Monthly Archives: July 2008

NYTimes Balances Kershner’s Coverage of Palestinian Abuses

The New York Times simply couldn’t help themselves. They published an article by Isabel Kershner on July 29th, “Palestinian Factions Escalate Arrests“. Kershner was critical of the “tit-for-tat” arrests between Hamas and Fatah in the West Bank and Gaza, and the explosion that killed five Hamas members as well as young girl late Friday. But the article was too unbalanced for the Times, so they evened things out by placing the only photograph on the page right on top of Kershner’s article. The photograph, unrelated to the article, showed a Palestinian man lying on the ground, surrounded by Border Policemen who appear to be kicking him.

The caption reads, “Demolition Sets Off Confrontation Between Israelis and Palestinians– Israeli  forces surrounded a Palestinian man on Monday during a disturbance near East Jerusalem after Israel razed an apartment building it said had been put up without permission.”

As long as we can be confident that The New York Times is dedicated to balanced reporting.

Fundamentalist Salafism Finds a Home Amongst Palestinians

Salafi Islam, often called ‘Wahabbism’ (though its followers could see that term as derogatory- Wahabbism is a more recent subgroup within Salafism), is a fundamentalist movement that has become popular among jihadists across the Muslim world. The movement urges adherents to return to the original, pure Islam that was practiced by Muhammad and the first three generations of followers, or As-Salaf us-Salih. Salafists emphasize strict shari’a law, and seek to disassociate Islam from what they consider outside influences, such as philosophy and politics. They forbid innovations, or bid’ah, that they say have improperly been introduced into Islam. Salafists view many practices throughout the Muslim world as innovations, and as such, the movement causes deep rifts among Muslims. For instance, the Salafi teaching (from,
gives an idea of how staunchly opposed Salafists are to bid’ah. There is also an emphasis on monotheism, and Salafists condemn many common Muslim practices as shirk, or polytheism.

The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) also warned against the People of Innovation, from befriending, supporting or taking from them saying: “Whoever innovates or accommodates an innovator then upon him is the curse of Allaah, His Angels and the whole of mankind.” Reported by Bukhaaree (12/41) and Muslim (9/140)

Salafism has appealed to many disaffected young European Muslims, who are attracted to the simplicity and universality of its teachings. It has also spread rapidly via the internet, offering young Muslims in the “diaspora” a neo-Islamic identity that links them to a global movement very different from the more localized Islamic identities that their parents brought with them from the old world.

In a Jerusalem Post op-ed, Jonathan Spyer details the growing Salafi influence in Gaza and the West Bank. Not surprisingly, the growth of Salafism as borne a wave of violence associated with protecting fundamentalist Muslim beliefs.

Analysis: Salafism – the worrying process of self-radicalization
Published Jul. 24, 2008

Over the last two months, Israeli security forces have arrested six young Arab men suspected of seeking to form an extreme Islamist cell for the purpose of carrying out high-profile terror attacks in the capital. Two of the six held Israeli citizenship, while the other four were residents of east Jerusalem. It appears that they were radicalized through involvement in an Islamic study circle and via the Internet. Two Arab Israeli citizens from the town of Rahat were arrested in recent weeks on similar suspicions.

This is an especially worrying case. The two suspects are southern Bedouin. Southern Bedouin have been undergoing a worrying process of Islamization, as one can clearly see by the growing number of new mosques sprouting up in their towns. They were suspected of passing information on to Al-Qaeda.

In the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, these events reflect strange, unfamiliar patterns. Place them on a broader canvas, however, and the novelty sharply decreases. The latest events appear to reflect the arrival of global jihad methods and codes of practice to our shores.

NYTimes Strangely (?) Uninterested By Palestinians Killing Palestinians

When Israel seems guilty of killing Palestinians to The New York Times, the newspaper is eager to trumpet the story across its front page. We all remember the June 12, 2006 headline “Errant Shell Turns Girl Into Palestinian Icon“, and the article that suggested that in all likelihood, Israel was responsible for the shell that killed 9 Palestinians.

