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Rightwing Israelis celebrate murder of a Jewish activist (and NYT won’t tell you so)

US Politics

Maybe you have read about the murder in Jerusalem of Richard Lakin, 76, an American idealist who moved to Israel in 1984 and became active in the peace movement there and then was shot and stabbed by young Palestinians on a Jerusalem bus two weeks ago, succumbing to his wounds on Tuesday. The Hartford Courant says Lakin “spent a lifetime trying to bring people of different religions and races together.” The New York Times has a moving report from Lakin’s funeral saying he was a civil rights activist in the U.S. before moving to Israel to be a teacher.

Peace Now also has a report on the case, apparently based on a translation of a report in the Hebrew press:

Less than a day after Richard Lakin passed away Tuesday from the wounds he suffered in an attack by two Palestinians two weeks ago, thousands of right-wingers on the Internet celebrated his death. The flood of hate posts began after the right-wing Israeli rapper, ‘The Shadow,’ wrote on Facebook that the murder of Lakin, an activist with the ‘Tag Meir’ group, which visits Palestinians who were attacked by Jews, should be a wake-up call to left-wingers. “He needs to be buried in Gaza and people should shit on his gravestone,” posted one on Facebook over a picture of Lakin’s face. “Another dead terrorist,” wrote another. “So it turns out Arabs do good things sometimes.” “For me he is another terrorist.” “Since I really love the left-wing, I want to wish them the same thing,” others wrote.

The New York Times did not mention those Facebook posts in its piece on Lakin. It does, however, mention the Facebook posts by Palestinian youth inciting attacks on Israelis. Lakin’s “family is now suing Facebook over posts they say incite violence,” the Times reports. It notes that a Palestinian killed in the bus attack, Bahas Alian

had announced his plans on Facebook. While sitting vigil in the hospital, the family was incensed to find on social networks a re-enactment of the bus attack “to encourage others to take the same action,” [Lakin’s son Micah] Avni said, and “specific instructions on how to slice someone’s chest open and cut their intestines like what was done to my father.”

The Times elaborates:

“My father had been a great beneficiary of social media. He used Facebook and Twitter to express his thoughts on education and on peace,” Mr. Avni said. “He also became the victim of a tremendous amount of incitement and hate on those vehicles.”

Now, Mr. Lakin is the lead plaintiff in a suit filed this week in New York by a conservative Israeli antiterrorism group that seeks an injunction to force Facebook to block posts that call for violence against Jews.

If you read this article, the people you come away judging are the Palestinians. If you read the Peace Now report, you see that there is actually plenty of hatred to go around. This is a pattern: Once again, the New York Times is covering up the frightening fascistic trends in Israel, deceiving Americans about the nature of that society.

P.S. When is the Times going to do a long profile of Hadeel al-Hashlamoun’s family? She was the 18-year-old daughter of a leading Palestinian doctor shot at a checkpoint in Hebron. We know her family would talk to the Times. They talked to Allison Deger.

James North and Philip Weiss
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18 Responses

  1. Jeff Klein
    Jeff Klein
    October 30, 2015, 12:28 am

    Lakin lived in the East Talpiot/Armon HaNetziv settlement in occupied East Jerusalem. It doesn’t mean he deserved to die, but neither was he the saint of peace that is described in all the liberal press coverage. It also hints at what many Israelis really mean when they talk about two states and “coexistence.” Like the “two-state solution” that was organized for the Navajo, the Seminole or the Sioux in North America.

    • ahadhaadam
      October 30, 2015, 7:15 am

      Exactly. He exemplified the inherent contradiction in Liberal Zionism. He immigrated into a state engaged in a colonial conflict, using his immigration privileges as a Jew, and then engages in “peace efforts” with the natives while living in a west bank colony, part of Israel’s effort to “Judaize” Jerusalem. I don’t think I could have put more contradictions in one sentence…

  2. Rooster
    October 30, 2015, 12:54 am

    Interesting note: the background pic in the facebook photo headlining this article of the Kuffiyah-wearing and yarmulke-wearing boys was actually of two Jewish boys. No Palestinians, but only the appearance of coexistence for public consumption.

