Ben Wedeman trying to undermine Israel on its Aid to Gaza: But even he has to admit…

Here’s Ben Wedeman in the second week of the war commenting on Israel’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, by supplying Gazans with aid.

This is a particular gem of MSNM moral and intellectual confusion since his overall thrust is that Israel’s aid is a) just PR for show, b) pretty pathetic given that “ironically, their actually bombing the place,” and c) that no one’s impressed in Gaza since Israel’s to blame for the blockade in the first place. In the process of dismissing Israel’s effort, he makes an error which forces him to correct himself in mid-stream, which then leads him in another direction. The result: a revealing piece of euphemistic nonsense well worth savoring.

Well Israel has allowed a steady number of trucks coming with humanitarian goods uh into Gaza. This rather ironically as they’re actually bombing the place they’re sending food in as well. My understanding is 66 trucks went in today, so they do want to be at least seen as, as uh caring or providing or allowing others to provide humanitarian relief to the civilian population. Uh, but that sort of thing doesn’t necessarily go down very well, because it’s only Israel that controls the crossings, uh, into Gaza, with the exception of the one in Egypt and uh so, therefore if Israel were to cut off the supply altogether, uh, they would depend on Egypt and that’s not a good, uh, place to depend on.

Let’s take this piece apart:

Well Israel has allowed a steady number of trucks coming with humanitarian goods uh into Gaza. This rather ironically as they’re actually bombing the place they’re sending food in as well. My understanding is 66 trucks went in today, so they do want to be at least seen as, as uh caring or providing or allowing others to provide humanitarian relief to the civilian population.

Of course the irony doesn’t really work against Israel, so much as against Hamas. As Colonel Richard Kemp pointed out.

During the conflict, the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid virtually into your enemy’s hands is, to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks.

So the irony here is not that Israel is supplying people aid to the people they’re bombing, but that they’re breaking the basic rules of warfare (i.e., how to win) in order to spare people they don’t want to bomb, but have to because their enemy, who targets Israel’s civilians, systematically embeds itself in that population. The possibility that this humanitarian effort might be sincere, that Israel did not enjoy making the lives of ordinary Gazans wretched, did not even cross Wedeman’s mind. Imagine if he had responded:

Well Israel has allowed a steady supply of humanitarian aid going into the Gaza Strip, and even if some might say it’s for making PR points, it nonetheless defies the normal behavior of armies during war, where the last thing you do is supply your enemy with food, especially when Hamas is stealing much of this material and using it to strengthen its position. It really points out the Israeli dilemma of trying to stop those who are firing rockets and their civilians, when those combatants hide in and fire from civilian areas.

But empathizing with Israel is hardly Wedeman’s strong suit (which is Palestinian Suffering, specifically at the hands of Israel), and such remarks are hardly going to ingratiate him to his “constituency.” On the contrary, after noting his “irony” he tries to stick it to them again, this time by suggesting that the offer of this aid is not impressing anyone on the Gaza side (probably including the UN and other “humanitarian” groups there):

Uh, but that sort of thing doesn’t necessarily go down very well, because it’s only Israel that controls the crossings, uh, into Gaza…

At this point Wedeman seems to lose his train of thought.

It’s not clear where he’s going here, and since he’s immediately sidetracked by the realization that he’s just said something really stupid which any informed viewer would immediately recognize. The “uh” marks the moment he notices: he can’t say Israel controls all the borders, since Egypt controls the southern one. So he immediately (and rather smoothly) corrects himself.

Were I to speculate (one of my favorite activities), I’d say he was about to say (in bold):

“…because it’s only Israel that controls the crossings into Gaza… so therefore if Israel were to cut off the supply altogether, Gazans would starve to death, so they really don’t have any choice but to supply these people.”

Now on one level, I think that’s the narrative that Ben Wedeman and many of his colleagues at CNN and BBC and France2 and so many other news outlets tell themselves. Israel’s blockade is the story: they are the ones who have made the lives of Gazans miserable. Indeed, the admission that the Egyptians shared a border with Gaza and shared in their “siege,” was one of the most grudging and rare parts of the “background” explanation the MSNM offered their listeners.

