That Moment when I became a Hasbara Troll: A phone conversation with Jewish Voice for Peace


 

If you are like me and you comment a lot – I mean a lot – to refute false claims and narratives that are piled upon Israel – you may have felt the virtual masking tape gag your mouth as I did by Jewish Voice for Peace.

In an effort to increase its membership and its own voice, #JewishVoiceforPeace recently cleansed its Facebook page of any facts that counter their lies.

It wasn’t enough to be called a Hasabra troll, with people spewing lies that I get paid to Stand Up for Israel online.

I don’t.

It wasn’t enough to be called stupid, racist, ignorant, bigotted and a hateful Zionist pig by the self-righteous over at Jewish Voice for Peace

I did.

But about a month ago, JVP completely shut down my account. They blocked me from commenting. From “liking” their page. From sending private messages to their admins. And from what it appears, all the others who tried to refute the lies and anyone else who tried to address false claims of JVP’s posts, their tireless garbage of calling Zionists oppressors and occupiers anyone whose comments did not fall in line with their twisted way of seeing Israel, was also blocked from commenting.

The last post I was ever able to make on JVP’s Facebook page was a post on May 11 where, in a sympathetic nod to the fate of teen terrorist Ahmed Manasra as he faces 20 years in prison. They showed the video of Mansra, 13 at the time, lying bleeding in the street of the  Pisgat Zeev neighborhood while people cursed at him. Jewish Voice for Peace in the post called for the release of the poor Palestinian

What the post failed to do – as do many who tell only half-truths about the Arab/Israeli conflict –  was to pull back the lens.

JVP failed to mention that back in October, this kid, along with his big cousin, went on a Jew hunt, taking knives from their mom’s kitchen to go stab some Jews to bring some dignity to their people.

What the post failed to do was to show the security video of Manasra and his cousin, who was shot dead, running through the streets stabbing Jews, including a 12-year-old boy on his bicycle who lost so much blood he had to be put into a medically induced coma to survive.

So, I posted the video.

Shortly afterward, I was blocked from commenting anywhere ever again on JVP’s Facebook page.

But that’s okay.

I am old. Old enough to remember a time of activism long before the invention of social media.

It’s called phone calls.

I remember as a kid making phone calls to “Let my People Go” to the Soviet Consulate. I remember marching in Soviet Jewry rallies.

Look what we accomplished.

I told you, I’m old.

This week, after watching their Facebook page put up post after post of lies and distortions, I called up their office in Oakland, Calif. at (510) 465–1777

I expressed my dismay and disappointment that JVP has decided to censor all dissenting viewpoints that counter theirs on their Facebook page. I asked the woman why that was and she said they take off comments that are hateful, violent and abusive.

I guess being hateful and violent and abusive against Zionists is perfectly fine.  

All I did was post facts.

Hard Facts.

Facts that do not mesh with the Palestinian narrative. Because a narrative is not history.

Unsafe space facts.

And as I talked, I realized what I wanted to say, and it was not as much as what I wanted to say was what I wanted to ask.

What was the thing that JVP hates most of all?

Zionism.

So I asked: Do you know what the Hebrew word Tziyon means?

She replied: No, I don’t.

It means Zionism. Do you know what Zionism translates into, I am talking about the meaning of the word?

No I really don’t.

And I explained. It means excellence. It means treating others with excellence and living up to standards of excellence. It means that Jewish people have the right to live independently in their ancient homeland.

She then said: We have different interpretations of what it means to live in a homeland.

I then questioned her about JVP’s stance on a two-state solution. She said that JVP does not believe in a two-state solution, that all people should share the land with freedom and dignity and that the apartheid occupation had to end.

I said there is already a two state solution. It is called Jordan.

She said she found that remark very insulting.

I said, you may be insulted but it is a fact.

I questioned her more.

She did not know anything about the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

Or the San Remo Conference of 1920.

She did not know that half of the land of the British Mandate of Palestine that was meant to be set aside for the Jewish state was used  to create the country of Jordan the same year that the State of Israel was created.

