And have no eyes to see


By Jenni Frazer
June 2, 2010
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A 21-year-old American art student, Emily Henochowicz, took part in a demonstration a couple of days ago in Jerusalem, protesting against Israel's actions in the Gaza flotilla operation. According to the Associated Press, a witness said that Ms Henochowicz, from Maryland, had not taken part in anything violent, but she was on the receiving end of a teargas attack by Israeli soldiers who were dispersing the demonstration. In the event, appallingly, she lost an eye, and is now in Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital recovering until her family can take her home.
Now it may be that Ms Henochowicz is the most saintly of peace activists or that she is a self-hating Jew - a repellent phrase in itself. I have no idea. The fact remains that a 21-year-old girl has now tragically been injured, a tragedy made resonant by her chosen path in the visual arts.
With what, I take it, has been some restraint, the family has not, as far as I can make out, ascribed blame to the IDF. This has not stopped the most vitriolic outpourings of hatred... towards this girl. If you Google her name and take a look at some of the comments about her, there is a level of sheer wicked viciousness expressed that has made me feel slightly sick.
You can argue that her attitudes towards Israelis and Palestinians were perhaps naive and misguided, but then she is still only 21. You can argue that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and she now has a lifetime in which to agree on that. But for people to argue, with near-pathological fervour, that she deserved what happened to her, makes me wonder, where is our humanity?
Given some of the recent personalised attacks on this website, I hope posters will take this as a really heartfelt plea to tone down some of the rhetoric. It truly helps no-one.

COMMENTS

Blacklisted Dictator

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 19:01

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-1 points

Jenni,

It seem that you are making some sort of attempt to secure the high moral ground. After all, you rhetorically ask "Where is our humanity?" etc.

The high moral ground is extremely difficult territory for bloggers to secure. You might, instead, be better off, trying to protect your "common sense ground". It is a bit lower down, but it has the advantage of not attracting a, holier than thou attitude, which can be extremely nauseating and off-putting. Especially, if one is blogging on The JC.Com


Blacklisted Dictator

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 19:22

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0 points

Jenni,
I know what happened with your blog. You were going to write a piece about the young Israeli naval officers who got injured on the Turkish IHH boat. But you got distracted.

Now you are right to say that some bloggers on the internet can be a bit unpleasant. Especially when they see right through the high moral ground. In such circumstances, you should take a long deep breath and ask yourself whether you really want to get involved with such nasty people.


Akiva

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:25

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It's difficult not to feel sorry for Emily Henochowicz. While I certainly have not seen any of the wicked comments you claim directed towards her (even from a Google search, as indicated above), it's clear to everyone how great a tragedy she has been involved in.

That said, the so-called rhetoric on the JC is of it's own making. The distinct lack of moderation and the ability for anyone, anti-semites included, to create an account and start blogging hatred makes this place a hive for those with spite towards the Jewish people and the Jewish state. This in turn causes Jews passionate about their People, their Torah and their Land to come to it's defence, as if this site was some Yiddishkeit CIF.

The JC should be more than that.


Blacklisted Dictator

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 20:51

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-1 points

Akiva,
As you probably know, I have argued the case for freedom of expression on The JC blogs. I believe in the less moderation, the better.

Jenni believes that attacks should not be "personal". However, I think that in the cut and thrust of an argument, the "personal" is inevitable.
As far as I am concerned fellow bloggers can attack me on any ground that they feel fit. "Names" will never hurt me. Not even my real one. So, I suppose that I am inpervious.

However, I get the feeling that Jenni is a bit more sensitive.And it does make me wonder whether she is tough skinned enough, and intellectually resilient enough, to blog politics re The Middle East. A nice play or film, might really be her cup of tea with sugar.


Blacklisted Dictator

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:18

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-1 points

Jenni,
you write:
"there is a level of sheer wicked viciousness expressed that has made me feel slightly sick."

Are you expecting your readers to empathize with you? Should we think..." Oh dear. Poor Jenni. She feels slightly sick"?


Blacklisted Dictator

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 21:25

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0 points

Now if my daughter thinks that she is going to go demonstrating on the West Bank when she is 21 yrs, she has another think coming.

She will be locked in her bedroom. And her passport will be taken way.


Jon_i_Cohen

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 22:45

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0 points

Still no piece about the IHH nor an article expressing sympathy and wholehearted support for the Israeli Naval Commandos that were so brutally asssaulted?
Why is that?
With the ship under the name of the Rachel Corrie on the high seas and planning to run the blockade the saga is set to continue.
The best way for you to "control the rhetoric" on this web site is to urgently review your editorial policy and STOP the anti-semites who are blogging on the Jewish Chronicle web site, I cannot understand why they have been allowed this platform for so long, but now is the time and opportunity to stop it.
The wider media and the blogoshphere is full of these anti-semites why must the Jewish Chronicle allow them a further platform?
(If you do not know who I am referring to I am happy to provide the names.)


