31 May 2010

Sander van Hoorn misleidt: piraterij "juridisch schemergebied"

Sander van Hoorn van de NOS was een van de eersten zijn beroep als "journalist" inzette om de misdaad van Israël, het enteren en het doodschieten van actievoerders van de Free Gaza Movement in internationale wateren, te legitimeren. Vanmiddag ging hij ermee door. Hij meldde namelijk op de radio, over het feit dat de Israëlische aanval had plaatsgevonden in internationale wateren, dat het een probleem is om dit te veroordelen vanwege het "schemergebied van het internationaal recht", en even later weer "het juridisch schemergebied". Zonder overigens het woord 'piraterij' in de mond te nemen.

Maar dat "schemergebied" bestaat helemaal niet. Het internationaal recht autoriseert dat elk land piraten uit ieder land mag vervolgen, voor piraterij waar dan ook. Een universele rechtsmacht dus, bedoeld om de veiligheid op de wereldzeeën te waarborgen. Het Nederlandse Wetboek van Strafrecht zet tot twaalf jaar cel op zeeroverij.

Ons Wetboek van Strafrecht en het internationale Verdragenrecht voorzien in een grondslag voor bestraffing van zeeroof buiten nationale jurisdictie wanneer het misdrijf in feite plaatsvindt buiten elke rechtsmacht: het universaliteitsbeginsel. Dit beginsel ligt besloten in artikel 105 van het VN Zeerechtverdrag (ook bekend als UNCLOS) en in artikel 4 Sr (artikel 4 lid 5 Sr voor zeeroof).

In een normale situatie zou de staat onder wiens vlag het schip vaart als eerste bevoegd zijn om op treden tegen het schip. Piraterij wordt echter door de internationale gemeenschap als een dusdanig erg misdrijf gezien, dat de artikelen inhoudende het universaliteitsbeginsel het mogelijk maken voor alle staten om tegen piraterij op te treden. Dit brengt met zich mee dat piraten op volle zee opgepakt kunnen worden door een staat die er in feite ‘niets mee te maken heeft’, omdat het internationaal recht van een universeel belang uitgaat.

Het enige probleem in de berechting van piraten vormt momenteel het ontbreken van politieke wil. Een "juridisch schemergebied" is het zeer zeker niet!

Maxime Verhagen, wat zou u doen als het uw dochter was?

Ondanks dat er een Nederlandse burger meevaart met het hulpkonvooi van de Free Gaza Movement, de antropologe Anne de Jong, roept Verhagen de Israëlische ambassadeur niet op het matje. In tegenstelling tot Turkije, Griekenland, Spanje en Zweden.

Anne bevindt zich op de 'Sumoud', de leidende boot van de gehele vloot. Zij zal fungeren als europese woordvoerdster. Er is nog niets over haar situatie bekend. Of zij nog leeft was voor Verhagen vanmorgen op de radio geen punt van zorg. En Verhagen roept niemand op het matje. Integendeel, hij herhaalt de propaganda van een schurkenstaat.

Dit is Anne de Jong meneer Verhagen. Wat haar ook overkomt, het is ook uw verantwoordelijkheid, aangezien u de misdaden van Israël altijd heeft verdedigd en nooit enige actie tegen oorlogsmidaden en mensenrechtenschendingen heeft ondernomen. Wat zou u doen als het uw dochter was?



Landen roepen ambassadeurs Israël op matje

ATHENE/MADRID - De regering van Griekenland heeft de Israëlische ambassadeur in Athene maandag ontboden om onmiddellijk verslag uit te brengen over de veiligheid van ongeveer dertig Grieken die meevaren in het konvooi met hulpgoederen voor de Gazastrook. Athene wil dat de Israëlische regering alle noodzakelijke stappen zet om hun veiligheid te garanderen.

Griekenland heeft verder het leger teruggetrokken uit een militaire oefening, die samen met het Israëlische leger werd gehouden. Het ging om een oefening van de luchtmachten van de landen boven de Egeïsche Zee, die vorige week was begonnen en die eind deze week zou eindigen.

De regeringen van Spanje en Zweden hebben de Israëlische ambassadeur ontboden uit protest tegen de "onacceptabele" aanval door het leger van Israël op het konvooi. Syrië heeft in reactie op de aanval op het konvooi aangedrongen op een spoedbijeenkomst van de Arabische Liga. De liga, die in Caïro is gevestigd, steunt de indirecte vredesgesprekken tussen de Palestijnse Autoriteit en Israël, die vorige maand op gang kwamen. Syrië wijst die besprekingen af.

Free Gaza: demonstranten bestormen Israëlische ambassade in Istanboel

Free Gaza: Verhagen vindt aanval "vreselijke situatie" maar veroordeelt niet

Twee weken geleden bepleitte Maxime Verhagen bij EU-buitenlandchef Catherine Ashton "maximale inzet" om ervoor te zorgen dat opgepakte piraten worden berecht. Hij vind zelfs dat de NAVO tegen piraten worden ingezet, en dat er een VN-tribunaal voor piraterij wordt opgericht.

Maar wanneer Israël aan piraterij doet, dan blijkt Verhagen opeens uiterst gereserveerd. Vanmorgen vroeg vielen Israëlische commando's het hulpkonvooi van 6 boten aan, aangetoond in internationale wateren, waarbij meer dan 10 doden en tientallen gewonden vielen. Dat noemt men normaliter piraterij, maar Verhagen nam het woord vanmorgen in het radioprogramma Goedenmorgen Nederland niet in de mond. Veroordeelt u de actie, vroeg de presentator. Nee, want de situatie is nog onduidelijk, reageerde Verhagen, die blijkbaar ineens niet meer weet wat 'een schending van internationale wateren' inhoudt en wat piraterij is.

Nee, vervolgt Verhagen, de situatie is nog onduidelijk, en er zou sprake zijn van geweest van een aanval op het arme bezettingsleger met "bijlen en messen". De Nederlandse vloot in Afrikaanse wateren wordt verdedigd met nota bene hele fregatten, maar je leven willen verdedigen tegen gewelddadige Israëlische piraten, dat is voor Verhagen blijkbaar een goed excuus om burgers tijdens een geweldloze actie neer te knallen. Volgens Verhagen moet Israël de zaak onderzoeken. Dat is logisch, want Verhagen neemt alleen maar aan wat Israël te zeggen heeft, en stemt tegenwoordig tegen elk initiatief van de VN, wanneer Israël verdacht wordt van oorlogsmisdaden en mensenrechtenschendingen.

Verhagen's partijgenoot Tineke Lodder, zojuist terug van een bezoek aan de regio, veroordeelde op de radio vanmorgen de actie van Israël echter wel, noemde de schending van internationale wateren, én is van mening dat dit een zaak is voor de Veiligheidsraad van de VN.

Targeting Civilians: Israel's Specialty

Professor Jeremy Salt teaches political science at Ankara, Turkey's Bilkent University. He's also the author of "The Unmaking of the Middle East: A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands." On January 9, 2009, during Israel's war on Gaza, he wrote "A Message to the brave Israeli Airmen," asking:

-- "What's it like, firing missiles at people you can't see?

-- Does that help, that you cannot see who you are killing?

-- does it ease your conscience that you are not deliberately targeting civilians," when, in fact, you are under Israel's Dahiya Doctrine to use enough "disproportionate force (to inflict) damage and met(e) out punishment" against civilian infrastructure, "economic interests and the centers of civilian power," willfully slaughtering noncombatant men, women and children;

-- "How does this sit on your conscience?

-- Do you sleep well at night or do you have nightmares of the women and children you killed in their homes, in their beds, in their kitchens and living rooms, in their schools and mosques?"

Do you really believe they threaten your security - farmers in their fields, mothers with their children, teachers in classrooms, imams in mosques, children at play, the elderly, frail or disabled?

Do you ever question what you've done and why? Have you no shame, no sense of decency, no idea of the difference between right and wrong? Will you follow orders blindly and do it again and again, mindless about crimes of war and against humanity you, your superiors, and government officials are accountable for under fundamental international law?

"Brave" Israeli airmen, soldiers, sailors, and other security force personnel have acted lawlessly for decades, including committing appalling human rights crimes - a snapshot of some victims follows.

Persecuting Mazin Qumsiyeh

Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities in the West Bank. Earlier he taught at Yale, Duke, and the University of Tennessee. Interested mainly in media activism and public education, he's been a board, steering, and executive committee member of numerous activist organizations, and is President of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People and coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Apartheid Wall and Settlements in Beit Sahour. His most recent book is titled, "Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment."

On the morning of May 6, Qumsiyeh and three others were arrested, handcuffed, and taken to an unknown destination. He explained what happened.

In Al-Wallaja, his "ten hour ordeal" began at 8:30AM. The village is near the Green line. Israel's Separation Wall route will encircle it. It's already lost much of its land. Residents fear losing the rest, so to prevent it they resist.

Israeli bulldozers have demolished numerous homes. Heroic villagers inspired others, "including Internationals and Israelis to join them in their popular resistance....Today's started as we came through the woods and sat in front of the bulldozer."

"As the soldiers gathered their forces around us, you could feel (them) preparing themselves for attack. We remained calm and peaceful. They dragged us one by one forcefully from the bulldozed lands. They picked the four of us for arrest for no obvious reason" - Qumsiyeh, two Palestinian brothers, and a Canadian activist.

