General Antisemitism

Perhaps the most important speech about media coverage of Israel ever given

The following is the text of a speech given by former AP journalist Matti Friedman at a BICOM dinner in London on January 26. (It’s published here by permission.)

One night several years ago, I came out of Bethlehem after a reporting assignment and crossed through the Israeli military checkpoint between that city and its neighbor, Jerusalem, where I live. With me were perhaps a dozen Palestinian men, mostly in their thirties – my age. No soldiers were visible at the entrance to the checkpoint, a precaution against suicide bombers. We saw only steel and concrete. I followed the other men through a metal detector into a stark corridor and followed instructions barked from a loudspeaker – Remove your belt! Lift up your shirt! The voice belonged to a soldier watching us on a closed-circuit camera. Exiting the checkpoint, adjusting my belt and clothing with the others, I felt like a being less than entirely human and understood, not for the first time, how a feeling like that would provoke someone to violence.

Consumers of news will recognize this scene as belonging to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, which keeps the 2.5 million Palestinians in that territory under military rule, and has since 1967. The facts of this situation aren’t much in question. This should be an issue of concern to Israelis, whose democracy, military, and society are corroded by the inequality in the West Bank. This, too, isn’t much in question.

The question we must ask, as observers of the world, is why this conflict has come over time to draw more attention than any other, and why it is presented as it is. How have the doings in a country that constitutes 0.01 percent of the world’s surface become the focus of angst, loathing, and condemnation more than any other? We must ask how Israelis and Palestinians have become the stylized symbol of conflict, of strong and weak, the parallel bars upon which the intellectual Olympians of the West perform their tricks – not Turks and Kurds, not Han Chinese and Tibetans, not British soldiers and Iraqi Muslims, not Iraqi Muslims and Iraqi Christians, not Saudi sheikhs and Saudi women, not Indians and Kashmiris, not drug cartel thugs and Mexican villagers. Questioning why this is the case is in no way an attempt to evade or obscure reality, which is why I opened with the checkpoint leading from Bethlehem. On the contrary – anyone seeking a full understanding of reality can’t avoid this question. My experiences as a journalist provide part of the answer, and also raise pressing questions that go beyond the practice of journalism.

I have been writing from and about Israel for most of the past 20 years, since I moved there from Toronto at age 17. During the five and a half years I spent as part of the international press corps as a reporter for the American news agency The Associated Press, between 2006 and 2011, I gradually began to be aware of certain malfunctions in the coverage of the Israel story – recurring omissions, recurring inflations, decisions made according to considerations that were not journalistic but political, all in the context of a story staffed and reported more than any other international story on earth. When I worked in the AP’s Jerusalem bureau, the Israel story was covered by more AP news staff than China, or India, or all of the fifty-odd countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. This is representative of the industry as a whole.

In early 2009, to give one fairly routine example of an editorial decision of the kind I mean, I was instructed by my superiors to report a second-hand story taken from an Israeli newspaper about offensive T-shirts supposedly worn by Israeli soldiers. We had no confirmation of our own of the story’s veracity, and one doesn’t see much coverage of things US Marines or British infantrymen have tattooed on their chests or arms. And yet T-shirts worn by Israeli soldiers were newsworthy in the eyes of one of the world’s most powerful news organizations. This was because we sought to hint or say outright that Israeli soldiers were war criminals, and every detail supporting that portrayal was to be seized upon. Much of the international press corps covered the T-shirt story. At around the same time, several Israeli soldiers were quoted anonymously in a school newsletter speaking of abuses they had supposedly witnessed while fighting in Gaza; we wrote no fewer than three separate stories about this, although the use of sources whose identity isn’t known to reporters is banned for good reason by the AP’s own in-house rules. This story, too, was very much one that we wanted to tell. By the time the soldiers came forward to say they hadn’t actually witnessed the events they supposedly described, and were trying to make a point to young students about the horrors and moral challenges of warfare, it was, of course, too late.

Also in those same months, in early 2009, two reporters in our bureau obtained details of a peace offer made by the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, to the Palestinians several months before, and deemed by the Palestinians to be insufficient. The offer proposed a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza with a capital in a shared Jerusalem. This should have been one of the year’s biggest stories. But an Israeli peace offer and its rejection by the Palestinians didn’t suit OUR story. The bureau chief ordered both reporters to ignore the Olmert offer, and they did, despite a furious protest from one of them, who later termed this decision “the biggest fiasco I’ve seen in 50 years of journalism.” But it was very much in keeping not only with the practice at the AP, but in the press corps in general. Soldiers’ vile t-shirts were worth a story. Anonymous and unverifiable testimonies of abuses were worth three. A peace proposal from the Israeli prime minister to the Palestinian president was not to be reported at all.

Vandalism of Palestinian property is a story. Neo-Nazi rallies at Palestinian universities or in Palestinian cities are not — I saw images of such rallies suppressed on more than one occasion. Jewish hatred of Arabs is a story. Arab hatred of Jews is not. Our policy, for example, was not to mention the assertion in the Hamas founding charter that Jews were responsible for engineering both world wars and the Russian and French revolutions, despite the obvious insight this provides into the thinking of one of the most influential actors in the conflict.

100 houses in a West Bank settlement are a story. 100 rockets smuggled into Gaza are not. The Hamas military buildup amid and under the civilian population of Gaza is not a story. But Israeli military action responding to that threat – that is a story, as we all saw this summer. Israel’s responsibility for the deaths of civilians as a result – that’s a story. Hamas’s responsibility for those deaths is not. Any reporter from the international press corps in Israel, whether he or she works for the AP, Reuters, CNN, the BBC, or elsewhere, will recognize the examples I’ve cited here of what is newsworthy and what is not as standard operating procedure.

In my time in the press corps I saw, from the inside, how Israel’s flaws were dissected and magnified, while the flaws of its enemies were purposely erased. I saw how the threats facing Israel were disregarded or even mocked as figments of the Israeli imagination, even as these threats repeatedly materialized. I saw how a fictional image of Israel and of its enemies was manufactured, polished, and propagated to devastating effect by inflating certain details, ignoring others, and presenting the result as an accurate picture of reality. Lest we think this is something that has never happened before, we might remember Orwell’s observation about journalism from the Spanish civil war: “Early in life,” he wrote, “I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which do not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. … I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what had happened but of what ought to have happened according to various ‘party lines.’” That was in 1942.

