Deciphering Anti-Israel Propaganda

Is the UK Independent Newspaper peddling fake news?

The UK newspaper the Independent, known to be one of the leading anti-Israel newspapers in Britain, recently publish an article by Bethan McKernan with the following headline:

“Israeli soldiers drag shoeless Palestinian eight-year-old from house to house in shocking video from Hebron

Israel Defence Force troops force boy looking for lost toy to help them find other children believed to have thrown stones and a Molotov cocktail at nearby Israeli settlement”

Independent.png

Before I say anything about the video, I want you to watch it in full without stopping. This is the the full video on Youtube, which is about a minute and a half longer than then one on the Independent.

Did you watch it? Maybe the Independent is onto something. Pretty shocking, right? Or is it?

Let’s break down the video in relation to the headline and see if it is really as he says, of if it’s just cleverly constructed propaganda. I believe that when you finish reading this article, you may agree that the video is not what is being is promoting.

Let’s start with the headline itself. When there is a terror attack in Israel, the headline in newspapers like the Independent is always some variation of this:

“Palestinian killed by the IDF after allegedly stabbing two, reports IDF radi0”

Notice the difference? When it’s a terrorist attack in Israel, even if people are severely injured or killed, the headline always included that the attack is “alleged” and gives who reported it – the IDF – to show that the stated account of incident may be one sided. Also, the Palestinian is almost always portrayed as a victim, and not a terrorist.

Now let’s look again at the above video’s headline:

“Israel Defence Force troops force boy looking for lost toy to help them find other children believed to have thrown stones and a Molotov cocktail at nearby Israeli settlement”

Do you see what they did there? It is stated as 100% fact that the boy was just out looking for a “lost toy” but it was only “believed” that children were outside throwing stones and incendiary devices. Also, notice that the way it is reported, it sounds like the child was in no way involved with the criminal activity. That would lead you to believe that there was consensus on the accounts leading up to the video. Otherwise, the headline would have looked something like this, right?

“Israel Defence Force troops force boy allegedly looking for toy to help them find other children believed to have thrown stones and a Molotov cocktail at nearby Israeli settlement reports his mother”

or

“Eight year old boy allegedly throwing stones and Molotov cocktails taken by Israel Defence Force troops to find other children believed to be participating…”

But that’s not how it’s reported. Its reported that the looking for a lost toy was 100% true and he did nothing wrong and there may have been kids throwing incendiary devices, but that’s in dispute. So let’s look at the source of the report – Two local Palestinians and one Palestinian volunteer of B’Tselem. What is B’Tselem? A far left Israeli NGO with the goal of the destruction of Israel (as we know it) to be replaced by a bi-national state. If you want to know the lies that they tell for political points, read this excellent article by moderate Israeli politician Yair Lapid.

So I decided to visit the B’Tselem website, about as far from impartial as you can get, and low-and-behold, their headline was almost identical to the headline from the Independent.

“Soldiers drag 8-year-old from house to house in Hebron for over an hour, in search of stone-throwers in Hebron”

In the B-Tselem article it’s clear the entire account came from a Palestinian B’Tselem volunteer, May D’ana, and a B’Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja’bri. So what we have is an “unbiased” news source, the Independent, publishing almost verbatim the accounts of a biased NGO with a political agenda.

The fact that a supposed “unbiased” and “independent” UK newspaper reports the words of a biased, anti-Israel NGO as fact without any independent corroboration is journalistic misconduct.

Surely Israel had nothing to say about the incident, did they? Well in fact, the IDF reported that the child was participating in the criminal activity. Bethan McKernan did actually report that, but all the way at the end of the article when all the damage had been done. An IDF spokesperson reported:

“Forces who were called to the scene caught a suspect. Due to the fact the suspect was a minor, he was taken to his parent’s home. It was noted in the initial review that the forces did not ask the minor to direct them to any other suspects.”

So this becomes a he said she said situation, where one source is taken as gospel and the other is basically completely disregarded as a lie. Does that sound like journalism or propaganda? The only way you would believe B’Tselem’s account without question and disregard the IDF’s account is if you are one of those that think the Palestinians do nothing wrong and the IDF is this evil organization that grabs children off the streets for no reason and drags them through…

Wait a second, did they say drag? What does drag mean exactly? A quick search of “drag” on Google returns the following definition:

“pull (someone or something) along forcefully, roughly, or with difficulty.”