They beat, clubbed, rifle-butted, and pepper-sprayed the two brothers. All four were then taken to a military checkpoint, told to sit and wait, then ordered "to sign a paper claiming....we were not beaten or mistreated."

They refused, then taken to "the investigation offices near Qubbit Raheel (Rachel's tomb), (and) locked up in a metal container." Hours later, they were interrogated individually, asked, but refused, to sign other papers. Painfully handcuffed, they were returned to the container.

Next on to Talpiot police station to be fingerprinted and photographed. "It was now nearly 5:30 and we were starving....Finally they br(ought) us some bread, each a slice of cheese and a small packet of jam." Together they were "dragged in front of a new investigator who asked us to sign a release form that says we are told to stay away from the wall....for 15 days and if we don't we will (each) have to pay" about $1,200. They signed, were released, but not given their ID cards. Later they got them. "Life goes on in the land of Apartheid. Stay tuned."

As coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Apartheid Wall and Settlements in Beit Sahour, Qumsiyeh leads Palestinian grassroots resistance against "Israeli occupation and colonization" as well as "stopping and dismantling" what the International Court of Justice (ICJ) called illegal, ordering the Wall's demolition and for Israel "to make reparation for all damage caused by the construction....including in and around East Jerusalem."

As the "main national grassroots body mobilizing and organizing resistance against" the Wall, the Campaign "coordinates the work of 54 popular committees in communities" targeted for (or now being) destroyed by its construction.

Strategies against it include raising awareness internationally; national and community resistance; mobilizing solidarity among affected communities, the Arab world, civil society, and unions; calling for global boycott, divestment and sanctions; and enlisting international popular support for justice.

Attacking Disabled Palestinians in Gaza

Besides the occupation, siege, regular incursions, and overall reign of terror against 1.5 million people, Israel targets the disabled, explained by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in a December 2009 report titled, "Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Disabled Persons in the Gaza Strip," from September 1, 2003 - November 30 2009.

It covers willful assaults against disabled civilians, and others incapacitated by attacks. Of most concern was Operation Cast Lead's 23-day assault from December 27, 2008 - January 18, 2009, inflicting massive numbers of deaths and injuries, as well as widespread destruction, mostly against civilians, their homes, mosques, businesses, factories, farms, schools, and hospitals - clear non-military targets. The siege's effect on health, education, and other vital services was also addressed.

During the reporting period, 31 disabled Palestinians were killed, including four women, and six children. Another 600 sustained permanent disabilities, mostly physical. In addition, because of inadequate or unavailable food, medicines, medical equipment, fuel, clean water, sanitation, and the ability to leave or enter freely, the negative impact has been enormous.

"At the same time, foreign medical and technical personnel have not been able to enter (Gaza) to help the disabled and provide them with necessary medical and rehabilitation services." As for the overall effect of the siege, the longer it continues the more harm it inflicts on those least able to cope. Precisely Israel's strategic aim - to strangle and smother all Gazans, the elderly, infirm and disabled the most vulnerable.

Amnesty International (AI) on Israeli War Crimes

In its 2010 annual report, AI accused Western nations of shielding Israel from accountability during the Gaza war and for nearly three years of siege, depriving the population of vital essentials to survive and endure. At the same time, it praised the Goldstone Commission for heroically telling the truth.

In documenting Israeli crimes of war and against humanity, AI said:

"Among other things, (Israel) carried out indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians, targeted and killed medical staff, used Palestinian civilians as 'human shields,' and indiscriminately (used) white phosphorous (and other illegal weapons) over densely populated residential areas." As a result, the toll was devastating.

In response, the US State Department downplayed the accusations, saying it "supports the need for accountability for any violations that may have occurred in relation to the Gaza conflict by any party," ignoring Israel's premeditated aggression, willfully attacking civilians and committing horrendous war crimes.

AI also condemned America's human rights abuses, saying:

"In the counter-terrorism context, accountability for past human rights violations by the USA remains largely absent, particularly in relation to the CIA programme (sic) of secret detention. In litigation, the US administration continues to block remedy for victims of such human rights violations. 181 detainees remain in Guantanamo despite President Obama's commitment to close the detention facility by January 2010. A new Manual for Military Commissions released by the Pentagon in April confirmed that even if a detainee is (uncharged or) acquitted by a military commission, the US administration reserves the right to continue to hold them in indefinite detention."

Obama Administration's Brazen Lawlessness

The latest example comes from a just revealed September 2009 secret directive about expanded covert military activity in the Middle East, Central Asia, the Horn of Africa or anywhere in the world to counter alleged threats. In other words, the Obama administration reserves the right to send US forces anywhere clandestinely, with or without host nation approval, to "penetrate, disrupt, defeat or destroy" designated targets by state terrorism, war, or any other means on the pretext of defending national security - a justification only scoundrels would invoke.

Italian New Weapons Research Committee (NWRC) Accuses Israel of Contaminating Gaza Soil

In its May 11 press release, NWRC (a group of independent scientists and doctors) said Israel's 2006 and 2009 bombings left a high concentration of toxic/carcinogenic metals residue in soil and human tissue, likely to cause tumors, fertility problems, and serious harm to newborns, including deformities and genetic mutations.

Of particular concern were "wounds provoked by weapons that did not leave fragments in the bodies of the victims, a peculiarity that was pointed out repeatedly by doctors in Gaza. This shows that experimental weapons, whose effects are still to be assessed, were used."

Some elements found are carcinogenic, including mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel and uranium (from weapons with depleted uranium). Others are potentially carcinogenic, including cobalt and vanadium, and still more are fetotoxic (harmful to fetuses), including aluminum, copper, barium, lead, and manganese. All of them in high enough amounts produce genetic mutations as well as pathogenic effects on human respiratory organs, kidneys, skin, neurological development, and other bodily functions.

The combination of environmental contamination, direct wounds or inhilations, aggravated by dire living conditions, presents a serious risk to large numbers of people, worsened by repeated armed incursions. According to Paola Manduca, NWRC's spokesperson:

"Our study indicates an anomalous presence of toxic elements in the soil (and human tissue). It is essential to intervene at once to limit the effects of the contamination on people, animals and cultivations."

Thus far, Israeli-Western collaborators still prevent 1.5 million Gazans from getting the critical help they need, while Moshe Kantor, president the European Jewish Congress, equated NWRC's research to "ancient blood libels against the Jewish people, when rumors were spread about Jews poisoning wells. Today we are seeing a recurrence of all the worst excesses of anti-Semitism and diatribes that we perhaps naively thought had remained in the Dark Ages."

The pro-Israeli NGO Monitor's Gerald Steinberg called the accusations "designed to stigmatize Israel and erase the context of mass terror, (similar to other) false or unverifiable claims." These are typical responses from rogues and their defenders caught red-handed.

But clear evidence they deny can't be hidden. Nor can the growing disenchantment of young American Jews, a phenomenon Steven Rosenthal discussed in his 2001 book "Irreconcilable Differences: The Waning of the American Jewish Love Affair with Israel," citing policies that transformed the relationship from uncritical "Israelotry" to disapproval and distress. The 1982 Lebanon invasion, repressive occupation, Intifada, regular incursions, and greater concern about home-grown issues shattered American Jewish unanimity, diluting Israel's next generation support.

On May 10, 2009, The Forward and Brandeis University Professor Jonathan D. Sarna asked why, noting "a critical difference between support for Israel in the past and today. For much of the 20th century, the Israel of American Jews - the Zion that they imagined in their minds, wrote about and worked to realize - was a mythical Zion, a utopian extension of the American dream."

They imagined a "social commonwealth," an "outpost of democracy, spreading America's ideals eastward in a Jewish refuge where freedom, liberty and social justice would someday reign supreme." Utopias, of course, are illusions, now dispelled to reveal "unlovliest warts." Today, bloom is off the rose, unsurprising given convincing reasons to remove it.

A Final Comment

On May 26, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire paid "Tribute to the People of Gaza," saying:

"I never cease to be amazed at the power of the human spirit to survive....In a triumph of hope over adversity and tremendous suffering, love still abides....Gaza's people have suffered an Israeli occupation for over 40 years," enduring wars and current medieval-type siege.

Lives have been shattered, crops destroyed, soil poisoned, and sustainability comprised, so "Where is the hope? Where is the love in the midst of such suffering and injustice?" In the will to survive; in growing worldwide solidarity; in the "Freedom Flotilla" defying the blockade to deliver aid, Maguire on it, "inspired by the people of Gaza whose courage, love and joy in welcoming us, even in the midst of such suffering gives us all hope. They represent the best of humanity," no amount of Israeli repression can extinguish, nor their redoubtable "nonviolent struggle for human dignity, and freedom."

(bron)

Free Gaza: NOS direct op zoek naar legitimering aanval Israël

Op de radio hoor ik zojuist voor het NOS radiojournaal Sander van Hoorn in Haifa, die voor Israël druk op zoek is naar een excuus voor de doden in het hulpkonvooi. Hij had ook al beelden gezien met "stokken en messen", hoewel hij niet kon zien of die "provisorisch" waren. Wat hij verzweeg is dat de Israëlische aanval op het hulpkonvooi in internationale wateren een illegale actie is - formeel piraterij.

Free Gaza: 16 doden en 30 gewonden gemeld



Al Jazeera: Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet

Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country's siege on Gaza.

Up to 16 people were killed and more than 30 people injured when troops stormed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, the Israeli Army Radio said.


