Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How the statement by Qassam commander will be interpreted tomorrow in the New York Times

Given the record of the Times in distorting the words of Khalid Mish`al, I predict that the New York Times will tomorrow translate the words of Qassam commander, Muhammad Dayf, in the following manner.  He said that "we opted to target the soldiers while the enemy chose to target our women and children".  In the Times it will read: we opted to target women and children, while they opted to target our fighters.

Israeli terrorists killed those children


Obama's statement

Obama has denied that he is in any way opposed to Israeli murder of Palestinian women and children.  He also denied that he ordered Netanyahu to stop the slaughter of women and children. 

Who?

You read this headline (written for the enjoyment of ill-informed Western reporters) and you ask yourself? Who is this guy, again? A top official that we have never ever heard of? "Hizbullah Top Official, Three Fighters Die in Qalamoun Clashes".  And then you read his name: "They identified the slain party official as Ibrahim al-Hajj, a.k.a. Abou Mohammed Salman". Top official?  But wait: there are sources here: "These deaths were confirmed by websites close to Syria's opposition and others to Hizbullah."  By Hizbullah they mean "sources close to Hizbullah".  Good night. 

Gaza: by the numbers

ICC on Israel

ICC has just announced that it can't act against the Israeli war criminal because he belongs to the "wrong" race and religion. 

Look how the New York Times "balances" a story that is damaging to Israel

" the Foreign Press Association in Israel condemned on Wednesday what it called “deliberate official and unofficial incitement against journalists” who are reporting on the fighting in Gaza. That includes “forcible attempts to prevent journalists and TV crews from carrying out their news assignments,” the association said."  So the intro is damaging to Israel. Here is some balance: It tells that that the fact a reporter was beaten live and cursed on the air is due to the fact that the city was a target of Hamas missiles: "Firas Khatib, who was shoved during a live report from the city of Ashkelon, a frequent target of rockets fired from Gaza."   ALL OF GAZA is a target of Israel's bombs, does that justify in your mind if Palestinians were to attack foreign journalists there? The paper then admits: "The treatment of foreign correspondents in Gaza has been generally more positive" but find one tweet to contradict this: "Jonathan Miller of Britain’s Channel 4 News reported that some residents of the destroyed Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya treated his crew with hostility."

This just in

In response to Hamas video of an infiltration into an Israeli military base, Israeli TV will air momentarily a video of Israeli soldiers infiltrating a base of women and children. 

Al-Aqsa TV just aired a video of Qassam fighters infiltarting an Israeli military base


The Terrorism discourse in the attack on Gaza

graph (1)graph (2)

"Often, the most vivid illustration of the criminality of this attack comes not from data but from isolated stories. Yesterday, for instance, “in Khan Younis, five members of the Najjar family, which lost 21 people in a previous strike, were killed.” Meanwhile, “in the Al Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, an airstrike from an F-16 killed the mayor, Anis Abu Shamala, and four others in his home, some of whom had taken refuge there from intense artillery shelling nearby.”

At the same time, the Israeli government’s messaging machine quickly switched from hyping rocket attacks, which were causing relatively little damage, to featuring what it began calling “terror tunnels”. The U.S. media dutifully followed suit, with CNN anchor (and former AIPAC employee) Wolf Blitzer touring a “terror tunnel” led around by the IDF and his flashlight, while the New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren did the same in an article headlined “Tunnels Lead Right to the Heart of Israeli Fear,” quoting “Israeli military officials”, “an Israeli military spokesman”, and “Israeli experts”."

What would get Americans to sympathize with Palestinians

My friend Maysa wrote this on Facebook (I cite with her permission): "I wonder...if the people of Gaza had the luxury of keeping 1-2 dogs per household, would Americans be more inclined to denounce the bombing of their neighborhoods? Or would they mumble about the use of Doggy Shields by Hamas? How would democrats weigh in vs republicans? I can't come to a conclusion..."

What Israel bans from Gaza

"In February 2009 United States Senator John Kerry visited the Gaza Strip and heard from Palestinians there that the banned items that Israel did not allow bringing into the strip included pasta. His shocked response was reported by the media. On March 3 legumes and pasta were still banned, but in May they were permitted into Gaza.

At one of COGAT's weekly meetings, between March 21 and May 2009, the officers decided to permit bringing toilet paper and hygienic products - "on the basis of examining every request individually" - into Gaza. In May the list includes "toilet paper" and "hygienic pads" with no conditions.