Blacklisted Dictator

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 06:09

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-1 points

Jon,
It's funny. I can cope with all the anti-zionist crap. But what gets to me is Jenni's sanctimonious views. She is using actually "Emily" to make some point about people being nasty on the internet.


Akiva

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 06:28

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"Dont be such a fascist - why are you so afraid of opinions on the jc you dont agree with. Its called democracy jon."

Having an opinion is grand, being anti-semitic is not. This is the JEWISH Chronicle. Perhaps you should save your "democratic opinions" for a Muslim publication such as the Jihad Journal?

"Let’s have a whip round for all those poor peaceful IDF commandos, minding their own business, and beaten up by the heavily armed and very horrible peace terrorists. I'll make the fist donation!"

And this is precisely why. Despite the over-whelming audio/video evidence, you can't get off the Jew-bash train. Perhaps you should be on the next flotilla, as the Israeli ships approached they yelled "Kill the Jews" and "Send them to Auschwitz". Sounds like your kind of people.

"‘Live rounds’??? What on earth are you talking about? There were no guns on any of the flotilla boats - in very sharp contrast to the Israel navy pirates, who were armed to the teeth – as usual. You must not believe everything Mark (Goebbels) Regev has to say – if his mouth is opening and closing – he is lying. It’s very simple."

Your theory is nice, but again ignores video evidence.

"Can we have an independent UN medical team to investigate the injuries suffered by the IDF in this
‘operation’ as Israel likes to refer to it – act of piracy actually. I’ll wager a £1,000 there are no gunshot injuries."

Meaningless when video evidence shows the terrorist supporters on the boat FIRING GUNS (before the IDF fire, no less). Until you can counter this, you don't have a leg to stand on.

"The thing is, if I had been on those boats when the IDF attacked, I would have been very concerned for my safety. The IDF have a well earned reputation for being
thugs in uniform – usually out of control, and quite happy to fire ‘live rounds’ at stone throwing children"

Irrelevant and unfounded lashon hara. Steve you are pathetic.

"I would certainly have expected their middle of the night arrival, from helicopters in theatrical SAS style, to have been the start of something very ugly indeed. The flotilla passengers had absolutely every right to fight back with whatever was at hand – I commend their courage in doing so."

Video Evidence contradicts your flowery tales of heroics. Oh and strange there was no violence on the other boats, eh Stevey?

"As for the ‘weapons hoard’ Israel has put on display – well come on Jon I, it’s just beyond risible. Could they not have done better than that?. Half the things you see would be found on any boat, Inc tools and axes; the scary knives shown would be found in anyone’s kitchen. If they had wanted to prepare for some real violence they could have done a damn site better than that silly looking pile of stuff, and come tooled up like the IDF."

Was it humanitarian aid? If not, your arguments are moot. They should not have been there in the first place.

On that note though, I fail to see why ships need army surplus night vision equipment, bullet proof vests, chainsaws etc

"Incidentally, can’t we see a display of the weaponry the Israelis came packing?"

Go away.

"Please don’t keep repeating the Israeli ‘offer’ to have offloaded the cargo in Ashdod, and delivered on by truck. You and every other clown making this point, knows fully well that Israel would have removed all emrgoed goods – inc all building materials, before anything got delivered. Israel says Gaza has plenty of everything, and there are no shortages. The UN says Gaza is suffering severe shortages, and a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding. Which one do we believe???? Mmnn – it’s a difficult one isn’t it?"

Israel DID deliver the cargo via Ashdod, minus the cache of weapons. All your theory arguments have no place in reality where video evidence blows them out of the water (pardon the pun).

As I stated above, the fact that the JC has created an atmosphere where Jews are constantly having to defend themselves here means they have failed. We can get this kind of anti-semitic lies and abuse anywhere.


Blacklisted Dictator

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 06:35

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Jenni,
Please provide the links to the "anti-Emily" comments. I would be interested to see on what sites they appear.


Blacklisted Dictator

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 06:38

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Akiva,

If the JC starts censoring comments on political grounds, where does it start and finish? I think that either one believes in freedom of expression, or one doesn't.


Akiva

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 06:46

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The JC already does this, to an extent. It's that "Flag as offensive" button on each post.

Constantly seeing the Jewish people vilified and baited by people who are just looking to flexi their e-hatred is offensive, in my book.

While you do have a point about freedom of expression, there are plenty of websites that already exist for that as neutral territories. People like Steve above come to the Jewish Chronicle for the soul purpose of winding up the Jews with the same tired diatribe and lies we've heard for years. How then is it any different here from any other non-Jewish website?