The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Gaza coast.

Footage from the flotilla's lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.

Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.

The Israeli Army Radio said soldiers opened fire "after confronting those on board carrying sharp objects".

Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, however, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the ships.

They also said the ships were now being towed to the Israeli town of Haifa, instead of Ashdod to avoid waiting journalists.

Earlier, the Israeli navy had contacted the captain of the Mavi Marmara, asking him to identify himself and say where the ship was headed.

Free Gaza: hulpvloot aangevallen, doden en gewonden

De vloot van de Free Gaza Movement met boten geladen met 10.000 ton aan hulpgoederen voor Gaza zijn door Israëlische commando's aangevallen.

Haaretz: Report: At least 10 activists killed as Israel Navy opens fire on Gaza aid flotilla

Israel Navy troops opened fire on pro-Palestinian activists aboard a six-ship aid flotilla sailing for the Gaza Strip, killing at least 10 and wounding several others after the convoy ignored orders to turn back, Turkey's NTV reported early Monday.


Op Twitter lees ik o.a. het volgende:

the #Flotilla is about 145 Km / 90 miles from #Gaza (straight line)
about 2 hours ago via web

Report from IHH boat..two killed, 31 wounded. No verification but medical emergency can be seen from ship
about 2 hours ago via web

Israeli soldiers shooting at people, all over the Turkish boat. Watch IHH streaming video
about 2 hours ago via web

Israeli soldiers shooting unarmed civilians.
about 2 hours ago via web

IDF commandoes descending from an helicopter on the IHH turkish ship. The ship is surrounded by Navy vessels. #Flotilla
about 2 hours ago via web

Haaretz.com: Several casualties in clash between Gaza aid #flotilla, Israel Navy: http://bit.ly/9ArSa0
about 2 hours ago via web

At about 4:30 am, Israeli commandos dropped from helicopter onto deck of Turkish ship, immediately opened fire on unarmed civilians.
about 1 hour ago via web

Israeli radio says that the boats are going to be hauled into Haifa. This was not a confrontation. This was a massacre
25 minutes ago via web

Israeli TV says that ten have been killed by Israeli gunfire.
19 minutes ago via web

Media:
Huffington Post: Israel Attacks Palestinian Aid Flotilla, According To Reports

Haaretz: Report: At least 10 activists killed as Israel Navy opens fire on Gaza aid flotilla

Yahoo News: Reports: Israeli ships attack aid flotilla, 2 dead

30 May 2010

'Subsidie terug bij propaganda tegen Israël'

Unicef en Cordaid subsidieerden een Palestijnse jongerenorganisatie (Pyalara) die opriep tot een boycot van Israëlische producten. Dat heet tegenwoordig "Palestijnse anti-Israëlpropaganda", en mag niet meer, omdat het 'niet zou bijdragen aan de vrede in het Midden-Oosten' aldus de Israëlische bezetting en illegale kernwapens steunende Verhagen. Een uitzonderingsregel, aangezien bijvoorbeeld Nederlandse anti-Iranpropaganda weer wel dik in orde is. En u weet wel waarom.

29 May 2010

"Ik heb gewoon een gezond Hollands wantrouwen"

Dat stelde minister Maxime Verhagen over Iran. Hypocriet voegde hij er aan toe dat van het versoepelen van internationale sancties geen sprake kan zijn, omdat Iran nog steeds handelt in strijd met resoluties van de VN-veiligheidsraad.
Israël lapt al sinds haar stichting 79 resoluties van de Veiligheidsraad aan haar laars, en heeft naar schatting 200-300 illegale kernkoppen. Voor Verhagen is dat prima in orde. Er is dus helemaal niets aan Verhagen dat "gezond Hollands" is.

Israël verwerpt atoomconferentie

Een niet verassend nieuwsbericht van de ANP, waarin, ook niet verassend, geen melding wordt gemaakt van Israël's illegale kernwapens.
Israël neemt niet deel aan een internationale conferentie in 2012 over een kernwapenvrij Midden-Oosten. Israël noemde de resolutie waarin vrijdag opgeroepen was tot de conferentie "zeer gebrekkig en hypocriet".
En zodoende isoleert Israël zich meer en meer van de rest van de wereld.

27 May 2010

Alfred Muller: 'Support voor Joodse staat neemt af'

Alfred Muller, de Israëlische correspondent van het Reformatorisch Dagblad, moet het nu wel toegeven:
"De steun voor Israël in de westerse wereld neemt af. De oorzaak zijn de voortdurende bezetting van de Westelijke Jordaanoever en de daarmee samenhangende behandeling van de Palestijnen."
Een paar jaar geleden was dat nog ondenkbaar.

De "Joodse staat"

Israël "de Joodse staat" noemen, zoals in de titel van het hier besproken bericht, is geen verslaggeving van een feit, maar behelst een ideologisch getinte (zionistische) term over een staat die formeel gezien helemaal niet bestaat. Ten eerste is 20% van de bevolking van de staat Israël niet joods, en duidt de term zodoende meer op een apartheidsregime dan op een democratische staat. En ongeveer de helft van de resterende 80% inwoners geeft aan seculier te zijn. Zoals de staat Israël, toen deze in 1948 gesticht werd.
Daarnaast mag je concluderen dat Israël als staat in wezen niet bestaat, aangezien het tot op de dag van vandaag weigert haar officiele grenzen aan te geven. Een staat zonder grenzen bestaat redelijkerwijs niet. Voor de nazi's heette Duitsland ook gewoon Duitsland, en niet "het Derde Rijk", waarvan de nazi's ook de grenzen nog niet hadden vastgelegd. De enige niet-Duitse media die Duitsland "het Derde Rijk" noemden waren collaborateurs en ideologiegenoten.

Mensen en media die zich bedienen van de term "de Joodse staat" duiden de zionistische ideologie aan, en niet de geografische locatie. Ze noemen daarbij ook de feiten niet van het "conflict", maar verspreiden tweedehands ideeën en meningen, namelijk die van een bezettingsmacht. En dat fenomeen noemt men eenvoudigweg propaganda, niet verslaggeving of journalistiek. Alfred Muller (zie foto) is geen journalist, althans, niet wat een democratie daaronder verstaat.



Palestijnen "aanzienlijk meer slachtoffers" in "de strijd"

Over de slachtoffers die er tijdens Cast Lead vielen wordt zijn berichtgeving echter weer vaag: "Bij de strijd vielen aan Palestijnse zijde aanzienlijk meer slachtoffers dan onder Israëliërs."

Ten eerste kun je over de aanval op Gaza nauwlijks spreken van een "strijd". Wanneer je een kever onder je voet verbrijzelt is er natuurlijk ook geen sprake van een "strijd" tussen jou en de kever. Bommen gooien en raketten afschieten op een opgesloten mensenmenigte is ook geen "strijd", aangezien je altijd raak schiet. Maar wanneer er Palestijnse slachtoffers vallen doet de commerciële en ideologische massamedia het meestal voorkomen dat er sprake zou zijn van een 'strijd' tussen Palestijnen en Israliërs, om een gelijkwaardige sterkte van partijen te suggereren, een 'eerlijke' verhouding, die in werkelijkheid totaal ontbreekt.

Ten tweede is Muller's opmerking over de verhouding van het aantal slachtoffers dat tijdens Cast Lead vielen onwezenlijk. Hij durft geen cijfers te noemen, maar schrijven dat er bij de Palestijnen "aanzienlijk meer" slachtoffers vielen is een gigantische understatement. Aan Israëlische kant vielen 13 doden (waarvan 4 door eigen wapens) en aan de Palestijnse kant ruim 1400 doden. Als de verhouding bijvoorbeeld 13 op 50 zou zijn kun je spreken van "aanzienlijk meer", maar met getallen als bij slachtoffers van Cast Lead is dat een absurditeit. Dat Israël een opzettelijk bloedbad aanrichtte onder een weerloze bevolking komt dichter in de buurt van de feiten, en is door zowel de VN als grote en kleine mensenrechtenorganisaties bevestigd en gedocumenteerd.

Reut Institute

Vervolgens somt Muller een aantal redenen op waarom Israël, afgezien van Cast Lead, minder populair zou worden, zoals het weren van gerenommeerde wetenschappers aan de grens. De blokkade van Gaza noemt Muller niet, en hij rept ook niet over oorlogsmisdaden, mensenrechtenschendingen, racisme, en zelfs de illegale joodse nederzettingen in bezet gebied niet, die momenteel het grootste struilblok voor vrede vormen.

Een van zijn bronnen is het Israëlische Reut Institute, dat niet zomaar een instituut is, maar een private lobbyclub met een (sinds vorig jaar afnemend) budget van 1,5 miljoen dollar per jaar, dat onlangs een deel van de Israëlische bevolking als "saboteurs" van "de Joodse staat" classificeerde, die Israël zou "aanvallen". Volgens de lobbygroep vormen deze mensen een groter gevaar dan Palestijnen en omringende landen. Daarmee bedoelt het simpelweg kritische Israeli's, van dezelfde groep die Gidi Markuszower, die kort geleden wegens een waarschuwing van de AIVD uit de PVV stapte, "verachtelijke joodjes" noemde, en die hij het liefst zou verbannen uit de joodse gemeenschap en deporteren "naar de koude bossen van Oost-Europa" om daar te kreperen.
Meer over het Reut Institute op Muzzlewatch.