In the second half of 2007 Palestinians reported a shortage of toilet paper and hygienic pads for women. The list of hygienic items permitted into Gaza between March and May 2009 included toothbrushes and toothpaste.

In August 23 shampoo and conditioner were listed together with toilet bowl cleaners, in a category of "cleaning products that cannot be used for other purposes." "

Let me report to you this from Qassam commander since it will not be in any US media

Muhmmad Dayf, commander of Qassam, said: "We have deliberately targeted Israeli military targets while our enemy targets civilians and children."

The US State Department on Ukrainian military bombing of civlians

""Civilian casualties a concern, but what we have seen is #Ukraine has taken every step to minimize civilian casualties,""  At least the US government is consistent. IT allows all ally governments to murder civilians. 

so now Hamas tunnels are formidable but Israeli weapons are not formidable at all

"Israel, after encountering a more formidable Hamas tunnel network than it had expected".   1) notice this new terminology: formidable tunnels. Israeli propaganda, thanks to the Times in particular, has now been elevating the tunnels to the status of WMDs.  The very presence of a tunnel becomes a justification for yet another war crime and massacre. 2) it says here--of course based on statements by Israeli propagandists--that the tunnel network is "more than expected".  Like Israel would really admit if they found the tunnel system less than expected?

How can we really understand Palestinian culture? Well, US media has one method: they can turn to an Israeli expert to explain

"“The way to understand the Hamas decision-making calculus is not by Western perspective but by their own perspective,” said Alex Mintz, dean of the school of government at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel. “Hamas, the leadership does not care so much about the civilian casualties; what he looks at is the military balance. They think they can gain more. They do not feel pressure as much as we perceive.”"

Look at the various tricks that Israeli propaganda resorts to inflate the number of its civlian casualties

"An Israeli reserve soldier was killed overnight".  Why does it matter whether he was reserve soldier or not. He was a damn soldier.  I can't (no, I can but still) that the Times would add this description.  This is like saying: Israel shot and killed a Hamas reserve fighter today.

There is oddly no time code in the video but hell, take the word of the Israeli colonel for it

"Colonel Lerner said the mortar strike shown in the video was the only Israeli ordnance that hit the school that day. The video did not include a time code, but Colonel Lerner said it was shot between 2 and 4 p.m. "

Again, Israel bomb "sites" and "targets" while Hamas fires "at Israel"

" The Israeli military said it bombed 40 sites and targeted six militants on Sunday, while Gaza fighters fired scores of rockets into Israel, most of which fell in open areas."  In every case, just like Israel, Hamas and other groups in Gaza states that they were firing at targets in Israel, and notice that when they hit the target soldiers and not civilians are killed--unlike Israeli hits.

the new generation in Hollywood and Israel

""There's a generational change right now in the U.S. and elsewhere as World War II and those memories fade into the rearview mirror," Walt said. "The public discourse on Israel has changed. A lot of it is due to social media. It gives people, especially celebrities who have a lot of influence, a platform to say how they feel without being pressured by editors and publishers, who are themselves being pressured by outside organizations.""

a matter of time

There will come a time when the Palestinians obtain access to devastating weapons and they will use them against Israelis.  I will make sure when that happens to invoke your discourse: that the Israeli solders were hiding behind civilians, and that Israeli shelters posed great threat to Palestinians, and that the Palestinians were exercising restraint, and that the Palestinians are only engaged in self-defense.

Why not this exchange?

Take the tunnels and give the Palestinians Isareli WMDs. That would be a fair fight, by your standards.

and now for a sample of restrained Zionist rheotoric

"We are looking at the beginnings of a Holocaust'"

Comrade Glenn Greenwald kicks ass: precision and concision in discourse on TV

Watch here.

And now a word from a US member of Congress about Israeli war crimes

"Israel practices the highest levels of self-restraint. It takes extreme caution to minimize the damage to civilians and their basic rights, sometimes at the grave cost of Israeli soldiers." (thanks Aaden)

she is reacting to the Israeli murder of fellow Palestinian children

Embedded image permalink

An original take on the study of ISIS

"The Saudi response (as outlined in an opinion-piece by a top Saudi establishment commentator, Abdulrahman Al-Rashed, who heads Al-Arabiya television) is that the ISIS threat needs to be understood properly – since there is a “genuine [Sunni] revolution against a sectarian repugnant rule” in both Syria and Iraq. ISIS tapped into this ‘Sunni anger’ to become “the star at the box office” for Sunnis all over the world … However, “were it not for Assad and Maliki, ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front would not have existed.”  (This Saudi meme is the ‘narrative’ that has almost universally been taken up by the mainstream western media.)

