Op EDRepressionSmearVoices

Op-Ed: “Hamas” Smear by pro-Israel Genocide Supporters is a Tacit Threat of and Call for Violence

Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, a popular and progressive pastor of the Reformed Church of Highland Park has recently been getting more engaged in the demands against US – Israeli genocidal slaughter of Palestinians. Rev. Seth has a rich history of supporting downtrodden, providing sanctuary for immigrants under threat of ICE arrest, speaking at protests against war and injustice, providing meeting and event space to antiwar and other important activities and many other roles in support of justice. He is now finding his voice on the US / Israel genocide in Gaza – and that is a great development!

In a conversation from a Facebook posting by Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale suggesting opposition to the genocide, I noticed a knee jerk reaction against a colleague comparing her opinions to Hamas and I got involved and at least 3 Israel supporters so far have made a similar accusation toward me.

The message they are trying to send to Rev. Seth and anyone else who dares to criticize U.S. – Israel genocide and to oppose US weapons and economic support for genocide – is that this is what will happen:

1. Israel supporters will accuse you of Hamas association falsely without evidence. The false accusation is an implied threat – if they support slaughtering 1000s of babies, children and mothers (20K in those categories plus another 10K killed) under the guise of anti-Hamas – and they accuse us of “Hamas” we should understand that what they are saying to us they would gladly dispose of us similarly. Let’s be clear – the “Hamas” accusation for opposition to genocide is a threat and a call for violence against us. The Israel supporters – some of them – believe the protests against genocide are “Hamas” and they would like to see the United States target our protests with police action and physically with violence. These measures are occurring. The Hamas accusations can have very real deleterious affect on our lives and be a trigger of life threatening violence against us.

2. Israel supporters will accuse you of anti-Semitism. They do not need any evidence of you actually doing a single thing that is anti-Semitic – they cling to promoting the narrative that saying anything critical about Israel and calling for changes to the policy of US backing of Israel in its many genocidal actions is considered anti-Semitism. They will accuse us of Jew hatred – one of the Israel supporters even made a few memes to make those suggestions toward me.

3. Israel supporters will accuse you of being a Nazi. One of the Israel supporters even made a poem calling me a Nazi. When I mentioned If Not Now – a Jewish group that opposes genocide – one of them compared THEM to Nazis.

I praise Rev. Seth for taking this stand. If you want to see the facts behind my conclusions – you can check out Rev. Seth’s posting and the meandering engagement that followed.

We need to get Seth’s back and anyone else who comes forward to oppose genocide and comes under these sorts of attacks. The Israel supporters focused their venom on me but they kept tagging Seth in – showing that the warning they were giving was for him too.

As we draw our ranks together in opposition to genocide we need to get each others backs and respond to the genocide supporters smears and we need to make sure that we are not intimidated and that the smears will not stop us!

No To US – Israel genocide against the Palestinian nation and people!

Not another billion – not another dime – no more US blood money for genocidal US – Israel crimes!

Here is a sample of one of the exchanges – there were two others – 3 genocide supporters leveled the same false accusations of Hamas association and anti-Semitism against me and each time I responded in a similar fashion to this exchange:

Genocide supporter:
Bob Witanek I understand hating Jews, but supporting and defending Hamas?
The same people that celebrated the 9/11 attacks?
Hamas, Isis, Iran, Hezbollah, Houthis, Taliban are all the same terrorists.
It’s also a lucrative business for them.
Forget Zionism for a second, think about who you are defending.
Just make it make sense.

My response:
You are a smear artist – you accuse hamas with every breath – for whoever “dares” as your fellow threatener states to criticize Israel and its genocidal ways. And since you would justify killing 1000s of babies supposedly b/c Hamas – it makes clear what you think of me. Duly noted.

And i understand what you are telegraphing – all 3 who have done this today and yesterday – with your “Hamas” baiting – it is a clear threat – we see it that way – we are hearing you

I don’t hate Jews – that is another smear – you have no evidence of that but you say that anyway – i mentioned If Not Now – and someone else compared THEM to Nazis – They are Jews – I work with them – I work with many Jews against the genocide. You just spout false accusations with absolutely no evidence – just like your Hamas Hamas Hamas any time anyone dares say anything bad about Israel – nobody is buying it outside of your echo chamber – – and now a GI has immolated himself in front of the Israeli embassy – which demonstrates that the GIs might not go along with a war for genocide .”

We need to understand that supporters of Israel believe that anything is justifiable in the name of Israel – so in their minds justification of slaughtering 13K children, 1000s of babies included, 7K mothers and another 10 K in 4 months is ok and they also are supportive of repression against those of us who dare to criticize Israel – and the genocide supporters LIKE to throw the words “How Dare You” as if they are prepared to act against you accordingly. So when they compare us to Hamas – they are signaling to their brethren that we are open game and signaling that we should be stopped – it is a call for violence and repression of our efforts to stop the genocide.

We need to be aware of it and call it out for what it is and prepare our struggle accordingly.  There can be resultant attacks against us from the relentless “Hamas” baiting that is going on right now.

We also need to communicate to those who are coming out to join our struggles against the genocide that they should not be intimidated and that we will have their backs if they are attacked in similar fashion – and we will all move forward together and overcome the obstacles of these threats and smears from genocide supporters.

To see Rev. Kaper-Dale’s posting and the discussion on Facebook: