Tag Archives: Amnesty International

Teen terrorists made in Palestine

Note: This is an updated version of a post first published in November on my TOI blog.

*

“Child Sacrifice Brings No Honor to the Palestinian Cause” was the title of a recent Ha’aretz op-ed by Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie. It’s 2015, and one might have hoped there would be no need for an op-ed with such a title. But sadly, there is even a Wikipedia entry for “Child suicide bombers in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict,” and the recent stabbing attacks by Palestinian teenagers – including a boy as young as 11 – are only another reminder of the abusive indoctrination and exploitation of children practiced by Palestinian society for decades.

Long before Hamas officials boasted in recent years that their efforts to train a “true generation of martyrdom-seekers” were so successful that “Palestinian youngsters … fight and quarrel over performing a courageous suicide operation,” a Life Magazine cover story on “Palestinian Arabs” in 1970 included a photo showing a group of very young boys with guns and the caption: “The ‘Tiger Cubs’ train at a camp in Jordan.”

Life Mag 1970 cover

Why Palestinians considered it useful to train child soldiers was explained by the prominent cartoonist Nagi Al-Ali in an article published in 1985, where he first denounced Israel’s 1982 campaign against Palestinian terror groups in Lebanon and then gloated:

“I saw for myself how afraid the Israeli soldiers were of the children. A child of ten or eleven had sufficient training to carry and use an RBG rifle. The situation was simple enough. The Israeli tanks were in front of them and the weapon was in their hands. The Israelis were afraid to go into the camps, and if they did, they would only do so in daylight.”

More than three decades have passed since then, but Palestinians still believe that the same Israeli soldiers they regularly denounce as brutal and trigger-happy are “afraid” of children – which of course means they know full well that Israeli soldiers don’t want to shoot kids. Sadly, that in turn only means Palestinians find it very useful to involve their children in protests and violent provocations.

The deeply cynical game that Palestinians like to play was illustrated a few months ago, when a video showing the attempt of an Israeli soldier to arrest a seemingly frightened boy for rock-throwing went viral. The fully armed soldier was quickly attacked and forced to retreat by a group of women and girls from the Tamimi clan of Nabi Saleh – a small village near Ramallah, which has become a popular destination for international activists who are attracted by the weekly efforts of the Tamimis to provoke clashes with the IDF.

The boy in the video elicited all the more sympathy around the globe because he had one arm in a cast. His parents, Bassem and Nariman Tamimi, proceeded to tell the media various stories about how their son had broken his arm, and needless to say, all the stories blamed the brutality of Israeli’s army. However, when I decided to look into the matter, I found out that Facebook posts by the Tamimis revealed that their son Mohammad (aka Abu Yazan) had broken his arm when he stumbled while throwing stones at an army jeep – for which his parents not only praised him to the high heavens, but which they also encouraged him to continue. When a Facebook friend expressed concern and suggested it might be better to stop these provocations, Mohammad’s loving mother coldly responded: “Either victory or martyrdom; and everything is going to be OK.”

For the Tamimis everything was more than OK when the video of the attempted arrest of their son went viral. They greatly enjoyed the global media attention and shared countless reports condemning Israeli brutality against an innocent helpless little boy on their Facebook pages. But they also shared a revealing cartoon that illustrates their cynical exploitation of their own children: the ostensibly terrified boy with the broken arm, who was exhibited to the world as the victim of a brutal assault by a heavily armed soldier, is transformed into a little superman who needs just one arm to toss a monstrously huge Israeli soldier into the air; the triumphant caption reads in English: “Shatter the myth of the Zionist army at the hands of the children of Nabi Saleh.”

Tamimi kids shatter IDF mythWhile the Tamimis gloat that it is child’s play to “shatter the myth of the Zionist army,” they also happily spread current versions of the medieval blood libel, including accusations that Israeli soldiers shoot Palestinian children for fun or arrest them to harvest their organs.

