Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg under fire after tweeting he will stop reading Haaretz

JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. journalist Jeffrey Goldberg came under a hailstorm of criticism from Israeli journalists after he tweeted that he intends to give up reading Haaretz.

The original tweet, in which Goldberg wrote “I think I’m getting ready to leave Ha’aretz behind, actually,” included a link to an article in the Israeli daily published in both Hebrew and English written by two American-Jewish historians who discuss why they have “left Zionism behind.”

Goldberg, a columnist for The Atlantic, added in a second tweet: “I like a lot of the people at Haaretz, and many of its positions, but the cartoonish anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism can be grating.”

He also attacked the English-language daily Jerusalem Post, calling it “nuts,” and saying it as well as Haaretz  share a “weakness for sinat hinam,” or baseless hatred.

Journalists at both newspapers called Goldberg out over his criticism.

In response to Anshel Pfeffer at Haaretz, Goldberg tweeted: “Look, when neo-Nazis are emailing me links to Haaretz op-eds declaring Israel to be evil, I’m going to take a break, sorry.”

The tweet referenced a column by long-time columnist and critic of Israel Gideon Levy titled, “Stop living in denial, Israel is an evil state.”

When Israeli government minister Gilad Erdan, a member of the Knesset for the ruling Likud Party retweeted that response with his own tweet reading “Wow, there are no words,” Goldberg responded: “Thanks for the retweet, but I’d prefer it if you spent more time protecting democracy in Israel.”

Erdan responded. “I can do both. Criticizing Haaretz is part of it.”

Seth Frantzman, a Jerusalem Post editor in a tweet threatened to sue Goldberg for slander, calling Goldberg’s sinat hinam tweet “an attack on my reputation and me personally,” leading Goldberg to suggest that Frantzman stop following him.