    I have no idea if the late Mr. Lakin knew this at all.

    No matter: he did not deserve this. But neither did the Palestinians who suffered as a result of his settlement. It sounds like he was doing more towards reconciliation than most and deserves commendation for that at the very least.

  3. kalithea
    October 30, 2015, 3:33 am

    I agree 110% with the above comment: How can a peace activist live on occupied land in a neighborhood where most of the streets are named after Zionist terrorists who drove hundreds of thousands of Palestinians into exile??? Does anyone not see incongruous hypocrisy all over this? How could he preach anything or pretend to be part of the solution living in settlement units on OCCUPIED land stolen and taken away from others by violent force?

    I mean I don’t want to denigrate the man now that he’s deceased but you can’t preach without moral INTEGRITY. It’s ludicrous; come on! Who was he trying to kid; when Zionism is totally against a bi-national state. I’ll assume it was only his conscience he was really trying to kid; I don’t care how many peace symbols he doodled!

    Pardon the analogy, (it’s only symbolic) but I couldn’t think of another that really captured the height of such hypocrisy.: If you’re a priest living with prostitutes in a brothel, don’t be surprised if you’re mistaken for a jon or worse yet — their pimp!

    And like JK; I don’t advocate violence; but I’m also nobody’s fool. If you want respect; respect yourself. I could never respect myself, let alone preach anything or feel I had the moral authority to do so if I lived in Lakin’s neighborhood.

  4. Kathleen
    October 30, 2015, 6:57 am

    Phil and James thank you for continuing to point out the NYBloodyTimes “patterns” of mass deception.

    Senseless killing

  5. Ossinev
    October 30, 2015, 7:54 am

    ” It also hints at what many Israelis really mean when they talk about two states and coexistence.”

    I agree. I sense a deep Biblical longing for a return to the” peaceful apartheid” of yesteryear (well of last year if truth be told ).

  6. Palikari
    October 30, 2015, 12:03 pm

    He loved the Arabs and this is what he got. I hope leftists will learn from this. There can’t be peace if one of the sides doesn’t want peace and answers with stabbings against peace activists.

    Regarding posts by right-wingers, I don’t like or enderse them. They are not representative of Israel, most Israelis or right-wing Israelis. Israel is a nation that is going through a lot of pain and terror. You must understand this instead of judging from your homes in peaceful Europe or America.

    Said this, I’m glad they sued Facebook. There is too much anarchy there. Facebook doesn’t take action against racism, harassment, etc. And I prefer not to talk about their privacy policy. I deactivated my Facebook account a few days ago. I should have done that long time ago.

    • Emory Riddle
      Emory Riddle
      October 30, 2015, 12:32 pm

      “Israel is a nation that is going through a lot of pain and terror. You must understand this instead of judging from your homes in peaceful Europe or America.”

      You do realize that the Palestinians are going through real pain and terror — on a scale of about 100 times what Israel experiences if we can judge that by the number of people killed and injured? How does that factor into your judgement?

    • Mooser
      October 30, 2015, 12:57 pm

      “He loved the Arabs and this is what he got.”

      “Palikari” like the song says: “Love ’em right, or leave ’em alone”!

      And Mr. Lakin’s son, I am sure, is following in his father’s footsteps, right, and honoring his memory?

    • eljay
      October 30, 2015, 1:17 pm

      || Palikari: … Israel is a nation that is going through a lot of pain and terror. You must understand this … ||

      Israel is a nation that has been inflicting pain and terror deliberately and with impunity for almost 70 years, and it shows no sign of changing course any time soon. Zio-supremacists like you know this, but you just don’t care.

