21 thoughts on “New Luntz Hasbara Handbook: U.S. Tax Dollars Fund Hamas “Terror Tunnels” – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.

  1. Regarding
    “In this mendacious slogan, there’s no acknowledgement that Palestinian rockets didn’t kill any Israeli children and hardly any Israeli adults, while Israeli rockets killed 500 Gazan children.”

    Not a critique of the overall post but one Israeli child was killed and at least one wounded.


    As for reading Luntz it definitely makes one more aware of the tricks used to present the pro-Israeli views.

  2. Actually, “for centuries” the actual, physical home of almost all Jews was not “Jerusalem and the land around it” but the Diaspora, where for much of this period we fared reasonably well and continue to do so now. Yearning for Jerusalem has been inscribed in prayers recited during this period, but until the last century, very few Jews set out to realize the aspirations expressed in these prayers.

    Jews lived in the Diaspora because we were forcibly removed from Israel (long before the Muslim conquest). Richard, why can’t you make your point without minimizing the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and Israel? The traditional Jewish yearning to return to Jerusalem has always been genuine and sincere. The reason that “until the last century, very few Jews set out to realize the aspirations expressed in these prayers” is because most of us couldn’t.

    1. @ djf:

      we were forcibly removed from Israel

      That too is a false statement. Jews lived in exile only in the sense that they chose to leave and move to other countries in the Mediterranean basin like Rome and Alexandria. You must read the post I wrote a year ago or so about the documentary aired on the BBC. It was made by an Israeli documentarian and shows that there was no forced expulsion from Israel by the Romans or anyone else. In fact, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and Jerusalem alone & forbade Jews to live there. But Jews were never expelled from Israel itself & lived there continuously throughout the centuries.

      Also, read The Magnes Zionist’s terrific post on this subject from some years ago. I presume you’ll give credit to an Orthodox Jewish Israeli-American professor of Jewish philosophy who knows Jewish history a tad better than you?

      Again, you’re perpetuating the same lazy view of Jewish history as Luntz and others like him.

      I am certainly NOT minimizing the Jewish connection to Israel (nor Jerusalem). I am only insisting that the portrayal of the issue be historically accurate rather than based on myths conveniently perpetuated by classical Zionism.

      It is also nonsense to say that Jews couldn’t return to Israel. Anyone who wanted to do so could. The reason they didn’t was in large part because they viewed life in Israel as more dangerous and difficult than the places where they lived in Diaspora. And also because they viewed those prayers about return to Zion as aspirational rather than as a religious commandment that must be literally fulfilled.

    2. Jews managed to make it to just about every corner of the world, so “we couldn’t” is just not true. Indeed, Jews seem to have chosen not to live in Palestine, sentiment notwithstanding, compared to other destinations, notably the US. Until the advent of Zionism, no large scale effort was undertaken to “return” to the region and Jerusalem.

  3. It’s so dissapointing that people buy such grotesque propaganda. In Venezuela (and other Latin American countries), even seasoned political analysts recite by heart all those points that Mr. Silverstein debunks. It’s not even possible to give arguments against those lies without being called “stupid”, “antisemite”, “supporter of terrorists”…
    The case of Israel reminds me the case of Cuba: no matter the attrocities commited, those countries find the way to sell their propaganda and make lots of people swallow their cynical excuses.

  4. Just out of curiosity, I bothered Googling the image of the Palestinian woman crying. As far as I could see, her son is alive and well, serving his time in prison where he was sentenced for arms smuggling (unless he was already released in exchange for Shalit).
    It’s not the first time you post unrelated pictures with inflammatory captions (last time I think it was a picture of a Syrian mosque you claimed Israel bombed in Gaza), I find it a little ironic that you constantly blame Israel for propaganda, while exercising it quite masterfully yourself.

        1. If the caption was a mistake is irrelevant. I have seen similar attempts to minimize war crimes: “no, they are not Jews, in this photo, they are gipsys”. “The people there are not waiting for execution, only for deportation”.(No matter for many the result is the same: death).
          Actually, those mistakes are due to the horrible extent of crimes. Were only a few cases, there would be easy to indentify them.

          1. Your argument is ridiculous, but since you bring that up – the extent of lies and propaganda from the Palestinian side is also huge, we’ve seen pictures circulating that were Photoshopped, taken in Syria or Libya, ripped out of horror movies, or prepared and directed by Palestinian media – the propaganda machine clearly works both ways. It’s therefore a basic precaution to check whatever you see instead of accepting it at face value.
            I believe this blog advocates getting the facts straight – arguing that it suddenly doesn’t matter just because you believe in some subjective narrative completely drops the ground below any claim you make.

          2. @Leeor: Spare me the self-righteousness. Israel’s lies dwarf those of the other side. Israel lies about things as basic as the Nakba, and other terror attacks its waged on Palestinians. I’m not talking about photoshop, I’m talking about denying basic historical facts that involve the death & ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands.

            Give it a rest.

        2. At this point there are so many thousands of bereaved Palestinian mothers, who are relatively unconcerned about their headgear, it’s quite difficult to understand why an issue is being made of the fact that the son in question here was only imprisoned and not yet dead…

  5. “David Ben Gurion used violence to put down a threat to the military supermacy of the Palmach in the Alta Lena affair, which killed many Lehi fighters.”
    The ‘fighters’ were from the Irgun.