But when Palestinians kill Palestinians, The New York Times is a lot less interested. A car bomb near a Gaza beach on Friday exploded near a Hamas vehicle, killing five Hamas members, a 7 year-old girl, Sareen Safadi, and wounding 22 others (at last count). Did The New York Times put the story on its front page? No, but the article about over-exuberant parents of children at summer camp did. How about the International round-up on page A2. Again, no. Nor was the story featured on page A5, the front of the International Report. Buried on page a8, in the World Briefing at the back of the International Report, was this brief dispatch:

Gaza: Explosion Near a Car Used by Hamas Kills 4

A bomb exploded next to a car used by the armed wing of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, killing three gunmen apparently allied with the group and a young girl, Hamas and medical officials said. The authorities did not immediately place responsibility for the explosion, which occurred at an intersection outside Gaza City. Several people were wounded, including passers-by on their way to the beach. (REUTERS)

Charles Jacobs’ op-ed from The Jewish Advocate, Amnesty’s Dirty Little Secret“, explains the mind-set behind this inconsistency:

The human rights community consists mostly of decent middle-class white people who, when they see – or think they see – evil done by Westerners like themselves, who feel impelled to act. Think apartheid South Africa, Kosovo, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo.

But when these same folks see evil done by non-Westerners, they choke. It’s prejudiced, they feel, to criticize non-Westerners, and they live in dread of being labeled racist, or worse, “Islamophobic.”

Rather than bringing universal justice to those whose very lives depend on them, human rights groups are narcissistically expiating Western guilt. In the Muslim world there are millions of blacks, women, gays, apostates, atheists, labor leaders, freedom fighters and racial and religious minorities who live without basic human rights and who desperately need help from the human rights community. Yet Amnesty and others ignore non-Western totalitarianism so that they can define themselves in opposition to Western sins – imperialism, colonialism and racism.

White guilt – not anti-Semitism – explains the disproportionate attacks on Israel. Human rights groups frame Israelis as “white, Western, colonialists,” and Palestinians as “indigenous, dark-skinned, and poor.”

It is horribly wrong for “rights” activists to project their white guilt onto Israel, but that may not be the worst crime. In order to pound Israel (and America), Amnesty and other groups must look away, and stay out of the path of non-Western despots, who then oppress millions with impunity. Amnesty’s sin is against those they have abandoned in order to, they think, make themselves clean.

Gideon Levy Twisted in Knots (of self-hate)

Gideon Levy has a particularly revealing column today in which he rails against Israel playing the victim card. For someone who constantly plays the Palestinian victim card, pulling off this particular piece of Israel-bashing calls for special levels of lack of awarness. One of my readers, Jonathan Levy, has left a particularly pertinent response which I post here.

Like a beggar showing off his amputated limbs

By Gideon Levy

Tags: Israel, Barack Obama

It was yet another grotesque, if not macabre, scene: Barack Obama taking in a Qassam rocket exhibit in Sderot, holding a piece of rusting scrap metal in his hand after visiting with Osher Twito, the young boy whose leg had been amputated after he was hit by shrapnel from a Qassam. The distinguished guest had barely recovered from his obligatory visit to Yad Vashem, and now he was being exposed to more horrors. The visit, though, was a success. The Israeli propensity to extort sympathy the way an extractor produces carrot juice was in fine form.

MEMRI’s Report on Arab League Stifling of Press Freedom

On May 28, 2008, MEMRI published its report on the Arab League Satellite Broadcasting Charter, signed by Arab Information Ministers on February 12. The charter is an Orwellian attempt by Arab regimes to curb media criticism in the name of “social peace, national unity, and public order”, “inter-Arab solidarity or cooperation and integration among Arab countries”, and “Arab abilities and strengths, especially those that receive international recognition and acclaim”.