      Aggressor-victimhood is such a tough gig… :-(

    • diasp0ra
      October 30, 2015, 1:21 pm

      It never ceases to amaze me when Israelis think that they are the victims of the people they occupy.

    • kalithea
      October 30, 2015, 2:22 pm

      He loved the Arabs and this is what he got.

      I don’t usually stoop to acknowledge pure hasbara; but I think I should address this grotesquely hypocritical comment.

      First, they are P A L E S T I N I A N S; got that? They’re living in P-a-l-e-s-t-i-n-e.
      Second, any Zionist who pretends to love Palestinians should get off their effing land first and honor those Palestinians killed and ethnically cleansed in the illegal land grab.
      Third, until the state of Israel officially declares a binational state or hauls those hundreds of thousands of squatters off Palestinian land beyond the green line; then Zionists have no right or business trying to preach peace to those they consider heathen who are really the legitimate owners of such land and are intelligent people who were not born yesterday.

      Now go peddle your hasbara with some dumb sucker.

    • Boo
      October 30, 2015, 3:04 pm

      “He loved the Arabs and this is what he got.”

      He wasn’t the first and won’t be the last to die because he preached love instead of hate. But death isn’t the end of the story, and those who preach that murder is someone’s just deserts should consider that fact.

    • traintosiberia
      November 3, 2015, 11:22 am

      1 It is time to sue the people in US who abuse their government and official positions , that are tax payer paid, to incite violence against Arab countries . At least Facebook is not taxpayer funded.

      More I read it ,more glaringly absent I find the balance and the presentation of the reality.
      If one wants to stop spread of hate and violence, then one does not look for excuses and loopholes but address the source of the problem.
      This is exactly what is happening here. He brings the issue of ” FIRE” in crowded theater.
      Today’s situation Facebook incitement vs Palestine agitation is not nowhere near to anything like crowded theater.
      Their life is permanently closed off irrespective of fire or snow by those walls and checkpoints.
      ” Fire” doesn’t lead to attempt to escape. Walls are the reminders of the ” smoldering fire” around them They do not need another fire .
      But this” FIRE” is always happening here in US- Iraq, Libya, Ghaddafi, Syria,and Somalia and Iran- can testify to the knee jerk escape route Americans seek when government and ex government or media lies about threat
      I think that was exactly what happened following 911 . Americans jumped and freaked out in all directions looking for escape from the menacing nuclear bomb of Saddam after some one shouted to them ,not one but million times,that he was about to come while the numbed and shocked Americans were still trying to understand and process physically and psychologically the gruesome 911 event . They were trapped by four walls and roofs of constant barrage and bombardments of hate,fear,falsehood,and revenge.

  7. kalithea
    October 30, 2015, 3:03 pm

    Regarding the offensive comments made by radical Zios; Pk take note: Hmmm, first of all, were all those comments authored by radicals? If 80% of Israelis want Netanyahu to mow the lawn again, because Palestinians are fighting for religious freedom i.e. respect for their places of worship and especially freedom from oppression, then IMO, the majority of Israelis are radicals, and I’m not sure if all those offensive comments were made by tattooed neo-Zio types. Can anyone conclusively prove they were?

    Secondly, there’s an expression: if you lie down with dogs; you wake up with fleas (and I’m not referring to keeping company with Palestinians here – I’m referring to embracing the privileges i.e. perks of a supremacist ideology by living in an ethnically-cleansed settlement with other Zionist squatters.). Again, either you have moral integrity or you become the author of your downfall.

    Of course, those Zio radicals obviously see Lakin as a traitor to Zionism; but again IMO he was really betraying his own ethical/moral code by choosing to live in a settlement built on the suffering of Palestinian refugees and I don’t care if he was preaching peace and love to high heaven; he was still benefitting from a crime of the past and a crime happening around him in the present called, Zionism.

