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Emet m'Tsiyon

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How Hamas Talks out of Three Sides of Their Mouth

Hamas sends a different message to each of three different groups, to three bodies of public opinion or audiences that it wants to influence. It tells the Arabs and the Muslim world that it won the war, that it was victorious and triumphant, that it caused great losses to Israel, great losses among both Israeli soldiers and civilians, that it is a movement of mighty heroes.
It tells the West, the self-styled "Left", the Liberals and the would-be humanitarians that the victims on its side in the war were nearly all civilians, that its martyrs were women and children, that Israel targeted civilians, woman and children, as well as UN facilities. It pretended to be weak and helpless and innocuous and innocent. This was of course in direct contradiction and contrast to its messages to the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Lastly, in youtube messages to Israelis it  threatened that it would slaughter them. It was trying to terrorize them with pix of death and destruction in Israel and threats in Hebrew, usually poor Hebrew, that they were going to be killed, slaughtered, massacred. When Israelis were aware of this terror propaganda they usually laughed at it.

It's a three-way media/propaganda strategy. Aaron Magid spells it out on Tablet:
. . . .  on Aug. 26, hours before the Egyptian-mediated ceasefire in Gaza began, Hamas’ military wing—Al-Qassam Brigades—launched its final attacks on Israel. In addition to the dozens of rockets shot by Al-Qassam Brigades, @qassam_Arabic1, Al-Qassam’s official Arabic Twitter account, defiantly posted dozens of tweets declaring unconditional triumph. Sprinkling religious messaging on their Arabic Twitter page, Al-Qassam frequently utilized Quranic language to inspire its followers.

At the same time, in English, Al-Qassam was posting online messages employing terms such as “human rights” to attract a Western audience while emphasizing Palestinian suffering . . . . [emphasis added]
But the message sent to Israelis was altogether different from the other two:
 . . . . . While Al-Qassam’s English messaging was designed to show Hamas as the moral underdogs, the organization’s Hebrew social media team focused primarily on intimidating the Israeli public. One Tweet included an Al-Qassam fighter inside a tunnel aiming a rifle at the viewer with “see you later!” written in Hebrew. [emphasis added]
Intimidating is too mild a term for the Hamas message to Israelis. They were trying to terrorize  us with pictures of death and destruction inside Israeli cities. However, one of the videos was taken over by Israelis who used it to ridicule the Hamas. It featured mighty Hamas warriors --at least in their own eyes-- in battle on land, sea and air, and featured headlines coming out of the screen such as Mavet l'Yisrael [death to Israel]. It also featured films and still pix from Hamas mass murder terrorist attacks on Israelis from the past 15 years, like the neon sign outside Café Moment in Jerusalem where a dozen Israelis were murdered about 13 years ago and ambulances at scenes of terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, the Hebrew language  facet of Hamas propaganda did not work as well as the distinct  messages aimed at the Arab & Muslim worlds and at the West/the Liberals/would-be humanitarians, etc.

Speaking to a Western audience, Khalid Mesh`al was at his oily, hypocritical best:
When Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal was interviewed by Western media outlets, as happened repeatedly throughout and after the war, he shifted Hamas’ messaging away from Hamas’ more combative Arabic tweets toward the kind of language that Western audiences would receive as more moderate and reasonable. On BBC, Meshal twice mentioned that “our Palestinian people have a right to their own state in the West Bank and Gaza”—as though Hamas was fighting for a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. Yet, Hamas TV consistently called all Israelis, including those who lived in pre-1967 Israel, “settlers,” in consonance with the organization’s charter and repeated public declarations laying claim to “all of Palestine.” In a separate interview with PBS’ Charlie Rose, Meshal stated that “we do not fight the Jews because they are Jews per se. We fight the occupiers. I’m ready to coexist with the Jews”—again suggesting, to Western listeners who were willing or eager to hear him talk that way, a potential willingness to recognize an Israeli state within the 1967 lines. At the same time in Arabic, Al-Qassam was celebrating the death of a 4-year-old Israeli “settler” from Nahal Oz, who lived far away from any West Bank settlement.
. The Hamas whining about its own Gaza civilians being killed was especially hypocritical since it was trying to get its own civilians killed by firing from civilian areas, including UN compounds, including even areas where the foreign press was staying, In this vein, it built underground bunkers to protect its leadership and its rockets but not bomb shelters to protect its civilians. Under international law, Israel would be in its rights to shoot at a military target, such as a rocket launcher, located in a civilian area and surrounded by civilians.
[Geneva Convention, adopted 12 August 1949,
Article 28 The presence of a protected person {= civilian} may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations]
However, Hamas would use the civilian deaths from such an Israeli counterattack as an illustration of its claim that Israel commits war crimes, whereas one of Hamas' purposes stated purposes in its charter is the genocide of Jews [see especially Article 7 of the Hamas charter]. Furthermore, Hamas has made clear that it does not believe that Israeli civilians can be truly civilians. In fact it described a  four-year old Israeli boy killed by a Hamas mortar as a violator [see Magid's article http://tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/186373/hamas-twitter-messaging]. Hamas and other Arab terrorist factions and parties argue that there are no Israeli civilians, only settlers and soldiers and occupiers and what Hamas calls violators, even if they are only four-years old.

What is important to bear in mind is that skillful propaganda aims different messages at different groups. Thus the message has to be tailored to fit the preexisting beliefs and attitudes of the target audience. Hamas failed to intimidate Israelis, however its propaganda focused on Western/liberal/would-be humanitarian/ audiences was a tremendous hit, highly effective, although obviously deceitful and fraudulent.

See Magid's article here.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Muslim Ottoman Subjects Resented the Equality Granted to Dhimmis, Non-Muslim Subjects of the Empire in 1856

The Ottoman Empire became clearly dependent on the military strength of the two main Western powers, Britain and France, in the mid-19th century. The Ottomans were threatened by rising Russian power to their northeast. Russia coveted Ottoman  territories and aspired to give the eastern Orthodox churches primacy over the Christian holy places in the Land of Israel. In this case, Russia would support the Greek Orthodox church of which the Russian Orthodox Church was an offshoot or branch.

Russia had already taken over vast territories under Ottoman suzerainty in the 18th century around 1774. These lands comprise the Crimea and  most of southern Ukraine of today. The effective rulers before the Russian conquest were the Crimean Tartars, under Ottoman suzerainty and loyal to the Ottoman sultan, who was also the Caliph of Islam.

The Crimean war of 1854-1855 focused on control of the Christian holy places, foremost among them the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, with Russia supporting Greek Orthodox dominance and  France supporting Roman Catholic claims to the same holy places. British policy was to prevent Russia from taking more land from the Ottoman Empire and thereby becoming a stronger rival empire to the British.

British and French forces defeated the Russians, preserving Ottoman territory for the Sultan and his government. Of course the British and French wanted to be rewarded. They were, and this caused the Sultan's government, called The Sublime Porte, to violate long-standing Islamic principles. One reward was to allow the building of new churches, a definitely forbidden act since the Arab-Muslim conquests of the 7th century. France was, inter alia given back the location where a Catholic church had stood during the Crusader period.

Most importantly, the Sublime Porte  issued a decree, the Hatt-i-Humayun, which 

"granted equality of civil status to Christian subjects, guaranteeing freedom of conscience and speech." [Tibawi, p 115]

This equality of dhimmis was a radical departure from past Islamic law and practice. Hence, it is no surprise that we are told by the Arab historian, A L Tibawi that

". . . the proclamation of the Hatti Humayun caused much resentment at Nabulus and Gaza ." [Tibawi, p 130]

Not only at Nablus and Gaza but among Ottoman Muslims generally. The Arab and other  Muslims [Tibawi was apparently a Christian] in the Empire hated this decree mightily. Sixty years later, during WW One, Ottoman Muslims slaughtered Armenians, fellow Ottoman subjects, some of whom were calling for Armenian autonomy or independence.  Muslims resented the demands for independence or merely autonomy among the non-Muslim subject   peoples.

Does this account, these facts, tell us any lessons for Israel.? Isn't Israel seen as an "uppity Jew" by the Arabs and other Muslims?

By the way, you can be sure that this decree was often honored more in the breach than in the observance.

A L Tibawi, British Interests in Palestine, 1800-1901 (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1961)

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Why You Cannot Trust the Media on Israel -- A Veteran Reporter Explains

Is there anybody who still trusts the media, especially but not only concerning Israel?

