Did I really have to witness folks cheering Ahmadinejad at a Jewish Film Festival? Was it absolutely necessary to be subjected to the catcalls and the rudeness of the anti-Israel crowd who tried to drown out a pro-Israel speakers voice? Are Jewish community funds really being spent to provide a venue to an audience that cheers at the thought of boycotts and divestment against Israel?

The JTA reported that:

Despite festival director Peter Stein’s plea not to interrupt or disrespect any element of the screening, including speakers before or after, many audience members hissed, booed and shouted at those whose opinions clashed with their own… The booed opinions nearly always were supportive of Israel.

So much for Stein’s hopes for a “civic discourse.” And the worst part of this? The really worst part, is that as a community we’ve just reinforced erroneous notions about the situation in the middle east held even by otherwise knowledgeable and involved people like Charles Bronfman as witnessed by a recent opinion piece he authored in Haaretz. In that piece, Bronfman, head of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies and one of the founders of Taglit Birthright Israel, implied that it is the lack of peace in the Middle East that is creating divisions between Israeli and diaspora Jewry – that the disconnect many young Jews feel with Israel and Judaism has at its root the pounding Israel’s image gets in the media and in political discourse.

Bronfman was however correct in noting that:

Israel is having limited success in telling its side of the story, according to Bronfman, who last week concluded one of many short visits to Israel. “We turned from David to Goliath in 1982, with the invasion into Lebanon, and the Arabs became David. Now everybody’s worried about the Palestinians. Now we’re occupiers, oppressors, who live by the sword. That’s what you see in the media and it festers and has effects on the general population and on Jews as well.”

And therein lies the rub. Israel may not be a perfect country. At 61 years of age, it is still in early stages of its national development. But in our desire to address criticism, we’ve allowed ourselves to begin a self-questioning process that the other side has never, ever engaged in. We’ve allowed the focus of criticism to be pointed solely at Israel while infantilizing the Palestinians by not holding them up to the same standards. The issue isn’t Israel’s intransigence with respect to seeking Peace. The issue isn’t Israel’s conduct in defending itself against enemies who to this day wish for nothing more than to wipe us off the face of the earth. The issue is that we have, as a community, abdicated our responsibility to present the facts and tell the world exactly what it is that is going on here. Who are we supposed to have peace with? A Palestinian leadership divided into two camps, one that openly calls for our destruction and another that just keeps those aspirations quietly hidden away from Western observers?

The format of the presentation of Simone Bitton’s film Rachel by the SFJFF served only to further alienate Jews from Israel and from their Judaism. There was no constructive dialog, there was no nuanced analysis. It was a boneheaded move of epic proportions. The audience and the event was dominated by members of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network who posted a message on IndyBay.org asking “for those against Israeli apartheid to have a presence at the film and oppose Zionists who are trying to shut the movie down and prevent Cindy Corrie from speaking.” The valiant guardians of free speech were the ones booing any statement they disagreed with. As a community, we gave these fuckers a stage. We granted them a measure of legitimacy. And how much have we advanced the cause of peace in the Middle East? Not one little bit. Not one tiny iota. We are fucking idiots.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • In this week’s JPost, Editor-in-Chief David Horovitz speaks quite eloquently about how we not only open the forum for our own demonization but we are active in funding it. Mr. Bronfman may blame the peace process for chutznik youth’s disillusionment with Israel but maybe Taglit-Birthright just isn’t enough. Maybe it is time to open the state coffers (or alternatively through private funding) to both right-wing news media and film. There seems to be plenty of money around to help those making us seem like the bad guys. How about giving a bit more money to those who actually have our best interests at heart. It would be nice to see Israel portrayed a bit more positively in the world media (and I do not mean putting our semi-dressed Chayalot into Maxim). Better yet how about starting here at home.

  • Right wing??? Who gives a fuck about that? The truth has nothing, less than nothing, to do with narrow political ideologies. This isn’t about politics. It’s about how the truth has been hijacked, how reality has been distorted, how a nation and a people have been unfairly demonized. Historically, that hasn’t been the unique domain of any one ideology. The left wing/right wing dichotomy was never determinative when it came to hatred. The Jews and Israel have haters of all races, creeds and political orientations.

    What we need to do is stop being stupid. I mean we funded an audience applauding a man whose fondest stated wish is to wipe Israel off the face of the earth! We funded a platform that seeks to boycott and divest from Israel for the sake of human rights while assiduously ignoring the Congo, Sudan, Rwanda, Chechnya, Kurdistan, Sri Lanka etc. etc. etc. these people are fuckers and we are the idiots enabling them. That has nothing to do with right wing/left wing bullshit.

  • I can’t believe that I am saying this but yes I misspoke. However unfortunately the funding that I was speaking about before has only been funneled toward the left-wing distortion and not even the right-wing distortion. It would be great to see truth in the media but since I have a hard time believing that such might ever happen maybe we can have a bit of even-handedness in the distribution of funds for distortion?

