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Sunday, 14 October 2018

Will Nick Cohen, the Guardian’s Hapless Islamaphobe, Ever Get Something Right?

When Nick Cohen Makes a Prediction It’s Safe to Assume the Opposite Will Happen!

If there’s one thing that I won’t forgive Nick Cohen for it’s forcing me to defend Jon Lansman, Momentum’s owner and dictator. Yet that is the position that he put me in on 18th August 2018 when The Spectator printed my letter defending Lansman against charges that he hadn’t pursued my expulsion from Momentum!
Two weeks previously, Cohen wrote It’s not easy being a Corbynista Jew – just ask Jon Lansman, subtitled Follow the pathetic example of Jon Lansman’.  Nick Cohen is nothing if not subtle. Rapier style wit is not his style. It could be called sledgehammer journalism.
But first let me digress. There was a time, at the beginning of the Blair government, when Nick Cohen was a decent journalist. I even looked forward to reading his column in The Observer. No one was a more indefatiguable defender of asylum seekers from the depredations of a racist New Labour government than Cohen. Cohen was a mainstream Tribune style journalist.

Letter to the Spectator refuting a few of Nick Cohen's habitual errors
Then something happened. As with Christopher Hitchens it was 9/11 and then the war with Iraq.  From being a left-wing journalist Cohen became transformed into an anti-Muslim bigot. No one, not even David Aaronovitch, banged the war drum more assiduously than Cohen. He did it, he said, in support of his anti-Baathist Iraqi friends, seemingly oblivious to the hundreds of thousands dead in Iraq, the murderous rampages of American troops, the torture centres and the deliberate policy of setting Shi’ites against Sunnis with all the devastatingly sectarian consequences that followed. To Cohen Iraq was a holy war and unlike Aaronovitch he never publicly recanted (Aaro promised to eat his hat, although to my knowledge this never happened).
Let us just say Cohen lacks a certain self-awareness
Instead Cohen became one of the authors and founders of the short-lived Euston Manifesto group of neo-cons and imperialists. For him opposition to war meant you were inextricably intertwined with Islamic fundamentalism and inherently anti-Semitic. Naturally when Jeremy Corbyn came along Cohen joined the rest of the chorus at the Guardian/Observer in his ceaseless attacks on Labour’s most radical and left-wing leader ever. Nothing was too dirty or discredited to attack Corbyn with but it is nonetheless worth remembering that once upon a time Nick Cohen was a decent and genuine journalist.
Today Cohen operates under the pseudonym of ratbiter at Private Eye, acting as a conduit for whatever misinformation about the Left that the Right supplies him with. It is an appropriate name as his journalism, if that’s the right word, is certainly verminous. In this capacity he has written a series of attacks on Momentum’s Left in Brighton and in particular on my friend and comrade Greg Hadfield.
His article ‘Meet the New Nasty Party’ in the 20th April edition is replete with mistakes and distortions. Apart from the almost obligatory attack on Greg, who uncovered a £100,000 slush fund run in secret by a right-wing Labour Councillor Leslie Hamilton, which has only just been passed over to the Labour Party, Cohen suggested that I had subjected Cllr. ‘Poison’ Penn to such a severe degree of harassment that she had to call in the Police.
Well it’s true that she made at least two complaints to the Police but it’s also true to say that the Police refused to act on either complaint and made it clear to me that they don’t consider the cut and thrust of political debate as harassment. But for Cohen an allegation is ipso facto a fact. Only the fact that I am already suing the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism for libel and I have the Jewish Chronicle and a certain unnamed councillor in my sights has prevented me adding Lord Gnome to the list of worthy recipients of a libel writ!
As befits a good socialist, not only does Nick Cohen write in Private Eye but he is a columnist at that well known socialist weekly The Spectator. And there it was that he attacked poor Lansman for not doing enough in the fight against ‘anti-Semitism’. Cohen starts off his column with the brainless comment that ‘being a Jew on the Corbyn left is soul crushing.’
One is tempted to ask Cohen how he would know since he is neither a Jew (despite his name) nor on the Left. This is despite two articles, 7 years apart, from Cohen threatening to become one! Hatred is turning me into a Jew, (12.2.09.) Why I’m becoming a Jew and why you should, too (19.3.16.) It’s called doing a Maureen Lipman after the Zionist actress who managed to be converted into a Tory twice in four years.
It would be churlish to explain all Cohen’s lies, errors and and twisting of the truth. For example in his allegation that Christine Shawcroft supported a Labour candidate who posted a Facebook article calling the Holocaust a hoax.  In fact Christine, when she supported Alan Bull, was unaware of his comments and although Bull publicised a Holocaust denial article he didn’t personally endorse it.
In a paragraph describing Lansman’s attitude to me Cohen states:
Even when activists are expelled from Labour for their foul conduct, they are not expelled from Momentum. Labour kicked out Tony Greenstein after he called Labour members ‘Zios’, ‘Janus-faced whores’ and supporters of ‘Israeli child abuse’. Lansman wanted to expel Greenstein from Momentum but lacked the political courage to do so. He backed off because Greenstein ‘will make a big deal of’ the process, ‘possibly including lawyers’.
There are more errors than sentences:
i.                   I called Zionists ‘zios’ not Labour members, ‘Zio’ being short for Zionist like Commie is short for Communist.