She told me that she and I held different interpretations of history.

I’m thinking, this is not an interpretation. These are historical dates. Facts.

It was when I corrected her claims that Israel is an apartheid state and I mentioned that 1.5 Million Muslim Arabs live in Israel with full rights, she said she and I had a different interpretation of rights, and she would need to end this conversation.

And there you have it.

Because JVP does not want to bother with history.

Or Facts.

Or the truth.

But that is where we come in and that is where we, Jews, have gone oh so wrong. If the folks at JVP truly are Jewish, they are the Jews are are the product of a weak Jewish education that dismisses learning history at the price of convenience and reduced hours of instruction.

So, call JVP. If you’ve been blocked. Find a post you strongly disagree with them. And now that they’ve blocked you, just call and tell them what you were going to write.

Just do it with civility. And you had better come knowing your stuff.

Because they certainly don’t.

 

About stacylynngittleman

I have been a public relations professional and reporter -- and always thought I would live in the New York Metro area - before my husband took a job in Rochester, New York. Most in Metro New York can't find Rochester on a map,and neither could I before we moved. I am now a columnist and a freelance writer for Rochester's only daily newspaper, the Democrat & Chronicle. I also am passionate about gardening, fitness and most of all, Jewish education and Israel Advocacy. Here's my perspective on Western New York living - the good, the bad, and the snowy.

11 responses to “That Moment when I became a Hasbara Troll: A phone conversation with Jewish Voice for Peace”

  1. Paulina SWchmer says :

    Brava, Stacey! Thank you for a great writing! I shared it with the other groups site…..

  2. James Dyer says :

    I was put on their hit list at about the same time…I took all the abuse in a good humoured way and continued to counter their posts and comments with the facts….I emailed them to ask what it was that caused such offence, but have not had a reply. JVP is really the voice of all those that hate Israel and support her earliest demise…they are united with the BDS in their final goal.
    Best regards. James Dyer

  3. Stacey Horcher says :

    They could not suck more if they had straws, but I’m not blocked there, would you like me to post this column as a message to them? Show them up?
    I’ve started to think that they are a front for hamas. Sick!

  4. Stacie says :

    Hi Stacy😊I’m Stacie☺️…I’m also a member of JVP & I’m a Christian. I like to imagine us having coffee together, & talking over the very issues you bring up. Hasbara troll conversing with Christian Palestinian troll.
    Ok?
    Both of us passionate about the people we love. You are equally as passionate about Jews as I am Palestinians. My hope while having coffee with you is for our conversation to be a time of *hearing* one another–not of pretend listening–but of true hearing, listening to one another’s concerns, listening to the current stories of each person’s friends & neighbors in the land….never glossing over the truth, sharing the brutal truth…in hopes that both of us other will be joined in unity in our passion for TRUTH.
    For you to hear me you would have to know where I stand with Truth. As I also will need to hear what your definition of Truth is.
    For me, Truth is a person, His name is Christ Jesus (in Hebrew it’s Yahshua).
    He loves little Israeli children just as much as He does little Palestinian children.
    You seem to think that only Jews have history in the land? Am I correct in that understanding? Please correct me if I’m wrong.
    Many Jews have lived in the land since the time before Christ, not as many afterwards due to 70AD–the Roman destruction of Jerusalem.
    The majority of Jews were killed & the rest fled.
    A minority stayed.
    The people remaining in the land were a mix of Jews & Gentiles who had given their lives to Christ, Jews who were not followers of Christ, and Arabs & Romans.
    I’m not here to get into an argument over the *name* of the Land.
    Many will say the land was called Judea…others will say the land was called Palestine.
    It matters not to me what the name of the land is. What matters to me is humanity.
    Those who place their affection on earthy land will never have a heart for Truth.
    Truth has a heart for humanity–truth loves humanity…Truth gave His life for ALL HUMANITY.
    I see Truth as the expression of the Living Torah.
    To be a blessing to all nations, to love the foreigner, to do no harm to your neighbor, to bring rest to all those who are given to your care.
    I ask you this sincere question…Has the State of Israel been a good neighbor?
    What would the indigenous native people living in the land since the time of Christ say? Some of these very people have their lineage from the first converts of Christ, the scripture teaches one of the 1st places the Gospel was preached was in Gaza.
    Do you agree that the majority of Jews living in the land came from the 800,000 European Jewish refugees?
    Can you not see how those with hundreds of years of family lineage IN the land feel–of being forced out of their homeland, watching those from another country come in & say “We’re Home!–we personally haven’t lived here, but our ancestors did 2,000 years ago & we now want your home, your land, your orchards, your olive groves–and we also want you to leave. Buh bye”

