‘Ehud Barak Gave the Order to Kill’

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak received an earful from protestors when he was in San Francisco recently to hawk his new book, as explained in this interview by Dennis J. Bernstein. 

By Dennis J Bernstein

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was on the stomp in San Francisco last weekend to promote his new memoir, My Country, My Life.  He was met by a group of highly organized young protesters who were interested in a few facts that the former Israeli PM did not include in his new memoir.

“Ehud Barak gave the order to kill 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza, with 344 children dead,” called out Lauren Holtzman, a member for Jewish Voice for Peace and one of those arrested at the event. “He declared the siege on Gaza, limiting food, medicine and water.” Holtzman was referencing  Barak’s responsibility as Israeli Defense Minister for Operation Cast Lead, the Jewish State’s bloody 2008-09 assault on Gaza.

In 2010, as prime minister, Barak launched a deadly attack against a group of international human rights activists heading to Gaza on a Freedom Flotilla that was meant to punch a hole in the punishing Israeli maritime blockade, and to bring humanitarian aid to Palestinians. The flotilla was attacked by Israeli Security Forces and 10 of the unarmed human rights advocates were murdered by Israeli military gunfire.

The protest was intensified by the recent slaughters in Gaza of unarmed Palestinians. Barak’s San Francisco book promo also came only one day after Nakba Day, the annual commemoration by Palestinians around the world of the violent displacement of 750,000 Palestinians immediately following Israel’s formation on May 15, 1948. The word Nakba means “catastrophe” in Arabic.

Dennis Bernstein spoke with Lauren Holtzman on KPFA radio on May 17 in Berkeley, Ca.

Dennis Bernstein: As former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak promoted his new memoir at an event at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center (JCC) on Wednesday night.  Members of Bay Area Arab, Jewish, LGBTQ and student communities repeatedly stood up to protest, condemning Barak for war crimes committed against the Palestinians.  Joining us is one of those young protesters who had the courage to stand up and step forward, Lauren Holtzman. Could you tell us a little bit about what got you there last night?

Lauren Holtzman: Together with the Palestine Action Network, we wanted to make it clear that war criminals are not welcome in the Bay Area.  Ehud Barak oversaw the massacre of thousands of Palestinians and the killing of unarmed human rights activists, which has led us to the terrible atrocities that Palestinians are facing today. [He called Israel “a great success,” but just on [May 14] alone Israeli forces murdered 62 people for marching, for making their voices heard, for their right to live in dignity and freedom, and for their right to return to their land.

DB: Could you describe what happened last night [May 16]?

Protestors arrested at Barak event. (From Facebook video)

LH: There were hundreds of people protesting outside the JCC.  We brought 25 members of Arab, Jewish, LGBT and student communities with us inside the JCC to state that we do not believe that Ehud Barak should be here and that we do not welcome him.  Palestinians should be free and should have the right to return.

Israel has turned Gaza into the world’s largest open-air prison.  They are unable to travel freely, to pursue an education or get medical treatment.  Israel controls virtually all entry and exit. The war on the Palestinian people has been widely condemned as a war crime by numerous organizations, in particular Operation Cast Lead under Ehud Barak in 2008-2009.  We want to make sure that he is recognized as a war criminal.

DB: Eighteen of you were arrested after you shouted down the former Israeli prime minister.  Could you describe how that went down? Also, I am very interested to know what went on inside you as you took that very courageous action.

LH: Our courage in no way equals the courage of the people in Gaza who stand up for their rights and every day continue to be shot down for peacefully demonstrating.  Inside we were met with violent reactions by some for exposing the war crimes that Ehud Barak is responsible for.

This could not happen in our name, for those of us who are Jewish, who are Arab, who are queer, for all of us who are part of the Bay Area.  It is time for our communities to take a stand for justice, for equality, and for freedom for all people.

DB: What was the prime minister’s reaction when you stood up and called him out?

LH: As loudly as we could, we named the atrocities for which he was responsible.  We said that Palestinians have the right to return. We sang “Which side are you on?”  There were people there who did not want to hear what we had to say, but we felt it was so significant what we had to say it.

DB: You said that there was a violent reaction.  What do you mean?

Barak: Faced cries of ‘war criminal’

LH: One of the people who stood up was actually hit by one of the audience members.  Other audience members tried to mess with people’s hair and pushed us as we stood with our arms to our sides.

