The blood libel of The Onion

May 11, 2021 • 9:00 am

If The Onion has gone after Palestinians in the way it just went after the Israeli Defense Forces, I don’t know of it. But when I saw the Onion article below (remember, it’s a satirical site), sent by reader Orli, my heart sank. (Click on screenshot.)

If you’ve followed what’s going on in Israel and Palestine now, you’ll realize several things. First, the present troubles happening there can be pinned largely on the Palestinian penchant for violence, which involved a bombardment of civilian targets with over 200 rockets, a barrage still going on. Israel retaliated with targeted bombing of terrorist sites, but the violence of course started with the rockets from Gaza, as well as the Palestinian view that Ramadan (last month) is a time of jihad.

[UPDATE: An hour ago Hamas announced with pride that it managed to shoot 137 rockets in 5 minutes. The Israeli Iron Dome is not managing to shoot them all down. Two Israeli women have been killed, one is in critical condition, 80 have been injured from the Hamas rockets, and there is plenty of damage to houses and cars. The number of rockets now exceeds 400.]

This is deeply connected with the fight between Hamas and the PA for power (Abbas canceled the elections.). All the violence has been on the Palestinian side, though a group of right-wing Jews did gather and chanted horrible slogans towards the Palestinians the other day (they were surrounded and many arrested by Israeli police). They did no violence. A group of Palestinians attacked an Israeli driver, throwing stones at his car; when the driver veered to avoid the stone-throwing mob, he was accused to trying to mow down Palestinians. Only the presence of a policeman prevented him from being killed.

And yet the Western media, fueled by  Biden’s increasing tilt towards Palestine and Iran, seems to be holding Israel responsible for the troubles.  This will not stand. The apartheid territory of Palestine is firing rockets willy-nilly at Israeli civilians, often from populated areas in Gaza, a doubly cowardly act. Does anybody call them out for this? I haven’t seen it outside Israeli media. Even the New York Times fails to push back on the fact that a rocket that killed seven Palestinians, including three children, was a Hamas rocket that went astray, not a missile from Israel.

Here’s the HuffPost’s big-type headline. If you go to the article itself (click on screenshot), you won’t see Gaza rocket fire mentioned until the bottom of the second paragraph, and implying not that that fire was a provocation, but a tit for tat:

Why do Palestinians get a pass for such crimes? Because Jews are considered the oppressor and Palestinians “people of color”: another example of the West ignoring odious acts as part of a bigotry of low expectation, a bigotry that will only increase under Biden. And if you say the narrative, or the Onion piece, is only anti-Israeli, not anti-Semitic, then tell me why Israel is singled out above, say, Palestine, for opprobrium? (Believe me, there’s plenty of room for opprobrium there.)

And the worst is this article, nothing less than the ancient blood libel against Jews updated from the Onion. It is reprehensible and makes me sick. I reproduce the entire article below:

The entire text:

JERUSALEM—Describing the terrifying yet valiant experience to his fellow battalion members, Israel Defense Forces soldier Yossi Saadon recounted Tuesday his harrowing, heroic war story of killing an 8-month-old Palestinian child during a violent attack against protesters. “It was a heart-pounding experience—there was smoke and gunfire all around me, and I made a split-second decision to hurl that canister of tear gas at the encroaching infant cradled in her father’s arms,” said Saadon to the group of awed soldiers, describing the chills that went up and down his spine as he realized that all he had was his M16 assault rifle and some tear gas to defend himself against the unarmed Palestinian family standing only dozens of yards away. “I could see the whites of the baby’s eyes and hear her terrifying cries, and I knew it was either her or me. And this wasn’t some newborn infant, you know? This was a baby who could probably sit up independently. I was scared, but I acted quickly to throw that tear gas at her and her older sister. And who knows how many lives I saved when I shot the women trying to help her?” At press time, Saadon’s battalion commander informed him that he was submitting his name for the Medal of Valor, the IDF’s highest honor.

Funny? Hardly? Anti-semitic? I think so. But this is what we are learning to expect these days. Sometimes I despair so much that I think Joe Biden (or people like AOC, the Squad, and Bernie Sanders) wouldn’t give a toss if the state of Israel disappeared. And if you really want to be scared, read the comments on the Onion Twitter piece by the idiots who think that the IDF deliberately targets children. As Orwell said in another context, “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.” To “intelligentisa” I’d add “the Woke Left.”