ii.                 I didn’t call Labour members ‘Janus faced whores’ but I quoted another member who called Owen Jones a ‘Janus faced whore who bore the impression of the last person who sat on him’! Perfectly accurate!
iii.              Nor did I call Labour members supporters of ‘Israeli child abuse’ I called one Labour member, Louise Ellman MP this because she defended the well documented Israeli military’s treatment of children in a parliamentary debate on child prisoners on 6th January 2016.
What is completely untrue is Cohen’s assertion that Lansman lacked the ‘political courage’ to expel me from Momentum because of the threat I would resort to law.  In fact, as the email I reproduce here shows, Lansman was intent on expelling me but was worried about legal action which was why he was forced to grant me a hearing (which he had initially opposed). Lansman said:
We do have to get rid of Greenstein but I am a bit concerned by the process which he will make a big deal out of possibly including lawyers
In other words it was a straightforward lie by Cohen to say that Lansman lacked the ‘political courage’ to expel me.  Indeed I was expelled by a panel which included Socialist Action’s Carole Turner and Sam Tarry of the TSSA.
I was forced therefore , against my better judgement, into having to defend  Momentum’s fuhrer Jon Lansman from his even more right-wing detractor, Nick Cohen!
Given articles as disastrous as the one above it is difficult to know what the Guardian/Observer sees in Cohen apart from his venomous anti-Corbynism
However this was not the only instance of Cohen getting anything wrong.  His article on March 19th 2017, just before last year’s General Election, Don’t tell me you weren’t warned about Corbyn stands as a monument not only to Nick Cohen’s lethal combination of stupidity, arrogance and malevolence but to the Guardian’s vitriolic campaign against Corbyn.  Cohen wrote:
On current polling, Labour will get around a quarter of the vote. Imagine, though, how the Labour party will fare in an election campaign when its leaders are Corbyn, John McDonnell, Emily Thornberry and Diane Abbott, and its second XI consists of Clive Lewis, Angela Rayner, Richard Burgon and Rebecca Long-Bailey. The Tories have gone easy on Corbyn and his comrades to date for the transparently obvious reason that they want to keep them in charge of Labour.
In an election, they would tear them to pieces. They will expose the far left’s record of excusing the imperialism of Vladimir Putin’s gangster state , the oppressors of women and murderers of gays in Iran, the IRA, and every variety of inquisitorial and homicidal Islamist movement, while presenting itself with hypocritical piety as a moral force. Will there be 150, 125, 100 Labour MPs by the end of the flaying? My advice is to think of a number then halve it.
The Guardian has literally run hundreds of articles from its vacuous pundits attacking Corbyn. See my A Friendly Question or Two to Jonathan Freedland - Does the Guardian have a Death Wish?
Contrast Cohen’s forecasts with those of this blog. Almost alone amongst the political commentators I predicted that Corbyn would defy the pundits in Labour Can Win if Corbyn is Bold . On April 20 2017, I wrote, with the polls showing the Tories lead as over 20%
… it was Harold Wilson who said that a week is a long time in politics. Seven weeks is a political eternity. Theresa May has taken a gamble that her 21% lead will hold. It is a gamble that she may yet come to regret.
There is only one direction that her lead can go, and that is down. Once her lead falls, then a snowball effect can take over. What is essential is that Labour marks out the key areas on which it is going to base its appeal. The danger is that Corbyn is going to continue with his ‘strategy’ of appeasing the right and appealing to all good men and women. If so that will be a recipe for disaster ...
Theresa May is a cautious conservative. She is literally the product of her background - a conservative vicar’s daughter. Reactionary, parochial and small-minded, she is a bigot for all seasons. What doesn’t help is that she is both wooden and unoriginal. The danger is that Corbyn tries to emulate her.
On June 3, five days before the election, when all the polls were predicting that May’s lead was widening, I wrote another post, General Election - Is Labour on the threshold of victory?
My initial predictions, that there would or could be a hung parliament were based on my assessment of the situation. This is still quite possible, as the Tories are widely detested for their attacks on the working poor, people on benefits and the continuous privatisation of the NHS. They are seen as the party of a vicious class rule, which is what austerity is about.
That does not, however, mean that the Tories will necessarily be defeated. People do not vote in line with their class interests. The whole purpose of the patriotic card, used by a succession of ruling class scoundrels from Pitt to May, is to blind people to their real interests ... The Tory press, of course, is doing its best to foster illusions in Strong and Stable.
.... The Lib Dems are not going to gain enough seats to prop up another Tory coalition ... By ruling out any form of pact with Labour under Corbyn, the Lib Dems have guaranteed their own irrelevance.
We could be in for a period of political instability such as we have not known for 40 years ... A Tory government is still possible if it cobbles together a coalition of the Lib Dems and the Ulster Unionists-DUP. Even a majority Tory government cannot be ruled out.
In the wake of this I made an offer to the Guardian. I would replace Nick Cohen and Owen Jones for only half their salary.  Surprisingly my offer was rejected!
 Tony Greenstein

