Richard Silverstein Bashes Jewish Reporter Who Was Harassed In France

Yesterday, I posted the video 10 Hours of Walking In Paris As A Jew by Israel journalist Zvika Klein. While the results were predictable, they were still disturbing.

Also predictable yet disturbing is the reaction to this video of anti-Israel blogger Richard Silverstein,. who characterized it as a “provocation” and “Islamphobic”, while bashing Jews and Israelis.

I kid you not.

In his post on the topic, Silverstein writes:

An Israeli journalist writing for the Adelson-owned, Makor Rishon/NRG, devised an Israeli version of Charlie Hebdo to embarrass the Muslims of Paris. It is ‘gotcha journalism’ of the worst sort. The reporter, Zvika Klein, donned a kippah and tzitzit (he is not Orthodox) and spent ten hours roaming the streets of various Paris neighborhoods. He focussed particularly on Muslim neighborhoods hoping he would provoke an especially vehement or abusive response. He succeeded. Several passersby spat or glowered at him or shouted “Vive Les Palestiniens!” To further reinforce the point that Arabs are animals, he walked through other neighborhoods where he was treated civilly.

This is journalism of the most cynical, debased sort. Why? Because Klein doesn’t plan to walk through Tel Aviv’s poorest neighborhoods dressed as an African refugee. Nor does he plan to walk through Tapuach or Yizhar wearing a keffiyeh. If he had, he likely would’ve been killed rather than just spat upon. He doesn’t plan to walk through Meah Shearim kissing his boyfriend. When he tries these stunts and publicizes the reactions, then we’ll know he’s trying to be fair and balanced rather than an Islamophobic provocateur.

Once again, Silverstein is showing his disdain for the truth. And Israeli and Jewish people.

Let’s begin with the fact that Zvika is an Orthodox Jew, contrary to Silverstein’s assertion.

The thing is, even before Zvika’s tweet on the matter, this information was readily available online. With a quick Google search, I discovered this fact near the top of the results. Silverstein, who boasts of being a journalist despite having no such credentials, should surely have done his research. Alas, once again he hasn’t. Because, quite frankly, his agenda is not the truth. It is the demonization of Israel.

(As of the time of this post, Silverstein had been informed of his mistake hours earlier. Yet has left up the lie).

Besides the falsehood here, think of the perversity of Silverstein’s argument. A Jew provokes Muslims by wearing the clothes of a Jew. How dare he! It is downright Islamophobic to do so knowing the Muslims will likely behave in a despicable way towards the Jew.

It is also a racist argument, depriving Muslims of all agency in acting like decent human beings when confronted with a Jew dressed as a Jew, minding his business.

Silverstein’s comparisons are also dishonest. To claim a palestinian would “find death” in an Israeli neighborhood is an outright lie – unless that palestinian was setting off a bomb or otherwise perpetrating a terrorist attack.

As for the comparison to kissing an Israeli boyfriend in synagogue or driving through an Orthodox neighborhood on Shabbat – which are both arguably designed to offend the religious sensibilities of those around them – Silverstein is suggesting these would offend as much as a Jew’s presence offends a Muslim in France. That is an indictment on the belief system of those Muslims.

In other words, Silverstein confirms in this post his twisted thinking, which involves hatred of Israel, religious Jews and, apparently, a low opinion of Muslims.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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