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Israelis and Americans are ho-hum about Palestinian children’s deaths

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Bloomberg with Danny Danon

Bloomberg with Danny Danon at Israel Day Parade a year ago

Two years ago Jodi Rudoren of the New York Times got in trouble when she observed that Palestinians in Gaza were “ho-hum” about their children’s deaths. Well it turns out she was warm: Israelis and Americans are “ho-hum” about Palestinian children’s deaths. Former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg went to Israel to accept a “Jewish values” prize and in a long article in the New York Times, there wasn’t one word about the killings of two unarmed Palestinian youths a week before at a demonstration, a story that has gone round the world.

From the Times, the award:

Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire businessman who served three terms as mayor of New York, was the one receiving — and then returning — the first-ever Genesis Prize, which honors achievement steeped in what it calls “Jewish values.”

Instead of pocketing what to him might be considered pocket change, Mr. Bloomberg and the Genesis organization announced a global competition with 10 prizes of $100,000 available to entrepreneurs ages 20 to 36 with big ideas, also based on Jewish values, to better the world…

What are Bloomberg’s Jewish values?

Mr. Bloomberg, 72, visited Israel frequently while in office, and he has donated millions of dollars to Jerusalem institutions, financing a hospital wing named for his mother and an ambulance center named for his father…

Mr. Bloomberg said his religiously observant parents had inculcated Jewish values around the dinner table, and he identified those qualities Thursday night as “freedom, justice, service, ambition, innovation.”

“The values I learned from my parents are probably the same values that, I hope, Christians and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists learned from their parents,” he said at an earlier appearance. “They’re all centered around God put us on Earth and said we should take care of each other. We have an obligation not to just talk about it but to actually do it.”

Freedom and justice? But that’s what those young men want who were at the Nakba Day demonstration last week. Shouldn’t Jews be talking about that? I think they should.

Jay Leno was there too. Hosting the prize ceremony. I guess Americans are ho-hum about Palestinian children’s deaths, too:

Mr. Leno, 64, is not Jewish and had not been to Israel before Tuesday, when he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“This is just like a Hollywood awards show but with fewer Jews,” Mr. Leno cracked Thursday night. Taking note of the preshow buffet featuring falafel, gefilte fish, goulash and roast lamb, which was billed as “Jewish cuisine from around the world,” Mr. Leno said it was “what is known in New York as a deli.”

He made light of the recent sentencing of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to six years in prison for taking bribes, but avoided the political minefield of Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians except to say that the “least popular boys’ name” is “John Kerry,” a reference to the secretary of state.

More Jewish values:

Candidates for the $100,000 prize [announced by Bloomberg with his prize money] need not be Jewish, though the video promoting it showcased an all-Jewish cast of achievers, including Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Marc Chagall, Levi Strauss, Mark Zuckerberg and Sarah Silverman.

Again: not a word about the killings of two Palestinian youths protesting an illegal occupation, days before. A shame.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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18 Responses

  1. just on May 23, 2014, 10:51 am

    “Israelis and Americans are ho-hum about Palestinian children’s deaths”

    They are largely ‘ho- hum’ about ANY Palestinian deaths………….

    Or any Arab/Muslim/African deaths anywhere…

    Not just ‘a shame’, it is shameful. The end result of a deliberate campaign of Islamophobia/GWOT run amok.

  2. on May 23, 2014, 10:55 am

    Phil — you missed the creme de la creme! (So to speak.)

    “The values I learned from my parents are probably the same values that, I hope, Christians and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists learned from their parents,” he said.

    HE HOPES?!?!? He hopes other children have been taught, by their parents, the same values? Values that would enable them to visit a country the whole world sees as in blatant violation of international law, a country whose soldiers get to kill rock-throwing children w impunity — and did just that week! — and not say a word about it?

    Wow. And I thought Giuliani was bad.

    • just on May 23, 2014, 11:37 am

      only slightly hubristic, eh? He knows “values” better than everybody else………

  3. Kay24 on May 23, 2014, 10:57 am

    Let me remind the commenters here about another brutal murder that took place, which was another example of the ho-hum reaction by the zionist media in the US, and conveniently forgotten, even when similar murders take place:
    Iman Darweesh Al Hams (1991 – 5 October 2004) was a 13-year-old Palestinian girl killed by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fire near a military observation post in a “no-man’s” zone near the Philadelphi Route on 5 October 2004, inRafah in the Gaza Strip.

