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If Telling the Truth is Anti-Semitic, We Have a Problem

SNL Michael Che

Michael Che said “Israel is reporting that they have vaccinated half of their population, and I’m gonna guess it’s the Jewish half” on the “Weekend Update” segment of February 20, 2021 Saturday Night Live.

What often makes the “Weekend Update” segment funny, is how Michael Che and Colin Jost share an element of truth about what is happening in the news.

Numerous organizations and individuals have accused Che’s statement as being anti-Semitic including the ADL’s CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt: “Saturday’s deeply offensive joke about Israel’s COVID-19 vaccination process not only missed the mark, but crossed the line — basing the premise of the joke on factual inaccuracies and playing into an antisemitic trope in the process.”1

The problem is that Che is telling the truth. Half of the people under Israeli control are not Jewish. Most of them are even denied citizenship. 70 percent of the people in Gaza are refugees; their homes are in Israel yet they are denied their Right of Return, a right that all people have according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Fourth Geneva Convention. And, as Che points out, they are not getting the vaccine—Israel has only allowed two thousand vaccines to enter Gaza for a population of two million.

The problem is that the ADL and other Jewish organizations are defending the state of Israel, a state that has numerous UN resolutions condemning it for its human rights violations. These Israel-loyal organizations claim to be offended and concerned about discrimination when they stand by and support a country that defeated a proposed law to treat all its citizens equally, a country that has occupied a population for over fifty years and blockaded a mostly child population (over 50 percent of the population of Gaza are under the age of eighteen) for over a decade.

The ADL and other organizations claim to be against bullying and to be against discrimination but they did not seem to be concerned about the joke that immediately preceded the one about the state of Israel: a joke about the Catholic church changing its policy about wiping ashes from foreheads on Ash Wednesday; Colin Jost said “I think no touching could just be a great new rule in general.”

If anyone is creating ill-will towards Jews, it is not Michael Che, it is those who claim that Israel represents Jewish values.

It’s also interesting to note how Americans are given a much more one-sided view of the response to Michael Che’s comments.  The Insider published multiple versions of an article by Rachel E. Greenspan.  In the Australian version of the Business Insider entitled “Why Michael Che’s ‘SNL’ joke about Israeli vaccinations sparked a debate about anti-Semitism,” the article quotes a tweet from Jewish Voice for Peace saying, “They say there’s a grain of truth to every joke, but this SNL one has 5 million,” referring to the 5 million Palestinians under Israeli occupation, not counted in Israeli vaccination numbers.  The article mentions a couple of other Jews who stated that the comment was not anti-Semitic.  The American version of the article was entitled “A top Jewish organization slammed Michael Che’s controversial joke about Israeli vaccinations on ‘SNL’ and reached out to Lorne Michaels,” did not include the quote from JVP, and only mentioned one person who disagreed with the anti-Semitism accusation.  This single case was mentioned in the last paragraph of the article.2

Read the opinion piece in Haaretz by Joshua Shanes, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at the College of Charleston and Director of its Arnold Center for Israel Studies. It is entitled: “No, ‘Saturday Night Live’ Isn’t Inciting the Mass Murder of Jews

  1. https://www.businessinsider.com.au/michael-che-snl-israel-vaccination-joke-sparks-anti-semitism-debate-2021-2
  2. https://www.insider.com/michael-che-israel-jewish-joke-backlash-adl-snl-weekend-update-2021-2

Associate Professor Haidar Eid on December 27, 2020

Associate professor Haidar Eid in Gaza commemorates December 27, 2008 when Israel attacked the civilian population it is supposed to defend. During this massacre Israeli forces killed approximately 1400 Palestinians in contrast to 13 Israeli casualties. Dr. Eid reminds people of conscience across the world that we all have to defend human rights because our governments do not. Palestine is the perfect example of this relinquishment of responsibility—refugees have been prevented from returning for over seventy years and the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza continue after more than fifty years. He calls on all to support activism such as BDS and the Freedom Flotilla to bring freedom to Palestinians.

Stay Engaged With Gaza

 

Thanks to all who participated in our online auction! It was our first foray into that method of fundraising. We did well and learned a lot.

While we continue planning for an international flotilla to sail to Gaza in 2021, we are finding new ways to engage in solidarity with the people of Palestine.
After months of very few new cases Gaza is currently experiencing community spread of COVID-19.
  Rebuilding  Alliance and Middle East Children’s Alliance are two organizations that are providing needed help to the people of Gaza.

 

Another way to support the Palestinians of Gaza is to make a virtual

visit to a refugee camp in Gaza. Proceeds from tickets

are shared by Eyewitness Palestine and We Are Not Numbers 

 

 

Worsening the situation in Gaza have been the massive cuts by our government to the funding of UNWRA which provides education, health, women’s centers, microfinance and more. We encourage the incoming administration to restore funding to UNWRA and other U.N. agencies.
 

