More interesting follow-up on the New York Times report about my work on the Leibowitz story. The Seattle Times profiled me in an article published today. One important element of this story is an interview with former Rep. Brian Baird, one of two Congress members monitored by Jewish community leaders before they took a trip to Gaza in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead. Baird wasn’t surprised at how he was treated:
“I rather assumed something like that was happening,” said Baird, who since has left Congress. “If we were indeed labeled anti-Israel, that’s unfortunate. There’s an attitude that anyone who questions Israel is anti-Israel. I find that anti-American.”
Jonathan Martin also quoted this evaluation of my work published in Haaretz:
Haaretz, Israel’s leading liberal newspaper, described Silverstein’s blog as an “international message board for reports that Israel’s courts and military censor withhold from publication…”
The Jewish Forward also published its own profile today which was remarkably fair considering how complicated my relationship has been in the past with its publisher, Jane Eisner. The one ironic thing about the profile is that it quotes Yossi Melman’s criticism of my work:
“He spreads rumors without checking them,” countered Yossi Melman, a well-connected security and intelligence reporter for Haaretz, and a critic of Silverstein’s work. “He is an ideologue, not a journalist.
“He is speculative,” Melman said. “It is like at the casino: Sometimes he gets it right, and sometimes he doesn’t.”
What is ironic? The fact that the Haaretz passage quoted by Martin was written by none other than…Yossi Melman. By the way, I challenged Melman specifically to disprove my claim about Ali Reza Asgari or provide any information to do so. He declined. Interestingly, Melman did contact me for comment after the NY Times story was published, but refused to hold back his deadline so I could actually speak with him which, though unsurprising, I felt was at best incomplete journalism.
Stand With Us and its minions are probably making hay in the comment threads of both stories, so if you’re inclined to register a comment preserving some balance in the discussion there, I’d appreciate that.
For my Israeli readers, Israeli TV will air an interesting story tomorrow about another story I developed based on the original reporting of Electronic Intifada. A major Israeli political insider will also be interviewed and it should be fun. Sorry I can’t reveal more, don’t want to jinx things.