Mati Friedman, a veteran reporter for the Associated Press (AP), has not only demonstrated the bias of the AP, where he worked, but of the media generally. What you have probably sensed long ago, is now confirmed by Friedman, who goes on to explain some of the mechanisms and rules governing media anti-Jewish, anti-Israel bias. It is also likely that there is media bias on other issues and against other countries. Knowing the methods and biases of the media generally can help the informed reader better understand what he is reading or watching on TV.

Here is an example of media bias and method of bias, as reported by Friedman:
A representative article from a recent issue of The New Yorker described the summer’s events by dedicating one sentence each to the horrors in Nigeria and Ukraine, four sentences to the crazed génocidaires of ISIS, and the rest of the article—30 sentences—to Israel and Gaza.
Friedman makes clear that worldwide hate atmosphere against Israel derives not simply from events but from how those events are presented by malice aforethought in the media:
While global mania about Israeli actions has come to be taken for granted, it is actually the result of decisions made by individual human beings in positions of responsibility—in this case, journalists and editors. The world is not responding to events in this country, but rather to the description of these events by news organizations. The key to understanding the strange nature of the response is thus to be found in the practice of journalism, and specifically in a severe malfunction that is occurring in that profession
According to the rules of most international media, what is important is what Israel does, not what the Arabs called "palestinians" do. They are seen, by the rules, as always passive victims:
A reporter working in the international press corps here understands quickly that what is important in the Israel-Palestinian story is Israel. If you follow mainstream coverage, you will find nearly no real analysis of Palestinian society or ideologies, profiles of armed Palestinian groups, or investigation of Palestinian government. Palestinians are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate. The West has decided that Palestinians should want a state alongside Israel, so that opinion is attributed to them as fact, though anyone who has spent time with actual Palestinians understands that things are (understandably, in my opinion) more complicated. Who they are and what they want is not important: The story mandates that they exist as passive victims of the party that matters

He goes on to discuss the reality of Hamas intimidation of journalists, and its effects and reach:
There has been much discussion recently of Hamas attempts to intimidate reporters. Any veteran of the press corps here knows the intimidation is real, and I saw it in action myself as an editor on the AP news desk. During the 2008-2009 Gaza fighting I personally erased a key detail—that Hamas fighters were dressed as civilians and being counted as civilians in the death toll—because of a threat to our reporter in Gaza
The aversion to the truth of Western media organizations is so strong that they even forego scoops if the information contained in the scoop contradicts the pro-Arab narrative:
 In early 2009, for example, two colleagues of mine obtained information that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had made a significant peace offer to the Palestinian Authority several months earlier, and that the Palestinians had deemed it insufficient. This had not been reported yet and it was—or should have been—one of the biggest stories of the year. The reporters obtained confirmation from both sides and one even saw a map, but the top editors at the bureau decided that they would not publish the story


You have been warned. Don't trust the media on Israel.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Hamas, Qatar and the "Left"

Updated as of 9-22-2014 re Tariq Ramadan & the Left, & article on Qatar-see at the Bottom

Anti-Zionism is the anti-imperialism of fools
Eliyahu m'Tsiyon

Once upon a time, children, the "Left" prided itself on defending the workers, the honest workingman, the toilers in the factories, mills and mines of capitalism, etc etc. Those days are long gone. Stalinist and Trotskyist Communists claimed to always be guided by the class interest. that is, the interest of the working class.  Nowadays, most of the "Left" gets most passionate when hating Israel. Various Communist factions [such as the New Anti-Capitalist Party] and the Communist trade union, the CGT, were sponsors and organizers of the pro-Hamas demonstrations in Paris. "Death to Jews" [not Zionists but Jews --mort aux Juifs!] was chanted at some or all of these demonstrations, among other hateful slogans. Some of these demonstrations split up into the non-combatants who went home and the more "militant" element who rushed to make pogroms against Jews in Paris.

The French government led by Francois Hollande and Manuel Valls realized the danger of letting these marches and demonstrations take place near Jewish neighborhoods, and forbid them to take place or come near to synagogues and areas with many Jewish residents, often Jews who had fled Arab lands like Algeria, Morocco and Egypt. In other words, the organizers, both Islamist militants and Communists, wanted to march from Republic Square to Bastille Square, near many Jewish residents. One of the first pro-Hamas marches did go that route and gangs of thugs broke off to raid  synagogues near the Bastille on the Rue des Tournelles and on the Rue de la Roquette, where a street brawl took place between Jewish defenders and Muslim thugs, until police reinforcements arrived. Another would-be pogrom took place in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles where many North African Jews live, close to many North Africa Arabs, as well as Assyrian Christians from Iraq, now the target of Islamist fanaticism in their homeland. There is a lot more to say about these demonstrations/riots/pogroms but our object is to point out the "leftists"  fighting for Hamas. The Hamas charter of course calls for genocide against Jews [especially Article 7].

In Oakland, California, certain "leftist" led workers groups organized to stop unloading of Israeli ships. We can go on with examples of "leftists" and even workers unions joining in the lynch mob trying to hang Israel for defending itself.

Now we won't go into how Hamas sacrifices its own civilian population in Gaza in order to charge Israel with war crimes. We have done several previous posts on the subject of Hamas' strategy and the riots in Paris. We have not yet mentioned how some Hamas leaders have become billionaires as have some Fatah leaders. Interesting that so much of the "left" believes or may believe that it is in the interest of the working class to support a mass murder movement led by very rich people.

Let us now ask where Hamas gets its money. Is Hamas funded by the pennies of the poor?
. . .  . the money came from two directions: "Legacies from the deceased; money from charity funds; a donation called zaka, one of the six pillars of Islam; and donations from various countries. It started with Syria and Saudi Arabia, with Iran added later and becoming one of Hamas's biggest supporters, and ended with Qatar, which has now taken Iran's place."   [Globes English, 24 July 2014]

So now Qatar is Hamas' major benefactor. And Qatar also has one of highest per capita incomes in the world. So the major part of the global "Left" supports a mass murder movement funded by a very rich country. Indeed, one of the leading muddled brains of today's academic world, one Judith Butler, openly declared that Hamas and Hizbullah were parts of "the global left."

Well, if Qatar is rich, then maybe it is still somehow anti-imperialist, which might still be enough to justify "leftist" support for its projects, since anti-imperialism was always supposed to be in the working class interest and in favor of revolution, objectively at least, for the true blue reds. Now, for a very long time, anti-imperialist has been interpreted to mean anti-American, anti-Western, by the true blue Communists. Yet if Qatar is anti-American, it surely has a strange way of expressing that stance. Qatar hosts the Middle Eastern headquarters of CENTCOM, the United States armed forces Central Command. Qatar also owns the Al-Jazeera TV network which agitates anti-Jewish propaganda throughout the Arab world by means of Shaykh Qaradawi. The latter was a leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood who took refuge in Qatar from the Egyptian government that he and the Brotherhood were long trying to undermine. Now he is a regular on Al-Jazeera. The network also stirs up hatred of Israel and tries to undermine several Arab governments through broadcasting agitprop hate propaganda. Its "reporting" is highly tendentious and partisan. And that includes its "reporting" on the Gaza war.

Well, what is the connection between Al-Jazeera and CENTCOM? I honestly don't know. But at least a visual connection exists. Journalists have reported that the CENTCOM HQ is within eyesight of the al-Jazeera offices. Now, if the "Left" wants to associate --indirectly at least-- with CENTCOM while declaring opposition to US foreign policy, and with Al-Jazeera while claiming to oppose racism and religious bigotry, they certainly can do what they like. And they may not be capable of  understanding what they are doing anyway.

Now, let's take up how workers are treated in Qatar, yes, there are workers there. However, most of the workers there are foreigners who do not share the privileges of native subjects of the al-Thani family, the princely family that runs Qatar. Indeed, the many many foreign workers in Qatar are treated horribly. They are not merely  subject to exploitation but they work under very harsh and dangerous conditions and they are forced to do jobs that they may want to refuse but their passports are typically confiscated by employers and labor recruiters.  And their pay is often withheld. Without their passports they cannot leave the country and if they have not been paid they are working for nothing, that is, they are slaves.

Is that all that we can point to about Qatar that is negative from what used to be considered a leftist, class-conscious viewpoint?