 

In this webinar on December 4, speakers will explore how we can support local and national movements in overcoming racism and political repression to achieve basic human rights for all. The panel will include a Kingston, NY BLM activist (Anne Ames), the editor of mondoweiss.net (Philip Weiss), and a radical feminist, revolutionary member of Black Alliance for Peace (Asantewaa Nkrumah-Ture).

 

 

November 29 is International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. As a show of support, we ask that you join us in sending a photo of yourself wearing a keffiyeh or T-shirt or holding a Palestinian flag to twitter #palestinesolidarityday on Sunday, November 29.

 

 

 

Please continue to visit our website at usboatstogaza.org for updates, and webinars, and to make further donations.

 

 

Thank you for your continued support in helping to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

 

We sail until Palestine is free.

In Solidarity,
U.S. Boats to Gaza Team

 

* * *
We welcome you to join the campaign to break the painful, damaging, illegal blockade of 1.8 million Palestinians in the open-air prison that is Gaza.  Be a part of the journey. Contribute today! 

 

 

or make out checks to our fiscal sponsor, Nonviolence International, and put

Boats to Gaza on the subject line.

Mail checks to:
Boats to Gaza
c/o Nonviolence International
4000 Albemarle Street, NW, Suite 401
Washington, DC 20016

 

Follow our campaigns:
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla
Instagram: gazafreedomflotilla

 

 

 

 

 

Webinars on Palestine

Following are webinars on a variety of topics on Palestine:

2020 Gaza Webinars

Following are some recent webinars with guests from Gaza and about Gaza.

May Webinars and Film Showings




                      

May 31, 2020, is the 10th anniversary of the deadly Israel military attack on six civilian boats that were sailing to bring international attention to the plight of the 2 million Palestinians living under Israel’s brutal and illegal land, sea, and air blockade of Gaza. Israeli commandos murdered ten and wounded 50 unarmed civilians on the Mavi Marmara and beat up passengers on the other five boats.

 

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is marking the anniversary with a series of webinars to commemorate those killed on the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla and the thousands of Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel that have been killed by the Israeli military and the inhumane policies of the Israeli government.  

 
For previous Freedom Flotilla webinars this year, see https://freedomflotilla.org/flotilla-informational-events/.

 
UPCOMING EVENTS

 

May 23
 
Award-winning film The Truth: Lost at Sea, followed by a discussion with filmmaker and Mavi Marmara survivor Rifat Audeh and other Freedom Flotilla participants. Hosted by Canadian Boat to Gaza

 
In 2010, the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, a convoy of six boats carrying humanitarian aid, attempted to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza. After refusing Israel’s demand to turn away, the flotilla continued on course through international waters, and the Israeli Occupation Forces launched a night-raid attacking the boats. 
 
On one boat, the Mavi Marmara, the Israeli ‘soldiers’ shot and killed nine human rights activists and a tenth later died of his injuries. The film details what happened that night, unravelling how the story was spun by the media.
 

Please join us for a Webinar on Saturday, May 23 for a screening of award-winning documentary “The Truth: Lost at Sea” followed by a discussion with film-maker and Mavi Marmara survivor Rifat Audeh and others from the 2010 Flotilla, including Kevin Neish and Ann Wright.

10 am PDT West Coast North America * 12 noon Central * 1 pm EDT * 6 pm British Summer Time * 7 pm Central Europe * 8 pm Palestine
 
 
May 28 
 
Legal actions against Israel originating from the Gaza Freedom Flotillas. Hosted by South Africa’s Palestine Solidarity Alliance.  National & International Legal actions against the Israeli occupation, from the Gaza Freedom Flotillas to Annexation.” 19:30 SAST (South African Standard Time and CEST), 18:30 UK; 13:30 EDT; 12:30 CDT, 10:30 PDT. 
 
May 30
         

10th anniversary of Israeli Attack on the Mavi Marmara and the Freedom Flotilla in 2010.

 

Discussion with filmmaker Iara Lee, shipmates, and author Dr. Norman Finkelstein.
 
10 am PDT in West Coast North America * 12 noon Central * 1 pm EDT * 6 pm British Summer Time * 7 pm Central Europe * 8 pm P alestine
 
 
 

May 30

 

Event hosted by 48 Palestine  
From two locations. 4 pm-6 pm, Palestine Jointly organized by Palestinian and Jewish activists, this event means to commemorate together with the Freedom Flotilla Coalition a decade since the lethal attack on the first Flotilla and to call for the immediate and complete lifting of the illegal blockade of Gaza.  On our minds are all Palestinian refugees around the world, those in the West Bank, living under military occupation and the threat of annexation and of course those in the blockaded Strip.
The International Flotilla Coalition is planning another flotilla that will focus attention on a significant portion of the Palestinian population under Israeli occupation: young people and children who are half of Gaza’s population. This flotilla was scheduled to take place in May, but due to the Corona crisis and traffic restrictions imposed on large parts of the world, this plan has been postponed at this stage.
Therefore our event will include two memorial gatherings streamed live from Acre and Jaffa as well as a webinar all between 4PM and 6PM on Saturday May 30.
 
