Voting for the Brass Crescent awards is underway and Lisa Goldman’s On The Face blog is nominated in the Best Non-Muslim Blog category. Lisa is getting a lot of attention right now because of the Israeli police’s investigation of her visit to Lebanon last year, but that visit represents her true spirit of openness to others. She has established herself as a moderate voice who is able to bring people together regardless of background or faith.

I am voting for her and encourage all of our readers to head over here, scroll down to the Best Non-Muslim Blog category and give On The Face your vote.

Disclosure: Lisa has not asked me or anybody else here to promote her. I wrote this because, in my opinion, she deserves the vote.

About the author

themiddle

17 Comments

  • She’s being investigated because her stunt was illegal and irresponsible – and if it had gone sour, would have endangered many Israelis.

    Her visit to Lebanon was a jejune journalistic non-event, which added no new information to existing reportage. A publicity stunt plain and simple.

    Such stuff only impresses the more simple minded – especially those whose own narcissistic self-assurance resonates in sympathy with Lisa’s self-absorbed attitude… Oh, hello Middle – posted anything lately?

  • Aw shucks Ben David, I love it when you call me simple minded and narcissistic. It feels so, so, so je ne sais quoi…jejune peut etre?

  • TM, so are you keeping your face to yourself out of narcissism? That would make you the first shy narcissist ever 😉

    Lisa, you’ve got my vote; journalism requires openness, not conformity, otherwise we could have robots presenting the news.

  • This simple-minded one has already voted. And my narcissistic self-assurance is sky high now, thanks for noticing. Sorry to be so dull and uninteresting or should I say, “jejune”!

  • … and not one of you has found the time to stop preening and address my actual points, to wit:

    – Goldman’s so-called “reportage” yielded no new information.

    – had her stunt gone bad, she would have caused international-level trouble and possibly endangered her rescuers.

    Saraleh: in addition to openness, journalism requires a little brains, too.

    It also requires a little brains (and maturity) to distinguish between professionalism and the adolescent rush of “not conforming”…

    but don’t let me disturb your narcissistic self-assurance…

    You’re only young once – but nowadays, some folks keep at it way too long….

  • Okay West Bank Papa, I will answer your questions – although I am quite sure that you are impervious to logic.

    1. The point is not whether or not you learned something new from my reporting. The point is that Israelis have the right to first-hand reporting from enemy states in their own language, and from their own perspective – just as Arabs receive first-hand reporting from Israel in Arabic. It is illogical simultaneously to blame the MSM for inaccurate reporting, while rejecting the idea of Israeli reporters filing first-hand reports from enemy states.

    2. There is absolutely no evidence that my trip to Lebanon compromised Israeli security. The reasons are spelled out in detail on my blog. No Israeli reporter has ever been abducted while reporting in an enemy state – e.g., Itai Anghel, Orly Azoulay and Ron Ben-Yishai (Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon), to name but a few of many. I am assuming you know who these reporters are – unless you restrict your news source to Arutz 7.

    3. Here’s an experiment: go to Lebanon with a handheld video and $500, no mobile phone, no contacts, no translator, no driver and no staff. Remember that you cannot tell anyone you are Israeli. You have 36 hours to file a TV report, although you’ve never worked in TV before. Then let’s see how much in-depth reporting you do.

    The rest of your comments are not worth responding to. Just once, I would like to see you leave a comment that does not include insults. One of these days you are going to push so hard that I will no longer be able to resist the temptation to publish your full name and place of work in one of these comment threads. Eh, never mind. That’d be like mud wrestling. You’re not worth the bother.

  • Lisa:
    1. The point is not whether or not you learned something new from my reporting. The point is that Israelis have the right to first-hand reporting from enemy states in their own language, and from their own perspective – just as Arabs receive first-hand reporting from Israel in Arabic. It is illogical simultaneously to blame the MSM for inaccurate reporting, while rejecting the idea of Israeli reporters filing first-hand reports from enemy states.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    a. The point of seeking on-location access is precisely because such reporting is expected to yield “something new” in the reporting – that can’t be achieved elsewhere.

