SOAS London event dispells ‘simplistic’ view that Hizbullah is a terror group

Cross posted from London-based blogger Richard Millett 

To say that my question “Is this book pro-Hizbollah?” wasn’t well received on Tuesday night at SOAS is an understatement.

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I was at the book launch of The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication written by Lina Khatib, Dina Matar and Atef Alshaer.

After I had asked my question Dina Matar said “I knew you were going to ask that” and Lina Khatib waved the book at me and said “Why don’t you read it?”

The book explains how Hizbullah has been successful in staying relevant since its 1982 inception by adapting itself to changing situations and communicating these adaptations through various means such as poetry and social media.

Hizbullah are poets? Who knew.

One can imagine: “To kill a Jew, or not to kill a Jew. That is the question.”

Continue reading

The Guardian misrepresents Netanyahu’s comments on rioters

A Nov. 9th article by the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent, Peter Beaumont, on recent Arab protests in response to the deadly police shooting of a man in the Galilee town of Kufr Kana (Violence spreads across Israel after shooting in Galilee, Nov. 11) included a clear distortion of recent comments by Israel’s prime minister.

Here are the relevant passages from Beaumont’s report:

Amid calls for protests in Israeli Arab towns and a general strike, Israeli police raised their alert to the second highest level of preparedness. The police’s internal investigations department is looking into the shooting to determine whether proper protocol was followed.

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, in comments before the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, said he has ordered officials to examine whether citizenship could be removed from those participating in demonstrations.

However, as official transcripts from Netanyahu’s cabinet meeting clearly indicate, he was asking to examine whether citizenship could be removed from those specifically calling for the destruction of Israel.

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Beaumont’s text, regarding who precisely Netanyahu was referring to when he spoke of ‘revoking citizenship’, would lead readers to believe that the prime minister of Israel is seeking a draconian response to those merely participating in benign “demonstrations”  –  a significant mischaracterization of his cabinet meeting remarks. 

CiF Watch prompts revision to Economist claim about MK Zoabi’s suspension

Earlier in the month we posted about a curious omission in an Economist article titled ‘Us and Them‘, Aug. 2.  

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Israeli MK Haneen Zoabi

To buttress their broader theme on the putative ‘erosion of Israel’s democracy’, the characteristically anonymous article made the following claim about Israeli MK Haneen Zoabi:

This week the Knesset banned an Arab member, Haneen Zoabi, for six months for “aggressive behaviour” in anti-war demonstrations.

However, as we noted at the time, this is an inaccurate statement as it omits key information about the suspension.

MK Zoabi was suspended for six months from the Knesset (while still maintaining her voting rights in the Israeli legislative body) for two reasons – one of which the Economist completely omitted. 

While Zoabi’s suspension was in part due to an incident with a police officer at a protest rally (as they noted), the main reason was related to her assertion, in mid June, that the kidnappers of three Israeli teens (Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah, and Gilad Shaar) were NOT terrorists – a comment she evidently didn’t amend, even after the boys’ bullet ridden bodies were discovered partially buried near Hebron on June 30.

Shimon Peres

We complained to Economist editors, and, in addition to slightly revising the text to note that Zoabi’s behavior at the protest was only one of the reasons for her suspension, they added the following addendum.

corexThough the text still doesn’t include the main reason for Zoabi’s suspension, editors’ acknowledgement that the original language was misleading is of course welcomed. 

CiF Watch prompts Guardian correction to anti-Bibi smear by Chris McGreal

On Aug. 1st we fisked the claim in the following Tweet (on July 22) by Guardian reporter Chris McGreal

McGreal actually doubled-down on the Tweet’s suggestion – that the Israeli conflict against Hamas is, in fact, a racist war designed simply to murder Arabs – in his July 31st Guardian article titled ‘American media’s new pro-Israel bias: the same party line at the wrong time.