Over time, I came to understand that the malfunctions I was witnessing, and in which I was playing a part, were not limited to the AP. I saw that they were rather part of a broader problem in the way the press functioned, and in how it saw its job. The international press in Israel had become less an observer of the conflict than a player in it. It had moved away from careful explanation and toward a kind of political character assassination on behalf of the side it identified as being right. It valued a kind of ideological uniformity from which you were not allowed to stray. So having begun with limited criticism of certain editorial decisions, I now found myself with a broad critique of the press.

Eventually, however, I realized that even the press wasn’t the whole story. The press was playing a key role in an intellectual phenomenon taking root in the West, but it wasn’t the cause, or not the only cause – it was both blown on a certain course by the prevailing ideological winds, and causing those winds to blow with greater force. Many journalists would like you to believe that the news is created by a kind of algorithm – that it’s a mechanical, even scientific process in which events are inserted, processed, and presented. But of course the news is an imperfect and entirely human affair, the result of interactions between sources, reporters, and editors, all of whom bear the baggage of their background and who reflect, as we all do to some extent, the prejudices of their peers.

In the aftermath of last summer’s Gaza war, and in light of events in Europe in recent months, it should be clear that something deep and toxic is going on. Understanding what that is, it seems to me, will help us understand something important not only about journalism but about the Western mind and the way it sees the world.

What presents itself as political criticism, as analysis, or as journalism, is coming to sound more and more like a new version of a much older complaint – that Jews are troublemakers, a negative force in world events, and that if these people, as a collective, could somehow be made to vanish, we would all be better off. This is, or should be, a cause for alarm, and not only among people sympathetic to Israel or concerned with Jewish affairs. What is in play right now has less to do with the world of politics than with the worlds of psychology and religion, and less to do with Israel than with those condemning Israel.

The occupation of the West Bank, with which I opened, would seem to be at the heart of the story, the root cause, as it were, of the conflict portrayed as the most important on earth. A few words, then, about this occupation.

The occupation was created in the 1967 Mideast war. The occupation is not the conflict, which of course predates the occupation. It is a symptom of the conflict, a conflict that would remain even if the symptom were somehow solved. If we look at the West Bank, the only Palestinian area currently occupied by Israel, and if we include Jerusalem, we see that the conflict in these areas claimed 60 lives last year – Palestinian and Israeli.

An end to this occupation would free Palestinians from Israeli rule, and free Israelis from ruling people who do not wish to be ruled. Observers of the Middle East in 2015 understand, too, that an end to the occupation will create a power vacuum that will be filled, as all power vacuums in the region have been, not by the forces of democracy and modernity, which in our region range from weak to negligible, but by the powerful and ruthless, by the extremists. This is what we’ve learned from the unraveling of the Middle East in recent years. This is what happened in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Egypt, and before that in Gaza and southern Lebanon. My home in Jerusalem is within an easy day’s drive of both Aleppo and Baghdad. Creating a new playground for these forces will bring the black-masked soldiers of radical Islam within yards of Israeli homes with mortars, rockets, and tunneling implements. Many thousands will die.

Beyond the obvious threat to Palestinian Christians, women, gays, and liberals, who will be the first to suffer, this threatens to render much or all of Israel unlivable, ending the only safe progressive space in the Middle East, the only secure minority refuge in the Middle East, and the only Jewish country on earth. No international investment or guarantees, no Western-backed government or Western-trained military will be able to keep that from happening, as we have just seen in Iraq. The world will greet this outcome with sincere expressions of sympathy. Only several years ago I, like many on the left, might have dismissed this as an apocalyptic scenario. It isn’t. It is the most likely scenario.

People observing this conflict from afar have been led to believe that Israel faces a simple choice between occupation and peace. That choice is fiction. The Palestinian choice, it is said, is between Israeli occupation and an independent democracy. That choice, too, is fiction. Neither side faces a clear choice, or clear outcomes. Here we have a conflict in a region of conflict, with no clear villain, no clear victim, and no clear solution, one of many hundreds or thousands of ethnic, national, and religious disputes on earth.

The only group of people subject to a systematic boycott at present in the Western world is Jews, appearing now under the convenient euphemism “Israelis.” The only country that has its own “apartheid week” on campuses is the Jewish country. Protesters have interfered with the unloading of Israeli shipping on the West Coast of the United States, and there are regular calls for a boycott of anything produced in the Jewish state. No similar tactics are currently employed against any other ethnic group or nationality, no matter how egregious the human rights violations attributed to that group’s country of origin.

Anyone who questions why this is so will be greeted with shouts of “the occupation!”, as if this were explanation enough. It is not. Many who would like to question these phenomena don’t dare, for fear that they will somehow be expressing support for this occupation, which has been inflated from a geopolitical dilemma of modest scope by global standards into the world’s premier violation of human rights.

The human costs of the Middle Eastern adventures of America and Britain in this century have been far higher, and far harder to explain, than anything Israel has ever done. They have involved occupations, and the violence they unleashed continues as I speak here this evening. No one boycotts American or British professors. Turkey is a democracy, and a NATO member, and yet its occupation of northern Cyprus and long conflict with the stateless Kurds – many of whom see themselves as occupied – are viewed with a yawn; there is no “Turkish Apartheid Week.” The world is full of injustice. Billions of people are oppressed. In Congo, 5 million people are dead. The time has come for everyone to admit that the fashionable disgust for Israel among many in the West is not liberal but is selective, disproportionate, and discriminatory.

There are simply too many voices coming from too many places, expressing themselves in too poisonous a way, for us to conclude that this is a narrow criticism of the occupation. It’s time for the people making these charges to look closely at themselves, and for us to look closely at them.

Naming and understanding this sentiment is important, as it is becoming one of the key intellectual trends of our time. We might think of it as the “Cult of the Occupation.” This belief system, for that it what it is, uses the occupation as a way of talking about other things.

As usual with Western religions, the center of this one is in the Holy Land. The dogma posits that the occupation is not a conflict like any other, but that it is the very symbol of conflict: that the minute state inhabited by a persecuted minority in the Middle East is in fact a symbol of the ills of the West – colonialism, nationalism, militarism, and racism. In the recent riots in Ferguson, Missouri, for example, a sign hoisted by marchers linked the unrest between African-Americans and the police to Israeli rule over Palestinians.

