Tag Archives: Twitter

With lies against Israel

Avi Mayer documented today how so-called pro-Palestinian activists on Twitter spread lies about invented Israeli atrocities:

IsraellyCool has a post with the relevant information about the photos in question, documenting that both photos are several years old and have nothing to do with the current Israeli response to the rocket barrage from Gaza and that the little injured girl was the victim of an accident.

Long after the photos were shown to be old, irrelevant and misleading, one pro-Palestinian activists finally suggested that it was time to stop spreading lies, and this tweet was retweeted by Ali Abunimah:

However, Doherty/bangpound did so perpetuating the lie that the little girl was killed by Israeli bombs: he linked to an old post of the “Angry Arab,” i.e. Asad AbuKhalil, Professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus:

No, this is not Zionism — these are just some of the endlessly repeated Palestinian lies about Zionism.

UPDATE:

It turns out that the person who originally tweeted the photo of the badly injured girl and claimed that this was “another child killed by Israel” happens to work for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) – and guess what her job is? Information and Media Coordinator… (EXPOSED: UN Media Official Responsible for False Photo Tweet)

I also wanted to link to another recent fake anti-Israel photo that went viral a few weeks ago and was exposed by blogger Omar Dakhane: it’s again a photo of a “Palestinian” girl lying on the ground, with an “Israeli” soldier about to stomp on her – all courtesy of a 2009 street theater performance in Bahrain.

A Palestinian refugee story: myths vs. facts

Linah Alsaafin is a young British-born Palestinian, who is blogging at various anti-Israeli sites, including Mondoweiss and the Electronic Intifada.

According to her biographical note on Mondoweiss, she “was born in Cardiff, Wales, and was raised in England, the United States, and Palestine.” This of course also means that she has British citizenship, and interestingly, this fact is acknowledged on one of the blogs she contributes to: “Life on Bir Zeit Campus” is described as “A Regular Ode to the Hardships and Joy of Living as expatriates of our Countries of Citizenship in the Holy Land…as Falastiniyyas!”

By coincidence, I came across a tweet of hers, where she announced the passing of her grandfather:

I thought that given the circumstances, it wouldn’t be appropriate to respond and point out that while it was certainly sad that her grandfather spent most of his life as a refugee in the Khan Younis camp in Gaza, this was actually a choice made by Palestinians and Arabs – after all, neither the Egyptians who ruled Gaza until 1967, nor the PA and Hamas that have control of Gaza since Israel’s withdrawal in 2005, have done anything to integrate the refugees.

However, since Linah Alsaafin has now published a related post that exploits her grandfather’s story for political purposes, I think there is no reason to be more respectful of the occasion than she herself is.

It is a long post that mixes very personal memories with political propaganda that is very typical for Palestinian myth-making activism.

To quote some of Alsaafin’s most misleading claims:

My grandfather, 84 year old Ibrahim Hasan Alsaafin, was older than the Zionist state of Israel when he died on Monday in the Khan Younis refugee camp, still yearning to return to his village of al-Fallujah 64 years on, a mere 15 miles away.

On my way to Hebron last Friday for the third annual global Open Shuhada Street protest, the taxi I was in passed by a sign pointing right with the black letters of “Qiryat Gat” emblazoned on it. My heart caught in my mouth, and I craned my neck to hold that sign in my vision long after the taxi turned left.

Qiryat Gat is the Judaized name for my village of al-Fallujah. My village became a Jewish-only settlement for Russian immigrants in the 1950s, and the site for one of Intel Corporation’s biggest manufacturing plants.

Al-Fallujah was completely ethnically cleansed on March 1st, 1949 — a year after Israel’s so-called independence. Sido Ibrahim was a young man then, 19 or 20 years old, and fought with Egyptian paratroops against the terrorist Zionist guerrillas, who attacked the village with jet fighters and long range canons for six months. Most of the villagers fled, taking with them only their children, some even leaving the doors of their houses open. Sido, along with my great-grandmother Nabeeha, joined the scores of villagers in providing food and supplies to the Egyptian and local volunteers who were defending the village. […]

After six months of shelling and raids, the international community decided that al-Fallujah must be evacuated and remain under international control. Sido and my great-grandmother Nabeeha exchanged hugs and tears with the Egyptian fighters who dropped them off along with other civilians in Gaza in their trucks before returning back to Egypt. Sido did not forget to bring the land deeds with him, which we still keep, and my great-grandmother took the key with her, which we also still keep.

