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Botched! JTA and Spain Take Gaza Girls to Superstardom

Once again, the Jewish media botches the comedy of errors surrounding those wildly popular “Gaza Girls” and misses the seriousness of the issues it raises.

JTA just reported that an alleged anti-Semite in Spain may stand trial for posting on Facebook my now world-famous spoof of Palestinian incitement, “Kill All the Jews” by the Gaza Girls. The JTA took the story from a Spanish paper, which is probably guiltier of careless reporting. At least the JTA connected the video back to me, unlike the Times of Israel, which, in an incident Aussie Dave so astutely and humorously covered, initially reported the story assuming the video was real (with ADL’s Abe Foxman weighing in, praising the Spanish court’s decision).

First, let’s run down some errors in the JTA piece (screenshots saved before they try to make corrections without acknowledging that that they got their facts wrong, as did the Times of Israel):

JTA1

True, I invented this fictional Palestinian girl band, but does the unnamed JTA reporter believe that I “headed” the other “girls” when I actually played all “femme fatales” (easy, since they’re all covered from head to toe). I’m very flattered that the unnamed reporter considers my video oeuvre as “art” but my profession is journalist – although I wonder if the JTA would recognize a professional journalist if one walked through its offices.

The unnamed reporter is quick to label me a “right-wing settler activist”, which means living in the Tel Aviv area counts me as a “settler.” And does Berlin count as a Jewish settlement, too? Since they didn’t bother to call to confirm facts, they didn’t get the memo that I’ll be spending the summer in Germany.

Onto to the next errors:

JTA3

Now this is funny. All of a sudden, my last name becomes “Ofra.” True, I illegally infiltrated Gaza for a few weeks prior to the evacuation to cover the heart-wrenching expulsion of 9,000 Jews from their homes, but I was never a full-time resident.

JTA4

From this above description, it seems that the Spanish courts are not aware that “Kill All the Jews” is a parody, which means that the only reported incident of prosecution that I’ve recently heard of for “incitement” against Jews is based on a spoof of Palestinian media, and not on actual incitement that exists from likes of this honorary Gaza Girl and these adorable Gaza boys.

The Vimeo rep who wrote to me in defense of the company’s decision to keep the video up stated the issue at hand perfectly:

More often than not, people miss the satire entirely (which is the same mistake we made the first time we saw it). It’s a sad state of affairs when something so over the top could plausibly be a sincere example of what it is engaging with. In any case, we definitely respect expression above all else and are happy to have your back!

I’m glad a few characters in this story, like Vimeo (and Israellycool), have integrity.

Now, why won’t European courts go after the actual calls for genocide on social media, in mosques, in Palestinian schools that the European Union probably funds? (Not that I, as a lover of free speech, believe “hate speech” should be prosecuted, rather protested and removed.) Does this incident actually demonstrate the insincerity of Europe’s claims to fight anti-Semitism?

And who is this mysterious Spaniard that stands to be prosecuted? If the judge finds out that the video was a fake, but if the alleged criminal thought it was real, does that still make it a crime? Should I step in to make sure someone isn’t being wrongly tried? Or, if the person actually thought the video was real, should I let the Jew-hater rot in jail?

Not that I could really trust the reporting in this JTA article, which was picked up by a variety of newspapers, errors and all. This entire and rather serious incident has yet to receive the professional treatment it deserves, but, hey, it’s a fun debacle to report, with errors, for a salacious headline.

https://vimeo.com/106171741

About the author

Picture of Orit Arfa

Orit Arfa

Orit Arfa is a is a journalist and author based in Berlin. Visit her website: www.oritarfa.net.
Picture of Orit Arfa

Orit Arfa

Orit Arfa is a is a journalist and author based in Berlin. Visit her website: www.oritarfa.net.
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