British “Intelligence” and Zionist Nazi analogies

In Douglas Murray’s latest piece for The Spectator, he asked whether Jews should leave Britain, a question prompted by a piece written by Israeli journalist Caroline Glick, which she wrote after participating in an Intelligence Squared debate about Israeli settlements.

The resolution they debated was titled: “Israel is destroying itself with its settlement policy. If settlement expansion continues Israel will have no future.”

Glick and Danny Dayan, outgoing head of the Yesha Council, were pitted against William Sieghart and Lord Levy’s son, Daniel Levy (one of the founders of J-Street).

The resolution passed by a ratio of 5-1.

Murray wrote the following:

“As Glick notes in her bitter farewell to London, the audience was so hostile towards her argument that when she even mentioned the matter of Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini and his involvement with the Nazis during World War II she was booed down by the audience. They – having been presented to her as open-minded – turned out to be so close-minded and partial that they would not even hear a historical fact about a Palestinian figure who was an actual Nazi.”

However, there was actually some applause from the audience in response to the following Nazi reference made by an audience member. (I edited the full video, which can be seen here).

The dilemma in responding to such a grotesque inversion – the insidious and intellectually bankrupt assertion that Israeli Jews are the practitioners of a Nazi ideology, a charge for which many “sophisticated” Europeans, weary of Holocaust guilt and increasingly hostile to Israel, seem to enjoy as a bit of moral Schadenfreude – is whether to dignify it with a response.

Murray, who didn’t mention that particular question from the audience, strikes the correct tone in his broader reply when he contextualized the tenor of the Intelligence Squared debate by citing MP David Ward’s evocation of ‘Jewish atrocities’ during his putative commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day, as well as the cartoon by Gerald Scarfe.

Murray wrote the following:

“There is absolutely no connection between, for instance, the liquidation of hundreds of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto and the treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank. There is absolutely no connection between the situation in Gaza and the herding of six million Jews into concentration camps. The wonder then is not over Scarfe or Ward’s sense of timing, but why at any point in any year they would be so keen to spread lies and to bait Jews by comparing the actions of the Jewish state with those of a genocidal doctrine of Nazism which sought to annihilate the Jews.”

While Glick’s gloomy and definitive prediction that there is no future for Jews in England seems a bit too glib, Murray’s slightly more restrained conclusion and haunting final question certainly seem sober, well-informed and depressingly apt:

“Glick’s question returns. What sort of future is there in Britain for Jews? I would submit that there is a future. But what is becoming increasingly clear is that the price of that future is that Jews will increasingly be expected to distance themselves from Israel. There is a fair amount of evidence from the Jewish community suggesting that this process is already underway. Once it is complete then those ‘good’ anti-Israel Jews will be able to proclaim victory. But the same force that they encouraged to come for their co-religionists will then just as surely come for them. And then where will they hide?”

Another Guardian video asks “who controls the internet?” The answer again: Israel

Jon Ronson has now posted three investigative videos at the Guardian, as part of a series titled who’s controlling the internet?”. 

When you consider the question of “who’s controlling the internet?”, what would normally come to mind, it would seem, are totalitarian nations like North Korea, China, Iran, and Syria  – states who routinely block web sites critical of their regime.

Yet, two of his first three exposes have focused on, yes, Israel.

Ronson focuses on what’s known as Astroturfing – a form of advocacy in support of a political, organizational, or corporate agenda, designed to give the appearance of a “grassroots” movement. 

The first Ronson video primarily focused on one hoax video by an Israeli calling himself Marc Pax claiming he was denied permission to join the Free Gaza flotilla because the participation of a gay activist would not “serve the interests” of the flotilla movement.

Pax was soon identified as Omer Gershon, an Israeli actor involved in marketing.

An intern working in the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem had posted the clip on Twitter, and government websites put up links to the clip.

However, the links were removed after the hoax was revealed, with apologies from Israeli officials.

That Ronson decided to lead his investigative series with one hoax perpetrated by one Israeli is in itself quite telling. 

But, it’s even more curious that Ronson decided that this single video, out of billions posted on YouTube every year of questionable veracity, deserved scrutiny.