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Israel's Racist Rap Music and The Shadow

A Violent neo-Nazi is Israel's Most Popular Rap Artist
Hatzel (The Shadow) The Last Zionist - ISRAEL !!!!

Rap is a form of Black music that originated in the inner cities of America.  It is anti-racist at its core and expresses the frustration of Black youth with racism, poverty and exploitation. It is a style of music which was 
developed by disc jockeys and urban blacks in the late 1970s, in which an insistent, recurring beat pattern provides the background and counterpoint for rapid, slangy, and often boastful rhyming patter glibly intoned by a vocalist or vocalists’. 
In Israel where this style is also popular it is the cultural and music face of the hard Right, chauvinistic, sexist, racist and even genocidal.  Noone better emulates this than The Shadow.  I copy below an excellent article by Richard Silverstein and a couple of more articles on this creature as well as examples of his hateful ‘music’.

Tony Greenstein

הצל - דם אחד

Shadow cartoon featuring Meretz supporter knifing IDF soldier in back

1919 cartoon featuring lascivious Jewish woman preparing to knife German soldier in the back

Jewish arm knifing Nazi soldier in back

Tikva (hope) - Subliminal and the Shadow - תקווה - סאבלימינל והצל HD

July 7, 2018 by Richard Silverstein 13 Comments
One of the most poisonous (and popular) Israeli performers is named HaTzayl (“The Shadow”).  He’s what we would call here in America a rapper.  But unlike African-American rappers, he raps hate.  Not only hate of Palestinians, but hate of his fellow Jews.

