Archive | May 11th, 2016

Sex abuse victim in her 20s allowed to choose euthanasia in Holland


A former victim of child sex abuse has ended her life under Dutch euthanasia laws. Stock image

Sex abuse victim in her 20s allowed to choose euthanasia in Holland after doctors decided her post-traumatic stress and other conditions were incurable
Woman suffered from mental disorders after she was abused as a child
Condition included severe anorexia, chronic depression and hallucinations
Dutch woman, in her 20s, showed improvements after ‘intensive therapy’
She was given lethal injection after doctors said treatment was hopeless
PUBLISHED: 23:11, 10 May 2016 | UPDATED: 01:17, 11 May 2016

A former victim of child sex abuse has ended her life under Dutch euthanasia laws. Stock image
A former victim of child sex abuse has ended her life under Dutch euthanasia laws. Stock image
A former victim of child sex abuse has ended her life under Dutch euthanasia laws because she could not live with her mental suffering.

The woman, in her twenties, was given a lethal injection after doctors and psychiatrists decided that her post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions were incurable.
It went ahead despite improvements in the woman’s psychological condition after ‘intensive therapy’ two years ago, and even though doctors in the Netherlands accept that a demand for death from a psychiatric patient may be no more than a cry for help.
The woman, who has not been named, began to suffer from mental disorders 15 years ago following sexual abuse, according to the papers released by the Dutch Euthanasia Commission. The timescale means she was abused between the ages of five and 15.

News of her death angered anti-euthanasia MPs and disability campaigners in Britain. One Labour MP said it meant sex abuse victims were now being punished with death.
It comes at a time of continued controversy over assisted dying in Britain. A steady flow of people from this country travel to die legally at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, and judges and the courts appear to be leaning in favour of making it legal to help someone to die.
Details of the Dutch case were released by authorities anxious to justify euthanasia laws and to demonstrate that mercy killings are carried out under full and correct medical supervision.

‘I was convinced that bugs were crawling up my body, eating…
Mark Williams was diagnosed with depression and then bipolar and has now found he has adult
The papers said that the woman, who was killed last year, had post-traumatic stress disorder that was resistant to treatment. Her condition included severe anorexia, chronic depression and suicidal mood swings, tendencies to self-harm, hallucinations, obsessions and compulsions.

She also had physical difficulties and was almost entirely bedridden. Her psychiatrist said ‘there was no prospect or hope for her. The patient experienced her suffering as unbearable’.
The woman, in her twenties, was given a lethal injection after doctors and psychiatrists decided that her post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions were incurable. Pictured, a euthanasia clinic in The Hague. It is not known where the unnamed woman involved in the case took her own life.

However, the papers also disclosed that two years before her death the woman’s doctors called for a second opinion, and on the advice of the new doctors she had an intensive course of trauma therapy. ‘This treatment was temporarily partially successful,’ the documents said.


Netherlands: Euthanasia laws were introduced in 2002. In 2015 there were 5,561 euthanasia deaths; only four were found by review officials to have been marred by ‘irregularities’.
Euthanasia is carried out with drugs, either injected for incapable patients, or provided for self-medication. Psychiatric patients can be put to death at their own request despite their mental illness.

Britain: MPs voted against an Assisted Dying Bill last year by 336 votes to 118. But the courts continue to lean in favour of laws permitting assisted dying.

Guidelines effectively mean that no one who helps someone to die will be prosecuted for assisting a suicide, a crime that carries a 14-year maximum sentence, unless they did so for financial reasons.
Treatment was abandoned last year after independent consultants were called in and said the case was hopeless.

The consultants also said that despite her ‘intolerable’ physical and mental suffering, chronic depression and mood swings, she was entirely competent to make the decision to take her own life.
The patient, they said, was ‘totally competent’ and there was ‘no major depression or other mood disorder which affected her thinking’. A final GP’s report approved the ‘termination of life’ order and the woman was killed by an injection of lethal drugs, the report said.
In Britain yesterday her case was condemned as ‘horrendous’ by Labour MP Robert Flello.
He said: ‘It almost sends the message that if you are the victim of abuse, and as a result you get a mental illness, you are punished by being killed, that the punishment for the crime of being a victim is death.

