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.
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.
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.
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.