Tag Archives: Gaza

A Humanitarian Gesture

Just some comments on Gaza coverage.

1. But first, let’s go with a video.  It’s been making the rounds but if you’ve not seen it and if you enjoy good righteous indignation, you may very like this one.

2. Okay, now back to some observations about Gaza coverage.

First let’s start out with the ubiquitous Abigail Hauslohner reporting currently for the Washington Post.  In this article she points out some rather chilling things about Israel’s behavior in Gaza during it’s disgusting, illegal and immoral air and sea assault upon a captive and helpless population. After giving us the usual Zionist-Bullshit based assumption that attacking HAMAS is a perfectly acceptable thing to do:

“For the most part, the targets struck by Israeli warplanes and ships — government complexes, bridges, farms, smuggling tunnels, paramilitary training facilities and residences of suspected militants — had been connected in some way to Gaza’s Hamas-led government.”

She then points to a series of acts, typical Israeli behavior to anyone who has followed Israeli’s stupendously long list of atrocities before, during and after the Jews created their state in 1948, that ought to raise the eyebrows of her editors at the Jerusalem Washington New York Times Post.

She notes that during the final 24 hours of this Zionist assault the Israelis were even meaner. Here’s a sample: (red highlighting is mine)

In what were among the final strikes, Israel targeted two bridges, including one that connected northern and southern Gaza over a valley used to funnel sewage into the sea.

Other overnight airstrikes ripped through homes and farmland and reduced a major Interior Ministry complex to a wasteland of rubble the size of a football field.”

She then mentions Israel’s complete destruction of the al-Showa bank whose owner was actually part of the Palestinian Authority government in the past and who she presents as a guy who is not even tied to HAMAS. She notes that the residents of Gaza were astonished that the bank was flattened. But then she offers a theory as to why, the sort of theory one might find in decent alternative media, which is where she’s going to end up if she’s not careful.

The only thing about Showa that might have drawn the Israelis’ attention, Gaza City residents said, was that his bank had recently started granting loans to Palestinians, whereas most other banks had stopped, afraid they would not be paid back.”

Sounds plausible to me since Israel is out to destroy the economy of Gaza.

But then  her Washington Postness comes back to bite the reader (and the Palestinians) in the butt:

“Most of the strip’s 1.7 million people are refugees — the descendants of those who fled ancestral homes on the land that is now Israel during the war over the Jewish state’s creation in 1948.”

“Who fled”?  Bullshit. But I bet she knows this. She may not have written it or her words may have been changed. It happens all the time.

Now this brings me to something else. A few days ago the Angry Arab published something that strikes me as odd. Not that I disagree with what he was getting at – he was making about his 10 millionth observation about the pro-Israel bias in the US press – but it involved Abigail Hauslohner in a rather interesting way.

He called his short piece “A US correspondent on biases US media” and said that a correspondent for a “major” US publication sent him “this”. “This” being a reference to an article by three writers for the Washington Post. The writers of the article are Karin Bruillard, Abigail Hauslohner and Debbi Wilgoren.

The article as cited by the Angry Arab is short and the complaints to him from the US correspondent about it are accurate. However, he did not identify that correspondent because “she” did not wish to be identified.  That would be understandable. Especially if it were someone like Ms. Hauslohner herself. Just wondering. (That would really be cool.)

Now to the dark side. David Ignatious, the most boring commentator on the planet, decided this past week that he’d tell us what has been going on in the Middle East all these years. He starts off by lying to us.

His third paragraph:

“The first time I watched this movie was 1982. Israel invaded Lebanon to stop the rockets that were then harassing northern Israel. The invasion was called “Operation Peace for Galilee,” and the Israeli army rolled all the way to Beirut. With their massive firepower, the Israelis assumed the Palestinians would cut and run, as Arab armies had in previous wars. But the Palestinians stood their ground.”

The Israeli invasion was due to stop Palestinians rockets? What a bunch of fucking bullshit and he knows it, if he does not then he has no fucking business whatsoever pretending to know anything about the Middle East.  Even Wikipedia, filled with Zionist bullshit as it is, makes this clear.

But Ignatious isn’t finished lying:

“Now it’s Hezbollah that poses the deadly rocket threat to northern Israel. Hezbollah suicide bombings forced Israel to invade Lebanon again in 1996 (“Operation Grapes of Wrath”), then to withdraw in frustration from Lebanon in 2000, then to attack Hezbollah once more in 2006 (“Operation Change of Direction”).”