    Your Lebanese jaunt didn’t deliver that – which is why it’s a PR stunt rather than reporting.

    b. It’s not your place as a private individual to assert/negotiate the rights of Israelis. Access by Arab journalists – including those from coutries at war with Israel – is granted or denied by the Israeli government as part of a larger management of Israel’s diplomatic position and relationships.

    However convinced you are of “your rights” and the correctness of your opinions – you were not elected by any of us Israelis to set or pursue our foreign policy.

    This is the first – but not the last – point at which the overweening narcissism I mentioned rears its head in your post, as it does on your blog and in your professional conduct.

    c. There is no connection between critiquing slanted MSM reportage on Israel, and the issue of whether a country still at war with Israel should let Israeli journalists enter it during actual hostilities.

    Indeed, some of the most egregiously slanted reportage has been done by self-flagellating Israeli and Jewish reporters such as yourself, who fall all over themselves to show how “nice” our murderers are. Which leads us to:

    2. There is absolutely no evidence that my trip to Lebanon compromised Israeli security. The reasons are spelled out in detail on my blog. No Israeli reporter has ever been abducted while reporting in an enemy state
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    … because their handlers wanted it that way. You’ve bragged previously about the ease and safety with which you travel in the West Bank – never once admitting that you get special treatment because you are useful to the thugs.

    When a non-journalist Jewish teenager wandered into the same areas – he had to be rescued from lynching.

    Finally, you write:
    3. Here’s an experiment: go to Lebanon with a handheld video and $500, no mobile phone, no contacts, no translator, no driver and no staff. Remember that you cannot tell anyone you are Israeli. You have 36 hours to file a TV report, although you’ve never worked in TV before. Then let’s see how much in-depth reporting you do.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    So why did you go?

    Because you weren’t interested in reporting – and have just admitted as much.

    Why did you subject yourself to such helplessness/dependency in a dangerous place?

    Because you didn’t care if you’d get lost/captured – if not as an Israeli, then as a Westerner.

    Didn’t care about possible repurcussions.

    Didn’t care about being used by Israel’s enemies.

    You were primarily concerned with stretching out your 15 minutes of fame.

    That’s not journalism, that’s a teenager looking to doll up her Facebook page. Look everybody! I’m, like, in Lebanon! Asserting my, uhm, rights.

    Sure, honey…

  • Ben David, if Lisa were wearing an orange star and claiming the IDF are Nazis to remove her from Gaza, you’d be praising her for violating Israeli laws and mores. Your world view is one-sided and extreme.

    Lisa went to Lebanon and filed an interesting report and then an interesting series of follow-ups. They were informative and useful for me, and I follow this stuff no less than you. For that matter, Ben Yishai’s visit to Syria was also useful and informative. If you’re looking for “depth,” then perhaps you would like to send Lisa back for a few months to make a documentary. Then you would accuse her of being “dreamy,” “naive,” “leftist” and whatever else describes your personal disagreement with her views. In case you were unsure, calling her “honey” is a sad statement about you not her.

    As to your point about her getting captured, I think any journalist, particularly a Jewish one, is well aware of what happened to Daniel Pearl. What he did didn’t seem to get you all riled up, Ben David and yet it was no less or more dangerous. Every day, stories are covered by journalists in dangerous areas around the world and they consider it an acceptable risk while the publications that send them also consider the risks acceptable.

  • Middle:
    Ben David, if Lisa were wearing an orange star and claiming the IDF are Nazis to remove her from Gaza, you’d be praising her for violating Israeli laws and mores. Your world view is one-sided and extreme.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    a) Thanks for telling me what I think – you and Lisa certainly share a healthy self-regard for your own opinions.

    Just don’t go mistaking that for fact – or for what other people really do think.

    b) Although I’ve refrained from punning your moniker lately, I cannot help but describe this apples-n-oranges non-sequitir argument as a “muddle”. My focus during Gaza was the denial of fundamental rights of political speech and assembly.

