CiF gives voice to South Africa’s most famous Theobald Jew, Ronnie Kasrils

Theobald Jew Ronnie Kasrils is the most high-profile and prolific slanderer of Israel in South Africa and, therefore, was given a platform by the Guardian in support of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against the Jewish state.  Specifically, Kasrils promoted a termination of the relationship between University of Johannesburg and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev – a proposal which the University of Johannesburg subsequently rejected.

Kasrils’ position on Israel can be summed up be this quote, from a two-part essay “David and Goliath: Who is Who in the Middle East” published in the ANC’s theoretical journal Umrabulo in late 2006 and early 2007. Parts of the essay were published in the S. African paper, Mail&Guardian, in a summarised form under the titleRage of the Elephant: Israel in Lebanon.” Kasrils, commenting on the results of civilian deaths following the Second Lebanon War, and referring to the Israeli leadership, noted:

“[Regarding Israel] we must call baby killers “baby killers” and declare that those using methods reminiscent of the Nazis be told that they are behaving like Nazis. May Israelis wake up and see reason, as happened in South Africa, and negotiate peace. And finally, yes, let us learn from what helped open white South African eyes: the combination of a just struggle reinforced by international solidarity utilising the weapons of boycott and sanctions.”

His CiF piece, not surprisingly, elicited these comments:

Palestinian munchausen syndrome

This essay was published by Sol Stern at Jewish Ideas Daily

While the world’s headlines focus with exaggerated alarm on Israel’s lifting of its ten-month building freeze within Jewish West Bank settlements, an issue of far greater moment for the prospects of peace in the Middle East goes determinedly unaddressed. This is the matter of the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees—a subject on which the Obama administration, a fierce promoter of the building freeze, has been strikingly silent.

In Cairo a little over a year ago, President Obama proclaimed “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” After reminding his Arab audience that “six million Jews were killed” by the Nazis, he added immediately that, for their part, the Palestinians too “have endured the pain of dislocation” and many still “wait in refugee camps . . . for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead.” At the time, a number of commentators objected to the President’s seeming equation of the abundantly funded refugee camps run by the United Nations with Nazi death camps. Few, however, pointed out that his explanation of the plight of the Palestinian refugees was false, confusing historical cause and effect.

For it is not the absence of peace that keeps Palestinians “waiting” in refugee camps. Rather, most Arab leaders since 1948, including the current Palestinian leadership itself, insist that the refugees—originally numbering between 500,000 and 750,000 but now swollen through natural increase to over four million—must remain in those camps until allowed to return en masse to Israel. This insistence in turn makes it impossible to achieve any resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, let alone a “new beginning” in the Middle East.

A few years ago I briefly visited the Balata refugee camp with its 20,000 residents. The camp is inside the West Bank city of Nablus—that is, within the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority (PA). It is where many of the Arabs of Jaffa settled when they fled the armed conflict that flared up immediately after the November 1947 UN partition resolution dividing Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states. Most of Balata’s current residents are the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of the original refugees. Thus, a new baby born in Balata today is still designated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) as a refugee dislocated by the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and hence entitled to substantial material benefits for life, or at least until the conflict is settled. That infant will grow up and attend a segregated school run by UNRWA. In UN schools and cultural clubs financed by American tax dollars, Balata’s children, like the children in similar camps in Gaza and neighboring Arab countries, are nurtured on the myth that someday soon they will return in triumph to their ancestors’ homes by the Mediterranean Sea.

Read rest of the essay, here.

Meet “progressive” U.S. blogger, Glenn Greenwald: An American Guardianista

Let me introduce you to someone who can give CiF’s Michael Tomasky – their American columnist – a run for his money.  In fact this blogger who, oh yes, happens to be Jewish, actually exceeds Tomasky in that, in addition to his visceral malice towards most Americans, he also employs, without inhibition, classic anti-Semitic tropes.  If the Guardian ever wanted to replace Tomasky, they would be well advised to seek the services of one of the U.S. blogosphere’s most popular commentators, Glenn Greenwald, who blogs at Salon.com.  Much like the Guardian, Greenwald’s blog is highly influential among the left-wing activist elite:  His blog – apart from Salon’s general traffic – is typically ranked in the top fifteen (in overall traffic) among all liberal blogs, and in the top twenty in a category including all print and online bloggers/columnists. On 22 January 2009, Forbes named Greenwald one of the “25 Most Influential Liberals in the U.S. Media.