BTamimi Pal kids stolen organs

It’s arguably worthwhile to ponder for a moment how it must feel to grow up in such an environment: on the one hand, your parents and adult family members push you relentlessly to provoke Israeli soldiers and praise you when you do so; on the other hand, your parents and adult family members say that the Israeli soldiers you are supposed to provoke kill kids for fun or arrest them to harvest their organs.

Add to this frightful demonization the pervasive glorification of terrorism in Palestinian society with the clear message that there is nothing more heroic than being killed while killing – or at least trying to kill – Israeli Jews, and it’s no longer such a mystery why even young Palestinian teens would grab a knife and go out to stab a Jew.

So it was no surprise that the Tamimis cheered the recent stabbing attacks – even when the attacks were thought to be carried out by 15-year-olds.

MTamimi 15yo hero stabs settler

In this case, the attacker turned out to be actually 19, and the victim was a yeshiva student; but as I have shown in a detailed documentation published recently by The Tower Magazine, the Tamimis had been rooting for a “third intifada” for years and could see nothing wrong when it seemed that this long-hoped-for “third intifada” might be brought about by knife-wielding Palestinian teenagers stabbing Jews on the streets of Israel’s cities. Since the Tamimis had long promoted the use of children in violent confrontations with the IDF, they were now ready to hail teenaged terrorists as “heroes” if they were arrested, and as “martyrs” if they were killed while killing or trying to kill; at the same time, they were shameless enough to claim repeatedly that the “martyrs” were innocent victims executed in cold blood by the evil Zionists.

Sadly, the Tamimis are quite representative of mainstream Palestinian support for violence and terrorism, which is well-documented in surveys that go back more than two decades.

What makes the Tamimis’ support for terrorism – along with their openly displayed Jew-hatred and their frank rejection of a peacefully negotiated two-state solution – noteworthy is that they have the unwavering support of Amnesty International. At the end of the second intifada, Amnesty eventually got around to issuing a belated statement criticizing “Palestinian armed groups” for using children. But apparently, Amnesty sees nothing wrong when the Tamimis insist that even children have the “duty” to “resist.” Indeed, when Bassem Tamimi recently faced criticism for trying to indoctrinate American Third Graders during a US-speaking tour that was co-sponsored by Amnesty, an official of the organization rejected the criticism and emphasized that Amnesty had “adopted his village of Nabi Saleh as a community-at-risk” and that “AI groups globally work on behalf of the village long term.”

It’s supposedly an African proverb that says “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” As I have shown in The Tower Magazine documentation, children in the Amnesty-supported village of Nabi Saleh are raised by adults who push them relentlessly to put themselves in danger in order to fulfill their “duty” to “resist;” the children see their parents cheer teenagers who went out to stab Jews, and they grow up among adults who feel that Israel’s Jews deserve to be killed because they are all bloodthirsty “settlers” and “Zionists” who want global strife. And as soon as the children are on Facebook, they will be “friends” with one of the most notorious Tamimi-clan members: Ahlam Tamimi, the mastermind of the 2001 Sbarro massacre in Jerusalem.

* * *

Update:

About a month after The Tower Magazine published my documentation, Amnesty International decided to show again its support for the Tamimis and organized a campaign on Twitter that was joined by numerous regional and local Amnesty branches all posting tweets with the hashtag #NabiSaleh.

Amnesty’s continued support for the Tamimis is shameful, all the more so since in the meantime, some Palestinian journalists and intellectuals have begun to speak out against the indoctrination and exploitation of children in confrontations with the IDF and terror attacks. To quote one voice repudiating the kind of views promoted by the Tamimis:

“Do not send your children into the fray, even though the occupation does not distinguish between children, youth, and adults… We must not bring our children into the cycle of violence… Even the Prophet Muhammad refused to bring children into battle… We should keep our children away from the demonstrations in the areas of conflict and clashes so they can experience their childhood. Even if it is a difficult [childhood], it is better than the childhood of the injured, the prisoner, or the martyr who is [completely] bereft of a childhood.”