MK Aida Touma Suleiman will speak at the Acre gathering
MK Sami Abu Shehadaeh will speak at the Jaffa gathering
Past participants on boats challenging the blockade will share their experience: Amira Hass, Sheik Hamed Abu Daabas, Rami Elhanan and Jeff Halper.

We will also here from Marwan Mahmoud, a Palestinian from Gaza. 

The event will include poetry, music and singing contributed by the following artists: Dareen Tatour, Dror Feiler, Zeev Tene, Meira Asher, Tal Nitzan and Shmulik Tzur.

Especially now that the global corona crisis is making us aware on the one hand, of our interdependence and on the other, of the threat posed on the weakest populations in general and those under blockade in Gaza in particular- It is time for the international community to demand the lifting of the blockade off the Gaza Strip. The Freedom Flotilla will continue to sail, and other solidarity actions will perssist until Palestinian rights to freedom and life with dignity are respected!

 
May 31
 
Events in Istanbul, Turkey, to commemorate the 10 deaths by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara ship hosted by Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH). Read and share more background information on the Mavi Marmara from IHH. 

Events in Istanbul, Turkey to commemorate the 10 deaths by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara ship hosted by Humanitarian Relief Foundation IHH. Read and share  more background information on the Mavi Marmara from IHH. 
  A detailed listing of times and dates will be on the IHH website after Ramadan and we will be notifying you as dates are established: https://www.ihh.org.tr/en 
  • Online Concert by singers who wrote songs after their experience on the Mavi Marmara. 
  • Online Conference with Speakers focusing on the Humanitarian Situation in Gaza, Freedom Flotilla, legal processes. The conference will be in Turkish.
  • Freedom Flotilla Archive- special website which will  contain data about the Freedom Flotilla such as, reports, articles, photos, videos, legal cases.
  • Mavi Marmara show on sand art done by IHH youth online
     
  • Mavi Marmara 3D Virtual Visit
  • The Special Program on Mavi Marmara will be on Sunday, May 31st. 

 

May 31 
 
Award-winning film The Truth: Lost at Sea followed by a discussion with film-maker and Mavi Marmara survivor Rifat Audeh and other Freedom Flotilla participants (see description above).

Screening with discussion for Pacific partners and allies 

16h AEST (NSW/Vic) * 18h NZST (Aotearoa) * 9h Palestine * May 30 at 11 pm PDT West Coast North America).  
 

May 31
Evening Concert in Norway hosted by  Ship to Gaza Norway. 

May 31 
Event in Sweden. Hosted by Ship to Gaza Sweden.
 
* * *

 

Support the Flotilla to Break the Blockade
For the Children of Gaza 
 

International solidarity activists have sailed 18 voyages with over 30 boats to break the illegal Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. The next flotilla, coordinated by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 health pandemic.
 
It is more important than ever to support efforts to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza. Please give generously to the 2020 Freedom Flotilla Coalition so that we can send a boat to Gaza and let the 2 million imprisoned Palestinians there know that the world has not forgotten them.

 

Send a message of hope and solidarity to the people of Gaza

 

It is 5,900 miles between Washington, DC and Gaza. Every $5 will bring us one mile closer to reaching the families in Gaza. Be a part of the journey. Contribute today!  
 

You can donate online or make out checks to our fiscal sponsor, Nonviolence International, and put 2020 Boats to Gaza on the subject line.  

 
Mail checks to: 
2020 Boats to Gaza
c/o Nonviolence International 
4000 Albemarle Street, NW, Suite 401 
Washington, DC 20016

 

Follow our campaigns: 
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla
Instagram: gazafreedomflotilla
 


10 Year Anniversary of the Mavi Marmara Attack

Webinars commemorating the 10 year anniversary of the Israeli Attack on the Mavi Marmara/Gaza Freedom Flotilla

May 30: Webinar with Cultures of Resistance Films direcEnd Gaza Blockade bannertor Iara Lee, internationally renowned author Norman Finkelstein and ship survivors. The event can be watched here.

