Former British diplomat: Israel should dismantle its security fence for peace

Cross posted from Richard Millett’s Blog

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Sir Vincent Fean

Last Tuesday I attended yet another anti-Israel event at the London Middle East Institute based at SOAS. The last LMEI event I attended beautified Hizbollah. And last Tuesday I had another anti-Jewish insult hurled at me, to add to the long list, for merely asking a question during a Q&A.

The guest speaker last Tuesday was retired British Diplomat Sir Vincent Fean, a man who has served as a diplomat in Paris, Brussels, Libya, Damascus, Baghdad and amongst the Palestinians.  Fean said he wanted to “speak about how peace could come about in the Holy Land” and he said that he believed in “the two state solution”.

However, after his 40 minute talk I realised that Fean did not believe in Israel’s safety or its existence at all. He wanted Israel emasculated and indefensible.

Fean demanded that the “settlements” be disbanded and called the “illegal settlement enterprise” the “single most significant threat to the two state solution”.

As proof of “illegality” he invoked the Geneva Convention claiming that Israel gives inducements for Israelis to move to the West Bank. That is hardly “transfer” but it is enough for the likes of Fean to conclude that Israel is committing a breach of international law.

Fean called for Israel to dismantle its security fence, for Israel’s forces to be withdrawn from “Palestinian soil” and for Egypt to open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza.

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Telegraph reporter is skeptical about Israeli ‘claims’ of Palestinian incitement

It’s bad enough that foreign correspondents covering the region rarely if ever report on the constant incitement to violence by Hamas, Fatah and Palestinian Authority officials. But, expressions of skepticism by reporters over Israeli “claims” regarding the problem of incitement represent an even more egregious example of biased reporting, as evidence attesting to this disturbing phenomenon is ubiquitous.

Robert TaitThe Telegraph’s correspondent for Israel and the Palestinian territories, concluded his report (What is behind Israel’s spate of ‘lone wolf’ terror attacks?, Jan. 21st) on Wednesday’s Palestinian terror attack in Tel Aviv – in the context of other such attacks in recent months – thusly:

Such attacks, apparently spontaneous and carried out without any obvious group collaboration, are a headache for Israel’s security services, since they are almost impossible to prevent or predict in advance through good intelligence.

The resulting frustration was apparent on Wednesday as the country’s political establishment, from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu downwards, pointed the finger, without presenting concrete evidence, at virtually the entire Palestinian political spectrum, including the Palestinian Authority and Hamas – accusing it of complicity through “incitement”.

Tait’s incredulousness in the face of Israeli “claims” over the role played by Palestinian incitement is quite remarkable.  As Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) demonstrates, evidence abounds attesting to “ongoing violence promotion” carried out by the Palestinian Authority and Fatah. PMW recently reported that violence promotion in recent months has specifically mentioned “stabbings” and the use “knives and cleavers”.

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CiF Watch prompts Guardian correction to ‘banned Palestinian workers’ claim

An article by Mark Anderson in the Global Development section of The Guardian (Israel ignoring deaths of Thai workers on farms, Human Rights Watch claims, Jan. 21) included this claim.

Original

The claim that “Israel banned Palestinians from working in the country” is not true.

Israel did place certain restrictions on Palestinian workers in the late 80s and early 90s in response to the First Intifada, and began requiring entry and exit permits which were granted in part based on individual security screenings of potential workers. However, though these restrictions resulted in a drop in the number of Palestinian workers in Israel, there was never a ban.

Today, more than 47,000 work permits are issued annually. 

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How disinformation works: science and tech magazine misleads on Jerusalem

How It Works is a science and tech magazine launched in 2009, and is published by the UK-based Imagine Publishing.

The magazine, available in print, digital and online editions, describes itself thusly:

How it Works’ expert explanations, dynamic cutaways and breathtaking images provide fuel for imaginations across all ages, helping its eager audience to understand and explore the wonders of the modern world, and making complex topics into accessible entertainment. How it Works stands for clarity, authority, intelligence and knowledge, which is why the brand is successful worldwide in all its forms – print, digital and online.