Greenwald’s anti-Americanism

Greenwald’s brand of anti-Americanism is truly legion – he seems to truly regard the United States as something approaching a force of evil in the world. He has argued that one could compare the U.S. war in Iraq with the Nazi conquest of Europe.  And made the incredible assertion that the liberation of the Kurds which (which should be celebrated by civilized people everywhere), can be compared to the Nazi seizure of the Sudetenland:

Greenwald said:

“It’s difficult to find an invasion in history that wasn’t supported by at least some faction of the invaded population and where that same self-justifying script wasn’t used.  That’s true even of the most heinous aggressors.  Many Czech and Austrian citizens of Germanic descent, viewing themselves as a repressed minority, welcomed Hitler’s invasion of their countries, while leaders of the independence-seeking Sudeten parties in those countries actively conspired to bring it about.”

As fellow liberal blogger Joe Klein even argued:

“This is obscene. Comparing the Kurds, who had been historically orphaned and then slaughtered with poison gas by Saddam Hussein, with Nazi-loving Sudeten Germans is outrageous. Comparing the United States to Nazi Germany is not merely disgraceful, but revelatory of a twisted, deluded soul.”

Greenwald’s anti-Americanism has continued recently, when he meditated on the similarities between the Taliban and the U.S.:

“…there are areas — significant ones — where the actions of the American Right (and, for that matter, many Democrats who supported them) are literally comparable to the Taliban and Muslim extremists generally.”

Greenwald adds:

“In what universe is it “obscene” to compare the architects of the Iraq War, the torture regime, and endless War with Muslims “to killers and terrorists”?  The comparison is true by definition.  The people who launched the attack on Iraq are guilty of an aggressive war — what the Nuremberg prosecutors condemned as the “kingpin crime” that “holds together” all other war crimes — which killed hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings, turned millions more into refugees, and destroyed an entire nation.  The aptly named “Shock and Awe” was designed to terrify an entire civilian population into submission.”

Later in the column, he says:

“There are countless examples of America’s political leaders espousing a core mentality indistinguishable from those of the Islamic villains who are endlessly paraded before us…the similarity between the American Right’s aggression, tribalism, and violence and those of the Islamic extremists who are endlessly demonized in American political culture is an important one.”

“[Its ridiculous to argue that] Americans — even when they engage in violent, destructive and inhumane acts — are intrinsically good, well-intentioned, and even superior, and thus no comparison should be tolerated between them and those foreign [terrorists].”

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Arafat ordered Hamas attacks against Israel in 2000

This was published in the Jerusalem Post

The late Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat had instructed Hamas to launch terror attacks against Israel when he realized that peace talks with Israel weren’t going anywhere, Mahmoud Zahar, one of the Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip, revealed on Tuesday.

“President Arafat instructed Hamas to carry out a number of military operations in the heart of the Jewish state after he felt that his negotiations with the Israeli government then had failed,” Zahar told students and lecturers at the Islamic University in Gaza City.

Zahar did not specify when and how Arafat instructed Hamas to launch the “military operations” – most of which were suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians.

However, it is believed the reference is to Arafat’s response to the failure of the Camp David summit in 2000.

This was the first time that a senior Hamas official disclosed that some of the Hamas suicide bombings during the second intifada, which erupted 10 years ago, were ordered by Arafat. Until now it was widely believed that Arafat had only ordered his Fatah militiamen to carry out terror attacks on Israel.

See rest of essay, here.

A divided Jerusalem?

I attended a parlor talk in Jerusalem yesterday by Israeli MK, Danny Danon.

