Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Happy Holidays: Why Not Donate For a Daily Dose of Hate?

December 10, 2012 2:47 pm 0 comments

An image from a Facebook group that calls for a third initifada.

It’s this time of year – and it seems that even the anti-Israel activists from the Electronic Intifada (EI) don’t want to miss out on the holiday season’s charitable spirit: they are currently soliciting donations from their readers with the goal of raising $150 000 by the end of December.

Founded in 2001, when the bloody Al-Aqsa Intifada launched by Palestinians in response to Israel’s offers at Camp David was raging, EI describes itself as “an independent online news publication and educational resource focusing on Palestine, its people, politics, culture and place in the world.”

Judging from the content offered by EI, Palestine’s “place in the world” is defined first and foremost by the relentless demonization of Israel. Yet, the strident “anti-Zionists” who write and read the EI don’t have to worry about straying into antisemitic territory – whatever internationally renowned experts on antisemitism like Professor Robert Wistrich may think about the obsessive hatred directed against the world’s only Jewish state, the EI’s very own expert on antisemitism knows better: Meet Ben White, a young writer with a BA in English Literature, who started his career as an anti-Israel activist with an article belittling antisemitism as being “unpleasant towards Jews” and arguing that it was understandable for “a number of reasons.”

The current call for donations proudly features a quote from a critic who described EI as “central…in the anti-Israel propaganda war.” EI readers are told that supporting the site will make them “influential,” because supposedly, the EI-propagated “truth about Palestine” reaches an ever-expanding audience and “journalists from major and independent media all over the world [are] eager to get our perspectives.” Revealingly, EI co-founder Ali Abunimah will happily put out the opposite message when it better suits his purpose to claim that the media are terribly biased against the Palestinians: here is a recent tweet where he complains bitterly that “not one ‘mainstream’ US media org called me during #GazaUnderAttack.”

Already a few years ago, the widely respected Arab-American analyst and commentator Hussein Ibish noted that Abunimah “tailors his statements to appeal to different audiences in different media at different times.” Ibish also rightly highlighted Abunimah’s enthusiastic cheerleading for Hamas:

“He has defended the most recalcitrant elements in Hamas and encouraged its most obstructionist and counterproductive attitudes, with sentiments like, “‘Hamas: We will never recognize the enemy.’ Let’s hope they keep their word.” A March 2009 article by Abunimah and his father Hassan [a former Jordanian diplomat] accused Hillary Clinton of “sabotaging” Palestinian reconciliation talks […] and urged Hamas not to agree to the conditions of the Middle East Quartet. This is hardly surprising, given that he is opposed to both peace and negotiations, instead endorsing, “Liberation through resistance not ‘peace’ through ‘negotiations.'”

His admiration for Hamas leaders is often gushing: “Nothing better than a live interview on Aljazeera with a top Hamas official. They are always so eloquent and clear.” As for the leadership of the even more extreme Islamic Jihad organization, his enthusiasm seems to go beyond the political. In one of his earliest and perhaps most unguarded tweets, Abunimah wrote, “I think [Islamic Jihad leader] Ramadan Shallah is super intelligent, eloquent and hot.” Yes, hot.”

Given these views, it is hardly surprising that among EI’s current offerings, an article that worries mightily about a potential “moderation” of Hamas and Islamic Jihad was warmly recommended by Ali Abunimah as an “important analysis.”

This “important analysis” boils down to the argument that Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza achieved a major “victory” over Israel in the recent fighting that might be easily squandered “[w]ithout a clear and uncompromising roadmap to engage the West Bank in the resistance project and end the Palestinian Authority’s stranglehold over it.”

One can’t ask for a more open call to transform the West Bank into another Gaza-style Hamastan, where residential neighborhoods, schools, hospitals, sport facilities and mosques all serve as storage, training or launching facilities for weapons, explosives and rockets.

