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Israel’s new Jewish Nation State law is a reaction to Palestinian demands for equality — Ben White

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Ben White is an outstanding journalist with a new book out. He gave a speech last week in Geneva at a UN Human Rights Council side-event on Israel’s new Nation State of the Jewish People law. He has put up a transcript of the speech on his Facebook page, and it strikes me as one of the most concise, lucid and insightful appraisals of the history, the meaning and the portent of this new law, which is central in its quasi-constitutional status as a ‘basic law’.

Ben White:

Israel presents itself to the world as a model liberal democracy, but for Palestinians, the past and present reality has been very different. After Zionist militias and Israeli armed forces had expelled the majority of Palestinians who were living in what became the State of Israel, the Palestinians who remained were subjected to an 18-year-long military regime. From those early days of mass land expropriation and travel permits, through to this new ‘Jewish nation state’ bill, Palestinian citizens of Israel have never enjoyed equality – either de jure or de facto.

I first want to talk about the new law in terms of continuity.

It is important to recognise what hasn’t changed on account of the new legislation – or, to put it another way, how the ‘Jewish nation state’ law is a new addition to what has always been a discriminatory, ethnocratic structure – both legally and politically.

Israel’s institutional discrimination against Palestinian citizens is well-documented, including by the US State Department, and a host of independent rights experts. This discrimination impacts on many areas of life, including where citizens can live, family life and more.

As a UN special rapporteur put it in 2012, Israeli authorities have long pursued “a land development model that excludes, discriminates against and displaces minorities”. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has similarly noted “the enactment of a number of discriminatory laws on land issues which disproportionately affect non-Jewish communities”.

Indeed, the issue of Jewish-only communities, which featured heavily in the coverage and criticism of the Jewish nation state law, is often debated without reference to the fact that Israel already has hundreds of such segregated communities, thanks to the role of “admission committees”.

A decade ago, Human Rights Watch reported on how these committees – which filter potential residents in hundreds of rural communities – “are made up of government and community representatives as well as a senior official in the Jewish Agency or the Zionist Organisation, and have notoriously been used to exclude Arabs from living in rural Jewish communities”.

Indeed, in 2014, Israel’s Supreme Court upheld a law allowing for such committees, a decision that legal rights centre Adalah said “effectively legalize[d] the principle of segregation in housing between Arab and Jewish citizens, and permits the practice of racism against Arab citizens in about 434 communities, or 43% of all towns in Israel”.

Looking at the bigger picture beyond specific policy and practice, the Jewish nation state law states that “the right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people”. Now, while not always expressed quite so explicitly, this has always been the case – and, it is why, contrary to what some often argue, Israel is not ‘simply’ Jewish like France is French.

As the late Tony Judt explained in a 2003 essay for The New York Review of Books: “France is the state of all the French; all French persons are by definition citizens of France; and all citizens of France are…French”. Israel, “by contrast”, is “by its own account the ‘state of all the Jews’ (wherever they live and whether or not they seek the association), while containing non-Jewish (Arab) citizens who do not enjoy similar status and rights. There is no comparison”.

Israel, in other words, is not a state of all its citizens, and never has been. In fact, in June, a draft bill by members of the Knesset’s Joint List seeking to establish Israel as a state of all its citizens was banned from even being debated in the parliamentary chamber, on the basis that it constituted a rejection of Israel ‘as a Jewish state’.

Support for “Jewish self-determination”, not “Israeli self-determination”, is found across the political spectrum. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked recently claimed “the state should say that there is place to maintain the Jewish majority even if it violates rights”. But Tzipi Livni, a so-called ‘centrist’, also believes in “a state in which only the Jewish People have the national right for self-determination”

The new Jewish nation state law does not mention “democracy” once – but then neither does Israel’s oft-vaunted “Declaration of Independence”, which refers repeatedly to a ‘Jewish state’. And, as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel has noted, “the right to equality is not yet enshrined in laws regarding most aspects of life”.

According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the aim of the new law is to “lay the groundwork” for the Supreme Court “to give preference to Israel’s Jewish character over its democratic values should the two conflict in the courts”. But again, this is something the court already can do, and has done, most notably when interpreting a key clause in Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty in such a way as to give “significant weight to the nature of Israel as a Jewish state and its goals, at the expense of…fundamental rights”. As former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak put it, in a 1995 decision: “We are different from other nations. We are not only a democratic state but also a Jewish state.”