42 thoughts on “The blood libel of The Onion

  1. Things have come to a pretty grim pass in the world news media when the only site I can find that gets the facts essentially correct is Fox:

    Coverage by WaPo, AP and Reuters is, as usually, repulsive: totally one-sided and full of disinformation from their Hamas-certified sources. It’s just another iteration of the old joke-line that ‘the trouble all started when Israel retaliated’—but these journalistically corrupt outfits are taking just that line in all seriousness.

    1. If Fox leaves a bad taste in your mouth, the beeb seems to do a pretty even-handed job too (at least IMO). This article, for example, seems to try and report what both sides are doing, and why.


    2. Don’t feel bad. When it comes to anything having to do with identity issues and Israel, prestige/mainstream media is not trustworthy. So, you should also see what FOX/conservative sites reports, which can be far more accurate and less freighted.

      I too have found that out….although most of my friends refuse to even see if it’s true.

  2. Why do Palestinians get a pass for such crimes? Because Jews are considered the oppressor and Palestinians “people of color”

    Most of the people I know would answer that question by saying that Israel (that’s the modern nation state of Israel) is the oppressor. They would point to the relative military might and the relative numbers of casualties inflicted by each side as their evidence. They would also claim – and I think correctly – that they are not antisemitic but anti-the government of Israel.

    There’s a lot of bias in the UK in the way the conflict is reported by the media. I don’t know if that’s wholly or partly antisemitism or if they’ve just decided that the narrative of “poor little Palestine battling bravely against the nasty Israelis” is a good narrative to sell to their audiences. But it builds up in a kind of vicious circle. The received wisdom is that the Palestinians are victims and then whenever a media personality goes out there to “investigate” the suffering, they don’t bother to analyse the real causes because, of course it’s Israel: everybody knows that /sarcasm.

    Only yesterday on another forum somebody posted a story from the BBC about the rocket attacks and the Israeli response and said he didn’t like the “framing by the BBC”. I read the story and could only conclude that he didn’t like the fact that the Palestinians were portrayed as the aggressors, which, of course, they were. He didn’t like the BBC reporting facts.

    Anyway, the Onion article is pretty bad. I don’t know if it’s antisemitic or anti-Israel but it’s defamatory either way and it will incite hatred of Jews in at least some people and your characterisation is therefore pretty apt.

    This is the BBC story to which I referred. You may argue it’s still fairly biased towards Palestine, but it’s quite balanced by the standards of the British media.

    1. ” They would also claim – and I think correctly – that they are not antisemitic but anti-the government of Israel.”

      But their understanding of the situation is so misinformed and one-sided that it treats the government of Israel differently than any other government. And that position does fulfill the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

    2. I like to repeat what Sam Harris has asked about this conflict:

      1) What would Israel do, if they could destroy the Palestinians. Well, they can destroy the Palestinians, if they chose to. It would look exactly like what we see today.

      2) What would the PA/Hamas do, if they could destroy Israel? I think we can pretty confidently predict that they would wipe it off the map.

      Another good question: How would any country react to a neighboring country launching artillery rockets into civilian areas of their country?

      1. “Another good question: How would any country react to a neighboring country launching artillery rockets into civilian areas of their country?”

        This is what I say, over and over and over. If this was happening to any other country — especially a democracy being attacked by religious fundamentalist neighbors, with multiple full-scale wars against them by their neighbors, constant terrorist attacks for decades, rockets launched into their territory regularly, bounties paid out for killing their citizens, etc. — not only would the rest of the world support that country responding militarily, but they would applaud it. Imagine if rockets were being fired daily over the Mexican border into El Paso, TX, with terrorists creating tunnels to kill civilians and the Mexican government paying the families of people who kill American citizens. And Israel has repeatedly been far more restrained than any other country under similar circumstances ever has been or will be, even repeatedly negotiating in good faith with the people who have terrorized them.

        What these people seem to want is for Israel not to defend itself at all, and for Jews to just leave already, much as they’ve been forced to leave every other place they’ve been throughout history. One standard for Jews, and another for everyone else.

      2. Another good question: How would any country react to a neighboring country launching artillery rockets into civilian areas of their country?

