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  • Robert Farago

Antisemitic Humor on Substack

In which your author is banned for protesting

“The IDF has angrily condemned a Palestinian grandma who attracted the attention of their sniper, skilfully intercepting their bullet with her barely mobile body, just so she could make Israel look bad as her life tragically drained away.” And so begins “humor” from a Substacker Laura K (above).

Ms. K believes that IDF soldiers defending the Jewish state against neighbors sworn to wipe them from the face of the earth – including the vast majority of civilian Palestinians – are a suitable subject for “parody.”

You can read her screed here. If you want to withhold the view, here’s a “highlight.”

Now that he’s hit a target (and peed himself with excitement), the brave sniper is unsure if he’s allowed to publicly express his jubilation. 'He really wanted to post one of those demented videos where he boasts about his murder while grinning like a Cheshire cat, but he’s unsure if that would be going too far. This appears to be a genocidal grey area.

Clearly, Ms. K rejects/ignores Israel’s insistence that it’s adhering to the Geneva Convention’s international code of conduct of war (a.k.a., the international humanitarian law or IHL).

Unlike the Hamas terrorists who stabbed, shot, blew-up, burned, raped and desecrated over a thousand men, women, children and babies. Terrorists who use civilians as human shields. Holds children and elderly civilians hostage. Sends unguided rockets against civilian targets.

Don’t get me wrong. War is a horrible business. There’s nothing wrong and everything right with exposing man’s inhumanity to man, in any format you choose, without regard to who’s perpetrating an offense.

As a defender of free speech, I support Ms. K’s right to publish whatever she wants about the IDF, Israel, their historical treatment of Palestinians, anything.

No one and nothing should be above criticism, no matter how pure the target’s motivation or ill-informed or ahistorical the criticism.

You might not be surprised to find that Ms. K disagrees with that position. When I wrote a comment underneath her post accusing her of anti-semitic vitriol, she banned me from reading her work.

Here’s what I wrote:

Making fun/smearing IDF soldiers risking their lives to secure the safety of the Jewish state, operating under international rules of law for war (and then some), is callous and worse. As an American, I would die to defend your right to write this. As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I am appalled that you and your audience are so full of self-righteous ignorance that you think this is funny. If you have a problem with the IDF's actions, by all means, make your case. This? This smacks of anti-semitism. The fact that you can't see that or don't give a shit tells me all I need to know about YOUR humanity.

As of this writing, my comment remains. There were some rather “heated” responses (I’ve posted examples in the comments below), but my objection is lost in a sea of attaboys.

Before wielding the ban hammer, Laura K took a moment to address my comment privately: “It’s genocide sweetie.” I am a sweetie (void where prohibited by law), but Israel is not engaged in genocide.

The United Nations Genocide Convention of 1948 defines genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.”

The Nazis exterminated six millions Jews. The Ottoman Empire murdered 1.5 million Armenians. Rwandan Hutus killed a million Tutsis. The Cambodian government un-alived two million of their own people. Those are genocides.

Genocide isn’t just about numbers or “ancient history.” In 1995, the Bosnian government systematically killed more than eight thousand Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica.

Yesterday, the Hamas-controlled Gaza “health ministry” claimed that Israel has killed at least 23,210 people in the Palestinian territory since October 7.

The Ministry doesn’t separate Hamas fighters and civilians in their statistics. Israel estimates that Hamas had about 30k fighters in Gaza before the war started.

Certainly, some proportion of those 23k fatalities are combatants. Equally certain: a large number of dead Palestinians were not combatants. Men, women, children and babies.

But there’s a huge difference between collateral damage – inevitable in war, especially one where military targets are hidden beneath and within civilian infrastructure – and a genocidal campaign.

As in intentionally murdering non-combatants in cold blood simply for being part of a particular group.

Back up. Ms. K’s “humor” is based on video of the killing of a Palestinian woman waving a white flag. You can watch it here.

Why does Ms. K. and her supporters assume that the woman was killed by an IDF sniper?

If that was the case, the IDF soldier should and would face arrest and prosecution. Israel has a history of punishing IDF forces for unlawful killing.

At the same time, there have been reports (unverified and absent from Google) that Hamas shot retreating civilians.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

Anyway, if you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. If you’re antisemitic (a.k.a., a “river to the sea” pro-Palestinian), everything Israel has done and will do in Gaza looks like genocide.

Israel won’t stop the war until it rids Gaza of Hamas, leaders and fighters. Preventing civilians from supporting/launching a guerrilla war is a generational challenge.

One whose success would benefit the Palestinian people; Israel has a track record of living peacefully with Arabs within its borders, according them full rights as citizens.

If you don’t believe any of that, fine. If you want to counter that opinion with facts, half-truths, lies, distortions and “humor,” that is your right. In this country, if not in any territory controlled by Hamas.


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