The biggest project in Qatar now is building facilities for the 2022 Mondiale world soccer championships. Of course, thousands of foreign workers have been brought in to do the actual building work, which is made all the more difficult by the summer heat. Indeed Qatar is warm most of the year. In the summer the temperature may go over 50 degrees centigrade/Celsius. The harsh working conditions plus the extreme heat in summer make it a danger to life to work on constructing the soccer stadiums for the Mondiale. Just in the past couple of years hundreds, literally hundreds, of foreign building workers have died building for the 2022 Mondiale. Have we heard of any "leftist" or workers union protests in the West against the horrid working conditions in Qatar, whether the unsafe physical conditions or the conditions of exploitation and oppression of the foreign workers, many of them from Nepal and India, by the way? Has the "Left" protested the near slavery conditions? Any street demonstrations in Paris or New York or Oakland or London or Brussels?  Yet, demonstrations and marches, often turning into anti-Jewish pogroms and riots have taken place in those cities against Israel's war of self-defense against a mass murderous jihad movement funded by Qatar, a clear enemy of the working class one would think.
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postscript: before we forget, Qatar won the right from the world soccer federation, FIFA, to host the Mondiale in 2022, because it bribed many of the representatives on the FIFA board.
Qatar also is a big advertiser on CNN, hosting its program on the Middle East. Maybe that helps  ensure that news coverage of Qatar will be favorable. The coverage is directly paid for by the Qatar Foundation that claims to do all sorts of good works. Judge for yourself:
Inside the Middle East is a 30 minute monthly feature program on CNN that seeks to capture the dynamism and broad range of cultural diversity in countries across the Middle East. Together with exclusive online articles and galleries it gives a fresh perspective on life in the region that goes beyond the news headlines. It is broadcast in association with Qatar Foundation.
Robert Fulford on slavery in the Persian Gulf and Arabia [here]
8-25-2014 Salem ben Ammar writes on the Eurabia blog that the Emir of Qatar funds Tariq Ramadan and bought him his university chair at Oxford (Oriental Institute, St Antony's College) [ici]. "Adoubé et sponsorisé par l’Emir du Qatar qui lui a acheté sa chaire d’islamologie . . . .  Tarak Ramadan est le premier agent de propagande de l’islam ou islamisme modéré."

9-2-2014 Fergus Downie on Tariq Ramadan and the "Left" -- Ramadan is the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. He is now popular among progressive circles in France and elsewhere as the authentic voice of Moderate Islam. The only problem is that he is not really moderate, more like the subtlest slithery snake north of the Mediterranean. [here]
9-13-2014 Gil Mihaely of Causeur.fr gives some background and analysis of Qatar's success and policy -- À quoi joue le Qatar? [ici] -- " un pays . . . .  peuplé de deux millions d’habitants dont moins de 300 000 nationaux (les statuts subalternes du reste de la population s’apparentent parfois à une forme d’esclavage)" [emphasis added].
9-22-2014 UN "human rights council" praises Qatar's human rights record -- you have to see it to believe it!!! [here] -- UN Watch says foreign workers in Qatar die at the rate of one per day [same as previous link].

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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Hamas Strategy: Provoke Deaths of Its Own Civilians in order to Have Israel Condemned as a Lawbreaker -- Law Prof & Ex-General

Hamas is practicing a "lawfare strategy", according to Prof Charles Dunlap, jr. He sees, as I do, that Hamas wants to get many of its people, its own civilians, killed, in order to charge Israel with warcrimes and thereby achieve political goals. One might say, in order to achieve military goals through the means of international law or its interpretation. Hamas' charter makes clear that its political goals are also military goals. Its charter calls in article 7 for the mass murder of Jews. This mass murder is depicted in a medieval Muslim hadith fable  --reproduced in Art. 7 of the Charter-- as occurring at Judgment Day. But it is obvious that such a story encourages Muslims to murder Jews in the here and now.

Here is Dunlap's article on Hamas strategy:

Guest Post: Has Hamas Overplayed Its Lawfare Strategy?


In the current Gaza conflict, the adversaries are employing very different strategies to achieve their operational objectives. Israel is executing a robust military strategy. By striking rocket launch capabilities, as well as tunnel complexes, Israel is conducting what the generals calls a “strategy of denial,” that is, operations that aim to “deny” its adversary the physical capability to wage war.
Hamas’ strategy is, however, quite different. Lobbing rockets indiscriminately at Israeli population centers along with engaging in a few firefights in an effort to kill at least some Israelis is not, militarily speaking, a meaningful warfighting effort.
Rather, Hamas is employing a “lawfare” strategy. A lawfare strategy uses (or misuses) law essentially as a substitute for traditional military means; it is employing law much like any “weapon” to create effects or obtain results in an armed conflict that can be indistinguishable from those typically produced by kinetic methods.
There are many versions of lawfare, but in this case Hamas is attempting to use the fact of Palestinian civilian casualties to cast Israelis as war criminals. In doing so it seems that Hamas is hoping to achieve their aims not by defeating Israelis on a Gaza battlefield, but rather by delegitimizing Israel in the eyes of the world community by establishing them as lawbreakers in an era when adherence to the rule of law is so important to democracies.
According to an Associated Press report, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights believes that since the previous conflict with the Israelis in 2009, they have become “more efficient in touring sites of destruction, taking photos and collecting witness accounts.”
And Hamas has enjoyed some real success.  Many, perhaps most, governments and nongovernmental organizations are accusing Israel of excessive use of force in Gaza.  Disturbingly, however, some of the opposition in Europe even appears to be morphing into anti-Semitism, which must be pleasing to Hamas operatives.
Regardless, Hamas won an important lawfare victory when a resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council denounced Israel for “widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms” during its military operations in Gaza (even though the “independent” investigation also called for by the resolution has not yet gotten underway).
As successful as Hamas has been thus far, its lawfare offensive may be slowing down. Unsurprisingly, the Israeli government has been insisting all along that Hamas violations of international law are primarily responsible for the tragic loss of life in the Gaza conflict. What is different now is that more balanced renditions of the law of war are emerging, and a few legal experts are even beginning to speak out in an affirmative defense of Israeli operations.  These may begin to counter to a degree at least what has been characterized as a Hamas strategy that actually “relies on the deaths of civilians.”
To be sure there are still plenty of legal scholars critical of Israel’s Gaza offensive. A few even decry its high-tech efforts to warn civilians as somehow being a cynical form of lawfare itself. For its part, the Israeli Defense Forces are countering with a state-of-the-art public information campaign heavy with videos and charts designed to illustrate what it does to minimize civilian casualties. And it does seem that at least for some audiences the more facts they get the less likely they are to be supportive of Hamas.
For example, a late July Gallup poll shows that 71% of Americans who are following the news “very closely” believe that Israel’s actions are justified as opposed to just 18% who do not follow very closely who hold that view. Additionally, the poll also shows that those with more education support the Israeli actions. All of this might suggest that as people become more familiar with the facts they are less likely to support Hamas, and this could mean that time is not on Hamas’ side.
Most problematic may be a growing belief that, as already suggested, Hamas is deliberately jeopardizing lives of Palestinians in order to pursue its lawfare strategy. Indeed, Hamas seems to be admitting as much. USA Today quotes a Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri using the word “strategy,” in commending people for “ignoring Israeli warnings” to evacuate before a bombing: “The fact that people are willing to sacrifice themselves against Israeli warplanes in order to protect their homes, I believe this strategy is proving itself.”
To many observers Hamas’s lawfare strategy is obvious. CNN analyst Michael Oren quotes former President Bill Clinton as saying that Hamas “has a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own [Palestinian] civilians so that the rest of the world will condemn them.”
Of even more significance may be the claim in Algemeiner Journal that Turki al Faisal, who once headed Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services, said “Hamas is responsible for the slaughter in the Gaza Strip.” This is especially damaging given other reports that many Arab leaders are now assessing Hamas as “worse than Israel.”
The bloodshed and destruction may be weakening support even among suffering Palestinians themselves. Moreover, the New York Times reports that Hamas, perhaps “feeling pressure over the mounting deaths,” altered its message to Palestinians from telling them to ignore Israeli warnings to telling Palestinians to “avoid hot areas” and to “stay inside after 11 p.m.” Furthermore, the overwhelming support Israelis have shown for their offensive seems to remain undiminished.”
Still, the situation remains sufficiently in flux that the outcome of Hamas’s lawfare strategies and Israeli counter-lawfare efforts is still uncertain. Though the legal concept of “proportionality” has been often misunderstood in the press despite expert efforts at clarification, at some point the sheer numbers of Palestinian deaths, however legally justifiable, may cause even those who support Israel to insist upon an end to the fighting at almost any price.
The lesson here may be that sophisticated counter-lawfare techniques such as those Israel has employed cannot replace a reasoned dialogue about how much military force is truly essential to the nation’s strategic interests. Law professors Michael Reisman and Chris Antoniou presciently warned in 1994 that the public support that democracies need for even a limited armed conflict can “erode or even reverse itself rapidly, no matter how worthy the political objective, if people believe that the war is being conducted in an unfair, inhumane, or iniquitous way.”
In its unadulterated form lawfare, as a manifestation of the rule of law itself, could help a party to a conflict achieve success – even enduring success – in the complex pol-mil milieu of 21st century conflicts. To do so, however, lawfare – to include counter-lawfare efforts – must be more than simply a shrewd and aggressive public relations campaign. It must be supported by facts that demonstrate actual adherence to the law, an axiom both Hamas and Israel may want to note.