  6. That was a comprehensive demolition job, Richard. And now I hope that that soft soap seller, and some of his target audience, will get to read it.

    As to the “yearning for Jerusalem” and its expression in Zionism that was, indeed, originally mainly an affair of East European Jews. Stefan Zweig’s memoir (“Die Welt von Gestern” – “The World of Yesterday”) testifies, for example, to the amused contempt with which the cultured Viennese Jewish bourgeoisie regarded the early propagandists for the Zionist Ideal.

    With Edwin Montagu, the only Jewish member of the British cabinet that issued the Balfour Declaration, it was not just a matter of contempt but of downright hostility. He also regarded that declaration as an anti-semitic document, perhaps not in its motivation but certainly in its effect. It basically said :”you don’t belong here”.

    But there were of course West European Jews who answered that siren voice. One of them was the Dutch poet and legal scholar Jacob Israel de Haan. For those who don’t know him: De Haan was originally active on behalf of Czarist prisoners, who had to survive in often atrocious circumstances. Amnesty International has recognised him as precursor for that activity. After the First World War he moved to Israel where he became a follower of Rabbi Yossel Chaim Sonnenfeld and an international spokesman for the Haredim. He tried to come to an understanding with Palestinian leaders there. For these “anti-Zionist” activities he was assassinated by the Haganah on the orders of Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, who later became the second President of Israel.

    But the aspect of his life I want to bring out here is the deep ambiguity with which he regarded life in Jerusalem and his longing for Amsterdam. He has expressed that in many quatrains. I have translated here a few of them:

    Laatste Sabbath (Amsterdam)

    De laatste dag. Langs uwe grachten,
    Mijn schone stad, ga ik aanbiddend voort.
    Nooit en nergens vergeet ik uwe prachten.
    Maar ik heb de stem van Jeruzalem gehoord.

    Last Sabbath (Amsterdam)

    The last day. I go adoringly
    Along your canals, my lovely city,
    Your beauty will remain with me
    But I have heard Jerusalem’s voice

    De taal

    Het meest verlang ik weer de taal te horen,
    De taal van Holland, altijd om mij heen.
    Hier leef ik, half verheugd en half verloren.
    De taal van mijne liedren spreekt niet één.

    The language

    What I want most is to hear again the language
    the language of Holland, everywhere around me
    I am living here, half lost and half enchanted
    And no one speaks the language of my songs


    Ach: alles wat ik nog verlang,
    Is moe van drift en moe van drang,
    Moede van winst en moe van derven
    In Holland leven in Holland sterven


    Oh all what is left of longing now
    is to be bereft of passion and of cravings
    tired of loss and tired of gain
    to live in Holland and to die in Holland


    Jeruzalem: moet ik u dan verlaten,
    Gij, die de pracht waart van het Joodse Lied.
    Ik dwaalde doelloos door uw dorre straten
    En vond uw vroomheid niet.


    Jerusalem: do I have to leave you then
    You treasure of the Jewish song
    Through barren streets I wandered aimlessly
    And found nowhere your piety


    Die te Amsterdam vaak zei: “Jeruzalem”
    En naar Jeruzalem gedreven kwam,
    Hij zegt met een mijmrende stem:
    “Amsterdam. Amsterdam.”


    Who in Amsterdam oft said “Jerusalem”
    And to Jerusalem was driven
    Says musing there in reverie
    “Amsterdam, Amsterdam”

    1. Montague, the ‘Vienna Jewish bourgeoise’, de Haan; all were ‘haves’, whose lives were a safe distance from the Jewish ‘have nots’, who faced pogroms, dhimmitude, social ostracism, and persecution far from the coffee shops of Vienna or the House of Lords.

      1. @ Black Canary: That’s nonsense. You think living in Jerusalem in 1920 put deHaan amidst the “haves?” Do you know what life was like in Palestine in that era? In fact, de Haan made an alliance with the Haredi Jews of that era, also not among the “haves.”

        If you use an Islamophobic term again you’ll be banned since you’re already moderated.

        1. Black Canary you are wrong about De Haan but right in suggesting that the experience of many East European Jews was, by and large, quite different from those in the West. That is why i claimed that Zionism was originally mainly an affair of the former.

  7. I like your posts about Hasbra propaganda, sadly, too many people just don’t get it — that Hasbara even exists, so I applaud your tireless work in shedding light on this sinister topic.
    It’s like Dr. Phil says, [don’t like his show, however, he does have some good one liners], “You either get it or you don’t.”
    However, how are folks going to “get it”, unless people like you expose Hasbara.

  8. If money is pumped into this project I think it may actually work. Just as kiruv works… The general tone of argument, the distortions and general misrepresentations are all quite similar.

  9. That was informative and interesting, as I am just getting into Zionist history.

    What amazes me is the blatant Hasbara trolling effort on youtube, which is what brought me here. It is always some person named Bob Mills or something with a very passive profile picture who just so happens to be a total Israeli apologist and spits fire at the Palestinians for exactly what you described. This is obviously a massive propaganda effort. What’s scary is the ideology of “God’s chosen people” behind it, similar to “Master Race” ideology of the Nazis. When they do wipe out Palestine, I don’t think they will stop their expansion. There is too much propagated Jewish sympathy in the media, and I fear the greater majority has succumb to it, creating an army of apologists ready to stand up for them. I think this is what Kennedy was talking about in his speech on secrecey. Any thoughts?

Leave a Reply

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

Share via
Copy link