The cult’s priesthood can be found among the activists, NGO experts, and ideological journalists who have turned coverage of this conflict into a catalogue of Jewish moral failings, as if Israeli society were different from any other group of people on earth, as if Jews deserve to be mocked for having suffered and failed to be perfect as a result.

Most of my former colleagues in the press corps aren’t full-fledged members of this group. They aren’t true believers. But boycotts of Israel, and only of Israel, which are one of the cult’s most important practices, have significant support in the press, including among editors who were my superiors. Sympathy for Israel’s predicament is highly unpopular in the relevant social circles, and is something to be avoided by anyone wishing to be invited to the right dinner parties, or to be promoted. The cult and its belief system are in control of the narrative, just as the popular kids in a school and those who decide what clothes or music are acceptable. In the social milieu of the reporters, NGO workers, and activists, which is the same social world, these are the correct opinions. This guides the coverage. This explains why the events in Gaza this summer were portrayed not as a complicated war like many others fought in this century, but as a massacre of innocents. And it explains much else.

So prevalent has this kind of thinking become that participating in liberal intellectual life in the West increasingly requires you to subscribe at least outwardly to this dogma, particularly if you’re a Jew and thus suspected of the wrong sympathies. If you’re a Jew from Israel, your participation is increasingly conditional on an abject and public display of self-flagellation. Your participation, indeed, is increasingly unwelcome.

What, exactly, is going on?

Observers of Western history understand that at times of confusion and unhappiness, and of great ideological ferment, negative sentiment tends to coagulate around Jews. Discussions of the great topics of the time often end up as discussions about Jews.

In the late 1800s, for example, French society was riven by the clash between the old France of the church and army, and the new France of liberalism and the rule of law. The French were preoccupied with the question of who is French, and who is not. They were smarting from their military humiliation by the Prussians. All of this sentiment erupted around the figure of a Jew, Alfred Dreyfus, accused of betraying France as a spy for Germany. His accusers knew he was innocent, but that didn’t matter; he was a symbol of everything they wanted to condemn.

To give another example: Germans in the 1920s and ‘30s were preoccupied with their humiliation in the Great War. This became a discussion of Jewish traitors who had stabbed Germany in the back. Germans were preoccupied as well with the woes of their economy – this became a discussion of Jewish wealth, and Jewish bankers.

In the years of the rise of Communism and the Cold War, communists concerned with their ideological opponents talked about Jewish capitalists and cosmopolitans, or Jewish doctors plotting against the state. At the very same time, in capitalist societies threatened by communism, people condemned Jewish Bolsheviks.

This is the face of this recurring obsession. As the journalist Charles Maurras wrote, approvingly, in 1911: “Everything seems impossible, or frighteningly difficult, without the providential arrival of anti-Semitism, through which all things fall into place and are simplified.”

The West today is preoccupied with a feeling of guilt about the use of power. That’s why the Jews, in their state, are now held up in the press and elsewhere as the prime example of the abuse of power. That’s why for so many the global villain, as portrayed in newspapers and on TV, is none other than the Jewish soldier, or the Jewish settler. This is not because the Jewish settler or soldier is responsible for more harm than anyone else on earth – no sane person would make that claim. It is rather because these are the heirs to the Jewish banker or Jewish commissar of the past. It is because when moral failure raises its head in the Western imagination, the head tends to wear a skullcap.

One would expect the growing scale and complexity of the conflict in the Middle East over the past decade to have eclipsed the fixation on Israel in the eyes of the press and other observers. Israel is, after all, a sideshow: The death toll in Syria in less than four years far exceeds the toll in the Israel-Arab conflict in a century. The annual death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is a morning in Iraq.

And yet it is precisely in these years that the obsession has grown worse.

This makes little sense, unless we understand that people aren’t fixated on Israel despite everything else going on – but rather because of everything else going on. As Maurras wrote, when you use the Jew as the symbol of what is wrong, “all things fall into place and are simplified.”

The last few decades have brought the West into conflict with the Islamic world. Terrorists have attacked New York, Washington, London, Madrid, and now Paris. America and Britain caused the unraveling of Iraq, and hundreds of thousands of people are dead there. Afghanistan was occupied and thousands of Western soldiers killed, along with countless civilians – but the Taliban are alive and well, undeterred. Ghaddafi was removed, and Libya is no better off. All of this is confusing and discouraging. It causes people to search for answers and explanations, and these are hard to come by. It is in this context that the Cult of the Occupation has caught on. The idea is that the problems in the Middle East have something to do with Jewish arrogance and perfidy, that the sins of one’s own country can be projected upon the Western world’s old blank screen. This is the idea increasingly reflected on campuses, in labor unions, and in the media fixation on Israel. It’s a projection, one whose chief instrument is the press.

As one BBC reporter informed a Jewish interviewee on camera several weeks ago, after a Muslim terrorist murdered four Jewish shoppers at a Paris supermarket, “Many critics of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffered hugely at Jewish hands as well.” Everything, that is, can be linked to the occupation, and Jews can be blamed even for the attacks against them. This isn’t the voice of the perpetrators, but of the enablers. The voice of the enablers is less honest than that of the perpetrators, and more dangerous for being disguised in respectable English. This voice is confident and growing in volume. This is why the year 2015 finds many Jews in Western Europe eyeing their suitcases again.

The Jews of the Middle East are outnumbered by the Arabs of the Middle East 60 to 1, and by the world’s Muslims 200 to 1. Half of the Jews in Israel are there because their families were forced from their homes in the 20th century not by Christians in Europe, but by Muslims in the Middle East. Israel currently has Hezbollah on its northern border, al-Qaeda on its northeastern and southern borders, and Hamas in Gaza. None of these groups seek an end to the occupation, but rather openly wish to destroy Israel. But it is naïve to point out these facts. The facts don’t matter: We are in the world of symbols. In this world, Israel has become a symbol of what is wrong – not Hamas, not Hezbollah, not Great Britain, not America, not Russia.

