What happens when an anti-Israel activist takes a leap of faith and opens a positive dialogue with a Zionist? Well – here is one story.

Because of the subject matter, this blog has been difficult to put together. In advance I can say I gave serious thought about how to approach it. I also had to consider whether to shield someone’s name from the piece. In the end I understood it would be contentious whichever way I tried to lay out the content. I also realised that because both actors in this play are well-known in their own communities – and everything in the blog was available online – there was little point in trying to hide anyone behind an alias.

The meeting

I was up late Sunday night, searching Facebook for posts about the Al Quds demonstration when I came across one written by a woman, Zina, who had attended the Al Quds march. The post was an image of herself, holding a Palestinian flag, standing with a ‘Zionist’ holding up an Israeli one. The activist had proudly added a caption that began ‘well here it is guys, Israel and Palestine can find peace‘:

Zina with the Zionist

Whatever your political leanings, this is a positive post. It is clear from the image that Zina had met Joseph Cohen from the Israel Advocacy Movement. According to Joseph’s own post on the meeting, Zina’s father was born in Jerusalem and they spoke about peace and the conflict for about forty minutes.

Zina

Outside of direct confrontation, I cannot know if Zena has or has not encountered a proud Jewish Zionist before. The anti-Israel bubble is a strong one. It uses a foundation of historical revision, a reversal of causality and a process of dehumanisation to suggest ‘Zionists’ are not to be approached or trusted. We also know it intimidates and bullies dissenters. Once captured inside the bubble, anything that contradicts the ‘message’ is discarded as ‘Zionist media’ or ‘Zionist propaganda’. It is very rare for someone deeply embedded to actively stretch outside to seek alternative opinion.

Zina is no half-hearted activist. She manages the ‘Palestine Issue Magazine’ on Facebook, which has over 19000 followers. The page regularly uses terms like ‘Apartheid’ and ‘Genocide’, as it pushes an ‘Electronic Intifada’ version of politics and history. Shortly before she had uploaded the positive message about Joseph, Zina had posted a ‘love this’ comment alongside a video of the Neturei Karta burning an Israeli flag. As for antisemitism, her own page is devoid of Mossad or Rothschild conspiracy. Having said that, in her world, Israel is a racist endeavour and the word ‘Zionist’ is clearly a ‘curse word’.

Joseph the Zionist

Anyone who really knows Joseph knows he is a man of peace. Joseph dislikes extremism of any description and everything Joseph does is about building bridges and understanding. Joseph is a communicator and because he often focuses on the Muslim community, he remains a unique and positive force in our community. Yes, the videos of his that go viral are ones that shock, but much of his lesser shared work is about 1:1 discussions, dialogue and debate. Joseph learns and teaches as he goes along.

Like myself Joseph wants a peaceful solution to the conflict. Last year I was alongside him when we visited ‘Shorashim’ (roots), ‘a grassroots movement of understanding, nonviolence, and transformation among Israelis and Palestinians’. We also went to Ramallah, Bethlehem and Rawabi. Both of us are firm believers that dialogue between the two sides is always welcome and a fundamental part of any peace-making process. Joseph knows there is no peace without compromise. He has the patience of a saint and will talk to anyone who is willing to talk to him.

The discussion with the Zionist

From the posts and image we can confidently state the discussion took place after the Al Quds rally and lasted for about forty minutes. This is in keeping with Joseph’s style. He seeks out this type of dialogue with people who attend these events. But we can say more. Zina paints a picture of respectful, but frank and open discussion. She disagreed with Joseph and Joseph disagreed with her. They had dialogue – that’s it. A ‘humanisation’ process in which you listen to the other side and see them outside of the ‘bubble’. The only thing that occurred here is that they spoke to each other as human beings.

The aftermath

Seeing a ‘Zionist’ as anything other than the ‘devil’ is anathema to the anti-Israel movement. Zena had made a mistake, she had painted a ‘Zionist’ as human and then publicly shared this with her friends. In their eyes she may as well have become an IDF soldier. The response to her Facebook post was swift and vicious. One of the first to comment was Kevin Stead:

the rabid ZionistKevin appears to be Scottish. He is telling someone with a father born in Jerusalem not to talk to Zionists. This is the fascinating arrogance of a privileged supremacist. It isn’t surprising that Kevin doesn’t think Zena should engage, he seems to think Israel is the ‘headquarters for the globalist Jewish banking cabal intent on world domination’.

