Monthly Archives: July 2010

Goldstone Again: What to make of the Israeli Response

It’s time to take up Goldstone again. The Israelis have released the results of their investigation in four parts, and at some point in the not too distant future, they’ll release their final findings.

The Operation in Gaza: Factual and Legal Aspects (July 2009)
Gaza Operation Investigations: Update (Jan 2010)
ITIC: Hamas and the Terror Threat from the Gaza Strip (March 2010)
Gaza Operation Investigations: Second Update (July 2010)

I am preparing with others a systematic study comparing Goldstone’s findings with those of the Israeli army. I’ll post up each significant incident in turn.

Right now, I want to suggest reading two pieces, one pro, one contra Goldstone. Comments welcome.

Elder of Ziyon, Goldstone: Asymmetric Legal Warfare

Yaniv Reich, New Israeli report on Operation Cast Lead confirms Goldstone report’s main findings

My latest piece at PJTV: Cotler, Rubenstein and Herzberg on Iran and the NGO giants

Time to Name and Shame: Iran’s Human Rights Violations

Bibliographical notes to the above piece:

Background Material:

Cotler’s Report: The Danger of a Nuclear, Genocidal, Right Violating Iran (PDF)

Executive Summary

Endorsers (PDF)

Elihu D. Richter and Alex Barnea, “Tehran’s Genocidal Incitement against Israel,” Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2009, pp. 45-51.

Op-Ed on the report in Ottowa Citizen.

Cotler Impresses Australian NGOs

The Three Human Rights NGOs Cotler commended for their work:

1) United against a nuclear Iran

2) Stop the Bomb

3) International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Global Human-Rights NGO Giants and their Critics

Human Rights Watch on Iran

Amnesty International on Iran

NGO Monitor, the major critic of the Human Rights NGOs tendency to pick on democracies.

NGO Monitor’s Critique of HRW:

NGO Monitor’s Critique of Amnesty International:

Aggressive Lack of Solidarity against Iran

Israel ambassador to Portugal reprimanded for Iran comments JPost 7/14/10

Why is German Public Television Courting Ahmadinejad’s Media? The Weekly Standard

Benjamin Weinthal, “Germany’s chance to get serious on sanctions” JPost

Benjamin Weinthal, “Germany robs sanctions of their power” JPost’

Russian and Chinese Support for Teheran

Attacks from the Left:

Richard Silverstein attacks an anti-Iranian NGO – hint, not on content but smear by association)

Norman Finkelstein’s attack on Cotler. Much projection.

While the [Western] NGOs are away, focusing on their own culture’s violations, groups like Hamas will play…

Hamas’ culture of impunity in violations of the human rights of Gazans

translation here.

Possible Sanctions/Attacks on Iran

AP: Ex-CIA chief: Strike on Iran seems more likely now

Elise Cooper, “Former CIA Director Sets the Record Straight Regarding His Comments on an Iran Attack,” PJMedia

CHARMAINE NORONHA (AP), “Canada imposes tougher sanctions against IranWashington Post, July 26, 2010.

EU tightens sanctions over Iran nuclear programme BBC, July 26, 2010

More extensive bibliography of recent articles at The Israel Project.

Eye for an Eye: On the moral chasm in the Arab-Israeli conflict

People who like to bait Jews enjoy accusing them of taking “an eye for an eye” in their fight with the Palestinians, despite its profound misunderstanding of the original source. (I argue that it’s also a indicator of equality before the law: unlike other law codes, Israelite law does not recognize aristocratic privilege in its “wergeld/manprice.”)

It’s also a favorite theme of pacifists arguing against retaliation, as, e.g., in the case of 9-11. Gandhi, in what I’m beginning to suspect was not an innocent misreading of the principle, is quoted for saying, “an eye for an eye and pretty soon the whole world is blind.

Here’s a good illustration of what the phrase means in reality. Nothing quite like an incident like this for clarity about the huge moral chasm that separates Israeli culture from Palestinian.