DB: And you were then arrested?

LH: Yes.  We weren’t actually told what was happening except that we had to leave.  Later we were handcuffed and arrested.

But I want to stress why we were there.  Both the Israeli government and the Trump administration believe in building walls to restrict the movement of people, racial and religious profiling and trampling on people’s rights.  The Trump administration has thrown its full support behind the widely condemned occupation of Palestine. We hope that people at the JCC can see this.

If you oppose Trump’s Muslim ban, his border wall, and his other policies, you must also oppose Israel’s military occupation, the apartheid wall and the routine violence against the Palestinian people.  Ehud Barak is a representative of all of that.

DB: Why do you feel you needed to step over the line like that and face arrest?

LH: Personally, as a Jewish person, I find it horrifying that the JCC, which claims to value justice, would welcome a war criminal responsible for thousands of Palestinian deaths in Gaza.  We need to be standing up against colonialism. We have a responsibility in our communities to recognize the crimes of colonialism. Silence is violence.

Dennis J. Bernstein is a host of “Flashpoints” on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom.  You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net. You can get in touch with the author at [email protected].

39 comments for “‘Ehud Barak Gave the Order to Kill’

  1. Vera Gottlieb
    May 31, 2018 at 14:59

    How much longer will israel do everything in it’s power to obstruct truth seeing the light of day??? How much longer will those looking the other way continue doing so?

  2. Young American
    May 29, 2018 at 18:20

    Quite surprised Ehud is able to walk down any street except the occupied part of Palestine he calls his country. He has had no life except that of a war criminal and occupier of Palestine; and he has no country.

  3. Abe
    May 29, 2018 at 18:06

    On May 23, 2018, U.S. Representatives Peter J. Roskam (R-IL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Doug Collins (R-GA), and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced bipartisan legislation called the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act”.

    The bill directs the Department of Education (DOE) to determine if incidents of alleged “harassment” or “discrimination” were motivated by “anti-Semitism” and potentially in violation of U.S. anti-discrimination law.

    A statement by American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony Romero noted that “the proposed bill risks chilling constitutionally protected speech by incorrectly equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism”.


    “We worry that the law will lead colleges to suppress speech, especially if the Department of Education launches investigations simply because students have engaged in speech critical of Israel,” Romero said in the statement.

    US college campuses, where activists attempt to pass student council resolutions to boycott Israel for its mistreatment of Palestinians, have become a major arena for debate over the conflict.

    Activists say the bill would censor the exchange of ideas and censor Israel’s critics.

    The bill parallels measures aimed at outlawing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

    The bill would play to the advantage of Kenneth Marcus, President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the civil rights office of the Department of Education. Marcus has led civil rights lawsuits against academic institutions that adopted BDS measures.

    Last year, lawmakers proposed a bill that would legally restrict US citizens and companies from boycotting Israel. The measure failed to progress after an outcry from free speech watchdogs, including the American Civil Liberties Union.

  4. mike k
    May 28, 2018 at 17:20

    Some Jews thing being Jewish should protect them from ever being criticized for anything. And therefore, they should be free to do anything they want, without anyone moving to stop them. This exceptional assumption of victimhood is a dangerous idea that leads to a lot of criminal and immoral behavior on their part.

    • irina
      May 28, 2018 at 17:45

      I cannot think of a single other race which remembers and commemorates
      on an annual basis a laundry list of Terrible Things which Happened to Them
      something like 3000 years ago. That is completely pathological. And, of course,
      many of the Good Things which they also commemorate (victories in battle, etc.)
      involve they themselves doing Terrible Things to Others. But never mind that . . .

      • Henry Horovitz
        June 2, 2018 at 18:08

        “Terrible things which happened to them something like 3000 years ago?”

        You show pathetic ignorance of Jewish history. Assaults on the Jewish people have taken place over this time multiple times and continue to this day. Before the Holocaust in the modern era, there were many other mini – holocaust against Jews.
        Richard the “lion heart” and the crusaders murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews and Muslims. The Muslims, when they invaded the Holy Land, they slaughtered thousands of Jews. Throughout many centuries of humiliation and living as “the others” Jews have been expelled and massacred in Europe: just Google pogroms of Jews in Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Also Google massacres of Jews in Arab countries. Also Mohammed and the Jews.