Hizbullah “suicide bombings” had nothing to do with operation “Grapes of Wrath.”  No competent historian would say anything so stupid. Nor was it suicide bombings that forced Israel to withdraw from Lebanon after occupying southern Lebanon for 22 years. Hizbullah had worn them down to the point that Israel said “no mas” and then Hizbullah kicked Israel’s SLA collaborators out.  And I can’t imagine anyone arguing that Hizbullah suicide bombings had anything at all to do with the insane Israeli rampage in Lebanon in 2006 where Israel  re-discovered that there are, after all, some Arabs who can actually put up a fight. As any idiot knows, Hizbullah captured two Israeli soldiers and killed three others in an attack that Israel used as its causus belli.

His article just gets worse and worse the more you read on. Don’t do it!  This is not just a warning, it is a humanitarian gesture. I should set up my own 501(c)(3). But I digress.

If Ignatious is the best the Washington Post has, Ms. Hauslohner should end up doing pretty well.

Oh Chanada! Canada Declares Independence from the United States

1. Canada, which since at least 1867 has been a suburb of the United States, has finally broken away and become an independent nation. Israel recognized the new state immediately.  Governor General Michaelle Jean’s position has been replaced by the Office of the Chief Rabbi. It is expected that the Chief Ashkhenazi Rabbi  in Israel, Yona Metzger, will soon appoint someone to that post.  However, Yosef Shalom Elaishiv, the man behind Metzger, will no doubt be the one who really makes the choice. No one knows who will appoint the French  Rabbi at this time. Stay tuned.

Prime Minister Steve Harper, below, consecrates his country’s new status and celebrates the nation’s name change.

Steve Harper, the Prime Minister of the Newly Declared State of Chanada

Steve Harper, the Prime Minister of the Newly Declared State of Chanada

2. Yona the barbarian Metzger is an interesting creature in his own Reich. Back during the Israeli massacre of anything in Gaza that moved this great humanitarian came up with a final solution for Gaza that the Gazans, ungrateful wretches that they are, have not even bothered to thank him for. He suggests that all of them be moved to the Sinai Peninsula. (Please note: this would be a war crime.) But it gets better, he wants the United States and the EU to pay for it! That’s chutzpah with a capital CH!

Metzger, like Rep. Eliot Engel (Likud, New York), does not feel that Palestinians have a place in Jerusalem whatsoever.  His reasoning is, well, Talmudic:

In the interview Metzger also described Jerusalem as “the capital city forever to the Jewish nation.” He argued that Muslims have no connection to Jerusalem commenting that “behind the Kotel we have a mosque. But when they pray even though they are in our holiest place, they face Mecca. Their back is to Jerusalem. So you can see from only one sign that it does not belong to them. They have nothing – no connection.”

As you would expect from the quotes above, Metzger sees himself as ecumenical, especially if his ecumenism involves bashing Muslims.

On a February 2007 trip to India, Metzger joined other prominent rabbis in signing a declaration against violence with local Hindu leaders, as part of a summit organized by the World Council of Religious Leaders. One of the points emphasized by the participants was the commonality between Jews and Hindus, particularly in regards to ongoing violence at the hands of Muslims. Metzger noted in his remarks that “Jews have lived in India for 2,000 years and have never been discriminated against. This is something unparalleled in human history.”

Yona Metzger is controversial in Israel itself for a number of reasons, some of them having to do with the highly idiosyncratic constituencies in the Israeli secular and religious body politic – very similar to infighting among the Russian communists. But there is also this:

Metzger had never served as a religious judge (dayan), though his role as Chief Rabbi would require him to sit as President of the Rabbinical Supreme Court for five years, before switching with his Sephardic counterpart to be head of the Chief Rabbinate Council.[24] Outgoing Sephardic Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron wrote a formal letter to the Chief Rabbinic Council complaining about Metzger’s appointment. In his letter, Bakshi-Doron described a 1998 rabbinical investigation into Metzger’s personal conduct and credentials, following the publicizing of multiple accusations of sexual harassment, forged signatures on wedding contracts, fraud and threatening other rabbis.[25] The commission of rabbis found Metzger’s explanations of his actions “insufficient” and ruled him “unfit to serve as a rabbi.” The commission, which included Rabbi Shlomo Amar, later agreed to drop the ruling on condition that Metzger withdraw his candidacy for chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, which he did. Bakshi-Doron was incensed to learn that, five years later, Metzger had now entered into the race for Chief Rabbi of the state. He called his appointment “a desecration of God’s name.”[26]

3. Let’s talk about OJ Simpson.  I mean we can’t always be talking about the Middle East and Zionism and all that stuff, right folks? So let’s talk about everyone’s favorite running back, movie star, murderer, wife beater and moron.  Okay, I can hear it now, “Mantiq, he is a wife beater and a moron and has proven that repeatedly. But a murderer? How can you say such a thing? After all, he was acquitted, n’est-ce pas?” (The French is in honor of the readers of this site from CQuebec, the French part of Chanada.)