He posted to Facebook, where he publishes much of his learned social commentaries, this cartoon.  It features a hip secular Tel Aviv cosmopolitan (what the Nazis once called a “rootless cosmopolitan,” code-word for “Jew”) sporting an evil smirk and goatee, meeting a soldier who holds a weapon.  Behind the soldier’s back the beatnik holds a knife he’s about to plunge into the soldier’s back.  The civilian has ‘Meretz’ emblazoned on his shirt.
That is the political party calling itself “left Zionist.”  Imagine an anaemic version of the Democratic Party espousing a skin deep version of a progressive political platform.  That’s Meretz.  As far as I’m concerned it’s what I call parve politics.  Politics with aspirations but little substance.  Andthat is what Israeli fascists are calling a threat to the nation.  Imagine what they think of Palestinians…
The “knife in the back” meme has a long history in fascist discourse.  I’m featuring here two anti-Semitic propaganda cartoons, one published in Austria in 1919, which blames the Jews for Germany’s World War I defeat.  This notion was adopted by Adolf Hitler, himself a WWI veteran, and developed into his rabid anti-Semitic ideology which led to the Final Solution.  Later, Nazi Germany exploited the same concept in the third cartoon showing a Jewish arm plunging a dagger into the back of a Wehrmacht soldier.
The Shadow is not an aberration.  He is one of the more popular entertainers in Israel.  He is Israel in some sense.
There is a law against incitement in Israel.  It’s often used against Palestinians who post nothing more incriminating than poetry on Facebook.  It’s almost never used against Israeli Jews who post far more vitriolic garbage on social media.
I predict that in this case, if the police investigate at all, they will not proceed with any charges against The Shadow.  That’s because he has it in the bag.  He is one of Israel’s own.  The police either agree with his views or, even if they don’t, they wouldn’t dare take down such a popular figure.

And that is how fascism begins.  It struts its petty pace upon the stage full of sound and fury, signifying nothing…but hate.  That hate metastasizes into violence, and violence in mass murder.  We’ve seen this movie before in history.  We know how it ends.
Israel is well on the road to its own version of the Final Solution.  It may not end in 6-million dead.  Maybe only 100,000 or a million.  Maybe the 6-million Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories will end up thrown into the sea, as Israel used to accuse it Arab neighbors of planning.  Maybe they’ll end up under a palm tree in the Sinai under Trump’s deal of the century.  That would allow Israelis to argue that they were doing Palestinians a favor when they actually could have exterminated them and chose magnanimously to only ethnically cleanse them.
The Shadow, a delightful specimen of Israeli humanity
Israeli settlers want to return to a fantasy past of Davidic monarchy with a rebuilt Third Temple.  They want to exterminate or eliminate non-Jews from their new kingdom.  They want a settler version of the Islamic state.  A theocracy ruled by halacha.  Not a normative version of Jewish law.  But rather a fundamentalist version.
This way lies madness.  And it’s the direction Israel is taking.  Ah yes, I hear you say: it’s all an exaggeration.  Never happen, you say.  That might’ve been what the Tutsi thought when they first began hearing vitriolic Hutu radio broadcasts calling for their extermination in 1994; or what the Bosnians said before Serbian militia slaughtered 8,500 at Srebrenica in 1995; and certainly what many European Jews said in 1935 or 6 or 7.
All I can say is that I have been writing this blog since 2003.  When I began I was a liberal Zionist who believed in the two-state solution.  Those 15 years have wiped out any starry-eyed idealism I had about liberal Zionism; and any faith I had in the Israeli state to join the family of nations as an accepted partner.  In another 15 years or less, we will likely be much farther along the road to disaster.
It will be a disaster not just for the State of Israel, but for all of world Jewry.  I know there are anti-Zionists who believe the only place for Jews is the Diaspora; and that Israel is a poison in the Jewish body politic.  But if Israel goes full-fascist and self-destructs it will also hurt all of us.
I’m not saying the Jewish people will also follow suit.  We will survive the maelström just as Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai survived the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and built his academy in Yavneh. It eventually led Jewish practice away from a Temple-centric model to a decentralized rabbinic-synagogue model, which prevailed for centuries in the Diaspora.  Similarly, world Jewry could survive the collapse of Israel should that happen.  But the aftermath will be painful and the suffering great.