    • May 28, 2018 at 19:11

      As this story shows, there are many American Jews who have become opponents of the racist state of Israel. It is a very welcome development.

  5. Reg Vernon
    May 28, 2018 at 16:17

    Lauren Holtzman needs to get her facts straight. I’m sure she is well-meaning but she owes it to herself, co-religionists and the wider SanFrancisco community to tell the truth and to understand not just the Palestinian viewpoint.
    From her remarks I deduce that she is accepting what Palestinians say uncritically, without also ibderstanding that they run a highly effective anti-Israel propaganda campaign which is too easily taken at face value by the media.
    For instance, she claims 60 deaths in the recent March for Return demobstrations on the Gaza-Israel border without also acknowledging that Hamas has admitted that 50 of those deaths were if Hamas soldiers attempting to breach the border fence in order to enter Israel and kill Jews.
    Lauren Holtzman also says that Palestinians are prevented from leaving Gaza – yes they are, by Egypt as well as Israel. Why dies Egypt control uts border with Gaza? Could it have something to do with Hamas giving assistance to ISIS?
    As for the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their former homes, a limited return is envisaged by oeace treaty proposals but Lauren appears not to understand that the Palestinians are less interested in peace than the total destruction of Israel and its Jewish population.
    I think it is a real tragedy that a young, vibrant, brave and intelligent Jewish woman should betray such abysmal one-sided ignorance.

    • Steve Abbott
      May 28, 2018 at 16:53

      “…betray such abysmal one-sided ignorance.”

      No irony intended here, I take it. …

    • Abe
      May 28, 2018 at 16:57

      Reg Vernon is posting Conventional Hasbara (overtly pro-Israel) propaganda statements.

      Pro-Israel media have repeated false claims that “Hamas has admitted” responsibility for the deaths in Gaza.

      A 16 May 2018 article appeared in the Times of Israel, the Israeli-based online newspaper co-founded by David Horovitz and US hedge fund manager Seth Klarman

      The article quotes an interview with the Palestinian Baladna news outlet by Salah al-Bardawil, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) representing the Khan Yunis district, involved with the Hamas Political Bureau.

      However, the same article quotes another Hamas official and a Hamas spokesman, neither of whom corroborate the claims of al-Bardawil.

      Dennis Bernstein’s interview with Lauren Holtzman (above) includes a link to an article by Aaron Bandler, “web reporter/digital content manager” for the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Bandler does not appear to have read beyond the Times of Israel article’s title.

      Hasbara propaganda screed writers like Bandler demonstrate a complete lack of basic journalistic skepticism and objectivity. Bandler also writes for The Daily Wire, an opinion website founded in 2015 by right-wing pro-Israel commentator Ben Shapiro.

      Reg Vernon vomits up the standard Conventional Hasbara propaganda canard that “Palestinians are less interested in peace than the total destruction of Israel and its Jewish population”.

      The real tragedy is that some otherwise intelligent Jewish people ignorantly buy the abysmal one-sided lies foisted by the right wing Israeli government and pro-Israel Lobby.

      • Oakland Pete
        May 29, 2018 at 14:20

        I fully agree with the responses to Reg, by both Abe and Mike K, but the Hasbara troll repetitions diminish the credibility of the responses. I’m as anti-Israel as any you could find, but suffered that same label when I voiced opposition to the slanders of Trotskyists and Antifa. Abe, your research is tireless and appreciated; but your rudeness was not. You might try de-activating that “Hasbara troll” synapse that is taking over your brain, even if it applies to Reg.

        Mike: I don’t come to Consortium for the truth after what I just experienced. I come here for a perspective, knowing it’s just as slanted as on any site. I dropped out of the last discussion because it was ugly, resulted from two slanderous articles that reflected the biased position of the editor, and because someone who was about to respond to DJ in a broadly read forum decided not to out of respect for her failing health – motivating me to concur.

        As for Reg: You are repeating standard zionist lies, exposed well by Abe. The entire history of Israel is one of treating Palestinians like “insects”, which is, unfortunately, accepted characterizations in popular Israeli culture. Even though the criticism of Egypt is warranted, they are responding to U.S. and Israeli pressure; they closed their border with Gaza and betrayed the Palestinian cause long before ISIS existed.

