Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Hippy and the Farmer



A farmer was tilling his field one day, working hard to support his family, when he heard his gate open and close. A hippy came down the garden path to meet him. She was carrying stacks of fliers.

“Hello!” He said, “Fine day we’re having, isn’t it?”

The hippy agreed and made small talk with the farmer for a moment before getting down to business.

“Sir,” she said, “I’ve come to speak to you about pesticides. Do you use pesticides as part of your farming?” When the farmer said that he did, she said, “Sir, are you aware of the amount of damage that pesticides do the environment, including indigenous wildlife? I am here as part of Humans For Justice to ask you to stop buying and using pesticides. Would you be willing to sign our pledge?”

The farmer admitted that she made a compelling case. Pesticides are quite dangerous, and even though he rarely uses them, he agreed to sign her pledge. She handed him her document, and he gave it a quick review. He noticed something in the document that made him pause.

“Young lady,” he asked, “This document says that I will refuse to buy pesticides from three specific companies.”

“Yes,” said the hippy. “And?”

 “These three companies are the only ones in the area that are owned by black people. Are you aware of that?”

The hippy rolled her eyes. “Oh...that!” She said. “Don’t worry about that.”

“I won’t.” Said the farmer. “Why are you asking me to only stop buying pesticides from black-owned businesses?”

“I already told you,” said the hippy sharply, “Because pesticides are incredibly dangerous to the environment! It has nothing to do with who owns the companies!” She then proceeded to speak for five minutes straight, in minute detail, about the dangers of pesticides. When she finished, the farmer looked even more confused.

“But shouldn’t I stop buying pesticides altogether, instead of just from black people?” The farmer asked.

The hippy rolled her eyes again. “Look, if you want to stop buying pesticides altogether, go ahead. But Humans For Justice are asking you to stop buying from these specific businesses.”

“Why?”

“Because they sell pesticides, and pesticides are bad!” She waved a picture of a dead bird in his face, “Look at what they did!”
“Are their pesticides worse than pesticides sold by others?” The farmer asked.

The hippy shifted her feet uncomfortably. “No.”

“Are their business practices somehow worse than everyone else?”

The hippy looked at the ground and said, “No.”

“So why these businesses and not the rest?”

The hippy cried angrily, “Because you have to start somewhere!”

The farmer took a step back, surprised by this outburst. He said, “Young lady, I would like to sign this pledge, but the fact that you’re singling out black people makes me uncomfortable. I remember a time in this country when African-Americans were refused business based on the color of their skin, and I have no desire to return to it.”

The hippy rolled her eyes. “I knew you were going to say that. I hear it all the time: you pesticide users are always playing the race card. I bet a black guy told you to say that, didn’t he?” The farmer shook his head in shock. “Look,” she continued, “this has nothing to do with race, okay? I’m asking you to stop buying pesticides from these three businesses because pesticides are dangerous and they kill the environment. Got it?”

At this point the farmer’s wife stepped out onto the porch. “Excuse me, sorry to interrupt, but I did a little bit of background reading about Humans For Justice, and I don’t like what I’ve found.”

“What did you find?” asked the farmer.

“Well,” said his wife, “I’ve found many statements by HFJ leaders saying that they want to drive all African-American businesses from the state, and they will accomplish this through boycotts. HFJ has been endorsed by a number of white supremacist groups, and many of their members have been caught making racist statements on social media or by hidden microphones. Others have been known to physically attack black people and leave racist graffiti on their homes. Because of this, many state legislators and local politicians have condemned HFJ as a racist movement.”

The hippy rolled her eyes yet again. “Don’t believe everything you read. Maybe some HFJ members have said some questionable things, but they don’t represent the rest of us. Besides, I would bet good money that those business owners lobbied the media to say those things about us. They’ll stop at nothing to sell their pesticides, you know!”

The farmer raised an eyebrow. “I’m sure. Regardless, young lady, though I appreciate your efforts, I’m not going to be signing this pledge. I’d rather not associate myself with a movement like yours.”