So, what is new?

While there is much continuity with law and practice to date, the new law does, however, represent an innovation, both legally and politically, as analysed by Adalah in a position paper published in July; enjoying the status of a Basic Law, the Jewish nation state law serves to anchor racist practices in the constitution.

“By defining sovereignty and democratic self-rule as belonging solely to the Jewish people – wherever they live around the world”, said Hassan Jabareen, Adalah’s general director, when the law was passed, “Israel has made discrimination a constitutional value”. Thus, for Palestinian citizens the new law could herald harsher, more explicit discrimination.

One particular clause, for example, says: “The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation”. Already excluded from hundreds of Israeli communities by the aforementioned residential admission committees, Palestinian citizens will rightly suspect this article – originally worded as a far cruder endorsement of segregation – can only intensify the discrimination they face over land and housing.

The new law is also a fresh obstacle to a genuine two-state solution – as if any more obstacles were needed. The PLO leadership has always resisted Israeli prime ministers’ demand to recognise Israel as a “Jewish state” as a condition for talks (and note that this demand originated in recent times with Ehud Olmert, not Netanyahu). This law only confirms how such opposition is well-grounded.

Moreover, the law’s reference to a “land of Israel” in which “the state of Israel was established” is an instructive turn of phrase, and a timely reminder that a law which discriminates against Palestinian citizens could also prove significant if or when Israel annexes part, or all, of the occupied West Bank.

Finally, I would like to address the question of what this law is really about.

Why now? One factor is that Netanyahu is thinking ahead to elections that have to take place in 2019, and possibly in the first few months of the year. Thus far, his Likud party has looked strong in the polls, but Netanyahu wants to ensure there is no loss of votes even further to his right, such as to current coalition partner Jewish Home. The law’s origins however, go further back.

Politically speaking, this law can only be understood in the context of a concerted pushback against efforts over the last two decades by Palestinian citizens of Israel to assert their national identity, mobilise against discrimination, and, critically, to demand a state of all its citizens.

In 2006-2007, a number of documents, or position papers, were issued by leading organisations representing Palestinians inside the Green Line. These included Adalah’s “Democratic Constitution”, as well as “The Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel” (The National Committee for the Heads of Arab Local Authorities in Israel), and Mada Al-Carmel’s “Haifa Declaration”.

Commenting on these developments at the time, Israeli journalist Uzi Benziman described their publication as a “turning point”, adding: “The documents are being woven like an orderly ideological and political doctrine challenging the current character of the State of Israel – the way it views itself, the structure of its government, and its Zionist identity”.

It was just a few years later, in 2011, that the road to the Jewish nation state law was begun by former Shin Bet head and current Likud member Avi Dichter, when the then-Kadima MK proposed a bill that would help thwart the aspirations of those seeking to “establish a binational state here”.

After the successful vote this July, Dichter declared that the law was the “clearest answer” to Palestinian legislators, explaining: “We are enshrining this important bill into a law today to prevent even the slightest thought, let alone attempt, to transform Israel to a country of all its citizen [sic]”.

This, then, is the often-omitted crucial context. The new legislation clearly is a disaster from the point of view of Israel’s Palestinian citizens, but its very existence is a testament to both the effectiveness of their political mobilisation, and to the power of a demand for real democratisation.

The response from the Israeli political establishment to a mobilised Palestinian citizenry demanding genuine equality has been to double-down on discrimination, and to defiantly and ever-more explicitly assert and legally protect the existence of a “Jewish state”.

This is not without its advantages, as highlighted by the furore over the new law. For what the draft legislation threatens is less the existence of a “democratic” Israel, but rather some liberal critics’ idea of a “Jewish and democratic” state (or at least the plausibility of maintaining this idea). That is to say, as a blunt instrument, the law threatens Israel’s ability to continue long-standing, institutionalised discrimination with no international cost.

Following the successful passage of the Jewish nation state law, Israeli journalist Orly Noy wrote in +972 Magazine about Israel’s “perpetual demographic war against its Palestinian citizens”, adding “If Israel seeks to be Jewish and democratic, it needs to actively ensure a Jewish majority”.

