Jewish journalist Jeffrey Goldberg came under social media siege on Monday from Al Jazeera analyst Marwan Bishara, who demanded the veteran Atlantic writer and author show some “Jewish humility,” after telling him that he “gives Jews a bad name.”
The Twitter war of wits alighted fans of Goldberg’s work, including actress and activist Mia Farrow, who chimed in – “whoa” and “unbelievable” – as the back and forth between the protagonists got fiery. One reader from Australia piped in with, it “just got real” about the smack-down between the two Middle East pundits.
Bishara tweeted to Goldberg: “take it from someone more educated & better informed about the issues you write about; Some Jewish humility is good for you.”
He tweeted “being a prison guard of the Israeli occupation gives you no right to police Israeli and Arab media. Apologize first.”
Bishara was talking about Goldberg’s book Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror, which he wrote after making aliyah to Israel as a young man and serving as a guard at its largest prison complex. “One of his prisoners was Rafiq, a rising leader in the PLO. Overcoming their fears and prejudices, the two men began a dialogue that, over more than a decade, grew into a remarkable friendship,” the book review on Amazon reads.
The subject of “Jewish humility” coming from an Arab irked Goldberg’s Twitter followers.
On Twitter, Bradley P. Moss tweeted: “Come again? Humility is different for me as a Jew as opposed to a non-Jew?”
Goldberg replied: “Yes, apparently Jews are supposed to be more humble than others. Or something. Who knows with this guy?”
The Jewish author then asked Bishara: “Is it @AJEnglish’s position that Jews need to show humility, or just yours?”
Goldberg concluded: “Message to me from Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, Marwan Bishara: ‘you give jews a bad name.’ So my day has been made.”
His followers jumped in to support the author and question Bishara’s journalistic integrity, and that of Al Jazeera.
Sol Robinson, @JewEggSol, wrote, “Thank you arab overlord @marwanbishara for telling us Jews what we should and shouldn’t do.”
Jonathan Daniel Brown chimed in: “Cue the anti-Semites who preemptively accuse Jews of accusing them of anti-Semitism before they even comment.”
K Friedman said: “Wait, Al Jazeera’s political analyst is anti-Jewish/Israel? #unsurprised.”
CiF Watch said: “did you really just say that? oh wait you work for Al Jazeera!! #racist.”
Cairo Crocodile said, “his behavior is not a surprise. After all he works for Al Jazeera.”
Following the back-and-forth, Sol Robinson, impressed by Farrow’s interest, tweeted: “Breaking: MIA FARROW JUST WEIGHED IN WITH ‘whoa.'”
Goldberg said, “Whoa is right. I encouraged him to read my book before ascribing views to me, and I get blasted with anti-Jewish hostility.”
Goldberg sent a link for the book to Farrow, for her “stack of summer reading.”
Goldberg ended with a message to Bishara: “You continue to sound like a not-very-bright person. Good luck on your journey.”