Monday, December 24, 2018

The Hatred for Sarah Tuttle-Singer

Michael Lumish

I like Sarah Tuttle-Singer, social media editor of the Times of Israel.

She is a Jewish California mom and Israeli living with her young kids in Jerusalem and writing and editing for that prominent venue. Her 2018 book is Jerusalem, Drawn and Quartered: One Woman’s Year in the Heart of the Christian, Muslim, Armenian, and Jewish Quarters of Old Jerusalem.

This is a young mother and writer under considerable heat for being too sympathetic to the Palestinian-Arabs in their efforts to snuff-out Jewish self-determination and self-defense on our historical homeland.

She has also been heavily accused of getting popular pro-Jewish / pro-Israel native American Métis writer and activist, Ryan Bellerose, fired from his position as an advocacy coordinator for B’nai Brith Canada. He was apparently too confrontational toward her on social media and too hostile toward the enemies of the Jewish people.

I referenced this tension in a recent piece entitled, The “Palestinian Narrative” and Sarah Tuttle-Singer.

The reason that I, nonetheless, like "STS" -- it is not everyone, by the way, that earns an acronym -- is because she stands at the crossroads between pro-Israel advocacy and pro-Palestinian advocacy and that makes her interesting "grist for the mill." This is particularly true given the fact of the fluid nature of contemporary social media in which everyone has a potential voice.

This does not mean that I agree with her overly-broad sympathies for the Palestinian-Arab enemies of the Jewish people. And it certainly does not mean that I take her side over that of Ryan Bellerose. It simply means that I recognize that she walks a tight line between those who wish to slaughter the Jewish people of Israel and the Israeli Jews who refuse to compromise on the matter.

It takes considerable guts to take that position while smiling for the camera.

The Fundamental Criticisms of Tuttle-Singer

Tuttle-Singer has become sufficiently controversial within the pro-Jewish / pro-Israel community that the malice towards her has spawned a mocking Facebook page called Sour Turtle Stinger.  It describes itself as a "Place for sharing dank memes, stories and roasting of certain rare creature." The notion of "rare creature," in this case, suggests prima donna, but I cannot fairly speak to what was in the writer's head.

The primary reason that they tend to despise Tuttle-Singer is out of a sense that she gives far too much credence to the "Palestinian Narrative" and not nearly so much credence to the Jewish experience in that part of the world under thirteen centuries of Arab-Muslim imperial rule. She also generally gives equal moral justification to Palestinian-Arab hostility toward Jews as to Jewish measures of self-defense. Her writings suggest a moral equivalency between Jewish defenders and Arab aggressors. I would not put her on the same low level of, say, Gideon Levy or Amira Hass of Ha'aretz

However, she does not emphasize that the Jewish people in her part of the world live under siege, despite the fact that she lives in Jerusalem with her own children. She acknowledges it but is more concerned with Jewish wrong-doing than the never-ending Arab assault on the Jewish people.

 I covered a bit of this in my previous piece wherein I suggested to Tuttle-Singer:
History as a field of knowledge resides at the crux of the Humanities and the Social Sciences and is, thus by necessity, interpretive.

This is why there is always a significant element of subjectivity within even the most scrupulously professional historical narratives. Nonetheless, for a narrative to be a historical narrative it must be grounded in something that closely resembles the truth of the past.

We do not simply get to make up our own “narratives” as the Palestinian-Arab leadership has done, and then insist that ahistorical nonsense be taken seriously.
Nonetheless, Tuttle-Singer seems to be among those political writers who believe that the "Palestinian Narrative" of Never-Ending Victimhood needs to be given equal consideration to actual Jewish history in consideration of the conflict.

She also believes that the Jews of the Middle East are "Occupying," with "the Big O," the very land of Jewish heritage and tends to be sympathetic toward Arab-Muslim push-back against Jewish self-determination and self-defense. She thus often harps on what she sees as Jewish opression toward others, while generally giving the Arabs a pass. Much of this was previously discussed in a thoughtful January 7, 2018, piece by Paula Stern entitled, The Truth According to Sarah Tuttle-Singer.

But, again, I like Sarah Tuttle-Singer. I have a great deal of sympathy for any public figure who must face malice and hatred in the cause of dearly held beliefs.

Speaking for myself, I can only aspire to earn such hatred.


