Huffington Post UK Corrects: No ‘West Bank’ Airstrikes by IDF

Cross posted from CAMERA

CAMERA’s Israel office has prompted a Huffington Post UK correction of a headline which had incorrectly referred to airstrikes in the West Bank. In fact, while the Gaza Strip has been subjected to airstrikes following a barrage of rocket attacks from that territory into southern Israel, there have been no West Bank airstrikes.
 
Editors also promptly corrected the accompanying July 1 article by Paul Vale, which had falsely asserted that the airstrikes were in response to the murders of the three Israeli teens, Gil-Ad Shaar, Naftali Frankel and Eyal Yifrach. In fact, the airstrikes on 24 targets in the Gaza Strip were in response to the aforementioned 18 rocket attacks on Israel.
 
A screen capture of the erroneous headline and article, first noted earlier today on CAMERA’s Snapshots blog, follows:
huffpost airstrikes

CAMERA staff contacted Huffington Post editors, noting that the airstrikes in the Gaza Strip were a response to the rocket fire coming from there, not to the murder of the three teens. The Huffington Post article is itself hyperlinked to an Associated Press story, also on the Huffington Post UK site, which notes that the Israeli military said it was rocket fire from the Gaza Strip which led to the airstrikes there:

Early Tuesday, Israel carried out an especially intense series of airstrikes in Gaza, saying it had struck 34 targets across the Hamas-controlled territory. The military said the airstrikes were a response to a barrage of 18 rockets fired into Israel since late Sunday.

As a result, editors immediately corrected both the headline and text, which now appear as follows:
huffpost airstrikes corrected
CAMERA commends Huffington Post UK for its timely and forthright corrections.

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.]

Is ‘Federation of Student Islamic Societies’ (FOSIS) Training the Violent Extremists of Tomorrow?

This is cross posted by Hasan Afzal at Huffington Post

University Islamic Societies have been described as conveyor belts‘ for extremism and terrorism. There may be some truth in this. After all, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, better known to you and I as the underwear bomber, who tried to make a martyr of himself by attempting to detonate a bomb in an airplane en route to the US was the president of UCL Islamic Society. Amazingly, Malcolm Grant, the vice-chancellor of the University, tried to later claim that campus extremism is ‘made up‘.

The ‘conveyor belt’ theory follows the line that young Muslims enrol into university as liberal-minded, impressionable students only to be indoctrinated by extremist Islam and turned into insular, backward-thinking, extremely conservative Muslims. In turn, the mindset of these students can then be used by terrorist recruiters to mould them into potential bombers. The rationale is convincing as this is precisely what is thought to have happened to Abdulmutallab.

All too often we see the end product of the conveyor belt. We see the Abdulmutallabs and extremists of this world when it’s too late. Ever seen what goes on in the middle? Have you ever wanted to know how well intentioned young Muslims turn into their community’s worst nightmare? I can give you a sneak peak.

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), the umbrella organisation that represents most Islamic Societies, likes to make-believe that it has no part to play in turning young Muslims into extremists.

If that is the case, why is FOSIS hosting an event with a vicious hate preacher to an audience described as “exclusively for the leaders of London Islamic Societies”?

A concerned Muslim student provided us with a link (in case it is shut, have a look at this screenshot) inviting that person to a religious gathering. The concerned student had reason to be worried for Haitham al-Haddad would be speaking at that event.

Haitham al-Haddad is an extremist. Let’s have a look at what this man believes in:

The Arab-Israeli conflict is one of our generation’s biggest challenges. To solve the conflict, it will take time, nuance and a lot of patience. But, that’s not how al-Haddad it. Like other extremists, he takes the far-right view that the conflict is one against Muslims and Jews (ignoring the fact that Israel’s population is one-fifth Arab).