May 30: Held in the Palestinian ports of Acre and Jaffa with on line panelists who sailed in the past to challenge the blockade as well as various artists and a Palestinian from Gaza, this event in 1948 Palestine commemorated the 10th anniversary of the attack on the Freedom Flotilla and called for the lifting of the blockade on Gaza. Watch on Facebook

May 28: A distinguished panel of international lawyers discuss national and international legal actions against the Israeli occupation, from the Gaza Freedom Flotillas to Annexation, poster for PSA legal webinarhosted by South Africa’s Palestine Solidarity Alliance.

May 23: Award-winning film The Truth: Lost at Sea, followed by a discussion with film-maker and Mavi Marmara survivor Rifat Audeh and other Freedom Flotilla participants. Hosted by Canadian Boat to Gaza.

 

Other international Freedom Flotilla Coalition member events can be found at: https://freedomflotilla.org/flotilla-informational-events/

 

COVID-19 IN PALESTINE: Please consider donating to one of the urgent response appeals for healthcare in Palestine, either through UNRWA: https://donate.unrwa.org/covid-19/~my-donation, or through Medical Aid to Palestinians https://www.map.org.uk/donate/donation-details/224, or the Middle East Children’s Alliance: https://www.mecaforpeace.org/

Free Gaza Webinar




                      

In May 2020 the Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition is sponsoring a series of webinars to commemorate those killed on the 2010 Gaza Freedom flotilla and the thousands of Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel that have been killed by the Israeli military and the inhumane policies of the Israeli government.
 
May 31, 2020, is the 10th anniversary of the deadly Israel military attack on six civilian boats that were sailing to bring international attention to the plight of the 2 million Palestinians living under a brutal Israeli blockade of Gaza.  Israeli commandos murdered 10 and wounded 50 unarmed civilians on the Mavi Marmara ship and beat up passengers on the other five boats. 
 

                The idea of sailing to break the Israeli naval 

blockade began in 2008 with the  Free Gaza Movement.   Their story tells of the challenge and the success of getting boats into Gaza, the first in 41 years to arrive in the Gaza City port.







Over the past 12 years, international solidarity activists have made 18 voyages with over 30 boats sailing to break the illegal Israeli naval blockade of Gaza.
 
Join us for a series of webinars sponsored by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition to commemorate these efforts to support the people of Gaza. 
 
The series begins on Saturday, May 9, at 10 am U.S. Pacific time, 12 pm U.S. Central, 1 pm U.S. Eastern, 6 pm England, 7 pm France, and 8 pm Greece/Gaza, with presentations from the founding members of the Free Gaza Movement, Greta Berlin, Paul Larudee, Mary Hughes-Thompson, Vangelis Pissias, and Musheir El Farra, about the challenges of fundraising and organizing the first two boats to reach the shores of Gaza and photos of the outpouring of goodwill as the boats arrived in Gaza in 2008.  We will also show the trailer for Rock the Boat, a new movie by Kathy Sheetz about the 2008 flotilla.
 
The Free Gaza Movement organized five voyages to Gaza in 2008 and two voyages in 2009.
 
This screening is presented by Freedom Flotilla Coalition and the Free Gaza Movement and co-hosted by US Boats to Gaza, and Canadian Boat to Gaza
 

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to view a film, interact with the filmmaker and more! Please register in advance by clicking hereYou will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the screening and webinar.  

  
We will alert you to other Gaza Freedom Flotilla webinars in May:
 
  • May 28
    Legal actions against Israel originating from the Gaza Flotillas hosted by South Africa’s Palestine Solidarity committee 
  • May 30
    Filmmaker Iara Lee & her film “Attack on the Mavi Marmara” hosted by US Boats to Gaza
  • May 30
    Event hosted by 48 Palestine   
  • May 31
    Events in Istanbul, Turkey to commemorate the 10 deaths by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara ship hosted by IHH.
 
The Gaza Freedom Flotilla raises awareness by sailing against the blockade of Gaza, with a focus on the children and youth of Gaza. The Freedom Flotilla’s next sailing, called For the Children of Gaza, will challenge the blockade, while focusing attention on young people in Gaza, who form more than half of the population in that tiny blockaded area. Originally scheduled for May 2020, the voyage has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

   ***   
 

Send a message of hope and solidarity to the people of Gaza
It is more important than ever to support efforts to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza. Please give generously to the 2020 Freedom Flotilla Coalition so that we can send a boat to Gaza and let the 2 million imprisoned Palestinians there know that the world has not forgotten them. 

 

It is 5,900 miles between Washington, DC and Gaza. Every $5 brings us one mile closer to reaching the families in Gaza. Be a part of the journey. Contribute today!

 

Or mail checks to our fiscal sponsor,
Nonviolence International

with 2020 Boats to Gaza on the subject line
 
2020 Boats to Gaza
c/o Nonviolence International 
4000 Albemarle Street, NW, Suite 401 
Washington, DC 20016

 

Follow our campaigns: 
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla
Instagram: gazafreedomflotilla