Palestinians shot in Israeli atrocity. British organisation – claiming to represent Jews – victim-blames

Palestinians flee an Israeli tear gas attack during the March of Return on March 30.

Here‘s what happened:

The Israeli army have killed 15 Palestinians and wounded a staggering 1,400 more after Israeli forces opened fire on protestors marching near the Israel-Gaza border [on March 30].

Following the shocking killings, the Palestinian authority have declared [March 31] a day of mourning.

The incidents occurred as Israeli forces opened fire with live ammunition and tear gas against reportedly unarmed protestors who were marching as part of a major demonstration marking the 42nd anniversary of Land Day.

Land Day marks the incident in 1976 where the Israeli army killed 6 unarmed Palestinian civilians who were protesting against the Israeli government forcibly taking over huge swathes of Palestinian land.

Channel 4 News provides this coverage:

The current estimate of the death toll is 17, at the time of writing – including children. The Israeli representative’s claim of violence from the Palestinians is… challenging, as nobody involved in the protest was (as I understand it) armed in any way.

See for yourself:

Here’s what the Board of Deputies of British Jews had to say about it:

This appears to be victim-blaming of the very worst kind. Look at the evidence:

So – victim-blaming by the Board of Deputies – right, Mehdi?

Right. But there’s no reason to be surprised. Victim-blaming is what the Board of Deputies does.

Look at the recent controversy over Mear One’s mural – which the artist claimed was anti-banker but which opponents of Jeremy Corbyn claimed was anti-Semite (not all Jews agree – see this article, for example) – because he had written a Facebook post asking why it was being taken down, on the understanding that the issue was about free speech, not anti-Semitism.

Somebody dug up Mr Corbyn’s post and used it to attack him for something that was not his fault. He didn’t create the mural. He wasn’t aware of its significance when he wrote his post. And he withdrew even tacit support for it when he realised what was going on. But he was attacked for it nonetheless.

And the Board of Deputies leapt to join that attack – in the opinion of This Writer, for political purposes. Remember, Jonathan Arkush has been vocal in supporting the Conservatives and the DUP recently – he’s no Labour supporter.

All these strands of argument came together when a social media commentator was labelled an anti-Semite for criticising Israel for committing the murders that took place on Friday, by someone who added, as further justification, “You support Corbyn.”

Before the death toll had risen to 15, pro-Jeremy Corbyn disability activist, Nadeem Ahmed had initially tweeted about the incident, saying:

Israel just killed 10 young Palestinian protesters. The Israeli Government have committed many war crimes and mass murder of innocent Palestinians. When will our world leaders speak out and put an end to this horrific crime.

However, Ahmed’s criticism of the Israeli government – who have beenaccused of committing numerous counts of war crimes by the United Nationsduring the withering aerial bombardment of Gaza in 2014 – was labelled as anti-Semitic by another social media user.

Tax Attorney, and prominent Israel-supporter Chaim Gordon, quote tweeted Ahmed branding him a ‘Corbyn supporting anti-semite’ for his statement denouncing Israeli’s extra-judicial killing of 15 Palestinian protestors earlier today.

Ahmed replied, asking Gordon “How is criticising Israeli gov ant Semitism“, with Gordon responding alleging that ‘these protesters are being sent by Hamas. You know that.‘ and ‘also, you support Corbyn.’

The Evolve Politics article from which the above is quoted (no doubt Evolve is now on the Board of Deputies’ sh*t-list and will soon be facing anti-Semitism accusations of its own, if it hasn’t already) goes on to point out that “many Twitter users were quick to defend Ahmed’s stances, with one telling Gordon “You do the campaign against bigotry no favours labelling someone anti-semitic simply for supporting Jeremy Corbyn.“, whilst another said “Your hollow cries of antisemitism belittle those who have actually suffered and died at the hands of antisemites. Shame on you Chaim.“”

And public opinion seems to be with the victims, not the blamers, for a change:

At a time when Jewish people have been celebrating Passover, and freedom from oppression, it would be a welcome move for the Board of Deputies to admit it was wrong to side with Israel on this matter.

In fairness the organisation did support British Muslims when Leave.EU attacked them with a racist tweet last week…

… so there is hope.

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9 thoughts on “Palestinians shot in Israeli atrocity. British organisation – claiming to represent Jews – victim-blames

  1. Giri Arulampalam

    Well, it is high time moderate Palestinians and Israelis sit around the table and settle their differences.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Unfortunately, as we can tell from the Labour Party here in the UK, “moderate” now means “hard-right lunatic” so they’d probably decide that shooting each other was the best way.

  2. mhartwig2015

    Really, it’s time to stop defending that mural. It exploits the notion of a Jewish/banker conspiracy, hooked noses and all, and there’s a placard calling for the ‘New World Order’. It gave offense to local Jewish and other residents. Owen Jones is right. We on the left need educating (no, not ‘re-educating’).

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Oh, it’s a “Jewish/banker” conspiracy now, instead of a “Jewish banker” conspiracy? How interesting.
      Regarding the likenesses, has anybody checked what the subjects of the painting actually looked like? Are the noses on the gentiles around the table also anti-Semitic?
      And is the placard really calling for the “New World Order” or criticising those who do? I’ll tell you the answer to the last one – it’s clearly criticising. The fact that you failed to recognise this shows you have missed the point. Offence given to others is not the same as offence intended and, as the Chakrabarti report rightly points out, anti-Semitism can only be proved if offence was intended.
      Otherwise, you see, accusations of anti-Semitism may be abused – as we have seen recently.
      I’m not saying the mural isn’t anti-Semitic – in fact, I’m on record as saying it probably is, and I know I’m at odds with at least one Jewish friend for that suggestion. But you could certainly do with reading his discussion of it here.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Bizarrely, I’m now in a discussion with Mervyn Hartwig on Twitter, arguing the side that the mural isn’t anti-Semitic – because I don’t like the knee-jerk way some people have just decided it is. Where are the reasoned arguments? It’s all very well to point out the facial characteristics of the people depicted – but do they correspond with those of the subjects? If so, then it’s not anti-Semitic; it’s accurate. What were the artist’s reasons for including these particular subjects in the image and what evidence exists to support them? And so on…

  3. Martin Odoni

    “Your hollow cries of antisemitism belittle those who have actually suffered and died at the hands of antisemites. Shame on you Chaim.”

    Precisely what I’ve been screaming out for years; using cries of anti-Semitism to shout down critics of Israel is itself anti-Semitic.

  4. mhartwig2015

    Mike, my response to it isn’t kneejerk. I hold that if you have a good understanding of what modern antisemitism is, you will come to see that the mural is antisemitic. You need a good theory to see well. IMO, you’ll find a good theory of modern antisemitism in & Like Owen says, we need to educate ourselves better. If you think it ‘probably isn’t’ antisemitic, then you should definitely not say/argue that it is, because our enemies are bound to use it against us.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      “Modern antisemitism”? Hatred of Jews is hatred of Jews.
      There is a debate to be had, though.
      Anti-Semitism is currently described via a series of so-called ‘tropes’ – stereotypes. Of course, the only way those stereotypes remain valid is if they are false depictions of Jewish people. And that means Jews are honour-bound NOT to behave in the ways described. Who ensures this? What sanctions are available against Jews who act in the way described as an anti-Semitic trope? Or how can we be sure that no Jew ever does or ever would? These things are open to abuse, and it is irresponsible to suggest that such abuse would never happen.

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