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THE BATON MAG Handbook for Zionist Keyboard Warriors



A Cut-and-Paste Manual


Snappy smackdowns of Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism that you can use to crush your enemies on social media!



[Downloadable PDF version coming soon!]




Published by





Version 1.0

October 27, 2023



IMPORTANT: We will be updating this document regularly with new versions both to respond to changing events and to keep our claws sharp. Help make it better by sending us the infuriating crap you encounter online. We may reply in time for you to thrash your enemy (we probably won’t though) but we’ll use it for fodder to make the next version of this document even more noxious. Email us at editor@thebatonmag.com.








“Never believe that antisemites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The antisemites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.”



― Jean-Paul Sartre



TABLE OF CONTENTS





THE MAIN STUFF -- SMACKDOWNS YOU CAN CUT-AND-PASTE

(CLICK TO LINK TO WHAT YOU NEED):



































Note about length, form and hashtags: These examples are too long for some social media platforms. We trust you to cut to the salient points and appropriate length. Most are formatted as replies, not original posts, but again you can tailor as needed. Hashtags are up to you, but here are just four that are appropriate right now. #IStandWithIsrael, #IsraelUnderAttack, #HamasIsISIS, #HamasWarCrimes






INTRODUCTION


Fighting on social media is not an alternative to genuine activism. We urge you to reduce the energy and resources spent on this activity and engage in the real world with on-the-ground organizations that work to support Israel and the Jewish people.


But — if you are going to participate in this fight, you might as well do it right.


This document is intended to allow you to cut and paste or to use as “talking points” our take-no-prisoners retorts to contest the lies, misrepresentations and moral atrocities taking place online.



We’re angry


This document was prepared by The Baton Mag in the aftermath of the horrific terrorist attacks of October 7, 2023. It is a product of rage – and we don’t apologize for that. Rage is a perfectly appropriate response to what happened in Israel. Rage is also a perfectly appropriate response to the world’s response to what happened in Israel. Overwhelmingly, there has been silence from people who should be standing with Israel and the Jewish people. That’s bad enough. Far, far worse are the garbage humans who actually celebrate the killings, maimings, rapes, beheadings or kidnappings. They called them resistance. They actually celebrated it. We’re angry.


We will never forget that the voices of hatred, intolerance and violence did not even wait for Israel's response before taking to the streets and their keyboards to revel in the beheadings of children, the rape and murder of women, the kidnapping of babies, toddlers, senior citizens, civilians of all ages, the assassination of children in front of their parents and parents in front of their children. The people who celebrated — and, yes, the people who remain silent — condemn Israel now for defending its people. These are voices that need to be condemned. They have no moral legitimacy. If you want to send these people a message, these pages are full of messages you can send.



But … balance this fight with mental wellness


While this resource is intended to strengthen your efforts at combating antisemitic and anti-Israel discourse on social media and elsewhere, your individual mental wellness should be paramount.


Please remember: every effort at countering the lies and defending Israel and the Jewish people is laudable. But an individual can only create a ripple in the ocean. These ripples are critically important. However, the emotional impacts of consuming the hatred we see online should not be underestimated. Repeated exposure to ideas and people who not only demonstrate no concern for the lives of you and your family but actively ally with those who would perpetrate genocide has an enormous cost on your mental wellness. Please balance your ability to have an impact with the importance of staying safe and well.


To maintain emotional wellness, please consider the following steps:


1. Do not doom scroll. Set time aside for social media and try to occupy yourself with something constructive or enjoyable during other hours. In the face of all that is happening, we understand how putting the world aside seems both impossible and unethical. But you cannot fight if you lack the strength. Nurture your resilience. Different people require different amounts of downtime and recovery from the battle.


2. Stop banging your head against antisemites. Feeling like you are making a constructive contribution is one of the most important things you can do to improve your mental health and happiness in difficult times. Often, engaging on social media might feel like a positive contribution — and it absolutely can be — but the emotional toll can have the opposite impact. Find forms of activism that make you feel like you are accomplishing things and making progress, not just banging your head against antisemites.


3. Engage off-line as well. If you can, donate to appropriate causes. Volunteer with organizations fighting antisemitism and supporting Israel and the Jewish people. Social media is the 21st-century agora, but it is a dangerous and often unwelcoming place. Do not spend all your time there.


4. Don't be alone. When bad things happen, many of us can sink into feelings of aloneness. Try to find like-minded people — even just one — and stay connected off-line. Look for events in your community, such as vigils, rallies, informational meetings, lectures and other sorts of events where you are together with like-minded people. Or, create a “safebook” a group of Facebook friends (or a WhatsApp group or an email thread or whatever) who share your sensibilities and with whom you can share your feelings and concerns.


5. Walk away. We are engaged in a long flight. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. People who disagree with us revel in taunting and tormenting Jewish people and their allies (See Sartre quote, page 2). They are deliberately taunting you and sucking your energy. Walk away from aholes.


6. Use the 80/20 rule. Probably 80% of the people you want to engage with online are trolls. They are provoking and tormenting you. They may not be outright antisemites, but they love poking you with sticks, so what difference does it make what we call them, really? Maybe 20% of the people you encounter have a slim hope of changing their minds, of being influenced by reason. Devote 80% of your efforts to those 20% of people. If you feel like it, slap down the other 80% with some of the lines from this document. But don’t spend more than 20% of your time on those people. They’re not worth it.



OUR STRATEGY


Hey – we’re good people. We believe in words. We believe in free expression and convincing people of what is right through open dialogue.


The problem is, the enemies of Israel and the Jewish people aren’t good people. They believe in words only in so far as they can hurt. They believe in free expression only when it suits them and they are not trying to convince anyone. They are either trying to harm Jews and Israelis or, at a minimum, they are rubbing salt in the wounds others have inflicted.


We are constructive people. They are destructive people.


Oh – and before some pearl-clutching activist starts gasping “Racism!” we’re not calling Palestinians bad or destructive people. Most of the people we are addressing here are not Palestinians at all. Most of them wouldn’t know a Palestinian if they met one. The people posting trash online are mostly ignorant suburban crackers who think they are social justice activists, too ignorant of the “nuances” (like “From the river to the sea …”) to know that they are advocating genocide of Jews.


We’re not going to change the minds of bad people. So, should we just ignore them? That’s one approach. We certainly recommend it in a lot of cases. (See “80/20 rule,” above.) But, if you don’t want to ignore it, we want you to be as effective as you can be.


It just happens that we at The Baton Mag have incredibly sharp claws and so we can help you slash the shit out of bad people. Of course, we are nonviolent. While Palestinian terrorists actually eviscerate people, and overseas allies cheer them on, we use words to figuratively eviscerate the people who side with people who actually eviscerate people.



Who is this handbook for – and who is the “enemy”?


“Enemy” is a harsh word! Should we really be using the term “enemy” to describe people who disagree with us on social media?


Well, yeah. People who get a thrill when Jews (in Israel or elsewhere) are killed, maimed, raped, beheaded or kidnapped are the enemy. If you disagree, this document isn’t for you anyway. Bye-bye.


There’s another type of people who are the enemy though, too. You don’t have to actively support the killing, maiming, raping, beheading or kidnapping of Jews to deserve the sort of smackdowns we offer up in this document.


In a world where Jews are being killed, maimed, raped, beheaded and kidnapped, people who maintain silence are enemies of a different kind.


When people express indifference to dead Jews but howl hysterically over dead Palestinians, that’s deserving of every smackdown we can offer up. To be clear: Dead Palestinians should evoke howls – howls of outrage at the Palestinian terrorists who are responsible for those deaths. But if the howling is selective (when dead Palestinians are lamented but dead Israelis are not) or when people lay the blame for dead Palestinians on Israel instead of on the Palestinian, Arab and Iranian terrorists who are actually to blame, those people are enemies.


This document is for people who are fighting on social media in defence of Israel and against antisemitism – but who need some extra zingers. Maybe you know what you want to say but can’t quite find the words. We’ve got lots of words. We’ve tried to make the hyperlinked Table of Contents handy to access what you need when you need it (like when some stupid, hateful mofo on Twitter says something and you need to smack them down so hard).



Go on the offensive


Jews and supporters of Israel have been on the defensive far too long. We are right. Our enemies are wrong. Why are we pretending like there’s something wrong with us?!


Why are we allowing ourselves to be put on the defensive about Israel and letting the enemy off easy? We are on the side of democracy, civilization, peace, coexistence, human rights and basic decency. They are on the side of the most violent, racist, intolerant, misogynistic, patriarchal, homophobic forces on the planet. How the hell did we end up in a place where people who side with terrorists who decapitate babies have us on the back foot?


Time for Zionists to take the offensive. And, yeah, sometimes we’re realllly offensive. Read on to find out!



You can’t change their mind. Change their mood.


This document is generally not intended to change minds. It is intended to crush the enemy. The people you are dealing with do not care about facts, truth or humanity. You need to point out their immorality and intellectual vacuity. Make them miserable. Attack their weak spots: the human decency they lack, their faux humanitarianism, their hypocrisy. You can’t change their minds. But you can make them pay a price for doing what they do. Verbally curbstomp them. Make them think twice next time they pick a fight with you. Ruin their day. Make them look like the assholes they are in front of all their Facebook friends and Twitter followers. You won't change their minds. But if you can make their experience on social media miserable, maybe they'll crawl back under their rock and leave Jews alone. We’re here to help.


BTW: Our arrows tend to have poison tips! Tone them down or ramp them up, depending on your need. We're not saying you have to be as nasty as we are!



Your enemy hates truth


Pro-Israel voices almost always rely on facts and often hesitate to employ emotion. Anti-Israel voices almost exclusively depend on emotion, because they have no chance of winning on the facts.


Quit arguing facts. (To be clear: Facts matter. But not to them.) Save your facts for people who can be persuaded with truth. For the online enemy, you need to cut them to pieces so they think twice about screwing with you again.


To people for whom truth has no value, facts are meaningless.


We use facts, sometimes. Not pretending we are completely fact-free. But we also use shame, ridicule and ad hominem insults – because the enemy deserves to be shamed, ridiculed and insulted. These are the strategies they have always used, because their approach is always fact-free, and if we want to beat them at their game, we need to play by their rules.



Do we want to stoop to their level?


Doesn’t fighting dirty bring us down to their level? Nope. That is a depth we couldn’t reach if we tried. The difference is, we are right and they are wrong. We are on the side of peace, coexistence and civilization. They are on the side of terrorism, antisemitism and decapitated Jewish babies. There’s a lot we can do online without coming close to their level.


Plus: When we play dirty, we are being nasty to them on social media. When they play dirty, they reward terrorism, celebrate murdered Jews and encourage extremists to kill the maximum number of people on both sides. See the difference?



Make the enemy pay a price


We need to call people out. We need to shame them for their immoral positions. If their own conscience does not call them to behave better, ours will. They have gotten away for far too long accusing Israel of “apartheid,” “genocide” and a million other lies. Arguing facts hasn’t turned the dial. Will public humiliation? Can’t hurt. Actually, it can – and that’s exactly what we aim to do.


The enemy has no decency or restraint. They stand with people who kill Jews. Or, at best, they don’t stand against people who kill Jews. Same same.


They get away with it. Nobody calls them on it.


If you’ve got the guts to take them on, we’ve got the malicious takedowns that tell them there’s a price to pay for attacking us.



STAND-ALONE SMACKDOWNS


In subsequent sections, we get into details and specifics. There, we present content that you can use to contest the particular crap people post online.


A lot of the time, though, those posts don’t deserve a thoughtful response. They – and the people who posted them – need a smackdown.


Here are some all-purpose slammers for ya.



I assume you think of yourself as some great Human Rights Activist™ or Social Justice Advocate™. In fact, everything you do rewards terror and intolerance. You are standing with the most violent, immoral, misogynistic, patriarchal, intolerant, homophobic forces on earth. Not sure how that dovetails with your self-image but anyone with half a brain knows what you are. Only you seem to lack that level of awareness.


*


You have no right to call yourself pro-Palestinian. You’ve joined a movement that promises to create a “free” Palestine that would be free for no one. You excuse the universal child abuse in which Palestinian kids are indoctrinated to hate, kill and become child combatants. You reward the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields. If you are an ally to Palestinians, they sure as hell don’t need enemies.

Your positions clearly do not come from thoughtful consideration or familiarity with facts or history. What you express is based on something far more primitive, crude and intolerant. You could contribute constructively to the intellect of this discussion by staying out of it.


*


I’m not surprised that you are repeating lies to make your case. Palestinian rulers use children as human shields, combatants and suicide bombers. And you cheer them on. So why would you have any reservations about lying? Why, once you have decided to stand with a movement that uses kindergartens and hospitals as military installations and employs human shields and child combatants, would you be put off by the little detail that your entire argument is founded on lies?


*


Instead of questioning or contesting the mountains of falsehoods and embellishments you have been fed by Palestinian propagandists, you just repeat them, like a parrot. Are you even human, or are you some AI propaganda bot?