Well  here’s the deal. Michael Collins Piper,  a very controversial figure who has said and written some utterly outlandish things about Israel (for example, MCP firmly holds the opinion that what the Israelis did in Gaza recently is evil, unlike the ADL , Eliot Engel,  and Yona Metzger), but let’s leave that aside for now, has come up with a new perspective on the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman. He does not claim to have found the true killer and he does not proclaim OJ innocent. He does note that his elderly mother and her “little old lady” friends at the time of the trial all thought OJ was innocent, but Piper says he cared not a wit about the case when it happened and is not a sports fan either. However, he ended up doing some research on the case and found some interesting things about a woman named Michelle. He talked at length about this on the Republic Broadcasting Network on April 6, 2009.  Here is an excerpt from his presentation. If you want to hear the whole thing, you can subscribe to RBN’s archives for $1.33 a month [4 million Chanadian] and do so on a monthly basis. You know, President Obama, who is probably a natural born US citizen, should have provided free subscriptions to RBN’s archives as part of his stimulus package. But, again, I digress. Below is the link. Listen to the Piper and then download the rest if you want to know more. (You will.)

Bernard

4. Go back up and download that file.:-)

Rock the Nakba

May be busy until the weekend. These juicy tidbits should keep even the most voracious Mantiqians satisfied until I have time to pick up more seeds and treats.

1. Proof that dogs are superior to cats. The video is short, but watch all of it.

2.  The founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center demonstrates why his organization is listed under hate sites here.  Found this link on the Angry Arab blog. He is indeed angry.

3.  Are you a nakba denier? It’s from a most interesting site that is in both English and Arabic called Palestine Remembered.

4.  “Israeli TV viewers have lately been exposed to a bizarre sight: army officers appearing with their faces hidden, as usual for criminals when the court prohibits their identification. Pedophiles, for example, or attackers of old women.”

5. MEMRI is apparently still upset at the things Palestinian children are exposed to on TV before they are killed by the Israeli military. 

Ass-Kicked Indyk

Here’s a 1-2 punch for today:

  1. Okay, now for a brief change of pace. Boxing is considered by many to be a pretty cruel sport. This is because it is a pretty cruel sport. However, in boxing the fighters are normally at least of similar weight and there is a referee to stop things immediately if one fighter is too hurt to continue. Now here’s a link to a very brief fight – 19 seconds. A real ass-kicking.
  2. Okay, I can see you all going, hey Mantiq, this is really for the birds. “We come to your site to see pictures of pretty birds, see if you have any funny new links, and to see if you are still bitching and moaning about the Middle East.” O ye of little faith. Here is yet another tale about a very recent much more devastating ass kicking. And it is Middle East related. Very much so. Really, a lot.

In one corner is England-born, Australian raised, kibbutz inhabiting, Israeli advising (Yizthak Shamir no less) , AIPAC lobbyist, Washington Institute for Near East Policy co-founder (the place where Dennis Ross has recently been a “counselor” and a fellow), naturalized US citizen under circumstances which remain vague to this day, Bill Clinton administration National Security Council Middle East adviser, twice US ambassador to Israel (losing his security clearance in the process) and now Haim Saban Center for Middle East Studies Executive Director. (He was also Hillary Clinton’s Middle East advisor during her campaign.) As faithful Mantiq readers can no doubt guess, this is the guy who got his ass kicked, much to Mantiq’s delight.

In the other corner is well-known and out of a job academic, Jewish intellectual gadfly, holocaust industry critic, former DePaul University faculty member, Alan Dershowitz hater and victim (I don’t care what your stand is on anything regarding the Middle East, if you hate Alan Dershowitz, just how bad can you be?), and very smart guy, Norman Finkelstein.

