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August 24, 2015

CEO of Embrace the Middle East Responds Evasively

Jeremy Moodey Olive Tree.jpg

Jeremy Moodey, CEO of the British Charity Embrace the Middle East, has issued an evasive response to criticism directed his way by CAMERA researcher Dexter Van Zile.

He issued his response in an entry posted on the charity’s website on Friday, August 21, 2015.

In the post, Moodey reports that he was accused of using photos in a simplistic way to confirm his own prejudices about the Arab-Israeli conflict, a charge he denies.

At issue are two photos, one he posted on Embrace the Middle East’s blog in 2012 and another he posted on Twitter on Aug. 17, 2015.

First Photo

The first photo was of Omar Misharawi, a young boy who was apparently killed by a Hamas rocket during fighting between Israel and Hamas in 2012. In his original blog post, Moodey asserted the boy was killed by shrapnel from an Israeli bomb and then described him as having “just been murdered.” The accusation was plain as day: Israel had murdered the young boy.

It took a while, but eventually Moodey retracted the blood libel that the boy was murdered by Israel.

In his most recent defense, Moodey writes that he, along with a number of other sources (such as the BBC, the Guardian and the Huffington Post), had “reported the boy had been killed by an Israeli rocket.”

Here, Moodey reveals that he cannot even report accurately what he himself told his readers in 2012. He did not just report that the boy “had been killed” by an Israeli rocket. He said the boy had “just been murdered.” With a dishonest turn of phrase, Moodey turned a tragic death into an anti-Israel blood libel.

Moodey fails to come to grips with another issue. As stated in an article published in The Commentator, even if the boy had been killed by shrapnel from an Israeli bomb, Moodey’s charge of murder would still have been defamatory. By Moodey’s own admission, Misharawi was not the intended target of the attack. (See this article for more details.)

Moodey’s defensiveness is particularly apparent when he writes:

But you can see what is going on here. A quadruple whammy of wisdom-after-the-event, data mining on the internet, taking quotes out of context and malicious and groundless insinuations of antisemitism (shameful references to a ‘blood libel’ against Israel) is being used to discredit the messenger and divert attention from the key issue, which is the deaths in three successive wars of hundreds of innocent Palestinians in Gaza, many of them children and the vast majority at the hands of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Including […] possible war crimes by the Israeli forces.

Moodey’s tendency to focus exclusively on alleged Israeli misdeeds is particularly troubling coming from the CEO of a Christian charity. The fact is, Hamas has launched rockets at Israeli civilians from civilian installations and residential neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip. Exactly how does Moodey expect people to respond? By doing nothing?

Apparently so. Moodey has expressed frustration over the Jewish rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. In light of this frustration, it’s unreasonable to expect him to fairly assess the actions of the Jewish state as it seeks to defend itself from attacks.

Second Photo

The second photo that Moodey defends is one he posted on Twitter on Aug. 17, 2015. It shows a piece of heavy equipment being used to lift a large olive tree from the ground. In his tweet Moodey said the photo depicted the demolition of ancient olive trees near Bethlehem and was evidence of “the reality of settler colonialism.” The photo invited some challenges on Twitter and a blog post on Snapshots that asked for more information about what was actually happening. It did not look like the tree was being demolished, but being replanted. (A screenshot of the Tweet in question is posted at the top of this entry.)

After a few tweets and a blog entry on Snapshots, Moodey issued a clarification in which he was forced to admit that Palestinians were able to replant some of the trees that were removed. He also revealed that the olive trees were being removed to make way for the construction of a security barrier in the West Bank.

Here a word about the security barrier is in order. Indeed its construction has a negative impact on the lives of Palestinians living in the West Bank. But what of the terror attacks that prompted its construction? These attacks killed more than 1,000 Israelis and maimed many more. The forced replanting of these trees is a sad consequence of the Second Intifada.

You can see what is going on here: Moodey is using his position as the CEO of a registered charity in England to hinder Israel’s efforts to defend itself in a tragic conflict with the Palestinians. He has done this by leveling a false accusation of murder at Israel, by downplaying the role Hamas has played in causing the suffering of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip and by irresponsibly relaying propaganda handed to him by Palestinian activists to his audience in England.

Posted by dvz at August 24, 2015 01:26 PM

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