This may well be because what goes on at the Egyptian border is incomprehensible in terms of the morality tale they’re telling themselves about a Palestinian victim and an Israeli oppressor. This narrative frame for the story — the Israeli Goliath and the Palestinian David — has a broad consensus despite it many flaws: it’s also the narrative of Hamas, the Palestinians, the post-colonialists, the NGOs, the UN HRC, the Goldstone Mission. Anomalies are not welcome.

Here’s NGO head, Samar Badawi, given a free infomercial on CNN, accusing who denies Israel is to blame for the siege of telling “a horrendous lie.”

Not surprisingly, the uninformed CNN interviewer doesn’t challenge him at all.

Alas for these folks, the story at the Rafah border crossing is not only ugly, it troubles their narrative: it’s about either Hamas or Egypt (or a combination of the two) refusing to allow humanitarian and medical aid to go into this humanitarian catastrophe caused by Israeli bombing. Here’s Christian Frasier in Egypt on the second day of the bombing campaign (December 28, 2008):

Here, a week later, are ambulances idle, bored doctors “taking emergency briefing,” and tons of medical supplies still languishing at the border.

The unpleasant, anomalous implication of what’s going on on the Egyptian border undermines the simple morality tale with which the MSNM frame their tale. Indeed, even as the entire world is being mobilized, violently mobilized, in the alleged defense of a victimized Palestinian people, the story at the Rafah border identifies other agents of their victimization — either their own leaders (Hamas), or the leaders of brethren states (Egypt).

This “detail” becomes all the more significant when we consider the larger context. Israel has the least reason to give humanitarian aid to the Gazans, the most reason to maintain a stringent blockade. In the history of warfare, they would normally, as the assailant with a grievance, want to cut off all access to aid until there was surrender. Indeed, normally one would expect the Rafah border, with a fellow Arab country, to be the site of a massive leak of both refugees from the conflict, and aid pouring in. If Israel can point to the incessant rocket attacks aimed at civilians as their reason to block material, what can Egypt claim? And a fortiori, if Hamas is screaming humanitarian crisis to the world, why would they block aid coming through? The answers to these questions — Egypt considers Hamas toxic, and Hamas wants to foster the crisis they complain about — offer startling and unsettling insights into the dynamics at work.

Now asking Wedeman, whose “beat” is how the Israelis victimize the Palestinians, to realize all this may be asking too much, and asking him to inform his viewers of this certainly is. He’s mostly in denial about most of these issues, so how could he put 2+2 together?

But his scruples as a reporter do kick in and he admits that the Egyptian border is also closed, and not by Israel. I suppose this is at least partly because, like all of us who speak publicly and authoritatively, we carry a little censor that prevents us from saying stupid things we can be “called on.” And claiming that “it’s only Israel that controls the crossings into Gaza” should (and does) bring out the inevitable “uh” that comes from saying something that is patently false.

From there it’s an inexorable (if limited) descent into honesty about how much less merciful the Egyptians are than the Israelis.

…with the exception of the one in Egypt and uh so, therefore if Israel were to cut off the supply altogether, uh, they would rely on Egypt and that’s not a good, uh, place to depend on.

Nice euphemism. Does the “uh” after “not a good” represent yet another audience that intrudes into what Wedeman feels he can say publicly (namely the reaction of the Egyptians to having their honor besmirched)? Certainly he’s not about to wax eloquent on the insane relations between Egypt and Hamas that has humanitarian aid tied up at their border.

So even here, where there was a chance to let people see a richer, more informed picture of what’s going on, we don’t get too close. Thus Wedeman’s interview here ends on a note of ironic aporia (nonsense). The sentence he began, “this [Israeli kindness] doesn’t go down too well [in Gaza]” ends with a wink and a “you know, Egypt is not exactly a good place to depend on.”

So Ben, you probably won’t get into too much trouble for that indiscretion now that your stationed in Cairo, will you? Certainly not the trouble you might have had you, during Operation Cast Lead, gotten off your duff on the Israeli-Gazan border, and done some hard-hitting stories on the Gazan-Egyptian border and let us know in detail about what we really should know.

52 Responses to Ben Wedeman trying to undermine Israel on its Aid to Gaza: But even he has to admit…

  1. E.G. says:

    RL,

    The common viewer doesn’t get all that subtelty. For her/him, the story is about poor Gazans being bombarded and denied help.
    The who-what-why part, s/he’ll eventually read in his/her favourite newspaper and/or blogs, and that’ll help viewer make his/her mind up.
    Or is it make-up his/her mind?

