Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jewish terrorism: debunking three claims

Once upon a time, Jewish groups committed terror acts very similar to the ones perpetrated until recently by the Palestinians, complete with charred vehicles, body parts scatterd all over the sidewalk, etc. This creates a problem for the Zionists, since "nothing, but nothing, can justify terrorism." In order to rationalize the acts of those Jewish murderers, three basic claims are made. As far as I know, they have never been debunked simultaneously in one and the same article. Here we go, thus:

Claim #1: Only the Irgun and the Stern Gang resorted to terror. The Haganah, which was the mainstream Jewish resistance group, didn't.

This is a departure from established fact, or, euphemisms aside, a lie. The Haganah committed numerous terror attacks, sometimes in reprisal for Arab bombings, but always killing innocent civilians. Here you can access the archives of the Palestine Post (today's Jerusalem Post); in the January 6, 1948, issue you'll find the following article (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE):

If you browse the following day's issue of the newspaper, you'll find out that at least 10 people were killed in that Haganah terror bombing, including a boy aged 15, the hotel owner's son and two Sudanese waiters (talk about Darfur). (You will also find the British authorities' denial that the hotel had been given any military use by the Arabs.) You can find many more examples of Haganah terrorism in this book.

Claim #2: Jewish terror was mostly directed against British and Arab military objectives, and did not intend to kill civilians.

This claim exploits the fact that the best-known Jewish terror attack is the one on the King David Hotel, where the Headquarters of the British Forces in Palestine and Transjordan were located. First of all it must be noted that of the 91 victims, only 22 were Britons, so that the overwhelming majority were innocent civilians, including 17 Jews. But even if the intention of this particular attack was to harm the British military, most attacks carried out by the Irgun and other Jewish terror groups targeted Arab civilians. Here's one example:

Here's another:

Here's yet another:

See here a list of 42 Jewish attacks on Arab buses, automobiles and carts in just three months.

Yes, Jewish terrorists WANTED to randomly kill civilians. These were not collateral damage.

Claim #3: After Israel's independence, Israelis who had engaged in terrorism paid a heavy price for their acts and were marginalized from the country's political scene for several decades.

I don't need to present any evidence to debunk this claim, because it's an assertion, and the burden of proof falls on the one who affirms something, not on the one who denies it.

Yes, Menachem Begin, one of the most famous Jewish murderers, wasn't elected Prime Minister until 1977. But what evidence is there that he wasn't elected because of his terrorism against the Arabs? Peoples don't decide their vote out of empathy for other peoples, much less their enemies. There is a much simpler explanation: Israel was established by European Jews who were politically left-leaning. They created an all-powerful labor federation, the Histadrut, through which jobs could be obtained, since it controlled most industries. And handing out jobs is a great way of getting votes. Israel became thus a hegemonic-party state, like Italy under the Christian Democrats, or Japan under the Liberal Democrats.

Only when the impoverished Sephardi population, who didn't benefit from the Histadrut pork barrel, grew to outnumber the educated, well-to-do Ashkenazi sector did Begin's rightist, populist discourse take hold among the electorate.

The reality of Jewish terrorism will continue to haunt the Zionist camp. No matter how hard they try to spin it, it was terrorism, it did target civilians, and while it in no way justifies Hamas terror, it proves that Palestinians are no more evil than other peoples who believe themselves morally superior.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dershowitz: Nazis OK; too bad the Mufti corrupted them

Calling Alan Dershowitz a liar wouldn't be nice. It would be more polite to call him a purveyor of untruths.

But in fact he's a liar. The reason some will find his arguments "compelling" is because once Dershowitz has established the point he wants to make, he proceeds to manufacture a source to support it. That way he can never lose a debate, especially when he's not debating flesh and blood adversaries but a misrepresentation of their ideas, plus one or two straw men.

To be fair, Dershowitz doesn't make up his sources from scratch. He'll take a portion of an actual quote, leaving out crucial but inconvenient information, and will append to it an unrelated bit of argumentation, maybe from another quote that also exists, to obtain something which, while vaguely based on the truth, is a downright falsity.