I believe it’s important to recognize the pathologies at play in order to make sense of things. In this context it’s worth pointing out that I’m hardly the first to identify a problem – Jewish communities like this one, and particularly organizations like Bicom, identified a problem long ago, and have been expending immense efforts to correct it. I wish this wasn’t necessary, and it shouldn’t be necessary, but it undoubtedly is necessary, and becoming more so, and I have great respect for these efforts. Many people, particularly young people, are having trouble maintaining their balance amid this ideological onslaught, which is successfully disguised as journalism or analysis, and is phrased in the language of progressive politics. I would like to help them keep their bearings.

I don’t believe, however, that anyone should make a feeling of persecution the center of their identity, of their Judaism, or of their relationship with Israel. The obsession is a fact, but it isn’t a new fact, and it shouldn’t immobilize us in anger, or force us into a defensive crouch. It shouldn’t make us less willing to seek to improve our situation, to behave with compassion to our neighbors, or to continue building the model society that Israel’s founders had in mind.

I was in Tel Aviv not long ago, on Rothschild Boulevard. The city was humming with life. Signs of prosperity were everywhere, in the renovated Bauhaus buildings, in the clothes, the stores. I watched the people go by: Kids with old bikes and tattoos, businesspeople, men with women, women with women, men with men, all speaking the language of the Bible and Jewish prayer. The summer’s Hamas rockets were already a memory, just a few months old but subsumed in the frantic, irrepressible life of the country. There were cranes everywhere, raising new buildings. There were schoolchildren with oversize knapsacks, and parents with strollers. I heard Arabic, Russian, and French, and the country went about its business with a potent cheer and determination that you miss if all you see are threats and hatred. There have always been threats and hatred, and it has never stopped us. We have enemies, and we have friends. The dogs bark, as the saying goes, and the convoy rolls by.

One of the questions presented to us by the wars of the modern age is what now constitutes victory. In the 21st century, when a battlefield is no longer conquered or lost, when land isn’t changing hands and no one ever surrenders, what does it mean to win?

The answer is that victory is no longer determined on the battlefield. It’s determined in the center, in the society itself. Who has built a better society? Who has provided better lives for people? Where is there the most optimism? Where can the most happy people be found? One report on world happiness ranked Israel as the 11th happiest country on earth. The UK was 22nd.

Israel’s intellectual opponents can rant about the moral failings of the Jews, obscuring their obsession in whatever sophisticated way they choose. The gunmen of Hamas and their allies can stand on heaps of rubble and declare victory. They can fire rockets, and shoot up supermarkets. But if you look at Tel Aviv, or at any thriving neighborhood in Jerusalem, Netanya, Rishon Letzion, or Haifa, you understand that this is victory. This is where we’ve won, and where we win every day.

129 replies »

  1. the media has fed the fire of Antisemitism and should be confronted and denyed domicile when spreading anti Israel hate.

    • It’s quite sad, when you think about it. Matti Friedman, once a promising AP news reporter, now has no choice but to have his speeches published in “CIF Watch.”

        • Matti Friedman is a very smart guy. Why he would leave AP to seek the friendship of activists looking for the limelight like one Gerald Steinberg is beyond understanding.

          • Friedman: used to have his stories published by AP; now having his stories published by ‘CIF Watch.’

            Career suicide?

            • That was a speech, you fucking moron.

              But I see what you’re saying. Who else can bring shame upon the Jewish people and their supporters than some anonymous, moronic, Israel bashing nutwhacker?

            • Question 1: Did you notice that this wasn’t a published story for CiF Watch at all, it was a speech given by a legitimate journalist and placed on this blog because it A) touches on an important subject related to this site’s work and B) a request to post it here was made and permission granted.
              Question 2: If you didn’t notice that, are you frankly a stupid person?
              Question 3: If you DID notice that, why did you waste our time?

              • That’s a good point. Matti Friedman has not come to the point when he has to write for CIF Watch. Thank G-d.

          • Beyond of your understanding. You and similar moral cretins never were and never will be able to understand decent behavior. Don’t try to understand Noam/Sharon/Tamara/whatevertoday it is way beyond your intellectual and moral ability.

      • “It’s quite sad, when you think about it. Matti Friedman, once a promising AP news reporter, now has no choice but to have his speeches published in “CIF Watch.””

        So he’s kind of like you, no? Oh wait a minute. You never had a career anywhere else. It could be because you don’t know how to use quotes. Or maybe it’s just because you’re an imbecile. How unfair.

      • Reader obviously doesn’t like Friedman exposing and analysing the sordid, bigoted pathology that lies at the heart of why he is here; gracing the yids with his European moral sophistication.

      • Excellent point, fellow Reader.

        Just because you make something long and waffley doesn’t make it ‘true’, Mr Friedman.

        You conveniently forget the de facto in law occupation of Gaza…. journalist you call yourself?

        Propagandist more like.

        • Still hanging on to that fictionalized Gaza occupation? You have FOS (fictionalized occupation syndrome).
          And you have no substantive criticism of Friedman’s brilliant and truthful article. The fact is, you recognize that he’s right and just can’t stand it. But that’s what happens when you become so emotionally invested in the big lie.

          • Jeff. You are an angel. You deliberately attempt to spare our blushes by not giving the full name of that syndrome. It is of course:

            Fictionalized Unbelievable Credulous Kwestionable Occupation For Fools syndrome.

        • ha ha . I laughed so much reading Peter’s comments. Yep that’s exactly it . No proper journalism and accurate reporting . Yet Peter turns on MF for allegedly missing facts only after MF walks out of the club of lies and spills the beans .
          Peter , you are a shining example of the denial and ignorance. I take my hat off to you .

        • “Just because you make something long and waffley doesn’t make it ‘true’ ”
          Absolutely correct.
          For a good example of ‘something long and waffley’ that is not true just look at the ‘Palestinian’ claim that they are a nation state and should become a full member of the UN.
          Not only ‘long and waffley’, not only not true, not only historically incorrect, but with a large cart full of Bullshit added as well.

        • Peter, you need to brush up on your history. The West Bank is NOT occupied territory. Rather, it is territory recaptured from Jordan who occupied it in 1948. But who remembers this inconvenient fact? And when Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel, they did not want it back.

        • “de facto in law occupation of Gaza”
          That’s a very poor try, Mr Bradshaw. There is no law to that effect.

          Gaza itself does not claim to be occupied, and although they are only brown people and need to be guided by the once-great British, they probably do know whether or not they are occupied.

          Talking about propagandists you fit the bill quite neatly.

          • You speak for Gaza, eh Margie….since when?