Kevin should be proud. That is exactly what Hitler thought Jews wanted Israel for. Kevin may as well be quoting from Mein Kampf. Not that Kevin believes the Holocaust happened of course:

Spot the difference

I have no intention of going one by one through the comment section, but it was vile. Just a few examples: One of the people who attacked Zina the most was someone who uses an alias on Facebook, ‘Zoe Zeero’.

There isn’t much I need to say about Zoe beyond stating that I know her from my work into the sewer that is Palestine Live. Zoe Zeero is also well-known to the Labour against Antisemitism crowd. In the long exchange with Zoe, Zina put up a fight. Forget that she was still accusing Israel of everything she could throw, but she was adamant that not all Zionists are bad, some ‘want peace’ and so on. Notice how in a comment above Zina had even drawn a clear distinction between the way she had been treated on Joseph’s page and the way she was being handled by her own friends. Zoe was having none of it:

These are the usual ‘put-downs’ and ‘smear by association’ tactics these bullies use. Zeero even mentioned me, then she moved on to Jonathan Hoffman. Someone else, called Jody Smith went as far as telling Zina that Joseph was ‘dangerous’:

Joseph was also called a ‘poisonous, rabid, zionist, fascist, lowlife pos’ and there was a suggestion Joseph could be a ‘child rapist’ because this is what ‘these people’ believe:

Relentless attack

But much of the attack focused on Zina. She was told she was stupid, easily manipulated and what she was saying would ‘disgust’ and ‘shame’ real activists. ‘Brainwashed’ was a word floated around a lot and she was openly ridiculed. Dozens and dozens of posts calling her out. Eventually, battered and bruised, Zina opened another post trying to explain herself – and the attacks continued there. Several of those who were attacking her are known to me through my research into antisemitism. Some of the messages directly contained pure antisemitism – like this ‘star of satanism’ post:

talking to a zionistOthers highlighted how dark the ‘forces of peace’ really are. One mentioned the need to take Israel by force – and then there was this, suggesting the Jews should be expelled as ‘traitor refugees’:

hate zionists

What was visible on Facebook is of course only part of the story. It was clear that Zina was receiving private messages too. Only she knows how many. Her response on Facebook began as defiant, but little by little she was worn down by some of the hundreds of negative responses she received. She deleted the original post and the others where she had stood defiant. There was partial retraction, talk about ‘making mistakes’ and eventually she broke.

Despair and surrender

These are two of her last posts on the subject:

And then this:

 

For those worried about the post above, Zina did go on to clarify it was not a suggestion she was about to commit suicide. And that is it. Zina Abdullatif, a hard-core anti-Israel activist, made a mistake and spoke to a Zionist as if he were human. The bubble of hate she lives inside did the rest.

She spoke to a Jewish Zionist

The truth is that I do not know a single Zionist, that would attack me for opening dialogue with the ‘other side’. Building bridges, having dialogue is a central part of our ideology. If you are telling the truth, if you are on the side of ‘right’, then speaking about it with those who disagree with you is always going to be a basic part of your strategy. The only ones who are afraid of talking are those who have an ideology built on shaky pillars.

Zina’s crime was that she spoke to a Zionist. She didn’t agree with him, she held her ground and did no more than see positive in the dialogue itself. For one brief moment she showed the courage to question and for anti-Israel activism this is an unspeakable crime. Any attempt by ‘our side’ to reach out to her, will be seen as a further attempt to brainwash. The only change can come from within and all dissent is instantly silenced.

How on earth is it possible to build bridges with such a twisted ideology of blind hate? The answer of course is that it isn’t possible. Zina and people like her are locked inside the bubble unable to get out. The mid-way point does not exist. They are caught in a pincer movement between Islamic antisemitism and western antisemitism. You either see Zionists as inhumane or you cannot stand with ‘the cause’. When courage speaks up – it is vilified. This is why even after seventy years there is no peace, nor any sign of it on the horizon.

 

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65 thoughts on “The girl who made the mistake of making friends with a Zionist

  1. I’m confused. The last two of Zina’s posts that you share seem to me to indicate that she’s had enough of her own comrades and their hate, not that she’s capitulated.

    1. inwardly I don’t think she did – and she was clearly frustrated and angry about how her post was received. However her posts have changed tune – she talks about making mistakes and suggests maybe she went to far. There is what she is thinking and what she is saying – the two are not neccessarily the same thing.

