The Group Behind Goldstein Celebration Video


The other day I posted in disgust a story about the video capturing Sheikh Jarrah Jewish inhabitants listening and dancing to a song praising the murderer Baruch Goldstein. My friends and colleagues on Jewlicious, ck and Rabbi Yonah, both voiced skepticism that the video was authentic.

Not being able to tell from the video itself whether it depicts a real moment or not, simply because just as the voice-over is dubbed, the music could be dubbed as well, I’ve been looking for clues. So far, I don’t have much to go on. Ynet credits “Ta’ayush” for the photo and video that it published, with a big splashy “exclusive” on the video.

What is Ta’ayush? They describe themselves thus:

We — Arabs and Jews, Israelis and Palestinians — live surrounded by walls and barbed wire: the walls of segregation, racism, and discrimination between Jews and Arabs within Israel; the walls of Apartheid, closure and siege encircling the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip; and the wall of war surrounding all inhabitants of Israel, so long as Israel remains an armed fortress in the heart of the Middle East.

In the fall of 2000 we joined together to form “Ta’ayush” (Arabic for “living together”), a grassroots movement of Arabs and Jews working to break down the walls of racism and segregation by constructing a true Arab-Jewish partnership. Together we strive for a future of equality, justice and peace through concrete, daily, non-violent actions of solidarity to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and to achieve full civil equality for all.

About Ta’ayush website

The activities and the activists of Ta’ayush were always concentrated on field work. Documentation (written or photographic) was and will continue to be secondary to this.

Okay, so they’re leftists whose views incline towards making Israel into a state that’s no longer a Jewish state. That doesn’t make them into liars, necessarily, although it also leaves them as less than objective observers, especially because Sheikh Jarrah has become a controversial flashpoint in recent weeks and they’ve been advocating against the families that have moved there.

That’s the first problem with the video. Now on to the second problem. Ta’ayush has a couple of filmmakers working with them, one of whom is Joseph Dana. Dana is a personal friend of our ck, and ck has actually posted one of his videos a video Dana had put up on his Facebook page. In fact, it is a video capturing an event at Sheikh Jarrah and ck posted it because at one point a Palestinian woman yells “Falasteene Bladna, al-Yahud klabna.” ck does us the favor of translating…and what she said was “Palestine is our country! The Jews are our dogs!”

The irony of posting a video intended to show the evils of the Jews but actually highlighting the absolute hate and peace-killing behavior of a Palestinian woman did not sit well with the videographer, Dana, probably because he belongs to an organization claiming that Palestinians and Israelis can live in harmony in one country. He criticized ck for not posting the “reality” of Sheikh Jarrah.

By the way, one of Dana’s complaints was that leftist protesters at Sheikh Jarrah were treated unjustly by the police, a position agreed to yesterday by Israel’s courts. On the other hand, in the video the protest leaders make false statements about the Palestinian “owners” of the homes into which the Jewish “settlers” had moved. The Palestinians weren’t owners, they were renters who didn’t pay their rent for years and the “settlers” are not settlers because east Jerusalem is annexed to Israel.

Dana also partners with Max Blumenthal as reporters and they gained notoriety, which we covered and discussed at some length on Jewlicious, when they posted a video that went viral about American Jews in Jerusalem who were saying horrendous things about Obama. Blumenthal and Dana defended their work, which really was nothing more than a hack job, on grandiose grounds. Dana wrote:

As a resident of Jerusalem, I can say that the people represented in this video are not members of a fringe group or simply drunk college kids. These people reflect the sentiments shared by many people in this country and this city. These people and their families are the core of the opposition to meaningful peace between Israel and her neighbors. This is what Obama is up against.

I call bullshit. That video represents nothing more than a bunch of kids half drunk and trying to be cool. That debate can be read on our post so I won’t get into it again. However, I do believe it represents impoverished journalism that is political in its nature and is far from objective, reasonable or fair. This is why I also believe that while the video may accurately depict this group of kids, it is used in a dishonest manner to score political points.

All of this brings us back to the Sheikh Jarrah – Baruch Goldstein video by Ta’ayush to which Dana and Blumenthal are contributors. That Ta’ayush are political and their politics are on the opposite side of the spectrum from the Jewish residents of Sheikh Jarrah can’t be disputed. That their view of the conflict is heavily distorted because of their politics also can’t be disputed – and the same holds true for the extremists on the right, just so we are clear.

