There has never been a state of Palestine 308

We published this article on November 11, 2011 under the title FYI. We need to change only one word – an “all” to a “most” – for it to be as accurate and pertinent now as it was then. The need to change that one word is, however, a sign of welcome improvement in Israeli-Arab relations: 

We all have opinions on issues about which we are ignorant. They arise from our characters, our prejudices, and our emotions. Fortunately, in our private lives, our opinions seldom matter enough to cause much harm. But when persons in power form policies based on uninformed opinions arising from their deep-seated prejudices, they affect the lives of millions, necessarily for the worse.

And in the arena of politics, the prejudices and uninformed opinions of many individuals can all too easily influence the actions of the powerful.

One of the dangers of democracy is that the vote of the know-nothing counts for exactly the same as the vote of the well-informed, and the know-nothings can swing an election.

It’s the business of the mass media to inform the public. When journalists let their own opinions keep them from telling the truth about an issue or a candidate for office, they empower the ignorant. The media failed in their duty to inform the electorate that Barack Obama was a poorly-educated, inexperienced, far-left ideologue with close ties to terrorists and jihadists. The votes of the uninformed gave him the presidency. The result is a wrecked economy, and the weakening of the United States as a power in the world and so of Western civilization as a whole.

If there is one issue in world politics on which opinions are held most strongly while being least informed it is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Vast numbers of people, almost certainly a majority, believe these falsehoods:

  1. The Palestinians had their country taken away from them by the Jews.
  2. The Israelis expelled the Palestinians.
  3. The Israelis illegally occupy territories that belong to the Palestinians.
  4. The Israelis refuse to negotiate for peace with Palestinian leaders.
  5. Israeli intransigence impeded a peace process that Palestinian leaders pursued in good faith.

We summarily dismiss points 1 and 2: –

  1. There never was, in all history, a State of Palestine.
  2. There is no evidence that any Arabs were expelled from the State of Israel. There is evidence that in at least one city – Haifa – they were implored to stay. There is also evidence that the Mufti of Jerusalem and Arab leaders urged them to leave before five Arab armies invaded the newly-declared State of Israel, promising them a victory after which the refugees would return to their homes. And there is absolute certainty that hundreds of thousands of Jews were forcibly expelled – stripped of all they possessed – from the Arab states. 

As for points 3, 4, and 5, we quote from an excellent recent column by Melanie Phillips at the Mail Online. She writes:

One of the most egregious signs of western irrationality and bigotry over the issue of Israel is the way in which its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is routinely scapegoated for causing the breakdown of the so-called peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

This charge is based on the widespread fallacy that the ‘peace process’ has stalled because Israel keeps building more Jewish ‘settlements’ on ‘Palestinian land’. This reasoning is not only totally wrong but utterly perverse on the following grounds:

1) The actual reason for the collapse of the ‘peace process’ is that Mahmoud Abbas repeatedly maintains that he will never accept that Israel is entitled to be a Jewish state, hails Palestinian terrorists as heroes for murdering Israelis and does nothing to end the incitement to murder Jews disseminated in schools, mosques and media under his control. In other words, Abbas is not a legitimate interlocutor in any civilised ‘peace process’ since he remains committed to the eradication of Israel [as are all  most Arab and Muslim leaders – JB]. Yet Netanyahu is blamed for the impasse.

2) It is only Israel that has made concessions in this ‘peace process’ [giving up vast areas of land conquered in defensive wars in exchange for peace that was never granted]. The Palestinians not only failed to deliver what was expected of them under the Road Map [or under any of the signed agreements] but now, with their UN gambit, have unilaterally reneged on their previous treaty obligations. Yet Abbas is given a free pass while Netanyahu is blamed instead for the impasse.

3) The claim that the ‘settlements’ are the key to resolving the dispute is ridiculous. First, they take up no more than one or two per cent of West Bank territory. Second, even when Netanyahu froze such new building for ten months as a sign of good will, Abbas still refused to negotiate. Yet this is all ignored, and Netanyahu is blamed instead for the impasse.

4) The claim that the establishment of a Palestine state would end the dispute is also ridiculous. Such a state was on offer in 1948; Israel offered to give up more than 90 per cent of the West Bank for such a state in 2000; and an even more generous offer was subsequently made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The Palestinian response was in every case war and terror. Yet all this is ignored, and Netanyahu is blamed instead for the impasse.