Het 'geschetste negatieve beeld' van Israël

Het voortduren van het conflict met de Palestijnen en het negatieve beeld dat Nederlandse media van Israël schetsen, vormen de belangrijkste oorzaken voor de afzwakkende steun.
De Palestijnen worden volgens het rapport neergezet als zwakke partij waarvan de rechten worden geschonden. Daarom genieten zij de sympathie van het Nederlandse publiek.

De taal is de moeder der gedachte. De feiten over het doen en laten van Israël zíjn (behalve in de christelijke pers) negatief, een door de hele wereld veroordeelde bezetting is zowiezo negatief, maar Muller suggereert hier dat het om 'geschetste beelden' gaat, in plaats van feiten. Zo zijn het ook feiten dat de Palestijnen de zwakke partij vormen, en dat hun rechten feitelijk geschonden wórden, en ook dat is allemaal goed gedocumenteerd. Maar Muller doet het desalniettemin voorkomen alsof het slechts een 'beeld' betreft dat door de media 'geschetst' wordt.

Kortom, de gebruikelijke hasbara van de pro-Israël lobby, waarmee Alfred Muller zijn eigen stelling ondergraaft, namelijk dat er sprake zou zijn van negatieve verslaggeving over Israël. Want is die wel zo negatief wanneer Israël, op de keper beschouwd, in de meeste gevallen nog steeds als passieve partij en slachtoffer wordt beschreven, en niet als geweldadige bezetter. Van de langst durende bezetting ter wereld. De media schuiven grotendeels berichten van het Israëlische leger zonder toetsing op waarheid als feiten naar voren, maar de berichten en getuigenissen van Palestijnen altijd als 'naar zeggen' en 'naar vermeend' omschrijft.

Links: Alfred Muller: stop Israël voor het te laat is?
Alfred Muller weet niet wat terreur is
John Pilger: The Invisible Government - Propaganda Disguised as Journalism

25 May 2010

2007: Bot & Van Baalen pro illegaal kernwapenbezit

Begin 2007 schreef ik het volgende:

Op het weblog van Stan van Houcke staat een interessante emailcorrespondentie tussen Van Houcke en Hans van Baalen (VVD) over kernwapens in de wereld, waarin Van Baalen te kennen geeft dat wanneer "een democratie" illegaal kernwapens bezit, dat dat prima in orde is:

"Ik zie Iran en Israël als twee verschillende gevallen. Israël is een democratische rechtsstaat. Iran is dat niet." (*1)

Opmerkelijk: in juli 2006 reisde Van Baalen af naar Israël voor een sollicitatiegesprek voor een vermeende PR-vacature, en om het land te waarschuwen voor links Nederland, en dat ze met name de EU niet moeten vertrouwen.

Voormalig minister Ben Bot (CDA) is dezelfde mening toegedaan waar het Israël's illegale atoombommen betreft. In antwoord op Kamervragen op 10 januari 2007, o.a. naar aanleiding van een uitspraak van Olmert waarin deze aangeeft dat Israël (illegaal) kernwapens bezit (maar ook Gates, de nieuwe Amerikaanse minister van Defensie), stelt hij:

"Olmert onderstreepte herhaaldelijk de verschillen tussen Israël en Iran, onder andere door te benadrukken dat Israël een democratie is (*2) en door erop te wijzen dat de president van Iran heeft gesteld Israël van de kaart te willen vegen. (*3)
Van Israëlische zijde is onderstreept dat het Israëlisch beleid met betrekking tot nucleaire bewapening niet is veranderd. Premier Olmert heeft dat in het bedoelde interview zelf uitgesproken. Ik zie dan ook geen reden de Israëlische regering hierover om opheldering te vragen."


Eerder gaf Ben Bot de Kamer verkeerde informatie door te stellen dat het Dordtse bedrijf Riwal, dat meebouwt aan de Israëlische afscheidingsmuur (in 2004 door het Internationale Gerechtshof als illegaal bestempeld), een Israëlisch bedrijf is, en dat er geen Nederlandse bedrijven actief zijn in de bezette gebieden.

Niet verwonderlijk dat Van Baalen bij Bot's afscheid van de kamer als laatste de minister nog een veer in de kont steekt: "U was al een diplomaat met grote ervaring. Als minister bent u een politicus geworden waarmee het een eer was om van gedachten te wisselen."

*1 onjuiste informatie
*2 onjuiste informatie
*3 onjuiste informatie


VVD-Kamerlid Hans van Baalen(r.) en militair-attaché Kolonel Charles Kool tijdens een eerbetoon aan het graf van een oorlogsmisdadiger en massamoordenaar in Jakarta (2005).


Hans van Baalen maakt grappen met Olmert ten tijde van de Israelische bombardementen op de Libanese bevolking, waarbij volgens de VN naar schatting o.a. een miljoen clusterbommen op het land neerkwamen. Human Rights Watch constateerde dat Israël oorlogsmisdaden pleegde.

Israël wilde kernwapens aan Zuid-Afrika verkopen

Israël heeft meer dan dertig jaar geleden geprobeerd het toenmalige apartheidsregime in Zuid-Afrika atoomwapens te verkopen. Verassend is het natuurlijk niet dat de ene apartheidsstaat banden onderhoudt met een andere apartheidsstaat, en dat is goed gedocumenteerd. De Guardian publiceerde vandaag geheime documenten die dat volgens de Britse krant bewijzen. Bovendien zou dit het eerste schriftelijke bewijs zijn dat Israël daadwerkelijk over nucleaire wapens beschikt.

Natuurlijk ontkent Israël, het zou nu weer gaan om een 'verkeerde interpretatie' van de documenten. We moeten dus niet lezen wat er staat, en de handtekening van Peres zelf zal ook wel een 'foutje' zijn? Ongetwijfeld genoeg argument om de pro-Israël lobby tevreden te stemmen, die vanuit een blind geloof, of naar u wilt neurose, bij uitzondering alle illegale ondernemingen en misdaden van Israël accepteert en soms zelfs toejuicht.

In ieder geval genoeg materiaal voor Maxime "no one is above the law" Verhagen om sancties tegen Israël te gaan bepleiten, met nog meer enthousiasme als hij deed bij Iran, aangezien Iran helemaal geen kernwapens heeft.

Al met al is Israël vanaf heden nu ook officieel de enige kernwapenmacht, en dus de meest instabiele en bedreigende factor in het Midden-Oosten. Ik ga er gemakshalve van uit dat er enkele gevaarlijke idioten in Den Haag zijn die dat nog zullen gaan verdedigen ook.

Links:
Israel bood nucleaire wapens te koop aan Zuid-Afrika
"Israël bood Zuid-Afrika atoomwapens aan"

Guardian: Israël probeerde kernwapens aan Zuid-Afrika te verkopen

At a time when Israel feels it will be admitted to the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), it is now revealed how Israel is not only a nuclear power, but a very dangerous one that threatens world security -- not to mention the ONLY nuclear power that practices occupation, colonization and apartheid.

http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/israel-optimistic-over-chances-of-joining-nuclear-research-body-cern-1.291122

Not that this will have much impact on deeply complicit European governments (led by France, Germany and Spain) who voted, along with other members, to accept Israel's membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) despite massive evidence of Israel's violations of international law and human rights and despite legal proof presented to all OECD states that by accepting Israel's membership they were in fact themselves in violation of their obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Still, this presents more fuel for civil society actions against business-as-usual with Israel.

Omar Barghouti


Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons

The Guardian | by Cris McGreal | 24 May 2010



The secret military agreement signed by Shimon Peres, now president of Israel, and P W Botha of South Africa. Photograph: Guardian

Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state's possession of nuclear weapons.

The "top secret" minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa's defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel's defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them "in three sizes". The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that "the very existence of this agreement" was to remain secret.

The documents, uncovered by an American academic, Sasha Polakow-Suransky, in research for a book on the close relationship between the two countries, provide evidence that Israel has nuclear weapons despite its policy of "ambiguity" in neither confirming nor denying their existence.

The Israeli authorities tried to stop South Africa's post-apartheid government declassifying the documents at Polakow-Suransky's request and the revelations will be an embarrassment, particularly as this week's nuclear non-proliferation talks in New York focus on the Middle East.

They will also undermine Israel's attempts to suggest that, if it has nuclear weapons, it is a "responsible" power that would not misuse them, whereas countries such as Iran cannot be trusted.

A spokeswoman for Peres today said the report was baseless and there were "never any negotiations" between the two countries. She did not comment on the authenticity of the documents.

South African documents show that the apartheid-era military wanted the missiles as a deterrent and for potential strikes against neighbouring states.
The documents show both sides met on 31 March 1975. Polakow-Suransky writes in his book published in the US this week, The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's secret alliance with apartheid South Africa. At the talks Israeli officials "formally offered to sell South Africa some of the nuclear-capable Jericho missiles in its arsenal".

Among those attending the meeting was the South African military chief of staff, Lieutenant General RF Armstrong. He immediately drew up a memo in which he laid out the benefits of South Africa obtaining the Jericho missiles but only if they were fitted with nuclear weapons.

The memo, marked "top secret" and dated the same day as the meeting with the Israelis, has previously been revealed but its context was not fully understood because it was not known to be directly linked to the Israeli offer on the same day and that it was the basis for a direct request to Israel. In it, Armstrong writes: "In considering the merits of a weapon system such as the one being offered, certain assumptions have been made: a) That the missiles will be armed with nuclear warheads manufactured in RSA (Republic of South Africa) or acquired elsewhere."