  2. Richard Landes says:

    the sad thing is that, altho the simple viewer doesn’t get the subtleties, neither does the arabic speaking veteran reporter.

  3. SE says:

    Nothing about the honor/shame brouhaha with Turkey?

    the short of it: the israelis don’t know how to play the game, so they’ll lose every time. -rl

  4. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    I,m shocked at how naive you are to expect The who-what-why part, s/he’ll eventually read in his/her favourite newspaper

    NYT, WaPo, BBC, Groaniad ???

    and half the twits watching Wedeman if they are on the net are only interested in Facebook and Twitter.

    Tsk, tsk.

  5. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    ‘Twas my charitable moment of the day.

  6. Pro-Zionist says:

    Good article.

    However, I fear that Israel’s surivival is threatened by the combination of
    - the Islamic media campaigns world-wide
    - clever Islamic misuse of western freedoms
    - the intimidation factor, even in the west
    - the big lie factor
    - the success of Pallywood

    These factors combine to
    - prevent Israel from defending itself
    - limit Israeli options in defending itself
    - limit western governments’ options in confronting Iran
    - allow Iran free reign (which will be magnified once it has nuclear weapons) to wage a hot war against Israel by proxy

    What is to be done?

  7. Pro-Zionist says:

    I should add that all these factors are also limiting any future for Jews in Europe.

  8. Ray in Seattle says:

    As EG says, the ordinary viewer doesn’t get the subtlety. I’d add that when someone is introduced as a special correspondent and stands before the camera, microphone in hand, someplace near the conflict – a whole lot of information has been emotionally transmitted already, even before he says the first word.

    The viewer has internalized the belief that here is someone who is standing there because a multi-million dollar network has sent to the scene and is paying him a lot of money to ferret out the truth and tell it to us.

    I am highly skeptical of the MSNM and their hired guns. But the packaging is so powerful that I have to make myself pay close attention to what is being said – looking for the inconsistencies. They do self edit so they won’t get called on it if their real beliefs get through. So even I can’t just sit back and get updated. Like most members of this forum I spend a lot of time keeping informed. Ordinary viewers (the great majority) have no defense and never even know they are being fed crap.

    Somebody who is a credible communications expert should do a conference on this type of thing focusing on the methods that are used, the damage to democracy and the idea of an informed electorate and the consequences in terms of human suffering and the anti-democratic propaganda that emerges from it.

  9. Joanne says:

    “…neither does the arabic speaking veteran reporter.”

    How many of those veteran reporters actually speak Arabic (let alone Hebrew)?

    I keep hearing of them depending on Arab minders. That may be so they have access to leaders, but I thought that it was usually for translation as well.

  10. Richard Landes says:

    Wedeman is allegedly quite fluent in arabic. but that doesn’t make things better. apparently, with some exceptions, the process of acquiring arabic means becoming something of a victim of stockholm syndrome. there was a scandal at middlebury over this kind of thing.

  11. Steven says:

    The two last videos are the same, please could you correct the error?

    Thanks.

    done. thanks for the heads-up.

  12. Eliyahu says:

    here’s more about Middlebury and the fashionable but false notion that the Middle East is a purely Arab-Muslim region.

    http://eccelibano.blogspot.com/2007/10/our-mother-tongue-arabic-what-joke.html

  13. Eliyahu says:

    in other words, Arabic language study programs often inculcate/indoctrinate pan-Arab nationalism. This is done not only by Arabs but by Western Establishment academic personnel, both instructors and administrators.

  14. E.G. says:

    RL and Eliyahu,

    Learning a foreign language without any reference to the culture that uses it is a bit futile. However, there’s a difference between cultural contextualisation/immersion and ideological/religious indoctrination.

  15. Eliyahu says:

    Read what Franck Salameh and Louis Harfouche say about these programs at the links above. Salameh points out that many non-Muslims, even non-Arabs, speak Arabic and live in the middle east, which does not make them Arabs anymore than an English-speaking Irishman is English. I speak English. That doesn’t make me English either.

    Salameh and Harfouche say that a distorted picture of the ME and its MANY peoples and cultures is presented/inculcated/indoctrinated in these courses. Of course, culture/geography is an important part of language study. But culture/geography should not be distorted by an ideological program.