            Gaza does not need to ‘claim’ to be Occupied (even though many there do) for it to be recognized by the international community as a de facto occupation.

            Sorry you couldn’t produce any better nonsense. That was too easy.

  2. This is an excellent piece, full of thoughtful and well-presented narratives. I’ll read it again but my first impression is the Matti has come to this way of thinking after much soul-searching. It comes across as a very honest piece.

    One of the first themes he deals with is why the disproportionate focus on Israel in the news media. Let me try and give my take to explain most (not all) of this. Historical ties: This area was part of British and French governorship; part of the empire. These areas always get more focus in the UK at least. Distance: The other areas he cites of examples are far from Europe. In UK/Europe news terms a few deaths (I use this just by way of example) in Europe will normally be more newsworthy than a train crash in the Far East killing 100. Links: There are large communities within US/UK/Europe with a very keen interest in the Middle East. Political weight: The Israel/Palestinian conflict is a source (singular, there are other sources) of conflict within the wider ME region. Dangerous regimes use Israel as one of the reasons why the West (whose governments support Israel) need to be confronted.

    And of course Matti is right that a degree of using “the Jew as the symbol of what is wrong” is present among western commentators.

    There is much else in this excellent piece, which I’ll digest later. – Excellent post Adam

    • “we normal people” – your mother told you that you were ‘normal people’, ignorant bigot, but then she is your mother.
      Now run along and play with the other bigots Sencar and Bradshaw.

  3. Dear Mr Friedman

    good speech . Now I am gonna be a bit hard on you :

    You participated in the system of propaganda against Israel for how many years before you saw the light ? Coming clean don’t necessarily absolve you of participating in the lies .

    Also , now you have revealed what’s going on, and are providing a very useful insight into what is wrong with journalism reporting in the ME , Perhaps give names of the anti Semitic chief editors or bureau chiefs . You know who they are and there is no need to generalise or refer to anonymous anecdotes . Name and shame them .

  4. This is a great piece – some of it a reprise of what Friedman has previously written. He ought to be awarded a major prize. If and when he does, it won’t come from a major int’l news outlet, that’s for sure. Whistle blowers are considered traitors – even if they’ve not worked for a company for many years. Believe me. I know!

  5. In the last two paragraphs Friedman sticks his thumb in the eye of the those who find Israel not up to their phony baloney moral standard. Good for him!

  6. I’m not going to bother responding to most of this, because I can only be called an antisemite so many times. So here’s a petty point. It’s not “an easy day’s drive” from Jerusalem to Aleppo or Baghdad. Baghdad is 2,500km away. Aleppo is 3,000km. And there are probably nicer roadtrips.

    • Arnold – another parochial idiot who knows what’s best for the Jews. Friedman wasn’t talking about setting off from your house when he said Aleppo was less than a day’s drive away.

  7. Arnold geography is not your forte.
    Jerusalem – Aleppo distance is about 600 km
    Jerusalem-Baghdad distance is about 970 km.
    Let’s speak about petty points…
    Next time before you demonstrate your malevolent stupidity try to open Google Earth…

    • Peter, remember the first Palestinian Jews of the 20’s and 30’s driving to Baghdad to get date shoots to plant them in the Jordan valley and Kineret region?

      They used to pile up everything on a van in a couple days drive before the motor ways.

      I guess the Palestinians will brag about how the Jordan valley was full of date plantations before the Jews came and “stole” their lands.
      Not even mentioning that a third of Baghdad was Jewish and that some of Iraq’s most famous melodies were written by Egyptian Jews.

      You have to laugh at revisionists like Arnold.


  8. “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Luke 15:10
    Welcome home, Matti Friedman.

  9. “The voice of the enablers is less honest than that of the perpetrators, and more dangerous for being disguised in respectable English. “

  10. Why is the Israel-Palestinian conflict so central to Western news media? It became the latest and longest-lasting progressive cause for Western liberals after Vietnam and South Africa were dealt with, and it’s become more deadly since 9/11, the 2nd Intifada, and the rise of worldwide Islamic terrorism. Of course it’s more cool and much safer to be anti-Israel than anti-Islamist as recent events in Paris have shown.
    One would have hoped that French journalists of all people would now start to understand and sympathize with Israel’s predicament, but it seems very difficult to break the habits of a lifetime where Jew-bashing is concerned…

    Thanks for this excellent piece by Matti Friedman.

  11. The vast majority of those that support Hamas and the Palestinian right to self determination have very little knowledge of the people , the history ,the size or population of Israel relative to the Islamic States surrounding it , or even place it on a map of the world .They also seem to think that Israel is committing genocide !
    Pure ignorance .

      • The Palestinians didn’t stole the land, most of them are immigrants from the Ottoman era. Anyway they can’t “get off” anywhere, their fellow Arabs never would accept them.

        • Too right they didn’t steal the land, well noted. Honesty for once.

          This racist Ashkenazi however, different sorry altogether..

          • If you agree that they didn’t stole the land why did you say them to get off the stolen land?
            Sometimes your kind of Jew-haters’ uncontrollable rage caused by the success of Jews and the unavoidable confrontation of your own failures in every area of life is very amusing. You are really funny Bradshaw – keep up posting…

            • I think Peter Bradshaw was opining that Israel was stealing land from Palestinians on the West Bank. Or perhaps, more unreasonably, the establishment of the state of Israel being on ‘stolen lands’.

                • Ah, sarcasm!. But do you really thing this Peter Bradshaw is one and the same as the Peter Bradshaw working for “world leading liberal Jew-hating voice”?

                • Dinkle:
                  “…But do you really thing this Peter Bradshaw is one and the same as the Peter Bradshaw working for “world leading liberal Jew-hating voice”?

                  Are you saying you have been putting a flowery dress, a fake mustache and posed as Peter Bradshaw on this site?
                  Naughty naughty Dinkle…
                  You had me going there old chap.

              • No way…. Really? So do you and Peter Bradshaw ever listen to the Israeli perspective? Or do you just call us all Bullshit Artists trying to Control the Universe with our Jewy Ways. Causing the World to Go to War, and, of course….. ISLAMOPHOBIA!!!!111111!!!!11111!!!!!111111.