But South Africa was years from being able to build atomic weapons. A little more than two months later, on 4 June, Peres and Botha met in Zurich. By then the Jericho project had the codename Chalet.

The top secret minutes of the meeting record that: "Minister Botha expressed interest in a limited number of units of Chalet subject to the correct payload being available." The document then records: "Minister Peres said the correct payload was available in three sizes. Minister Botha expressed his appreciation and said that he would ask for advice." The "three sizes" are believed to refer to the conventional, chemical and nuclear weapons.

The use of a euphemism, the "correct payload", reflects Israeli sensitivity over the nuclear issue and would not have been used had it been referring to conventional weapons. It can also only have meant nuclear warheads as Armstrong's memorandum makes clear South Africa was interested in the Jericho missiles solely as a means of delivering nuclear weapons.

In addition, the only payload the South Africans would have needed to obtain from Israel was nuclear. The South Africans were capable of putting together other warheads.

Botha did not go ahead with the deal in part because of the cost. In addition, any deal would have to have had final approval by Israel's prime minister and it is uncertain it would have been forthcoming.

South Africa eventually built its own nuclear bombs, albeit possibly with Israeli assistance. But the collaboration on military technology only grew over the following years. South Africa also provided much of the yellowcake uranium that Israel required to develop its weapons.

The documents confirm accounts by a former South African naval commander, Dieter Gerhardt – jailed in 1983 for spying for the Soviet Union. After his release with the collapse of apartheid, Gerhardt said there was an agreement between Israel and South Africa called Chalet which involved an offer by the Jewish state to arm eight Jericho missiles with "special warheads". Gerhardt said these were atomic bombs. But until now there has been no documentary evidence of the offer.
Some weeks before Peres made his offer of nuclear warheads to Botha, the two defence ministers signed a covert agreement governing the military alliance known as Secment. It was so secret that it included a denial of its own existence: "It is hereby expressly agreed that the very existence of this agreement... shall be secret and shall not be disclosed by either party".

The agreement also said that neither party could unilaterally renounce it.

The existence of Israel's nuclear weapons programme was revealed by Mordechai Vanunu to the Sunday Times in 1986. He provided photographs taken inside the Dimona nuclear site and gave detailed descriptions of the processes involved in producing part of the nuclear material but provided no written documentation.

Documents seized by Iranian students from the US embassy in Tehran after the 1979 revolution revealed the Shah expressed an interest to Israel in developing nuclear arms. But the South African documents offer confirmation Israel was in a position to arm Jericho missiles with nuclear warheads.

Israel pressured the present South African government not to declassify documents obtained by Polakow-Suransky. "The Israeli defence ministry tried to block my access to the Secment agreement on the grounds it was sensitive material, especially the signature and the date," he said. "The South Africans didn't seem to care; they blacked out a few lines and handed it over to me. The ANC government is not so worried about protecting the dirty laundry of the apartheid regime's old allies."

Vervolg: Israeli president denies offering nuclear weapons to apartheid South Africa

22 May 2010

AIVD over Markuszower: 'risico voor de integriteit van Nederland', mossad

Eerder beweerde Gidi Markuszower dat hij uit de PVV is gestapt vanwege "het vergrootglas" van de media. Maar nu is gebleken dat de AIVD de PVV heeft gewaarschuwd tegen deze extremist, die naar vermeend hand en spandiensten verleent aan de Mossad, en die geloofsgenoten met kritiek op Israël wilde verbannen uit het joodse religieuze en culturele leven.

AIVD waarschuwde voor PVV'er Markuszower

NRC | Joost Oranje en Danielle Pinedo | 22 mei 2010

Den Haag, 22 mei. PVV-kandidaat Gidi Markuszower heeft zich vorige maand teruggetrokken van de kieslijst voor de verkiezingen nadat demissionair minister Hirsch Ballin (Binnenlandse Zaken, CDA) een brief met belastende informatie over hem naar partijleider Geert Wilders had gestuurd. De informatie was afkomstig van de inlichtingendienst AIVD. Dat hebben bronnen in Den Haag bevestigd.

Ook Markuszower zelf erkent in een vraaggesprek met NRC Handelsblad dat de AIVD-brief de reden was dat hij is vertrokken. In de brief werd Markuszower (32) als "risico voor de integriteit" van Nederland bestempeld. Hij zou betrokken zijn geweest bij een organisatie die "informatie" heeft overgedragen aan "een buitenlandse mogendheid". Ook had hij volgens de brief contact met medewerkers van een buitenlandse inlichtingendienst. De brief geeft geen details, maar bronnen vermoeden dat het om Israël en de Mossad gaat.

Negatief

Na de presentatie van de kandidatenlijst kwam Markuszower, die op de vijfde plaats stond, vorige maand negatief in het nieuws. Zo werd een privémail van de Amsterdamse ondernemer gepubliceerd waarin hij stelde dat Joden die publiekelijk kritiek hebben op het Israëlische optreden tijdens de Gaza-oorlog, uit de Joodse gemeenschap verbannen zouden moeten worden. In dezelfde week werd bekend dat hij twee jaar geleden was opgepakt wegens het dragen van een vuurwapen.

Markuszower trok zich terug als kandidaat. In een verklaring stelde hij zich "niet senang" te voelen om "continu onder een negatief vergrootglas te liggen." Markuszower vertelt nu dat de brief de werkelijke reden was. Hij noemt de beschuldigingen "zo absurd" dat hij zich "in het belang van de partij" heeft teruggetrokken. Hij overweegt een smaadprocedure tegen de Staat als de "insinuaties" in de "kwaadaardige brief" niet kunnen worden gestaafd. Volgens hem was er geen enkel bewijs. Binnenlandse Zaken wil niet ingaan op de zaak. Ook Wilders wil niet reageren.

21 May 2010

Hedy d'Ancona

"Met name de Midden-Oostenpolitiek van Nederland vind ik verderfelijk en schandelijk, het feit dat Nederland dwars ligt in Europa bij het stellen van condities aan Israël. Ik houd van Israël, maar vind de Israëlische politiek schandelijk. Ik schaam me ervoor dat Nederland achterstelling en onderdrukking van de Palestijnen toelaat. Ik ben niet meer actief in de politiek, maar zal hier als politiek activist – onder meer voor een Ander Joods Geluid – altijd mijn verontwaardiging over uitspreken." (Trouw 20 mei 2010)

Buitenlandse Zaken bekritiseert media, signaleert "afname van schuldgevoelens"

"Palestijnen worden geportretteerd als de zwakke partij wiens rechten worden geschonden..."

Wat is er verkeerd aan deze verslaggeving? Volgens een geheim (althans, niet openbaar) rapport van BuZa zouden de media aan "negatieve verslaggeving" hebben gedaan tijdens de aanval op Gaza, en dat is een van de redenen waarom de steun voor Israël in Nederland verminderd zou zijn. Dat het een volkomen zinloze slachting was van honderden onschuldige burgers staat neem ik aan niet in dat rapport. Andere oorzaken die worden genoemd: de grotere invloed van de moslimgemeenschap, de secularisering van Nederland in het algemeen, en "de afname van schuldgevoelens" na de tweede wereldoorlog over de jodenvervolging.

De Israëlische krant Yedioth Ahronot meldt in het bezit te zijn van dit document van Buitenlandse Zaken, dat gaat over de afnemende steun aan Israël na de aanval op Gaza. Dat dat niet alleen het geval is in Nederland, maar een globale trend is, vermeldt de krant niet. Het citeert uit het rapport:

"The prolonged conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, along with negative coverage in the Dutch media have been the central factors leading to the declining support," the document notes.

The Palestinians, according to the current stance, "Are being portrayed as the weak side whose rights are violated, and as a result they enjoy sympathy and support from the Dutch public. Other factors to take under consideration are the influence of the Muslim community in the Netherlands, the decrease in feelings of guilt following the treatment of Dutch Jewry in World War II and the declining status of religion in the country (and a consequential decline in Christian support)."

Bas Belder blijft weigeren zijn werk te doen

SGP zegt Israëlreis boos af | ANP/De Volkskrant, 20.05.10


STRAATSBURG - Europarlementslid Bas Belder (SGP) heeft boos afgezegd voor een werkbezoek van 25 Europarlementsleden aan Israël en de Palestijnse gebieden.

Het programma van de reis is volgens hem te eenzijdig. ‘Een gepland politiek bezoek aan de Gazastrook via Egypte is een legitimering van Hamas, een organisatie die op de EU-lijst van terroristische organisaties staat’, aldus Belder donderdag in een verklaring.

Belder is in het parlement voorzitter van een parlementscommisie voor de Europese relaties met Israël. Om die reden zou hij een belangrijk lid van de bezoekende groep zijn geweest.

Het werkbezoek volgende week is al langer omstreden. Eerder haakte delegatieleider Gabriele Albertini af omdat hij het bezoek te pro-Palestijns vindt.