About the Author

is currently a Professor of the Practice of Law and Executive Director, Center on Law, Ethics and National Security, at Duke Law School. He retired from the Air Force in 2010 as a Major General.

Link: http://justsecurity.org/13781/charles-dunlap-lawfare-hamas-gaza/
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8-23-2014 Lee Smith describes Hamas' strategy to get its own people killed [here]

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Monday, August 04, 2014

Hamas' Strategy & France's Betrayal

How she sits forlorn.
The  City teeming with people
Became like a widow; . . . .
She  weeps and wails at night
With a tear on her cheek.
She has no comforter
Out of all her lovers.
All her friends betrayed her,
They became her enemies
Book of Lamentations, chap 1
ספר איכה א

Prime Minister Netanyahu thought that French president Hollande was his friend and Israel's friend. Compared to some earlier presidents of France like De Gaulle, Chirac and Giscard d'Estaing, that may be true. But Muslims, most of them considering themselves Arabs, make up around 20 % of France's population. In the years since the Oslo War (also called the Second Intifada) was instigated by Arafat, French Arabs and other French Muslims, have performed several murders of Jews in supposed retaliation for the hoax "killing" of young Muhammad al-Durah by Israeli forces at Netzarim Junction in Gaza on 30 September 2000. This hoax was produced by French and Palestinian Arab journalists working for France2, the French state TV network. The al-Durah hoax has never been officially repudiated or apologized for by France. President Hollande is not responsible for that hoax but he has not acted to alleviate its effect on public opinion, which has been mainly to agitate the French Muslims into more hatred of Jews than they had before.  And it incited them to act out their hatreds by burning synagogues, attacking and murdering Jewish individuals, etc.

How does this connect with Hamas and its strategy?

Hamas has felt emboldened since the US Government accepted and approved the Hamas-PLO-PA-Fatah unity government for the Palestinian Authority several months ago. It intensified its agitation for Arabs in Judea-Samaria and elsewhere to attack Jews and kidnap Jews. It also intensified the shooting of rockets and mortars at Israel. The first five months of 2014 saw more rockets and mortars shot at Israel than all of 2013.  In March, when talk began of a unity government for the Palestinian Authority between the PLO/Fatah and Hamas, the numbers went up to 64 rockets and one mortar, close to the number of 78 for all 2013. The numbers went down in April and May, perhaps not to disrupt American approval of the  unity govt, but shot up again in June, the month when Hamas members from the Hebron area kidnapped and murdered three Jewish teenagers, an act approved by Hamas although it disclaimed responsibility for it. The agitation by Hamas leaders and Muslim clerics associated with Hamas for such kidnappings is not cited often enough. In June the number of rockets shot up again to 62 and the mortars numbered 3. [numbers are from Maqor Rishon, 18 July 2014]

Hamas wanted to provoke Israel into a war. Hamas wanted to make it impossible for Israel to avoid a war. That is part of the strategy. In the war, Hamas' leaders would be safe in their underground tunnels and bunkers, while their rank and file subjects would be subject to legitimate Israeli military action to stop the firing of rockets aimed at Israel's civilian population. Hamas built a vast network of tunnels and bunkers crisscrossing throughout the Gaza Strip and going under the frontier under Israeli communities, under their fields, courtyards, schools and homes. Hamas used the tunnels and bunkers to store its vast arsenal of rockets and for attack purposes (intending to send terrorists to pop up out of the ground and kill and kidnap Israeli civilians and soldiers which has several times occurred) and as shelters for its leadership.

Ordinary Gaza Arabs could not use the tunnels as bomb shelters. They did not have bomb shelters. Hamas did not build bomb shelters for civilians. So in the kind of war that Hamas provoked Israel into, many of their own Gaza civilians would die. Which Hamas surely knew in advance. But that was a strategy. The deaths of civilians would be filmed and photographed and shown around the world. And Israel would have a terrible image from all that. Indeed Hamas would see to it that foreign news photographers, reporters and film cameramen would not film rocket launchers set up in civilian locations, such as next to hospitals and schools, including UNRWA schools, and in homes and apartments, nor the storage of rockets in UNRWA schools, in mosques and other civilian locations.

The cameramen and photographers were intimidated by Hamas into not filming or photographing these violations of the laws of war. Some who violated Hamas' rules for news coverage have been forced to leave Gaza. Oddly, although forbidding filming of rocket launchers in civilian locations, Hamas also shot rockets from near journalists during live broadcasts, leading to the reporter fleeing in fear. Such events have been seen several times on TV, although the rocket launchers themselves did not appear on screen. For instance, Hamas shot rockets from near France24 reporter Gallagher Fenwick during a live broadcast, which I and other TV viewers saw. Fenwick fled in fear and then told what had happened. But the rockets and the launcher were not seen. Other examples have been broadcast too, one involving a woman reporter for an Arab network. These shootings invited Israeli retaliation, thus they endangered the journalists. But in general journalists toe the Hamas line and present scene after scene of civilian suffering in Gaza. The numbers of civilian deaths are supplied by Hamas government  agencies, such as the Gaza Health Ministry, as well as by international bodies known to be hostile to Israel, such as UNRWA and the Red Cross [international committee of the Red Cross, a Swiss govt agency] which in any event get their numbers from Hamas.

 This picture of the war deliberately produced by Hamas and its media collaborators and psywar advisors has been shown worldwide leading to numerous demonstrations and riots, as in Paris and other places in France. In France, Islamist fanatics have been joined by so-called anti-capitalists, self-styled true blue Marxists. The Bolsheviks showed their fondness for aggressive Muslims as far back as 1917.   France has seen several cases where supposed protest demonstrations against the Gaza War have turned into anti-Jewish riots, attacking synagogues in Paris, Sarcelles and elsewhere, or have turned into plain riots, and where Islamist demonstrators have attacked and tried to disrupt pro-Israel demonstrations.

These riots could  not have failed to make an impact on French policy. Curiously,  in cases where demonstrations had been banned by the legal and police authorities, the organizers who called for going ahead with the demonstrations despite the ban have not been arrested. And the so-called New Anti-Capitalist Party was  guilty of calling for violation of the law in that way, which is also called sedition. But the party leaders were not arrested as far as I know. Since Hollande's govt has failed to solve France's economic problems, which are probably not solvable without drastic reforms in the labor laws, among other reforms, which would be opposed by the trade unions, part of his political base and constituency, he does not want to lose any more popular or institutional support, and certainly not from the "Left." Therefore he does not enforce the law against the "New Anti-Capitalist Party."

Now the Hamas strategy was to have large numbers of its own people killed in legitimate Israeli acts of self-defense. And the scenes of death and destruction would be seen worldwide and produce anger against Israel and pressure for foreign intervention of various sorts, especially intervention by great powers, the UN, etc. Meanwhile, Hamas was committing the double war crime of attacking Israeli civilians while using its own civilians as human shields.

Hamas' strategy has succeeded. Today, August 4, France capitulated to the Islamist-cum-"marxist" mobs and pro-Hamas agitprop. Hollande himself called Israel's actions in Gaza a "massacre", comparing Israel's war of self-defense to massacres in Iraq and Syria. And his foreign minister, Fabius, advocated imposing a settlement on Israel and the Arabs, despite what either side may want. Actually, several state members of the EU and EU functionaries have been speaking of an imposed settlement for a long time. They really mean a settlement or "peace" imposed on Israel because many of the Euro politicians and foreign ministries and the EU's own foreign affairs commission in Brussels hate Israel which represents their own bad conscience over the Holocaust, and would like to turn the moral tables on the Jews by showing that the Jews/Zionists are really Nazis. And then their own consciences would be clean and they would have validated the Nazi genocide of the Jews ex post facto. This is important not only to Germany but to many EU states, almost all of which took part in the Holocaust directly or indirectly.