  2. Great insight once again David into the hatred and bile against Israel and Jews
    You are a fantastic inspiration to all of us with the dangerous and deep digging you do into the depths of rabid anti -semitism, please keep carrying on carrying our flag of truth.

  3. I feel a lot of empathy for this poor person who has had a cart load of negative Bullshit dropped on her head from a great height. Hopefully she will be able to learn from this experience and eliminate the negatives, highlight the positives build on them, then go forward and carry on discussing with people that she disagrees with in a mutually respectful and peaceful fashion.

      1. I will happily pass you the sick bag Stephen, as long as you promise to put it over your head and tie it tightly, preferably tight enough to be air tight, around your neck.

          1. Stephen in your case, yes it was very nice.

            As is clear to anyone who has read your posts here or on any other websites, or indeed your own risible website BumBitersRuS, you have been brain dead for many years. Therefore an airtight bag over your head would not cause the same damage it would to a sentient human being.

              1. That’s what Sharmuta “Mike Farmer” exclaims while she’s at work.

      2. Stephen – If you cannot make a constructive and sensible comment, please don’t comment at all. Years of your posts have revealed sarcasm, negativity and p.ss-taking. If you had any sense, you would realise your are making your cause worse, not better.

  4. Here is a link to a 30 second Youtube of a newsreel from 1941 documenting a sit-down meeting between Progressive National SOCIALIST SHlTler and his ally, the Grand Pooofti of Jerusalem.

  5. Kevin Stead ShitHead,

    FYI, Tomorrow is the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

    Happy Nakba to YOU and you fellow Fascists! You LOST WW2, you LOST with your Nakba and you’ll lose everything else.

    Choke on your Haggis and stick the business end of your bagpipes up yer azz and walk on all fours through the filthy streets of Glasgow. 🙂

  6. “These are the usual ‘put-downs’ and ‘smear by association’ tactics these bullies use. ”

    But ‘put downs’ and ‘smear by association’ are your own tools, David.

    Look at how you to tried to smear Corbyn by attempting a link between himself and Palestine Live when someone has joined him to the group.

    BTW, did you ever ascertain how many posts Palestine live had over the course of your ‘investigation’ and how many of them were actually ‘antisemitic’. You’re usually thorough in presenting figures.

    Of course people want peace. It’s what state of peace that is key. Total control of unarmed Palestinians would give peace, but not a situation that both would want.

  7. Really funny reading this as a non-jew. It’s like reading something like Alice Through the Looking Glass. Everything is upside down and back to front. It seems as though jews really think so-called “antisemitism” has nothing to do with them. It’s just some sort of irrational emotion expressed by ignorant non-jews for no reason at all. Funny and sad really. It’s a bad word anyway.

    The issue is the behaviour of the jews over the centuries. Ever since Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the temple and called the Sanhedrin vipers for very good reasons the problem has been with us. The jews have been evicted from 109 jurisdictions over the last 2000 years, always for the same reasons, namely illegal activity in the form of usury and other unacceptable business practices. Nothing irrational or illogical about that. Just simple breaking of the laws of the land that would have been applied to anyone.

    The Zionists acknowledged that the jews had been a constant problem in Europe and the establishment of the State of Israel was proposed as a solution. This solution was agreed by all…the British, the Americans, the Germans, and the Zionists. This is why the Zionists gave the infamous IBM punched cards to the Gestapo to make sure every jew in Germany was identified for relocation to Palestine. That’s why they had to go east, to the transit camps in Poland, and not west, which is why both Britain and the US denied entry to fleeing German jews. Everybody was acting at the behest of the Zionists.

    There’s nothing illogical or irrational about sanctions on jews for illegal behaviour.

    1. Chuckie, STILL upset that your side LOST WW2?

      As you might know, tomorrow, June 6, is the 75th anniversary of D-Day – the beginning of the end of your SHlThole known as the Turd Reich.

      Happy Nakba!

      1. The very same SHIThole whose war-criminal rocket scientists were welcomed by America to work on their space program, even having their work records falsified by the US government. Without them the US wouldn’t have succeeded.

        So much for standards.

