The power of hasbara culture

US Politics
on 93 Comments

In my last article, I compared the opposition to the Palestinian-led Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) of two influential Jewish journalists, Jeffrey Goldberg and Peter Beinart. I demonstrated that as Zionists they both opposed the BDS movement but with significant differences. I gave examples of Jeffrey Goldberg demonizing and dehumanizing BDS supporters as Jew-haters, while Peter Beinart found no reason to doubt the movement’s integrity: it was motivated by concern for Palestinian rights, not hating Jews. What is more, he charged that those who dehumanize BDS supporters are no better than anti-Semites:

By denying that they might have any reason besides bigotry to dislike Zionism, it denies their historical experience and turns them into mere vessels for Jew-hatred. Thus, it does to Palestinians what anti-Semitism does to Jews. It dehumanizes them.

This divergent stance on BDS raises the question about where other segments of the Jewish community stand regarding the motivation of the BDS movement. For example, what about the Anti-Defamation League, which bills itself as “the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.”

As strong supporters of Israel, the ADL’s avowed commitment to civil rights for all and “imagine the world without hate” campaign is tested by BDS. Will it find BDS understandable, like Peter Beinart does? Or will the ADL turn the BDS movement into “mere vessels of Jew-hatred” as I showed Jeffrey Goldberg does? Here is an ADL tweet:

Jonathan Greenblatt dehumanizes supporters of BDS in the same way Jeffrey Goldberg does. He believes the Palestinian people don’t have their own national narrative, their own story, that is not Jewish-centric. Greenblatt wants us to assume that those two women in the photo in his tweet hate Jews.

It doesn’t seem to bother the head of the Anti-Defamation League that he is defaming those two women. In the real world these pro-Palestinian activists have nothing to do with “irrational Jew hatred.” But the ADL tweet is akin to the Jeffrey Goldberg tweet in my last article, saying that Norwegian musicians supporting BDS have Nazi pedigree.

Greenblatt’s tweet reveals something important besides dehumanization; it exhibits incoherence.

“BDS is a modern version of an irrational hatred of the Jewish people.”

ADL accusations of anti-Semitism like this bear little relationship to reality. They emanate from the Orwellian world that I think of as “hasbara culture.”

Hasbara culture is a social construction of reality. Hasbara culture is a Jewish-Zionist ethnocentric way of looking at the world. Hasbara culture, the ethnocentric Jewish-Zionist experience of the world, is a proselytizing and aggressive culture. But let me be clear, it is not Jewish ethnocentricity alone that causes hasbara culture. Insular ethnocentric orthodox communities aren’t trying to convert the wider culture to their understanding of the world.

And though related, “hasbara culture” is different than pro-Israeli “hasbara” everyone is familiar with. Hasbara is pro-Israeli spin. Hasbara is good public relations arguments in support of Israel. Hasbara is tactics. But Hasbara culture is different. Hasbara culture is a belief system about the world. The recent call by Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett for the pardon, if convicted, of Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier caught on video executing a prone and injured Palestinian, is useful in understanding the difference between hasbara and hasbara culture.

The narrative of victimhood and the politics of Jewish ethnocentricity cultivated by Netanyahu and Bennett, are part of the social construction of reality of hasbara culture. That is the unabashed Jewish tribalism that we see from Israel every day. It is being so ethnocentric you can’t even believe the Palestinians can be ethnocentric too. In hasbara culture every type of Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation is about Israel; is about “the Jews.” The tribal Bennett, the ethnocentric Bennett, “knows” Elor Azaria is a good Jewish boy, that he is one of “our children,” and that it’s a moral outrage that he is in prison for killing a Palestinian enemy. The language, “the words that work” as Frank Luntz put it in advising people how to defend Israel, used to justify a pardon of Azaria to a disbelieving world would be “hasbara.”

Hasbara culturists often successfully impose their ethnocentric view on reality. I remind the reader of an incident this summer, about which I have already written, where Greenblatt of the ADL and hasbara culture simply overwhelmed reality.

Recall the incident in Philadelphia, away from the commotion of the Democratic Convention floor, where Congressman Hank Johnson (D., Ga.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, gave his impressions of his recent trip to the occupied territories, during a roundtable discussion at the American Friends Service Committee called “progressives for Palestine”:

“There has been a steady [stream]– almost like termites can get into a residence and eat before you know that you’ve been eaten up and you fall in on yourself– there has been settlement activity that has marched forward with impunity and at an ever increasing rate to the point where it has become alarming…

“It has come to the point that occupation, with highways that cut through Palestinian land, with walls that go up, with the inability or the restriction, with the illegality of Palestinians being able to travel on those roads and those roads cutting off Palestinian neighborhoods from each other…. And then with the building of walls and the building of check points that restrict movement of Palestinians. We’ve gotten to the point where the thought of a Palestinian homeland gets further and further removed from reality.”

No one in the real world can listen to the voice of Congressman Johnson using the word termites and believe he intended to dehumanize settlers. He didn’t. It goes without saying, “the termites” refers to settlement expansion; not people.

But witness the hysteria in the world of hasbara culture. Johnson was even called “diseased.”

To repeat, Hasbara culture is an aggressive, proselytizing culture constantly placing pressure on the real world. And pressure often of a highly-politicized character, to make the real world acknowledge that the Jewish ethnocentric reality is an accurate reflection of reality.

That’s a good way to understand the transaction that goes on between politician and the audience at the Israel lobby group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC. The politicians tell the AIPAC audience that their ethnocentric view of the world is exactly right. And the audience becomes delirious hearing smart powerful Goyim tell them they see the world exactly the way hasbara culture does.

Read my entire article, “Using Rep. Johnson’s innocent comment to stain his reputation was the real crime,” for all the Kafkaesque apologies that the browbeaten Congressman had to issue. The innocence of Hank Johnson’s “termites” is entirely lost to ethnocentrics from hasbara culture.

Moreover, the attacks on him served to draw attention away from his point about Palestinian suffering caused by the settlers and occupation.

Hasbara culture also has its own jargon. Back to the Greenblatt tweet about BDS again:

“BDS is a modern version of an irrational hatred of the Jewish people.”

