Hen Mazzig’s account (“A sixth broken camera,” Feb. 6) of the fracas at the talk by Iyad Burnat on the documentary “5 Broken Cameras” provoked a defensive response by Eitan Isaacson and Wendy Elisheva Somerson of Jewish Voice for Peace. In his riveting report, Hen mentioned a woman who said in Hebrew to an Israeli man nearby, “Please don’t leave, I am scared but I want to ask a question.”
I am that woman.
The Jewish Voice for Peace account in the JTNews was a pack of falsehoods and outright lies.
Their portrayal of a polite, respectful gathering is a lie. Their hate-filled presentation of disinformation was truly frightening. I’m an Israeli American and I’ve travelled all over the world. I’ve seen reflexive hatred toward Israel before. I am sad to see it here in my current home, Seattle.
Isaacson and Somerson claim the violent young man that attacked Hen, the Israeli man, and me was someone they didn’t know, although some called him by name. Nevertheless, they bear responsibility because their vile propaganda inspired an intense young man to lose control and become violent. Shouts of “f—-ing Zionists!” and “Get the f—k out of here!” menaced anyone who appeared to support Israel.
When I asked my question regarding the “film clips,” the crowd started yelling and the violent man came toward me, I asked the Israeli man whom I did not know to stay. I am a middle aged Israeli-American woman who came out of curiosity to this gathering. To be treated with such vitriol surely was not a peaceful gathering as Jewish Voice for Peace claim that it was. There is only one name for what I experienced: Jew hatred. It was the responsibility of the sponsors of this gathering to protect me and the Israeli man. Rather than protect me, I was told by several people to “get the f—k out.”
Isaacson and Somerson claim that the crowd “watched in shocked silence as IDF soldiers brutally attacked…” This statement is a total lie. Burnat stages these “peaceful demonstrations” and the Israeli Army must keep the situation from spiraling out of control. He pushes small children toward the soldiers with instructions to touch their weapons, or even take them away. I did not see brutality by the IDF. I only saw mobs of men provoking, yelling, banging on metal cans actually barricading themselves and endangering themselves by encasing themselves in metal drums. The IDF did what they could to free these men from this dangerous confinement as carefully as possible.
Isaacson and Somerson further claim that Hen and the other Israeli showed “blatant disregard for the speaker.” This is another example of the deception they portrayed in their piece. As a witness, I can dispute each and every paragraph written by them.
I am utterly ashamed that the JTNews printed these lies next to the admirable and truthful piece that Hen Mazzig wrote. I am proud that someone like Hen Mazzig represents Israel and all of us that respect and represent truth and true peaceful gatherings.
Clearly JVP and Mr. Burnat’s message is not one of peace, but rather of thuggery, lies and propaganda. I feel sorry for those who have been duped into believing these falsehoods, and I am proud of Jews and non-Jews alike who understand this. I am proud of those that understand that Israel is a free, democratic nation and is inclusive of all races, religions, genders, and opinions, unlike that what Mr. Burnat and JVP represents.