The slandering of Gaza flotilla activist Greta Berlin

A lie of omission is as good a lie as any other. 

It’s amazing how blatantly, how shamelessly a Jewish Agency official named Avi Mayer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Jerusalem Post, Canada’s National Post and I don’t know how many other “pro-Israel” entities have slandered Greta Berlin, a prominent spokeswoman of the Free Gaza Movement, as an advocate of the worst, sickest kind of anti-Semitism. They’ve deliberately left out Berlin’s explanation for a tweet she sent out a few days ago, and without her explanation, one is indeed left to conclude that she’s a crazed Jew-hater. A lot of people, of course, want to believe that about a woman so closely identified with the flotillas that sailed to Gaza, so this story has gone viral.

And it is based on a lie of omission, which is as good a lie as any other. Here’s what happened:

On Sunday, Berlin tweeted the following: “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews.” The tweet linked to a video said to be of a deceased Jew-hater named Eustace Mullins going on about how the Jews plotted with Hitler to kill anti-Zionist Jews, how the “zi” in Nazi stands for “Zionist” – the worst sewage.

Mayer, who reportedly oversees social media for the Jewish Agency, noticed Berlin’s tweet, watched the video and starting tweeting and Facebooking it like crazy. Then the Jewish Telegraphic Agency did a story on Berlin’s tweet that was picked up in Haaretz and God knows where else, the Jerusalem Post did a story on it, the right-wing National Post ran a column on it.

All these stories referred to Berlin’s apology on the Free Gaza Movement website – but only to one part of it: the part where she explains that she didn’t mean for the tweet to go out on the Free Gaza Movement’s Tweeter account, but only to a group of people on her personal Facebook page. Reporting this and only this as her “apology” naturally made Berlin look even more evil.

What Mayer, the JTA, the Jerusalem Post and National Post left out was the other part of Berlin’s explanation that was posted on the Free Gaza Movement’s website: that her tweet was intended for a Facebook discussion among “a group of people who were discussing propaganda and racism, and this link was an example of the terrible propaganda that could be spewed on websites.” 

The news stories also omitted the Free Gaza Movement’s statement that it “condemns” the content of the video, which was titled “Zionists Ran the Holocaust and the Concentration Camps.” (Here is the apology in full.)

So Berlin’s full explanation, which Mayer and the writers of those news stories chose not to report, is that her tweet was not a statement of her views, but a headline for the video she was sending to a discussion group on “propaganda and racism” as an “example of the terrible propaganda that could be spewed on websites.”

In other words, Berlin’s explanation, available for all to see, is that the tweet and video don’t represent her views – they represent views she considers extremely dangerous.

Do you believe her? I do, absolutely. I don’t agree with the overall view of Israel-Palestine held by Berlin and the Free Gaza Movement (although I do support the mission of their flotillas, which is to break the blockade of Gaza) – but to think that she believes in this psychotic, frothing-at-the-mouth garbage about Jews? No, I do not.

But I have to admit – when I first heard about the tweet, and read Avi Mayer’s Facebook entries and the JTA story, I found it unbelievable … yet I believed it, because there it was in black and white, the original tweet plus the video, all written up in the newspapers and websites in stories that purportedly included Berlin’s side of the story.

It was only after I read Berlin’s actual side of the story that I realized that Mayer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, The Jerusalem Post and the National Post were telling good old lies of omission. They’ve slandered Greta Berlin and the Free Gaza Movement, in most if not all cases out of right-wing political motives. (The writer of the Jerusalem Post article, Benjamin Weinthal, is a right-wing propagandist posing as a journalist. He quotes another right-wing propagandist, NGO Monitor’s Gerald Steinberg, saying: “The NGO activists in the so-called ‘Free Gaza’ campaign have always reflected obsessive, irrational and immoral characteristics, and the revelation of links to crude anti-Semitism provides additional evidence.”)

I’d say shame on them all, but like I said, they’re shameless.