Hirsh Goodman

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Hirsh Goodman (born 1946, Port Elizabeth, South Africa) is the founder and former editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Report, a former Strategic Fellow at WINEP, and a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University where he directs the Charles and Andrea Bronfman Program on Information Strategy. He is a contributing editor to the US News & World Report, a contributor to The New Republic, a news analyst for CBS News, and a former correspondent for the Sunday Times. He is also a Senior Research Associate at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University.[1]


Hirsh Goodman was born in Apartheid-era South Africa where he was active in Zionist causes from an early age. He immigrated to Israel in 1965 and served as a paratrooper in the 1967 war. In 1971 he started his journalistic career as the military reporter for the Jerusalem Post eventually ending up as the editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Report. Goodman is married to Isabel Kershner of the New York Times and has four children and lives in Jerusalem.[1]

Defending Operation Cast Lead and the Freedom Flotilla raid

Goodman has described the Israeli assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, in which nine activists were killed by Israeli commandos as a 'brutal attack on the Israeli commandos' and as 'organized and life-threatening violence that met the descending troops.' He has repeated the Israeli military's false claims about 'terrorist' affiliations of the activists. He also repeated the Israeli military's claim -- based on an audio doctored by the Israelis[2][3] -- that the activists told the Israelis to 'go back to Auschwitz.'[4] He has reserved his criticism for the intelligence community, for bungling the propaganda war during the flotilla crisis and Operation Cast Lead. He advises:

Both in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, which led to the Goldstone commission, and in this incident, the need for materials that will help Israel make its case are crucial. This is no longer a question of image, but in the context of post-Goldstone realities and the concerted campaign to besmirch Israel and de-legitimize the country, it is probably as important, if not more so, than the conventional battles Israel faces. As a result of this campaign, Israel faces economic, artistic, and academic embargoes, continuous attacks in the UN, and other world forums...It is time for those in the intelligence and security communities to switch gear when it comes to information sharing...Israel has in place the necessary public diplomacy structures to make Israel's case effectively. But without ammunition they are powerless.[4]

On Israel's image problem

According to the Jerusalem Post, Goodman has argued that Israel's image has been dogged by a persistent failure to respond in real time to bogus or exaggerated allegations of military wrongdoing - for example, in Jenin 2002, Kana 2006, or in the Goldstone Report 2009. As of April 2010 he was reportedly 'working with government officials to counteract today's instant dissemination of images from the battlefield by shaping responses based on real time intelligence.'[5]



  • Let me create a paradise, God said to himself: A childhood in South Africa and a life in Israel (2005)
  • The Future Battlefield and the Middle East Conflict (with Seth W. Carus)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Hirsh Goodman (profile), Abfition.com, accessed 14 September 2010
  2. Max Blumenthal, IDF Admits It Doctored Flotilla Audio Clip. Washington Post’s Kessler Must Retract, Maxblumenthal.com, 5 June 2010
  3. IDF Releases Apparently Doctored Flotilla Audio; Press Reports As Fact, Maxblumenthal.com, 4 June 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hirsh Goodman, The Source of Failure: Israel’s Public Diplomacy and the Intelligence Community, Right Side News, 9 June 2010
  5. Leslie Susser, Tide of Delegitimization, Jerusalem Post, accessed 20 July 2012
  6. Hirsh Goodman (profile), INSS, accessed 14 September 2010