How an Incendiary Rapper Became a Symbol for Israel’s Angry Far Right

The Shadow is tapping into a rightward shift in Israel, and has gained a following among frustrated, anti-Arab citizens with his provocative calls to action.
Danna Harman  May 18, 2016 10:05 AM
Eliasi at a right-wing demonstration during the Gaza war in July, 2014. Today he has 226,000-plus official Facebook fans. Tomer Appelbaum

Hundreds of demonstrators – many of them wrapped in Israeli flags – Stars of David painted on their arms and faces – are streaming toward Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square.
One middle-aged woman holds aloft a two-sided homemade sign: “Too many terrorists in prison,” reads the front, written in thick green magic marker. “Kill them all,” reads the flip side.
A journalist is shoved. An activist from the B’Tselem Israeli human rights organization, who has come to the event with a video camera, is escorted out of the square by police after a threatening crowd gathers around him, shouting abuse.
Oren Hazan, a controversial Likud MK who recently suggested demolishing the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem to allow for the building of the Third Temple, is giving high fives in the VIP section. Baruch Marzel, a disciple of the late, hard-right MK Rabbi Meir Kahane, is clapping to the chant: “Hero! Hero!”
A bevy of teenage girls – in ripped cut-off jeans and matching T-shirts reading: “Rise up and kill him first!” – a reference to the Talmudic saying that begins with: “If someone comes to kill you” – are taking selfies.  
One person conspicuously absent is rapper Yoav Eliasi, or as he is commonly known, “Hatzel,” a stage name meaning “the Shadow.”
Eliasi, 38, should have been here. He helped organize the event – a rally last month in support of 19-year-old Israeli soldier Elor Azaria, who shot and killed a Palestinian in Hebron in March, while the man lay, incapacitated and unarmed, on the ground.
Eliasi helped publicize it too, sending out daily missives to his 226,310 Facebook followers, entreating them to stand proudly alongside the family of the soldier – the “Hero,” in question – who is being held in military confinement until the conclusion of legal proceedings, and was charged with manslaughter. Eliasi was originally meant to be one of the main entertainment acts of the evening too.
But a day before the rally, other organizers – responding to concerns that the event was being hijacked by overly anti-establishment and dangerously radical voices – disinvited the outspoken rapper.
The Shadow is considered too extreme,” explains one demonstrator, smoking a cigarette and sporting a black-and-yellow T-shirt – the colors of both the far-right Jewish Lehava organization, which rejects any relations, social or business, between Jews and non-Jews, and the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team, known for its many anti-Arab fans. The smoker soon ends the interview when he realizes it is to be printed in Haaretz. “I wouldn’t want my name in a paper of Israel-haters,” he says.
‘Slapped with a label’
Yes I was hurt,” admitted Eliasi, in an interview with Army Radio a few days after the rally, when asked about being disinvited. “I have been slapped with the label ‘extremist,’ but what can I tell you – I don’t think I am extreme at all,” he told his interviewers. “I think the situation is extreme.”
Born in Safed, Eliasi grew up in Tel Aviv, and started rapping while in high school, in the early 1990s, just as a hip hop was starting to become popular in Israel. After the army – where he either did or did not serve in a secret undercover unit, the details are unclear – Eliasi gained fame performing together with his childhood friend Kobi Shimoni, the “king of Israeli rap,” aka Subliminal.
The timing was right. The peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in the late ‘90s had collapsed and with the second intifada raging, the two rappers – all bling bling Star of David jewelry, tattoos, hooded sweatshirts, baggy pants and baseball caps pulled down low – captured crowds with their own original Israeli version of hip hop: unapologetically right-wing Zionist, hyper-nationalistic, populist and very angry.
Their 2002 album “The Light and the Shadow,” went double platinum, selling 100,000 copies, along the way turning the Star of David into a symbol of cool among the Israeli rap crowd. They performed up and down the country to packed audiences. One of the most popular tracks from that album was called “Biladi,” a reference to the official Palestinian Authority national anthem. The chorus of the song was in Arabic because, Shimoni explained, its message was directed “at those who understand that language.” The lines, straightforward enough, were: “This is my land. This is my country.”
A video of the song Tikva from the album "The Light and the Shadow" by Subliminal and The Shadow.