Satellite channels can lose their licenses if they fail to

“avoid all programming that disrespects God, the monotheistic religions, the prophets, religious sects, or the religious leaders of various groups”; “refrain from producing or broadcasting materials that include explicit images or manifestations of wanton or sexual [behavior]”;””refrain from programming that incites to terrorism or violence of any sort, while distinguishing between [terrorism and violence], on the one hand, and the right to resist occupation, on the other…”

Tough Love for the Wrong Guys: Kristof paves the way to hell

Post by Lazar and RL:

Nicholas Kristof illustrates nicely how he belongs on the pages of the NYT: despite paying attention to the negative feedback his previous postings on the Arab-Israeli conflict have elicited, he has a flat learning curve… which means that he has an old answer, no matter how inadequate, for every new objection.

Many bloggers have already responded more rapidly than we have.
Noah Pollak
Soccer Dad
Marty Peretz

Tough Love for Israel
Published: July 24, 2008

On his visit to the Middle East, Barack Obama gave ritual affirmations of his support for Israeli policy, but what Israel needs from America isn’t more love, but tougher love.

Oh would I love to hear what Kristof prescribes as “tough love” for the Palestinians. Let me just list a couple of immediate ones:

  • no more hate-mongering and hero-worship of child killers
  • genuinely amend the PLO charter unambiguously to recognize the right of Israel to exist — without preconditions
  • remove the genocidal and paranoid elements from the Hamas Charter
  • protect the rights of your Christian minorities

I’m not holding my breath.

Particularly at a time when Israel seems to be contemplating military strikes on Iranian nuclear sites, the United States would be a better friend if it said: “That’s crazy” – while also insisting on a 100 percent freeze on settlements in the West Bank and greater Jerusalem.

What is crazy is the Western allies so unable to coordinate policy that it’s come down to an Israeli strike — which it never should have. What’s crazy is the idea that not opposing a nuclear Iran is an option.

But Kristof assumes the classic argument from liberal cognitive egocentrism — of course you don’t bomb Iran. The consequences of an Iranian bomb are apparently “not a problem.” A flatter, less nuanced view of what’s at stake and what the (diplomatic) options are would be hard to find. And of course the idea that the West should use Israel’s desperation to pressure Iran wouldn’t occur to such a shrewd analyst. It’s like playing Bridge with someone who doesn’t even know who is partner is, a mouth-breathing hope addict who figures things will somehow work out if he isn’t too aggressive.

As for the settlement freeze, if Kristoff thinks that would encourage peace, then he has not been paying attention for the past decade. Would Palestinians stop attacking Israelis? No. Would Hamas stop smuggling weapons into Gaza? No. Why? Because Palestinians would take it as a sign of Israeli weakness and the success of their ability to pressure Israel through the West, rather than as a step towards peace.

On the contrary, without major concessions from the Palestinians, any freeze on settlements would, like so many previous Israeli concessions, lead to more rather than less violence. Kristoff is like a new driver who’s learning to back up, and still hasn’t figured out that you need to turn the wheel in the opposite direction.

Gaza Museum Curator Knows not to Display Certain Artifacts that would Anger Hamas

The article in today’s The New York Times, “Museum Offers Gray Gaza a View of its Dazzling Past“, provides the reader an insight into the reality of life under Hamas. A wealthy Gazan is opening an archaeological museum focusing on Gaza’s rich archaeological heritage. One would think that the Hamas rulers would encourage the museum’s growth in order show both Gazans and outsiders that civil society can thrive under their regime.

But some of the most significant items cannot go on display in Gaza.

His collection includes thousands of items, but some of the most extraordinary will not go on display now, including a statue of a full-breasted Aphrodite in a diaphanous gown, images of other ancient deities and oil lamps featuring menorahs.

Asked why, Mr. Khoudary noted Hamas’s rule and the conservative piety of the population and said simply, “I want my project to succeed.”