One example is found in his recent article in The Jerusalem Post, which focuses on the figure of Amin El Hussayni, Mufti of Jerusalem during the British Mandate. The Mufti spent the WWII years in Berlin, where he collaborated with the Nazis to an unclear extent. This is used by Zionists to establish that the Palestinians bear some responsibility for the Holocaust, although there's no conclusive evidence that Hussayni's collaboration enjoyed support from the Palestinian public, and, on the other hand, Palestinian Arabs fought, alongside with Palestinian Jews, against the Nazis in the British-enlisted Palestine Regiment.

Of course, Hussayni wasn't any Arab; he was an Arab leader. But Avraham Stern was a Jewish leader, and in 1941 he offered the Nazis to enter the war on Germany's side (see here for a facsimile of the proposal). The Palestinians can't be demonized for doing what the Jews also tried to do (although the Zionist defense for this is that Stern has been repudiated in Israel, this is yet another lie: streets in all major Israeli cities are named after this frustrated Nazi collaborator).

In that context, Dershowitz claims:

[The Mufti] personally stopped 4,000 children, accompanied by 500 adults, from leaving Europe and had them sent to Auschwitz and gassed[.]

There indeed exists a story involving 4,000 children, 500 adults and the Mufti, but it's not as Dershowitz tells it. As Raoul Hilberg recounts in The destruction of the European Jews, all 4,500 people (from Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania) did manage to emigrate to Palestine (obviously, undetected by the Germans), and the Mufti protested to the Nazis, asking them to take active measures to stop further emigration. His objective was clearly to prevent more Jews from arriving in Palestine, not to block them from leaving Europe.

But it is the second part of Dershowitz's claim that is simply ludicrous. According to him, the Mufti "had them sent to Auschwitz"! Do you get it? The Nazis didn't actually mean to gas those Jews, but the Mufti, more Catholic than the Pope, arranged their transfer to a death camp! The sole idea that a guest of the Nazis could decide whom to send to the gas chambers, or that the Nazis would have needed any encouragement to kill the Jewish people they came across, would cause a roar of laughter among any audience even superficially acquainted with the Holocaust.

To summarize: the Mufti stopped 4,500 Jews who weren't in Europe from leaving Europe; and sent them to their death in Auschwitz against the Nazi reluctance to transfer Jews there. The case for expelling the Arabs from Israel is indeed overwhelming.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Purity of arms, absurdity of claims

Zionism is like a multi-headed hydra. There, I'm again at it with my antisemitic imagery. But how else would you describe a community of people who make wildly contradictory claims, making you waste your time and energy addressing them all? It's not like, for instance, the communists, with whom you at least have a clear idea of what you've got to respond to.

I'd like to focus here on one particular claim and its opposite, which are both made by Zionists of different stripes (or of the same stripe at different times). On the one hand it is asserted that Israel adheres to exceptionally high standards, indeed the best in the world, when it fights the Palestinians. On the other hand it is claimed that it's antisemitic to scrutinize Israel's behavior, especially vis-à-vis the occupied territories, since Israel is just another member of the international community and there's no special reason to look into its human-rights abuses. In other words, Israel is said to behave better than all other states, but if you want to verify if it does, then you're charged with being infected with an antisemitic obsession.

One notable example is the Purity of Arms claim, which is closely related to the familiar phrase, "Israel has the most moral army in the world." In what ways is the country exceptionally moral? According to the Judeo-Christian Alliance:

Israeli soldiers risk their own lives to prevent Palestinian civilian deaths.

According to the Zionist Organization of America:

No other nation teaches its soldiers to risk their own lives for the purpose of avoiding deaths and injuries to the civilian population of its enemies.

The point is picked up by Alan Dershowitz, one of the leading Israel apologists:

A lead story in the "Ideas" section of the Boston Globe analyzed the ethical training received by Israeli soldiers and concluded, "The IDF army offers a model for us and other coalition forces." It described the Israeli concept of "purity of arms," which "requires that soldiers put their own lives at stake in order to avoid harming non-combatants."