The latest edition, Volume 5, is currently on sale. A friend purchased one this week at a Toronto bookstore. 

photo 1It includes a two page feature about the history of Jerusalem.

 

headline

The piece includes a timeline, graphics and a short article explaining the city’s historic significance.

Here’s a blurb at the bottom of the article:

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Once again, Peter Beaumont contradicts Peter Beaumont

An end-of-year Guardian report by Peter Beaumont (2014 in review: return to conflict in Gaza claimed 2000 lives) on the most significant events in the region in 2014 naturally highlighted the breakdown of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in late April.

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Beaumont’s report begins with these opening paragraphs, which lead to a passage blaming Israel for the breakdown:

This was a year that tested – largely to destruction – the notion you can have stability and quiet in the absence of a Middle East peace process. Instead, 2014 in Israel and the Palestinian territories was marked by a return to conflict in Gaza, which claimed over 2,200 lives, by increasing violence and tension on both sides, continued Israeli settlement building, and the introduction of a worrying religious aspect to the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.

The fulcrum around which all this turned was the breakdown of renewed US-brokered attempts to move towards a final settlement of the conflict, which collapsed in April amid mutual recriminations after Israel reneged on an agreement to release a third batch of long-term Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

However, as Peter Beaumont acknowledged in a Guardian report published on April 29th, the circumstances surrounding Israel’s reluctance to release the final prisoners were much more complicated, and can’t reasonably be framed as an Israeli failure to abide by its commitments.

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‘Footballer’ Mahmoud Sarsak and Israel’s plot “to eradicate Palestinian sports”

A 2012 Guardian report by Harriet Sherwood ‘Palestinian footballers hunger strike sparks fears for his life‘ informed readers that Mahmoud Sarsak was “a former member of the Palestinian national football team” who “remain[ed] on hunger strike over his imprisonment by Israel without charge”.

“A former member of the Palestinian national football team remains on hunger strike over his imprisonment by Israel without charge…

“Mahmoud Sarsak, 25, has refused food for 80 days, since 19 March. He began his hunger strike after his “administrative detention” order was renewed for the sixth time.”

“He was arrested in July 2009 while on his way from his home in Gaza to a national contest in the West Bank.”

“Sarsak’s family deny that he is a member of any militant organisation.”

However, as we noted at the time, the Guardian failed to inform readers that Sarsak – when he wasn’t playing football – was allegedly an active member of the military wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and that the Israeli Supreme Court had upheld his detention out of concerns he would rejoin the terror organization if released.

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Palestinians tell the Guardian: Israeli occupation took root not in 1967, but 1300 BC

The root of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict – and ‘the occupation’ of the West Bank – does not date back to 1967.

No, for the Palestinian protagonists in the latest article by the Guardian’s Giles Fraser, you have to go back much, much further in time – to roughly 1300 BC.

Giles Fraser

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35 weaselly words: Guardian obscures the reality of religious freedom in Israel

In order to focus on the most egregious problem with a Christmas day Guardian editorial on the persecution of Christians worldwide, we’ll only briefly note the editorial’s risible opening paragraph which characterizes the 2003 invasion of Iraq as “the greatest catastrophe to strike the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East since the Mongol invasions”.

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Though you may wish to ask Guardian editors how the toppling of Saddam Hussein by US and British forces – and the subsequent mass exodus of Iraqi Christians at the hands of Islamist extremists – influenced regimes beyond Iraq’s borders to persecute their own Christian communities, we’ll narrowly deal with their obfuscation of Israel’s progressive advantage amidst an unprecedented cleansing of Christians in the Muslim Mid-East.

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“Don’t you hate it when Santa gets dragged into politics?”

Our headline was taken from this Dec. 23rd article at i100 (The Independent’s BuzzFeed-style website) by the site’s news editor Matthew Champion.