Danon, in addition to being Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, is also Chairman of the World Likud Party, and an ardent promoter of the position that – in any final status agreement with the Palestinians – Jerusalem should never be divided.  Such an argument is especially relevant in the context of the current negotiations in Washington between Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu.

He made the argument that – though he was opposed to the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza – one good thing about Sharon’s disengagement was that it proved that the  “land for peace” formula (contrary to popular opinion) is nothing n more than a chimera. Indeed (in light of the consequences of Israel’s withdraw from Gaza, as well as Southern Lebanon), even the most neutral observer couldn’t possibly argue that such withdrawals invariably lead to peace, or lessen the appeal of belligerent terrorist groups.

Danon’s position regarding Jerusalem is based on the following arguments.

Jewish Rights: Jerusalem was the capital of a Jewish state for the better part of a millennium – but never once of an Arab or Muslim country.

Population: Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem for over 170 years.  There are over 200,000 Jews living in eastern Jerusalem, nearly half of all Jerusalem Jews.

Religious Freedom: Under Jordanian control, synagogues and other holy sites in Jerusalem were destroyed, an d Jews were denied access  – as the PA attempts to do today.  But when Israel took charge, it enacted and faithfully observed a Knesset law stipulating that the “places holy to the peoples of all religions shall be protected from any desecration and from any restriction of free access to them”.

Security Dangers:  Decades of Arab Muslim and Palestinian violence in Jerusalem have included lethal terror attacks on buses and in restaurants, Temple Mount riots and stoning of Temple Mount worshipers, shootings, stabbings, and bombs.  Giving Jerusalem neighborhoods over to PA control will wet terrorist appetites and will geometrically increase citizens exposure to such dangers.

Demographics:  The division of Jerusalem is liable to lead to the exodus of tens of thousands of Jews from the city, as well as the move of a similar number of Arabs to the Israeli side of Jerusalem – a two-way trend that has already partially begun in apprehension of future division.

Though I’m not, in principle, opposed to the idea of a two-state solution which would include the division of Jerusalem, the security risks weigh most heavily on me.  As a Jerusalem resident, I would certainly fear the possibility that a sovereign Palestinian state – which included a capital in East Jerusalem – could eventually lead to a Hamas coup (like what happened in Gaza in 2007).  Indeed, Hamas control (or even presence) in Jerusalem would create the  very real danger of rockets being fired into – among other places – Ben Gurion International Airport, West Jerusalem neighborhoods, and the Israeli Knesset.

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A damp squib and more Guardian nonsense

A guest post by AKUS

So, the latest “flotilla” episode has ended peacefully. The tiny yacht manned by a diverse collection of Jews has arrived peacefully in Ashdod, with its load of unneeded “symbolic” supplies for Gaza.

According to the Guardian, in another effort by the tireless Harriet Sherwood, Israeli navy diverts Gaza-bound yacht, this Reuters picture is of the “Jewish flotilla”, as it has been referred to by those imagining yet another cause célèbre on the high seas. This pleasure yacht bringing “symbolic aid to Gaza” was the best these yachties could do to after all the publicity?

(By the way, if anyone doubts that the Guardian reads CiF Watch, note the careful use of the word “yacht” rather than “flotilla” for a single ship, as we pointed out in articles about the mythical Lebanese Women’s “flotilla”).

But trust Harriet Sherwood not to note the irony at the end of her report, which ends mournfully with a sad commentary on the lack of purpose among blockade runners, who seem better at publicity than deeds:

“The Irene is the first boat to get close to Gaza since the May flotilla despite a number of pledges to send aid by sea to the besieged territory. The Free Gaza Movement, which helped organise the flotilla, is planning a further attempt this autumn.”