‘It serves to reinforce why any move towards legalising assisted suicide, or assisted dying, is so dangerous.’

Tory MP Fiona Bruce, chairman of the Parliamentary All-Party Pro-Life Group, said: ‘This tragic situation shows why euthanasia should never be legalised in this country. What this woman needed, at a desperate point in her young life, was help and support to overcome her problems, not the option of euthanasia.’

Nikki Kenward, of the disability rights group Distant Voices, said: ‘It is both horrifying and worrying that mental health professionals could regard euthanasia in any form as an answer to the complex and deep wounds that result from sexual abuse.’ Campaigners celebrate MPs rejecting Assisted Dying Bill


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GERMANY – Jews call for dismissal of self-declared Jew-hating pastor



JERUSALEM POST – The city of Bremen’s Jewish community blasted the local Evangelical Church for its failure to fire a pastor who openly declares himself an anti-Semite and plays a key role in stoking hatred of the Jewish state.

“How should we accept a representative for dialogue, who is also responsible for dialogue for the Evangelical Church in Bremen with religious communities in Bremen – and should act in a neutral way – when he openly presents himself as anti-Semitic?” local Jewish leaders wrote in a letter on Tuesday to Edda Bosse, the president of the Evangelical Church in the city.

“We decisively reject working with Pastor [Volker] Keller and are surprised how he continues to influence one of your communities as a pastor,” wrote Jewish community leaders Elvira Noa, Renata Bas and Dr. Grigori Pantijelew, as well as the city’s Rabbi Netanel Teitelbaum.

The Jewish leaders continued, “We are shocked and appalled over Keller not only minimizing anti-Semitism but especially that he misused his position and acted in a way unworthy of his office.”

Keller serves on Bremen’s Council for Integration and plays a role in the absorption of migrants from Muslim-majority countries.

The Jewish leaders wrote that Keller “works with haters of Israel whose criticism of Israel is clearly anti-Semitic.” Keller co-founded the NGO Nord-Bremer Citizens against War, whose members demonstrate in front of stores in Bremen calling for Germans to not buy products from Israel. According to critics, Keller is part of a large anti-Israel network in Bremen that seeks to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state.

The Bremen Social Democratic Mayor Carsten Sieling and the church have been swamped with criticism from Jewish human rights groups and from journalists who write about contemporary anti-Semitism. In a separate letter to Sieling, the Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee wrote, “In addition to his activity as a pastor in the city council for integration, Mr. Keller is active in the BDS movement, which calls for a total cultural, economic, academic boycott of the State of Israel.”

In an email sent to The Jerusalem Post, Keller praised an allegedly anti-Semitic lecture in his church community building held by a hardcore BDS advocate and wrote: “Yesterday evening the anti-Semite Arn Strohmeyer delivered a lecture to me… Best wishes to Israel, Yours truly, Volker Keller, anti-Semite.”

The crisis engulfing the Bremen Evangelical Church over Keller’s self-proclaimed anti-Semitism has been met with silence from the national Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) leadership. Emails to Dr. Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, the head of the EKD, were not answered. Carsten Splitt, a spokesman for Bedford-Strohm, told the Post on Friday that “the responsibility in this matter lies, on account of our federal structure, with the Bremen Evangelical Church… The EKD and the Bremen Evangelical Church are in complete agreement in the clear rejection of every form of anti-Semitism.”

When asked about the Bremen Jewish community’s letter rejecting Keller, as well as the AJC complaint, Renke Brahms, the executive cleric of the Bremen Evangelical Church, declined to answer. Brahms told the Post last month that Keller’s email was meant to be sarcastic.

Critics say there is a big anti-Semitism problem in Bremen, including municipality-subsidized anti-Semitic lectures and weekly calls to boycott Israel in the heart of the city that are met largely with indifference by politicians and non-Jewish civil society organizations.