Monday, July 19, 2010
Israel Treats Palestinian Cancer Patient, Father Goes on Terror Rampage
Posted by Jameel @ The Muqata at 7/19/2010 01:09:00 PM

On the Monday morning of June 14, 2010, an Israeli policeman was killed and three others were injured when Palestinian terrorists opened fire at a police car near the Yehuda/West Bank settlement of Beit Hagai. The officers were making their way to Hebron from the southern city of Beersheba.

The killed officer was identified as Command Sergeant Major Yehoshua (Shuki) Sofer, 39, who had served in the Hebron region for 14 years. (YNET).

This morning, the Shin Bet cleared for publication, that the Shin Bet has arrested a Hamas cell believed to be behind the shooting attack.

The Paradox:

One of the cell’s heads said in his interrogation that just two weeks before he embarked on the attack, his six-year-old daughter was hospitalized in Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, where she had a tumor removed from her eye. The operation was funded by an Israeli organization. (YNET)

I’d love some more information here. How did this man talk about the two deeds – his and the Israeli hospital’s?

Ignoring Taguieff: Al Durah, Judeophobia, and the Success of Islamism in Europe

Pierre-André Taguieff sent me two links to articles that deal with the omerta of the French media about Taguieff’s book, « La nouvelle propagande anti juive ». I have already posted on this issue when Robert Redeker lost his position as book reviewer for a small Luxembourgeois paper for daring to review it favorably. Now two articles, including one in the Nouvel Observateur have taken up the cudgels for Taguieff.

Both point to Taguieff’s work on the Al Durah case as one of the main causes of the silence of the MSNM on his work. I reproduce the two passages on Al Durah below.

Note also an interesting incident in the French Senate during hearings for the new head of France2, in which a Senator put the appointee on the spot about the Al Durah story. This story is covered in still greater detail by the indefatigable Veronique Chemla in which she points out that a) the Senator in question (Plancade) gave the new head of France2 (Pflimlin) Taguieff’s book; and b) that none of the MSNM mentioned Plancade’s intervention. (HT/Eliyahu)

Vladimir Vladimirovitch A Lire

Par ailleurs il décrit et démontre la complicité des médias dans le processus précédent. En s’appuyant noatamment sur l’affaire Al Dourah qui lui permet de décrire par quels processus la classe médiatique, au mépris de toute déontologie, a manifesté sa solidarité avec Charles Enderlin, auteur du reportage contesté dans sa véracité (bien qu’il n’ait pas été présent au moment des faits). Israël ne pouvant être que coupable et les Palestiniens des victimes, il n’était en effet pas possible de revenir sur cette version des faits présentant les soldats israéliens comme des tueurs d’enfants palestiniens sans défense. Pourtant bien des éléments méritent qu’une enquête soit menée sur la validité de ce reportage. Ce qu’ont fait d’ailleurs des journalistes allemands demontant point par point la thèse d’Enderlin.

[Among other things he describes and demonstrates the complicity of the media in the preceding process (i.e., the alliance between the left and the islamists - rl). He emphasizes the al Durah affair to describe the way the "media class" (information professionals - rl), acting in violation of all professional ethics, showed its solidarity with Charles Enderlin, author of the contested report (even though he wasn't present at the time of the events). Since Israel can only be guilty and the Palestinians only victims, it was impossible to revise this version of events in which the Israeli soldiers were killers of defenseless Palestinian children. And yet many aspects of the case indicate that an investigation be carried out on the validity of the report... which German journalists did, dismantling point by point Enderlin's contentions.]

Les médias ne présenteront donc pas ce livre. Parce qu’il les met en cause et parce qu’il navigue à contre courant en démontrant que cette nouvelle propagande antijuive dont ils sont les porteurs constitue une arme de l’islamisme non pas contre Israël simplement, mais contre les démocraties. Ouvrage donc iconoclaste.

[The media will therefore not present this book. Because it questions them, and because it sails against the prevailing winds, dhowing that this new anti-Jewish propaganda of which they are the carriers constitutes an arm of Islamism not only aimed at Israel, but against democracies. Therefore, an iconoclastic work.]

Tarnero’s article is longer, published in a relatively new and iconoclastic publication, Causeur, which has taken on the Al Durah case already. Again, I only cite the segment directly concerned with Al Durah.