5) Whatever land Israel may choose to give up in its own interests, under international law Jews are entitled to settle anywhere in the West Bank. There is no such thing as Palestinian land and never was.The West Bank and Gaza never belonged to any sovereign ruler after the British withdrew from Mandatory Palestine; before that it was part of the Ottoman empire. Israel’s ‘borders’ are in fact merely the cease-fire lines from its victory in 1948 against the Arab armies that tried unsuccessfully to exterminate it at birth. It is therefore more correct to call the West Bank and Gaza disputed territory. Yet this history and law are denied and Netanyahu is blamed instead for the impasse.

6) The Jews alone have the legal – as well as the moral and historical – right to settle within the West Bank and Gaza, a right given to them by the Great Powers after the First World War on account of the unique historical claim by the Jews to the land then called Palestine. This Jewish right to settle anywhere in that land was entrusted to Britain to deliver under the terms of the Mandate for Palestine – an obligation which it proceeded to break. [Even giving away the greater part of the territory to the Arabs to create the Emirate of Transjordon – now the Kingdom of Jordan – which is therefore an Arab state of Palestine.Yet this history and law are denied, and Netanyahu is blamed instead for the impasse.

This information is the bare minimum a commenter needs before he is justified in expressing an opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. An opinion formed with any less knowledge is worthless and potentially dangerous.

Posted under Islam, Israel, Palestinians by Jillian Becker on Saturday, December 9, 2023

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Anti-Semitism is again sweeping the globe 404

Victor Davis Hanson writes:

There is something surreal, even sick about the current Gazan war.

Throughout European and American cities and campuses, tens of thousands of Middle East immigrants and students, and radical leftists chant nonstop “Free Palestinian from the River to the Sea.”

More recently, they are also yelling, “Israel, you can’t hide, we caught you in genocide.”

Consider the hypocrisy of that dual messaging.

Hamas and its supporters are openly and eagerly calling for the genocidal end of Israel by wiping it out from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

Yet at the same time they also claim it is Israel that is committing genocide—the very current self-described agenda of Hamas and its expatriate community of devotees!

The war has become crazier still.

Hamas and its megaphones abroad also blast Israel daily for retaliating for the October butchery of some 1,300 Israeli infants, children, women, and the elderly.

They further demand Israel must be selective in its airborne targeting of the Hamas killers, who burrow beneath hospitals, mosques, and hospitals and use civilians as shields.

Hamas takes for granted that a supposedly heartless Israel nevertheless will be reluctant to strike the Hamas terrorists when and if they are surrounded by civilians.

Indeed, Gazans are put in more danger by Hamas than they would otherwise be by the Israel Defense Forces.

Yet the world accepts that Israel itself would never employ such a ruse of using civilians to shield its cities from indiscriminately fired Hamas missiles.

The world further knows that if Israel ever employed such a barbaric tactic, Israeli civilian shields would attract—not deter—Hamas rockets.

Hamas’s apologists insist that Israel warn in advance civilians to keep clear of Israel bombs.

Yet at the same time, daily Hamas launches rockets into Israel. And no one in the international community lectures Hamas first to drop leaflets or text Israeli civilians that Hamas rockets are on their way into their vicinity.

Instead, the only purpose of Hamas rockets is to indiscriminately strike and kill Israeli civilians.

So the real issue is not about the principle of civilian deaths—given Israel is damned when it tries to avoid noncombatants and Hamas is cheered on when it deliberately targets them.

Instead, the asymmetry is explained by the efficacy of the Israeli response and impotence of the Hamas rocketry.

In other words, Hamas cannot stop the IDF from hitting its targets, while Israel can knock down far more Hamas rockets than blow up Israeli citizens.

And so Israel is being blamed for being too effective—or “disproportionate”— in its bombing, Hamas rewarded for being too ineffective in its rocketing.

There are other sick paradoxes in this war.

Hamas started the conflict by sending death squads of 2,000 killers into Israel at a time of peace to surprise murder more than 1,000 Israeli civilians.

There was no precivilizational, unspeakable atrocity that the butcherers did not commit—torture, beheading, rape, mutilation, and necrophilia.

The terrorists were followed into Israel by a multitude of opportunistic Gaza civilians, who in turn joined in the violence and looting.

Back in Gaza crowds reviled and tried to harm Israeli captives bound as hostages to trade for jailed terrorists in Israel.

