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June 15, 2014 3:57 pm

Anti-Israel Activists Thrilled by Abduction of Israeli Teens

avatar by Petra Marquardt-Bigman

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Shaped largely by its co-founder and “Executive Director” Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada (EI) is described on its own website as an award-winning and widely recognized “news publication and educational resource focusing on Palestine.” While the site caters mainly to anti-Israel activists like proponents of BDS campaigns calling for boycotts against Israel, it is sometimes cited by well-placed journalists like Robert Mackey of the New York Times.

Supposedly, the content offered by EI reflects “the commitment of its cofounders and editors to universal principles of human rights, international law, anti-racism and equal justice.” However, the EI does not hide that when it comes to Israel and its Jewish citizens as well as supporters of the Jewish state, these laudable principles are replaced by a truly Orwellian definition of antisemitism that reflects Abunimah’s preposterous view that “Zionism is one of the worst forms of anti-Semitism in existence today” and that support for Zionism “is not atonement for the Holocaust, but its continuation in spirit.”

Given these views, it is hardly surprising that Abunimah sometimes finds it difficult to conceal his enthusiasm for the kind of murderous “resistance” practiced by terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It is equally unsurprising that Abunimah would now refer to the three recently kidnapped Jewish teenagers as “settlers” and to the security forces searching for them as “occupation gangs” – which, in the context of Abunimah’s ideology, implies that the three yeshiva students were legitimate targets of the “resistance” that Abunimah supports.

A few hour after this tweet, Abunimah referred to the kidnapped teens as “Boers” and mocked Israeli statements reminding the Palestinian Authority of its responsibility to prevent terrorist activity.

However, compared with his EI colleague Rana Baker, Abunimah was almost restrained. Baker could not control her joy when she heard the “wonderful news” of the kidnapping of three “settlers.”

But Abunimah presumably shared Baker’s sentiments, since he supported her in the thread that developed from her jubilant “wonderful news” tweet. It is of course also revealing that Baker felt that the kidnapping of three Jewish teens would be cheered by everybody except for “Zionists.”

Baker proceeded to post several additional tweets that provide a glimpse of the deeply rooted bigotry that is so characteristic of the material offered by sites like EI that cater to anti-Israel activists. Apparently reluctant to concede that the kidnappers targeted minors, Baker focused on the oldest of the three kidnapped teens, arguing that a 19 year old could no longer be considered a child. But since Palestinians usually insist that their teens are regarded as children up to the age of 18, she firmly rejected any “comparison between Palestinian and Israeli boys” as “very very ridiculous, not to say disgusting altogether” and pleaded against equating “the children of the oppressor” with “the children of the oppressed.”

Baker’s tweets reveal the dehumanization that comes all too easily with generalizations and labels: Israelis, or, in the preferred terminology of the EI, “Zionists” are “oppressors”, and therefore their children are “the children of oppressors.” If some of the despicable “price tag” perpetrators kidnapped Palestinian teens and somebody justified this as kidnapping “the children of terrorists,” Baker would immediately understand what’s wrong with this.

Stereotyping, bigotry and fanaticism exist in every society, and all too many people – Israelis and their supporters included – use the social media to vent offensive views. Abunimah and other anti-Israel activists love to document such outbursts. While I have no doubt that for every instance of an inappropriate posting by an Israeli or an Israel supporter one could find a similarly offensive posting by a Palestinian or a supporter of the Palestinian cause, I prefer to leave such games to the likes of Abunimah who apparently feel they have to grasp at every straw to try to make their point.

But obviously neither Abunimah nor Baker are just some barely known bloggers with a few readers. Baker has almost 20,000 Twitter followers, and while she has apparently started her writing career at Abunimah’s EI, her work has also been published by Al Monitor and The Guardian; and during Israel’s campaign against terror groups in Gaza in November 2012, the BBC, Al Jazeera English, CNN, The Sunday Times, and The Guardian seem to have relied on her input as “citizen journalist“.

It is also noteworthy that Baker’s EI profile claims she is “a master’s degree student of Migration and Diaspora Studies at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies,” while she emphasizes in the post on her experience as a “citizen journalist” that she has always lived in Gaza: “I have never stayed out of this tiny, densely-populated enclave for longer than a month.”