    This article says he was murdered, his family says he was butchered by Palestinians and I say that Palestinians have been murdered and butchered for decades into the present just because Zionists want to keep enjoying the privileges of Zionism and no self-righteous Liberal Zionists bothered to write in honest terms that Palestinians were butchered so that Zionism could prevail and Zionists like them could steal and enjoy Palestinian land. Just like there is no such creature as a Liberal Zionist; there is no Zionist dove of peace or a Zionist binational utopia in the works. So to try to delude Palestinians while your squatting on their land knowing that utopia ain’t gonna happen under Zionism growing more radical by the minute is beyond hypocritical and cruel and playing the legal owners of that land for suckers!

    No Jew with an ounce of moral integrity should give an ounce of support to Zionism that has already proven what it really is. Zionism is what we are witnessing and not what the holier-than-thou breaching Geneva Conventions pretend it to be. Zionism will destroy itself maybe regrettably after we’re all gone, but I have no doubt it will and we all know why. Lakin was a victim, not exclusively of Palestinian violent resistance; not even to a degree of Zionist extremist hate but a victim of Zionism and self-delusion first that he willingly chose to embrace by making Aliyah to land ethnically cleansed and violently usurped and still being cleansed and usurped in defiance of the Geneva Conventions and a multitude of laws!

    Again, who is the most guilty, the one who commits the act of violent resistance, or the one who forced another to commit such violence by embracing an injustice, a warped ideology that has left only a trail of destruction behind it and that denied the other and generations before him justice, humanity and dignity?

    Conclusion: Zionism destroys everyone in its path and thus we must and should conclude it is pure evil and Lakin should never have tried to preach that it could be something different other than what it has already proven itself to be and what the government of Israel and the majority of Israelis want it to be. I really believe that Zionism was created with a self-destruct mechanism, and it’s going in exactly the direction it was destined to go: self-annihilation.

  8. tony greenstein
    tony greenstein
    October 30, 2015, 3:14 pm

    Yes of course Lakin was an Arab lover, just as many Germans were accused of being ‘Jew lovers’ (& anti-fascist Germans of being ‘self haters’) and as anti-racist Whites in the US were ‘nigger lovers’. It comes from the same mentality that if you oppose the oppression of a particular group of people or nationality, you must ‘love’ them all.

    Palikari is just one more example of the stupidity of even the more ‘liberal’ Zionists – after all he doesn’t identify himself as a right-wing Zionist. However I doubt if he is aware of the seminal debate between a genuine Jewish thinker & political theorist and philosopher, Hannah Arendt and Gershom Scholem, the Professor of Jewish mysticism at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

    Arendt had written her famous book Eichmann in Jerusalem – the Banality of Evil and Scholem, suitably angered had written to her accusing her of a lack of Ahabath Israel ‘love of the Jewish people’. Arendt responded asking for the biblical source of this concept before explaining that she belonged to the Jewish people, that was a matter of fact, but that she had no love for a collectivity. She loved her friends and family. This idea of love of a whole people is a thoroughly racist one that belongs to the Europe of the 1930’s.

    However I don’t think we should concentrate on the obvious contradictions in Lakin himself. Between being a settler on the one hand and being an advocate of peaceful relations with the Palestinians. many people, including Palestinians, hold contradictory ideas in their heads at one and the same time. In Marxist terms it is false consciousness.

    What is noteworthy is that those who profess their love of the Jewish people can then engage in the most degenerate, racist and vile insults on someone who has just been killed through no fault of his own. Indeed his only fault in their eyes was that he was an ‘Arab lover’ and a ‘leftist’.

    I’ve done a post on this particular incident.

  9. traintosiberia
    November 3, 2015, 11:11 am

    His son has published the incident in NYT-

    I see plenty of complaints against SOCIAL MEDIA for allowing the provocation pre and post incident . In the process,I see his complaints confined to the Palestinian provocation.
    Not a word about Jewish right wing ‘s contribution towards the hatred .

    • Mooser
      November 3, 2015, 12:06 pm

      Yup, a soft headed old man being taken advantage of by his kids. Poor guy.

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