His column began thusly:

Here are a few questions you won’t hear asked of the parade of Israeli officials crossing US television screens during the current crisis in Gaza:

  • What would you do if a foreign country was occupying your land?
  • What does it mean that Israeli cabinet ministers deny Palestine’s right to exist?
  • What should we make of a prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who as opposition leader in the 1990s was found addressing rallies under a banner reading “Death to Arabs”?

However, after a modest amount of research – evidently more than McGreal put into his own column – we were able to establish that the banner in question, at a right-wing rally in Jerusalem in 1994, did not read ‘Death to Arabs’ but, rather, death to the father of modern terror – Yasser Arafat.

After contacting Guardian editors, they acknowledged McGreal’s error, revised the passage in question and added the following addendum to the article:

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We commend Guardian editors for their positive response to our complaint. 

 

UK media report 200 Israelis chanting racist slogans, but fail to cover 1,000 at peace rally

Since the bodies of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frankel and Gilad Shaar were buried in a Modi’in cemetery on Tuesday, UK media coverage has pivoted from some degree of sympathy towards the victims and their families to more familiar territory – obsessive focus on reports of Israeli vengeance, racism and intolerance.  

Thus, though support for the terrorist kidnappers/murderers expressed by many Palestinians during the 18 day ordeal was (to the best of our knowledge) not mentioned by any of the major UK dailies, multiple news outlets have subsequently seen fit to report every Israeli expression of intolerance towards Arabs since the teens’ bullet-ridden bodies were discovered near Hebron.

A perfect example of this skewed coverage can be found by comparing ubiquitous reports on a march by a couple of hundred racist Israelis in Jerusalem on Tuesday, who chanted hateful slogans, including ‘death to Arabs’, vs the absence of any coverage devoted to the pro-peace, pro-tolerance rally held the following day in the Israeli capital. Here are the relevant passages from UK media reports about the racist march. Guardian, July 2: (‘Live Blog’ edited by Matthew Weaver)

Gangs of right wing Israelis have been chanting “death to the Arabs” in the wake of the killing of the three teenagers, Footage has emerged of Israeli youth chanting in Hebrew “death to the Arabs” following the killing of the three teenagers.

Telegraph, July 3 (AFP)

After the three were buried on Tuesday, more than 200 Israeli extremists rampaged through Jerusalem, dragging people out of cars and chanting “Death to Arabs”.

Times of London, July 2 (Catherine Philp)

In Jerusalem, several hundred right-wing Israeli youths, many of them skullcap-wearing Orthodox Jews, shouted for revenge as they marched through the city.

Independent, July 1 (Ben Lynfield)

In Jerusalem, a demonstration organised by anti-Arab activists that drew hundreds turned violent.

Financial Times, July 2 (Joel Greenberg)

On Tuesday night, crowds of militant Jewish youths rampaged through the centre of Jerusalem, shouting “Death to Arabs” and assaulting Palestinian workers in the area.

However, UK media sites have thus far failed to report the pro-tolerance rally last night in Kikar Hahatulot in Jerusalem which drew up to a thousand Israelis who were attempting to undo the damage of the anti-Arab rally a night earlier.   Here are a few photos of the event, which this writer attended. first 2 3

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Chaim Herzog, center

The rally included politicians (including Labor Party Chairman Chaim Herzog, seen below), public figures, Rabbis and (mostly) ordinary citizens.

We’ll update this post if UK media sites subsequently do file reports on the pro-peace event. 

Focus below the line: Guardian readers ‘reflect’ on Israel and the Jews (June 30)

This post is part of a series which re-focuses on the problem of biased moderation at the Guardian’s blog ‘Comment is Free’ (CiF) – particularly, reader comments which are off-topic, ad hominem or antisemitic, and yet not deleted by their team of professional moderators. All of the following comments have been posted under ‘CiF’ op-eds which have nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

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And what terrible post of Bonbonniera has been deleted? This one…

19 Jun 2014 12:45pm

nakba denialism? very funny. You will have to indict the Guardian as being evil and fascist and the British officials of 1948 in the Mandate as evil and fascist too.