                So we can repeat ourselves over and over again: Israel was created out of the destroyed Ottoman Empire that happened to bring about 20 Muslim controlled nation-states who just happened to consider Jewish people “Less Than” the Muslim majority. We can point out how the 2-state solution was destroyed in 1947 — yes, as soon as it came into fruition– by the Arab nations who are now– almost 7 decades later– still bitching about the Yids. We can point out how 3500 missiles over a 50 day period were shot at Israel just last year by child abusing asshats who did everything they could to increase the death toll caused by Israel (including being the sole reference for Palestinian casualties…. 2000 sounds about “right”). We can point out that less than a year after making the first state offer in 2000, the Palestinian leadership went back to work by blowing up pizzerias, dance halls, and Jewish community centers.

                It’s a rebel-rousing good time, really, seeking peace with genuine dickless assholes such as yourselves. Party on.

          • “This racist Ashkenazi however, different sorry altogether..”

            Oh dear another illiterate’ space cadet’.
            So for the sake of clarity,
            Who is ‘this racist Ashkenazi’?

            How is this ‘sorry’ different from any other ‘sorry’ they may have expressed?

          • Not sure what the illiterate Bradshaw is ranting about, but ‘racist Ashkenazi’ tells us all we need to know about this slug.

          • Being a pro-Palestinian troll is a full time job, and as you’re poor at your full time job, I don’t think you should waste your limited capacity over here.

  12. This is all true and not new. After this entire, long story I was expecting an insiders idea about changing the trends. How the public might be able to influence this anti semitic, anti Israel winds of propaganda journalism. As an insider you must have ideas regarding this.
    Everybody is writing about the problems, the hatred, the negative trends and nobody tries to find solutions or suggest any.
    So Mr. Friedman – do you have any?

  13. “So Mr. Friedman – do you have any?”

    I’m not Friedman but, as has been said earlier, Isreal could just try getting off Palestinian land. Stopping shooting unarmed Palestinians and torturing their children might help too.

    • The Palestinians could sign the fucking peace treaty that’s getting older by the day. They could stop shooting missiles into Sderot. They can stop throwing fire bombs at cars with Israeli license.

      Shit, Sencar, they could start teaching their kids the benefits of co-existence.


    • Yes, antisemite, Israel left Gaza and got rockets, murders in return. Maybe your rerror buddies could just try to stop to be terrorists, but then they would loose their sponsors.

    • Ah, the imbecile with his illiterate ‘Palestinian land’ rants is back.
      Crawl back under your stone, you slimy thing.

    • sencar wants Jews to vacate lands promised to them because some Arabs say it really belongs to an ahistorical and previously unknown collective, quite cynically calling themselves THE Palestinians in an appeal to your long dead European imperialist predecessors.
      But you know, sencar, it’s the Jews who have always been willing to compromise for an arrangement with the Arab colonists of Palestine, (a name whose origins of course has zilch to do with Arabs). But the Arabs simply hate the Jews, as their religion and leaders teach them to, and just as your ancestors taught you to, and would like to destroy Israel and supplant it with yet another phony baloney muslim Arab State. So until that changes the status quo will have to remain.

      • “sencar wants Jews to vacate lands promised to them”

        I’m not sure whether you mean promised by God (which would be ridiculous) or promised by the the mandate (which would be inaccurate).

        The mandate document refers to the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” This phrasing is notoriously ambiguous but its true meaning becomes apparent when one learns that an earlier wording, “Recognizing, moreover, the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the claim which this gives them to reconstitute it their national home” was rejected by British, Italian and French governments because it implied Jewish control of the whole of the land.

        The Zionists of course proceeded to recognise “the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” by expelling most of them from their homeland.

        • The Zionists of course proceeded to recognise “the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” by expelling most of them from their homeland.
          Yes Sencar they did because the “non-Jewish” communities attacked the Jews with the intention of slaughtering all of them. I understand your desperation seeing that they didn’t succeed, but life is tough – you have to live with the fact.

        • Sencar, you’re one of the few that have read a book or two.

          Top marks.

          This lot are too busy creaming over laminated photos of Bibi to pick up a book. Apart from that Joan Peters one 😉

          • Bradshaw and Sencar found each other! And you are correct Bradshaw, Sencar read noy only one but two books – the same ones as you read! The Mein Kampf andf the Protocols of the Elders of Zyon. I suggest you a third – read the Hamas Charter you will love it!

          • Good God, I really hope you’re the journalist we all laugh at and not some mere basement dwelling Sibyl Nazi. Right…. Sencar has read a book…. About Jews and Israel no doubt. Mein Kampf? The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?

            Do you “read”, Peter? How about From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters. By all means, let us know what you think about that.


          • idiot comment .
            Top marks to sencar who can read a book .

            However , I always felt somewhere deep down Sencar is a pro semite just pretending to hate Jews . Do you have a Jewish girlfriend ? Is your mother Jewish ? Do you live in Israel?
            Its OK mate to come out of the closet . 🙂

            • I suspect that like so many other such laughable creatures, he was dumped by a Jewish girlfriend and as a result carries the rage and hatred around with him.

          • That’s right, sencar. PB wants to congratulate you for having read the “right” books (nod nod, wink wink, say nor more).

        • “The Zionists of course proceeded to recognise “the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” by expelling most of them from their homeland” – are you insane, stupid or just ignorant?

          • “are you insane, stupid or just ignorant?”

            No, Leah, just correct. You need to refer to that well-known antisemite historian Benny Morris.

            • Obviously you didn’t read Morris’ book only quote out of context sentences what you learned at the Aryan Nation website.

              • Of course I’ve read Morris. Even after his change of political stance from broadly neutral to avid Zionist he still maintains the truth of the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of 1947/8. He now says that the Zionists’ mistake was not to cleanse 100% of Palestinians.

                • bollox. That’s just something you say .
                  You been watching too many Pallywood productions on the internet .
                  I found this tweet from Chris ‘ mental’ Guinness at UNWRA

                  He seems to be looking for a dead baby he can promote , but cant find one . So the UNWRA rep puts out a tweet . Absolutely bloody perverse ! Hey ho me mateys , any dead babies around ?

                • Your post is the best proof that you didn’t read the book and you are a pathetic liar. (Or maybe you mixed it with your well read copy of the Mein Kampf)

        • sencar,
          The civil and political rights of the Arabs living in Israel have been upgraded light years from anything they had ever conceived of. Keep lying.