First, it is noteworthy that a young man who moved just some 15 miles from one Arab-Muslim community to another Arab-Muslim community was classified as a “refugee” for the rest of his life. Moreover, Alsaafin’s grandfather was brought to Gaza by Egyptian troops, whose war against the fledgling Jewish state he had actively supported – and of course, Mr. Alsaafin would continue to live as a “refugee” under Egyptian rule for almost two decades.

A related correction is warranted in view of Linah Alsaafin’s claims about “Zionist” “jet fighters,” because in reality, the fledgling Israeli Air Force had a very hard time procuring suitable aircraft which were urgently needed to fight off the Egyptian bombing of Tel Aviv.

No less misleading and mistaken are Alsaafin’s remarks about what she calls “my village of al-Fallujah,” now known under its “Judaized name” Qiryat Gat.

As far as the fighting for Faluja is concerned, anyone interested in the facts can check out this timeline of Israel’s War of Independence (scroll down to the map for: Israel War of Independence October 1948 battles, entry for IDF operation Yoav, Oct. 15-22, Nov. 9, Dec. 28-29). The armistice agreement between Egypt and Israel of February 24, 1949, provided for the withdrawal of Egyptian forces from the Faluja pocket.

But Alsaafin’s most telling misrepresentation is perhaps her fact-free claim that “her” village “became a Jewish-only settlement for Russian immigrants in the 1950s.”

In reality – as Alsaafin could have easily found out just by consulting WikipediaQiryat Gat (or Kiryat Gat) served for decades as a new home for the Jews that had to abandon their ancient communities in North Africa’s Arab countries due to the discrimination, dispossession and persecution they suffered as “retribution” for Israel’s establishment.

The town’s demography is reflected in Wikipedia’s list of Qiryat Gat’s “notable residents”: the far-left activist Tali Fahima (who has converted to Islam and fancies herself now a “Palestinian,” but comes from a Moroccan-Jewish family); the celebrated photographer Adi Ness (from an Iranian-Kurdish family); Likud politician and former IDF spokeswoman Miri Regev (from a Moroccan family); and singer and actress Ninet Tayeb (from a Tunisian family; her website is here).

Linah Alsaafin’s fact-free myth-making is quite typical for the propaganda provided by countless “pro-Palestinian” bloggers and activists. Unsurprisingly, she also blames Israel for the fact that for several years, she has not been able to visit her grandfather in Gaza. But while a negotiated peace agreement would obviously be the most straightforward solution to this problem, it seems that Alsaafin is adamantly opposed to negotiations. In one of her recent blog posts, she promotes protests and a twitter campaign devoted to saying #No2Negotiations; in another recent post, she rails against the “outdated so-called representatives [who] negotiate our rights away with the same side that is continuously oppressing us. It is simply ludicrous, shameful, and outright embarrassing that these negotiations still occupy a space in the Palestinian political spectrum. Only free men and women negotiate, and for all their money, expensive cars and villas, and security coordinated travel permits, the Palestinian leadership is still at the end of the day occupied by Israel and its caprices.”

Obviously, Linah Alsaafin can afford this kind of activism – she is, after all, a British expatriate who has chosen to study in the West Bank, but has always the option to return to the country she was born.

UPDATE:

Elder of Ziyon has posted a very interesting NYT article from April 4, 1966. Under the title “Arabs Adamant Against Absorption of Refugees”, the report – with the dateline JERUSALEM (Jordanian Sector), March 30 – quotes Ahmed Shukairy, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization: “The Arab states will not integrate the Palestine refugees because integration would be a slow process of liquidating the Palestine problem.”

One can hardly ask for a more candid acknowledgment of the cynical manipulation of the refugees’ plight.