By early 1948 British officials were reporting that “the Arabs have suffered a series of overwhelming defeats.” They added: “Jewish victories … have reduced Arab morale to zero and, following the cowardly example of their inept leaders, they are fleeing from the mixed areas in their thousands. It is now obvious that the only hope of regaining their position lies in the regular armies of the Arab states.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/apr/26/british-secret-documents-palestine-partition

There was no nakba, the Arabs fled from Israel because their leaders were inept.

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None of these comments have been deleted by ‘CiF’ moderators.

 

CiF Watch prompts Indy correction – acknowledges that Arab towns were built since ’48

On May 7th we posted about Ben Lynfield’s column (Netanyahu’s ‘Jewish state’ law angers Arab Israelis, May 2) at the Independent, which included the following claim:

For example, while hundreds of new cities, towns and localities for Jews have been established since 1948, not a single new Arab town has been created

Whilst the suggestion that hundreds of “Jewish towns” have been established is itself very misleading (as we noted in our original post), the claim that “not a single Arab town has been created” is flat-out untrue. There have been 7 new towns built for the Arab Bedouin. (Bedouins are a sub-group with Israel’s Arab minority)

Since 1948, there have…been seven towns that the government planned and constructed for Bedouin residents of the Negev

Between 1965 and 1990, Israel indeed built seven new towns, which were able to absorb half of the Negev Bedouin…

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):

State-planned [Arab-Bedouin] towns…were set up in the 1960s and 1970s: Hura, Kseifa, Laqia, Arara, Rahat, Segev Shalom and Tel-Sheva.

We contacted Indy editors to point out the error, and they ultimately agreed that the claim was inaccurate – and revised the passage in question. 

It now reads:

For example, while hundreds of new cities, towns and localities for Jews have been established since 1948, not a single new Arab town has been created (aside from the seven settlements built specifically for the Negev’s Bedouin residents, which have been the source of considerable controversy). 

We commend Indy editors for responding positively to our complaint.

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The Independent fails to fact-check claim in story about ‘Jewish State’ proposal

As our posts noting CiF Watch-prompted corrections often demonstrate, beyond the UK media’s biased coverage of the region there lies another somewhat related problem – the failure to fact-check claims used to buttress their anti-Israel narrative.

A case in point is an article at The Independent by Ben Lynfield on May 2nd titled ‘Netanyahu’s Jewish state law angers Arabs‘, reporting on the prime minister’s proposal ‘to advance a constitutional Basic Law identifying Israel as a Jewish nation-state’.  While the article itself was predictably hostile to the proposal, and quoted critics who charged that defining Israel as ‘a Jewish nation-state’ would erode the rights of non-Jews, the following passage particularly caught our eye.

The Arab citizens of Israel, who number a fifth of the population, comprise Palestinians who remained behind when their compatriots were expelled or fled when Israel was established in 1948. They have the right to vote but regularly face discrimination from authorities. For example, while hundreds of new cities, towns and localities for Jews have been established since 1948, not a single new Arab town has been created.

First, Lynfield’s claim that hundreds of towns and cities have been built “for Jews” is, at best, highly misleading, as new Israeli cities, towns and localities generally do not distinguish between Jews, Muslims, Druze, Christians or members of other faiths.

Additionally, his claim that “not a single new Arab town has been created” since 1948 is false. In fact, there have been 7 new towns built specifically for Israeli Bedouins. (Bedouins are a sub-group within Israel’s Arab minority.)

Human Rights Watch:

in 60 years [there] have been seven towns that the government planned and constructed for Bedouin residents of the Negev

Ha’aretz:

Between 1965 and 1990, Israel indeed built seven new towns, which were able to absorb half of the Negev Bedouin…

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):

State-planned [Arab-Bedouin] towns…were set up in the 1960s and 1970s: Hura, Kseifa, Laqia, Arara, Rahat, Segev Shalom and Tel-Sheva.

