Israeli Disinformation, Lies, and Deception


These methods follow a recurring pattern that aims to perpetuate impunity, while normalizing the apartheid regime and winning over international public opinion.

Here are the 5 steps that can help you recognize Israel’s propaganda:





Check the pattern:

A quick guide to Israel’s PR methods
1. We haven’t heard reports of deaths, will check into it;
2. The people were killed, but by a faulty Palestinian rocket/bomb;
3. OK, we killed them, but they were terrorists;
4. OK, they were civilians, but they were being used as human shields;
5. OK, there were no fighters in the area, so it was our mistake. But we kill civilians by accident, they do it on purpose;
6. OK, we kill far more civilians than they do, but look at how terrible other countries are!
7. Why are you still talking about Israel? Are you some kind of anti-semite?
Test this against the next interview you hear or watch.

— Adam Johannes, Secretary, Cardiff Stop the War Coalition
Independent Jewish Voices Canada, August 3, 2014

Unilever: Stop doing business in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

And stop your betrayal of Ben & Jerry’s

SumOfUs, Sep 29, 2022

It’s a bloody time in Palestine right now. At least 85 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by Israeli forces carrying out nightly raids making it the deadliest year in the occupied territory since 2016.

There is also bad news in the fight to get corporations to stop supporting Israel’s apartheid regime. A year after SumOfUs members like you help pushed Ben & Jerry’s to make a decision to stop selling ice cream in the Palestinian Occupied Territory, Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s parent company, has made a backroom deal to reverse this heroic decision. 

SumOfUs had been in contact with Ben & Jerry’s after tens of thousands SumOfUs members like you called on the corporation to take a stand against 70 years of ongoing apartheid, colonization, and daily violation of the human rights of Palestinian by Israeli forces. We know our community made a huge difference in getting Ben & Jerry’s historic announcement — multiple sources within the company said your voices had an impact on this announcement finally being made.

And now, we need you to finish the job and call on Unilever to support Ben & Jerry’s heroic decision and stand with Palestine. 

Call on Unilever to stop its betrayal of Ben & Jerry’s and stop profiting from illegal settlements.

When Ben & Jerry’s made its historic announcement, we knew right-wing Israeli nationalists would use everything in their power to stop the company from leaving Israel. And they did – the day after the announcement, the Prime Minister of Israel said Ben & Jerry’s decision will have “severe consequences”. His government then sent a classified cable to its missions and embassies calling on its envoys to ramp up pressure to make sure Ben & Jerry’s decision didn’t stick. 

And after a year of sustained pressure, Unilever has made a deal with another company that promises to continue selling products with Ben & Jerry’s name and breaking the contract signed with Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield when it bought the company from the founders in 2000. 

This Ben & Jerry’s fight with Unilever may seem like a corporate fight over ice cream – but it’s about more than just dessert. If more companies can join French telecom giant Orange in leaving the Occupied Palestinian Territory, it can kick start a corporate movement to exit apartheid Israel much like the corporate movement that forced a regime change in apartheid South Africa in the 1990s. 

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October 5-9, 2022
Acclaimed Film Boycott free online

An online film salon for the acclaimed film:
BOYCOTT

Sunday, 9 October 2022

1pm PT, 2pm MT, 3pm CT, 4pm ET (US, Canada)
Register here

A bracing look at the far-reaching implications of anti-boycott legislation sweeping the U.S. and designed to penalize businesses and individuals that choose to boycott Israel due to its human rights record. 

BOYCOTT illustrates how these laws are being used as templates to stop us from boycotting around other justice issues, further limiting our constitutional right to free speech. 

A legal thriller with “accidental plaintiffs” at the center of the story:

When a news publisher in Arkansas, an attorney in Arizona, and a speech therapist in Texas are told they must choose between their jobs and their political beliefs, they launch legal battles that expose an attack on freedom of speech that has swept across 33 U.S. states

BOYCOTT is an inspiring tale of everyday Americans standing up to protect our rights in an age of shifting politics and threats to freedom of speech. 

The film will be available for free viewing for a few days only, through a special arrangement with the film producers at Just Vision.

You must register to receive access to the film and to join the discussion

When you register, you will get an email on October 4th, with a link and password to watch the film. You will have 4 days to watch the film for free before the discussion on Oct 9th.
 

