Vivian Wineman castigates the UK Jewish Community and UK Jewish media for supposedly caring more about George Floyd than about Eyad Hallaq, a resident of East Jerusalem who was killed by a policeman in Jerusalem a few days after the Floyd killing.
His thesis is baseless. Here’s why.
First how does he know the extent of concern regarding the two deaths among the 263,346 Jews in the UK? Has he commissioned an opinion poll? To gauge it from relative prominence in the Jewish Chronicle is ludicrous. The Floyd death sparked outrage and protests across the world. The Hallaq death didn’t, for reasons I’ll come onto. Newspaper editors have to choose stories that will sell.
Why didn’t the killing of Hallaq spark protests across the world?
Simply because Jerusalem is a City where members of a minority carry out frequent terrorist attacks on the majority. See for example here, here and here. Whereas Minnesota is NOT such a City. The Police in Minnesota are not called upon 24/7 to defend its citizens from terror. In Jerusalem they are.
Wineman attempts to defend his misguided thesis (that to everyone bar him, ‘Palestinian lives do not matter’) with an anecdote which is risible. He says that after 2014’s Operation Protective Edge the (nameless) Chair of a Jewish Charity emailed his Board lamenting the loss of IDF soldiers, but saying nothing about the ‘more than 2000 Gazans who were killed’.
Maybe that was because:
(i) over half of the 2000 were terrorists from Hamas and other groups (IDF estimate);
(ii) 2000 died but some were not ‘killed’: In a population of approximately 1.8 million, over a 50-day period many would have died of causes unrelated to the fighting;
(iii) Some died when Hamas’s attacks against Israel went wrong;
(iv) Hamas murdered at least twenty-three people in Gaza during this period, and tortured dozens more (Source: Amnesty);
(v) The remaining deaths were the tragic inevitability of defending against an enemy that deliberately carries out attacks from within the civilian population;
(vi) Hamas and its terrorist associates, as the aggressors and the users of human shield, were responsible for the overwhelming majority of deaths in Gaza (Source: the high level international military group that visited Israel in May 2015).
The same applies to the deaths of the Suwarka family. Islamic Jihad and Hamas place their rocket launchers in the heart of the civilian population and deliberately act from within densely populated civilian areas.
The lunacy of Wineman’s article continues. He asks “If Hallaq had been Jewish and acting suspiciously, would the police have simply executed him?” The obvious response is that it is not Jews who have perpetrated the terror outrages in Jerusalem.
Wineman’s virtue-signalling in his final paragraph is obsequiously unctuous.
And why does Wineman choose Eyad Hallaq as his news coverage comparator to George Floyd?
How about Romina Ashrafi? Killed by her father in an Honour Killing in Iran four days before Floyd?
I think I know why. Because Wineman could not use that killing to vilify Israel, could he?
Let’s remember the disasters in Wineman’s Board of Deputies Presidency. The worst was the failure to notify Deputies of his decision to partner with the anti-Israel Charity Oxfam. Then there was the whitewashing of the Muslim Council of Britain, an organisation with which the government had severed relations. The Board issued a joint statement with the MCB which many including the MCB took to say that Israel deliberately targeted civilians. Two former Presidents called on him to resign. And Yachad joined the Board on his Watch. Hardly recommendations for a well-balanced, well-informed article about Israel!
Wineman’s article appears in a publication closely allied to Yachad and Naamod, whose activists said Kaddish for dead Hamas terrorists two years ago. On the basis of this piece I’m surprised he wasn’t there. How many mainstream publications rejected it before he found a buyer, I wonder?
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