We don’t know what led Ben Lynfield to believe that there were no Arab towns built since 1948, and why Indy editors didn’t fact-check the passage in question, but the claim is clearly inaccurate. 

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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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CiF Watch prompts Guardian correction over Arab Israeli population stats

We recently commented on a Guardian editorial, ostensibly about Jerusalem’s recent municipal elections, which managed to legitimize the extremist view that the Jewish state should be replaced with a bi-national one – a final ‘solution’ to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict which, we noted, would be violently resisted by Jewish Israelis and lead to endless war.  

Here are the relevant passages:

As a thought experiment, however, it is fascinating. Extrapolating from the local situation in Jerusalem, what if all Palestinians made a strategic decision to seek full voting rights within the reality that is Israel, rather than demanding a separate Palestinian state? In other words, what if they transformed their struggle from a nationalist one into a civil rights one? 

Amid deepening despair as to the viability of a two-state solution, this is an option that is only going to attract more attention.

In addition to the profound immorality of denying Jews, and only Jews, their right to self-determination – a rejection of universal human rights implicit within the Guardian’s little “thought experiment” – there was also a factual error in the following passage:

Seventy-five per cent [of “Palestinians”] voted in the 1999 elections. Ten years later, it was 54%. The fact that it didn’t dip below half earlier this year was put down to a last-minute intervention by the Arab League urging the million or so Palestinians living in Israel to get out and vote [see footnote].

“Palestinians” is the Guardian term of choice for Israeli citizens who are ethnically or linguistically Arab – typically described as ‘Arab Israelis’, or ‘Arab citizens of Israel’ by most news outlets.  More importantly, contrary to the claim made in the sentence underlined above, there are actually over 1.6 million Arab Israelis, per Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

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 The Guardian undercounted this population by 600,000or so

After contacting Guardian editors, the following correction was added:

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Whilst we commend editors on this narrow revision, there’s no word yet if the ‘theorists’ within their London salon – known, perhaps ironically, as their “editorial board” – have had second thoughts over their legitimization of the position that, just perhaps, the Jewish state shouldn’t exist. 

Towards a new ‘liberation theology’: Will progressives ever learn to embrace Jewish success?

Here are the first few paragraphs of my Times of Israel essay published today:

If the progressive community was truly concerned about the fate of historically oppressed minorities, and sincerely moved by a passionate desire to find the social and economic remedies to ameliorate the condition of the marginalized, the example of Jews in the late 20th and early 21st centuries would serve as a model for all future campaigns.

Progressives who are unburdened by the fetishization of victimhood, and misplaced faith in ‘systemic’ root causes, would have to be inspired by the example of world Jewry – a community which not only survived the  Holocaust, but quickly re-established their communities and, within a short period of time, could boast of social, economic and political success (in Israel and the diaspora) quite ‘disproportionate’ to their miniscule numbers.

Howard Jacobson has forcefully argued that the world has never forgiven Jews for the collective guilt driven by memory of the Holocaust. However, it seems equally as urgent to acknowledge that the progressive movement seems not to have forgiven Jews for a success born largely of their own perseverance.

Read the rest of the essay here.

Jewish “terrorists” vs Arab “fighters”: An open letter to the Guardian’s Richard Norton-Taylor

The following is a letter written by a CiF Watch reader named David Shayne, and originally submitted to the Guardian’s Richard Norton-Taylor in response to his report entitled ‘British officials predicted war – and Arab defeat – in Palestine in 1948‘.
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Dear Mr. Norton Taylor,

I read your article with great interest, but I must say I was rather appalled to read your following claim:  

The documents, which have a remarkable contemporary resonance, reveal how British officials looked on as Jewish settlers took over more and more Arab land.”

