This is getting to be a habit. I seem to have gotten under Michael Weiss’ skin. He takes umbrage with a minor error in my blog post attacking his hysterical coverage of Sheikh Salah’s banning. I said that his Henry Jackson Society brought Doron Almog via video uplink to speak at a British conference on avoiding Israeli accountability for war crimes. I did that because a British blogger informed me that this was the case. It turns out that the the overall conference was sponsored by Dore Gold’s Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and that the Jackson Society paid for Gold to attend. Almog, who was featured on a panel together with Gold, appeared thanks to Gold’s group. Got that? You can be forgiven for having a bit of trouble following all the permutations of sponsorship. You go to the conference page and see if you follow it any better than I could. But that’s it. That’s the extent of his rebuttal of my claims against him.
So what has he refused to address? An awful lot it seems. I’ve noted that while Weiss raves about Sheikh Salah’s alleged anti-Semitic outbursts, he says nary a word about similar anti-Muslim outbursts by Israeli Jewish leaders too numerous to mention including, but not limited to foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman. I pointedly asked Weiss whether he supported their banning. Whether he supported the banning of settler extremist and Likud party leader Moshe Feiglin, who actually was banned by a previous Labor government. Not a word from Weiss on those much more salient, substantive issues.
So let’s challenge him again, Michael, tell us what your specific view is on entry to Britain for Israeli Jewish racists. What are your criteria to justify banning alleged Palestinian racists and are there any Israeli Jews who would justify banning? Do you support the banning of Feiglin? Lieberman? Rabbis Dov Lior or Dov Wolpe, who are the Jewish “spiritual” equivalents of Salah’s supposed anti-Semitic views? By the way, Michael, if you know Hebrew, which is doubtful, you should read this Haaretz article about Lior which notes that while he publicly supports the murder of Palestinian children, Salah does not support the murder of Israeli Jews.
Weiss also rewrites history I’m afraid, about our past when he was an editor at the ill-fated online magazine, Jewcy. What actually happened, as opposed to what Weiss claims, is that he invited me to transfer my blog to Jewcy, which was a big move for me to consider since it meant my blog would essentially be owned by Jewcy as I understood it. I told him initially that I was interested. He said he would send me a contract to review. And then I waited, and waited, and waited. And I called him a few times asking in a friendly way what was going on. He always replied that things were in the works and I’d receive the contract shortly. But it never came.
Then, after two months or so of waiting, the Gaza war intervened. In looking through the Jewcy site, I noticed 20 posts or so addressing the war in various guises. I counted two posts that could be construed to be even remotely critical. Weiss only refers to one writer, Adam LeBor, as offering this view. There was probably at least one other. So I began to think of what I would represent in such a mix of right-wing pro-Israel coverage. At that time, I didn’t know Weiss to be the spiteful, mean-spirited egotistical fellow I now know. So I called him in an attempt to ask forthright, candid questions about the editorial content and direction of Jewcy.
Eventually, he became so angry he told me to take a hike in an incredibly vicious, vitriolic fashion. Which was fine with me. In fact he did me a favor. Within a week or so of Weiss’ banishment, came news that pro-Israel neocon Michael Steinhardt and the other money-bags behind the venture were pulling the plug. Then Weiss himself was out of a job. It seems to have stopped his U.S. literary career in its tracks as he made his way subsequently to England, where he’s become the toast of the tawdry tabloid circuit with his Telegraph blog.
Jewcy’s imminent demise was likely the real reason he never sent the contract. But, as he seems to prefer opacity over transparency, he didn’t want to let me know the website was about to go belly up and they couldn’t have paid me if they’d wanted.
Among Weiss’ other vain attempts to demean me he talks nonsense of a long night of the soul regarding whether I should move my blog to Jewcy. To which, all I can say is that at least I have a soul. Where his should be there’s an empty place filled with hollow words and silver-tongued vitriol.
I wonder why Weiss never told his readers at Harry’s Place about Jewcy’s demise and the real reason he refused to send that contract?
While you’re there take a look at the comment thread and note the high level of discourse there including pathetic ad hominem attacks on my physical appearance. It’s makes the threads here look like the Oxford debating union.