THE PANEL:

BAHIA AMAWI: protagonist of the film Boycott, free-speech plaintiff vs. Texas Attorney General and Pflugerville, TX School District

 

Special Guest, PETER BEINERT: Editor-at-Large, Jewish Currents; CNN & MSNBC Commentator; Professor of Journalism & Political Science, Newmark School of Journalism, CUNY; and Fellow, Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP)

JEN MARLOWE: JustVision filmmaker, author, playwright, journalist, and human rights activist

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Israeli Apartheid: A Breakdown

Israel applies an oppressive, separate, and unequal regime on Palestinians. There is only one word for this: Apartheid.

Omar Baddar, Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), Oct 14, 2020

Omar Baddar is Director of Communications for the Institute for Middle East Understanding, and past Deputy Director of the Arab American Institute.

YWCA Madison’s Racial Justice Summit

Madison365 staff, Sep 1, 2022

The YWCA Madison’s Racial Justice Summit will take place Sept. 28-30. Organizers are inviting the community to practice “Weaving Our Pasts, Present and Emergent Futures for Racial Justice and Co-Liberation.”

For this 21st annual Summit, YWCA Madison is collaborating with local and national practitioners, educators, artists, authors, and advocates to curate a combination of virtual and in-person experiences. The motivation is to disrupt the (mis)understanding of the different dimensions of justice as separate issues, and support an understanding of their interconnected nature.

The hope is for the Summit to support communities in deeply understanding how racial justice, restorative justice, gender justice, immigration justice, disability justice, climate justice, and so on, are truly different transgenerational dimensions of our ongoing building of practice, community, interconnectedness and power within movements for justice and co-liberation.

Some of the Summit keynotes this year are sisters Angela Davis and Fania Davis, Ericka Huggins, Linda Sarsour, Rudy Bankston, Jenifer Garcia, and sisters adrienne maree brown and Autumn Brown.

For any other questions, please email racialjustice@ywcamadison.org.

To purchase tickets, click here.


Linda Sarsour has advocated for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories and expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. (Wikipedia)

Angela Davis supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. In 2019 the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) rescinded Davis’s Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award for Davis’s vocal support for Palestinian rights and the movement to boycott Israel. Davis said her loss of the award was “not primarily an attack against me but rather against the very spirit of the indivisibility of justice.” The BCRI reversed its decision and issued a public apology, stating that there should have been more public consultation. (Wikipedia)

Rally for Google and Amazon workers against Israeli military


Has the Fight Against Antisemitism Lost Its Way?

In a terrible irony, the campaign against “anti-semitism” has become a threat to freedom

Peter Beinart, New York Times, August 26, 2022

Over the past 18 months, America’s most prominent Jewish organizations have done something extraordinary. They have accused the world’s leading human rights organizations of promoting hatred of Jews.

Last April, after Human Rights Watch issued a report accusing Israel of “the crimes of apartheid and persecution,” the American Jewish Committee claimed that the report’s arguments “sometimes border on antisemitism.” In January, after Amnesty International issued its own study alleging that Israel practiced apartheid, the Anti-Defamation League predicted that it “likely will lead to intensified antisemitism.” The A.J.C. and A.D.L. also published a statement with four other well-known American Jewish groups that didn’t just accuse the report of being biased and inaccurate, but also claimed that Amnesty’s report “fuels those antisemites around the world who seek to undermine the only Jewish country on Earth.”

Defenders of repressive governments often try to discredit the human rights groups that criticize them. A month before the A.J.C. accused Human Rights Watch of flirting with antisemitism, the Chinese Communist Party newspaper Global Times accused it of being “anti-China.” In 2019 a spokesman for Iran accused Amnesty of being “biased” against that country. In this age of rising authoritarianism, it’s not surprising that human rights watchdogs face mounting attacks. What’s surprising is that America’s most influential Jewish groups are taking part.

For most of the 20th century, leading American Jewish organizations argued that the struggle against antisemitism and the struggle for universal human rights were intertwined. In 1913, when the A.D.L. was founded to stop “the defamation of the Jewish people,” it declared that its “ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens.” In 1956, Rabbi Israel Goldstein, the president of the American Jewish Congress, a Jewish group founded in 1918, explained his support for civil rights by saying that his organization would “act against any evil that is practiced on other men with the same conviction and vigor as if we ourselves were the victims.”