The whole excerpt provided by Elder is worthwhile reading, but there is arguably one particularly interesting paragraph:

Arab refusal to assimilate the 1.3 million refugees now living in four host countries— Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, controlled by the United Arab Republic—has been the subject of criticism from Israel and from the Western nations that have contributed to supporting the refugees for most of the 18 years since Israel came into existence.

Note that there is no mention of the West Bank – which at that time was of course controlled by Jordan, and in this report it is apparently accepted that the West Bank is part of Jordan.

Twitter vs the real world: Khader Adnan’s ‘victory’

Over the past few days, pro-Palestinian activists demonstrated their ability to transform a well-known member of Islamic Jihad into a victim of Israeli abuse deserving of the solidarity of  everyone willing to speak out (or at least tweet) in defense of human rights – including the truly sincere, the merely gullible, and the openly cynical.

Protesting his detention by Israel with a two-month hunger strike, Islamic Jihad member Khader Adnan was skillfully marketed as an innocuous baker, a devoted father, husband and son, who had been arbitrarily arrested, humiliated and tortured by the evil Israeli Capital O Occupation forces.

It mattered little that it turned out that Adnan had been caught on tape issuing a fiery call for volunteer suicide bombers.

But as an Al Jazeera report noted, there was a marked difference between the real world and the Twitterverse:

The response to Khader Adnan’s protest within Palestinian society has come very late and without the type of force some might have expected. […] A little over a week ago small protests began in front of Israel’s Ofer Prison, located near the West Bank city of Ramallah. The protests spread to other locales in the occupied territories and abroad, but for the most part have been marginal. Everyone is talking about it, but very few seem willing to show their support by taking to the streets. […]

The lack of action in response to Khader Adnan’s case is indicative of many changes in Palestinian society since the end of the second intifada. The increase in partisanship and political division has eroded general solidarity, even over the once unanimous issue of prisoners. Those who support Fatah may be less likely to rally for a member of Islamic Jihad, such as Khader Adnan. […]Indeed, even Islamic Jihad, the party of Khader Adnan, has failed to bring its people out in support of the hunger striker.

Highlighting an important point, the Al Jazeera report observed:

The exception has been a group of social media activists in Ramallah that have made Khader Adnan their cause célèbre, elevating his profile via networking sites such as Twitter. Over the past four days they have caused variations of his name to trend worldwide on several occasions, no small achievement on a forum that usually gives such honours to celebrity gossip.

This is a fascinating observation given the fact that many news outlets are featuring segments reporting on issues that are “trending” on social networks, and in particular on Twitter. Indeed, it was arguably the successful Twitter campaign staged for Adnan that resulted in plenty of mainstream media coverage.

As this case amply demonstrates, the fact that there was little local mobilization for Adnan was completely inconsequential for the success of the Twitter campaign that portrayed him as the standard bearer of an important Palestinian cause.

Given the ideology of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the group’s insistence on violence as the only means of achieving its goal of an Islamic regime in “all of historic Palestine,”  it is easy to see why many Palestinians might be hesitant to throw their enthusiastic support behind a PIJ activist  who stages a hunger strike (while making sure he’s getting some vital nutrients in his water) but thinks other Palestinians should volunteer for suicide missions.

However, commenting on the news that Adnan had ended his hunger strike, regular Al Jazeera columnist Richard Falk – who also serves as UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights – wrote [my emphasis]:

It is a great relief to those millions around the world who were moved to prayer and action by Khader Adnan’s extraordinary hunger strike of 66 days that has ended due to Israel’s agreement to release him on April 17.

We, who were inspired by such a heroic refusal to accept humiliation and arbitrary arrest, can only hope that for the sake of his family, for the cause of Palestinian resistance, and for the struggle to achieve a just peace that Mr Adnan will fully recover to resume his personal and political life. We cannot take for granted that there will be a full recovery given Mr Adnan’s critical condition confirmed by examining doctors, just prior to his decision on February 21 to resume eating in a normal manner.

While it is appropriate to celebrate this ending of the strike as “a victory”, there are several disturbing features that deserve comment.