He did, however, bring a Hamas government minister to see the exhibition recently and pointed out two crosses on Byzantine columns to make sure he had no objections. The gap between what he calls the narrow-mindedness of today’s Gaza and the worldliness of the past is what most saddens him, he said.

The menorahs and crosses are evidence that other people lived in Gaza before Arab Muslims, which everyone, including Hamas, knows. But history is a tool to be manipulated for political means, in Hamas’ view. The menorahs are especially uncomfortable, validating a Jewish presence that existed well before a Muslim one.

The Aphrodite poses two problems, being sexually suggestive and a symbol of pagan Hellenistic culture.

Hamas-run Gaza (and potentially, the West Bank) lacks even basic freedoms of expression and religion, and is well on the way to becoming as oppressive and paranoid as any regime in the world.  

The headline should read, “Museum Offers Gray Gaza a View of its Dismal Future”. Happily Uses Material from anti-Semitic Organization on its Website

Yesterday’s  (a media organization out of the UK, a separate entity from Al Jazeera Satellite), featured this picture, accompanying an article about the Israeli ‘Massacre of Beit Daras’.

alJazeera portrays itself as a news organization, so it is certainly was a curious decision to run this piece, which contained not one bit of news, as its lead story on the website. Obviously, alJazeera,  saw this as an effective way to portray Israelis as a group of violent, Nazi-like thugs.

But alJazeera goes farther. The photograph is attributed to the website

For those of you who have not yet been fortunate enough to be enlightened by Michael Hoffman’s rural Idaho anti-Semitic rants, here is a selection of gems from the site:


With the caption:

Do you eat kosher meat?
Kosher slaughter of animals involves slitting their throats while they are conscious and then watching them writhe in agony. For a study of the kosher food racket, see Michael Hoffman’s new book Judaism Discovered.

Is New AP Style Good For Journalism? reported last week that the new head of the AP’s Washington Bureau, Ron Fournier, was changing the way the AP reports. Fournier is encouraging reporters to move away from dry, dispassionate reporting, and use instead the first-person and emotive writing. This is supposed to “cut through the clutter”, and keep readers from being caught up in spin and propaganda.

Fournier calls this “accountability journalism”, which he defends as new and exciting way for journalism to do its job, to provide its readers with the reality of a situaiton.

Fournier and other critics of the conventional press model, especially those on the left, have said that being released from the tired conventions of news writing is exactly what journalism needs.

By these lights, the mentality that presumes both sides of an argument are entitled to equal weight is what prevented the media from challenging the Bush administration more aggressively on the Iraq war and other issues…

A dispatch Fournier filed in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina began: “The Iraqi insurgency is in its last throes. The economy is booming. Anybody who leaks a CIA agent’s identity will be fired. Add another piece of White House rhetoric that doesn’t match the public’s view of reality: Help is on the way, Gulf Coast.”

Fournier cited the article in an essay titled “Accountability Journalism: Liberating reporters and the truth” he wrote for the June 1 issue of the AP’s internal newsletter, The Essentials, as an example of how to be “provocative without being partisan … truth-tellers without being editorial writers.”

The essay was preceded by an unsigned note declaring that “It’s AP’s goal this year (and henceforth) to make this accountability journalism a consistent theme in our coverage of public affairs, politics and government. We have unmatched resources and expertise in every state to report whether government officials are doing the job for which they were elected and keeping the promises they make.”

“Katrina was a good example of when the journalism community got it right, because it was staring us in the face,” Fournier, seated in the AP’s Washington bureau, told Politico.

“When George Bush stood up there and said that things were going fine in Katrina, I was able to write, ‘The president is wrong.’ That was pretty liberating. It was also a fact.”

Barack Obama, the John Lennon Candidate

Obama’s speech in Berlin is a perfect complement to John Lennon’s loopy song, Imagine: soft millennial musak.