Watch the video again. Did you see “dragging”? Did you see “forcefully, roughly, or with difficulty”? I certainly didn’t. I saw a soldier holding his hand. I saw a soldier leading him with a hand on the back, but I definitely did not see any dragging – let alone any “forcefully, roughly, or with difficulty”. The headline by the Independent could have more accurately been written “Israeli soldiers lead Palestinian eight-year-old..” but what’s the fun of that? Can’t really condemn Israel with an accurate headline. In the supposed one hour that the child was “dragged” from house to house according to B’Tselem, all they could provide is a two minute video of soldiers leading the boy by the hand on the street. No dragging, no force, no rough.  He is not arrested, tortured, or killed as people accuse the IDF of doing all the time.

In the beginning of the video, they are talking to the boy. He is not in any kind of restraining device like handcuffs. They are not shouting at him, man handling him, or trying to coerce him in any way. They are just calmly asking him questions. At one point, they even call over a Palestinian man to speak with him. Again, not forcefully or violently. They are just talking. Far from the picture of the evil IDF you get in biased accounts, like the Independent.

The headline also states as fact that he was being “dragged” from house to house. But I do not see anywhere in the video that he went “house to house”. Should they have stated something as fact that can not be independently corroborated? And how did they gain entry to all of these houses that the boy was “dragged” to? Did they knocked down the doors of all these houses? At what point do you say something isn’t adding up and maybe the Independent should have reported verifiable facts, instead of taking the word of an organization with a known bias. Unless the Independent isn’t interested in the truth.

Now let’s look at the end of the video. A group of Palestinian women go up to the soldiers, grab the child’s arm and pull him towards them. That may be the only time in the entire video that the child is actually “dragged”. Did you notice something about that part of the video? The women are the ones shouting, they confront the soldiers. Did the soldiers respond with violence? Did the soldiers hit any of the women, shoot at the women, or even shout at them? No! They actually let the women pull the child away without incident. When one of the soldiers tires to go back to get the child, after all the child was allegedly part of a group throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails – according to the IDF, the soldier is pulled away by fellow soldiers and they let the women take the child away.

Where is the violence and the evil that the headline promised.  In the end it’s a video of a child being lead by the hand and eventually pulled away by a group of women, without incident. Watch it again from start to end. Does the video actually support the narrative that  Independent and B’Tselem are advancing?

The video is propaganda. Nothing happens to the child. He is not harmed, not one hair was touch on his head. He was not “dragged”. The women were not beaten. But B’Tselem got their political points and the Independent got their Israel condemning headline. The damage is done. The headline frames the video and makes you think it is something it is not. Even the image B’Tselem used on YouTube is nothing more than cleverly selected propaganda, making it look like something it isn’t – a soldiers pointing a weapon at the boys head.

There are far worse things happening to children in the Middle East. In Syria they are being slaughtered to the tune of approximately 100,000 dead children. In Yemen they are being slaughtered in their homes, on the streets, and even at funerals.

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I do feel for the child, even if he was throwing a  very dangerous Molotov cocktail, he looks scared. He looks like a kid caught doing something that he shouldn’t have been doing. People should be more upset at his parents for letting him go out and partake in criminal activity. I know that it is scary for a child to be near soldiers. I experienced that when I was in Israel and one stopped me, holding a machine gun, to tell me I am not allowed to ride on the handlebars of bicycle. So if you are appalled by the fact that the boy had to be near soldiers and all those heavy armaments, then you should be even more appalled by these images (but if you bought the headline of the Independent, I bet you aren’t).

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At the end, the entire article by the Independent & video by B’Tselem turned out to be nothing more than Fake News. But the damage was already done and this fake news, like most previous to it, will be used for years to vilify Israel. I was please to see at the end that no harm came to the child.  For all the things they accuse Israel of doing, which nations do daily without consequence, if this is all they have, then Israel should be fine.

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Why Mahershala Ali’s Oscar Win is Great for Israel

Why Mahershala Ali’s Oscar Win is Great for Israel

On February 26, 2017, Mahershala Ali, an African-American actor best known for his portrayal of lobbyist Remy Danton on Netflix’s seminal political drama House of Cards, became the first Muslim to win an academy award for acting. Not only is Ali a brilliant actor, but in the current politically charged climate, the win had a certain feel good component to it. Mahershala Ali converted to Islam in 1999 and is a very proud Muslim. At the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, during his acceptance speech, he emotionally proclaimed, “I’m a Muslim.”