    The IDF commander of the soldiers who shot her was accused by his comrades and Palestinian witnesses of using automatic fire to deliberately shoot her repeatedly, a subject which was brought into investigation.[1] During trial, he expressed no regret over his actions and said he would have done the same even if the girl was a 3-year-old.[2] Human rightsgroups cite her death as one of several incidents which illustrate a “culture of impunity” in the IDF.[3] Some key witnesses later recanted their testimony.[4] The commander was charged with illegal use of his weapon, conduct unbecoming an officer and perverting the course of justice by an Israeli military court but was found not guilty.[5] Later a Jerusalem district court found the claim that he had shot her multiple times to verify her death to be libelous and required the journalist and television company who had circulated the report to air a correction.[6]

    Overview of the incident

    Soldiers said they opened fire on the girl because they initially thought she was planting a bomb,[7] although the tape recording of the radio conversation between soldiers at the scene reveals that, from the beginning, she was identified as a child and at no point was a bomb spoken about nor was she described as a threat.[8] After she was hit, soldiers claimed the unit’s commanding officer went up to her and kept on shooting her,[9] despite their pleas to stop.[7] No explosives or weapons were found on the girl’s body.[10] A search of her bag revealed that it was filled with textbooks.[11]

    The soldiers then explained how while Iman was lying wounded about 70 m from the Israeli guard post, the commander fired two bullets at her head from close range.[13] They also stated that the commander returned to her body again, put his weapon on the automatic setting, and emptied his entire magazine into her body, disregarding their objections over the walkie-talkie.[13] One of the soldiers said:

    “We couldn’t believe what he had done. Our hearts ached for her. Just a 13-year-old girl … How do you spray a girl from close range? He was hot for a long time to take out terrorists and shot the girl to relieve pressure.”


    Some who wear the uniform of Israel’s armed forces, seems sadistic, and criminally insane.
    A real danger to unarmed, occupied people, who are under their mercy.
    They seem to get away with their ruthless crimes, and found not guilty.
    Ho-hum all right.

    • Woody Tanaka on May 23, 2014, 11:17 am

      Thanks Kay, for the reminder. While not every I”D”Fer is a psychopathic sadist, many are, maybe most. The fact that there seems to be no end to the number of them they have does suggest that the Zionist state seems primed to churn out such monsters.

      • Kay24 on May 23, 2014, 11:49 am

        I agree, to NOT deal with them harshly, and punish them severely, only makes the other IDF lunatics feel they can commit brutal murders, and get away with it. The zionist regime does not want to stop the cold blooded murders, and prevent more crimes, by giving the highest possible sentences.
        They seem to be free to kill again, very quickly.

        However, if one looks at the way they treat the Palestinians, how easily they are arrested for minor crimes, their endless incarceration, no legal recourse, the abuse of kids in prison, arrested in the night, and thrown in jails for years, many of them innocent, you have to wonder how the UN, US, EU, and humanitarian agencies, do nothing, but make polite condemnation, and move on to other things.

      • jon s on May 23, 2014, 5:25 pm

        Kay24, Would you like to read graphic descriptions of the murder of Jewish children by terrorists?

      • adele on May 23, 2014, 5:56 pm

        The death of any person, especially an innocent child, is heartbreaking, regardless of creed or race. But the difference Jon S is that we don’t question their deaths or make up farcical stories to try and trivialize their tragic deaths further. Apart from that, what is your point then?

      • Woody Tanaka on May 23, 2014, 5:57 pm

        LMAO, oh, you’re always the victims, jon. Even when one of your sociopathic buddies murders teens for sport, you’re still the victims…

      • eljay on May 23, 2014, 9:27 pm

        >> Kay24, Would you like to read graphic descriptions of the murder of Jewish children by terrorists?

        Nice bit of diversion and apologetics from a guy who just recently wrote:

        When terrorists murder innocent people, I, for one, lose interest in whatever “real political reasons” they supposedly had. I don’t care if they are Moslem, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, atheist or whatever …

        Reading about the murder of Jewish children does not and should not absolve Zio-supremacist occupation terrorists of their past and ON-GOING (war) crimes.

      • Eva Smagacz on May 24, 2014, 9:25 am

        jon s,
        Nobody normal “likes” to read graphic descriptions of the murder of ANY children by terrorists, Jewish or otherwise.
        But we write about it, and read about it, to give homage to their young lives, and give us courage and impetus to strive for justice and peace.

  4. Woody Tanaka on May 23, 2014, 11:01 am

    Mostly, I’m not surprised. Israeli Jews and Americans simply don’t care that these boys were murdered in cold blood. In fact, I would bet that the majority would either approve of it as cold blooded murder (“meh, they’re not Jews, just Arabs, so their lives are meaningless.”) or would make excuses, even where those excuses are patently false (“oh, they must have been terrorists who were a threat.”)

    Phil, you keep referencing “Jewish values” on this site and expressing dismay that those values aren’t exercised when it comes to the Palestinians. Frankly, from what I can see, the vast majority of the world’s Jews don’t give a damn about those values, except to pay lip service to them, when doing so would benefit the Palestinians.

    • Woody Tanaka on May 23, 2014, 11:37 am

      “Frankly, from what I can see, the vast majority of the world’s Jews don’t give a damn about those values, except to pay lip service to them, when doing so would benefit the Palestinians.”

      And, as an addendum: sadly, they are no different than the majority of the world’s people, who often profess to have ideals and standards and principles that they simple fail to exercise in practice, when it is in their personal interest to do so.

