Antisemitism in the media – home-grown and foreign

Following the ADL’s wide-ranging report on antisemitic attitudes worldwide, it should not come as a shock to discover how these attitudes are expressed in real life. Nevertheless the following stories do disturb me greatly.

I will start with home-grown antisemitism – in the form of Haaretz reports on anything to do with religious Jews, settlements and settlers, in particular reports by Amira Hass. I have heard Haaretz described as “Israel’s Guardian newspaper” and even “the equivalent of Der Stuermer).  We needn’t go as far as the latter, but the former certainly fits the bill.

Lag Ba’Omer bonfire

The minor Jewish holiday of Lag Ba’Omer was celebrated on Saturday night and Sunday (continuing into Monday) with bonfires and sing-alongs and other musical festivities. Israellycool contributor Ryan Bellerose, a  member of the indigenous Metis people from the far north of Canada, who is currently visiting Israel, attended one such bonfire in Hevron. He was appalled when he read the Haaretz version of the event and accused them of fabrication:

I walked down the hill a short way to a public area where there is a blue Schweppes truck sitting and a field where there are no olive trees. I walked past an ancient tomb of biblical Jews.


Now for what I saw: there were boxes of sandwiches and cakes, pastries and pop and juices of all sorts just given out for free to everyone. There was a band playing modern music and small children playing and dancing everywhere. People were laughing and joking and the mood was joyous. It was actually one of the most joyous things I have seen in Israel and I was here for Independence Day! They had stacked wood the day before and I watched as they struggled to light the fire. I noticed they kept trying to light the top, and I showed a teenager to use kindling and to light it from the bottom. At that point the fire went up.


I stayed about another couple hours watching the kids dancing. Once the fire died right down, I walked up the hill and went to sleep. Not one olive tree was burned, not one photographer was “accosted,” and the music went on until the fire died down. There were several Europeans filming the entire proceedings, so if something actually happened, I’m sure they would have posted it already. I didn’t see one Jewish person engage with the people taunting them from behind the fence.

I just read this Ha’aretz story and it is complete fiction. I think that’s a huge part of the problem in the Middle East, because some uninformed person will read that story and will believe it because it’s in ” the news.” Frankly, the entire story is fabricated and untruthful. I am just glad I was there to see first hand the demonization of these people by a media with an agenda.

Ryan is much too kind to the liars at Haaretz. Their intention is not just to demonize but to actually cause harm to the “eeevil settlers”. They are as bad as any common-or-garden antisemite to be found in any neo-Nazi rally anywhere in Europe, only for Haaretz, the “settler” has replaced the “Jew”.

Brian of London updated the post:

Update by Brian of London 19/5 15:45

The story as written up in Ha’aretz, and especially the headline “Lag Ba’omer in Hebron: Settlers torch Palestinian orchard”, is yet another case of malicious translation by the English editors of Ha’aretz. Even the notoriously skewed reporting of Amira Hass completely contradicts the headline given to the piece when it was translated. We’ve covered this kind of mis-translation so many times. And the odd thing is, they never mistranslate a headline to make normal Israelis look good, only ever bad.

CAMERA caught this one and have written in up in great detail: check it out.

Haaretz of course have form in this respect. but that is cold comfort indeed.

Returning to the ADL report on antisemitism and CifWatch’s analysis of the Guardian’s repulsive op-ed, Honest Reporting too have an excellent rebuttal of the  revolting op-ed about the report which essentially excuses antisemitism:

Racism against various ethnic groups is held up internationally as inherently evil and must be fought without question. Those ethnic groups are given the right to determine what defines racism against them. But not for the Jewish people. Only racism against Jews, more commonly referred to an anti-Semitism, can, it appears, be justified or excused and only definitions of anti-Semitism can be questioned and ridiculed in a way that no other ethnic or national group experiences.