*


Why do intelligent people who approach other issues with critical thinking swallow Palestinian propaganda so enthusiastically?


*


The "pro-Palestinian" movement is so rife with contradictions it requires a suspension of disbelief. People with “COEXIST” bumper stickers justify terrorism against Jewish civilians. Queers for Palestine march for a cause that would throw them off rooftops. Feminists ally with the most misogynistic forces on earth. You chant “Free Palestine” when all evidence says that an independent Palestine would be one of the least free places on earth. For most people who call themselves "pro-Palestinian," to sign on to this movement demands a complete rejection of critical thinking.


*


The Palestinian movement has never been a movement of peace, democracy or progressive values. The Palestinian body politic is overwhelmingly patriarchal, anti-feminist, violently homophobic, utterly anti-democratic, and steeped in violence from top to bottom. Why do you support this movement? Where is your cognitive dissonance? You can say you don’t support these terrible things, you just support Palestinians. But you don't even do THAT! Why don’t you support equal rights for women in Palestine? For LGBTQ+ people? For minorities? You don't say a word about these things. You just defend terrorists. Why are you part of this movement? Ask yourself why.


*


This is where we stand right now: Palestinian and other Arab leaders have been promising for more than 75 years to annihilate Israel and its people. Iran’s nuclear program aims to do just that. A network of well-funded and well-armed terrorist organizations are mass murdering Israeli civilians. Antisemitic rhetoric, violence and killings are skyrocketing worldwide. And European and North American activists insist there is no reason for concern. To the Jewish people, you say: Relax, what’s the worst that could happen?




EASY ANSWERS TO THE TYPICAL CRAP


There are a few all-purpose lies that the enemy vomits up. Here are the easiest smackdowns to each of them.

“Why can’t those people just get along?”

Israelis have always sought to live in peaceful coexistence with their neighbours. The Arab world, including Palestinian terror groups, have repeatedly promised genocide and the elimination of the Jewish state. This is the core truth of this conflict. All the rest is commentary.


Stolen Land?

The Jews are the indigenous people, having lived there in an unbroken line for at least 3,000 years. Arab population in this region increased 50% between 1920 and 1935 as a result of Jewish economic development. So … many of the “indigenous Arabs” may have roots 100 years deep while “usurping Jews” have 3,000-year roots. But here’s why none of this should matter: Israelis have always been prepared to live in peaceful coexistence. The Arab world overwhelmingly rejects peace and coexistence. If you supported coexistence, we wouldn't be arguing over who was there first.


Apartheid?

Israel is a majority-non-white multiracial democracy with legal equality for all. If you don't know this, you really should STFU. As insulting as this libel is to Israelis, it is even more insulting to the memory of Mandela and the freedom fighters of the ANC, who created a multiracial democracy. The Palestinian movement has promised a Jew-free Palestine and is not a movement for democracy, human rights or peace. To compare the ANC with the Palestinian movement is to shit on the anti-apartheid movement, Mandela's memory and everything they stand for.


Colonialism? Imperialism?

A first-year poli-sci student should know these terms don’t fit. Zionism is a movement for indigenous self-determination. So no colonialism. Israel has given away proportionately more land in peacetime than any country in history. So no imperialism. Israel is an example of 20th-century decolonization and national self-determination. You are throwing around words you don't understand. Open a book. Start with the dictionary.


Genocide?

The term genocide had to be created to describe 20th-century Jewish experience. Nothing remotely similar to what happened to the Jews of Europe is happening to Palestinians. If you think it is, you either need to revisit history or pay attention to current events (probably both). The widespread use of this term is a symptom of the how easily lies and propaganda can be disseminated by villains and swallowed whole by ignorant “activists.” To use this term against a democratic country defending itself from terrorists is morally reprehensible. To use it against the world’s only Jewish country is just sadism. And that's really why you use it, isn't it? You're a sadist. There is only one place where genocide plays a role in this conflict: The Palestinian movement and Arab states have repeatedly, throughout history and today, promised to exterminate the Jewish people. If you are going to allege genocide, at least get the perpetrators right.


“Free Palestine!”

Israelis have consistently supported a free Palestine. What they don’t support is another authoritarian terror regime with free rein to massacre, rape, behead, kidnap and mass murder Jewish civilians. The question is: Do YOU support a FREE PALESTINE? Do you support a Palestine where women, queer people, religious and ethnic minorities or anyone, really, is truly free? Supporting Hamas and justifying terrorism is not going to free Palestine. What exactly is it you are supporting when you "support Palestine"? Is it the Palestinian people? No. It's terrorists. Shame on you.



BOTTOM LINE:


You cannot be pro-Palestinian AND anti-Israel. You cannot be pro-Israel AND anti-Palestinian. Peace demands compromise. We must be pro-Israel AND pro-Palestinian. That is the only way we can claim to be PRO-PEACE.


Israelis have always sought to live in peace. Do you?


Now, look at the primal rage and listen to the words of the people claiming to support a “Free Palestine.” Do these look like advocates of peace to you?



THE BIG PICTURE


In this section, we step back from the specifics and focus on the roots of the conflict and the main arguments upon which the anti-Israel case rests. There are some seriously stupid people engaging in this topic – but even some well-informed people choose for ideological reasons to ignore the truth about why this conflict started and why it continues. This section steps back and confronts these topics.



Why the conflict exists


Most people who engage on social media on this subject have close to zero knowledge of history. Slam some truth in their faces. People seem to think the conflict exists in a vacuum from history. If we do not understand the roots of the conflict, we will never resolve it. Of course, that is what the enemy wants. They do not want peace. They want continued war and conflict. Because their movement is not about building Palestine ... it is about destroying Israel. Palestinian statehood is not their goal.


Palestinian and Arab leaders have been calling for genocide for more than eight decades. In 1948, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, promised: “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.” Anwi Abdel Hadi, a founder of Fatah, said: “[W]e will not rest until Palestine is either placed under a free Arab government or becomes a graveyard for all the Jews in the country. We will finish them off one by one: if not in a month, then in a year, if not in a year — then in 10 years.” There are literally hundreds of quotes like this, including from present-day Palestinian leaders. This is what you support. This is why the conflict exists. Blaming Israel is not going to end this conflict. Condemn the genocidal hatred at the heart of the Palestinian movement! Stop rewarding it!


*


The refusal of activists to recognize the blatantly obvious root of the conflict and instead to focus on subsidiary topics means we will never get to a resolution, because we keep doing the same thing repeatedly anticipating a different result. At Nakba Day commemorations in North America and Europe, this is the nakba, the catastrophe, they are marking: the failure to annihilate the Jews of the Middle East. If that sounds harsh to you, just listen to the speeches on Nakba Day. Pay attention. Get your head out of the sand.


*


Mountains of evidence have been available for generations that the Palestinians are inculcating self-destruction and genocide in their children. This veneration of death and the nihilism it represents at the beating heart of Palestinianism. If you think this conflict can be solved by Israel giving into demands, you you need to study history again.


*


The veneration of Palestinian “martyrs” is at the heart of the ongoing conflict. Never mind settlements, refugees or the other red herrings. The reason we have not resolved this conflict is because five generations of Palestinians have been subjected to a comprehensive strategy of genocidal incitement. They have been inculcated by religious and political leaders, the education system, and a blood-soaked popular culture to believe and never question the rightness of anti-Jewish violence. Palestinians from the youngest ages are encouraged to admire those who have died for the cause, to aspire to emulate them and, not coincidentally, to develop an intensively nurtured grievance-based loathing of Israelis and Jews. That’s why this conflict never ends.


*


There are astonishingly brave and dedicated Palestinians advancing coexistence and peace. But these are exceptional individuals swimming against an extraordinary tide – and not a single one of them is in a position of political power. As often as not, in fact, what we might call Palestinian peace activists are known as something quite different at home: “collaborators with the Zionist enemy.”


*


Israel is NOT the problem. In Palestine, Sesame Street-style programs glorify suicide bombings, worship terrorists and demonize Jews. Cub Scouts-style camps train pre-pubescent kids to stab and shoot Jews. Elementary school storybooks teach hatred the way North American textbooks teach kids to share and to value diversity. The parks and soccer fields where Palestinian children play are named for older brothers and sisters who have blown themselves up amid Israeli civilians. This is why we haven’t solved this conflict. Don't expect Israel to solve this problem. The problem is in Palestine.



*


Generations of Palestinians have been raised to see blowing up Israeli civilians as a legitimate tool. The perpetrators are told they will be rewarded on earth with immortality in the form of hero-worship by Palestinian leaders who name schools, playgrounds and sports arenas after suicide bombers, plaster their faces on any vertical space, broadcast their heroic final videotaped message and congratulate their parents. Promises of 72 heavenly virgins are taken literally by horny young Palestinians. In one of the world’s most sexually repressive societies, young Palestinian men are literally dying to get laid.


*


Throughout history, societies have indoctrinated children with propaganda in the guise of education, but Palestinian education demonstrates an expertise that shames the accomplishments of the greatest totalitarian regimes. Hatred, othering and glorification of violence are interwoven into every subject, including gratuitous examples like teaching arithmetic by tallying up the “martyrs” of Palestinian uprisings. Israel is NOT the problem. You teach kids to hate, you get adults who behead babies and massacre parents in front of their children.


*


When Palestinians perpetrate unspeakably gruesome crimes, the world adopts a deeply perverted response. The grislier the attack, the bloodier the murder, the more victims the car-ramming killed, the more babies beheaded – the more desperate the perpetrator must have been. In the dissolute worldview you have signed on to, Palestinian atrocities are justified by their very severity. If a pair of Palestinian teenagers sneaks into a Jewish village, enters a home and stabs parents and three children to death, they must be really frustrated. And you justify the crimes and blame the victims.


*


We are prepared to believe that “frustration” or some other natural human response leads Palestinian terrorists to what are basically cast in this narrative as justifiable homicide, ignoring the reality that the perpetrators are products of a society where they have been cultivated for precisely this end. The blame lies exclusively with Palestinian leaders, clergy and educators who poison their society with genocidal incitement.


*


Of all the oppressed peoples in the world, a billion in China, billions elsewhere, almost none have resorted to suicide bombings or the level of brutal inhumanity we see among Palestinian terrorists. What is it about Palestinians that drives them to these extreme acts of sadism, mass murder and self-destruction? It is nothing innate. It’s simple rote learning. Generations of indoctrination have raised Palestinians to kill and be killed. And do you condemn this inhuman barbarity? Nope. You endorse it. You are a disgrace.



Israelis have always wanted peace; Arab rulers have always chosen war


Somehow, Palestinian terrorists and their apologists have succeeded in making the world believe that they are peaceful people who just want to be left alone while Israelis are warmongers who seek to hurt them out of nothing but malice, racism and sadism. It is a mirror-image of reality.



If you knew anything about history, you would know that Israelis (Zionists, Jews, whatever) have always sought to live in peace and coexistence with their neighbors. Your lack of understanding of this fundamental truth poisons your entire perspective on this conflict. Learn. Then speak.


*


The root of this conflict is not settlements or refugees or yada yada yada but the absolute refusal of Arabs and Muslims to tolerate Jews who do not accept their place as dhimmis, second-class citizens. The conflict and all its associated violence and death began and continues for one reason: Muslim supremacism and Jew-hatred. It’s not about land. If this strikes you as news, you have no right to be in this discussion. Your ignorance excludes you.


*


Let’s not pretend “everyone wants peace for their kids.” They don’t. Palestinian dictators have convinced generations of their people that death is better than living under (or even next to!) Jews. Palestinians are victims of their fundamentalist, extremist dictators who have raised generations to kill and be killed. They inculcate hatred in their kids and glorify “martyrdom.” By pretending both sides share the same goal, we lose sight of a crucial truth – and so we will never get to a resolution. In fact, you are part of the problem.


*


Israeli kindergartens teach their kids songs of peace. Palestinian kindergartens teach their kids to kill Jews. If you think there is any moral parity here, you lack basic decency.


*


There are exceptions on both sides. You can find warmongering Israelis and peace-loving Palestinians and Arabs. But the general rule remains: Israelis overwhelmingly have always wanted peace and the Arabs overwhelmingly have always wanted war — and if you don't understand this basic truth, you have no moral position or right to be engaged in this discussion.


*


Palestinian self-determination has never been the goal here. The goal is the eradication of Israel. If you don’t understand this basic truth, you should not be engaged in this discussion. The “Nakba,” the “catastrophe” that is at the heart of the Palestinian narrative is not their own dispossession but the creation of Israel. This is the nub of the conflict. If you disagree, you really shouldn't be part of this discussion. You're too ignorant.



Intifada and the end of Oslo


We cannot understand the current situation without understanding the collapse of the Oslo peace process and the beginning of the Second Intifada. That was the pivotal moment when the Palestinians abandoned negotiation and any pretence of living in peaceful coexistence and launched the now-quarter-century of terror and attempted genocide.



The Palestinians could have -- would have -- had independence by now if they had not rejected peace. The Oslo process was headed to a two-state solution. The Palestinians overturned the negotiating table and launched the Second Intifada because coexistence has never been what they want. They want to destroy Israel. If this seems weird or false to you, that's your own ignorance and blindness.


