‘Palsbara’ Watch: The ACTUAL Truth about ‘Palestine’

Over at the blog Huffington Post Monitor, Zach writes:

There’s a new video making its way around “debunking” Danny Ayalon’s video that came out (wait for it) two years ago. As is usually the case with ‘Palsbara’, insults, ridicule, whining, the race card, and straw man arguments take the place of actual arguments. So Matt and I thought we would create a video debunking their debunking.

Here’s their video reply, The ACTUAL Truth about ‘Palestine’.

An extremist named Sharmine Narwani finds a home at ‘Comment is Free’

Cross posted by Zach at Huffington Post Monitor

It isn’t an easy title to win, but Sharmine “Dignity Rockets” Narwani is probably the most loathsome of all the Huffington Post bloggers, past or present. We’ve documented in the past her hatred for AmericaIsrael (of course), and Huffington Post bloggers who dare to say stuff that she doesn’t like. She’s a liaran anti-Semite, and a propagandist, not to mention a proud terrorism supporter. If all that doesn’t convince you, check out this page of quotes here.

Sharmine_Narwani

Of course it goes without saying that being an insulting, lying, anti-Semitic, America hating supporter of terrorism isn’t enough to get one removed from the Huffington Post. That’s exactly the kind of thing that they like to see. The problem is that Narwani went a bridge too far and started defending the regime in Syria while it was bombing its own people. This caused her to be removed from the Huffington Post and sent to Al-Akhbar and Veteran’s Today, where presumably the readership would mirror her views to a larger degree. 

Fortunately for her, she has found a website far left enough to take her in, despite this long, ugly and checkered history. This website would be the Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’, of course! Were you expecting anything less? Narwani hits the ground running with a stalwart defense of the Assad regime in the grand tradition of calling everyone who isn’t her a liar.

Here is how she starts off:

“Less than two months after the UN announced “shocking” new casualty figures in Syria, its high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay estimates that deaths are “probably now approaching 70,000″. But two years into a Syrian conflict marked by daily death tolls, the question arises as to whether these kinds of statistics are helpful in any way? Have they helped save Syrian lives? Have they shamed intransigent foes into seeking a political solution? Or might they have they contributed to the escalation of the crisis by pointing fingers and deepening divisions?”

This paragraph is rich on so many levels. First of all, if the UN were to report tomorrow “shocking” numbers of Palestinians had been killed by Israel, do you think Narwani’s reaction would be the same? She would use it as the perfect excuse to fight harder.

Secondly, once again the UN, so beloved when it is passing toothless resolutions bashing Israel, is thrown under the bus once again when it doesn’t toe the left-wing line.

Finally, and most unbelievably, Narwani seems to be saying that if the fact that seventy thousand people are dead isn’t ‘helpful,’ then no one should know about it. That is not only an extremely heartless point of view, it actually contributes to the ongoing fighting there. Narwani seems to want to have it both ways: if the outside world won’t intervene, then no one should know about the death toll in Syria. On the other hand, if no one knows about the death toll then why would anyone intervene?

If you are wondering where she is going with this, after dismissing the death toll of 70,000 she then seeks to deny it:

“Syria’s death toll leapt from 45,000 to 60,000 earlier this year, a figure gathered by a UN-sponsored project to integrate data from seven separate lists. The new numbers are routinely cited by politicians and media as fact, and used to call for foreign intervention in the conflict.

But Rami Abdulrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), whose casualty data are part of this count, calls the UN’s effort “political” and the results “propaganda”.”

SOHR may claim to be opposed to the regime, but Abdulrahman and Narwani are more or less saying the same thing: that the UN’s toll isn’t completely accurate. I say: does it really matter whether 45,000 are dead or 60,000? The point is that way too many people are dying in a terrible, ugly conflict. Ah, but Narwani has something to say about that as well:

“But questions about the accuracy of casualty numbers is only part of the story. Dig deeper, and it’s clear that this data also offers an insight into the Syrian conflict at odds with the story that this is essentially about a brutal regime killing peaceful civilians.” 

Maybe I read the news with more cynicism than Narwani does, but here is what I was thinking about Syria:

1) It is a brutal regime in power. However, the rebels are also populated by Islamists.
2) The regime has no problem killing civilians if they think it will advance their interests.
3) During this fighting a lot of civilians have been killed.

I never gave the rebels a free pass and neither did most people, at least as far as I can tell. But as usual, Narwani just has to take it one step further and apologize for the Assad regime that she loves:

“It’s time to stop headlining unreliable and easily politicised casualty counts, and use them only as one of several background measures of a conflict. It’s essential too that the media help us avoid such manipulation by asking questions about reported deaths: how were these deaths verified? Are they combatants? Who killed them? How do we know this? Who benefits from these deaths? Was this a violent death or one caused by displacement? How is it even possible to count all these dead in the midst of raging conflict?”

Believe me, I see where this is going quite clearly. Have a good time on CiF, Narwani. You’ll fit right in.

 

Huffington Post Promotes Anti-Semitic Cartoonist, Carlos Latuff

Cross posted by Matt at Huffington Post Monitor

The Huffington Post, allegedly a mainstream, balanced news media outlet, has covered and promoted the work of anti-Semitic cartoonist Carlos Latuff. The Huffington Post, its editors, and its owner, Arianna Huffington, have created a safe, welcoming space for all manner of Jew haters to spread their rhetoric and ideas.

On at least not onenot two, but three articles about Gaza, the Huffington Post published this news tidbit:

In case you can’t see the cartoon clearly enough, here’s a link to it. It’s a cartoon of Israeli PM Netanyahu wringing votes for himself out of a (presumably Palestinian) baby, a modern twist on the classic blood libel against Jews. 

The Huffington Post and its reporter that published this story, Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, seem to have no problem with this anti-Semitic cartoon, publishing it with no condemnation and in fact support, with Shihab-Eldin claiming Ha’aretz reported Netanyahu’s approval ratings have increased.

There is no other explanation for the decision to publish this news story other than the Huffington Post considers Latuff’s hateful cartoons to be legitimate political opinions that not only belong in mainstream discourse, but worthy of the Huffington Post’s readerships’ attention. 

Why is the Huffington Post publishing the hate filled rants of anti-Semites as if it is respectable, news worthy opinions?

[Editor’s note: Please see additional background on Latuff here, here, here, here and here.  See additional Latuff cartoons about Israel here.  Below is a larger version of the Latuff cartoon seen above. – A.L.]

Video: BDS leader Omar Barghouti making blatantly racist remark

This is cross posted by Zach at Huffington Post Monitor.

Gilad Atzmon found this video of Omar Barghouti (who you probably know from his boycott work) putting his foot squarely in his mouth:

The video is only a minute long but there is oh so much information packed into it. For example Barghouti declares that he won’t be lectured on violence by a “white person” why? Because “the white race is the most violent in history of mankind.” Isn’t that special.

Atzmon found the video from Deliberation, which is a left-wing site. Deliberation had some uncomfortable questions as well:

“But there is also another acute question that deserves our immediate attention. Why exactly the ‘socialist’ crowd in Chicago is so exited by Barghouti’s Racist remark? Is it possible that our so-called ‘progressive’ panthers have changed their spots, are they now in favour if [sic] racism? 

“I guess that Ben White, another spokesman for the BDS movement, may have an answer to offer. In a recent New Statesman article he foolishly admitted that that BDS “is a strategy, not a principle.” 

“I guess that this is indeed very concerning about the BDS . It is not principled at all. A BDS prominent leader happens to spread racist remarks while enrolling to a ‘Zionist’ academic institute which he expects us to boycott. Another BDS prominent spokesman admits that the BDS is “not principled”. Meanwhile in the UK BDS attempts to destroy Israeli Habima theatre but does nothing to promote a Palestinian theatre from Ramallah. As the BDS buying itself a name of a dedicated book burning institution, we learn that trade between Israel and Britain grew last year by 34%. 

“If BDS is an important humanitarian call and, we in Deliberation believe it is, it better be managed and represented by people who are slightly more principled and certainly more clever and astute.

I would say of course that BDS has been racist from it’s very beginning. This latest admission by Barghouti only helps to prove it.

