Fake News in the Service of Self-Hating Jews

Thursday, February 01, 2018 |  Tsvi Sadan

Many Israelis would agree with the increasingly popular and worrying sentiment that "the fire of antisemitism currently burning around the world is the result of Israeli arson."

Such a thing is not said lightly, but many feel that the mountain of evidence before them leaves no choice. This phenomenon of self-hate is so prevalent in post-Zionist Jewish circles that one need not look hard to find numerous examples.

To recall but two, consider a 2013 report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) that listed the ten most dangerous anti-Israel Jewish organizations. On that list was the Jewish Voice for Peace, which the ADL accused of exploiting "Jewish culture and rituals to reassure its own supporters that opposition to Israel not only does not contradict, but is actually consistent with, Jewish values." The second is the 2009 Goldstone Report, authored by a Jewish person, which based its accusations of Israeli war crimes on fabricated reports provided by radical post-Zionist Israeli groups. Three years later, after realizing he'd been fed false Israeli and Palestinian testimonies, Richard Goldstone regretted writing the report.

The latest scandal in this vein has been sparked by the Israeli daily newspapers Ha'aretz and The Jerusalem Post.

After the Israel Population and Immigration Authority posted a job ad for new immigration inspectors, Ha'aretz on January 17 led with the headline: "Israel to Pay $9,000 to Any Civilian Willing to Help Deport Asylum Seekers by Force." On January 29, The Jerusalem Post ran a similar headline: "Interior Ministry to Pay Civilians $9,000 Bonus to Deport African Refugees."

In a separate piece, Ha'aretz accused Israel of nothing short of conducting a "racist manhunt."

At issue are the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants (estimates put the number anywhere between 40,000 to 100,000) who came to Israel during the 1990s and early 2000s. Many were smuggled through the Egyptian border before that practice was halted by a new border fence completed in 2012. The status of these immigrants has become yet another battleground between the Israeli left and right. In May 2017, a new law provided the government with more flexibility in deporting these illegal immigrants, most of them from Sudan and Eritrea, to other African countries willing to take them in. That led to a well-organized left-wing campaign that succeeded in painting the government policy as the inhumane deportation of asylum-seekers.

The campaign against this new law has turned so ugly that Israel is now being portrayed as a Nazi-like state, while the immigrants are presented in the image of Anne Frank. This abominable comparison proclaims to the world that Israel is sending asylum-seekers to their certain deaths merely because of the color of their skin. It's an obvious, but very effective lie that literally justifies every expression of hate toward Israel and Jews.

Following a request by CAMERA, both Ha'aretz and The Jerusalem Post corrected their headlines to report that the government is recruiting additional immigration inspectors. Both newspapers, however, insist that Israel will deport not illegal immigrants, but asylum-seekers.

The job ad that enraged the anti-deportation crowd sought to recruit immigration inspectors to "conduct hearings ... and other tasks designed to implement free-will self-deportation." The $9,000 (NIS 30,000) is a bonus for those who complete a two-year contract.

In response to this anti-deportation campaign, Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked wrote on Facebook (November 24) that "the campaign started in the last couple of days is using lies to frustrate the government’s effort to expel illegal immigrants … nothing about it is innocent. There are many provocateurs with lots of money that are creating this fake news. Don’t believe them."

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