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Islamophobia reigns in Newsweek comment section– ‘Towel head camel humpers’

Yesterday Newsweek ran an article by Sarah Helm about a 24-year-old Palestinian woman’s efforts to protect the Noble Sanctuary/Temple Mount in Jerusalem from the incursions of religious Jews who aim to build a temple in the place of the Al Aqsa mosque. Titled The Young Woman at the Forefront of Jerusalem’s New Holy War, the piece elicited blatantly-bigoted comments about Muslims that set our hair on end. These comments have been up for a day now, and will surely soon be removed; but they are evidence of the rampant Islamophobia in American public life. The Dana Klein of Trumbull, CT, who describes Palestinians as “towel head … camel humpers” appears from searches to be a real name. Amazing that folks would want to attach their names to such appalling statements.

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Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss

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44 Responses

  1. Bumblebye on December 5, 2014, 9:35 am

    bbcWorld Newshour is from Jerusalem today (2pm GMT). First on the subject was one of thevfemale Guardians, explaining that the so called “status quo” had changed – because Israel now controls the gates and entry, takes id’s, bars entry and can close the Haram al Sherif. The Israeli interviewed next said “It’s like London” to which presenter said “with greatest respect, no it’s not”

  2. ckg on December 5, 2014, 10:39 am

    Newsweek’s sister site, the Daily Beast, published Dean Obeidallah’s piece Arabs Are the Michael Browns of Israel this week. The comments there were almost all hostile to either Palestinians, Muslims, or African-Americans. For example,

    Israel is an island of sanity in a region of bloodthirsty and ignorant countries. Islam has not contributed anything but discord and savagery to the world and NOTHING else.

    Unfortunately, the comment sections of all major U.S. news sites, with the exeption of the Guardian and heavily moderated NYT, are rife with this stuff. It proves Mencken was right about Americans.

    • Walid on December 5, 2014, 3:12 pm

      What is different in Dean Obeidallah’s milking of Michel Brown’s story to highlight Palestinians’ woes from the Zionists milking the holocaust at every opportunity? I don’t agree with these parallel gimmicks.

  3. Kay24 on December 5, 2014, 11:05 am

    Wow what ugly, racist people. That woman certainly knows how to spew, but I bet if these horrible words were about the Jews, she would be whining about anti-semitism, and crying about how mean the world is. These are the usual double standards we have become familiar with.
    One standard for them, and the rest deserves such vile words, and hey, certainly those precision bombs. Must be nice living in Trumbull CT, and being so vicious about people her mind has been programmed to hate so much, and she does not have a clue about their suffering.

    The supporters of zionism are now reaching that level of hatred the nazis were known for.
    With calls from Israelis for concentration camps, Gaza to be leveled, precision bombs to be sent into densely populated areas, and this woman (like so many others we see in comments), it is becoming obvious, the zionists are heading that way fast. There is no other description for this viciousness.

  4. seanmcbride on December 5, 2014, 11:23 am

    Please delete this comment — I am using it to activate email notifications of comments on this article. Thanks.

    Great article, by the way — it’s smart to start digging into and analyzing the comments on major Internet publications.

  5. amigo on December 5, 2014, 11:34 am

    The Dana Kleins of the world would be the first out of the trap if anyone said boo about Jews.

    I think her diatribe should stay up so people can get an idea what zionists are really like.

    Nice to see Yaakov Sullivan still fighting the good fight and showing others that not all Jews are vassals of bigotry and racist hatred.Yaakov used to post quite often on Haaretz .I must say I have never seen such poisonous vitriol , even on J Post.Zios are feeling the pinch.

  6. Laurent Weppe on December 5, 2014, 12:08 pm

    Don’t you love it when racists use their real names while expressing either bloodlust and/or intent to enslave other ethnicities?

  7. Walid on December 5, 2014, 12:25 pm

    Amigo, if I’m not mistaken from a while back at Haaretz, , I think Yaakov is a convert to Christianity.

    • amigo on December 5, 2014, 12:52 pm

      Walid, I believe he is a Messianic Jew.In any case , I do not adhere to the idea that changing one,s religion , negates one,s Jewishness.Unless I change my citizenship I am Irish.Changing from catholicism to whatever does not change that, nor should it in a true democracy.

      That whole subject about what is a Jew is so confusing , I mostly stay away from the subject.You I am sure understand it far better than I.

      • Walid on December 5, 2014, 1:54 pm

        Amigo, I’m not better informed about them than you are. I try to stay away from Jews discussing Jewishness among themselves to avoid getting a bloodied nose; I don’t believe in their exceptionalism as much as they do, especially when they argue against it, which in fact confirm it.

        Getting back to Yaakov that I remember well from Haaretz 2006, from one of his posts on YNet in 2008, he claims to be a Roman Catholic that became a Jew and so calls himself a Roman Catholic Jew. One of his few posts opn the same day in 2008:

        ” 79. As a Roman Catholic Jew I am supporting this idea.