This post also suggests that Baker’s support for terrorism is nothing new. Israel had launched the campaign in November 2012 in response to incessant rocket attacks from Gaza; yet, Baker declared that Gazans were simply “an occupied people doing everything to liberate their land.” From several other EI posts by Baker, it is clear that Israel is part of the land she wants to see “liberated.”

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  • Thanks

    It’s time to begin a worldwide campaign to eliminate EI from the news section on It is appalling to see any link to this dirty, low-brow, bigoted website whenever clicking on the Middle East news on a Bing search engine. They do not report news, but rather peddle in outright lies or heavily biased opinions of news headlines. Rana Baker, Rania Khalek, Ali Abunimah and other mentally ill individuals writing for this website should all be names that Jews know, because these are the names of the scumbags responsible for some of the anti-Semitic attacks in Europe and the United States.

  • Sharon Bishop

    Evidently what ever Israel is doing at the moment is not working for Israel..A drastic change in dealing with these Palestinians is needed…Humanitarian gestures towards these Palestinians is taken as signs of weakness..Respect those that respect us,and deal accordingly towards those that don’t…

  • “..lazy journalists who know nothing..”

    They are not journalists.

    These people know very well what they are doing. They are paid to lie and incite for war and that’s what they do. They stage lies and fake theater for the benefit of the Vatican and its sponsored genocide and war against the “heretics”.

  • judorebbe

    No more prisoner releases! No more concessions! No more “peace” negotiations!

    Now, it is time for Israel to do Genghis Khan.

    Turn off their electricity. Turn off their water. Stop providing (free) medical services for the Palestinians. And if necessary, flatten Palestinian villages, entire villages, one by one, until these kids are safely home.

    To Hell with worrying about “collateral damage”. To Hell with worrying about what the US, the EU, the UN, or anyone else will say. – Set an example to deter kidnapping and terrorism. Enough is enough !!! Time to make “Am Yisrael Chai” more than just a slogan.

    • We, the Jewish People, must arise. As the Bible said, there is a time for war and a time for peace. Now happens to be the time for war. May our Israeli Warriors defeat all of our enemies!

    • Dino

      You are less worthy to live freely among people than Adolf Hitler

  • gonjtonic

    This is a great occasion to deal with hamas in a powerful way. Unfortunately:

    A) hamas has the memory span of a gold fish (8 seconds).
    B)We never finish to “job”. We always stop too soon and apparently deliver too little…..These are items which should be considered in the near future.

    We have to bring the enemy down on its knees and “beg” for us to stop. And this begging should be as public as possible.

  • Beatrix

    If Rana has never been out of Gaza longer than a month, how did she get a degree from a London University? And if she can read the newspapers, why doesn’t she know Gaza was freed in 2005? Why are all these propagandist sluts so pretty? (You should see the one they had on the Times of Israel today accusing Israelis of killing something like 704 Palestinian children a year).

    I’ve called some on this occasionally, and they say it’s avatars. The next time you see me, I’m going to look like Marilyn Monroe. And why are we letting these imbeciles win the propaganda campaign? These are Jewish children whose suffering they’re gloating over.

    I was on a conservative site this afternoon, and no one had one good thing to say about Cantor or the Jews. We’re losing everyone. We learned nothing from the 1930s.

    • rulierose

      I don’t know what they were saying about the Jews, but Cantor didn’t lose because he’s Jewish. trust me on this one.

      however, that aside, the Jewish people ARE in danger, and part of it is that Israel doesn’t have a friend in the White House. I hope that 65% of American Jews who voted for Obama are realizing what they’ve done.

  • The Vatican/CIA sponsored Israel gov mafia supplies the Jihadistanis with telephone, internet, electricity, gas, water, health care, etc.

    Israeli citizens need to recognize and understand that “their” government is not their government so long as it keeps providing the Jihadistani enemy with the means and the ground to sustain itself.

    This idiotic theater could and should have long been terminated.

    • Stephen Green

      You said it’s the truth, turn off all water, gas, electricity and provide buses for the hate filled Arabs to leave Israel, and deport ant Arab, Jew or lame westerner to a country where they will really know what persecution is. It pains me to see these filthy lies put out by lame stream media and lazy journalists who know nothing every day. But there is Hope for Israel and that is G-D has your best interests at heart because you are the apple of His eye and all these who are cursing you are heading to total destruction at His hands as written in Genesis 12:3 when He told Abraham that they who curse Abraham who fathered the nation of Israel will be cursed. Shalom Israel we love you