In a video on YouTube, al-Haddad’s advice to Muslims is to “be ready to pay the price for this victory from our blood”.  You read that correctly. Whilst NGOs and governments across the world try to bring both sides together in peace, Mr al-Haddad has told Muslims to be ready to die. Indeed, al-Haddad’s opinion on the Gaza conflict is to tell Muslims, “to prepare themselves for jihad, all over the world.”

 

Furthermore, Haitham al-Haddad runs such a Sharia court. Sharia law brings untold, and often unheard, misery to moderate Muslims in the United Kingdom (just have a look at the brilliant work of One Law for All). There are many stories of women being denied justice because they are forced by their families or communities to go through the unfair and unjust sharia court system in the UK.

Al-Haddad’s tribunal has issued a number of judgements (otherwise known as fatwas). In a question asked to him on why sharia law considers two women the equivalent of one man, he answers with the following, “The text (Surah Al-Baqara 2:282) which requires two female witnesses in place of one male witness, gives a clear reason for it i.e. “if one of them forgets, the other reminds her.” Is this derogatory to the status of the women or is it a revealed secret about the nature of the women?”. The misogyny and extremism is laid bare.

In another judgement, al-Haddad was asked if stoning and hand lopping should be discontinued as a barbaric practice. al-Haddad’s answer was, “As a Muslim we should know that our religion is perfect without any imperfection as Allah says, ‘this day, I have perfected your religion for you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion’. Therefore, belittling them or calling them as out-of-date constitutes disbelief as Allah says.”

A final example of the sick mind of Haitham al-Haddad comes in a fatwa asked of him what to do if a woman refuses to sleep with her husband due to a history of childhood sexual abuse. His answer is that should that woman refuse to sleep with her husband, “angels will curse” her.

So, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies London is inviting someone whose views would render him a sociopath in a decent-thinking person’s judgement. This is what young Muslims in Islamic Societies across the country are taught, they are taught to hate the very society that has brought them up. Just don’t be surprised when the next Abdulmutallab decides come off the conveyor belt and into the news headlines.

I challenge Nabil Ahmed, the president of FOSIS, and FOSIS London to explain why they are inviting such a nightmarish individual to their ‘religious gathering’?

What good can this man do to the minds of young Muslims?

Follow Hasan Afzal on Twitterwww.twitter.com/hasanafzal

 

Ali Abunimah Tweets for a third violent Intifada

Ali Abunimah, who was published at ‘Comment is Free’ and The Huffington Post through 2009, is a Palestinian American journalist who’s argued that Zionism is inherently incompatible with human rights, is an opponent of the existence of a Jewish state within any borders, has characterized Israel as a supremacist” state, and has approvingly cited those who compare Israeli behavior to Nazi Germany. 

Abunimah is also co-founder of the site, Electronic Intifada.

More recently, Abunimah, from the safety of his Chicago home, Tweeted the following.

The essay at Electronic Intifada he linked to explicitly calls for another Intifada – necessarily evoking the 2nd Intifada, which, from 2000 through 2004, claimed over 1,000 innocent Israeli lives.

Ali Abunimah believes Israel is based on a Jewish “supremacist” ideology, has no right to exist and whose end should be facilitated by a coordinated campaign of violence against its civilians – men, women and children who, per such moral calculus, are fair game.

Its getting harder and harder to understand how such anti-Israel activists can be characterized as “progressive” in even the broadest sense of the word.

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.

Jody McIntyre, shunned by mainstream media after his pro-riot activism, welcomed by the Guardian

After Jody McIntyre was axed by the Independent, Huffington Post, and Channel 4 for inciting Brits to join the devastating UK riots, we, at CiF Watch, joked among ourselves that it was only a matter of time before the Guardian offered him a forum.

Well, one thing I’ll say about the Guardian is that they never disappoint and, at times, their behavior is beyond even the silliest parody or satire that we could possibly conjure.

True to form, and quite comically, the Guardian indeed sought out McIntyre’s sage advice (on the issue of proper police procedure!) in “Riot cases take the legal fast track but guess who’s still waiting for justice?”, Aug. 26.

