Ready to meet a brand new Israel hating Huffington Post blogger with a Mass Effect style name? Ferrari Shepherd is an art student from Chicago and Editor in Chief of something called Stop Being Famous. He just went on his "first trip to Palestine-most westerners call it Israel," and while he was there under went serious indoctrination into Palestinian Victimhood 101. Unfortunately, like Chase Madar's the other day, the article is too long to fisk completely, but I'll try to hit the highlights. Shepherd starts getting things wrong pretty much from the very start, not including his refusal to recognize Israel. He thinks the conflict is over land, he labels Israel as "colonial," and starts by informing us that he was prejudiced against Israel right from the beginning because of his experiences as a child.
"In high school, my friend's parents were Moroccan Jews with staunch right-wing Zionist views. They'd go on about how Palestinians were worth shit and how they were sucking off the land they stole, and how they were not from Palestine, but Jordan. Truth be told, my friend's parents' passion about their 'homeland' made me sick. As a black person living in the United States, I could not relate to their love for their proclaimed homeland because I never had one. My ancestors were captured from various regions of Africa and forced onto ships bound for the Americas."Hm, yet again we see someone who claims to care about the "oppression" of the Palestinian people, but in truth is motivated by hatred of Israel. What a shocking surprise. Admittedly this time the hatred of Israel comes from jealously, which is new. Perhaps you'd think that he would have some sympathy for Jews, who were exiled from their homeland just as he was, only to return to it, but I guess it doesn't work that way. Maybe it's because Jews aren't "people of color?"
Anyway Shepherd continues by proclaiming that there is no Israeli-Palestinian conflict because the Palestinians don't have agency. That might be news to the thousands of people killed by Palestinians, but you gotta admire his insistence on sticking to left-wing talking points instead of the facts on the ground. No wonder he fits in at the Huffington Post. He then proclaims that Palestinians have "always been there," implying that they aren't Arabs, and seeks to use science to back up their claim to the land:
"American author and Professor of Political Science Alan Dowty put it best when hewrote, "Palestinians are the descendants of all the indigenous peoples who lived in Palestine over the centuries." Moreover, studies suggest, that part, if not the majority of Arabs living in Palestine, descend from a core population that dates back thousands of years."Alan Dowty isn't a scientist, alas, and the study Shepherd links to actually says "According to the historical records part, if not the majority, of the Moslem Arabs in this country descended from local inhabitants, mainly Christians and Jews who had converted after the Muslim conquest in 7 AD." I guess we can add Shepherd to the lost list of Huffington Post bloggers who see only what they want to see. The majority of Arabs living in Palestine conquered the core population than interbred with them. They are not the core population. I might also add that Shepherd's study proves that Arabs and Jews in Palestine are genetically similar, but how much would you like to bet that he will conclude that Arabs alone have the right to live there while Jews do not? In fact he has already done so when he labeled Israel as "colonialist," and continues to do so time and time again in increasingly histrionic ways.
After defending the Second Intifada as something the Palestinians were "driven" to commit by "societal constraints and conditions," then proceeds to whine about how they were "labeled" things like "blood thirsty" and "savage" to justify the occupation, and not because their actions fit such description. He eventually gets to the airport, after being scared into submission by the Carter Center, and expects evil Israelis to snap at him around every corner. He is let through without a problem, contrary to all expectations he and his readership had, despite this example of extreme geographical stupidity:
"She examined my passport, then she examined my face,"Will you be visiting the West Bank or Gaza?"I said, "No," without thinking."Where will you be going?" she asked."Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth," I replied.She examined my passport again, "Do know any Palestinians?" she asked.I smirked and lied, "No.""And yet for some reason he was allowed to come into the evil Zionist entity, though he is quick to white wash Israel out of existence:
"Riding from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the first thing I noticed, besides the breathtaking Palestinian landscape with its palm trees, olive trees and immense hills and valleys, were walls and barbwire. There were literally hundreds of miles of concrete walls and barbwire-not the kind one sees on a Los Angeles off-ramp, but those belonging to a prison"I think you mean the breathtaking Israeli landscape, peace loving liberal that you are, right? Also I'm not sure where you got this "literally hundreds of miles" from, as the distance between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is only 39 miles. There are no walls and barbed wire within Israel itself, and you couldn't have seen any on the road between those two cities. But as we will see, making things up is pretty much a staple of Shepherd's article.