The historian Peter Novick has argued that after World War II, American Jewish organizations fought segregation because they believed that “prejudice and discrimination were all of a piece” and thus Jewish groups “could serve the cause of Jewish self-defense as well by attacking prejudice and discrimination against Blacks as by tackling antisemitism directly.”

Although supportive of Israel’s existence, America’s leading Jewish groups did not make it the center of their work in the mid-20th century. And when they did focus on Israel, they often tried to bring its behavior in line with their broader liberal democratic goals. The A.J.C. repeatedly criticized Israel for discriminating against its Palestinian Arab citizens. In 1960 the head of the group’s Israel Committee explained that it hoped to eliminate “antidemocratic practices and attitudes” in the Jewish state so the organization could more credibly “invoke principles of human rights and practices in our country and abroad.”

This began to change after the 1967 war. Israel’s conquest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip made it master over roughly a million stateless Palestinians, which fueled anger at the Jewish state from leftists in the United States and around the world. At the same time, assimilation was leading many progressive American Jews to exit organized Jewish life, which left Jewish groups with a more conservative base as they searched for a new agenda now that civil rights for Black Americans had become law.

The result was an ideological transformation. In 1974, two A.D.L. leaders wrote a book arguing that Jews were increasingly menaced by a “new antisemitism,” directed not against individual Jews but against the Jewish state. Almost a half-century later, that premise now dominates mainstream organized American Jewish life.

Largely as a result of lobbying by Jewish organizations, the American government has embraced the proposition, too. The State Department now employs a definition of antisemitism whose examples include opposing Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. This year the Senate confirmed Deborah Lipstadt — a historian best known for fighting Holocaust denial — to be the Biden administration’s special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism. Ms. Lipstadt has said that Israel’s “continued holding of the West Bank is problematic,” but when asked at her confirmation hearing about Amnesty’s report accusing Israel of apartheid, Ms. Lipstadt claimed that the report’s language was “part of a larger effort to delegitimize the Jewish state” and thus “poisons the atmosphere, particularly for Jewish students” on college campuses. In 2018 several Palestinian members of the Knesset tried to introduce legislation that would grant Palestinians equal citizenship rather than what the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem calls “Jewish supremacy.” According to America’s most prominent Jewish organizations and the U.S. government, this kind of call for equal citizenship constituted bigotry.

Now that any challenge to Jewish statehood is met with charges of bigotry against Jews, prominent American Jewish organizations and their allies in the U.S. government have made the fight against antisemitism into a vehicle not for defending human rights but for denying them. Most Palestinians exist as second-class citizens in Israel proper or as stateless noncitizens in the territories Israel occupied in 1967 or live beyond Israel’s borders because they or their descendants were expelled or fled and were not permitted to return. But under the definition of antisemitism promoted by the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the State Department, Palestinians become antisemites if they call for replacing a state that favors Jews with one that does not discriminate based on ethnicity or religion.

But the campaign against antisemitism is being deployed to justify not merely the violation of Palestinian human rights. As relations have warmed between Israel and the monarchies of the Persian Gulf, American officials have begun using the struggle against antisemitism to shield those regimes from human rights pressure, too. In June, Ms. Lipstadt met the Saudi ambassador in Washington and celebrated “our shared objectives of overcoming intolerance and hate.” From there she flew to Saudi Arabia, where she met its minister of Islamic affairs and affirmed, once again, “our shared goals of promoting tolerance and combating hate.” In the United Arab Emirates she sat down with the country’s foreign minister, whom she declared a “sincere partner in our shared goals of” — you guessed it — “promoting tolerance and fighting hate.”

This is nonsense. According to a report this year by Freedom House, a human rights think tank funded largely by the U.S. government, Saudi Arabia is more repressive than Iran. The United Arab Emirates is more repressive than Russia. And although Ms. Lipstadt declared that her visits to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi left her “heartened by changes underway in parts of the Middle East,” both countries, according to Freedom House, are more oppressive than they were in 2017. Less than two months after she lauded the Saudi monarchy’s tolerance, it sentenced a member of the country’s persecuted Shiite minority to 34 years in prison for Twitter activity critical of the government.

When it comes to their own disenfranchised populations, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. are as intolerant as ever. What has changed is their tolerance for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. And because officials like Ms. Lipstadt define the fight against antisemitism largely as a fight to legitimize Israel, they legitimize its tyrannical Arab allies as well.

