Linda Lovitch

Sorry, Not Sorry. Lame-a** Apologies for Antisemitism and Anti-Israel Vitriol

“During that live interview, I misspoke and said that they were killed in a shootout instead of a shooting,” said Christiane Amanpour. “I have written to Rabbi Dee to apologize and make sure that he knows that we apologize for any further pain that may have caused him.”

This is just one of the latest in lame-ass apologies for antisemitism and anti-Israel vitriol by a news reporter, politician, celebrity or institution. This followed a horrific terrorist attack in which Israeli citizens Lucy Dee and her two daughters, Maia and Rina Dee were gunned down execution style by Palestinian terrorists in their car while on their way to vacation in the north of Israel. The daughters died immediately, and Lucy succumbed to her injuries 3 days later. Amidst the pain and mourning, as if losing most of their family in this horrifying attack was not enough, the Dee family was again assaulted by the flippant wording of a very veteran and seasoned journalist. Before mentioning their death in a “shootout”, she also stated in that “Oh the Middle Easterners are at that violence thing again” tone, “We have a young 15-year-old Palestinian boy who’s been shot and killed by security — Israeli security forces. We also have the mother of two sisters, Israeli British sisters. “

Rabbi Dee called her out on the continuing false equivalency – equating the innocent victims of terrorism and the terrorists who target as many innocent civilians as possible.

Luckily, many ran to their side and demanded an apology by the news agency.  Thank you, Honest Reporting, for catching these so-called news agencies in their vicious and relentless anti- Israel bias.

So, now, poor Christiane must apologize and gets on air in the most non-contrite sounding apology I have ever heard. The tone was not unlike her normal “reporting the news” voice.  he may as well have said, “I am being forced to read this apology and this is exactly what they told me to say. I don’t really care or feel any remorse for what I said.” I was looking very hard for some expression on her face that would show some kind of feeling – again – remorse for causing this pain to the Dee family.  Again, nothing — reading the news.

Alan Dershowitz has declared that he will take their case to court and sue CNN.  “This is part of a pattern that CNN and Amanpour have engaged in over a decade or more,” Dershowitz said.

“Amanpour constantly creates a moral equivalence between terrorists, who murder people in cold blood, and innocent victims. This was not a slip of the tongue, not an honest mistake,” he continued.

I am sick of the after-party apologies when people have blatantly said something which is anti-Israel or antisemitic. It usually involves some kind of “Oh, I didn’t realize I was saying something taken straight from the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ or Nazi tropes.”  I am also sick of our excusing them. Surely it was an honest mistake – they can’t know better. But, it seems that only the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel vitriol is excused without any impunity. If any other minority is disrespected or even lied about, they are quick to cancel the perpetrator.

Most of us remember the Whoopi Goldberg debacle. This was a very clear case of “whoops, did I say something offensive?, Sorry, but not really sorry, let me retract the sorry, oh, now that the ADL explained why what I said was horrible, I guess I am really sorry, but let me explain why I shouldn’t be sorry. ”

In her position as one of the guests on “The View”, Goldberg stated, ““Let’s be truthful about it because Holocaust isn’t about race. It’s about man’s inhumanity to man.” Immediately, she was schooled by the American Jewish institutions including the ADL. They explained that Adolf Hitler had referred to Jews as an inferior race. Goldberg then apologized online as well as live on the next day’s show. “My words upset so many people, which was never my intention,” she said. “I understand why now and for that I am deeply, deeply grateful because the information I got was really helpful and helped me understand some different things.” The View suspended her for two weeks —  a fairly contentious move. Okay, apology and some form of taking responsibility. However, she then went on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and doubled down on the original apology. She had admitted that she sees the race issue as different coming from the US experience –  it is all based on color of skin. Colbert then pressed her explaining that the Nazis considered their mission to exterminate the Jewish people as a racial issue.

“This is what’s interesting to me: The Nazis lied,” she said. “They had issues with ethnicity. Most of the Nazis were white people and most of the people they were attacking were white people. So to me, I’m thinking, ‘How can you say it’s about race when you’re fighting each other?’ … Don’t write me anymore, I know how you feel. I’ll take your word for it and never bring it up again.”

Thanks, Whoopi, you’ll take my word for it?! I know that in the US, people insist on finding a category of color for Jews – they’re white, they’re white passing. Of course, again, the Jews who spent centuries in the Middle East or Africa don’t quite fit any white category. I have decided I am not white or white passing; I am simply Jewish.  Start including a box for me to tick in your surveys.

So, basically, everybody shoots off their mouth, spews the vitriol, and only after talking to their Jewish friends (they all seem to have one), do they understand that what they said was offensive and hateful. Oh, and specifically not nice about the Jews.

Now, I take you to one of my favorite, latest lame-ass apologies. On a recent Ryanair flight from Bologna, Italy to Tel Aviv, a flight attendant announced that the plane was approaching Tel Aviv, Palestine. In two languages, no less. And, when confronted with this by Israeli passengers – who live in the recognized State of Israel –  she told the passengers to sit down and threatened to arrest them upon arrival. Guess that’s not much of a threat since they were not landing in the country she cited. Later, Ryanair released their lame-ass apology, “This was an innocent mistake with no intent and was immediately corrected and apologized for by the senior crew member on board.”

Once again, when insulting Jews and Israel – denying its existence– this is simply an “innocent mistake”. Why is that when insulting Jews and denying the existence of the Jewish state, Israel, you can say anything? Why is it that we, the Jewish people, excuse the antisemitism, the anti-Israel vitriol?  “Oh, they just don’t understand.” No, they don’t understand. They don’t understand who we are. Granted, it is confusing that Jews are a people, an ethno-religion, the indigenous people of the land of Israel, people who have been scattered around the globe, who now look like people from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, North America. So, if you don’t know, ask us. If you don’t know – educate yourself. Maybe next time, before shooting off your mouth, think whether your statement is hateful, inciting, dangerous. And, maybe we, the Jewish people, don’t just accept the lame-ass apologies without calling you to task. Thank you, Alan Dershowitz and Rabbi Dee.

My mother, Francine, being the wise woman that she was, told me not to say I am sorry if I don’t really mean it.

Sorry, not sorry. Thanks, no thanks.

About the Author
Linda Lovitch is a media and communications consultant in Israel, working with government spokespersons, ambassadors, high tech executives, start-ups, universities and non-profits. Linda helps people to communicate with clarity and confidence whether talking to live, televised or online audiences.
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