This statement is extremely misleading, evoking an image that  Jewish government or other entity was forcing Arabs off their lands in large numbers.  This picture is false.

It is well documented that, during the British Mandate, Jews in fact acquired very little settled Arab land.  All Jewish land acquisitions were commercial, land purchased from willing sellers (and often at exorbitant prices).   The Jews, being politically powerless, had no means to compel Arabs to sell their lands.  Moreover, a vast majority of these purchases involved unused lands in sparsely settled areas, e.g. the Jezreel and Hefer valleys, swampy areas that the Arabs tended to avoid.  The Jews, in turn, avoided moving into heavily populated areas.  That is why to this day Arab and Jewish population concentrations are in different parts of the country (e.g, the West Bank and the Coastal plain).  

There are many books that describe these issues, a particularly good one is “From Time Immemorial” by Joan Peters.

Even today, when there is a Jewish government which can and does exercise its power regarding the controversial settlements policy in the West Bank, most of these were likewise built on uninhabited stretches of land.  Generally, Arabs were not expelled in order to create these towns.

Another severely erroneous statement in your article was this:

In the weeks leading up to the partition of Palestine in 1948, when Britain gave up its UN mandate, Jewish terrorist groups were mounting increasing attacks on UK forces and Arab fighters, the Colonial Office papers show.”

It is not clear what time period is meant here.  If the reference is prior to November 29, 1947 (the UN Partition Plan vote) then it is true that some Jews did engage in “terrorism” and Jewish forces did attack British forces (which the British always called “terrorism” even the targets were legitimate military targets and no British soldiers were killed).  But there was also plenty of Arab terrorism, meaning the random murder of unarmed Jews and Britons that had occurred during the same time.  The British, too, engaged in “terrorism” of their own from time to time (see the book “Major Farran’s Hat“). Singling Jews out as “terrorists” is grossly misleading.

If the reference is to the period between November 29, 1947 and May 15, 1948, then the statement is a flat-out lie.  Arab forces attacked Jews all across Palestine the very next day after the UN vote.  Dozens of Jews were killed immediately, the Jews tried to organize to defend themselves.  Since the British were leaving, and the Jews had their hands full just protecting themselves from the Arabs, all anti-British operations ceased.  I am not aware of a single significant incident of Jews attacking Britons during this time period.

The British, on the other hand, continued to severely oppress the Jews and prevent them from acquiring the necessary arms to defend themselves.  Moreover, many Britons openly aligned themselves with Arabs and some participated in anti-Jewish terror (e.g, the February, 1948 bombing of Ben Yehudah Street in Jerusalem).

The very characterization of Jews as “terrorists” and the Arabs as “fighters” when it was Arab terrorist violence that launched the 1947-48 war to start with reveals a deep prejudice that belies any semblance of objective reporting.

Thank you for your attention. I look forward to your response.

David Shayne

‘Comment is Free’ contributor claims 1967 Six Day War was act of Israeli aggression

Raja Shehadeh is a Palestinian Arab who’s the former director of the Palestinian NGO Al-Haq, a radical group which has characterized Palestinian terror attacks as legitimate “resistance” and is currently being led by Shawan Jabarin, a Palestinian with alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist group.

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The Guardian posted a video on Oct. 9, 2012 of an interview with Shehadeh in which he casually suggested that Israel’s goal was to ethnically cleans Palestinians, so his latest “analysis” on Palestinians’ views about yesterday’s Israeli election, ‘Israel’s elections mean little to most Palestinians – with good reason‘, ‘Comment is Free’, Jan. 23, should come as no surprise.

Shehadeh didn’t waste any time contextualizing what he characterized as Palestinian indifference to the particular results of the Israeli election by evoking the political parallel of disenfranchised blacks under South African apartheid, and soon pivoted to the following additional fiction:

“Since the beginning of the occupation more than 44 years ago, no Israeli government has indicated willingness to accept that its status is that of an occupier of territory acquired through a belligerent war, and consequently been willing to withdraw from these areas and hand them over either to the surrounding Arab states or to a newly created sovereign, independent Palestinian state.”