Come on Harriet – get with the script – a “flotilla” is comprised of more than one boat …

Harriet ended, of course, with the obligatory attempt to overlook Gaza’s fancy hotels, water parks (when Hamas is not burning them to the ground), malls, restaurants, luxury homes, etc. All apparently built out of sticks, chewing gum and rubber bands … and, worst of all, a mention of the incomprehensible Israeli policy of preventing free travel by Gazans into Israel …

“Since the assault on the flotilla, Israel has agreed under international pressure to ease the blockade of Gaza, allowing in a wide range of food and goods. However, badly needed construction materials are still limited, exports are still banned and there is no free movement of people from Gaza into Israel.”

Indeed, Israel keeps a group of people busy firing rockets daily into its territory bottled up in Gaza instead of letting them roam freely around Israel shooting pregnant women. It’s just not fair….!!

CiF essay by Matthew Cassel successfully elicits readers’ obsession with Israel

As I noted in yesterday’s post, CiF columnist Matthew Cassel (who has praised  Hezbollah spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah) wrote a  piece which framed Lebanese Palestinians’ refusal to give up their arms solely as a reaction to the Sabra and Shatila attacks 28 years ago – citing merely, as proof, the testimony of two Palestinians. He also largely ignored 62 years of systemic oppression by the Lebanese government (as well as other well-documented massacres against Palestinians during the Lebanese Civil War).  Well, Cassel’s piece had the desired effect of eliciting reading comments which largely focused on Israeli crimes and all but ignored the larger issue of institutionalized discrimination against Palestinian by Lebanon.

Here’s a sampling of comments, but see the complete comments section here:

Israeli supporters’ [i.e., Jews’] “murderous hatred”

Lament that there isn’t a wider perception that Israel has “blood on their hands.”

No Christians [presumably, as opposed to Jews] he knows have never committed mass murder”

Zionists zeal to disrupt peace in the region:

Ireland and Israel: Has that Ship Sailed? (An exclusive CiF Watch essay by Cliona Campbell)

This is a guest post by Cliona Campbell.

(Campbell is a 20-year-old student born and raised in Cork, southern Ireland. She is currently a fresher studying English, history and Arabic in the University College of Dublin, Ireland. She has written on a variety of issues and has been published in two periodicals, the Sunday Tribune, the Sunday Independent, the Evening Echo and the UCC Express. She has also won awards from such institutions as Concern, the UCC Faculty of Law and Sky News. In the summer of 2010 Cliona volunteered on two Israeli army bases in Afula and the Negev.) See CiF Watch’s earlier cross-post about Campbell, here.

Why did the crew of Ireland’s flotilla come home to a hero’s welcome? Did they not affiliate themselves with the IHH, an organisation which comprises of internationally recognised terrorists? Did they not sing hateful slogans of veneration for the massacre of the Jews at Khyber? Did they not vow to become martyrs for the cause before they had even set sail? Don’t they realise that these are terrorists masquerading as a humanitarian organisation with a lengthy history of global jihad and links to fanatical Islamist networks?

Yet when I returned home to Ireland after two months of packing kitbags and painting warehouses on Israeli army bases, I was, for all purposes, the devil incarnate. As punishment for making public my volunteering in Israel, I was met by an onslaught of savage attacks and condemnation from my fellow countrymen. They called for the confiscation of my passport, claiming that I had already revoked my Irish identity the minute I volunteered for Israel. As far as they were concerned, I was a “baby killer”, a “terrorist” and a traitor to Ireland.  Many Irish people openly voiced their disappointment that I had not been raped and shot by the Israeli soldiers of whom I had worked alongside.

Yet this was no mere knee jerk reaction from an isolated group of extremists, but a widely held opinion originating from a deep-seeded and bitter hatred of Israel. Even the Irish media propagated the stance that such vicious attacks were wholly acceptable, prominent national newspaper The Sunday Tribune publishing a letter which deemed me as being a “brainwashed, ill-educated grunt”. So what is it that allows for the fermentation of such double standards in a modern, democratic European country?