The municipality provides significant funding for the Bürgerhauses Weserterrassen cultural center where, according to the Bremen Jewish community, anti-Semitic lectures are held. Activists frequently march through stores to identity Israel merchandise for opprobrium. During the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in the Gaza Strip in 2014, more than 400 anti-Israel activists marched in Bremen. According to a Bremen domestic intelligence report, local anti-Israel activists traveled to Berlin to participate in the annual al-Quds protest calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.

André Städler, a spokesman for Sieling, wrote the Post by email on Friday, “Bremen, over the decades, has been a stronghold of the fight against anti-Semitism, racism and contempt for humanity.”

He added, “In Bremen we don’t tolerate anti-Semitism. We know that there is anti-Semitism. But anti-Semitism in Bremen does not get public platforms.” When asked whether Keller should be sacked, Städler declined to comment.

The spokesman said that Bremen has as “an initiative to combat growing anti-Semitism by young Muslims… and there are places, including city hall, that clearly criticize anti-Semitism and also condemn BDS.”

Writing on the website of the American magazine Tablet, Liel Leibovitz, authored an article about Keller titled, “A German pastor wants to make anti-Semitism great again.”

Leibovitz wrote, “When a German pastor declared himself last week to be a proud anti-Semite, he might’ve given us our first glimpse at the brave new turn of Jew-hatred, an era far more candid and [palpable] than any most of us have experienced in our lifetimes.”

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Undercover video of Hasidic Jewish principal handling boy prompts sex abuse probe



JTA – NEW YORK  – The story is an all-too-familiar horror tale: An adult in a position of power – in this case a Hasidic school principal – is accused of sexually abusing a child in his care. But one thing makes this episode very different: The encounter was captured on a hidden camera and posted online this week for all to see.

Difficult to watch, the 11-minute clip offers a rare glimpse of what an incident of this sort actually looks like rather than as it may be refracted through memory days, weeks or years later in court, in the media or in the privacy of a therapy session.

The video, which is now being probed by police, was first widely circulated Saturday night on the messaging service WhatsApp and later posted on Facebook in an abridged form before being removed by administrators. It shows an older, bearded Hasidic man taking his seat in a small office and then pulling a young boy with peyos sidecurls between his legs.

Over the course of several minutes, the bespectacled man wearing a black hat caresses the boy, jerks him back and forth, and appears to kiss him repeatedly and rub against him. At one point the boy tries to escape the man’s clutches but is grabbed back. Both remain fully clothed throughout the encounter. A volume of Deuteronomy, a book of Psalms and other religious tomes lie on the nearby desk.

Filmed from an overhead camera without audio, the video shows neither the man’s nor the boy’s unobstructed faces. The boy, who has a closely shaved head under his black velvet yarmulke, looks to be anywhere from 5 to 9 years old.

Activists say the man is a principal at the main yeshiva in Kiryas Joel, a Satmar village located within the Town of Monroe in New York’s Orange County. The K-12 yeshiva, United Talmudical Academy, has some 6,000 students, according to school resource websites. A message left by JTA with administrators at the school on Tuesday was not returned.

State police are investigating the incident, according to the Journal News, the local paper that first reported the incident.

Christopher Borek, the chief assistant district attorney for Orange County, said his office had received a copy of the video but declined to say whether or not the incident is under investigation.

“I can tell you that in general our office treats all allegations of sexual abuse of children as extremely serious,” Borek told JTA, noting that a designated unit handles such allegations. “We never comment on investigations even to confirm if the investigation is ongoing or not unless or until charges are filed.”

The encounter at the Kiryas Joel yeshiva allegedly took place before last Yom Kippur and was filmed by someone who planted the hidden camera because he believed kids at the yeshiva were being subjected to inappropriate behavior.

Boorey Deutsch, an activist against sexual abuse in the haredi Orthodox community who shared the video on Facebook, said the person who made the video – whom Deutsch declined to identify — decided to go public with it because local authorities in Kiryas Joel who were shown the recording declined to take any action.

After posting a 36-second clip from the video, which got some 27,000 views before being removed by Facebook, Deutsch was inundated with comments by supporters as well as those who questioned whether the video indeed shows any sexual abuse. Skeptics said it could be an innocent encounter between an administrator showing affection for a student who required either special attention or discipline.

Deutsch vehemently disagrees.