  16. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    I did read (superficially). But how can one be naïve not to suspect that learning the Palestinian dialect (Syrian-Jordanian-Israeli) necessarily implies getting the cultural bundle (victimhood, grievances etc.) that comes with it? You know, Naqba, Nakhsa & Co.

  17. JD says:

    The fringe left is entertaining these days about the Egyptian border. In order to maintain their anti-semitic fantasies about Jewish control some went to Cairo recently to set up a stunt, a pilgrimage of sorts to the Israeli-Gaza border to prove by their example the Gaza-Egypt border was open, and not the problem.

    CNN is in the penumbra of leftist thought, thinking it sounds smart to bash Israel. But with many leftists I think they abandoned the Soviet anti-zionism viral discourse in the face of the unhideable religiosity of Hamas. The farthest crazies and anti-semites are holding on.

  18. Ray in Seattle says:

    I don’t get it. If they had managed to prove that the Egypt/Gaza border was not the problem would they not also have proved that there is no problem?

    I think they did prove that Hamas is toxic to anyone who shares a border with them, even other Arabs.

  19. JD says:

    Look at it in a politico-religious sense. The proving is to settle their anxious closed minds. The idea that Egypt does not like Gazans creates a cognitive dissonance for their worldview.

    The only thing they have left from the collapse of Marxism is deterministic brainwashing and anti-Zionism. Think of their venture as a pilgrimage. They have no intention of adjusting their worldview with nuances and contradictory information. It is made to confirm cult-like thinking, and spurred by panics in response to facts intruding on their world view. Then there is also anti-semitism which cannot be expressed domestically.

  20. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    Is this the impression you got from reading/watching MSNM?
    Where did you find out that Galloway was perona non grata in Egypt? Where did you get the info about that person expelled by/from Egypt?

  21. Ray in Seattle says:

    JD: That makes some sense. It’s hard to believe they would embark on such a PR mission without checking with the Egyptian government first, knowing what fools they would appear to be if the gov of Egypt didn’t play along. Maybe this setback will make them a little more cautious in the future. Meanwhile, enjoy the entertainment while we can.

  22. JD says:

    The Egyptian Government did not play along, when the protesters showed their cards. I figure they learned what the purpose of these “aid” caravans from the West are: political agitprop against Egypt. Probably the angle of “protest as therapy” would be lost upon them.

    The Israelis I read in Haaretz are wholly uneducated, they believe they can talk to the Western critics, whatever. Gaza and Hamas is proof that anti-semitism and anti-zionism trumps all reason. They have an inferiority complex, think they are losing international respect now. What? Where have they been for the last decades? One thing for sure, Israelis have no good sense of anti-semitism unless it is of the right-wing open variety. They should laugh at these critics and mock them with facts. All they can be is shamed, they cannot be converted, the Moscow-line Marxist cold war detritus is stuck into their minds no less than religion in Hamas.

  23. Ray in Seattle says:

    Yes – a good example of the power of ideological belief over reason. Everyone, no matter how intelligent is susceptible. In fact, more intelligent people are better at thinking up clever justifications for those beliefs.

    The only defense from them is to know how powerful and dangerous they are and to reject them when you find them trying to get in to your brain. Once they are in they are very hard to get rid of. It feels so good to hold on to those beielfs. They will always feel so much better than a cold dose of reality.

    Many people, especially from cultures that embrace and glorify strong ideological belief, will gladly die in their cause rather than let them go.

  24. Daph says:

    You are right about some writers in Haaretz and about the inability to understand antisemitism but if you live in this area you have to find ways to a. Separate from the Palestinians b. Not be perceived as weak and withdrawing c. Maintain your own values which did not prepare you for this responsibility and other contradictory goals, so the outcome of all this is many times not clear to people outside

  25. Lianne says:

    Another Haaretz tries to grapple with reality before retreating into comforting excuses:
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1141085.html

  26. Lianne says:

    A somewhat schizophrenic article that treats the Israeli ‘strict blockade’ policy as immutable, even as the journalist discusses the Egyptian wall and provides an unusually accurate portrayal of the commercial goods available in Gazan shops.
    http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2010/s2793874.htm

  27. Eliyahu says:

    Ray and JD are right that you can’t much reason with people like this. Their emotional attachments are their identity. But I would say that there is no actual ideology there but rather a complex of often incoherent beliefs and emotions, hates, passions, personal complexes, etc. An ideology –in the original sense of the word– was more or less coherent. Here it seems that they took off for Cairo [while Galloway's contingent came through Turkey and Syria] without clearing the ground rules with Egypt.