This tweet is hasbara culture jargon. Think what the literal words of Mr. Greenblatt’s tweet is claiming. It makes no sense. What is irrational about BDS? And what connection does BDS have to ancient Jew hatreds? None. But these arguments don’t matter because reason and logic have no place in hasbara culture.

In the real world, as Peter Beinart explained so plainly, BDS is a rational and predictable result of the Israeli occupation. In hasbara culture, BDS is somehow related to a pogrom against Jews in eastern Europe hundreds of years ago. Although this connection cannot be empirically made out, who is going to challenge the ADL on what words they use to define anti-Semitism? Nobody in mainstream American life with any sense.

Let’s observe more hasbara culture jargon by Jonathan Greenblatt.

Recall the brouhaha over the Atlantic‘s announcement of its new editor-in-chief, Jeffrey Goldberg. In an article at Mondoweiss, Phil Weiss noted Goldberg’s missing Jewish/Zionist identity in the Atlantic Goldberg resume.

Then Yair Rosenberg at Tablet magazine (maybe the most untainted progeny of hasbara culture: literally pure 100% Jewish ethnocentrism) labeled that article an “anti-Semitic attack” on Jeffrey Goldberg.

I showed in a response to Mr. Rosenberg that no honest reader could construe that Mr. Weiss’s “attack” on Goldberg was for being a Jew.

What, then, was Mr. Greenblatt’s reaction to the Mondoweiss-Tablet battle? Did Mr. Greenblatt think Phil Weiss did anything wrong?

This tweet says and means nothing. It’s hasbara culture jargon. Weiss’s article was about the rebranding of Goldberg by his employer, and would not lead any objective reader to conclude they were reading a “warped pathological attack” on Jeffrey Goldberg’s for his “faith.”

Besides, we have already seen Jeffrey Goldberg labeled a “never again” journalist and a “fearful tribalist” by two Jewish journalists: Ezra Klein and Paul Starobin. Does Mr. Greenblatt believe that these men attacked Jeffrey Goldberg “4 his faith” with those descriptions of him?

Hasbara culture and Mr. Greenblatt exist in a world where those questions aren’t faced.

But even more important than “never again” journalist and “fearful tribalist,” I think Jeffrey Goldberg is best understood as a “hasbara culture” journalist.

Jeffrey Goldberg has been the most aggressive proselytizer in America for hasbara culture and its highly politicized character. In posts to come, I will show the impact his Jewish ethnocentrism has had on the discourse of the Iran nuclear program. I will show what happens when Jeffrey Goldberg takes the “fearful tribalism” he experiences when he looks out into the world, and doesn’t realize that this view is “irrational,” to use the ADL’s word: that he is possessed by fantasies of destruction.

That article will begin the important process of understanding how hasbara culture came about and its effects. How it is possible that hasbara culture is so effective, is so powerful that Jeffrey Goldberg, who can only be taken seriously as an objective journalist in hasbara culture, has become editor in chief of the Atlantic magazine?

About Yakov Hirsch

Yakov Hirsch is a professional poker player and dog trainer. His twitter handle is @Yakovhirsch and his articles are posted at yakovhirsch.com.

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93 Responses

  1. Fritz
    November 5, 2016, 4:52 pm

    Thanks Yakov, for this insightful and well written piece. As someone who has no choice but to deal nearly every day with issues related to the I/P conflict, I would never dare to challenge this hasbara culture. Your article gives me a further understanding of the power behind and let me be much more careful as before reading Your article. Therefore the question is, if this was Your aim? I don’t think so, but I fear that the result in the minds of many people like me is to be more careful and to be silent about these issues also in the future.

    • Yakov Hirsch
      November 6, 2016, 12:34 am

      Fritz
      November 5, 2016, 4:52 pm
      “I don’t think so, but I fear that the result in the minds of many people like me is to be more careful and to be silent about these issues also in the future.”

      Fritz, i’m optimistic glasnost is coming soon to the I/P discourse.

    • rhkroell
      November 8, 2016, 2:06 am

      Sorry, Fritz, but I believe you have completely misconstrued the probable impact of the article written by Yakov Hirsch. Exposing the way Jeffrey Goldberg and Jonathan Greenblatt demonize and dehumanize supporters of the BDS movement does not necessarily lead all Americans to fear the “power of hasbara culture.”

      You have made the same error in logic that Ernst Pawel, one of the biographers of Theodor Herzl, attributed to Herzl in his analysis of the “Jewish problem” in DER JUDENSTAAT [The Jewish State] (1896).

      Goldberg and Greenblatt, like Herzl before them, assume that “anti-Semitism is ineradicable, deeply ingrained in folklore and myth, and, moreover, justifiable as a defense [by anti-Semites] against [Jewish] dominance, [so Jews] need a land of their own in which to become a people like any other.” “Jews, in this view, were defined as such by anti-Semites rather than their own backgrounds,” traditions [and/or their own complex views of their own social identity] (THE LABYRINTH OF EXILE: A LIFE OF THEODOR HERZL, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux,1989, p. 265).

      Hirsch distinguishes between hasbara — “good public relations arguments in support of Israel” — and hasbara culture, “a belief system about the world” and the Zionists’ view of their place in this world. He then suggests that “The recent call by Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett for the pardon, if convicted, of Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier caught on video executing a prone and injured Palestinian, is useful in understanding the difference between hasbara and hasbara culture.”

      “The narrative of victimhood and the politics of Jewish ethnocentricity cultivated by Netanyahu and Bennett,” Hirsch explains, “are part of the social construction of reality of hasbara culture. That is the unabashed Jewish tribalism that we see from Israel every day. It is being so ethnocentric you can’t even believe the Palestinians can be ethnocentric too. In hasbara culture every type of Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation is about Israel[,] is about “‘the Jews.’”

      In other words, you assume that “the Palestinian people don’t have their own national narrative, their own story, that is not Jewish-centric.” “Hasbara culture,” Hirsch suggests, “is an aggressive, proselytizing culture.” It assumes not only that anti-Semitism is immutable and “ineradicable” but much worse: it assumes that anti-Semitism is “justifiable as a defense [by anti-Semites] against [Jewish] dominance, [so Jews] need a land of their own in which to become a people like any other.”