Lee Smith on the suicidal tendencies of “the wrong that has become habit and custom”

Lee Smith has a brilliant analysis of the way western intellectuals are drawn to terrorists like a moth to a devouring flame, a subject I recently addressed in somewhat more prosaic terms.

Hollow Men

Why Israel’s enemies will always be the darlings of Western intellectuals

By Lee Smith | Jul 14, 2010 7:00 AM | Print | Email / Share

It’s nothing new for Western intellectuals to lavish attention and admiration on the resistance forces aligned against Israel, whether it’s Hamas or Hezbollah or even organizations like al-Qaida that are less interested in Israel than in killing and maiming Western civilians. Last week, when CNN’s former Middle East editor, Octavia Nasr, tweeted that she respected the late militant cleric Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, the cards were out on the table for all to see. But usually the pro-resistance vibe is more subtle, as when Nasr’s defenders demanded a more nuanced understanding from knee-jerk Americans who were shocked by Nasr’s support for a suicide-bomb-sanctioning man of faith. After all, Fadlallah was a relatively pro-feminist radical Islamist cleric—and if his talk about Israel was genocidal, well, that’s just part of the package when dealing with a complex place like the Middle East.

Media consumers in the United States are by now well aware that Hezbollah and Hamas provide “social services” for their communities. For the writers and television personalities who push such supposed palliatives on their audiences—“Yes, they do chant ‘kill the Jews!’ and they do act on their rhetoric, but they also educate poor kids in clean, well-lit schools (please ignore the slogans painted on the walls)”—respect for the resistance is a polite way of indicating one’s tolerance for murderous anti-Semitism. The issue is whether this attitude is in danger of seeping into the mainstream of the U.S. public. Poll numbers show that U.S. support for Israel is consistently high—in February Gallup found that a near-record 63 percent of Americans were more sympathetic to the Jewish state than to the Palestinians. But ideas can change, and it’s intellectuals who often lead the way. Remember that Israel was a popular cause among the intellectual classes until the 1967 war. It is true that the American people and the bulk of their intellectual class are far apart on the subject of Israel, but all the massive and popular evil of the last century started among a small ideological elite.

On the MO of a “Scourge”: Mya Guarnieri deals with criticism

CiF Watch has an interesting piece about the experience of their fellow “media watcher” organization, The Brothers of Judea, who monitor the anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism of the Huffington Post.

The case in question concerns a certain Mya Guarnieri, who supports a one-state solution after the return of the Palestinian refugees, as the path to a “true democracy.” The contrast between Guarnieri’s inflated rhetoric and the Brother’s of Judea’s measured remarks highlights the way in which what Anthony Julius calls “scourges” – that is, Jews who believe that their higher morality impels them to engage in public whipping of Israel to drive it on the right path – lose all perspective in their obsession with Israel’s “crimes.”

Their sharp but entirely legitimate criticisms apparently did not please Ms. Guarnieri, who seems more comfortable in the position of “indignant scourge” than that of even “mildly rebuked.” So her response? I’m looking into suing you for defamation. Shades of Charles Enderlin and the Streisand effect.

Swallowing the Bitter Pill: A Comment from an Islamophobe

In my essay on Jew-Baiting in England I redefined Islamophobe as someone who is afraid to criticize Islam. Here’s a comment someone left me at the Second Draft on that post that illustrates the dynamics I described in the essay quite vividly.

Prof. Landes,
What an ill-mannered hysteric you are! How dare you malign this fair city,our Queen and country, you impudent neocon Yank! What you call “Jew-baiting” is principled opposition to the Crimes of Israel as detailed extensively in The Goldstone Report. There are 1,000,000,000 Muslims on the planet – what would the good professor have us do – incinerate them all? As far as “proportion” goes – Israel sits at the epicenter of the world’s troubles,and its murderous racism has a much more harmful impact than do similar atrocities in a backwater like the Sudan. YOUR fantasy, Sir, is that Israel is in fact NOT doing anything except lapping buttermilk and beehiving honey. The truth is a bitter pill to swallow, and dear fellow- you’d be well-advised to pour yourself a shot of castor oil when you drop the little capsule in your already wet mouth.

Ian Slade
London,UK

Let’s take it from the top.