    What is scary is that ex-Senator Aburezk [abourezk?] and Wm Ayres and wife, Bernardine Dohrn, terrorists in the USA back in the late 60s-early 70s, have become part of this group. And Ayres of course is close to Obama. These ones that I just named are more calculating than their rank and file.

    But I always have to ask myself, How come these characters don’t go to the Sudan to help the oppressed, the hungry, the victims of genocide there?

  28. Ray in Seattle says:

    “How come these characters don’t go to the Sudan to help the oppressed, the hungry, the victims of genocide there?”

    No Juice.

  29. andrew says:

    If you have something nice to say about Israel, discuss
    something else: this is one of the axioms of current
    Western media. In the influential French newspaper
    LeFigaro (on-line: I would not buy it), a tour of the way countries, all over the world, are helping Haiti,
    contained the following: ”from the Middle East, a plane and help has been dispatched from Jordan”. That reminds me of the way the French TV channel 2 (yes, the al-Durrah one) had conveyed to its viewers the fact that Iran had rejected Israel’s offer of help after a major earthquake: ”help has come to Iran from all over the world, except Israel”. One last remembrance in the same direction: on the occasion of
    an earthquake in Turkey, a dog, part of an Israel search part, had been ”arayanized” (the Mogen David sign had been erased) by a TV channel, I do not remember which one (not a French one).

  30. Michelle Schatzman says:

    This is strange indeed, since “Le Figaro” is the most pro-israeli large national daily in France. So, I went to the web site, and I posted a comment on the article. It was a two-line comment, polite and concise.

    And for the first time in my life, the comment was rejected for “not complying with the rules for posting on the site”.

    I asked the chief of web things in Le Figaro to explain to me why my message had been rejected. I hope he answers, but I am not holding my breath. Several web surfers mentioned that Le Figaro forgot Israel, and I guess that I was just one too many who said the same thing. I bet that they can’t answer this to me in writing… if I’m wrong, I’ll let you know.

  31. Ray in Seattle says:

    Eliyahu says, “But I would say that there is no actual ideology there but rather a complex of often incoherent beliefs and emotions, hates, passions, personal complexes, etc.”

    That’s why I prefer the term “identity belief” rather than “ideologocal belief”. The latter makes the reader think of some recognized ideology when usually there is “a complex of often incoherent beliefs and emotions, hates, passions, personal complexes, etc.” as you say – even though some recognized ideology is often in the mix.

    The useful point is that beliefs guide behavior and “identity beliefs” do so very forcefully to maintain one’s sense of who they are – hence “identity beliefs”. Those forces can be very strong in all of us.

    Muslim homicide bombers see themselves as someone who is willing to die to destroy the enemies of Allah and they do so at least partially – in some cases wholly – to prove to themselves and others that their identity (self) is genuine and that they were true to it. I think just hating Jews or infidels is enough to make them kill Jews or infidels and put themselves at some risk to do it – but not enough to make them willingly kill themselves to get it done. It is often young people who have the greatest need to establish their identity and have others recognize it who become the “suiciders”.

    Understanding the force of identity beliefs in the mind is necessary IMO to understand the behavior of humans in conflict.

  32. E.G. says:

    Ben-Dror Yemini’s column (in Hebrew) in Maariv is titled: “Leftism, Racism and the Media”.

    http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/040/562.html

    He writes that the (Israeli) media’s obsessive preoccupation with the Turkish Ambassador’s humiliation (by the Israeli Foreign Affairs) was a diversion from the essential issue: Erdogan’s “criticism” of Israel. Instead of dealing with Turkey’s policy and its Islamic penchants, the leftist media identifies with Erdogan’s anti-ISraeli statements and treats Turks in a kind of paternalism that is, in fact, racism.

