Does the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) promote hatred of Israelis and Israel?
Such is the accusation of a small group of angry people, whose ire was aroused by a report a while back detailing a reprehensible act alleged to have been committed by someone in Hebron.
Better questions would be: Do some people overreact? Are there people on all sides who commit stupid or insane acts?
Of course they do, and of course there are. And our side should be man enough to admit it.
We aren't the other side, which glosses over its massacres and crimes against humanity as if these were excusable in light of the paucity of their means and the desperation of their members.
Nor do we excuse the idiots who "mean well".
Do some activists do or say things which defy common sense?
Let me quote from JTA:
Recently, however, a group of critics launched a letter-writing campaign accusing JTA of "cultivating hatred of Israel and Israelis," urging supporters to send us this form letter. As far as I can tell, most of the complaints center on one allegation: that acid has been thrown at Israeli forces. Here's how we reported it:
Over the last year and a half, radical settlers seem to have upped the ante. They have defaced Muslim tombstones, set fire to Palestinian olive groves, assaulted Palestinians, slashed tires of IDF vehicles and thrown acid at Israeli soldiers.
The incident in question took place on Dec. 4, 2008, as Israeli forces conducted a surprise evacuation of Jewish families from a disputed four-story building in Hebron. According to several news sources (Ynet, Fox News, Ha'aretz, The Jerusalem Post) an Israeli police officer was injured by acid thrown into his eyes by some of those trying to stop the evacuation. The police told us as much almost immediately after the fact.
We could have also mentioned that some settlers had been warning that any attempt to evacuate the building, dubbed Peace House by Jewish supporters, would be met with violence. In a successful effort to minimize the threat, Israeli border police moved in during the day. According to The Jerusalem Post, authorities discovered stockpiles of homemade weapons. After the operation, angry settlers reportedly rampaged through Hebron, attacking Palestinians (including two who were shot outside of their home) and burning Palestinian olive trees.
When we started hearing from some who questioned the acid report, we went back to the police who said that they stood by their version of events. Of course, I guess it's possible that the Israeli police made up the acid story (and planted the piles of weapons), in an elaborate frame job aimed at making settlers look bad -- and news outlets of various political stripes fell for it. But we see no evidence of this. Regardless, the acid-throwing incident was the only part of our report our critics questioned; they did not dispute that some radical settlers had vandalized Israeli military equipment, vandalized Palestinian property, defaced Muslim graves and attacked Palestinian civilians.
We stand by our stories.
Rabbosai, you know the JTA is a valuable resource, both in the function of honest reporter, and as a disseminator of worthwhile information for everyone who is concerned about matters Jewish, Israeli, or Zionist.
You do not want them to merely propagandize. You want truthful reporting, solid information.
The JTA does a good job of giving you both.
We've already seen the crappy "hasbara", and saccharine puff pieces that a foolish minority insist on circulating ad nauseum - these do our side no good.
Articles laden with spelling errors and factual inaccuracies merely help the other side and harm ours.
Ridiculous conspiracy theories? We would far rather the pro-Pallies and Eury far-left make themselves look stupid by propounding those.
Save for the manifestations of crackpotism that a few of you originate, the other side would look entirely moronic by now.
Throwing verbal acid at our own is no less heinous than abusing police officers, military equipment, property, graves, or civilians.
If you do NOT like what the JTA does, please start your own damn' group.
Just be aware that you will have to do a better job than the JTA.
Might be hard ....... Our side sets the bar higher than most of the world.
Oh, and don't forget to use spellcheck.