This Code Pink Leader Is a Shameless Liar
Last week, my organization, the World Values Network, hosted a discussion with Yair Netanyahu, son of the Israeli prime minister, and one of Israel’s best-known young social media influences.
I’m a free speech absolutist and consider the First Amendment to be inviolate. I am so proud of countries like the United States and Israel for ensuring that people can speak their mind without fear of government censorship or arrest.
I allowed Ariel Gold, National Co-Director of Code Pink, to attend our event. As she entered the talk, someone spotted her and a spirited debate ensued between our organizers and security as to whether she would remain. Everyone was sure she would try and destroy the event.
So I walked up to her, and asked if she planned to disrespect our speaker and destroy the talk. She told me, and other organizers, that her sole desire was to listen and take notes. I asked her again for her commitment to not disrupt. She looked me in the eye and gave me her word. And I took her at her word. She, however, did not keep her word — and tried to ruin our event.
It turns out that in addition to Ariel Gold’s repulsive views on Israel and role as an apologist for Iran, she is also an inveterate liar who has the nerve to look people right in the eye and lie. Even after I spoke to her privately, I extracted a public commitment from her — only to witness Gold get up with scores of other protesters to try and destroy a free speech event because they disagreed with the views of our guest.
Gold would later say on her Twitter feed that she protested alone and did not lead the others. But she’s a confirmed liar, as we all saw. So why believe anything she says?
As a religious man, I have debated some of the world’s most famous atheists, like Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens. As a pro-Israel activist, I have debated some of the world’s leading Palestinian apologists, including Peter Beinart and Hussein Ibish. All of these debates have been respectful, and we did not try to shut each other up.
But Ariel Gold does not believe in debate. Why would she? She’d be eviscerated in any intellectual debate. So she’s forced to lie about attending events saying she’s there to listen, when she really wants to disrupt. Code Pink often prevents those with whom they disagree from expressing their opinions. The group routinely sneaks into events for the sole purpose of disrupting them.
Gold has demonstrated a profound hatred for the State of Israel, and has championed the antisemitic BDS movement. In July 2018, the Israeli government deported her after she arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport claiming she was planning to take part in a Jewish Studies program at Hebrew University. The government, however, said she had a different agenda, and pointed to Code Pink’s opposition to a Jewish homeland, unfair condemnation of Israel, and the desire to boycott and isolate the Jewish state.
Another of Code Pink’s founders participated in a conference in Iran hosting Holocaust deniers, and subsequently complained when the mayor of the German city of Bayreuth rejected the awarding of the city’s tolerance prize to Code Pink over allegations that the group is antisemitic. The group also regularly protests at AIPAC conferences and has been heard chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Despite knowing her contemptible views, I was still prepared to allow Gold to attend the event with Netanyahu’s son. All I expected of her, and everyone who attends our events, is to behave in a civil and respectful manner. Our staff treated her with the same kindness and respect as every other guest in our house.
She repaid us by leading a group of fellow Israel haters in a demonstration aimed at destroying our peaceful event. Her behavior was a disgrace and discredited her organization and her cause. If Code Pink had any sense of honor — and I suspect they do not — they would fire her immediately.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” whom The Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international bestselling author of 30 books, including the upcoming Holocaust Holiday: One Family’s Descent Into Genocide Memory Hell. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @RabbiShmuley.