Malice through the looking glass: What if Israel behaved like other Mid-East nations?

A guest post by Joe Geary

NEWS: Middle East

Good evening.

In the usual weekly display of anti-Iranian feeling, thousands of Israelis poured into the streets of Tel Aviv after Saturday prayers, chanting “Death to Iran, Death to Islam” and burning effigies of President Rouhani and John Kerry.

We are hearing reports of several dead and dozens injured as five Christian churches have been attacked and set on fire by a Jewish mob in central Jerusalem after allegations that an Israeli Christian claimed to be the Prophet Moses. The man was arrested before he could be lynched. Doctors say he suffers from severe mental problems but could still face stoning if found guilty under Israel’s strict blasphemy laws.

Scenes of jubilation, music mingling with gunshots,  were witnessed all over the Israeli town of Ashdod as Mr Avi Sand returned there after serving four years in prison for murdering an entire Arab family, including two young children and a three-month old baby. The town’s Mayor declared a Day of Celebration for his return. Flowers and sweets were distributed among the children in his honour. His poster could be seen on walls alongside other celebrated Israeli militants who had killed Arab civilians in recent years.

The Israeli Prime Minister has reiterated yet again his firm line on the fate of Muslims in the future state of Israel, following any successfully negotiated two-State peace talks. “Muslims have no right to live on this side of the border” he told the collected journalists. “We will not tolerate a single Arab on the Holy soil of Israel. Israel must be Muslim-frei.”

An Education Ministry inspection of a number of Jewish schools has revealed that Jewish children as young as five are routinely being taught not only that the whole of Palestine belongs to the Jews, but also that the Arabs who live there are descended from pigs and apes. A spokesman for the Ministry told the press: “They are only innocent animal stories for children, a bit like Aesop’s Fables”.

A group of Arab NGOs, the Red Crescent and UNWRA issued a joint statement today condemning the continued firing of rockets from Gaza into Israeli civilian centres, which they described as “war crimes”. “We deplore not only the loss of life but the terrible psychological trauma inflicted in particular on the children by these constant acts of barbarity”, a spokesman told us.  Along with a number of sympathetic Western NGOs such as War on Want and Save the Children, they are documenting crimes against civilians which will help bring a case against Hamas at The Hague of preaching genocide.

In other news, the UN is expected later today to pass a motion condemning fifteen Arab states for human rights abuses including the enslavement of foreign workers, religious and gender apartheid and the widespread, indiscriminate use of torture and the death penalty.  The Head of the Arab League was heard earlier to remark: “They have us bang to rights. All this has being going on for far too long. Well, forever, actually. It has to stop.”

And finally, on a lighter note, several witnesses are claiming to have seen what they describe as a pig slowly flapping its wings over the offices of the BBC and the Guardian newspaper in central London.

Well, some people will believe anything, won’t they?

Good night.

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800,000 missing Jews: Guardian ‘refugee’ history includes glaring omission.

It’s one thing to re-write history, but quite another to pretend as if a major historical event – involving a well-documented case of ethnic cleansing – never occurred.

A July 25th edition of the Guardian’s Data Blog, edited by Mona Chalabi, was titled ‘What happened to history’s refugees?‘  Here’s the strapline:

People have been forced to leave their countries since the very notion of a country was created. We take a look at some of the largest human movements in history to find out why people left their homes, where they went and what became of them.

This ambitious project includes Israelites: Canaan (740 BC), Edict of Fontainebleau (France 1685), Muhacirs (Ottoman Empire 1783), Pogroms (Russia 1881), WWI (Europe 1914), WWII (Europe 1945), Nakba (Palestine 1948), and others.

Regarding the “Nakba”, here’s their remarkably skewed narrative:

Nowhere are numbers on refugees more contentious than the 1948 Palestinian exodus. An attack by a Zionist military group on an Arab village realised the Palestinians’ worst fears and combined with Zionist expulsion orders, military advances, virtually non-existent Palestinian leadership and unwillingness to live under Jewish control on their homeland. The result was a mass exodus of around 80% of Arabs on the land that was to become Israel. Later absentees property law in Israel would prevent the return of those Arabs. Nakba, meaning “catastrophe” is commemorated on 15 May each year. The UN set up a special agency, UNRWA, to deal with the enormous numbers of refugees requiring assistance that now number around 5 million.