But, by the time Eliasi came out with his solo album: “Don’t Give a Fuck,” in 2008, the security situation in the country had improved, musical tastes had shifted, and interest in his message and style had waned. His record was not a big commercial success, and soon after Eliasi fell out with Shimoni, who – more commercially astute, and possibly more talented too – began experimenting with dance and electric music, started his own record company and clothes line and even started doing commercials.
In 2011, after years of living large – he once told the Israeli website NRG that “If I did not [have sex] with four women a night in the bathroom of the club, I could not return home” – the Shadow declared bankruptcy.
But his second act was still to come.
With his concert calendar freed up, Eliasi seems to have had some extra time to hone his Facebook persona, and quickly realized he could still get the attention he was used to without ever leaving his living room.
His amped up nationalistic message and his glorification of common soldiers — and this, along with his vitriolic rants against the left and the mainstream media, not to mention against the Arabs, garnered him a massive following, relative to this small country. With 226,000-plus official Facebook fans, Eliasi has zoomed way ahead of Aviv Geffen (95,614 Facebook fans), one of Israel’s biggest rock stars, who is associated with the left wing.
Today, although he still performs, Eliasi is better known for his provocative posts and calls to action – and the vulgar, often violent responses they illicit – than for any new lyrics or tunes.
Highlights of Eliasi’s Facebook posts over the last few years include a photo he put up in June 2014 – and later removed – of him holding a photo-shopped pair of testicles, with the words: “Revenge,” and the taunt: “Bibi [the nickname of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] I think you forget these!” writ large. The post, which went up soon after three Jewish teenagers were kidnapped by terrorists, came right after Eliasi popularized the tagline “We’re coming for yours” to go along with the “bringbackourboys” social media campaign. The teenagers were later found murdered.
Last October, the Shadow posted a unique solution to the wave of terror that was sweeping the country – suggesting that emergency medical teams responding to the knifing and car-ramming attacks immediately “cut the organs” out of dead terrorists at the scene – and hand them over to the National Transplant Center. “What do terrorists really, really hate?” asked Eliasi. “The answer is easy: Jews. What do you think would happen if in every terrorist attack they saved 10 Jews?”
Another suggestion involved castrating dead terrorists so as to put an end to any dreams would-be “martyrs” might harbor of cavorting with 72 virgins – as those who send them out on their missions promise.
Eliasi. Among other things, has suggested castrating dead terrorists. Moti Kimche
On various occasions, Eliasi has gone beyond such fantastical suggestions with calls for concrete action: In the summer of 2014, for example, during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, upon hearing about an anti-war rally in Tel Aviv, he called on his followers – whom he began terming “the Shadow’s lions,” to mount a counter demonstration against, as he put it, “the real enemy among us: the radical left.”
The hundreds that showed up alongside Eliasi – many of them shouting “Death to the Arabs” – attacked the left-wingers at the rally with clubs, beating them and sending at least one person to the hospital.  No charges were filed.
‘An opportunist’
He’s an opportunist – because he’s not really someone who would be making headlines for music,” says Ami Pedahzur, a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin, who researches the radical right wing in Israel. “He is tapping into a well-documented rightward shift that has taken place in the country.”
In the past, there would be condemnation across the board if a soldier committed a point-blank execution, as is the case with Azaria,” adds Pedahzur. “But today, we don’t hear condemnation from the right. The Shadow is more a symptom of the times than a problem.”
I don’t think he is on the fringe,” agrees Dani Filc, a professor in Ben-Gurion University’s department of politics and government, who has done research on the populist radical right in Israel. “He is expressing, in a more rhetorically violent way, the things considered mainstream by the right-wing political establishment today.”
“The way he speaks about both Arabs and leftists has long been legitimized by the three main right-wing parties in Israel: Likud, Habayit Hayehudi and Yisrael Beiteinu,” says Filc. “The difference is mainly in the vulgarity of his expression and, of course, the phenomenon of social media.”
Eliasi basically makes the same point the academics do: “The right wing always wants to show it is enlightened. They don’t like being called baboons, so they throw me to the wolves. That way they can be like: ‘We are legitimate right wing. But he is an extremist,” he said during the Army Radio interview about being disinvited to the rally last month. “But I am not going to soften my talk. I tell it like it is,” he says.