Ms. Lipstadt’s defenders might argue that Jews can’t afford to be picky about our friends. In a world where antisemitism remains a frightening reality, we should look out only for ourselves. In moments of extreme danger, that may be true. But many earlier American Jewish leaders recognized this must be the exception. As a rule, they believed Jews should pursue equal treatment for ourselves as part of a broader effort to secure it for others.

The current alternative — using the fight against antisemitism to defend Israel and its allies — may seem savvy. In the long run, however, it’s foolish. Palestinians do not grow more tolerant of Jews when brutalized by a Jewish state. Saudis and Emiratis do not grow more tolerant of Jews when Israel helps their governments brutalize them.

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Daniel Levy: Apartheid Label Must Be a Wakeup Call

Daniel Levy, President of the U.S./Middle East Project

Meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Thursday, August 25, 2022
“The Situation in the Middle East Including the Palestinian Question”

I would like to thank the Council and the Chinese presidency in particular for allowing me to share some thoughts with you today. The events of earlier this month covered in detail by Special Envoy Wennesland are as concerning as they are predictable. To be very clear, Israelis deserve security; Palestinians deserve security.

Mr President, month in and month out the Council meets to repeat its familiar condemnations, formulas and slogans. I want to use this opportunity to rethink and re-appraise some assumptions and beliefs that may inadvertently contribute to the intractability in Israel-Palestine—to consider afresh, reasons why this conflict remains so prone to stalemate and human suffering.

I suggest to do this through 5 concepts that may assist us in such an endeavour:

First, Justice: The permanent dispossession and denial of the most basic rights and freedoms to the Palestinian people will never be a recipe for achieving sustainable security: this, the illegal blockade of Gaza and the unlawful occupation, represents forms of structural violence and collective punishment that we cannot ignore.

While the need for a political horizon is acknowledged, the dimensions of that horizon shrink and shrivel, becoming ever less ambitious.

There can be no effective or prolonged approach to Gaza in isolation—it is part of broader Israeli-Palestinian realities—in terms of security, the separation policy and closure. And crucially, there is a need to respect international law across the board—whether in state responses to armed threats or partisan resistance against state occupation.

Also in this context, there is a need for Palestinian political renewal, internal reconciliation and overcoming of divisions as well as an international need to engage all relevant actors without applying unrealistic and selective preconditions.

Second, Equilibrium: Any attempt to resume negotiations between the parties without addressing power asymmetries is a hollow and redundant exercise. As Comfort Ero, president of Crisis Group—with whom my organization the U.S./Middle East Project cooperates extensively—noted to this Council recently— “the structural power imbalance between an occupying state and an occupied people must be acknowledged.” A focus on relations of power rather than both sides-ism offers a path to clarity of thinking and policy.

As an example, attempts at economic confidence building measures are consistently too little, too late, and too ephemeral when attempted under conditions of a permanent, relentless and expanding matrix of occupation. This defies principles of harmony and reciprocity.

Especially with global resources stretched thin, the Palestinian economic predicament must be understood primarily as a function of politically imposed obstacles—on movement, borders, access to land, confiscations, demolitions and ever-expanding settlements—rather than an absence of charity. Economic palliatives under occupation deepen dependence and enmity.

We have heard the briefing of UNRWA Commissioner General Lazzarini. There must be an
economic commitment to a predictably resourced UNRWA capable of delivering services, not only a security necessity but also a political commitment to the Palestinian refugees who continue to be denied a solution.

Third, Accountability: I have previously highlighted to this Council two core problems; a legitimacy deficit in Palestinian politics and an accountability deficit viz Israel’s policies. It is Israel’s actions as the powerful occupying party that pre-eminently determine the direction of travel of this conflict.

Profound shifts are occurring as a result of the unwillingness to hold Israel to account not least on settlements.

Recent months have witnessed a disturbing intensification of that trend as Israel has targeted those least able to protect themselves and those most in the frontline bearing witness to violations of international law.

Following the shock expressed by Secretary General Guterres over the number of Palestinian children killed and maimed by Israeli forces last year, we have continued to see the same trend and suffering among the very young in Gaza this month.

We have witnessed the killing of those who report on and expose these crimes, Shireen Abu Akleh, being the latest journalist to pay with her life. And now the assault on those who document abuses and defend human rights, as well as community service providers, with Israel’s actions against six prominent Palestinian civil society organizations.

