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Hannah Sternberg

Hannah Sternberg is a writer and video editor in Washington, DC. Her first novel, Queens of All the Earth, will be released this June by Bancroft Press. Learn more at www.HannahSternberg.com


You Don’t Have to See Hate to Believe It

2011 March 9

The most stoic of under-rock dwellers will be shocked to be informed that NPR is anti-Zionist.

I’m not referring here to people who have missed James O’Keefe’s latest undercover stunt; rather, I write of people who have never paid attention to NPR. When Ron Schiller laughed along with the undercover bloggers about the aptness of the nickname “National Palestinian Radio,” what I found most chilling was not the discovery of Mr. Schiller’s personal views, but their predictability. The nickname isn’t new.

“…CNN[] lends its platform to the likes of Erick Erickson and Lou Dobbs but snap-fires anyone who doesn’t genuflect before AIPAC’s hall monitors…”

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Do Pete Seeger and the BDS Folks Believe All of Israel Is ‘Occupied’?

2011 March 2

Legendary American folk singer Pete Seeger is officially on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions wagon.

According to a press release issued by the Israel Committee Against House Demolition, the singer objects to the Jewish National Fund’s perfidious program to plant trees in the desert. Yes, you read that correctly. The ICAHD press release states that Seeger grew concerned when he learned that “the JNF is notorious for planting forests to hide Palestinian villages demolished by Israel in order to seize their land.”

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Is Coca-Cola Making a Mistake by Responding to Rumors It’s a Zionist-Controlled Company?

2011 February 14

Coca-Cola has long been a symbol of America and capitalism. But according to an article this week in The Economist, for some it’s also an icon of the Zionist conspiracy. No wonder I can’t get enough of the stuff.

The authors of the article demonstrate a neat trick: if you Google “Middle East rumors,” the first page that comes up is a page of the Coke website dedicated to debunking urban legends about Coke’s supposed collusion in the Israeli plot to undermine Islam and crush the Palestinians with violence and economic subversion. (The Economist quotes experts telling Coke to stop responding to the rumors, which will just increase their shelf life.) Some of them are typical dross (claims that Coca-Cola in Arabic, when read backward, spells a slur against Muslims) but others reveal a more troubling strain. As a target of the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions movement, even when Coke isn’t forced to apologize explicitly for doing business with Israel, it must defend itself by proving how many other countries besides Israel it does business with.

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BDS Movement and Code Pink Now Targeting Children’s Birthday Parties

2011 February 8

I don’t know what else I was expecting from Code Pink, the group so inane its members interrupt their own interviews. When they’re not expressing their patriotism by crashing naturalization ceremonies, they unwind by targeting Israeli products for boycott. Boycotting is an easy, do-it-at-home form of activism for the Code Pinker whose boas are all at the dry cleaner.

The boycott in question is the Code Pink campaign against AHAVA beauty products. The embarrassing misstep? Listing, in their trove of media clips surrounding their efforts, an article from The Jewish Week about a mother whose 7-year-old daughter’s birthday party was spoiled by anti-Israel sentiment stirred up by the boycott. Code Pink, why would you list this among your PR victories?

Now, I can quite realistically write off this error as one of pure incompetence. But looked at from another angle, it is telling, of the bigger story: how the international Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions movement is not against perceived abuses of Palestinian rights or territory–it’s against Israel: the state, and its existence.

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Anti-Zionist Group’s Tour Rolls On

2011 February 4

Controversy simmers nearly a week after Rutgers students hosted Never Again for Anyone, an international speaking tour that compares modern Israel to the Nazi regime. Hundreds of protesters were turned away from the event, and one student subsequently received violent threats in response to his account of the evening.

Never Again for Anyone will visit DePaul University this Friday. Scheduling an event purporting to “honor” Holocaust victims on a day when most Orthodox Jews can’t attend (or protest) is a glaring example of the tour’s thinly-veiled true intent of minimizing and exploiting the Holocaust in an attempt to delegitimize the Jewish state.

One video posted by the organization to promote the event features two clips, one from Hajo Meyer and one from another speaker at the event, Hatem Bazian, Chairman of American Muslims for Palestine and Senior Lecturer at UC Berkeley. The following is a transcript of the entire clip of Hatem Bazian’s remarks, that the event organizers chose themselves to represent the viewpoint of Never Again for Anyone (emphasis is my own):

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Anti-Zionist Organizers Attack Critics in Rutgers Protest Aftermath

2011 February 1

Never Again for Anyone, the national speaking tour that honors International Holocaust Remembrance Day by equating the modern state of Israel to Nazi Germany, is now responding to criticism of its event at Rutgers University this weekend. In a controversy that has captured widespread Internet attention, event organizers turned away hundreds of protesters who, so far, have been accused of nothing more than attending.