However, what is arguably most revealing is the contrast between, on the one hand, EI’s constant lament about the poor, defenseless, helpless and destitute Gazans who suffer endlessly from Israeli oppression and brutality and, on the other hand, the boasting about the mighty “resistance:”

“There is no question that Israel’s latest attack on Gaza enhanced the resistance’s deterrence capacity. The coordinated and consistent launch of an average 200 rockets a day and the unprecedented strategic depth of the attacks (Tel Aviv and Jerusalem) reflected a highly disciplined and developed resistance force.”

Ali Abunimah and his fellow activists at the EI know of course full well that the rockets shot from Gaza at Israeli civilians are war crimes – indeed, as Alan Dershowitz has emphasized:

“Every rocket fired by Hamas from one of its own civilian areas at a non-military Israeli target is a double war crime that should be universally condemned by all reasonable people.”

But since the EI claims to have raised $192,000 in 2011, it seems that there are quite a few people who will happily pay to support a site that cheers Hamas and Islamic Jihad while pretending to care about human rights.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Arts and Culture Features Opinion Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Late Friday night, on November 13, I was headed for bed when an ominous news bulletin flashed across my computer screen – something about a shooting in Paris. It wasn’t long before the “small number” of shootings and casualties began to double and triple and quadruple. The locations of attacks seemed crazily disorganized, and the tweets and videos became more and more horrifying. It was a long night for many stunned observers. We tried to understand what was happening, and […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Theater BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    In an interview with the Israeli site nrg on Wednesday, Belgian-Jewish stage actress Noemi Schlosser recounted immigrating to Israel after her career in Europe was destroyed by BDS. Schlosser said she had enjoyed success in Belgium and international acclaim until she was targeted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for her pro-Israel stance during Operation Protective Edge — last summer’s war against Hamas in Gaza. She described watching the theaters where she performed go from packed to nearly empty over a short period of […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    The manager of the Chelsea Football Club said on Monday that he is looking forward to playing in Israel this week against Maccabi Tel Aviv, in spite of the security situation, Israeli news site nrg reported. Jose Murinho, who is already in Israel with his team to compete against Maccabi in the Champions League soccer match, was  asked whether he was worried about the current wave of Palestinian violence sweeping the country. “I have no worries at all regarding the security situation, and neither do […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    Blaming the West has become the most pervasive method of teaching for many Middle East studies departments, which are becoming the heart of pop-culture academia. Efraim Karsh, a distinguished professor of Middle Eastern studies at Bar-Ilan University and professor emeritus at King’s College London, in his latest book The Tail Wags the Dog: International Politics and the Middle East, dispels this myth. “Britain’s ‘original sin,’ if such was indeed committed, lay not in the breaking up of Middle Eastern unity but […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About

    With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About – The Mensch on a Bench is so much happier now than he was a year ago. Look carefully and you will notice that, whereas the previous Mensch had a decidedly worried look, this latest version of the popular Hanukkah toy is flashing an exuberant grin. Is the erstwhile Mensch smiling because he expects to be in some 100,000 homes by year’s end? In truth, the change in visage was suggested last year by the “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Actor Adam Sandler unveiled a new version of his famous “Chanukah Song” on Saturday, adding a slew of Jewish celebrities to the ditty’s updated lyrics. The comedian — who released the original song about being Jewish during Christmas in 1996 — performed the latest version of the comedic track during the New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall. Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, actor Jake Gyllenhaal and “the two guys who founded Google” are among the famous Jewish celebrities now in the line up. Sandler also included lyrics about Star Wars‘ Princess […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom – Famed Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman will be among the 17 recipients of America’s Presidential Medal of Freedom next week. He is the fourth Israeli to receive the highest civilian honor in the US. “A native of Israel, he came to the United States at a young age and was introduced to Americans broadly when he appeared on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1958. Mr. Perlman made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1963 when he was 18,” a White House […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots

    Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots – While Israel is a common destination for cultural and religious pilgrimages, travelers seeking the best hotels, fine dining, and upscale relaxation less often find themselves in the Holy Land. Yet in recent years, the country’s burgeoning tech scene has attracted a business crowd accustomed to ritzy accommodation. Besides, the permanent summer of Tel Aviv and Eilat makes them prime destinations for European vacationers. Israel’s populace managed to tame the swamps and irrigate the desert — so going luxury should […]

    Read more →