“Some people said: ‘That’s how he showed love and dedication to the children for many years.’ But you do not show dedication and love to a child by kissing him in the face and pulling him into your body. This is inappropriate,” Deutsch told JTA. “There are still thousands of kids under his hands. He can do it again because nobody is taking action — again. It’s our job to stand up. If nobody else will stand up, I will stand up. I will make it happen.”

Deutsch, who grew up in the Satmar neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is a well-known figure in the Hasidic community. His wife was the person who, beginning at age 12, was sexually abused for three years by Nechemya Weberman, an unlicensed Satmar therapist. Weberman was convicted in 2012 on 59 counts of sexual abuse, including oral sex, and sentenced to 103 years in prison. Throughout the trial and after the verdict, Weberman’s supporters decried Deutsch’s wife as a “slut” and made her and Deutsch the targets of vitriolic attacks.

Deutsch said many haredi Orthodox boys who are subjected to encounters like the one portrayed in the video only realize their inappropriateness years later, if at all.

“Some people are still in the box and they don’t want to say it’s sexual,” he said.

Nuchem Rosenberg, an outspoken Hasidic advocate against sexual abuse who operates a hotline for the Hasidic community, says he has fielded 20-30 phone calls in the last few days from women in Kiryas Joel worried about their children attending the yeshiva where the incident allegedly took place.

“When they saw this video, they are totally under shock,” said Rosenberg, who in 2012 was attacked with bleach by a Hasidic assailant angered by Rosenberg’s activism. “These women said, ‘Is this where we are sending our children to learn and get holy and learn the word of God?’”

Naftuli Moster, an advocate for state intervention in haredi schools to compel them to offer state-mandated, grade-appropriate English and math, also has been caught up in the firestorm over the video. He was interviewed by a local TV station about the video, and was involved beforehand in discussions about how to release it publicly.

Even for those who argue that this is not a case of sexual abuse, it’s impossible to say the school administrator’s behavior is in any way acceptable, Moster told JTA.

“There’s definitely a certain type of abuse taking place. He’s definitely doing something wrong. Maybe decades ago people used to do this in small yeshiva settings and thought it was OK,” Moster said. “But he’s pinning this kid between his legs. He’s holding him by the neck at one point. He seems to be kissing him. The kid is visibly scared.

“Whatever it is, it’s just wrong,” Moster said. “He has to go.”

WATCH – Jewish school principal touching a young boy at a Hasidic yeshiva in Monroe, New York

This video is linked to the article below published by JTA.


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On becoming an un-assimilated Jew


“A heretic Gentile you may kill outright with your own hands.”

– Jewish Talmud, Abodah Zara, 4b


ed  note–a very revealing piece on several levels.

1st, please note the axiomatic and reflexive reaction on the part of the author when Gentiles reacted negatively to the massacre that Israel was perpetrating in Gaza. This for the most part is an across the board phenomenon, where an ‘assimilated’ Jew drops all pretenses of such when ‘home, sweet home’–Israel–is engaged in one of her periodic epileptic fits as represented in the types of ritualistic human sacrifice she wages against the men, women and children of Gaza. Any and all evidence underscoring the completely insupportable notion that the Jewish state is only ‘protecting itself’ against the ‘deadly’ missiles of Hamas that have killed all of 10 people in the last 10 years or more is disregarded and those who do not fall for the hasbara immediately become ‘anti-Semites’.

As we point out here regularly, a Jew–whether ‘religious’ or ‘secular’–is the product of the most sophisticated form of mind control ever devised, and as such, no matter how much they may ‘assimilate’ in whatever Gentile country where they (symbolically) reside, as soon as they get ‘the call of the wild’ where their support is needed in protecting the ‘holy of holies’, i.e. the Jewish people or the Jewish state, in 11 out of 10 cases, they do  it, and even in situations where even a blind man can see the truth of the matter.