  2. Rob Roy
    November 5, 2016, 5:28 pm

    (double posting)

    I am still nonplussed that Jeffrey Goldberg and others of his ilk don’t know that the Palestinians actually are Semites and the Jews of Israel aren’t…at least there are few Arab Jews left in Israel and if they do have that DNA background, they won’t admit it. Jews in Israel are mostly Ashkenazi Jews from Germany, the US, Russia, Canada, other European countries. As for hasbara culture, I saw if full force in Israel by people who don’t even realize they are prejudiced. In the West Bank, the Palestinians do not have anything comparable.
    Thanks for an excellent article.

  3. Rob Roy
    November 5, 2016, 5:28 pm

    I am still nonplussed that Jeffrey Goldberg and others of his ilk don’t know that the Palestinians actually are Semites and the Jews of Israel aren’t…at least there are few Arab Jews left in Israel and if they do have that DNA background, they won’t admit it. Jews in Israel are mostly Ashkenazi Jews from Germany, the US, Russia, Canada, other European countries. As for hasbara culture, I saw if full force in Israel by people who don’t even realize they are prejudiced. In the West Bank, the Palestinians do not have anything comparable.
    Thanks for an excellent article

    • Annie Robbins
      November 5, 2016, 6:04 pm

      there are few Arab Jews left in Israel

      i think, last i heard, about 50% of the jews in israel come from arab and/or Middle Eastern/african/cultures — hence arab jews. albeit, there’s that effort to separate the terms arab and jew — but call them what you will (Mizrachim) , they are still semites.

      • echinococcus
        November 5, 2016, 6:50 pm

        We don’t have to fall into the stone-age tribal nonsense of the Zionists, or any others.
        “Semitic”, in civilized terminology, is a language family. Following “antisemitism”, a nonsense term coined by some sick racist mind, back to what is definitely not its origin or “opposition to semitism” is not helpful. It’s even absurd.

        If racism, ie group discrimination based on a perceived characteristic at birth is meant, it is called racism.
        If any other, perceived, acquired group characteristics are targeted, it is not racism and can be discussed case by case.

        The very use of the absurd term “antisemitism” is diagnostic of an intent to smear. Or of unclear ideas.

      • Mooser
        November 5, 2016, 7:03 pm

        ,” they are still semites.”

        Noah’s son Shem didn’t need to be told what to do. The women’s skirts weren’t even dry from the deluge when he began chasing them. And fathered the Semites. Me, I’ll have a double-deluge, please, with very little soda.

    • DaBakr
      November 5, 2016, 7:03 pm

      @rr

      can’t believe annie is going to allow your most idiotic and fact free diatribe go with the lame correction about %. and as for the term ‘anti-semite genius? like it or not-the term doesn’;t refer to other semetic tribes. it refers to jews. personally? i think the term should be changed officially to ‘jew-haters’ but i suppose its too indelicate and morons such as yourself can still play semantic games and pretend that you don’t understand the difference between arab tribes from the ‘land of the sun’ and jewish tribes that dispersed through-out iraq, iran, nprth africa and beyond.
      and-fyi- there were apprx 800,000 jews from arab lands that were kicked out, moved or otherwise left their arab land, property and monies to move to israel between ’48 and ’75 and their offspring. whatever you think you ‘know’ about ashkenezi and sephardim you obviously don’t. maybe you should read a little before becoming all “non-plussed” about j.goldberg and his supposed ignorance.
      at least annie got the % apprx correct w/o commentary as to your assumptions. its not her job though

      • Mooser
        November 5, 2016, 8:19 pm

        That’s right, “Dabakr” for 2500 years, no matter where we have been, no matter under what circumstances, we Jews have kept our Semitic blood pure and unmixed. And in spite of all temptations to belong to other nations, we remain all-Jewish men! And for that, you get a country.

      • echinococcus
        November 5, 2016, 8:37 pm

        To the attention of the Prime Minister’s special office, or the Ministry for Resettlement and Propaganda, or the ha-sebara foundation in NY: if I were in their shoes I’d ask a certain De Baker to reimburse whatever he was paid. He can’t write English even at the minimum required to understand what he is yakking about, let alone the precise meaning.

      • DaBakr
        November 5, 2016, 9:10 pm

        @msr

        more then 2500 yrs . of course it is unlikely that you have looked at or understood a hebrew calander lately as you obviously pay feasance to the roman one. but, fyi, your about halfway.

        as for the term anti-semitic, you can devote all the time you like to changing the recognized definition. as i said, i personally hope you change it. or-conversely -you can spend the rest of your natural born life arguing that jews from eastern europe have no semitic dna or other connection to israel, jerusalem and the tribe and that its all an “absurd term” (as per your brilliant companion ech.) and most likely part of a large conspiracy cooked up to replace the true-UN sanctioned eternal- victims of the world.

        you should visit israel (wear clean undies for the search) and go to judea and visit almost any palestinian village and and then-start denigrating tribes or the idea of tribes. tell them that tribes are a backwards unenlightened form of existence. then tell everybody here what you came away with.

        it is the far left – wishing to dictate to the rest of the world the ‘proper way to live’ – who came up with the supposition that ‘tribalism’ is some kind of dirty word. There will always be tribes and always be members within who seek out the other. some to enjoy the taboo [achem….pw ring a bell?] and others to denigrate or disown themselves from the group. your not particularly special funny man. without the ‘tribe’ you would have absolutely zero identity(here especially) and your chinese-menu style yiddish would have even less relevance then it already does.

      • CigarGod
        November 6, 2016, 11:08 am

        That’s pretty funny, Dabakr.
        “Without the tribe you’d have zero identity.”

        For some reason I have the feeling Mooser could stand all by himself on any street corner and kick the ass out of any trouble that came his way.

        You on the other hand seem to think you need your buddies around you before you’d make a play.

      • Mooser
        November 6, 2016, 1:49 pm

        “Without the tribe you’d have zero identity.”

        No, that’s not true. My Jewish identity sticks with me, whether I’m with “the tribe” or not. I couldn’t and wouldn’t change it if I could.

