The Mike Report Year in Review
As we look back upon 2014 I can say that I am proud of the role The Mike Report has played this past year in educating the Puget Sound pro-Israel community of the growing influence of Israel’s harshest critics within the halls of our legacy Jewish establishment organizations.
As the arrival of 2015 becomes imminent, I have been asked by more than a few readers which of our 199 posts in 2014 was our most popular. Interestingly I almost didn’t post what turned out to be TMR’s most visited post of the year.
I had been following the hate filled antics of the small but feisty group of local anti-Israel activists all year. From Westlake Park to Capitol Hill to the Port of Seattle the one constant at all of the anti-Israel tantrums was the display of obscene, often anti-Semitic banners and posters. At the height of the Gaza war it was The Mike Report that exposed the appearance of blood libel infused signage and Nazi themed gruesome artwork. Our efforts to expose the haters finally prodded the Seattle Jewish Federation into taking a quick break from their gun control efforts to join the ADL in condemning the obscene, anti-Semitic themes appearing at downtown anti-Israel rallies.
I had become so accustomed to the radical extremists in the Puget Sound area and their obscene signage that I was not shocked at all when I saw a banner conflating the situation in Ferguson to Israel and calling for a boycott of the Jewish State. It was only after folks showed unusual interest in my Facebook post of the Ferguson-Palestine banner pic that I decided to publish the photo on The Mike Report.
That post became the most popular TMR article of the year, garnering over 70,000 views and was picked up by multiple news sources including The Huffington Post, The Jewish Journal, The Jewish Press, JNS, Algemeiner and Canada Free Press.
Our favorite pieces this year were the stories we told of triumph over adversity and courage overcoming challenge. From Hen Mazzig’s frenetic attempt to educate thousands of Seattle area students to Sarah Boldor and Shana Jacobson’s inspirational Aliya stories. We watched with admiration Seattle native Avinoam Baral’s efforts to defend Israel against overwhelming odds at UCLA and were introduced to the infectiously positive Israel advocate, Yvonne Bartlett. Ada De Silva told us of her journey from disillusioned J Streeter to enthusiastic Israel advocate, Steve Hemmat offered his thoughtful insights and Randy Kessler shared with us his visits to the anti-Israel lion’s den at St. Mark’s.
Most moving of all though were two particular guest posts. The first, a memorable, powerful essay by Leah Jacobson in the wake of the murder of our boys, Gilad, Eyal and Naftali. The other was Dr. Elie Levy’s description of his emotional experience visiting wounded IDF heros at Tel HaShomer hospital.
I am grateful to guest columnists Varda Epstein, Randy Kessler, Steven Hemmat, Ada Da Silva, Dr. Elie Levy, Professor Ira Sharkansky and Leah Jacobson who added depth and wisdom to The Mike Report’s usual fare. I also thank my unofficial editorial board for their sage advice and guidance, you know who you are. Last but not least I thank the loyal readers of The Mike Report, I treasure your feedback, encouragement and intelligent critiques. Looking forward to another amazing year of “news that interests me”.