Ronson darkly warned, in the first video:

“there’s a whole sub-culture of young Israelis making YouTube videos about the Gaza Flotilla…Omer Gershon is one of many.”

The subtext of Ronson’s video is almost comical.

Out of the millions of antisemitic and anti-Zionist YouTube videos on the web, Ronson seems especially concerned that some citizens of the democratic state of Israel produce videos attempting to refute anti-Zionist and antisemitic discourse. 

Ronson seems intent on linking the hoax to the Israeli government, or the Israeli “hasbara” community, and thus interviewed producers of the Israeli satire site Latma, columnist, and Latma creator, Caroline Glick, as well as an official at the Israeli government’s office of Public Diplomacy.

Ronson shows clips of a Latma spoof called “Guns, Guns, Guns“, and, evidently appalled at the suggesting that Hamas imports rockets to fire at Israelis, asks Glick, incredulously, “Guns are Gaza’s hobby?”  

Glick then replies, “well, no, killing Jews is”.  

Nonplussed by Glick’s reply, Ronson then quickly changes the subject by asking Glick about the Gershon hoax.  

Glick points out that, yes, it was a hoax, but, of course, the premise of the hoax, that Gaza culture is extremely homophobic, is undeniable. 

Ronson then visits an Israeli official who may substantiate his theory that, as Ronson warns ominously, the Gershon video “may be the work of a new Israeli government department called the ministry for public diplomacy.”

Among the sins of this “Hasbara” effort by the Israeli government, Ronson explains, is the distribution of (gasp!) pamphlets to Israelis on how best to respond to typical accusations of Israeli villainy.

You have to listen to video, and listen to Ronson’s voice, to understand how comical the narrative truly is. 

Evidently, the fact that Israel has a department of public diplomacy is, for Ronson, not only something unusual, but dark and sinister.  

Finally, Ronson interviews Shay Attias, of the Israeli Ministry for Public Diplomacy, to inquire about the Astroturfing allegation. 

We’re then shown Attias explaining to Ronson what “hasbara” initiatives his department is “scheming”. 

Among the propaganda maliciously peddled by the Israeli is Ministry of Public Diplomacy, we learn from Ronson, is the fact that Israel invented the cherry tomato.  

Yes, such Israeli agricultural propaganda is simply chilling. 

Ronson then asks Attias the million dollar question: whether Attias’s office was involved with the Gershon hoax?

Attias definitively denies that the Israeli government had anything to do with the video, but, Ronson, clearly unconvinced, leaves us with a closing clip of “to be continued”.

Of course, the broader question of how, precisely, Israeli public diplomacy is connected to the question of “who’s controlling the internet” is left unstated. 

To provide some perspective, in 2010 alone there were 14 billion videos viewed on YouTube. 

Totalitarian states like China has blocked YouTube.  Morocco shut down access to the site in 2008. Thailand blocked YouTube between 2006 and 2007 due to offensive videos relating to King Bhumibol Adulyadej.  Turkey blocked access to YouTube between 2008 and 2010 after controversy over videos deemed insulting to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. On December 3, 2006, Iran temporarily blocked access to YouTube, along with several other sites, after declaring them as violating social and moral codes of conduct. 

Yet, Ronson’s Guardian series is obsessed with one hoax video posted by one citizen of a free and open society, and views it in the context of the question of who’s controlling the media.  

Evidently, for Ronson, there’s not nearly enough anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda on the internet, and the urgent question which Guardian liberals must know is who is behind the insidious dissemination of information attempting to refute the volley of defamations against the Jewish people. 

The upheaval in Egypt, and the media’s negligence in failing to report on anti-Semitism in the Arab world

Anti-Semitism in the Arab world has been described by professor Robert Wistrich as comparable to that of Nazi Germany at its worst, and yet it is a subject that is rarely covered by the Guardian and the rest of the mainstream media.  The following excerpt of a recent essay by Caroline Glick, as well as the subsequent commentary by Fresno Zionism, is especially relevant in the context of Rachel Shabi’s recent Guardian piece, where, as I noted yesterday, she not only whitewashed anti-Semitism of the Muslim Brotherhood, but actually claimed that Israeli fears of the Brotherhood was indicative of Israeli racism.

