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Thursday, January 24, 2008

capt.c49733208dfd423fbafde5d4a4ece8c4.mideast_israel_palestinians__jrl152.jpg
The Hamas leader of the Gaza Strip , Ismail Haniyeh , left, and Gaza's Hamas strongman, Mahmoud Zahar, are seen during a cabinet meeting held in candle light in solidarity with the residents of Gaza, in Gaza City, Tuesday Jan. 22, 2008. The latest round of Israel-Gaza fighting erupted last week, amid a spike in rocket fire on Israeli border communities, and prompted Israel to seal the territory and cut off fuel supplies. Gaza's power plant shut down, cutting off electricity to about one-third of Gaza's residents, and international aid groups warned they may have to suspend food distribution to hundreds of thousands of people by the end of the week for lack of truck fuel. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Khaled Abu Toameh: 'Hamas staged some of the blackouts'

On at least two occasions this week, Hamas staged scenes of darkness as part of its campaign to end the political and economic sanctions against the Gaza Strip, Palestinian journalists said Wednesday.

In the first case, journalists who were invited to cover the Hamas government meeting were surprised to see Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and his ministers sitting around a table with burning candles.

In the second case on Tuesday, journalists noticed that Hamas legislators who were meeting in Gaza City also sat in front of burning candles.

But some of the journalists noticed that there was actually no need for the candles because both meetings were being held in daylight.

"They had closed the curtains in the rooms to create the impression that Hamas leaders were also suffering as a result of the power stoppage," one journalist told The Jerusalem Post. "It was obvious that the whole thing was staged."

Another journalist said he and his colleagues were told to wait for a few minutes before entering the chamber of the Palestinian Legislative Council so that each legislator would have time to light his candle. He said that when he saw that the curtains had been closed to prevent the light from entering, he realized that Hamas was trying to manipulate the media for political gain.

Update: Jerusalem Posts emails some more photos [Note the sunlight behind the curtains.]:

fauxdark1.jpg
Palestinian lawmakers attend a parliament session in candlelight during a power cut in Gaza January 22, 2008. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

fauxdark2.jpg
Palestinian lawmakers attend a parliament session in candlelight during a power cut in Gaza January 22, 2008. Israel agreed to allow some fuel, medicine and food into the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Tuesday, at least temporarily easing a blockade that has plunged much of the territory into darkness and sparked international protests. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA)

fauxdark3.jpg
Palestinian lawmakers attend a parliament session in candlelight during a power cut in Gaza January 22, 2008. Israel agreed to allow some fuel, medicine and food into the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Tuesday, at least temporarily easing a blockade that has plunged much of the territory into darkness and sparked international protests. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA)

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Darkness at Noon -- MSM Plays Along with Hamas Photo Staging (Updated).

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.solomonia.com/cgi-bin/mt4/mt-renamedtb.cgi/14040

» Fautography, Lest We Forget at the blog Plumb Bob Blog

Solomonia reminds us how Palestinian activists love to manipulate the complicit American press, with evidence of staged photographic events surrounding the latest outbreak of violence in Gaza. Photographers and reporters entered sessions of parliament ... Read More

-By Warner Todd HustonThe Jerusalem Post caught another fauxtography scam out of the mideast this week. It appears that Hamas legislators have staged fake power outages to illustrate how oppressed they are for the benefit of journalists. The... Read More

» Rockets Strike Sderot: Lights Go Out at the blog Solomonia

Time to break out the candles? Three people wounded in latest rocket barrage on Sderot Three people were wounded and several suffered from shock early Tuesday evening as ten Kassam rockets hit Sderot. One of the rockets hit a house,... Read More

The following post picks up on the same story enumerated in my previous post about Hamas staging candle-lit photo-ops: Darkness at Noon -- MSM Plays Along with Hamas Photo Staging. I received it and the pictures via email as part... Read More

S'up, bro? Note the cut in pics of the Hamas Parliament by candlelight. MEMRI TV: Hamas MP Fathi Hammad Slams Arab and Islamic Regimes for Being Ruled by "4 Million Brothers of Apes and Pigs" (video) Following are excerpts... Read More



84 Comments

How could they have been so stupid as to stage these meetings during the daytime?! And did they think closing the curtains would fool anybody? I can't even fathom this kind of idiocy.

Well, maybe we shouldn't rue their dim wits. It's better that they try to manipulate the press crudely and ineffectively than with cleverness and finesse. At least journalists were able to see through this ruse. And this is good news for Israel, as it's another blow to Hamas credibility.

I wonder where the journalists quoted in Toameh's article were from. I very much doubt that they were from The Guardian or the BBC. I wonder how The Guardian, BBC, etc. will handle this. Would they be foolish or cynical enough to report these meetings at face value? Maybe not. But I could easily see them just passing over these incidents, simply not reporting them at all rather than report something that would embarrass the Palestinians.

And I know that it's bad to make fun of someone's looks, but...Gee, what ugly mugs on those guys.

Well, maybe I was being a bit unfair. Maybe not Haniya. But that "strongman" Zahar! He looks like a thug right out of Central Casting. In any case, they don't look like very nice people. Maybe they're just not very photogenic. For a better shot, they probably should have opened the curtains.

I doubt you'll see much from the Guardian, BBC, etc...after all, the candles represent a "greater truth."

Oh yeah, greater truth. I forgot about that. Wasn't that Enderlin's contention regarding Al-Durrah? Maybe the motto should be changed from "all the news fit to print" to "all the greater truth fit to print."

The saying used to be "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness."
Now the saying is "It is better to curse the Jews than open the curtains."

Or maybe:

"It is better to light a hundred candles in fake darkness than to open one curtain and let in the light."

This is just another chapter in the volume of lies that have been told to us by the MSM.

I am grateful for Truth-Telling blogs to give the facts.

After these people murder every Jew, they will come and murder everyone of us. They hate our freedom and our prosperity.

Why is the photographer's name always Mohammed when fauxtography is involved?

They have tremendous confidence in the media's cooperation with their fauxology. And for good reason - Reuters and AP in fact cooperated. Only bloggers will know that the fauxology was exposed. The truth is that it will never be exposed to those it was originally presented to.

Did US News ever print a retraction of their bogus cover photo? If they did, would anyone know? My own parents didn't know when I showed it to them, I think they thought I was crazy.

They don't care if we know it is fake. Our knowledge is of no consequence whatsoever. There is no reason for them to hide their fakery.

The third picture, a couple of raised arms with 5 fingers showing? Oh dear!

Not a 'one-er' or a 'two-er' in the Terrortories that's the sign for, 'I'm about to explode!'

Probably just yuckin-it-up to scare the hell out of the photographer.

Can someone explain what appears to be the Jewish "Star of David" emblems decorating the front side of the desks? Am I missing some bizarre irony?

Also could someone explain further the apparent hypocrisy behind the notion of "the greater truth"?

If you look carefully, you'll see that what at first glance look like Stars of David are actually two overlapping squares, not triangles, so it's probably a pretty common Arab motif.

"Greater truth" refers to a tendency among many, not just in the press, to be will to lie about a particular incident if it serves a political purpose -- similar to "fake but accurate." So if someone is convinced that George Bush didn't attend to his Reserve obligations, what are a few forged documents in the service of making that bigger point? What does it matter if Muhammed al Dura was really killed by Israeli gunfire on that day when there are OTHER Palestinian kids killed anyway? And what does it matter if the curtains are pulled and the press allows itself to be used in a cynical manipulation when there are, in fact, people without electricity somewhere?

