Jeffrey Goldberg's rather ostentatious behavior of late - joining Gal Beckerman in policing the "Occupation" consensus, badgering Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister, calling Jews he doesn't agree with fascists, among other activities - has drawn my attention. His self-referential preening, which I once mistook for self-deprecating humor, appears to have peaked, assisted by those with an interest in domesticating a renowned American Jewish Zionist who can direct profanities and ad-hominem attacks at other Jews without incurring consequence. Fine, we all have to make a living.
On Tuesday, Jeffrey published a piece on Bloomberg describing his three worst terrorist fears. Predictably, and rather helpfully for those who are cultivating Goldberg as an asset in the struggle against Jewish sovereignty, the prospect of "messianic" Jewish terrorism took up half the article. Because, as we all know, one out of every trillion human beings has been gravely affected by the deeply deplorable scourge of "messianic" Jewish terrorism. eeZrrraeli hasbara about the ongoing slaughter in Syria or the starvation crisis in Africa cannot be allowed to change the subject from this intolerable situation of "messianic" Jewish terrorism, which demands the immediate attention of America's best known Jewish journalist cum blogger.
Jeffrey Goldberg, respected Jewish-American journalist, felt it was his duty to broadcast to humanity that Jews who believe in the coming of a Messiah - thus earning the "messianic" adjective - are a clear and present danger to world peace. That belief in the coming of a Messiah constitutes one of the 13 Principles of the Jewish Faith, adhered to by all observant Jews throughout history, without a single resultant incident of bloodshed or violence, is irrelevant. For Jeffrey, the important point was to draw a false equivalence between Islamist fanaticism and Jewish virtue; to ensure that civilized people learn to be frightened of Jews, particularly Jews who lovingly adhere to the statutes of their faith, no less than they are of Islamists, and preferably more so. Mission accomplished, indeed.
But wait, there's more! Who are these "messianic" Jewish terrorists, and where are they hiding?
"A few months ago," Jeffrey helpfully directs us, "I visited a building in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City owned by a radical yeshiva." Aha! So that's where the "messianic" Jewish terrorists are encamped, biding their time to strike the blow that ends the world. Camped illegitimately, Goldberg likely wishes to add, it being the Muslim Quarter, and thus the dreaded and preferably Judenrein "West Bank".
Yaacov when you need him), the only yeshiva of any prominence in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City is Yeshiva Ateres Cohanim. Here it is on Google Maps, in relation to the Temple Mount. Here's a brief video (click the link, I command you) about the yeshiva, encompassing the history of the place, which has been a center of Jewish learning since 1886, when it was known as Yeshiva Torath Chaim (pictured on the right, 1920s).
That's right, the building now home to Ateres Cohanim housed a yeshiva long before the international community decided that Jews should not be allowed to live in "East" Jerusalem, and longer still before Jeffrey Goldberg decided that any Jew who lives in "East" Jerusalem is a "radical". What's more, the building is the sole survivor of the Jordanian occupation, during which time the other 80 yeshivas and synagogues in the Arab controlled portions of the city were destroyed. The building laid empty after the Arab pogroms of 1936, entrusted to an Arab caretaker, until Israel reunified Jerusalem in 1967.
Today, the Yeshiva is under the direction of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, one of the heads of the Religious Zionist movement in Israel. This "radical" is famous for inciting such "messianic" Jewish terrorism as instructing Jewish soldiers to obey their orders when expelling Jews from settlements. The outrage! In addition, most or all of the yeshiva's students apparently serve, or have served, in the IDF. So, not only do these guys actively participate in the defense of their country, but their Rabbi instructs them to respect civil authority. If that's not radicalism, I don't know what is. In fact, had you obeyed my command and clicked the link earlier, you would see that the students attending this yeshiva exhibit none of the tangible symbols of the "ultra-orthodox", who are among Goldberg's preferred Jewish radicals - they are either heavily trimmed or clean shaven, lack the distinctive black and white garb, etc.
In all respects, the very people Jeffrey Goldberg describes as "radicals", and casually associates with "messianic" Jewish terrorism, appear to simply be young, law-abiding Jewish men, happily learning about their faith and serving their country. Yet, halfway around the world, these guys, who have done nothing wrong, are libeled as "radicals" by a self-promoting American journalist peddling his "insight" into the Jewish world, who happened to have once climbed up their staircase, fishing for a story of Jewish perfidy.
For Jeffrey, it wasn't enough to warn the world of "messianic" Jewish terrorism, which has claimed untold lives - literally, untold, for there is nothing to tell - conflating a fundamental precept of the Jewish faith with the terror and death made real by other hands. No, he wanted to make sure that everyone knew who these "radicals" were, walking around in our midst, conspiring to bring about the apocalypse. And so, Jeffrey Goldberg, esteemed son and lover of Zion, has reduced to the status of "radical" and prospective "messianic" terrorist every Jewish man wearing a kippa. Listening to the audience applaud, one might think this is his most proudest achievement. I'll leave it in his hands to decide.
This is the last post on Abu Muqawama. As many of you know, I left the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in August of 2012 to spend a fellowship ...