The hippy’s eyes narrowed. “I’m sorry you feel that way. But if you keep buying pesticides from these businesses, then you’re complicit in the murder of thousands of innocent plants and animals. And we’re going to protest you until you stop.”

The farmer glanced at his wife. The hippy continued, “I have a lot of friends. We’ll be out here every day with signs and banners telling everyone that you use dangerous pesticides and that your food is contaminated. We’ll leave thousands of negative reviews on social media for your farm. By the time we’re finished, you won’t be able to sell your produce for a hundred miles!”

The farmer looked at his feet for a moment. He finally said, “Young lady, if I sign your pledge, will you leave me in peace?”

The hippy’s face immediately brightened and she smiled widely. “Of course!” She said, “I’m so glad that you decided to see the light and join our cause. Soon the world will be completely rid of pesticide and safe for all animals, thanks to your help.”

The farmer signed. The hippy thanked him and skipped away back down the garden path. “Are you actually going to stop buying pesticides from those businesses?” His wife asked. He shook his head.

The hippy returned to her friends, sure that she had won another victory for her movement. She added the signed pledge to her folder and added the farmer’s name to a list. She went to sleep that night, contented. Tomorrow was another day, and there are always more farmers to talk to.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Norman Vs BDS, Round Two

See as how we originally broke the story of Norman Finkelstein throwing some criticisms towards BDS (and in the process exposing some serious flaws in the movement) I felt obligated to share with you his latest reiteration of his points in an interview on The Real News. It's rather long, but the whole thing is worth reading. Finkelstein repeats his point that the BDS movement will never reach mainstream acceptance as long as it refuses to take a stand about whether or not Israel should exist:
FINKELSTEIN: You can't, because you can do one of two things. You can say--which is a perfectly reasonable position--you could say to hell with the law, I don't care what international law says, International law is made by privileged states, it's made by imperialists, it's made by--so on and so forth. You know the rhetoric, so I don't have to go through it with you. You can take that position and say, we don't care about international law, we don't care if international law recognizes Israel. We don't. That's fine. Or we don't take a position. Or the second option is you say you are anchored in international law, but then you have to take the good and bad in the law. You take it as a package. You can't say, for example, I have the right to walk at the green, but I have no opinion on the red. A law is about--law consists of two things: rights and obligations, rights and responsibilities. You can't just claim rights for yourself but then claim to be agnostic or, quote, I don't have an opinion on your obligations to others. That's not the law. That's cherry-picking the law. That's what Israel always did. Israel kept saying to the Palestinians, you have to recognize us, you have to recognize us. But they refuse to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination and statehood. If it was wrong for Israel to do that because it demanded the right for itself but not its obligation to the Palestinians, it's wrong for the other side to do it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Red-Green Alliance Points the Finger At Jews In the Wake of Charlie Hedbo

In the wake of the murder of 12 people over the publishing of a Mohammad cartoon last week, a lot was said in various media outlets. Most of it was the usual rhetoric from all sides: Islam is bad, Muslims are mad, Muslim immigration to Europe is bad, etc. Unlike when four Jews and three non-Jews were killed in France by an Islamist, this time the attack got wall to wall media coverage and many expressions of solidarity. The attack was impossible to ignore: even Palestinian governmental groups lined up to condemn an act extremely similar to what their own soldiers have done many times over. And of course there were the usual hashtag trends and so forth on social media.

This time, there was a small group of people who couldn’t simply stand by and condemn the murder of cartoonists for the crime of drawing a religious figure. They had to use the opportunity to push their own agenda, and their agenda consisted of one statement alone: “You can’t make fun of Jews in the West the way you can make fun of Muslims! Wah!”

Let’s count how many Muslims and Muslim apologists said exactly that. We’ll start with Mehdi Hasan, political director of the Huffington Post UK, who wrote:

“Why have you been so silent on the glaring double standards? Did you not know that Charlie Hebdo sacked the veteran French cartoonist Maurice Sinet in 2008 for making an allegedly anti-Semitic remark? Weren't you sickened to see Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of a country that was responsible for the killing of seven journalists in Gaza in 2014, attend the "unity rally" in Paris?...Muslims, I guess, are expected to have thicker skins than their Christian and Jewish brethren. Context matters, too. You ask us to laugh at a cartoon of the Prophet while ignoring the vilification of Islam across the continent…”

Next up, Faisal Kapadia, also writing at the Huffington Post, who compared the Mohammad cartoons to child pornography:

“We as a world need to understand and question exactly how a country's barometer for "freedom" is fair when the right of a Muslim woman to wear hijab is not sacrosanct but the publishing of hate cartoons is? Where anti-Semitism is a crime but anti-Muslim is not?”