In sum, the population that once elected Hamas into power, and cheered on its bloodletting—as long as there was yet no Israeli response—now claims to have no connection at all with Hamas. Yet the world assumes correctly that the people of Israel are inseparable from its military.

The surreal paradoxes of this war still do not end there.

In its mass murdering spree of October 7, Hamas butchered more than 30 American citizens, and perhaps another 13 still are unaccounted for—and are likely hostages inside the tunnels of Hamas in Gaza.

Yet the Biden administration has not forced Hamas to return kidnapped Americans, much less responded to its killing of U.S. citizens.

Why then despite all the rhetoric of solidarity, is the United States constantly pressuring Israel to be measured in its retaliation against the Hamas terrorists in Gaza, pressure that will only make things easier on Hamas?

Why are we seeking to restrain those who are trying to destroy the killers of Americans, and indirectly aiding those who murdered them?

And why is the global elite community siding with the murderous aggressors and not those seeking justice for the murdered?

Lots of reasons.

There are 500 million Arabs in the world, and nearly 2 billion Muslims—but only 9 or so million Israelis.

Nearly fifty percent of the world’s oil reserves are found in the Muslim Middle East.

Westerners, like tiny Israel, are considered too rich and powerful, while non-Westerners are romanticized as blameless, victimized underdogs.

But the best way of understanding this sick war is that Israelis are Jews and the ancient plague of anti-Semitism is again sweeping the globe.

Posted under Anti-Semitism, Islam, Israel, middle east, Palestinians, War by Jillian Becker on Thursday, November 2, 2023

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Iran is trying to start world war 286

World war coming up because Obama and Biden have helped Iran to start it.

Jonathan Spyer writes and we quote (almost in full):

Israeli forces are completing the final stages of preparation before the start of a ground offensive into Gaza. The goal of this offensive, according to statements by senior Israeli officials, will be to put an end to 16 years of Hamas rule over this area.

But even as the world’s attention remains focused on the narrow and dusty strip to Israel’s southwest, a far larger and potentially more consequential mobilisation is taking place across the Middle East.

From Lebanon to Yemen, via Syria and Iraq, the Iran-led regional axis of which Hamas is only a minor element is moving into position. Some of its component militias have entered the fray already, carrying out limited attacks against Israeli and US forces. Others have arrived at their jump-off points, awaiting the order to intervene.

It’s important to understand the nature of the alliance in question. It is the fruit of the methodology and the investments of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps during the past four decades in the Middle East. In that time, patiently, and with tactics adjusted to fit local conditions, Tehran has built an army of a type never before seen in the Middle East and that is now preparing for action.

This army consists of a host of nominally independent militias, that in reality are controlled by a central guiding hand. It is a unique melding of regular and irregular capacities, and of the political with the military. Most crucially, the IRGC method weds the Islamist fervour from below that remains the dominant force across the Arab world at street level, with the capacities, armaments and organisation that can be supplied only by a powerful state.

This is what the mobilisation of this army looks like: On Israel’s border with Lebanon, the Hezbollah organisation that is Lebanon’s de facto ruler is launching Kornet antitank missiles, drones and rockets at both military targets and civilian communities every day. Efforts to infiltrate terror squads across the border also are ongoing. Fifteen to 20 attacks a day of this kind are taking place, according to figures released by the Institute for the Study of War. Israel has evacuated 28 civilian communities close to the border.

I reported from the border area at the end of last week, from the moshav settlement of Shtula and the town of Kiryat Shmona, both pummelled in recent days by Hezbollah-IRGC ordnance. In the villages on the border fence, the civilians have gone. Only mobilised infantry units and local emergency response teams remain. Activity is ongoing and frenetic, the atmosphere tense and charged.

In Syria, the Iran-supported militias that defeated the rebellion of 2012-19 are once more on the move. From their positions in the deserts of Deir al-Zor province in the country’s east, they are heading west, toward Deraa and Quneitra provinces, adjoining the Golan Heights. In recent years Iran has carved out an area of its exclusive control that stretches from the al-Qaim-Albukamal border crossing between Iraq and Syria to Syria’s border with Israel.

Exclusive means the IRGC doesn’t need the permission of the nominal ruler of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, to move its pieces across the board. It is along this area of control that the militias, with Iraqi, Syrian and Lebanese fighters chief among them, are making their way, from the border crossing to the town of Mayadeen, exclusively controlled by the IRGC, and then onwards west.

