Ben-Dror Yemini
Ben-Dror Yemini
Photo: Ynet
Roger Waters walking along the West Bank barrier in Bethlehem

The new blood libel

Opinion: The claim that Israelis taught George Floyd's killer how to use the deadly chokehold that ended his life is the same anti-Semitism we have seen before, it's not surprising from Roger Waters, but why is J Street dabbling in it?

Ben-Dror Yemini |
Published: 06.30.20 , 23:30
Roger Waters never stops. It was clear that any anti-Semitic statement, as far-fetched as it might seem when making its appearance on the fringes of the first act, would appear center stage for Waters' third act.
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  • "The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis," Waters claimed in the week after his killing by a Minneapolis police officer, "was done with a technique invented by the IDF, by the occupation forces.”
    Roger Waters walks along the Israeli barrier in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem Roger Waters walks along the Israeli barrier in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem
    Roger Waters walking along the West Bank barrier in Bethlehem
    (Photo: Reuters)
    From there he launched into vivid descriptions of "cutting off the blood supply of the carotid artery to the brain," a method, his addled brain insisted, was created by "Israeli experts" who teach American law enforcement officers "how to murder the blacks."
    Well, for the information of all anti-Semites out there (including those Israelis and Jews who are spreading this lie), it was actually the U.S. Supreme Court who permitted American policemen to use the "suffocation technique" after an event in 1976.
    Blood libel against the Jewish state at a protest for George Floyd in France  Blood libel against the Jewish state at a protest for George Floyd in France
    Blood libel against the Jewish state at a protest for George Floyd in France
    Adolph Lyons was stopped by LA cops for a minor offense – a broken taillight. Although he did not object to the arrest, he was placed in a chokehold, causing him serious harm.
    He passed out, vomited blood and awoke covered in his own filth. He survived his ordeal and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles that reached all the way to the Supreme Court.
    And by a majority of 5 to 4, the use of a chokehold was approved. We cannot interfere, the majority judges ruled.
    "[F]or many years," wrote Justice Thurgood Marshall - the first Black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court - in the minority position, "it has been the official policy of the city to permit police officers to employ chokeholds in a variety of situations where they face no threat of violence."
    The ruling was handed down in 1983. Marshall noted that from 1975 to 1980, the Los Angeles Police Department used chokeholds 975 times. Sixteen of those incidents ended in death, and 12 of the dead were Black.
    Instagram photo of Floyd murder by Minneapolis police officer Instagram photo of Floyd murder by Minneapolis police officer
    A Minneapolis police officer kneels on George Floyd's neck, a move that killed him
    (Photo: Instagram)
    In other words, the claim that the Israeli police taught the "chokehold" method to the United States is so false and so abominable that only a fanatical anti-Semite could utter it. Enter Roger Waters, who is undoubtedly one.
    And Waters is not alone. The J Street organization also made a connection between the mistaken killing of Iyad Halak by Israeli forces and the murder of George Floyd.
    "While the two incidents are distinct, the connections cannot be ignored," the group said in a June 1 statement.
    And of course they continue to make a connection between Floyd and Halak, calling both victims of "systemic racism."
    אירוע הירי במזרח ירושלים: איאד אלחלאק פלסטיני בעל צרכים מיוחדים הוא ההרוגאירוע הירי במזרח ירושלים: איאד אלחלאק פלסטיני בעל צרכים מיוחדים הוא ההרוג
    Iyad Halak, a 32-year-old Palestinian with autism, was mistakenly shot dead by police in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Courtesy)
    J Street has legitimate, even worthy, goals - peace, reconciliation, two states for two nations. So why the hell have they degenerated into such racist rhetoric about Israel?
    With Jews like these, it matters little when Waters makes similar claims.
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