[…]

“Do not cheer [the stabbing children] and do not take pride [in them], since this has become a game of blood. Those who scream and roar, congratulating a child for pulling out a knife or a schoolgirl for taking up a pair of scissors, should see them as though they were their own children. Would they agree to throw their son into this furnace?”

However, a recent poll shows overwhelming support for the current wave of Palestinian terror attacks, though most do not want “young school girls” to commit stabbings.

Amnesty International wants to ignore that supporting Bassem Tamimi means supporting terror

[This is an updated version of my guest post at Elder of Ziyon]

For the Tamimis of Nabi Saleh, their activism and their supposedly “non-violent resistance” is a family affair. This was not only illustrated in the fawning tribute to the Tamimi clan featured as a New York Times Magazine cover story in March 2013, but it is also reflected in many other reports, and Bassem Tamimi himself as well as his supporters have often emphasized the important role of his family.

Indeed, for Bassem Tamimi – who has Amnesty International’s unwavering support – it is the Palestinians’ “destiny” to “resist”, it is an integral part of Palestinian “culture” and “history.” While Bassem Tamimi is hailed by Amnesty as a “human rights activist” worthy of unquestioning support, he has consistently emphasized that he regards all forms of “resistance” as legitimate, and he has frequently explained that his own (current) preference for protests and rock-throwing is a choice prompted by purely pragmatic considerations.

Neither the fact that the rock-throwing advocated so passionately by Bassem Tamimi has resulted in the death of more than a dozen Israelis, nor the Tamimi clan’s openly stated refusal to condemn terrorism and their insistence that they have “the right to armed resistance,” nor the well-known fact that Tamimi clan member Ahlam Tamimi, the mastermind of the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria bombing in Jerusalem, remains “much-loved in Nabi Saleh” has deterred Amnesty International from ‘adopting’ Bassem Tamimi’s “village of Nabi Saleh as a community-at-risk.” Indeed, as Edith Garwood, the Amnesty International USA Country Specialist – Israel/OPT/State of Palestine, declared in a recent message, “AI groups globally work on behalf of the village long term including here in the U.S.”

It is time to spell out that Amnesty International is working on behalf of people who share and promote Ahlam Tamini’s vile ideology and her continuing incitement to and glorification of terrorism.

In the aftermath of the recent lethal terror attacks against Israeli Jews, Bassem Tamimi’s wife shared a post on Facebook (FB) that reads translated from the original Arabic (all translations courtesy of Ibn Boutros):

“A point of light:

Each stage has its special form of resistance, and the signs of this stage have clearly appeared in the method of the individual operations. They are planned by individuals, financed by individuals, prepared by individuals, and carried out by individuals.

The result is the 100% success of the mission.

Do not wait for an organization to organize you [or: put you into formations / register you / put limitations on you], set the time for you, command you [give you orders] and politicize you.

Put your life on the line and go ahead, Allah will be with you.”

NTamimi FB Oct 4 1204am

Nariman Tamimi shared this open incitement to commit terrorist attacks from a FB page belonging to a person who calls herself “Princess of the Free.” Both the profile picture and the cover picture displayed at the time of this writing show Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri, the terrorist who exploded himself in the crowded Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem on August 9, 2001, killing 15 civilians , including 7 children and a pregnant woman, and wounding some 130 other people.

Sbarro bomber FB page

As you can see, the “Princess of the Free” is quite popular: at the time of this writing, she has 4,988 friends and her posts are followed by 2,787 people. Among her FB friends are Bassem Tamimi as well as his wife Nariman and his famous daughter Ahed.

BTamimi FB friend Sbarro bomber

This screenshot from Bassem Tamimi’s FB page coincidentally shows among his FB friends the profile picture of the “Princess of the Free” (marked with a red circle) just above a photo Bassem Tamimi posted showing himself and his nephew Nizar Tamimi, a son of a sister of Bassem Tamimi who was convicted of the 1993 murder of Chaim Mizrachi and who was released in the 2011 Shalit deal.