The “Jewish nation state” law is part of this historic and ongoing demographic war – one that is both a testament to the activism of Palestinian citizens and an effort to stifle it. As Israel consolidates the de facto single state between the river and the sea, this will not be the last attempt to see the apartheid reality on the ground further reflected in legislation.

I think Ben White’s is a magnificent appraisal because it relates to how this law is actually both new and old – not a completely new policy, yet overtly expressing a de-facto policy, and serving as yet another firewall against that looming existential threat – a state of all its citizens – as Israel continues in its steps to make Israel great, and greater. That really means more Apartheid.

This reminds me very much of a recent article I read by Robert Fisk in The Independent, where he interviewed Israeli journalist Amira Hass and toured Palestine with her. It’s titled “I asked Israel’s only journalist in Palestine to show me something shocking – this is what I saw”. Hass says:

“The wall is about how strong is the need to be pure – and how many people participated in this act of violence? They say it’s because of the suicide attacks, but the legal and bureaucratic infrastructure for this separation wall existed before The Wall. So The Wall is a kind of graphic or plastic or tangible expression of laws of separation that existed before.”

That Nation State law is a kind of wall, but it’s based on an existing blueprint.

Many liberal Zionists have criticized the Nation State law as if it were anathema to the Declaration of Independence. Daniel Barenboim has done that too and said he was now ashamed to be Israeli. But Ben White cuts through that. The Israeli Declaration of Independence, with all its sugar-coating, held the fundamental seeds of Jewish exclusivity in the Jewish State, and now this has flowered into the Nation State law. We need to face that.

H/t Ofer Neiman

Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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45 Responses

  1. bcg on September 24, 2018, 4:45 pm

    “The wall is about how strong is the need to be pure – and how many people participated in this act of violence? They say it’s because of the suicide attacks, but the legal and bureaucratic infrastructure for this separation wall existed before The Wall.”

    I don’t have the book in front of me, but in Shir Hever’s “The Political Economy of Israel’s Occupation: Repression Beyond Exploitation” he claims that in 2007 he heard a talk given by Israeli general Yair Golan in which Golan claimed that the purpose of the wall was not to keep out the suicide bombers – that was done through intelligence work. No, Golan said, the purpose of the wall was to prevent the mixing of Palestinian and Israeli populations.

  2. bcg on September 24, 2018, 6:56 pm

    Page 103.

    • Talkback on September 25, 2018, 3:54 am

      Could you quote this passage, please?

      • bcg on September 25, 2018, 10:23 am

        Page 103:

        “The Wall of Separation is the most prominent symbol of the decision by Israel’s government to enforce separation between the Israeli and Palestinian populations. Yair Golan, the commander of Israel’s forces in the West Bank, has said that the Wall is not the best or cheapest solution to provide security for Israelis, but it was chosen because it prevents the people from intermingling [footnote – lecture at Van Leer Institute, April 29, 2007].

      • Talkback on September 25, 2018, 1:30 pm

        Perfect, thank you! :)

  3. DaBakr on September 25, 2018, 12:27 am

    Speaking strictly in the historical sense israelis equal treatment of its Arab Muslim minority has happened much quicker the PW homeland, the USA. In less then 70 years Arab Israeli citizens are legally and civilly are as equal as any other democracy with a cultural, national and religious minority. it is not hasbara to say that arabs have achieved the highest status in almost every occupation from supreme justice to heading hospitals, teaching, police work, military and civil service. It is not a perfect state. there is still prejudice, racism, and and exemption from military service that limits to a degree what status can be achieved without military connection. considering the history of the birth of Israel in arab-jewish hostilities it is amazing Israel has come so far in insuring complete equality to its minorities. It wouldn’t be fair to compare what with so few jews left living in any of the Arab Muslim nations that their governments claim to treat jews very well if not totally equal. ben white would hardy think to compare any of it. But, as stated before. At 70 the US was still embroiled in the slave trade and yet to fight a civil war which ultimately took another 100yrs to seriously implement. But each nation struggles.

