Last week, Haaretz published a report about a minor trend that sees some Birthright students who become more critical of Israel’s policies after visiting. The piece devotes extensive coverage to notorious anti-Israel advocate Elisheva Goldberg* (who did not come to Israel through Birthright, but does volunteer with Extend, an organization that takes Birthright participants on follow-up tours of the West Bank). The article even refers to the incident that the first link in this paragraph is about (this one, if that’s confusing).
*If you don’t know why, you should probably read the link.
Though on the surface, the piece goes into great detail concerning Ms. Goldberg’s interests and activities — listing pretty much every trip she has taken abroad over the past decade or so — Haaretz appears to have gone to great lengths to actually obscure the true nature of Elisheva’s past. Because this blog has devoted a great deal of space (that’s three separate links) to the task of thoroughly exposing that past, it shall continue to do so now.
Here’s the quote that tipped me off [screenshotted because copy/paste couldn’t handle going back and forth]:
The sentence highlighted in blue says roughly as follows:
My mom is very involved with AIPAC [The American Israel Public Affairs Committee], and my brother works there now. In high school, I was the head of the “Israel Awareness Committee”, which organized ceremonies for Memorial Day, Independence Day, &c.
But don’t let yourself get too caught up in the details of what Goldberg said. I’m much more interested in how Haaretz decided to handle the translation. More specifically, you may have noticed that the paper made an editorial decision to use the English acronym for AIPAC, but decided to write out the Israel Awareness Committee’s full name in Hebrew. Curious, right?
This was no accident. I believe that using “הוועדה למודעות לישראל” [which, for the record, Google — not I — translated as “Israel Awareness Committee”] represents a deliberate obfuscation on the part of Haaretz to protect Goldberg from the loss of left-wing credibility and bona fides that would come with widespread knowledge of the fact that she, in fact, ran an organization known not as the “Israel Awareness Committee”, but rather the “Committee for Israel Awareness” — an obvious thinly-veiled front for the CIA.
In case that run-on sentence wasn’t clear, what I’m saying is this: Haaretz is devoted, at all costs, to hiding the fact that Elisheva is not a notorious anti-Israel advocate at all, but is actually a once (and present) CIA agent. Which also explains why Haaretz omitted Goldberg’s story from the English version of its article altogether: there was honestly no other way to avoid back-translating “Committee for Israel Awareness” into English and thereby laying her secret bare.
So all those semesters Elisheva Goldberg — if that’s her real name — spent in Egypt and Morocco, ostensibly studying Arabic? (“גולדברג החלה ללמוד ערבית ונסעה למצרים לחודשיים בתוכנית של משרד החוץ האמריקאי, ואז למרוקו להתגורר אצל משפחה יהודית.”) Covert ops on behalf of the CIA. And all the work she does now in the West Bank? Sure makes you wonder.
Update, 5/13: We reached out to CIA leadership for comment. Here is the heavily-redacted correspondence [click to embiggen]:
I especially appreciated the fact that the following sentence about Elisheva’s mom does not contain her mother’s name, but did give her father a shoutout:
היא מדברת איתי מבית קפה, שם היא יושבת עם אמה שבאה לביקור, שגאה בה אבל לא שלמה עם השקפתה.