Another Tamimi clan member released in this deal was of course the Sbarro massacre mastermind Ahlam Tamimi – and Nizar and Ahlam had been sweethearts of sorts for a while, and got married shortly after their release.

According to this FB post, Nizar Tamimi is the husband of the “Princess of the Free” – which would make the “Princess of the Free” Ahlam Tamimi.

There are a number of additional indications that the “Princess of the Free” is indeed Ahlam Tamimi. They include this picture and “poem” posted on September 19, which was “liked” by 132 people, including Nariman Tamimi, and which is signed at the bottom left corner: “The freed (prisoner) journalist Ahlam Tamimi.” The “poem” includes unmistakable allusions to the Sbarro bombing:

“Fire was lit in the body

Don’t just stand by perplexed

Remember the day the restaurant burned

Remember the day that the roof flew away

What prevents honor from returning?

What prevents the rebels from laughing?

Try and move forward

Try and plan

Try and carry out

Prepare the mix [of explosives?]

Take the axe

What’s the plan?

Believe me, with your hands only

You will cause a heart attack for the enemy.”

Irrespective of the question if the “Princess of the Free” is really the Sbarro massacre mastermind Ahlam Tamimi, the fact that Bassem and Nariman Tamimi as well as their daughter Ahed are FB “friends” of this terror-loving “princess” and the fact that Nariman Tamimi obviously follows the page and recently shared a post inciting more terror attacks is further evidence that the Tamimis of Nabi Saleh are not even trying to conceal their support for terrorism.

That leaves only Amnesty International trying to conceal that their support of the Tamimis and Nabi Saleh is support for murderous Jew-hatred and terrorism.

* * *

Update:

The incitement to terror attacks shared by Nariman Tamimi was also spread on Twitter by an account that seems to belong to Ahlam Tamimi or a collaborator.

Ahlam Tamimi Twitter incitement

Manal Tamimi: screaming hate on Twitter

Manal Tamimi is one of the women representing the Tamimi clan’s “cause” alongside Bassem Tamimi’s wife Nariman both at home and abroad. The New York Times Magazine cover story (2013) on the Tamimis describes Manal Tamimi as part of the Tamimi media team: she is married to Bilal Tamimi, who is in charge of filming the protests in Nabi Saleh and publicizing the footage on YouTube as well as through Tamimi Press and other channels, while Manal “supplements the effort with a steady outpouring of tweets (@screamingtamimi).”

Below a sample of Manal Tamimi’s recent “outpouring of tweets” without further comment except when needed for context. These tweets should also be read in the context of the recent declaration by Amnesty International’s Country Specialist – Israel/OPT/State of Palestine Edith Garwood that her organization is supporting not only Bassem Tamimi, but that it has “adopted his village of Nabi Saleh as a community-at-risk” and that “AI groups globally work on behalf of the village long term including here in the U.S.” Indeed, already in November 2013, AI published a glowing tribute to the “tiny village with a big voice” that concludes with AI official Saleh Hijazi declaring:

“We need to tell the Israeli authorities: enough. You are no longer facing a tiny village on a small hill. You now have the entire Amnesty movement to reckon with.”

Presumably, then, Manal Tamimi can feel supported by “the entire Amnesty movement.”

MTamimi 3rd intifada

MTamimi 3rd intifada2

MTamimi Delete Israel

MTamimi Go Gaza go

MTamimi Molotov cocktail

MTamimi Zionist bus on fire

MTamimi RT ZioNazi Netanyahu

MTamimi ZioNazis

MTamimi Gods chosen psychos

MTamimi vampire zionists Yom Kippur

[“Kebore” i.e. Yom Kippur]

MTamimi resistance existenceMTamimi Pal lions

MTamimi Hey thieves

MTamimi humanity

The children likely escaped death because one of the terrorists was injured by “friendly fire” and rushed to a local hospital by his accomplices.

MTamimi supports murders

This and the following tweets refer to the lethal stabbing attack targeting a couple with two children returning from prayers at the Western Wall.