A concept which is constantly re-iterated by anti-Israel lobbyists in Ireland is that the Palestinians are the Middle Eastern equivalent of the Irish in their ‘struggle to achieve independence from foreign occupation’. Despite the Good Friday Agreement having come into force over a decade ago, the Troubles still remain a highly emotive subject among today’s Irish citizens. This has been exploited by those who propagate the armed ‘resistance’ of Hamas as they compare it to the IRA’s employment of violence against the British. As a result, such Nationalist movements as Éirígí have made it clear where their allegiance lies in the Israel-Palestine debate. This is largely due to the fact that they too believe parliamentary politics in itself is insufficient and propagate violent uprising as a means to a political end.

Yet to present Hamas as being some kind of modern day re-incarnation of the IRA is completely illogical on many levels. The IRA never called for the complete obliteration of Britain, or vowed to drive them into the sea. Nor did they ever have the same level of outside support from neighbouring countries with the capabilities of providing not only a vast abundance of weaponry but also the ability to spread propaganda endorsing their cause. While sectarianism played a substantial role in the Troubles, there was never the same amount of religious fanaticism as is evident among the Islamist Hamas. Indeed, one could argue that religion in Northern Ireland merely assigned people their side of the conflict, but that Catholic doctrine itself did little to influence the violence of the period.

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Italy and Europe Rally for Israel

This was published at Pajamas Media by Phyllis Chesler

I have been writing about a possible Second Holocaust against the Jewish state for a long time now.

I am pleased—but that is not the right word—I am saddened, sobered, frightened, by the fact that others have now joined me in this view. Many of the distinguished academic presenters at Yale University’s superb conference on global anti-Semitismshared at least a part of this vision.

Aaron Klein wrote a book with the terrifying title: The Late Great State of Israel. Recently, Italian Parliamentarian and author of Israel is Us: A Journalist’s Odyssey in Understanding the Middle East, Fiamma Nirenstein, asked me to write a piece for the important Italian newspaper, Il Foglio. My piece will appear in their pages right before an October 7th rally for Israel which will take place in Rome at the Temple of Hadrian.  Speakers include the former Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Maria Aznar, professor Shmuel Trigano, politician and journalist, Guiliano Ferrara, plus scores of European parliamentarians and intellectuals.

We know that Jews were savagely, repeatedly persecuted and murdered all over Europe, which culminated in a Holocaust in which six million Jews died. People may not realize that Italy also persecuted, massacred, taxed, and humiliated its Jews for 2000 years; the word “ghetto” comes from the word for “an iron foundry” which was the site of the Jewish ghetto in Venice.  Indeed, Italy later surrendered the Jews of Venice to Hitler. The great Italian-Jewish author, Primo Levi, was captured in the Italian Alps by Italian fascists and sent to Auschwitz by the Nazis.

I am thrilled that Italy and other Europeans will be standing for Israel. Poor Europe: They persecuted and murdered the friendly Semites, the productive and assimilated Semites and now they are being overrun by more hostile, non-assimilated Semites. One might view this as cosmic justice, but I can’t; European ideas, art, people have meant too much to me and, despite its morally flawed history, I want European civilization to survive this onslaught.

New York City Jewish leader, Howard Teich, just sent me an amazing 4,000 word sermon which was delivered by Rabbi S. Lewis in Atlanta. I tried to find Rabbi Lewis but could not do so. His 2010 Rosh Hashana sermon was very long—but to the point. It is titled, in Yiddish, “Ehr Kumt” (He is Coming) or as I would say, a la Yeats, “the bloody beast is back.” I hope Rabbi Lewis does not mind my sharing 1,400 words of his sermon here.

Read the rest of the essay, here.

What happens when UN Officials meet the Aliens

This was posted by Barry Rubin at Rubin Reports

Actual News story: The UN has created a special envoy for alien life forms so if humans come into contact with extraterrestrials (ETs to Hollywood) the entire planet Earth will speak with a single voice. And who is this official? A Malaysian astrophysicist, Mazlan Othman who currently heads the UN’s Vienna-based Office for Outer Space Affairs, where one of the leading members is an Iranian government official named Ahmad Talebzadeh.  Othman worked a number of years for the Malaysian Islamist government.

