Among the many people whose anti-Israel animus is so great that it surely rests on a bedrock of antisemitism is James Rehwald, a marketing specialist at Nike. His employer might not be happy that he has now drawn such scrutiny to himself; does anyone doubt that some people — you and I, for example — will choose not to buy Nike products as long as Mr. Rehwald remains employed at the company? More about his malignant views can be found here: “Meet the Nike Marketing Specialist Who Says Israel, Not Hamas, Is ‘Massacring Civilians,’” by Alec Schemmel, Washington Free Beacon, November 7, 2023:
A top marketing specialist at Nike responded to Iran-backed terror group Hamas’s Oct. 7 slaughtering of innocent Israeli women and children by accusing the Jewish state—not Hamas—of “massacring civilians.”
James Rehwald, who has worked as a “digital media marketing specialist” at Nike since 2021, on Oct. 16 posted a video to his Patreon account titled, “Why Israel Deliberately Targets Civilians.” That video, Rehwald wrote in his caption, exposes the “brutal military and settler colonial occupation that Israel has imposed on its native Palestinians for the past 75 years.”
Israel does not “deliberately target civilians.” Hamas, however, deliberately tries to kill Israeli civilians. Furthermore, the terror group hides its weapons, its rocket launchers, its operatives, inside and among such civilian buildings as schools, hospitals, mosques, apartment and office buildings, hoping thereby to prevent Israeli airstrikes, and indifferent to what happens to its own civilians. Israel does what it can to minimize civilian casualties, while Hamas tries to maximize them.
Rehwald went on to downplay the atrocities Hamas terrorists committed against Israelis during their attack on the Jewish state, arguing that Israel commits those same atrocities “on a much greater scale.”
What “atrocities” does Israel commit “on a much greater scale” than Hamas? Does it behead, rape, torture, murder civilians? Yes, civilians have died in the Gaza Strip, just as civilians have died in all modern wars, as they died when the British and American pilots bombed armaments plants and oil refineries in Nazi Germany, and firebombed Cologne and Dresden causing many; civilian deaths to break the Nazis’ morale. Civilians also died, of course, when the American Air Force bombed Tokyo, and dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, in order to bring the war in the Pacific to a halt, thereby saving tens of thousands of lives of American servicemen, and many more Japanese who would certainly have died in an American invasion of their home islands. And how many civilians did the Americans, not deliberately, but unavoidably, kill, in the wars in Iran and Afghanistan?
Much of what Israel claims about [the] Palestinian resistance is pure projection,” Rehwald wrote in his caption. “The killing of children, massacring civilians, the r*pe, torture, hostage-taking, and imprisonment that Israel accuses Palestinians of occurs on a much greater scale by the Israelis.”
The IDF solders do not torture. The IDF soldiers do not rape. The IDF soldiers do not take civilians as hostages. The IDF tries to minimize civilian casualties; it does not massacre them, but warns them away from sites about to be hit by the IDF, by messaging, telephoning, leafletting, and use of the “knock-on-the-roof” technique. Despite its efforts, its airstrikes do cause some civilian deaths, including children. But Israel tries to minimize civilian deaths, while Hamas tries always to maximize them. Hamas wants not just Israeli, but its own civilians to die; it is indifferent to their wellbeing; it hopes to profit from their deaths, that always prove so useful for propaganda purposes.
Rehwald’s dismissal of Hamas’s barbaric attack—which saw some Hamas terrorists gleefully film themselves using a hoe to behead a civilian’s corpse—comes as some employers cut ties with young staffers over their support for the terror group. Chicago-based law firm Winston & Strawn, for example, withdrew an employment offer to New York University law student Ryna Workman, who issued a statement saying Israel “bears full responsibility” for Hamas’s attack.
Many top corporations, however, have offered muted responses to Hamas’s terrorism—or no response at all. Nike CEO John Donahoe nearly a week after the attack sent an internal email to employees decrying the “horrific attacks in Israel” but did not mention Hamas, prompting pushback from some Jewish employees. Hamas directly ordered its terrorist fighters to kill as many Israelis as possible, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Is there something wrong with Nike at the very top? Why did the CEO wait a full week after the October 7 massacre to deplore the “horrific attacks in Israel,” without mentioning Hamas? Perhaps those who hold stock in Nike, or buy its products, would like John Donahoe to justify his belated and muted response to the Hamas attack, one that failed to identify the terrorist group that perpetrated the outrage.
Neither Rehwald nor Nike returned requests for comment. After the Washington Free Beacon contacted Rehwald, the Nike marketing specialist added a message to his X, formerly Twitter, account stating, “Views are my own, not my employer’s.”…
Yes, your views are your own, James Rehwald, and those who do not like your views, but find them horrifying, can apply whatever pressure they are able to on Nike, including boycotting Nike’s products if the company continues to employ someone — you — who harbors such views. Just imagine if Rehwald had posted on social media support for Derek Chauvin. Think of the outrage, and the calls for Nike to fire him which, of course, the company, in this hypothetical, would immediately do. Why should it not do so when Rehwald is an apologist for those who rape, torture, and murder Jews?
Rehwald completely ignores what only an antisemite would overlook: Israel makes every effort to minimize harm to civilians in several ways: First, the IDF has for four weeks been warning the people of northern Gaza to leave that area for the south, where they will be safer from the main battlefield in and around Gaza City. Second, the IDF warns civilians away from sites about to be targeted. Third, Israeli pilots are known to call off airstrikes at the last minute if they detect the presence of civilians, especially children, in the target area.
But none of this will have any effect on the likes of James Rehwald. So at the very least, why not express one’s horror at this apologist for Hamas in the most effective way, by letting Nike know that Rehwald is toxic, and his continued presence at the company will lead to a boycott of its products. That might get the attention of those higher up at Nike, who may care very little about Israel’s fight for its survival, but care very much about the company’s bottom line.
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