Following a terror designation having been made against the six NGOs by the Israeli authorities, a number of countries went on record that compelling evidence had not been forthcoming. Now in the past week, the offices of these organizations have been raided and shuttered and their workers interrogated.

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National Nurses United condemns Gaza bombardment

National Nurses United, August 09, 2022

National Nurses United (NNU) mourns the loss of life over the weekend in the besieged Gaza Strip area of Palestine due to Israeli airstrikes that killed dozens—including at least 15 children. “As nurses, we are grateful that a cease-fire between militants in Gaza and the Israeli Government has been accepted and we urge it be permanent,” said NNU Secretary Treasurer Martha Kuhl, RN. “We express alarm at the grave impacts on critical health care infrastructure caused by last week’s bombardment. This includes the incredible strain placed on nurses and other health care workers struggling to provide care at the main hospital in Gaza, the Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City. In addition to caring for patients who were victims of the bombardment, the hospital faces an energy crisis as Israel cut off vital supplies of fuel to the Gaza Strip late last week. 

“NNU joins the international community in condemning this attack on civilians, on children, on health care infrastructure, health care workers, and public health,” continued Kuhl. “As nurses and as people of conscience, we find these acts of war wholly unacceptable. We stand with Palestinian nurses, doctors, and other health care workers and their unions who have valiantly worked to save human lives during this recent escalation of violence. We call for an end to military aggression, to occupation, and an end to the illegal blockade of Gaza.

Recent violence has only compounded the public health effects of the 15-year blockade of Gaza—where critical goods, services, and freedom of movement have been restricted by the Israeli government as part of its ongoing occupation of Palestine. Due to the humanitarian crisis caused by the blockade, the area has been deemed as “uninhabitable” by the United Nations. According to human rights reports, 97 percent of water in Gaza is undrinkable, where 75 percent of the area’s 2 million residents experience food insecurity. More than half of Gaza’s residents are children, the vast majority of whom suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Since 2008, military attacks by the state of Israel have resulted in more than 4,000 civilian deaths in Gaza, hundreds of whom have been children. Despite the United Nations, international human rights, and international health organizations calling for accountability for Israel’s systematic human rights violations, military occupation, and apartheid practices, Israel remains one of the biggest recipients of U.S. aid, nearly $4 billion annually.

“We want an immediate end to unconditional U.S. aid to the state of Israel that has been used to fund the Israeli government’s human rights violations,” said NNU President Jean Ross, RN. “Just as we seek peace and justice globally, and have opposed the Russian invasion of Ukraine, so do we call for peace and solidarity in Gaza and in the rest of Palestine.” 

National Nurses United is the largest union of registered nurses in the United States with more than 175,000 members nationwide.

If Not Now Says “#DropAIPAC”


Join the Movement of Jews, Orgs, and Politicians Pledging to #DropAIPAC

AIPAC endorsed 109 insurrectionist Republicans and spent $25 million to defeat candidates supporting Palestinian rights and progressive causes. Their actions this year aid the right-wing movement threatening our planet and democracy, and should have no place in our community or our politics.

AIPAC claims to speak on behalf of the Jewish community but embraces right-wing antisemites, Islamophobes, and white nationalists such as Donald Trump, Christian Zionist John Hagee, Rep. Jim Jordan, and Muslim Ban lawyer Frank Gaffney.

AIPAC endorsed 109 Republican candidates who supported Trump’s “Big Lie” to overturn the 2020 election. And AIPAC’s Super PAC — funded primarily by Republican billionaires — spent 25 million dollars on misleading advertisements to defeat seven progressive candidates, including targeting women of color and a former synagogue president fighting for health care, climate solutions, and responsible foreign policy.

So long as donors, U.S. politicians, and Jewish orgs like youth groups and synagogues work with AIPAC — and so long as those watching stay silent — AIPAC will have the credibility and funding to continue working against Palestinian rights and against democracy.

By pledging to #DropAIPAC, I or my organization pledges to drop:

  • AIPAC’s annual policy conference
  • Donating to AIPAC
  • Meeting with AIPAC lobbyists
  • Hosting or participating in AIPAC events
  • Traveling on AIPAC trips to Israel

The majority of American Jews disagree with AIPAC’s anti-Palestinian racism and recognize that Jewish and Palestinian safety is intertwined. We stand committed to fighting for equality, justice, and a thriving future for all Jews, Israelis, and Palestinians.

Join the Movement