  • It’s demonised because Zionism is demonic. Fuck Israel, Free Palestine.

  • Thanks for perfectly illustrating my point JEWAGAINSTZIONISM. You’re a credit to your race.

  • Sorry, but the hate Israel crowd is primarily based of leftists. These American right wingers you guys are so terrified of are waiting for the rapture or whatever that will never happen. G-d forbid if they support Israel for any nefarious reasons that will never occur.

  • If you are a Jew who is incapable of having even a Jewish Film Festival, promoting a film by a Jewish film-maker, raise this issue, then you are clearly unsuited to democratic society. Clearly you would be much more angry if a non-Jewish or secular group publicized the issue, so what your position actually demands is that it be suppressed.

    The defensiveness over any introspection or acknowledgement of any unpleasant aspect of our history is shameful and backwards, and contrary to the basic principles of Judaism and the State of Israel, as well as of the US. What Harris and the protestors want is for any acknowledgement of the death of Rachel Corrie amongst Jews to be censored by labelling them enemies of the state, in the same way the Chinese Communist Party do over Tianeman Square.

    The tone of this blog is highly misleading…for example, it speaks as if the audience were not Jews, and were barracking Harris unfairly. Whether it was fair is a matter of opinion, but what’s difficult to dispute is that his attempts to justify or excuse what is commonly recognized as the murder of Rachel Corrie, by invoking Israelis who died at the hands of Islamists were disgusting and insulting to the memories of all involved. He was using them and suggesting that any horror can be justified so long as you can claim the other side has done worse.

    That, incidentally, is the argument of the Islamist terrorists the hypocritical Harris spoke of, who when challenged on their actions, always fail to defend themselves, but solely hold up IDF actions instead.

  • Bronfman’s right that, for gentiles anyway if not for Jews, Israel is perceived as a powerful country and, he might have added, a client state of the USA. As such, it’s bound to receive heightened criticism– valid and otherwise– especially in an era of large-scale US military involvement in that part of the world.

    Israel’s also a democracy. You’re lamenting its capacity for self-scrutiny compared to that of the Arabs? What do you want, an official state media a la Syria? “Truth” and “reality” will always be up for grabs in a free society. This is strength, not weakness.

    Too bad the SF event proved a fiasco, but the anti-Israel crowd hardly covered itself in glory. In any event, the festival didn’t grant those folks “a measure of legitimacy.” The cat’s out of the bag where lefty opposition to Israel is concerned. It’s a mainstream phenomenon. If it weren’t, then sure, inclusion of Rachel would be akin to, say, including Lyndon LaRouche in a panel discussion of US politics. We’re way, way past that now. This is obvious, right?

    And expect more of the same under Obama. Even if Bibi succeeds in fending him off, you’ll likely have another 7 1/2 years in which Israel is deemed co-responsible for the Mideast deadlock. Anti-Zionism has a bright future.

    Oh, well. My country gets the shit kicked out of it on a regular basis, and not just in high-toned film festivals. You’ll get used to it.

  • If getting your ass run over by a bulldozer qualifies as murder nowadays, we’ve reached a new low in the understanding of personal responsibility. If you are a Jew who sides with our enemies against other Jews, you should be considered an enemy. At least I do.

  • The tone of this post is critical of the immature behaviour of the audience hissing and booing at a speaker delivering a point of view contrary to part of the audience’s feelings on the matter. That behaviour was pseudo-progressive, selfish, hypocritical and not in the slightest bit constructively contributing to any discourse. Therein lies the hypocrisy of the wannabe-intellectuals that showed up to stir trouble but apparently cannot deal with actual debate.

  • There are a few logical inconsistencies in the posts above.

    ALEXK – most people, including some very right-wing people, consider the footage to clearly show the purposeful killing of a protestor, so as with other situations, such as in China or Iran, yes, it is murder. At the very least, it is a contentious issue which most Jews would acknowledge warrants attention.

    FROYLEIN – You argue the audience was immature and hypocritical in hissing the speaker they disagree with. In that case, how strongly must you feel about the many people who tried to get this Jewish Film Festival closed down; bombarded sponsors with complaints and abuse, etc. etc.???

    Incidentally, by all accounts what was mainly booed was Harris’ attempt to play down the incident the film was about, in front of the mother of the deceased, and was conducted by SOME of the audience, while others called for Harris to be allowed to speak.

    • The audience, that very part of it, that is, was definitely immature and hypocritical in hissing and booing as an attempt at silencing down a speaker that reported his views on the event; you cannot promote free speech by only claiming that right for youself and acting like that towards people you disagree with. That is not only immature and hypocritical, that also reveals a lack of parental education. It should not even be a matter of consideration whether that Mr Harris should have been allowed to speak, particularly considering that part of his critics will consider it ok to “downplay” undoubtedly terrorist attacks by any standards of the Geneva Convention on Israeli citizens as legitimate means of resistance. Criticism done in the right manner is all good and nice, but to act like neo-Wiccans on bella donna is just ridiculous and self-discrediting, no matter how legitimate one’s concerns might be.

