Media Analysis

Israeli forces celebrate blowing up a Palestinian house on video– and western press and liberals ignore it

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Yesterday, Palestinian sources tweeted out a video of Israeli security forces cheering as they blew up a house in occupied Jerusalem, during the operation to demolish a dozen Palestinian buildings close to Israel’s security wall.

The video has been confirmed as footage taken by a Palestinian of an Israel Defense Forces officer (masked), and two Border Policemen cheering after blowing up a house in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sur Bahir.

The video has been widely shared on “Arab” media, the Times of Israel notes (and by Russian media too), and the IDF issued a “mild rebuke” of the celebration but noted: “the video was shot in the context of satisfaction with the success of the mission after many hours of hard work on the ground.”

Yossi Gurvitz reports, “Hasbarists have already started moaning that the IDF does not understand the need for detachment in such demolitions and that the video ’causes problems.'”

The video is not causing problems in the U.S. Though it’s been circulating for about 20 hours already, the U.S. press doesn’t care. The New York Times doesn’t mention the video. Now imagine how much circulation this video would be getting here if it were of Russian soldiers in the Crimea or of Iranians in Syria or of Palestinians blowing up a building. It would be on the nightly news and all over official media in no time.

Liberal Zionists are upset by the demolitions; but they are not retweeting the video. J Street issued a general statement against the home demolitions, ascribing them to the far-right government of Netanyahu, encouraged by Trump, and said that “creeping annexation…  jeopardizes Israel’s future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people.” Peace Now also condemned the demolitions, saying, “Unnecessary and cruel. Palestinians already virtually can’t build in 61% of the West Bank… These residents shouldn’t have to jump through more hoops than circus animals just to build these homes.”

Let’s reflect that these demolitions were authorized by the Supreme Court of Israel. And the policy behind the destruction is one of gradual ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem that has been going on for decades: “preventing Palestinian construction in East Jerusalem, with the purpose of forcing a Jewish demographic majority in the city,” according to the human rights group B’Tselem.

Unsurprisingly, pro-Palestinian voices see a reflection of Zionism in the video. Lamis Deek writes:

And this is how happy it makes Israelis/Zionists to destroy Palestinian lives The 1,000 Palestinians whose homes were leveled yesterday (for not being Jewish) know Israelis take joy in hurting them, they see it daily their peacefulness is astounding, yet is they who r demonized

Activist Muhammad Smiry writes, “You won’t see this on western media!”

Mitchell Plitnick writes:

[N]othing says “fun times” like blowing up people’s homes just cuz they’re not Jewish.

Scott Roth writes:

It’s not about Judaism, it’s not about anti-semitism, it’s about a lawless, cruel state drunk on its own self-righteousness.

(As Roth said to me last night, The Israeli government can be drunk on its self-righteousness because of American support. The swaggering soldiers just demonstrate the importance of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign: It is the only real force applying international pressure on Israel to change its conduct. And of course the Congress is now moving to define BDS as anti-Semitic. So the Congress is smearing the only moral campaign that exists to shift policy. What a pity and outrage that so many progressive Democrats have signed on to it.)

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And these houses were built in an area supposedly controlled by the PA, not the Israelis.

Zionist achievement in Palestine –

… blowing up a Palestinian house

Zionist achievement in the USA –

Congress is now moving to define BDS as anti-Semitic.

Blowing up first amendment rights in America.