      • talknic
        November 7, 2016, 6:25 pm

        @ DaBakr November 5, 2016, 7:03 pm

        ” i think the term should be changed officially to ‘jew-haters’ “

        Ah yes, of course. Remove the fact that the vileness of Antisemitism is quite specific to a people, not the actions of a State. Was there ever a Jewish State in the history of the word’s appearance? http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1603-anti-semitism

        “and-fyi- there were apprx 800,000 jews from arab lands that were kicked out, moved or otherwise left their arab land, property and monies to move to israel between ’48 and ’75 and their offspring. “

        FYI it’s NORMAL and legal for countries at war to expel or intern possible allies of their enemies. The US, UK, Australia interned and expelled their own citizens of Japanese, Italian, German extraction and froze their assets during WW2. It’s also NORMAL to allow their return, release and return of their their assets at the cessation of hostilities, unless of course they have chosen to take citizenship elsewhere, thereby forgoing refugee status.

        German Jews have never the less been generously allowed return under German Law, including lineal descendants, even tho no longer refugees.

        Of the 820,000 Jewish refugees between 1948 and 1972, more than 200,000 found refuge in Europe and North America while 586,000 were resettled in Israel – at great expense to the Israeli government, and without any compensation from the Arab governments who had confiscated their possessions. The majority of the Jewish refugees left their homes penniless and destitute and with nothing more than the shirts on their backs. These Jews, however, had no desire to be repatriated in the Arab World and little is heard about them because they did not remain refugees for long. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/talking/jew_refugees.html

        Israel’s Jewish Arab DNA is inescapably forever :-)

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2016, 6:46 pm

        “. There will always be tribes and always be members within who seek out the other. some to enjoy the taboo [achem….pw ring a bell?]”

        Wel, well, listen to the Purity Patrol? Phil sought out a “taboo” like a long-lasting marriage? (And to, of all things, a woman!) Oh what exotic, forbidden, taboo thrills!

        Of course, in Israel, a guy can always get whatever he wants. No taboos there.

  4. DaBakr
    November 5, 2016, 6:48 pm

    so, you invent your own term to support your own theory and propose this ‘theory’ of yours to an audience with a preponderance of people who are most likely to embrace your theory with utmost enthusiasm. very brave and controversial. ‘hasbara culture’ is an idea that belongs right up there with some of the ‘biggest’ trends in modern philosophy like: twitter culture and snap-chat nation. your articles (which i have read, at least) ooze a general disgust with the people and government of the nation you formerly claimed citizenship to. so, at least you are consistent. but as for putting forth social ‘explanations’ for why israelis (unlike other peoples) may or may not act a certain way, well…

    maybe you should stick to gambling

    • Mooser
      November 5, 2016, 8:11 pm

      “Dabakr” when enough people who suffer from the Ziocaine Syndrome interact with each other, each functioning at various stages of a condition which is essentially social in etiology, it is entirely reasonable that these mutual delusions, interactions and confrontations with insensitive non-suffers could be called a “culture”.

      Notice how you came along and slipped so completely and quickly into the culture’s tropes, delusions and invective. You knew just what to say and how to say it. You got culture, baby, hasbara culture.

      • DaBakr
        November 5, 2016, 9:31 pm

        notice how the mediocre minded true-believers immediately assume the roll of compliant choir to emphasize the ridiculous psuedo-psychological analysis in the first place. in fact-to be honest-anything a pro-israeli zionist would possibly have to say on a designated hate-site like mw would immdiately fall into the category of one of the following:
        a) hasbara central

        b)zio- supremacist

        and now you can add

        c) hasbara culture.

        it makes SO much logical sense to label any pro-israel or pro-zionist statement as falling completely within this gamblers opinion on israeli culture. kind of a catch-22 but expected from the level of discourse here. in fact-you should know best as your constantly complaining that anybody who is anti-zionist is accused of being a jew-hater. its exactly the same thing bozo

      • eljay
        November 5, 2016, 11:39 pm

        || @aak: notice how the mediocre minded true-believers immediately assume the roll of compliant choir to emphasize the ridiculous psuedo-psychological analysis in the first place. … ||

        In fact-to be honest-you could not have provided a better description of what you Zio-supremacists have been doing every day for decades. Well done!

        || … in fact-to be honest-anything a pro-israeli zionist would possibly have to say on a designated hate-site like mw would immdiately fall into the category of one of the following … ||

        It’s so cute how you think your Zio-supremacist crap is less hateful or immoral when you spout it somewhere other than MW.

    • Yakov Hirsch
      November 6, 2016, 11:02 am

      DaBakr November 5, 2016, 6:48 pm
      “so, you invent your own term to support your own theory and propose this ‘theory’ of yours to an audience with a preponderance of people who are most likely to embrace your theory with utmost enthusiasm. very brave and controversial….maybe you should stick to gambling”

      Any card but the 6 of spades and i would happily stick to gambling. But what to do? As a professional gambler i had no choice but to put everything in the pot. The idiot had only 1 card in the deck to save him. Well, wouldnt you know it, Hashem finally punished me for everything … with the 6 of spades on the river.
      The thing is Dabakr, i am now trying to build up my gambling bankroll with the advance to the book “The Hasbara Culture.” But it goes without saying, i first need to drum up interest in that concept before i can get the advance i need to go back to gambling.
      But please realize Dabakr, you exposing my “hasbara culture” hustle wont get me back to the casino any sooner, which ultimately i think is what we both want.

      • DaBakr
        November 6, 2016, 10:09 pm

        @yh

        well you could check out the profits that your anti-zionist betters such as MxB scored and find out if your tome: The Hasbara Culture: Explanation of the I/P War or War of Explanation? has a decent chance of getting you back to the tables. If the time is right-and you skip the fact checking-you might be back in the black quicker then mark regev can explain why ayelets attempt to limit the courts rejection of judges is going to make israel more democratic and not less.

      • Mooser
        November 8, 2016, 12:32 pm

        , “Hashem finally punished me for everything … with the 6 of spades on the river”

        Oh well, that’s the way the numerology goes sometimes!

  5. talknic
    November 5, 2016, 8:35 pm

    Hasbara attempts at every turn to justify the unjustifiable. See DaBakr and Co

    • DaBakr
      November 5, 2016, 9:52 pm

      @tk

      it tempts me into paraphrasing spiro agnews infamous ‘nattering nabobs of negativity’ . thats what i think about when i read the kind of gobbledy-gook as spewed by the author cum gambling man. that mw regulars eat it up and parrot his views makes me wonder wether the piece was written to cater to the audience or if the audience just accepts the premise in knee-jerk reaction without any thought whatsoever. i can just imagine the invective that would be spewed out here were anybody to invent some special negative psychological/cultural trait that is uniquely palestinian and contributes to the continuing of the conflict.