  • “The audience and the event was dominated by members of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network who posted a message on IndyBay.org asking “for those against Israeli apartheid to have a presence at the film and oppose Zionists who are trying to shut the movie down and prevent Cindy Corrie from speaking.”
    These folks also paid good money for their tickets, money that in the future will (ostensibly) be used to fund many pro-Jewish and pro-Israel events from the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. Stein not only made these guys look like fools (well, actually they did that to themselves), but he took their money too.
    “The valiant guardians of free speech were the ones booing any statement they disagreed with.”
    Ahh, they do that anyway. That they had to pay good money to a Jewish Film Festival in order to do so this time around is pretty rich, no?

    “As a community, we gave these fuckers a stage. We granted them a measure of legitimacy. And how much have we advanced the cause of peace in the Middle East? Not one little bit. Not one tiny iota. We are fucking idiots.”
    As a community, we’re open and honest enough to have a straightforward dialogue about some very touchy subjects. We welcome criticism and dissent, and are unafraid to confront our detractors head-on. That our detractors can’t do the same is not our problem. And to me it’s funny as hell that we not only showed “these fuckers” who’s really stifling who, we made them come to our film festival in order to do so.
    Peter Stein, an idiot? Seems like a genius to me.

  • Maybe the posts logically inconsistent because they all come from separate people who don’t purport to contribute a logically consistent whole? We all know that when discussing these issues, at least sometime, logic gets tossed out the window.
    I think ck raises a good point and I think froylein summed it up pretty well. Maybe this film fest didn’t have any goals at all other than to show movies to the community. But let’s say that this film festival has the idealistic vision of “opening up dialogue” or “exposing community members to other perspectives” or “constructing peace and understanding” or any of that rhetoric. I can’t think of how many events I’ve been to or participated in that immediately descend into disrespectful shouting matches.

    No constructive dialogue, no nuanced analysis. Just (as far as I can tell) Jews yelling at other Jews because they disagree of whether or not this poor girl was a peacenik or a nogoodnik. We not only have “The Conflict” to deal with as Jews, but also deep divisions within our own community that we can’t even overcome to watch a movie and talk about it. Logic tells me that it’s appropriate to treat any public speaker with respect, so I think what happened in the video is lamentable. I think the people that heckled him were counterproductive and rude, but I can see why they would be pissed off….I guess.

    The worst part is that this kind of BS happens all the time at campuses, JCCs, wherever. And it is very very alienating.

  • FROYLEIN – I agree completely, but that doesn’t relate to the point I made.

    The point I made was that what you rightly object to from the audience, applies many times more strongly to those who sought to censor the film, bury the issue, and close down the Israeli Film Festival. There’s a massive, glaring hypocrisy there which you haven’t mentioned.

    Equally, you’ll notice from the clip that there was no booing until a small minority started booing briefly when Harris implied complete responsibility was Corrie’s for her own death, rather than dividing it between the driver and Corrie, or acknowledging that she was killed during a peaceful protest.

    Overall I would suggest that you are overemphasizing the extent of the booing, and glossing over the reasons why a group of people (wrongly) booed – namely that the speaker repeatedly linked a peaceful protestor to terrorism. Equally they cheered when he made points, such as 3:12, about how terrorist killings are wrong.

    • I’ve mentioned the hypocrisy by saddling the horse from the front. Hypocrisies work both / all ways as soon as more than one party is concerned.

  • BEN – I assume you’re referring to my comment about a couple of posts having been “logically inconsistent”.

    Clearly I was referring to logical faults WITHIN individual posts, rather than BETWEEN them!

    Again, I would also ask anybody criticizing the members of the audience for booing, to also condemn the large number of people who committed much worse acts of censorship, by trying to shut down this Jewish Community Festival through organized action.

  • ck:

    “The truth has nothing, less than nothing, to do with narrow political ideologies. This isn’t about politics. It’s about how the truth has been hijacked, how reality has been distorted, how a nation and a people have been unfairly demonized. Historically, that hasn’t been the unique domain of any one ideology. The left wing/right wing dichotomy was never determinative when it came to hatred. The Jews and Israel have haters of all races, creeds and political orientations.”

    “Historically”?… so Amelek was a right-winger. How is this relevant to anything? And by the way, in an anecdotal, wholly personal survey– it’s my hope-and-change Jewish friends, not the goyim, who regularly slam Israeli policy.

    And politics has “nothing” to do with this? You’re kidding, right?

    I guess it’s hard for Jewlicious, with its carefully-cultivated nimbus of pseudo-lefty hipness, to point the finger at the left wing. Yep, breaking up is hard to do.

