Neviim Tovim, blogs by Gillian Gould Lazarus

Archive for June 2021

My attention was drawn by Gnasher Jew, a team of Jewish activists devoted to exposing antisemitism of left and right, to this new Twitter account . The cover picture with its proximity of Israeli and American flags is not unusual, but the avatar belongs very much to historical anti-Jewish imagery, so much so that I suspect even those who praised Mear One’s notorious mural might see that something here is amiss. ‘Entitled Jew’ is an account launched just this month, perhaps even this week, conceivably by someone already experienced in the highways and byways of Twitter.

The tweets of this new account have a humanitarian cast, evidently with a view to pursuing justice for Palestinians, through BDS and the PLO. They quote Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and Israel-critical articles from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. In short, their tweets are acceptable to received ant-Israel opinion among the western left, far right, and progressive centre.

The problems are the avatar, the Twitter handle and the caption, ‘chosen, privileged, entitled’.

The juxtaposition of modern pro Palestinian activism with classical antisemitic tropes has caught my attention time and time again on left wing social media. Reports from Middle East Monitor, Palestine Chronicle, Press TV, Skwawkbox and Electronic Intifada hit the Facebook anti-Israel pages as soon as they are published and the compassionate, predominantly elderly, Anglo-Saxon, Corbyn-worshiping folk of the forums assert their intense detestation of Israel with talk of Jewish organizations ruling British political parties and abrogating democracy. If they can find a Carlos Latuff cartoon, they will post it.

From my Sitz im Leben in North London, accusations need to be researched in order to be refuted and even then, available reportage may not tell the whole story. Although, like Judah Halevi, I am on the edge of the west, far from Medinat Israel, the State of Israel, I am one of עם ישראל, the people of Israel, an identity which is not in competition with my undoubted Britishness but a possible reason why social media tells me I am implicated in conflict in the Holy Land.

I did not like to complain too heartily about the beleaguered, compromised previous Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. I had seen too many cartoons where he was represented as a spider or octopus grasping a globe of the world or a phantom dripping with blood. Perhaps this would have been less offensive if the comments below the cartoons hadn’t spoken of ‘They’.

‘They own the Labour Party now – it’s a Likud franchise.’

‘They haven’t learned from what happened to them. They are worse than the nazis.’

‘They run the BBC.’

‘They have the cheek to complain about antisemitism.’

This ‘They’ the comrades talk about on Corbynist and left wing Facebook forums, does it refer to Mr Netanyahu in a gender neutral sense or does it refer to ‘Zionists’?

There is a popular perception in the Corbynist groups that Zionists are not Jews, and this is not often a reference to Christian Zionism but to the perceived Ashkenazi origins of Israelis, where again they are mistaken as they exclude the entire Mizrahi, Sephardi and Ethiopian population of Israel from their calculations. The conspiratorially minded often explain that Jews are Khazars from Khazaria and therefore not Jewish. This is an error in various ways, including the findings of genetic research, but I am often struck by their extreme distaste for so called ‘Khazars’ which seems to be used synonymously with ‘imposters’ or ‘criminals’.

I report to Facebook and Twitter some of the posts which I consider grossly antisemitic.The reply from Twitter is usually ‘Thank you. This violated our rules against hate speech,’ but the violating account persists in its racist timbre. Facebook tends to reply,’This does not violate our community standards,’ as shown below.

The new ‘Entitled Jew’ account on Twitter with its Stürmer type image will no doubt be reported by many who find it offensive but those who are devoured by opposition to Israel are likely to give it the benefit of the doubt or, worse still, not even experience a moment of doubt with respect to its noxious intent.

  • James Casserly: Unfortunately there seems to be no middle ground, no nuance and even less humanity on Twitter. Like you, there are people I have no time for, some I a
  • keithmarr: G < div dir="ltr">Twitter is such a cesspit you can more or less guarantee any opini
  • Gillian Gould Lazarus: You're Nathan Hull, aren't you, an abusive troll who uses the alias Gerard O'Neill?