The militias are attacking US targets in Syria, too. On October 19 they launched three drones at the US-controlled al-Tanf base in the desert on the Syria-Jordan border. The Conoco Mission Support Site, located inside Kurdish-controlled eastern Syria, also was targeted.

Across the border in Iraq last week, Kata’ib Hezbollah, the most powerful of the Iran-led militias in that country, and its allied organisations launched drone and rocket attacks at three sites where US troops are present: the Ain al-Asad air base, Baghdad International Airport and the al-Harir base in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Badr Organisation, largest of the militias in Iraq, issued a statement threatening further attacks.

The political element here is once again no less crucial than the military one. These militias are not independent forces operating out in the wilderness. Rather, in their other form as political parties, they form the central core of the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani. Indeed, Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem al-Araji is a veteran member of Badr.

Even as far afield as Yemen, Iran’s Houthi allies appear to have tried to launch missiles at Israel last Thursday. The Houthis, again, control the Yemeni capital of Sanaa and a large swath of the country.

So Iran’s long investment, arming and organisation of Islamist forces across the region appear to be heading for a denouement now. It is impossible, of course, to predict the precise course of events in the next days. But the mobilisation is plain to see.

Israel is holding back its planned and desperately needed ground attack on Gaza because Biden told Netanyahu that’s what he wants. Which is to say, that’s what Obama wants – and half the population of the United States.

What next, America?

Posted under Arab States, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, jihad, Lebanon, Leftism, middle east, Muslims, Palestinians, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, October 25, 2023

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Israel invaded by Hamas, Prime Minister declares war 198

Israel has been invaded from Gaza by Hamas, the terrorist organization that governs the strip.

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has announced: “We are at war.”

Up-to-date news can be found here:

https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/defense-news/2023-10-07/live-updates-762053

Is the money for the invasion coming from the Iranian regime? “President” Biden recently made billions available to the mullahs who are notoriously funders of terrorism.   

Is it possible that the planning and preparation for this massive attack was not known to Israel’s legendary intelligence service, the “best in the world” Mossad? Seems so!

 

Smoke and flames billow after Israeli forces struck a high-rise tower in Gaza City, October 7

Israel strikes back. Gaza City in flames.

 

Posted under Iran, Israel, Palestinians, War by Jillian Becker on Saturday, October 7, 2023

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America’s enemies rejoice 682

The American defeat in Afghanistan and the Taliban’s control of the country revitalizes the hopes of Islamists and jihadists around the world.

“President” Biden has gifted certain Islamic nations and all jihad organizations with a humiliating defeat of America in Afghanistan. 

One of them is Pakistan, which facilitated the Taliban rebellion while pretending to be an ally of the West – taking billions from America for …. what? Keeping a smiling face turned towards it?

Imran Khan, president of Pakistan, declared that now “the shackles of slavery” are broken in Afghanistan.

And the terrorist organization Hamas, offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood, that rules ruthlessly over the Gaza strip, is crowing with delight.

The Investigative Project  on Terrorism (IPT) reports

The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas was among the first to congratulate “the Muslim Afghani people for the demise of the American occupation from its soil”.

We congratulate Taliban and its courageous leadership for this victory which culminates to its long Jihad for 20 years … We stress that the freedom from the occupation of America and its allies proves that the resistance of people and on top of the Jihad of our Palestinian people ends with victory and liberation.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh telephoned Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar … to personally congratulate him.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group also issued a congratulatory statement praising, “the dear Afghan people for liberating Afghan lands from the American and Western occupation. The Afghani Muslim people presented and staged the greatest jihadist glory against all invaders throughout their honorable history.”

IPT reports further on how the defeat of America is a model for all the jihadist movements:

Egyptian born Islamic Group (Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyya) leader Assem Abdul Majeed hailed “The Conquest of Kabul: Praise be to God who honored the Mujahedeen (jihadists), [who] defeated the infidels and Today every believer rejoices And every hypocrite and atheist get angry.”

Separately, he wrote, “Have you seen how was power transferred to the Taliban quietly and without resistance?” He compared the Taliban’s determination to Egypt’s 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, saying it wouldn’t have happened “if the Brotherhood of Egypt had the courage and strength of the Taliban.”

Radical Muslim Brotherhood cleric Wagdy Ghoneim, who now lives in Turkey, posted a video in which he said, “God made Taliban victorious over America and the infidel western countries that united against it.”