      • echinococcus
        November 6, 2016, 12:03 am

        Thank you, Dabke, for the halfway understandable posting.
        Of course there is a “special negative psychological/cultural trait that is uniquely palestinian and contributes to the continuing of the conflict”. Of course: their ownership of Palestine. Whole and non-transferable.

      • Mooser
        November 6, 2016, 2:00 pm

        “it tempts me into paraphrasing spiro agnews infamous ‘nattering nabobs of negativity’ “

        Oh, go ahead, give in to that harmless temptation. I mean, who better to shame us with then Spiro Agnew the man who said:

        “I apologize for lying to you. I promise I won’t deceive you except in matters of this sort.”

  6. RoHa
    November 5, 2016, 9:42 pm

    “He believes the Palestinian people don’t have their own national narrative, their own story, that is not Jewish-centric. ”

    What difference does it make to the I/P issue whether or not the Palestinians have “their own” “national narrative”, regardless of said narrative’s Jewish-centricity?

    • Yakov Hirsch
      November 6, 2016, 12:22 am

      RoHa
      November 5, 2016, 9:42 pm
      “What difference does it make to the I/P issue whether or not the Palestinians have “their own” “national narrative”, regardless of said narrative’s Jewish-centricity?”

      Because it is much harder to dehumanize Palestinians as ISIS/Nazis
      if they have a “legitimate” national narrative. For hasbara culture to be effective with American politicians and public, the ethnocentric Jewish perspective must resonate. It has to be ok not to empathize with Palestinians. And for this Bret Stephen column to make any sense there cant be a legitimate Palestinian perspective that doesn’t revolve around Jew hatred. This column, this hasbara culture about the Palestinians, IMO is more important than Adelson and Saban, in explaining American policy toward I/P.
      http://www.wsj.com/articles/palestine-the-psychotic-stage-1444692875

  7. RoHa
    November 5, 2016, 9:46 pm

    Good analysis, Yakov. That is certainly the way it seems from the outside.

    (Hint:
    “The narrative of victimhood and the politics of Jewish ethnocentricity cultivated by Netanyahu and Bennett, are part of the social construction of reality of hasbara culture. ”

    Take out the comma after the subject clause. )

  8. Citizen
    November 6, 2016, 12:00 am

    Good article, including the example tweets of “hasbara culture’s version of Newspeak. More examples furnished by DaBakr,

    • Mooser
      November 6, 2016, 2:07 pm

      “More examples furnished by DaBakr,”

      In a prompt and timely manner, too. And without even being asked, let alone prompted.

  9. Qualtrough
    November 6, 2016, 2:54 am

    As it becomes clear to more and more people every day that being called an ‘anti-semite’ or being labeled ‘anti-Jew’ more often than not refers to someone opposed to Israeli government policies or actions, so the sting of being labeled as such weakens. If Zionists think they are going to shut down opposition by me or anyone else with those tactics they are sadly mistaken. The only thing they are accomplishing is weakening the term to the point that it no longer means hatred of Jews.

  10. yonah fredman
    November 6, 2016, 4:02 am

    Yakov hirsch’s distinction between beinart and Goldberg’s analyses of bds motivations, is a useful construct for openness to a narrative that does not focus on the jews.

    YouTube recommendation led me to watch 2 minutes of some Marxist dogma peddler, “What is zionism? ” And 60 seconds in, she’s telling me (us) that jews are not an ethnicity. Thus her motive is anti Jewish (telling me what a jew is or is not) before even encountering the indigenous. Thus even if one comes to the conflict from a place of honest empathy with Palestinian suffering, this does not mean you aren’t about to use anti Jewish tools and ideas.

    • Mooser
      November 6, 2016, 2:09 pm

      “YouTube recommendation led me to watch 2 minutes of some Marxist dogma peddler,”

      There it is, “Yonah” the premeir moral and political fissure of the modern political age. Zionism versus the Marxism! It’s a classic struggle between good and evil,
      And on the outcome of this titanic struggle, the fate of the world hinges.

    • Mooser
      November 6, 2016, 5:45 pm

      “And 60 seconds in, she’s telling me (us) that jews are not an ethnicity.”

      I’m sorry “Yonah”, I seem to be getting absent-minded with age. Would you remind of which ethnicity us Jews are? What is it called? Are there any salient traits or characteristics by which I could identify my fellow-ethnics?

    • RoHa
      November 6, 2016, 7:12 pm

      “Thus her motive is anti Jewish ”

      Of course it is. No-one ever has any other motive.

      “(telling me what a jew is or is not) ”

      And no-one should ever tell that. Keep it secret.

      • yonah fredman
        November 6, 2016, 10:15 pm

        As if roha cares what the jews are, as long as they disappear.

      • yonah fredman
        November 6, 2016, 10:17 pm

        Roha, read a book. Read foer ‘s ” here I am”. Then we can discuss it. All the commas are well placed, I assure you.

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2016, 11:23 am

        “As if roha cares what the jews are, as long as they disappear.”

        “Yonah” would you prefer that Gentiles made a law that Jews must remain Jews, and can only marry other Jews?

        Hey, I’ve got a great idea “Yonah” WHY DON’T YOU TELL US WHAT JEWS SHOULD DO TO KEEP JEWS FROM DISAPPEARING??? Or do you figure the rest of the world loves us so much they will do it for us?,

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2016, 11:45 am

        “Or do you figure the rest of the world loves us so much they will do it for us?”

        They had better! As “Mendy” said, “Where there is no Torah, there is no life!”

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2016, 4:48 pm

        Well, I’m out. I’m gonna go mix me a nice powerful Mazel Tov Cocktail”.

      • RoHa
        November 7, 2016, 7:22 pm

        If I don’t know what Jews are, I won’t know whether or not they have all disappeared. But perhaps Mooser would tell me afterwards.

        Oh, wait. Technical problem there.

      • RoHa
        November 7, 2016, 7:36 pm

        “All the commas are well placed, I assure you.”