  33. E.G. says:

    Oh, and Haaretz published yesterday a long interview with Norman Finkelstein. Not (yet?) on its English site…

  34. E.G. says:

    An interesting account by a French military (in French) about Cast Lead Israeli information control and command.

    http://www.alliancegeostrategique.org/2010/01/10/operation_plomb_durci_infoops/

  35. andrew says:

    To E.G. #35: indeed, a very interesting account, the point of which is that, contrary to what had been done in 2006 in the war against Hezbollah, the IDF had
    prepared the ”information war” quite well. Unfortunately, however, the Goldstone report (among
    other things) amply proves that this is a war which,
    given the bias in the international organisations and media, Israel is in the impossiility to win, whatever
    the circumstances.

  36. E.G. says:

    Andrew,

    Or perhaps that 2 years are not enough to fully learn the Lebanon war lessons and come up with the most effective (i.e., winning) measures.

  37. Eliyahu says:

    I notice that the very learned Dr Siddiqui has a PhD from Brandeis. Do you see what happens when you nurture a viper in your bosom?

  38. Lianne says:

    Another Ben-Dror Yemini blog entry
    http://www.nrg.co.il/app/index.php?do=blog&encr_id=f2b4c1b55be76d1e6d7b777256ea0370&id=846

    Is the letter ‘shin’ pronounced ‘s’ or ‘sh’ in “אנטישמים” (anti-Semitic)?

  39. E.G. says:

    Thanks Lianne,

    It’s pronounced “AntiSHemim”.

    Yemini too is shocked about the Haaretz Norman Finkelstein interview. He enlarges the “treatment” to legitimate and illegitimate (delegitimizing) criticism.

  40. Eliyahu says:

    EG, you know, it’s hard for my stomach when I read this creep [this creep's crap]. But as you know he’s criticizing MK Barakeh. While Andreus, the author, is a creep, Barakeh is a major viper.

    But I find Andreus’ assertion quite interesting. He thinks that it would be best for Arabs –inc. Pal. Arabs, inc. Barakeh– to visit Auschwitz in groups of Arabs in order to show the world that they –sons of the Arab nation– identify with the suffering of the Jews who went through the Holocaust, etc. He doesn’t seem to realize that this comes 65 years too late. The PLO has been denying the Holocaust for many years, although some of the Arab clerics quoted in the collection of Muslim religious utterances on Israel and Jews [published by "DF Green" circa 1970] stated at the 4th conclave of the Academy of Islamic Research in Cairo [or some such title] that the Holocaust proved that the Western powers didn’t give a damn for the Jews and that the Arabs could get away with doing a 2nd Holocaust because the West didn’t care. These statements were rather insightful and true, although basically hostile. But they prove that the Arabs knew very well about the Holocaust. Now, they and their Western pimp friends like Garaudy and Faurisson claim that it didn’t happen. Of course, the Arabs are not as stupid as their Western supporters often try to portray them.

    So in the year 2010 Zuhayr Andreus wants Arabs to visit Auschwitz in order to prove their “genuine” sympathy with the dead Jews who never came back from there and with the relative few survivors still alive. Is he admitting that the Arab mouthpieces have been consciously lying about the non-occurence of the Holocaust all these years [I did not read the article to the end]??

    Why doesn’t Andreus admit [if he is sincerely sincere -Ha!] that Arabs consciously took part in the Holocaust, most notably the palestinian Arab leader, Haj Amin el-Husseini??

    Maybe Arabs like Andreus and Barakeh are beneficial to Israel and should be published in Yedi`ot, etc., because their intense hatred and bigotry make sane Jews mad.

  41. Eliyahu says:

    Actually, unlike Eurocreeps like Garaudy and Faurisson, knowledgeable Arabs should find it easy to accept the reality of the Holocaust. After all, the Armenian genocide must have been known to the older generation of leading Arabs who were close to the Ottoman regime. Like Husseini, by the way, who was an Ottoman army officer in WW I.

    The way they treat non-believers like Jews, Copts and Assyrians, as well as supposed fellow Arabs, the Arabic-speaking Christians [inc. Andreus], or even fellow Muslims, the non-Arab Kurds, or fellow Arab Muslims who belong to the wrong sect, that is, Sunnis slaughtering Shi`ites in Iraq [and in Muslim but non-Arab Pakistan], and Shi`ites slaughtering Sunnis in Iraq, etc., shows quite clearly that genocide and mass slaughter in general, are not at all foreign to them.

