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October 14, 2015 6

As Israelis Are Stabbed, Obsession With “Even-Handedness” Morally Reprehensible

The inter­na­tional community’s obses­sion with “even-handedness” in com­ments on Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ism is morally rep­re­hen­si­ble.  The recent spate of Pales­tini­ans stab­bings Israelis has gen­er­ated too many calls for restraint by both sides and too few con­dem­na­tions of those wield­ing the knives (and of those urg­ing the attacks.)

Spain is the cur­rent Pres­i­dent of the UN Secu­rity Coun­cil.  Yes­ter­day its gov­ern­ment expressed “great con­cern over the extreme grav­ity of the sit­u­a­tion in Israel and in Pales­tine, and its seri­ous regret at the suc­ces­sive vio­lent attacks and con­fronta­tions that have lead [sic] to the deaths of at least 6 Israelis and 29 Pales­tini­ans.”  Spain then called for “restraint from all par­ties and for them to deci­sively tackle this swath of vio­lence,” fur­ther describ­ing the sit­u­a­tion as a “dan­ger­ous spi­ral towards violence.”

Who held the knife and who had it plunged into their chest?  Who was shot after mur­der­ing inno­cent bystanders?  Impos­si­ble to know, based on Spain’s statement.

Anti-Israel Incitement from Twitter

Anti-Israel Incite­ment from Twitter

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, sim­i­larly – and unchar­ac­ter­is­ti­cally for him – con­flated ter­ror­ists and civil­ian vic­tims.  His Octo­ber 6 state­ment, the only one he has issued since the stab­bings began, reads, “The Secretary-General is pro­foundly alarmed by the grow­ing num­ber of deadly inci­dents in the West Bank, includ­ing East Jerusalem.  The last few days of clashes, which resulted in the death of four Pales­tini­ans, includ­ing a 13-year-old boy, and hun­dreds injured, are yet another wor­ri­some sign of vio­lence poten­tially spi­ralling out of con­trol.  The Secretary-General con­demns the killings and looks to the Gov­ern­ment of Israel to con­duct a prompt and trans­par­ent inves­ti­ga­tion into the inci­dents, includ­ing whether the use of force was proportional.”

Of the four dead Pales­tini­ans ref­er­enced in Ban’s state­ments, it appears that at least two were killed while com­mit­ting ter­ror­ist attacks in Jerusalem. One, Muhan­nad Hal­abi, was shot by police after he bru­tally stabbed to death Nehemia Lavi and Aharon Banita in the Old City on Octo­ber 3. The sec­ond, Fadi Alon, was shot after he stabbed a 15 year-old Jew­ish boy out­side the Old City on Octo­ber 4.  The mur­dered Israelis are not men­tioned, inferred only by the ref­er­ence to “deadly incidents.”

Moral clar­ity requires dis­tin­guish­ing dead ter­ror­ists from their dead vic­tims.  Those in lead­er­ship posi­tions in the inter­na­tional com­mu­nity who fail to make such dis­tinc­tions should not be sur­prised when their other demands are ignored.

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July 31, 2014 0

Anti-Semitism in Spain

Over the past week, anti-Semitism has come to the fore­front in Spain with three sig­nif­i­cant events.

Anto­nio Gala, a lead­ing colum­nist for El Mundo, a major Span­ish daily news­pa­per, wrote on July 24 that Israel’s mil­i­tary oper­a­tion in Gaza showed why Jews “have been so fre­quently expelled.”  He con­tin­ued, “What is sur­pris­ing is they per­sist.  Either they are not good, or some­one is poi­son­ing them.”

At an anti-Israel rally in Ceuta, Spain, a speaker made bla­tantly anti-Semitic com­ments and threats against Jews.  The demon­stra­tion was held last Fri­day after­noon at 7pm, just 50 yards from the Ceuta syn­a­gogue, which felt com­pelled to can­cel Shab­bat ser­vices.  The speaker said, “The Jews, for decades, for thou­sands of years, have wanted to exter­mi­nate the prophets and every­one on the face of the Earth who is not a Hebrew.  Mus­lim broth­ers, Allah-hu akbar!  In the Torah of the Jews, it says that they are the cho­sen peo­ple, that they are the cho­sen peo­ple.  I swear to G-d that we will put fear into you until Judg­ment Day.  Allah-hu akbar! Allah-hu akbar! Allah-hu akbar!”  Though sev­eral local politi­cians were in atten­dance, none appear to have voiced any condemnation.