          “I’m not sure whether you mean promised by God (which would be ridiculous) or promised by the mandate (which would be inaccurate).”

          Imagine that! Jews living for thousands of years in their homeland on the mistaken notion that it was promised by a deity. They should have cleared out right back then, isn’t that right? The fact that it was their own civilization in their own homeland is secondary, right?
          Of course, your friends the Palestinians, the PLO, Hamas, etc. and their friends in the Arab and Muslim societies around the world all know that theologically derived rights are nonsense, because they’re all so progressive like you! Isn’t that so, sencar?
          That must be why the Arabs attacked in 1948. And when that war was over there were Arabs living in Israel, and not a single Jew living on any territory the Jordanians and Egyptians conquered. Ethnic cleansing? You bet !
          Now, which international treaty was it that called for the establishment of an Arab State west of the Jordan? Really. Dozens of mandates were handed out at the San Remo conference. Which one called for an Arab State to be established west of the Jordan River? There was no pre-existing Arab State on that territory, you know. Your answer?

          BTW How’s the Queen doing these days, i.e., head of state, head of the Church?

        • sencar,

          It’s simply not true that “the Zionists” expelled most Palestinian Arabs in 1948. Of some 1.5M Arabs, <1/3 fled, mostly on the urging of those foreign Arab armies that invaded Palestine in 1947-48 [so that these armies would not be encumbered by local Arabs whilst they were exterminating Palestinian Jews.]

          Even if your tendentious view were roughly accurate, it would still leave the obvious question: Why don't you also care about the larger number of Jews who were expelled from Arab countries at the same time? Before 1948, there were more than 800,000 Jews living in predominantly Arab nations–including vibrant communities that had flourished in Iraq since the 6th century BCE and in Egypt since the 3rd century BCE, long before any Arabs arrived; today, there are virtually no Jews living in any Arab country [except Morocco]. Can you reserve some of your sympathetic concern for them?

    • Sencar interestingly your ancestors wanted the Jews to leave Europe for Palestine… Maybe you should make up your mind…
      (I have serious doubts that anybody would give a shit about your opinion so don’t make a lot of efforts overloading your single brain cell)

    • So glad you’re back! After having a respectful back and forth with an intelligent adversary like Pretzel, it’s a lot of fun to shoot the dead fish in your barrel.

  14. Several people dedicated to the doubtful proposition that Jews don’t deserve a land of their own have wondered that Matti Friedman’s essays are reprinted in Cifwatch.

    Had the essay followed the line dictated by the new holders of the keys, the oil-rich Arab states who own substantial chunks of the UK media and the ME schools at UK universities, it would eagerly have been snapped up by those minions.

    But whistle-blowers have to find their own way until the broad public sees the truth of their revelations and the lackeys licking at the Saudi food-bowl will bark,growl & show their teeth at them in the meantime. Perhaps as the black gold wealth dwindles people will see that fact surpasses even Palestinian PR

    • Jews don’t deserve a land of their own. No religious group does. Why would they be entitled to one under any law?

      Israel has no ‘right to exist’ , as it’s not a moral, philosophical or legal concept. You do know that, right? I mean, someone has pointed out that this ‘right’ exists nowhere on G-ds earth, right?

      Jews as ‘a people’ are also a made-up fantasy load of European colonialist Ashkenazim nonsense – have you never read a book? (which ones ,out of interest? I’ll ask the library to order them in for the fantasy section)

      Tell us all about the Mizrahi Jews (and the, god forbid, Black African Jews!) – they also part of the chosen people too? Not White Eastern European enough for you?

      What a mess you lot have made. Entitled bunch of social Darwinists, me thinks…

      • Jews as ‘a people’ are also a made-up fantasy load of European colonialist Ashkenazim nonsense
        Classic Bradshaw. The right of self-determination according to a real Nazi shit.

      • It’s either methinks one word or me thinketh, two words.

        Your views on Jews are just as uninformed and incorrect.

      • hee hee .
        Israel was set up in spite of peeps like you . You can whinge , you can attend your socialist worker meets , you can troll whatever you want to , you can even boycott humus .
        BUT its there and doing well . You cannot do anything about it . Awfully sorry . End of matter . Just deal with it .

        • The only way laughable nothings like him can deal with it, is by consuming themselves with impotent rage at the success of the Jews and getting ulcers.

      • Please, please, please be the real Peter Bradshaw.

        The Guardian is the worst newspaper in the world. Journalists like you are the biggest jokes on the planet. Way to go.

        Yes, Black Jews are part of the Chosen. So are Asian Jews. We’re Chosen, okay? All of us.

        You? You’re shit. Worthless. A complete fuckwad, and I don’t care what color you are.

        Broadcast much, Pete?

      • Bradshaw,
        There are 57 Muslim member nations of the UN. In none of them are non-Muslim minorities accorded equal rights and in most of them, even non-Muslims must abide by sharia.
        Since you allege that no religious group deserves a land of their own–not even the Vatican or the Irish Republic, I suppose–why are you especially bothered by the one and only Jewish state–whose religious minorities enjoy civil rights absent in most Muslim nations]?
        Perhaps I misjudge you: have you also been advocating against these 57 Muslim nations?

  15. Although this speech – not essay – was reprinted here, it should be noted (again) that it was a speech given by Matti at BICOM and then reprinted here (and elsewhere – i.e., not commissioned for CW. If this “Peter Bradshaw” is actually the Guardian’s Peter Bradhaw, the Guardian’s film critic, and therefore a journalist with an axe to grind in an admittedly minor UK paper,his comments, apart from being blatantly anti-Semitic (“This racist Ashkenazi however, different sorry altogether..”), are also completely off-base regarding the provenance of this piece.

    His comments are reflective of the Guardian’s ferociously and misguided anti-Israel bias, and, in his case, clearly fed by an equally ferocious anti-Semitsm.

    • I wonder what the Real Peter Bradshaw has to think about the person posting as Peter Bradshaw on CIF Watch.

      Maybe somebody can forward this thread to the chap. Let him know some Sibyl Nazi is ruining whatever reputation he may have. Or if this is the Real Peter Bradshaw, then that should shed even more light on the Guardian.

      What say ye, Peter Bradshaw?

  16. that is not the real Peter Bradshaw
    just a too scared anti semite who doesn’t have the necessary kahoonas .