*


The peace process ended because the Palestinians demanded all of Palestine – and all of Israel. To paper over this fact, it is necessary to recast Israel’s offer – 93% of the West Bank, all of Gaza, territorial tradeoffs to compensate for the part of the West Bank Israel would retain and $300 billion in “symbolic” recompense for the “right of return” of refugees – as a Zionist land grab. It is difficult to conceive of any people but Jews being accused and convicted by global opinion of offering nothing when they offered everything.


*


The Palestinians were offered (in the Oslo Process) everything they claimed to want. They turned it down and reverted to violence. Let's not pretend that this about Palestinian self-determination.



INTO THE WEEDS


There are probably more accusations against Israel than against every other country on the planet combined. That's not a statement about Israel. It's a statement about a massively effed up world. We can only address the tip of the iceberg, so we've tried to hit the main points. BUT ... Let us know what topics you want us to address in successive versions of this document and we'll get to them ... Email us at editor@thebatonmag.com



“There are more dead Palestinians than dead Israelis”


Anti-Israel activists revel in dead Palestinians. They count them up and wave the numbers in the faces of Jews and their allies. If any additional proof were needed that people who call themselves "pro-Palestinian" are anything but, this thrill over tallying up the dead is it. Each and every dead Palestinian (and Israeli) is dead because of Palestinian terrorism and to misplace that blame is an act of supreme immorality. People who behave this way need to be called out and shamed for playing directly into the hands of the terrorists.


Your bloodlust is showing! By counting dead Palestinians, you think you are advancing peace? You are rewarding the terrorists. The terrorists want you to count the dead and blame Israel. That’s why they place civilians in harm’s way. Stop rewarding them!


*


Palestinian terrorists maximize the dead ON BOTH SIDES. Dead Israelis are good for them because they (and, it seems, maybe you) love dead Jews. Dead Palestinians are good for them, too, because idiots like you tally them up and give the terrorists the PR victory they want. By rewarding the terrorists’ strategy, YOU are the reason Palestinians are dying.


*


You make a basic mistake by believing what terrorists say. The “civilian casualties” claimed by the terrorists are almost certainly exaggerated. They have never told the truth about anything. But, also, terrorists don’t wear uniforms. What you call civilian casualties are often combatants or human shields. Whatever they are, you are placing blame in exactly the wrong place. Every dead human ON EITHER SIDE can be laid at the feet of the terrorists. Unless you acknowledge this, YOU are part of the problem.


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All the dead Israelis of the last 75 years, but all the dead Palestinians too, are the result of one thing and one thing only: the Arab refusal to live in peaceful coexistence with Jews. You can fancy this up with all sorts of decorations. Israel does blah blah blah. But everything Israel does, it does in defence of its citizens against terrorists whose expressed goal is the genocide of Jews. The Arab side started this conflict and they perpetuate it. Only they can stop it. THEY are solely responsible for every death – Jewish, Arab and anyone else. If you do not place blame where it belongs, you are morally culpable too. Quit pretending you want peace. You promote terror and celebrate death.


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Stop celebrating murder. It’s disgusting. You are reveling in dead Palestinians. You seem to think the side with the most dead wins. What kind of person are you?


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What you don’t seem to get (among so much else) is that Palestinian terrorists, not Israelis, are responsible for every dead Palestinian. They use child combatants and put military installations in packed neighborhoods, schools, hospitals and kindergartens. The terrorists want the most dead possible … because they know useful idiots like you will count the dead and blame Israel. You should blame yourself.


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This conflict exists ONLY because of Palestinian terrorism. If Palestinians were willing to live alongside Israel, they would live in peace. They won’t. And you reward their hatred, tally their dead and place blame in exactly the wrong place. You should be ashamed. Instead, you think you are some social justice activist. You are nothing but a joke.


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I’m sorry you are disappointed that the terrorists have not killed more Jews. You make a moral equivalence between Jews deliberately targeted for murder because they are Jews and people who tragically die in a war because their fundamentalist dictators refuse to live in peace. You lack the basic humanity to determine who is the moral party in this conflict.


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Thanks for counting dead Palestinians. You think because “your side” has the most dead, you win. Here’s the real bottom line: Palestinian terrorists maximize the number of dead ON BOTH SIDES so that useful idiots like you count the bodies and declare Palestinians the moral victors. By rewarding the terrorists’ strategy, YOU are part of the reason these people are dying. Great job freeing Palestine.


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You don’t get to call yourself “pro-Palestinian” when you revel in the number of dead Palestinians like this. I know you think that the higher the number of dead, the more moral your cause, but you are dead wrong. You are not pro-Palestinian. You sure as hell aren’t “pro-peace.” You probably shouldn’t even identify as human.


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The terrorists are 100% to blame. But you are an accessory to their crimes. People like you, especially those who drape themselves in the mantle of peace and coexistence, but who do nothing but celebrate war and intolerance, reward and encourage their violence. Their blood is on YOUR hands. Shame on you!


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We don’t resolve problems or advance peace by laying blame in the wrong place. The terrorists are to blame for every dead Israeli AND every dead Palestinian. You stand with the terrorists. You reward them for every dead body. If you want to lay blame … look in a mirror.



Stop supporting Arab dictators


The people who call themselves "pro-Palestinian" don't really help anyone but Palestinian terrorists and the dictators who keep their people under the boot-heel of fundamentalist extremism. It goes beyond this, though. The entire Arab world, for 75 years, has used the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to deflect attention from their own atrocities. It has worked wonders -- mostly because useful idiots like those who call themselves "pro-Palestinian" do the overseas PR dirty work of Arab dictators and terrorists. Call them out!


Regimes and tyrants use hatred and scapegoating of Jews to justify their dictatorships. For 75+ years, Arab and Muslim regimes have been able to oppress their people by redirecting the rightful rage of their oppressed peoples against Israel and Jews. And naïve do-gooders like you swallow it whole. In the process, you betray not just Israelis and Jews, but every Arab living under the boot heel of dictatorship and autocracy. You spit on the very idea of human dignity. And you do it with such self-righteousness it makes me sick.


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If you knew anything about the history of this conflict, you would know that the Arab world has perpetuated Palestinian statelessness precisely so that idiots like you blame Israel. You play right into their hands, like they knew you would. Maybe: (1) Learn something about what you are talking about, or STFU. (2) Stop pretending you support peace, human rights and Palestinians. Everything you do shits on peace, human rights and Palestinians.


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The Palestinian people have been used and abused for at least 75 years. That much is true. What you are too ignorant to understand is that their victimizers are fellow Arabs, including the Palestinian dictators. Instead of condemning the abuse and statelessness Arabs have forced on Palestinians, you blame Israel. That’s what the inhuman Arab dictators have wanted for 75 years. That is exactly why they have penned up four generations and counting of Palestinians in refugee camps. Don’t blame Israel. Blame yourself. You are on the side of the oppressors. So you can cut the self-satisfied politically correct crap. You are no better than the worst dictators in the world.


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Consider opening a book. There’s a place called a “library” – there’s one in your neighborhood. Learn about the roots of this conflict, why it exists and why there are millions of Palestinian refugees. None of it is Israel’s fault. It is an Arab conspiracy to use the Palestinian people as pawns to “prove” that Israel is evil. The dictators and fundamentalist extremists who dreamed up this massive, inhuman plot hoped that there would be enough unbelievably stupid people in the world to let them get away with it. You are proof they were right.



You are not “pro-Palestinian”


In case we haven't made the case adequately yet, the people who call themselves "pro-Palestinians" are the ones who ensure that the Palestinians will never be free. They align with the dictators who oppress Palestinians and they do nothing that actually helps Palestinians. They encourage endless futile war

and continued bloodshed.



If you and others would focus on the actual root of the problem – generations of Palestinian teaching their children to hate and kill – you might be justified in calling yourself pro-Palestinian or a peace activist. But you only justify hatred, violence and antisemitism. So excuse me for ignoring your crocodile tears.


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Instead of engaging in a cycle of (exploitive and performative) grief over the Palestinian children and teenagers killed in clashes with the Israeli military, maybe condemn the systemic recruitment of child combatants and a society that raises children to kill and be killed, that pushes kids into deadly cat-and-mouse games with no objective but to win global sympathy through their deaths. (And if these words strike you as callous, if you are truly ignorant of what the incitement to genocide that has been happening in Palestinian society for decades, you really have no right to participate in this discussion).


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The death cult into which Palestinian children are incorporated through the education system, religious extremists, and Sesame Street-style TV shows that glorify "martyrdom" is a core cause of this conflict that eclipses anything and everything that Israel does. Until we acknowledge this fact and demand that it ends, peace and Palestinian self-determination will never come. And all your activism ignores this root of the conflict. You are perpetrating the violence and hatred, not helping Palestinians.


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Rather than tallying the casualties, and declaring Palestinians the moral victors because they have more dead, stop rewarding this tragic, needless waste of life. Terrorists place military infrastructure in civilian neighbourhoods, in schools, mosques and hospitals, knowing that the numbers of inevitable casualties will be rewarded by useful idiots (like you) as evidence of Palestinian victimhood and Israeli iniquity. Refusing to be collaborators in this deadly game would go a long way to demonstrating that your activism is actually about advancing Palestinian life and well-being, rather than simply proving Israel’s malevolence at the cost of more dead Palestinians. (It’s not.)


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Your fanaticism makes me think you will defend Palestine to the last, dead Palestinian. Try advancing peace and coexistence instead of promoting hatred and excusing terror.


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When the core of a movement is made up of people shrieking fury at Israel while doing nothing to advance the situation of Palestinian people, you can excuse our inferences about what drives your activism. Until those who claim to support Palestinians actually support Palestinians, this circular debate about their motivations will continue. And Palestinians will remain as they are – unfree, impoverished and exploited by self-declared allies who perpetuate, rather than alleviate, this cycle of hopelessness. Nice job freeing Palestine.


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I know you think you are “pro-Palestinian.” You’re not. Your activism only empowers the dictators and terrorists who have made life for Palestinians a nightmare for 75 years. If you were truly pro-Palestinian, you would be howling against Hamas and the PLO and the assorted bloodthirsty forces that exploit and oppress Palestinians. Instead, just like the terrorists hoped, you blame Israel. That won’t free Palestine. In fact, you are helping in the oppression of Palestinians by deflecting blame from where it belongs. Shame on you.


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Even when you know (or should know) that Palestinian combatants use children and other civilians as human shields and that every dead Palestinian is a propaganda triumph for the cause, still you reserve your most vicious condemnation not for the depraved murderers who put civilians between their own ramparts and Israeli soldiers, but instead think up ever uglier and more animated denunciations of Israel. This macabre accounting does not suggest, as you seem to think, anything close to reverence for human life. It is a celebration of death – and you are the cheerleader. You are not pro-Palestinian. You are pro-dead Palestinians.


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Don’t just SAY you’re pro-Palestinian. BE pro-Palestinian. The main reason why pro-Palestinians struggle to deflect allegations of antisemitism is because, in the end, you don’t actually help Palestinians. All you do is condemn the country where half the world’s Jews live – and you do so in the most frantic, blood-curdling manner.


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You are not pro-Palestinian. Nothing you do helps Palestinians. For all the boycotting, divesting and sanctioning, all the UN resolutions, all the marches, rallies, condemnations and moral outrage and all your screeching on social media, nothing ever changes for Palestinian people. That’s because, despite receiving more humanitarian aid per capita than any other people on earth – and exponentially more public attention worldwide than exponentially larger populations facing exponentially more grievous situations – all these resources are aimed at attacking Israel, not building up Palestine. This is true of financial resources, which Palestinian rulers turn into rockets to rain down on Israelis and it is true of human resources, like the energy you expend attacking Israel. When you seek peace and coexistence, you can call yourself “pro-Palestinian.” Until then, drop the pretence of being a peace-loving activist. It’s a joke.


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Despite feminists, LGBTQ+ people, trade unionists, progressives, secularists and liberal Christians being at the heart of the Palestinian movement in Europe and North America, there is almost no activism advancing equality for women or queer people, free trade unions, democracy and pluralism, religious freedom, or minority rights in Palestine. All we ever hear is how bad Israel is – a strategy that should evoke cognitive dissonance to anyone with the slightest awareness of how bad the Palestinian governments are. To be pro-Palestinian, we need to advocate for Palestinian women, queer people, workers and minorities. But you don't. So maybe stop calling yourself "pro-Palestinian." You're not.


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Can you cut the "Free Palestine" crap? Even if Palestine were an independent country, it would not be "free." All evidence is that it would be a hellhole for women, queers, minorities and, well, everyone, really. If you cared about Palestinians, you would advocate for an independent Palestine where women and all people would truly BE free. But you don't. Because you are not "pro-Palestinian" at all. This activism is just a game for you to feel like you are making a difference in the world. Sadly, you are. You are encouraging antisemitism, violence and terror.