Om te beginnen de laatste zin: het ANP zuigt hier uit haar duim dat Albertini (die zeer pro-Israël is, maar dat houdt het ANP weer onder de pet) het bezoek "te pro-Palestijns" vindt. Maar dat heeft hij helemaal niet beweerd. Hij weigerde mee te gaan omdat de delegatie "anti-Israeli propaganda" aan het voorbereiden zou zijn. "Rather than a peacekeeping mission, it looks like an anti-Israeli propaganda mission is being prepared!" Hij stelde dat er te weinig "pro-Israel" politici meereisde. Misschien zou hij in lichte paniek geraken, of misschien wel ziek worden, wanneer hij zich niet zou kunnen omringen met ja-knikkers? Het blijft raden, maar hij zou kunnen overwegen een reep aluminiumfolie in zijn kraag te dragen tegen het gesuggereerde complot.

Bas Belder holt kwijlend als een Pavlov-hond achter de zionist aan en weigert dus weer zijn werk te doen. De delegatie gaat zich informeren over de humanitaire situatie, het vredesproces en het gebruik van Europese subsidies in de Palestijnse gebieden. (bron)

Geen van beide parlementariërs hadden een probleem met Israël's verbod op het bezoeken van Gaza, en gesprekken met Palestijnse diplomaten en NGO's in Oost-Jeruzalem. Integendeel, zij zijn van mening dat de delegatie de orders van de bezetter maar moet opvolgen:

Mr Albertini said the delegation should "rebalance" its itinerary in line with Israeli demands. But the MEPs voted to ask Egypt to enter Gaza through its crossing point at Rafah instead.

En dat zit Bas Belder dwars, dat een (democratische) meerderheid van de Europese parlementsleden in de delegatie de orders van een bezetter niet wil opvolgen. Maar ook dat wordt begrijpelijker wanneer je weet dat de SGP de collaboratie met de nazi's van de oprichter van de partij, dominee Kersten, nog nooit heeft veroordeeld. Zijn handelen in het EP bewijst keer op keer dat hij geen voorstander van democratie is.

Lees alhier meer over Bas Belder en de SGP.

In order to change its image, Israel must change its behavior

Saying Israel is progressive and creative doesn't work when its politicians focus on victimhood and aggression

Haaretz | By Carlo Strenger, 20.05.10


One of the Foreign Ministry's most important projects over the last years has been to research how Israel can rebrand and reposition itself in the world. The project has involved first class researchers in Israel and abroad, and I have been very impressed by the quality of the data and the analysis.

The first conclusion of the 'Branding Israel' project has been that Israel needs to focus on the young global elites, because these are today's opinion shapers, and tomorrow's political leaders. These elites, as research by economist Richard Florida has shown, and my own research confirms, possess liberal and progressive world views. They are repelled by bigotry, violence and intolerance, and they utterly reject political and military repression.


A hasbara campaign depicting foreign reporters as propagating myths about Israel.

So far, the Israeli narrative has been governed by themes like victimhood and the struggle for survival. Accordingly, Israel’s image has been built primarily around the army and has always centered on the conflict with the Arab world – as a result, Israel is perceived as aggressive, withdrawn, without joie de vivre, and therefore negative.

The most important positive result of the ‘Branding Israel’ project has been that during the last decades, a powerful new sub-brand of Israel has evolved: it is called Tel Aviv, it is associated with Israel’s culture, technology and joie de vivre: it is perceived as liberal in outlook, full of vitality, creativity and oriented toward the future. Hence, the study concludes, Israel must rebrand itself as creative, vital and progressive; an image that has positive resonance with the young global elites.

However, there is one major obstacle in the path to rebranding Israel. Our politicians don't seem to understand how the mechanism of rebranding works. They confuse the old concept of ‘hasbara’, which literally means ‘explanation’ with branding. Explaining and arguing has no impact whatsoever on how people experience a person or a brand. Our relationship to brands is like our relationship to human beings: it is primarily emotional.

If somebody explains to you that she is a nice person, but does so sternly and harshly, it is the tone of voice rather than the content of the message that determines the listener's emotional reaction. Moreover: if you explain that you are nice, and are then seen behaving violently, it is the behavior rather than the words that will determine the emotional reaction. We all know this: if an airline explains to you that it is friendly, but you are treated dismally by its employees, you will tell your friends that the airline is horrible, not that it is friendly. Ultimately perception of a brand hinges on actual behavior and organizational culture, not propaganda.

Our politicians keep maintaining the image of Israel as obsessed with power and survival and reinforce Israel’s image as a negative world-presence. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman use every opportunity to compare the Iranian threat to the Holocaust and Netanyahu keeps expressing his concern for the Jewish people. Interior Minister Eli Yishai keeps repeating that Israel will continue to build in Jerusalem forever. In addition BBC broadcasts pictures of settlers hitting Palestinians and uprooting their olive trees. Lieberman may think that rebranding Israel will divert attention from the conflict, but this will not work.

Israel’s politicians and many of its well-meaning defenders say things like ‘but BBC and CNN are tendentious: why don’t they broadcast pictures of Israel’s medical breakthroughs and of its rescue team in Haiti?’ The answer is that in a free world you cannot dictate to the media what to broadcast. Because Israel’s actions in the territories are seen as its true nature, Israel’s sending its rescue team to Haiti is interpreted by many in the world, unfortunately and unjustly, as nothing but a propaganda effort.

Here we come to the deeper problem: in the same way an airline is, in the end, judged by its service, not by its advertising slogans, Israel is judged by its actions and not by hasbara. If Netanyahu wants Israel to be seen as progressive, liberal and creative, he cannot continue to build in Jerusalem, or say in his speeches that he will continue to do so forever. This is seen by the world as reactionary, repressive and brutal, not because the world is biased, but because Israel’s policy of dispossession in Jerusalem and in the settlements is indeed reactionary and repressive and cannot be justified by any security interest.

Israel will have to decide: it cannot rebrand itself as a liberal, creative and progressive country without being one. Our business sector, our artists and academics are mostly progressive, liberal and creative. But their impact on how Israel is perceived will remain negligible as long as Israel’s politicians and emissaries keep harping on victimhood and survival and as long as its policies are repressive.

This being said, for me the most important point is not how the world perceives us, but how Israel really is. We should care about being liberal, progressive and creative because these are values in themselves. Once the young global elites of the world will see that this is what we are, because we will have changed Israel’s policies, Branding Israel will take care of itself.

Special Place in Hell

Special Place in Hell / Rebranding Israel as a state headed for fascism

Haaretz | By Bradley Burston, 18.05.10


SHEIKH JARRAH, East Jerusalem - No one knows fascism better than Israelis. They are schooled, drilled in the history, the mechanics, the horrendous potential of fascist regimes. Israelis know fascism when they see it. In others.

They might well have expected when fascism began taking root here, it would arise at a time of a national leadership of galvanizing charisma and sweeping, powerfully orchestrated modes of action.

But that would have been much too obvious to deny. And it would take denial, inertia, selective memory, a sense that things – bad as they are - can go on like this indefinitely, for fascism to be able gain its foothold in a country founded in its very blood trail.

In fact, it has taken the most dysfunctional, the most rudderless government Israel has ever known, to make moderates uncomfortably aware of the countless but largely cosmetized ways in which the right in Israel and its supporters abroad have come to plant and nurture the seeds of fascism.

Wrote Boaz Okun, the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronot's legal affairs commentator and a retired Israeli judge, of Israel's ban on Noam Chomsky: "The decision to shut up Professor Chomsky is a decision to shut down freedom in the state of Israel.

"I'm not speaking of the stupidity of supplying ammunition to those who claim that Israel is fascist," Okun wrote, "rather, of our fear that we may actually be turning that way."



At the weekend, Israeli police riot troops waded into a thoroughly non-violent sit-in near the entrance to this East Jerusalem settlement zone, where Palestinian residents were expelled by Israeli court order, to allow their homes to be taken over by Jews.

What was curious here was not the neck-wrenching brutality of the Yasam riot police in their gunmetal gray uniforms, bristling with assault rifles, clubs, tear gas and helmets, arrayed against the demonstrators, most of of them Israeli Jews, some of them well past retirement age.

What was surprising was not the fact that several burly officers, seeing a young Reshet Bet (Israel State Radio news) reporter - his microphone clearly and unmistakably marked, interview one of the seated demonstrators - jump him and drag him away in a headlock to a police custody van.

In the end, what was peculiar was that the police seemed so entirely bewildered, so completely lacking in clear orders, left on their own to decide how to proceed in an arena of hair-trigger sensitivity. Fascism with a confused face.

Why should we be concerned by any of this? Perhaps because we have made our peace with a number of factors that can turn a society toward fascism as a solution.

1. Losing a War.

We've lost two in the space of less than three years. Our targets, Hezbollah and Hamas, are better armed and entrenched than ever. Our strategic and diplomatic standing is in decline. Iran and Syria are ascendant. And there is abundant reason to suspect that the Gaza War, a major factor in the loss of our international standing, may have been altogether avoidable, the huge civilian death toll indefensible and unconscionable. This has, in turn, led to

2. International quarantine, a sense of being scapegoated, and a search for an internal fifth column.

3. A radical redefinition of positive values.

Look no further than the name of Jerusalem's obscene Museum of Tolerance project.

4. Olfactory fatigue

We have grown desensitized to the consequences of actively denying basic staples and construction supplies to 1.5 million people in Gaza, many of them still waiting to rebuild homes we destroyed.

We have grown inured to the appropriation of Palestinian-owned West Bank land, to abusive treatment of law-abiding Palestinians at checkpoints, to the ill-treatment and summary expulsion of foreign workers, to racist, anti-democratic and, yes, fascistic rulings by extreme rightist rabbis, especially some of those holding official positions in the West Bank.