It's how a person overcomes the cognitive dissonance in telling a lie -- just convince yourself it's in the service of "the greater truth" and put your mind at ease.

That is not the star of David. The star of David has six points and the decorations in the photos have eight.

Why are the curtains closed?

Because roaches scurry from bright light. I know, not PC, but don't really care.

Israel should help by supplying the building with a new skylight. The Hamas "lawmakers" should stay in there while the addition is made to make sure the alignment is to their liking.

I love these guys and I mean that sincerely!

They are just so full of crap and oblivious to how stupid they make themselves look. That takes some serious seeds.

Those two dimwits in the first photo; Zahar looks as if he at least has a slight clue about how DUMB the whole stunt is, as if he is thinking "I don't really care what the people think, lets just kill the Jooos and get it all over with".

You can dress up Visigoths in the latest Roman clothing but they are still barbarians.

Sol: congrats on the link from Power Line!

Folks, don't kid yourselves. The Palestinians are masters at getting the press to print anything and everything they say. Occasionally they get sloppy, as here, and they are quoted (or depicted) doing something really stupid. But they've gotten a lot of people to believe The Big Lie, over almost fifty years.

Make fun of their incompetence, in this instance, if you like. They still have the blood of a great many innocent people on their hands -- and, if they have their way, will cause the deaths of many more. The dead aren't laughing.

respectfully,
Daniel in Brookline

If public officials are making asses of themselves, is it the duty of a reporter not to report it? It is possible these reporters were being mindlessly sycophantic. It is possible that they knowingly made themselves co-propagandists with Hamas.

But it is also possible (and in my view just as likely) that they saw a ridiculous situation and decided to snap photos that revealed it to be ridiculous.

How these photos are interpreted is the key, and a picture has no meaning but that which we give it. Most sensible people would see these photos as yet another hoax. But some will not. This latter group is not really persuadable. In fact, they're the type who quietly cheer when terrorists decapitate people on a webcam. (Think Michael Moore.)

In other words, they're people who've left civilized norms and joined the ranks of semi-human animals over whom truth, justice, facts, error, compassion, law, right, and wrong, impose no restraint whatever.

You can't reach these people because, in quite important ways, they've ceased really being people at all. It happens from time to time: the educated Germans who winked at the disappearance of the Jews, the fellow travelers who apologized for Stalin, the reprobates who saw in Mao and in Castro and Chavez a hero for their essential hatred of humanity itself.

The West will survive if and only if it repudiates any notion of acceptance for organizations like Hamas. If the West continues to believe that thugs like Hamas should be heard and respected, we're in for more trouble than Europe faced in 1940-45.

This is like having the Global Warming Conference in Bali instead of freezing New York or Brussels last December. Al Gore wiping his brow in the tropical heat was a nice touch that the media ate up.

It doesn't surprise me that Hamas would stage this drama as it was Hamas who cut power to Gaza City, not the Israelis.

Oh, and the power had been restored the same day this photo was taken as Israel sent in fuel and other supplies.

"Israel shut its border crossing with Gaza last Thursday and lifted the blockade for one day on Tuesday, saying it would be reviewed after that.

It allowed lorries carrying industrial diesel for the coastal territory's sole power plant to entered the Nahal Oz fuel terminal.

More fuel will be delivered over the next three days along with diesel for generators, domestic cooking gas and food and medicine, the Israeli foreign ministry said. "
Link

One wonders why the Arab OPEC nations didn't supply Gaza with the fuel since they actually produce it? Could it be that they knew that this was a Hamas stunt and that they were too busy bashing Israel to provide the "desperately" needed fuel?

The caption on the photo says: “a cabinet meeting held in candle light in solidarity with the residents of Gaza”.

In solidarity.

That means they chose to darken the room and use candles when they didn't have to.

As an act of solidarity. Not as an act of deception.

It is so obviously daytime in the photo that I can't believe you would even think this was intended to be a trick.

More fool you for looking so hard for deceptions that you see them where they aren't even there!

The caption on the photo says: “a cabinet meeting held in candle light in solidarity with the residents of Gaza”.

In solidarity.

That means they chose to darken the room and use candles when they didn't have to.

Do you suppose ordinary Palestinians can't open the curtains in the day time either?

If they just covered their eyes they could save a lot on curtains and be no worse off.

OK, maybe this was meant to be just a symbolic darkness, and a symbolic lighting of candles. You may have a point there. But if it was Hamas that was responsible for cutting a lot of the electricity in the first place, then this is still a cheap publicity stunt. In solidarity, of course.

It's great that you guys can laugh it up about these photos. This was done to illustrate the point that Israel did indeed plunge the Gaza strip into darkness when it cut off fuel supplies last week. Israel also cut off supplies of food and medicine. Do any of you deny this? And you wonder where the terrorists come from.'

If you think collective punishment is a valid tactic, please explain to me the difference between your morality and that of the terrorists when they blow themselves up in Tel Aviv?

You people are in a moral swamp.

Stupid clowns.

Obama supporter - 'the difference' is that people aren't violently torn apart or carry destructive, painful shrapnel the rest of their lives.

@ Joanne

We've been discussing whether the photos were meant to be a trick here:

http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2008/01/journalistic-ma.php

Michael pointed out that it's possible that Hamas didn't realise how the photos would come out. They didn't realise that the cameras would capture more light coming through the curtains than was visible to the naked eye at the time. If that's true, then it suggests it really was a trick incompetently carried out.

That sounds plausible, although I don't know much about photography.

Fresh Aiir, yeah I noticed that too.

And it's interesting that in this case too Mohammed works for Reuters, because, as we all know, Reuters ALWAYS works for Mohammed.

Osama supporter,

hamas is the "democratically elected government" of gaza.

hamas is responsible for what goes on in gaza.

hamas is firing rockets into Israel. 4,000 at last count.

hamas refuses to halt the rocket attacks on Israel.

hamas turned off the power in gaza to create additional suffering for their constituents.

hamas is responsible for the hardships that are placed on the people living in gaza.

BTW Osama supporter, do you really think that a man whose middle name is Hussein is going to be elected President of the US?

Obama supporter @ 25,

Why is it when you cannot get it everybody else is stupid moron?


Play nice, do not embarrass Obama. Or else, move to Hillary camp.

On brighter note, I hope Obama gets nominated.

Obama supporter said:

It's great that you guys can laugh it up about these photos. This was done to illustrate the point that Israel did indeed plunge the Gaza strip into darkness when it cut off fuel supplies last week. Israel also cut off supplies of food and medicine. Do any of you deny this? And you wonder where the terrorists come from.'

If you think collective punishment is a valid tactic, please explain to me the difference between your morality and that of the terrorists when they blow themselves up in Tel Aviv?
You people are in a moral swamp.
Stupid clowns.

Hamas is launching rockets at Israel, Israel has no reason to provide supplies to its own enemy. Collective punishment is a valid tactic because it was proven effective throughout history. WWII anyone? Roman seiges anyone? I simply support Israel because I think Sharia is crap. My only regret is that the Christian Palestinians have to go through this because of the Islamic F*ck-heads.

I spent a couple of hours in October talking in person with the Arab journalist cited at top, Khaled Abu Tuomeh. He pulls no punches. His name is well known among Hamas and Fatah figures. The J Post never publishes his photograph because of the threats made against him by other Arabs. He's quite a man.