    2. I love the honesty
      At least this post makes clear that the hatred is directed at Jews, without the pretence of trying to hide the Jew hate behind the fig leaf of anti-Zionism
      If Charles Albans (if that is his real name) wants to hate Jews, thats his right.
      I can deal with open racism and bigotry; it’s not nice, but at least I know what I’m dealing with

      1. “open racism and bigotry” should be recognised as such.

        Imaginings and accusations of “open racism and bigotry” without proof should NOT be dishonestly touted as such.

  8. In your last paragraphs entitled “She spoke to a Jewish Zionist” you seem to switch from antiIsrael to antisemitism.

    Are you labelling antiZionists and antiIsraelists as Antisemitic?

  9. Interesting article David

    Reminds me of my time at SOAS (commonly known as ‘school of Antisemitism’)
    Many would not engage in conversation with me in public for fear of what it would do to their own status on the campus
    Did have some very interesting private conversations.
    Also did get to speak to a lot of Muslim and Palestinian students due to the fact that I studied Islamic Law; it gave them cover and allowed them to claim we were discussing Islam, even if we talked politics.

    Very sad this self censorship and closing down of open conversation; we don’t need an official police state when parts of society are busy creating a self imposed one

  10. You’re having to work quite hard again on this one Michael. 20% of the posts are yours at present and the inverted comma key must be wearing down to nothing.

    The subject matter is problematic for your side as the article indicates and it must be quite hard for you to have any sort of impact when all you have is some name-calling and some of Hooty’s slogans.

    BTW, what did you think of the post from that bloke Charles above? It looked to be right up your street.

    1. p.s. re. Charles’s comment. I have no explanation as to why there is hate against Jews just because they are Jews(the classic and accepted definition).

      I can understand that actions by certain sections or groups can lead to distaste of them, as in Zionist actions, which I see as a form of racist based om my understandinv of Zionism.

      I do actually agree with his last sentence. Seems though that the ‘antisemitism accusation’ weapon has served Israel well recently. This witchhunt bandwagon has much momentum.

      Might the ECHR investigation yet see it as an unfit vehicle?

      1. “..Zionist actions, which I see as a form of racist based om (sic) my understandinv (sic) of Zionism.”

        One can only hope that one day your understanding of Zionism will be a lot better than your understanding of the English language. That would not take a lot.

        1. Also antisemitic to have a typo in a post to a Jew now? Whatever next? Lol.

          1. Not just one or indeed two typo’s Farmer.
            “..Zionist actions, which I see as a form of racist based om (sic) my understandinv (sic) of Zionism.”

            It is garbled rubbish spewed out of a garbled mind.

  11. Really interesting to read all this. It’s like a war. If you have a dialogue with the other side and don’t come out of it with unadulterated hatred, then plenty on your own side will see you as traitorous. Mind, at the moment that’s becoming the same situation with Brexit/remain, ha ha ha.

  12. Perhaps you missed the inverted comma class at your private school, Ian. Flu or something. Pity.

    The subject isn’t particularly problematic for me. I understand that there are many groups that don’t agree with each other on these matters. Witness the many sects of Judaism that exist.

    Don’t you remember David’s attacks and venom directed at other Jewish groups that don’t agree with him? His words suggested that because they didn’t carry his hate and Zionist convictions they weren’t ‘proper'(soz) Jews and therefore their views were not valid.

    1. “Don’t you remember David’s attacks and venom directed at other Jewish groups that don’t agree with him?”

      No Farmer I do not remember.

        1. What I did find interesting about the link you provided was there were a number of posts by a ‘Chris Rogers’ of whom I have no recollection. You might remember that I told Ian on a previous thread I did not know ‘Chris Rogers’, then Ian kindly informed me on who he was. I have to say that Ian’s description of this ‘Chris Rogers’ person is spot on.
          The other item of note from your link are a number of posts by a person who uses the name ‘Davy’. Interesting because they make the same basic errors and factual inaccuracies in their posts as you do. But of course you could not be the same person as you are ‘Mike Farmer’ sometimes ‘Marie Farmer’.
          So unless you all had the same crappy English teacher and the same crappy History teacher, or you are related, or and surely this is not true YOU used to post as ‘Davy’ then ‘Mike Farmer’ and sometimes ‘Marie Farmer’.

          1. Don’t do ‘factual inaccuracies’. Must be things you don’t agree with.

            But as you can see, it’s David attacking Jews. Tut tut.