Saudi Arabia is prepared, Abdulrahman suggests to confront ISIS, but only – and only if  - “a political solution [is] imposed in Syria and Iraq” — a regime change that leads to wider Sunni mobilization. The sectarian policies of Assad and Maliki “triggered this chaos. Therefore, the solution lies in strong central governments in both Baghdad and Damascus with American, Western and regional support.”

But let us be clear: When Abdulrahman insists that Nouri al-Maliki must be ousted, he is not proposing that another Shi’i simply take his place – as would occur under the present political dispensation in which the Shi’i amount to 60 – 65% of the electorate.  He is calling for the overthrow of the system – with a Sunni (or a Riyadh approved Iyad Alawi) ‘strongman’ placed in power (à la Sisi).  Ditto for Syria.  It is a call for the purging of the Middle East." (thanks Talal)

Why has Palestine been ignored by American political science

"But the long freeze and endless repetition suggests another possibility. It might be that for many political scientists, strange as it may sound, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is just sort of boring."  A lot of topics that are boring (especially in American politics) are studied over and over again, and many courses are offered about it (talk about Rational Choice Theory for example).  But the real reason is actually political: most political science departments are top schools even avoid the Middle East altogether (Stanford and Yale have ignored the Middle East specialty for decades and Yale's political science department only recently hired a Middle East specialist).  Secondly, people are discouraged from studying Palestine: I know of an anthropologist who was actually discouraged by her adviser from doing research in the Palestinian refugee camps. 3) Many professors are afraid of teaching the Arab-Israeli conflict (and I am talking about progressive colleagues) because they fear this will lead to campaigns against them by Zionists.  I know a new hire at a "top" American university who refused to teach about the Arab-Israeli conflict when asked to do so by her department for this very reason.

50% of the American public think that Israel's "response" is either "about right" or "not far enough"

  Of course, all such polls should be viewed with a critical eye. Look at the question about "Israel's response to conflict with Hamas": when you put Israeli war crimes in terms of "response" to a largely ignorant American public, you already have swayed the respondents.   (thanks Michele)

There were no militants, just children

"Nearly all the eyewitnesses say the same thing: children were playing on the street in the Al-Shati (Beach) refugee camp north of Gaza City. They scurried between a swing set on the sidewalk and a small grocery shop selling sweets and chips. At around 4:30 pm there was a loud explosion. Then many of the children lay still, some of them in pieces."

Israel fired missile at children on a swing

"The children were hit by a missile while playing in the Beach refugee camp, adding to the already extraordinarily high numbers of young victims in this war. The massacre came on Eid, the day of celebration after the end of the holy month of Ramadan." "Six of the boys had been using the swing, which had been set up for Eid, with four others waiting their turn."

U.S. is a full partner in the murder of Palestinians

"Well, there are two facets to it. On one side, the U.S. government is a full partner in the murder of Palestinians, including my brothers. The United States provides over $3 billion of direct military aid to Israel annually. The Congress has just approved or in the process of approving an additional $600 million in military aid to Israel. They tagged onto the bill, the immigration bill for dealing with undocumented children—they tagged on about $225 million in additional aid for the Iron Dome in Israel. And the U.S. provides blank backing to Israel in the U.N., in the Security Council, everywhere, although we know sometimes it goes against the U.S.'s stances. "

myths about Gaza

"Beyond the tit-for-tat of "who started it" many are busy debating, it is crucial to emphasize that Israel has illegally occupied the Palestinian territories for many decades, is actively engaging in land theft through illegal settlement expansion, and is imposing a system of apartheid. Under those circumstances, Israel's very posture is offensive, and it cannot claim to be engaging in "self-defense" against the very people whose land it has illegally usurped." (thanks Amir)

So even when Palestinians attack soldiers, the Times allow the Israeli military to claim that, no, they intented to attack...women and children

"Palestinian gunmen emerged from a tunnel running beneath the border and clashed with Israeli soldiers. The military said the gunmen had intended to attack civilians in a nearby Israeli border community.".  But they attacked soldiers, damn it.  Israeli propagandists are allowed to claim anything in the paper, and get away with it.  Imagine if a Palestinian is allowed to say: and the Israelis are planning to drop a nuclear bomb on us (of course, I have always believe that Israel would drop a nuclear bomb on Palestinians if 1) they can get a way with it; 2) if they can do it without harming Jews on the land.  Leave it to Israel to manufacture a bomb that discriminates on the basis of religion.