Finkelstein: “BDS Movement is a Cult.” (The video anti-Zionists didn’t want you to see)

BDS activists posted, then removedthis YouTube video of Norman Finkelstein blasting the BDS movement  – Yes, Norman Finkelstein! – during an interview with a pro-BDS activist at Imperial College, with an interlocutor who, no doubt, thought Finkelstein was on board.

Here’s what you saw when trying to access the video following its removal.

However, thanks to our friends Zach and Matt at Huffington Post Monitor (HPM), who downloaded the video (and trimmed the original 30 minute video to include only the sections calling out the BDSers) the clip anti-Israel activists didn’t want you to see is now available.

Here’s a transcript of the shortened clip, courtesy of HPM, as well:

I’ve earned my right to speak my mind, and I’m not going to tolerate what I think is silliness, childishness, and a lot of leftist posturing.

I mean we have to be honest, and I loathe the disingenuous. They don’t want Israel. They think they are being very clever; they call it their three-tier. We want the end of the occupation, the right of return, and we want equal rights for Arabs in Israel. And they think they are very clever because they know the result of implementing all three is what, what is the result? 

You know and I know what the result is. There’s no Israel! And if you don’t want the same framework then stop talking about the law and stop trying to be so clever. Because you’re only so clever in your cult. The moment you step out you have to deal with Israeli propaganda. And here they have a case.

They say no they’re not really talking about rights. They’re talking about they want to destroy Israel. And in act I think they’re right I think that’s true. I’m not going to lie. But this kind of duplicity and disingenuous, “oh we’re agnostic about Israel.” No you’re not agnostic! You don’t want it! Then just say it! But they know full well: If you say it you don’t have a prayer reaching a broad public. Because that’s where the public is right now.

I support the BDS. But I said it will never reach a broad public until and unless they’re explicit in their goal. And their goal has to include the recognition of Israel or it’s a nonstarter. It won’t reach the public because the moment you go out there Israel will start to say what about we and they won’t recognize our right and in fact that’s correct. You can’t answer the Israelis on that because they’re making a statement that’s factually correct. It’s not an accidental and unwitting omission that BDS does not mention Israel. You know that and I know that

It’s not like they’re “oh we forgot to mention it.” They won’t mention it because they know it will split the movement. Cause there’s a large segment of the movement that wants to eliminate Israel. 

You talk about BDS they make all these claims about their victories. All their claims. You know what? You use these ten fingers? These more than suffice to count all their victories. There are superfluous fingers here to count all their victories. It’s a cult! Where the guru says we have all these victories and everyone nods their head and no one sits down to do the arithmetic on their own.

Yes it’s had some victories no question about it. But the way people promote it as if it’s proven itself and we’re on the verge of a victory of some sort. It’s just sheer nonsense. It’s a cult. And I personally am tired of it. 

There’s no Israel. That’s what it’s really about. And you think you’re fooling anybody. You think you’re so clever that people can’t figure that out for themselves? No they understand the arithmetic perfectly well. Are you going to reach a broad public which is going to hear the Israeli side ‘they want to destroy us?’ No you’re not. And frankly you know what you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t read a broad public because you’re dishonest. And I wouldn’t trust those people if I had to live in this state. I wouldn’t. It’s dishonesty.

See full video here.

What does it mean to be pro-Israel? A response to MJ Rosenberg

The following essay was written by our friend Zach, at Huffington Post Monitor.  

In this post I hope to have a different kind of conversation, as we write a response to MJ Rosenberg’s latest piece on the Huffington Post, which will serve as a kind of follow up to our setting the record straight about his political views. Rosenberg set down his opinions on the subject of AIPAC, Iran, Israel and the occupation, and for once this conversation was free of insults like “Israel firster.”

This is an important topic so I wanted to try to discuss it without insults or the mud slinging that happens too often when bloggers cross words. With that in mind, let’s get into it. This article will take on three sections: What Pro-Israel Means, Perceptions About Jews, and What Anti-Israel Means.

Part 1: What Pro-Israel Means.

In sum, Rosenberg repeats his point, that Jews who don’t hold his political views are thereal anti-Israel people because they let Israel pursue policies that make peace impossible. And therefore that people like him who criticize Israel mercilessly are really pro-Israel.:

“It is precisely because I want Israel to exist in peace and security that I oppose the occupation (and, just as much, the insane idea of bombing Iran which could ultimately lead to the destruction of the entire Israeli state).”

