Friday, February 18, 2011

Diverse Links to Stuff

Nir Rosen, a far left writer whom I'd never heard of until yesterday, has lost his job at NYU because he made some ugly comments about Lara Logan, a CBS reporter who was attacked by some Egyptian demonstrators last week. Apparently Rosen has spent years badmouthing Israel and America, while effusing about Hisballah and the Taliban. The moral of the story: freedom of speech is fine until you cross the line of political correctness. Lee Smith spells it out.

Apropos the revolution in Egypt, Tim Martin says it wasn't. Not a revolution, since the military was and remains in power, and not millions of people demonstrating, either. Now they tell us.

The brutal blockade of Gaza has been renewed. By Hamas, this time. Apparently the surfeit of Israeli goods severely crimped their income from taxing those tunnels. Of course, if the right (=wrong) folks come to power in Egypt, they'll throw open the Egyptian border to Gaza, and then Hamas will have to blockade them, too, which will be embarrassing. Meanwhile, Robin Shepherd is debating whether to hold his breath or not until the BBC, Guardian, David Cameron and all the other folks worldwide condemn the blockade. I certainly hope he decides not to hold his breath, since he's a good man and it would be a pity to lose him.

The lack of interest in the Hamas blockade of Gaza reminds me of Treppenwitz' link to this very fine article by Brendan O'Neill in The Australian. According to O'Neill, the Arab street doesn't seem much to care these days about the Palestinians, while certain parts of the West care only about them, and about nothing else - except that this attention is pure narcissism, and has nothing to do with the real Palestinians or their lives. If you read nothing else today, read this article, and spread it far and wide.
There is a profound narcissism in the pity-for-Palestinian movement. When American activist Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003, it gave rise to a play called My Name Is Rachel Corrie. The killing of British peace activist Tom Hurndall in Gaza in 2004 led to a film called The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall.
This is clearly all about Us - the good and pure Westerners who went to find themselves in Palestine - rather than about Them, the actual Palestinians.
In a related development, a group of British (and apparently other) academics is doing its best to define the war of 1948 as an Israeli genocide committed on the Palestinians. I always thought it was the other way around: the Arabs announced they were going to destroy the Jewish Yishuv, and sent their invading armies to do the job, but somehow along the way they lost the war they had started and so the second genocide of the Jews in one single decade was averted. Maybe when you see things from Britain they look different.

Still following my stream of consciousness here, Ytzchak Reiter has a fine article about how the Palestinians since the 1930s, and ever more of the Arab world since then, are re-writing Muslim history so as to remove the Jews' connection to Jerusalem. Until the early 20th century it would never have occurred to Muslims to make this claim, but times change, and with them come needs for new perspectives.

Finally, so as not to finish on such a glum note, Israellycool has a really funny comment on the otherwise not funny recent burning to the ground of Ikea's store near Netanyah.


Silke said...

Tim Marshall had told earlier that he had his doubts about the numbers we were told.

Saul Lieberman said...

As you know, yesterday the IDF killed three Palestinians who were approaching the Gaza border fence in order to plant explosives. The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine identified one of the men as a member and said he was killed while carrying out a mission for its military wing.

Well apparently, Monty Python has reported that the three men had gone near the border to collect seashells.

Oops, sorry that wasn't Monty Python. It was the NY Times, citing the Gaza-based Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights.

True, the Times carried the reports of the IDF and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. But seashells!

Silke said...

Wikipedia says:

Shell (projectile), a projectile which carries an explosive payload

so maybe it is just a translation mistake ;-)

Barry Meislin said...

A few questions that no one really wants to answer.

And for good reason.

Silke said...

and an audibly shaken Tom Segev says "I don't know" and "I hope" repeatedly in quite stark contrast to the assertiveness with which he diagnoses hysteria for the Israelis of 1967 in other interviews on German radio.

A historian deprived of hindsight becomes a citizen with very ordinary foresight, i.e. none!
To his credit I must say that he refrains from telling the Israeli government what to do now best, amazing given the fact that he is so voluptuous on it in hindsight.

Segev: Nach Mubaraks Amtsverzicht Hoffnung und Unsicherheit in Israel
Historiker sieht im Wandel in Ägypten ein Vorbild für die Palästinenser
Tom Segev im Gespräch mit Gabi Wuttke
Der israelische Historiker Tom Segev sieht nach dem Amtsverzicht des ägyptischen Präsidenten Mubarak weiter eine große Ungewissheit über eine künftige demokratische Führung des Landes.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I noticed the likes of Martin Shaw have been campaigning to alter the definition of genocide so that Israeli treatment of Arabs can be shoehorned in.

This is what happens when Israel doesn't defend her name against 4th rate academics and churnalists. Whinning about anti-semitism wouldn't have the same effect as a good libel payout. Given the UK both has stringent libel laws and is the main nexus for this trash, one would think MoFA could be a little bit more effective.