McIntyre, whose pro-riot Tweets during the height of the violence – as well as his earlier expressed desire to set London alight” – would seem to render any commentary on proper policing techniques, let’s just say, a bit skewed, clearly remains unapologetic and undeterred.

So, without an ounce of remorse for having attempted to further flame the destruction and violence on London streets which raged for days – and, which included assaults on police and firemen – plays the role of victim in launching his rhetorical assault against UK Authorities.

McIntyre’s piece begins by leveraging his encounter with London police on Dec. 9th (during the riots inspired by protests over increased college tuition), in which he was arrested for ignoring repeated polite requests by police to clear the street, and audaciously demands, from police, an apology for their behavior during the encounter.

McIntyre’s scattered polemic further mocks portrayals of the rioters, by the UK media, as “mindless thugs” , condemns the UK’s participation in recent military actions against Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi (see him spouting pro-Gaddafi propaganda here), and, most audaciously, engages in another rhetorical assault which has the effect of undermining, and inciting against, the beleaguered UK police.

Says, McIntyre:

Hundreds of people have died in police custody in recent years, but no officers have been successfully prosecuted. The government has no moral authority to condemn human rights abuses in other countries, let alone send SAS forces and humanitarian bombs to “protect” those rights, when our own police force, or “forces loyal to Cameron” in BBC-speak, are committing crimes in our own country. [emphasis mine]

The riots, which McIntyre attempted to stoke, it should be noted, resulted in 186 police injuries (including many head injuries), 16 civilian injuries, 5 deaths, and millions of Pounds worth of property damage to homes and businesses. 

While the Guardian’s sympathetic portrayal of the rioters, in reports, editorials, and commentary, is itself quite revealing about what has become of the far left, McIntyre’s insistence on his own immutable victimhood, and belief that he, at this point, possesses even an ounce of moral authority on the issues of civility, responsibility, law and order is beyond caricature.

McIntyre is the perfect embodiment of the extreme political pathos which informs the ideology known as the Guardian Left, and so we can likely expect to see his “liberal” voice again at Comment is Free.

Battle of the anti-Zionist blogs: Huffington Post, America’s answer to the Guardian, launches UK Edition

It looks like the anti-Israel blogosphere in the UK that the Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ has dominated for many years is about to get a new competitor.

Arianna Huffington, the multi-millionaire who recently sold the Huffington Post – which garners over 25 million unique visitors a month and is listed by Technorati as the most popular political blog in the U.S.  - to AOL for $315 million, is about to launch a UK edition of her far left behemoth.

For those unfamiliar with the Huffington Post, which I’ve been referring to as the American Guardian for some time now – due to its egregiously anti-Israel political orientation, and tolerance of anti-Semitism beneath the line - I’d suggest visiting our friends at Huffington Post Monitor and Huff-Watch.

Also see the report by CAMERA, “Has the Huffington Post become a magnet for Israel haters?

Finally, here are a couple of Huffington Post classics.

Comparing the IHH sponsored Mavi Marmara to the 1947 ship of Holocaust refugees, The Exodus:

And, here’s the Huffington Post’s legitimization of the Israeli Organ Harvesting libel:

Israel’s Never Looked So Good

This is cross posted by David Suissa, and first appeared in The Huffington Post.

They warned us. The geniuses at Peace Now warned us. The brilliant diplomats warned us. The think tanks warned us. Even the Arab dictators warned us. For decades now, they have been warning us that if you want “peace in the Middle East,” just fix the Palestinian problem. A recent variation on this theme has been: Just get the Jews to stop building apartments in East Jerusalem and Efrat. Yes, if all those Jews in the West Bank and East Jerusalem would only “freeze” their construction, then, finally, Palestinian leaders might come to the table and peace might break out.

And what would happen if peace would break out between Jews and Palestinians? Would all those furious Arabs now demonstrating on streets across the Middle East feel any better?

What bloody nonsense.