Why would they make such an unbelievable claim? Soldiers are usually too busy staying alive themselves; it's not reasonable to even suggest that they would place other people's lives above their own. However, Israel defenders play on the gullibility of a large segment of the Gentile community. Because of the immense contribution of Jewish persons to the European and American societies, the public is prepared to believe anything good about Israel, just as it's perpared to believe anything bad about the Palestinians, courtesy of Exodus and numerous other anti-Arab movies.

But, is there even a grain of truth to the claim? Is it at least formally accurate, i.e., are Israeli sodiers taught what they're claimed to be taught, even if they don't practice it?

No, it's a lie. The Purity of Arms concept indeed exists, but it does not involve teaching soldiers self-sacrifice for the sake of others. It's part of the Ethical Code of the Israeli Defense Forces:

Purity of Arms

The IDF serviceman will use force of arms only for the purpose of subduing the enemy to the necessary extent and will limit his use of force so as to prevent unnecessary harm to human life and limb, dignity and property.

The IDF servicemen's purity of arms is their self-control in use of armed force. They will use their arms only for the purpose of achieving their mission, without inflicting unnecessary injury to human life or limb; dignity or property, of both soldiers and civilians, with special consideration for the defenseless, whether in wartime, or during routine security operations, or in the absence of combat, or times of peace.

As can be seen, nothing you won't find in the Ethical Codes of other armies, and of course no hint whatsoever that soldiers should risk their lives to avoid harming non-combatants.

Indeed, "The Ethical Fight Against Terror," a 2003 article written by Israeli philosopher Asa Kasher and Major General Amos Yadlin, now the head of Military Intelligence, argued that it was justifiable to kill civilians so that soldiers won't be lost. The article is considered to have provided the justification for Israel's recent disproportionate war on Gaza. In an interview with Haaretz, Kasher stated:

There is no army in the world that will endanger its soldiers in order to avoid hitting the neighbors of an enemy or terrorist. (...)

Sending a soldier there to fight terrorists is justified, but why should I force him to endanger himself much more than that so that the terrorist's neighbor isn't killed? I don't have an answer for that. From the standpoint of the state of Israel, the neighbor is much less important. I owe the soldier more. If it's between the soldier and the terrorist's neighbor, the priority is the soldier. Any country would do the same.

That comes a lot closer to Israel's observed behavior in Gaza.

So that you see: I've had to do some research to establish, apparently for the first time on the Internet, the Zionists' mendaciousness as regards the Purity of Arms concept. They'll call me an antisemite, because, who would spend so much time on the Ethical Code of the IDF when China is occupying Tibet? But I guess I can live with the antisemitic slur being hurled at me. It's a sacrifice that I'm prepared to make so that truth won't be hurt.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Murderers, freedom-fighters and "complex situations"

Barry Rubin lives in a world of clear-cutness. To this radical Israeli Likudnik and university professor who "sold" the Iraq war to the West (although you may have heard that Israel didn't push for that war, see Rubin's seminal article here), a terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist:

A reporter just wrote me a letter that contains a single sentence which I think reflects on why the Western world is in such trouble today (...):

“And when it comes to the Middle East, one man’s [obscenity deleted] is another man’s truth.”

Woe to us that a journalist thinks this way. Of course, this is very similar to the older version that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

Even diplomats obfuscate things, Rubin moans:

Recently, I heard that latter one from the Danish ambassador to the Council of Europe who said that Hamas and Hizballah were like the Danish resistance in World War Two.


That a European country—and one of the more astute ones, to make matters worse--is represented by someone like that says something pretty sad about the state of the world today.

Rubin would prefer that Denmark be represented by, say, the Muhammad cartoonists; but life is unfair.

In his pursuit of moral clarity, Rubin goes on to state:

People who murder civilians on purpose and organizations which have a strategy of mass murder are terrorists. The fact that these same organizations seek to put into power repressive dictatorships makes them even less like anything that might be called freedom fighters.

People who try their best not to murder civilians or to inflict suffering on them as an end in itself and who seek to create democratic governments with liberty are freedom fighters.

An EITHER/OR dichotomy arises from these paragraphs. There are murderers of civilians who want dictatorships, and protectors of civilians who want democratic governments; mankind is thus neatly divided between bad and good guys. The books were wrong all along and the world is not at all complicated.