The congratulations for Ali started pouring into social media, including for representing the Muslim community so admirably. The adulation came from all around the globe, especially from Muslim majority countries, such as Pakistan, including by Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s top diplomat at the UN. But then something dramatic happened, worthy of an Oscar in and of itself. Just as soon as the thousands of positive tweets started pouring in, many of them start getting deleted by their creators, including by Ms. Lodhi herself. Not only that, but negative tweets started replacing the positive ones.

Why the reversal? Because even though Mahershala Ali considers himself a Muslim, many Muslims do not consider him one. When Ali converted to Islam in 1999, he eventually chose to join a denomination of Islam called Ahmadiyya or the Ahmadi Muslim community. The Ahmadiyya are pacifists that read the Koran and follow the rules of Islam. But even though they consider themselves Muslim, mainstream Islam considers them heretics. In Pakistan, the nation of UN diplomat Maleeha Lodhi, who deleted her congratulatory tweet, the Ahmadis are severely persecuted. If they quote the Koran in public or even say Salaam Aleykum, they can be arrested and charged with violation of the blasphemy laws.

capture

The Ahmadiyya are persecuted in nearly every country in the Middle East, including in the Palestinian Territories. In 2010, Mohammed Sharif Ouda, head of the Ahmadi community in Israel, said the Palestinian Authority is “encouraging the cold-blooded murder of Ahmadis” by failing to take concrete action to protect the community. The Ahmadi Muslims are even attacked in western countries by fellow Muslims who consider them infidels.

All through out the Middle East and the Muslim world the Ahmadiyya are prevented from practicing their religion freely, are persecuted, and in danger for their lives. All places but one: ISRAEL. The right to freedom of religious worship in Israel extends to ALL FAITHS, including those that are persecuted in the rest of the Middle East, like the Ahmadiyya and the Baha’i. In fact, their is a neighborhood in Haifa, Israel that is predominately Ahmadi Muslim, Kababir , where they live without fear, amongst Jews, unlike in the Palestinian Territories, where the teaching of the Ahmadi Muslim faith is considered apostasy, and practicing it can lead to beatings and confiscation of property by Sharia courts. Sharia courts often annul their marriages and members of the community are detained for passing our literature.

In no other Middle Eastern country are the Ahmadi Muslims free and safe, except for Israel. In fact, the regional headquarters and arguably their most important mosque, the Mahmood Mosque, are located in Haifa, Israel. Why? Because in no other country could that mosque stand, but Israel. Consider that for a second. For a Muslim community to feel free and safe, they must go TO Israel.

View of the Mahmood Mosque in Haifa, Israel

ahmadiyya_mosque

The story of Mahershala Ali and the Ahmadiyya Muslims dispels many lies about Israel. The fact is, whether you are Jewish, Christian, Sunni, Shia, Ahmadi, Baha’i, or any other faith, you can live in Israel with equal rights and your ability to practice your faith openly, freely, and proudly is guaranteed – this can not be said about any other nation. So, even though I am happy for Mr. Ali and feel that his talent merits his accolades, and it is great that he acknowledges his Muslim faith, it would be nice if he also acknowledged Israel, the one country in the region that protects the life and liberty of his fellow Ahmadiyya brothers and sisters.


Sources:

  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/02/mahershala-ali-muslim-ahmadi-pakistan/518091/
  2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/02/27/mahershala-ali-is-the-first-muslim-actor-to-win-oscar-some-muslim-countries-would-deny-that/?utm_term=.77767227e4ed
  3. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistans-top-diplomat-in-un-deletes-tweet-on-muslim-oscar-winner/articleshow/57378072.cms
  4. http://www.newsweek.com/mahershala-alis-oscar-win-ahmadi-muslim-persecution-562592
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmadiyya_in_Israel
  6. http://www.haaretz.co.il/misc/1.971743
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmood_Mosque,_Haifa
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmadiyya
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmadiyya_in_Palestine

King David and The Red-Headed Canard

King David and The Red-Headed Canard

Anti-Semites will use any and every angle they can to discredit Israel and the rights of Jews to live there. One of the most common canards advanced by the anti-Semites is the claim that European Jews are not real Jews, that they are not descendants of the ancient Israelites, and do not come from the Levant region where Israel is located. You will hear such terms as “Khazars,” “Ashkenazim,” and “Slavs.” In spite of scientific and genetic evidence that all Jews – Ashkenazi or Sephardi – can trace their ancestry to the Levant (see https://www.familytreedna.com/PDF/Genetics-of-Ashkenazi-Jewish-origins.pdf) the accusation persists.

