Monday, August 3, 2015

When Arabs frame Jews in Israel

Michael L.

pallywoodThere are two recent stories in the news, both of which are concerned with Arab attempts to blame Jews for crimes that those Jews did not commit.

There was the story of Imad Abu Sharikh who came to the hospital all bloodied up claiming that Jewish thugs had attacked him on his way to the mosque, yelling "Arabs out of Israel!"  The police investigated and it turned out that Sharikh was lying.  He did get beaten, but not by Jews, but by fellow Arabs.  His inclination to blame his attack on Jews may have something to do with rising tensions within Israel due to the recent Dawabsha family firebombing.

The second story is directly concerned with that firebombing.

Ari Yashar, writing in Arutz Sheva, tells us:
An announcement has been spreading around influential Palestinian Arab Facebook pages claiming that Yehuda Landsberg of Gilad Farm in Samaria committed the arson that killed an Arab infant and wounded four family members, reports Channel 10 on Monday.

The announcement includes a poster image with Landsberg's picture, and the word "wanted" in English, Arabic, and Hebrew - with a clear Google Translate-inducted mistake in the Hebrew reading ratziti, meaning "I wanted," instead of the correct mevukash.

There's just one problem: Landsberg has been in jail since last December serving a two-and-a-half year sentence, on charges of having committed "Price Tag" vandalism on the Arab village of Far'ata.
When you read enough stories like the two above, as I have, and if you are aware of the phenomenon of "Pallywood" in which Palestinian-Arabs seek to set Jews up before the cameras for defamation - as a form of cognitive warfare against Jewish Israelis, as a whole - then it becomes exceedingly difficult to trust any information that come from Palestinian-Arab sources when they make claims against Jews.

Dr. Richard Landes of Boston University defines "Pallywood" as follows:
The term “Pallywood” refers to the staging of scenes by Palestinian journalists in order to present the Palestinians as hapless victims of Israeli aggression. They are able to succeed in this endeavor in large part due to the credulity and eagerness of the Western press to present these images, which reinforce the image of the Palestinian David struggling valiantly against the overpowering Israeli Goliath. Pallywood has led to astonishing lapses in Western journalistic standards in which badly staged scenes regularly appear on the news as “real events.” 
The fact that such tactics are used constantly by the Palestinian-Arabs in Israel means that we cannot trust their claims when they denounce Jews.

This raises the question of what to make of the Dawabsha family firebombing?  It may very well have been a "price-tag" attack committed by "Jewish extremists" or it might have been something else entirely.  It is very possible, perhaps even likely, that this crime was the handiwork of Jews.  However, it could also quite easily be a frame job.  It might be that the house caught fire for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with malice toward the Dawabsha family or toward Arabs as a group.  It might be that after the house burned down and little Ali Dawabsha was killed that someone came long and scrawled "revenge" in Hebrew on the side of the house.

The point is that we do not really know what happened and we certainly do not, at least not yet, know who did it.

What I do not understand is why so many people, including the great majority of Jews, leap to the assumption that this was a Jewish crime on such flimsy evidence?

And now, of course, Israel is subject to even more denunciations in which people actually blame the government of Israel for this crime or they blame Israeli Jewish culture in its entirety.  And we have all these Jews now seemingly involved in soul searching to determine just what the hell is wrong with themselves.

I find it shabby.

Tibetans aside, there are very few peoples on the planet less in need of soul-searching than the Jewish people, despite all the toxic accusations against Israel.  People are using the Dawabsha family firebombing as a club against Jewish-Israelis.  I would hate to see Jewish-Israelis use it as an emotional club against themselves.


  1. What I do not understand is why so many people, including the great majority of Jews, leap to the assumption that this was a Jewish crime on such flimsy evidence.

    1) In all probability the people responsible for this attack were Jews. There have been similar attacks, as proven by the fact of the ongoing imprisonment of Landsberg. There is no question that there is a small minority of people who are Jews who are extremists and seem to be driven also by hate. They should be utterly condemned.

    2) The Israeli investigation must be allowed to run its course and find out all the facts.
    That should be the same in any country.

    3) In reference to your above quote:

    You mention the existence of "pallywood."
    It does exist but very few people wish to know about it.
    And, significantly, you have discussed - as have others; Michael Oren, Matti Friedman etc.,- the role played by the international media in presenting a particular view of Israel /Palestine.
    It should not be any surprise that there is an immediate rush to judgment on every report that comes out of this conflict.
    It should be clear by now that as far as Israel is concerned, most people believe what they
    want to believe or, perhaps, need to believe, and nothing is going to change that.
    As far as Jews themselves believing any and every allegation made against Israel and Israeli Jews, there are complex reasons for that which are worthy of a long discussion all by itself.
    That would be an important discussion, I think.

    1. Yup.

      How many other countries are constantly accused of deliberating murdering children?

      Gee, doesn't that sound familiar.

  2. Do the math. Who throws the most firebombs; Palestinians or Israelis?

    "By the way, Arabs throw firebombs at Jews every day

    According to Shin Bet, in June there were 98 firebombs thrown by Arabs in June, 50 of them in Jerusalem.

    This was lower than the 129 Molotov cocktails hurled in May.

