Seinfeld, #Israel and the Two-Headed Media.

They say there are two sides to every story, and the same applies to today’s brand of journalism, the editorial news.  The slant of each article depends on the favored agenda.  Perhaps it was always this way, but as a young, idealistic student sitting in journalism class years ago, I actually thought there was a difference between straight news and editorials.  Today, more than ever, political commentary works its way into what we used to think was a simple telling of facts.

But even the facts can be manipulated by the careful selection of what goes in and what’s left out.

Much of the Western media is anti-Israel. Now that is a fact.

Image result for Jerry Seinfeld caricature
Pinterest

Entertainment news perhaps falls into a different category, but it can become political very quickly. This week a story came out about comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his family visiting the West Bank. It’s important to note that the West Bank is otherwise known as Judaea and Samaria, renamed to remove any Jewish connection to the land. Jews are from Judaea. That’s where the name comes from. Judaea—Judah—Jew. It is historically Jewish land, undeniably so.

Putting that aside, Jews living there now are said to be living in so-called settlements. Well, they’re living in neighborhoods on Jewish land, but again, that’s another matter.

The first article I read was entitled, “Jerry Seinfeld slammed for visiting ‘anti-terror fantasy camp’ in West Bank.” Other headlines on the event include:

JERRY SEINFELD ATTACKED ON TWITTER OVER ISRAELI ‘TERROR’ TOURISM CAMP VISIT IN WEST BANK, Newsweek (Notice “Terror” rather than anti-terror.)

Seinfeld under fire over visit to West Bank ‘military camp’, Times of Israel

Disgust Follows Pictures of Seinfeld at ‘Anti-Terror Fantasy Camp’ in Occupied West Bank, Common Dreams

‘Not funny’: Jerry Seinfeld slammed for visit to Israeli-run ‘anti-terror’ camp, Middle East Eye

This one begins:

“American comedian Jerry Seinfeld visited an Israeli ‘counter-terror’ security training academy in the occupied West Bank with his family last week, and Palestinian and human rights activists didn’t find it funny.”

I wonder why counter-terror is in quotes, and human rights activists are against combating terror?  Are they fighting for the human rights of terrorists?  I suppose they hope Jews will not combat terror and will allow themselves to be killed without a fight.

What really happened?

Jerry Seinfeld was in Israel for a comedy show in Tel Aviv, and he extended his visit to include a trip to Caliber 3 in Gush Etzion, not some pop-up settlement but home to around 75,000 people as of 2014.

People like to throw around the word “settlement” knowing it’s a trigger.  However, in a Jerusalem Post article entitled, “The Truth about Gush Etzion,”  Davidi Perel writes:

“Jewish settlement in hills of what is today known as Gush Etzion between Hebron and Jerusalem began with Abraham some 4,000 years ago and has continued since without interruption. Tens of thousands of Jews, if not more, had lived in the area before even one Palestinian ever set foot in Gush Etzion, among them the famous Bar Kokhba who fought the Roman Empire from the city of Beitar. Gush Etzion abounds with archaeological sites which give testament to the rich Jewish life that flourished here for literally thousands of years.

“Thus, any claim that the current Jewish residents of Gush Etzion have seized lands here is false, even defamatory.”

The other triggers that set people off about Seinfeld’s visit were “training camp” and “IDF.” Caliber 3, created by a retired IDF colonel, has courses for tourists, krav maga, survival training and more. According to Yael Gat, spokesperson for the camp,

“In addition to the practical training, we present [participants] with the situations Israeli civilians and the IDF have to face on a daily basis”…

“We explain to them the ideals that are important to maintain while coping with these difficulties. We work hard to give the participants a better understanding of an Israel, in some ways far more realistic than the average tourist.”

Anti-Israel tweeters went crazy, which is no surprise. But journalist Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian posted that the comedian “visited an ‘anti-terror amusement park in occupied Palestine.’”

Image result for jerry seinfeld Caliber 3Amusement park and occupied Palestine?  It’s all in the language.

Others compared the IDF to Hamas, a terror group, appalled that Seinfeld would want to teach his children to “murder Palestinians” and “steal their land.”  Really?  Have people forgotten what the prefix “anti” means?  Anti-terror, counter-terror… Combating terror.

The dueling media reaction should be eye-opening.  While many Israeli news outlets covered the story with fairness, Al Jazeera reported on the photos of Seinfeld

“at a military training camp inside an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank”

posing with children

“carrying what appeared to be assault rifles.”

It gets better.

“So-called anti-terror fantasy camps are commercially-run military schemes run by former members of the Israeli army, which train tourists to fight what they call ‘terrorists.’”

So they aren’t terrorists then?  The Palestinian who this week murdered Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a 35-year-old father of six, was not a terrorist?  The 1334 other victims of Palestinian terror in Israel since September 2000, were not killed by terrorists?

Imagine being condemned for learning to combat terror.  And I wonder if Seinfeld would have caught the same flack had he visited a counter-terror training facility in the United States.

But when it has to do with Jews defending themselves, the antisemitic media attempts to brainwash the masses into supporting terror.  On one hand, they pretend to be against terror whenever there is an attack (documenting tears, flowers, teddy bears); on the other, they condemn an entertainer for learning to fight terror.

What does that mean?  Are they pro-terror?  It would certainly seem that way, at least when the victims are Jews.


D.M. Miller is the author of the interfaith “Heart” series as well as the romantic suspense, Mexican Summer, the poetry collection, Dandelion Fuzz and the memoir, Half-Jew: Searching for Identity. The product of an interfaith marriage herself, Miller’s work explores the difficult themes of religion, politics, ethnicity, culture, family, ancestry and love. See her books on Amazon.

Check Also

Action: Stand with Chile’s Jewish Community.

Written by Dina Siegel Vann. Director, AJC Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs. I …

Love to hear your opinion, however given name & surname are required. Email addresses are not published.