Hamas itself has a Nazi-like ideology aimed at mass murder of the Jews. But somehow the oh so clever Europeans, and some Americans too, can't read the Hamas charter, several times translated into English and other languages. Or they have read it and they like what it has to say.

UPDATINGS 5 August 2014
Interesting article on Hamas strategy by Prof Gregory Rose [here]

Film by Indian NDTV news crew shows rocket being assembled and fired near residential buildings and hotels in Gaza [here].
I hope that the fellows who made the film stay safe and are not harassed for having told the truth which sometimes seems so elusive for the Western press.
I just found out that the Indian news team left Gaza. Here is a report from them after leaving.

8 August 2014
Statement by Colonel Richard Kemp on Hamas tactics of sacrificing its own civilians and on the IDF's efforts to spare civilian life [here ]. Statement delivered at the UN Human Rights Commission  in Geneva.
11 August 2014
Hamas training manual explains the importance of  using human shields [here]&[here]&[here]

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

How the Main Stream Media (in France) Falsify the News about Jews and Israel

Prof. Shmuel Trigano, who writes a French blog on Times of Israel, recommended this excellent analysis of how the French press on the whole falsified what happened during the anti-Israel, anti-Jewish demo-cum-riot by French Arabs/Muslims and French "leftists" on 13 July 2014. We have quoted from Prof Trigano before on this blog.

This is really an excellent article for understanding some of the methods of anti-Israel, anti-Jewish propaganda. A linguist takes apart how these everyday techniques are used in the specific case of an AFP [agence France presse] article on the recent anti-Jewish, anti-Israel riots and demos in France. It is written in terms that are easy enough to understand, like a superior explication de texte. Only in French unfortunately. I will translate the essential points when I have more time.

The AFP article uses all sorts of rhetorical tricks: minimizing what happened on the Rue de la Roquette near the synagogue, blaming Jews --in this case the LDJ (Ligue de Defense Juive)-- for the attack on the synagogue, denying or omitting the Judeophobic/antisemitic nature of the slogans of the march, falsely claiming a "feminine" character for the demo/march, thus softening its brutal, hostile/enraged image, giving ample space to the self-justifications by marchers/demonstrators while allowing only a perfunctory opportunity for an official Jewish spokesman to offer his opinion, while qualifying his statement as a claim on his part. Etc.

It was written by Jean Szlamowicz for www.europe-israel.org . He is
Professeur des Universités, linguiste, auteur de Détrompez-vous ! Les étranges indignations de Stéphane Hessel décryptées (éditions Intervalles)


Pogrom à Paris : le silence des médias français

Par Jean Szlamowicz, Professeur des Universités, linguiste, auteur de Détrompez-vous ! Les étranges indignations de Stéphane Hessel décryptées (éditions Intervalles)
La narration des événements construit leur perception et la terminologie utilisée permet de manipuler la vision des faits. En France, quand des centaines de jihadistes veulent casser du Juif, il s’agit de « tensions » ou de « heurts ». Face à des émeutes anti-juives à Paris, comme d’habitude pour les médias officiels, il n’y a rien à signaler. Suite aux manifestations jihadistes contre Israël du 13 juillet à Paris et à l’attaque de la synagogue de la rue de la Roquette, le schéma narratif habituel des médias français s’est mis en place : atténuation des faits, justification des attaques et retournement de l’accusation contre les Juifs.
Le caractère volontariste de cette narration mensongère, aisément démontable par l’analyse de texte, constitue un véritable scandale qui met en péril les principes républicains et le droit à une information qui rende véritablement compte de la situation d’insécurité existant en France, pour les Juifs comme pour toute personne s’opposant aux islamistes.
De l’atténuation à la falsification
L’article de l’AFP, recopiée littéralement par Libération (http://www.liberation.fr/societe/2014/07/13/des-heurts-a-paris-a-l-issue-d-une-manifestation-pro-palestinienne_1063299) ou 20 minutes, a servi de base à la plupart des compte-rendu. Cette dépêche construit minutieusement une version expurgée de la tentative de pogrom. A lire ce texte lénifiant, on croirait qu’il ne s’est rien passé : cette atténuation même contribue à présenter les Juifs comme des paranoïaques.
L’article ne cesse de rappeler le caractère innocent de la manifestation, ce qui en sauvegarde les revendications :
- « Dimanche, des heurts ont émaillé la fin de la manifestation parisienne. ». On remarque la poétisation (avec le cliché journalistique que constitue la métaphore de l’émail) et le rejet des heurts comme appendices non définitoires de la manifestation. Rappelons que le défilé a constitué un véritable appel à la guerre sainte en brandissant des effigies de roquettes à envoyer sur Israël (que les manifestants embrassaient !) et en criant « Allahou Akbar », « Mort aux Juifs », « Sales Blancs », « On va vous cramer », « Hitler avait raison ».
- L’auteur de l’article ne cesse de minimiser les faits :
« Des heurts limités avec les forces de l’ordre ont éclaté dans certaines rues. »
« Des dégâts légers ont été causé à des devantures de commerces. »
« Les échauffourées n’ont pas duré très longtemps et ne se sont pas propagées au reste de la manifestation »
« Selon la préfecture de police, ces heurts étaient dus à de petits groupes de jeunes gens qui ont été «facilement contenus». Il n’y a pas eu de blessés. Il y a eu six interpellations. »
« Samedi, des manifestations similaires avaient eu lieu dans le calme à Bordeaux […] et à Marseille. »
 « Limités », « légers », « pas très longtemps », « petits groupes », « pas de blessés », « calme »… il s’agirait en somme d’un non-événement. Pourtant, les vidéos abondantes qui ont été prises par des riverains donnent une autre image de ce qui a bel et bien été l’assaut d’une synagogue. Une description plus objective ferait état d’attaque à l’aide de battes de base-ball et de barres de fer (les outils naturels d’une manifestation pacifique, bien sûr, sans aucune préméditation d’agression), de Juifs terrés dans la synagogue pour ne pas se faire lyncher, des passants insultés, des membres de la LDJ empêchant les émeutiers d’investir la synagogue, des brigades d’émeutiers avec barres de fer se baladant rue des Rosiers ou rue de Turenne pour tenter de casser les « magasins juifs ».
En présentant les faits à sa manière, l’article établit une version officielle qu’il sera très difficile de remettre en cause sans paraître avoir une position de parti pris subjective. Précisons que, dans la gestion du récit, l’anonymat du texte de l’AFP contribue à son effet d’autorité : il n’est pas attribuable à une personne spécifique, mais émane d’une autorité, ce qui tend à présenter son contenu comme factuel et objectif.
- ‘Dans le calme, la foule, très jeune et féminine, a scandé des slogans comme: «Nous sommes tous des Palestiniens!», «Israël assassin!» ou «Une seule solution, fin de l’occupation!».’

