Sunday, March 22, 2009

Israeli Brutality in Gaza?

The media is all agog about the stories emanating from Israel's internal deliberations about the recent Gaza operation. As regular readers will not be surprised to know, there is scant connection between the media narrative and the reality, though at least some of this could be rectified merely by reading the English translation of the discussion. Since my take is a bit long, and includes significant quotes from the discussion to demonstrate my points, I've posted it in article form, here.

I don't normally engage in promotion, but given the pervasive coverage and its perversity, feel free to send this article on to others if you think it's convincing.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant, much needed,very much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

I have translated your text into German:

I hope you approve.

Anonymous said...

Any chance you could send an article like this to the NY Times op-ed page?

Unknown said...

The reasons that the media is taking the words of the most extreme Israeli critic of IDF actions in Gaza and making them front-page stories without proper examination:

1) The tales fit the editors and writers own ideological biases or desired narrative. Either this is what they have long believed that the IDF does or the stories are useful in portraying the Israelis in a way consistent with their political aims.

2) The reporting in newspapers like the NY Times alleged all types of war crimes and other acts of Israeli brutality that turned out not to be true. Now they can say that they had the overall theme of the story right, even if the facts were wrong. So the Israelis didn't bomb a UN school, but they shot unarmed civilians and the sniper didn't even care.

3) The media has been reluctant to acknowledge, let alone cover, the fact that to many in the Arab-Muslim world, the war against Israel is a classic jihad. The incitement against Jews in Arabic is directly from the Koran, Hadith and specific stories relating current conflicts to the examples from the life of Muhammad. Hamas has made clear that their issue with Israel isn't land or checkpoints, but the Islamic belief that non-Muslim rule in any land ruled for even one day by Muslims can never revert to infidel control. That is why Islamists talk of re-conquering Spain, India, etc.

The media doesn't want to touch the religious aspect of the Arab-Israeli conflict when it comes to Islam, nor does it fit their ideological perspective on world events to even consider the extent to which the jihadist impulse plays in motivating Arab actions. However, they seemed quite happy to find any story, however tangential to the larger narrative, even if unverifiable, that would paint the Jews as acting out of a Biblical or Rabinical injunction to clear the land of Israel of non-Jews, even though their aims and consequent military campaign are consistent with wanting to stop the rockets and not with dispossessing the local population in Gaza.

Unknown said...

That Hamas deliberately and explicitly calls for the genocide of the Jewish people and the destruction of Israel is taken for granted or ignored.

That the Arab side has consistently targeted the most vulnerable of civilians for murder, and made no distinction between troops in uniform and unarmed women and children, over a century of conflict, doesn't even register for most of the press. Nor does the fact that Arabs governments and media celebrate the terrorist murders of Jewish children as glorious acts by heroic holy warriors.

None of this, our moral condescenders in the media would argue, should cause us to turn away from the overall "justice" of the Palestinian cause or the willingness to engage people angered by "humiliation" and "occupation."

Yet if one Jewish soldier acts immorally, the entire Zionist cause, two-thousand years in the making, should be delegitimized. The Jewish national liberation movement's desire for a homeland free from the genocide, pogroms and marginalization of the Diaspora--including a degraded and dehumanized second-class status under Muslim rule, and its exemplary record of human rights in comparison to its adversaries, and in relation to Western nation's dealing with similar threats and fighting in similar environments, can't seem to buy the Israelis the slightest goodwill even in much of the mainstream media, which continues to do its best to paint every accusation as truth and every suspect source as a credible witness.

joseph said...


Palestinian public opinion was in an uproar following revelations of possible war crimes committed by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Al Aqsa Martys Brigades and the Hamas.

At a spiritual debriefing retreat for operators of rocket launchers and planners of suicide attacks, terrorists, Militants, resistance fighters revealed that not all targets hit by rocket attacks and suicide bombings involve only death and injury to Israeli military personnel. Furthermore, it was revealed that leaflets distributed by the organizations to their members, and signed by the prominent Imam, Nasrab Dam al Yahoud, did not caution the resistance fighters to take proper Islamic precautions to ensure the safety of women, children and other booty, as is prescribed in the Quran.

One rocket launch operator testified, "I was shocked. I thought that Sderot were Zionist terrorists. Who would have suspected that this evil looking soldier was actually a Zionist civilian?"

"Who could have imagined," exclaimed activist Jihad abu Idbach al Yahoud, "that buildings like the ones below, destroyed by resistance rockets, were not military installations!? They are not marked as civilian homes on the maps of course."

Resistance soldiers also related that they heard rumors that suicide bombing targets such as the Sbarro Pizzeria, the Jerusalem Super Market, and the Dolphinarium Discotheque may not have been frequented only by Zionist soldiers.

The sensational revelations were brought to light by a report of the crusading Palestinian journalist, Amus Arafat, in the newspaper, "Al-Ard" ("the land"). They were leaked to him by Nasr al Zamir, who had previously met with denials and coverup attempts by the heads of resistance organizations.

Said Ahmed ibn Khaybar of the Popular Resistance Committees, "Of course, we are going to investigate these allegations. We had no idea that our boys could commit such atrocities. We are sure that these are only false rumors."

UN Special Raporteur Richard Falk declared, "It is certain that the war criminals of the Hamas and other organizations committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. The war crimes of the Palestinian war criminals are precisely like those of the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. I call for an immediate investigation by the UN, the ICC and the World Courts. The guilty must be punished."

A Belgian court issued an arrest warrant for Palestinian officials including Ismail Hanniyeh and Khaled Meshaal. In Teheran, angry members of the Muslims for Peace organization and the Not in My Name organizations demonstrated against government support for Hamas. "Hamas = Nazism" and "Free Gaza" were among the posters carried by demonstrators. Reform presidency candidate Moussavi noted, "It is outrageous that our government provides one-sided support for the Hamas. The rockets and suicide belts were paid for by the Iranian tax payer, and were meant only for defense of the Palestinians. My government will institute a policy of tough love for the Palestinians."

"It is possibly true," admitted moderate Palestinian leader of the moderate Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas, "that there have been deviations from the impeccable moral code of the Palestine resistance. Harming of civilians is a violation of Muslim religious law and must be punished."

A spokesman for the European Union, which provides extensive financing for the Gaza government, refused to comment.

Ami Isseroff

Anonymous said...

The Spectator's reporter starts with an observation - see below - which seems to promise a clearer than usual report on a visit to Gaza - but further on she switches to all the usual pap -
charmed by her Gazan driver? -
at least she seems to give an honest description of what a journalist visiting Gaza actually gets to see, reminds me very much of what I got to see when taking a trip on a tour bus showing night life in Palma de Mallorca in the Sixties.
and by the way Matt Beynon Rees (now about to turn journalist again) promoting his Palestinian detective novels at the Leipzig book fair pronounces Gaza "flattened" - period.
The IDF must really be more than superhuman - even the Hamburg fire storm of the British in WW2 did "flatten" certain parts of Hamburg but not all of it*) and Hamburg is presumably much smaller than Gaza - but well if you have a book to promote and want to please us Germans...
rgds, Silke

The border control at Erez, separating Israel from Gaza, was built in a happier age. It looks more like an airport than a checkpoint, a vast glass hangar designed with streams of Palestinian commuters in mind. Only a handful have made it through in the two years since Hamas took over.

*) W.G. Sebald somewhere was aghast at Hamburg families sitting on their balconies drinking coffee enjoying the beautiful summer weather on the afternoon after the raid.