    In essence that’s what happened.
    Would you agree?
    I have not mentioned the ugly side–how they fled, –& this part is not easy to talk about but it is the ugly dark truth–of how Zionist militias terrorized mostly unarmed poor villagers…causing these people to flee for their lives, making them refugees within their own country.

    So–fast forward to today.
    What has changed?
    The land of Israel has grown while the internationally recognized land of Palestine (West Bank, East Jerusalen, Gaza) has shrunk.
    The people of Israel have prospered, while the people of Palestine have withered further into poverty and despair.
    The people of Israel can move freely within Israel. The people of Palestine have no freedom of movement within their own territory–from the 96 checkpoints placed by Israel in their own land. From the huge wall surrounding their homes–obscuring their views of the natural landscape, cutting them off from their own farmland & neighbors…making life hell.
    Israeli school children can walk with ease to school. Palestinian children have to run, from the suffocating fumes of tear gas & skunk water sprayed–dodging rubber bullets.
    This is not shot by soldiers at those protesting–no, sadly this is for pure sport, treating Palestinians as subhuman.

    That’s the cold hard truth.

    Brings no joy in speaking it.

    Am I happy for Jews to have a homeland? Yes.
    Am I supportive of it being a *jewish only* state? No. That is called racism.
    There needs to be a state for ALL.
    The wall needs to come down & the checkpoints dismantled. Human rights need to be given for all. Restitution & restoration need to be given to the native indigenous people of the land—Palestinians.
    The culture of racism & elitism must be purged from the mindset of Israeli politics.
    Peace, humility, & reconciliation must take precedence.

    Never again means never again for everyone.

    Thank you for hearing my heart, Stacy.
    I look forward to hearing yours.

    Shalom, Peace, Salaam.
    Stacie😊

    • koufaxmitzvah says :

      Hi Stacie. I did not read your entire post, so forgive me if I completely get your point. I do like coffee, though, and I am (as you say) passionate about Jews in Israel. I also as passionate about Arabs. I’m pretty passionate.

      You mention at the end that Israel is a Jewish only state. It is not. There are Jews, Christians, Arabs, Baha’ii, Bedouin, and I’m sure atheists, Buddhists, Taoists who live as free citizens in Israel.

      That’s not an interpretation. As the post points out, this is a fact. So until you figure this out, and stop making that type of comment, you will be viewed as someone who does not the speak the truth.

      I know that sounds pretty harsh, and yet it’s so simple. Israel is an open society for all types of religions, and you, in your defense of those who trash Israel, openly mock that very important aspect of Israeli society in order to score some points.

      Well, you didn’t score any points. Maybe think about that as you drink your coffee wondering why Jews like me are so passionate about calling the liars like you.

      All the best. And don’t get burned!

    • koufaxmitzvah says :

      I forgot to touch on your point about the Wall. That Wall was put up specifically to stop your friends from blowing up pizzerias and dance clubs and hotel ballrooms hosting Seders.

      I’m sorry you refuse to see any aspect modicum of worth within Israeli society. That doesn’t make you the other side of the peace coin, though. What it makes you is belligerent and pretty pathetic.

      If you want peace with us, then you will need to grasp what we are saying. Because I’m not one to repeat myself. This message you left is full of so many holes and insults that, if peace is really your passion, you’re going to have to re-do for anyone to take you seriously.

      So a quick repeat. Israel is an open society. The wall was built to stop suicide bombers. And you have a problem with us. Great stuff, Stacie. Thank you for literally nothing.