The idea that Israel acquired territory in June 1967 though a “belligerent war” is a gross historical lie.

The Six Day War was instigated by Arab leaders who explicitly stated that their aim was nothing less than the annihilation of Israel, while Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol did everything possible to avoid a military confrontation with the much larger Arab forces.

In the weeks leading up to the war, Egypt’s President Nasser had ejected UN peace keeping forces from Sinai and Gaza, closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, and contributed the bulk of forces to a combined Arab army – much of which was amassed along Israel’s porous borders – consisting of 500,000 troops, more than 5,000 tanks, and almost 1,000 fighter planes.  Threatening rhetoric coming from Cairo, Damascus and Baghdad included the following by Nasser on May 27 and 28, 1967:

“Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight . . . The mining of Sharm el Sheikh is a confrontation with Israel. Adopting this measure obligates us to be ready to embark on a general war with Israel.”

“We will not accept any … coexistence with Israel. … Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel …. The war with Israel is in effect since 1948.”

Additionally, while the Soviets had begun supplying the Arabs with arms in the build-up to the war, France, Israel’s major arms supplier, had issued a complete ban on weapons sales to the Jewish state.

Israel – which, in 1967, wasn’t in control of one inch of Arab territory – was facing total isolation, and the realistic prospect of complete annihilation, when the IDF launched a successful strike on the Egyptian Air Force on the morning of  June 5, ‘officially’ beginning a war which would result in a swift Israeli victory and the acquisition of Gaza and the Sinai, from Egypt, and the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from Jordan.

Further, contrary to the duplicitous claims made by Shehadeh, in the immediate aftermath of Israel’s victory, Arab leaders, much to the surprise of Israeli leaders, maintained their belligerence and refused to enter into direct peace talks with the Jewish state.  Instead, at a meeting of the Arab League in Khartoum in September, they pledged to continue their struggle against Israel, and insisted on no peace, no negotiations, and no recognition.

Israel would subsequently withdraw from the Sinai, in the context of a peace treaty with Egypt, and leave Gaza unilaterally.  

However, Israeli offers to withdraw from nearly all of the remaining territory held since ’67, and offer statehood (within geographically contiguous boundaries) to Palestinian Arabs – who were never offered sovereignty under Egyptian and Jordanian rule – would be rebuffed by Yasser Arafat in 2000.  The Palestinian President responded to the peace offer by initiating a bloody terror war which would last over four years and claim over a thousand Israeli lives.  (Interestingly, in 2002 Shehadeh characterized Arafat as “admirable” for not having “betrayed” his people by accepting the Israeli peace offer.)

Another offer of Palestinian statehood, which included the equivalent (with land swaps) of 100% of the West Bank, all of Gaza, and eastern Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, was rejected by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2008.

Palestinians, like Arab leaders in ’67, have continued to say no to peace and recognition of the Jewish state.

While Guardian reporters and ‘CiF’ contributors are free to be as hostile to Israel’s existence as they wish, allowing such pro-Palestinian activists the right to engage in such polemical malice, and egregious misrepresentations of history, by characterizing the Six Day War as a Zionist ‘war of aggression’ more befits a Palestine Solidarity Campaign propaganda flyer than the virtual pages of a “serious” newspaper.

Related articles

New Year’s Eve Reflections: On the Guardian’s disproportionate focus on Israel

israel obsession imageWith 2012 coming to a close, I decided to look back at some the more popular CiF Watch posts.

First, here are the posts read most by our loyal readers – and more than a few of our opponents – over the last year.

While interest in these posts are not surprising, there was one popular post which caught my eye.  Here’s a CW post from Jan. 2, 2011, which still continues to get an awful lot of traffic.  