Robert said:

Hamas is launching rockets at Israel, Israel has no reason to provide supplies to its own enemy. Collective punishment is a valid tactic because it was proven effective throughout history. WWII anyone? Roman seiges anyone? I simply support Israel because I think Sharia is crap. My only regret is that the Christian Palestinians have to go through this because of the Islamic F*ck-heads.

Unfortunately Robert it would seem that the average poster on this board shares your morals and world vision. You might want to ask yourself exactly what kind of world will be created if more people share your vision?

So you believe that just because a tactic is effective it is justified? Hitler's aim was to rid Germany of Jew, he found that the most 'effective' way to do that was simply to exterminate them. Was that a reasonable or moral thing to do? You have defined the Palestinians as your enemy even though you are illegally occupying the West Bank and inhabiting land that was stolen from the Palestinians in the 1930s and 1940s. Everyone in the world who know anything about this issue is aware of this and consequently you find yourself on the moral low ground.

The number of Israelis who have died because of Hamas' activities is a tiny FRACTION of the number of Palestians who have been killed by the IDF. You guys are on VERY thin ice, if you really love your country I advise you to sit back and realize for a moment that the US (where I live) will not give you unequivocal support forever. A lot more people in the US are becoming educated about the recent history of the middle east and they are not liking what they are finding out in regards to Israel's activities there.

Collective punishment is justified because it's an 'effective' tactic? That says it all about your mindset. Arrafat and the PLO recognized (in a very generous act) Israel's right to exist in 1988, the hardline 'greater Israel' maniacs refused to play ball with him though, sticking to their line that the arabs should basically be driven into the sea or forced to live in an unworkable balcanized swiss cheese of a homeland. What's the upshoot? Due to the IDF's continued brutality and callousness the extremists are now in power in Gaza.

Isn't there a line about reaping what you sow somewhere in the Bible? Israel can go ahead and maintain its stance as modern version of Sparta if it wishes. It might be instructive for you to consider though that because of its its ultra aggressive military stance Sparta only survived for a relatively short period and has left no cultural legacy whatsoever. I have been there and unlike almost every other part of Greece there isn't a single building or other physical remnant of Spartan culture remaining. Reflect upon that.

How could they have been so stupid as to stage these meetings during the daytime?! And did they think closing the curtains would fool anybody? I can't even fathom this kind of idiocy.

These are not exactly the most industrious individuals so working late probably wasn't a viable option.

Airhead Supporter: "So you believe that just because a tactic is effective it is justified?"

The tactic is part of a larger military operation, which is justified because they're fighting for their lives. I really doubt you could comprehend the situation.

"The number of Israelis who have died because of Hamas' activities is a tiny FRACTION of the number of Palestians who have been killed by the IDF."

Yeah, the idea behind fighting a war is that eventually the other side realizes that it's running out of soldiers and stops sending them to be killed. But Hamas and the PLO and most of the middle eastern kleptocracies realize that by perpetuating Palestinian misery they can keep the idea alive that somehow Israel is the cause of all the problems in the middle east, and deflect blame from their own corruption.

"Hitler's aim was to rid Germany of Jew, he found that the most 'effective' way to do that was simply to exterminate them. Was that a reasonable or moral thing to do?"

Was invoking Hitler in a thread about Israel reasonable, or reflexive anti-Semitism?

Not only does Israel provide these jerks with power and food and medical services, America does as well.

They are rewarded for acts of terrorism and we wonder why they remain terrorists. Imagine that your town was told it would be getting free food and power and medical care if it fired rockets at a neighboring town. Think nobody would take that offer, especially if the neighboring town was of a different religion that was villified constantly?

And then the rockets are launched, and here come the UN trucks, packed up with goodies -- food, medicines, and no electric bill this month again because America and Europe are picking up the tab. More rockets anyone?

WW2 was not won by America supplying food, power, and medicine for the German population, nor the Japanese. The absurdity of what we are doing providing Hamas foot soldiers with the necessities of life is simply prolonging the war and getting more people killed. Collective punishment is not immoral, it is a means of ending a war by breaking the will of the enemy. What is immoral is rewarding aggression by providing material support to an enemy so they can keep attacking you indefinitely. Cut off ALL aid to Hamas and the bloodshed will end when the Palestinians realize that somebody is actually serious about ending it.

Or spend another 50 years watching people killing each other while engaged in self contratulatory breast beating about 'human rights'. The real villains here are the ones prolonging the agony on both sides.

I'd suggest to the Osama supporter that if you are outraged over occupation, you can set an example and end YOUR OCCUPATION of North America.

That means ALL Europeans, Africans, Asians can pack up. You'll need lots of boxes.

Where might you be returning to - if they will have you?

Look at those pictures above.

The hamas parliament doesn't look like a ragged 60 year old tent.

Ask Suha Arafat where are the billions her late husband received from the EU, US and Israel.

Obama supporter,

What is this stuff about 'morals'? Move to Sderot and then we will touch this subject again if you like. Until then do not try to be "highly moral" at somebody else's expense.

About your Hitler/Jew example. Are you implying Israelis are carting Gazans into gas chambers? And if you called it 'collective punishment of Jews by Hitler', punishment for what?

About 'stolen' land. You mention WB. Come now. Was it really stolen? At least two things stick out. First, Jordan lost it in offensive war of 1967. Second, Palestinians still live in the land stolen from them. Ever thought of that?

"Everyone in the world who know anything about this issue is aware of this and consequently you find yourself on the moral low ground."

Do you even know anything about this issue?

Number of dead Israelis is lower because Israel is better at protecting its citizenry and Israel is better at inflicting harm on its enemies. BTW, one dead Jew is one too many. Apparently this number game does not contradict with your 'high morals'.

"Arrafat and the PLO recognized (in a very generous act) Israel's right to exist in 1988"

I would like to do it if front of whole world. I thank Arafat for generously recognizing Israel. If it weren't for that I am not sure if Israelis could go on any longer.

Had it ever occur to you that Arafat was smarter than Hamas? That Arafat knew he will be nothing without it? That nobody will talk to him unless he does? Generous my a.. And you call me a moron.

Israeli hard liners may want this and may want that but they are being kept at bay by government of Israel. To make your comparison stick one of two things must happen. Either Israeli hard liners must become rogue force or Palestinians put lid on their hard liners.

"Isn't there a line about reaping what you sow somewhere in the Bible?"

Isn't it what is happening to Gaza today? What is your point? Are you thinking of collective punishment applied in reverse? High morals in action?

"Israel can go ahead and maintain its stance as modern version of Sparta if it wishes. It might be instructive for you to consider though that because of its its ultra aggressive military stance Sparta only survived for a relatively short period and has left no cultural legacy whatsoever. I have been there and unlike almost every other part of Greece there isn't a single building or other physical remnant of Spartan culture remaining. Reflect upon that."

OK. Here is my reflection.

Israel is no Sparta. Jews are Jews. Greeks are Greeks. Israel is hell bent on survival that is all. Would you blame her for that? Probably would.

BTW, you are still talking about Sparta. How come you say it left no cultural legacy what so ever? Do you even know that construction was not what Spartans are known for? Do you know that cultural legacy does not rest on buildings alone (Spartans saved Greece once or twice if you care to count that)? Do you know that you will have great difficulty finding ancient Jewish building yet, Jews are still here and still are adding greatly to World culture?


Last question. Are you or your spouse or very close friend from Middle East? You do not sound like typical American.

There's a great metaphor in there. The Palestinians will close the curtains in the middle of the day, just so they can complain about how the Jews won't give them electricity for the light-bulbs.