Can Rubin be bothered to give examples of the bad guys? Unsurprisingly, he can:

Those responsible for the Terror in the French Revolution, Nazis, Stalinists, Hamas, al-Qaida, etc., can be called terrorists. That list was not meant to be exhaustive.

Individuals can act in a terrorist manner but if the movements in which they participate are freedom fighter movements, they will limit, restrain, and punish such people. In terrorist groups—like say the PLO historically—such acts were glorified and rewarded.

When one is served this [curseword deleted] by an Israeli academic, the first thought that comes to mind is, where to begin.

Palestinian terrorists don't kill Jews "as an end in itself." They kill Jews so that they will get the hell out of Israel. Of course this is immoral; nobody should be expelled from where they were born and raised; but the terrorists' objective is clearly not to murder people, but to fully retake the land that they view as theirs. And even in that context, the PLO was absolutely clear that it would not expell the Jews descended from those who lived in Palestine before the Balfour Declaration.

Also, Rubin fails to take into consideration that, outside of killing civilians, there's nothing the Palestinians can do to punish the Jewish theft of Arab land. It's not like the Palestinians can at any given moment cut off power to Tel Aviv, demolish a Jewish house of their choice or prevent taxes paid by Israelis from reaching their government. What the Palestinians do can't be compared to what a state with an army can do. It must be compared to what other peoples have done when they didn't have a state -- like, for instance, the Jews before 1948.

And here's where an innocent-looking paragraph that Rubin inserts becomes operative:

Now obviously if one wants to try to come up with complex situations regarding the issues discussed briefly above where the answers aren’t so easy, this can be done without difficulty. But this does not prove such distinctions don’t exist, just that they are not always simple ones.

Why does Rubin make this caveat? Isn't terrorism always terrorism? What can be complex about that?

The answer is very simple: Rubin is pre-emptively reserving the right to excuse the Jewish terrorists who targetted civilians in the 30s and 40s and who have been and continue to be glorified by Israel.

Take, for instance, David Raziel. His résumé includes:

Raziel (...) was slowly building his anti-terror machine. It now struck, to the terror of the Arabs (...).

On July 6,1938, time bombs were put in milk cans and placed in the Arab market place in Haifa by an Irgun member dressed as an Arab porter. In the explosion that followed, 21 Arabs were killed and 52 wounded. Terror spread throughout the Arabs of Haifa, among the most vicious of the enemies of Zionism.

The attack was in reaction to the murder of two Jews the previous day in Jerusalem, and the Arabs of Jerusalem were not to be spared. A bomb thrown into a crowd of Arabs on David Street in the Old City killed two and wounded four. Two days later, the Irgun threw a bomb into a crowd of Arabs waiting near the bus terminal near Jaffa Gate. Three were killed and 19 injured. A week later, on a Friday, as Arabs left their mosque at the foot of David Street in the Old City, an electronically detonated mine went off killing ten Arabs and wounding 30.

On July 25, 1938, a 30-kilogram explosive went off in the Arab market place in Haifa. Hidden in a barrel of sour pickles, it killed at least 35 Arabs and wounded 70 more. The Arabs were terrified; (...) Raziel was content.

One month later, the Irgun switched to Jaffa, a nest of the worst gangs of Arab vipers in the country. An Irgun member, once again dressed as an Arab porter, placed a bomb in the Arab Dir-a-Salach marketplace. The official version listed 21 Arabs dead and 35 wounded. In reality many more went to heaven.

February 27, 1939, proved to be yet another "Black Day" for the Arabs as the Irgun, sensing collapse of Arab terror in the face of Jewish vengeance, attacked in three cities. In Haifa, two powerful explosions went off, one at the ticket window of the railroad station in East Haifa and the other at the Arab market place. At least 27 Arabs were killed. Half-an-hour later in Jerusalem, three Arabs were killed and six wounded in an Irgun explosion on David Street while another died after being attacked on an Arab bus passing Machane Yehuda.

One would hope for this beast to be fully repudiated by Israel. One would hope in vain. Today, Israel celebrates this mass-murderer with a village named after him, Ramat Raziel, which is located in the Jerusalem corridor. Streets in all major Israeli cities bear his name as well.

