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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Newsweek’

Newsweek Middle East Editor Goes on Anti-Semitic Twitter Rant

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Tower Magazine website}

An editor of Newsweek Middle East launched into a Twitter tirade invoking several anti-Semitic tropes late last week, including that Jews are greedy and are not descended from biblical Hebrews, and therefore have no historical connection to Israel.

After the magazine was criticized by pro-Israel bloggers last week for creating an inaccurate documentary video about the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the magazine’s senior deputy editor, Leila Hatoum, responded harshly, calling her critics “Zionist trolls,” accusing them of worshiping money, and falsely claiming that Jews are not Semites and therefore not native to the Middle East. (The term anti-Semitism was coined by the 19th century German journalist Wilhelm Marr, who opposed Jewish emancipation and sought to popularize a term that would make Jew-hatred sound more scientific.)

The video that Hatoum shared claimed that references to “Palestine” prior to 1948 meant that an Arab Palestinian state used to exist. In fact, the artifacts that the video claimed to have proven its case actually showed that Palestine was under British control, not independent; one document even contained the Hebrew initials for “Land of Israel.”

Hatoum’s Twitter rant was first exposed by Israeli blogger “Aussie Dave,” who had been one of the chief critics of the video Hatoum posted. The blogger subsequently discovered earlier offensive tweets that Hatoum wrote, including an (inaccurate) claim that Adolf Hitler’s mother, girlfriend, and doctor were Jewish.

Hartoum also cited the discredited “Khazar” theory of the origins of today’s Jews to try to prove that modern Jews or Jews who lived in Eastern Europe are not descended from biblical Jews.

In reality, the shared Middle Eastern ancestry of Jewish communities, including those who resided in Europe, has been established by multiple genetic studies. “Historical evidence suggests common origins in the Middle East, followed by migrations leading to the establishment of communities of Jews in Europe, Africa and Asia, in what is termed the Jewish Diaspora,” researchers explained in a 2010 study published by Nature that traced “the origins of most Jewish Diaspora communities to the Levant.” (Notably, the study also revealed “a close relationship between most contemporary Jews and non-Jewish populations from the Levant,” including Palestinians.)

Media watchdog Honest Reporting noted that Newsweek Middle East is editorially independent of Newsweek and is owned by the Dubai-based ARY Digital Network. The watchdog organization wondered if Newsweek would be pleased to have “their brand name being dragged through the mud by the likes of Leila Hatoum and the anti-Israel propaganda being produced on the Newsweek Middle East site.”

The Newsweek video highlighted what Shany Mor referred to in the January 2015 Issue of The Tower Magazine as “the mendacious maps of Palestinian ‘loss,’” which uses historically inaccurate information to argue that an independent Palestine disappeared due to the establishment of the State of Israel.

The series of maps referred to by Newsweek conflate different aspects of land control. One shows inhabited areas, another shows a proposed partition plan, and two more show political control. Mor argued that if one looked at a series of maps showing the history of Palestinian political control, a more accurate picture would emerge:

The categories of political control and international partition plans are quite easy to map out over time. Since the concern of those publicizing the maps above is Palestinian control of land, we can illustrate this with a more honest series of maps showing areas of political control, using the same years as the original—adding one for clarity.


As seen above, 1946 has exactly zero land under Palestinian Arab control—not autonomous, not sovereign, not anything—as it was all under British authority. We could go further back in time, to the Ottoman era, for example, and the map wouldn’t change in the slightest. 1947 sees no changes to the map, as Palestine was still under British control. Before the war in June 1967, control is divided between three states, and none of them is Palestinian. The 2005 map would be exactly as it is presented in the original series, showing the very first lands ever be ruled by Palestinian Arabs qua Palestinian Arabs. To clarify this a bit more, I have added a map from 1995, showing the withdrawals undertaken during the first two years of the Oslo process, just up to but not including the 1997 Hebron Protocol.

In fact, if we zoomed in a bit more, we would see how the peace process of the 1990s resulted in the first time a Palestinian Arab regime ruled over any piece of land. This occurred in 1994 with the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and Jericho. That control steadily expanded over more and more land during the years leading up to the failed final status talks. Much of it was then lost during the second intifada, but eventually regained as violence died down, and the Gaza disengagement even expanded it slightly. All of these Palestinian land gains have taken place in the last 20 years and every square meter of it came not from Turkey or Britain or Jordan or Egypt, but from Israel alone; and nearly all of it through peace negotiations.