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If we want to prove that anti-Zionism is not antisemitism, there are ways to prove good intent. If the Palestinian movement would simply take positions that advance the status of Palestinians, it would, if nothing else, be more difficult to contend that the main accelerant of the cause is biases about Jews or plain Jew-hatred.


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One would think people whose primary self-definition includes “pro-Palestinian” would not need to be reminded to do things that actually advance the cause and the people they claim to champion. A simple redirection of resources from Israel (obsessive outrage) toward Palestinians (constructive support) would not only have the impact of deflecting charges of racial bias. It would free up a vast amount of energy for the betterment of the Palestinian people.


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Instead of slapping boycott stickers on Israeli products (which bears striking similarity to the antisemitic fad of painting Jewish stars on shop windows), maybe seek out Palestinian products to support instead. If you can’t find any Palestinian products, maybe ask why, despite the billions of foreign aid dollars that have gone to build the Palestinian economy, they do not seem to produce much that anyone wants to buy.


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Rather than marching in Pride parades accusing Israel of “pinkwashing,” maybe try advocating rights for queer Palestinians so that they could walk in Pride parades at home, rather than being thrown from rooftops, dragged behind cars or subjected to “honor killings” by family.


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Instead of undermining domestic feminist organizations like the Women’s March by seeding its leadership with people who call obsessive Jew-haters like Louis Farrakhan “the GOAT” (“the Greatest of All Time”), why not demand the Palestinian leadership address the rampant misogyny and domestic violence in Palestinian society? Wouldn’t this seem to be a logical priority for feminists overseas? And yet the plight of Palestinian women isn't a concern if it can't be used as a bludgeon against Israel.


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Rather than betraying your church’s words of peace, pro-Palestinian Christians could strive for genuine coexistence and reconciliation, instead of jumping on board with an intolerant, one-sided narrative that will do nothing to hasten peace or advance Palestinian self-determination. Wrapping yourself in empty words of peace, you do nothing but excuse violence. Jesus wept.



“But the Jews took their land”


The idea that Jews do not have a claim to the land but the Palestinians do is the heart of the Palestinian cause. To believe it, one has to disregard millennia of history. Essentially, you need to burn down libraries and destroy archeological evidence. Thankfully for the Palestinian movement, overseas activists invented "alternative facts" even before anyone had heard of Kellyanne Conway. This lie has purchase in large part because of ingrained antisemitic ideas of Jewish avarice. People will accuse Jews of stealing, even when they are rightfully liberating their own homeland.


The simplistic idea that Palestinian Arabs were living in their ancestral lands and European Jews came in any stole it is a lie. From 1920-35, the Arab population of the area spiked more than 50% due to economic growth … caused by ZIONIST economic development. Jews have lived in the area in an unbroken line since ancient times. So we may be talking about “indigenous Arabs” whose grandparents arrived to benefit from Jewish innovation in the 1930s and “interloping Jews” who can trace their ancestry and unbroken residency on the land back 3,000 years. If you don’t know this, you probably shouldn’t be discussing this topic.


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I suspect there is a lot of basic history you don’t know. It’s not my job to educate you. But the land of Palestine is not named after the Palestinian people. The Palestinian people are named after the land. Palestine was a name given to the area by Roman Empire to “de-Judaize” it. The Arabs of the area chose the name only in the 1960s. The Jews have an unbroken presence in the land for millennia. Arabs are from … oh, right … Arabia. Of course, if you really cared about peace, none of this would matter. You would promote coexistence. You don’t. You promote conflict, violence and death.


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Quick history for you: Until 1948, everyone living in the place the Ancient Romans named Palestine, were known as Palestinians – Arabs, Jews and others. After the Jews living there became Israelis, in 1948, the Arabs simply became known as Palestinians. Do not make the mistake of assuming that the name “Palestinians” means these people had or have any claim to the entire land called Palestine. Unlike most indigenous situations, where a land is named after the people, the Palestinian people were named after the land – and even then, effectively only by default after the Jewish people of the area adopted a successor identity as Israelis. Learn your history or keep quiet.


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The Jewish claim to the land is not based on biblical booga-booga. It is based on millennia of unbroken residency. Jews were there before the Arabs and millennia before any Arabs called themselves “Palestinian.” Not sure why you think a land claim a few hundred years old supersedes a land claim a few thousand years old. That’s a contradiction you need to ponder. The point is, both peoples are there now. And you think only one deserves to be. You are chauvinistic and your position promises only more intolerance, violence and death. Great job freeing Palestine!


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Is this truly the best you can come up with? What you don’t understand about history is a lot. Go away. Learn something. Then come back with the knowledge to discuss the topic.


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That’s not true. You don’t understand history. BUT … let’s say it WAS true. What then? What would you like to happen to the 7 million Jews who live there now? What’s your plan for them? I assume you’ve got a solution in mind?



Palestinians have no choice but violence


There is no greater proof of the moral depredations of "pro-Palestinian" activists than the idea that Palestinian violence is justified. Since 2000, at the latest, activists have excused and even celebrated Palestinian terror, arguing that those poor, oppressed people have no other way of making their voices heard. It's bullshit. They were offered EVERYTHING they claimed to want in peaceful negotiations. They rejected it. Violence IS their aim. It is not a means to an end. It is their end. For people who call themselves peace advocates, anti-war activists, even basic decent humans, this is the movement they have signed on to. They have abandoned the most central moral principle of democracy and civilization. And, in the process, they have abandoned all moral legitimacy.


Violence is inherent to the Palestinian movement and the overseas apologists for it. The excuse is “resistance.” That’s bullshit. The Palestinians were offered, in negotiations, everything they told the world they wanted. They chose violence. They had a peaceful option. They chose bombings and beheadings. By excusing that, you are rewarding that choice. YOU are part of the reason the violence continues.


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There is no other issue on earth where people like you excuse violence the way you excuse violence against Jews in Israel. The worst part is that Palestinians had a peaceful road to statehood. Under the Oslo process (look it up) they were on their way to independence. Everything they said they wanted was being handed to them on a platter. They rejected peace. They chose violence. And you are rewarding it.


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One of the ironies is that all of the Palestinians’ violence and your support for violence have not brought Palestinian self-determination closer, but pushed it further away. People who call themselves “pro-Palestinian” promote violence instead of coexistence and so have nothing but failure to show for a quarter-century of activism. Good job freeing Palestine.


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Terrorism and violence are not fringe elements of the Palestinian strategy. Terror and violence ARE the Palestinian strategy. Step rewarding and encouraging it.


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It has been said that Palestinians want peace – they just don’t want it with Israel. They have demonstrated this a million times in a million ways. Why won’t you believe Palestinians when they say what they mean? The Palestinian movement – but, according to opinion polls, the vast majority of ordinary Palestinians too – support violent, murderous, antisemitic terrorism. That’s what you are supporting.


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Palestinians have been educated and inculcated with a belief that opposition to Israel is a value higher than life itself. And, instead of confronting this nihilism, critics condemn those who speak it out loud, accusing them of canards about “Third World peoples,” about “life being cheap” for some people and assorted smokescreens. Until we recognize and accept what we are dealing with, we will never get to a resolution.


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We need to get this straight. Activists assume that, when Palestinians and others in the Middle East say they want to kill "Jews," they mean “Zionists” but they simply don’t understand the niceties of our discourse. There is a special type of racism that allows us to refuse to believe what so many bloodcurdling voices have been saying for decades. Anti-Zionism = “Death to the Jews.”


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There are peoples in the world exponentially more oppressed, destitute and desperate than Palestinians. You don’t see them decapitating babies and murdering parents in front of their children. Stop excusing Palestinian violence. Demand better. What kind of a person are you?



“I don't care about history — what is happening now is unacceptable”


One of the common retorts to any reasoned pro-Israel argument is some juvenile response like "I don't care about XYZ [ie., facts, truth, morality], I just know that what's happening is wrong." It's a sort of preschool approach to global affairs. And, almost inevitably, the people who utter such things end up taking a position that supports more of what they claim to hate. By blaming Israel, when the fault lies elsewhere, they self-righteously feel like morally justified when they are too stoopid to know what they are doing.


These are the words of a fanatic. You may think history doesn’t matter. But if you do not understand the roots of this conflict, we will never end this conflict. You put blame in the wrong place and, as a result, prevent this conflict from ending. By denying history, you are perpetuating violence, terrorism and death. Quit wallowing in your own ignorance. Learn something, FFS.


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You like celebrating ignorance, I guess. History matters – even if you are too dumb to understand it. You don’t understand why this is happening because you subscribe to an ideology that can’t stand up to the facts. That’s why you refuse to engage with history – because you know that you would be proven wrong.


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What’s happening now IS unacceptable. But your self-righteous indignation is pointed in the wrong direction. Your refusal to consider history, facts or details and instead to make childish declarations like you did is why you fail to understand why the violence is happening. All of this violence – every dead Palestinian AND every dead Israeli – is because of the Palestinian and Arab refusal to coexist with Jews. That’s why this conflict began and that’s why it continues. If the Arabs would accept peace and coexistence, the conflict would end. Simple. But you don’t like that idea. Why? Because you get some sick delight out of this. Question: is it dead Jews or dead Palestinians that give you the bigger thrill?



“Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism”


Here's a big one. The supposed tautology that "anti-Zionism is not antisemitism" is one of the chants that dumb people use to let themselves sleep at night. Ironically, it is often uttered by the very people who, with any group other than Jews, call for respectful treatment of any expression of discrimination.


Our refusal to see the actual relationship between antisemitism and anti-Zionism is one of the problems in our ideology. It is not so much that anti-Zionism morphs into antisemitism, though there is that, too. It is that antisemitism is the foundation upon which anti-Zionism is founded and rests. We tend to reverse the order.


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When a migrant from a Muslim country perpetrates an antisemitic attack in Europe or elsewhere in the West, too often we conclude this is not a "legitimate" antisemitic attack but more of a political statement, a (perhaps) unfortunate act of violence but one that can be blamed, ultimately, not on the perpetrator but on Israel. This victim-blaming by proxy – even if violence were a legitimate response to Israeli actions, attacking a Jew in Europe would still not fit that corrupt criteria – fits in a long history of blaming Jews for their own oppression and a more modern phenomenon of excusing antisemitic crimes as political discourse.


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I love how people who are supposed to be unlearning racism, who are committed to critical introspection on issues of race, of identifying and remedying our biases, behave around antisemitism. Suggest that prejudice might even remotely impact our attitudes toward an issue, we acknowledge and seek to remedy it. When there is a suggestion that our attitudes toward Israel might be even remotely affected by biases about Jews, how do we respond? Denial, rejection and outrage. Unconscious bias? Of course! About Jews? Not a chance.


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When you jump on the bandwagon of Palestinianism, you are participating in a movement that, at its nucleus, is founded on premises of Muslim supremacism. Lots of decorations can fancy up this fact – there is plenty that the Israeli government and military do that can be criticized, but these are byproducts of the conflict that allow us to overlook the base chauvinism at the root of the opposition to Israel, the statelessness of Palestinians and the seven-decade conflict itself. Anti-Zionism is the post-1948 incarnation of a centuries-old Muslim antisemitism.


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Israel gained independence in the same era as Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq. No one questions the legitimacy of those countries or tie up international bodies with vexatious nonsense about their right to exist. They let them largely get on with their affairs – no matter how disordered or, in the case of Syria, genocidal, they may be. These countries do not face anywhere near the same levels of censure (even though they generally deserve exponentially more) because these are not JEWISH states.


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Anti-Zionism is grounded in the concept of dhimmitude, which guarantees a special place for Jews and other non-Muslims in Muslim societies as long as they compliantly accept their inferior roles in the social hierarchy. This concept stems from intolerant Islamic theology and Muslim supremacist interpretations of the Koran. Zionism upends that inherently racist structure. So let’s drop the whole “anti-Zionism is not antisemitism” nonsense.


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In the West, there is an enormous amount of energy spent discussing what is anti-Zionism, what is antisemitism and where, if anywhere, the two intersect. In the Muslim world, there is no such conversation. Anti-Zionism is not just influenced by antisemitism. Anti-Zionism is antisemitism’s wholly-owned subsidiary. When you join the anti-Zionist movement, this is what you join.


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Here is what people who claim to oppose antisemitism must understand: Standing up for Jewish people also means standing up for the Jewish state. This is the fault line at the heart of this discussion. A huge swath of people believe we can oppose antisemitism and anti-Zionism at the same time. We can’t. The land and the state of Israel are at the heart of Judaism and the home of the Jewish people. Denying that connection is an attack on Jewish people.


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Just as racism exists in our society and our movements, so does antisemitism. We would never deny the former. Why do we deny the latter? Denying that a prejudice exists is proof positive that it absolutely does exist.


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“Anti-Zionism” is not “criticism of Israel.” Anti-Zionism means the eradication of Israel. If you support self-determination for Palestinians but not for Jews, that’s antisemitism. If you do not understand this, should you be engaged in this discussion at all?


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If people who call themselves pro-Palestinian would just BE pro-Palestinian, we wouldn’t have to spend all this time discussing whether anti-Zionism is antisemitism.


