J.J. Goldberg

Somebody Is Stalking Me and Making Stuff Up

By J.J. Goldberg

  • Print
  • Share Share

My old buddy Jonathan Mark at the Jewish Week tipped me off this morning that I’m mentioned by name in an on-line Special Bulletin published yesterday (November 2) by Memri, the Middle East Media Research Institute. The bulletin features translated excerpts from a column about J-Street that was published the previous day in Al-Ittihad, a government-owned, Arabic-only daily newspaper in the United Arab Emirates. I was pretty excited to hear about this. There’s nothing a writer likes better than to see his name in print (other than Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy, of course).

Imagine my disappointment, then, when the column turned out to be quoting somebody else, one J.J. Goldenberg. Weirdly enough, he’s also a journalist, and he seems to have written a book with the exact same title as mine (my lawyer will hear about this!). The thing is, the quote in the column is something I never said and wouldn’t say in a million years, so it must be somebody else. Here’s an excerpt from the excerpt:

A prevalent view in the U.S. and outside it is that the Jews determine and control America’s Middle East policy, mostly through [the Jewish lobby] AIPAC. But since President Obama’s July 13, 2009 address to the leaders of the Jewish-American organizations, [in which he] set out his Middle East policy, there have been accusations from Jewish circles that Obama is being manipulated by two of his Jewish aides who have renounced [the usual pro-Israeli views] - Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod.

Journalist J. J. Goldenberg, author of Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment, thinks that one of the goals [of these aides] is to restrain the Jewish-American community by means of two organizations that attack Israel, namely ‘Americans for Peace Now’ and ‘J Street.’

Huh? Emanuel and Axelrod trying to “restrain the Jewish-American community”? Americans for Peace Now and J-Street “attack Israel”? I keep getting attacked, from both right and left, for not saying that stuff. One piece just the other day called me “a cranky old Yid,” essentially for my reluctance to draw those sorts of connections.

My first thought on reading this was that they had confused me with another J.J. Goldberg. So I Googled my name (try it — it’s way cool) and found two other J.J. Goldbergs, neither of whom seems a likely candidate. One is indeed a writer, but his expertise is cow teats (I’m not kidding). He has written such groundbreaking works as “Evaluation of a 1% Iodophor Postmilking Teat Sanitizer,” published in 1994 in the authoritative Journal of Dairy Science, a journal I’m familiar with from my Kibbutz Gezer days but never actually wrote for. I don’t see this Goldberg weaving conspiracies out of Rahm Emanuel and J-Street.

The other lives in Salt Lake City and has a Facebook page with a photo of himself and a woman in a wedding dress, presumably his bride. Again, possible but unlikely.

So then I looked up the columnist, identified as Dr. As’ad ’Abd Al-Rahman. I was thinking he might be a homeopath (not that there’s anything wrong with that) or a podiatrist, but a quick check on the Web showed that he is a political scientist, an “independent member” of the PLO executive committee and head of its refugee-affairs negotiating team. My on-line source, Palestine Who’s Who, gives his last known place of employment as the University of Amman, but the entry seems uncertain whether or not he’s still active or even alive. My guess is that if he had a column in Sunday’s paper, he’s probably still alive, but based on the column’s content, his current residence is Dreamland.

In the end, I must confess that I have no idea where that quote came from or what it was that ’Abd Al-Rahman or Al-Ittihad or Memri thought they were seeing. But it sure didn’t come from me.

As you can imagine, this is pretty upsetting stuff. If word gets around, it could damage my reputation, perhaps even to the point where I would no longer get my regular table at Deli Kasbah in the corner near the washing stand with the excellent view of the TV monitor showing nonstop videos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s speeches in Yiddish. I would hate for anything to come between me and their outstanding shwarma.

On the other hand, “cranky old Yid”? I kind of like the sound…


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: mistaken identity, cow teats, Memri, Chocolate Therapy, Al-Ittihad

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.


Comments
asc Tue. Nov 3, 2009

Of course this all assumes the MEMRI version is an accurate translation of the original column. For example, I used Babelfish to translate "old cranky Jew" into Japanese, then back to English again. Apparently, in Japan you're "Being ill-humored, the old Judean person."

Miriam Chartier Tue. Dec 8, 2009

We want truth, we read your articles to learn things, I know I do. Not false things but true things. You should write to discover and sonetimes it is what you don't know you knew. We see things every day and when we stop to real look we see. Don't plan on greatness just focus on writting as you do the truth. And Truth, will let you know how to take care of this, No, G-D will take care of this for you. I am sorry,about this, don't let it hurt you, I find that if someone does something to me or says something to hurt me, I just do not accept it in my heart, and the hurt never touches me.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.