5. Fascism by rubber stamp.

"There are a million reasons why someone would be denied entry into Israel,” Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Hadad said Monday, when asked about the ministry’s border policies in the wake of the Chomsky ban.

“There may be a million reasons, but try to find a single criterion for entry refusal and you’ll hit a blank wall,” said Association for Civil Rights in Israel attorney Oded Feller. "The Interior Ministry simply doesn’t publish them, despite a court ruling that ordered them to do so.”

6. The sense that despite everything, all is well.

There will be those who argue that the fact that I, or my Haaretz colleagues, are allowed to publish what we do, is proof that there is no fascism here, nor evidence of a police state.

The fact is that were we not Israeli Jews, and part of an establishment institution, any of us could find ourselves tossed out on the same pavement, and with the same lack of due process and due explanation, as Noam Chomsky.

7. The sense that there is a war on now, when there isn't.

8. Selective enforcement of court rulings. Routine defiance of same, in particular by radical settlers

9. The 180-degree untruth that officials allow Israeli and Jerusalem Arabs to do what they want, while cracking down on their Jewish neighbors.

10. Equating criticism of the government with favoring the destruction of Israel.

This has become increasingly felt beyond Israel's borders. In San Francisco, the canary in the coal mine of free discourse within the Jewish community, the Jewish Federation [JCF] recently revised and tightened http://sfjcf.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/policy/ the terms under which it agrees to grant funds to organizations.

"The JCF does not fund organizations that through their mission, activities or partnerships … advocate for, or endorse, undermining the legitimacy of Israel as a secure independent, democratic Jewish state, including through participation in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in whole or in part."

The guidelines go on to state that "Presentations by organizations or individuals that are critical of particular Israeli government policies but are supportive of Israel’s right to exist as a secure independent Jewish democratic state" are "generally in accord with the policy statement," but "early JCRC [Jewish Community Relations Council] consultation is strongly encouraged and the programming should be presented within an overall program strategy that is consistent with JCF’s core values."

Can all this have spread this far, this fast? Because of Israel, have Bay Area Jews who do not believe in a specifically Jewish state, now forfeited their right to be part of the Jewish community? Have Jews who love Israel but are seen as too critical, or who support a boycott to make their criticisms manifest, been effectively excommunicated?

It's a free country, I guess.

20 May 2010

Projectile dysfunction - iron dome, Israel, trident, and the media

Last week, the BBC reported Barack Obama's request to Congress for $200 million in military aid to assist Israel's construction of a short-range rocket defence system, Iron Dome. The funding will be in addition to the $3 billion in military aid the US annually sends to Israel. A BBC online article explained:

"The system is designed to shoot down mortars and rockets from Gaza or Southern Lebanon with guided missiles." (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8681919.stm)

Details were provided:

"Iron Dome was conceived and developed in Israel following the Lebanon war of 2006, during which Hezbollah launched about 4,000 rockets into northern Israel. Southern Israel has also come under fire, with thousands of rockets and mortars fired by Palestinian militants."

The BBC failed to mention that during the 2006 war Lebanon was subjected to 12,000 Israeli bombing raids, 2,500 navy shells, 100,000 army shells and 4.6 million cluster bombs. (Jane's Defence Weekly, 'The war in numbers,' August 23, 2006 and http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/02/17/israel-s-use-cluster-bombs-shows-need-global-ban)

Even prior to the December 27, 2008 Operation Cast Lead offensive - when Israel attacked Gaza with hundreds of bombing raids and drone attacks, and thousands of artillery and tank shells - 14 Israelis had been killed by mostly home-made rockets fired from Gaza over the previous seven years as against 5,000 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces. Some 1,400 Palestinians were massacred in the Cast Lead assault.

The BBC reported the US administration's "unshakeable commitment" to Israeli security, adding that Obama "recognised the threat posed by missiles and rockets fired by Hamas and Hezbollah".

Obama did not recognise the threat to Palestinians posed by Israeli forces and expressed no "unshakeable commitment" to Palestinian security. This ought to be surprising, given that the mainstream media habitually present the United States as an "honest broker" in the conflict. In 2006, Channel 4's Jonathan Rugman declared:

"If you think in the last week the US has given up its role as honest broker in the Middle East then now, it seems, they've taken it back." (Channel 4 News, July 21, 2006)

In 2000, a BBC 1 lunchtime news report described then President Bill Clinton as "the man who has spent eight years trying to bring permanent peace to the Middle East". (BBC1 Lunchtime News, October 16, 2000)

Edward Herman commented recently:

"U.S. officials repeat day-after-day that our ‘solidarity' with Israel is an ‘unshakeable bond,' that there is no ‘space' between us and Israel on the issues, and that we have an ‘absolute commitment to Israel's security' (Hillary Clinton). A large fraction of congress and the Senate appear regularly at AIPAC [The American Israel Public Affairs Committee] annual meetings to virtually pledge allegiance to the State of Israel, and Vice President Joseph Biden has publicly declared himself ‘a Zionist,' with Israel ‘the center of my work as a United States Senator and now as vice president of the United States...'"

"There is also no ‘honest broker' in this fraudulent ‘peace process' - honest brokering is inconsistent with complete ‘solidarity' and a 'central commitment' to one side." (Herman, '"Protecting Israel's Ethnic Cleansing" - Deceptively Called "Protecting Israel's Security",' Z Magazine, May 2010)

This is blindingly obvious, but is somehow not an issue, not a reality, for mainstream journalists. The powers that be pretend that honest brokering is consistent with massively funding and arming one side - the media generally go along with the deception. As with the above BBC report, the mainstream typically portrays Palestinian violence as dominant with Israel merely retaliating. This also, Herman explains, is a lie:

"In reality, the primary violence is Israeli dispossession, which has taken Palestinian land and water for decades, under U.S. and other enlightened states' protection. Over the years the Palestinians have resisted, mainly peaceably, sometimes by violence, but with very much higher casualty rates suffered by the poorly armed Palestinians (over 20-1 prior to the second intifada, when the rate dropped to 3 or 4 to 1—rising to 100 to 1 in the Gaza war)."



No Logic Whatsoever

The BBC commented on the status of the Iron Dome technology:

"Israel completed tests on the system in January. Officials say the next phase in its development is its integration into the Israeli army."

It seems there are no investigative journalists at the BBC willing to check the claim that tests on the system have been "completed" so that the system is ready for action. As for questioning who might stand to gain from hyping this expensive technology, that is also not within the remit of BBC journalism. By contrast, the Jerusalem Post quotes the view of Tel Aviv University professor and noted military analyst Reuven Pedatzur:

"The Iron Dome is all a scam. The flight-time of a Kassam rocket to Sderot is 14 seconds, while the time the Iron Dome needs to identify a target and fire is something like 15 seconds. This means it can't defend against anything fired from fewer than five kilometers; but it probably couldn't defend against anything fired from 15 km., either." (http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=175042)

Pedatzur adds: "Considering the fact that each Iron Dome missile costs about $100,000 and each Kassam $5, all the Palestinians would need to do is build and launch a ton of rockets and hit our pocketbook."

A second rocket system, David's Sling, is even less workable, according to Pedatzur:

"Each one of its missiles costs $1 million, and Hizbullah has well over 40,000 rockets. This issue has no logic to it whatsoever."

Venturing even further beyond the BBC sphere of thinkable thought, we can note that the whole issue of missile defence - which has so far cost US taxpayers alone $100 billion - has long been awash with fraudulent claims. As Greg Thielmann, Senior Fellow at the Arms Control Association, has noted:

"Getting to ground truth on strategic missile defense is a bit like looking for a faithful reflection in the distorted mirrors of a carnival fun house — nothing is quite what it seems.

"Performance details are shrouded in secrecy on both strategic ballistic missile defenses and the countermeasures that would be used to defeat them. Neither strategic ballistic missile offenses nor defenses have been used in combat. Many experts to whom the public has access have a vested interest in spinning evaluations of their capabilities." (Greg Thielmann, Arms Control Association, ‘Strategic Missile Defense: A Reality Check'; http://www.armscontrol.org/system/files/TAB_StrategicMissileDefense.pdf)

During the 1991 Gulf War, the mostly male armchair generals of the media swooned before the power and precision of the Patriot anti-missile interceptor. The Guardian gushed:

"The Patriot, a surface-to-air missile, is first among equals of the equipment demonstrated in the Gulf conflict. Although Raytheon and the Pentagon credited the Patriot with only a ‘secondary anti-missile capability,' it has succeeded against Iraqi Scuds on each occasion it has been called on. Its performance belies concerns which led the Israelis to decide against buying it." (Francis Tusa, ‘War in the Gulf: Patriot makers race to keep pace with booming demand,' The Guardian, January 22, 1991)

Robert Fisk wrote in the Independent:

"We are all beginning to feel rather fond of the Patriot missile... The Patriots have performed almost as well as the maker's advertisements would have you believe. In Saudi Arabia, the best estimate of its success is 12 out of 16 Scuds destroyed." (Fisk, ‘Crumpled stovepipe that could still break up the coalition,' The Independent, January 24, 1991)

Thanks to comments such as these appearing right across the media, the US defence industry was "on a high", Larry Black noted in the Independent:

"Each time the trading-room television monitors replay those videos of cruise missiles attacking a Baghdad bunker, demand for General Dynamics and McDonnell Douglas stock explodes. For every Scud knocked out of the sky by a Patriot missile, America's defence-electronics contractors notch another dollar on their share prices." (Black, ‘US defence industry on a high,' The Independent, January 26, 1991)

Cynics might have put two and two - the claims of knocked out Scuds and the exploding stocks - together. The Patriot system was declared fully 98% successful in intercepting and destroying Scud missiles during the war. Professor Ted Postol of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was subsequently asked by Congress to investigate the 98% claim. Postol commented:

"It became clear that it wasn't even close to intercepting +any+ targets, let alone some targets." (Postol, Great Military Blunders, Channel 4, March 2, 2000, original emphasis)

Last year, Obama similarly hailed a new generation of antimissile defenses, as "proven and effective." These comments were based on a Pentagon assessment that the SM-3 (Standard Missile 3) had intercepted 84 per cent of incoming targets in tests. Alas, an examination of results from 10 of the allegedly successful tests - again by Postol working with George N. Lewis - found only one or two successful intercepts — a success rate of 10 to 20 per cent. Postol's comments were again sobering:

"The system is highly fragile and brittle and will intercept warheads only by accident, if ever."
(http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/18/world/18missile.html?th&emc=th)

In an article for the Arms Control Association, Lewis and Postol reviewed a key document published by the Obama administration in February: the Ballistic Missile Defense Review Report:

"... a review of the actual state of missile defense technologies reveals that this new vision put forth by the report is nothing more than a fiction and that the policy strategy that follows from these technical myths could well lead to a foreign policy disaster... the ground-based midcourse ballistic missile defense (GMD) system, which, according to the report, currently protects the continental United States from ICBM attack... has only been tested in carefully orchestrated scenarios that have been designed to hide fundamental flaws and produce appearances of success".
(http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2010_05/Lewis-Postol)

The same ludicrous, but lucrative, deceptions surround much high-tech military spending. In Britain, the cost of replacing the Trident nuclear missile system and building and equipping two large aircraft carriers will be as much as £130bn. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/sep/18/trident-replacement-hidden-cost-revealed)

Just as it is clear that anti-missile shields are currently worthless, so it is clear that Trident is a Cold War folly. Last year, several retired military officers - Field Marshal Lord Bramall, the former head of the armed forces, and two senior generals - said that renewing Trident was a waste of money:

"Nuclear weapons have shown themselves to be completely useless as a deterrent to the threats and scale of violence we currently, or are likely to, face - particularly international terrorism; and the more you analyse them the more unusable they appear." (Letter, ‘UK does not need a nuclear deterrent, The Times, January 16, 2009)

They added:

"Our independent deterrent has become virtually irrelevant except in the context of domestic politics. Rather than perpetuating Trident, the case is much stronger for funding our Armed Forces with what they need to meet the commitments actually laid upon them."

Similarly, Lord Guthrie, the former Chief of the Defence Staff, has argued for the cheapest nuclear deterrent rather than a replacement for Trident. General Sir Richard Dannatt, who last year retired as head of the British army, agrees.

In reality, the logic of military spending has been reversed. It is not that awesome weapons are required to counter awesome threats - threats are needed to +justify+ high-tech weapons. There is no terrrifying Soviet, Muslim or Martian plan to conquer the West. There is despair and anger expressed using the poor person's weapon of war - labelled "terrorism" by our own high-tech terrorists - that would vanish, instantly, if Western elites stopped inventing motives and machines for attacking innocent people. But as the leftist British musician Billy Bragg once sang:

"War, what is it good for? It's good for business."


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(bron: MediaLens - correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media)

A Bible in One Hand and a Gun in Another

I was astounded when I came across this debate on RussiaToday’s CrossTalk between Dr. Norman Finkelstein, a thorn in the pro-Occupation extreme Zionist camp and Raanan Gissin, an ex-official with the Israeli Government. Raanan Gissin was formerly a senior adviser to Ariel Sharon and currently works as a PR man for Israel, making frequent public appearances on various cable and international networks.

He made statements that many Israeli spokesmen and PR gurus are reticent to make, at least to American and European viewers. If I was the Israeli Media Defense Force (yes, such groups exist) I would be praying and hoping he wont make anymore appearances on TV. In the encounter, Gissin essentially said the reason that Jews have rights over those of the Palestinians who lived on the land is because it was written in the Bible. He says his grandfather tried to be nice to the Palestinians and do business with them after taking their land but some of them had to meet his gun. He also goes on to justify the take over of Palestinian land by Jewish Eastern Europeans and Russians by saying American settlers did the same thing to Native Americans.

Norman Finkelstein calmly and logically obliterates him. This is high voltage ownage that you don’t want to miss. (Below is the video and a transcript of the relevant portion.)

Transcription begins from 6:20 of video one, up until 0:55 of the second video. Enjoy.

Video 1:

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Video 2:

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Ranaan Gissin: When my great parents, came from Russia in a hundred and fifty years ago they came because there was a Bible in one hand, my grandfather came with a Bible in one hand and a rifle in another, and his hand was extended to the Arabs who lived here, some did make business with him and others who fought him had to meet the wrath of his rifle, and that’s how you live in the Middle East.

Norman Finkelstein: It is an oddity that you say you are coming and that you want to live in peace with someone you come with a rifle in one hand. I often have friends visit me at home and when they come to my home they don’t come with a rifle.

Ranaan Gissin interrupts: So did the settlers in America…

Norman Finkelstein: That’s correct. I appreciate Dr. Gissin’s comparison because I think it is exactly right, the first Euro-Americans who came to North America, came with rifle in hand because they came with the intention of displacing and replacing the indigenous population, that’s why they needed a rifle, and most Americans now a days at least acknowledge that what was done to the indigenous populations of North America was wrong and it’s exactly for the same reason that Jews from Eastern Europe had to come to Palestine with a rifle in hand because their intention was not to live with the indigenous population but to displace and dispossess it in order to create a Jewish state in an area that was overwhelmingly Arab, and uh, I think everything pretty much ensued after that, followed that basic fact. Now a days I would say there are possibilities for Israel to live at peace with what remains of the indigenous population but unfortunately Israel is unwilling to resolve the conflict along the lines of international law which would allow for some sort of co-existence between Israel and the Palestinian population that was displaced and dispossessed.

Peter Lavelle: Let’s go back to Tel Aviv, does Israel want to have peace with its neighbors and can the Palestinians have their own state as well? I mean, consistently the United States and Israel are the only two countries in the world that block this, consistently, consistently at the United Nations. So does Israel want to have peace? Go ahead Dr. Gissin.

Ranaan Gissin: Dr. Finkelstein’s formula is a formula for committing suicide, not for living in the Middle East. You have to live with the realities in the Middle East. I would like the Middle East to be like North America, I would like the Middle East, after four hundred years of bloody wars to be like Europe, but it’s not, it’s still a young region, it’s fraught with conflict, the Arab-Israeli conflict is not the only one, there are more conflicts than states in the Middle East, there are 22 states with one Israel and over thirty armed conflicts. Let’s face it, the largest conflicts are not between Israel and its neighbors but between Sunnis and Shi’ites, and Israel came with good intentions. Israel came with the intention to live alongside the Palestinians and let me say the way, when my great grandfather came from Russia, you know what he said, he had it very right and he had the Bible as his guide, he said the rights of the land are ours because this is our land. This is why I came back because this is our ancestral homeland, people who live on the land have rights and we tried to live with those people.

Peter Lavelle: We’re going to a break. Norman would you like to have a quick word before we go to the break?

Norman Finkelstein: Yes, I wonder Mr. Gissin if I came with a Bible in one hand and came to your home, I knocked on your door and said “according to my Bible, my family lived where your home is, my family lived there two thousand years ago,” would you pack up your bags and leave?

(Shouting)

I am waiting for your answer.


Gissin for some reason becomes obsessed with bringing his great grandfather into the picture. Maybe he was feeling nostalgic or reminiscing on olden’ time stories that he use to hear growing up, but it is quite chilling that he would think that the Bible is sufficient to justify taking another’s land. Just imagine a Muslim saying the same thing, “my grandfather came with a Quran in one hand and a rifle in another,” he would be branded a Jihadist terrorist in a split second. In fact, this is one of the stereotypical caricatures propagated by Orientalists and Islamophobes regarding Islam; the image of a Muslim warrior on an Arabian horse with a Quran in one hand and a sword in another.

Gissin has no intelligent rebuttal to Norman Finkelstein’s responses, his only retorts come in fumbling, high decibel, off topic spiels, at times he mumbles and stumbles over words. The most amazing portion might be where he justifies taking over Palestinian land by comparing what Jewish settlers did in Palestine to the actions of Euro-American settlers in North America. This is quite interesting because many pro-Israel defenders claim that it is not a correct analogy, and they say you can’t make that comparison; “it isn’t the same thing” we are told. There was just such a discussion in the comment section of a  previous article by our very own intrepid Danios, and yet here is an ex-Israeli official and one of their main PR men not only admitting that the comparison is true but using it as justification.

In my last article on Bill Maher I noted that one of the reasons for the intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the claims that religious Jews hold on the land. For them there is no room to maneuver because as Gissin states, using the Bible as his guide, “the rights of the land are ours because this is our land.”

For purposes of full disclosure, here is the third and final portion of the debate between Finkelstein and Gissin:

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(bron: Loonwatch)