    Civil disobedience never involves being excused from the consequences of breaking the law – unless you’re on the PC A-list like Lisa. That seems to be what YOU think – based on what you’ve written.

    Further:
    Lisa went to Lebanon and filed an interesting report and then an interesting series of follow-ups. They were informative and useful for me
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Lisa herself has – in her description of the conditions of her visit – made it clear that there was precious little in-depth reporting.

    Further:
    Every day, stories are covered by journalists in dangerous areas around the world and they consider it an acceptable risk
    – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    She broke the law – not just a nanny-state law, but a law meant to insure that individual stunts do not disturb the representative governments’ conduct of a war.

    You remember the war, don’t you?

    But none of that matters because you – like the Lisas and Beilins of this world – are so totally convinced that you know what’s right that you see nothing wrong with CERTAIN people taking the law into their own hands – people who agree with you.

    So left-wingers who refuse to serve in the “occupied terroritories” are lionized, and Yossi Beilin deputizes himself to conduct Israel’s foreign policy without bothering about the niceties of actually getting elected, and narcissistic-yet-naif journalettes like Lisa become your heroes.

    I believe the phrase is “useful idiots”….

  • The phrase is “si tacuisses philosophus mansisses” (= “learn Latin before you use Latin terms and if you claim that one must abide by the laws and negotiations made by one’s elected representatives, then abide by them yourself”).

  • Oh please, Ben David, it took me no time to locate some passages about you defending people who break Israel’s laws.

    Here’s one.

    See comments 39 and later.

    Here’s two.

    Comment 41.

    Here’s three.

    Comment 3 where you justify protests as “non-violent” and call the military and government part of a “Leftist” program to send out disinformation.

    As for my politics, I remind you that I believe I’m in the center. You are so far to the right that I look like Beilin to you, but then again so would Shaul Mofaz or Lieberman for sitting in the government today.

    This isn’t about right and left. This is about the right of an individual to report about a foreign country that is at war with Israel. The fact is the Israeli government did nothing when Arab MKs went over to Syria and Lebanon to support those countries at a time of conflict and are trying to make late amends by finding some Jewish visitors to those states. For somebody who is so keen on conspiracies, it’s interesting that you ignore the possibility that this is one as well.

  • Muddle (you’ve earned it!):

    None of these posts assert that people who broke the law should be given a pass because I – or anyone else – happens to agree with them.

    I point out that the situation in Israel escalates to civil disobedience because legitimate rights of speech and assembly are selectively curtailed.

    And I point out that that is also the cause of some haredi violence – without ever excusing the violence, as you seek to excuse Lisa’s illegal conduct.

    But I never say that people who broke the law should not be arrested or punished.

    Quotes like this one (in response to a Muddled attempt to equate the Gaza protests with the gay rights march in Jerusalem) are typical:
    The disengagement protesters have taken to the streets in non-violent protest AFTER months in which their views – which are the views of the majority of Jewish Israelis – were shut out of the media and their protest rallies were disallowed.

    That is, the center-right’s freedoms of speech and assembly have been consistently abrogated – by precisely the same leftist clique that treated the mayor of Jerusalem like an uppity nigger.

    There have been no attacks on police, no saboteurs. The equivalent of the gay march would be something like a march through Chan Yunis or Ramallah – it hasn’t happened.

    Just non-violence civil disobedience – coming after a long period in which DEMOCRATIC avenues of free speech were shut down.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    … of course, the muddled-PC approach is to try to create guilt/rejection by association, applying political labels that (attempt to) place me beyond the pale.

    Instead of addressing the real issue:

    There is a valid law whose purpose is to prevent private (and often selfish) initiatives from interfering with the standing government’s conduct of war.

    Lisa Goldman and her colleagues broke that law for a stunt that yielded precious little real reportage, and most definitely could have impacted Israel’s conduct of that Lebanon war.

    Have others – including Arab PMs – broken the same law? Yes.

    But even you aren’t simple enough to think that I agree with the decision not to try and punish them for their actions.