The cumu­la­tive effect of inci­dents such as these has caused anguish in the Span­ish Jew­ish community.

The for­mer pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­a­tion of Span­ish Jew­ish Com­mu­ni­ties, Jacobo Israel Gar­zon, wrote about his dis­il­lu­sion­ment with Span­ish soci­ety in a July 29 op-ed in another major news­pa­per, ABC.  In an emo­tional arti­cle, enti­tled, “Dis­ap­point­ment and Sad­ness,” he laments the anti-Semitism he sees in Spain and pon­ders whether Jews in Ger­many felt the same in the 1930s.  He asks him­self how he could have been so blind, hav­ing stud­ied in Spain, mar­ried in Spain, raised chil­dren and wel­comed grand­chil­dren in Spain, worked all his life in Spain, con­sid­ered Span­ish his lan­guage and Spain his coun­try, and yet, after sev­enty years, to not have seen how many of his neigh­bors and coun­try­men judge him – and hate him – for who he is and not for what he does.

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May 22, 2014 0

Sports Discussions Marred By Hate On Twitter

After Israeli bas­ket­ball team Mac­cabi Tel Aviv beat Real Madrid in the Euroleague final on Sun­day over 18,000 anti-Semitic mes­sages were posted on Twit­ter in an out­pour­ing of hatred against Jews.twitter-spain-hate

Twit­ter users cre­ated the hash­tag “#putosju­dios” (“#fuck­ing­jews”) to spread their anti-Semitic mes­sages in real time via Twit­ter. Among the anti-Jewish tweets posted in reac­tion to Real Madrid’s loss were.

  • “Jews to the gas cham­ber. Go Madrid.”
  • “Fuck­ing Jews. This would not have hap­pened with Hitler.”
  • “Mac­cabi will shower after the game…But in the gas cham­ber, I hope.”
  • “Now I under­stand Hitler and his hate for the Jews.”

Sev­eral Jew­ish and anti-racism orga­ni­za­tions in Spain filed a crim­i­nal com­plaint against five iden­ti­fied Twit­ter users for incite­ment to hatred, defama­tion and glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of terrorism.

In July 2013 in the U.S., Twit­ter was mis­used for sim­i­lar pur­poses after Mil­wau­kee Brew­ers out­fielder Ryan Braun was sus­pended from Major League Base­ball for the sea­son for using per­for­mance enhanc­ing drugs. Responses on Twit­ter included “Ryan Braun is a lying Jew!!! #kike” and “leave it to a jew to cheat the sys­tem, deceive peo­ple, then tar­nish other’s rep­u­ta­tions. Fuck you asshole.”

Jews are not the only tar­gets when big­ots take to Twit­ter to express their views. ADL spoke out ear­lier this month when racially-motivated com­ments flooded Twit­ter soon after Mon­treal Cana­di­ens defense­man P.K. Sub­ban, who hap­pens to be Black Cana­dian, scored the game-winning goal in a National Hockey League play­off game against the Boston Bruins.

Such online hate under­scores the crit­i­cal need for edu­ca­tion on anti-Semitism and big­otry. A recent global poll on anti-Semitism con­ducted by ADL revealed that 29% of peo­ple in Spain hold anti-Semitic atti­tudes and 48% of them think Jews talk too much about what hap­pened to them in the Holo­caust. In the U.S. the respec­tive num­bers were 9% and 22%.

ADL ardently sup­ports the right to free speech and advo­cates for strong terms of ser­vice or com­mu­nity stan­dards that address aggres­sive or mali­cious behav­ior online. Twit­ter does not pro­vide even the most basic “Flag­ging” mech­a­nism for com­plaints which is widely used on the expe­ri­enced plat­forms run by Google and Facebook.

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