        • Abe
          May 29, 2018 at 16:56

          “You’re a fascist”
          – “Oakland Pete” (May 4, 2018 at 9:29 pm)

          No one is holding their breath waiting for “Oakland Pete” to de-activate that fact-free “fascist” synapse and stop repeating standard Hasbara lies.

          The troll dropped out of the last discussion, not out of “respect”, but because the many propaganda falsehoods had been fully exposed.

          In typical troll fashion, “Oakland Pete” loudly claims to be “daring to tell the truth” when, in fact, he has been obviously and rather crudely lying.

          That’s why “Oakland Pete” would prefer that no one mention “Hasbara troll” when it clearly applies.

          • Oakland Pete
            May 29, 2018 at 18:06

            You just can’t help yourself, and are ready to float downstream.

      • Abe
        May 29, 2018 at 15:57

        There are two forms of Hasbara propaganda used by Israel, the pro-Israel Lobby, provocateurs and online trolls:

        Conventional Hasbara (overtly pro-Israel / pro-Zionist) propaganda


        Inverted Hasbara (false flag “anti-Israel” / “anti-Zionist” and increasingly, fake “anti-Jewish” / “anti-Semitic”) propaganda

        Israel and the pro-Israel lobby try to to distract, divert, and dissuade progressives in general, and Jewish progressives in particular, from accessing fact-based information from real independent investigative journalism sources like Consortium News.

        The writings of Johnstone receive special attention from the Hasbara troll posters and bloggers like Louis Proyect and Tony McKenna, because of her observations like this one from her May 4, 2018 CN article:

        “The Middle East nations attacked by the West – Iraq, Libya and Syria – all just happen to be, or have been, the last strongholds of secular Arab nationalism and support for Palestinian rights. There are a few alternative hypotheses to Western motives – oil pipelines, imperialist atavism, desire to arouse Islamist extremism to weaken Russia (the Brzezinski gambit) – but none are as coherent as the organic alliance between Israel and the United States, and its NATO sidekicks.”

        The Hasbara activity of “Oakland Pete” includes tirelessly repeated false statements that Diana Johnstone is a “fascist sympathizer”.

        “I’m as anti-Israel as any you could find” is the typical sort of claim from Inverted Hasbara (false flag “”anti-Israel”) trolls who attack critics of Israel and the pro-Israel Lobby with false labels such as “racist”, “fascist” or “fascist sympathizer”, and “nazi”.

        The most recent Hasbara troll activities of “Oakland Pete” are addressed in the comments at

        It’s not “rudeness” to identify the propaganda activity of the Hasbara trolls.

        • Oakland Pete
          May 29, 2018 at 18:19

          Not when it’s true, but that doesn’t apply to your slanders. When the charge of Hasbara troll is given with as much ignorance and falsity as you display, it begins to lose its effect. Remember the tale of the boy who cried wolf? You gain respect with your research and then toss half of it in the trash with petty insults. Why you compromise yourself this way is a question for a mental health professional.

          Since you are too blind to believe what I wrote, I will repeat that Diana Johnstone is in failing health. Someone she attacked was ready to publish a spirited response, but held back because of that. He has published her far more than Consortium has. I followed his instinct, which I thought was noble (in spite of past disagreements with him), and stopped my comments on her articles.

        • Abe
          May 29, 2018 at 19:56

          Notice the Hasbara troll chutzpah here:

          While slandering and insulting Diana Johnstone as a “fascist sympathizer” in loud, repetitious rants, comrade “Oakland Pete” has the cheek to complain about “slander” (11 times) and “insult” (12 times)

          The claims against Johnstone spewed by “Oakland Pete” have consistently proven false.

          But “Oakland Pete”, Louis Proyect and rest of the Hasbara bloc keep at it, ramping up their dead-ender propaganda games in the hope that the “charge” will somehow “lose its effect”.

          The usual hilarity ensues.

    • mike k
      May 28, 2018 at 17:29

      Fortunately the brave Israeli snipers shot the children and unarmed adults before they could massacre the innocent Jews cowering in fear of the Arab hoards. How we are supposed to believe these fairy tales told to justify cold blooded murder done in hate, is beyond me. Do you really think your garbage convinces a single person who comes here to CN for the truth? Have you really managed to believe your own obvious lying?