If you expect Falk to include Adnan’s membership in PIJ in the “disturbing features” worthy of comment, you will be disappointed. To be sure, he does mention the subject, but only to play it down, deny Adnan’s call for volunteer suicide bombers and assert, rather hilariously, that “Mr Adnan’s prior arrests stemmed from militant peaceful demonstrations that landed him in Israeli jails eight times.” [My emphasis] Falk mentions Adnan’s previous hunger strikes, but ignores the fact that he staged one of them while in Palestinian detention.

Reading through the tweets that promoted Adnan’s cause, it seems safe to conclude that many of the campaign’s enthusiastic supporters share Falk’s preposterous fantasies about Adnan’s militant peacefulness and the idea that this is really at the core of Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s agenda. No wonder then that some praised Adnan as the “Palestinian Gandhi” – and once again, it is notable that this preposterous suggestion does not seem to be a Palestinian invention: apparently, it originated with Peter Hart, who is the “activism director” at FAIR, a site that claims to provide “well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986” and produces a radio show called CounterSpin. I think that somebody who can turn an Islamic Jihad militant into the “Palestinian Gandhi” knows all there is to know about spin.

Unsurprisingly, the activists promoting the newly crowned “Palestinian Gandhi” have been quick to exploit the momentum generated by their successful Twitter campaign.  Adnan’s wife, who told an Al Jazeera reporter that she lacked the “kinds of skills” to cope with all the media attention, already has penned an eloquent article for the Guardian promoting her husband’s cause; their little daughter is enlisted, too, standing behind a poster of daddy and holding the banner of Islamic Jihad. Really, what could be wrong with that?

* * *

Cross-posted from my JPost blog.

UPDATE:

A post entitled “How Twitter’s trending topics helped catapult a human interest story into the spotlight” offers some more details on how the campaign on behalf of Adnan was organized. As already signaled by the reference to the “human interest” story, this is an entirely uncritical take; noteworthy, however, is the provided measure of the campaign’s success in manipulating the media to cover this manufactured “human interest” story:

“Adnan’s story was all but ignored by mainstream media, until a group of online activists decided to take to Twitter to bring it some much-needed attention. A search on Google News shows the story getting no attention whatsoever at the beginning of February, and peaking to over 300 sources at the height of the campaign.”

Tweeting the century-old Al-Aqsa libel

Friday night, I discovered that on his Electronic Intifada blog, Ali Abunimah had put up a post claiming that Likud leaders were planning to go to Al-Aqsa early Sunday morning and that they were calling for “cleansing” Jerusalem and building a Jewish temple instead of the mosque. At the bottom of the post, Abunimah added an update that half-heartedly acknowledged that there was no basis to the story, but he nevertheless concluded by claiming:

“There’s certainly no doubt that whoever published this flyer […] is tapping into a history of calls and growing support for destroying Al-Aqsa. Feiglin’s supporters too are clear about their desire to take over the Temple Mount.”

In response, I wrote a post pointing out that spurious claims about Jewish threats to the Al-Aqsa mosque had been used by Arab agitators for almost a hundred years: it was the notorious mufti Haj Amin al Husseini who first used this libel in the 1920s. In the almost 100 years that have passed since then, it was of course only sites sacred to Jews that were desecrated and destroyed in Jerusalem.

When I wrote this post last night, I noted that Abunimah’s post had about 100 tweets and some 150 Facebook endorsements. Some 24 hours later, it had 381 tweets and 523 Facebook “likes”, and there were the beginnings of a Twitter intifada: word of the evil designs of the wicked Likudniks had reached the popular Egyptian-American writer Mona Eltahawy, who send out a tweet about it – and she has more than 100 000 followers…

Luckily, by that time, Anne-Marie Slaughter, former Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department and professor at Princeton, had also gotten word of the story and found out that it was a hoax. Realizing that it was a very dangerous hoax, she sent out multiple tweets to alert her more than 20 000 followers.

