Thursday, July 31, 2014

Characteristics of Israeli propaganda in the West

My latest blog post for Al-Akhbar English:  "Characteristics of Israeli propaganda in the West".

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

No such headlines in US newspapers

If you need to verify how "surgical" Israeli bombing has been, check this headline of the Washington Post

Don't you like the phrasing: "Gaza power plant disabled"?  It is like they sent electricians and simply disabled it.

In a nutshell

"It’s worth listening carefully when Netanyahu speaks to the Israeli people. What is going on in Palestine today is not really about Hamas. It is not about rockets. It is not about “human shields” or terrorism or tunnels. It is about Israel’s permanent control over Palestinian land and Palestinian lives. That is what Netanyahu is really saying, and that is what he now admits he has “always” talked about. It is about an unswerving, decades-long Israeli policy of denying Palestine self-determination, freedom, and sovereignty.

What Israel is doing in Gaza now is collective punishment. It is punishment for Gaza’s refusal to be a docile ghetto. It is punishment for the gall of Palestinians in unifying, and of Hamas and other factions in responding to Israel’s siege and its provocations with resistance, armed or otherwise, after Israel repeatedly reacted to unarmed protest with crushing force. Despite years of ceasefires and truces, the siege of Gaza has never been lifted."

One of the best background articles you need to read about the Israeli war: "The Thrasybulus Syndrome: Israel’s War on Gaza"

This is the most comprehensive article that you need about the Israeli war on Gaza.  It is written not by a leftist radical, but by a mainstream well-known professor of international relations.  David C Hendrickson is a professor at Colorado College, where I knew him (and liked him) during my several visiting appointments there. 

"Indeed, the key prize in their geopolitical strategy of leaping over their opponents to find allies on the other side has been to secure a vital redoubt in American public opinion and in the organs of American state power. Here they have shown extraordinary success, the most potent symbol of which (not counting the annual bill of over $3 billion in military aid) is the twenty-nine standing ovations given to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he addressed Congress in May 2011. (Who sat down first? One wonders.) Israel’s enemies are America’s enemies; those whom they denominate as terrorists, we denominate as terrorists: Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, Sudan...This support does not simply reflect the adeptness of AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups in granting and withholding favors from members of Congress, but exists throughout the corporate commentariat and is well rooted in broad swathes of U.S. domestic opinion. The latest polls show that 57 percent of Americans believe Israel’s actions in Gaza are justified, with 40 percent opposed. An earlier Pew poll from 2013 showed that 51 percent of Americans sympathize with Israel; only 14 percent sympathize with the Palestinians. The findings are remarkably stable over time. According to a CNN poll, the same 57 percent thought Israel’s actions were justified against Hamas in 2012. In 2009, the approval rate was 63 percent. (The margins are closer in Gallup polling, with a July 22-23 poll showing a 42-39 split on whether Israel’s actions are justified and—disturbing for Israel—a 25-51 split among people aged 18-29.)...There are three expert timelines of the Israeli assault on Gaza published by John Judis, Larry Derfner, and Scott McConnell. They make clear that the first rockets fired by Hamas, after having observed a cease-fire since November 2012, came after a wide range of Israeli provocations. Israel had to deal with intermittent rocket fire from Gaza splinter groups, especially Islamic Jihad, throughout the previous eighteen months, but Hamas kept its fire. In March 2014, Netanyahu acknowledged that the number of rocket attacks from Gaza in the previous year was the “lowest in a decade.” The shock of the three Jewish teenagers kidnapped on June 12 led to widespread official calls for collective punishment, 1500 building searches, and some 500 arrests in the West Bank in the following two weeks, even though the government had every reason to believe that the teenagers were dead and that a group antagonistic to Hamas was behind the kidnappings. The clear purpose was to disrupt the accession of Hamas to the Palestinian “national consensus” government in early June. Israel not only arrested fifty-one Hamas members released in the exchange for Gilad Shalit, but also conducted thirty-four airstrikes on Gaza on July 1 and killed six Hamas men in a bombing raid on a tunnel in Gaza on July 6. After these Israeli actions, came a big volley of Hamas rockets, then Operation Protective Edge...
That America should be deeply associated with these Israeli attacks on Arabs and Muslims cannot be beneficial to American security. Osama bin Laden once revealed that he got the idea for blowing up skyscrapers from witnessing the Israeli shelling of Beirut in 1982; and the plan took shape after he observed the devastation wrought upon Iraq by Desert Storm in 1991. Everyone says that it was the stationing of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia that most offended bin Laden, but it was what the United States did with those forces—the war and the ensuing large civilian death toll in Iraq—that was the greater offense in his book. Violence motivates people, often to kill; that is a universal trait of our divided and depraved humanity.
No prudent foreign policy should ignore the motive for retaliation we give by recklessly using force in the Islamic world ourselves or by identifying the United States so closely with Israel. Adverting to this phenomenon two centuries ago, then-diplomat John Quincy Adams wrote that to take an eye for an eye allowed the allied powers ranged against France to “glut their vengeance for the wrongs” they had received from France, but Adams believed that they were “laying up stores of wrath for the day of wrath in revenge for those which they are inflicting.”"

