Mayim Bialik (Screen grab/YouTube) (Screen grab/YouTube)
Mayim Bialik

Entertainment site publishes article saying Bialik’s public support for Zionism was the equivalent to her announcing that she is “basically a racist.”

By Rachel O’Donoghue, HonestReporting

Mayim Bialik, an actress and the current co-host of the popular American quiz show Jeopardy!, is Jewish, and, like most Jews, a Zionist.

Bialik is simultaneously a supporter of Palestinian self-determination, having expressed her belief that they should live — like Israelis — in an “autonomous free and safe nation.”

In addition, she has previously called out “extremists on both sides” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and reiterated her belief that such fundamentalists are representative of neither all Israelis nor all Palestinians.

Why, then, has entertainment news site MEAWW, which claims to be among the world’s fastest-growing media-tech companies with millions of readers worldwide, published an antisemitic diatribe by staff writer Oshi Agarwal that suggests Bialik is a racist?

Placed in the website’s op-ed section and later reprinted word-for-word by MSN News, the clumsily-written screed takes aim at Bialik for her “very obvious support for the Israelis” while falsely accusing Israel of using “brutal violence on the few Palestinians struggling to survive in their own land.”

In the piece, Agarwal insinuates that being a Zionist is tantamount to being anti-Palestinian and also denies the very existence of the Jewish state by bizarrely declaring that Bialik’s many Israeli relatives live in “Palestine”:

“While she has not outrightly said anything against Palestine, she seems to have very obvious support for the Israelis, which seems problematic to some. The actress has a family in Palestine and has previously made donations to the Israel Defense Forces, which was questioned by many from Hollywood.”

Aside from the ways in which the piece breaches the internationally-accepted IHRA working definition of antisemitism, including by denying Jews their right to self-determination as it is manifested in the existence of the State of Israel, the piece is also an example of plainly bad journalism.

For example, Agarwal notes that Bialik’s donations to the IDF were “questioned by many from Hollywood” but fails to identify any of these alleged critics.

In the final few paragraphs, Agarwal abandons any semblance of journalistic credibility by including a host of insulting comments from anonymous Twitter users that she presumably believes justify her unpleasant editorial.

Among them are accounts that claimed the actress was defending “ethnic cleansing, land grab [sic], theft of water, throwing families out of their homes, bombing civilians, shooting children in the head…” and that Bialik’s public support for Zionism was the equivalent to her announcing that she is “basically a racist.”

HonestReporting has reached out to MEAWW, which reportedly has offices in the United States and India, to ask editors how such an appalling piece of journalism ever came to be published on its website.

However, one thing the article unintentionally achieved is making crystal clear that those who accuse Zionists of being racists or anti-Palestinian are motivated by one thing, and one thing alone: antisemitism.



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