Has there ever been a greater abuse of the English language in international diplomacy than calling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the “Middle East peace process?” As if there were only two countries in the Middle East.

Even if you absolutely believe in the imperative of creating a Palestinian state, you can’t tell me that the single-minded and global obsession with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the expense of the enormous ills in the rest of the Middle East hasn’t been idiotic, if not criminally negligent.

While tens of millions of Arabs have been suffering for decades from brutal oppression, while gays have been tortured and writers jailed and women humiliated and dissidents killed, the world — yes, the world — has obsessed with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As if Palestinians — the same coddled victims on whom the world has spent billions and who have rejected one peace offer after another — were the only victims in the Middle East.

As if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has anything to do with the 1,000-year-old bloody conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, or the desire of brutal Arab dictators to stay in power, or the desire of Islamist radicals to bring back the Caliphate, or the economic despair of millions, or simply the absence of free speech or basic human rights throughout the Arab world.

While self-righteous Israel bashers have scrutinized every flaw in Israel’s democracy — some waxing hysterical that the Jewish democratic experiment in the world’s nastiest neighborhood had turned into an embarrassment — they kept their big mouths shut about the oppression of millions of Arabs throughout the Middle East.

They cried foul if Israeli Arabs — who have infinitely more rights and freedoms than any Arabs in the Middle East — had their rights compromised in any way. But if a poet were jailed in Jordan or a gay man were tortured in Egypt or a woman were stoned in Syria, all we heard was screaming silence.

Think of the ridiculous amount of media ink and diplomatic attention that has been poured onto the Israel-Palestinian conflict over the years, while much of the Arab world was suffering and smoldering, and tell me this is not criminal negligence. Do you ever recall seeing a UN resolution or an international conference in support of Middle Eastern Arabs not named Palestinians?

Of course, now that the Arab volcano has finally erupted, all those chronic Israel bashers have suddenly discovered a new cause: Freedom for the poor oppressed Arabs of the Middle East!

Imagine if, instead of putting Israel under their critical and hypocritical microscope, the world’s Israel bashers had taken Israel’s imperfect democratic experiment and said to the Arab world: Why don’t you try to emulate the Jews?

Why don’t you give equal rights to your women and gays, just like Israel does?

Why don’t you give your people the same freedom of speech and freedom to vote that Israel does? And offer them the economic opportunities they would get in Israel? Why don’t you treat your Jewish and Christian citizens the same way Israel treats its Arab and Christian citizens?

Why don’t you study how Israel has struggled to balance religion with democracy — a very difficult but not insurmountable task?

Why don’t you teach your people that Jews are not the sons of dogs but a noble, ancient people with a 3,000-year connection to the land of Israel?

Yes, imagine if Israel bashers had spent a fraction of their energy fighting the lies of Arab dictators and defending the rights of millions of oppressed Arabs. Imagine if President Obama had taken one percent of the time he has harped on Jewish settlements to defend the democratic rights of Egyptian Arabs — which he is suddenly doing now that the volcano has erupted.

Maybe it’s just easier to beat up on a free and open society like Israel.

Well, now that the cesspool of human oppression in the Arab world has been opened for all to see, how bad is Israel’s democracy looking? Don’t you wish the Arab world had a modicum of Israel’s civil society? Would you still be worrying about “stability in the Middle East?”

You can preach to me all you want about the great Jewish tradition of self-criticism — which I believe in — but right now, when I see poor Arab souls being murdered for the simple act of protesting on the street, I’ve never felt more proud of being a supporter of the Jewish state.

“How can you defend Israel?”

This was published by David Harris, Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, in the Huffington Post

I was sitting in a lecture hall at a British university. Bored by the speaker, I began glancing around the hall. I noticed someone who looked quite familiar from an earlier academic incarnation. When the session ended, I introduced myself and wondered if, after years that could be counted in decades, he remembered me.

He said he did, at which point I commented that the years had been good to him. His response: “But you’ve changed a lot.”