Really, that's the last sixty years of Palestinian history in a nutshell.

Obama Supporter said:

So you believe that just because a tactic is effective it is justified? Hitler's aim was to rid Germany of Jew, he found that the most 'effective' way to do that was simply to exterminate them. Was that a reasonable or moral thing to do? You have defined the Palestinians as your enemy even though you are illegally occupying the West Bank and inhabiting land that was stolen from the Palestinians in the 1930s and 1940s. Everyone in the world who know anything about this issue is aware of this and consequently you find yourself on the moral low ground.

It is apparent that Hitler's initiation of force on the Allies and Stalin's Russia was proven ineffective. We didn't defeat him because we were "right", we defeated him because we had more striking power than he did.

Define "illegal".

"Moral low ground", eh? What morality? Prove the existence of objective morality other than this saying, "it is more profitable to trade with the other person than it is to start a fight with him." Guess what, there is no such thing as objective morality. Humans are animals, period. Tribal warfare is the norm for the predatory human ape, just like the chimpanzee ape. The Israelis are simply defending themselves in a tribal war with the Palestinians. I simply side with the Israelis because I think Sharia and Islam are shit.

Send this everywhere: to MSM; to other blogs; to friends and family! This wrong has to be righted!

"Darkness at Noon" - fittingly replete with ironies, tragic ironies and tragi-comic ironies and ironies that the MSM has bought into hook, line and sinker - and then promulgated as "news."

Dupes, aka useful fools.

Obama Supporter,

Where is Egypt when it comes to the "moral mound"?
Why weren't they pitching at Israel by opening their border with Gaza for moral "Humanitarian Aid" (as opposed to only permitting arms and explosives through those ubiquitous tunnels)?
Only after the Gazans blew great holes in it?
Tsk, tsk! Even the Egyptians refuse to play ball.

And where are those Europeans who were supposed to be maintaining the functioning of the crossing into Egypt?
Just think of all those EU Aid flour bags full of potassium nitrate that could have been sent through to the moral high mound!

that the MSM has bought into hook, line and sinker

Michael B,
I think you are too soft on the MSM guys. While one or two may be fools to bite on this hook many of them are partisan supporters of the Arabs in the fight against the Jews.
The Judts, Finkelsteins and ilk are not confined to academia only.

Obama Supporter:

Near as I can tell, the difference between my morality and that of the terrorists, is that I don't plan on strolling into a Gaza pizza parlor and self detonating.

btw...Does your support of Obama mean he's a Hamas fan?


I would like to address a few points brought up by "Obama Supporter" - I believe we may find this to be an instructive exercise.


1) "[Israelis are]...inhabiting land that was stolen from the Palestinians in the 1930s and 1940s. "

This is an historical falsehood. Settlement activities during the British mandate were done on land purchased from Arabs, often at great expense, or on uncultivated land, or on reclaimed swampland (e.g. the Hula swamp, Netanya). That the Keren Kayemet - funded by worldwide donations - still owns most of the land in pre-'67 Israel is a legacy of this. Even the accusation is absurd - during the '30s and '40s the Jewish community did not have the strength or ability to 'steal' land (presumably, by forcibly evicting the previous inhabitants?). In fact, the opposite was the case - for example, the Arab massacre of Jews in '29, a result of which the ancient Jewish community in Hebron was evicted. And this is without mentioning the Arab uprising of '36-'39. It seems that Obama Supporter - perhaps for lack of historical knowledge - is projecting backwards his perception of the events after '67.

2) "The number of Israelis who have died because of Hamas' activities is a tiny FRACTION of the number of Palestians who have been killed by the IDF."

The implication of this is, of course, that the Israeli action is immoral, because it causes more casualties. This is a moral falsehood. When someone is lobbing rockets into your cities, you are justified in using the minimum force required to stop the attacks. You are also morally obligated to use that minimum force - to let your citizens be butchered piecemeal is also immoral.

Obama Supporter seems to believe that you are only justified in using the minimum force to produce the same amount of casualties on the
other side. For example, if they lob 10 missiles and kill 2 people, and you kill 2 of the launchers, then you are morally obliged to cease all activity, until they kill or injure someone else.

To apply this logic to another occasion - in WW2, the U.S. suffered a few thousand casualties at Pearl Harbor. They were therefore justified in retaliating against Japan, but only until an equal number of Japanese had been killed. At that point, the U.S. lost its moral justification for continuing the war. What better inducement could there be to an aggressor, than the guarantee that he will not suffer more casualties than he inflicts? Is this a moral stance?


3) "Collective punishment is justified because it's an 'effective' tactic?"

This is a valid objection. Obama Supporter is making a justified attack at an argument that (I believe) was poorly phrased. The ends do not justify the means, and collective punishment is not a moral response to individual action (for example a robbery). However, in the case of nation-states, collective action against a nation is a moral and legitimate response to individual attacks made from that nation's territory.

The nation's sovereignty makes it responsible for these actions. In the case of Gaza, the inhabitants have consistently supported Hamas many years; Their previous government (PA) took no action against Hamas, nor made any attempts to disarm them; and recently they voted overwhelmingly for Hamas in an election.

To return to our analogy - on Dec 7th 1941, several thousand Japanese airmen attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor. Was the U.S. justified in attacking Japan, and killing Japanese who did not take part in the attack? Should this be decried as Collective Punishment, too? The principle of collective punishment does apply to nation-states, because as Sovereign over that territory, the nation is responsible for the actions
issuing from it.

(It must also be remembered, that the Palestinians are deliberately attacking a civilian target, while dressed as civilians and hiding behind a civilian population, whereas the IDF is uniformed, does not hide behind its civilians, and takes great care to avoid hitting civilians.)

If one considers the mild nature of this collective punishment - namely, that Israel stops supplying its sworn enemies with electricity and fuel - the objection rings hollow. Did not the U.S. impose an oil embargo on Japan? How cruel! If only Yamamoto had staged a candlelight press conference.


4) "Due to the IDF's continued brutality and callousness the extremists are now in power in Gaza."

This is a case of wilful blindness. The extremists are now in power in Gaza because of the withdrawal of the Israeli military presence. It is only that presence in the West Bank which prevents Hamas from taking over there.


5) "It might be instructive for you to consider though that because of its its ultra aggressive military stance Sparta only survived for a relatively short period and has left no cultural legacy whatsoever. I have been there and unlike almost every other part of Greece there isn't a single building or other physical remnant of Spartan culture remaining. Reflect upon that."


This is indeed a fascinating comparison, not because of what it teaches us about Israel, but because of what it teaches us about Obama Supporter. He seems completely unaware that Israel is also a nation of education, literacy, science, research and development, leading the nations of the world in (per capita) patents, and nobel prizes. Its cultural and economic output - especially under conditions of permanent seige - puts the rest of the Middle East to shame. What have the Palestinians
produced to compare? Which is Sparta and which is Athens? Tell me Obama Supporter, what will the cultural legacy of the Palestinians be a thousand years from now, except for airline hijacking and suicide bombing?

Jonathan Levy

Jonathan Levy AKBAR!

Jonathan Levy - APPLAUSE!!

Jonathan!! I need your help!! Care2 is a progressive website usually devoted to 'green' issues; but recently the issue of Israel and Gaza was posted with an incredible amount of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic postings!!

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Care2 Personal Message: Comment on: GAZA: AN ISRAELI CALL FOR URGENT ACTION
From: Care2 (bounce@australia.care2.com)
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Please, please - do me a favor and sign up just so you can post on this issue!! You have a great way with words and are very knowledgable!!