L’innocence féminine est invoquée par le journaliste afin de dédouaner le cortège de toute accusation de violence. Comme si les femmes ne pouvaient pas être militantes et comme si leur mise en avant ne faisait pas partie d’une stratégie de communication. La réalité du défilé n’était d’ailleurs pas sa féminité et une telle présentation est d’emblée une falsification.
- « En marge de la manifestation, «certains individus ont provoqué des troubles et ont essayé de pénétrer par la force dans deux synagogues situées rue des Tournelles et rue de la Roquette» mais «en ont été empêchés par les forces de l’ordre», a dénoncé dans un communiqué la maire de Paris Anne Hidalgo, appelant «au calme face aux tensions» au Proche-Orient.
Le recours insistant aux mêmes techniques rhétoriques pour minorer les faits est à l’œuvre : « en marge de la manifestation » permet une nouvelle fois de dissocier l’attaque de la synagogue des positions politiques exprimées par la manifestation. La notion d’« individu » permet de souligner le caractère isolé de l’initiative alors qu’une bonne centaine de personnes a investi la rue de la Roquette.
- Dans sa construction même, l’article manipule le récit. En donnant d’abord la parole à la version « pro-palestinienne », le texte construit une narration première que l’ajout d’une parole juive en fin d’article ne viendra pas modifier. C’est une tactique narrative classique : on établit une version des faits avec des termes virulents et, pour donner l’impression d’un équilibre des positions, on donne ensuite la parole à une autre version, quantitativement moins importante, stylistiquement moins percutante et augmentée de soupçons (« Le président du Consistoire central, Joël Mergui, a affirmé que […] » revient à donner à ses propos une valeur strictement subjective).
Que de telles manifestations soient autorisées malgré leur risque évident pour l’ordre public en dit long sur la peur des pouvoirs publics vis-à-vis d’une entité désormais bien réelle en France, à savoir « la rue arabe », facteur d’émeute latent. Cette peur est prolongée par le retrait critique des médias qui préfèrent « comprendre » les manifestants que les fustiger pour ce qu’ils sont, à savoir des islamistes antisémites violents.
- L’article reproduit avec une gourmandise patente les slogans de la manifestation qui présentent Gaza comme victime d’Israël (‘Au lendemain de la «petite finale» du Mondial de football, une pancarte indiquait «Brésil-Pays-Bas 0-3, Israël-Gaza 0-125 tués. Qu’attend le monde pour réagir?»’). L’article décide de faire l’impasse sur les « Allahou Akbar » et les « Morts aux Juifs » qui ne sont pas mentionnés.
- « De nombreux manifestants portaient à bout de bras des pancartes sur lesquelles ils avaient collé des photos, tirées de sites web, représentant des enfants palestiniens tués ou blessés, des maisons rasées ou des champignons de fumée montant de quartier de Gaza bombardés. »
L’auteur de l’article n’exprime aucun recul sur la réalité décrite par ces pancartes qui sont présentées comme décrivant des faits. On sait pourtant (même Libération l’a reconnu !) que ces images proviennent pour la plupart de Syrie.
- Le texte cite les propos des manifestants avec une neutralité de complaisance qui revient à promouvoir le discours ainsi reproduit sans aucune distance critique et sans correction des faits : «Je suis venu pour dire non à ce massacre», a dit à l’AFP Amid Hamadouch, 30 ans, un autocollant «Boycott d’Israël, Etat raciste» sur son blouson. «Ils bombardent des innocents. Il y a certes des missiles lancés du côté du Hamas, mais la riposte israélienne est disproportionnée. Ils attaquent la population civile et non les responsables du Hamas.»
En reproduisant les arguments des manifestants, l’article abonde dans le sens de leur discours et justifie les appels à la violence auxquels ils participent. Le procédé stylistique de l’hypotypose contribue à rendre vivante l’horreur de la guerre (portraits d’enfants tués, bombardements, etc.) : cet appel à l’émotion est cependant largement biaisé puisqu’il ne montre jamais d’autre point de vue que celui du Hamas. On ne verra donc pas les morts arabes causés par les propres roquettes du Hamas, les opposants politiques assassinés, les civils forcés de servir de boucliers contre les frappes envers les maisons des dirigeants du Hamas, les enfants dans des camps d’entraînement militaire. Aucun remarque des journalistes pour souligner que la population est otage du Hamas, que le Hamas se glorifie des ses propres morts qu’il cherche à provoquer (sa devise : « Nous aimons la mort plus que les Juifs n’aiment la vie »). Aucun journaliste pour préciser que les images évoquées viennent en réalité de Syrie. Aucun journaliste pour décrire comment Tsahal prévient la population des frappes ultra-ciblées (tract, appels et sms, frappes d’avertissement pour laisser le temps d’évacuer). Aucun journaliste pour rappeler que 120 morts en 500 raids aériens, c’est justement la preuve de la retenue israélienne (Nuremberg, en janvier 1945, c’est 1700 morts en 40 minutes ; Dresde, en février 1945, c’est 25 000 morts en deux jours). Aucun journaliste pour rappeler ce qu’est le Hamas, organisation jihadiste terroriste suprémaciste avec Hitler comme référence militaire.
islamistes paris
En présentant les faits de manière aussi bancale, les médias — qui, farce tragique, se croient « de gauche » — reprennent en fait à leur compte la version du Hamas, de l’OLP et, plus globalement, de l’Organisation de la Coopération Islamique. Le retournement moral auquel on assiste depuis une dizaine d’années consiste pour cette frange de l’opinion à présenter les jihadistes comme des résistants à l’oppression israélienne. Rappelons que le programme du Hamas est la destruction d’Israël, ce qui n’a rien d’une raison sociale humaniste ni d’une réaction à une injustice.
Ce qu’ils ne veulent pas voir, c’est qu’une partie de la population musulmane en France accepte de promouvoir un antisionisme de façade qui se transforme dès le moindre mouvement de foule en antisémitisme spontané.
Le dévoiement moral de ce genre d’article, malheureusement quotidien, aboutit à un retournement radical faisant des Juifs les responsables des attaques dont ils sont victimes. C’est ainsi qu’après l’agression de la synagogue d’Aulnay, un conseiller fédéral écologiste a pu considérer qu’attaquer une synagogue est un acte de guerre normal et compréhensible. (http://www.europe-israel.org/2014/07/un-conseiller-federal-deurope-ecologie-les-verts-juge-pas-etonnantes-les-attaques-de-synagogues-en-france/). De même, la députée européenne EELV Malika Benarab Attou se dresse-t-elle pour défendre le Hamas comme mouvement « élu » par son peuple… Il est vrai que le communautarisme arabo-musulman ne se cache plus et que même des élus PS s’y adonnent sans cacher leur antisémitisme naturel (Ahmed Chekhab à Vaulx-en-Velin, sources : Le Progrès, 06/07/14 ; http://www.leprogres.fr/rhone/2014/07/06/vaulx-en-velin-emoi-apres-les-propos-antisemites-de-l-adjoint-aux-sports).
La complicité médiatique
L’impunité morale qui accompagne les émeutes constitue le fait marquant des récits médiatiques. En ne cessant d’alimenter par leur présentation des faits anti-israélienne une haine anti-juive, ces journalistes sont coupables d’incitation à la violence. Ils ont beau jeu ensuite de jouer les vierges effarouchées en déplorant « les violences » avec un pacifisme pudibond et hypocrite.
Comment ces prétendus intellectuels peuvent-ils défendre les hordes armées de barre de fer ? Peut-être croient-ils que prendre leur parti au nom d’une compassion imbécile et jeter les Juifs en pâture à la hargne islamique les détournera de s’attaquer aux gentils gauchistes ?
A côté des synagogues, on sait déjà que les églises sont quotidiennement saccagées. Invoquera-t-on aussi Gaza pour expliquer ces violences ? A cet égard, le plus effrayant reste la passivité de la population, pétrifiée par la peur et débordée par la foule islamique. La mollesse des discours et des actions politiques révèle une impuissance alarmante pour l’ensemble de la population française.
Les loups sont entrés dans Paris et ils ont faim.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Professor William Polk, an Academic & Diplomatic Authority Promotes Big Lies for 60 years Now