The point is, those who think that by ‘being nice’ and by giving these folks the benefit of the doubt that somehow a resolution to the world’s problems as they relate to the Jewish state can be accomplished are deluding themselves. As the authoress points out, years and years of being immersed in a Gentile society means absolutely nothing when it comes time to choose between that host society (and by extension, its moral values) and the spiritual blood that flows through their veins, and this is the case whether the scale is a few thousand Gentiles being massacred in Gaza or whether it is billions who will lose their lives as a result of the present ‘clash of civilizations’ that Israel and her supporters have jinned up. 

Remember, just as Rabbi Yaacov Perrin was famously quoted saying–‘One million Arab lives is not worth one Jewish fingernail.’

Rivka Bond, Times of Israel

2014 was the year I became un-assimilated. In my secular American family, Jewish culture was largely a matter of historical and literary interest (my father wrote a book on Jewish writers in America, in which he cheerfully predicted that Jews would become completely assimilated and disappear as a people). I grew up in a secular household — so determinedly so that we celebrated no holidays other than Thanksgiving. With both Sephardi and Ashkenazi ancestry, we represent a great swathe of the Diaspora, but all that came down to me was a love of reading and a smattering of Yiddish. I spent my undergraduate years trying to make sense of the Holocaust, and in 1989 I moved to the UK to pursue a career in archaeology.

I experienced no anti-Semitism in my home-town and very little at University (my parents shielded me from the fact that we had been refused a property deal because the seller did not want Jews in the neighbourhood). Even so, I was always conscious that ‘they’ could come and get me at any time, and that I needed to have a valid passport at all times, ‘just in case’. I was prepared for hatred from neo-Nazis, the KKK, and survivalists who thought I was not quite ‘white’ enough, but nothing, NOTHING could have prepared me for the explosion of hatred that came, not from my enemies, but from my friends.

It began with the Gaza war. Suddenly, my facebook pages exploded with bloody images; friends were asking me to join them in hyperbolic tirades against Israel’s ‘genocide’, its temerity for defending itself against the hail of rockets launched by extremists whose declared aim was to wipe Israel off the map. I was asked to sign petitions to throw the Israeli ambassador out of the country. I was assailed by pictures of Israel as a tentacled monster; cartoons of innocent Arab children being brutally murdered by hook-nosed assassins emblazoned with the star of David; hate speech such as I had rarely encountered in my day to day life suddenly became commonplace. A colleague said to my face what a shame it was that Jews have become the new Nazis, that we ‘failed to learn the lesson of the Holocaust’. Another colleague spoke of Israeli ‘pinkwashing’, of Israel hiding its supposed crimes by pretending to be a liberal society. Another simply turned her profile picture to a Palestinian flag, and filled her page with hate towards the Israeli ‘oppressors’.

At first I thought I just needed to explain and to educate. I embarked on countless discussions; I explained Israel’s leaflet drops, the text messages, the phone calls to clear civilians out of areas in which militants were operating, so that they would not be injured by the bombs; I quoted numbers, statistics, reports, evidence. I explained that 20% of the Israeli population are Arab Muslims, Christians, Druze and other minorities, all of whom are able to vote; I explained that Arab Muslims are on the Knesset, and have complete free speech. Universities are training Arab students (their tuition is free), and Israeli Arabs work alongside Jewish doctors in Israeli hospitals. I explained that around 800,000 Jews were evicted from Arab countries, but all were given refuge in tiny Israel; half the population of Israel are native to the Middle East and had nowhere else to go. No one was listening.

I became increasingly desperate as again and again I was met with cold hostility. To the British far-right, Jews are brown people who are trying to infiltrate white culture, corrupting white society with our greed and our mania for power and destruction. To the British left wing, Jews are white people who are oppressing innocent brown people, colonising their country, murdering their children with random abandon and stealing their organs to sell on the black market.

The attacks on Jews across Europe began to mount– but the mainstream papers were not reporting them. Synagogues were firebombed, Jews besieged in a Paris shul, and then the marches– huge swathes of people marching down the streets of European cities shouting ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas’. My friends responded with excuses for the violence, or with silence.