        Having seen what you do with commas, I’m not sure I can trust your judgement on that.

        I read a few reviews. Here’s one.

        https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/maybe-you-just-dont-get-it-jonathan-safran-foers-here-i-am/#!

        “The novel’s title alludes to the Bible and to a Stevie Wonder song,…”

        Not encouraging.

        The book sounds pretty turgid and depressing, and if I want that I can read Continental Philosophy. No, I’ll give Foer a miss, and let you put forward your own ideas.

    • echinococcus
      November 6, 2016, 11:56 pm

      While we’re at it, Reb Feldman, care to explain what, exactly, “anti Jewish tools and ideas” might be? I know that “exactly” puts you off but can’t do anything about that.

      After years of watching you I’d be a fool to expect an answer, asking just for the record.

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2016, 11:19 am

        ,” “anti Jewish tools and ideas” might be?”

        My Chef Rabbi told me that food processors are an anti-Jewish tool. He does all his prep by hand, with a well-sharpened izmel.

      • yonah fredman
        November 7, 2016, 11:22 am

        Because some jew haters were born Jewish, it is difficult to define to your satisfaction.
        On the topic of jew: religion or people, it certainly is an elastic definition . One that changes in different contexts. Certainly Spanish anti Jewish attitudes towards conversos, defies the purely a religion, point of view. Surely hitler’s pursuit of killing all jews, no matter their conversion is proof that to many jew haters, religion is a side issue.

        When a transgender person refuses to be defined by society as fitting binary definition, we step back and say, define yourself. Jews deserve the same humility from non jews and from Jewish jew haters as well.

        The jew hating tool is the arrogance, “I will define who is a jew”. Because israel fights its battles with guns and not just words, dreck feel that they have the right to hate. Maybe so. But at least call hatred by its name, even if you cannot call the hater, yourself, by your own name.

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2016, 3:51 pm

        “Because israel fights its battles with guns and not just words, dreck feel that they have the right to hate.”?

        Gosh, there are some awful people in this world. What kind of dreck (Yiddish for “waste matter) doesn’t acknowledge the Jewish right to kill as needed?

        Don’t worry, Yonah” there’s 180 million of us, and growing every day! We don’t have to let other people tell us what to do!

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2016, 3:56 pm

        “Surely hitler’s pursuit of killing all jews, no matter their conversion is proof that…”

        “Yonah” if feel it’s your religious duty to define a “Jew” the same way Adolf Hitler does, or the Catholic Church in the 15th Century does you go right ahead.

        Call me a self-hater, but I tend to doubt they know. But if they are your authourity, you stick with ’em, boychik..

      • echinococcus
        November 7, 2016, 4:40 pm

        Mooser,

        I have to protest! The Catholic church never saw religion as anything but a matter of conversion.

        It’s some predecessors of the Zionists, relics of Reconquista knights, who were obsessed by the Zionist slogan: ¡Limpieza de Sangre! To the Church, though, they argued the relapses, not the blood.

        Forced conversions didn’t help much, either: people unfortunate enough to have religion couldn’t help relapsing and got what was coming under the circumstances.

        Count on Reb Feldman to make hay out of used toilet paper: so he defines his supposed persuasion by the same yardstick as Rosenberg and doesn’t even know what his fellow Zionists in the Inquisition used as justification.

      • echinococcus
        November 7, 2016, 4:52 pm

        The jew hating tool is the arrogance, “I will define who is a jew”.

        A miracle happened, and Reb Feldman gave an answer, fully as absurd as expected.

        So we now know for sure what he means by “Jew”: it corresponds fully to the “limpieza de sangre” of the sub-Torquemadists (in addition to Hitlerian definitions.)

        There is no other possible explanation, as long as he wants the designation to stick to non-religious people. None.

        Who ever invented a right to self-invent some fake identity?
        Assume there is such a right, does Reb Feldman think at all?
        If there was such a thing, the first thing you look at would be his dear Zionist entity: I imangine it just accepted the self-definition by the US Black Jews, or by sundry African refugees right away without a peep, did it?
        Hum.

        Self-definition would be the immediate solution to the Palestine problem, wouldn’t it? Just say you are Jewish and apply for the right citizenship papers where you don’t any longer appear as Palestinian (or “Arab”.)

        Declare your village a Jewish settlement, et voilà!

      • echinococcus
        November 7, 2016, 4:55 pm

        Because israel fights its battles with guns and not just words, dreck feel that they have the right to hate. Maybe so. But at least call hatred by its name, even if you cannot call the hater, yourself, by your own name.

        Who’re you calling “Dreck”, you… lard?

        Of course I have the right to hate invaders committing theft and genocide.
        Did you just say (for the umpteenth time) that all people calling themselves Jewish are the same as your Israel abomination? Right here, above.

      • yonah fredman
        November 7, 2016, 5:03 pm

        As far as Jewish self definition- read Saul bellow, read Philip roth, and they’ll tell you that Jewish is an ethnic identity. Roth in particular disdained the idea that his first wife, a nonjew, could convert and become jewish, as if conversion could change the color of her hair. Albert Einstein on Jewishness and the Jewish religion: a snail is an animal in a shell, take the shell away and it is still a snail.
        The american jews, many of them or most, would choose to disappear, throw away the shell and be thought of as jews of no religion. Certainly the concept of a nation, particularly a nomad nation that has forgotten its texts and its languages and is in the process of losing all coherence and points of identity, that celebrates Xmas and considers the pharisees the villains when it reads the only bible it knows well, certainly when it loosens the cohesion that is essential to its survival as a group, certainly its jewishness is headed towards disappearance, as in the case of American jews in 2016. But a nation is a dynamic thing, not static , and israel was established in1948, when American Jewish intermarriage was single digit, so at that time the jews were more of a nation on the spectrum of nation/identity on one end of the scale and disappearance on the other end of the scale. And even though hitler should not tell me what a jew is or is not, certainly in 1881 the czar and the Russian and Slavic peoples defined who was a jew and when herzl wanted to join a nationalist German frat, they told him, you’re no German, you’re a jew. And when European nationalism was on its rise particularly in eastern and central europe, they defined their nationalism specifically excluding the jew, and discounting the milieu of the birth of zionism, based upon some 2016 concept of kumbaya American ism (differentiated from trump americanism) is anachronistic. Just because one yearns for the disappearance of the jews (or yearns for a society that permits the disappearance of the jews) this does not change the reality of 1881, 1897, 1919, 1939 and 1948, and any analysis of what is a jew that ignores the facts of that history is so pure as to be divorced from reality.