After being presented with evidence of the inaccuracy of similar maps that they had posted, both MSNBC and the textbook company McGraw-Hill acknowledged their error. But months after the maps were thoroughly discredited, Newsweek Middle East risked its credibility by publishing them again.


Tower Magazine

Arab MK Writes Op-Ed in US Outlet: Israelis Not Entitled to Self-Defense

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

Haneen Zoabi is an Israeli Arab member of the Knesset who is frequently in the news for verbally attacking the Jewish State or for actions against Israel, such as participating in the anti-Israel Gaza Flotilla in 2010.

Zoabi also praised the Palestinian Arabs who kidnapped and murdered the three Israeli boys during the summer of 2014, called for a violent uprising against Israel, and has spit in the face of Arab Israeli police officers for being “traitors.”

Zoabi, 47, recently again showed her loyalty to those who murder Israelis by making a condolence call, with several other Arab MKs, on the families of terrorists who murdered Israelis, including one American Israeli, Richard Lakin.

Zoabi and her colleagues told the families of the terrorists that they would help to get the bodies of the terrorists released from Israeli authorities. They referred to the terrorists as “martyrs.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was infuriated by the visit, as were many knesset members across several different parties.

“MKs going to console families of terrorists who murdered Israelis are not worthy of serving in the Knesset,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

The Zionist Union party issued a statement criticizing the meeting, saying that the visit with the families of terrorists by Arab MKS “encourages more terrorism and killing of innocents.”

Zoabi and her two Arab Israeli knesset member compatriots were suspended for several months. They will be barred from attending the Knesset plenum, but will still be able to vote both in the Knesset and in committees.

Zoabi was just given an American media platform from which to respond to the criticism leveled against her.

Newsweek magazine ran an op-ed by Zoabi on Feb 14. Zoabi rejected construing Israel’s violence towards Palestinian Arabs as self-defense. The legislator went so far as to say that Israel, because it is an “occupying power,” is not entitled to self-defense.

She wrote:

‘Self-defense’ is the expression the Israelis use in order to justify any extra-judiciary executions as well as their control over others’ lives. However, there can be no justification for killing, nor for oppression. The occupier does not have the right to self-defense. We, the occupied, have the full and only right to fight it, by all means recognized within the framework of international law and supported by the international community.

Zoabi, while rejecting Israel’s right to defend itself, nonetheless claimed that the terrorists, killed by Israeli authorities while committing terrorist acts, are just as much victims as are the innocent Israelis whom the terrorists maimed and killed.

She also argued that her suspension was evidence of what she claims is an increasingly undemocratic Israel, as well as of Israel’s blatant hostility towards Palestinian Arabs, whom she refers to as the indigenous people of the region.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Netanyahu May Allow Soldiers to Shoot at Terrorists

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

The army soon may be allowed to act like an army and actually fire at terrorists even if soldiers might only be liable to be wounded and not killed.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Security Cabinet Wednesday morning that there will be a re-examination of a recent decision to prohibit soldiers from shooting at rock-throwing and firebombing terrorists unless their lives are in immediate danger.
He said:

Since the legal system is finding it difficult to deal with stone-throwing by minors, changing open-fire orders regarding the throwing of stones and firebombs will be examined, as will be the imposition – by law – of minimum sentences for those who throw stones and firebombs.

Stiffer sentences, including several years in prison, for rock-throwers already are on the agenda following an imitative by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

The issue of minors throwing rocks, intended to kill Israeli drivers either with a direct hit in the face or by causing them to lose control of their vehicles and crash, was highlighted around the world earlier this week with the video of a Palestinian Authority family whose children are “stars” in rock-throwing attacks on soldiers, whose reactions are filmed and edited to portray the children as innocent victims of a big bad army.

The video showed the children and adults punching and beating the soldier, who sat helpless and without even aiming his semi-automatic rifle at them.

Prime Minister Netanyahu did not refer to the most recent “Pallywood” video and instead focused on the increasing number of attacks on Highway 443, the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway that is an alternate to Highway 1 and which also connects the capital with the suburban city of Modi’in.

He told the Security Cabinet:

The policy is zero tolerance for stone-throwing and zero tolerance for terrorism.

That has been said over and over, but the government and military actually have shown 100% tolerance by tying the hands of soldiers trying to defend themselves and civilians.

One young woman told TheJewishPress.com she still is traumatized by an ambush on a vehicle in which she was riding on Highway 60 between Jerusalem and Gush Etzion.