That's right: the Jewish state is proud of a vicious Jewish murderer that killed more innocent civilians at the Haifa marketplace than the Palestinians did at the Dolphinarium.

So was Raziel a freedom fighter or a terrorist? Neither, according to Rubin: when Jews murder civilians, they become a "complex situation" (a category from which, obvioulsy, Arabs are barred) which we need not discuss, lest we expose ourselves as antisemites.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Millionaire Dhimmis

My family (wife, two kids and yours truly) are very fortunate where living space is concerned. We own a 150 sq mt house, plus a 50 sq mt yard. That's 50 sq mt of housing per head. Most other people in my country have to make do with much smaller houses, and many don't own any real estate at all. In Barcelona, where my wife comes from, property ownership averages less than 30 sq mt per capita, and I believe the same is true for Paris, Rome and other crowded European capitals.

You would expect us to also compare very favorably with, for instance, the Jews who emigrated from Arab lands. By now you must be familiar with the Zionist version of their story: they didn't emigrate with the encouragement and support of Israel, but were instead expelled; and they never enjoyed comfortable lives in Arab countries, but had been subjected to dhimmi status all along. Now second-class citizens are never allowed to economically thrive, so that Arab Jews must have lived, on average, in abject poverty.

Well; this is one more issue in which Zionists claim one thing and its exact opposite with a straight face. According to their new narrative re the Jewish "refugees" from Morocco, Iraq and other Arab countries, these emigrants left massive wealth behind:

About 850,000 Jews fled Arab countries after Israel's founding in 1948, leaving behind assets valued today at more than $300 billion, said Heskel M. Haddad.

He added that the New York-based organization has decades-old property deeds of Jews from Arab countries on a total area of 100,000 - which is five times the size of the State of Israel.

These figures mean that, on average, Sephardi Jews owned 118,000 sq mt of real estate, and were worth $353,000 each. A typical five-member family, thus, owned property equivalent to over fifty urban blocks measuring 100 meters on each side, and their net worth was more than 1.75 million dollars.

So what gives? Were they despised dhimmis or millionaires? Or is this just one more instance of Zionists wanting to have it both ways?

h/t: andrew r, for helping me correct my calculations.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Elementary, Moisés

I confess I don't actually know who Moisés Naím is, but he wrote an article in the Spanish daily El País comparing the Muslims' reaction to the Danish Muhammad cartoons back in 2005 with their response to China's crackdown on its Muslim Uighur population after they burned cars and stores in recent riots. Eamonn McDonaugh provides a very good translation at Z-Word Blog.

At the beginning of the article Naím machine-guns us with rhetorical questions:

Where are the fatwas? Where are the huge protest marches? Where are the protests in front of the embassies? What happened to the indignation-laden speeches? What does Al Qaeda have to say? In other words, what does China have that Denmark didn’t?

Naím does have an answer in mind, but wants us to get to it on our own. So that I'll try to reach the conclusions he expects us to draw; to that effect, I need to ask a few questions myself:

1) Were the cartoonists who drew the Muhammad caricatures Jewish? No.
2) Was the newspaper where they were published a Jewish journal? No.
3) Were the newspaper's editors Jewish? No.
4) Was it a newspaper published in the Jewish state? No.

Then there can be no doubt:

The Muslims protested the Danish cartoons and not the Chinese repression of the Uighurs because they are antisemitic.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Arab conspiracy to take Arab land away from Jews

Freudian slips are often used as evidence of the Israeli leaders' nefarious designs because Israeli Jews have learned that they can't say what they think, or it will dawn on Americans that, for instance, 104 outposts in the West Bank are part of a policy, rather than a series of unfortunate coincidences.

Did I say Israeli Jews? Sorry, I meant Israeli Ashkenazim. The Sephardi sector of Israeli Jewry are much less aware of diplomacy and have no problem speaking their minds. And their minds are ugly:

Jews and Israeli-Arabs should not live next to one another, Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Attias said on Thursday.

He warned of the "expansion of a population that doesn't love the State of Israel, to say the least."