Mona Eltahawy quickly deleted her original tweet and also helped to get out the message that it was a hoax, but by that time, the Al-Aqsa libel was already spreading like wildfire. As one tweet by a professor of sociology put it: “Scared of all the fake rumors about Al #Aqsa. First rule of sociology is if enough people believe something, it will have real consequences.”

Maybe Ali Abunimah will be pleased by the thought that just like with his #IsraelHates- campaign, he once again managed to cause a stir in the Twittersphere – and this time around there was even the specter of going from a merely verbal “Electronic Intifada” to a real intifada of senseless violence and bloodshed.

* * *

This is a slightly different version of a post at my JPost blog.

UPDATE:

Elder of Ziyon quotes my post and adds several examples documenting the relentless attempts to incite hatred and violence against Israel with fabricated stories:

The Al Aqsa Heritage Foundation and various Muslim firebrands are well-known for creating false rumors about supposed Israeli designs on the Temple Mount. They do it practically every week on their website, and many of those make it into the mainstream Palestinian Arab press. Here are just a few I have documented over the years:

November 2008: Israel Antiquities Authority drawing up plans to build the Third Temple

April 2009: Israel is building a subway to the Temple Mount

June 2009: Netanyahu is planning to build the Third Temple

September 2009: Israel will give exclusive access to Jews to the Al Aqsa Mosque for 50 days a year

February 2010: Cracks on the Temple Mount is from Israeli construction and plans to destroy it

March 2010: Israel will start construction of the Third Temple on March 16, 2010

UPDATE 2:

Some very interesting additional material can be found in a post with the great title “Liar Liar, Mosque on Fire” by Zionist Shark at IsraellyCool: There is a very useful aerial view of the Temple Mount, and a link to an article by Mordechai Kedar who explains how Jerusalem came to be seen as holy by Muslims.

My Silverstein collection

When blogger Richard Silverstein recently fell for a not particularly elaborate hoax by Aussie Dave of Israellycool, nobody who is familiar with his writings should have been surprised. Silverstein’s blogging reflects a rigid anti-Israel ideology, and he is prone to view any disagreement in intensely personal terms. He even hates people he mixes up with other people, as this recent Twitter exchange illustrates (click to enlarge):

One issue that came up in the context of the hoax story was the astonishing fact that Silverstein has occasionally been treated as a reliable “source” by supposedly reputable mainstream media outlets like the New York Times.

According to the NYT, Silverstein’s blog “gives a liberal perspective on Israel and Israeli-American relations.”

To illustrate what passes as a “liberal perspective” – and, presumably, confers quasi-automatic trustworthiness – at the NYT, I reproduce here the relevant passages from some of my archived posts on Silverstein:

Spinning Islamist terror

[…] Yet another variation on the theme of how best to spin Islamist terrorism was offered by Richard Silverstein on the Guardian’s Comment is Free site – inadvertently, he also offered a lesson of how this kind of spin is created. Supposedly, Silverstein intended to cut “through the fog of terror”, which he proceeded to do by asserting that the Mumbai terrorists were not “merely avenging India’s suppression of Muslim Kashmir, [but that] they were seeking redress for crimes against Palestine as well.” How does he know? Well, the Chabad House in Mumbai was selected as a target because it was seen as an Israeli and not as a Jewish symbol. And how does he know that? Well, he doesn’t know that, but he quite openly acknowledges that it suits him better, because he wants to see the perpetrators of the attacks in Mumbai as “political terrorists” – very much like Hamas, which Silverstein portrays as a group whose leaders generally “eschew the language of religious jihad to portray their struggle.”

However, it’s not enough for Silverstein to deny that the Mumbai terrorists had any Islamist agenda, he then proceeds and accuses “Israel’s nationalist leaders” – for example people like Tzipi Livni – of wanting “nothing more than to piggyback their own cause onto the western jihad against radical Islam.” It’s definitely something to savor: “the western jihad against radical Islam”… And how did Tzipi Livni deserve all that: well, Silverstein quotes her as saying: “We have here radical Islamic elements who do not accept either our existence or the values of the western world” – and that serves him later on to accuse Livni of having the “need to see the Chabad House attack as emblems of Muslim perfidy and antisemitic hate.”