Blacklisted Dictator

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 07:18

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Akiva,

Freedom of expression provides a crucial function, particularly when it comes to Israel and the Middle East. It allows views and ideas to be debated and tested. The JC could not provide a more important function. Moreover, if you have a view, its validity can only be assessed when it is subject to a critique. There is no point whatsoever in preaching to the converted.

Moreove, anyone can rock up and blog on The JC. With "Harry's Place" you have to be a part of their cogniscenti.


Akiva

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 07:56

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Don't misunderstand, I'm all for debate, but there needs to be tighter controls on the anti-semites that frequent the JC. Those who come and debate rationally are welcomed, those who come yelling bloody murder and suggesting the Middle East would be better off Judenrein should not be given a platform on the JC.

Unlike the title of this article, those people have eyes but don't want to see.


Blacklisted Dictator

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 08:06

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Akiva,

I beleive that it is reasonable for the JC to censor racist comments. And of course, that would include anti-semitic comments. But the problem is that many people view anti-zionism as anti-semitism. And that then becomes a can of freedom of expression worms.

In my opinion, we are better off with less moderation, not more.


Akiva

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 08:32

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They aren't the same, per-se. But there is evidence of anti-semitism in anti-zionism. Israel is held to impossible standards, when any other nation would do the same action all the moreso in their situation. Also some (as I stated above) do not WANT to view Israel in a positive light, ignore evidence and seem to be here for no other reason than lashon hara.

Already in this very thread Steve Abbott has equated Israel to the Nazis. In another he suggests Israel maintains Gaza as a concentration/death camp. Sorry BD, but that's not just a load of Ed Balls, it's blatant anti-semitism to boot.


Blacklisted Dictator

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 09:51

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Akiva,

Of course, anti-zionism and anti-semitism are closely linked. But the fact that The JC is willing to print Steve Abbott's venom, is clear evidence that it doesn't censor on political grounds. I believe that it is a price worth paying. However, I fully understand that many people will disagree.

I think that the purpose of this blog is to discuss important issues relating to Israel and the conflict in The Middle East. And I think that it is best to do so, on freedom of expression ground-rules.

I am, of course, censored on most sites. Hence, I am "blacklisted". If I demand the right to express myself, how can I deny it to others with whom I profoundly disagree?


Blacklisted Dictator

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 10:06

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-1 points

Now Jenni is arguing for self-censorship. She doesn't want the debate to be "personalized". Clearly, she does not approve when some bloggers conclude that she is a third rate hack.

My advice to Jenni would be to up her game. Don't give us the "Where is our humanity?" nonsense. And don't expect me to empathize because she feels "slightly sick".


steveabbott

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 10:36

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1 point

Look guys – just because you don’t like what I am saying, does not mean I am an anti-semite. Come on, you have to do better then that. Engage properly with the arguments and stop playing the man all the time. I cannot see where anything I have said could be construed as racist or anti-semitic. If any one out there disagrees, show me where I have strayed into that territory. Opposing Israel’s lunatic actions does not constitute anti-semitism.

Actually some of the comments I have posted over the last few days have contained an element of wind up. That’s because I’m wound up. 9 civilians got killed and many more injured during Israel’s outrageous act of piracy. But what really winds me up is that people get onto the JC and defend it! Israel’s highly partisan statements and ‘evidence’ are taken as gospel; everything else is the work of ‘extremists’ or ‘terrorists’ and self evidently must be disregarded. Everything Israel does is always right, everyone who criticises Israeli actions is an anti-semite, unless you’re Jewish, and then you are a ‘self hating Jew’. I genuinely wonder what Israel would have to do for you fans to object? Or even just stay silent maybe? Tell me?

I think the reason defenders of Israel get so hot under the collar, is because a lot of the time they know that they are defending the indefensible, and that makes them ashamed and then angry.

And Akiva, you are very very naughty to say that in this thread (or any other) that I have compared Israelis to Zazis, and used the term ‘death camp’. I have done neither, and if you have any decency at all, you will admit that you were wrong – I do not expect an apology.


Blacklisted Dictator

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 10:54

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0 points

Steve Abbott,
I haven't said that you are an anti-semite.

Unfortunately, I find your comments too long-winded and that is why I don't repond. Moreover, if you are just trying to "wind people up" why should I even bother to attempt to read your badly written prose?