    No doubt Obama carries the Jewish vote next time, too.

  • Wow, Tom, I usually agree with most of what you say, but c’mon! “Hope and change Jews”? “Slamming Israeli policy”?
    As someone who freely admits to helping out on the Obama campaign, I have to say, a lot of Israeli policy deserves to get slammed. Saying that doesn’t make me anti-Zionist, pro-divestment or Israel/apartheid equating — it just makes me someone who cares enough about Israel to be informed and critical of what goes on within and beyond her borders. And I’ll be happy to point out the problems I have with other governments as well, but quite honestly, as a Jew who identifies strongly with Israel, the disagreements I have with her hit closer to home — or closer to the heart, if you will.
    “Pseudo-lefty hipness”? I have no compunction “pointing the finger at the left wing,” bad behavior is bad behavior, period. What the IJAZN did is unacceptable and immature. But I’d hardly place them in the same “left wing” category as myself or your average Jewish Obama supporter.
    Or maybe (hopefully) I misunderstood your point?

  • There is a lot of spin on what happened, which people can get through if they watch the 10 minute clip.

    For example:-

    03:50 The biggest cheer early on comes when a few hecklers, responding to the implication of links between Corrie and terrorism, were told by a member of the audience that “We need to be respectful and let him finish”. This got the biggest of cheers from the audience.

    04:10 Another huge cheer from the audience when Stein tells the hecklers to be respectful.

    08:00 Huge boo for Harris saying a Jewish Film Festival shouldn’t show a film criticizing Israeli policy.

    The claims of them cheering Ahmadinejad, divestment, and boycotts is either disingenuous, or a misunderstanding. I was shocked that anybody would do that, until I watched the last minute or so, where the crowd are sarcastically applauding whatever Harris says! Watch it yourself and see.

  • Tom? “carefully-cultivated nimbus of pseudo-lefty hipness??” Here. Let me make it clear. Fuck the extreme left. OK? And just because some of us felt that Obama was a better overall candidate than McCain does not make him impervious to criticism. Hope that clears things up. I’ll be back to address some of the other narishkeit people have posted here.

    Oh and Hi Tom! How are you? How’s the weather in Boston? If you have a chance go to Harvard St. in Brookline and have a greasy General Tao’s Chicken at Ta’am China for me. I don’t eat meat anymore but there’s no reason you shouldn’t.


  • Sheela, my point re: ck was that if he lumps SF-style opposition to Israel with historical anti-semitism of the gentile variety, he’s mistaken. My sense is that, for now, the kind of visceral anger we saw at SF is uncommon in the non-Jewish US population. But stay tuned.

    I agree with you that Israeli policies can be validly criticized. And I fully agree that open debate, including criticism, is a sign of strength. It’s good the film aired; if hecklers made asses of themselves, great.

    Defenders of Israel should deal with this sort of agitprop head-on.

    As for Obama– he may or may not be out there on the far left where Israel’s concerned (I think it’s an open question). He’s surely making the world safer for those who think Israel is responsible for the stalemate, the Iranian nuclear program, etc. This viewpoint is edging ever closer to the mainstream.

  • ck- that place is about, oh, two blocks from my current location… And the weather here sucks.

  • Tom–
    Oh, ok, point taken, sort of. Though sometimes I wonder if the unbridled vitriol from the Jewish far left (as opposed to more thoughtful, balanced criticism from the moderate left) stems from a fear of “what the goyim might think of us,” rather than a true moral compass. But that’s just conjecture.
    I think Obama is genuinely a friend of Israel, but 1.) he wants very badly to prove he’s not a “friend” in the sense that the Bush administration was 2.) he’s trying very hard to distance himself from the previous admin’s political philosophies 3.) The J-Street set is edging itself in as a more palatable alternative to the folks at AIPAC — and that may be a good thing, 4.) Bibi is really not helping matters much.
    As far as Israel’s defenders dealing with the agitprop head-on, I think letting folks like IJAZN making asses of themselves at your film festival is a pretty good way to start.
    Ari H–
    Are we watching the same video? Harris was routinely booed and heckled to the point where the moderator had to reprimand the crowd several times. What should have been a seven-minute video wound up being ten minutes too long. And at 9:19 there was indeed a hearty round of applause for the organization who “hosted a dinner for Mahmoud Ahmedinajad.”

  • Corrie wasn’t murdered. She was killed in a war zone where she had no business being, attempting to prevent Israel from doing its best to protect its citizens from terrorists. This sometimes involves destroying houses that are used to camouflage smuggling tunnels. She was attempting to protect those tunnels and, thus, was aiding and abetting terrorism against Israel.