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We need to acknowledge that anti-Zionism stands on the shoulders of antisemitism, just as white people today benefit from white supremacist structures that we had no part in creating. While this can be confusing, the refusal of activists to acknowledge this has meant that, instead of standing against antisemitism, like antiracists must do, they deny that it exists. To say the least, that’s not a good look.


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We refuse to address this interrelationship, and simply shut down consideration of antisemitism because we believe it is being used as a weapon against Palestinianism. We do not excuse racism in any other case – even if it harms our agenda – and the fact that we do this only in the case involving Jewish people and the Jewish state is Exhibit A in the case for our culpability.


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Ideas about Jewish PEOPLE affect ideas about the Jewish STATE. It is ridiculous to suggest otherwise. And denying this reality by chanting the infantile platitude “Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism” undermines our legitimacy on every issue of race and discrimination.


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There is a complex interweaving between antisemitism and anti-Zionism. This does not mean that one equals the other. But let’s not pretend either that one is hermetically sealed from the other. Until we devote the time to address where these two things intersect – and where they do not – we will not be able to advance beyond the almost completely useless stalemate we find ourselves.


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Israel is central to most Jewish people in ways that most activists do not fathom. It is not OK for activists to defend themselves by saying, "That shouldn’t be the case," because it is the case. For one thing, Israel is home to half the Jews in the world. The very least we could do is recognize that our attacks are aimed at half the Jews in the world and not pretend that has no impact on the other half.


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We may not know much about Palestinians, but faced with a situation where we are asked to take sides in a conflict between Jews and some amorphous group about whom we know nearly nothing, it is remarkable how many of us choose the amorphous group about whom we know nearly nothing. So maybe give a rest to the line about anti-Zionism not being antisemitism.


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As we have learned in the broader discussion of race and gender, intent is secondary to impact. We do not get off the hook by offhandedly declaring, “Well, sorry you’re offended, but my comments were aimed at Israel, not at Jews, and I didn’t mean any harm.” That’s not how any of this works.


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“Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism” is entirely antithetical to the antiracist commitment to introspection on issues of race and bias. You would not dismiss any other people’s experience with racism in this way. Only Jews. So that kind of answers the question, doesn't it?


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Antisemitism affects anti-Zionism in the same way all white-passing people benefit from entrenched privilege deriving from white supremacy. Anti-Zionism stands, proudly or not, on the shoulders of antisemitism.


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Anti-Zionism’s parents are Muslim theological supremacism and Arab nationalist antisemitism. Palestinianism and anti-Zionism are among the world’s top priorities because Arab and Muslim leaders, representing 1.6 billion people, say it is. And those leaders say it is because they are motivated by a range of prejudices, including ideas of Muslim supremacism, Jewish inferiority, Islamic civilizational humiliation, the perceived degeneracy of a situation in which Muslims are in any way subordinate to Jews, and an array of related concepts that are theologically and racially supremacist. So can we quit with the “anti-Zionism is not antisemitism” crap?


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When a member of an identifiable group says they are experiencing discrimination, bigotry or bias, progressive people do not respond “No, you’re not.” Except in the case of Jews.


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There is not another people on earth whose experience with discrimination would be met by self-proclaimed antiracist people with denial, faultfinding and mistrust. The very fact that we are having this discussion – that we are arguing over the legitimacy of the claims by a group of people about their experience with discrimination – is evidence of a problem. We don’t do that with other groups. Only Jews.


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Stop repeating the mantra that anti-Zionism is not antisemitism. Until you can demonstrate that there is any truth whatsoever to these words, you have no right to utter them. Until you have interrogated yourself and come clean on your own conscious and unconscious biases, you do not have any right to express the sort of unequivocal dismissal these words represent. To say “anti-Zionism is not antisemitism” is on par with saying “I refuse to acknowledge that I can make a mistake on race. I refuse to accept that I have biases (in this case, about Jews). On this single issue, I will betray the values I claim as sacred.”


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Most people have little to no knowledge of the variety of forms antisemitism has taken over the centuries, no awareness of the nuances and permutations it can take. Your refusal to learn about these realities – your determination to safeguard your obliviousness with smug phrases like “anti-Zionism is not antisemitism” – allows you to carry on without any introspection on an issue that you should treat with much, much greater sensitivity.



Israeli and Palestinian extremism


One of the many places where moral equivalency plays a role in this discussion is the idea that Palestinian terrorists are extremists but Israel has extremists too. It's hard to argue with, but it obscures reality. Of course there are extremists on both sides. There are extremists everywhere, in case you haven't noticed. The difference is both the level and centrality of extremism. Israeli "extremism" is not remotely comparable to Palestinian extremism. Israelis do not decapitate babies and burn families alive. There is no comparison. But the bigger issue is this: What we might call extremism is a small minority position in Israel. In Palestine, it is the majority position. It is, for all intents, the entire body politic of both Hams in Gaza and of Fatah in the West Bank.


There are extremists on every side of this (and most other) issues. Here is a fundamental difference: the extremists on the Israeli side remain a minority — arguably, a tiny minority. The extremists on the Palestinian side are an overwhelming majority. There is, for all intents, no Palestinian peace movement. In opinion polls, ordinary Palestinians overwhelmingly support violence and murder against Israelis. A huge number of Israelis still believe that peace is possible, despite all the evidence they are given from Palestinians. There is no moral parallel here.


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Admittedly, what we might call extremism in the Israeli body politic has grown over the decades. Why? Because what outsiders see as extremism is often a response to the growing realization that Israel's Arab neighbors will stop at nothing — as we saw on October 7, absolutely nothing, including decapitating babies. After 75 years of that, yeah, some Israelis are getting a little “extreme.” What is remarkable is the extraordinary tolerance that still remains a consensus position in Israel. Instead of complaining about alleged Israeli “extremism,” maybe stop pushing a cause that forces Israelis to literally fight for their lives and then condemning them for not being pacifists.



“Genocide” and “Ethnic cleansing”


Truly one of the most despicable things the Palestinian movement has made up is the assertion that Israel is perpetrating "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing." Anyone with any knowledge of (A) the meaning of these terms and (B) what is happening in Israel and Palestine knows that these allegations are murderous libels. No decent person would ever employ them. Of course, many, if not most "pro-Palestinian" activists do exactly that. Which kind of proves our point.


The Palestinian population has increased 500% since 1960. Maybe you don’t understand the word “genocide.” Or maybe you are just a horrible person who likes taking a word that had to be invented to describe the 20th-century Jewish experience and rubbing it like salt in the wounds of its victims. Which are you: Ignorant or sadistic?


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You might want to look up the word “genocide.” Nothing remotely akin to genocide is happening to Palestinians. And you look like an uninformed idiot for repeating this lie. The only place genocide plays a role in this discussion is in the explicit promises of Palestinian terrorists to murder every Jew in the world. So if you are going to use the term “genocide,” at least accuse the right people.


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People who accuse Israel of genocide are not seeking a resolution to the conflict. They are not advancing coexistence and understanding – which are the only things that will advance the cause of Palestinians and peace. They are throwing stones with no constructive intent. It is a lie -- you know it's a lie -- and it is a symptom of the sadism and dishonesty of your cause.


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There seem to be no end of outlandish things some Arab voices will assert about Israelis and Jews -- or that activists are prepared to believe. We laugh at “Zionist sharks” (look it up) but we believe far more grievous allegations like “Palestinian genocide.” The difference in gullibility is a matter of degree.


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It is a testament to the gullibility of humankind that centuries of outlandish ideas about Jews have survived and thrived. So indestructible have many of these theories been that new ones just keep being invented and swallowed. If you think there is a genocide happening in Palestine, you have no moral or intellectual right to participate in this discussion.



Apartheid


Throwing the kitchen sink at Israel is the primary Palestinian strategy (well, that and murdering innocents). "Apartheid" is one of their brilliant strategies -- knowing as they do that a shit-ton of activists are too stoopid to tell fact from fiction. It is also an example of the cultural appropriation that the entire Palestinian narrative rests on -- they can't make a reasonable case of their own, so they co-opt the narratives that of other peoples -- including Jews, having stolen the very terms of "genocide" and "holocaust" and debased them by claiming such things are happening to them.



The apartheid libel is offensive to Israelis, but it should offend South Africans more. The fight against apartheid represented a movement for democracy, racial equality and freedom. The Palestinian movement has no such goals. The ANC never walked away from peaceful negotiations, as the Palestinian leadership did, to return to armed “resistance.” It is vile to diminish the history and achievements of the ANC by implying that its ideological descendants are the racist, misogynist, gay-bashing, kleptocratic Palestinian regimes.


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Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has legislation like South Africa’s to protect racial, religious and sexual minorities. Every other state in the region is far closer, on an imaginary spectrum of proximity to apartheid, than Israel. The leader of the “moderate” Palestinian Authority repeatedly insists that an independent Palestine will be an entirely Jew-free country. Do not shit on the memory of Mandela, the freedom fighters of the ANC and the fight against apartheid by comparing them with the murderous bigots of Palestine.


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Why does the Palestinian narrative always have to steal other people's experiences? The "apartheid" libel doesn't fit, but they use it all the time because there are enough people who are ignorant enough to believe it. They even exploit and debase the terms "genocide" and "holocaust" -- words that were invented to describe recent Jewish history. Why can't the Palestinian case stand on its own without appropriating the experiences of others?



“Right of return” / “One state solution”

Anti-Israel activists like to play with words. (See Sartre quote at top of this document!) One of the most deceptive ways they do this is with terms like “right of return” and “One-state solution.”



The terms “one-state solution” and “right of return” are dog-whistles for the destruction of Israel. We either support a two-state solution – self-determination for Israelis and for Palestinians – or we abdicate our right to pretend we are advancing a productive, peaceful future.


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There is no “right of return.” When a resolution to this conflict happens, there will be two states: Israel and Palestine. The “right of return” is a poison pill to destroy Israel by flooding it with millions of Palestinian refugees. It is, in essence, a plot to create TWO Palestinian states. That’s not reasonable and by promoting it, you are acting in bad faith. You are not promoting peace.


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The idea that Israel’s refusal to accept millions of non-Jewish refugees through an imagined “right of return” is somehow “racist” is garbage. As we have seen, many Palestinians have been inculcated with hatred to the point of inhuman acts like those seen on Oct. 7. Israel is not obligated to welcome as citizens millions of people who would kill their Jewish neighbors.


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The idea of a single-state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean is a cute idea. So multicultural! But we already know that a huge swath of Palestinians are willing to rape, murder, decapitate and desecrate the bodies of Jewish people. So, if you liked the former Yugoslavia or the Rwandan genocide, you’ll love a one-state solution! The terms “one-state solution” and “right of return” are dog-whistles for the destruction of Israel. We either support a two-state solution – self-determination for Israelis and for Palestinians – or we abdicate our right to pretend we are advancing a productive, peaceful future.



Refugees

The fate of Palestinian refugees are at the heart of this conflict. That’s one of the reasons why the conflict has gone on for 75 years. These people – now millions and growing, unlike any other refugee group in the world – have been used (somewhat willingly) as pawns by their Arab brethren in one of the most merciless conspiracies ever imagined in annals of human evil. The Arab rulers counted on the profound ignorance and complicity of the world – and they couldn’t have been more right!


After 1948, the Arab world decided to keep Palestinian refugees – and their descendants now for 75 years – stateless and as destitute as possible so the world would see the creation of Israel as a “crime.” It is one of the most inhuman acts in human history. And there is no one to blame but the Arabs. To blame Israel is to play their game. Congratulations, you are on the side of terrorists and dictators.


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There would have been not a single Palestinian refugee had the Arabs accepted the Partition Resolution. If they had been willing to live in peace and coexistence, there would not have been a single refugee. They didn't. And when they rejected Palestinian statehood, they launched the Palestinian refugee situation, the most evil conspiracy imaginable to keep the Palestinian people stateless and enraged. And you jump on the bandwagon and exploit the victims yet again.


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The accusation that 700,000 Palestinians were made refugees by the creation of the state of Israel is simply wrong. They were made refugees by a war initiated by the Arab countries ostensibly on behalf of Palestinians. If you don’t know this history, you really shouldn’t be part of this discussion.

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If you are not aware of the depraved scheme by the Arab world to hold the Palestinian people hostage as stateless people, then you do not understand the foundations of this conflict. If you accept the narrative designed and purveyed by Arab and Muslim dictators who created the Palestinian crisis to begin with, you are complicit in that systemic abuse. You do not get to call yourself “pro-Palestinian.”


The refugees we DON’T care about


During the 1948-49 war, about 700,000 Arabs were made refugees due to the Arab-initiated war against Israel. In the following years, between 700,000 and 1 million Jews were ethnically cleansed from across the Middle East and North Africa. The Palestinian refugees are a top cause for activists. The Jewish refugees are forgotten to history.



You and others talk a lot about Palestinian refugees. Did you know that an equal (probably larger) number of Jews were made refugees in that same era? If you don't know it, you probably shouldn't be engaged in this discussion. If you do know it, why do you care about justice for Palestinian refugees but not for Jewish refugees? (As if I need to ask.)


