Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Park51 Tweets: Amish and Yiddish

Park51 has a PR problem.

Now even its Tweets have sparked controversy.

Update: We are in the process of introducing a new team and are issuing apologies for any prior Tweets that may have caused offense.

And this:
Official: We would like to issue a formal apology for the Yiddish tweet yesterday, it was meant in jest and no insult was intended.

The offensive Tweets have been removed. So what's the story?

Park51 mocked the Amish and Haaretz, a Jewish newspaper.

From NewsBusters:

How's this for "creating dialogue"?

Yesterday, organizers of the Ground Zero mosque project took to Twitter to slam Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, after the paper incorrectly reported that plans for the controversial Islamic prayer center were being abandoned.

But some say the mosque's organizers went too far by mocking Ha'aretz with references to Jewish culture.

"On a side note, if Haaretz likes publishing fables, perhaps they could go back to the Yiddish ones with parables #welikethosebetter," Tweeted Park51, which calls itself the "official Twitter account" of the Ground Zero mosque project. Yiddish is a language that originated with and was used primarily by the Ashkenazi Jewish community in Eastern Europe.

After the Tweet caused a small outcry with some calling it "anti-semitic," Park51 appeared to remove the comment from its Twitter page, though there is still a link available to the original statement.

"Fine lemme retract the yiddish one and restate - the intent was that Haaretz published an unsubstantiated fable not a fact," Park51 Tweeted, in an attempt to backtrack on statement. "Apparently we can take a bashing all day but we can't make a jab about fables. :("

Later, Park51 attempted to explain the reasoning behind the Yiddish dig. "I meant it as a joke as my cousin's mother used to tell us Yiddish stories as kids (she's Jewish)," Park51 Tweeted.


And Park51's Amish Tweet:

Amish saying stop Muslims?1. What are you doing on the computer? 2. That's not very Amish 3. Shouldn't you be making butter?

Oh, Park51, keep building bridges.


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