Lisa Goldman is a journalist who I used to know and respect. We met at the very first English-speaking Israeli blogger meet-up back in 2004 (in the days where there were only 20 or so of us) and met again on a few more occasions, including a conference where we both spoke.
But over the years, Lisa turned to the Dark Side, taking a decidedly anti-Israel stand, writing for the likes of +972, and even publicly dissing Israellycool whenever she got the chance.
I say this as an introduction to this post by Bret Stephens, where he rips Goldman a new one for lying and sloppy journalism.
I don’t at all mind being criticized, but is it too much to ask the writers at Open Zion to quote and characterize what I say accurately? Lisa Goldman apparently attended a Yeshiva University event this week at which I was a panelist. Among other things, she has me saying that “Pakistan has ‘managed to produce absolutely nothing’ in its entire history [besides nuclear weapons]”—the words within single quotes supposedly being mine. This has been the source of some indignant tweeting from Karachi.
For the record—and you can check the record, since there’s a YouTube clip of the entire event embedded in her piece—this is what I said, in connection to a question about Iran in which my main point was that mere possession of nuclear weapons was in itself a form of use of nuclear weapons.
The relevant section begins around the 21:30 mark:
When you have a nuclear weapon you can do things as a country that countries that don’t have nuclear weapons cannot. OK. North Korea is this impoverished, famished regime, but they have our attention because they have nuclear weapons. Pakistan is a country that has produced almost nothing in its entire history except, its most distinguished citizens always manage to leave the country, which is an interesting subject unto itself, but they have nuclear weapons, so they have our attention. They are important in a way that a Kyrgyzstan or a Turkmenistan simply is not. If Turkmenistan got nuclear weapons, believe me, we’d all become Turkmenistan experts.
Ms. Goldman has me saying “absolutely nothing,” but there’s no question from the recording that I said “almost nothing.”
Open Zion also has a journalistic responsibility to characterize what I say accurately. In Ms. Goldman’s account, my comment about Pakistan appears as a kind of off-hand slur. In fact I took the trouble to qualify my statement in a way that many Pakistanis would recognize as being tragically true.
There are other things Ms. Goldman gets factually wrong in her piece (the two Israeli Nobelists this month won for chemistry, not physics), or that she grossly mischaracterizes.
Read the whole thing.
Unfortunately, this is par for the course when it comes to anti-Israel journalists, who seem to be willing to use whatever means is necessary to achieve the end.
Update: In other Lisa Goldman news, it looks like the anti-Israel crowd – Ali Abumination friction continues (see video from 19:15).
— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) October 25, 2013
I’ve already run out of popcorn.