MTamimi blood libel

MTamimi Not innocent civilians

MTamimi eye for eye

MTamimi martyrs

MTamimi supports murders2

MTamimi response to Netanyahu

This is apparently a response to Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the United Nations General Assembly, October 1, 2015, where he said:
“I am prepared to immediately, immediately, resume direct peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority without any preconditions whatsoever.”

Update:

Manal Tamimi doubles down on Twitter and Facebook

After my post was apparently brought to Manal Tamimi’s attention, she responded on Facebook and Twitter reaffirming her views.

MTamimi FB response

MTamimi response to me

Later on, she also posted additional tweets expressing her hatred for Israel and her support of terrorist attacks and a “Third Intifada”.

MTamimi ZioNazi PetahTikvaMTamimi ran over settler

Does Amnesty International support Bassem Tamimi’s quest to start a “Third Intifada”?

NYT Mag cover IntifadaIn a recent post published by The Algemeiner (reproduced below slightly revised), I focused on Amnesty International’s support for Bassem Tamimi, arguing that “[s]upporting Bassem Tamimi inevitably means supporting his openly declared ambition to start a ‘third intifada.’”

Given the fact that the perpetrator of tonight’s lethal terror attack in Jerusalem proclaimed in a Facebook post written a day before his attack that “[the] third intifada is here,” it seems worthwhile highlighting once again that Bassem Tamimi has consistently emphasized that he regards all forms of “resistance” as legitimate, and that his own (current) preference for protests and rock-throwing is a choice prompted by purely pragmatic considerations. It is therefore not at all surprising to see the reactions of Bassem Tamimi’s family members and close collaborators to tonight’s terror attack.

Bassem Tamimi’s wife Nariman shared a post praising the perpetrator as a “martyr” whose memory should be honored by only posting pictures of him alive and not any showing him shot after the attack. Meanwhile, Bassem and Nariman Tamimi’s relative and collaborator Manal Tamimi – who is, according to the New York Times Magazine, part of the “homegrown” Tamimi “media team” representing the Tamimis on Twitter – posted a series of tweets that left no doubt how the Tamimis feel about this and previous terror attacks; some other recent tweets illustrate their seething hatred for Israel and their deep-seated antisemitism.

Below screenshots of some of Manal Tamimi’s recent tweets and a slightly revised version of my article from The Algemeiner.

MTamimi supports murders3

MTamimi supports murders

MTamimi supports murders2

MTamimi ZioNazis

MTamimi blood libel

* * *

How would you like your children being taught about human rights by a veteran Palestinian activist who has pushed his own children for years to confront and provoke IDF soldiers in order to film the encounters? An activist who is only too happy to promote any dramatic footage he might get showing his own children terrified and crying if they successfully provoked a reaction? An activist who then celebrates the outpouring of global sympathy with his supporters by gloating that it is child’s play to “shatter the myth of the Zionist army”? An activist who counts among his family members convicted murderers and terrorists, who endorses the promotion of the Hamas-affiliated Al Qassam Brigades on his daughter’s Facebook page, while his wife, the girl’s mother, glorifies the mastermind of the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria massacre in Jerusalem?

If you object to having third-graders in a US school being taught about human rights by an activist like Bassem Tamimi, Amnesty International will rush to his defense, protesting that he faces an “undeserved backlash.”

Indeed, Amnesty International is a co-sponsor of Bassem Tamimi’s month-long US speaking tour that included his visit at the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School in Ithaca, New York. Apparently, Amnesty International is not bothered by the fact that the responsible Superintendent of Schools of the Ithaca (NY) City School District has acknowledged that the event with Tamimi was inappropriate.

But what is clearly much worse is that Amnesty International is apparently neither bothered by Bassem Tamimi’s cynical exploitation of his children, nor by his openly stated determination to end Israel’s existence as a Jewish state or his thinly veiled support for terrorism.

