[Ikhras Note: Palestinian-American Zionist and Ikhras Shoe of the Month Award winner Ray Hanania* continues his inflammatory, offensive rhetoric and tirades against all anti-Zionist activists. In this article, first published on occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com, Sadika Arab responds to his latest attacks on two Palestinian activists.]
It’s always a dilemma. What to do, when people you admire are being attacked by the jealous and hateful? If you respond to it, it sometimes gives them the undeserved attention that they desperately seek. If you stay silent about it, you let baseless smears linger as if they contain some element of truth.
In the case of Ray Hanania attacking Palestinian surgeon and musician Doc Jazz, and Palestinian activist and publicist Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada, I have decided to respond. Hanania, an Arab-American comedian of Palestinian origin, wrote down his vile accusations in the Jerusalem Post, a Zionist outlet that he apparently regularly contributes to as a columnist. Although he didn’t mention their names specifically, the descriptions he gave of them leave no doubt that Doc Jazz and Ali Abunimah are the two people his poisonous claims are aimed at.
Here is the excerpt from Hanania’s article:
“The Arabs, though some may be talented, have a lot of loud-mouthed activists who scream and spew hatred. There’s the great jazz musician whose hatred of Israel borders on anti-Semitism. There’s the talented writer at the Electronic Intifada whose words are driven by hatred of Jews.
These hate-driven activists have compromised mainstream Arabs, putting them in a headlock of oppression. Moderate Arabs are discouraged from expressing their views or espousing moderation in the face of the bullying and threats from the fanatics who spend more time and energy beating up their own people than turning legal claims against Israel into meaningful reality.”
In comparison to the obscene and abusive language that Hanania recently used when attacking Doc Jazz on his own Facebook page, this accusation seems fairly civilized in terms of the expressions used, but not so in terms of the poisonous accusation itself. It is outrageous to claim that these activists, who put so much energy into their fight against racism, have anything to do with bigotry. Usually, such baseless accusations of anti-Jewish hatred are flung at Palestinians from Zionist circles. In the case of both Doc Jazz and Ali Abunimah, who both call for a one state solution without discrimination on the basis of ethnic or religious background, the smears are entirely undeserved and nauseatingly transparent.
If you have the stomach to read the rest of the piece, you will even find Hanania defending Newt Gingrich, the presidential candidate from the USA who called Palestinians an ‘invented people’. While Hanania’s main point is a lamentation that the main mistake of Palestinians is that they allegedly spend too much time bashing their own people, his article does exactly that: bash his ‘own people’. His defense of the presidential candidate just adds to the ridiculousness of his column: Hanania not only bashes his own people, but defends the very same Gingrich who bashed Palestinians on a world-scale level.
As is typical of authors whose objective simply is to smear others, Hanania does not provide any evidence whatsoever for his accusations. He provides no anti-Semitic quotes from these activists, and does not even have the guts to call them by name, apparently fearing that those who might wish to investigate his accusations would find out that no anti-Semitism can be found with these people, neither on the Electronic Intifada nor on Doc Jazz’s Musical Intifada.
It is true that Doc Jazz has criticized Hanania a few times on his website. However, it takes only little investigation into the writings and acts of Hanania to understand where this criticism is coming from. Since Doc Jazz is declaredly anti-Zionist, it makes sense that he would criticize those who defend Zionism, regardless of the background of these defenders.
When I confronted Ray Hanania on his Facebook page about his hateful rant against Doc Jazz that was larded with obscenities, where he did name him by name and went as far as calling him an “anti-Jewish, anti-Christian bigot”, he immediately showed his true colors. This accusation is also a complete absurdity: do your own research, and you will only find Doc Jazz being respectful towards both these Abrahamic religions. Hanania went on in the thread to accuse Doc Jazz of attacking him merely in response to his criticism of the Syrian government’s crackdown on protesters. I was quite surprised by this, since I had never read anything from Doc Jazz that portrayed him as favoring the Bashar government. His website does not contain any reference to the Syrian situation, let alone in combination with any mention of Hanania. I scrolled down all of Doc Jazz’s tweets on Twitter as well, and found only a few tweets in which he expressed his solidarity with the people of Syria, which contradicts Hanania’s obviously invented claim.
I have copied and saved the entire Facebook thread, since I believe in documenting evidence when making a point. Contrastingly, when I asked Hanania to produce any evidence of this claim about the Syrian issue, he immediately blocked me. This is why I decided that responding to hateful smears, even if they come from irrelevant people, can sometimes be necessary. Once haters prove themselves to be prepared to resort to outright lying just in order to make their hateful points, it becomes important to expose their lies, and to respond to them with the truth.
The only truths in Hanania’s entire piece are: Doc Jazz is indeed a great musician, and Ali Abunimah is indeed a talented writer. Apart from this, the entire article is a pile of hateful garbage that deserves to be dismissed, ignored, and never given a second thought. Both Doc Jazz and Ali Abunimah are prominent diaspora Palestinians who contribute in an admirable way to the struggle for Palestinian rights. For a Zionist sympathizer like Ray Hanania, this apparently is too much to swallow.
*To learn more about the Palestinian-American Zionist Ray Hanania visit Ikhras: http://ikhras.com/tag/ray-hanania/