    • bcg on September 25, 2018, 10:29 am

      @DaBakr: Israel can sort of ,kind of, deal with 20% of the population being Palestinian, but if it goes to the point where the Palestinians might have any real political power The Jews will freak out – that’s what the Nation State Law is about – the Jews want to maintain supremacy no matter what the demographics, they’re freaking out already.

      So they put Khalida Jarrar in ‘administrative detention’ – no formal charges, no trial, straight to jail. It’s an apartheid state, DaBakr.

      • DaBakr on September 25, 2018, 7:37 pm

        a) Jarrar is not an israeli citizen

        b) sovereignty is not the equivalent of supremacy.

        c) israel does not hide the assumption that a jewish nation would naturally be a Jewish majority nation. There are bds many muslim nations that have restrictions on their tiny percentage of jews but none of these Muslim states would tolerate a Jewish majority with full political power.

      • Talkback on September 26, 2018, 5:17 am

        DaBakr: “b) sovereignty is not the equivalent of supremacy.”

        Indeed. Israel is a souvereign AND supremacist state.

        DaBakr: “c) israel does not hide the assumption that a jewish nation would naturally be a Jewish majority nation.”

        Israel doesn’t even hide that it aquired this Jewish majority unnaturally by expelling Nonjews and keeping them expelled to maintain Jewish dominance. A full bore Apartheid state.

    • Rob Roy on September 27, 2018, 8:59 am

      “complete equality to its minorities” ???
      “Rabbi Perin, in an eulogy for mass murderer, Baruch Goldstein, in 1994: “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.” (New York Times, Feb. 28, 1994)
      In April, 2001, during his Passover sermon, Rabbi Ovadia Yossef, the spiritual leader of the Shas party and former Israeli Chief Rabbi, described the Arabs as “serpents” and in his Passover sermon, he stated that “the Lord shall waste their seed, devastate them and vanish them from this world. It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable.”
      Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir declared during an interview with the foreign editor of the London Sunday Times that “it was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine…and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.” (Sunday Times, London, June 15, 1969)
      In the view of another prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Shamir, the Palestinians are of no more significance than insects when compared to Jews: “From this mountain top and from the vantage point of history I say that these people [the Palestinians] are like grasshoppers compared to us.” (The Independent, April 1988, from Reuter, Tel Aviv; cited by Michael Rice, False Inheritance, Kegan Paul International, London and New York, 1994, p. 127).
      While delivering a televised address to his Likud party in 1989, Shamir further maligned Palestinians by describing them as “alien invaders of the Holy Land…. They are brutal, wild alien invaders in the land of Israel that belongs to the people of Israel, and only to them.” (New York Post, February 6, 1989)
      During a speech to the Knesset, Menachem Begin, Israel’s sixth prime minister, referred to Palestinians as “beasts walking on two legs.” (New Statesman, 25 June 1982)
      Regarding Palestinians residing in the occupied West Bank, Raphael Eitan, then Israel’s Chief of Staff, declared: “When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle…. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours.” (New York Times, 14 April 1983)
      Prime Minister Ehud Barak: “The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more…” (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 30, 2002)
      Rafael Eitan, Israeli Chief of Staff, stated:” When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.” [N.Y. Times, 14 April 1988]. ”
      Yeah, right, equality for all in Israel.

      • DaBakr on September 28, 2018, 2:03 am


        Since you seem particularly thick I will repeat. All Israeli citizens are entitled to equal rights by law. Rigths to vote, hold office, hold any job from supreme court justice to police chief(and there are stabs in all these fields). All are free to be gay, straight or bi. Pray in their most holy religious sites (except Jews can not by law pray on their temple mount. The only religion prohibited from such prayer)
        . You have sited nothing but hyperbole and bigoted statements from assorted characters. It would be easy to assemble a similar list from Arab leaders. It’s only meaning is that Israel is not a perfect nation….. Yet.

      • Talkback on September 28, 2018, 8:27 am

        DaBakr: “All Israeli citizens are entitled to equal rights by law. ”

        Well that’s the basic Israeli deception, isn’t it? Unlike real democracies Israel differentiates between citizens and nationals. While Jews and Nonjews do have the same limited citizen rights only nationals (aka Jews) have national rights and therefore enjoy FULL citizenship rights.

        DaBakr: ” (except Jews can not by law pray on their temple mount. The only religion prohibited from such prayer)”

        Prohibited by the very same religion’s Chief Rabbinate after “their” temple mount was occupied in 1967 by ‘them’.

      • DaBakr on October 2, 2018, 9:19 am


        “Real democracies”. Lol.

      • Hostage on October 2, 2018, 4:06 pm

        DaBakr: sovereignty is not the equivalent of supremacy.

        That’s absurd. The only tangible manifestation of ‘sovereignty’ is the exercise of jurisdiction. The supreme laws of the land (The Basic Laws) have always been employed by the government of Israel to preclude ‘equality under the law’. They’ve accomplished that objective by grandfathering all of the preexisting discriminatory laws (e.g. ‘The Law of Return’) and permitting the adoption of new discriminatory laws ‘befitting the values’ of a supremacist Jewish state.

  4. pabelmont on September 25, 2018, 8:56 am

    And what have USA’s LZ’s to say about the law and — if they’ve seen it — this analysis?

  5. pjdude on September 25, 2018, 10:48 am

    that you honestly believe that is part of the problem. palestinians aren’t equal in Israel. if your afraid of equality your on the side of evil. Israelis jews are afraid of equality.

    • DaBakr on October 2, 2018, 9:24 am

      palestinians in israel may not feel like they are a majority but they know they are entitled to equality under the law. Nobody claims they don’t have issues they want to change and are free to protest but there is a reason they don’t rise up in violence to destroy the Israel nation. Were mw a fair and balanced blog instead of an officially recognized hate site there would be Palestinian-israeli opinion pieces on here that support the Israeli nation without being tarnished as ‘traitors’.

      • eljay on October 2, 2018, 9:51 am

        || @Daa: … Were mw a fair and balanced blog instead of an officially recognized hate site there would be Palestinian-israeli opinion pieces on here that support the Israeli nation without being tarnished as ‘traitors’. ||

        And were Zionists fair and balanced people instead of being unjust and immoral supremacist hypocrites, non-Zionist Jewish-Israelis (and non-Zionist non-Israeli Jews) would be able to denounce the “Jewish State” construct without being tarnished as “self-loathing Jews” or “anti-Semites” or “Jew haters”.

      • Mooser on October 2, 2018, 12:21 pm

        Fair and balanced….”

        ROTFLMSJAO! Now, where have I heard a news source promote itself as “fair and balanced” before? Where in Israel would a person pick up an expression like that?

      • pjdude on October 2, 2018, 1:10 pm

        they don’t rise up in violence because unlike you they are decent people who support violence to ethnically cleanse. they are not entitled to equality under the law. the law blatantly favors jews. so no their is no de jure equality in Israel and the de facto situation is even worse. the very fact Israel denies an israeli nationality belies your statement. mondoweiss is far an balanced. you just want puff pieces defending war crimes. fair and balanced means you take the ugly with the beuatiful, you just want to ignore the ugly and pretnd the crimes that created israel and keep it as is are moral they are not.

      • DaBakr on October 2, 2018, 1:30 pm


        are you telling me that fox news copyrighted the term “fair and balanced “? If so, I’m calling my attorney for infringment. I predate fox news

      • DaBakr on October 2, 2018, 1:36 pm


        I can’t begin to comprehend your opening sentence. I can say you obviously haven’t spent any time in israel, especially jerusalem or TV. It isn’t as difficult as MW commenters believe to find Arab/muslim israelis that are content. But the mw would paint them as similar to the US uncle Tom slur

      • Hostage on October 2, 2018, 4:52 pm

        Dabakr: Were mw a fair and balanced blog instead of an officially recognized hate site there would be Palestinian-israeli opinion pieces on here that support the Israeli nation without being tarnished as ‘traitors’.

        In the Wall case, the World Court cited official UN reports which established the fact that the nation of Israel was deliberately violating the UN Charter, the 4th Geneva Convention, and committing the constituent acts of the crimes of apartheid and persecution. While we’re discussing balance and fairness, let’s not forget that your side has never had a decent respect for the opinions of mankind.

        DaBakr: CAMERA exposes shams and extracts corrections or apologies from major msm outlets.