The fight venue was Democracy Now! In a matter of minutes Indyk looked like he was a Gazan victim of an Israeli bombing raid of a residential neighborhood. Finkelstein was merciless as he just beat the hell out of Indyk exposing him for the lying Israeli-firster war mongering Zionist that he is. Here are some highlights of the fight, refereed by Amy Goodman. Areas in red are my emphasis. Additional Mantiq comments are also sometimes inserted. They are not in italics.

MARTIN INDYK: Good morning, Amy. Thanks very much for having me on the show. I feel a little bit sandbagged here.

Let me translate: this means he was unaware that he would be in a fair fight. He thought he was just coming on the show to bloat and gloat about his latest book. Goodman probably should have made it clear to him. Poor, poor baby.

 

I was not told that I was going to be in some kind of debate with Norman Finkelstein. I’m not interested in doing that. I’m also not here as a spokesman for Israel.

Yes you are. That is exactly what you are. Liar.

But I will try to answer your questions as best I can.

I think that what happened here was that there was a ceasefire, an informal ceasefire, between Hamas and Israel that had lasted for about five months. Hamas decided to break that ceasefire with a prolonged series of rocket attacks on Israeli civilians in southern Israel.

Liar.

And the Israeli government responded with overwhelming force, designed, as they have said, to try to reestablish deterrence, to prevent Hamas from doing that again, and to try to get a ceasefire in place that would prevent Hamas from smuggling in offensive weapons into Gaza, the better to attack Israel.

His big fat lie to start right off left Finkelstein with an opening of sufficient size to fly an Apache helicopter through while firing at Palestinian children in the streets. Ready for the kill,  Finkelstein responds with “overwhelming force.”

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, the record is fairly clear. You can find it on the Israeli website, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Mr. Indyk is correct that Hamas had adhered to the ceasefire from June 17th until November 4th. On November 4th, here Mr. Indyk, I think, goes awry. The record is clear: Israel broke the ceasefire by going into the Gaza and killing six or seven Palestinian militants. At that point—and now I’m quoting the official Israeli website—Hamas retaliated or, in retaliation for the Israeli attack, then launched the missiles.

Now, as to the reason why, the record is fairly clear as well. According to Ha’aretz, Defense Minister Barak began plans for this invasion before the ceasefire even began. In fact, according to yesterday’s Ha’aretz, the plans for the invasion began in March. . . .

Show co-host Juan Gonzalez asks if there has been a change in HAMAS position recently with respect to peace with Israel. Indyk, seemingly incapable of answering any questions without tossing in huge and unnecessary lies, answers in part:

MARTIN INDYK . . .

I think the change that’s taken place is a change on the ground. Hamas, having won the PA elections and then—we don’t need to go into the details of that, but essentially what happened was, as a result of a competition between Hamas and Fatah over who would rule, Hamas took control of Gaza by force in what was, in effect, a putsch against the Palestinian Authority. It therefore moved from being a terrorist organization to a terrorist government, responsible for controlling territory in Gaza and responsible for meeting the needs of one-and-a-half million Palestinians in Gaza. . . .

The area in red is standard Zionist propaganda about what happened in Gaza. Any official Israeli spokesman would have said the same thing. Finkelstein replies by dropping huge phosphorus bomb on Indyk’s ass.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, I think the problem of Mr. Indyk’s presentation is he constantly reverses cause and effect. Just as he said a moment ago that it was Hamas which broke the ceasefire, although he well knows it was Israel that broke the ceasefire on November 4th, he now reverses cause and effect as to how the present impasse came about. In January 2006, as he writes in his book, Hamas came to power in a free and fair election. I think those are his words. He then claims on your program and he claims in his book that Hamas committed a “putsch”—his word—in order to eliminate the Palestinian Authority. And as I’m sure Mr. Indyk well knows and as was documented in the April 2008 issue of Vanity Fair by the writer David Rose, basing himself on internal US documents, it was the United States in cahoots with the Palestinian Authority and Israel which were attempting a putsch on Hamas, and Hamas preempted the putsch. That, too, is no longer debatable or no longer a controversial claim.

Sorry, just had to highlight the whole paragraph. The rest of his response is just as good. A bit later on he adds:

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: . . . . We have the Arab League, all twenty-two members of the Arab League, favoring a two-state settlement on the June 1967 border. We have the Palestinian Authority favoring that two-state settlement on the June 1967 border. We now have Hamas favoring that two-state settlement on the June 1967 border. The one and only obstacle is Israel, backed by the United States. That’s the problem.

