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Comment: Over the top - an editorial and the vitriol that followed
By DAVID BRINN
09/01/2014
As misguided or harsh as this week’s editorial on African migrants and NGOs who support their plight may have been, it was child’s play compared to the menacing vitriol directed at the Post’s management and senior staff by supposed advocates of the migrants and NGOs in question.
 
A wonderful thing about The Jerusalem Post is the diverse spectrum of views that can be found in its pages – and among its staff.

That’s why I can say frankly within our pluralistic work environment that I didn’t agree with the paper’s editorial earlier this week on African migrants and NGOs who support their plight.

I thought that the editorial was over the top in its claims that NGOs “have been disseminating misinformation about the migrants in an attempt to advance a post-Zionist political agenda that seeks to transform Israel from a Jewish state to ‘a state for all its citizens.’”

I believe that most of these NGOs are sincerely committed to forwarding humanitarian efforts to provide a safe haven for the migrants who are here, and that it’s Israel’s obligation as a progressive, enlightened country, to open its arms to them – whether you call them refugees or infiltrators.

However, as misguided or harsh as this week’s editorial may have been, it was child’s play compared to the menacing vitriol directed at the Post’s management and senior staff by supposed advocates of the migrants and NGOs in question.

In particular, one Daniel Sieradski – a left-wing blogger critical of Israel who observes from the safety of the US – launched a Twitter campaign against the editorial and the Post, posting items like “If your newspaper burned down & you all got cancer it would be too good for you.”

That missive and similarly abusive diatribes were then retweeted by an organization called Freedom4Refugees and other online activists who apparently think it’s acceptable to wish death upon people they don’t agree with.

There’s a way in a civilized society to rebut and make an opinion known. Unfortunately, when it comes to issues like the African migrants, or negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, it’s perfectly fine to throw human decency aside and resort to verbal abuse, threats and hate speech.

It doesn’t change my feeling that the government’s position on the migrants is flawed, but it does raise some red flags over whether the agenda of some of the migrants’ supporters isn’t also over the top.
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