This is what I got just now:

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AniTa has sent you a message:
Hi Mada,

AniTa H. left a comment on the following article:


GAZA: AN ISRAELI CALL FOR URGENT ACTION
We call upon the Jews of the world in whose name the Israeli government purports to speak, and upon their rabbis and communal leaders in particular, to speak out unequivocally against this offense to the very moral core of Jewish values.
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It just rambles on and on about Zionist conspiracy and Jewish control of the media - all the usual diatribes. But there has to be a voice there - a knowledgable voice - to counter the garbage! I beg you; please do this!! I don't have your knowledge nor your way with words!!

"We call upon the Jews of the world in whose name the Israeli government purports to speak, and upon their rabbis and communal leaders in particular, to speak out unequivocally against this offense to the very moral core of Jewish values."

After all this millennia long crap about being this and being that Jews still expected to have high moral values. Go figure.

PS. I am sure it is not meant to be me but flattering anyway.

leo, The Wrong Kind Of Jew

I have yet to see a "Salaam Now" or a "Muslims for Peace and Justice" say anything like...

"We call upon the MUSLIMS of the world in whose name AL QADA, WAHABBISTS, ISLAMISTS, HAMAS, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, IRANIAN government purports to speak, and upon their imams, ayatollahs and communal leaders in particular, to speak out unequivocally against this offense to the very moral core of MUSLIM values."

Come to think of it, there isn't a "Salaam Now".

Eddie: Your "spoof" recognizes a certain equivalence between "the Israeli government" and " AL QADA, WAHABBISTS, ISLAMISTS, HAMAS, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, IRANIAN government".

I totally disagree. Israel's government is elected democractically and periodically, is a law abiding executive branch which is answerable to the people of Israel when anything untoward happens.

Great comment, Jonathan. One other point I wouldn't mind seeing you address. There was a reference above to Arafat's "generous" act in the 1980s of recognizing Israel's right to exist. One Frenchmen threw that fact in my face years ago. The problem is that I have the distinct impression that he waffled on the issue, and that he had a tendency to tell Western audiences one thing while saying something totally different in Arabic to the Arab media. What's your take on that?

Noga, don't take him so literally. Eddie's point is still well taken.

Joanne, what you said is absolutely correct. He would say one thing for Western media consumption then say the exact opposite to Arab audiences. They don't have any problems lying.

where is Jonathan?

Noga, I believe you have misunderstood the intent of my post on "Salaam Now".

I am in NO WAY saying that the Israeli government, despite its flaws, is in any way equivalent to Islamofascist governments and non-existent Muslim "Peace Groups".

I was just mirroring an earlier quote that Chaya in post #49 excerpted. Yes, there are Jews, as misguided, who bend-over-backward to "understand" those whose single-minded goal is the eliminate Israel.

My spin on that quote is to demonstrate the lack of a similar view, the lack of a Muslim anti-War, anti-current day slavery in Sudan, Peace and Justice for ALL on the Muslim side of the dispute.

Muslims, except for a handful of BRAVE Muslims like Wafa Sultan, Hirsi Ali and probably more, are the exception to the rule.

The "MULICULTURAL DISEASE" is defeating Europe and The Netherlands. The media in Europe are lying about Israel. The antisemitism in Europe is 2000 years old or even older. Gnosis and Christianity are the inventors. Do you know what Zahir Muhsein wrote in a Dutch paper in 1977? He, a good friend to Arafat, said: "The Palestinians don't exist as a people. They are invented, so we can frustrate the Jewish state Israel. There is no difference between Jordanians, Arabs, Syrians enz. enz. We invented the Palestinian people only for political and tactical reasons". They succeeded very well don't you think? For Israel it is a hopeless situation.

Eddie: I did not misunderstand your intent. I just wanted to point out the danger in making these kind of rhetorical analogies which may backfire. I was pre-empting some imaiginary smart aleck who would pounce on your spoof as evidence that subconsciously, you are actually supporting that kind of equivalence.

Noga, I'll take my chances with the imaginary smark aleck. The Internet is crawling with smart alecks. Osama supporter is one of them.

I am one person on this board debating with a multitude and since I don't have the time to sit at my keyboard taking on all and every misstruth that is thrown at me in the above arguments I will address this comment to a single poster above - Jonathan Levy.

Jonathan, you write with a great deal of conviction, however I am a reasonably well educated person and I have read a number of histories of the middle east, several even written by Israelis themselves and they do not in any way concord with your interpretation of the origins of Israel.

We could go in to specifics and I would be happy to do so but first I will say this. It appears that in debate you wish to apply the same tactics that the Israeli military applies while occupying the Palestinian territories - grind the enemy down by waging a continuous one-sided war of attrition.

The fact is that on the broader public stage there is much to be said for such a tactic - most people do not know much about the complex history of Israel as it stands since the time of the British mandate through to the present and consequently many people can be swayed by a well-presented authoritive sounding argument.

However, no matter how much you distort history or profess outright lies, the fact is that contemporary Israel is a result of wave of ruthless colonization. The number of Jews living in Palestine before World War 1 was less than 50,000 (by many accounts less than half that number) however over the following decades the British, despite all their formal aggreements with the arabs, allowed Zionist immigration to occur on a mass scale. We all know about the terrorist tactics employed by groups such as Irgun (most famously the bombing of the King David Hotel - oh the ironies) which zionists at this time pursued in order to seize power in Palestine. Their rationale was simply that 'the means justified the end'.

I live in the US now though I originally come from Ireland. Irish people have a historical understanding of what it is like to be oppressed by a much more powerful neighboring power - in a sense to understand what it is like to be bullied. Put simply, and all sophistry aside, this is what you have done to the Pallestinians.

You can sit around and use also the sophistry at your fingertips to justify your actions, but as The Bard said, the truth will out.

Again, as I said I'm Irish. We have had a very difficult struggle historically, our population was decimated due to British opression and like the Jews (a people for whom I have great fondness both on a cultural and personal level) we were forced to emigrate in order to sustain ourselves. However though the IRA (an organization supported by only a small minority of Irish people) committed many attrocities, the Irish people as a whole never stood behind a government which committed attrocities as the people of Israel consistently do. Shame on you.

Obama supporter said:

I live in the US now though I originally come from Ireland. Irish people have a historical understanding of what it is like to be oppressed by a much more powerful neighboring power - in a sense to understand what it is like to be bullied. Put simply, and all sophistry aside, this is what you have done to the Pallestinians.

And the Palestinians/Arab Imperialists are bullying the Israelis. It is a tribal war anyway, the norm for the human ape.

Obama supporter said:

You can sit around and use also the sophistry at your fingertips to justify your actions, but as The Bard said, the truth will out.

Again, as I said I'm Irish. We have had a very difficult struggle historically, our population was decimated due to British opression and like the Jews (a people for whom I have great fondness both on a cultural and personal level) we were forced to emigrate in order to sustain ourselves. However though the IRA (an organization supported by only a small minority of Irish people) committed many attrocities, the Irish people as a whole never stood behind a government which committed attrocities as the people of Israel consistently do. Shame on you.

And yet the Irish people don't desire the destruction of the English. The (mostly muslim) Palestinians desire the destruction of the Jewish people of Israel. The IRA's goals was the total independance of Northern Ireland from Britain. Not the annihilation of Britian. So it made much more sense for the British to negotiate with Sinn Fein/IRA.

