Indy op-ed evokes antisemitism

An op-ed in the Independent by Aida Touma-Sliman, who represents Hadash/Joint List in Israel’s Knesset, written prior to the US president’s trip to the Middle East in July, included false claims and employed an antisemitic term in characterising the Jewish state.

First, here are the factual errors in the op-ed, titled “Welcome to Israel, President Biden. As a member of the Knesset, I have a request“, July 13:

keep in mind the brave Palestinian-American journalist, Shireen Abu-Akleh, who was killed by an Israeli sniper in Jenin — and whose death has not been investigated by the US or by Israeli officials.

As even BBC and the Guardian acknowledged in corrections following complaints by CAMERA UK, it is not accurate to state, as if it was a fact, that Israel (or an “Israeli sniper) killed Abu Akleh.

BBC:

Guardian:

Further, the source embedded in the sentence in the op-ed is an opinion piece at the Washington Post which only claims that Abu Akleh was “likely” killed by Israeli forces.

Additionally, the claim that Abu Akleh’s death has not been investigated by Israeli officials is of course a lie. The IDF began an investigation almost immediately after the journalist’s death, and recently expanded the investigation by adding a senior officer with specialised technological abilities from the intelligence department.

Touma-Sliman’s piece also includes the following:

[Israel] passed the racist Citizenship and Nation-State Laws, which legally enshrine and codify Jewish supremacy.

First, all the Nation State Laws [sic] did was to re-establish that Israel is a Jewish state.  The law doesn’t in any way abrogate the civil or political rights of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens, and even the Israel Democracy Institute characterised its impact as largely symbolic.

However, even worse that the egregious mischaracterisation of the law is the claim that it codifies “Jewish supremacy”.

Anti-Semites have historically used the term “Jewish supremacy” to suggest Jews believe themselves to be racially or ethnically superior to non-Jews – and therefore must dominate them.  In fact, the idea of “Jewish supremacism” is often associated with neo-Nazi David Duke, who wrote a book using that very term in the title, and published a “Ph.D.” dissertation titled “Zionism as a Form of Ethnic Supremacism”. “Israel”, he wrote on page 208, “lives as a testimony to the…supremacist nature of…Zionism”.

Further, commentator Gil Troy documented that Nazis in Hitler’s Germany similarly employed the term. Washington’s Holocaust Museum houses a photograph of a Hitler Youth proclamation that translates to “Hitler breaks Jewish supremacy with his movement.”

The term “Jewish supremacism” is also used frequently in the writings of notorious anti-Semite Gilad Atzmon, and, as Anti-Defamation League documented, the American far-right employ the term in their vilification of George Soros.

We’ve complained to Indy editors, both about the factual errors and the author’s use of the antisemitic “Jewish supremacy” charge.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Grimey

    Every incident in Israel is siezed upon and analysed by the BBC Jerusalem office to determine whether it is yet another opportunity to slag off Israel by selective reporting, quotation of an antisemite’s views, tropes, context omission, repitition of lies and ignoring background facts. Presumably Israel has a reason for continuing to allow this.

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