By Rosh Hashanah I was attending the nearest shul, a two hour drive away in Cardiff but worth every moment. I hadn’t set foot in a synagogue since my friend Lori’s Bat Mitzvah, back in the 1970s, but what a blessed relief it was to be somewhere where I belonged, and where other people were sharing my experience, and understood. An anti-Israel march through Cardiff involved, once again, cries of ‘Jews to the gas’, and an old man from shul described the horror of sitting in his shop when the mob marched by. Several of the elders in my shul escaped from this kind of hell when they were rescued by the Kindertransports. Now, it seemed to be happening again.

I wrote on facebook about the smashing up of the kosher food section in a British supermarket, the Palestinian flags flying from County Council halls, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, the attacks on anyone with a kippah, the declaration that Bradford was now an ‘Israel-free zone’, the boycott of the Jewish Film Festival. My Union joined the Israel boycott, and I resigned my role as Union rep for my university department and left the Union. An old boyfriend who despised Israel began to post sneering posts about Jews– and then I saw his name on a petition for a complete boycott of Israeli academics. Other colleagues signed as well– people I had known and worked with, travelled with, excavated with.

Shots were fired into a Kosher restaurant in Paris. Shots were fired at another Kosher restaurant a few weeks later. The mainstream papers did not share this information. I shared post after post about the rising tide of anti-Semitism, but my friends responded by saying ‘well, but, it’s all about Israel’s genocide’. Or, ‘Muslims are suffering too, you know.’ One patronising friend wrote, ‘Oh Rivka, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be so terrified’. Terrified? I was not terrified– I was furious, and lonelier than I have ever felt before in my life.

Then came the Charlie Hebdo shootings. The perpetrators were on the run, and Jews across Europe knew that Jews were likely to be next. Sure enough, the getaway car was found outside a kosher restaurant– fortunately closed. Only the Jewish papers reported this. Then, a car exploded outside a synagogue. Only the Jewish papers reported this. Then, the Hypercache shootings– and a BBC reporter, interviewing a distraught Jewish lady on the street, said, ‘the Palestinians suffered hugely at Jewish hands as well’. The woman– the daughter of Polish survivors of the Holocaust– was subjected to the suggestion that ‘Jews’ are to blame for this attack, even as the attack was taking place.

The police came and spoke to our shul, and said that our security door, security fencing and CCTV were inadequate; we needed a new, bomb-proof steel door. We were reminded never to wear anything that would identify us as Jews on the street, and never to congregate outside but to move swiftly away from the building.

That weekend, I went to a vigil in memory of the dead from Charlie and the Hypercache. We were told to bring pens, to signify the importance of free speech. Journalists spoke of the importance of free expression. A local Muslim leader spoke of the importance of peace. We waited — all of the Jewish community waited — for the rabbi to speak, perhaps to say kaddish. The rabbi was brought on stage, the town dignitaries spoke about free speech — and then it was over. NOT ONE WORD was said about the Jews who died in the shootings. By this time I was crying, distraught, and I went to find the rabbi to ask him why, WHY had he remained silent? Why hadn’t he spoken?

‘I was not allowed to speak’, he said. ‘They felt it would be divisive.’

So, we had a vigil to celebrate free speech, but the Jews were not allowed to speak. He looked me in the eye, our young rabbi, and said ‘Some things never change’.

When I was in my early 20s, shortly before I moved from America to the UK, I dreamed I was in Ireland. In my dream I wandered through an ancient hall, and I thought to myself, ‘I want to live here forever, in this beautiful ancestral hall’. Then I went out into the grounds, and there was a family graveyard there. I thought to myself, ‘I want be buried in this ancestral graveyard’. Then I went back into the house.

Soon after, there was a knock on the door. I opened it, and it was my father. He said, ‘you have to come away from here’. I pleaded, I said ‘But I want to live in this ancestral hall, and be buried in the ancestral graveyard’. And he said, ‘this is not our home, and our ancestral graveyard is over there’. And he pointed — and when he pointed, I could see across Ireland, and across the channel, and halfway across the Continent to the chimneys of Auschwitz — and they were still smoking. He said, ‘that is our ancestral graveyard’, and then I understood. I stepped out of the house and I shut the door behind me, and together we walked down the road, towards the smoking chimneys of Auschwitz.

That’s the end of the dream, but it’s not the end of the story, because the fact is we DO have an ancestral home, and that ancestral home is Israel. I have never before felt this attachment so keenly; this recognition that Israel isn’t just the place we pray for at the end of each Seder. It is the ancient, ancestral home of the Jews — first mentioned in a text inscribed on an Egyptian stele in 1208 BCE. Israel is in our blood. What is more, I have come to realise just how much I love my people — my wonderful, outspoken people — so audacious that we argue with God, and wrestle with angels.

I am not ready to leave the UK, this beautiful country that has been my home for 27 years, but I am weary of people saying, ‘but criticism of Israel isn’t anti-Semitic!’ as if I am so stupid that I can’t distinguish between rational political discourse and screaming, ranting, vitriolic and misinformed hostility.

I am weary of having the same arguments: ‘but I don’t hate Jews! I deplore anti-Semitism! I just hate Israel, because…’ (then there comes a long string of misinformation– Israel is committing genocide, Jews have no history in the Middle East, Israel is an apartheid state). I have found that introducing evidence and verified information never makes the slightest difference. People accuse us of every conceivable crime, and who doesn’t hate crime?

I am weary of seeing confused and hurt young Israeli artists, who come here to perform with their classes and are subject to picket lines and people screaming at them on the streets.

I am weary of articles describing the beatings of French Jews who are attacked on the way home from synagogue; weary of photos of the bloodied faces of the Jews beaten nearly to death.

Before the 2014 war, I had about 135 Facebook friends, and these weren’t random people I met online — these were people I went to school with, to University with, friends I’d lived with, worked with, travelled with and excavated with. Out of all those people, just 9 of them — including my husband– were able to listen to what I was saying. All the rest either sneered, attacked, dismissed, belittled, disparaged or patronised — or they were persistently, resoundingly, silent.

One of my few remaining friends said to me sadly, ‘you never used to use that word, Gentile’. I explained that it was not a pejorative term, but she knew that. What made her sad was that I had never before spoken of her as if she and I were in different groups. We had always been the same — two women, two archaeologists from two different countries but with a deep and lasting friendship that knew no fundamental differences. But that is what has happened: I have become un-assimilated. I am no longer just a person — I am a Jew.

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Nazi Propaganda Stunt Exploits Gaza Children


“Every Jew, who spills the blood of the godless (non-Jews), is doing the same as making a sacrifice to God.”

-Jewish Talmud: Bammidber raba c 21 & Jalkut 772


Image of Gaza children taken for a day out at a nature reserve by Israel’s COGAT occupation authority. COGAT posted the image on its Facebook page.

ED Noor: Unbelievable but Israel is embarking on a PR campaign to show the world how happy Palestinian children are under the benevolent Israeli regime. It does leave one wondering, however, since Israel has been upping its bombing of Gaza recently, if these kids even have homes to return to!  Not to forget also, the increased violence against Palestinian children has been very bad press for Israel who is ridiculously zealous about how things look to the rest of the world.

During the most brutal days of apartheid in South Africa, the racist regime produced reams of propaganda, including glossy magazines that “featured images of wonderful wild animals, sunsets and happy Black people on the beach.”

As South African author Ron Nixon documents in two books, Operation Blackwash and Selling Apartheid, such propaganda was often generated under the guidance of the regime’s intelligence agencies, with the aim of counteracting growing international criticism and pressure.

“Operation Heartbreak”

One scheme, part of a campaign backed by the racist government in the late 1980s, was cynically dubbed “Operation Heartbreak.” It involved a Black US pastor bringing a group of American children to deliver dolls to members of Congress.

“Each doll represented a child who would be harmed by the sanctions Congress had imposed on South Africa,Nixon writes. “Organizers of the event also said the dolls represented children harmed by the tactics of the African National Congress and its all-out war against the apartheid government.”

These propaganda messages failed to stop the growing momentum for boycott, divestment and sanctions on South Africa – pressure that eventually helped bring down the white supremacist regime and usher in a non-racial democracy.

But similar tactics are now being revived by the apartheid government of Israel, as part of its all-out assault against the BDS movement.

Nowadays, the same type of bogus grassroots campaigns make the same type of claims that BDS hurts Palestinians more than it helps them.