The Hidden Costs of Jew-Baiting in England

For the linked version (and the place to leave comments) go to the PJMedia site. -rl

The Hidden Costs of Jew-Baiting in England
Jew-baiting has become something of a sport in England, as Brits feed the monster — radical Islam — that devours them.
July 10, 2010 – by Richard Landes

London is an amazing place, full of vitality, intensity, foreign tourists and residents, a patchwork of pluralism. Talk to the average person, and nothing seems amiss: this cab driver, having driven in London for 40 years, sees no significant change in the neighborhoods he travels through; this financier sees no signs of intimidation; this shopper, this tavern-hopper, this man on the bus, lives in an interesting and relatively normal world. A superficial walk through the [Regent’s] park gives the distinct sense of normality.

But talk to the Jews, and you get a different story. The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists held a conference here this week. The topic: Democratic and Legal Norms in an Age of Terror. Panels discussed everything from the Goldstone Report, to the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, to “universal jurisdiction” (lawfare against Israelis brought in foreign courts). Here, in the Khalili Lecture Theatre of the SOAS (School for Oriental and African Studies), Jewish lawyers discussed a grim reality whose only public appearance on an everyday basis is the drumbeat of calumny that a boisterous elite — NGOs, journalists, academics — rain down on Israel.

Perhaps the most startling of the sessions concerned the BDS movement. Jonathan Rynhold, from the BESA Center at Bar Ilan, and Anthony Julius, author of Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England, both presented a picture of British anti-Zionist activity whose intellectual and moral foundations were profoundly irrational, a dogmatic will to stigmatize and destroy Israel that responded to no argument about proportion (what about other places?) or reason (you make no moral demands of the Palestinians). And behind that lies a much weightier volume of negative feeling, a kind of unthinking animosity that expressed itself in its most banal form when a woman explained to Julius: “We all know why the Jews are hated: you marry among yourselves and live in ghettos like Golders Green and Vienna [sic].” In so doing, she put her finger on the most widespread subtext for hostility to Jews – “they think they’re the chosen people.”

Daniel Eilon, an English solicitor, explained to me one of the mechanisms. It isn’t real anti-Semitism. In fact, most of the stuff that comes out against Israel is intellectually hopeless — phony narratives based on fantasy “facts.” This is really just good old-fashioned Jew-baiting. It’s saying things in all righteous innocence that you know will hurt the Jews to whom you address the criticism. The problem for the Brits (and the Europeans in general), he pointed out, is that historically, there’s never been a particularly high price to pay for Jew-baiting. Now there is.

What my friend referred to with this last remark is lucidly analyzed by Robin Shepherd in his recent book, A State Beyond the Pale: Europe’s Problem with Israel. The elephant in the room, of course, is radical Islam — the people who interpret being “chosen” by Allah as a charter to dominate the world and submit everyone, willingly or not, to Islam. They’re the people no one dares bait; and they’re the folks who take full advantage of every deference to press for more. Daily aggressions from violent gangs constantly expand the territories where the Queen’s writ does not run. In tempo with the retreat of British law and enforcement, Sharia advances from internal community affairs (explicitly on the model of Jewish religious courts) towards the policing of community boundaries and claims on the state for special treatment. The British — like so many other Western nations –mainstream the extremists and marginalize the moderates. As Nick Cohen put it: “The world faces a psychotic movement and won’t admit it to themselves.”

Ouch: BP Ad from 1999

Can we call this ironic? (HT/YK)

CNN fires Octavia Nasr for her pro-Hizbullah Tweet

Last week, at the death of one of Hizbullah’s spiritual mentors, Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, Octavia Nasr, CNN’s special consultant on Arab culture sent out a tweet expressing her sadness.

nasr's tweet

The tweet caused a great stir, especially among those familiar with both Fadlallah career and statements – he approved Palestinian “martyrdom operations” targeting civilians, denied the Holocaust, and may well have masterminded the attack on the US barracks in 1983 – and Nasr’s widespread knowledge of the issues.

This prompted a rapid apology/explanation from Nasr: I didn’t approve of his hatred of the US and Israel and approval of terrorism, but he was good on women. (Wouldn’t that be considered dual loyalty? Sure he’s a hateful guy when it comes to the US and other democracies, but hey, he was okay on the subject of my gender.)