    • Brewer
      May 30, 2018 at 15:04

      From his remarks I deduce that he is accepting what Israelis say uncritically, without also ibderstanding that they run a highly effective anti-Hamas propaganda campaign which is too easily taken at face value by the media.
      For instance, he claims 60 deaths were if Hamas “soldiers”…….completely ignoring the fact Reuven Paz was an Israeli expert on Islam and Islamist movements in the Arab and Muslim world. He was Senior Research Fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya. He had also been head of research at the Israeli General Security Service. Previously, he lectured at the University of Haifa and served as Academic Director at the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism.

      Of Hamas he wrote:

      “Approximately 90 percent of its work is in social, welfare, cultural, and educational activities,”

      The vast gulf between hasbara and fact is not the most astonishing thing in today’s World, it is that the former is believed by a huge majority while truth lies dormant.

      When you see “Hamas Militant” there is a ninety percent chance the individual described is a teacher, ambulance operator, civil defense worker or some such.

    • willow
      June 3, 2018 at 16:52

      I’m glad you’re not in charge of the US Boarder wall, where you would justify using snipers and butterfly bullets to take out unarmed humans. It’s clearly a war crime, no matter which part of the globe it takes place. There are other means of crowd control besides live fire, as you well know.

  6. May 28, 2018 at 09:44

    Once again, it is JVP, the Jewish Voice for peace, who stands up and speaks the truth to power and stands for real justice and equality in Israel/Palestine. I have joined their movement when I found they welcome all people who stand for what they do. It is true that if change does occur, where everyone is equal under the law, it will likely come from the efforts within the Jewish community. I feel very good about being welcomed and I hope others who are outraged at what is happening will join their gutsy effort.

    • Zinny
      May 28, 2018 at 11:15

      Outrage has a certain shelf-life. So, what will this “voice” do next, shout louder?

      • mike k
        May 28, 2018 at 17:36

        We will continue to comment and call attention to these atrocities, in order that others may be awakened to what our government is supporting in Israeli bad behavior. Or do you have a better idea, Zinny?

      • Herman
        May 29, 2018 at 07:38

        Zinny, and if they get too loud there is always use the sniper solution. As to your question, lets hope so. As to shelf life, been there for almost a century and am impressed that it hasn’t grown weaker, but stronger. Until the outrageous ends, it is doubtful the outrage will end.

    • Oakland Pete
      May 29, 2018 at 14:59

      Herman: I fully agree; JVP has been courageous, and given thought to difficult issues and come away with wisdom, even if I don’t agree with them all the time. We shouldn’t have to. Particularly I appreciate their discussion of Alison Weir. Alison represents a position also taken by Diana Johnstone and this website regarding the red-brown alliance concept. JVP took all sides in that issue into account, and wound up with an informative and fair position on it. I can’t access it while typing this comment, but it’s easily found on their website.

    • Abe
      May 29, 2018 at 19:04

      In 2015, Jewish Voice for Peace and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, both of which have accomplished important work but also have somewhat mixed records regarding critical points of justice for Palestinians, blacklisted Alison Weir and If Americans Knew- over the objections of thousands of activists and many of their own rank-and-file members.

      The rationales they provided were based on misrepresentation and supposed guilt by association (details are below). They have been analyzed and discredited by numerous writers and commenters, including many extremely prominent humanitarians who joined more than 2,000 activists (and many JVP/USCEIO rank and file members) in signing a letter rejecting the JVP/USCEIO action.


      • Herman
        May 29, 2018 at 21:33

        I am sorry to hear about the action taken by JVP against Alison Weir, who I am familiar with– even have one of her books. I find the Council For the Amercian Interest a prescient voice, and Girardi a very sharp guy. I would have expected that from the K Street crowd, if they still exist and surprised about JVP.. What attracts me to JVP are the positions it takes regarding equal justice which hopefully will lead to an integrated Jewish Arab society. Like integration in America, it will be painful but I think inevitable. Things are often too good to be true and I hope this isn’t the case. I don’t think so..

        I am responding to your comments about JVP because your commentary is credible and appreciated.

        . .