“S. B.” said”

Arabs smashed the back windshield and ambushed our car. An IDF officer at the scene communicated with his superior, who told him not shoot. The officer replied, ‘How am I supposed to defend civilians if I can’t shoot?’

Good question.

The IDF’s answer earlier this month was not encouraging and was so cowardly that even international media such as Newsweek reported:

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has tightened its rules of engagement for soldiers based in the West Bank in a move one analyst says could embolden would-be Palestinian attackers.

IDF soldiers have been instructed not to shoot at Palestinian suspects unless they pose an immediate threat to life in an updated directive issued by Major General Roni Numa, who is in charge of IDF Central Command….

The new directive clarifies existing IDF rules on opening fire against Palestinians. The rules stipulate that soldiers can only shoot when their lives are threatened—so if an attacker throws a firebomb at soldiers before running away, for example, the soldiers can only shoot in the air, as the attacker no longer poses a threat to forces.

Asaf Day, an Israeli security analyst with Tel Aviv-based consultancy Max Security…said, ‘I think [these measures] will encourage Palestinians to carry out more attacks and I think it has been proven in the past.”

That is exactly what has happened, and the Prime Minister gave clear signs today he will rectify the situation.

He also ordered the examination of several defensive measures, such as increasing lighting and the number of security cameras on Highway 443. In addition, two more Border Police companies and approximately 400 more police officers will be stationed in Jerusalem.

That does not solve the problem in Judea and Samaria, where rock-throwing attacks are so common that they no longer are reported by most media, unless someone is seriously injured or killed. That is similar to the rocket attacks from Gaza. If they “land,” meaning “explode,” in “open areas,” the liberal media might consider it important enough for two paragraphs.

The “turn the other cheek for the sake of ‘peace'” mentality that successive U.S. governments and the European Union have imposed on Israel still prevails in many quarters.
As usual, it takes more violence and injures before the government and the IDF begins to think that maybe, just maybe, soldiers should be allowed to shoot at terrorists, whether they are shooting bullets or throwing rocks.

Netanyahu took the first step today by suggesting that perhaps solders can shoot, even if rocks and firebombs might cause them injuries and not death.

Below the photo, a video shows Palestinian children, starring Shirley Temper.

'Shirley Temper" in action

‘Shirley Temper” in action

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Error-Riddled Newsweek Article About Israel: Have You No Shame?

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

A recent perusal of mainstream media’s coverage of Israel confirms the sad truth that blatant lies, lousy or non-existent fact-checking and efforts to paint the Jewish state as evil continues unabated.

Take Newsweek, for example. Please.

A 3000 word article dated Dec. 4, written by Sarah Helm, attempts to create a female Arab victim hero. Her lengthy article, “The Young Woman at the Forefront of Jerusalem’s New Holy War,” is replete with pathos, heroism and villains. But in the process of spinning her tale, truth becomes a victim and increased hatred, not peace, is the byproduct.

First, a brief summary of Helm’s doting narrative:

Latifa, a 24 year old Palestinian Arab woman, leads her Arab sisters in their noble effort to protect their holy places from destruction by the evil Jews. In the process, they are beaten and arrested by the armed Jewish guards, but these holy women will not be deterred from their mission. They are the “mosque’s protectors,” swathed in colorful veils. Helms hopefully suggests the name: Women’s Intifada. Fade out.

In this article of 38 paragraphs, there are fewer than four which do not contain either a sloppy error, a falsehood stated as fact, or bald propaganda; sometimes all three can be found in a single paragraph.

For instance, in the very first sentence, Helm refers to the “sister mosque, the Dome of the Rock.” That building, the one with the gilded dome, is not a mosque.

Yehuda Glick is not only referred to as a “radical rabbi,” but the point-blank shooting attack on him which took place in Jerusalem, outside the Begin Center, is instead described as having occurred as he “had come to the Haram to pray.”

Which brings us to one of the most outrageous acts of propaganda by Helm.

In the second paragraph of the article, this is how she describes the area above the Western Wall, the site her Arabian heroines are sworn to defend from the Jews :

The Temple Mount, as the Haram al-Sharif is known to the Jews, is believed by them to be the location of Solomon’s Temple.


And Helm portrays these Semitic Furies as bravely shouting “allahu akhbar” at the Jews they believe are attempting to pray on the Temple Mount (yes, we’ll call it that.)