  • Aw shucks, Ben David, you flatter me. Now I know you don’t think of me as too simple.

    As to your claims, the reality is that you supported the protests of those who attacked the IDF as Nazis, justifying their claims and their behavior in causing massive, often illegal, disruptions to Israeli society. In your view, it’s okay to break the law or to call your Jewish government “Nazis” because you believe they are victims of some massive Leftist conspiracy. Of course, the period about which you were writing was one when Sharon was in power. Sharon! What a Leftist he was! So who is muddling here?

    Anyway, here you are trying to defend another law-breaker. This time, it’s a murderer, suggesting that he may have not murdered, or that he’s a dupe or that he’s a fall guy for the…Left.

    In this one you justify sending kids to the front lines of the battle against the government so they can be imprisoned. After all, what’s a little law-breaking as long as it’s the Right doing it.

    Now that we’ve put a little of that to rest, let’s focus on this subject. You write, “There is a valid law whose purpose is to prevent private (and often selfish) initiatives from interfering with the standing government’s conduct of war.”

    If the “valid law” had been enforced over the course of decades when it wasn’t enforced, you’d have a better argument. However, it wasn’t enforced.

    This law is suddenly being enforced, but selectively and without much logic.

    Besides, Lisa’s visit could not have interfered with the Israeli government’s conduct of war because of the timing of her visit as well as the fact that neither Shalit’s captivity nor the Hizbullah captives’ captivity had any impact on stopping IDF actions. Right now, a couple of days after a Hamas leader threatened Israel that Shalit would be injured if Israel entered Gaza, Israel has killed a dozen Islamic Jihad operatives in Gaza.

    In short, your premises are false and your acceptance of Right-wing law-breaking is mighty hypocritical in your attacks on a person who did not actively seek to break a law or insult a government but who, in her role as a journalist, sought to do her job.

  • Gosh I’m so flattered that you actually took the time to re-read my writing (and you know, it’s amazing how well most of it stands up over time… how about a “best of Benda” post to mark my midlife crisis?).

    But you still haven’t come up with a post in which I say people – any people – who broke the law or disturbed the peace should be excused from the consequences. Not settlers, not haredim who stab gays, not Yigal Amir.

    Nor have you found a post in which I endorse civil disobedience as a first line of action.

    So you still haven’t found anything that parallels your willingness to excuse Lisa and other lawbreakers.

    I realize how hard it must have been for you to scan my posts – when reading so quickly, one can’t move one’s lips – but I assure you that more careful reading shows this.

    I agreee that the law has been selectively enforced – but it’s also pretty clear that I endorse uniform enforcement, rather than uniform suspension, of this law.

    Precisely to avoid interference by individuals who seek to advance themselves professionally – or as you sweetly put it, do their jobs – without concern for their impact on the conduct of a war.

    Which makes me a hypocrite…. how, exactly?

  • A lot of spittle and nothing said. I hardly spent any time re-reading your comments, Ben David. They were easy to find and I have posted the first ones I saw.

    Your comments show that you side with law-breakers, sympathize with their actions and justify their actions routinely. You do this with a murderer, and you do this with people whose protests often did violate laws and whose attacks on the morality of the IDF and the government were extreme.

    The common thread – or what needs to be in place to gain your support – is that you support law breakers when their politics reflect yours.

    In Lisa’s case, her politics offend you, so you oppose her actions. You have found an opening which enables your attacks on her and are trying to make the most of it. You agree that the law is being selectively enforced and that this is wrong and has been wrong, but gosh, now that it is being selectively applied to Lisa, you have become a strong believer in the stringent enforcement of this law.

    Where were you before? Arab MKs going to Syria or Lebanon don’t deserve to be charged and jailed? Murderers of Prime Ministers get to have the benefit of the doubt about vast Leftist conspiracies but a reporter who is targeted in an unusual manner, according to you, deserves what she gets. Yigal Amir didn’t threaten Israel’s security, but Lisa Goldman did.

    That’s where I see your hypocrisy.

    As for reporters going into war zones, I have news for you: it happens all the time.

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