Based on research collected while posing as a German investigative reporter during a tour through Palestinian areas, Israeli born playwright and writer Tuvia Tenenbom spent time with pro-Palestinian “activists” and NGO researchers in the West Bank and asked about the plight of the Palestinians. He turned the results into a book cheekily titled, ‘Catch the Jew‘, words meant to capture the surreal anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda continually fed by such activists to a compliant media.
“The Europeans aren’t really familiar with the Middle East dispute and they do not investigate”, said Tenenbom. Rather, he added, they want “to catch the Jew doing something bad“.
Now, we turn to the Guardian where, on Sept. 22nd, the paper continued to ignore Palestinian riots in east Jerusalem, as well as the widely cited AP story on growing evidence that Hamas used human shields during the war, but instead devoted space on their Israel page to “catching a Jew doing something bad”, publishing the following.
The Guardian’s Paul Walker explained that “Drek, a company that organises some of Tel Aviv’s more popular gay party events” used promotional images for a club night last week that included “homoerotic reinterpretations of the fanatical Islamist group’s [ISIS] videos”, some of which, he added, “provoked an angry reaction on Drek’s Facebook page”.
Whilst Walker’s claims that the images – some of which reference recent ISIS beheadings – would be deemed offensive by relatives of ISIS’s victims is fair, it should also be obvious that ISIS is a pathologically antisemitic and homophobic movement, and that the intentionally provocative depictions by Drek were all but certainly meant to mock ISIS jihadists, not their victims.
Additionally, the entire social media presence of the heretofore unheard of party planning company – which doesn’t even appear to have a website – appears to be a minimally trafficked Facebook page, and it boggles the mind how Guardian editors decided that a few of their graphics represented the most pressing news story out of Israel on that day.
Further, contextualize this report by the Guardian about the use of ISIS imagery by one gay Israeli party promoter with the paper’s failure to report on a recent Temple Mount demonstration by thousands of Palestinians in support of ISIS and you come back to Matti Friedman’s axiom that most foreign journalists come to the region not to provide readers with a nuanced understanding of the region, but to report on Israelis behaving badly – or, as Tuvia Tenenbom put it, “to catch the Jew”.