From Ferguson to Netanyahu

Dennis Prager writes: Remember the “Hands up, don’t shoot” narrative that dominated American media and all of the protests against a white officer’s shooting of Michael Brown, a Black teenager in Ferguson, Mo.?
It was all a lie.
Never happened.
Yet, media personalities, NFL players, and even congressional representatives employed the arms-up gesture and recited the mantra “Hands up, don’t shoot” for the television cameras. And even after the Justice Department released a report thoroughly refuting both the lie and Brown’s victim status, President Barack Obama has made multiple references to Ferguson in his speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Selma march — as if there were all sorts of moral parallels.
That lie ruined a city’s economy, not to mention the livelihood and life of an innocent policeman. And, of course, it gave those Black Americans resentful toward America another reason to express anger at white America.
But that hysteria is small scale compared to the hysteria fomented against Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s voters for his having won an election he was supposed to lose.
This hysteria — whipped up by the (Jewish as much as non-Jewish) left and especially by the president of the United States — has allowed this president to weaken the bonds between America and Israel more than at any time in the 66 years of Israel’s existence.
The vitriol directed against Netanyahu and Israel is allegedly based on two comments Netanyahu made in Israel shortly before the election.
One was about a Palestinian state:
“The right-wing rule is in danger. The Arab voters are coming in great numbers to the polling stations. The left-wing nonprofit organizations are bringing them in buses. Go out to the polling stations, bring your friends and family, and vote Mahal [Likud] in order to close the gap between us and the Labor Party.”
The president of the United States and most if not all of America’s and Israel’s left repeatedly describe this as “racist” and
That is a lie.
There is nothing racist or anti-democratic about the comment.
If “racist” actually means something — other than being useful as a left-wing epithet with which to regularly describe right-wingers (in America as well as Israel) — there is not a hint of racism in the comment. How exactly are Arab Israelis depicted negatively in this comment? Do not Democrats in America regularly inveigh against “old white males”?
Nor is there a hint of disenfranchising Arab Israelis. The message to Netanyahu’s followers was simply an appeal to get to the polls because his political opponents appeared to be ensuring that as many Arab voters as possible got to the polls where they were expected to vote against him and his party.
Yet, not only is the accusation false, the comment on which it is based is almost universally mistranslated. Almost all citations of the phrase use the term “in droves” or, less frequently, “hordes of.” Both terms are far more derogatory than what Netanyahu actually said — “in great numbers” (kamuyot adirot). But because “great numbers” of Arab voters sounds considerably less disrespectful, the Western press prefers “in droves” and “hordes.” That’s how they can charge Netanyahu with “racism” never implied in the original Hebrew — by manipulating his words in translation.
On the day of the Israeli election, March 17, The New York Times correctly translated Netanyahu: “Right-wing rule is in danger. Arab voters are streaming in huge quantities to the polling stations.” But it has since joined the other mainstream media in using the inaccurate and loaded translation, “in droves.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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