    The comparison of what happened to Corrie to Tienanmen is ridiculous. If an Israeli tank had run over an Israeli who was protesting government policy, maybe. However, Corrie was a foreigner who belonged to an organization that openly aids and abets the terrorist war against Israel and was messing about in a war zone, doing her best to obstruct the IDF in doing its job of protecting the citizens of Israel from terrorism. She and people like her are just as responsible for terrorism as the people who actually pull the trigger.

    There are always Jews who sell out their own people. There’s absolutely no reason for the Jewish community to give them a forum. Let them do what they do on their own dime.

    And I’d be willing to bet that plenty of the anti-Israel crowd at the event weren’t Jewish at all.

  • Peter Stein a genius???? Don’t make me laugh! Give him the boot! And who booked the film lionizing William Kunstler, the late radical attorney who hated Israel?

    As for the U.S. flag-burning Rachel Corrie, she wrote of her pride about being at a rally with the PFLP and DFLP(Maalot Massacre of Israeli school girls). Corrie was, herself a terrorist. She threw away her own life in an accident that would not have occurred had she not gone to a closed military zone to protect smuggling tunnels for weapons!

  • Oh, yeah, sheela?

    Somebody who tells Jews they can’t live in Jerusalem is not a friend of Israel.

    And how is an abortion like J Street more “palatable” that AIPAC? Because they suck up to Obama and applaud him when he orders Jews to stop building apartments in Jerusalem?

  • s that his attempts to justify or excuse what is commonly recognized as the murder of Rachel Corrie,

    That is spin. If you go running through a mine field and die because a mine explodes beneath you, does that mean that you were murdered.

    If you play in traffic and are hit killed in a “collision” with a bus, were you murdered.

    Look, her death was tragic and unnecessary, but she was a big girl who chose to place herself in a highly dangerous situation. If you choose to be pawn of terrorists you might find that you don’t like the consequences.

  • SHEELA:- I would ask you to read my post again.

    I agree fully that he was regularly heckled as I said in my posts, but it wasn’t from the outset – it was a couple of minutes in, and I clearly condemned it. My point was that for the vast majority of the time, the rebukes given to the hecklers both by the crowd, and the moderator, were louder than the vocal, obnoxious hecklers, suggesting that for the majority of the speech they were in the minority.

    I also mentioned the moderator’s comments, and how they got some of the biggest cheers of the speech – I think you’ve misunderstood my point on that one too.

    On the Ahmadinejad issue, again I think you’ve misread my post, as I made clear that they HAD cheered such issues, but if you watch the video, you’ll see that by that point they were sarcastically applauding everything he said, including cutting him off mid-sentence.

    I’d wondered why any largely Jewish audience (the balance is questionable, but certainly mainly Jewish) would do that – and I got my answer when I saw that at least the majority of those cheering had done to every comment for about a minute before the Ahmadinejad comment.

    Again, to be clear, I’ve repeatedly fully condemned the hecklers, etc. but am arguing that the actual situation is being misrepresented.

  • JACK – You may disagree, but it’s an issue because a vast number of people see the film footage as suggesting a willful killing – i.e. murder.

    Clearly you’re one of the people who disagree, which is fair enough, but that doesn’t alter the validity of the comment you took issue with, which I think stands.

    Even my most right-wing, jingoistic associates, including many Vets of the IDF and US Forces express shame and disappointment with how a peaceful protestor was dealt with in this case.

  • I completely agree with your last paragraph CK. Very well written and I echo your strong language. I had been going to the SFJFF every year since I was a little girl, but this year I will skip it.

    I still don’t understand what this movie had to do with a Jewish Film Festival in the first place? It’s shameful that our community is so divided on Israel. There are thousands of Israeli soldiers fighting every day to secure a Jewish homeland for our people, the SFJFF community has shown them no respect.

    Further more, I don’t think there is one Pro-Israel/Pro-Jewish movie being screened at an Arab Film Festival.

    The SFJFF said they are also screening a Pro-Israel movie about Gilat Shalit (ohhh thank you very much!!) However, its screening is on a Wed. at 4:45 in the afternoon when most people are still at work!! Thanks a lot!

  • A good film editor can make anything look like anything he wants. I have yet to see any genuine, unedited, on-the-spot, real-time, un-Photoshopped footage of what happened to Corrie. I’ve seen plenty of obviously faked agitprop crap on You Tube that looks like amateur versions of the “murder” of Mohammed al Dura footage, but it is so obviously phony that it cannot be taken seriously. It’s insulting that anyone could possibly think people are stupid enough to watch that and believe that it is actual footage of what happened.

    Look, the people who think Corrie was a “martyr” generally believe that Israel has no right to protect its citizens from terrorism and that they have a right to obstruct the IDF and that if anything happens to them its the fault of the IDF becuse they think that protecting terrorists is a form of “peaceful protest”. The people who think that Israel does have a right to protect itself from terrorism, on the other hand, think she was a terrorist-enabling tool, or, if they want to be charitable, just a stupid little girl who got in over her head.