        Jerusalem’s contested nature makes this a difficult situation to analogize, but I imagine that if, back in the cold war, the East Germans had evicted 6 western families from a part of Western Germany abutting the border and that they wanted to take, the West might have responded with military force. Would we have targeted East German civilians? Almost certainly not. In that respect, the Gaza rocket attacks are unconscionable and unethical. But would we have pushed back with military force to stop that land grab? Yes.

        That is, AIUI, how the Palestinians see this: the recent attacks are because the IDF went into Sheikh Jarrah – a Palestinian neighborhood and part of the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem – and evicted Muslim families, so that they could put Israeli settlers there. Even worse for the IDF, the Israeli courts are hearing a case on whether this is legal or not, so they displaced these folks before their own court had ruled it was even legal.

        Now again, I want to strongly reiterate that this is in no way justifies rocket attacks on civilians. That is an indefensible and wrong response to the eviction. Yet I think some local military response by Hamas against the IDF would probably be justified under your “what would any country do if…” logic, if it is applied to the evictions that were the precipitating event.

        1. Well, not really “Palestinian neighborhood”. It was a mixed neighborhood with both Jews and Arabs, and Jews were owners to many properties ther (in which they lived) until Jordan’s invasion together with 5 other Arab armies in 1948. All Jews were then ethnicly cleansed from the area (those that were not killed, of course). Here is a history of the place:

        2. Artillery is an overt act of war.

          Evicting people from properties they don’t own is not.

          These aren’t comparable, in my opinion.

        3. In addition to the context provided by Malgorzata and the apt answer to your comparison by jbillie, I would note that I am talking about decades of history. Decades of attacks, wars, and terrorism, with which no other country would put up. But Israel is forced to put up with it because it is israel, and the world treats it differently than any other country.

          Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s horrifying actions in Yemen go unreported and uncontested. All the organizations that continue to bang the drum against Israel ignore far worse and more deadly things around the world, including all-out ethnic and religious cleansing. Heck, they ignore the attempts at ethnic cleansing by the Palestinians and by those who have led previous incursions into Israel, like Jordan. Millions of people die or are displaced around the world and the people who continuously hold Israel under a microscope show no interest. One can only ask why it is Israel alone that receives their ire.

          1. The UK managed to avoid air and artillery strikes aimed at centres of civillian activity whilst the terrorist arm of Sinn Fein committed numerous atrocities targeting civillians, including bombings and an artillery attack on No 10 Downing Street. Nearly 2,000 civillians lost their lives during The Troubles.

            UK armed forces were deployed and, as events have shown over the last few days (and numerous prior events), they didn’t always help the situation and an argument could be made that their use in such an environment did more harm than good.

            The UK (in one form or another) has been fighting wars against it’s neighbours, almost constantly, for millenia. Despite that I don’t believe that the US (or the rest of Europe) would have applauded air / artillery strikes on Dublin, particularly given the support the IRA / Sinn Fein received from the east coast of America in particular.

            Potentially ETA in Spain might be a similar parallel, but I plead near total ignorance of the details.

            This is specifically in reply to the question of ‘How would any country react?’ I make no comment on the current (or past) situations in the Middle East as I am woefully underinformed in regards to those situations.

            To respond to the comments about other nations not being criticised, I find that unlikely. I believe President Biden made a point of bluntly mentioning Turkey and Armenia recently. China and Saudia Arabia are regularly called out (in the UK at least) for their actions. Myanmar’s actions against the Rohingya in 2016-17 were front page news. Russian actions in the Ukraine saw widespread condemnation. The ISAF were regularly called out for their actions in Afghanistan and The Coalition for their actions in Iraq. Those are simply the examples that I can think of from the recent past and off the top of my head.

            1. There is a difference between terrorist activities and rocket fire on civilians. UK never had any reason to bombard centers of civilian activity as a response to terrorists. However, when Germans attacked UK’s towns and cities the answer was carpet bombing of German cities. The terrorist activity against Israel never stopped since 1948 and Israel never answered to it by bombardment. They bomb only as an answer to Hamas rockets coming from Gaza and they take outmost precautions to spare civilians. Unfortunately, when the rocket launcher is placed in a schoolyard, it’s not always possible.

            2. If the government of the Republic of Ireland had launched rockets at parts of the UK, I think we would have retaliated in kind. They didn’t though. The Troubles were caused by terrorists, most of them native to the areas that they bombed.