The article repeats Latifa’s claims that she was arrested for yelling that phrase, but anyone who has ever watched television news in Israel knows that people say it and shout it all the time. Only when that phrase is accompanied by violence or incitement is anyone ever arrested.

Helm gives voice and credence to the notion that there is growing “evidence” that the “recent attempts by Jews to pray near the al-Aqsa mosque shows that they are now determined to destroy it and fulfil their long-held desire to rebuild the Jewish holy temple in its place.”

Oh? The Jews are attempting to pray near al-Aqsa mosque? That is their goal? Helm points to “more evidence of a planned Jewish take-over” of the Temple Mount, pointing to the proposed law “giving Jews the right to pray on the Haram.”

And we’re only up to paragraph four.

We eventually learn that Helm’s heroine, “Latifa,” was a teacher in an Israeli school but lost her job for “‘inciting’ (Helm puts that word in quotes) pupils by telling them not to sing the Israeli national anthem, or so she tells Helm. In truth, no one in Israel is forced to sing Hatikva, a fact Helm would have learned had she engaged in any fact checking.

But now, with Helm’s assistance, Latifa has a new role. She is braver than the Muslim guards who don’t stop all the Jews who try to pray on “al Haram,” she is braver then the Israeli guards because they have weapons, but Latifa and her sisters “only have our voices.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Newsweek/Daily Beast Ending ‘Top 50 Rabbis’ List

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Newsweek/The Daily Beast said it will stop publishing its Top 50 Rabbis list, an annual feature since 2007.

The decision, first reported in the Forward, was explained by Gary Ginsberg, Michael Lynton and Abigail Pogrebin, the list’s authors, who wrote that the list “started to carry too much weight for too many people.”

“Some rabbis felt personally wounded when they weren’t mentioned,” they wrote. “Others told us it adversely affected their career opportunities. We started receiving emphatic pleas from certain rabbis to add them to the roster (or move them higher in the rankings). Some of those rabbis enlisted friends or colleagues to lobby us insistently. Some even came to our offices with personal pleas to be included, others to offer prayers for our souls.”

The authors said they had been “queasy about ranking rabbis,” yet followed the advice of magazine editors who told them that “rankings matter: if you want people to pay attention, you need a scorecard.”

While the list “offered a valuable, unusual snapshot of the Jewish landscape,” they wrote, it “has been misconfigured into an unhealthy contest which outweighs its potential contribution.”


The End of the Alternative Media

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012


The death of the Village Voice has drawn out a coterie of mourners bowing their heads over the venerable radical rag, but their orations at its funeral are completely wasted. The death of the Voice is not due to mismanagement, the right wing or its complicity in human trafficking. After all, its former competitor, the New York Press, which forced it to go free instead of charging a buck fifty, died fairly recently. The end of the Village Voice has to be seen in the context of the death of alternative media.

The passing of the Village Voice, its thick greasy pages smudged with desperate cries for attention in between glossy cigarette ads and phone sex ads, also coincides with the passing of the bohemian nature of the East Village, now little more than tall glowering condos and coffee shops. To those residents who showed up there in the 70’s and 80’s bearing art school portfolios and a burning desire to be part of the “Scene”, it’s one more triumph of the capitalist running dogs over the “People”.

But the real reason that the Village Voice is dead is because the alternative media is dead and the alternative media is dead because there is nothing for it to be an alternative to. New Yorkers can just as easily read shrill rants about the NYPD in the Daily News, pretentious movie reviews for artsy films at The Onion and leftist denunciations of the War on Terror in the New York Times.

The way that the Village Voice used to cover Republicans is now the way that every media outlet, but the handful that aren’t part of the liberal collective, covers Republicans. Every mainstream media outlet is opposed to fighting terrorism, opposed to the police and opposed to any notion of balance in reporting. And every outlet is churning out the same tired 24/7 coverage of something provocative a Republican allegedly said because every outlet wants to be the Village Voice, the ink-stained pamphleteer on the corner screaming about capitalist pigs before heading off to a concert at CBGB’s, also as dead as the Village Voice and the rest of the East Village.

Newsweek, once the paragon of middlebrow inoffensiveness, now does the kind of covers that the Village Voice used to do. It still hasn’t run a picture of Bush drinking the blood out of the green neck of the Statue of Liberty, but, if Romney wins, you can expect that as the March cover. And by then even that might be considered tame.

If anyone deserves credit for killing the Village Voice, it’s George W. Bush, who was its unwitting cover boy more often than Obama has appeared on the cover of Essence. Under Bush the entire media became alternative and the alternative media became supplementary to requirements. When mainstream newspapers give positive reviews to books and movies that envision Bush’s assassination, cheerlead anti-war rallies run by militant Trotskyites and demand unilateral surrender in the War on Terror what possible territory is left for the alternative media to explore?

All that was left for the alternative media was to run yet another profile of a new bar where people drink the tears of Ecuadoran children purchased through fair trade while looking at themselves doing it in video monitors as an artistic commentary on capitalism. And these days that’s what the internet is for. A culture eager to document itself doing everything, take photos of the food on its plate, review the movie on Twitter while watching it and run a blog about its streetcorner is in no need of an alternative paper to kludgily do these things for it at a snail’s pace.

The same forces that swamped the Village with Obama-supporting hedge fund managers who wanted a place with trendy bars that made them feel like artists also killed the Village Voice. The death of the mainstream meant the embrace of the alternative. With no standards left in any paper, every paper and magazine became the Village Voice, but with a subscription price and better quality control. The Village Voice became a classifieds section for people looking to rent a room, find a concert or rape a Ukrainian teenager– and Craigslist was busy destroying that business model.

Daniel Greenfield

No Country for Old Incumbents

Monday, June 4th, 2012


A storm is not a good time to be at the wheel of a ship and a worldwide economic disaster is not a good time to be at the wheel of the ship of state. Hard times are supposed to bring great men to the fore, but instead we have some of the sorriest men in history trying to find the wheel, sleeping off a bender in their cabins or debating whether a wheel even exists.

Obama is bad, but he’s not exactly up against rival statesmen. After parading around with a one-man cult of personality, launching international projects with no purpose, and displaying all the symptoms of a Napoleon complex, without a world famous conqueror in sight, Sarkozy’s only reelection platform was that the alternative to him would be worse. He was right. But you can hardly blame quite a few Frenchmen and Frenchwomen who stayed home, rather than hold their noses and vote for him.

In the UK, Cameron cut the military and launched a war. Labour’s career idiot, Ed Milband, now has a higher approval rating than the Prime Minister. Cameron has the same reelection platform as Sarkozy and he’s also right, but that won’t help him when the public gets the chance to cast their vote. And the vote will be the international refrain, translated many ways in many languages, but that always means, “Throw out the bums.”

Russia has become a virtual armed camp for the sole purpose of keeping Putin in power. The man who successfully set up his own Stalinesque cult of personality, now has to use extraordinary measures to protect himself from his own people, who don’t care so much that he stole the election, but who are sick and tired of the spectacle of Vladimir and his ten-thousand good friends from the Committee for State Security, better known by three ominous letters, gorging themselves on the best things in life while everyone else suffers.

China’s rulers should be paying careful attention to Moscow. If the express train of Western exports ever falters, what they will face will make Tiananmen Square look like a fond memory. The Princes of the PRC won’t be up against a bunch of idealistic students, but the farmers whose land they stole, the workers whose children they killed and that rising middle-class which tasted prosperity only to have it snatched away. If that day comes, they won’t be stopped by tanks, and the army may just take their side.

The American media has become virtually indistinguishable from the Russian and Chinese media in its hysterical support for the regime and vindictive smears of opponents. The only difference between Newsweek, Pravda and Xinhua is their level of sophistication. Pravda and Xinhua have never been anything more than vulgar organs of the regime, but the American media is descending into savagery while leaving behind a legacy of civilization. Like a citizen turned cannibal, it still has some of the cultural trappings of its past, but it’s discarding them as quickly as Newsweek can photoshop new covers. Like the Russian media, the favorite topic of its American counterparts is the inscrutable divinity of its leader, who has not so much failed, as succeeded on a higher level that mere mortals – concerned with paying their bills and having a job – are not privy to. If he has failed, it’s only because of the obstructionism of the running dog Republican capitalists who would rather see the country burn than concede his unearthly genius.

The problem with propagandists is that they get so taken in by their own illusion of power, that they stop noticing when no one is paying attention to them. Barely a quarter of the country digested and accepted the swill that the media had poured out over it in ’07 and ’08. What the public noticed was that there seemed to be a consensus that the One was the one. They didn’t notice it by reading every screed that the American heirs to Goebbels were scribbling up at Time and the New York Times. Like a television that is on in the room, while you’re vacuuming or doing laundry, they noticed it mainly as background noise in their lives.

Daniel Greenfield

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/sultan-knish/no-country-for-old-incumbents/2012/06/04/

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