So trust The Guardian to reduce the entire ADL survey into its narrow prism of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Instead, the authors of The Guardian’s piece are more concerned with excusing anti-Semitism, much of which is a direct result of Palestinian incitement against Jews in their own media and education systems (as documented by Palestinian Media Watch), which promote Jew-hatred. If the anti-Semitism “score” of 93% for the Palestinians is due solely to Israeli treatment of Palestinians, how then to explain the 92% of Iraqis who also hold anti-Semitic views? After all, Iraq has no territorial dispute with Israel and Israelis have no direct influence on the lives of ordinary Iraqis unless one believes the anti-Semitic stereotype of Jewish control over global affairs.

Read both rebuttals from Honest Reporting and CiFWatch to understand how deeply flows the virulently anti-Israel sentiment at the Guardian.

Maccabi Tel Aviv players and coaches celebrate their Euroleague win

Moving to a much more benign subject, we find that even a happy event such as Maccabi Tel Aviv winning the Euroleague basketball cup is an excuse for the antisemites to come crawling out of the woodwork.  Following their exciting win, a spate of 17,500 antisemitic tweets flooded the Twitter network:

Twitter users in Spain posted 17,500 messages of anti-Semitic abuse after Israeli basketball team Maccabi Tel Aviv beat Real Madrid over the weekend, Jewish organizations said Tuesday.

Twelve Jewish groups in the northeastern Catalonia region lodged a legal complaint over the messages, which they said flooded onto the Twitter network after Maccabi’s narrow win in the Euroleague final on Sunday.

Angry Spanish supporters created an expletive anti-Semitic hashtag in their messages after the match, which briefly became one of the most popular keywords on Twitter in Spain

Ruben Noboa of the Jewish group Israel in Catalonia said he launched the lawsuit after seeing references in some messages to death camps and the mass murder of Jews in the Holocaust.

“When we saw reactions to Maccabi’s victory such as ‘Jews to the oven’ or ‘Jews to the showers’, we decided to lodge this judicial complaint,” Noboa told AFP.

Eleven other Jewish associations have joined in his lawsuit, in which he presented copies of anti-Semitic tweets to state prosecutors, he said.

The organizations singled out five people who were identified by their real names on Twitter, accusing them of “incitement to hatred and discrimination” — a crime punishable by up to three years’ jail in Spain.

I can understand the disappointment of the Spanish fans as they saw their team lose to the Israelis – but 17,500 antisemitic tweets?! If it had been any other country that had won I wonder how many hateful tweets we’d have seen.

The polar opposite reaction – but also antisemitic in its way – emerges from the good old BBC. Or rather, it doesn’t emerge at all, since the BBC reported precisely zero about the Israeli win, as BBC Watch reports:

There is, however, a dedicated basketball page buried deep in the Sports section of the BBC News website: surely an article must appear there? Indeed, a report does appear on that page concerning a basketball match held in Italy over the weekend, but it is about a game between the women’s teams of Italy and Great Britain.Or what about the website’s Middle East page? After all, the European championship was won by Maccabi Tel Aviv for the sixth time and tens of thousands of residents of the city spent 24 hours celebrating the victory. No: nothing there either.

Nope. We mustn’t muddle the narrative by allowing a good news story to emerge about Israel.

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7 Responses to Antisemitism in the media – home-grown and foreign

  1. Reality says:

    I must admit I was shocked at the amount of anti -semitic tweets after the basketball win. It just goes to prove that the Europeans are as anti -semitic as ever including Goode ye olde England if the BBC is anything to go by.As for our own home grown apologetic Jews , I don’t get them. Don’t they understand especially after hearing about all those tweets that to anti-semites the world over it makes no difference if you are a self hating Jew or not . To them a good Jew is a dead Jew. It always has been & probably always will , nothing Israel does will change that.

  2. JudyPT says:

    You are so right about not confusing their anti Israel agenda by reporting any thing positive about us. Many years ago a media watching reporter came to speak to my womens group and told us how the media(in England) were distorting the story of Sabra andShatilla attacks blaming Israel for everything. She had photos of the attacks that showed what really went on there and took them to all the British papers but not one was prepared to print them as it didnt fit their anti Israel bias, unfortunately nothing has changed after all these years.