    I don't know how many were aimed at residential buildings and how many at other objects like cars, but one can find plenty of photos and videos of Arabs throwing Molotov cocktails at houses.

    Luckily, no one was burned to death in these cases that happen multiple times every day,"

    And of course:

    "Two people were injured within the last hour when a car driving near the 'east' Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina was hit by a Molotov cocktail thrown by terrorists.

    Two people were injured on Monday night in a firebomb attack near the Beit Hanina intersection in Jerusalem.

    The incident occurred when a molotov cocktail was thrown as a moving vehicle. Inside the car was a woman, 27 who was evacuated to Hadassah Ein Keren Medical Center in stable condition with burns to her body.

    Her husband, who was also in the vehicle, was unharmed, although the car was completely burnt.

    The damaged vehicle hit a pedestrian, who suffered light injuries.

    Police are investigating the surrounding incident.

    Something tells me that no Leftists will be visiting that 27-year old woman in the hospital.... "

    IF Israelis are throwing firebombs, they learned from the best: constant Palestinian firebombers. No one should be surprised as horrible as it is.

    BTW I bet you nor the world heard about all those Palestinian firebombs nor did any of those squawking about this latest incident ever call for any Palestinian heads . And consider UNICEF which is all up in arms about this child's death never said boo about Jewish babies killed.

    "UNICEF never condemned the murder of Yehuda Shoham, a five month old American-Israeli murdered by a Palestinian Arab throwing a stone through that smashed through a car windshield and crushed his skull.....UNICEF never condemned the murder of Shalhevet Pass, a ten-month old girl who was murdered by a sniper who aimed at her as she was sitting in her stroller.....UNICEF never condemned the murder of Hadas Fogel, a three month old who was decapitated by depraved Palestinian Arabs who also murdered her 11-year old and 4-year old brothers and their parents."

    1. Doodad,
      I am sorry if I gave the impression that I am unaware of the many attacks on Jews. I am not only aware of them, I am aware of the complete silence in the media about them. It is appalling and disgusting that those attacks go unreported. I follow these things very closely and it makes me sick and enraged that such horrific acts are airbrushed out of the media.
      I completely share your feelings about the behaviour of the international media and the international institutions that are so biased that they treat heinous attacks on Jews as non-events. Including the deaths of children.

      What I was trying to say, obviously badly, was that we need to accept that this appalling state of affairs is what we have to deal with.
      Terrorist attacks on Israeli Jews are either ignored or presented in the most contorted and misleading terms.
      I have to follow particular sites - here in the UK - to find out what has happened and how our media has distorted it. Much of the time they simply don't report the attacks on Jews at all.
      It is very depressing and somewhat frightening that this should be so. It is, however, where we are. Very sadly.

    2. k, I was using the generic "you," not referring to yourself necessarily. Sorry if it looked that way.

    3. Doodad,
      sorry if I misunderstood.
      No problem.

  3. "..... The third set of impressions that Yonadav Tapuchi came away with concerned the suspicious nature of the alleged arson. He did not mention that there have been reports of an ongoing, 18-year feud between two clans in Duma that might be related to the murderous arson. In addition, one of the two graffiti messages – the single word nekamah, meaning "revenge" – has calligraphic elements that raise the suspicion that it was actually sprayed by an Arab.

    There was actually a report up in Hebrew on yesterday that claimed that suspects had been arrested in connection with the arson, and that they were Arabs. But when I clicked on the link from Twitter, the post had been removed. It is not unheard of in this country for a report like that to be censored by the military censor for some period of time. In other words, the report could still be true.

    And that's not the only thing that's suspicious.

    "According to the Duma version, the attackers burnt one house, then saw that it was empty, and so they went to set fire to the next house. The second house is enclosed by a fence, and the windows are covered by a dense lattice; a firebomb cannot be hurled through the windows, and in any event it is very hard to reach the windows behind the fence. The arsonists had to go around the house, enter the yard, and place the firebombs through the lattice. According to the Duma version, the attackers entered the house, stood over the parents and did not let them leave until the flames engulfed the house. Only then did the arsonists run away from the village.

    "I can only say that when the arsonists are ultimately caught, we will get to hear a fascinating story of why they chose to navigate their way all the way into the middle of the village, and how they had time to set a house on fire, wait to find that it was empty, then walk around and enter another house and set it on fire, wait with the parents, spray graffiti in two places – including with a little design of a crown! – and then run away through the middle of the village with all the townspeople surely already up and on their feet seeing the flames and hearing the family's cries. Something here is very fishy…"

  4. Thanks for your kind words Mike. Yes I am Israeli, but as my name suggests, not born here. I know what you mean by remarking that it's hard enough to stand with Israel, given all the lying and anti-Semitic hatred from the world, but the know-nothing masochism from Israeli Jews (and in very influential positions in politics, media, the universities, the arts, film and culture) makes it difficult for Diaspora Jews to even know better.

    The self-hatred of many on the Israeli Left is actually way way worse than I let on in my comment above. It has to be witnessed to be believed. I could tell you true stories of so many personal encounters with so much Jewish anti-Semitism over the years (and sometimes very extreme anti-Semitism, and I do not seek it out) that it's hard to believe you haven't stepped into some kind of Theatre of the Absurd. Well one has of course.