What happens when there are Jihad Knights instead of Jeddi Knights? Take me to your Imam?

Does this demand satire, or what?

Greetings, beings from Betelgeuse-5! I am the official Earth spokesperson, representing the entire Human Race, who will give you a briefing on life on our planet.

Earth people have different religions, that is, a set of beliefs about the Supreme Being, who we call Allah, and nations, of which there are almost 200. Let me start with religion.

Although there are many religions on Earth, there is only one true religion which is called Islam. The other religions are either deficient in worshipping many false gods or they have deviated for the true word of Allah (Peace be Upon Him) as revealed in the Holy Quran, which should govern the Earth.

There are also a number of countries, though there is one, named Israel, which is evil and criminal and should be wiped off the map.

Read rest of the essay, here.

The Guardian’s “Reductio ad Israel”

A recent CiF essay, by Matthew Cassel, regarding Lebanese Palestinians’ unwillingness to disarm, reduces the sum of all Lebanese Palestinian fears to the attack, by Christian militias, on Sabra and Shatila in 1982 – an attack, it should be noted, that occurred in the context of a Civil War which raged for 15 years and claimed up to 250,000  lives.  Of course, missing in Cassel’s piece is any context about the Lebanese Civil War:

Lebanese Civil War

The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 130,000 to 250,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people (one-fourth of the population) were wounded,and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced, the majority of them Christian Lebanese. There was also a mass exodus of almost one million people form Lebanon, mostly of Christian descent. The Post-war occupation of the country by Syria was particularly politically disadvantageous to the Christian population as most of their leadership was driven into exile, or had been assassinated or jailed.

Combatants in the war included The Lebanese Front, The South Lebanon Army, Syria, Israel, The Lebanese National Movement, The Lebanese National Resistant Front, the PLO, Amal Movement, Hezbollah, Lebanese Armed Forces, and the Arab Deterrent Force.

There is no consensus among scholars and researchers on what triggered the Lebanese Civil War. However the militarization of the Palestinian refugee population, with the arrival of the PLO guerrilla forces did spark an arms race amongst the different Lebanese political factions.

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Palestinian terrorists open fire at vehicle traveling near Teneh Omarim Junction; pregnant woman and her husband sustain injuries

Per Ynet

An Israeli in her ninth month of pregnancy sustained moderate injuries Sunday night when Palestinian terrorists opened fire at the vehicle she was traveling in near the West Bank community of Teneh Omarim.

Another vehicle was damaged in the incident, but its passengers were unharmed.

The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Fatah’s military wing, and al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad’s military wing, claimed responsibility for the shooting attack.

In a statement issued, the groups said, “The attack was carried out to mark the 15th anniversary of the killing of the Islamic Jihad’s founder Fathi Shaqaqi.”

Read rest of article, here.

Mob Rule at the UN “Human Rights” Council

There are days when even a card-carrying optimist like myself can only despair of the absolute insanity which sometimes manages to pervade the world’s view of Israel. This is one of them. Having read Chris McGreal’s article on the United Nations Human Rights Council’s report on the incident aboard the Mavi Marmara on May 31st, there was no choice but to plough through the 56 pages myself. If you have not read the report (A/HRC/15/21 at this link) already, my professional advice would be to take a dose of anti-emetics before doing so.

There is so much wrong with this report that it would take far more space than a mere blog post permits in which to detail the numerous mistakes, omissions, erroneous presumptions and politically motivated hearsay upon which it is based. Its methodology and many of the sources upon which it relies can –and should- be called into question. Although, as McGreal pointed out in his CiF article, it carries no legal force, it is already being lauded by Hamas, Turkey and others involved in the ongoing campaign to delegitimize Israel by means of lawfare. It provides a veneer of seemingly irreproachable respectability to many of the pernicious myths surrounding the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas and lends its more than implicit support to those terror-supporting organizations involved in the ‘Free Gaza’ campaign.