It was published nearly two years ago but is still garnering new viewers.

The post illustrates – via data illustrated at the site ‘Views of the World‘ – the Guardian’s egregiously disproportionate focus on the Jewish state in 2010, using the Guardian’s own compilation of of tags by country.  Specifically, stories about Israel came in 6th – behind only the UK, USA, Afghanistan, Iraq and China – in the Guardian for 2010 (1,008 stories about Israel in all).

Not surprisingly, Guardian data for 2011 showed almost identical results – despite the political turmoil and violence in the region due to the upheavals of the “Arab Spring”.

While I expect that the results for 2012 will be much the same as the prior two years, we’ll, of course, let you know when the new data is released by the Guardian.

Until then, we’d love to know your thoughts. 

While we’re continually documenting the Guardian’s institutional bias against Israel, what factors do you think contribute most to their editorial decision to devote so much space to covering – via both straight news stories and in ‘CiF’ commentary – the Jewish state?

To all of our (virtual) friends and respectful foes, here’s wishing you a Happy New Year from all of us at CiF Watch. 

What the Guardian won’t report: Happy and successful Arab citizens of Israel

H/T Elder of Ziyon

While polls indicating that Israelis are among the happiest citizens in the world are not surprising (they came in 7th in a 2011 global happiness index survey, with 63% of respondents saying were happy with their lives), a recent polls indicating that Israeli Arabs are largely content, successful and patriotic is perhaps a bit more counter-intuitive.  

Yet, According to a recent poll (“Democracy Index 2011“) on behalf of the Israel Democracy Institute, 52.8% of Arab citizens answered yes to the question of whether they are proud to be Israelis, while only 28.3% of respondents said they were “not at all proud”. Additionally, the same poll demonstrated that 45% of Arab citizens of Israel agreed that it is “important or very important” to strengthen the military might of Israel, while the  percentage that responded that it “wasn’t important” to them was only 29%.

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Israeli border patrol officers protect Arab citizens during rocket attack on Nov. 17

Additionally, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post, an Education Ministry summary of 2011 test scores showed that Israeli students (from all sectors of society) registered their highest scores on international tests since they started being recorded in the 1990s.  In math, for instance, Israelis are now ranked 7th in the world based on test scores.

The report concluded that Israel’s Arabs, while lagging behind their Hebrew-speaking counterparts, also scored higher than in previous years in mathematics, sciences and reading comprehension.

However, even more interesting is how well Israeli Arabs performed in math, reading, and science compared to their counterparts in Arab countries.

Elder of Ziyon wrote the following:

In reading, fourth grade Israeli Arabs scored 479 (vs. 568 for Hebrew-speakers.) But no Arab country scored higher – UAE 439, Saudi Arabia 430, Qatar 425, Oman 391.

In science, eighth grade Israeli Arabs scored 481 (520 for Hebrew speakers.) Compare to UAE 465, Bahrain 452, Jordan 449, Morocco 376 – and the PA with 420.

In math, eighth grade Israeli Arabs scored 465 (vs. 536 for Hebrew speakers.) Compare that to UAE 456, Lebanon 449, Morocco 391, Oman 366 – and the PA with 404.

Additionally, I’ve previously citedpoll indicating that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians living in eastern Jerusalem (citizens or permanent residents) not only don’t want to divide Jerusalem as part of any future peace agreement, but, when asked if they would consider moving to a city in the new Palestinian state if their Jerusalem neighborhood became part of Israel, 54% said they wouldn’t move, with only 27% expressing their desire to move.

Such polls on Arab happiness and their relative academic success generally wouldn’t come as too big of a surprise to Israelis who work, socialize and otherwise come into daily contact with their fellow Israeli citizens.  

However, you can be assured that such reports would likely never find their way into the Guardian.

 

Jews and Arabs at the Dead Sea

Jews and Arabs at the Dead Sea