There are so many omissions, misleading and flatly untrue claims about their tale of the flight of Palestinians, but, suffice to say that, in reading the summary, you could be forgiven for not knowing that there was an even an Arab-Israel War in the first place – a war of aggression against the nascent Jewish state without which there wouldn’t have been a refugee problem.  However, this isn’t at all the most egregious historical error in the piece.

The Guardian then proceeds, from the “Nakba”, to the next refugee crisis: Idi Amin’s Order (Uganda 1972).omission

Did you notice an historical omission?  

The Guardian completely whitewashed the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jewfrom Arab lands between 1948 and 1972.

 

Jews expelled from Jordan

Jewish Refugees, 1948

As the site of JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa) explains:

…under the heavy weight of Anti-Jewish governments and policy, nearly one million Jews [beginning in 1948] from the Middle East and North Africa had their property confiscated, basic human rights stripped, and were systematically persecuted and victimized. Ultimately these Jews were forced to flee their homes and surrender their nationalities, becoming the “Forgotten Refugees” of the Middle East and North Africa.

Revisionist history of the Middle East conveniently excludes the fact that over half of Israel’s Jewish population live there not because European atrocities during World War II, but because of Anti-Jewish Arab governments who dispossessed and displaced their native Jewish populations following the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Adopted narratives of the Arab-Israeli conflict fail to address the fact that Israel was the largest refugee camp in the Middle East, providing safe haven to…dispossessed Middle Eastern and North African Jewish refugees whose ancestors had a continuous presence in the region for over 3,000 years.

JIMENA reminds us that, though “UN Resolution 242 asserted that Jews fleeing Arab countries were ‘bona fide’ refugees” the international community, the media and educational systems have continuously ignored their plight.

Of the 800,000 or so Jewish refugees between 1948 and 1972, more than 200,000 found refuge in Europe and North America while 586,000 were resettled in Israel, “without any compensation from the Arab governments who had confiscated their possessions.” Further, unlike Palestinian refugees who were displaced by war, a definitive report, co-authored by Irwin Cotler, concluded  that Jews’ expulsion was part of an intentional and coordinated effort by Arab rulers:

These massive human rights violations were not events that occurred coincidently or haphazardly; nor were they the result only of state-sanctioned patterns of repression in each of the Arab countries, though this would be bad enough; rather, as the evidence discloses, they were the result of an international criminal conspiracy by the League of Arab States to target and persecute the Jewish populations in their respective countries.

It’s one thing to parrot the Palestinian narrative of the “Nakba”, but what the Guardian did was to completely erase from the historical record the well-documented (and completely undisputed) forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of innocent Jews.

The Guardian’s ideologically inspired animosity towards the Jewish state has crossed a line, and the paper’s editors need to be held accountable for such completely ahistorical propaganda.

Hunger Games: A Palestinian terrorist who tried to kill ‘as many Israelis as possible’

Cross posted at the blog,This Ongoing War, edited by Arnold and Frimet Roth. 

Barghouti Guitar from Impact of Terror

(Photo: Abdullah Barghouti created a guitar case filled with explosives, bolts and nails to maximize the lethal devastation of terror attack. Screenshot from the documentary movie “Impact of Terror”)

Trust us on this: being the parents of a child who was murdered changes the way you look at things.

Others might glance at a report quoting this political figure or that official, but that lens of bereavement and the immense frustration and anger that accompanies it tends to make you look a little more deeply than others do.

The secretary-general of the Arab League probably makes headlines whenever he issues a public pronouncement. Without wanting to be unkind, we don’t really care that much what he says or thinks under normal circumstances, and the feeling is probably mutual. Naturally, we  respect and defend his right to speak in the name of the people who appointed him, but Nabeel Elarabys views are background noise so far as we’re concerned.

For the record, he’s a professional diplomat who served as Egypt’s Foreign Minister of Egypt for four months in 2011 and before that was his country’s ambassador in New Delhi between 1981 and 1983. A lawyer, he has an Egyptian law school degree as well as a Masters in Law from NYU.