Obama supporter said:

However, no matter how much you distort history or profess outright lies, the fact is that contemporary Israel is a result of wave of ruthless colonization.

The contemporary Arab world beyond the Arabian Peninsula was the result of waves of ruthless colonization by Arabian Islamic Imperialists.

"Tell me Obama Supporter, what will the cultural legacy of the Palestinians be a thousand years from now, except for airline hijacking and suicide bombing?"

Terrific comment. Still, internally, summary forms of punishment, including summary executions in order to cull any and all internal dissent come to mind. In effect that reflects not merely one aspect of their culture but it reflects upon their social/political culture at large, such that plurality and diversity of opinion are not merely stifled, they're vanquished via those summary executions and similar extreme corporeal and social punishments (intra-tribal and inter-tribal and clan decimations and conflicts). Further, it's the way it always has been since c. 1920 when the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini rose to political prominence via appointment by Britain and later actively partook in and promoted, from within Berlin, Hitler's holocaust.

As such, the Palistinian ethos and social/political praxis is decidedly worse than Sparta ever thought of being, ever considered being. By contrast, Palistinian society and culture can better be conceived as Arafatistan which in turn more closely approximates the Camorra, the Cosa Nostra, the 'Ndrangheta and other global, organized crime operations. Arafatistan is simply one that has been given a pass due to realpolitik and related considerations.

It's a shame as innocents suffer, but the central and originating cause of that suffering is located within Arafatistan, not outside of it. One need only review Lebanon's history since the days of Black September, but the mendacity and malevolence within Arafatistan is systemic and deeply rooted.

Cynic,

You're no doubt correct.

Regarding the Jewish population of Palestine, the figures vary, though the highest I saw from before WW1 go up to 80,000. The thing is that no one really knows the population numbers because Ottoman census data were lax and undependable. Here is an article that is by no means a pro-Zionist screed, but in fact very well balanced. It doesn't conclude that Israel was founded crude colonialism or even on dispossession. Here is the link: http://www.mideastweb.org/palpop.htm

As for standing up for atrocities committed by the Israeli government, the courts and the population do not support atrocities with such abandon. There is blood on Israel's hands, no doubt, but to speak of atrocities without acknowledging the fact that the army does try to avoid civilian casualties, without taking into account the security dilemma that Israel lives under, and without taking into account the atrocities on the other side...well...I cannot buy into that. I don't remember any mass demonstrations in Northern Ireland or in the republic against the violence of the IRA. Such demonstrations have existed in Israel, including one of a few hundred thousand protesting the 1982 invasion. It seems that Obama Supporter is presenting a simplistic view of things.

Osama supporter, as a person born in Ireland, and as someone who is self righteously opposed to "occupation", do you see your presence on Native American soil, North America, as an occupation?

Will you demand that your fellow Irish Americans return to Ireland?

I don't think you will because it would be against your agenda.

Since you brought up the bombing of the King David Hotel, will you also bring up the Islamofascist bombings of PanAm 103, USS Cole, Khobar Towers, current day slavery in Sudan, Madrids 3/11, London transport bombings of 7/7, the "Magnificent 19" as they are celebrated by the Finsbury Park mosque in London, the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy by a "palestinian"?

I hope you don't consider my questions a "war crime".

Look again people. That is NOT daylight showing through the curtains but instead it is spotlights from Israeli tanks.

YJLAW - Love the skylight idea!

Prying1 - You're an idiot.

Jonathan Levy said:
This is indeed a fascinating comparison, not because of what it teaches us about Israel, but because of what it teaches us about Obama Supporter. He seems completely unaware that Israel is also a nation of education, literacy, science, research and development, leading the nations of the world in (per capita) patents, and nobel prizes. Its cultural and economic output - especially under conditions of permanent seige - puts the rest of the Middle East to shame. What have the Palestinians
produced to compare? Which is Sparta and which is Athens? Tell me Obama Supporter, what will the cultural legacy of the Palestinians be a thousand years from now, except for airline hijacking and suicide bombing?


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I would like to respond to this part of Jonathan Levy post,
with all my respect for his views.

fisrt of all yes Israel is ahead of many nations in the reigon... due to the mixed origins of its scientist...many of them come from different developed countries....which is a positive aspect of a mixed israelian culture!

second of all israel has big support from the United states...in terms of money and technology both in terms of scintific research and weapons of mass distruction. while on the other hand the united states was led by israel to a war with iraq and that made the united states loose money, soldiers and reputation in the middle east...and above all the destroyed a great civiliazation...what was the outcome of the war ( no mass destruction weapons.... weak links between alqaeda and Iraq). And now Israel is leading the world and the United states to another conflict with Iran because they suspect that iran is developing a nuclear weapon.
Ok what about the israeli nuclear weapons???

you will say that Israel is a democratic country, and that makes it legal to own a nuclear weapon....
ok why doesnt the other countries of the reigon become democratic?why dont they practice the healthy free speach and free thought.
The answer is that The USA and Israel supports monarchies because the dont want another jamal abdul nasser and they now that 90% of the people in the middle east hate Israel.

By the way palastenians, as I have learnt from many of the posts here.... are terrosrsts.
because even the normal palastenian resembals a demographic threat to Israel, thats way all palastenians are terrorists in the israelian point of view.

And there will be no peace in the regian, because peace needs sacrifices from both sides... and Israel wont sacrifice anything because they believe in the historical continues way - meaning the religious way of thinking.

Chaya - That was a joke. - This thread seemed to have gotten off topic and I was attempting to bring it back. - 'Obama supporter' had quite a bit to say and perhaps I missed it but did he address the topic at hand? That is, these so called smart people sitting around a room with candles (Which incidentally leaves a HUGE carbon footprint) when all they have to do is open the curtains.

Back on topic there are several questions I'd like answers for. A couple main ones:

- Are these "Palestinian lawmakers" really trying to stage a phony blackout or was there another perhaps religious reason for the candles? In other words is this a set-up just to make them look like peanut-brained idiots.

- If "Palestinian lawmakers" really are trying to be duplicitous why in the world do the people they supposedly represent put up with nincompoops like these?

- Are these "Palestinian lawmakers" really trying to stage a phony blackout or was there another perhaps religious reason for the candles? In other words is this a set-up just to make them look like peanut-brained idiots?
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My original comment stands. Or is this a joke also? Sorry. You want a real answer. No, they aren't the idiots. All the news outlets that reported the 'blackout' are the idiots!

And as to your second question - it is not a democracy there as you know it! Hamas took over from Fatah by throwing people off of roofs and shooting people in the streets! And any demonstrations against them have been brutally broken up!

Sorry Chara - If these Hamas leaders really expected people to take pity on them and turn against Israel because they are "forced" to sit around with camera flashes and candles burning for light then they are idiots. - So far I've seen the Reuters bug on this story but I have only been able to find the story on blogs and the Jerusalem Post. Oh! One little blurb on Yahoo News with no links. - Do you have any links where major or even minor news outlets are presenting this as anything other than a farce?

I'm really not trying to defend Hamas but I even went to Reuters and could not find the story there.

arabian19 said:
I would like to respond to this part of Jonathan Levy post,
with all my respect for his views.


Hello arabian19 - you certainly have written a sober and serious reply to me, and I shall do my best to do the same.


1) "second of all israel has big support from the United states..."

This is quite true. However, it should be remembered, that:
1) The support from the United States only started after '67.
2) Israel has no oil. The foreign aid that Israel has received from the U.S. pales in comparison with the oil revenues available to the Arab states.