In order to advance the lie that the modern  Jew is not related to the ancient Israelites or the “real Jews,” the anti-Semites will often present red-headed Jews as proof, often in a very derogatory way, as shown here:

red_admoni

Can this be the truth? Does the fact that there are some red-headed Jews mean that the modern day Jews are impostors? That they have no connection to the ancient Israelites or the land of Israel? Of course not. It’s just another antisemitic canard advanced by Jew haters to try and convince others that the Jews are not what they think. That they are an evil, sub-human group. Let’s look at this from several angles to dispel this vicious antisemitic lie.

What is Red Hair?

Red hair occurs in up to 2% of world population and most frequently in Northern and Western Europe whose prevalence of red hair rises up to 6%. It is a recessive gene and a genetic mutation. If the anti-Semites used red hair to identify Jews as European, it would dispel another anti-Semitic canard that all Jews come from the Eastern Khazars which are not known for red hair and do not come from the region where red hair is most prevalent, such as the Scandinavian areas. But anti-Semites are not in the business of disproving lies about Jews, they are in the business of starting and advancing them, so they have no problems advancing both lies often at the same time.

Getting back to the issue of red hair, people all around the world contain the gene mutation that results in red hair, from China to Papua New Guinea to the Berbers of North Africa to, yes even, the Middle East.

Here is a Melanesian red-headed woman from Papua New Guinea with the red hair gene mutation.

And who can forget the Iraqi military commander and Saddam Hussein adviser Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri with his bright read hair, thick red mustache, and fair complexion.

Image result for izzat ibrahim al douri

Yes, there are even red-headed Palestinians, as evidenced by this man with a large bushy red beard gathered outside the house of a 17 year old terrorist in the Palestinian Territories after the terrorist broke into the bedroom of a 12 year old Jewish girl and stabbed her to death in her sleep.

House.PNG

Even looking at a map showing the genetic haplogroup that determines red hair R1b shows the Levant clearly included.

What about the Jews?

A 1903 study in New York City of 2300 Jews found that the vast majority had dark hair and only 3% had red hair. I would assume that is within a standard deviation of the global prevalence of red hair. If you just look at men’s beards, over 10% of Jewish men have red beards. Well doesn’t 3% seem a little high or 10% for beards? Not really when you considered that Jews were forcibly evicted from their homes and scattered to places in the known world including the rest of the middle east and yes, Europe. One thing that anti-Semites require of all Jews is to show pure racial homogeneity to prove they are Jews and entitled to return to their ancestral home. An impossible requirement. The truth is like all people in the world past and present, Jews in Europe at times married the local population and integrated them into the community or the “tribe.” So yes, there are European genes among  Jews, just as there are in South American among the native populations from the invasion of the conquistadors or in all parts of the world controlled by the British Empire. But in the end, remember that science proves that all Jews share a common middle eastern ancestry regardless were they were exiled to or the proportionally few number of interracial/interfaith marriages that occurred.

The Ancient Israelites, King David, and Red Hair

That still does not give us insight into the ancient inhabitants of the land of Israel and the modern Jews connection or disassociation from them based on red hair. Does it? Our knowledge of ancient Israel and Israelites comes from the Bible. Let’s analyze the Bible not as a work of theology, but as a historical collections of tales told by ancient people who relate their experiences in their writing.

The Jewish Bible, or what the Christians call the Old Testament, does not often give physically descriptions of biblical figures unless they are distinctive or germane to the tale. For example Queen Esther is described for her abounding beauty, which is important to her story and why the Persian king chose her.