        4. The evictions aren’t what started this latest attack of rockets, however. What set it off was Israel putting a fence around a holy area which they saw was a bad idea and removed it. But then fights broke out in the streets and Israeli police with rubber bullets attempted to break it up with rubber bullets. Palestine’s response was to launch 150 rockets into Israel. Israel responded with air raids. So I think the escalation that is out of scale is pretty clear and it wasn’t from Israel.

    3. The BBC report that Jeremy linked to at the start of this thread makes it clear that named individuals have been targeted and killed in the Israeli strikes:

      The military and the Shin Bet security agency announced that they had also killed the head of Islamic Jihad group’s special rocket unit, Samah Abed al-Mamlouk. Islamic Jihad confirmed the deaths of Mamlouk and two other senior figures in a strike on a building in central Gaza City.

      It also notes that around one-third of the Palestinian rockets are landing in Gaza. Any comparison between the approaches of the two sides to civilian casualties is plainly ridiculous.

      1. Yes. And as our host noted, a third of the 20 reported dead in Gaza were killed by those very rockets. Re international criticism, at last check, no one from the Crimea, or any of the Rohingya, were firing rocket barrages into Russia and into other parts of Myanmar respectively, and so on for the rest of James Lowe’s examples; or in effect using civilians as human shields. The original question—what other country would tolerate such artillery attacks from a different country without striking back?—does not seem to be one to which any of Lowe’s examples is actually relevant as an answer.

  3. If Israel keeps deciding they want to ignore the fact that the government of Gaza has declared war on Israel, I suppose that is their prerogative, although I can not understand it. But, if they want to stop the rocket attacks, I suggest they might want to destroy the palatial homes of the Hamas leaders and other bigwigs. Shoot a rocket, lose a mansion. And there are a lot of mansions, because there is a lot of corruption:

  4. In the human game of us versus them, the Jewish people have usually been members of the them team and we give ourselves permission to hate, shun, even kill members of the them teams. Briefly, after WWII when we discovered the full horrors of the Holocaust, the Western world anyway became ashamed of their anti-semitism and taught their children to reject those feelings. A few years later, the leftist elements in higher ed decided to change the narrative back to us versus them because academics decided that in their game of identifying oppressors and oppressed, the Jewish people in Israel were oppressors and Palestinians were the oppressed. Since the left is composed of righteous people, the “oppressed” Palestinians became us and the Jewish people in Israel became them. Since Palestinians are one of us, when they kill Israelis it must be in self-defense since Israelis are one of them. And since humans, especially young humans, are terrible at understanding nuance and distinctions, criticism of a country became criticism of the people living in that country, became shunning of the academics living in that country, became shunning of students who identified as Jewish living in this country. History suggests that this path isn’t likely to end peacefully.

    1. The trouble began much earlier, when Palestinian youth, incited by their leaders (political and religious) began so called “TikTok intifada” – beating up random ortodox Jews in Jerusalem, filming the beatings and posting videos of beating on TikTok.
      About the houses in Sheikh Jarrah: enough documents are posted online about them being illegal occupants of Jewish property who refused to pay the rent. The tragedy is that these people wanted to pay the rent and were forbidden by their own leaders under the penalty of beating or worse. Already 1982 they agreed in Israeli court that they are not legal owners (and never had been). The court however didn’t want to evict them and worked out a compromise that they will pay rent to the legal owners. Unfortunately, the murderous ideology of Palestinian leaders put stop to this sane and peaceful solution.

  5. Were that satirical article written about a Palestinian militant the Arab world would be calling for the heads of the writers and editors at The Onion. It is a disgusting article and in my opinion it’s absolutely anti-Semitic and also not funny. Because of that it comes across as a severe and unfair attack on Israel and its soldiers. Ignoring the violence by Palestinians against Israeli civilians as if it doesn’t exist is a typical tactic of the progressive left akin to completely ignoring a year’s worth of Antifa and BLM violence or starting every article about Islamic terrorists by making sure the reader finds out for the millionth time that Islam is a “religion of peace”. Imagine reading an article about the Israeli military that started with a paragraph about Judaism being a “religion of peace”. We will see that the day non-kosher pork flies (there is no kosher pork, is there?).