2) " while on the other hand the united states was led by israel to a war with iraq"

This, I believe, is a quite serious misunderstanding of the causes of the American invasion of Iraq, bordering on - forgive me - a consipracy mentality. I believe it ought to be quite plain that the American invasion was not a result of "Israeli Manipulation", if only for the following reasons:
A) Iran is a much greater threat to Israel than Iran, and this was true in 2002 as well. Even Pakistan, which already has an Islamic bomb, was more dangerous.

B) Israel does not have the ability to make the U.S. wage war on its behalf. It is sufficient to remember the number of times Israel has failed to influence the U.S. on much smaller matters - e.g. releasing Jonathan Pollard. Even the last war in Lebanon was an example - did Israel try to manipulate the U.S. into attacking Lebanon?

C) Israel does not have the desire to make the U.S. - or anyone - wage war on its behalf. The entire Zionist ethos is based on the belief that the Jews must defend themselves. Israel has never asked any other nation to shed blood on its behalf.

D) Israel is quite aware of the risks to itself that an American invasion would cause. If you remember, during the first gulf war, Saddam fired missiles at Israel. This is the same Saddam who used poison gas on his own Kurdish population. The short-term risks to Israel were very serious.

E) Israel is quite aware of the risks and dangers of an occupation, and the backlash that they would cause in the U.S. So even if (A), (B), (C) and (D) were false, it would have been the height of folly for Israel to act like that, since all the difficulties and casualties would be blamed on it.


3) " And now Israel is leading the world and the United states to another conflict with Iran"

I'm afraid I disagree with this analysis of the situation. It seems to me that a nuclear Iran poses a serious threat to the whole world, and it is the American recognition of this threat that is the basis of their policy. If I may return to WW2 - this is like saying that Poland led Britain into a war with Germany. The truth is that Britain understood (too late) the nature of the Germany regime, and tried (too late) to contain it by a guarantee of Polish independence; This was done on principle, not as a result of Polish manipulations and intrigue; and when Poland was attacked, Britain stood by her treaty. The case with Israel, Iran, and the U.S. is much the same.


4) " Ok what about the israeli nuclear weapons???"

Such an equivalence is often postulated between Israel and Iran, as if nuclear weapons were some sort of fancy lawn mower, and if Mr. Smith has one, then why not Mr. Jones? This equivalence is false, because of the nature of the two states - Israel can be trusted with a nuclear arsenal, and Iran cannot. I believe the following example will prove this statement:

When Syria and Egypt attacked Israel in 1973, Israel was caught completely off guard. Reserves were not called up in time; Syrian tanks broke through the southern Golan heights; The armored divisions were unable to deal with with the masses of infantry anti-tank weapons, and the airforce had many losses from new SAM batteries. The Prime minister and the Defense minister were in shock, and anticipated the worst. At this darkest hour, when everything was collapsing, and the enemy seemed unstoppable, Israel (presumably) had the ability to nuke Cairo and Damascus, and end the war. It did not.

On the other hand, Ahmedinejad, whose country is not under any threat from Israel, every few weeks gives a speech where he denies the holocaust, or explains how Israel will be wiped off the map, or disappear in one storm, or that Israel could be destroyed by one bomb (whereas the Muslim world would hardly suffer), or explains how the hidden Imam is about to return; And he is continuing to lead his country in pursuit of a nuclear bomb. Couple that with Iran's history of supporting proxy war against Israel via Hizbullah and other groups, and it becomes quite plain that Iran cannot be trusted with a nuclear bomb. Ahmedinejad has all but declared his intentions. Shall he be allowed to carry them out?

It is also worth remembering, that when something nasty happens to Israel, it usually starts happening to other western countries after a few years. This has been true of airline hijacking and suicide bombing. The world would do well to worry.


(This post is getting long, so I'll try to be briefer.)

5) " thats way all palastenians are terrorists in the israelian point of view."

This is quite untrue, as a short visit to Israel would immediately prove. The population of Israel consists of a 15% Arab minority. These are not treated as terrorists. For decades after '67, Arabs from the territories came to work in Israel freely. These were not treated as terrorists.
Arabs from the territories are allowed access to Israeli hospitals. Arab terrorists who are wounded and captured are also treated - and this includes failed suicide bombers. Whereas when Palestinians capture Israelis, they bludgeon them to death, and dance in the window waving their bloody hands (the Ramallah Lynch).

6) " and Israel wont sacrifice anything because they believe in the historical continues way - meaning the religious way of thinking"

This statement contains two mistakes.
A) "the religious way of thinking" - this bespeaks an unfamiliarity with Israeli society. Only some 20% of Israeli Jews are religious, and the religious community is split politically between the National Religious and the Ultra-Orthodox, who have very different political views.

B) " and Israel wont sacrifice anything" - This is another case of willful blindness. It is always Israel who never makes sacrifices. Just two years ago Israel uprooted all the settlements in Gaza, and withdrew her army completely. Is this not a sacrifice? Not to mention the entire Oslo process, during which Israel withdrew from most of the West Bank and Gaza, and allowed the PLO's fighters to come in - these same people who have been responsible for many of the attacks. Is this not a sacrifice? And yet Israel must always make another sacrifice to prove herself.

Tell me arabian19 - what sacrifices have the Palestinians made to match? It is true that Israel holds most of the cards, so let me ask - have they even made any rhetorical sacrifices? Which of their demands have they repudiated? Have they ever set a limit to their demands, short of the destruction of the state of Israel? All they have given was several temporary cease-fires, with hostilities to be resumed at their convenience.


Jonathan Levy

Thanks Joanne :)

I'm not so familiar with the declaration you're referring to, so I can't comment on it
directly. There are, however, two things worth remembering:

1) As part of the Oslo process, Arafat was under pressure from the Rabin government - and
later the Netanyahu government - to abrogate the PLO charter, which calls for Israel's destruction. The charter was still in force at that time - Arafat had not bothered to amend or cancel it following his generous statement. Perhaps Arafat meant that while Israel might have the right to exist, he had the right to destroy her.

2) Arafat's generous statements are best judged by his subsequent actions. When in late 2000
he had to make a choice between war in peace, he chose war.

Jonathan Levy

I wish Jonathan Levy was a member of the panel at the Oxford Union "debate".

It would have been great to see norman finkelstein sputter.

while on the other hand the united states was led by israel to a war with iraq
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And I would like to add, Ariel Sharon actually told Bush NOT to attack Iraq!!
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prying1

You have to do your own searching. Sign up for Google Search with the words Hamas; candles; blackout and anything else you can think of that will get you what you want. Try other search engines.


Hello Obama Supporter. I can certainly sympathize with your plight - it is a difficult thing, to maintain one's composure in front of a hostile audience, and to return to the spotlight again and again. Your task is certainly more difficult than mine. But as you are still bound to support your assertions with historical facts, and since you have chosen to reply to my post, I will attempt to return the favor.

1) "I have read a number of histories of the middle east, several even written by Israelis themselves"

One must beware of the assumption that an Israeli author means a pro-Israeli author. Some Israeli authors take great pains to be more Catholic than the Pope.

[The next two paragraphs are entirely polemic, so I have chosen to skip them]

2) "the fact is that contemporary Israel is a result of wave of ruthless colonization"

This statement contains two parts: A fact and an accusation. That Israel is a result of a wave
of colonization is a historical fact. That this accusation was ruthless is an accusation which
needs to be substantiated.