        When I served as a missionary in Israel (12 years) I encountered lots of those phony evangelicals who claim they are true Christians. This is`not rtue because they even don’t worship Mary..

        As to Jews I was really sad because they don’t agree to convert at all. Even when I converted to Judaism and started to claim I am Jewish and speak Hebrew they never believed me and refused to hear about our Christ. This is the reason I am quite pessimistic, but effort must be made nevertheless.

        aakov Sullivan , NYC (09.17.08)”,7340,L-3597754,00.html

  8. Pippilin on December 5, 2014, 12:31 pm

    I remember the days, in the 60s and 70s, when Time and Newsweek were respectable and liberal publications. I remember reading an article back then on Carlos Castaneda that was so long and intense that I almost couldn’t finish it. Those were the days of in-depth reporting and major attempts at objectivity.
    Times have changed: the US populace has been dumbed down and fallen for US hasbara regarding the I/P conflict– and so have these publications.
    As proof, just re-read the redneck, ignorant comments in the article above. Comments like those don’t come from people who read The Nation, Mother Jones, and Mondoweiss.

    • annie on December 5, 2014, 1:31 pm

      Comments like those don’t come from people who read The Nation, Mother Jones, and Mondoweiss.

      pip, i have read a lot of comments but i was just astounded when i read these. it’s hard to fathom how a person would ever use their real name to post such ugly gruesome comments. i was so floored i was rendered speechless. i spent an hour or so just googling the name, looking at the address, finding it on google map and looking at the street, the neighborhood a person like this lives in. then i looked at photos of the town. and i just cried that there are people like this just living in what looks like, from the outside, a normal american town. i wondered if her neighbors knew they lived next door to such an openly bigoted person. what it would be like standing in the line in back of her at the grocery store. if her children’s friends parents knew what she was like and allowed their kids to play at her house. just weird thoughts like this. it was so depressing for me. just so depressing. just so astounding.

      • oldgeezer on December 5, 2014, 2:59 pm

        “it’s hard to fathom how a person would ever use their real name ”

        Well it’s mostly terrible that people can be such racists/bigots regardless of the target. Real name or not.

    • amigo on December 5, 2014, 3:12 pm

      tò walid upthread.

      Thanks.I stand corrected.

      • Walid on December 5, 2014, 3:16 pm

        Amigo, I wasn’t exactly right either, I believed he was a Jew that converted to Catholicism but on checking back, it turned out the other way around. He was a Roman Catholic that became a Jew. I stand corrected too.

  9. Sycamores on December 5, 2014, 12:32 pm

    racists and stupidity goes hand in hand.

    a case in point from Nicole Green

    the lord is gathering them in one place so he himself can destroy them all

    she referring to Muslims but it’s not the Muslims that are gathering in one small place.

    maybe Nichole should think before she writes

    well at least racism provides equal opportunities for both men and women to spout what they want.

  10. K Renner on December 5, 2014, 12:55 pm

    The “best” part about disgusting people like this is either how quick they are to shrill “anti Semitism! anti Semitism!” at the drop of a pin, or wax hard on how much they “love and support the JEWISH PEOPLE, so I can’t be racist or bigoted in any way!”

    It truly is pathetic and indicative of how stupid they really are.

  11. OyVey00 on December 5, 2014, 1:04 pm

    Guys, if you think this is bad you should start reading youtube comments lol

  12. just on December 5, 2014, 1:11 pm

    This is impossible to digest. These people might be your neighbors~ this rampant xenophobia/Islamophobia started before 911.

    Why is this tolerated? This isn’t Newsweek, it’s Newspeak and Hatespeak.

    • just on December 5, 2014, 1:14 pm

      Diane Rehm’s show today featured plenty of Islamophobic callers… it was difficult to listen to.

      Nancy Youssef did the best that she could…

    • Walid on December 5, 2014, 1:16 pm

      Just, I don’t remember it being rampant before 911. It was there of course, like so many other phobias, but it really took off with 911 and Bush claiming Americans were hated for their freedom.

      • just on December 5, 2014, 1:33 pm

        Depends on where you live in the US…or world.

        The first “gulf war” brought many epithets/ ignorance/hatred streaming out of the proverbial American woodwork…

      • oldgeezer on December 5, 2014, 3:08 pm

        Rampant is a subjective term really so I can’t argue either side. But Islam and Arabs have long been targets prior to 9/11 in the cultural media. They have always been portrayed in a negative light and usually evil.

        Rampant? Perhaps not but it was both pervasive and persistant.

      • Walker on December 5, 2014, 3:12 pm

        Like many other unpleasant things in our society, Islamophobia has been exacerbated by our relationship to Israel.

        For many decades the media have been printing one side of the IP (formerly “Arab-Israeli) conflict. For decades the public has been told about terrorist attacks, suicide bombings, and Palestinian hatred for Israelis without being well informed of the other side. Americans came to believe that this Palestinian acting out was basically unmotivated, and therefore Arabs (now “Muslims”) were not decent human beings.

