Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Stern's Fizz-out Fiasco

From Jameel over at the Muqata:-

an insignificant, private visit by General Stern to a settlement [that should be community !] in honor of his daughter's Sheva Brachot was turned into a media event of massive proportions, when in fact...nothing really happened.

The reason I know this, is that I happened to be in the same shul this past Shabbat.

General Stern sat a few rows in front of me...and I witnessed none of the animosity, cursing, persecution, traitor-calling, bashing or slamming that "took place." Not in shul, not out of shul -- only in the imagination of a "setttler" named Menachem, who no one has been able to find.

What did happen is that on Friday evening after the mazal tov announcements were made in shul (including one to Stern for his daughter's wedding), is that the announcer congratulated those from the yishuv who refused orders to evict Jews from Hevron this past week. The announcement apparently directed at Stern, and not at those who refused orders, didn't appear to phase him, let alone "bash" or "slam" him.

In fact, I saw most of those in the shul go over to him afterwards and wish him a mazal tov.

OK, I admit it. When it came time to throw candies after each "mazal tov" aliya, (and there were at least 3 other smachot in shul), I personally threw a candy at the General (from behind, so he would have no idea it was me...the last thing this blog's anonymity needs is for an IDF general to investigate it). I also threw candies at about 10 other people.

The "big" incident then took place on motzei shabbat -- a woman arrived out of nowhere and started yelling at Stern over his involvement in the Hitnatkut. The incident was over in less than a minute...and if I had a shekel every time there was a yelling match in Israel I could have retired 10 years ago.

What bothers me in all this reporting, is how an episode was blown out of proportion on all newsites; left, right, religious and secular. How does a 1 minute yelling match turn into a national story on the level of all the serious news stories going on today?

...Whatever point the newspapers or "Menachem" (who "leaked" this sensationalist story to the press) were trying to make, it's been far marginalized by the snowball of hate in it's wake.

What Jameel doesn't ask is:-

If Stern knows the truth, why didn't he correct the press reports?


Hasbara With Attitude said...

I was in the same shul on the same Shabbat! I happened to be there for the other Shabbat Sheva Berachot that was going on. I'm sorry I didn't recognize you, but there were a lot of people there.

I only heard about the kerfluffle from another of our simcha's guests after Shabbat was over.

I have to ask: what does he expect? He was complicit in the Expulsion. That his daughter married a "settler" should somehow immunize him from criticism? Is he going to personally oversee the expulsion of his daughter's in-laws if, G-d forbid the government abandons the Gush?

BTW, I'm a Menachem and it wasn't me who leaked the non-story.

Hasbara With Attitude said...

Whoops.. I missed that this was a cross-post from the Muqata.. Well, there's no picture of Jameel, so I wouldn't have recognized him anyway :-)