    The incessant calls for special consideration for “people of color” in all things, particularly considering the expanded version of the definition that includes everyone except straight white men along with the daily vilification of everyone who looks like me as a “white supremacist” has gone beyond annoying to actually becoming dangerous. Including all Arabs as “people of color” gives the woke population a reason to excuse everything they do, no matter how abhorrent and heinous. And Israel’s close and essential relationship with the U.S. gives them an excuse to blame Israel for everything from Iran’s support of Hamas to that asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs.

    I’ll never understand the current administration turning its back on Israel the way it has, especially in its urgency to reinstate a nuclear deal with Iran that will do nothing to promote peace, won’t prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and will absolutely undermine our relationship with one of the best allies the United States has ever had or will ever have. And finally, perhaps in order to protect their children from Israel trying to defend its children, the Palestinians should consider launching their rockets from less populated areas. That way they can attempt to kill, maim and terrorize Israeli children, who are not “people of color”, while they protect Palestinian children who are “people of color”. Isn’t that what really matters?

  6. Let’s not forget that Rashida Tlaib, influential member of “The Squad” and Democratic Party, and ardent supporter of the Palestinian “cause,” tweeted just a couple of weeks ago in response to the shooting of Daunte Wright that “I am done with those who condone government funded murder.” Well, unless it’s killing Jews, of course, as we’ve seen in the past.

    Which reminds me of when she tweeted that it was “white supremacy” that was responsible for the mass shooting of Jews by Black Hebrew Israelites in Jersey City, NJ in 2019. She deleted the tweet, and I unfortunately cannot find a better source that reported on it than The Washington Times and other conservative outlets.

    1. Carbon Copy, you are looking for “a better source that reported on it than The Washington Times and other conservative outlets”. Consider that any outlet that didn’t report on that idiotic and insulting tweet by Rashida Tliab by definition can’t be a better source.

  7. US Student groups will no doubt tell us that Israeli apartheid is shown by the presence of Israeli police and soldiers in Jerusalem standing in the way of Palestinian rocks and projectiles. Likewise, Israeli aggression consists of maintaining a state right in the path of righteous Palestinian rockets.

  8. Meanwhile, at least 250,000 (and likely far more, but we dont know because nobody in the Western media, or academic or activists circles gives a shit) Yemenis have died at the hands of Saudi Arabia and a few other friends of theirs since 2015. Literally millions more have been displaced. Yemen is a land without even the most basic infrastructure now, with no help in sight, with nonody speaking for them, and none of these activists, academics, reporters, and comedians giving a toss. It’s Muslim-on-Muslim violence, and I guess that’s just not good for business.

    That really shows that this hatred of and constant focus on Israel really is an agenda, and it really is antisemitic.

    1. The US air force is actually part of the Saudi war effort in Yemen, so the lack of attention is indeed striking.
      There was a lot of attention to Muslim-on-Muslim violence when Assad’s troops retook Aleppo from the hands of the Gulf- and US-funded Islamists euphemistically called rebels. Assad’s rockets were a crime against humanity, while the Islamists’ rockets weren’t even mentioned, nor were they criticized for setting up their headquarters in civilian buildings.
      In my life I have rarely seen war or conflict reporting that did not take sides and did not employ double standards.

  9. “The Convention on the Rights of the Child protects children’s rights to life, peaceful assembly, expression and the highest attainable standard of health, among other rights. The commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Israel violated those rights when its forces used lethal force against children who did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others at the time they were shot.” – UN Human Rights Council report on Gaza protests of 2018, see

  10. Ceiling Cat, please, please keep writing about this. I’m deeply troubled and appreciate your updates so much. Please continue. Your writings matter.

  11. I never heard of a mass eviction before. Were these people squatters? Were they living in houses they didn’t build, or just on land they didn’t own? How long were they there? And why now? Why so many at once?

    1. Two pointers were provided earlier in the thread to articles that answer exactly those questions.

  12. My goodness! Just reading the New Woke Times and Al Jazeera today and yesterday I had no idea about those missiles from Gaza into civilian (always) Israel! Why is the newspaper of a 20% Jewish city so biased and anti-Semitic I often ask myself.
    Why does the murderous Hamas always get a free pass?

    I even wrote my column on it awhile ago: to wit

  13. The most painful thing about this ‘joke’ is that the people actually cheering and applauding the losses of inoccent lives are in fact Palistinians.

    1. Right. The Onion piece is disgusting and stupid, and this is one of the reasons. Satire can overstate reality, but it should be based on reality, and this one simply isn’t.

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