April 14, 2023, Toronto ON – The following article originally appeared today in The David Collier blog, david-collier.com and appears here with permission from the author. David Collier is an investigative journalist exposing extremism and antisemitism. He is based in the U.K.
Hate in the shadow of a terrorist attack
Whenever they occur terrorist attacks are met with global sympathy – except of course when they happen to Jews in Israel. But even for those of us who have become used to the blatant double standards, loaded headlines, and insincere commentary that regularly accompany these tragic events, the raw hate that we saw following the tragic events of last Friday still took us by surprise.
The Brutal terrorist attack
The Dee family had moved from London to Israel in 2014, and went to live in Efrat, a town situated in the Etzion bloc between Jerusalem and Hebron. The family held dual citizenship, and the father Leo, had once been the Rabbi at the Radlett synagogue in Hertfordshire [UK].
On Friday, 7 April 2023, during the Pesach break, the family set off for a holiday to Lake Kinneret. They split into separate cars for the journey. As the car carrying the mother, Lucy and two daughters Maia (20) and Rina (15) reached Hamra Junction, it was attacked by Palestinian terrorists. Once the driver had been injured and the car had crashed, the terrorists walked up to the car and shot all three at point blank range. Maia and Rina were killed immediately. The mother, Lucy died three days later in hospital.
The natural response is heartbreak
This was a family torn apart in a brutal killing by Palestinian terrorists. Lucy and her two daughters had their lives stolen from them by hate-filled people who believe that killing Jews is a religious duty. The ideology of the terrorists is the same warped religious ideology that massacred innocent people in Manchester, London, Paris, Nice, Madrid, Brussels, New York, Berlin and 100s of other places around the world. They all had their excuses. The father, and the remaining children will somehow need to pick up the pieces and it is almost impossible for any normal person not to feel heartbreak for those that are left behind.
With the Jews it is different – even from the mainstream
Whenever terrorist attacks such as this occur there is usually a united outpouring of sympathy. Across the globe, landmarks and famous buildings are lit up with the colours of the victim country – as a means of standing in solidarity in their moment of heartbreak.
Except of course when it happens to Jews in Israel. At best we see a few meaningless words of condemnation from key political figures, but even these can be wrapped up in talk of ‘violence on both sides’ – thus equating Jews who are defending themselves against terrorism with the death cult of the terrorists.
Newspapers also rush to ‘blame the victim’, with most editors making sure they write the word ‘occupied‘, more often than they inserted humanising details about the innocent civilians that were murdered. Outlets like the Guardian stayed true to form and spent more time bashing Israel than criticising the terrorists.
Imagine for a minute an article about the Manchester Arena bombing focusing on what the UK and US did in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan rather than the young concert goers who were massacred at the venue. Salman Ramadan Abedi was an angry terrorist personally caught up in the devastation of Libya, but not a sane newspaper editor in the western world would have tried to rationalise his actions in the way that Palestinian terrorism is always excused. Had one done so, it is doubtful his newspaper would have survived.
The murder of Jews is treated differently. Somehow the media always finds a way to suggest we deserved it. And let us be honest here, the only reason this attack even got the limited attention that it did – is because the victims held a dual British citizenship.
The sewer of hate
Following the attack, those of us who spend time fighting back on social media, saw levels of hate which was beyond anything seen in recent times. These dead Jews – an innocent family brutally slain, got the anti-Israel propaganda crowd working overtime. It was almost as if the haters picked up the scent of Jewish blood, and it sent them into raptures. I have written about this death cult before (and here).
It is impossible to detail in full what unfolded, because there were literally millions of vile comments made online. But I can try to outline a few key strategies of these haters as they sought to silence the sound of Jewish mourning. As always I will avoid the easy ‘low hanging fruit’ of screenshotting the output of trolls – new and anonymous accounts that deliberately post outrageous and antisemitic comments. I have also avoided the celebratory posts of the Palestinians, those that danced in celebration and handed out sweets. What follows are a few examples from those people that want you to believe they are ‘human rights activists’.
At first they posted fake images of the girls in uniform to try to pretend that soldiers had been shot – even though one of the victims was only 15:
Because of delays in releasing the names (and real photos) due to the Jewish holiday, this actually worked for a while and quite a few of these types of images were shared.
The main thrust was about the Jews ‘stealing’ the land or forcing Palestinians out of their homes. Total hogwash given that Efrat was built on purchased land in an area that had been ethnically cleansed of Jews in 1948 – but even to engage their lies is to enter a rabbit hole that gives legitimacy to an insincere argument deliberately dangled as bait.
Blaming the Jews
The next strategy was to turn it on its head. Yes these children were victims – but victims of their Jewish parents – who radicalised them! This example (there were several posters who followed this line) is actually from a ‘human rights’ solicitor, Fahad Ansari:
For every Fahad Ansari who took the time to construct a means of blaming the Jews for the attack, there are 1000s of those who don’t even bother to wrap up their antisemitic hate:
If you want a serious example of ethical acrobatics, there is this example from Ali Abunimah, the key face of the propaganda rag Electronic Intifada. Abunimah actually believes that the ‘violent extremism’ that must be ‘condemned’, is not the terrorism that murdered innocent civilians, but rather that of the Jews who went to live in Efrat:
Then there are the comments of those like Jackie Walker, the ex-Momentum Vice-Chair. In the middle of all the noise (on the 10th April), Walker tweets this, implying that the terrorist wasn’t a terrorist and perhaps the Jews got what they deserved.
These types of responses did not come from trolls. They came from lawyers, those who run media outlets, and well-known activists. This is the true face of anti-Israel activism – victim blaming as Jews bury their dead – and standing up to excuse or deflect attention away from brutal acts of terror. When those supporting Israel wave the Israeli flag, it is a symbol of hope and of life. Those in our streets waving the Palestinian flag represent the opposite.♦
David Collier’s writings help challenge the revisionist narrative and expose lies and antisemitism. In 2017 he was named by the Algemeiner in the J100 as one of the ‘top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life’. In 2022 the media watchdog CAMERA gave him a ‘Potrait of Courage’ award.
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