Sixty years after the airlift, we are called upon again. History has led us to a new crossroad, with new promise and new peril. When you, the German people, tore down that wall – a wall that divided East and West; freedom and tyranny; fear and hope – walls came tumbling down around the world. From Kiev to Cape Town, prison camps were closed, and the doors of democracy were opened. Markets opened too, and the spread of information and technology reduced barriers to opportunity and prosperity. While the 20th century taught us that we share a common destiny, the 21st has revealed a world more intertwined than at any time in human history.

You’ll notice that the one place no walls came down was in the Arab world. Anomaly? How serious? Obama does acknowledge there’s a problem…

The fall of the Berlin Wall brought new hope. But that very closeness has given rise to new dangers – dangers that cannot be contained within the borders of a country or by the distance of an ocean.

The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from all over the globe on American soil.

As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya.

Poorly secured nuclear material in the former Soviet Union, or secrets from a scientist in Pakistan could help build a bomb that detonates in Paris. The poppies in Afghanistan become the heroin in Berlin. The poverty and violence in Somalia breeds the terror of tomorrow. The genocide in Darfur shames the conscience of us all.

Oh yes, poverty breeds terrorism, not well-educated ideologues driven by hate-mongering apocalyptic religious beliefs. That must be why the Magnificent 19 of 9-11 fame “lacked empathy.” They were too poor.

The genocide in Darfur (thanks for the right word), does shame us all; and part of the reason that it does is that it’s committed by racist Arab Muslims and no one wants to say that lest we offend the Arab League.

TNR on Germany’s Obasm: Cheering a ‘Projection’ of their Own Desires

Today’s The New Republic website features an article by Josef Joffe, publisher-editor of the German weekly Die Zeit , about Germany’s wild infatuation with Obama. Joffe argues that 

By vast margins, Germans and Europeans believe in Obama as the Savior & Redeemer who will deliver them from the last eight years of George W.

However, they are bound to be disappointed. Their enthusiasm comes less from a studied analysis on Obama’s positions, and more from a conviction that he will be whatever they would wish for in an American president- a humble believer in post-patriotic multi-nationalist institutions, not in any unique American place in the world.

GPO Sanctions Al-Jazeera, JPost Gets Details Wrong

Danny Seaman, Director of the Government Press Office, has decided to sanction Al-Jazeera after ther Beirut desk held a party in Samir Kuntar’s honor to celebrate his release. Seaman has ordered  the GPO to withold all services, such as press credentials and help with visas, from Al-Jazeera until they provide an explanation about the affair.

The Jerusalem Post covered the story, but wrote that

Seaman said he also planned to write to the Foreign Press Association in Israel to explain his decision.

Second Draft’s sources tell us that Seaman has no intention of contacting the FPA, and never told the JPost reporter that he would.   

The GPO sanctioned Al-Jazeera earlier in the year after they staged a candlelight vigil in Gaza to protest cuts in fuel supply from Israel.

To Find the Principles: James Wald’s Blog is Back

An old friend from graduate school, who is a professor of German History at Hampshire College and has sent me many an excellent tip and/or comments over the years has put his blog back in action. Among the new entries, all of which are worth reading, he has several on the odious comparison of Israel to the Nazis.

Nasty Nazi Analogies: Amherst Activists Call Gaza Israel’s Concentration Camp

Friday, June 13 was certainly an unlucky day for our local “Women in Black.”

Like many activist groups, the Women in Black attract the predictable mixture of benevolent civic-minded souls, misguided idealists, and myopic, mean-spirited dogmatists. These days, the latter two categories seem to predominate. Their recent demonstration revealed their complicity in the bigoted behavior that is becoming dismayingly common, in Amherst and elsewhere, among the supposed “left” in general and the pseudo-“peace” movements in particular.

Fridays at midday, the Women station themselves in front of the hideous Bank of America building opposite the Amherst Town Hall and Common and hold up signs calling attention to their causes of the moment.