Speaking at the Israel Bar Association headquarters in Tel Aviv, the Shas legislator said Israel was in danger of "losing the Galilee" if the Israeli-Arab population continued to "spread" in the North, and mentioned in particular the Wadi Ara area, where he asserted that Harish, a haredi community planned to be built there, was a "mission of national importance" that could help "stop the expansion."

According to this minister from Israel's Sephardi party, the Jews might be on the verge of losing the Galilee to the people who have always lived there.

"Arabs don't have where to live, so they buy apartments in places with a Jewish nature, which causes unwanted friction," Attias said.

"We can all be bleeding-hearts," said the minister, "but I think it is unsuitable [for Jews and Arabs] to live together."

Very reasonable; one should not live next to people who are not worth a millionth part of one's fingernails, as per rabbi Perrin's formulation.

Attias used the Jewish-Arab clashes last year in Acre to explain his argument. "The mayor of Acre [Shimon Lankry] met with me yesterday for three hours, and asked how to save the city. He told me to bring a whole lot of haredim to save it," Attias said.

The minister quoted Lankry as saying, "I will even lose my political power."

"He told me that Arabs living in Jews' buildings chase them away," Attias added.

That's right; events like those in Acre clearly show that the Arabs are pursuing the goals set forth in The Protocols of the Elders of Mecca. That's why they come with their tanks, choppers, tear-gas canisters and skunk-smelling water cannons and chase the Jews away from their buildings. But fortunately the Haredim, armed with their faith, will defeat, against all odds, their vastly superior forces and equipment, like David did vs. Goliath.

I will spare you my usual tirade about what the reaction would be if any leader in Europe, speaking about the Jews, etc., etc. But just tell me: don't you love these Sephardim? They're so outspoken, so lacking in hypocrisy, so unconstrained by political correctness, so... so... so Arab! Self-hating, but Arab, at least in this key cultural aspect.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hasbara booklet: Just lie

The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary is a Hasbara booklet written by a Dr. Frank Luntz that adds on to a rich but unsuccessful literature existing in the field. Why unsuccessful? Let's quote from the author's introduction:

I wrote my first Language Dictionary for The Israel Project in 2003. Since that time, Israel has had three Prime Ministers, several stalled peace initiatives, found itself the victim of attack from its northern and southern borders, and has suffered greatly in the court of public opinion.

Memo to him: the problem is not with his previous booklets, it's with Israel.


The Israel Project's 2009 Global Language Dictionary -

I see favorably the publication of these hasbara materials inasmuch as they prove that Zionists don't actually believe that the world's negative view of Israel has anything to do with irrational antisemitism (otherwise they wouldn't waste their time trying to convince anyone). Other than that, I expect them to be professionally made and factually accurate. So that I did two searches on subjects the "hasbarization" of which I was curious about.

First, I typed in LOYALTY OATH on the search box. I was surprised to find no result. Mr. Liberman's initiative that Israeli Arabs should take a loyalty oath or be stripped of their citizenship is something an Israel advocate would be asked about, but this booklet offers no recipee to fend the questioner off.

Next, I typed in SETTLEMENTS. I did get a full chapter devoted to them. After listing a few somewhat dated arguments, on p. 63 we get the formula that summarizes it all:

Israel does not talk about dismantling Arab settlements within Israel. In a democratic society, Jews and Arabs should be able to live side-by-side in peace. Nobody ever says Israeli territory has to be free from Arabs. One should ask the Palestinian leadership why they always demand land that is free from Jews.

Note the terminology shift currently under way. Just like a few years ago the Jewish immigrants to Israel were suddenly turned into refugees, and voilà, the Palestinian refugees were wiped out from the debate, because they cancelled out with the Jewish refugees, the Arab towns of Israel are now being termed settlements, and voilà, there's no injustice at all: Jewish settlements in the West Bank cancel out with Arab settlements in Israel. I denounce the Israeli checkpoints between Jericho and Ramallah, but why do I say nothing about the checkpoints set up by Arab falafel vendors on the roads of Yafo?

That aside, the Words That Work include something that is not terminological at all, but which is simply a bare-faced lie, namely that the Palestinian leadership "always demand land that is free from Jews."