These claims aim to distract from the devastating economic impact and human rights abuses directly caused by Israel’s occupation and illegal colonization of the West Bank.

Israel’s propaganda

The manipulative South African propaganda came to mind when I saw a Facebook post by COGAT, the Israeli military authority that rules the lives of millions of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“A few minutes ago, a group of 23 children from Gaza crossed through ‎Erez Crossing to have a day of fun in Israel,” the Tuesday post stated.

COGAT said the children “went for a walk through the #‎naturereserve Gan HaShlosha (Sahne) in the north of the country,” and wished them “a day full of fun and adventure.”

The occupation authority posted photos of the children, including the one at the top of this article, with their faces blurred, on Facebook and Twitter.

“Cool,” commented Gaza writer Refaat Alareer sarcastically, “Now we Palestinians feel OK about the thousands of kids Israel has murdered and the seven decades of occupation, oppression and humiliation.”

It should be noted that this is the same COGAT that routinely blocks patients from Gaza, including children, from leaving the besieged territory for lifesaving treatment.

In the first 10 months of 2015, COGAT denied 1,035 Palestinians in Gaza exit permits to receive necessary treatment in the occupied West Bank, present-day Israel or Jordan. That represents almost twice as many denials as were issued the entire previous year.

And yet when it is helpful to Israeli propaganda, COGAT allows a few children out of Gaza for a single day.

Destroying children’s lives

Israel has tried to pull off a propaganda stunt with Gaza children for a while – an effort to use orphans from Gaza in a similar manner was foiled in 2014 when Hamas put a stop to it.

Palestinian media, citing Israeli media, reported that this time the trip was given the go-ahead by Hamas after the intervention of Qatar.

The defenders of such cynical gimmicks will undoubtedly claim that critics like myself, or Alareer, are against Palestinian children having fun; of course we are not.

I am against Israel imposing conditions that historian Ilan Pappe has termed incremental genocide against 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza, about half of whom are aged 18 or under.

I am against Israel massacring 551 children as part of its most recent war in Gaza and then claiming this as “self-defense.”

I am against Israel destroying vast swathes of Gaza then blocking reconstruction by maintaining a siege, which although devastating to Palestinians is very lucrative for Israeli companies.

According to a recent survey by the UN monitoring group OCHA, 44,000 Gaza children whose homes were destroyed in the 2014 Israeli attack are still displaced.

“Around 225,000 children in Gaza require psychosocial support and child protection services,” the report adds.

Will Israel allow them all to visit a nature reserve?

I am against Israel’s systematic abuses of Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including routine killings with no accountability and the fact that Israel is the only country in the world to annually prosecute hundreds of children (Palestinians only) in military courts.

I am against all this and I am also against Israel then using a very tiny number of children from Gaza in a photo-op to falsely portray itself as benevolent and caring.

Ironically, the propaganda – or hasbara – appears to have backfired, at least with many of the Israelis who reacted with outrage to COGAT’s post.

“Shame on you,” wrote Leat Bodenheimer in a typical comment, “There are lots of Jewish children who would have liked this and instead you went and took a murderous enemy in the hope that they will love you.”

Such pervasive attitudes toward Palestinians underscore that the children of Gaza are not victims of a natural disaster who just need a nice day out to forget their woes.

They are victims of Israel, its brutal wars, racism, occupation, settler-colonialism and siege. They need an end to Israel’s oppression and they need justice for what Israel has done and is doing to them.

Israel’s cynical exploitation of these children should cut no more ice with anyone who cares about Palestinian rights than the crude South African propaganda did with those committed to ending apartheid.


Shortly after this article was published, COGAT appears to have deleted the Facebook post. Perhaps even they figured out that this propaganda would not fly.

But never forget how much Israel PR LOVES Palestinian children. They figure since these lovely little faces (that hide inner Arab demons who want to destroy all Jews) are irresistable PR in the hands of the Palestinians fighting genocide, they are even effective in Jewish fund-raising efforts. Remember this one? Just another exploitable resource.


Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, GazaComments Off on Nazi Propaganda Stunt Exploits Gaza Children

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