Amnesty might prefer not to have it spelled out, but promoting Bassem Tamimi as a “human rights defender” committed to non-violence is utterly disingenuous. Supporting Bassem Tamimi inevitably means supporting his openly declared ambition to start a “third intifada.” Tamimi likes to invoke the Palestinian “right to resist,” and he has made clear that this includes “armed resistance.” While Tamimi often explains in interviews that the “armed resistance” that made the second intifada (2000-2005) so bloody is in his view unlikely to lead to success, he also usually refuses to condemn terrorism, and he and other members of his clan reportedly resent “being asked to forswear bloodshed.” Indeed, those Tamimi family members who have shed the blood of Israeli Jews – including the unrepentant mastermind of the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria bombing in Jerusalem – “remain much-loved” in Tamimi’s village of Nabi Saleh.

Moreover, there is obviously nothing “non-violent” about the throwing of stones and rocks that Bassem Tamimi promotes so passionately as “part” of Palestinian “culture” and as an integral feature of an “authentic” popular struggle. So far, 15 Israelis – including three Arabs mistaken for Jews – have been killed by Palestinian rock throwers.

In this context it is also important to understand that the goal Bassem Tamimi pursues is not the peaceful co-existence of the Jewish State of Israel and an Arab-Muslim Palestinian state. In various interviews published on sites that oppose Israel’s existence as a Jewish state – such as the “hate-siteMondoweiss and The Electronic Intifada (from where an interview conducted by the notorious Max Blumenthal was even cross-posted on the website of the Al-Qassam Brigades), Bassem Tamimi has indicated that he is a determined proponent of the so-called “one-state-solution” that would replace the world’s only Jewish state with yet another Arab-Muslim majority state.

While Bassem Tamimi’s frequently stated views illustrate how preposterous it is for Amnesty International and other groups to promote him as a “human rights activist” worthy of everyone’s support and admiration, I have documented in considerable detail that the publicly accessible Facebook activity of Bassem Tamimi and his family – who are important participants in and supporters of his activism – provide plenty of additional evidence that the Tamimis are quite open about their disdain for non-violence. There are “Likes” for pages and posts promoting Hamas and the jihadist Al-Qassam Brigades; several notorious terrorists who together killed more than 50 Israeli civilians – including many children – and wounded hundreds more are celebrated as admirable “rebels;” and perhaps most disturbingly, there is relentless pressure put on the Tamimi children to provoke the IDF in order to achieve either “victory or martyrdom.”

It seems that as long as you send out your own and other people’s children to “shatter the myth of the Zionist army,” lip-service to human rights and the ability to manipulate the media are all it takes to get Amnesty’s unwavering support. And if Bassem Tamimi succeeds in his quest to start a third intifada by urging his own children and other youngsters to provoke clashes with the IDF, Amnesty will no doubt repeat its accusations that Israeli security forces are showing “a callous disregard for human life” – all the while supporting Palestinian parents who tell their children it is their “duty” to “resist” and that they are expected to achieve either “victory or martyrdom.”

Just another anti-Zionist at Amnesty? [Updated]

As the Jerusalem Post reported last week, an employee of Amnesty International in London has attracted much criticism for a tweet that, disguised as a joke, suggested that three Jewish members of the British parliament supported a massive bombing campaign of Gaza.

The offensive tweet was soon deleted, and as of this writing, the Amnesty employee in question, Kristyan Benedict, has refrained from posting new tweets; Amnesty also has reportedly “distanced itself from the tweet and said the matter has been referred to its internal, and confidential, processes.”

While it is certainly welcome that Amnesty seems to be taking this incident serious, it is also clear that Benedict has a long record of rhetoric and conduct that reflects a deep hostility to Israel. Indeed, media reports on this incident note that “Benedict’s Twitter feed is a litany of [one-sided] criticism of Israel” and that there have been previous incidents that caused controversy and resulted in disciplinary action.

Benedict’s recent tweets offer a large choice of examples that illustrate his hostility to Israel, and his re-tweet of the view of an American-Syrian activist who claimed that “Assad and the IDF fear nonviolent resistance more than anything” on November 20 provides just one indication of this deep-seated resentment.