This morning, we noticed that he has some things to say that actually do intrude into matters about which we take a personal interest. Speaking about a group of convicted practitioners of terror who are serving long prison sentences in Israel, the jurist/politician is quoted yesterday (Tuesday) saying that he is 

following with concern the suffering of the Palestinian prisoners who entered indefinite food strike under very serious health conditions, especially the captive, Abdullah Barghouti, who entered into a dangerous condition due to his continued food strike since last May… Elaraby called on the international community to put an end to arrogance of the Israelis who use violence against the Palestinian prisoners [Emirates News Agency/WAM]

In the name of the Arab League, this senior figure launches into an appeal to “the international community, particularly the United Nations, the International Committee of Red Cross and human rights organization [sic]” to get involved and to “save the lives” of the terrorists who are refusing to eat and “to stop the inhumane practices against them“.

It’s significant that the hungry terrorists are not named by Mr Elaraby except for one of them: Barghouti. (We have the other names here.)

Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt: Mr Elaraby may have said the things he said because his Arab League secretariat aides failed to give him a proper briefing ahead of his speech. So we will try to help. And we plan to send this posting to his office by mail right after it goes up on our site.

We have written about this dedicated killer several times in this blog. Most people who speak about him seem to know next to nothing factual, so allow us to share some basics.

Start with this: the judges who sentenced him expressed regret that condemning Abdullah Barghouti to the death penalty was not an option available to them.

If you have seen the award-winning CNN/CBC/Associated Producers documentary “Impact of Terror”, you will recall that it opens with an extreme closeup of a musical instrument, while an explosives expert explains its diabolical character:

The uniqueness for me was the guitar. Nobody was thinking that inside there is a bomb. He put inside the guitar something like four or five kilogram of explosives, four kilogram or five kilogram of nuts and nails. That’s enough. That’s enough to kill tens of people [CNN transcript]

Among the fifteen people, mostly children, killed by the work of Barghouti’s hands was Malki, our daughter. 130 others were maimed. The lives devastated by his evil amount to many times more than those awful numbers.

We noted here a week ago that Barghouti has done an outstanding job from his prison cell of highlighting the bestiality that underpins his psychopathic nature66 innocent people killedNot enough, he says without blushing. In the intimate setting of a 2006 interview beamed throughout the world by CBS television’s ’60 Minutes’ program, Barghouti clarifies things unambiguously:

I feel bad because the number is only 66. This is the answer you want to hear? Yes, I feel bad because I want more.” [Quoted on a CBS site]

Speaking in an Israeli court in 2010, he again reiterated his dedication to killing more Jews once he is freed again.

Do the people in the Arab League’s leadership know these things? Perhaps we will be able to let our visitors know when our letter gets answered. (We recommend to stay busy in the meantime.)

The wheels of justice caught up with Barghouti a decade ago. Convicted for the murder of dozens of ordinary people, he is serving a longer custodial sentence than anyone else in the history of this country. Yet, when parts of the Arabic press write about him, they call him “administrative detainee and “captive”; bitter experience tells us their readers largely believe such nonsense.

(The following is a snapshot of Barghouti’s Facebook page on July 10th – essentially representing a shrine to a confessed and proud mass-murderer.)

Facebook Barghouti 10Jul13

The people who operate the world’s most influential social media website allowed an Abdullah Barghouti page to go up, and have permitted it to stay upDo they know the facts? We pointed this out two weeks ago [see 25-Jun-13: Dogs, psychopaths and the Internet“], when Barghouti’s active Facebook page had gotten 6,805 Likes; that’s more than a hundred for every one of the dead Israelis he murdered. Go visit his Facebook site this morning and notice that Barghoutti’s savagery now has 7,266 Likes. And of course rising.

What does the Arab League leadership think about such things? Who do they say to questions like these?

  • When you seek to put an end to what you call “arrogance of the Israelis“, is this part of a larger anti-arrogance plan? Is it arrogance when Barghouti boasts willfully proudly, openly about how good it is to kill Jewish children? Is it arrogance for him (and the others like him, and who Like him) to come out in favour?
  • How will the world know when the “arrogance of the Israelis” has come to an end? If Barghouti is allowed (heaven forbid) to leave his Israeli prison cell under pressure from you, would that be a sign in your value system that the Israeli arrogance is over?
  • When the woman who delivered Barghouti’s bomb to the door of the pizza restaurant on that awful summer afternoon on August 9, 2001 was freed in a tragically misconceived deal with the terrorists two years ago, did that demonstrate reduced Israeli arrogance?
  • When the proud, unrepentant Islamist murderers like Barghouti and Tamimi make speeches in public congratulating themselves on their great deeds, is that arrogant? Will you condemn it? Have you ever said one critical word in public – in Arabic – about the satanic hubris that it represents? Did any other Arab leader? Ever?