“How so?” I asked with a degree of trepidation, knowing that, self-deception aside, being 60 isn’t quite the same as 30.

Looking me straight in the eye, he proclaimed, as others standing nearby listened in, “I read the things you write about Israel. I hate them. How can you defend that country? What happened to the good liberal boy I knew 30 years ago?”

I replied: “That good liberal boy hasn’t changed his view. Israel is a liberal cause, and I am proud to speak up for it.”

Yes, I’m proud to speak up for Israel. A recent trip once again reminded me why.

Sometimes, it’s the seemingly small things, the things that many may not even notice, or just take for granted, or perhaps deliberately ignore, lest it spoil their airtight thinking.

It’s the driving lesson in Jerusalem, with the student behind the wheel a devout Muslim woman, and the teacher an Israeli with a skullcap. To judge from media reports about endless inter-communal conflict, such a scene should be impossible. Yet, it was so mundane that no one, it seemed, other than me gave it a passing glance. It goes without saying that the same woman would not have had the luxury of driving lessons, much less with an Orthodox Jewish teacher, had she been living in Saudi Arabia.

Continue reading

Time Magazine – The New Anti-Semitism Goes Front Page

This is cross-posted by Richard, at his blog: Essays on the Arab Israeli Conflict

A disturbing trend has been developing over the past few years. One in which vile anti-Semitic rhetoric can be found coursing through the comments section of articles on Israel or Jewish subjects in almost any mainstream media publication.

I first noticed the trend in the blog section of the British publication the Guardian UK. There the Guardian seems to have made it one of its main objectives to delegitimize the existence of Israel, and subsequently demonizes anybody that dares to support Israel. Its modus operandi is the application of the new anti-Semitism, which can be identified by two primary factors:

  1. It projects traditional anti-Semitic tropes onto Israel (the Jew of the world), that insinuate that they magically control the media or politicians (in Israel’s case, control the American government), portray them as Nazis, or as being driven solely by greed or their hunger for money
  2. The coverage and criticism of Israel is extremely disproportionate to that of other nations in similar situations or just as newsworthy for other reasons

For a separate blog post on this subject, see Israel, Europe and the New Anti-Semitism

For the most part, the Guardian was the only mainstream publication that took such bold steps to use the new anti-Semitism in mainstream blogs. It did not, however, allow its journalists to use it in regular articles, thereby being able to claim that the opinions expressed in the blog section known as Comment is Free were not necessarily their own, while still being able to promote their political agenda. The comments section of these blogs are a cesspool of barely veiled anti-Semitic sentiment. And the Guardian does little to discourage this discourse. It was so bad that a group of activists set up a monitoring website to document the anti-Semitic comments and the Guardian’s lack of actions to stop it, known as CiF Watch.

Over the course of the past two years, the phenomenon of anti-Semitic discourse in the comments sections of articles in mainstream publications has grown dramatically. All of the sudden one can find them in places like the New York Times, CNN, even the Wall Street Journal. Another location which this phenomenon has become particularly notable is the Huffington Post. It got so bad there that another activist setup a website to expose this activity in the blog The Brothers of Judea. Previously known as The Huffington Post Monitor. [Editor's note: the new site is actually called Huffington Post Monitor, not the other way around]

One of the driving questions has been why would all of these seemingly respectable mainstream publications tolerate openly anti-Semitic dialogue in their comments section. They all too often seem willing to allow it to take place unmoderated. I personally experienced this on numerous occasions in the Huffington Post. One in which the word “Zionist” was used by one of the moderators as an insult. Which is discussed in a piece I wrote titled Zionist as a Racial Slur.

Continue reading

Huffington Post Columnist, Andrew Levine: “Israel is a threat to all of us”

This is cross-posted from Huffington Post Monitor

Huffington Post blogger Andrew Levine, who usually doesn’t write about Israel and related manners, jumped headlong into the topic with a long diatribe titled “The ‘Existential Threat.’” On the surface it looks like he criticizes the way that Israel and its allies are approaching the issue of Iran’s nuclear program.

