Reflections on Being Cancelled for Standing Up for the Jews

March 18 2022

While taking a solitary hike a few days ago, Eve Barlow espied a former friend, someone who had turned to her many times for advice and encouragement, but had for over a year given her the cold shoulder. Their falling-out occurred because Barlow was anathematized by the liberal journalistic circles in which both women traveled. Her sin? Criticizing the anti-Semitism within the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in 2020, and some of the other excesses of that moment. She reflects on the experience of being cancelled just when her star as a writer was on the rise:

The weekend of the initial BLM protests in Los Angeles, synagogues were vandalized, . . . and I put my foot in it. I tweeted “How dare you,” and all hell broke loose.

It was decreed that I was a racist by my entire industry. And I remember talking to this [same friend], and talking to my former editor at [the men’s magazine] GQ, who elicited empathy towards me but said that I’d had a “mini yikes” moment. Meanwhile everyone else was having a major yikes moment, in my opinion, becoming indoctrinated en masse.

Slowly but surely, the Internet began celebrating its hatred of me. People I’d known for years, who [had long curried my favor], turned on a knife’s edge against me—and with glee. The editor of [the influential music company] Bandcamp wrote some heinous bile about me being a hysterical mad woman; ironic given her affinity for feminism. A few months went by and I realized that I was no longer receiving the round-robin record-review emails from the editors at [the music-criticism website] Pitchfork, and . . . I noticed that all the staff writers, and my editor, had stopped following me [on social media].

The entire staff at Vulture unfollowed me if not on the same day, definitely within days of each other. I wish I knew if it was the same day, and I wouldn’t doubt there wasn’t some directive about it.

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Read more at Blacklisted

More about: Anti-Semitism, Black Lives Matter, Cancel culture

 

Gaza’s Quiet Dissenters

Last year, the Dubai-based television channel Al-Arabiya, the Times of Israel, and several other media organizations worked together to conduct numerous interviews with residents of the Gaza Strip, taking great pains to protect their identities. The result is a video series titled Whispers in Gaza, which presents a picture of life under Hamas’s tyranny unlike anything that can be found in the press. Jeff Jacoby writes:

Through official intimidation or social pressure, Gazans may face intense pressure to show support for Hamas and its murderous policies. So when Hamas organizes gaudy street revels to celebrate a terrorist attack—like the fireworks and sweets it arranged after a gunman murdered seven Israelis outside a Jerusalem synagogue Friday night—it can be a challenge to remember that there are many Palestinians who don’t rejoice at the murder of innocent Jews.

In one [interview], “Fatima” describes the persecution endured by her brother, a humble vegetable seller, after he refused to pay protection money to Hamas. The police arrested him on a trumped-up drug charge and locked him in prison. “They beat him repeatedly to make him confess to things he had nothing to do with,” she says. Then they threatened to kill him. Eventually he fled the country, leaving behind a family devastated by his absence.

For those of us who detest Hamas no less than for those who defend it, it is powerful to hear the voices of Palestinians like “Layla,” who is sickened by the constant exaltation of war and “resistance” in the Palestinian media. “If you’re a Gazan citizen who opposes war and says, ‘I don’t want war,’ you’re branded a traitor,” she tells her interviewer. “It’s forbidden to say you don’t want war.” So people keep quiet, she explains, for fear of being tarred as disloyal.

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Read more at Boston Globe

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Palestinian dissidents, Palestinian public opinion