I don’t think that it is such a controversial idea that simply being against certain Israeli policies doesn’t mean someone isn’t pro-Israel, and I think that you’ll find most American and Israeli Jews have a lot to criticize about Israel’s government no matter who is in power. “Peace now” and “end the occupation” has been the mantra of the Israeli left for some time, so Rosenberg is hardly alone in making these claims.

Where we disagree, though, is that in my humble opinion Rosenberg and others like him don’t give much thought to the other side of the story. The occupation is most assuredly not a good thing, but opponents to the occupation don’t seem to acknowledge that those Israeli soldiers are there for a reason. If the occupation ends, and buses start blowing up in Jerusalem again, can anyone honestly say that ending the occupation was a “pro-Israel” move? If letting Iran gain nuclear weapons leads to Israel’s nuclear annihilation, will Rosenberg hold fast to his guns that he was still being “pro-Israel” when he lobbied against bombing Iran? This is not to endorse either of those policies per se, it is merely to point out that being anti-occupation isn’t clearly or inarguable pro-Israel. 

Of course, some of this is opinion about the consequences of making these decisions. The Left holds fast to their belief that Palestinian terrorism is caused only by the occupation, and to end the occupation would end the terror. This thesis was literally blown to pieces by the Second Intifada, but somehow it manages to stick around, possibly because there is no alternative that fits leftist politics.

Which is why in the end groups like AIPAC and most stereotypical “pro-Israel” organizations take the attitude of “what Israel wants, we want.” This infuriates Rosenberg because he thinks Israel is going down the wrong path and AIPAC is gladly helping them along. As someone from the outside looking in, I don’t know who to side with: AIPAC who marches in lockstep with Israel’s government, or Rosenberg who marches in lockstep with leftist ideology. Both of them advocate policies that I might consider not in Israel’s best interests, and both of them would be happy to insult me if I don’t play their game. In the end, like most American Jews, I’ll just have to hold the opinions that I have and not be afraid to express them. And if that makes me a “hippie” or a “Israel firster,” that will have to be the way it goes. The alternative in my mind is far worse.

Part 2: Perceptions of Jews

Also contained in Rosenberg’s article is why he goes on Arab television and criticizes Israel…up to a point. Why is this?

“I do that because doing so helps to defuse the negative image many Arabs and some pro-Palestinian people here have about Jews.Thanks to the pervasive influence of AIPAC and its satellites, they believe that virtually all Jews support the occupation, oppose Palestinian rights and even the rights of Muslims in the United States. By the same token, they believe that Jews who do support the Palestinian cause are either anti-Zionist, anti-Israel, or defectors from the Jewish people.”

I find this paragraph to be informative on many different levels. I disagree with it partially on a factual level and partially on an ideological level.

You see, growing up I was always told that if someone is racist, or bigoted, or xenophobic, it’s that person’s fault. In other words, if you hold a prejudice about black people, it is yourjob to go and learn about them and educate yourself. It is not the responsibility of blacks to send out spokespeople to talk about the way black people think. If some number of white Americans still think blacks are all criminals, it is not the fault of black people for not educating them well enough nor is it the fault of black people if they experience racism. So in this situation, if Arabs believe bigoted things about Jews, it’s not the fault of the Jews to educate them otherwise. And I certainly wouldn’t elect MJ Rosenberg for the position of head educator either. Arabs have just as much access to information as anyone else, they don’t have an excuse to believe bigoted things. 

I also think that Rosenberg has stumbled into something without realizing what he’s getting into. The whole question of Arab perceptions about Jews is bigger than “occupation,” but he doesn’t seem to realize it. Anti-Semitic myths are still very prevalent in the Arab world. It doesn’t matter that an Arab watching television grows to realize that not all Jews support the occupation if most Arabs still think that Jews bake matzah with the blood of Muslim children. No words from Rosenberg can possibly hope to overcome centuries of myths passed along and held by millions of people all across the Middle East, especially when Rosenberg only very rarely speaks out against those myths. If anything, Rosenberg reinforces those bigoted beliefs because anti-Semites will read Rosenberg and say to themselves, “It must be true that the occupation exists purely to torture Palestinian babies if even Jews are speaking out against Israel.”