Shepherd arrives, raises his nose at the divisions of the West Bank mutually agreed to under the terms of the Oslo Accords, before finally getting to his main point which is that although Jerusalem is diverse (we are left to wonder if he ever went anywhere else in Israel) all Israelis are racist. His evidence for this is that Palestinians have to go through security checks (Palestinians, not Arabs), and:
"The members of our delegation were no exception to IDF scrutiny. The light skinned blacks in our delegation were interrogated and asked bluntly if they were Arab, and if not, what the last names of their fathers' were....Of course, to a Jew or a middle class Palestinian living in Jerusalem or Nazareth, my observations may sound like exaggerations, but for the African migrant sleeping on the ground in South Tel Aviv, or for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, my evaluations are dead on."Shepherd also claims that this is racism on par with the kind in the Southern USA. Of course the only example he can prove for himself (besides parroting what Palestinians and left-wing Israelis tell him) is the IDF scrutiny above. Again, I'm not that sympathetic. If you waltz yourself into a war zone with a chip on your shoulder, as Shepherd obviously did, soldiers are going to notice that. Their job is to protect people from being killed, not to be nice. I also like how the soldier's only interest in the delegation was if they were Arabs, not just because they had dark skin. Again, notice how residents of Nazareth, a city in Israel, are labeled "Palestinians."
Shepherd spends the large majority of his article repeating what other people tell him. Palestinians, leftist Israelis, a tour guide from Breaking the Silence. He doesn't have much to share among his own experiences, except for this (emphasis mine):
"For some reason, Yehuda was compelled to conduct his lecture outside of the bus while our delegation shivered from a mountainous chill. It was then that a dusty car stopped feet away from us, engine running, with the driver focusing a murderous stare on our group. Yehuda kept lecturing as though nothing was happening, and our delegation pretended to listen as we remained vigilant for the deranged onlooker. The man examined us for a minute more, then sped off violently to return moments later to repeat this action. Sensing danger, I suggested to Yehuda we get back in the van and leave, but he ordered us to remain outside."Oh no. A guy gave you a mean look. By the way, is it really that "murderous?" Judge for yourself, because the Huffington Post helpfully provides a picture of this driver in their slideshow at the bottom of the article:
I like how they insist that you call this guy "deranged" by putting that in the caption. Now maybe I'm not the most objective person, but he doesn't look "deranged" to me. He looks like a guy looking out of a window. Even so, are we just going to assume that the "deranged onlooker" is an Israeli Jew/settler? I think we shall! Will Shepherd assume that all Israelis are evil because of this one guy? What do you think? His concluding paragraphs are deeply insightful. Not about Israel, but about Shepherd's psychology:
"Zionism has convinced many Jews that they are preserving themselves. The common thought is that if the "savage" Palestinians stop resisting, stop shooting rockets, stop fighting Israel's inevitable domination, there can be peace. I find this peculiar because during my visit, I felt no danger from Palestinians, only from Israeli soldiers. Perhaps it's because I'm accustomed to being hunted in America. There is no Palestinian-Israeli conflict; there is only oppression."Really. You're "hunted" in America. "Hunted." Really. I might also add that there was never a point when he was in danger from anyone, let alone Israeli soldiers. He had two encounters with "real" Israeli soldiers in the course of his article. Once was when passing through the checkpoint above, where they asked him questions (oh no!). The second was when "Israeli army vehicles pulled up, and a few soldiers peered in at us. They took a quick inventory of the van and then sped off." Truly Shepherd should be thanking his lucky stars. He was clearly in danger of imminent death. And finally, of course you didn't feel danger from Palestinians. According to your article, you rarely even met any. Besides, you're not Jewish. But I bet you didn't go around saying you were an American, did you?
Anyway, here's his amazing conclusion:
"I will never disregard the Holocaust which left millions of European Jews dead or scrambling for survival. There is nothing that will ever right the wrongs committed by the brutal German regime. On the same note, I will never minimize Germany's first, and little-known, genocide against the Herero and Namaqua of Africa, or King Leopold's bloody reign on the continent. Tragedy is tragedy, one should not be placed above the other, nor should a past tragedy justify the next."I'm...pretty sure that you just did exactly, placing one tragedy above the other. Also why is this paragraph even here? Shepherd's article didn't have anything to do with the Holocaust. Could it be that he sees all Jews as the same, just like a lot of Huffington Post readers? That's for him to know, and us never to find out, I suppose.