Neviim Tovim, blogs by Gillian Gould Lazarus

Jesus in a keffiyeh

Posted on: March 9, 2022

Foreword: 22 May 2022

PAIS is an prolific group now numbering nine thousand members but, as with all Facebook groups, their kernel of activists is probably not more than a hundred. Some of these activists post many times a day. They keep a close eye on PressTV, Quds News Network and Viva Palestina for breaking news stories. The mainstream news also offers continual developments, such as the sad death of Shireen Abu-Akleh, whose photo is now the profile picture of many of the group members. The group consensually favours the extermination of Israel and, in all their posts, they present reasons why they consider this desirable. They are not above contemptuous racist humour directed at Jews whom they consider a plague on the earth.

As I consider PAIS a particularly toxic group, I have often reported them to Facebook. Generally speaking, Facebook finds that the comments do not go against their communty standards but nevertheless, they have sometimes reacted by removing offensive posts, which is one reason among others to keep reporting.

*

The Gaelic word Pais, says Antán Ó Dála, refers to the Passion, that is to say, the suffering, of Jesus on the cross. In Antan’s own words:

‘PÁIS is Gaelic for the Passion, the suffering and persecution of the Palestinian carpenter, Jesus.’

The word is used cleverly as an acronym: Palestinian And Irish Solidarity.

Contributors seldom lose sight of their brief and, whatever problem arises in the wide world, they remember to relate it to Palestine. And Israel.

I have been following this particular Pais group (there are others) for about four months. I never open the page without foreboding and never fail to be shocked by the bigotry, extremism and anti Jewish obsession.

Facebook does not intervene against such groups and applies its censor so haphazardly that I assume some obsolete form of artificial intelligence is in charge.

It seems likely that, psychologically, the members of this group experience a frisson in expressing such extreme opinions, especially when they rejoice in the death of Israelis. Do they have a sense of transgression or a sense of virtue, or perhaps both, in an enjoyable paradox?

I present to you, PAIS (Palestinian and Irish Solidarity).

When Israelis die:

On the Shoah

PAIS news sources

Ukraine

It is not unusual for ‘anti-Zionists’ to profess concern for Jewish people, who, they claim, are made to suffer by Israel and Zionism and by those of us who ‘cry wolf’.

PAIS does not swerve from its anti Israel mission. Occasionally, Facebook deletes posts for false information, but one has to report the post for this to happen. Mostly, reporting has little effect but still, it’s better that some of their comments get reported, even when Facebook does nothing.

לא עליך המלאכה לגמור ואין אתה בן חורין להיבטל ממנה

It is not for you to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it.

Pirkei Avot 2:16

Finally, house rules of the PAIS group. It has been reported many times by many people but they soldier on, with their never-ending Judenhass.

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  • Gillian Gould Lazarus: Similar for me. I left the Lbour Party in 2015, not when corbyn became leader but when he was nominated for the leadership. I didn't think it would ha
  • Garry Maddocks: It makes for sad reading Gillian although you inject a good deal wit in relaying this bizarre production. I had a parting of ways with Labour in 2017
  • Gillian Gould Lazarus: I'm going to contact you via Twitter DM about this.
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