  3. Andrea says:


    There is a point resonating in my head, although it is perhaps not the most important
    Referring to sport events :”If it had been any other country that had won I wonder how many hateful tweets we’d have seen.”. The answer is not that easy and I would like to find this with any possible contribution from your readers. Imagine an English team beating a Spanish one ( oh how Englishmen would this true ) in footbal or basket. We would see jokes from England about Spanish Armada sinking in the abyss of sea and many heatred tweets on Bastard Englishmen on the other way around. It is also possible that your “enemy” in football is represented in a racist way : English are all violent and alcholic addicted, Italians greasy heads and cowards, Irish amazing brawler and so on. So at first sight I would say it is not surprising that also Israelis receive their dose of steroptypes and since Israeli means Jew- at least out of Israel – all the worst you can expect will be uttered. This is the first answer I have but it is not the correct one. There is a substantial different between saying “greasy mafia wop” to Italians and ” give them gas ” to Israelis. I mean both of these are evidence of immeasurable stupidity and deserve rejection but almost no one Italian has been killed for his greasy head whilst millions of Jew really were sent to gas chambers. The real point of difference is that insulting Italians or Englishmen or Spanish during a match is seldom a sign of a real political and social hate but result of anger due to specific circumstances, hateful tweeds against Jews sounds incredibly real under a political and historical perspective.
    Only the Jews? Not, also Black People are hated at the same way, at least when playing football.. Mario Balotelli is a very popular Italian but nobody label him as wop or Eyetie (out of Italy of course ) – he is indeed always labelled as Negro.
    With an exception : since his adoptive mother is Jew now he is insulted as “Giudeo”…
    All men are equally hated the Jews are more equal than others.

    PS Sorry for using bad stereotypes which I strongly reject. Just tried to be as clear as possible.
    All my sympathy to everyone could be offended by reading at first sight the above

    • anneinpt says:

      No need to apologize Andrea, I understand your point exactly, and your use of stereotypes was for illustrative purposes only.

      It’s possible that the BBC didn’t report on the Euroleague because no English team was playing, but since they report on every tiny move by Israel that could possibly be put in a bad light, it is all the more blatant when they don’t report on something nice, especially as they had a dedicated Euroleague page – and it wasn’t just a regular match but the cup final.

      Re the antisemitic tweets, yes, of course it was fuelled by hooligan fans of Real Madrid, but as you so correctly say, making antisemitic or threatening remarks is much worse than just calling people nasty names.

      You make 2 very apt points:

      since Israeli means Jew- at least out of Israel – all the worst you can expect will be uttered

      When the anti-Israelis, or anti-Semites, want to prove that they are not antisemitic, they say they are anti-Israel but not antisemitic. But when it suits them, all Israelis are Jews to them. So we can’t win.

      And the 2nd point:

      All men are equally hated the Jews are more equal than others.

      That is brilliant in its simplicity and correctness.

  4. peteca1 says:

    Anne … Hi and hope things are goibng well.

    as usual, I am switching topics on you. please see the news story today. If this story is accurate, then it looks as though Putin is calling Netanyahu’s bluff. If this goes through, Iran will have multiple nuclear weapons – without question. We have said here before … the ball is in Israel’s court if there is going to be any type of action to forestall these plans. Really, this is NOW the time when Netanyahu must show his cards. And it is reasonable to think that Putin and Russia are prepared for any eventuality – meaning that if the IDF does strike Iran thn they see a way to profit from the situation.

    all the best,
    Pete, USA

    • anneinpt says:

      I don’t think Putin is calling Israel’s bluff for the simple reason that Israel (and Bibi) was never taken in by Russia. Israel acts in its own self-interest and has tried not to antagonize Russia over Ukraine. But that doesn’t mean we are new BFFs, and that we are going to trust them blindly.

      It’s not very good news, it’s true, but I’m not sure how much of a surprise this has been. For the moment anyway it’s still a potential problem rather than real time.

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