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The nonchalance with which non-Jews dismiss the idea of Israel as a refuge betrays a profoundly Eurocentric perspective. Israel was a refuge for Jews from every Arab- and Muslim-majority country of the Middle East and North Africa. After centuries or millennia of Jewish civilization, almost every last Jew from Tripoli to Baghdad was chased from their home after 1948. Life for Jews in the Arab world in the second half of the 20th century became almost as intolerable as life for Jews in Europe in the first half. The primary difference was the existence of a single state, however tiny, with an immigration policy that accepts any Jew, no matter what.


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Let us not succumb to the argument that this massive ethnic cleansing across two continents was a response to Zionism. If the creation of the state of Israel, and its defensive wars for survival in 1948 and 1967, were enough to cause the expulsion of Jewish citizens and the ethnic cleansing of Jews from every other country in the region, how secure were those Jews in the first place?


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Thanks to the ethnic cleansing of Jews from every Muslim and Arab-majority country in the second half of the 20th century, Israel today is a majority-nonwhite country – a fact of which the braying voices claiming “apartheid” are inexcusably ignorant.



“End the occupation now!”


This is probably the most common chant by terror-supporters and other useful idiots. It puts the cart before the horse, assuming that the conflict exists because of the occupation and not the other way around.


I’m going to assume you do not understand the misrepresentation of history in which you are participating. When you chant this slogan, you are not helping end the occupation but ensuring it continues. You are not advancing peace, you are obstructing it. The occupation will end when Israel knows that Palestinian self-determination will look very different than what we see in Gaza. You should know this. If you genuinely want peace and Palestinian independence, you need to stop chanting this. You need to step back and acknowledge, finally, why the occupation exists, how your actions perpetuate it and what you can genuinely do to end it.


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Your activism is premised almost entirely on the idea that “the occupation” is the root of this conflict. We will never see peace if we do not accept this: the occupation exists because of Palestinian violence, not the other way around.


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We have excused Palestinian violence as an understandable byproduct of Israeli oppression – but Palestinian violence is the cause of the continued conflict, not its effect. Until Israel has reason to believe that an independent Palestine would result in something other than unrelenting terror and an endless hail of rockets aimed at Israeli civilians, the occupation will continue. No peace? No Palestine.


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If we want to hasten the end of the occupation, we need to help create a scenario where it CAN end. Given the inherent violence and Jew-hatred in Palestinian society, that is not something that is going to happen, as the slogan demands, “now!” It will take years, maybe decades, possibly generations. You need to accept this fact. Encourage Palestinians to seek peace. Then we can talk about ending the occupation.


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Ending the occupation is the end-point, not the starting point. You can chant all you want. You can pretend that the occupation is the cause of Palestinian terror, rather than the other way around. But that is not going to advance Palestinian self-determination. The occupation will end when Palestinians abandon their commitment to genocide and violence.


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The occupation will continue as long as there are Palestinians who place a higher value on dead Jews than on living Palestinians. So next time we’re tempted to chant “End the occupation now!” maybe consider what you could be doing differently to bring that ideal to fruition. Because you’re not doing it now.


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Israel tried that in Gaza. They got Oct. 7. Until Palestinians and their overseas “allies” provide evidence that an unoccupied Palestine will not be a launchpad for another campaign of mass murder, rape, beheadings and kidnappings, THE OCCUPATION MUST CONTINUE! No peace? No Palestine!


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Rather than demand an immediate end to the occupation, people who genuinely want peace would advance initiatives that recognize the institutionalized terrorism that makes the occupation necessary and begin working on steps that could make ending the occupation possible. Or are these just words you chant?



Holocaust


Nowhere is the inhumanity and depravity (see "Sadism," below) of the Palestinian movement more evident than in the mistreatment of the sacred memory of the Holocaust. The Palestinian people debase this history -- Abbas, the "moderate" leader of Fatah, accused Israel of perpetrating "50 holocausts" on Palestine -- but when overseas activists debase history in this way, it should exclude them from decent society. They should be cancelled.


It should not require saying, though clearly it does, that nothing remotely comparable to what happened to the Jews of Europe is happening to Palestinians. The very suggestion is beneath the dignity of decent or honest people.


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The weaponizing of the memory of the Holocaust in the propaganda war against Israel is one of the most immoral strategies you could employ. It is historical repression on a massive scale. You may not know it … but you are trying to absolve yourself from struggling with the moral and existential human questions of the Holocaust by negating them through the projection of guilt onto the victims and their descendants. The psychological aerobics required for this may be complex. The strategic objective is simple. It neutralizes the actual Holocaust by eclipsing it with a fabricated one. You should be ashamed of yourself for stooping to this level.


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Jewish people have been asking that activists show a little more sensitivity in addressing the contentious and emotional issues around this topic – not least of which is the Holocaust and the enduring intergenerational impacts of that history. In response, activists have gone full bull-in-a-china-shop. Not only do you not respect the Jewish experience with violence and genocide, you seize that horrible history, despoil it and wave it in the faces of your Jewish neighbors, calling Israelis Nazis and contriving fables of a Palestinian “holocaust.” This kind of behavior would be despicable if it came from neo-Nazis or far-right extremists. To observe it from people who claim to be arbiters of humanitarianism, multiculturalism, respect for human difference and basic decency negates your very self-identity.


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You see the emotional labor required by Jewish people to address these issues and you respond with ridicule, spite and cruelty, even going so far as to debase the most sacred and tragic Jewish history. Your use of Holocaust memory and language against Israel is morbid and sadistic. On this one topic, you are convinced that winning justifies abandoning everything you say you believe. You would never treat the historical memory of any other people this way. Only Jews. You have garbage where your morality should be.


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Israel was not a “consolation prize” for the Holocaust. The creation of the state of Israel is often depicted as a guilt offering, or as the Arab people paying the price for European crimes against Jews. You need to learn your history: The creation of the state of Israel was not a direct response to the Holocaust but the belated culmination of a political movement begun in earnest 50 years earlier (though based on almost 2,000 of yearning and unceded land claims) and it was part of the larger phenomenon of postwar decolonization – not an aberration within it. If you don't know this, you really shouldn't be engaging in this discussion.


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Zionism's victory in 1948 was not an act of European apology nor handed to Jews on a platter. The world did nothing but pass the Partition Resolution. After that, the Jews were left utterly alone and, when attacked at the dawn of independence by the militaries of all neighboring states, Israelis were abandoned to defend their tiny sliver of land with precious little help from the world. So let’s not congratulate ourselves that the UN or our nations’ votes there are a reason Israel exists or assume that this grants us any dispensation to criticize Israel more than we would any other state based on the false premise that it is somehow an invention of the UN. You should really learn something about history before engaging.


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Activists know that their agitated, fanatical chants, blood-soaked imagery and equation of Jews with Nazis has a devastating personal and collective impact on Jewish people. That is precisely why they do it. The anti-Israel movement is less about convincing with arguments than sadistically causing pain to Jewish people. You do nothing to advance the situation of Palestinians, but you do manage to stick it to the Jews. You're real humanitarian, aren't you? Proud of yourself?


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Unlike the rest of us, this is not just something Jewish people learn in history class. It is a sacred and urgent lesson that has been passed down through the mere two or three generations that have been born since the worst cataclysm in Jewish history. If you think that is paranoid or hypersensitive, that is a statement about you, not about Jewish people.




"Israel uses disproportionate force"


Don't you wish you had as much confidence in the righteousness of your own judgment as the people who appoint themselves arbiters of what is an appropriate response to the mass murder of Jews?


What is the proportionate response when a well-armed terrorist movement is committed to killing you, every one of your family members and every Jew on the planet?


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“Disproportionate” is one of the most common words employed against Israel, often by people whose own rhetoric demonstrates they have no concept the meaning of the term proportionate.


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The idea of armchair generals certain they know better than Israeli military officials what is proportionate or disproportionate when the security of Israelis are at stake is evidence of indifference to Jewish lives. So excuse me if I take your comment for what it is: A statement that you (consciously or unconsciously) don’t care whether Jews live or die.


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Armchair generals in the West – some of them avowed pacifists – opine on the legitimacy of Israeli military operations. When the IDF pinpoints missile sites in Gaza, critics accuse the military that has perhaps the planet’s most precise targeting capabilities of “shooting fish in a barrel.” They proclaim Israel’s responses to terrorism as “disproportionate” and second guess every Israeli action. This would be astounding enough in any context: that people with limited or no knowledge of the complexities on the ground would make wild assessments about the appropriateness of the defence and border policies of a country that has an unparalleled history of cross-border attacks targeting civilian populations. We demand that, when faced with enemies who recognize to no rules of engagement, Israel adhere to the Marquess of Queensbury rules.


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For those who believe that Israel has no legitimate right to exist – and this includes anyone who defines themselves as “anti-Zionist” – any effort by Israelis to defend themselves, by logical extension, is illegitimate. Since Israel has no right to exist, neither, by extension, do Israelis. So Palestinian terrorists can kill civilians -- and people like you view that as legitimate -- but Israel has no right to defend its citizens. Your worldview is so messed up there is really no word for what you are.


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Whenever the conflict flares up, no matter the circumstances, the world keens lamentations about “disproportionate force.” The logical extension of all this is that Israel should not defend its citizens. Because it is the powerful party, it should stand by and watch as its citizens are murdered because any force in response is, by definition, disproportionate based solely on the power differential. Because Israel is a military power, it should let its citizens be murdered because to defend them would be "disproportionate."


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Those who claim disproportionate force, of course, ignore the disproportionate intent. There is asymmetry in the relationship, certainly, but there is also asymmetry of intent. Israeli actions, whether we find them excessive, unjust or punishing, are defensive acts. Terrorist acts by Palestinians and the successive wars against Israel are aimed at ending Israel’s existence or, in the interim, taking as many Jewish lives as possible. Intent matters.



The security barrier


Israel builds barrier to keep civilians from being massacred. World outraged!


Plenty of people have a problem with Jews who can defend themselves. Consider the disordered global reaction to Israel’s security barrier. The nominal criticisms – it crosses the Green Line in places; it separates farmers from their fields – may be legitimate. But the volume of indignation is not remotely commensurate with those criticisms. No, there seems to be a perverse annoyance with Jews who refuse to allow themselves to be killed. Activists have already signed on to the Palestinian “resistance.” They have subscribed to a narrative that views killing Israelis as a legitimate political tool. And the security barrier doesn’t even give the Palestinian terrorists a sporting chance.


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The international outrage about the security barrier is extremely telling. Since its creation, terrorism against Israelis plummeted year after year. Oct. 7 told us what can happen when such a barrier doesn't exist, or when it is breached. The howling of overseas activists against this vital security infrastructure is fascinating. It's almost like some people enjoy seeing Jews murdered.



"Gaza is an 'open-air prison'"


This is a good one! It's what happens when drama queens turn their attention to politics!


You do enjoy your rhetoric, don’t you? If we needed an explanation for why Israel put a fence along its border with Gaza, we got the answer on Oct. 7. Your silly propaganda and catchy branding (“Open-air prison”! How dramatic!) ignores history and common sense. Gaza has been independent since 2005. Why is it a “prison”? Who are the jailers? What is on Gaza’s southern border? Maybe learn a bit about things before you ramble on about them.


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An “open-air prison”? Since 2005, Palestinians have had sole control over Gaza. Did they create a functioning state? Did they provide their people with the necessities of life? No. Despite receiving more humanitarian aid per capita than any other people on earth, Gaza is little more than a massive terrorist encampment. Blaming Israel only spotlights your incredible ignorance. Blame Hamas. And maybe quit with the silly slogans. “Open-air prison.” Try using facts.



Israel is “humiliating” Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims


We often hear the word “humiliation” used in this discussion. “Israeli checkpoints humiliate Palestinians” or “The occupation humiliates Palestinians.” This phrasing is part of a larger racist narrative at the heart of the Palestinian narrative – the “humiliation” of Muslims by Jews who refuse to accept their role as second-class citizens.


Humiliation? Remember, these same people were dispossessed by successive empires for centuries and would be dispossessed for another generation by Jordanians and Egyptians who ruled them in the West Bank and Gaza from 1949 to 1967. There has never been a civilizational humiliation charge made against the Jordanians or the Egyptians – or even the British or the Ottomans. The humiliation we’re expected to accept is Palestinians being subordinated BY JEWS. That’s it. That’s the humiliating part. That is the racism underlying the "humiliation" motif.


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When Western activists legitimize the “humiliation” motif, we buy into a whole complex of racist and religiously supremacist ideas. This oblivious acceptance of religious bigotry is especially remarkable coming from activists who devote much effort critiquing perceived Jewish chauvinism.


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For a great many Arabs and Muslims, this conflict is not primarily about land, about borders, refugees or the litany of complaints the Palestinians throw up. It is about Jews who don’t know their place and about Muslims who think that being governed by infidel Jews is “the most terrible disaster befalling the Arabs and the Muslims in modern history.”