This was the sight that greeted me as I left the bank, where I had stopped in preparation for a trip to Europe on academic business:

amherst women in black

Taken aback, I explained that I was a professional historian and asked whether I could help them with their problem: The sign was deeply offensive and inappropriate. Were they incredibly insensitive, I inquired—or just really, really stupid?

Read the rest.

And another:

Nasty Nazi Analogies in Amherst: Gaza is Like the Warsaw Ghetto?

From a flyer distributed to drivers in the center of town, dated 10 May 2008:

gaza flier amherst

“The Amherst Vigil for Peace and Justice in a Nuclear Free World . . . continues to advocate for an end to the arms trade, for an end to nuclear weapons at home and abroad and for social justice around the world.”

Evidently, “social justice” does not in this case include doing justice to the historical truth or to the agonizing complexities of contemporary politics.

The perverse and perversely consistent desire of enemies of Israel to identify with the Jewish fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto (whose leaders, incidentally, were left-wing Zionists) is a peculiar phenomenon worthy of further study, though the fundamental tendency is clearly to mobilize support by claiming the ultimate underdog status.

Read the rest.

“American Martyr’s” Diaries are Published

Post by Lazar and RL (in italics)

Ah, Rachel Corrie. We all remember the late Rachel Corrie, the American martyr, the heroine of the anti-Israel (and America) far left, who traveled to the Gaza Strip in early 2003 as part of the International Solidarity Movement, and was killed while attempting to impede an Israeli D-9 bulldozer from demolishing… it’s not clear: was it the house of Samir Nasrallah or was it a tunnel through which minitions for attacks on Israeli civilians were being smuggled? She became an icon for Palestinians and their international supporters. Plays were written in her honor, and scholarships and babies carry her name in Arab countries.

On her memorial website (there are many others), her parents say about their daughter:

How I wish that the young man in the bulldozer that killed Rachel could have just stopped, hopped out, and talked to her. He would have met a beautiful soul.


Ah would some Power the giftie gie them to see their daughter as others see her. Yes, a beautiful soul. And what an example for the little Palestinian children around her.

An interview with Rachel two days before her death in Gaza does not portray an introspective, discerning young woman, but rather shows a girl in over her head offering slogans and cliches about Israeli brutality, virginal Palestinian innocence, etc. Wherever she is now, I wonder how she is twisting Hamas’ brutal takeover of the Gaza Strip into a product of Israeli colonialism to whoever has the patience to listen to her force a line of reasoning through her ‘ums’ and ‘uhs’.

She says that Israel is systematically destroying the Palestinians ability to survive. The Palestinian economy has crumbled since Israel left — gone are the jobs in Gush Katif, and even the greenhouses that the Israelis left for them were destroyed.

Rachel’s parents write:

    Rachel’s brutal death illustrates dramatically the madness of war.

They should have written, “Rachel’s brutal death illustrates dramatically the madness of parents who let their initially well-intentioned young daughter be brainwashed by the dominant activist scene at her college (Evergreen State), and then let her go to a war zone to protect terrorists and be used by them as a propaganda piece… to prolong the madness of war.

On, Roberta Seid reviewed the recently released diary of Rachel Corrie, entitled Let Me Stand Alone: The Journals of Rachel Corrie. Seid’s finds an idealistic student who allowed herself to be indoctrinated by the activists at Evergreen, who never dealt with events that ran counter to the narrative taught to her, and who was oblivious to the gap between her notion of cruel Israelis and her actual experiences with them.

For the full article, click here:

Her more rebellious teen and college years were filled with intermittent depression, struggles with her mother, neo-beat activities, all-night drug and alcohol parties, a job on the graveyard shift of a mental health service for low-income clients, cigarette smoking in the early dawn streets with the town’s derelicts after her shift, and bouts of agoraphobia.