Frequently hateful
“The Shadow’s Facebook page is, consistently, one of the places where we find the highest incidents of hate speech,”says Anat Rosilio, who runs the “hate speech index” compiled by the Berl Katznelson Foundation, an organization that promotes democracy education.
Using a bank of some 200 hateful words or phrases – from “Nazi,” to “retard,” to “Death to Arabs” – and armed with a powerful computer program, the index combs through Hebrew-language Twitter feeds, Facebook posts and feedback pages on news sites, and maps cases of incitement and hate speech that are polluting the web. The program can scan over half-a-million online texts a day, Rosilio explains, and it can break down not only what is being posted, but who is being targeted: from Arabs and leftists, to right-wingers and settlers, to asylum seekers and members of local LGBT and ultra-Orthodox communities.
It’s crazy,” Rosilio says about the amount of incitement found on the Shadow’s Facebook page, primarily in the comments section. “The numbers we find there compete with numbers we see on far, far larger platforms – like on Ynet,” she adds, referring to Israel’s most widely read news portal.
A video of The Shadow's song "One Blood." A video of The Shadow's song "One Blood."
The point about the comments section is not trivial. “The Shadow’s posts walk a careful line,” explains Amir Fox, director of the Program for Protecting Democratic Values at the Israel Democracy Institute, an independent think tank.“They often border on hate speech – but just miss it.”
What Eliasi’s posts do, though, explains Fox, is “set up the shot,” leaving the more extreme racist and violent talk to his followers. For example, a post Eliasi put up recently about a terror attack in Jerusalem goes like this: “This is the 60-year-old Jew who was just gravely wounded a few minutes ago by a knife-yielding wimp of a terrorist,” he writes, uploading a snapshot of an older man, bleeding on the ground. “The terrorist, who ran away, was just caught,” he concludes – and then adds in parenthesis "unfortunately."
“I want to hear slaughtered, not captured!” was the first inevitable comment – one of 2,700 responses and comments in a similar vein, all posted within an hour. “Me too! But our soldiers are being castrated. We give terrorists cushy jail time instead of bullets!” writes the next. “Gas. Only gas,” suggests a third, referencing, it seems, Nazi gas chambers.
This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to prosecute Eliasi, says Fox.
“The legal system can’t deal with comments – it would be endless,” he says. “Even when it comes to posts, only the ones that are most clear cut – with a real possibility of ending in a prosecution – are investigated.”
‘Piece of garbage’
In the days immediately after the Rabin Square rally for Azaria, Eliasi, sulking and feeling unappreciated by his own camp, hinted he was planning to “retire” from his activism and social media efforts. But, after a few days, he clarified that he had only meant that he was temporarily “taking his foot off the gas pedal.”
If anything, the mini media circus surrounding Eliasi’s almost-retirement – which provoked dismissive and mocking reports on at least two prime-time television news shows about what he would do next – seemed to give the Shadow a new lease on life.
“Didn’t you retire, you piece of garbage?” a woman asked him on Facebook page. “Did anyone lose their bitch?” Eliasi responded, prompting the following comment, directed at the woman, from one of his followers: “Too bad Hitler passed you by,” it reads. “Go lick [Arab MK] Ahmed Tibi’s balls,” went the next gem.
Eliasi declined an interview with Haaretz, explaining, politely – over Facebook messenger – that “he can’t be expected” to give an interview” to a paper he believes is filled with “anti Zionism propaganda,” and which routinely publishes stories “against” him.
But it is not too hard to imagine what he might have wanted to convey, if he had spoken to this paper.
Sorry to ruin your party, lefties, but I am not going anywhere. I am going to remain a bone stuck in your throats for a long time to come,” Eliasi posted last week, together with a photograph of him with arms outstretched, giving the camera the finger with both hands. He has gold stars attached to his middle fingers. “You, the lefties, bring shame on our country,” he charged.
You thought: Yoav is a little vulnerable right now, let’s punch him when he is down,” he continues, referring to himself in the first person and going on to detail how some in the media called him names — from fat to stupid, fascist, racist and dyslexic – in their reports about his supposed retirement.
I hope you understand that the country is sick of this hatred and when everything blows up, and we can’t extinguish the flames – remember where all this hatred for you started and how we got to this point,” he rants. “Meet me at the next rally,” he tells his fans, signing off.
The post received 10,000 likes.