Up to a very recent time, no one talked about Jews remaining in the West Bank under a two-state solution. Everyone understood that Israeli Jews are deeply and unabashedly racist, and, in order to avoid living under Arab rule, they would be prepared to accept the unthinkable: higher taxes in Israel proper. Only very recently has the Hasbara community begun to claim the human right not to be uprooted from where you went to grab someone else's land in the first place. So that the Palestinian leadership had had nothing to say on the issue, because it was not a subject of debate.

Until now. But on Saturday, 4 July 2009, at the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Ideas Festival, in, of all places, Aspen, Colorado, Palestinian primer minister Saleem Fayyad was for the first time ever asked about his views on the subject. His answer:

“In fact the kind of state that we want to have, that we aspire to have, is one that would definitely espouse high values of tolerance, co-existence, mutual respect and deference to all cultures, religions. No discrimination whatsoever, on any basis whatsoever.

“Jews to the extent they choose to stay and live in the state of Palestine will enjoy those rights and certainly will not enjoy any less rights than Israeli Arabs enjoy now in the state of Israel.”

The Zionists went immediately ballistic. They took to the cyberspace to say, zillions of times "if you believe this I have a bridge in Brooklin to sell to you." Others were more straightforward:

don't listen to them! DO NOT BELIEVE THEM!! the arabs are very capable of lying and then making life miserable for the Israelis. and than it might be too late..and they can make horrible laws too. they have ruled Jews before.

Why were they so furious? Because finally Fayyad had learned the Israeli technique of making offers that the other side can't take, so as to appear very generous when the offer is actually meaningless.

But the Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary chose to ignore this Palestinian display of smartness, and instead instructed the Hasbara gang to lie about it.

Not that the Hasbara gang didn't know that lying is the approach to take when apologizing for Israel, mind you.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Do you believe Netanyahu's dad?

From The Jerusalem Post:

Channel 2 reported Wednesday night that the prime minister had told his father, 100-year-old historian Benzion Netanyahu, that he purposely set the conditions [for a Palestinian State, IIY] knowing that the Palestinians would never agree to them. [My emphasis, IIY.]

"He doesn't support [a Palestinian state]," the father said in a phone interview. "He set conditions that they won't ever accept. That's what he told me. He set the conditions and they won't accept even one of them."

Netanyahu's office responded by accusing Channel 2 of "maliciously tricking a 100-year-old man."

That Bibi should accuse his own father of senile weakness in order to cover his ass is indicative of the principles this man holds. Memo to Obama: that extends to the negotiating table too.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Deliberate, not opportunistic

A few days ago I argued that Israel, while ostensibly opposing the Jewish settlers' expansionist activities in the West Bank, actually encourages them. The mechanism is more or less as follows: Israel gives the settlers carte blanche to build 104 outposts. Then one day the army comes and dismantles 4 outposts in a spectacular move that captures the world's attention. This results in their a) getting a lot of good publicity after their painful concession; and b) retaining 100 of the 104 outposts they had erected on another people's land in the first place.

It is a fact that this happens; that outposts are built at a far higher rate than they're removed by the IDF, the net balance always being overwhelmingly favorable to the Israeli thievery of Arab land. And it is a fact that the occasional removal of scattered outposts is used to make it appear that Israel is returning land, when it actually is giving back only a fraction of a very-recently-stolen land that adds on to all the previously grabbed territories. But is it a deliberate policy, rather than the State cynically taking advantage of the settlers' bad behavior? Where's the smoking gun?

Well, here's the smoking gun:

Ehud Barak understood that he would have a very tough negotiation on the territorial question. When I asked his chief of staff Gilead Sher why the prime minister was building even more settlements than Netanyahu, his answer was "the story of the goat" - meaning it would appear that Israel was making larger concessions than it really was.

Gershon Baskin, It's the occupation, stupid!, The Jerusalem Post, 7 Jul 2009

I think it would be easy to find other similar implicating evidence to confront the Netanyahu administration with, and I sometimes wonder why Barack Obama's advisers don't look for it. I think it's a matter not of laziness, but of unwillingness. With Democratic Congresspeople increasingly nervous about the future of their seats, Obama's ability to confront the Lobby may have found its ceiling.