Look at this sentence in the Times

"[Israelis] have gained widespread international support for eliminating them".  By "international support" she actually means the US (and maybe Micronesia).

Of course, the American correspondent would not dare tell the Israeli terrorist: but they did not. They attacked people like you, Israeli terrorists

"“We don’t have a base of soldiers close to here,” he noted. “If they want to attack us soldiers, it’s O.K. for us to be in battle, but they want to use these tunnels to attack women and children.”"  And the fact that professional killers of women and children, like the Israeli soldiers, be allowed without rebuttal to accuse the other side of PLANNING (not actually doing it but planning) to kill women and children is an indication of the propaganda advantage that those terrorists are given in US media.

Did Palestinians do those things? Oh, no, they did not. They focused attacks on soldiers but NYTimes say that those are fears

So as Palestinians focus their attacks on soldiers and as Israeli terrorist focus their attacks on civilians, the New York Times comes up with this description.  It is not real, mind you, and it did not happen but it says that those are fears of Israelis in cafe: "armed enemies popping up under a day care center or dining room, spraying a crowd with a machine gun fire or maybe some chemical, exploding a suicide belt or snatching captives and ducking back into the dirt."  Imagine if the New York Times were to publish--by way of justification of Hamas rockets--stories about Palestinian fears of Israeli nuclear weapons.

Notice that only Israelis have a psyche

"Far more than the rocket barrages that have sent Israelis scrambling for shelter throughout the bloody 21-day battle, the tunnel attacks — Monday’s was the sixth of the current conflict — have shaken the collective psyche and stiffened resolve to continue or even expand the fight."  So the tunnels have shook the Israeli psyche but thousands of tons of bombs and missiles on civilians in Gaza didn't shake the Palestinian psyche?

The new propaganda ploy: tunnels are deadlier than Israeli weapons

The Israeli military yesterday took all American correspondents in Israel on a guided "tour" of the tunnels and they were all fed the talking points of the Israeli terrorist ministry and they all reproduced it this morning.  I suggest that resistance groups in Gaza invite American journalists armed with cameras on a similar tour: take them underground to feel even briefly what dead Palestinians who are buried underneath are feeling.  That would be a symmetry of guided tours between both sides.  Tunnels versus grave sites.

the names of the dead in Gaza

US media would never dare ask this obvious question

"Could Israeli soldiers, not civilians, be the target of the attack tunnels?" Well, this does not require much brain power. Ask yourselves: Have they been used in this conflict against soldiers or against civilians?

The humiliation of the Israeli military elite: and their resort to massacre of women and children for revenge

"“The Golani Brigade in Shejaia sustained heavy casualties, the source recalled, after Hamas intelligence units mapped out its location. Operatives sent the information to waiting terrorists in tunnels. In a coordinated fashion, the gunmen emerged from “the metro under Shejaia,” the source said, referring to the tunnels, and launched a massive wave of antitank, mortar, sniper and automatic gunfire from buildings surrounding the Golani force. ‘I saw that enemy cells had come to within 40 meters of our forces,’ the source added.[…] The Artillery Corps Support Unit watched the battle with alarm, and took drastic action, the source said. ‘Otherwise, I knew we would be getting 600 body bags back.’”" (thanks Don)

Israelis in Tel Aviv chanting, “There’s no school tomorrow, there’s no children left in Gaza! Oleh!”


It is now official: tunnels are more dangerous than Israeli WMDs

Tunnels are now talked about like they are weapons.

Saud Al-Faysal in Wikileaks about the 2006 war

"We understand the concern with calling for a ceasefire and it doesn't hold.   But I wish you would call for a ceasefire and (let) Hizbollah reject it.  Then Hizbollah would be seen as the renegades they are.  Instead you are turning Hizbollah into heroes."