Jenni Frazer

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 11:05

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1 point

Well, it didn't take long for Blacklisted Dictator (a name in which he revels) to come out of the woodwork and start hurling abuse. He doesn't want to empathise with me because I said I felt slightly sick at the comments made about Emily Henochowicz: too bad. He's also decided to reinstate his fabulously witty attack on me, "third-rate hack." On that I have no comment, except to observe that I don't take sugar with my tea.
Please feel free to visit Vos Is Neias to see the comments on Emily which precipitated my blog.
By the way, I love the fact that BD isn't ready to respond to Steve Abbott because he's "too long-winded." Pots and kettles, hey?


zair (not verified)

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 11:18

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'where is our humanity?'

Where indeed.


steveabbott

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 11:29

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blacklisted dictator - how dare you! my prose is a thing of great beauty. It is all i can do to avoid becomeing constantly intoxicated with my own rhetoric. Sorry about the long windedness - I am Welsh!


Akiva

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 12:36

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"Look guys – just because you don’t like what I am saying, does not mean I am an anti-semite."

Of course. But you are.

"Engage properly with the arguments and stop playing the man all the time. I cannot see where anything I have said could be construed as racist or anti-semitic. If any one out there disagrees, show me where I have strayed into that territory. Opposing Israel’s lunatic actions does not constitute anti-semitism. "

Ignoring actual evidence and continuing to villify Israel, targetting it for unfair and hypocritical abuse, is anti-semitic.

"Actually some of the comments I have posted over the last few days have contained an element of wind up."

ie, anti-semitism.

"9 civilians got killed and many more injured during Israel’s outrageous act of piracy."

See, there you go again ignoring facts. Let me rephrase your statement to reflect reality:

Six vessels set sail from Cyprus illegally with the intention of breaking the Israel and Egypt imposed blockade on Terrorist-run Gaza. Five of these vessels were willing to have their cargo searched and be escorted back to Ashdod. One ignored warnings and shouted "Kill the Jews", lynching soldiers who attempted to board and firing their own weapons. This culminated in the soldiers having to act in self-defence. 9 militants on the ship lost their lives and 9 soldiers were wounded, two seriously. The boat was then returned to Ashdod and the aid offered to Hamas. Hamas refused as Israel had already removed the weapons they found and had been assaulted with, as per video evidence.

"But what really winds me up is that people get onto the JC and defend it!"

Jews defending Jews for defending Jews! RAGE!

"Israel’s highly partisan statements and ‘evidence’ are taken as gospel;"

For someone who jumped on the anti-semitic, sorry, anti-zionist bandwagon without ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL, you have no right to call the undeniable video evidence provided "partisan".

"Everything Israel does is always right, everyone who criticises Israeli actions is an anti-semite, unless you’re Jewish, and then you are a ‘self hating Jew’."

I criticise Israel frequently.

"And Akiva, you are very very naughty to say that in this thread (or any other) that I have compared Israelis to Zazis, and used the term ‘death camp’. I have done neither, and if you have any decency at all, you will admit that you were wrong – I do not expect an apology."

So calling an MK (in this very thead) Goebbels isn't equating Israel to Nazis? Right.


Blacklisted Dictator

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 12:56

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-1 points

Jenni,
Now let us get to the heart of your blog. I havenow accessed the comments that you referred to on "Voz is Neis" ( yiddish for "What is news"). It is an American news site aimed at the orthodox Jewish community.
Now there was a mixed bag of comments. Some had sympathy for Emily. Others pointed to the fact that she was being treated at Hadassah Hospital. But can one really conclude from a few disparate comments posted on an American blog, that "our humanity" has been lost?


Blacklisted Dictator

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 13:17

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-1 points

Jenni,

Now you ask us "to tone down some of the rhetoric" and yet you dramatically pose the question "where is our humanity?"

Kindovironik?


steveabbott

Fri, 06/04/2010 - 13:30

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Akiva. I will reply in detail to your main points later - you have a very novel view of the meaning of the word - 'evidence'.

In the meantime – re my mark Regev/Goebbels remark. I regret using Goebbels name to make my point – to reference the Nazis in anyway when criticising Israel is in very poor taste, and does not help advance the argument – I apologise. Slipped up because I had just watched a Regev interview, and was foaming at the mouth. When listening to him I don’t know whether to laugh or be sick. He was spinning the line that the peaceful IDF boys with flowers in their gun barrels, whilst perfectly legally boarding the convoy of hate and lies, in international waters (oops), were unprovokedly assaulted and beaten up by the heavily armed peace terrorists.

I remembered that Regev was the bloke denying Israeli illegal use of phosphorous weapons in Gaza last year, while we were watching on TV, the shells coming down on a hospital. He was also explaining why the IDF had attacked the main UN compound in Gaza – apparently it had been taken over by Hamas. Of course the Goldstone report later proved that Israel’s claims were completely false. My point is that Regev knew that while he was lying. He is a professional liar, employed by the Govt to tell lies for Israel.

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