Friday, July 3, 2009

If Neda had died in Bil'in

The death of Neda Soltan in Tehran, Iran, during the repression of a protest rally is a shocker:

So is the death of Bassem Ibrahim Abu Rahmah in Bil'in, the West Bank, in similar circumstances:

So why have you heard so much about Neda and nothing at all about Bassem? I'll make an attempt at explanation towards the end of this post, but drawing a parallelism between the murders of these two young people seems to be in order first.

Of course, I'm by no means the first blogger to note the symmetry between both incidents, and their asymmetrical treatment by the media (see here, here). But I'd like to focus here on what the reactions would be if Neda had been killed by Israeli soldiers in Bil'in, comparing them, when appropriate, with the reactions to Neda's death in Teheran.

1) Initially, it would be claimed that the video of her death is fake (the "Pallywood" argument). The claim would only be dropped when enough Jews showed up confirming her death.

2) She would be described as having been throwing rocks, and it would be stated that those rocks in fact endangered the Israeli soldiers' lives. This defense was put up by Zionists on the few specialized blogs that reported on Bassem's death:

If as reported, they were throwing stones and trying to destroy the fence (collective responsibility works both ways), I can’t get upset that the guy died.

This is striking because the video of Bassem's death, which clearly shows no rock being thrown by the demonstrators, had been pasted on the very same blog where the response above was posted, and because there had been no mention of rock-throwing, other than by Zionist commenters on blogs.

3) It would be asserted that her death in Bil'in was intentionally caused by other Palestinians (Alan Dershowitz's theory that the Palestinians want to maximize civilian casualties on both sides). No one would dare suggest, however, that the Teheran demonstrators killed Neda to produce a martyr for their cause (even if they were as Muslim as [most, anyway] Palestinians, and you know, taqqiya, taqqiya).

4) In the case of Neda's fictional death in Bil'in, it would be stressed that the demonstration in which she died was unauthorized. In the case of her real death in Teheran, on the other hand, it would be considered outrageous to even make an issue of the legal status of the protest she joined.

5) In her Bil'in death, her motives for joining the demonstration would be scrutinized in depth and questioned. Why was she there? Her house was not about to be demolished, she had no relative in jail, she even was overweight. In discussing her Teheran death, however, her belonging to a well-to-do family that owns a travel agency, and the fact that her main problem just before joining the rally was that her car's air conditioning didn't work properly, were not brought up to disingenuously wonder what obscure reasons she might have to oppose a regime that treated her so well.

6) After all of that failed, Israel's announcement that her death in Bil'in will be investigated would be taken very seriously. By contrast, Iran's announcement that her Teheran death would be investigated was quickly dismissed. (And rightly so, some will claim, because democracies produce reliable investigations, and tyrannies don't. But Israel is democratic to Jews and Jewish to Arabs, and it has been exposed as a notorious liar as regards the killing of unarmed Arabs.)

7) Finally, Israel's "finding" that the bullet that killed her in Bil'in had bounced against a traffic-light pole before hitting her would be taken at its word. While Iran's "finding" that the bullet that killed her in Teheran was from a type of weapon not used by Iran's security forces was met with the derision both "findings" deserve.

This is the point where a psychologist would come in handy to explain where these different treatments of information stem from. In the absence of one, I'll put forward a theory both shrinks and ordinary people are welcome to comment on.

Israel enjoys a "credibility capital" that is due not to its record as regards truth-telling and respect for innocent lives, but to the behavior of Diaspora Jews. Few violent criminals are found among the latter (or among French Armenians, Korean Americans, Japanese Argentinians and other financially secure and educated minorities). Therefore, the reasoning goes, Israeli Jews are unlikely, too, to kill defenseless prisoners and such. Little thought is given to the existence of an Israeli Jewish underclass that is simply not there in the Diaspora, and that may lack the restraints that are supposed to come with education.

So when a damning video arises, this presents CNN with a problem: Jews are seen doing what we know they don't do. The solution to this logical dilemma? Not airing it in prime time, or at all just in case. And getting an Israeli to deny it all if a talking head does get around to mentioning the incident.