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2016, 6:28 pm

        “what is a jew that ignores the facts of that history is so pure as to be divorced from reality.”

        “Yonah” you are right!
        We must take reality into account. So why don’t we, and define the Jews as:

        “the remaining adherents of, or those who identify with, an ancient but dwindling monotheistic religion (which originated in the Middle East) but today is riven with sectarianism, factionalism, and saddled with a failing colonial project, and an ever lessening number of members and greater and greater internal stresses.”

        Anything in there which isn’t real?

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2016, 6:38 pm

        A lot of what “Yonah” and “Hophmi” and “Dabakr” say makes lots more sense if I simply multiply the number of Jews in the world by ten. Then we will see who does the defining!

      • echinococcus
        November 7, 2016, 6:44 pm

        Reb Feldman wasting more of people’s time .

        As far as Jewish self definition- read Saul bellow, read Philip roth, and they’ll tell you that Jewish is an ethnic identity.

        Them, and you and who else and his daddy all say so. So f*&^% what? Proof?

        Roth in particular disdained the idea that his first wife, a nonjew, could convert and become jewish, as if conversion could change the color of her hair.

        So he is a thorough, flaming racist, not a simple tribal –as always suspected. Good thing he didn’t get an Ethiopian wife…

        The american jews, many of them or most, would choose to disappear, throw away the shell and be thought of as jews of no religion.

        Why Jews? No religion, no Jews. You are not answering, just begging the question, as expected.

        …nomad nation

        grazing their cattle in the Caspian hills or their goats in the Berber oases, now a “nation”, oh yeah! But you have given no shadow of evidence even for “ethnicity” yet…

        forgotten …its languages

        by order of the Zionist bandits

        that celebrates Xmas and considers the pharisees the villains when it reads the only bible it knows well

        sounds extremely logical, depending on what country you belong to

        certainly its jewishness is headed towards disappearance, as in the case of American jews in 2016

        And a good thing for the interested, too. Unless sincerely religious (which would also probably be due to the Jewish Salafist revival in support of Zionism.) The irreligious can finally stop being a cog in an obscurantist tribe and become a simple human. Unless, of course, you can slap them with an “identity” that you still have given no proof of.

      • RoHa
        November 7, 2016, 7:51 pm

        ‘The jew hating tool is the arrogance, “I will define who is a jew”.’

        Of course, you are, as usual, talking bollocks. Saying “Jews are not an ethnicity” is not defining who is or isn’t a Jew. It is saying that Jews do not fit the standard definition of an ethnic group.

        Now if it is true that Jews don’t fit that definition (just as they do not fit the definitions of p-nation or n-nation) then it is just silly for you, or other Jews, to claim that they are an ethnic group just because they so define themselves.

        It is silly in the same way that it would be silly for Jews to claim they are a flock of penguins just because they so define themselves.

      • RoHa
        November 7, 2016, 7:54 pm

        “particularly a nomad nation that has forgotten its texts and its languages”

        If it has forgotten its texts and its languages, they aren’t its texts and languages.

      • yonah fredman
        November 7, 2016, 9:12 pm

        yech- The League of Nations and the United Nations recognized the Jewish people as a distinctive unit.

        I do not cite Bellow and Roth and Einstein as proof, but as explanation of what Jews think of themselves. If you want proof regarding nations, I think you are being unscientific. But that’s okay. Whatever gets you through the night, yechi.

      • echinococcus
        November 7, 2016, 10:15 pm

        Verehrter Reb Fredman,

        The colonial powers at the League of Nations (not so much, but we’ll talk later) and at the United Nations “recognized the Jewish people as a distinctive unit.”

        And that is exactly what started the 70-year-and-counting war of aggression against the whole area –in flagrant violation of the UN Charter, and that is precisely what we have been talking abut these 70 years.

        Besides, these Zioguided colonial powers seem to have neglected to adduce any solid evidence. Any. So they aren’t worth more than the subjective, and financially interested, elucubrations of a couple of skanky middle-class writers.

        I do not cite Bellow and Roth and Einstein as proof, but as explanation of what Jews think of themselves.

        Tell’em to come back when they have some evidence, as distinct from their subjective nonsense. Meanwhile, you may take a break. We all are familiar with whatever you are saying .
        Thank you.

      • echinococcus
        November 7, 2016, 11:08 pm

        Re the “nomad nation that has forgotten its texts and its languages”, RoHa, I would suggest that the Spirit of the Nation remembers them in its bones, like the venerable school mess hall’s bricks remember the gruel eaten there centuries ago. Surely there is no call to ask for pedestrian, linear logic in matters so highly spiritual.

      • yonah fredman
        November 8, 2016, 2:26 am

        Proposed: eastern European jews coming to new York city and america in the great migration of millions between 1881 and 1920 were a distinct ethnic group, for an ethnic group is defined as “a population made up of people who share a common cultural background.”
        Agree or disagree?

      • RoHa
        November 8, 2016, 4:48 am

        A spirit with bones?

      • eljay
        November 8, 2016, 8:16 am

        || RoHa: A spirit with bones? ||

        One spirit with bones comin’ right up!  :-)

      • Mooser
        November 8, 2016, 11:04 am

        “Re the “nomad nation that has forgotten its texts and its languages”,

        Culd somebody remind “Yonah” that there’s a big difference between “not forgetting” and making stuff up. Hail Ceaserini!

      • Mooser
        November 8, 2016, 11:23 am

        ” Agree or disagree?”

        Be careful everyone, it’s a trick question!
        If you are careless enough to answer “Why yes, by certain measures, one might indeed call Eastern European Jews a “culture”, that leads directly to the conclusion that the Palestinians can be dispossessed and murdered.
        Cause God likes us and wants history to be on our side!

        And because, let’s face it, 180 million, no, 1.2 billion Jews need a place to go, and with numbers like that, who’s gonna stop us?

      • Mooser
        November 8, 2016, 11:29 am

        “A spirit with bones?”