Not surprisingly, perhaps, this is not a slip in terms of Nasr’s sympathies. Her coverage at CNN is shot through with support for Arab anti-Zionism, a support which she translated into (scarcely) impartial language.

Only Israel has no right to defend itself…

(HT/Cookie)

Is it that the world doesn’t care about Jewish blood spilt? Or is it that too many like it?

For an extended treatment of this issue by someone who keeps his head level, his eye on the ball, and unfailingly finds clarity despite being surrounded by madfolk, see Robin Shepherd’s A State Beyond the Pale: Europe’s Problem with Israel. I’ll post on his chapter on Islam in Europe shortly.

Some Dumb “Goys” and Al Durah: Insights into the minds of Useful Infidels

There’s a silly movie about a young martial arts student whose master sent him on a quest to find a still greater master. His only clue is (it turns out) a Chinese fortune cookie factory named “Sum dom goy.”

I was reminded of it by a passage in my latest read, Anthony Julius’ The Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England. In response to the Al-Durah affair, Irish poet Tom Paulin wrote a “squib” entitled: “Killed in Crossfire.”

We’re fed this inert
This lying phrase
like comfort food
as another little Palestinian boy
in trainers jeans and a white teeshirt
is gunned down by the Zionist SS
whose initials we should
- but we don’t – dumb goys -
clock in the weasel word crossfire.

Julius does a fine job of analyzing the multi-layered references to, and invocations of anti-Semitic themes here, including Paulin’s [gnostic] inside knowledge” that permits us certainty that “crossfire” conceals genocidal deeds.

I’d like to focus on the reference to “dumb goys” [sic]. On some level this poem is by a man who deeply resents how Jews – he thinks – dismiss him as a dumb goy. Thus they have the nerve to feed him “comfort food” about a cross-fire when (he knows) that they gunned this boy down in cold blood, a deed that reveals their Nazi-like nature.

And how does he know this? Because Talal, via his useful infidel Charles Enderlin, told him so.

Now that we know that the scene was staged, how different this all appears. Paulin was fed the “comfort food” of an anti-Semitic lethal narrative about a boy gunned down in cold blood, which he (and his fellow fool, Robert Fisk who wrote a piece two days after the story broke denouncing the use of “crossfire” as a euphemism for deliberate murder), swallowed hook line and sinker.

The alleged “comfort food” Paulin rejects here – the Israeli claim that the boy died in a cross-fire, hence they did not deliberately kill an innocent boy, even if they may have killed him – is unacceptable to Paulin and Fisk because it lets Israel off the hook.

In their minds, it puts the typical dumb goy – not them! they’re way too clever – to sleep, while the evil Jewish conspiracy goes on. (Julius point out the use of the “goy” as a derogatory term by the [anti-Semite's version of] the Elders of Zion in their infamous “Protocols,” translated by Marsden as the “gentile aristocracy”).

How ironic that even that defensive posture of the Israelis is far from the real truth, namely that Palestinians faked this – and how many other? – lethal narratives in order to indict Israel and incite hatred. Of course if “crossfire” is unacceptable, how much the more “staged” would be to Paulin and Fisk.

The comfort food that Paulin and Fisk prefer to this weasel-word cop-out, is the far richer nourishment of blood libel, and in so doing they, like Catherine Nay, incarnate the European addiction to anything that can help them target their pathological hatred: the Jews. Like some 400 pound slob whose cholesterol is above 300, they just can’t stop popping down these delightful truffles of moral Schadenfreude that will kill them.

Some dumb goy, indeed.

I just finished attending the International Jewish Lawyers’ Conference here in London. One of the sessions was dedicated to BDS and Julius spoke about the pervasive presence of anti-Zionism/anti-Semitism in England. The discussion moved to matters of “framing,” and I suggested that British Jews might address their British brethren in terms of how by gulping down these tasty morsels of anti-Zionism they were feeding the monster that will devour them.

By and large most of the people there did not know what I was talking about, and when I specified that the monster was global Jihad, they assured me that the British public is far from feeling endangered. My sense is, reading Melanie Phillips in particular, that they misread the public and remain glued to the elites who live in la-la-land.