        • Oakland Pete
          May 30, 2018 at 16:07

          I have to agree and disagree. Alison Weir has made valid arguments about Israel, and done so well. Like Abe said, she has been tainted by association. The issue that JVP and Students for Justice in Palestine raised is that she speaks on alt-right talk shows, knowing her advocacy will be used by anti-semites to attack Israel for reasons other than what we are led to believe she holds. For JVP and SJP, this is a violation of fundamental ethics, and I agree. Zionists love to smear the Palestine solidarity movement as anti-semitic, and if we allow ourselves to be used for anti-semitic purposes, not by some indirect or inadvertent means but instead knowingly, we are contributing to this. This should always be a matter of principle first, but the tactical argument has validity and should also be considered. SJP is composed of students who put their academic status in jeopardy for a good cause, and are always under attack by administrations who are allied with powerful interests in league with zionism. They have a valid reason to insist on avoiding anti-semites or those who give them aid in their nefarious efforts. Any Jews have a right to consider all such associations wrong. Abe thinks the criticisms of Weir have been discredited, but as usual, he presents his arguments as irrefutable. There has been a lot of debate on this question, as it is on the critical line of principles on this issue. It is not just JVP and SJP who take the position noted. Palestinian defense groups on the ground in Palestine, who defend Palestinians every day against settlers and the IDF, do so as well. So before Abe comes back with his inevitable “hasbara troll” slime, consider that the most devoted activists have also distanced themselves from Weir.

        • Abe
          May 31, 2018 at 18:54

          Over 2,000 activists, including rank and file members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO), have signed the letter supporting If Americans Knew and Alison Weir.


          JVP and USCEIO organization leaders have parroted divisive, vitriolic, ADL-like accusations that Alison Weir is “anti-Semitic” and/or “racist”.

          Such accusations have consistently proven scurrilous and without foundation.

          Hasbara propaganda includes cynical and baseless use of the term “anti-Semitism” as a tool for stifling criticism of Israel or opposition to Zionism.

          Numerous Hasbara propaganda outlets and figures, including pro-Israel fake “journalists” like Yair Rosenberg of Tablet Magazine, and Jewish ethnocentrist “commentators” like Ben Shapiro of Wired, routinely spew similar charges of “anti-Semitism” and “racism” in their diatribes.

          The Palestinian solidarity movement is a struggle for freedom, justice, and equality anchored in universal human rights and international law.

          Opposition to military occupation, settler-colonialism, apartheid, racism and bigotry are things people of conscience of all ethnicities, races, and religions can support.

          Racism includes, but is not limited to, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Zionism, and other forms of bigotry.

          JVP and USCEIO organization leaders hold a double standard on “racism” and refuse to acknowledge the racist nature of of Zionist settler colonialism. That’s why they’re so interested in smearing Palestinian solidarity activists like Weir with fake charges of “anti-Semitism”.

          No real “debate” is possible when certain participants refuse to acknowledge basic points of fact, reject the reality of a situation, and selectively abandon principles.

          JVP and USCEIO have selectively abandoned anti-racist principles, appealing to the notion that somehow “Jews have a right”.

          Their fact-free Hasbara propaganda tactical “argument” is invalid and has been rejected, as a matter of principle, by over 2,000 activists.

          “Oakland Pete” does his usual “agree and disagree” shtick, mumbling about “most devoted activists”, and assiduously avoiding the facts.

        • Abe
          May 31, 2018 at 19:54

          Hasbara propaganda bloc appeals to a purported “critical line of principles” invariably boil down to false accusations of “anti-Semitism”, “racism” or “fascism”.

          Such Hasbara charges have been consistently refuted.

          But they were never designed to convince.

          Their main purpose is to sow doubt and division in the Palestinian solidarity and antiwar movements that oppose Israeli apartheid and Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis “regime change” warmongering.

  7. mike k
    May 28, 2018 at 07:12

    I want to thank each and all of these brave protesters for breaking the oppressive silence around Israel’s atrocities. This silence is tacit complicity in those horrible crimes by our so called “ally”.

    • Oakland Pete
      May 29, 2018 at 15:20

      Just don’t thank all their dads. One of them, according to Abe, is a “Hasbara troll”…

  8. Clint Moose
    May 28, 2018 at 03:20

    A minor correction, Barak was not the prime minister in 2010, but the minister of defense.