In the book of Samuel I, Samuel is instructed by G-d to find the next king of Israel. He is sent to a man named Jesse to meet his sons as possible candidates. He meets the seven oldest sons and they are quickly dismissed. They are not given any kind of distinctive physical description, nor is Jesse the father or their family as a whole. But when Samuel meets David the Shepard, the youngest son and the man who would be the most famous king in Israel’s history, he is very specifically described.

samuel16_12

The word they use to translate as ruddy is admoni.

admoni_samuel_16

Admoni comes from the root word in Hebrew of Adom or Red

adom

Modern Hebrew uses the transliteration of the English word “ginger” – gingi – instead of admoni to demote a person with red hair because the definition of admoni is debated. However, modern Hebrew does use admoni to for red haired animals, such as:

  • Pandor Admoni – Red Panda
  • Ze’ev Admoni – Red Wolf

Biblical scholars and historians are split on whether the description of David as adomi refers to his hair, his face (rosy cheeks), or both. But red hair is just as if not more likely than red faced. If you look at David’s description as a whole you can imagine the young David, with his red hair/cheeks, fair/beautiful eyes, and attractive appearance,  looked something like this:

Image result for prince harry

Often people who are described as having a ruddy face also have a fair complexion and/or red hair to match.

We know that the writer(s) of the bible meant to describe David physically as admoni (red) and not an allusion to his personality. The biblical authors were very careful to not assign similar personality traits to both heroes and anti-heroes of the bible. The only other individual who is described with the word admoni in the bible is Essau, who is painted in very negative light. It is extremely unlikely that they would have used the same personality trait for one of the least likable and one of the most likable figures in the entire bible. It is more likely that admoni referred to both of them sharing the recessive red-headed gene.

So biblical exegesis shows us that King David is the only brother described with red hair and also one of only two individuals in the entire bible with red hair.

In other words, there were people with red hair among the ancient Israelites, but they were few in number. Doesn’t that sound a bit like modern Jews?

David was one of eight brothers with red hair – or 12% – statistically similar to the number of modern Jewish men with red beards. Surely if one of the most famous ancient Israelites can possess red hair so can modern day Jews, don’t you think?

The truth is the entire argument put forward by the anti-Semites is an exercise in futility. Any person anywhere can have red hair. Hair color is irrelavant. It is just an attempt on their part to advance a false narrative that results in the destruction of the Jewish nation state and the elimination of the Jews. Hopefully you will see that whether it is red hair or Khazars or David Icke’s theory that Jews are a race of reptilian extra-terrestrials, the affect is the same, to demonize and dehumanize the Jewish people.

More images of red headed Arabs and Mid East people

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Facts and figures for this blog post were gathered from:

Ginger Jews

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_hair

http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/29019-Origin-and-ancient-history-of-red-hair

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15845/jewish/Chapter-16.htm

In the Heart of the Jewish Homeland

The French brothers Marie-Théodor and Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne were converts to Catholicism from Judaism, who dedicated their lives to the conversion of Jews to the Catholic faith.

They both became priests and then later missionaries.

In 1852 they founded a congregation dedicated to the education of Jewish children in a Christian setting, and then in 1855  Pope Gregory XVI gave his blessing to move the congregation to the heart of the Jewish homeland – Jerusalem. Ask yourself this question, why would two brothers who dedicated their lives to converting Jewish boys and girls in 1855 choose to move their ministry to Jerusalem, if there were no or few Jewish people there at the time? Does that make any sense? How odd that they would choose a place that supposedly had no Jews. Or maybe it did and what you’ve been told about Jews in Israel is a lie. There were Jews in Jerusalem and the rest of the holy land at the time, just as there were continuously for thousands of years. Even when Jews were evicted from the land, they eventually returned home.

To this day, their church survives in Israel with the goal not of conversion, but improving Jewish/Christian relations.  The name of the congregation they founded?

OUR LADY OF SION

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American Zionism on the Radio

I will be on an Israeli radio show tomorrow, Thursday August 17th 2016, titled Bulletproof.

The link for the show  http://israelnewstalkradio.com/bulletproof/
and the link tomorrow’s show!   http://israelnewstalkradio.com/israeli-advocate-warriors/ 

Here is the description of the show and how to call in:

Tomorrow’s show is going to be off the charts! Israel News Talk Radio – INTRI have 2 Israeli advocacy warriors who will be my guests and you will not believe some of the anti Israel lies they have been debunking! The phone lines will be open, so feel free to call in and let the world hear what you have to say!

To call in: North America – (301) 768 – 4841 Israel: (02) 65 00 151 Thursday 5:00 PM IL time 10:00 AM EST