Unsurprisingly, Benedict also has a long record of organizing Amnesty events that provide a platform for anti-Israel activists like Ben White.  One should imagine that it was inconceivable that Amnesty would repeatedly promote an activist who started his “career” by declaring that he could understand why some people are antisemitic and who has single-mindedly devoted all his adult life to delegitimizing Israel – an activity that most antisemites will enthusiastically applaud – but unfortunately, one would be wrong.

Inevitably, Amnesty has often been criticized for the “ideological bias and double standards” that are all too often revealed in the organization’s work on Israel. Kristyan Benedict seems to have been doing his share to maintain Amnesty’s well-deserved reputation of a bias against Israel, and apparently, Amnesty sees no problem with employing a person who seems to believe that the world would be a better place if there was one Jewish state less.

A study conducted a few years ago indicated that “anti-Israel sentiment consistently predicts the probability that an individual is anti-Semitic, with the likelihood of measured anti-Semitism increasing with the extent of anti-Israel sentiment observed.” Needless to say, there is a heated debate about related questions and, in particular, the overlap between anti-Zionism and antisemitism.

Unwittingly, Benedict’s “joke” about three British-Jewish MPs supposedly rooting for a massive bombing campaign on Gaza provides yet another example supporting the argument that anti-Zionists face a slippery slope. As somebody working for a human rights organization on Israel, Benedict could be expected to know that a person can be a Jew without being religious. Yet, responding to criticism of his tweeted “joke,” Benedict pretended that it was just “coincidental” that he had named three Jewish MPs since he focused on “views not religion.”

In other words, for Amnesty International staff member Kristyan Benedict, it’s OK when Jews identify as a religious group, but when they identify as a people – as Jews have since antiquity – and claim a right to self-determination and a right to self-defense, malicious ridicule and libel is in order.

I think it’s fair to assume that Amnesty wouldn’t tolerate comparable views about the Palestinians whose sense of peoplehood is barely 100 years old.

As Hillel Halkin noted in a review of Shlomo Sand’s bizarre ruminations on the “Invention of the Jewish People:”

“Once upon a time, antisemitism consisted of the belief that the Jews were an incorrigible and pernicious people who could never be absorbed by other peoples. Today, it is trendy to hold that they are a non-people masquerading as a people in order to justify stealing another people’s homeland.”

* * *

Cross-posted from my JPost blog.

UPDATE:

Yesterday, it was widely reported that a Dutch television program had broadcast a “satirical” clip – which was made very skillfully and looked entirely authentic – showing Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcoming Hilary Clinton in Jerusalem and announcing, while she is politely listening,

“One of the things we are trying to do [in Gaza] is maximize the number of civilians casualties […] We prefer that. I know that you understand this, but if not: this is something I don’t have to explain to Americans, President Obama, you, and the international community.”

Jewish leaders and organizations have expressed concern about the clip and Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League noted that “those who are misinformed, or those who already hostile to Israel, will believe that this video is real.”

Foxman has a point – and Ben White, the activist repeatedly promoted by Amnesty, demonstrated one more time that he is among those “who are misinformed” and “already hostile to Israel.”

So far, 14 people have re-tweeted this tweet which, after all, fits nicely with the kind of anti-Israel propaganda White is relentlessly churning out — sometimes supported and promoted by Amnesty International.

UPDATE 2:

Shortly after I posted the update above, Ben White claimed in a tweet to me that he “really didn’t think it [i.e. the Dutch clip] was real.”

In response, I noted that he had not only failed to indicate in any way that he realized it was meant as a parody, but that the clip could actually be understood as a parody of himself and his supporters: after all, White has by now spent almost a decade frantically promoting Palestinian propaganda about supposed Israeli atrocities and the idea that Israel is evil incarnate. There is precious little difference between the image of Israel promoted by White and the tasteless “parody” broadcast on Dutch TV.

Unsurprisingly, the only response White could think of was to block me from following his Twitter account – which I hadn’t followed anyway.