      • Stacie says :

        koufaxmitzvah—wow.
        Ok👍🏼

        I’ll wait for Stacy’s reply (especially since my comment was to her & not you).

        If you want peace (sadly your comment doesn’t look like you do) then you may want to check your tone…& stop projecting your emotions & perceptions onto others.

        No holes…no insults were in my comment…you were offended by the mirror, of looking at the image of what the State of Israel has been doing for 70 years to the Palestinian people.
        Israel is not an open society–go visit the 96 checkpoints within the West Bank, visit East Jerusalem, & ask people there if Israel is an open society??
        If you got touchy with the very little I shared about the truth of what Palestinians are daily suffering –then you will literally not be able to handle the DARK HORRIFIC truth of genocide & ethnic cleansing and untold thousands of other heartbreaking things Israel has done to both Christian & Muslim Palestinians.

        Until you ask yourself “why do Palestinians feel so desperate?” you will never fully get to the answer of why there were suicide bombers over a decade ago.

        You misquoted me by saying “You mention at the end that Israel is a Jewish only state”. No I did not.
        I said, “Am I supportive of it being a *jewish only* state? No.”
        Big difference.

        I am completely aware of all the different religious groups & ethnic groups living within Israel.
        What I was referring to is the widely known declaration by Israeli leaders that Israel’s desire is to be a Jewish only state–as seen when Netanyahu pushed for the Jewish Nation-State bill back in December of 2014.
        The Jewish Nation-State bill would explicitly codify such principles as ensuring a Jewish demographic majority, establishing Hebrew as the only official language (today Arabic is also an official language) and positioning Jewish religious law as a legitimate source of law for the State of Israel. The proposed bill also makes clear that Israel is a state in which only the Jewish people can exercise self-determination. The bill is essentially a legal anchoring of Israel’s historical “Jewish-democratic state” doctrine.

        This is why I said I am not supportive of it *being* a Jewish only state.

        “And you have a problem with us”.
        Really?
        Glad you let me know what my own heart thinks!–how about this, let me answer for me & you answer for you, ok?😉

        I have no problem with peaceful Jews or with peaceful Muslims or with peaceful Christians. What I have a problem with is Governmental policies of racism (policies seen in the Jim Crow era of the South, in South Africa, in Australia, in Saudia Arabia, in Israel etc.)

        I have a great deal of respect for people who can sit down & examine their lives & examine the policies of their country and truthfully admit when there is error, fault, sin, lies, corruption….& work to change those policies to what is right, good, nobel, & just–for all its citizens.

        Let me be real clear! I love Jewish people. I am truly concerned for Jews right now. Why? Because if moderate Jews cannot see what the rest of the world is seeing…of how the occupation is making life a living hell for Palestinians, of Israel continuing to “mow the lawn” year after year, of the indifference, of seeing Israel use collective punishment on innocent people, then it will only cause the world to be inflamed towards innocent Jews, & may very likely cause the destruction of Israel as we know it.

        It is imperative for us all to work towards a *just* peace for all. Not to dig in our heels…but to be willing to listen, be willing to admit when we are wrong, be willing to empathize with the pain & fear of our fellow man.

        This is a start right here.
        Thank you for that.

  5. Herb Glatter says :

    Thank you for fighting the good fight. I too have been blocked by JVP and other vile sites, i view that as a badge of honor. At first, being hopelessly naive i tried what i believe to be “rational” discussions backed up by articles from what i believe to be credible sources – did i change the mind of ONE hater – NOPE. I even created the FB page Mondodreck to satirize the haters on the vile site run by non-Jewish Jews, of course. thanks for all you do, Herb Glatter

  6. Herb Glatter says :

    i too have been blocked by JVP and other vile sites and i view that as a badge of honor. At first, being hopelessly naive, i tried rational discussions backed up by articles or videos from credible sources – did i change the opinion of ONE of the haters? NOPE.I have received death threats that have been reported to the police. Anyhoo, keep up the good fight, Herb Glatter

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