  • Rachel Corrie’s entire death is suspicious – mostly because it has been used to effectively – I wonder if she was not set up to die by her handlers in Gaza. Maybe she was told that they can see her, and will stop, but they knew that the driver could not see her.

    The fact is that the picture of her taken in front of the bulldozer with the bullhorn, in full view of the driver, was taken HOURS before the one of her dead. This was proved by analysis of the photos and eye-witnesses in Gaza.

    The pictures were released together as if they showed a progression of events. They were not concurrent.

  • JACK – You may disagree, but it’s an issue because a vast number of people see the film footage as suggesting a willful killing – i.e. murder.

    Vast is a nice way of trying to prove a point without providing details. How many people do you need to be included for something to be called vast.

    Vast numbers of people believed that slavery was ok and that the world was flat. They were wrong. I won’t say that I am happy she died. I am sorry, it wasn’t necessary.

    But she was an adult who showed the same common sense as a drunk who gets behind the wheel of a car. It is tragic that she died, but it wasn’t murder.

    I won’t hesitate to correct the misconception nor to point out the hypocrisy of many of her “supporters.” The same people who cry crocodile tears about Iran, Darfur etc.

  • Jesus lads, washing that dirty linen in public.
    shanda fur di goyim.
    By the by, if someone criticises Aparthied South Afrika, does that make them prejudiced against people with Dutch ancestry ? Tell me that and tell me no more !!

  • I can’t believe there are still American Jews out there admitting they voted for Obama. If I were you I’d be keeping that a secret as to spare myself the embarrassment. It’s one thing to pick a wrong horse, it’s another to crawl up that horse’s ass while it goes lame. I actually really like watching leftist Jews experiencing reality and the shock of watching their Frankenstein awake. Enjoy your open mindedness. I’m sure it has brought you all the peace and understanding you fought so hard for.

  • Oh and as far as Rachel St Pancake is concerned, who gives a shit? Bambi’s mother’s death was more tragic. As if I’m going to weep over the death of my enemies.

  • Dr. Harris’ talk was a tremendous success, precisely because the video shows the audience attracted to Rachel to be genocidal anti-Semites. They’re a common lot in San Francisco, and quite a few are – surprise! surprise! – Jewish leftists. The interruptions, contrary to the assertions from some here, were from the Israel haters. I communicated directly with Dr. Harris yesterday and he affirmed the truth as stated here. Please ignore the perpetual “blame Israel firsters” posting here. They’re a shameless lot.

  • The level of debate here may be higher than most internet forums, but there’s still plenty of clearly ridiculous positions.

    A good example is RONB above, suggesting any Jew (or indeed anybody) who has concerns about the case of Rachel Corrie is a “genocidal antisemite”, and “Israel haters”, presenting as an alternative a group he calls the “blame Israel firsters”.

    There’s a common inability to understand the complexity of basic, real-world situations – many people can only understand them as basic, binary, ‘with us or against us’, cartoonish, child-like narratives.

    Such an analysis falls at the first hurdle. The simple facts are that there a great many people have entirely legitimate concerns about how a peaceful protestor came to die, with many considering her to have been killed.

    Most people also have a basic knowledge of the principles of both Judaic morality, and the principles of modern democracy, and don’t seek to shut down any examination or introspection of such events in the same way a group of audience members heckled Harris – regardless of what they thought of his motives or opinions it was unacceptable, as is the rather infantile post above.

    • If you damage a nation’s national symbols, you’re not a peaceful protestor. Many states know severe punishments for defacing national symbols. Also, if you deliberately hang out with therrorist groups or groups supporting terrorism, you associate yourself with their agenda. Nobody would get away with hanging out with Neo-Nazi groups because of marginally overlapping concerns re: public safety without others questioning their associating with neo-Nazis in particular.

      I don’t think the majority of our readers fails at understanding the complexity of the issue; they just deny to fall for self-righteous babble that shoves the responsibility for one’s own action towards others. As far as I can see, there is no evidence of Corrie having been deliberately killed; there are just assumptions and manipulated video footage. As with the hissing and booing out the speaker, the manipulated video material is counter-productive and only reflects negatively on those that produce and spread such material and only serves to discredit themselves, their claims, their self-acclaimed morality and the goals they work towards.

      Most people have been taught by their parents to suck up to their own responsibility and that any action causes consequences.

  • If it acts like a terrorist, hangs out with terrorists, aids and abets terrorists, dresses like a terrorist, and is dumb like a terrorist, it’s probably a terrorist. She was a terrorist or just plain stupid, but either way, much too much time has been spent discussing that year’s Darwin Award winner.

  • Sheesh. If murdering people, Palestinians, ISMniks etc. was standard Israeli policy, the body count would be much higher. As it is, the genocide of the Palestinians is the only one in recorded history where the victim population GREW substantially in size. So no. Just as there is no genocide in Palestine, Rachel Corrie was not murdered. Regardless of how you spin it though, her death was a tragedy and her family and friends have my deepest sympathies. That having been said, I was appalled at how this went down. There had to have been a better way to present this film, if indeed it even merited presentation. I haven’t seen it so I don’t know. Maybe I’ll shlepp up to Haifa’s Film Festival to see it there. Who knows.