Several points stand out in Never Again for Anyone’s version of events that simply don’t add up:

Was the event free or was it not? The Facebook page for the event clearly listed it as free and open to the public. The press release by Never Again for Anyone claims “Endorsing student organizations had initially publicized the admission fee as ‘suggested.’ This was based on an assumption that the program would be a student event with minimal costs. The university subsequently changed the event’s status since the national sponsors were outside organizations.” Those national sponsors happened to be listed on the same Facebook page that listed the event as “free.”

But in the very next paragraph, the press release states, “The $5 admission was made mandatory only after expenses escalated in the face of organized disruption publicized by Zionist organizations…” Which was it? Was the fee introduced before the event because of its bureaucratic status, or was the fee introduced as a response to the protest? Additionally, how could the “escalating” cost of the event be estimated during the event itself, accurately enough that organizers made the decision to start charging when people were already showing up, and the preparatory costs had already been incurred?

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Pro-Israel Heroes Come to DC Comics

2011 January 30

This popular post was originally published on January 29, 2011

Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube crackle with the vitriol of students, armchair pundits and alternative culture fans to whom Israel is the apotheosis of hate. The opinions ranged against Israel extend to the world of graphic novels as well, which is what makes Fables, a popular ongoing comics serial, so unique: Fables is an unapologetically pro-Israel comic.

The Eisner Award-winning Fables is already an exceptional series for its clever writing and artistic merits. In Fables, familiar fairy tale characters have been chased out of their homelands by a tyrant known as the Adversary. A band of survivors finds the portal to the “mundane world,” and establishes a self-governing community in New York City. Writer and creator Bill Willingham took a political risk in issue 50 with a chapter titled “The Israel Analogy.” Bigby Wolf, the sheriff of Fabletown, is on a mission to sabotage the Adversary, the tyrant who has driven his community out of their homelands. Bigby, a Bogart-esque hero, gives the enemy this message:

“Ever hear of a country called Israel? …Israel is a tiny country surrounded by much larger countries dedicated to its eventual total destruction. …they stay alive by being a bunch of tough little bastards who make the other guys pay dearly every time they do anything against Israel. Some in the wider world constantly wail and moan about the endless cycle of violence and reprisal. But since the alternative is non-existence, the Israelis seem determined to keep at it. They have a lot of grit and iron. I’m a big fan of them.”

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Event at Rutgers Will Promote Hate, Ignorance, and Trivialization of the Holocaust

2011 January 28

Hard on the heels of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, new waves of hate surge up to batter Israel and the Jewish people. What is taking place at Rutgers University is one example.

This weekend several Rutgers student groups, backed by American Muslims for Palestine, The International Anti-Zionist Jewish Network, and The Middle East Children’s Alliance, will host “Never Again for Anyone,” an event part of a national tour purporting to promote peace and justice for Israel and surrounding lands.

The headline quote on the website of Never Again for Anyone is by Holocaust survivor Hajo Meyer: “My great lesson from Auschwitz is whoever wants to dehumanise any other, must first be dehumanised himself. The oppressors are no longer really human whatever uniform they wear.” With all respect to his suffering and the haunting memories he carries, his conclusion is ethically inconsistent. If we deny the humanity of the perpetrators of genocide, we also deny their capacity for responsibility, and render null more than half a century’s worth of efforts to extract justice for their atrocities.

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Pro-Israel Heroes Come to DC Comics

2011 January 26

Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube crackle with the vitriol of students, armchair pundits and alternative culture fans to whom Israel is the apotheosis of hate. The opinions ranged against Israel extend to the world of graphic novels as well, which is what makes Fables, a popular ongoing comics serial, so unique: Fables is an unapologetically pro-Israel comic.

The Eisner Award-winning Fables is already an exceptional series for its clever writing and artistic merits. In Fables, familiar fairy tale characters have been chased out of their homelands by a tyrant known as the Adversary. A band of survivors finds the portal to the “mundane world,” and establishes a self-governing community in New York City. Writer and creator Bill Willingham took a political risk in issue 50 with a chapter titled “The Israel Analogy.” Bigby Wolf, the sheriff of Fabletown, is on a mission to sabotage the Adversary, the tyrant who has driven his community out of their homelands. Bigby, a Bogart-esque hero, gives the enemy this message:

“Ever hear of a country called Israel? …Israel is a tiny country surrounded by much larger countries dedicated to its eventual total destruction. …they stay alive by being a bunch of tough little bastards who make the other guys pay dearly every time they do anything against Israel. Some in the wider world constantly wail and moan about the endless cycle of violence and reprisal. But since the alternative is non-existence, the Israelis seem determined to keep at it. They have a lot of grit and iron. I’m a big fan of them.”

read more…

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