        B) “Eenie- Beenie, chili-weenie! The spirits are about to speak!”

        R) “Are they friendly spirits?”

        B) “Friendly? Just listen!

      • amigo
        November 8, 2016, 11:50 am

        “The League of Nations and the United Nations recognized the Jewish people as a distinctive unit. ” YF

        The united nations did not recognise Jews as having the right to expel by force another ethnic group form their home of centuries.

      • Mooser
        November 8, 2016, 12:40 pm

        “The League of Nations and the United Nations recognized the Jewish people as a distinctive unit.”

        “Distinctive unit”? “Yonah” could you try to cut out the off-color jokes, already?

      • Mooser
        November 8, 2016, 2:23 pm

        “The united nations did not recognise Jews as having the right to expel by force another ethnic group form their home of centuries.”

        Hey, “amigo” you know how it goes. Sure, we didn’t have the right maybe, but overwhelming force of numbers and an ever burgeoning population makes demands on a people that transcend ordinary right and wrong.

      • Mooser
        November 8, 2016, 3:05 pm

        “Proposed: eastern European jews coming to new York city and america in the great migration of millions between 1881 and 1920 were a distinct ethnic group”

        So what? What is it that America owes an “ethnic group” besides including them as citizens, by the prevailing procedures? And for a religious group, the right to worship. We got all that. Is there something else they owe us, while there are many other people in the US who haven’t even gotten that?

      • Mooser
        November 8, 2016, 3:11 pm

        “eastern European jews coming to new York city and america in the great migration of millions between 1881 and 1920 were…”

        …only a part, and by no means the largest of the tens of millions who came to the US during the period of open immigration.

      • eljay
        November 8, 2016, 3:16 pm

        || Mooser: … So what? What is it that America owes an “ethnic group” besides including them as citizens, by the prevailing procedures? And for a religious group, the right to worship. We got all that. Is there something else they owe us, while there are many other people in the US who haven’t even gotten that? ||

        I’ll never understand why you, RoHa, talknic and others insist on being so g*ddamned reasonable.

      • Mooser
        November 8, 2016, 3:18 pm

        “herzl wanted to join a nationalist German frat”

        The poor guy. He couldn’t become a Nazi, so he had to settle for the next best thing?

      • Mooser
        November 8, 2016, 4:44 pm

        “So what? What is it that America owes an “ethnic group””

        “Yonah” is only asking that our history and culture as a separate group be recognized in the US. You know, like America did for the African-Americans, Native Americans, and in other contexts Hispanic and Asian-Americans.
        Nope, instead, they just threw us in there with everybody else.

      • RoHa
        November 8, 2016, 6:12 pm

        Spirits.

        @eljay: Yeuch!

        @Mooser: Yeuch again!

      • echinococcus
        November 9, 2016, 11:47 pm

        RoHa,

        A boneless spirit wouldn’t be able to guard anything.

  11. Kay24
    November 6, 2016, 6:48 am

    I guess the ziohasbarites must thank Frank Luntz for his brainchild of unleashing disinformation, false propaganda, and the filthy comments we encounter in many websites. Thankfully, MDW has been able to at least take the ugliness out of comments, that many times are personal attacks in other websites. It is hard to fathom how they may be measuring success, but I doubt many people have been “persuaded” to see Israel as the shiny beacon of light in the ME.

    http://muzzlewatch.com/2014/11/14/frank-luntzs-latest-hasbara-talking-points-how-to-defend-israel-post-gaza/

  12. Ossinev
    November 6, 2016, 11:37 am

    @DaBakr
    “on a designated hate-site like mw”

    Maybe I missed something in your previous posts or in your current torrent of Hasbaritic diarrhoea but please clarify – who or what ” designated ” MW as a “hate site “. A when and how would also be useful to know. Waiting eagerly to hear from you on this one – I do hope that it is not a “Mexicans are rapists” Trump style “designation”

  13. Mooser
    November 6, 2016, 1:41 pm

    Well, well, here’s progress ! No conflating Zionism and Judaism here! Whether it’s the ad, or the article on it.:

    Trump Rolls Out Anti-Semitic Closing Ad

    • Mooser
      November 7, 2016, 5:20 pm

      “RJC all in for Trump”

      Ah, classic antisemitism directed at liberal American Jews is simply healthy political argument. But Anti-Zionist argument (especially from Jews!) is the only real kind of antisemitism.

  14. Ossinev
    November 7, 2016, 7:09 am

    I think Mr.Johnson is guilty of anti – termitism .

  15. eljay
    November 7, 2016, 10:38 am

    You called my people “termites.” That’s not a poor choice of words. That’s the revelation of a diseased self. — John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) July 25, 2016

    The fact that Mr. Podhoretz – an American – considers himself to be a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist Israeli colonist is the revelation of a diseased self.

  16. AddictionMyth
    November 7, 2016, 12:50 pm

    Max Blumenthal and JVP received a death threat on twitter a few months ago (documented on my web site of the same name). Yet no one said a word, other than the victims and me. Having been the victim of Hasbara attacks, I am quite sensitive to this issue. However fortunately I feel that Goldberg is changing his stance. When he opens up his articles to comments I’ll believe it. (And I promise to protect him from the ‘anti-Semite trolls’.)

  17. hophmi
    November 7, 2016, 1:55 pm

    “Jeffrey Goldberg has been the most aggressive proselytizer in America for hasbara culture and its highly politicized character. ”

    You are completely insane, Yakov That statement is not based in reality, like most of what you write here.

  18. Yakov Hirsch
    November 7, 2016, 5:04 pm

    hophmi November 7, 2016, 1:55 pm
    “Jeffrey Goldberg has been the most aggressive proselytizer in America for hasbara culture and its highly politicized character. ”
    “You are completely insane, Yakov That statement is not based in reality, like most of what you write here.”

    Hophmi, if you use heavy ammo like “completely insane now,” what exactly is left to call me after my upcoming, even more “completely insane” articles?

    • Mooser
      November 7, 2016, 5:29 pm

      “Hophmi, if you use heavy ammo like “completely insane now,” what exactly is left to call me after my upcoming, even more “completely insane” articles?”

      After “Yonah” and “Hophmi” run out of things to call you, they will start libeling your parents and family. Plenty of examples in the archives.

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