« New York Times Story Covers Up Hamas Destruction of Gaza Antiquities | Main | How Max Blumenthal Lies About Israel »

October 17, 2014

How David Sheen Lies About Israel

david sheen.JPG

David Sheen is an anti-Israel extremist who often lectures to American college students about the supposed evils of the Jewish state. He was a speaker, for example, at last weekend's Open Hillel conference at Harvard.

With Sheen's participation, Open Hillel has shown that it's open to people who peddle brazen falsehoods about the Jewish state. Just one day after he spoke to the students, Sheen took to Twitter to lie about Israel's prime minister and compare him to the Nazis.

Just as Nazis compared Jews to vermin to incite racism against them, Netanyahu compares non-Jewish Africans to ebola

— David Sheen (@davidsheen) October 13, 2014

Sheen appears to substantiate his shocking allegation with a URL. But the link would be unhelpful to most of his Twitter followers — the article it leads to is in Hebrew, a language Israel-haters don't generally know how to read. And that's what Sheen was counting on. Indeed, when a Twitter user challenged Sheen's allegation, he responded by mocking the user's use of Google Translate:

@johnmknox it says it in the headline of the article, but you would not know that because you don't read Hebrew & require Google translate

— David Sheen (@davidsheen) October 13, 2014

But the Twitter user was right, of course. Neither in the headline nor anywhere else in the article does Netanyahu, Nazi-like, "compare" Africans to a disease. He was simply discussing Israel's efforts to keep Israelis safe from Ebola (yes, the same conversation leaders in every country across the world is having) and pointing out that Israel's tight border controls, a result of the country's struggle with terrorism and illegal immigration, also serve to protect the country from the epidemic.

The headline, which notwithstanding its quotation marks appears to be a paraphrase of the Israeli leader and not a direct quote (it does not appear in the body of the article), states: "Netanyahu: 'As part of the struggle against infiltrators and terror — we will prevent the entry of Eblola into Israel.'"

The article is introduced by a second passage in quotation marks that again appears to be a paraphrase: "Netanyahu: 'As part of the struggle against infiltrators and terror — we will work to prevent Ebola.'"

Those both appear to be summaries of the actual quote, which appears in the body of the article and the embedded video. Netanyahu says:

The state of Israel is preparing to stop, as much as possible, the entry of people with Ebola into its borders. This is part of the effort we're making in order to defend the borders in general, from illegal infiltrators or from terror.

We are talking about a global epidemic. We are cooperating with other countries. In addition to guarding our borders, we are also taking a number of steps in order to isolate the sick, if they arrive, and also of course to treat them in our healthcare network.

We hope there will not be a need for this, but we are prepared for all possibilities.

Sheen, whose specialty is finding extremist and racist Israelis and broadcasting them to the world as if they represent the entire country, is now casting himself as an expert on "Israeli incitement" to those who don't and don't have the language skills to fact-check him.

Come hear me speak about Israeli incitement today at 11 AM at FSU at Strozier Library in Scholar's Common Room #0005A

— David Sheen (@davidsheen) October 20, 2014

This week I'll present on Israeli incitement at 4 Florida colleges: Today @FIU, tomorrow @USouthFlorida, Friday @UCF & Sunday Florida State

— David Sheen (@davidsheen) October 15, 2014

It must be easy to lecture about Israeli incitement when you're so willing to lie to your audience.

Posted by GI at October 17, 2014 04:35 PM


There are many wise quotes about lying but I think this recent one by German philosopher Bettina Stangneth is quite pertinent in this particular case, as per "...when you're so willing to lie to your audience."

From David Frum's article about the lies of Eichmann:

"Stangneth: It’s always easy to lie if you possess firsthand knowledge. And Eichmann wanted to play the role of his own storyteller, researcher, historian, and philosopher. He wanted to survive, and he trusted in his ability to lie his way out of death.

Perhaps there’s another reason: Lying can produce a feeling of power. If you make someone believe a lie, you have power over him or her. Believing a lie means you lose a part of the real world, of yourself. The liar is given the power to rebuild the world around us, and we operate according to his or her rules. Think about an inverted street sign: If you are the one who turned the sign, you can take pleasure in watching people run in the wrong direction to catch a train. If you read Eichmann’s note written in his cell (and not available for journalists and spectators in 1961), you can find hints that Eichmann savored this special feeling of power, even as an accused. After he heard the death sentence, he told his lawyers, “I didn’t expect them to not believe me at all.” (Original: Ich habe nicht gedacht, dass man mir so gar nicht glauben würde.)"

Lying makes you feel powerful. And if your lying is successful, it helps shape a world much more amenable to your own political agenda and dogmas. By lying about the past, about what an Israeli leaders actually says, you aim at controlling the present and who controls the present, also controls the future. Lying is highly instrumental in the Palestinian struggle. But, bottom line is this: What good is a cause that its supporters have to lie and to be fed lies?

Posted by: Contentious Cetrist at October 20, 2014 03:44 PM

Who is paying for him to travel around the US demonizing Jews? He supposedly lives in Dimona, wonder what it would be like for someone living in Gaza or the West Bank to be demonizing Hamas or Fatah on a daily basis, how long would he last?

Posted by: Naftali at October 20, 2014 05:35 PM

He sounds like a manipulative, self-promoting little sh*t.

Posted by: Gary Katz at October 20, 2014 11:24 PM

It's all about the money. Provocators like him make their living from hate. This is his business, therefore he is not obligated to the truth.

Posted by: Aצןא at October 21, 2014 01:00 AM

Well, the damage he does is real, but his credentials are not -- speaking in a side room at these places is something anyone can do. Just like when his site said he spoke at the Germany Senate -- but actually a few people who work there got together at a hall table!!! ROFLMAO!!!!

Posted by: Hannah at February 6, 2015 07:52 PM

Guidelines for posting

This is a moderated blog. We will not post comments that include racism, bigotry, threats, or factually inaccurate material.

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)