Apparently in Kapadia’s world, not obeying the demands of Islamist radicals and Muslim religious leaders is “anti-Muslim.” Let’s keep that in mind the next time someone criticizes Israeli policy, shall we?

Among the far left, we have Glenn Greenwald, who declared that “the numerous cases of jobs being lost or careers destroyed for expressing criticism of Israel or (much more dangerously and rarely) Judaism” before posting numerous anti-Semitic cartoons that he claimed were merely “blasphemous.” We invite you to click on the article and see for yourself that Greenwald considers an example of anti-Judaism “blasphemy” to be a picture of hook-nosed Jews controlling the US court system. Apparently neither Greenwald nor his editor own a dictionary. William Saletan claimed that Europeans are hypocrites for having laws that protect minorities from things like Holocaust denial while standing up for Charlie Hebdo’s freedom of speech. Mondoweiss took the claim that “Israel targets journalists” out of mothballs for the occasion, because no opportunity to accuse Israel of war crimes should go by unused.

Moving into the visual realm and back to the Muslim side of the tracks, Palestinian cartoonist Joe Sacco created a cartoon that is impressive in just how blatantly he missed the point of the Charlie Hedbo solidarity marches, and included a shot at Jews as well. Like Greenwald, Sacco decided that he would “show solidarity” with cartoonists murdered for ridiculing Islam by racistly depicting Jews and black people, because everyone knows a picture of Mohammed is just as offensive as a black man eating a banana and falling out of a tree. And finally, we have anti-Semitic cartoonist Carlos Latuff, whose cartoons collected at Greenwald’s link above demonstrates Latuff’s view that despite appearances to the contrary, Jews and “Islamophobes” are the real bad guys here and Muslims are the real victims. Here’s one of the tamer examples:

Charlie-Hebdo-attack-the-next-chapters.gif

In fact Latuff only made one cartoon that was even close to critical of the attackers before returning to his favorite punching bags of the West and the Jews oops I mean Israel. Notice the message here that the attack wasn’t bad for its own sake, but because it would come back to hurt Muslims later (and to remind everyone that the attack 'has another victim', no points for guessing who):

13-political-cartoons-in-response-to-charlie-hebdo-attack-image-12.jpg
Zach and I think it’s darn interesting how so many people from so many different places all come out with the same message at roughly the same time: “Look at the Jews instead.” If one were conspiracy minded, one might almost think that some kind of higher power was telling them to all put forward the same argument. But it’s far more likely that in their efforts to defend the indefensible, they just returned to the targets they are so accustomed to firing at.

All of these arguments fail because they all miss the point, which is rather typical among apologists for terror. Charlie Hebdo isn’t a particularly good paper. They are pretty offensive to a whole bunch of different groups. Jews and Israel have not exactly been spared their attentions. But this wasn’t an attack on Charlie Hebdo, it was an attack on free speech and the rule of law. This was not a government legislature deciding for themselves that based on the ugly history of anti-Semitism in their country, Holocaust denial would be considered “crossing the line” and is therefore unacceptable. Nor was it a company or news organization deciding for themselves that Octavia Nasr or Helen Thomas were no longer welcome in their company because of certain extremist views. And it wasn’t, as Mehdi Hasan reminds us, Charlie Hebdon choosing for themselves not to publish a cartoon because they considered it to be anti-Semitic. This was a case of AK-47s wielding psychopaths forcing other people to obey Islamist rules regarding what they can and cannot say or print. It’s an attack on all of us, the message was to all of us: do what Muslims want or else, because Western rule of law is now taking a back seat to Islamist justice. That’s why expressions of solidarity are necessary, to show the attackers that their tactics will not work.