Why do we write about matters like this? Because so many people are interested in hearing what we think? Think again. Because we are obsessive? No, though others think we are. Because we’re vengeful? No; others have certainly told us we seek revenge, but we say and firmly believe this is about justice, and injustice, and about human rights in the original, honest, non-politicized sense of that term. And to be clear about this: it’s not for lack of constructive things to do with our time.

We are the parents of a child whose beautiful life, filled with constructive acts of goodness, was brutally ended by the guitar-case bomb engineered by Barghouti. Inside us, there is a burning sense of obligation – call it a hunger - to shake the apathy of people who fail to see that of the dozens of innocent victims of this despicable man, not a single one was caught in the crossfireThey were his target as Barghouti himself confessed. The same is true every time jihadists and other terrorists seek out civilian victims, as they invariably do.

His mission, his passion, was “to kill as many Israelis as possible”. That ought to be on people’s minds when the debate over how to think about the hunger-striking terrorist prisoners reaches the mainstream media’s headlines as it soon will. The imperative to understand this needs to extend in all directions – even into the lofty heights of the executive leadership suite at the League of Arab States.

The curious case of the Arab vote in the Israeli elections

A guest post by AKUS

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 21, 2013.Arab League to Israeli Arabs: Vote to stop the far right‘.

“The Arab League on Sunday called for Israeli Arabs to vote so that they can stop the establishment of a right-wing government “that will promote racist laws and ethnic cleansing.””

The Guardian: Wrong about everything. All the time:

“Silver Blaze”, Arthur Conan Doyle:

Gregory : “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

At some point, if not already, someone is going to analyze the Arab vote in the recent Israeli elections once the excitement of playing “build the coalition” subsides.

Israel’s Arab demographic makes up about 20% of the population. If every Arab voter only voted for one or other of the Arab parties, all else being equal (e.g., the same proportion of adults eligible to vote in the Arab sector as in the non-Arab sector) the Arab parties would hold approximately 24 seats in the Knesset. Instead, it appears that they have 8 seats (United Arab list – Ta’al and Balad). Even adding in Hadash, which has a mix of Jewish and Arab communists, they have at most 12 seats.

So how did at least half and probably more than half of Israel’s Arabs vote? That is surely the most curious aspect of the recent election results.

We can rule out the right wing and orthodox Jewish parties.  Apparently, therefore, Israeli Arabs exercised their votes for the center and center-left parties, giving them the 12- 16 “missing seats”. Traditionally, Labor has had strong support in the Arab sector, and this may have helped them retain 15 seats in the new Knesset. One of Labor’s seats will be occupied by a Christian Arab woman, Nadia Hilou, of Jaffa. It is also likely, I would think, that Yesh Atid’s unexpectedly strong showing could be due to Arabs responding to its social and political messages of cooperation and equality.

Until an analysis of the Arab vote is available, and specially the missing Arab vote in the sense of missing from the Arab parties, I suggest it reinforces two major themes of this election.

One is that people in Israel, like every else, vote for their daily interests ahead of grand foreign policy issues. Young Arabs are just as likely to be concerned about their and their children’s futures. Issues like housing, jobs, financial security, and protection from the manic regimes surrounding Israel are as likely to be their top concerns as they are for non-Arab Israelis. In addition, they will be willing to vote for parties that accept them as equals and promise to make the effort to ensure equality is not just written into the laws, as it is, but practiced in daily life. They certainly are underwhelmed by the radical Arabs like Zuabi and Tibi.

The other is that, quite clearly, the Palestinian issue is not one that is the most pressing for a majority of Israel’s Arabs, even if they believe that Yesh Atid and Labor could be more accommodating to the possibility of creating a Palestinian State on the West Bank than the other Jewish parties. Polls have shown that a majority of Israel’s Arabs believe that they are better off in every way than they would be in the countries surrounding Israel. Polls held in towns and villages bordering the Green Line have demonstrated that Israel’s Arab have no desire and no intent to join a putative Palestinian state, should one ever arise on the West Bank. Put quite simply, they know where their bread is buttered, and it is not with the Gazans or West Bankers.

