Newsweek Says Genocidal Threats Against Israel Are Merely “Protests”

Tom O’Connor of Newsweek wants readers to believe the decades old threat to utterly destroy Israel is really just a form of protest against Israel’s policies.

In “Iran General Says Israel Could Never Win, So Prime Minister Should ‘Practice Swimming’ Instead,” O’Connor reports on the Iranian regime’s latest genocidal threats against the Jewish state. Lest readers start to sympathize with the Israelis, or see this confrontation with moral clarity, a photo caption includes the following:

“Israeli foes, including Palestinians, have previously threatened to drive the country’s inhabitants into the sea in protest of its occupation of Arab territory.”

Upon reading this, I gave O’Connor the benefit of the doubt, since caption writers generally act independent of the reporter. But O’Connor echoes this historical revisionism when, a few paragraphs beneath the photo caption, he writes:

“Israel has also accused Iran of funding Palestinian movements opposed to Israel’s occupation of land internationally recognized as Palestinian. Such groups have at times also threatened to sweep Israel into the sea in protest of this practice.”

In these two short sentences, there’s lots of nonsense. It’s clear that O’Connor is devoted to both rationalizing the uncompromising war against Israel, while at the same time diminishing the true gravity of the threat.

** That Iran funds Hamas is widely documented and accepted as truth, and is not merely an Israeli accusation.

** Hamas isn’t just opposed to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank (presumably the land O’Connor wants readers to believe is “internationally recognized as Palestinian”), but to Israel’s existence in any borders.

** By asserting that Hamas has only “at times” (a meaningless qualifier) threatened to destroy Israel, O’Connor is contriving for readers a nuance about Hamas, which has never waivered from its very loud public stance to destroy the Jewish state.

** Finally, we come to the word “protest,” which generally connotes valiance and morality, a stand against injustice. Here, it’s being used to depict genocidal warfare directed at the six million Jews of Israel, as well as Israeli Christians and Muslims.

For years, “protest” has been the label used by global media to describe violent riots throughout the West Bank, where Palestinians (with children cynically used) sling rocks, burning tires, fire bombs and shoot guns at Israeli soldiers.

Earlier this year, “protest” was the label ubiquitously used to describe Hamas’ operation to tear down Israel’s border fence with Gaza with the goal to slaughter Israelis or get killed trying.

Now, when “protest” is the label used to describe blatant calls for genocide against Israel, not because of its policies but its very existence, there is simply nowhere else left to go. This is rock bottom. Israel’s insatiable and naive critics in the media have now offered an all-encompassing legitimization umbrella, a contrived political cover, for genocide.

The message from Newsweek is that while the genocidal quest of wanting to “drive people into the sea” may sound over the top, the impulse fueling it is alleged to come from a moral place: a protest against violations of international law and consensus. This sanitization of hate, this blatant rewrite of history, is all that’s needed for millions of well meaning people to justify another genocide of millions of Jews.

About the Author
Daniel Brooks is founder and current Vice President of 3GNY, an educational non-profit organization founded by grandchildren of Holocaust survivors whose mission is to educate diverse communities about our family history and lessons of the Holocaust. He has extensive experience as an Israel advocate, having organized pro-Israel demonstrations, spoken on panels, written for the organization Artists4Israel and currently serving as a facilitator with Fuel For Truth's Boot Camp.