Prof William Polk has had a double career, academic and diplomatic, head of Middle East policy planning at the State Dept. For many many years he has been promoting the big lie of Arab innocence. And he still is. Hence he has done great damage, especially since he has had his academic authority to lend credence to his pro-Arab propaganda lies. If anybody does not think that the State Department has been hostile to Israel since the beginning, one of the  pieces of evidence for the affirmative is the career and words and deeds of Polk. Here he is in a fresh blast of baloney, repeating the same lie of Arab innocence. But he is careful to denounce the Holocaust and Western Judeophobia, which he feels he  needs to do in order to establish credibility and moral legitimacy for his insidious claims of Arab innocence.
I highlight below his repetition of old lies:
For their own interests, the British and then the Americans just closed their eyes to the developing tragedy; both were content to have a poor, defenseless Asian people pay the price for Western anti-Semitism. The Jewish community grew, appropriated most of the best land (largely by purchase from absentee owners) and benefitted from massive infusions of foreign money (now totaling well over $100 billion or more than all the aid programs for the rest of the world). Meanwhile, the Jewish fate in Europe moved toward the Holocaust.
What did that actually mean? If I were a Jew in Germany in the 1930s, I would have gone to America and if I could not get in -- some could not -- to Palestine; if I were an Arab at almost any time from 1920 onward, I would have tried to stop the flood. The real culprit is neither the Jew nor the Palestinian. It is us. Anti-Semitism is a Western, not an Asian, disease. [my emph.]
List of lies:
1) before WW One the Muslims in this country saw themselves as part of the mighty Ottoman empire and were loyal to it. They did not see themselves as a "poor, defenseless Asian people," nor as a separate "Palestinian" people.  Scions of leading Muslim families served in the Ottoman imperial service . Husseinis, Khalidis and Abdul-Hadis held high positions. Rashid Khalidi, one of the family, is now a professor at Columbia University in New York and is a friend of President Obama.
2) Arabs/Muslims/Palestinian Arabs/ were not guilty of antisemitism which was purely a Western disease, so he claims. This is false since Judeophobia is inherent in Islam generally [although it can be interpreted away if one wants]. Here is a documented article about Judeophobia in Islam and especially on the part of Palestinian Arab Muslims. It also shows how Jews were ill treated specifically in Jerusalem. 
Polk plays a rather elegant trick with this statement by so liberally and generously and open-mindedly taking the guilt upon "Us." But the purpose is to depict the Jews as guilty for taking a land away from the helpless, innocent Palestinian Arabs who had never done them any harm. Supposedly. Moreover, Polk mentions the Holocaust but does not admit that Arabs or Palestinian Arabs particularly took part in it, especially the chief Palestinian Arab leader, Haj Amin el-Husseini who spent most of the WW2 years in Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, their satellite states in eastern Europe and the Nazi-occupied countries. Husseini visited Nazi murder camps in Poland.
3) About real estate in the country. First he claims that the Zionist Jews "appropriated most of the best land." That word appropriated means took by force or usurped unfairly with some amount of coercion and/or legal swindling. However, he then corrects himself by writing that Jews/Zionists obtained the land "by purchase." So which is it? This is deliberate double talk.
Polk goes on:
In the "one state," the Arabs will be the subjugated minority with few rights and little or any security -- they will be the "Jews" of an Israeli Germany or an Israeli Imperial Russia, cooped up in ghettos, imprisoned, driven into exile or subjected to a final partition. [my emph.]
In fact, the experience of Israeli Arabs shows that that outcome is unlikely to say the least. Maybe it is a projection of what Polk knows about the Jewish experience as dhimmis in Arab/Muslim states. Moreover, it is an old story that Judeophobes like to reverse the picture of Jewish oppression in Christian and Muslim lands and charge the Jews with being oppressors, persecutors, etc.
So Polk has been dangerous for some 60 years and is still going strong. Here is my critique of Polk and of his anti-Israel propaganda book from the 1950s. Polk's book, Backdrop to Tragedy (1957) is truly disgraceful.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Joseph's Tomb -- Updated to 2014

Arab mobs attacked Joseph's Tomb today. The first time that had happened was in the year 2000, on the same day as the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The mobs killed one Israeli soldier, as it happened a Druze Israeli whose name was Yusuf, that is, Joseph. I wrote up the story and gave historical background here. One of the claims made by the Arab rioters and their supporters in 2000 was that the tomb was not that of the Biblical Joseph but of a Muslim holy man or shaykh also named Yusuf. One of the provisions of the ill-fated Oslo accords was that Israeli troops would guard Joseph's Tomb which is now located within the city of Nablus. I don't recall any Arab statement, official or otherwise, that explained why Arabs were attacking the tomb --literally trying to take it apart stone by stone after Israeli troops were withdrawn.

Arab mobs have again attacked the tomb. To me, the repeated attacks on the tomb by Arabs demonstrate that they see it as a Jewish holy place, not a Muslim holy site. Otherwise they would try to protect it, not harm it.

Times of Israel reported:
Palestinians tried to burn Joseph’s Tomb in the city of Nablus Sunday night, PA sources said. Palestinian security forces using tear gas prevented the rioters from the reaching the site, sacred to Jews, Christians, Samaritans, and Muslims.
Link to TOI article here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why Are Ukrainian Officials & Bashar Assad Allowed to Call Enemies "Terrorists" but the Western Press Won't Use the Word?

Forty years ago in the 1970s, the Irish Republican Army Provisional faction was performing acts of terrorism and sometimes mass murder in Northern Ireland. And the BBC called them "terrorists." In the same years, the Fatah --meaning conquest of a city in Arabic-- was acting as a mass murderous terrorist group. Neither Fatah nor its partners in mass murder terrorism against Israelis and Jews, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,  the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine plus half a dozen smaller murder factions, was called "terrorist" by the BBC. Who can reckon why this discrepancy? Why were IRA Provos called "terrorists" but not Fatah or the PFLP or the PDFLP?

Maybe the BBC thought that British blood was redder than Jewish-Israeli blood. I can only speculate.

In recent years it is not only the BBC that refuses to call terrorists what they are. Now it is a well-established widespread practice in Western press and media outlets that terrorists are called "militants." In earlier years, a militant was a guy who came out to walk the picket line during a strike, a guy who came to the picket line every day, even in bad weather when most people would be more comfortable at home. A militant for a revolutionary faction was somebody who would pick up a thousand leaflets printed by his faction and stand on a street corner all day giving them out. But nobody in those far off days  would call somebody who planted a bomb in a school playground a "militant."

But the word "terrorist" is still  used these days. Bashar Assad called his domestic enemies "terrorists" in 2011 even before allies and cothinkers of al-Qa`ida had joined the struggle against Assad, or what is now a struggle  to determine the future of Syria.
When Assad started calling the rebels against him "terrorists" before it was  true, back in 2011, he was wrong. But he knew very well what and who were terrorists. He himself and his father before him had funded and trained Arab terrorists attacking Israel. The Assad regime in Syria had funded and trained several of the smaller PLO factions since the 1960s, and Hamas & Hizbullah, since the 1980s. After the  US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Assad regime armed and trained terrorists who operated in Iraq against the foreign occupation troops, including Americans of course. These Syrian-trained terrorists especially took to using bombs to slaughter the Shiite population in Iraq. Surely the Assad regime knew that these were terrorists. By the way, today Assad is allied with Shiites warriors against Sunni Muslim rebels against him.

Now we know that Assad's regime is greatly aided by the Russian government. The Russian govt also supports rebels and insurgents in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. These rebels and insurgents who favor Russian rule over their home areas in Eastern Ukraine, in the Don Basin, and so on, are rough and abusive and often thuggish. But they are hardly terrorists in the sense of Hamas or Hizbullah or al-Qa`ida. Yet officials of the Ukrainian government, Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko and so on, call these rebels/insurgents "terrorists." This is one of the things that keeps the new Ukrainian govt from having any credibility,

Now the new Ukrainian govt is supported by Western powers including the EU & USA. So Russia's ally in Syria, Assad, called his opponents "terrorists"  even when the rebels fighting him were not terrorists.
Today, Ukrainian officials supported by the EU & USA call the rebels that Russia supports "terrorists" when they are not.

Meanwhile, Western news outlets like BBC, France24, the New York Times and so many others, call the real terrorists mere "militants."

Hence the word terrorist has become an ill-treated orphan. Can't somebody sort out the meanings and  usages of the words "terrorist" & "militant"? Where is Orwell when we need him?

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Two Aspects of the Holocaust to Keep in MInd

Israel commemorates the Holocaust in several days on the 28th of the month of Nisan, the month of Spring, which falls this year on the 28th of April, actually starting on the evening before, the evening of the 27th. This year, interestingly, it falls close in time to the Armenian commemoration of their genocide, which is on 24 April every year. Israel Radio [Qol Yisrael] discussed the Armenian genocide today on several programs. Right now Israel TV [channel 1] is running Claude Lanzmann's film, The Last of the Unjust.

First, an observation about the earlier genocide, the Armenian at the hands of Ottoman Empire, ruled during WW One by the Young Turks, a group of revolutionaries, supposed progressives. In fact, the formal name of the Young Turks' party was the Committee for Unity and Progress. Many Arab nationalists took inspiration from the Young Turks. Anwar Sadat's parents even named him after one of the Young Turks' leaders, Enver Pasha [Enver = the Turkish form of the Arabic name Anwar].

Although progressives, the Young Turks were imbued in their education with the values of Islam, especially the need for Islam and Muslims to dominate non-Muslims. To be sure, one Armenian historian, Raymond Kevorkian, located in France, wants to believe that the motive for the genocide was Turkish or Pan-Turanian nationalism, rather than Islam. This is very short-sighted but this is not the time to go into my reasoning.