Meretz files police complaint over far-right rapper’s ‘inciting’ post

Left-wing party reacts after 'The Shadow' posts Facebook image depicting leftists as complicit in Palestinian terrorism

TAMAR PILEGGI20 April 2017, 3:47 pm  3
Israeli rap singer Yoav Eliasi takes part at a right-wing demonstration in support of Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, in Tel Aviv, Israel, August 9, 2014. (Flash90)
The left-wing Meretz party has filed a complaint with police against far-right Likud party member and rapper Yoav “The Shadow” Eliasi over a social media post it says incites violence.
Members of the opposition party said in the complaint to Tel Aviv District Police that Eliasi’s Wednesday Facebook post could lead to violence against left-wing Israelis.
On Wednesday Eliasi posted a picture depicting a semiautomatic rifle adorned with the word “Arabs” over a Palestinian flag, above ammunition magazines labeled with the names of the Meretz party, several prominent leftist organizations and the Haaretz newspaper.
He captioned the image with the word “Exactly!”
The post no longer appeared on his page on Thursday, but Eliasi posted a picture of the post that had been screen captured by Channel 10, saying he stood behind what he wrote and accusing Meretz of clamping down on free speech and providing “ammunition and support to the terrorists in Israel.”
The outspoken 38-year-old, who has nearly 300,000 Facebook followers, has gained notoriety for hard-line, inflammatory posts that often target Arabs and left-wing Israeli figures.
Eliasi has previously used his social media platforms to call for the castration and organ harvesting of slain Palestinian assailants, and has compared left-wing Israelis to an AIDS epidemic.
In 2014, Eliasi was a main organizer of a rowdy counter-protest that was reportedly designed to intimidate a group of anti-war leftists protesting the Gaza war.
Last year, Eliasi joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party under the auspices of controversial party MK Oren Hazan.
Eliasi’s membership in the ruling Likud party was met with opposition from the American Jewish rights group Anti-Defamation League, President Reuven Rivlin and a number of party officials.