    So many comments here merit detailed response, but the only one that demands it is the one where the audience was characterized as Genocidal Anti-Semites. Dude? You’re not helping the cause.

  • I guess we’re going to have to agree to disagree, Ari.

    She wasn’t “murdered” and she wasn’t a “peaceful protester”. She was a terrorist enabler who got killed in a war zone. And I don’t care that “many people consider her to have been murdered”. The fact that some people think something happened doesn’t make it true. And people have a tendency to believe a lot of nonsense, like you can be a “friend of Israel” while telling Jews they have no right to live in parts of Jerusalem, for example. In any case, the people who believe Corrie was deliberately murdered are usually the people who don’t believe Israel has the right to defend itself from terrorism, so I couldn’t possibly care less about what they think.

    As far as “Judaic morality” is concerned, I’m pretty sure the Bible says it’s OK to kill your enemies. And to be guilty of murder you have to kill an innocent person intentionally. There is no real evidence whatsoever that she was intentionally killed.

    “How she came to die” is pretty simple. She played a game of chicken with a bulldozer that was destroying houses that camouflaged terrorist smuggling tunnels.

    Like I said, you knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred.

  • Hey, ck, do you live in San Francisco? Or the SF Bay area? If you did, you would realize that my characterization of the hecklers as “genocidal anti-Semites” was not one iota over the top. The vile phrase chosen is not hyperbolic: it’s deserved. While there are wonderful people dwelling hereabouts – folks of clarity and justice – there’s also a significant number of vociferous leftist Jew-haters who have joined forces with local pro-jihadist activists. This is common knowledge to Jews in the Bay area. Check out http://www.zombietime.com to see for yourself. And that’s just scratching the filthy surface!

  • Oh man, for a journalist, she does a bad job at hiding her bias by stating inaccuracies, overemphasizing aspects she wants to bring to attention and generously not elaborating those she wouldn’t want people to know about.

  • Well, since the film was obviously made by a dispassionate, objective observer with no axe to grind, who obviously had no political agenda and no commitment to any particular side in this argument, and who only wanted to get to the truth of the matter, I am sure that it is a 100% accurate account of the brutal murder of an innocent and beautiful girl, full of life and youthful idealism, at the bloody hands of racist Israelo-Nazi thugs who deliberately murdered her in cold blood…..oops, I meant to say, a 100% accurate account of a tragic event.

    Boy, have my eyes been opened!

  • I sure can, but I’m just busy cooking lunch, but the interview reeks of bias; that’s even the maker’s conclusion, she sort of appears to view the film a therapy for her own, failed activism and political agenda by trying to create a counter-truth. This is not a documentary by any means but an opinion-piece-gone-film.

  • Just a sidenote, Rachel was only a few days younger than me. At the age she died, I had already spent a long while working abroad and had been teaching part-time in addition to my studies for more than a year, put in a position to be responsible for the education of young adults. Rachel was not a girl anymore when she died; an adult her age should have known that warnings are usually answered by consequences. That’s a key principle of good education in general and parenting in particular.

  • In the first paragraph, Bitton says that Rachel was “crushed by a military vehicle in a diseased country”, and in the second paragraph, she declares herself to be the impartial judge and jury, determined to be thorough, fair, and rigorous. HAHAHAHA. And people actually listen to what this woman has to say??

  • Barry, apparently the San Francisco “JEWISH” Film Festival does.

  • I think it’s fair to say that I had a unique vantage point from which to gauge the audience response. My friend who was doing the videorecording was in the front, but of course the sound from behind her (noise made by the crowd)on the video was not as clear as my speech.

    I don’t know where Ari was able to interpret that the audience’s applause at the end was “sarcastic”. But I will correct him that the loudest applause BY FAR came at the mention of Jewish Voice for Peace and American Friends Service Committee. That reveals the makeup of a very large part of the audience.

    Also, if you review the text of my speech (posted at http://www.bluetruth.net/2009/07/sf-jewish-film-festival-audience-jeers.html)– I did not imply that Corrie was responsible for her death. On the other hand, I absolutely implied that the ISM held a significant responsibility for it. There’s a big difference there. Also I did not say that a film should not be shown if it criticizes Israeli policy; I said that a film shouldn’t be shown if it demonizes Israel (and this film certainly did that) and if it was cosponsored by groups that support boycotts/divestment/sanctions against Israel– and very obviously, the applause at the mention of BDS was IN FAVOR of that tactic.
    (If anyone would like to hear me criticize Israeli policies regarding failure to take down illegal outposts, regarding haredim who won’t serve either in the IDF or in national service, regarding the failure to provide equal social, educational and infrastructure services to Arab Israelis, etc. I will be happy to correspond with you. But anyone who has seen this film knows that it goes well beyond “criticism of policy”.)