 

Now it gets even better:

 

AMY GOODMAN: So, Ambassador Indyk, why doesn’t Israel accept this ceasefire?

MARTIN INDYK: Look, Amy, I was invited on to talk about my book and the Gaza situation. I was not invited on to debate with Norman Finkelstein, and I’m not prepared to do that. So if you want to talk about the situation, I’m happy to do that, but I’m not here to be the representative of the government of Israel. You can easily invite somebody on to—

His ass is still on fire and it’s there for everyone to see.

AMY GOODMAN: No, of course not. No, we’re asking your opinion. I don’t see you as the representative of Israel. But let me get your—

MARTIN INDYK: Well, why don’t we focus on some other issues, like the American role in this or something that—

AMY GOODMAN: Very good point.

Amy wimps out.

MARTIN INDYK: can get us out of this ridiculous debate, in which he’s just a propaganda spokesman for Hamas, you know.

The ridiculous part of this debate is Indyk’s sheer cowardice when confronted with his lies. Like Joe Lous going after Max Schmeling in their second fight, Finkelstein never lets up.

Then the show is basically handed over to Indyk to continue talking about his book lying for a good couple of minutes or more. No need to quote him here, as Finkelstein is allowed to respond to the lies.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, the record shows that Hamas wanted to continue the ceasefire, but only on condition that Israel eases the blockade. As your viewers surely know, long before Hamas began the retaliatory rocket attacks on Israel, Palestinians were facing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza because of the blockade. The former High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, described what was going on in Gaza as a destruction of a civilization. This was during the ceasefire period.

Now, I think it’s important to keep in mind Mr. Indyk wants to talk about the book. Well, I think we should talk about the book. In fact, I stayed up ’til 1:30 a.m. to complete the book, made sure I read up to page 415, read every word of the book. The problem is, with his book, as with his presentation here, is he systematically misrepresents the record of the peace process. He’s lying not only to his readers, but to the American people. He keeps putting the burden of responsibility for the impasse in the peace process on the Palestinians.

A moment ago, he referred to the “rejectionists” who are trying to block a settlement of the conflict. What does the record show? The record shows, I said a moment ago, for the past twenty or more years, the entire international community has sought to settle the conflict in the June 1967 border with a just resolution of the refugee question. Are all 164 nations of the United Nations the rejectionists? And are the only people in favor of peace the United States, Israel, Nauru, Palau, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Australia? Who are the rejectionists? Who’s opposing a peace?

According to Mr. Indyk’s account of the negotiations that culminated in the Camp David and Taba meetings, he says it was the Palestinians that were blocking a settlement. What does the record show? The record shows that in every crucial issue raised at Camp David, then under the Clinton parameters, and then in Taba, at every single point, all the concessions came from the Palestinians. Israel didn’t make any concessions. Every concession came from the Palestinians. The Palestinians have repeatedly expressed a willingness to settle the conflict in accordance with international law.

The law is very clear. July 2004, the highest judicial body in the world, the International Court of Justice, ruled Israel has no title to any of the West Bank and any of Gaza. They have no title to Jerusalem. Arab East Jerusalem, according to the highest judicial body in the world, is occupied Palestinian territory. The International Court of Justice ruled all the settlements, all the settlements in the West Bank, are illegal under international law.

Now, the important point is, on all those questions, the Palestinians were willing to make concessions. They were willing to allow Israel to keep 60 percent of the settlements, 80 percent of the settlers. They were willing to compromise on Jerusalem. They were willing to give up basically on the right of return. They made all the concessions. Israel didn’t make any concessions. How is this rendered in Martin Indyk’s book? It’s rendered as, quote, “Barak’s bold and courageous initiatives for peace” and “Arafat and the PLO rejecting the bold and courageous initiatives of Barak.” Constantly, he turns reality on its head.

AMY GOODMAN: Ambassador Indyk, your response to that?

MARTIN INDYK: I told you, Amy, I’m not here to debate Norman Finkelstein. That was not the ground rules that you set—

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: I’m talking about your book.

And showing what a piece of crap it is.

Finkelstein gets in the last word. A coup de grace.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN . . . And the main challenge for all of us as Americans is to see through the lies. And regrettably, those lies are again being propagated by Martin Indyk in his book with his pretense that it’s the Palestinians, and not Israel and the United States, which are the main obstacles to peace.

Now I want Any Goodman to invite Finkelstein to face off with Dennis Ross.