Much has been written about the Jewish Holocaust. I now want to just stress two aspects.
1) The Holocaust was not restricted to Jews living in Europe. Thousands of Jews were sent to death camps in Europe from the North African countries of Libya and Tunisia. And the Germans set up labor camps for Jews in those countries. Pro-Nazi pogromists in Baghdad slaughtered local Jews in the Spring of 1941 in an orgy of violence and brutality called the Farhud. The numbers of Jews murdered range from 179 to 600 or more. It is a common mistake that the Holocaust was restricted to European Jews, or Jews living in Europe. However, Leon Poliakov, one of the most important Holocaust historians wrote long ago about the North African Jews caught up in the Holocaust crimes. Yet, the mistake is still made.

2) The Arab nationalist movement in its  majority was pro-Nazi. The Arab intellectuals who set up the Arab Socialist Ba`ath Party and the Syrian National Socialist Party [often called the Syrian Social Nationalist Party in order to hide its Nazi inspiration] were much interested in and great admirers of Nazi ideology, policies, power, and organization.

The chief leader of the Palestinian Arabs in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, Haj Amin el-Husseini, instigated the Farhud in Baghdad, according to an Iraqi investigating committee. After two days of Farhud massacres, British troops occupied Baghdad and finally suppressed the pogrom after waiting outside the city for two days. At this point Husseini fled Baghdad and made his way through Iran and Turkey to the Nazi-fascist domain in Europe. Greece, bordering on Turkey, was already occupied. While still in Baghdad, Husseini and a small group of other Arab nationalist leaders drew up a draft political statement which they wanted Hitler to make in favor of Arab nationalist ambitions. In essence, this was really a petition to Hitler to recognize what these Arab leaders saw as their rights and interests, including the right to solve the Jewish Question in the Arab lands as it was being solved in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Bernard Lewis supplies a thorough discussion of the several versions of their petition to Hitler in his book, Semites and Anti-Semites.
While in Baghdad Husseini may not have understood the full meaning of "the Final Solution." However, after speaking with Hitler in Berlin, or before, he knew that it meant genocide of the Jews. On his visit or visits to Auschwitz he was able to observe just how this Final Solution was being carried out. The Germans provided Husseini, the British-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem [1922], with a headquarters and money to support a large entourage and used him to make pro-Nazi, pro-Arab nationalist, anti-Jewish propaganda over Radio Berlin. [such as: Kill Jews wherever you find them (see Lukasz Hirszowicz, The Third Reich and the Arab East)].

In their discussion at Hitler's headquarters Hitler promised Husseini that "solving"  the Jewish Question in  the Arab lands was part of Nazi Germany's plan. Husseini, the Mufti, was "fully reassured and satisfied by the words which he had heard from the Chief of the German State. . ."  He was pleased with Hitler's promise.

Later in the war, Husseini addressed the Bosnian Muslim SS division [the Handschar, khanjar]. He told them that Nazi ideology, National Socialism, had much in common with Islam (see Joseph Schechtman's biography of Husseini, The Mufti and the Fuehrer).
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24 April 2014 -- Obama continues to evade recognizing the Armenian genocide as genocide. He issued  a statement that danced around a frank statement of the issue [here]. He still wants to protect Erdogan and Turkey and Islam in general.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

The New York Times Once Again Shamelessly Displays Its Partisanship & Contempt for Facts

No doubt that the New York Times lies or omits vital information on all sorts of matters and issues. But when Israel is concerned, the NYT can be relied upon  to both be partisan and to falsify almost always. This carries over of course to Arab affairs. The officials and operatives of the PLO, known to be bloodthirsty enemies of Israel, need to be protected from their own records of mass murder and Big Lies.
Therefore, Rashid Khalidi, now an American professor, must have his reputation protected and his personal record sanitized. He is a scion of the al-Khalidi family, long prominent in the Jerusalem area with some of its sons taken into the imperial service by the Ottoman Empire and given high imperial rank. His relative Walid Khalidi worked with British political agents to make propaganda for the Palestinian Arab cause --also a British cause-- in the UK and the USA.  Rashid is American-born, yet served the PLO as one of its leading PR agents, that is, leading liars, for several years in Beirut. Now that Rashid is a prof at the Ivy League Columbia University, it might embarrass not only him but Columbia and his friend B Hussein Obama if it became common knowledge that he was a leading PLO liar in Beirut when the PLO and its member groups made no attempt to conceal their terrorist bloodthirst.
 So the NYT must cover up for its pet "moderate" Arab terrorist mouthpiece. Here is the essence of Prof Martin Kramer's devastating refutation of  the lies about Khalidi in and by the NYT:
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. . .  I do care how the New York Times reported one aspect of the story this morning: “Critics have accused the professor of having had ties to the Palestine Liberation Organization, which he has denied.” The reference here is to the activities of Khalidi when he resided in Beirut in the 1970s and up until Israel’s 1982 invasion. In those days, the PLO ran an exterritorial gangland, and was neck-deep in terrorism planned by Arafat and his mob.
Note this phrase: “Critics have accused…” Today’s article thus repeats a trope that appeared back in 2008, when the Times ran a piece on Khalidi prompted by his past association with Barack Obama:
He taught at universities in Lebanon until the mid-’80s, and some critics accuse him of having been a spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization. Mr. Khalidi has denied working for the group, and says he was consulted as an expert by reporters seeking to understand it.
Again, it’s the “critics” who “accuse him.”
Well, I’m a critic, but we critics didn’t just imagine Khalidi’s PLO affiliation. We were alerted to it by a parade of highly regarded journalists, including two from the New York Times. So here are the “critics” who first leveled the “accusation” (still more sourcing here):
• Joe Alex Morris Jr., reporting from Beirut for the Los Angeles Times on September 5, 1976, quoted Khalidi and described him as “a PLO spokesman.”
• James M. Markham, reporting from Beirut in the New York Times on February 19, 1978, quoted Khalidi and described him as “an American-educated Palestinian who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut and also works for the P.L.O.”
• A Pacifica Radio documentary, reporting in 1979 from Beirut, interviewed Khalidi “at the headquarters of the PLO in Beirut,” and described him as “an official spokesperson for the Palestinian news service Wafa,” “PLO spokesperson,” “official spokesperson for the PLO,” and “the leading spokesperson for the PLO news agency, Wafa.”
• Thomas Friedman, reporting from Beirut in the New York Times on June 9, 1982, quoted Khalidi and described him as “a director of the Palestinian press agency, Wafa.”
• Doyle McManus, reporting on rumored American-PLO contacts in the Los Angeles Times on February 20, 1984, quoted Khalidi and described him as “a former PLO official.”
• James Rainey, reporting on Khalidi’s connection to Obama for the Los Angeles Times on October 30, 2008, described him as “a renowned scholar on the Palestinians who in the 1970s had acted as a spokesman for Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization.” (As I noted at the time, the Los Angeles Times thus honorably stood by the 1976 reportage of its legendary, long-dead Beirut correspondent, Joe Alex Morris Jr.)
• Thomas W. Lippman, for thirty years a diplomatic, national security, and Middle East correspondent for the Washington Post, in a letter published in that paper on November 1, 2008, wrote that “Khalidi was indeed ‘a PLO spokesman.’ In the early years of the Lebanese civil war, Mr. Khalidi was the Beirut-based spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization, and his office was a stop on the daily rounds of journalists covering that conflict. As we used to say in the pre-electronic newspaper business: Check the clips.”
None of these people were or are “critics” of Rashid Khalidi, and two of them were reporting for the New York Times itself. So why does the Times repeatedly inform us that it is only Khalidi’s “critics” who have “accused” him, when in fact a raft of esteemed journalists who interviewed him in Beirut identified him as a PLO spokesman, as a fact? This is not another he-said she-said (or Jew-says Arab-says) question. As Thomas Lippman said: Check the clips.
This is another opportunity to urge the New York Times to get off its derriere and get to the bottom of the Khalidi story. It is unthinkable that a Brooklyn-born, Yale-educated U.S. citizen operated in PLO headquarters in Beirut in the late 1970s, and wasn’t known to the personnel of the U.S. embassy and the CIA station. That was over thirty years ago, so some documents must have been declassified. Can we get some investigative reporting here? Instead all we’ve ever read about Khalidi in the Times is the puff piece.
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For full article by Martin Kramer, go here.

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