Let me translate Washington Lingo to you

"Washington "deeply troubled" by Israel's targeting of Gaza power station".  This translates as follows: Washington does not think that Israel has butchered enough women and children and is troubled about the low number of Palestinian casualties but will be sending ASAP more bombs for Israel to use at once on Palestinian civilians.

A Palestinian girl cries while receiving treatment for her injuries

A Palestinian girl cries while receiving treatment for her injuries "A Palestinian girl cries while receiving treatment for her injuries caused by an Israeli tank shelling at a UN school in Jebaliya refugee camp, 30 July 2014. Photograph: Khalil Hamra/AP"

I am sure that the Committee to Protect only Certain Journalists would come out with a most lame statement on this murder of this journalist

And now a word from the US Senate

"The U.S. Senate unanimously supported Israel’s goals in its conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, a posture that distances the body from President Obama’s call for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire.

In a rare joint action, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the minority leader, initiated the resolution passed Tuesday evening by unanimous consent.

The resolution “supports Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’ unrelenting and indiscriminate rocket assault into Israel and Israel’s right to destroy Hamas’ elaborate tunnel system into Israel’s territory.”

That aligns with the goals set forth Monday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Israel would stay in Gaza until the tunnels reaching into its territory are destroyed, a day after Obama had phoned him and asked him to agree to an “immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire.”"

What about J Street, you may ask

"This time around, J Street has taken a radically different position, sticking close to other mainstream Jewish groups. J Street has asserted Israel’s right to defend itself, and has condemned Hamas while expressing concern for Palestinian and Israeli civilians."

Before and after the bombing by Israel

Ben Hubbard of the Times denies that Gaza is under the siege and notes the humanity of the occupiers

"Throughout the war, Israel has continued to allow food and electricity into Gaza, complicating Palestinian claims that they are besieged."  So what are the Palestinians really complaining about:  they have food and electricity and Israel is dropping bombs over the heads and butchering them albeit humanely.   Only an American correspondent can write such callous words on this day.

Contrast



Palestinians mourn the death of civilians, while Israelis mourn the death of an Israeli terrorist soldier.  This is supposed to be equivalent in the US press.

This was the Bush speechwriter who proudly coined "the axis of evil" term

"Conservative pundit David Frum apologized on Wednesday for alleging that the New York Times and other outlets had run faked photos from the violence in Gaza."

Gaza under fire

Now what do Left-wing members of US Congress have to say about Gaza

Actually, nothing at all.

Zionism in pictures

Zionism in pictures.

Israel needs more US money to kill more women and children

"The Obama administration's $225 million request to aid Israel during its war with Hamas may not be enough, warned Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday afternoon."

Graphic: Israeli massacre of Shuja`iyyah near the farmers' market


Israeli-Canadian cooperation

"Recently, a senior Elbit official — speaking only on background because of the sensitivity of discussions — said they've been working through the newly established defence co-operation channels with Canada and hope to sell the advanced device to the air force." (thanks Amir)

Look at this headline in the Post: "Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; 128 killed"

"Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; 128 killed":  "multiple members of at least five families were pulled from the rubble after airstrikes and tank shells struck their homes, including the mayor of the Bureij refugee camp, his 70-year-old father and three relatives". (thanks Basim)

Bashir al-Hajjar, Professor of Nursing, killed by Israeli terrorists in Gaza

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Dr.  @ Islamic University of , was killed in attack on UNRWA car today

"When the UN resorts to the passive tense"

From comrade Laure: "What would the statement look like had the UN offices in Israel been hit?
Forget the UNRWA schools, their own OCHA offices were hit 6 times last night within one hour, and they dare say this:
"communities coming under rocket fire in Israel are also fearful."

Thomas Friedman's foreign policy framework

"For me, the movie line that perfectly captures this moment was uttered by the leader of the Somali pirates who hijacked a cargo ship in “Captain Phillips,” starring Tom Hanks."

rarely asked question on American TV

""That is a lot of dead children," he said. "At what point does the Israeli government say, enough, we're killing too many innocent children?""

Is this an example of dark humor?

"US bars some Venezuelan officials accused of rights abuse". (thanks Marc)

AIPAC honors the work of its former employee, Wolf Blitzer

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Sisi complicity in Gaza

Comrade Joseph Massad on the complicity of the Sisi regime.

40-days old, Kerem ِAbu Zeyid, died in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What the New York Times is not reporting

"he army says that it launched 3,800 attacks in the Strip during the three weeks of fighting, with some of the targets hit twice. The defense establishment says, however, that there are enough additional targets in Gaza to continue the offensive for another several days...To date 179 Gazans have been taken prisoner and questioned by Unit 504 or by the Shin Bet Security Service. A substantial number of the prisoners turned out to be noncombatants".  Notice that Israeli terrorist propaganda does not count the number of tons of missiles or rockets or bombs but only "attacks" to make the number seem less.