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Whilst you can read the brief article (ranked 3rd overall in popularity on the site) here about the flagdisplayed in Hedge End, Hampshire - we were even more intrigued by another trending article on the site (ranked 6th overall) posted by Champion on the very same day.

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Telegraph fails to note that abducted Jewish teens were murdered

The Telegraph’s 2014 World News Review of the biggest stories in politics and culture included international news stories such as the disappearance of flight MH370, the crisis in Ukraine, the bloody march of ISIS jihadists and, of course, the war between Israel and Hamas.  

year in review

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Who are the extremists? Jews praying at their holiest site, or Muslims objecting to peaceful Jewish prayer?

The following passage about violence in Jerusalem and recent tensions surrounding the Temple Mount, in an article by John Reed in the Financial Times (Arab-Israel tensions: Jerusalem tales, Dec. 16th), is quite typical of the disinformation about Jerusalem that passes for serious news within much of the British media. 

Jewish settlers, who get political and financial support from the Israeli state, believe they are reclaiming property inscribed as theirs in history and scripture. Silwan’s overwhelmingly Arab residents see the arrival of the settlers as a form of forceful colonisation, a view shared by Israelis who oppose the settlements. The influx has inflamed emotions among Palestinians already on the defensive from some Israeli rightwingers’ demands for the right to pray at al-Aqsa, Islam’s third-holiest site, and a place reserved for Muslim worship since Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the six-day war.

“We are not against Jews,” says Umm Mohammad, voicing the belief that the three monotheistic faiths’ adherents can live in peace. But she says “al-Aqsa is a sacred place — it’s where the Prophet Mohammed went up to heaven.

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Guardian misleads on autopsy results of convicted terrorist Ziad Abu Ein

On Dec. 11th we asked a simple question after an autopsy (by Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian forensic doctors) of Ziad Abu Ein – the terrorist cum Palestinian minister who died in the West Bank on Dec. 10th following a confrontation with Israeli soldiers – concluded that he died from a stress-induced heart attack.

question

The question was raised in the context of a Guardian report by Peter Beaumont on the day Abu Ein died which almost entirely focused on Palestinian claims that he died as the result of either a punch, kick or gun butt to the head, or by the impact of a tear gas canister administered by an Israeli soldier.  

Sure enough, Peter Beaumont’s Dec. 12th follow-up story on Abu Ein failed to clearly report on the autopsy results.

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Will a new Guardian editor facilitate less biased coverage of Israel?

Amidst recent media reports that Alan Rusbridger will be stepping down after twenty years as editor-in-chief of the Guardian, many have begun wondering whether a change in editors will result in less biased coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Such questions arise in the context of the disproportionate role played by the Guardian in the delegitimization of Israel and obsessive coverage of the country, as well as its propensity to legitimize anti-Israel extremists and ignore, whitewash and even legitimize antisemitism.

Read the rest of this post, at Times of Israel, here.

Will the Guardian update their report on Ziad Abu Ein to note he died of a heart attack?

As we noted yesterday, the Guardian published a report (and video) on the death of Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein, who died shortly after a brief confrontation with IDF soldiers during a protest north of Ramallah, which all but ignored substantive evidence corroborating Israeli claims that Abu Ein likely died of a heart attack, not as the result of trauma.

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Guardian ignores key evidence indicating PA minister was NOT killed by IDF assault

What is known at the moment is that a Palestinian minister, Ziad Abu Ein, died today shortly after a confrontation with IDF soldiers during a protest north of Ramallah.  Abu Ein – imprisoned in Israel for his role in a terrorist bombing that killed two Israeli teens, but later released during a prisoner swap – collapsed and was evacuated for medical care, but died before reaching the hospital.

What’s not known is the cause of death, and there is increasing evidence (which we’ll show later in the post) that Abu Ein, who suffered from health problems including diabetes and high blood pressure, may have died of a heart attack.

However, the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent Peter Beaumont naturally all but avoided evidence pointing to the strong possibility that Abu Ein died of natural causes, and instead primarily cited only those sources claiming he died as the result of trauma inflicted by an Israeli soldier.

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