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.