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Does Video of ‘Spitting Jews’ Really Show What the Haters Claim?

Many Israel-haters and outright antisemites like Amer Zahr have latched on to video ostensibly showing some Jews spitting towards Christian sisters:

Many supporters of Israel claim that what is really happening in the video is the guy on the right raises his arm in the air like a Nazi and says “Heil Hitler.”

Twitter has accepted this argument by providing context with tweets like Zahr’s:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is amer-lie.png

Me being me, I could not accept this as fact unless I examined for myself.

So I slowed down the footage and audio.

As you can see and hear, it does seem to show a gesture that could be a Nazi salute, and what the guy says sounds a bit like “Heil Hit.” But it might not be – he could be raising his hand to put a cigarette to his mouth, for example. And what sounds like “heil Hit” might be something else, and not even uttered by him; my point is this contention is not proven beyond all doubt.

And let’s be honest: some Jews have spat at Christians before.

But for me, it is not critical.

You see, those who claim the possible bigoted actions of a few Jews shows Apartheid –  a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race – are revealing more about themselves than the supposed perpetrators. For they are painting all of Jewish Israeli society as bigoted from the actions of a few.

This is indicative of antisemitic attitudes, for what Zahr and others who shared the video are really saying is all Jews are rotten apples because some may have been acting as such. And note how Zahr mentioned the verse in Deuteronomy, seemingly in order to stoke hatred against not just the perpetrators but Judaism.

And let’s face it. Neither Zahr nor the other haters commented on this actual incident of hatred towards Christians:

I think Israel supporters should be focusing more on what the video says about those claiming it shows Israeli apartheid, rather than trying to justify what looks like bad behavior by a small group of Jews.

Updates

17/4/23 10:00: Israel’s channel 12 has a report on the incident. It reveals:

  • The youth spit on the floor, not at the nuns (not that this makes it much better)
  • It is one of many such incidents in recent days
  • Religious Jews have widely condemned the behavior

A short recording of Jewish youths passing near nuns and spitting on the floor in protest managed to shock many in recent days. Several videos in the same spirit were filmed in the old city recently, and it seems that for quite a while this is a routine event.

One of the two nuns present at the event recorded in the video is Sister Mary from the “Flogging Monastery”, a nun who has been in Israel for a year and a half. “There were 5-6 guys, and only two of them spat as far as I can remember,” she says. “They told me that for them the cross is an abomination so they spit when they see the cross. But that day , there was no cross anywhere but because we were standing in front of the whipping gate and we are nuns, so they spat.”

Father Matthias, also a member of the “Flogging Monastery”, adds: “I’m trying to understand what can bring a father or mother to teach their children to spit when they see a human being, a monk or a priest. In the end it’s the image of God, right? Us too.”

There are those who explain that this is a tradition that originated in exile and which was intended to keep away the impurity of Christianity, and there are also other explanations. But there seems to be widespread agreement that these shameful images deserve clear condemnation. “In the name of the church, tens of millions of Jews were slaughtered and rounded up, so the Jewish response from the beginning of Dana was always when you see the symbol of those people to spit and move on. In the last 50 years, the church has withdrawn its hand from this behavior and I think that we in Jerusalem need to learn to host every person,” explains Yossi Elitov, editor of the ultra-Orthodox newspaper “Mishpah”.

Rabbi Rafi Ostruch, the head of the Gush Etzion religious council, also takes the matter seriously: “I see this as a blasphemy like no other. Let’s imagine that Christians pass by synagogues in the US or Europe, and what they do is see a rabbi and spit next to him . Calling out anti-Semitism and intolerance .”

About the author

Picture of David Lange

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
Picture of David Lange

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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