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Ideas of “Arab honour” and “Muslim humiliation” (as well as undeniable themes of male fragility) are at the heart of this conflict. There is form of “Orientalism” at play here, racist assumptions that insist on the application of Western expectations to a conflict and a people whose complexities we seem unable to understand. If we are focused on tangibles like borders, settlements and two-state solutions, we will probably miss the forest for the trees of Muslim humiliation. This conflict is not about the things we think it’s about. It’s about Muslims putting the Jews back in their place.


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The idea that Israel’s conflict with Palestine represents a civilizational humiliation to 1.6 billion people should strike reasonable people as ridiculous. Of all the atrocities and humiliations perpetrated against Muslims, including the fact that the vast majority live under varying degrees of political tyranny, this one little conflict is inflated into the primary concern of the Muslim world. There is only one explanation: Because Jews.


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Antisemitism is rampant in the Arab and Muslim world. Now, in Europe, antisemitic hate crimes by migrants from Arab and Muslim countries occur with terrifying regularity. These attacks are almost always dismissed as an understandable reaction to Israel. But this is exactly wrong. We invert cause and effect. Attacks on Jews – in the Middle East, Europe and North America – are not a political response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Precisely the opposite: Muslim antisemitism is not a byproduct of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is a byproduct of Muslim antisemitism.



"Israel is a settler-colonial enterprise" / "Zionism is imperialism"


Activists with limited brain storage have to make complex ideas fit into small spaces.


These ideas can be sustained only through rote repetition. While anything can be compared to anything – the colonialism claim fails by very definition. If Zionism is colonialism, what or where is its metropole? It may seem like a pedantic question, but if you are making the case that Zionism is a form of colonialism, and by the very definitions of that term it doesn't fit, where does that leave your argument and your legitimacy? A first-year history student would appreciate that the word simply does not apply.


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The term imperialist gets thrown around but any semi-literate person knows it doesn’t apply to Israel. The creation of Israel was not a foreign entity acting on the status quo; it was an anti-imperialist action by a people decolonizing their homeland. Maybe you apply “imperialist” to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. But the occupation was, in effect, an accident. In successive defensive wars initiated by Arab states, Israel’s territory expanded. Any imaginings of imperialism are easily dispelled by what happened in the weeks after the 1967 war. Israel offered to return the territories it captured in exchange for nothing but a promise of recognition and non-belligerence. They were rebuffed. If the occupation is a form of imperialism, Israel is a most reluctant empire. Maybe stop throwing around words you don’t understand.


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Israel has given up proportionately more land in peacetime than any country in history. In granting the Sinai to Egypt in a land-for-peace deal, Israel abandoned three-quarters of its landmass and probably its only hope of oil self-sufficiency. It subsequently gave away the Gaza Strip and has tried repeatedly to give the West Bank to Palestinians who effectively refuse to accept it. (What part of yes don't they understand?) If these are facts you don’t know, you really shouldn’t be part of this discussion.


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For the Palestinian narrative to claim indigeneity to this contested area, it is necessary to not only supersede Jewish claims – because that’s the opposite of how indigeneity works – but to erase it, as the PLO’s founding document does. Because it is impossible to argue that a people who have been in a place for less time are more indigenous than those who were there first, the Palestinian narrative has had to go beyond claiming legitimacy for their people’s claims and actively refute the very fact of the Jewish people and their history. Despite what the Palestinian National Charter says, the Jews were there first. They are the indigenous people. History doesn’t lie. You do.


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The “stolen land” argument exists solely to eradicate the legitimacy of Jewish claims and prevent coexistence. If we claim to support peace and coexistence, erasing either group’s existence or rights is not only inhumane, it’s counterproductive. I wonder what you would like to happen to the 7 million Jews who live there? I assume you have a solution?



Pinkwashing


Could there be anything more hilariously ridiculous or pathetic than "Queers for Palestine"? There's self-loathing homosexuals ... then there's Queers for Palestine!



It shouldn’t need to be said that legal equality in Israel evolved as it has in other democracies, slowly, through hard work and activism by queer people and allies, and the inevitable arc of justice. To suggest that Israel effected gay rights to convince the world that it is something it's not, to distract outside observers from the oppression of Palestinians, is like accusing the United States of legalizing equal marriage to distract from Black people being shot in the streets. It's utterly ridiculous. But when we make such a ludicrous assertion about the Jewish state – and when huge numbers of people appear to believe it – this is evidence of how antisemitic suppositions about scheming, unscrupulous Jews enrich the soil where absurd ideas about Israel can grow.


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According to the pinkwashing narrative, the Israeli body politic made a decision to grant equality not out of any concern for LGBTQ+ people, or equality more broadly, but in a craven effort to get away with some master plan to oppress Palestinians. Pinkwashing is an allegation that is sustainable only in an environment festering with the most extreme preexisting ideas of Jewish underhandedness.



Palestinian Privilege


Antisemites love to accuse Jews of thinking they are better than other people (notice how often they bring up the theological idea of "Chosen people" -- a concept they demonstrate they don't understand every time they use it as a weapon). If you want to see some serious entitlement, listen to Palestinians and their overseas mouthpieces. They literally contend that their cause should supersede every other issue on the planet -- and, because they and their autocratic allies have basically held the UN General Assembly hostage for decades, it does.


For decades, Palestinians have received more humanitarian aid per capita than any people on earth – many far, far more destitute and deserving than Palestinians. An entire wing of the United Nations exists solely to cater to Palestinian needs – at the expense of every other disadvantaged people on earth. Literally billions of people are living under oppression in the world and all we seem to hear about are Palestinians. Why is that?


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While Palestinians and their useful idiots have yammered on for decades about an imaginary "Palestinian genocide" ACTUAL genocides have been eclipsed and mostly ignored. Far more serious issues around the globe struggle to get any attention because PALESTINE! PALESTINE! PALESTINE!


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It is absolutely shameful that people who are actually experiencing genocide, like Uyghurs, get a fraction of the attention they deserve because the Palestinians have seized the world's attention crying wolf about a genocide that isn't happening.


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In strictly quantitative terms – the number of lives lost and injuries sustained – this conflict probably ranks somewhere outside the Top 50 international engagements since the Second World War – and that is including Israeli victims as well as Palestinians (in other words, the victims you care about as well as the ones you don't). Yet over the decades, 60% of UN General Assembly resolutions condemning individual states targeted Israel – in a world where well more than half of the population live under despotic governments. A galaxy of international nongovernmental organizations exists solely or primarily to feed the obsession with Palestine. The United Nations is held hostage by the Palestinian movement. Trade unions, leftist political parties, social justice movements and progressive media worldwide give only the vaguest lip-service, if that, to the situations of any of billions of oppressed and desperate people worldwide, before returning to their foremost foreign affairs concern: Palestine, a conflict around which they have subscribed to a deeply problematic, one-sided and explicitly unprogressive narrative. What is it about Palestinians that deserves this disproportionate level of global attention? Nothing. It has no logical explanation. What can explain this? Answer: It has everything to do with who they are fighting: Jews. There’s your answer.


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The Palestinian cause has always portrayed itself as morally outsized, reflecting a level of exceptionalism and privilege at its heart. Despite its irrationality, first the Arab world, then the broader Muslim world, and now the Western world have largely fallen prey to the idea that the comparatively minor conflict between Palestinians and Israelis should be our top concern, and whatever sufferings Palestinians say they experience deserve attention far beyond any objective measure. Millions of Muslim Uyghurs in Chinese concentration camps? Never mind. Millions of Africans facing drought, starvation, civil war and oppression? Forget it. Look! A Palestinian has to pass through a checkpoint because Israel wants to make sure they don’t blow themselves up amid civilians! Outrage!


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There is an inescapable stream running through not only activist circles, but also much of the world’s foreign policy including that of the United Nations that, if only this one comparatively minor issue were settled, swords worldwide would become ploughshares and peace would prevail on the earth. If only Palestine were “free,” everything else would fall into place. It is a messianic idea that has no place in rational discourse. Yet you will hear it explicitly or implicitly in almost any discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. People who would laugh out loud at the idea that they put any credence in the Book of Revelations or Ezekiel, the battle of Gog and Magog, the rapture and tribulation, the Second Coming or any of the other trappings of end-times theology will straight-facedly assert that the fate of world peace depends on the outcome of this minor conflict. Why? Because Jews.



Co-opting other causes


No matter what the issue, if people start giving any attention to a deserving cause, the Palestinian movement will show up to co-opt and exploit it. If any social justice movement or cause seems to be getting any traction, along comes the Palestinian movement to gobble it up and make it all about Palestine.


We recoil when some cracker reacts to Black Lives Matter with the reply that “ALL lives matter.” Yet a primary tactic of the Palestinian movement is to respond to every social movement that gains traction by slapping a Palestinian slogan on it and misappropriating it. There is not a human tragedy, natural catastrophe or new menu item that Palestinian activists do not look at ask, “How can I make this about Palestine?”


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The Palestinian movement is guilty of appropriation, the privileging of Palestinianism above every other cause, and the eclipsing of almost every other issue on the planet. If there is a tragic historical experience to be exploited, coopted and appropriated, count on the Palestinian movement to pilfer, manipulate and debase it. Apartheid? That's happening to US! The Holocaust? That happened to us 50 times! The defence is that these issues are interconnected. "Until all of us are free, none of us is free. Justice for one is justice for all." These are great words. But they’re all drivel in the context of a contemporary world where so many causes are desperately struggling for oxygen specifically because Palestine sucks up all the air in every activist environment.


*


More than a million Uyghurs in Chinese concentration camps don’t get a fraction of the world’s attention because Palestine! Yemen, which is among the worst man-made humanitarian crisis of our time, hardly gets a glance from activists because Palestine! Syria, right next door and one of the greatest tragedies of our time? Meh. For activists worldwide, the incalculable human devastation almost anywhere else one looks on the planet is a footnote next to Palestine! Palestine! Palestine!


*


Without a whisper of dissent on the part of leading social justice activists, billions of dollars that could have gone toward eliminating starvation and global inequality have been pilfered by Palestinian kleptocrats and spent on weapons of terror.


*


While you falsely accuse Israel of war crimes, ethnic cleansing and genocide, ACTUAL war crimes, ethnic cleansings and genocides around the world go ignored. It is an unforgivable crime on a global scale – and it is perpetrated in the name of human rights, social justice and peace. People are literally dying because of your activism.



"Silencing"


Anytime someone contests what the anti-Israel whackadoodles say, they scream "I'm being silenced!" There is a massive authoritarian streak in the anti-Israel crowds and so they expect to bray their hatred without anyone daring to challenge them. They don't understand the difference between dialogue and silencing. But there is something particularly telling in this idea of omnipresent "silencing." Just who is it that is silencing them? Ah, yes. Of course. It's those all-powerful Jews, errm, Zionists.


Among the most fantastical allegations in the anti-Israel toolkit (and that’s saying something!) is that Zionists are “stifling,” “silencing,” “muzzling,” “suppressing” or otherwise controlling what you can say or think about Israel. In a world where anyone with an internet connection can reach more people than the most powerful people in the world 100 years ago, the idea of “silencing” is not just ridiculous. It is founded on antisemitic ideas of Jewish power. Give me a break with your crocodile tears and fake victimhood.


*


Who is silencing you? Oh, it’s those powerful Joos! You’re not a victim. No one is silencing you. You are free to spout your lies and hatred. What you want is to do so without contradiction and, no, I’m not going to give you that.


*


When someone calls out your antisemitism, you accuse them of “silencing” you. We would never claim that women are trying to silence us when they call out our misogyny or that indigenous people or African-Americans are trying to silence us when they confront us for blurting some racist diatribe. We don’t accuse LGBTQ+ people of silencing us when they call out homophobia or transphobia. It is a tactic we reserve exclusively for Jews when they point out antisemitism. And it's interesting that, in a world where the internet makes it almost impossible to "silence" anyone, we still believe Jews have that power. Antisemitic stereotypes abound.


*


We are supposed to believe that Jews, Zionists and their friends are allegedly preventing you from criticizing Israel for fear of being branded as antisemitic. We are expected to believe that critics of Israel are cowering in fear of being branded antisemitic. I can only imagine the barrage of antisemitic vitriol we’d be drowning in if you weren't being “silenced.” Yeah, you seem real afraid of being branded an antisemite. It's almost like something you take pride in.


*


If you actually think that you are forbidden from expressing a view about Israel, that’s a you problem, not a Jew problem. It’s all in your mind. You’re not the victim. You’re the victimizer. Get over yourself.


*


Critics of Israel are not being silenced. You are asking for the right to speak without challenge. You mistake dialogue for silencing. You want to be able to say whatever you want about Israel or Jews and then claim you are being silenced when questioned. You are not being silenced. You are being called out of your despicable ideas. That’s different.


*


You employ the most ruthless, sadistic, hair-raising language, then when challenged, you cry victim, alleging that the great and powerful Zionists are shushing you.