Obama Supporter, in the subsequent sentences you bring evidence to support the fact, but not
the accusation. The example of the King David Hotel does not support your accusation, because:
1) It happened in 1946, less than two years before the end of the British Mandate, after most of the colonization was complete.
2) It was an action against the British, not against the Arabs.
3) It was carried out by a fringe group (the Irgun), not by the mainstream Jewish militia (Haganah).


Since your rest of the post contains no other attempts to support this statement, I will allow myself to address this last point more thoroughly. I find it particularly instructive in light of the comments about the IRA.

3) "However though the IRA (an organization supported by only a small minority of Irish people) committed many attrocities, the Irish people as a whole never stood behind a government which committed attrocities"

In this sentance, Obama Supporter (implicitly) acknowledges that the IRA is a terrorist group, but absolves the Irish people of the moral guilt of having produced this group, by stating that it was "supported by only a small minority". As I am not familiar with the history of the IRA, I am willing to accept that statement. But I maintain that that same statement is equally true of the Irgun.

The Haganah was the official defense militia, and took a very defensive stance. The Irgun was a splinter group, which did not agree with this philosophy, and used more violent means. These acts were not approved by the Jewish leadership, and when the Irgun went too far the mainstream Jewish leadership cooperated with the British in suppressing it. This period is known as "The [Hunting] Season". I have found a quotation which paints the picture better than anything I may say. It is from a pamphlet of the Irgun addressed to the Haganah, dated February 1945. My source (Hebrew link) is at http://daat.co.il/daat/ezrachut/begin/45_2-2.htm

"You are acting wildly, Cain. In the streets of Jerusalem, in the suburbs of Tel-Aviv, in the city, in the countryside, and in the villages wander hundreds of your agents. They were brought not to guard, but to betray; not to work, but to spy; not to fight for freedom, but for civil war."

Can you produce any similar pamphlet by the IRA against a mainstream Irish goverment, party, or militia?

Furthermore, after the establishment of the state of Israel, these groups were disarmed, and when they showed an inclination to retain independence, they were fired upon by the IDF and their ship carrying arms was sunk [the Altalena].


Obama Supporter, you have mentioned both the Irgun and the IRA; Both fringe, terroristic organizations, receiving support from extremists in their camps, and disliked by the majority. Yet for you, the Irish repudiation of the IRA is sufficient to absolve them of culpability; but the much stronger Jewish repudiation of the Irgun is not. In fact, in your description the Irgun seems to actually be the representative of the Jewish state.

I believe that after pointing out these salient facts - of which I may expect you to be aware, (as you claim to be familiar with the history of the period) - that I may fairly accuse you of being biased against the state of Israel. It is this bias which makes you describe an honest purchase of land as theft; the establishment of a village as ruthless; the Palestinians in Gaza as blameless for the attacks which they launch; the refusal of Israel to supply its enemies with fuel as cruel; and the number of people killed on each side as a moral yardstick, regardless of the nature of the action.


4) "a government which committed attrocities as the people of Israel consistently do"

In determining whether or not the IDF is committing atrocities, I have come to use the following test. Since by definition an atrocity is the committing of indiscriminate murder, it is easy to distinguish a genuine atrocity from a genuine battle by the distribution of the ages and genders of the casualties.
I have a subscription to Ha'aretz (a left-wing Israeli newspaper), which has the useful habit of
publishing about once a month a list of casualties on both sides, with names, ages, gender, and circumstances of death. To estimate the number of innocent casualties, I count the number of female casualties (which I assume to be innocent) and multiply by 2. I then divide this number by the total number of casualties, to get the percentage of innocent casualties. I do this every month. The number is almost always under 10%, with only one or two exceptions (the assassination of Salah Shehade, for example).

Given the intensity of the fighting, and the fact that all palestinian casualties are always attributed to Israel, even in the case of accidents or friendly fire, these numbers reassure me that the IDF is not committing large-scale atrocities against the Palestinians, even though there are occasional lapses and individual crimes. To confirm the validity of this method, I do the same math on Israeli casualties. When a suicide bomber gets through, the numbers are usually in the 50-70% range. I therefore consider this estimate a good one, on average - though not useful in judging individual cases.


By what method did you reach the conclusion that Israel consistently commits atrocities? If your
definition of atrocity differs from mine, please state it explicitly.


Jonathan Levy

Solomon, like the total blogger you are, you have produced a post that transcends politics and brought comments from the entire political spectrum. What amazes me, as much as anything amazes me, is the quality of the debate on this thread. Well done my friend, damn well done and totally OT: The Red Sox Rule!!!

Couldn't find it on the MSM - ANYWHERE - Post #1, Joanne said it:

"I wonder where the journalists quoted in Toameh's article were from. I very much doubt that they were from The Guardian or the BBC. I wonder how The Guardian, BBC, etc. will handle this. Would they be foolish or cynical enough to report these meetings at face value? Maybe not. But I could easily see them just passing over these incidents, simply not reporting them at all rather than report something that would embarrass the Palestinians."

I did manage to find reports that the entire electricity and even the supply shortage were all staged by Hamas.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3496715,00.html

GM, you are too kind!

Sorry, Prying, but I should have been clearer. I wasn't referring to the Israeli MSM, but rather to the MSM in Europe and the USA.

Anyone notice the electric light, probably florescent, coming from the valance over the left window? Funny 'bout that! Heh.

Looks to me like the MSM in Europe and the USA ignored the story. We can rail against them for not reporting this 'incident' but not for 'playing along' with it.

Unless someone can give us a link to Major or Minor news source that presents it as the Hamas wanted us to see it.

If enough people stormed that building when the leaders are in session...

"In this sentance, Obama Supporter (implicitly) acknowledges that the IRA is a terrorist group, but absolves the Irish people of the moral guilt of having produced this group, by stating that it was "supported by only a small minority"."

Not only that, it also contains the counter-argument to Obama Supporter's misguided complaint about collective punishment. If strictly minority support of a terrorist group grants some form of moral armor for the population who gave rise to it, what does it say when the majority of a population officially show their support for a terrorist organization... say, by electing them to power?

If the IRA were to be voted into power in Ireland (not just the IRA-linked Sinn Fein), would the Irish retain the moral nobility OS claims for them? Can a people which elects Hamas into power--essentially forging an explicit link between the organization and the state--reasonably expect to remain exempt from the consequences of Hamas' actions?

Jonathon is absolutely correct in demonstrating that collective punishment is not what Israel is undertaking. If anyone is to blame for making all the Palestinians suffer blackouts, it is the Palestinians who chose to link the fortunes of their nation with the fortunes of a terrorist organization.

Unless, of course, they chose to turn out the lights themselves as in the pictures above. Then you blame the schmuck who closed the drapes.

The fact that the MSM ignored the incident is also a sign of anti-Israel bias. They didn't want to report a story that reflected badly on the Palestinians and that might have added credence that Israel may have cut some electricity, but wasn't responsible for any blackout.

That reminds me of the saying "between libel and silence." When the MSM can broadcast and publish bad news about Israel, even questionable bad news, it does so. When the bad news turns out to be incorrect, the reaction is silence...or at best a muted, grudging and hasty acknowledgment.

In this case, the MSM showed an indulgence towards Hamas by not reporting the candle-lit conferences. Israel couldn't be libeled here, or even justifiably criticized, so the answer was silence.

If enough people stormed the conferences, maybe it would have been silence then, too. Unless the people doing the storming were Israeli soldiers.

So, yes, we can "rail" against the fact that the story wasn't covered, because that was indeed a sin of omission.

I agree with you Joanne.

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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