  5. weareone on May 23, 2014, 12:18 pm

    “Phil, you keep referencing “Jewish values” on this site and expressing dismay that those values aren’t exercised when it comes to the Palestinians. Frankly, from what I can see, the vast majority of the world’s Jews don’t give a damn about those values, except to pay lip service to them, when doing so would benefit the Palestinians.”

    I agree, Woody. Phil, what are “Jewish values?” This seems very tribal and narrow. Most religions in the world have similar values and laws for right behavior. If anything, as Woody has said, the majority of the world’s Jews have demonstrated contempt for these values by condoning (through words, deeds or silence) the almost 70 year genocide in Palestine. imo, as a non-Jew, the ONLY Jews with any moral authority to speak about Jewish values are those who have condemned the creation of israel, ethnic cleansing and it’s crimes against humanity from its inception- groups such as Neturei Karta If you want to have a discussion of values that should apply to everyone, from the perspective of Jewish religious teachings, I recommend that you interview Rabbi Weiss of Neturei Karta. He and many others in his organization have been outspoken against zionism since its inception and have been persecuted by the larger Jewish community for upholding Jewish values.

  6. adele on May 23, 2014, 1:06 pm

    Behold Emperor Bloomberg’s values:

    STOP & FRISK: Since Bloomberg’s term began, the number of people stopped and interrogated by the New York Police Department rose 600 percent. In 2011, the NYPD stopped people 685,724 times. About 87 percent of these people were black or Latino, and fewer than 10 percent of these stops resulted in arrests.

    The Bloomberg administration argued that “stop and frisk” made the city safer (statistics don’t prove this claim). The mayor went so far as to say the number of minorities stopped was not a disproportionate percentage of those committing or experiencing crime. Bloomberg actually said: “In that case I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.”

    SECRET SURVEILLANCE UNIT monitoring Mosques, Muslim-owned businesses and Muslim Student Groups: Bloomberg claimed that the NYPD didn’t focus on religion and only follows threats or leads: “Everything the NYPD has done is legal, it is appropriate, it is constitutional.” The surveillance program was disbanded on April 15, 2014 after a meeting that was held with several Muslim advocates on April 8, 2014. It was also revealed that the surveillance program failed to generate even a single lead.

    SQUELCHING POLITICAL DISSENT at the 2004 Republican Convention: more than 1,800 people had been arrested during protests of the RNC Convention, and placed in toxic holding cells that came to be known as Guantanamo on the Hudson.”
    Under Mayor Bloomberg’s supervision, in one of the most progressive major cities in the world, the NYPD’s 1,800 arrests around the 2004 RNC protests amounted to the largest use of preventive detention of political protesters in more than 230 years on U.S. history. Many of those arrested were caught in large orange nets that police indiscriminately tossed over sidewalk “holding pens” for protesters. After the 1,800 protesters were handcuffed and bussed to an abandoned, filthy city-owned pier on the West Side highway, they were denied phone calls, medications and food. Many were held in this condition for more than 24 hours, despite court orders to release them. This heavy-handed, illegal crackdown on peaceful protest insured that they would not return to exercise their First Amendment rights and protest the RNC, and would not embarrass Mayor Bloomberg, and his vision of a Republican-welcoming city.

    GOOD BLOOMBERG: Under his watch the city’s waterfronts were turned into parks and smoking in public places was banned.

  7. Citizen on May 23, 2014, 1:33 pm

    Leno is just like Imus; not a single clue of hasbara infection. Who needs these stupid goys manufacturing news in our mainstream media that always benefits Israel, who is robbing us blind? Here, listen to the clue from the former AIPAC mouth:

  8. DICKERSON3870 on May 23, 2014, 11:53 pm

    RE: “Israelis and Americans are ho-hum about Palestinian children’s deaths”

    MY COMMENT: I don’t know about the Israelis, but as to the Americans, the overwhelming majority of them don’t know anything about the Palestinian children’s deaths because the mainstream media in the U.S. hasn’t really covered it. Consequently, it would be more appropriate to say that Americans are “no-hum” (rather than ho-hum) about the deaths.
    I can’t help but add that the dearth of coverage of the deaths is in stark contrast to the considerable coverage of Iran’s having arrested some people over an internet video showing them dancing to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”. This makes the current Iranian government look bad because the arrests were not made due to the copyright infringement, but rather for a type of vague moral “offense” (i.e., “decadence”) that the Saudis often arrest people for.

  9. libra on May 24, 2014, 1:26 pm

    Is Phil beginning to see through Bloomberg that it’s actually the same values underpinning the shameless celebration of achievement with an all-Jewish cast list and the shameful silence on the Palestinian youths killed by Israelis?

    Certainly Bloomberg is smart enough to understand the crucial role of Israel to the “Jewish success story” and isn’t going to rock the boat on the former and risk damaging his place in the latter.

    As for Leno, clearly he understands how the game works in Hollywood and still wants to be a player. He can hardly be used as a stand-in for all “Americans” any more than Bloomberg can be.

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