This is cross posted at Fresno Zionism:

Caroline Glick:

“Israelis are indifferent [to the current upheavals in the Middle East] because we realize that whether under authoritarian rule or democracy, anti-Semitism is the unifying sentiment of the Arab world. Fractured along socioeconomic, tribal, religious, political, ethnic and other lines, the glue that binds Arab societies is hatred of Jews.

A Pew Research Center opinion survey of Arab attitudes towards Jews from June 2009 makes this clear. Ninety-five percent of Egyptians, 97% of Jordanians and Palestinians and 98% of Lebanese expressed unfavorable opinions of Jews. Three quarters of Turks, Pakistanis and Indonesians also expressed hostile views of Jews…

That is why for most Israelis, the issue of how Arabs are governed is as irrelevant as the results of the 1852 US presidential elections were for American blacks. Since both parties excluded them, they were indifferent to who was in power.

What these numbers, and the anti-Semitic behavior of Arabs, show Israelis is that it makes no difference which regime rules where. As long as the Arab peoples hate Jews, there will be no peace between their countries and Israel. No one will be better for Israel than Mubarak. They can only be the same or worse…

One of the more troubling aspects of the Western media coverage of the tumult in Egypt over the past two weeks has been the media’s move to airbrush out all evidence of the protesters’ anti- Semitism…

Given the Western media’s obsessive coverage of the Arab-Israel conflict, at first blush it seems odd that they would ignore the prevalence of anti-Semitism among the presumably pro-democracy protesters. But on second thought, it isn’t that surprising.

If the media reported on the overwhelming Jew hatred in the Arab world generally and in Egypt specifically, it would ruin the narrative of the Arab conflict with Israel.That narrative explains the roots of the conflict as frustrated Arab-Palestinian nationalism. It steadfastly denies any more deeply seated antipathy of Jews that is projected onto the Jewish state. The fact that the one Jewish state stands alone against 23 Arab states and 57 Muslim states whose populations are united in their hatred of Jews necessarily requires a revision of the narrative. And so their hatred is ignored.”

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Satire news show critical of Israeli media (but critiques hit much closer to home)

Latma is an Israeli group that produces political satire for Internet broadcast, and was created to mock Israel’s media. Caroline Glick, who is one of the web site’s editors, told the Jerusalem Post that the group was founded with the intention of using comedy to critique the “egregious leftist slant of news coverage in this country.”  Its satire is spot-on and, at times, outright hilarious. But, indeed the critiques are also relevant in the context of the anti-Israel media out side of Israel (especially one news enterprise located in the UK).

Here are snapshots from the program (see text at bottom of screen):

There was a quip by the late senator Daniel Moynihan that “people are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.”  Latma adeptly demonstrates that many in the media seem to passionately disagree with his statement.

Here’s latest episode:

Churchill’s true colors and the world’s enraged response to Succot

In this week’s episode of the Tribal Update, the television-on-internet satire show produced weekly by Latma(the Hebrew-language media satire website edited by Caroline Glick), against the backdrop of the renewed “land for peace” talks between Israel and the PLO, the truth is revealed about World War 2’s origins and reveal Winston Churchill’s “true colors.”

YouTube silences Latma, removes We Con the World

This is a cross post by Caroline Glick from Carolineglick.com

As Israel went offline for the Jewish sabbath, YouTube removed most versions of Latma’s hit parody song We Con the World. If you try to access the song on YouTube you receive the notification:

This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Warner/ Chappell Music, Inc. .

Copyright experts we advised with before posting the song told us in no uncertain terms that we were within our rights to use the song because we did so in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine. The Fair Use Doctrine, copied and pasted below from the US Copyright Office stipulates that it is legal and permissible to use copyrighted material under the fair use doctrine for purposes of parody.

Copyright attorneys also warned us that given our clearly lawful use of the song We are the World, if anyone wished to silence our voices, they wouldn’t target us. Instead they would target YouTube. It is YouTube’s standard practice to remove any material that they receive even the flimsiest threat for because the company wishes to avoid all litigation.

At the same time, this is not YouTube’s first move to silence Israeli voices. During Operation Cast Lead, the IDF Spokesman’s Unit established a YouTube channel and began posting combat footage on its channel to bypass the anti-Israel media and go directly to news consumers.

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