  1. First off STS does not live in Jerusalem. She lives adjacent to a Kibbutz near Ramle.

    Second, I have no idea what lead to Ryan Bellerose's firing at the hands of B'nai Brith. But Ryan Bellerose is a hostile person who uses his following to turn himself into the hero of every story he recounts via his many FB profiles (actually he and STS have this in common). He's very plainly a bully, who cannot tolerate anyone who doesn't agree with him and he is downright abusive to anyone who challenges him. So whatever the circumstances of his firing, whether Sarah was involved or not, he could also look at himself. The B'nai Brith organization certainly isn't going to want anyone representing them who casts such a negative light on himself and on B'nai Brith. B'nai Brith has been around for a long time and I am quite certain that Sarah Tuttle Singer can't influence them to fire an employee in good standing.

    1. Bellerose matters because he champions the significance of Jewish indigeneity to the Land of Israel.

      It is an important argument.

    2. Mike, I agree, the indigenous argument is significant but as always the devil is in the detail. Bellerose regularly bullies people that present any other rationale than his own. He regularly tosses words around like retard to denote people that have other views (which is at the very least extremely insulting to those with developmental disabilities) and he doesn't have an ounce of compassion for anyone except his own views. Yes, he's a starch defender of Israel and because of that, I used to overlook his methods and ignore what I found distasteful. But ultimately I think he hurts the Jewish people and Israel, despite his support. He props up division within the Jewish community which ultimately hurts us and looks to personally crucify anyone who offers any other flavor of Zionism. In short, he's a divider. I actually think STS is a divider too although her methods are not quite as distasteful as his are. STS is clearly trying to build her significant following and I do think she bends her views to those that are likely able to net her the greatest amount of support. Bellerose is just a pathologically angry guy who uses his platform as a way to side-step the give and take of human interaction.

    3. Actually, tossing around the word "retard" to denote people with other views is an insult to those with other views.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. As to Bellerose's only accepting his own views, there are arguments that other views are not legitimate or that the conditions for an alternate view to be legitimate cannot be met. That said, presenting conditions for an alternate view to be legitimate is more likely to be convincing than uncategorically belittling anyone with a contrary view.

      In the case of indigeneity, the condition for accepting any definition is that it has to apply to all disputes of who is indigenous. It was that requirement that led Cobo-Martinez to develop the definition he did. What could be done is to provide some other examples of contested indigeneity, ask the poser of the alternative definition for indigeneity who he considers indigenous in that circumstance and who their definition would define as indigenous. Example, ask how many generations will it take for the Han settlers to become indigenous in Tibet. Then watch their cognitive dissonance go berserk.

    6. unknown, you probably meant staunch not starch but when you are clearly a whiny retard you probably struggle with language. I am far from pathologically angry lol, I just don't suffer fools and idiots gladly, clearly you are at least one of those things.

  2. Uppity Bellerose is a little too uppity for some. I happen to like uppity since non-uppity really hasn't worked that well has it? Pro-Israel needs a huge amount of more uppity.

    1. I like Bellerose because he a straight-talker and, more importantly, he emphasizes the indigeneity issue.

    2. If Arabs or "Palestinians,"were indigenous to Israel, one thinks the freaking Bible might have mentioned it. This ain't rocket science international community.

  3. Winston Churchill said this in 1937 CE:

    “[Winston] Churchill did not accept that the Jews
    were a foreign race [to the Holy Land]. He said it was
    the Arabs who had been the outsiders, the conquerors.”

    SOURCE: Churchill and the Jews
    (chapter 10, page 115) by Martin Gilbert, year 2007 CE

    Winston Churchill was British Prime Minister
    from 1940 to 1945 CE and from 1951 to 1955 CE.

    Who are the Palestinians?

  4. The one issue I take with Paula Stern's response to STS is that she has the wrong reason why Arabs blowing up buses should not be considered equivalent to Israelis shouting "Death to Arabs!"

    In Stern's telling, shouting "Death to Arabs!" is just an ordinary case of racism, not to impute that she considers such racism acceptable. However, such an expression is a call to genocide, and the step from that to taking steps toward that end (such as by blowing up buses) is not as large as the step from simple expression of ethnic animus to taking steps towards genocide.

    However, there is something which does show a clear difference between Israelis calling for genocide and the Arabs who take concrete action. That difference is the different ecosystems that the two live in. Israel has created an ecosystem in which those calling for genocide have a harder time finding like-minded supporters, let alone logistical support towards making any concrete steps happen. The Palestinian ecosystem is one which ostracizes anyone who dissents from such genocidal thoughts.