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What’s Good About Amy Goodman?



Award-winning journalist Amy Goodman, as she never tires telling audiences all over the country, is “a Jewish American, the granddaughter of an Orthodox rabbi and the great-granddaughter of a chassidic rabbi.” She also happens to be a promoter of anti-Semites and anti-Zionists of nearly every stripe.

Goodman hosts Pacifica Radio’s “Democracy Now,” a program carried by 120 radio stations across the country and, increasingly, on public television stations around the world. Her book, The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them, was among the plethora of Bush-bashing books issued during last year’s presidential campaign. She is also a ubiquitous speaker at anti-U.S. and anti-Israel rallies.

Goodman hosted lawyer Lynne Stewart on “Democracy Now” the day after Stewart’s conviction on charges of assisting the efforts of Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman. No surprise there: Goodman was the featured speaker at an April 2003 fund-raising event for Stewart’s legal defense.

Yes, this “granddaughter of an Orthodox rabbi” and “great-granddaughter of a chassidic rabbi” did all she could to help a woman convicted of helping a terrorist whose life is dedicated to, among other goals, the destruction of Israel.

Journalists covering Goodman invariably bring up her professed Jewish credentials; articles about her are likely to mention her having “relatives who died in the Holocaust” or that she “spent part of her youth in Israel.” These biographical tidbits were found among words of praise for Goodman on a pro-Palestinian website that proclaims its dedication to countering the “Zionist propaganda machine.”

Goodman, as usual, recited the full list of her kosher credentials when she delivered an emotional eulogy, before thousands of young people, many wearing keffiyahs, for Rachel Corrie at Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington. Corrie, the young American woman killed by an Israeli military bulldozer as she tried to block its work of saving Israeli lives, has been lionized in death by the anti-Israel Left, and Goodman’s eulogy was a major contribution to the creation of the Corrie legend. “Your wonderful classmate,” Goodman told the crowd, “was unbelievably brave.”

Strengthening her standing as a critic of Israel to be taken seriously are the tributes Goodman regularly receives from academic and other icons of the Left, and her close ties to many of these people.

Professor Noam Chomsky, one of the most virulent Israel-bashers in America and a friend of Holocaust deniers everywhere, is a close friend of Amy’s. His oracular proclamations are heard frequently on her program. Goodman has described for her listeners the many late night calls in search of guidance she makes to Chomsky, who recently declared that those who speak of anti-Semitism are doing so solely to try to help “a community with 98 percent control gain 100 percent control.”

Professor Norman Finkelstein, best known for his portrayal of Jewish Holocaust remembrance as a rude racket designed to extract a range of goods from the gullible, has called Amy “my very dear and close friend.” It was on Goodman’s show that he repeatedly characterized the large pro-Israel rally held in Washington in 2002 as a “Jewish Nuremberg rally.” His words drew not so much as a peep of protest from Goodman.

Another major Goodman cheerleader is Professor Cornell West, who warned recently that those who would stand up for the Palestinian people must refuse to be “intimidated into silence by the forces of Jewish-establishment political correctness.” West has called Goodman a “freedom fighter.” “There’s simply no one like her and no voice like hers,” he’s gushed.

An article on the website of the leftist organization Nahalat Shalom says of Goodman: “Her words are taken to heart by millions of faithful followers who religiously listen or watch her program every day. Like Miriam and Esther, she has the courage of a one-woman army.”

Goodman recently received the highest possible recognition from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which, in late 2004, bestowed upon her its Islamic Community Award at its tenth annual banquet in Washington, D.C.

Another interesting honor bestowed on Goodman was The Backbone Award, granted to those who “take courageous stands in progressive causes.” A fellow recipient of that prize is Goodman’s good friend Rep. Cynthia McKinney, a Georgia Democrat who in 2004 regained the congressional seat she’d lost two years earlier – a defeat attributed largely to her attacks on Israel and her insinuation that President Bush had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.


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