Is the video real or not?

Well, ck knows Dana personally and Dana works for Ta’ayush. An email should be enough to have them meet for a coffee with the filmmakers who captured this event and it should be easy for those filmmakers to show ck the unedited, raw footage.

I look forward to the report.


12 Comments

  1. Joseph Dana

    3/6/2010 at 8:02 am

    Amazing that some of the writers on this site are not able to even read. I did not make the video from Sheikh Jarrah which is talked about in this article. I posted it on my facebook page which CK saw. A whole attack on me that has no ground. I am not sure why it is even necessary to respond to such insanity.

  2. themiddle

    3/6/2010 at 12:04 pm

    Joseph, are you talking about the video about the American kids (according to Blumenthal’s blog you are a co-creator maxblumenthal....). You did shoot that one and then went on a campaign to promote the idea that this somehow represented large swathes of the Israeli and American Jewish population.

    As for the second one, I do see now that you are not the videographer and will modify the post. Note, however, that I didn’t have a problem with the video and showed that Israeli courts ruled in favor of the protesters. My point that your complaint which I described as “probably because he belongs to an organization claiming that Palestinians and Israelis can live in harmony in one country…he criticized ck for not posting the “reality” of Sheikh Jarrah” remains valid.

    But why are you evading the real issue here? I believed the video on the Baruch Goldstein song and posted about it with severe criticism of those who are filmed. ck and Yonah didn’t believe it. They thought it was a scam. Pallywood. This is your opportunity to show ck that the video – and you will notice that at no point did I say that you shot it – is authentic. Don’t you want us all to know how evil the Jews at Sheikh Jarrah really are?

    • themiddle

      3/6/2010 at 1:17 pm

      Actually, as I reread it just now, I don’t see where “A whole attack on me that has no ground” fits.

    • ck

      3/7/2010 at 3:24 am

      Wo wo wo there TM! I didn’t say the video was unequivocally fake! I just have some questions. There was a transition at 1:15 yet no break in the continuity of the audio. I also recall that it was raining hard that evening and the music, if it was recordable at that volume, sounds like it came from an external source, ie not one located in the home of the Jewish people depicted. I simply have questions. I know Joseph didn’t produce this because he’s in Hungary dodging neo-Nazis. So please, a bit of accuracy in repeating my words.

      • themiddle

        3/7/2010 at 4:32 am

        One more time. I didn’t say Dana produced this video. I said that a group to which he belongs and to which he contributes is listed as the source for this video. You have expressed doubts about it as has Yonah. It shouldn’t be a problem for Dana to put you in touch with the videographer who filmed this. Right? What’s the problem in asking to see the raw footage? It’s in the interest of truth and in the interest of Ta’ayush and its reputation. Either this thing is real or it isn’t. Reviewing the video, I understood the concerns you and Yonah expressed and could not clarify for myself whether it was authentic or not. So how about getting in touch with Ta’ayush and asking to see the raw footage? It’s simple, really, and it’s important.

  3. Ben-David

    3/6/2010 at 2:01 pm

    It’s “fake but accurate”

  4. Rabbi Yonah

    3/7/2010 at 7:06 am

    TM has anyone done any other leg work on this film? The whole thing stinks… But let them show the real footage and it will be settled. Unless their dog ate it. No bit seriously why do Jews always rush to judge ourselves so badly. The minute any negative news comes out of israel everyone looses the ability to filter news crticially.

  5. Tom Morrissey

    3/7/2010 at 4:09 pm

    Jews control Hollywood, and you guys can’t figure this out?

  6. themiddle

    3/7/2010 at 5:17 pm

    That’s because the wrong Jews control it. They should hand it over to us.

  7. xisnotx

    3/10/2010 at 3:56 am

    the video made the NYT’s Lede blog today: thelede.blogs....

  8. xisnotx

    3/10/2010 at 3:54 pm

    andrew sullivan posted it today: andrewsullivan...

  9. themiddle

    3/10/2010 at 4:35 pm

    It would be nice if ck would contact Dana to have them provide the name of the videographer so that we could verify the raw footage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>