The truth is much uglier. It becomes clear by the end that Mr. Levine simply hates Israel, its existence and its nature as a home for the Jewish people. Which of course calls his whole standpoint toward the Iranian nuclear program into question, when someone who holds similar views to Ahmadinejad is out there speaking, how are we supposed to think of him as objective? So I thought I would fisk his article.

Let’s take a look at the topic of the “existential threat:”

“In reality, of course, there is nothing in the offing emanating from Iran or occupied Palestine that rises to the level of an existential threat in either sense, notwithstanding some remarks of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. According to conventional wisdom, the Iranian threat is the more serious one; in reality, it is the more fanciful. Even were Iran to succeed in building a nuclear device — an unlikely prospect in the short term, since, according to all available evidence, they are trying only to build the capacity, not the weapon itself — they would have to be suicidal to use it against Israel for any purpose other than deterrence.”

I’ll be honest. I’m not sure that I consider a nuclear Iran to be an existential threat to Israel either. But that doesn’t change the fact that Mr. Levine seems to be intentionally thinking inside a very small box for the purposes of defeating a strawman argument. Here are just a few things that Iran can do with nuclear weapons:

1) A nuclear attack. Mr. Levine doesn’t think that is likely, and neither do I, but even the possibility is problematic.
2) A nuclear attack
by proxy. It is not completely far-fetched for Iran to “accidentally” pass a nuclear weapon to Al Qaeda who then detonates it outside of Israel’s coast, or something. Or uses it in some other way to spread mischief. Just think the Sum of All Fears.
3) It can embolden radical Islamists throughout the world, including terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. Thousands of rockets flying into Israel from all sides very much can pose an existential threat to Israel, especially if they can’t respond because…
4) Iran can throw its weight around and threaten nuclear war against Israel if Israel tries something like Cast Lead.
5) This can lead to overthrows of secular governments like in Egypt and replacing them with Islamists. This can break current peace treaties with Israel which in turn can lead to a fourth Arab-Israeli war.

Continue reading

Myth Busters (Huffington Post readers’ continuing obsession with Israel)

This is cross-posted at Huffington Post Monitor.


It’s become a byline among the Huffington Posters that Israel is responsible for 9/11. Notdirectly responsible, of course (though there are a few people who think the Mossad did it), but that 9/11 was a direct result of US aid to Israel. I have often seen comments along the lines of, “Israel costs us billions per year and all we get in return is 9/11.” This is incredibly misleading because it implies that if the US did not support Israel the 9/11 attacks never would have happened. This is a myth that I will put to rest right here and now.

I’ll start with citing the Arabs themselves who did not feel that Osama Bin Laden was in any way motivated by Israeli actions against the Palestinians. The President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak said, ““Osama bin Laden made his explosions and then started talking about the Palestinians. He never talked about them before.” Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, dean of Shar’ia and Law at Qatar University said, “In their hypocrisy, many of the [Arab] intellectuals linked September 11 with the Palestinian problem — something that completely contradicts seven years of Al-Qaida literature. Al-Qaida never linked anything to Palestine.”

Even Yasser Arafat agreed: ” [ Bin Laden] “never helped us, he was working in another completely different area and against our interests.” And we know that Arafat would not turn down help from anyone, no matter how odious they were.

So then this begs the question: What was Bin Laden motivated by? This question would better be answered in a book but quite simply he didn’t like the American presence in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East. One short quote:

“The latest and the greatest of these aggressions, incurred by the Muslims since the death of the Prophet (ALLAH’S BLESSING AND SALUTATIONS ON HIM) is the occupation of the land of the two Holy Places -the foundation of the house of Islam, the place of the revelation, the source of the message and the place of the noble Ka’ba, the Qiblah of all Muslims- by the armies of the American Crusaders and their allies.”

He likes to ramble but you get the idea. Read the whole Fatwa if you like, though I would be remiss to say that there is a lot of attacks on “the Zionists” as well, however they remain of secondary importance.