If France had come together and stood against radical Islam back in 2013, this might have been prevented. If Muslims had decided to protest the Mohammad cartoons in a legal manner like boycotts or protests, then far fewer people would come out to defend Charlie Hebdo’s freedom of speech. Why? Because those Muslims would also be using their freedom of speech to express their opinions, just like many other people (including Jews) have done before and since. If anything, in the newly political correct Europe, they probably could have gotten some Westerners to support them, as many people in the West don't seek to offend people just for the sake of offending people. But some of the Muslims who were offended chose to use horrific violence instead, so here we are.

But I gotta say, the irony that dozens of people who literally make their living criticizing Jews are now currently whining that “you can’t criticize Jews and get away with” never fails to crack me up.

Monday, July 28, 2014

HuffPost Political Director Lies for Hamas

Huffington Post UK political director Medhi Hasan is back on the Huffington Post pushing anti-Israel advocacy, despite his journalist position at the HP. We've encountered him before, and now he's back to spread more lies against Israel. The article title this time? "Debunking Israel's 11 Main Myths about Gaza, Hamas, and War Crimes." Don't wait for an article from Hasan debunking Palestinian myths of Gaza, of which there are dozens.

Before we get into debunking his debunking, let's quote a bit from the beginning of the article:
"Having said that [he doesn't support Hamas (what a moderate!)], however, in recent days I've been debating supporters of Israel's latest assault on Gaza on radio and on Twitter and I've been astonished not just by the sheer number of fact-free claims made by those supporters, but also by their confidence, slickness and sheer message discipline. According to the pro-Israel, pro-IDF crowd, Hamas is to blame for everything."

So Hasan himself admits he's been "debating" supporters of Israel on Twitter. Is this what an "objective journalist" is supposed to do? If he's actively debating people in the public forum, what do you think he's up to behind the scenes at the Huffington Post? Do you believe anything that he doesn't agree with will get published in the HP's UK politics section? He doesn't even pretend to be objective.

With that in mind, let's get to the myths!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

An Observation

Check out the image used by an 11,000 member petition and endorsed by BDS:


I wonder if it's a coincidence that the "settlers" used in their image just happen to look like highly stereotypical images of Jews who also just happen to be dancing in a stereotypical Jewish manner. Especially given that hardly any settlers are Haredim. But considering that BDS doesn't even know how to spell "Israel," maybe we can attribute that decision to ignorance rather than malice.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Elder's Letter of Condemnation

Written by Elder of Ziyon, agreed to by us:

We unequivocally condemn the horrific murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir. It was unjustifiable under any circumstances. The killing was reprehensible and we hope that the criminals who did this sickening act are found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Israel is a country run by the rule of law. There are reports that Jews have been arrested for this crime. If a trial finds that Jews are indeed guilty of this unconscionable killing, our condemnation is redoubled. The idea that Jews could do such an act fills us with shame and horror.

The people who murdered Mohammed do not represent us in any way. It is not enough to dissociate ourselves from the dreadful act; we must also ensure that crimes like this are never repeated.

Just as the appalling murders of Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Shaar do not in any way justify the hideous murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, neither does Khdeir's murder justify the violence, terrorism, destruction and incitement we have seen over the past few days against Israelis and Jews.

We hope and pray that everyone, Arab and Jew, lives in peace and security in the region.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The HuffPost's Biased Coverage of Abduction Story

The Huffington Post's pattern of bias hasn't changed much over the past few years. The headline choice and picture selection remain as skewed as ever, as we can see in the one article about three Israeli children (including an American) who were kidnapped by what looks like a Palestinian terrorist group. First up, the generic outside headline picture:


Finding pictures of the victims is reserved exclusively for non-Israelis, as we have determined. Still, at least this has a picture. Check out the inside headline:


 Now the Huffington Post isn't sure if there was a kidnapping, or even if there were three teenagers at all. Israel just said something, it might not be true.

Finally, the thread was highly typical of the Huffington Post, including the expected anti-Semitism:


If the Huffington Post moderation is still working, they might want to take another look at their algorithms.