  42. E.G. says:

    A few translated paragraphs from Zohir Andreus’ op-ed:

    Barakeh is a public figure representing tens of thousands of his people, and not everyone agrees with his decision to participate in the delegation. It would have been much easier to accept such a journey, conducted as part of a Palestinian Arab delegation, to deliver the message according to which the Arab nation and the Palestinian Arab people, identify with the Jews who experienced the Holocaust.

    It would be also an opportunity to clarify that, like all other nations, we too want peace and equality and our right to exercise the national dream of a Palestinian state whose capital is Alkods, and act to implement UN Resolution 194 stating that the Palestinian refugees expelled in the Nakba return to their homeland.

    But MK Barakeh should be asked why he takes part in an official delegation of the Israeli Knesset to the extermination camp, while the other MKs in the party prevent us, the Palestinian Arab people, to remind the Nakba of 1948? After all, Barakeh too is a refugee with his family was expelled from Saphori (today’s Zippori) and moved to Shfaram. There are about 400 thousand refugees in their homeland such as MK Barakeh in today’s Israel.

  43. E.G. says:

    Comment # 96 by “A Christian Arab”:
    I’m really ashamed of my community

    We live here, and should be part of the state. What can one do, this is a Jewish state, and if one does not like he would cross the border. I really hope my age group will change the future and we’ll see that young Arabs fully participate in the state’s effort, and gain through this equal rights. As long as there’s this miserable Arab leadership and communication, they lead us to Nakba 2.

  44. E.G. says:

    Comment #73 by abonur
    What do you complain about Zohir?

    MK Barakeh is an Israeli Knesset member, if he travels with a group other than the Israeli delegation, then what kind of an Israeli Knesset member is he? If you like it or not, if he wants it or not, this is the reality that is difficult for Arabs to accept (as an Arab I can see it) We live in Israel, we are destined to live here so why complicate matters?
    Live here! Enough, everyone cares only for his ass in Israel and only we, Arabs, care for others? Why? Is it not time for us to take care of ourselves? That we internalize the reality that we live in Israel, that we were born in this country? Although there are many things we don’t like but it’s not just us, lots of native Jews resent what is happening in this country, but we have a sensitivity threshold and a mentality and culture that will bring us destruction, if it’s not already here.

    Mohammed Barakeh has a human need to participate in this expedition where he’ll be able to identify with the Holocaust of a people whose only “sin” was to be called Jewish, if this happened to Arabs you would expect Jews to identify with your pain, and that’s what Barakeh is doing, Besides, that will at least be something good for Barakeh to do for the Jewish voters, a considerable part of them second and third generation of Holocaust survivors (let’s not forget that Hadash founders were themselves survivors of the Holocaust).

    Zohir, we Arabs know how to discredit ourselves every time that someone has good intentions to do good to our people and for the people who lives with us, that’s it, we never learn to be positive, always adopt the doctrine of the herd, and between us, Zohir? No Mashaal and Abu Mazen and the Palestinian trash does anything for us, those who really do things for us are these people who are present here in Israel, the Jews, yes, the Jews we live with, and come-on, Zohir you can tell me as an Arab that not once and not ten times we Arabs have said “Luckily for us we live in Israel, otherwise we would have starved to death”… You can say so, no?? Every Arab would say so, and so would You! So enough being a hypocrite.

  45. Stan says:

    Hollow Journalist
    I can remember watching a Ben Weiderman report in 2005 just prior to the Israeli disengagement from Gaza and Ben was whyning on in an interveiw with a goat farmer whom he said (and showed) had papers to prove that he was the owner of the land on which a settlement that was soon to be evacuated was built. Ben’s report was about how justice was about to be done in that after many years the farmer would get his land back.
    Well after 4 years since the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Gaza by Israel I have not seen a follow-up of this “heart-renching” story by Ben to show that justice was indeed done and that the farmer is the proud owner of his returned farm. As far as I know all cleansed areas have become training grounds for terrorists ? This is a case of hollow journalism.

  46. Eliyahu says:

    Stan,
    Jews had lived in Gaza city for hundreds of years up to 1929, when they fled Arab pogroms and the threat of more to come. Kfar Darom was a moshav or Qibbuts in Gaza from which the Jewish inhabitants fled early in Israel’s War of Independence in 1948. Jews returned to Kfar Darom after the Six Day War [including one of the daughters of friends of ours] and resettled there. They were driven out by Sharon in 2005.