Even more simply, there’s a reason why radical Muslims refer to America as “the Great Satan.” It isn’t because they simply disagree with its actions. You don’t call someone with whom you disagree “Satan,” because that term is the embodiment of all that is evil. Perhaps that distinction is a little too obvious for the Huffington Posters. If America cut off aid to Israel I find it difficult to believe that it would stop being “the Great Satan,” unless it was never all that great to begin with. Which I doubt!

So then I can’t help but wonder: Why do the Huffington Posters believe this, if it is so obviously a half-truth? Well it is common among leftists to blame America for everything bad that happens to it, but that’s pretty cold for a mainstream internet community. But they also don’t like to hold Muslim terrorists accountable for their own actions, so that’s out as well. Maybe this works as a middle ground: They can blame America (not really) and also use the 9/11 attacks to foster their own political agenda, i.e. cutting American ties with Israel. It also works out quite nicely when you combine this theory with the Zionist Occupied Government conspiracy theory which is also common on the Huffington Post. Hey, maybe the Jews are directly responsible for 9/11 after all…

The Indecency of the Flotillas

A guest post by AKUS

It is possible that on Sunday, August 22, a ship (incorrectly named a “flotilla” in most media accounts) will set sail from Lebanon for Gaza?

Attempts have been made to paint this as a “women’s initiative”, but it is quite clear that the moving spirit behind this is Yasser Kashlak, a male Syrian of Palestinian origin. Kashlak’s ship  is ostensibly bringing needed medical supplies (including unnamed “cancer drugs”!), food to pile onto Gaza’s  already overloaded market stalls and squeeze into the well-stocked UNRWA warehouses, and “educational supplies” (one can only guess what those are) for the benefit of Gaza’s children.

If the much-delayed ship leaves port it will carry a group of women to “break the blockade” of Gaza. The use of a group of women has been heavily publicized as a way to demonstrate Israeli “brutality”, if the ship is intercepted by Israel, and to whip up anti-Israeli hysteria. Press TV, for example, has already run a clip claiming that Israel intends to kill the women. As an additional PR ploy, Kashlak has renamed the ship the “Mariam” (the Virgin Mary) to attract the attention of Christian groups. It is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that this ship is nothing more than yet another propaganda stunt aimed at Israel.

There are no flotillas being sent to the refugee townships maintained as true prison camps by the Lebanese in Lebanon where refugees have been kept bottled up for 60 years:

Continue reading

Ahmed Moor: Destroy Israel! (Part 3)

This is cross-posted from Huffington Post Monitor (formerly known as ‘Brothers of Judea’)

I’m continuing the fisking of Ahmed Moor’s latest singling out of Israel for attack,Israel Cannot Be Both Jewish and Democratic.

“Israeli pundits frequently insist that their state is both Jewish and democratic. They say that minorities in Israel have equal rights and representation in state apparatuses. That’s not true, but it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that roughly 20% of Israelis are not Jewish. And those non-Jews are meeting one another, falling in love, and having children. To borrow Netanyahu’s words, it is these children that are a “threat to the Jewish and democratic character of the State of Israel.”

First of all, do those “Israeli pundits” include Jimmy Carter, Mr. Moor? Because he says that minorities in Israel do have equal rights. No offense, but I’d be willing to believe even him over you.

Secondly, Mr. Moor’s link to claim that “that’s not true,” is in Arabic (thanks a lot) but thanks to Google Translate I was able to read some of what they had to say. And what they have to say is mostly just complaining and calling for “justice” in response to what Israel has done this time, which includes demolishing unrecognized villages and policemen getting out of line. I admit that I didn’t cover the website as thoroughly as I could have but nothing I found contradicted Mr. Moor’s complaints that minorities (who aren’t just Arabs, by the way) don’t have equal rights and aren’t represented. Maybe he was hoping none of us would actually look at his link.

Continue reading