One picture says it all

"Israeli settler children ordering a Palestinian child to walk on the narrow footpath reserved for Palestinians. They only have the wide street for themselves." (thanks Haifaa)

Flyers by terrorist Israeli army make direct threats against "civilians" in Gaza


This should be one evidence, among many, of the perpetration of war crimes by the terrorist Israeli army.  Human rights organizations (those who are not obsessed with not offending "pro-Israel donors", like HRW) should study the phrasing and determine the international legal responsibility.  This flyer was dropped over Gaza today.  Aside from Arabic mistakes contained in the flyer,  it says toward the end: "Obedience to the instructions of the IDF [sic] will prevent harming you--the civilian population."  It is signed by the "command of the IDF [sic]".

95% of Saudis support the continuation of resistance in Palestine

82% support "shelling Israel."

Funny man, Abe Foxman explains comedy to the public

And who can best explain comedy than funny man himself: ""Not everything can be reduced to a joke," Foxman told The Hollywood Reporter. "I know comedians would sell their mother for a joke, but Jon crossed a line.""

How the statement by Qassam commander will be interpreted tomorrow in the New York Times

Given the record of the Times in distorting the words of Khalid Mish`al, I predict that the New York Times will tomorrow translate the words of Qassam commander, Muhammad Dayf, in the following manner.  He said that "we opted to target the soldiers while the enemy chose to target our women and children".  In the Times it will read: we opted to target women and children, while they opted to target our fighters.

Israeli terrorists killed those children


Obama's statement

Obama has denied that he is in any way opposed to Israeli murder of Palestinian women and children.  He also denied that he ordered Netanyahu to stop the slaughter of women and children. 

Who?

You read this headline (written for the enjoyment of ill-informed Western reporters) and you ask yourself? Who is this guy, again? A top official that we have never ever heard of? "Hizbullah Top Official, Three Fighters Die in Qalamoun Clashes".  And then you read his name: "They identified the slain party official as Ibrahim al-Hajj, a.k.a. Abou Mohammed Salman". Top official?  But wait: there are sources here: "These deaths were confirmed by websites close to Syria's opposition and others to Hizbullah."  By Hizbullah they mean "sources close to Hizbullah".  Good night. 

Gaza: by the numbers

ICC on Israel

ICC has just announced that it can't act against the Israeli war criminal because he belongs to the "wrong" race and religion. 

Look how the New York Times "balances" a story that is damaging to Israel

" the Foreign Press Association in Israel condemned on Wednesday what it called “deliberate official and unofficial incitement against journalists” who are reporting on the fighting in Gaza. That includes “forcible attempts to prevent journalists and TV crews from carrying out their news assignments,” the association said."  So the intro is damaging to Israel. Here is some balance: It tells that that the fact a reporter was beaten live and cursed on the air is due to the fact that the city was a target of Hamas missiles: "Firas Khatib, who was shoved during a live report from the city of Ashkelon, a frequent target of rockets fired from Gaza."   ALL OF GAZA is a target of Israel's bombs, does that justify in your mind if Palestinians were to attack foreign journalists there? The paper then admits: "The treatment of foreign correspondents in Gaza has been generally more positive" but find one tweet to contradict this: "Jonathan Miller of Britain’s Channel 4 News reported that some residents of the destroyed Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya treated his crew with hostility."

This just in

In response to Hamas video of an infiltration into an Israeli military base, Israeli TV will air momentarily a video of Israeli soldiers infiltrating a base of women and children. 

Al-Aqsa TV just aired a video of Qassam fighters infiltarting an Israeli military base


The Terrorism discourse in the attack on Gaza

graph (1)graph (2)

"Often, the most vivid illustration of the criminality of this attack comes not from data but from isolated stories. Yesterday, for instance, “in Khan Younis, five members of the Najjar family, which lost 21 people in a previous strike, were killed.” Meanwhile, “in the Al Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, an airstrike from an F-16 killed the mayor, Anis Abu Shamala, and four others in his home, some of whom had taken refuge there from intense artillery shelling nearby.”

At the same time, the Israeli government’s messaging machine quickly switched from hyping rocket attacks, which were causing relatively little damage, to featuring what it began calling “terror tunnels”. The U.S. media dutifully followed suit, with CNN anchor (and former AIPAC employee) Wolf Blitzer touring a “terror tunnel” led around by the IDF and his flashlight, while the New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren did the same in an article headlined “Tunnels Lead Right to the Heart of Israeli Fear,” quoting “Israeli military officials”, “an Israeli military spokesman”, and “Israeli experts”."

What would get Americans to sympathize with Palestinians

My friend Maysa wrote this on Facebook (I cite with her permission): "I wonder...if the people of Gaza had the luxury of keeping 1-2 dogs per household, would Americans be more inclined to denounce the bombing of their neighborhoods? Or would they mumble about the use of Doggy Shields by Hamas? How would democrats weigh in vs republicans? I can't come to a conclusion..."