        CAMERA itself functions as a hate group that targets members of the Palestinian Arab ethnic group. After Breaking The Silence published accounts from members of the IDF regarding the deliberate use of white phosphorus weapons in heavily populated areas of Gaza, CAMERA tried to obfuscate that evidence and falsely suggested that violating the customary rules or prohibitions would not constitute a crime, if the perpetrators had not ratified the related international conventions. There isn’t any crime against a Palestinian, from simple theft to murder, that CAMERA hasn’t sought to whitewash.

      • RoHa on October 2, 2018, 10:45 pm

        Why can’t Israel annex the West Bank and Gaza, and then make the Palestinians in those territories as content as it has made the current Israeli Palestinians?

  6. Ossinev on October 2, 2018, 9:39 am

    ” Were mw a fair and balanced blog instead of an officially recognized hate site”

    “Officially recognised hate site”. Sources/explanation please. Really eager to know.

    • DaBakr on October 2, 2018, 1:45 pm


      Go Google your butt off. It’s a hate site. Of course you don’t agree but there it is. If your confident you won’t give a shit.

      • annie on October 2, 2018, 1:54 pm

        who’s your source dabakr? hate groups? camera? stand with us? slinging insults won’t advance your arguments. have you read Rep. Betty McCollum? we expose atrocities.

      • DaBakr on October 2, 2018, 2:25 pm

        [email protected]

        So you know exactly who considers you a hate site. That you don’t care is your own business. CAMERA exposes shams and extracts corrections or apologies from major msm outlets.

      • annie on October 3, 2018, 12:27 am

        CAMERA..extracts corrections or apologies from major msm outlets.

        and suggesting the israel lobby manipulates or controls main stream media is still considered (by some) anti semitic. how convenient for you. and what a lark.

      • Mooser on October 2, 2018, 2:36 pm

        “CAMERA exposes shams and extracts corrections or apologies from major msm outlets.”

        Yeah, CAMERA makes sure those “MSM outlets” are “fair and balanced”.

      • echinococcus on October 2, 2018, 11:11 pm

        Abu Bakr openly shilling for the Völkischer Beobachter. Figures.

      • DaBakr on October 3, 2018, 2:49 am


        CAMERA is not AIPAC while they may agree or disagree on subjects pertaining to Israeli government. You shouldn’t conflate to two. CAMERA may call out very serious errors while sometimes the corrections sought are superfluous.

        Yes, I did read sen. McCollum. It was a passion speech she obviously felt comfortable given to her base. And where she is running she won’t be facing very much backlash as the politics of the north west are especially Or more pro-arab anti-israel supportes . Isn’t how democracy supposed to work?

      • annie on October 3, 2018, 7:35 am

        dabkr, your comment implies the israel lobby is limited to aipac, it isn’t. and have you looked at a map lately? minnesota is to the east of the dakotas. it borders lake superior. that’s a long long way from seattle and portland.

      • DaBakr on October 4, 2018, 1:19 am


        I meant the mid northwest. Of course I know where the oldest most populace Arab American population lives. their political is growing and rightly so.

    • RoHa on October 2, 2018, 10:52 pm

      I have no real interest in this fashionable nonsense about “hate”, “hate speech”, “hate groups”, and so forth, but it is laughable to see that your claim of official recognition is CAMERA?

      That’s your “official”? Not the Queen, not the Dalai Lama, not even the Australian Government *? No-one who even marginally has official standing?

      MW can denounce CAMERA as a hate group. That will be just as official.

      (*Insofar as there is one.)

  7. DaBakr on October 2, 2018, 1:48 pm


    Find it hard to imagine you truly rolling on the floor laughing but hey, whatever floats your boat.

    • annie on October 3, 2018, 8:33 am

      the mere suggestion camera is “balanced” is laughable. they exist to promote and defend israel — everyone knows that. Gershom Gorenberg:

      Let’s be fair: Some criticism of media coverage of Israel is justified—and some of the media’s unflattering coverage is accurate and necessary. It is not the press’s job to provide PR for any government. Until CAMERA gets this straight, self-respecting journalists will regard an occasional snarl from the watchdog as proof that they’re doing their job.

      they are just another hack lobby group.