In other words: the Mumbai terrorists were simply motivated by legitimate political grievances, but Livni is guilty of Islamophobia.

How a wannabe spinmaster like Silverstein reacts to criticism can be seen on his own website Tikun Olam – Make the World a Better Place (I kid you not): In a piece entitled “Mumbai and the Jewish Jihadis” he complains about “the entirely depressingly hostile response” elicited by his piece. Responding in the comment section to the question of one blogger who asked: “Did you notice that your article, despite being on a forum known for generally being quite hostile to Israel, was almost uniquely panned?”, Richard Silverstein responds: “the fact that my article was panned by a bunch of almost universally dim CiF readers (except for you of course) doesn’t bother me in the least. My articles always generate that type of response. The same is true of tolerant, reasoned, balanced articles published in Haaretz. There’s a hate patrol that frequents all these sites looking for anything written that is too critical of Israel or Jews or too sympathetic to Arabs. There is absolutely no failure of logic in the piece. Their [sic] is a failure of humanity in those who fault it.”

Demonizing your opponents as a “hate patrol”, accusing them of “a failure of humanity” – I know what that reminds me of: sure not of anything that would make the world a better place.

War crimes propaganda

[…] But the message is really a very different one: Israel has no right to defend itself. Whenever its army moves – whether it’s in response to the violation of the Jewish state’s legitimate borders and assaults on its soldiers as in 2006, or, recently, in response to relentless rocket barrages that endanger hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians – there will be an outcry around the world. The claims and accusations of groups like Hamas and Hizbullah, which both are openly dedicated to eradicating the Jewish state, will be presented as “fact” by the international media, and gullible western reporters will rush to “corroborate” any alleged Israeli “war crimes” with the “evidence” helpfully provided by supporters of Hamas and Hizbullah.

Any attempt to question this “evidence” or show that it is flimsy and unreliable will be quickly condemned as a preposterous attack against the absolute truth – and this absolute truth boils down to the conviction that Israel deserves to be condemned as uniquely evil. Whoever dares to doubt that absolute truth risks being denounced as a raving racist right-wing defender of evil.

A good illustration of this dynamic is provided by blogger Richard Silverstein, whose modest ambition is to “Make The World A Better Place.”

This lofty goal apparently requires a heavy dose of blacklisting: Silverstein demands that readers who want to comment on his posts must support any claims they make by providing “sources and links”, but then he threatens to remove any links to “propaganda sites”, which in his view include Debka, Little Green Footballs, CAMERA, MEMRI, and the Middle East Forum. Links to the Jerusalem Post would probably also be unwelcome, since Silverstein considers the paper a “right-wing scandal sheet“.

Inevitably, Silverstein had his say on the “war crimes” supposedly committed by the IDF in Gaza, reveling in the recent Haaretz “revelations” about soldiers’ claims that there were “incidents of cold-blooded murder perpetrated by fellow soldiers.”

But when a reader, posting on another thread as Bbar_kochba132, draws his attention to the fact that Danny Zamir has protested the media’s distortion of what his students said, Silverstein responds impatiently that “[Zamir’s] opinion is irrelevant … Naturally, Zamir is a good soldier Schweid [sic] who has come under immense pressure fr. the IDF to recant. And he dutifully has done so. But I note that he has not recanted the actual testimonies themselves nor has any student come forward to recant what they reported at the meeting.”

See how it works? Silverstein presents his speculation that Zamir “has come under immense pressure fr. the IDF to recant” as fact by asserting: “he dutifully has done so”. But the plain fact that there were no “actual testimonies” because none of the soldiers had witnessed any of the alleged “incidents of cold-blooded murder perpetrated by fellow soldiers” doesn’t even have to be acknowledged in Silverstein’s brave new “better world”: it’s a world where leftist righteousness comes cheaply – all you have to do is to present your own assumptions as facts and dismiss any facts that don’t suit you as “propaganda.”

Of course, such a “code of conduct” can only produce propaganda – let’s just take the Wikipedia definition: “Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus lying by omission) … or gives loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented.”