    Having regularly confronted many of these same people in public demonstrations on the streets of the Bay Area for a few years now, I will also throw in one other political comment, for what it’s worth:

    I support two states for two peoples, a Jewish state of Israel and an Arab state of Palestine, in mutual recognition and without threats to eliminate the other. Those who were heckling me? They will not agree to that.

  • I thought it was a very brave, well worded, and well delivered speech in light of the circumstances.

    What this video shows, is that the time for open discourse we’re never credited for in the first place, is long over, as it’s been abused. Propaganda/libels have replaced the truth. We’re witnessing a disturbed pathology where people have adopted a lifestyle, and persona, where to their thinking, they’re not just opposing a Jewish State, they’re opposing this imagined notion of a diabolical combination of Nazis, South African Apartheid, national supremacism, Theocratic world Colonialism, all rolled into one.

    Forget debating if Rachel Corrie was a peace martyr or a dunce acting as a human shield for a gun smuggling hole… Our ability to simply be pro-Israel openly and give what was a fairly moderate, judicial speech has been marginalized. THAT is now the issue here.

  • So if disagreeing with Zionist policy makes me a terrorist enabler, then does simply questioning what may or may not have happened to Rachel a ‘potential terrorist enabler’?

  • No, disagreeing with “Zionist policy” (which I presume is a snide euphemism for “Israeli policy”, but you’re too much of a coward to come out and say it) doesn’t make you a “terrorist enabler”. A terrorist sympathizer or fellow traveller, perhaps, but not yet an enabler.

    Actively aiding and abetting the terrorist war against Israel and preventing the IDF from doing what it needs to do to protect Israeli citizens from terrorist attacks, which is what Corrie was doing, does, however.

  • Ephraim — she died while trying to prevent a home of a pharmacist from being bulldozed. The army has never claimed the home was protecting a tunnel, and Israel never accused the pharmacist of links to terrorism.

  • But we do have a newspaper interview where a Palestinian smuggler admits that the neighborhood where Corrie was killed was used for smuggling arms. That’s the interview where he says families were paid $30,000 to allow tunnnels to run through their homes but it was much harder to do it on the Egyptian side because in Gaza, the worst that would happen would be the destruction of the house while on the Egyptian side they would kill the involved parties.

    Any ISMers on the Egyptian side of the border?

  • I think i have a comment stuck in the queue, maybe cause there’s a link in it? can you have a look?

    • I dug in the bowels of the database and found the xisnotx’s comment. Can’t restore it though. Looks like it went straight to Spam and was deleted. Sorry! Here it is:

      Any ISMers on the Egyptian side of the border?

      i’m not sure I understand the point of this? Have Egyptians requested the ISM protect them?

      can i see your source? not that I doubt it. Even that being the case, she died protecting a house with no tunnel, & the army concurs there was no tunnel under the house. so I’m not sure what you’re point is there either.

      Do Palestinian civilians have the right to ask for protection by international volunteers? How about these farmers who get fired at while they’re farming? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQXecLyureE

      -sent by xisnotx at 9:32 am Aug. 1st 2009

  • Xisnotx,


    An excellent resource about the economics of tunneling.

    Of course Egyptians haven’t asked ISMers to “protect them.” That’s because the tunnellers used orchards to hide their tunnels on the Egyptian side because, as the article I posted shows, getting caught in Egypt meant death.

    I’m sure you see the irony.

    As for the fact she was in front of a house that had no tunnels, that isn’t material. She should not have been there. The Israelis were trying to contain smuggling of arms in that area. She was assisting those who were trying to stop the Israelis and, even if their intentions were merely to “save” homes (may be true of Corrie but questionable regarding the ISM which has openly endorsed violent resistance to Israel) and thereby helping the smugglers. This isn’t a game, it’s a war.

    As for farmers asking for protection from international volunteers, let me know when those volunteers come to areas surrounding Gaza like Sderot or the agricultural fields of the Western Negev to protect those residents. They had how many years to go over there and show solidarity with innocent civilian victims of the types of tunnels the IDF was trying to destroy in Gaza? Did they show up in Israel or did they show up in Gaza?

    The hypocrisy of the international left knows few bounds.

  • This might make your blood boil. Watch the U tube
    and read some of the article.

  • I don’t get cha Jewlicious. you obviously don’t like the Corrie movie, why ya giving a soapbox for elitists like Seagrams, Warner Bros Record Bronfman money? you seem to have some kind of point of view, but one can’t help but wonder if someone if your organization is sleeping with someone in the music industry

    • I have a bit of a dry spell, then Madonna shows up in israel. Coincidence? Hmmm.. you might be onto something there Noah David Simon…