  9. May 27, 2018 at 18:47

    Speaking of such things, here’s my review of “Rise and Kill Again.” https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2397531795

  10. Bart Hansen
    May 27, 2018 at 18:43

    As I recall, this individual was on either the Daily Show and/or Colbert’s show. Who determines how much free publicity someone like this receives? Isn’t there a rather limited audience for his book among the subject audiences?

  11. Abe
    May 27, 2018 at 16:58

    The article by Aaron Bandler, “web reporter/digital content manager” for the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, contains Conventional Hasbara (overtly pro-Israel) propaganda statements.

    The final two paragraphs of Bandler’s 18 May 2018 article on the protester arrests contain pro-Israel propaganda claims that are unsupported by facts.

    Bandler states: “According to Jewish Virtual Library, Operation Cast Lead involved Israel retaliating to Hamas after the terror organization violated a ceasefire agreement and tormented southern Israel with a barrage of rockets over the next few months.”

    But Jewish Virtual Library is a pro-Israel “information” site, not a reliable source for fact-based journalism.

    In fact, in the month prior to 4 November 2008 Israeli military incursion into Gaza, Israel-Palestinian violence had fallen to its lowest level since the start of the al-Aqsa intifada in September 2000. One rocket and 1 mortar shell were fired at Israel in October 2008. Several Israeli violations were reported: In South Gaza on 3 October the IDF fired on two unarmed Palestinians near the border and sent soldiers into the strip to arrest them and detain them in Israel. On the 27 October IDF soldiers fired into Gaza for unknown reasons damaging a school in Khuza’a and injuring one child. Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza coast were fired upon on four separate occasions during the month wounding two fisherman. Throughout the month of October 2008 a single Palestinian violation was reported: 1 rocket was fired into Israel causing no damage or injuries. At the end of the month the American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sent a message to Hamas acknowledging their efforts to keep the peace.

    According to a joint Tel Aviv-European University study, based on data from B’tselem, 79% of all breaks in a lull of violence since the Second Intifada were due to Israeli actions, while Hamas and other factions were responsible for 8% of such violations.

    The 4 November Israeli military incursion precipitated an escalation of violence that led directly to the 27 December 2008 Israeli launch of Operation Cast Lead, which began with waves of airstrikes.

    But this was not just “Israel retaliating to Hamas” as portrayed by Jewish Virtual Library and parroted by Bandler. Israel began planning for the military operation as early as six months before the conflict.

    Bandler also states: “As for the current Gaza violence, Hamas has admitted that most of the dead Gazans are Hamas terrorists.”

    However, that is a claim made by the Israeli government and the IDF who killed protesters in Gaza, not “admitted” by the authorities in Gaza.

    Bandler has a Journalism degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He writes for another Hasbara propaganda outlet, The Daily Wire opinion website founded in 2015 by right-wing pro-Israel commentator Ben Shapiro.

    • Abe
      May 27, 2018 at 17:43

      The most likely source for Bandler’s claim that about people killed in Gaza is a 16 May 2018 article at the Times of Israel, the Israeli-based online newspaper co-founded by David Horovitz and US hedge fund manager Seth Klarman

      The article quotes an interview with the Palestinian Baladna news outlet by Salah al-Bardawil, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) representing the Khan Yunis district, involved with the Hamas Political Bureau.

      The same article quotes another Hamas official and a Hamas spokesman, neither of whom corroborate the claims of al-Bardawil.

      Bandler does not appear to have read beyond the Times of Israel article’s title.

      Bandler’s lack of basic journalistic skepticism and objectivity demonstrates the propaganda methodology of Hasbara outlets like the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles and the Daily Wire.

    • Ken
      May 27, 2018 at 18:31

      Thank you Abe for this excellent comment.

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 27, 2018 at 22:49

      Abe I’m leaving you a link to a c-span interview between Jeffrey Goldberg and Ehud Barak. I watched bits and pieces of it, as at the time I was busy into something else. I promised myself I’d watch it, because to what I did listen too I couldn’t for the life of me figure out to what Barak stands for, or against. He kind of sounded liked he opposed Netanyahu, if that matters. So Abe I hope you take away something from what Barak had to say.


    • May 28, 2018 at 01:21

      Abe – thanks for a very informative comment. Appreciated.

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