This also returns to the problem of what is pro-Israel. Rosenberg gripes that Arabs think that Jews “oppose Palestinian rights,” but let’s not forget that in the minds of many Arabs, “Palestinian rights” includes flooding Israel with refugees and making Jews a minority in their own country, to say nothing of murdering Jews in their homes. Do Americans Jews oppose that? Certainly! Does Rosenberg? I would hope so. If so, that makes him just another American Jew opposed to “inalienable Palestinian rights.” This is merely one small part of a disconnect that has made this conflict so intractable: Palestinian supporters believe one thing, actual Palestinians believe another.

And finally, something I find a little annoying about this selection was his immediate pointing of the finger at “AIPAC and its satellites.” AIPAC has a lot to be criticized for, but it’s ridiculous that Rosenberg believes that they are any worse than Arab media, from Hamas preachers to Valley of the Wolves. Maybe Arabs here in America will shake their fist at AIPAC, but we only need to take a look at the words of Palestinian leaders to get the picture. This AIPAC-blame was just another political cheap shot, made even worse by its obvious origin in leftism: Arabs can’t possibly be responsible for their own opinions, it must be because of foolish Jews! I am not so willing to let the collective Arab world off the hook. Maybe we can put that down as another agree to disagree moment.

Part 3: What Anti-Israel Means

Rosenberg goes out on a limb slightly here. He declares that none of the following is “anti-Israel:”

“[It is a] fact that Israel continuously violates the fundamental human rights of the Palestinians of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem). Nor over the fact that war crimes were committed during the 2009 war in Gaza, regardless of what Justice Goldstone says in his next Op-ed. Nor that the policy that inflicts “collective punishment” on the people of Gaza is wrong by any standard.”

Why is this not anti-Israel, according to Rosenberg? Because pretending that everything is fine in Israel is actually dangerous because it encourages further bad behavior, etc etc. But like in Part 1, I feel that Rosenberg is not entirely thinking through the consequences of these events. Let’s take through every one of them.

This “fact” about human rights in the West Bank. It’s so poorly defined that I don’t know what I would disagree with, but suffice to say the situation in the West Bank is not a good one. The problem is that there are people around the world who believe that Israel is not a legitimate state and will find any excuse they can to explain why it shouldn’t exist. And they are always searching for a chance to portray Israel as a serial human rights violator,worse than every other state in the world put together. Rosenberg looks at Israel’s situation in the West Bank in a vacuum, as if Israel’s detractors around the world aren’t licking their chops at every word he writes. Rosenberg dismisses what he calls the “genocide census” as small and inconsequential. That’s his opinion, I feel differently. When people slander Israel as “worse than Nazi Germany” or “worse than apartheid South Africa” that is code for “dismantle Israel.” I don’t see how it is “pro-Israel” to help these people achieve their goals.

Second we have Goldstone and the blockade. Again I feel that Rosenberg is looking at these issues in a vacuum. If Israeli soldiers were convicted of war crimes and thrown into prison, he would probably be smiling from ear to ear. But do you know what might happen next?

1. Anti-Israel propaganda campaigns around the world would receive a massive boost, with the aforementioned “genocide consensus” declaring that they were right all along, that Israel truly is a war criminal state that should be wiped from the pages of history.
2. Rockets will fall on Israel but the IDF won’t fight back, afraid that next time they will be the ones thrown in prison on trumped up charges of war crimes.
3. Lawfare organizations around the world will search for more clearly biased panels to find Israel guilty of “crimes” common to every other nation around the world. 

I have a feeling that Rosenberg would immediately call me “paranoid” for considering all of this, or maybe that I am “an apologist for war crimes.” But it’s only because I don’t feel that he looks at the consequences of these things further than five minutes down the line. How is emboldening Hamas to continue a low intensity rocket war against Sderot and Ashkelon “pro-Israel?” How is aiding organizations like the BDS movement and the ISM “pro-Israel?” How is helping to isolate Israel and spread a false message about it “pro-Israel?”

And of course, what goes unmentioned is any culpability on the Arab side for any of this. For a guy who claims to be pro-Israel, Rosenberg has very little criticism for anyone who isn’t Jewish. Search the article, but you won’t find even the tiniest bit of blame for this conflict on the Palestinians or their Arab allies. We can argue about to what extent Israel is responsible for the situation but I can’t imagine that even Rosenberg thinks the Arabs’ hands are entirely clean.

Maybe Rosenberg can explain that to me how all this makes sense but I can’t for the life of me see how. Maybe we will never come to a consensus about this: I see him as hopelessly out of touch with the truly nature of Israel’s enemies in terms of their size, strength, and motivations. He no doubt seems me as hopelessly out of touch with how destructive AIPAC and Netanyahu’s government are, and that I am blowing the hate toward Israel completely out of proportion. But meanwhile, over there, life goes on. One way or another.

Mya Guarnieri and Moral Equivalence

This is cross posted by Zach at Huffington Post Monitor

Just when we thought we had seen the last of her, Mya “Sue Happy” Guarnieri has made her way back on to the Huffington Post, with an article titled “Americans Shouldn’t Be Celebrating Bin Laden’s Death.” As you might expect, she is not only critical of Americans for celebrating Osama’s death (which would at least be understandable, even though I might not agree with it) but goes a step beyond that to declare moral equivalence between it and the 9/11 attacks:

“Americans — many of whom consider their so-called War on Terror morally righteous — must ask themselves if the images of their celebrations really look so different than those that they condemn…A death of a human being should never be celebrated — whether that person was an innocent or whether he or she is guilty of an unspeakable crime. Bloodshed, and rejoicing in it, only perpetuates the cycle of violence.”

Far be it from me to disagree with her, but I for one think there is a rather large difference the 9/11 attacks and the takedown of their mastermind. Perhaps I’ll leave this to one of the Huffington Posters, who said it better than I could:

But to be honest, if you can’t see the difference between what happened on September 11, 2001, and the killing of Osama Bin Laden, there isn’t anything that I could possibly say to convince you otherwise. Instead, let’s turn back to the article for a minute, as Ms. Guarnieri works in a few more anti-Western talking points:

“We must remember that a tremendous majority of the Arab and Muslim world did not revel in the horror of 9/11. The attacks were largely denounced — from Ramallah to Pakistan and almost everywhere in between.”

The thing is: This isn’t so much not true, as it is only half true. Iraq loudly announced that we got what we deserved, and though most governments condemned the attacks, non-state actors didn’t:

“Sheikh Yassin, leader of the Islamic militant group Hamas, said “no doubt this is a result of injustice the U.S practices against the weak in the world.”

From Gaza, Islamic Jihad official Nafez Azzam said “what happened in the United States today is a consequence of American policies in this region.”

And of course we know about the celebrations of Palestinians, though there is no way to know how official or widespread they were. Yaacov Lozowick has a new article about how he remains popular even in death. And of course the condemnation of Bin Laden’s long-deserved comeuppance. This isn’t to say that Al Qaeda and Bin Laden are the heroes of the Middle East, because they obviously aren’t. But this makes me wonder if Ms. Guarnieri is waffling: On the one hand, Americans are just as bad as those who celebrated the attacks. On the other, the people who celebrated the attacks are insignificant and unworthy of our attention (in which case, so are the Americans who did).

One last thing: After declaring herself to be an American-Israeli (which I did not know), she compares Americans unfavorable to Israel, in that they are both too happy when their enemies bite the dust. But then she ignores Israel’s solidarity with America after the 9/11 attacks, in stark contrast with the Palestinians. I guess even though the article is about America, it wouldn’t do to let a possible cheap shot at Israel pass by.

The Guardian’s Ian Katz Lies and Cries

This is cross posted by Zach at Huffington Post Monitor

We didn’t comment on it at the time, but recently Israeli ambassador to the UK Ron Prosor published a scathing critique of the Guardian’s coverage of the Palestine Papers. If you haven’t read it already you should do so right away and then come back here, because the Guardian has fired back in the form of an editorial by Ian Katz, Deputy Editor. The main thing we learn from the article is that though the Guardian is quite happy to attack anything they can get their hands on (and fact check later) they cannot handle being the target of criticism themselves. I’m not going to go through the whole post by I did want to hit some highlights.