        When 911 happened the US public was prepared to take that ball and run with it.

        Of course, the incredibly biased US media is not the only problem. There’s also “American exceptionalism” and the way we live our lives in an echo chamber. That problem predates the birth of Israel.

      • Walid on December 5, 2014, 3:32 pm

        Oldgeezer, except for redneck areas, until 911 Arabs living north of the 38th never had any problems although you have a point about how Arabs were always portrayed by Hollywood. Things started deteriorating seriously after 911 and with the inflow of North-African immigrants with their demands for separate schools and so on and making overall assholes of themselves.

      • K Renner on December 5, 2014, 4:40 pm

        Bush wasn’t even the worst– in hindsight he seems to represent the last of the nominally sane members of the GOP.

        What do they have now? The likes of Rick Perry and Huckabee and that poison dwarf Newt Gingrich?

        Completely off the rails (more then usual) and down the hill into being unapologetically batshit insane, as far as I see it.

    • annie on December 5, 2014, 1:36 pm

      just, this is similar to the thoughts that ran thru my head (as i just mentioned above in a comment).

      • just on December 5, 2014, 1:47 pm

        I just read your comments, Annie. Thank you for them.

        It’s chilling that this is tolerated at all!

        I can’t imagine hating and disrespecting other human beings like this.

        (I guess that might explain why 95% of Israelis supported the most recent slaughter of Gaza’s Palestinians, and why the ‘GWOT’ was such a successful PR stunt.)

      • OyVey00 on December 5, 2014, 1:51 pm

        It’s chilling that this is tolerated at all!

        Ikr? Free speech on the internet, so chilling.

    • ckg on December 5, 2014, 1:53 pm

      Before 911, I think, it was more anti-Arab and anti-Iran xenophobia. Then 911 saw a shift to Islam being the target of the haters. The days between the OKC Murrah incident and the time Timothy McVeigh was arrested I recall as stressful for Arab-Americans . I remember commenters on Compuserve and AOL were calling for an Arab country to be nuked–it didn’t matter which one.

      • Kay24 on December 5, 2014, 2:12 pm

        It has taken a major shift because there are stinking rich zionists, like Nina Rosenwald, who pour in lots of money for anti Muslim campaigns. She was called the sugar mama of anti Muslim hate.

      • Walker on December 5, 2014, 3:14 pm

        ckg, you’re right. Forgotten in this shift from Arab to Muslim hatred is the historically prominent presence of Christians in the Palestinian resistance ranks.

      • ckg on December 5, 2014, 7:52 pm

        Walker, true. Palestinian Christians often are used by Israel’s supporters as pawns. They are represented as victims of Muslims in the West Bank, for example, by Michael Oren on 60 Minutes. The U.S. media can’t seem to bother themselves to interview actual Palestinian Christians like Hanan Ashrawi.

      • ckg on December 5, 2014, 8:07 pm

        And Edward Said, of course, was a Christian.

      • Mooser on December 11, 2014, 7:35 pm

        That article on Rosenwald sure is discouraging.

  13. Kay24 on December 5, 2014, 1:42 pm

    This is unbelievable. Youtube shows student reaction to ISIS and Israeli flags. Guess which one got the worse reaction?

    • OyVey00 on December 5, 2014, 1:55 pm

      Might as well read the comments on the video while you’re at it haha.

      Do people even know what the ISIS flag looks like?

      • Sycamores on December 5, 2014, 3:01 pm

        Do people even know what the ISIS flag looks like?

        probably not but people are beginning to recognize 70 years of occupation which is represented by the Israeli flag.

        another fail zionist thought experiment that has backfire.

  14. Scott on December 5, 2014, 1:52 pm

    Probably because not that many people know what an ISIS flag looks like.

    • Kay24 on December 5, 2014, 1:57 pm

      That is possible, but the reaction to the Israeli flag says it all.

    • Walid on December 5, 2014, 2:51 pm

      “Probably because not that many people know what an ISIS flag looks like. ”

      Probably, but could also be indicative of how much the students follow international news. The ISIS flag was prominently displayed at the executions of American journalists Foley and Sotloff. They recognized the Israeli flag from the never-ending spoon feeding on American TV of poor Israel under the threat of Hamas’ mighty rockets that also displayed the kiling of so many civilians in Gaza.

  15. chet on December 5, 2014, 2:51 pm

    Section 319(2) of the Canadian Criminal Code:

    “(2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of

    (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

    (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.”

    Dilemma — constitutionally-protected free speech vs. sanctions against hate crimes. Canada chose the latter.

  16. RoHa on December 5, 2014, 6:46 pm

    Dana Klein can’t spell “existence”.

  17. ymedad on December 6, 2014, 2:25 pm

    “appears from searches to be a real name”.


    who can’t do a proper check including trying to contact her to confirm?

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