    As you know Sharon suffered two incapacitating strokes in December 2005 and early January 2006. What most people don’t know is that he was showing signs of mental impairment several years before the strokes that everyone knows about. This according to a physician whom I spoke to. Recall that Sharon seldom spoke in public in the 2 or 3 years before the “disengagement.”

    Maybe Sharon decided on that horrid “disengagement” because of his own mental impairment.

  47. Eliyahu says:

    RL, you write of “the simple morality tale with which the MSNM frame their” false narrative about Israel. I suggest calling the usual “news” presentations on BBC and other media outlets about Israel “a passion play” or “medieval passion play.” In other words, media viewers and “news” consumers in the West get a dose of Oberammergau not once a year but every night. No wonder more Euros, especially Brits, if I recall rightly, think that Israel is a dangerous, war-mongering country than Iran or Syria or Pakistan or whatever other countries were in that poll.

    Now in a passion play, presented at Easter every year, Jesus is unjustly condemned to crucifixion by –guess whom– by Jews. Jews conspire diabolically to deliver Jesus into Roman hands and have him executed by them. So on and so forth. What I say is that the ordinary “news” broadcast out of the Middle East, if it deals at all with Israel, is like a passion play. The so-called “palestinians” [a people unknown to history before the 1960s] are poor, persecuted folk who constitute a collective Jesus constantly being crucified by Israel, that is, by the Jews. This view is so real to many Westerners, both journalists and “news” consumers, that it seems real. It seems true. As the Greek poet Hesiod wrote, MSM “news” broadcasts are “many lies resembling truth.” The passion play theme is so ingrained in many Westerners that the contemporary lies recited in a way to fit the passion play theme “resemble truth.”

    Further, whatever is considered an ill and an evil by contemporary society is blamed on the Jews. So when “Oriental” was considered rather inferior, the Jew was Oriental [as Kant & Hegel wrote]. When fair skin was considered a sign of moral superiority and of beauty, the Jew was seen as swarthy [in fact many Jews were and are swarthy]. However, now that Oriental is considered good, indeed Arabs were held by edward said to be the truest and best of Orientals, Jews are said to be quintessential Westerners –that is, quintessential colonialist racists, settlers, exploiters, and oppressors– and the whitest of the white. Arabs meanwhile are held to be “non-white” whatever their actual skin tone [of course, there is a broad range of skin tone among both Jews and Arabs]. Historically however Arabs considered themselves white, certainly compared with Black Africans and of course superior to the latter, even if they had become islamized.

    An Arab writer, Shukri el-Fabunmi, pointed out that Egyptians wanted to consider themselves as Europeans at one time, and if not Europeans, then at least caucasoid Africans.

    So the everyday psywar that is the “news” broadcasts of the MSM can draw on preexisting prejudices about Jews, about their morality, their nature, their monumental crime of deicide. What is too little known is how Arab/Muslim culture/religion draw on the long history of their hatred for dhimmis [Jews and Christians first of all], Jews in particular.

    The MSM, like any good and proficient psywar operators, prefer not to start from scratch, from nothing, but to build on preexisting themes, beliefs, knowledge, prejudices, hates, passions. That is why different target audiences need different messages. And RL is right of course that the “narrative” must be kept free of anomalies. It simply would not do to inform the Euro brain dead that the “palestinians’” Arab brethren in Egypt are also blockading Gaza. We can’t confound the single Evil One [i.e., Israel] with other villains even if the latter are obviously secondary in importance.

    One of the big problems today is that even so-called intellectuals are incapable of understanding the ongoing state of constant psywar, not only against Israel but against civilization.

  48. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    You might be interested to know that a highly placed Iranian official used the n-word for Obama according to a PBS broadcast:

    Iran drops the n-bomb on Obama.

    Iranian official uses “N” word to describe Obama

    So how will the MSM draw on this existing prejudice?

  49. alfred neuman says:

    Why all the conversation? This guy Wedeman is a well-recognized racist anti-Semite, made painfully obvious by his relentless one-sided usually highly distorted “reports” on the Middle East in which he invariably blames Israel for everything and never mentions minor details like the endless Islamofascist terrorist murders which are the scourge of the region and indeed the world.

    If CNN had the slightest degree of journalistic integrity left (which they obviously don’t), Wedeman would have been fired long ago for his obvious bigotry and shabby excuse for journalism..

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