This was the curious incident in the last election – the Arab vote did nothing to reflect what so many treat as Israel’s primary concern – the future of the West Bank.

Thus, while the Guardian and the mainstream media – not to mention the EU and factions within the United States – agonize over the “two state solution”, Israel’s Arabs have made their own views quite plain. Their “missing seats” show that they are Israelis, not Palestinians, they are in Israel to stay, and wish to be part of what we can only hope will be a strengthening main-stream Israeli consensus formed by centrist parties such as Yesh Atid and Labor and a move away from the extremism of the Likud and Habayit Hayehudi.

 

Guardian Teacher Network site promotes distorted history of Israel’s birth

pic

The Guardian Teacher Network (GTN) is a site dedicated to helping UK teachers find jobs, focus on a career path and “gain resources and ideas” to assist in their professional development. They even have suggested lesson plans, sample tests and other classroom aids to help teaching professionals with day-to-day challenges.

A CiF Watch post (Guardian publishes false information about IDF attack on Ahmed al-Jabari) in November noted that a blog entry at GTN – which provided a summary of the recent Gaza war for educators to use in class – falsely claimed that the Israeli air strike on the Hamas military chief on Nov. 14 also killed a 6 year-old girl and an 11-month old baby.

As we noted, the strike killed only al-Jabari and his bodyguard.

Following our post, the Guardian corrected the mistake.

More recently, upon perusing the page to learn what additional information about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict was available to British educators, I found this history lesson plan for students ages 14-16.

Conflict between Israel and the Arab states, 1949-1979

After doing this lesson, you should understand why Israel was involved in three wars between 1949 and 1979, why Israel was able to win these three wars, why and with what consequences other countries became involved in conflict in the Middle East, why the problems of the Middle East were not solved by 1979, identify the main motives of each of the countries involved in the disputes in the Middle East, explain why countries outside of the Middle East became involved, and discuss what the consequences were for both the Middle East and the world at large of the failure to solve the Arab/Israeli problem.

Here’s the first section, on how Israel was founded.

In order to understand why there were wars between Israel and the Arab states in 1956, 1967 and 1973, you need to fully understand what had been happening in the area between 1945 and 1949.

Column 1 contains the beginning of some sentences and column 2 gives you [the] endings. 

Here is the Guardian graphic – which I edited according to the “correct” answers to the questions they provided - representing the sum total of what their education editors deem necessary for students to know about the events between 1945 and 1949 to help them understand the wars between Israel and the Arabs in ’56, ’67, and ’73.

graphic

The selective history lesson is truly a work of art.

  • Students learn about the White Paper (see #2), but not the Balfour Declaration. (Additionally, there is nothing about the Mandate for Palestine, the the history of Zionism, or 4,000 years of Jewish history in the land).
  • There is an implicit suggestion (see #3) that the justification for Israel’s existence is significantly based on the “terrible treatment of Jews in concentration camps during the Second World War”.
  • Two of the eight questions (see #4 and #5) focus on terrorist acts committed by the Irgun and Stern Gang, yet there is absolutely nothing about Arab pograms, riots, terrorism, and brutality committed against Jews.
  • There is nothing (see #7) indicating which side accepted, and which side rejected, the UN recommended division of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

Note also that there is no indication that Arabs refused to recognize Israel even after the war, nor the subsequent Arab terror attacks, the Arab League economic boycott and other forms of belligerence – all of which are vital to understanding the subsequent conflict.

Moreover, note that Arabs are barely even mentioned in the Q&A table.  Arabs – those living in historic Palestine, as well as those in the greater Middle East – are not moral actors in the GTN history of the region between 1945-49.

The Guardian Teacher Network recommended history lesson about the Israeli-Palestinian/Israeli-Arab/Israeli-Islamist Conflict is, however, accurate in one respect. It represents an entirely accurate snapshot of the Guardian’s skewed, myopic, Israeli-obsessed and egregiously distorted reporting on the region.