    • action plan for sencar :

      1 get yourself a job
      2 get yourself a girlfriend.
      3 stop hanging out with losers and loonies
      4 stop sniffing glue
      5 disconnect from internet until you learn to use it properly
      6 visit Libya or Mali for your summer holidays
      7 if you quote or rely on books /authors . At least read the sources . don’t invent .
      8 smile .

  17. For peterthe hungarian and LemonCurd

    I can best summarise Benny Morris’ views on ethnic cleansing by quoting from an interview he did for Ari Shavit in Haaretz in 2004. You can find the interview reproduced here, since the Haaretz site is paid for:

    On the expulsions of 1947/8

    Shavit: “They perpetrated ethnic cleansing.”
    Morris: “There are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing. I know that this term is completely negative in the discourse of the 21st century, but when the choice is between ethnic cleansing and genocide—the annihilation of your people—I prefer ethnic cleansing.”
    Shavit: “And that was the situation in 1948?”
    That was the situation. That is what Zionism faced. A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population. It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads. It was necessary to cleanse the villages from which our convoys and our settlements were fired on.”

    On the desirability of 100% ethnic cleansing

    Shavit: “I’m not sure I understand. Are you saying that Ben-Gurion erred in expelling too few Arabs?”
    Morris: “If he was already engaged in expulsion, maybe he should have done a complete job. I know that this stuns the Arabs and the liberals and the politically correct types. But my feeling is that this place would be quieter and know less suffering if the matter had been resolved once and for all. If Ben-Gurion had carried out a large expulsion and cleansed the whole country – the whole Land of Israel, as far as the Jordan River. It may yet turn out that this was his fatal mistake. If he had carried out a full expulsion – rather than a partial one – he would have stabilized the State of Israel for generations.”

    • The fact is that there WASN’T a 100% expulsion. That is why currently there are Arab high court judges in Israel.
      Do piss off back to Stormfront, you waste of oxygen.

    • Sencar I know that you are not interested in any objective and contextualized argument only in quotes completely taken out from their historical environment and can be used to strengthen and/or justify your hate of the Jews. Nobody – I repeat nobody will deny that during the War of Independence and in the previous months during a full-fledged civil war different militias and later certain units of the IDF/Hagana committed atrocities against the Arab civilian population and in certain cases expelled them from their villages. If you paid any attention to Morris and not only to the sentences justifying your antisemitism then you would know that the Arab militias even the Jordan Legion under the command of the archetype of the British upper class antisemite – Glubb Pasha – slaughtered Jewish civilians, women and children and didn’t make a secret what they would do with every Jew after their victory- slaughtering them to the last baby. They already proved that their rhetoric must be taken seriously in 1929 and 1936. Did ever occurred to you that without the Nazi allied Arab leadership there would be now a bi-national state on the whole territory of the Mandate without any hostility between Arabs and Jews according to the original Zionist idea? Or if the Arabs accepted the division of the land in 1948 and didn’t try to slaughter/expel every Jew? Naturally not Sencar. The war in 1948-1949 was a fight on the Jews’ part for their physical survival and as in every similar case during human history both sides did terrible things. True, against every chance the Jews won and the losers suffered terribly, but what would be the result in case the Arabs won?
      To make a long story short Sencar you are a card carrying Jew hater who doesn’t give shit about the sufferings of the Palestinians, you are just dirtying your keyboard with your ignorant ranting about events that you know nothing about sitting far from the Middle-East without the slightest knowledge of its people, culture and history not to speak about their languages. All you know is clearly coming from different antisemitic literature/media. Seeing your indefatigable efforts invested reading articles in the Ha’aretz and looking for quotes you can use for Jew-bashing only one question remain: Are you similarly eager to study (strictly English language) Chinese papers regarding the occupation of Tibet? The systemic genocide of the Australian aborigines only a couple of decades before Israel’s independence? The (strictly English language) literature about the expulsion of the Hindu population from Pakistan and the Muslim population from India? Maybe the Hungarians expelled from Czechoslovakia or the Germans from Hungary in 1946? Maybe the expulsion of the German population from Masuria? I bet you never ever heard of these – no Jews were involved.
      The continuing misery of the Palestinians has two real mowers: Their own leadership and the Western anti-Semites of your kind who are cynically exploiting them for their own purpose – trying to repeat your unsuccessful bid only 70 years ago.

      • “Nobody – I repeat nobody will deny that during the War of Independence and in the previous months during a full-fledged civil war different militias and later certain units of the IDF/Hagana committed atrocities against the Arab civilian population” – maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. Remembering the Mount Scopus massacre and countless others against defenceless Jews – I don’t give a damn. Remembering the declared intention of the surrounding Arab nations to murder all the Jews – I don’t give a damn.

    • He can only use from online quotes, not quotations out of books, `cause he never read them, the Antisemite.

      • I used the Haaretz interview because the 100% cleansing remarks are not in any of Morris’ books, only online.
        Perhaps sometime you might address the actual points I make instead of resorting to childish abuse and assertions about my reading habits – about which you know nothing.

        • If your only source is one Haaretz interview which you found on internet , don’t even waste our time about how knowledgeable you are

          I did reply once or twice to your points in a respectful and logical manner and you never responded . So I assume that you do not wish to have an intelligent debate or discourse, just say your mantra and then whinge

        • As I expected Sencar – you don’t have any coherent answer to my arguments and that you don’t give a shit about anything when no Jews are involved. Thanks for your self destruction.

    • And no answer to the great immigration waves of Saudis and Egypts into the Ottman empire and the British mandate in the 19th and 20th century.
      Well, it speaks for itself. 🙂

    • Sencar

      don’t even go there with the words “ethnic cleansing ”

      do you know where they come from ? Kurt Waldheim when he was an SS officer in Serbia during WW2 writing an internal report on Ustashe operations to kill Serbs at Jasenovac. The Ustashe used knives to kill their prisoners in the concentration camp and Waldheim argued it would increase killing productivity if they used bullets and gas . The SS did a time assessment of how long to kill 100 Serbs in a variety of ways

      Also , did your research reveal the 600,000 Jewish refugees that were forced to leave Arab countries and had their land and homes seized at the same time

      • 850,000, I believe.
        But that piece of shit doesn’t care about a declared genocide or ethnic cleansing against Jews. They are only Jews.