If you follow the mainstream media, you can’t help but have the impression that there has been a massive increase in both phoned-in bomb threats against obviously Jewish community targets in the USA, and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries. This has received huge coverage locally where each incident happens, nationally across the USA and, often times, international coverage. The impression one is being given, in the old media, is that this has happened directly as a result of the success of Donald Trump and his rise to the Presidency of the United States.
Whilst the world’s sudden decision to pay attention to acts of Jew hatred may make some people feel good, many of us know that Jews have been singled out for special hatred for millennia and will continue to be hated for the foreseeable future. The problem with suddenly taking notice of Jew hatred is that those of us who’ve been paying attention can’t quite be sure of the media’s motive for all this new-found Jew love.
As anyone who’s been following the various campaigns against Israel for years knows there is a deep pool of Jew hatred. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is almost entirely of the political left and is riven with Jew hatred (as Dave has shown over and over and over again). When an obvious Jew hater and Sharia Law campaigner like Linda Sarsour is making a massive, virtue signalling public display of raising money to clean up a vandalised Jewish cemetery you have to question motives. Linda even has the gall to explain that her motive is not because helping Jews is the right thing to do, she is doing these seemingly good deeds purely as means to promote the image of Islam (Dawah as she calls it).
And neither bomb threats against Jews nor vandalised Jewish cemeteries are new or uncommon. I’m not a paid journalist but it would seem to me very much part of journalistic integrity when reporting on these events to place them in some kind of historical context. Has this ever happened before? How often, what happened, was anyone ever caught? Who, what, where, when and why used to be the questions journalists asked. Nearly all the stories that come up are local reports with local reporters. It is only in the modern era that anyone on the Internet can find this information so easily.
From July 6, 2015, Jewish News of Northern California.
On July 2 around 9 a.m., Foster City police received a phone call with a bomb threat regarding the PJCC. Following safety protocol, the JCC evacuated the building while Foster City police and San Mateo sheriffs searched the campus, including the Wornick Jewish Day School. No bomb was discovered, but the JCC and school remained closed for the rest of the day.
There are dozens of similar stories on bomb threats and cemeteries all from the before Trump era (BTE). I don’t recall thousands of breathless articles in national and international media calling for Obama to denounce those acts. Or even Bush or Clinton before them as it’s easy to find these events, reported locally in nearly every instance.
The question this leaves me with is whose political agenda is served by continuing to publicise what have clearly been bomb threats that haven’t materialised up to now? The threats, which do generate real fear and disruption themselves are the mode of attack. So far, thankfully, there haven’t been any real bombs threatening life. Unlike, for example, the real rockets that flew out of Gaza toward Jews in southern Israel in the past couple of weeks that received no international attention (until Israel bombed Hamas).
The publicity and associated panic run the risk of perpetuating this and spreading it worldwide. Jews will be terrorized worldwide, not by real bombs but by phone calls. It is not a sign that Jew hatred has increased, decreased or anything else: you cannot infer anything relative about the numbers of people hating Jews or the virulence of their hatred from the successful promotion of a tactic that can be carried out by one person or many. We just don’t know at this point.
I said publicise very deliberately: not react. Obviously you have to react to a threat, inform parents, move people etc. I lived through extensive IRA bombing campaigns in 70’s and 80’s in London. The IRA would plant some real bombs: sometimes they’d phone through a warning (with a secret phrase agreed with security forces) and a bomb would blow up but few people if any would be hurt.
Sometimes there would be no warning and many people were hurt and murdered (like the Brighton Bombing that blew up Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet). Other times they’d just paralyse us with warnings that turn out to be hoaxes. I remember being late for an Opera because I was stuck underground on a Tube train that didn’t move for 40 minutes because of a phoned in threat.
What was different then was that the international and even local media barely reported on specific phoned in threats unless something happened. If you were directly affected by one (such as being stuck on a train in a tunnel and not moving) you might find out why. But there was no Facebook or Twitter for every individual to report each incident and the media acted highly responsibly. Already the IRA knew they could multiply their terror effect without actually planting quite as many bombs: the media did not amplify this.
By publicising each threat on a global scale, it serves only to advance an anti-Trump agenda. I can’t take the opposition media seriously as having suddenly developed such a strong love of Jews. Local people can be told of a local threat but why is it national news? I’m not talking about suppressing news of Jew hatred, but it seem right now that only when the media has an ulterior political motive is Jew hatred of any interest to anyone but Jews.
Right now the inherently Jew hating “Israel Apartheid Week” is going on all over the place: this is a much more widespread, insidious and real danger than phoned in threats and even cemetery destruction. It’s not getting worldwide attention outside of Jewish media. Why? As I said before, the BDS movement and nearly all of the “pro-Palestinian” movements are riddled with Jew hatred, why is that Jew hatred not deserving of attention?