The report was commissioned on June 2nd – a mere three days after the events aboard the Mavi Marmara – by a body which had prior to that already come out in predictable condemnation of Israel. The mission and mandate of the subsequently appointed investigatory body were already defined in that condemnation, and whilst the report acknowledges the one-sided nature of its mission as defined, it does not appear to have had the desire to correct that obvious bias.

Decides to dispatch an independent international fact finding mission to investigate violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, resulting from the Israeli attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian assistance.”

Some of the more glaring faults of the report include the omission of any reference to the real causes of power outages in the Gaza strip (clause 31), the declaration that there is a “severe humanitarian situation in Gaza” (clause 53) and that a humanitarian crisis existed on 31/05/2010 in Gaza (clause 261), together with an ‘interesting’ definition of starvation (clause 52). The assumption that Gaza is still under Israeli occupation (clause 51), together with the reliance upon testimonies from such partisan sources as Richard Falk and Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) (clause 179) sets the scene for some of the more fanciful claims made by the writers of the report. These include the defining of the ‘Free Gaza’ movement as a human rights organization (clause 76) and the IHH as a “humanitarian organization”, the dismissal of readily available footage of some of the Mavi Marmara’s passengers’ Jihadi calls to martyrdom with a description of “some bravado”, the description of what went on aboard the ships as “passive resistance”, “non-violence” and “symbolic resistance” (clause 102), the claim that “at no stage was a request made by the Israeli navy for the cargo to be inspected” (clause 109) and the claim that the replies to Israeli navy radio communications which we have all heard and which referred to Auschwitz and the 9/11 terror attack did not come from the ships’ passengers (clause 110).   The report even descends to the ridiculous level of describing “excessive air conditioning” in the vans in which detainees were transported (clause 195), the noise in the prison in which they were held (clause 197) and the number of armed soldiers present at the airport before their deportation (clause 202) as deliberate intimidation upon the part of Israel and makes the unsubstantiated claim that detainees were photographed for “trophy pictures” (clause 190) and exposed to “hostile crowds” (clause 185).

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An Editorial that could not possibly be more misleading

This is cross posted by Chas Newkey-Burden at OyVaGoy

An editorial in today’s Observer [cross posted at The Guardian] presents Israel as the obstacle to peace in the Middle East and Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority as the ones making all the moves. Indeed, it argues that “successive” Israeli prime ministers have refused to sincerely engage and negotiate with the Palestinians.

Successive Israeli prime ministers refusing to negotiate? Well, let’s look at the record of the three that preceded the current administration…

Ehud Barak (1999-2001) offered Yasser Arafat an extraordinary package including around 97 per cent of the territories, the majority of the Old City and east Jerusalem, and $30 billion compensation for the refugees.

Map reflecting the parameters of the Palestinian state which Arafat was offered (Per Dennis Ross)

His offer was refused by Arafat.

Ariel Sharon  (2001-2005) withdrew from Gaza, and was considering withdrawing from the West Bank, before his reign ended when he suffered a stroke.

The Gaza withdrawal was responded to with thousands of rockets fired into Israel.

Ehud Olmert (2006-2009) offered Mahmoud Abbas 93.5 to 93.7 per cent of the territories, along with a land swap of 5.8 per cent and a safe-passage corridor from Gaza to the West Bank. Under his offer the Old City of Jerusalem would be administered by a consortium of Saudis, Jordanians, Israelis, Palestinians and Americans. There would also have been (limited) return of refugees.

His offer was refused by Abbas

As for Netanyahu, it is too early to tell what will happen. But during his first reign as Prime Minister, (1996-1999) he negotiated with Yasser Arafat, signed the Wye River accords and handed most of Hebron to the Palestinians.

So The Observer could hardly be more misleading. Its editorial warns, with typical colonial-liberal pomposity, that if Israel continues to refuse to negotiate that it will become “an international pariah”. If that ever does become the case, it will not be because of intransigence on the part of Israel. But it will be in part because of dishonest reporting such as in today’s Observer.