How (not) to make the world a better place

[…] Richard Silverstein prefers to dole out criticism, and thinks the world would be a better place if he didn’t have to take any – no doubt a very human tendency. The problem with Silverstein is, however, that he is all too eager to dole out preemptive criticism; that is to say, he apparently likes to criticize people for what he thinks they will say and do. Currently, he has a piece on Cif that preemptively trashes Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation league for how Silverstein imagines Foxman will react to the shooting at the Holocaust Museum on Wednesday.

Here is what Silverstein claims:

“We know how the usual suspects among the Jewish leadership will line up on this … they will seek to parlay this incident into a much wider antisemitic conspiracy. People like Abe Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, live for tragedies like this. You wait. Tomorrow or the next day he’ll be holding a press conference with the security guard’s wife telling the world that African-Americans and Jews must make common cause against the vast antisemitic conspiracy. If he’s really feeling his oats that day he might even work in a reference to an evil Iranian president who denies the Holocaust as well. Mark my words, it’s coming.”

Well, Silverstein was wrong (nothing unusual here, to be sure). This is how the ADL, and Foxman, really reacted:

“The shooting at the United States Holocaust Museum, in which a security guard was critically wounded, is a very sad and tragic event which reminds us, as the Museum itself does every day, in the starkest way, where the spread of hatred can lead. […]Brunn’s evil attack, at the very place that was created to remember and teach about evil in the world, is an immediate reminder that words of hate matter, that we can never afford to ignore hate because words of hate can easily become acts of hate, no matter the place, no matter the age of the hatemonger. […]”

 

UPDATE:

I just discovered that Wikipedia has an entry on Silverstein’s blog; appropriately, the entry comes with this note:

“This article appears to be written like an advertisement. Please help improve it by rewriting promotional content from a neutral point of view and removing any inappropriate external links. (November 2011)”

 

Abunimah loves to tweet hate

Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada notoriety seems to spend quite a bit of his time on Twitter: so far, he has posted almost 58 000 tweets. Many of his recent tweets are devoted to promoting the hashtag #IsraelHates, – which, as it turns out, was initiated by Abunimah himself.

Since Abunimah used it to spread all the anti-Israel clichés and slogans so beloved by “pro-Palestinian” activists, he quickly attracted a crowd of enthusiastic fellow-tweeters, and soon enough, Abunimah’s campaign was fired up by a frenzy of hatred for Israel that was strong enough to carry Abunimah’s hashtag into Twitter’s worldwide trends.

Reading through these tweets makes it easy to imagine the violent atmosphere of anti-Jewish pogroms in Eastern Europe or the Farhud that targeted Baghdad’s ancient Jewish community.

Abunimah didn’t mind at all, as is illustrated by the fact that he retweeted this:

@RobaSalibiRobaSalibi

#IsraelHates me , my family, my relatives, my friends, my country, Arabs, humanity!

21 hours agovia Mobile WebFavoriteRetweetReply

Retweeted by AliAbunimah and 13 others

Indeed, Abunimah was very satisfied by what he had accomplished:

@AliAbunimahAli Abunimah

Trending #IsraelHates was a beautiful thing. Thanks everyone, and remember: Israel hates us all.

22 hours agovia Twitter for Mac

People of goodwill often argue that it’s possible to be both pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian. Ali Abunimah is clearly a widely admired pro-Palestinian activist. The hate-filled messages he elicited with his IsraelHates-hashtag will remain as a record of genuinely popular “pro-Palestinian” activism focused exclusively on denigrating and demonizing Israel.

Currently, Ali Abunimah’s most recent message triumphantly celebrates that his “hate” message managed to drown out the responses tweeted under the hashtag “Israelloves”.

@AliAbunimahAli Abunimah

Great summary by @iRevolt: #IsraelHates Leads Worldwide Trend on Twitter, While Counter-tag #IsraelLoves Lags Behind http://cynicalarab.org/2011/12/05/israelhates-leads-worldwide-trend-on-twitter-while-counter-tag-israelloves-lags-behind/

7 minutes agovia Twitter for Mac

A great victory for pro-Palestinian activism?