The diaries demonstrate little introspection. Rachel Corrie rarely questioned herself, her opinions, or her motives. In her writings, she attempted no human portraits, except very brief ones of her first love, Colin, and even these are about how he reacts to her. Hers is a hermetic world, and her idealism was similarly focused inward — an inchoate, vague passion that fastened on a variety of the progressive causes espoused by her family, home town, and college, Evergreen.

A fairly good description of at least one dimension of moral autism.

Arrogance? Fear? Both? NYT Refuses McCain Editorial

According to the Drudge Report, the NYT editorial board (David Shipley), has refused an editorial from Republican presumed nominee for President, John McCain. (HT: LGF) This comes only days after they ran an editorial by presumed Democratic nominee, Barack Obama. The logic is interesting to say the least:

    ‘The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans. It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama’s piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq.

With such specific demands, one wonders why Shipley accepted a piece from Ahmed Yousef, a political advisor to Ismail Haniya of Hamas. One can think of a dozen reasons to reject such an obvious piece of dishonest propaganda.

So why no? Is Shipley afraid of “giving McCain a platform” to criticize Obama? Is he arrogant enough to think he can dictate to a presidential candidate what they can and can’t say? Here’s McCain’s rejected piece via the Drudge Report. You be the judge.

In any case, as Rick Moran at PJMedia puts it, the museum that documents the demise of the print MSM newspapers in the early 21st century will have this event as exhibit A.

In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80% to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation now is full of hope, but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

CNN’s Wedeman: I Black Heart Palestinian Children

Second Draft has sent out several alerts and Breath of the Beast has posted two analyses of Ben Wedeman’s coverage for CNN of Israel’s crackdown on Hamas organizations in the West Bank, including schools and a shopping mall. Several blogs have taken up the call to publicize this (see below).

First, view Wedeman’s handiwork.

It’s actually rare that we get a look inside the workshop of a journalist and see what he makes his report from. In this case we know that the Israeli army gave Wedeman exclusive footage, expected that he would do something focusing on the kind of hate-mongering that goes on in Hamas-run organizations.

This tape would strike any normal, “cognitively-egocentric liberal” as disturbing to say the least. Kindergarteners, dressed up in Hamas uniforms (with black masks) storm the stage and “kill” two kids dressed as Israeli soldiers and drag them across the stage; then they prance around the stage to martial music for at least 10 minutes. For those familiar with the workings of Palestinian schools, where ceremonies that emphasize the bloodthirsty are common, however, this is hardly surprising.

girl with bloody hands
A kindergarten girl shows her “bloody hands” at a graduation ceremony in Gaza. She is mimicking the behavior of one of the lynchers of two Israeli reservists, beaten to death in Ramallah on October 12, 2000.

ramallah lynching bloody hands
The model. Note that while the Palestinians did everything to prevent this footage from getting out to the West, this had nothing to do with their being genuinely ashamed of this savage behavior.

What it does constitute, however, is a valuable entryway into perhaps the single most serious cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict: Palestinian hate-mongering. The reason why “Oslo” logic fails is not because the Israelis don’t concede enough, not because they continue to expand settlements (any “normal” foe, seeing the land it wants for a future nation being eaten up so, would hurry negotiations, especially when the “settler” government has agreed in advance to clear settlements), not because they don’t get enough “dignity” in the land deal, but because Palestinian leaders think only in zero-sum terms, dream only of destroying their neighbors, and teach their children well. And thereby, a father’s hell will surely go on.

Prisoner Swap Bolsters Hizbullah, Endangers IDF Soldiers

The prisoner exchange has been completed, and Hizbullah has not missed the opportunity. They are proclaiming victory in the Second Lebanon War, since they carried out the initial ambush with the goal of kidnapping soldiers to gain the release of Samir Kuntar. The Hizbullah commander in Southern Lebanon, Nabil Kaouk, said,

“The signatures of Olmert and Peres on the swap means official confirmation of the defeat and failure of the July aggression in the face of the will of the resistance.”

This achievement is just what Hizbullah needed- facing domestic pressure after their violent clashes with pro-government forces, they now have justification for remaining an independent militia inside Lebanon.