The media, in covering this story, have presented little or no background work. Seth Frantzman, Opinion editor of the Jerusalem Post, has done some work, but that’s on his blog, not in a mainstream source. If there has been an increase in antisemitic incidents, it’s probably a small difference and not the gigantic effect the mainstream media are looking for.
By way of contrast, Ha’aretz, probably the most influential Jewish paper and, through its close ties to the New York Times, has huge sway over international media only speaks as if this Jew hatred is something brand new:
Everything you need to know about the wave of threats terrorizing U.S. Jews
Over the past 45 days there have been an estimated 190 incidents targeting Jews and Jewish institutions throughout the United States, including verbal and written threats and vandalism. The highest-profile manifestation: over 90 bomb threats called in to 73 Jewish institutions in 30 states and one Canadian province in five separate waves.
Paul Goldenberg, a former law enforcement official who directs the Secure Community Network, a security group affiliated with the organized U.S. Jewish community, told Haaretz that the situation was “unprecedented.”
In the first wave on January 9, threats were made against 16 Jewish institutions − nearly all Jewish community centers in Florida, Tennessee, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Across the ocean in London, bomb threats have been called in to three Jewish schools,
“First wave” – this is similar to their trick of ignoring Jewish history in Israel prior to 1948 in order delegitimize Jews living in places they don’t like. The author of this piece makes absolutely no journalistic effort what so ever to set this in any kind of historical context besides a one word quote “unprecedented” from an “former law enforcement official” No numbers, no statistics, no surveys, just one opinion. I don’t doubt that there may have been an upswing in activity but without presenting more than the word “unprecedented” and details of when it’s gone on in the past, I can’t trust Ha’aretz. Why do I, unpaid, have to do the basic work of a paid journalist?
Just yesterday, the media made a highly speculative jump in order to tie these events to Trump and paint him as not caring enough about Jew hatred. Worse still, they take hearsay as fact and (despite later denials from the White House) run headlines claiming Trump spoke of conspiracy theories. Again, Ha’aretz:
Trump Reportedly Suggests Wave of anti-Semitic Incidents Could Be False Flags Perpetrated by Jews
Trump spoke to a gathering of state attorneys general from across the country that included Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Shapiro told reporters in a conference call after the meeting that Trump suggested that the attacks could reflect something other than anti-Semitism, saying that “the reverse can be true” and “someone’s doing it to make others look bad,” according to Philly.com.
A journalist asking the questions “who, what, where, when an why” might look into the background of Attorney General Josh Shapiro to figure out if he has any reason for reporting Trump in an unfavourable light (besides reporting that he’s Jewish). Especially as he is the single source for the story. A quick date limited Google search finds that “Attorney General Josh Shapiro” has been a vocal opponent of Trump, the first result of that search:
17 Attorney Generals, Including Josh Shapiro Condemn Trump Executive Orders On Immigration
HARRISBURG — Seventeen Attorney Generals across the nation, including Pennsylvania Attorney General, Josh Shapiro issued a joint statement on Sunday condemning the executive orders by Donald trump as ‘un-American.’
Nowhere in Ha’aretz’s reporting can we find any reference to any inherent biases this progressive and politically ambitious Democrat Attorney General may have. The “why is he saying these things” of the story in this case. Those details aren’t important because the story aligns with the agenda of both Ha’aretz and the reporter. I’m not clear, therefore, if this is an opinion piece or if this is supposed to be a piece of unbiased news reportage. You can have a look at the headlines from a few of the same writer’s opinion pieces, it’s pretty clear there is hatred toward Trump and even his family.
And even when, last night, the first words out of President Trump’s mouth to a joint session of both houses were to strongly condemn recent antisemitic attacks in unambiguous terms, Ha’aretz chooses the following sub-heading:
The U.S. president condemned anti-Semitic attacks hours after raising unhinged conspiracy theories about their perpetrators.
It seems to be Ha’aretz that is peddling in unhinged Trump hatred and using antisemitism as their weapon of choice.
There is no way to trust the media any more, they’re either lying outright or leaving out massive amounts of background which are fundamental to the story. In this case, with these threats, it may even be that the media, by giving them such disproportionate coverage, are helping create the story.
Nobody knows who’s been vandalising synagogues or phoning in bomb threats. The NSA, FBI, Department of Justice and local law enforcement are working on it hard I’m sure. The history of catching those responsible for those responsible is pretty poor so we may never know who it was. But as a tactic to bash the current President, it seems to be working in the minds of the elite media. I’m not sure the wider American public will be buying it much longer.
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