Mr. Katz’s tactics on this post are somewhat short of fisking. Instead it is more in the style of “Can you believe he said that?!” repeated over and over, with the assumption that the audience would simply accept Mr. Katz’s view as true and Mr. Prosor’s view as false.  But with the Huffington Post, that’s not a bad assumption. Where this was less pronounced is in Mr. Prosor’s attacks on the Guardian itself, but we will get to that in a minute.

First we’ll talk about the Palestine Papers, where Mr. Katz continues to cling to the myths that his paper peddled:

“In a series of reports over four days, we revealed how Palestinian negotiators had made dramatic, previously unknown concessions during 2008 negotiations including an offer ofthe biggest Yerushalayim in history‘ that would allow Israel to annex all but one of the settlements in East Jerusalem…Other documents showed that Palestinian leaders had been prepared to accept the return of as few as 10,000 of the more than 5m Palestinian refugees, a dramatic shift from the PLO’s public demand that any family displaced during the 1948 conflict should be allowed to return.”

As we mentioned before, Barry Rubin has explained why the Palestine Papers smell so bad. But even if they are real, the Guardian continues to spin: When these ideas were revealed to the people, the leaders who supposedly made these “dramatic concessions” denied it, and the people reacted in fury! So how can you really call it a concession? You can’t! Unless you work for the Guardian.

The truth of the matter is that the Guardian and Al-Jazeera aren’t stupid. They knew very goddamn well what the reaction to the Palestine Papers would be. They knew that it would make the PA look like a puppet of Israel and America, that was why they published so selectively! Mr. Prosor points us to  “David Landau, a commentator way on the left of the Israeli spectrum put it, the Guardian and Al-Jazeera ‘intended to poison the Palestinians against their leaders.'” He is far from the only one, CifWatch explains in further detail just how much spinning the Guardian was doing when they published the Palestine Papers. Here is another informative fib:

“[Many people wrote for the Guardian including] the PLO’s Saeb Erekat andGuardian columnist Jonathan Freedland all of whom defended the concessions offered by the Palestinian Authority”

Really? Did Erekat defend those concessions? I find that very difficult to believe. Let’s go to the editorial itself, shall we?

“We have been accused of making great concessions to Israel behind the back of the Palestinian people. Such allegations are groundless…A careful and complete reading of the documents at hand – which goes beyond the sensationalised headlines and spin – will reveal this to be true. First and foremost, it is essential to understand that no agreement has ever been reached between the parties on any of the permanent status issues. This reality, by its very definition, renders it impossible that either party has conceded anything.”

This is what Mr. Katz calls “defending?” I couldn’t believe my eyes! Is he for real? How ironic that a Deputy Editor of a newspaper doesn’t even know what’s in his own op-ed sections!

The rest of the article is basically Mr. Katz defending the Guardian on its own merits, which I feel the folks at CifWatch are more qualified to discuss than we are. What I do know is that when Mr. Katz says that there are “a broad range of comment articles,” he is referring only to the author and subjects of the articles, not to the general tone. I once asked a Huffington Post talkbacker to find me one, just one, pro-Israel article published in the Guardian. The offer still stands. One last quotation from Mr. Katz:

“It’s a curious claim to make about a newspaper which has long been and continues to be a consistent advocate for a two-state solution — not quite the Hamas take on things.”

From my perspective, though the Guardian has been an advocate of the two-state solution, they are hardly impartial. They are also of the view that Israel is always wrong and the Palestinians are always right, which is pretty darn similar to the Hamas take on things. And as I said before, I refuse to believe that the Guardian didn’t know exactly what it was doing not only when it decided to publish the documents but when it chose which papers to publish and how to editorialize them.

I am finding it interesting that the Huffington Post appears to be becoming a home for Internet catfights such as Katz vs Prosor, Suissa vs Cohen, Narwani vs S. Cohen, and Henri-Levy vs whats-her-name. Hardly a step in the right direction, if you ask me.