Thursday, January 09, 2020

  • Thursday, January 09, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

How many anti-Zionist activists does it take to change a lightbulb? That's not funny!

PreOccupied Territory, one of my wonderful columnists, wrote a satirical article on his site that started off this way:

Antisemitism Only Counts From Whitesby Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Truah Rabbis

New York, December 18 – Too many people have misunderstood my online reaction to the murder of Orthodox Jews in Jersey City last weekend, in which I attempted to distinguish between that attack, with its economic context, and others perpetrated by real, white-supremacist antisemites. That tweet prompted numerous accusations that I seek to downplay or deny antisemitism when ethnic minorities display it. To the contrary: I define antisemitism ontologically as a product of white supremacy, making antisemitism by others – Black Hebrew Israelites, Muslims, whoever – impossible.

Following that definition – which you cannot deny or face accusations of oppressing me, a card-carrying intersectional progressive – the killers in Jersey City committed murder, yes, but not an antisemitic hate crime. This holds true despite the emergence afterwards of evidence that they belonged to a cult that preaches hate and violence against Jews, with rhetoric that echoes the likes of David Duke and Louis Farrakhan. Once we understand that the term “antisemitism” applies only to white-on-Jew violence, we realize other terminology must come into play. My suggestions include “economic protest” and “anti-gentrification crusade,” but others are welcome to weigh in with theirs.
Like any good satire site, sometimes PT gets too close to the truth. A major YouTube channel, Akkad Daily, highlighted the article, starting off as if it was serious but making clear that it was satire to his large and appreciative audience.

Jacobs objected to the article on PT's website (that currently features a headline "Jews Selfishly Hogging Limelight By Getting Killed") as making people think it really was written by her. (As far as I know, she didn't describe exactly where her opinions diverge from the article itself, if at all.)

After her complaint, PT graciously added a disclaimer at the end of the article:
Editor’s note: certain unnamed people are worried that a satirical article might be taken seriously, possibly because it is eerily close to their actual opinion. They even wrote to us to request, very politely, that we remove the article, the subject of which is a public figure.  For those people, we very politely stress that the article as written is not to be taken literally.

Any person with an IQ of above 35 would understand that when he says it is a "satirical article" that this means that this is a, um, satirical article.

But that wasn't explicit enough to the humorless anti-Israel Left.

Jacobs went to lawyer Michael Sfard, who represents anti-Zionist groups in Israeli courts, who then wrote a letter to PreOccupied Territory demanding a huge bold letter disclaimer on every page of his site, and all others, and I think to pay for a billboard in every major intersection in Jerusalem and New York to make sure that everyone knows that Jacobs did not in fact write this:

Subject: our client Rabbi Jill Jacobs
Warning before initiation of legal proceedings

Dear sir:
1. On 18 December an article entitled “Antisemitism Only Counts From Whites” (hereinafter: the article) was published on the site PreOccupied Territory (hereinafter: the site), which is under your ownership, management, and editorship. The article was written, ostensibly, by my client – Rabbi Jill Jacobs, director of the organization Truah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.
2. The article contained opinions and statements attributed to my client that she has never expressed, that she does not hold, and that have the potential to denigrate her, embarrass her, and make her a target for hatred and insults.
3. The article was shared numerous times on the Internet, with no clarification whatsoever that it is fake or satirical, causing many people to mistake it for a genuine article my client wrote. Moreover, on none of the site’s various pages does there appear any statement that the site is satire. The various articles are presented as factual, and in such a manner that a reasonable person would not suspect it of being other than an authentic opinion piece by my client.
4. It must be clarified that the attribution of the statements in the article to my client – which originate only in the imagination of the writer – qualifies as libel under Sec. 1 of the Libel Prohibition Law of 1965....
6. It must be made clear that the addition of this comment cannot repair the damage already caused, and that continues to be caused, to my client. The comment as published (as quoted above) is unclear and not unequivocal or explicit enough that my client is not the article’s author, and has not given her consent for its publication. Additionally, the note does not appear on the home page of the “Opinion” section of the site, where a link appears to the article ostensibly by my client.
7. Therefore, before and in light of damage to my client as a result of the aforementioned article, and to minimize any future damage that continues to accrue and grow, you are required to take the following steps:
a. Fix the article by adding an explicit note that my client did not write it, nor participated in the composition of the satirical piece, and place it at the top pf the article in bold typeface.
b. Add an identical clarification to that described in the previous paragraph to any link on the site to the article, including the Home and Opinion main pages.
We better not tell Mr. Sfard about this PreOccupied Territory article that he attributed to HRW's Omar Shakir:

This is the usual reaction we are all so familiar with from the Left that pretends to be liberal: Censorship for opinions they find distasteful.

The only distasteful opinions are those of people like Rabbi Jacobs, for whom antisemitism is a political football to use against those whose opinions she doesn't like, and who will simply not discuss any kind of antisemitism that doesn't fit her left-wing, intersectional view of blaming everything on Zionists and the Right. Her only real objection is that PreOccupied Territory wrote something that is uncomfortably close to the truth, and she doesn't want people to know it. 

Well, more people do now.

UPDATE: Jacobs is not as bad as I had characterized her on antisemitism. Her friends are.

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