            1. “Don’t do ‘factual inaccuracies’.”
              That is a lie Farmer.
              You either ignore the truth because it is inconvenient to your twisted anti-Semitic agenda, or you are too stupid to know what the truth is.

              So which is it Farmer are you a deliberate liar or an educationally sub-normal idiot?

              Noted that you do not deny that you used to post under the name ‘Davy’.

              1. Doersn’t matter what I deny. The same accusations from your ilk are legion. The term ‘antisemitic’ is now valueless on this block. Idiot terms terms like ‘rabid’, ‘hatred’. Zionazi’ and others are trotted out without any truth behind them.

                It’s an industry.

                    1. Farmer instead of wasting everyone’s time by posting your usual fact free, anti-Semitic rubbish. Go and watch ‘The Teletubbies’ it will improve your English.

                    2. Now you’re talking, Gerald. Your chance to tell me, using examples, why you have labelled my posts ‘antisemitic’.

                      I’ve asked before but you’ve never actually presented any.

                      Please don’t use David’s idiotic ‘antiZionism is antiSemitism’ equivalence’.

                    3. Farmer you answer ALL the questions I have put to you on various threads over the last few weeks, and then I will think about your request.
                      After all why should I answer, again, the questions of a snivelling anti-Semitic coward such as you Farmer, when you ignore and try to hide to evade answering the various questions I have put to you?

                    4. Farmer I take that ‘reply’ as confirmation that you are still going to try to avoid answering the questions I have already put to you.

                      No surprise.

  13. I’m afraid I’m one of those who stepped down their Israel advocacy work massively because of attacks from certain other Israel advocists. Not because I talked to Palestinian supporters but because I was involved with some groups and people towards the left of the Jewish community. (I’m not talking JVL left but mainstream left)
    I’m not saying this is the same, there were not threats or hatred to the same level, not at all, but there was a lot of unhealthy hatred and animosity and for me when defending Israel is more important than loving your fellow Jew then a line is crossed.
    We are certainly not perfect on this side either.

  14. You’re visibly torn Michael . On the one hand desperately clinging to your activist tactics here, the name calling, the slogans and all the pretence about caring about the Arabs. Then you find something that you’re dying to express a real opinion about but you’re fearful that you’ll leave yourself exposed. I’ve little sympathy I’m afraid. You made your bed and now you’re stuck with the grumley sheets.

      1. I am a doctor, Michael and you’ve just had a freebie. The next one is on the clock.If you’re really interested, there are things we can work on. Send me your contact details and my secretary will make an appointment.

        1. Ian, as Farmer uses multiple personalities, i.e. Mike or Marie or Davy, does that mean that you can charge him three times for the same appointment?

          1. “Walter Mitty lives”

            How very interesting Stephen.
            Are you planning to list everyone who lives on the planet?
            Only it will be a very long and boring thread if you do.
            Rather like a thread on your excruciatingly boring and very amateurish website.

  15. Another fantastic piece, David. And, sadly, I agree with your thoughts in the last paragraph. The only acceptable peace to these twisted people is a peace that emerges after the defeat and then the ethnic cleansing of the Jews.

  16. Her father is from Jerusalem? With the name of Kerr? And speaking about revisionism you are as european as they come – as she is! Only peace you want is every PIECE of Palestine!

  17. Anita Kerr is as Palestinian as you are. Just proves zionists are so easily indoctrinated that they cannot think for themselves! I mean believing you have a right to something because of your persuasion so you uproot the indigenous folk and then claim you want peace! Every PIECE of Palestine is what you are after!

  18. A moving post. Thank you, David, and thank you for all your work on this site (I haven’t commented here before, but I know your site from links at the “Elder of Ziyon”, where I usually hang out).

    I already had the impression that Joseph Cohen was a nice guy, but until now, I thought he was just banging his head on a brick wall. He certainly has infinite patience, and if it works 1-in-a-100 or 1-in-a-1000 times, maybe that’s enough to makes him feel that all the effort is worthwhile. Poor Zina may have caved in for now, but she’ll never regain her old confidence in the lies, and she’ll probably switch sides in the long term. It’s certainly a good deed helping someone out of their dependency on antisemitism, a drug that kills the mind, where heroin only kills the body.

    I probably won’t be much use, but I think I’ll finally get in touch with him (and the IAM), since he’s in my neck of the woods.

  19. The doubling down and proving that anti-Semitism is in fact a mental illness was really unnecessary.

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