Israeli soldiers are more likely to be kidnapped every time that Israel reinforces its enemies’ notion that this is the best way to free terrorists, and to raise their own prestige. Hamas has recognized this as well, and has stated so publicly.

Israel should be commended for its efforts to bring every soldier home, and some abroad may see the contrast between Israel’s solemn drive to bury their soldiers properly, and Hizbullah’s celebration of a child killer. But Israel should be more concerned with the perceptions of those who attack its citizens. Their incentive to kidnap has been elevated by this deal.

A Tale of Three Cultures: Samir Quntar, Hero or Monster?

Samir Quntar, the Lebanese Druse Terrorist who killed a man in front of his family (shot in the back) and then smashed his four-year old daughters brains out against a rock, is being returned to Lebanon today.

Here is a piece from the point of view of his victims.

For Israelis — and, one would imagine, the rest of the Western world that holds life sacred and attacks on innocent civilians, crimes of war, this man is the quintessence of a monster, and the cultures that could greet him as a hero, pathological in their hatreds.

That, alas, is the case both among (some) Lebanese and Palestinians.

Here is a piece from the point of view of some Lebanese.

Now can someone explain to me why this latter piece is the product of France24 TV, and not Hezbullah TV?

Brutalization of Muslim Women in Western Countries- Tom Gross Finds More Shocking Cases

The phenomenon of honor killings occuring in Western democracies is not a new one, but it has recently gained media attention. The case of the Georgia man, originally from Pakistan, who killed his daughter for attempting to get out of an arranged marriage was covered by the major media outlets.

Tom Gross, on his Mideast Media Analysis site, has collected some other recent cases of honor killings and other systematic brutalization of Muslim women in Western countries.


Seventeen young women and girls were removed by police from the luxury Conrad Hotel in Brussels last Tuesday evening following allegations that they had been enslaved by Arab royals.

Belgian police raided the Conrad, the city’s most prestigious hotel and the preferred place of residence for many presidents and prime ministers during European Union summits.

Police took away 17 young girls from the Philippines, Morocco, India, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq and Syria, amid allegations they had been held captive in the hotel for eight months.

Belgian newspapers have described the case as “slavery right in the heart of Brussels.”

Verbal Vegetarianism and the Israeli Foreign Ministry

In a July 8 op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, and a July 10 update on the NGO Monitor website, Prof. Gerald Steinberg makes the case for a more aggressive approach to anti-Israel NGOs by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Prof. Steinberg, the chairman of Bar-Ilan University’s Political Science Department, also heads NGO Monitor. In the article, Prof. Steinberg argues that the Israeli Foreign Ministry continues to ignore the damage that NGOs inflict on Israel’s reputation, and Israeli refusal to allocate manpower and resources to combat their smear campaigns harms Israel by circulating their agenda into mainstream media and even the U.S. government.

Prof. Steinberg points out, disturbingly, that many of these NGOs are funded by Zionist Jewish donors who give money to left-wing non-profits such as the New Israel Fund and the Ford Foundation. These well-intentioned donors expect their money to be used to promote civil rights and build civil society in Israel, and not funneled to anti-Israel NGOs. The NIF ran into trouble with many of its donors when it decided to continue to fund Adalah, the Israeli-Arab NGO that came out with a position paper last year against the notion of Israel as a Jewish state, proposing a “democratic constitution” that supported the “right of return”.

An NGO black hole in the Foreign Ministry

Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg
July 08, 2008
Jerusalem Post
For many years, the rhetoric of human rights has been one of the most effective weapons used against Israel. The strategy is simple – Israel is attacked, responds, and is instantly condemned for “war crimes,” “apartheid” and “collective punishment.” As a result, one would have thought that the Israeli government would have long ago launched a counter-offensive to expose and defeat such campaigns, led by powerful non-governmental organizations and amplified in the UN and the press.