*


This mania about “stifling,” “silencing” and “shutting down discussion” is especially rich coming from a movement for whom disruption, deplatforming and chanting to drown out dissent are core strategies. There is silencing and chilling going on, it is not theoretical and it is not being done by Zionists. It is being done to Zionists.


*


If anyone is afraid to speak up these days, it is not Israel-bashers. They refuse to tone down their brutal rhetoric and they couldn’t be silenced if we tried. But defending Israel – actually, just wearing a Star of David – can get you beaten up, stabbed or murdered in places as diverse as Jerusalem, Paris, Malmo and Toronto.


*


You want “silencing”? Attend a pro-Israel event on campus and expect to get screamed at, shouted over, harassed or assaulted. Zionists and Jews are beaten up, threatened with harm or death and require legitimate courage to publicly express their opinions almost anywhere in the world. Acknowledging that antisemitism exists and plays a role in this is not shutting down discussion, but encouraging it. We need to talk about this. The ones who are shutting down discussion are those who accuse Zionists of using antisemitism as a shield to silence. They are refusing to engage by accusing Jews and allies of refusing to engage.



Anti-Israel activism is a cult, a new religion


You may have noticed something not quite rational in the words, actions and maniacal looks of anti-Israel activists. The only way that feminists, LGBTQ+ people, social justice activists, human rights advocates or any other people who aren't complete assholes could support a movement that betrays everything these groups stand for and, really, their very identity as individuals, is if they had succumbed to some sort of brainwashing, some sort of cult. Well, yeah.


We have returned to this place, this Holy Land, with a new appetite for metaphor. We have unburdened our collective sins onto Israel, a country that no more embodies these evils than Jesus represented the offences that our ancestors loaded onto the wafer.


*


Explain this: By any measure, Israel and Palestine are small potatoes in the grand scheme of global conflicts and crises. Yet this topic receives orders of magnitude more attention than conflicts that are exponentially more disastrous in terms of lives lost and injuries sustained. Why? The sheer irrationality of the world’s fixation on Israel and Palestine must tell us that something beyond reason is at play. Despite all of our sophistication and cleverness, we still go back to that most enduring empty vessel onto which our grandparents and their grandparents unloaded their fears, prejudices and hatred: the Jew. Or, in our case: the Jewish state.


*


In many spaces, Israel is depicted as the very embodiment of global evil, just as official Catholic doctrine, until the 1960s, depicted Jews as the literal murderers of God. Activists and cartoonists depict Israeli leaders as demons, with horns and fangs. In a world where black and white are widely dismissed as incapable of incorporating the nuance of human experience, Israel is the one exception, depicted by its enemies in overtly fundamentalist terms as intrinsically and irredeemably wicked. The secular version of an evil underworld is particularly on the nose when anti-Zionists employ the puerile term “IsraHELL.”


*


For centuries, Jews were believed to be the embodiment of satanic evil on earth – not metaphorically, but literally. Today, when we talk about the “demonization of Israel,” we are not referring to a rhetorical or metaphorical representation. In the global imagination, Israel is depicted as the literal incarnation of contemporary evil, the collective manifestation of the same infernal iniquity that centuries of Christians attributed to Jews. And we convince ourselves that this is all rational, that our positions have come to us not through superstition or inherited mythology but through careful consideration of history and rational deliberation of current events. What are the chances?


*


For 2,000 years, many of our ancestors accepted a story that Jews were literal God-murderers. This belief and all that sprung from it brought centuries of tragedy to Jews. This stuff is deeply baked into our culture: Jews as the antithesis of everything virtuous, which is the core motif of Christian, Muslim and political antisemitism of times past, is reflected in today’s certainty that Israel is the incarnation of everything iniquitous. You are part of a long history you do not even know you are reenacting.


*


For centuries, Jews have been depicted in theology, literature, art and popular culture as fanged demons, traitorous “Judases,” the quintessence of malevolence. Today, we see ancient motifs of crucifixion, betrayal and demonization applied to Israel and its overseas allies. We also see enemies of Israel insisting that, no, this time the Jews (errr, “Zionists”) actually are the quintessence of evil. That’s some coincidence.


*


For hundreds of years, our ancestors held certain that the promise of heaven on earth depended on the biblical prophesies that an end-times conflagration in Israel would hasten the ultimate battle in which good squares off with evil. We may dismiss those most interesting, action-packed parts of the Bible as fantastical, yet somehow we still come away certain that triumph over the people of Israel is the prerequisite to a new Eden. Huh. We're so sophisticated that we would never succumb to silliness like the Book of Revelations. And yet we still come to the same basic conclusion.


*


Something almost paranormal seems to be at work in the way activists to behave toward Jewish people and the Jewish state. You act as though this one comparatively little conflict is the fulcrum upon which world peace depends. It is an idea that can originate from only two possible places: a theological concept that triumph over the Jews is the precondition for earthly perfection, or a more generalized antisemitism that sees Jews as the hurdle preventing others in the world from reaching their potential. Which one do you subscribe to?


*


The almost religious fervor of anti-Israel activists begs explanation. Like fundamentalist religion, your testament of Palestinianism cannot acknowledge any of its own failures, inconsistencies or shortcomings. No matter how irrational or contradictory your narrative about Palestine, you hold to it like gospel. It is simply beyond reason.


*


It's interesting how you like to depict Jesus as a "Palestinian." You're sort of right. He was a Palestinian Jew. But you are engaged in something different -- a cultural appropriation in which the Jewishness of Jesus is stolen and you try to equate him with today's Palestinians. Largely overlooked in the whole Palestinians-as-Jesus/Jews-as-crucifiers motif: Almost nowhere in the Palestinian narrative is there much evidence of Jesus’s appeals for peace or turning the other cheek. The graffiti and artwork you’ll see around Bethlehem or online at Christmas may depict Jesus surrounded by doves and images of heavenly peace. But the graffiti and artwork throughout Palestine more often depict terrorists throwing Molotov cocktails and heroic martyrs (ie., murderers) who have gone to their deaths exploding themselves amid crowds of Jewish civilians. So maybe lay off the Jesus and doves motif.



Extreme anti-Israel language


In almost every facet of our lives today, we are asked to (and, if we're not aholes, agree to) speak in ways that respect the experiences of members of groups that have experienced trauma. We also acknowledge that words have consequences and that language can be used to incite violence -- even if that was not the intent of the speaker. These sensitivities and cautions go out the window when we talk about Israel. The most incendiary language imaginable is perpetrated against Israel and, when statistics show massive increases in antisemitic violence, people plead ignorance. "What could possibly account for these statistics? Nothing we've done, certainly!"


We accept that violent words can lead to violent acts. Yet, in this case, you reject outright any parallels between the ferocious rhetoric employed against the Jewish state and the massively increasing violence and desecrations befalling Jewish people and institutions in North America and Europe. Plenty of people remain content that the two are utterly, unassailably isolated as water and oil. Your language matters. You are contributing to a culture of violence. Choose your words carefully.


*


In every other facet of human affairs, we contend that words matter, that how our society treats women is influenced by the way we talk about women, that anti-gay rhetoric can result in anti-gay actions, that racist or demeaning words can lead to racist violence. But ayatollahs, imams, professors, presidents, journalists, street rallies and TV broadcasts exhort millions to perpetrate genocide against Jews and to demand nothing short of the complete eradication of Israel and Jews. And activists worldwide, instead of discouraging these inflammatory and inciting words, jump on board and echo these broadsides, even inventing their own fuel to add to the global conflagration.


*


For more than 20 years, Israel has been excoriated as the very embodiment of global malevolence, activists have replaced the Star of David on the Israeli flag with swastikas, and Israelis have been repeatedly depicted as blood-sucking villains guilty of humankind’s most reprehensible acts, routinely through images that employ stereotypically Jewish caricatures. During this same time, violent attacks against Jews in Europe and North America have increased exponentially. Is there really nothing to see here? Complete coincidence?


*


When warned of the toxic effects of this ferocious rhetoric, your response is the most reactionary possible. Told that your Jewish neighbors are justifiably fearing for their safety in part because of the savagery of your assaults against Israel, the response has been to slander the victims: "No, our Jewish neighbors are not actually feeling attacked and threatened, they’re lying about it to stop us from criticizing Israel."


*


The very people who invented trigger warnings and safe spaces have invested no effort to find out what the state of Israel, its existence and survival means to their Jewish neighbors. Regardless of how venal you may have convinced yourself Israel is, you should be conscious of the impacts of your words and actions on ethnocultural communities at home. Your indifference to how our hatred of Israel falls on Jewish ears is a behavior we would never exhibit toward any other group.


*


You can protest all you want that your condemnations of Israel, however visceral and demonizing, are not aimed at Jews, just at Israel. But the plain truth is that, because of the intense emotional, familial, historical, religious and personal connections between most Diaspora Jews and Israel, your attacks on Israel affect the Jews most likely to receive them – those who live nearest to you. Despite all the protests of innocence and unintended consequences, attacks by the Palestinian movement and its allies here are directed at Israel, but they are felt by Jews. Do you care? Impact matters more than intent. But again: Do you care?


*


Let's be blunt: the people who are likely to beat up Jews on the street or set fire to synagogues or Jewish schools are not the brightest sparks in our society. So maybe, instead of assuming that our language around Israel is being received by intelligent actors, consider the impacts it might have on the least stable people in our communities. We can say that this is not our obligation, but if we know that our words have impact, we have an obligation to use them wisely, knowing that they may be unintentionally (if not unknowingly) exploited by or inciting those who we claim do not share our sensibilities.


*


In the 1970s, when Harvey milk was murdered by a homophobic fellow city supervisor, it was said that Dan White pulled the trigger but Anita Bryant loaded the gun. Was that fair to make that association with Anita Bryant, who was North America's most visible and outspoken opponent of homosexuality and gay people in the 1970s? Most gay rights activists at the time probably thought so. If it was fair then, it is fair now to acknowledge that our words have power for both good and evil. Those who use explosive language against Israel and exhibit no restraint in making the most bloodcurdling allegations are loading the gun. When the worst happens, will you accept some blame?


*


Whether those who use this language and imagery are antisemitic is largely moot. This kind of rhetoric is so deliberately hurtful that it does the work that antisemites would do if only they had the numbers and reach of the Palestinian movement. It packs a punch that antisemites love.


*


Your vicious, incendiary words are probably not changing facts on the ground in Palestine. But they are almost certainly changing things for the worse right here at home.



Sadism


The anti-Israel movement devotes remarkably few resources to reasonable arguments or making a rational case for their cause. They certainly don't help Palestinians in any measurable way. It often seems like the top priority is rubbing salt in historical wounds, causing as much pain as possible and sticking it to the Jews. If there is a single characteristic that typifies the Palestinian movement and its Israel-hating activists, it's just plain sadism.


All the arguments about whether anti-Zionism is antisemitism … all the debates about refugees, settlements, borders, blah blah blah … any pretence that overseas “pro-Palestinian” activists actually care about Palestinians are negated by the rampant sadism that permeates the Palestinian movement root and stem. This is not a movement for social justice. It is not a political cause. It is a global expression of sadism, comprising millions who love rubbing salt in the historical wounds of Jewish people. That’s not just the strategy. That’s the end point.


*


We can argue this detail and those facts. But the overt sadism of the anti-Zionist movement is as close as one can get to proof that this is not about Palestinian rights or borders or settlements or refugees or whatever. This is, above all, about sticking it to the Jews.

*

Ever notice that the imagery used against Israel at rallies and online does not equate Israeli leaders with Stalin or Pol Pot or other evil figures of our time? It’s always Hitler, always the Nazis. It is not done to persuade, it is done to cause pain, to rub salt in Jewish wounds. And it is done mostly by activists, academics and social justice advocates who in any other context consider themselves arbiters of human righteousness.

*

Are those who exploit the memory of the Holocaust, who use dehumanizing language and imagery, a fringe element among Palestinian advocates? No. Sadism is at the absolute core of the Palestinian strategy. But even if this were being perpetrated by a few, the absolute silence from other, ostensibly decent activists is complicity. Good people who attend Palestinian rallies should be tearing down banners that equate Israelis with Nazis. Instead, they keep marching. It's disgusting. But also very telling.


*

There are words and deeds that exist on a spectrum for which terms like “anti-Zionist” and “antisemitic” cannot do justice. You have to be a special kind of sadist to instrumentalize the memory of the Holocaust against Jewish people. Does that make you an antisemite? At this point, what difference does it make what we call it? *


On social media, in classrooms and in public discourse, we go to some lengths to ensure that the historical or lived experiences of identifiable groups are not harmed and that members of these groups are not caused emotional pain. We offer warnings when a topic veers into potentially uncomfortable terrain. We would never, ever take the history of their group’s experience – whether it is slavery and institutionalized racism, misogyny and rape, dispossession or cultural genocide – and use it as a weapon against them. Unless we are dealing with Jews.

*

You deliberately, consistently and mercilessly employ words, images and motifs that are calculated to trigger Jews. That’s not activism or social justice. It’s sadism.




More to come ....


Send your most infuriating social media abominations to us at editor@thebatonmag.com and we'll try to incorporate them into the next version of this document.




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