      • DaBakr on October 4, 2018, 1:27 am


        The mere suggestion that MW is fair and balanced is absurd. CAMERA makes it clear its mission is to point out lies or inaccuracies about israel in the press. Afaic , if they decided also to report on inaccuracies told about palestinians I would be open. But naturally they have a strong pro zionist bias. it doesn’t mean they are always wrong just as MW bias doesn’t mean it’s articles are all wrong.

        PS saw a current movie called Beirut. Spy drama with mad men guy, Hamm.. Beirut, circa 1970s to 1980. Fairly balanced portrayal of how all sides in civil war, amal, PLO, Druze, marionites, US, Iran, Lebanese Sunnis, Israel were all guilty of opportunistic violence. I’m sure Israel hates will see Zionist bias but it’s an accurate picture of the period of civil war just before Israeli’82 invasion and how Israel blew that even though there was a chance they could have gained an ally instead of Hezbollah

      • annie on October 5, 2018, 2:28 am

        The mere suggestion that MW is fair.. is absurd

        i disagree.

        it doesn’t mean they are always wrong just as MW bias doesn’t mean it’s articles are all wrong.

        don’t move the goal posts. they are purveyors of distortion promoting an apartheid state claiming we are a hate site? and this is the source of your ad hominem. zzzzzzz

      • oldgeezer on October 5, 2018, 10:18 am


        You’re debating/arguing with a guy who thinks the elder of zyons site provides the best balanced coverage of the region and now claims a fictional thriller provides a balanced portrayal of history.

        Camera is as objective as memri which is to say not at all. The lies, distortions and fabrications over the years are too numerous to ever rely on a single word that they say. All propaganda and hate speech.

      • DaBakr on October 10, 2018, 3:08 pm


        So, in a nutshell, you can assume I am evil, misinformed or just plain wrong as I could with you. Humans are such a bitch.

  8. amigo on October 4, 2018, 2:14 pm

    Duhbaker , dont be absurd.

    Below is an article by camera accusing the Irish Times of being anti Israel and not fair and balanced.

    The Irish times allows an illegal squatter –one ,Mark Weiss carte blanche space to deliver the news from Israel.CAMERA derides all of the other IT reporters because they do not tow / toe , the Israeli line but praise Mark Weiss and refer to him as Fair and balanced.

    He has never once referred to the Settlements as Illegal or mentioned Israel,s contravention of Intl Law.

    CAMERA is not interested in Facts other than Israeli versions.

    I dare say Mr Weiss has his instructions from the GOI and the truth is , they were knocking an open door in giving him instructions.

    How many Israeli Newspapers are fair and balanced –ie, Y,Net/J,Post,and the right wing rag financed by Sheldon Adelson who distributes it for free.

    Put down the shovel son , before the hole falls in on your head .

    • RoHa on October 4, 2018, 10:29 pm

      Amigo, you know perfectly well that, if The Irish Times does not completely toe* the Israeli line and pour unreserved praise on everything Israel does, that proves it is an unfair, unbalanced, Israeli-hating, Jew-baiting, anti-Semitic, supporter of Jeremy Corbyn.


      • DaBakr on October 10, 2018, 3:10 pm

        Ireland has no problem expressing its anti Israel views. Your hysterical. It’s probably the single most pro Palestinian EU member there is. Camera exposed a few biased discrepancies and you have a fit. Lol

  9. amigo on October 10, 2018, 6:49 pm

    duh baker, the discussion was about camera which you claim is fair and balanced, (where have we heard that cliche before).Btw , the IT has a relatively small readership in Ireland albeit they are somewhat more educated than those who get their daily news fix from Tabloid rags who spedialise in Page three titi boom boom and general unfounded gossip.

    I pointed out to you that The Irish times gave carte blanche space to an illegal squatter on it,s ME section to spout hasabara at will and camera ignores that fact as do you.

    FYI , The truth is what we expect from our Press , even if we have to pay for it and yes Ireland is the most Pro Palestinian nation in the Eu , thanks in part to Newspapers like the Irish Times. Suck it up duh baker.

    If Israel made peace instead of oppressing the Palestinian People and committing War Crimes on a daily basis , there would be no need for camera to exist and you wouldn,t be the brain washed sucker you are and the IT could write about the greatest democracy in Europe.

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