jews are like you. Why don’t you write for Al Jazeera English?

    This is their English website

    Ray Hanania (Hi Ray, I love your writing too) who commented above writes for Israeli media like the JPost

    Richard, Why don’t you approach Al Jazeera English in Qatar?.The English Al Jazeera has some very distinguished journalists writing for them, ex BBC and CNN, and even have/had a bureux in Israel.

    al jazeera viewers and readers would welcome your balanced views.

    Please write to them, and tell us what happens.

    What do you other readers say and commentators say? Please join me in urging Richard Silverstein to approach Al Jazeera English. I am posting their contact page details below. How about some of you write a letter to them too, urging them to take on moderate Jewish writers who can write about the Israeli Palestinian conflict? Since Richard is a Jew, it’s better they hear the view from a Jew and know that there are moderates who work tirelessly.


    1. Your comments are very kind & I thank you for it. But I have to admit at first I thought it might be a prank from my right-wing pro-Israel friends who already think I’m a mouthpiece Al Jazeera, Saudi Arabia, Al Qaeda, you name it. But I can tell your comment is heart-felt and I do appreciate it.

  6. Richard Silverstein,

    I might add, that even if Al Jazeera, cannot offer you a paid post, why don’t you ask them if they will publish your blog opinions and research as articles.

    Even as an unpaid contributor, the exposure this would give you, would be invaluable for you as a blogger. I mean you already write them for your own blog so you what do you have to lose if you offer them to be published there free at Al Jazeera?

  7. Wow. First AIPAC shuts down the Israeli government and prevents Oren from speaking at J street. Now, AIPAC has silenced the Guardian. The Jews really do control the press.

  8. A few months ago Tom Friedman wrote what I considered an especially condescending NY Times column about the wonders of Salaam Fayyad and the West Bank economic miracle. My editor, who also shared a distaste for Friedman, liked the idea of a critique and I wrote one.

    I agree with the point about the Friedman piece. I had the good luck to read that right not long after reading something Angry Arab had posted on Fayyad, about how he got like 2% of the vote the last time elections were held in the Occupied Territories. I was shaking my head through the whole thing – it’s pretty much typical Friedman. You know, “fly into a country for two days, talk to the person most willing to interview you in comfortable conditions from the leadership, then wax in optimistic joy. “

  9. Your self-importance is hilarious:

    Finally, after working this over in my mind many months, I decided to pull the piece and let my editor know I wouldn’t be writing for CIF anymore. It’s damn hard to get a freelance gig and some may say I was foolish in what I did. But I just didn’t see any other way. I didn’t feel my work was receiving the respect I felt it deserved.

    Your mind, like the wheels of justice, grinds slowly – but unlike the wheels of justice, not very finely.

    “I didn’t feel my work was receiving the respect I felt it deserved. ”

    OH YES IT DID!!!!

    1. My oh my, it’s one of our friends from CIF Watch. How they must be gloating that I resigned from CiF. Unfortunately for them their glee will be premature & they should read the update I just appended to the top of this post. Those nice folk at CIF Watch say the kindest things about me as you can imagine.

      Unfortunately, the comment above is incoherent so I don’t know what the commenter intended to say.

  10. Makes me distrusting my greatly enjoyed CIF from now. Thank you for this story, which I’d rather not have met. Looking around at CIF, I found CIF-author Michael Williams (because of a recent publication). He is “associate scholar at the Centre for European Policy Analysis in Washington DC” (CEPA). Nothing wrong so far, I thought.

    Well, CEPA on Wikipedia has only 4 lines of text, no functioning links to their site, and seems to be about central Europe. So CEPA might exist. Then, of CEPA’s Michael Williams’ last 12 CIFs, by title only, 6 are about Afghanistan. 50%! And also, what does central Europe have to do that much with Afghanistan? I see Michael Williams is the CIF man to cover Afghanistan (whyever).

    Also, I read on ei the theory that all muslim countries in the ME are targeted PR-wise: Iran is just in between.

    Richard, I’m looking forward to your Comment (especially the original one).

  11. Richard, no I’m not a prankster, I like your articles though i don’t get time to comment much:)

    Granted al jazeera is pro Arab and pro Islamic, but they do allow freedom of speech, and show Israeli views from their Tel Aviv Bureau and has excellent reporting. It’s ironic that whilst the Bush administration called it “the mouthpiece of Al Qaeda”, Al Qaeda call it a “Mossad setup” because it shows the Israel side too, and has been banned by several Arab heads of state, because they allowed criticism of their regimes. Thats why it is popular, because people know they are not listening to BS and agenda propoganda.

    Max Blumenthal, has written and done video clips for Al Jazeera.

    The last administration (Bush) saw it as a threat to neo con ideology, as it exposed their lies. I would suggest that you do your own research about Al Jazeera, as I have a gut feeling that you have formed your opinion about it, on neo con propoganda so please see the 2 Israeli opinions about al Jazeera in the links at the bottom.

    My point was that, just as Ray Hanania (who wrote a comment above) writes for israeli media from the Arab perspective, so should you write in Arab media from the Israeli perspective. Otherwise, it is preaching to the converted. If a writer is writing and only yes men are reading, then it’s a waste of time..when it could be educating others. The Arab media as you know often only has government sponsered lies and distortions. Israel has an advantage in that it has a free media, even better than the one in the US.

    Al-Jazeera English scores gains, except in U.S.
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Al-Jazeera’s English language TV station has in its six-month existence gained strong viewership across Europe, in parts of Asia, Australia – and even Israel, according to executives and local companies that carry it.

    But no major cable or satellite provider in the U.S. is carrying the channel, a decision the network blames on political pressure.

    U.S. carriers, however, say there simply is no market.

    Nearly 100 million households worldwide receive Al-Jazeera’s English service, almost half as many as CNN, station executives say. Since January, it has been broadcasting news to 550,000 Israeli homes on Yes TV, the country’s largest cable provider.
    “It’s extraordinary that while the rest of the world is happy to watch us … the U.S. stands in splendid isolation,” Al-Jazeera English managing director Nigel Parsons said at the station’s headquarters in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.

    Interestingly, however, Al-Jazeera English has found an audience in Israel for its mix of extensive African, Asian and Middle Eastern coverage. Viewers in Israel also have access to Al-Jazeera’s original Arabic news channel.
    “This is thought of as one of the best news channels in the world,” said Yes TV spokeswoman Libi Zipser, speaking of Al-Jazeera English. “There are those who think that certain channels are less supportive of Israel, but we just let our customers see what they want to see.”


    Reaction to the launch of al-Jazeera in English has been mixed in Israel. Daniel Seaman, head of the Israel Government Press Office (and a longtime subscriber to this list), told the Jerusalem Post that he had, “only the utmost respect for al-Jazeera in Israel. They’ve tried their best to be fair, and even if I disagreed with their coverage at times, it was not one-sided. Given their audience, they show the Arab side, the Palestinian side of the conflict, but they also present Israel’s side.”

    When asked if al-Jazeera was fairer to Israel than CNN or the BBC, he replied, “Absolutely, they’re much better than CNN or BBC.” (The BBC plans to launch its Arab TV channel next year.)

    Seaman did say, however, that the station often gives too little time to Israeli spokespeople, and sometimes translates their remarks imprecisely. But he applauded the station for “giving Israel a stage [on Arab TV] that it didn’t have in the past.”

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