From Yemen, where Islamists have been waging a bloody civil war since 2014, the spokesman for Houthi rebels boasted that “Every occupation has an end, long time or short, and now America is reaping failure after 20 years of occupying Afghanistan, so do the countries of aggression consider this?!”

But it is not just terrorist groups and jihadists celebrating the Taliban victory. Islamist affiliated governments and institutions joined the party.

Iran’s new ultraconservative president, Ebrahim Raisi, described the U.S. “military failure” as a chance for a lasting peace in Afghanistan. “America’s military defeat and its withdrawal must become an opportunity to restore life, security and durable peace in Afghanistan,” Raisi said on Iranian state television.

Tehran hosted Taliban officials last month to prepare for the vacuum expected after the U.S. withdrawal. “We are proud to have stood alongside our noble Afghan brothers and sisters during the jihad against the foreign occupiers,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said at the time.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Islamist government is offering the security and technical assistance. Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he is mulling meeting with Taliban leader. “The latest developments and the situation of the Afghan public are really, really troubling,” Erdogan told CNN Turk on Wednesday.

Pro-government Turkish media highlighted the Taliban’s willingness to forge strong relations with Turkey. “Turkey is our brother, we have many points in common based on faith,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said last month. “We want Turkey to leave the past and return to the present and the future. After that, we can ask for dialogue.”

Erdogan had strong ties with the Afghan mujahideen before becoming Turkey’s prime minister. He was seen in an old video sitting at the feet of Afghani warlord Gulbeddin Hekmatyar, known as the “Butcher of Kabul” in Afghanistan.

Turkey, it must be remembered is – incomprehensibly – a member of NATO!

The head of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), Ahmed Raissouni, congratulated the Taliban for “the expulsion of the American and European invading forces. And this is a purely Afghan achievement that came thanks to continuous jihad, patience and sacrifices … We are ready to receive the scholars of Afghanistan and visit them and negotiate with them on issues of Islam and the application of Islamic Sharia as best as possible.”

Ahmed Bin Hama al-Khalili, the Mufti of Oman, congratulated “the brotherly Muslim people of Afghanistan for the clear victory and the valued victory over the aggressor invaders, and we follow this by congratulating ourselves and the entire Islamic nation for the fulfillment of God’s sincere promise.” Khalili’s statement is surprising since he is an official in a country considered a U.S. ally.

The Taliban previously allowed Afghanistan to be a safe haven for terrorists, including Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. Muslim Brotherhood members already are mulling using Afghanistan as a new refuge, Al Arabiya reported. Their current home, Turkey, started clamping down on Brotherhood activities in an effort to mend strained relations with Egypt.

Brotherhood relations with the Afghan mujahedeen date back at least to the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The ISIS affiliated terrorist group Boko Haram which has operates extensively in Nigeria, West Africa and African Sahel countries is believed to benefit emotionally from the recent withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. Boko Haram would like to replicate the Taliban’s success and now has a model to believe in.

The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the Taliban’s takeover, turns Africa into the new frontline of terror, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari wrote in this Sunday’s Financial Times.

The Taliban victory reverses a decade of setbacks for jihadists and Islamists in countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The American defeat in Afghanistan and the Taliban’s control of the country revitalizes the hopes of Islamists and jihadists around the world.

And, most dangerous of all, China fully understands the lesson of America’s defeat.

The Global Times reports:

Afghanistan situation a lesson for Taiwan authorities

The US troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan has led to the rapid demise of the Kabul government. The world has witnessed how the US evacuated its diplomats by helicopter while Taliban soldiers crowded into the presidential palace in Kabul. This has dealt a heavy blow to the credibility and reliability of the US.

How Washington abandoned the Kabul regime particularly shocked some in Asia, including the island of Taiwan. Taiwan is the region that relies on the protection of the US the most in Asia.

The situation in Afghanistan suddenly saw a radical change after the country was abandoned by the US.

From what happened in Afghanistan, [Taiwan] should perceive that once a war breaks out in the Straits, the island’s defense will collapse in hours and the US military won’t come to help.

China is much more likely to invade Taiwan now, with the intention of annexing it, after America’s capitulation in Afghanistan.

But Taiwan will not necessarily “collapse in hours”, even without direct American help. It will fight. It has an army, and materiel. And it has cause: freedom.

We agree with the Global Times that Biden-ruled America is very unlikely to engage in war with China.

Biden’s America is a cripple.

Iranians protest against the mullahs’ regime 98

DebkaFile reports:

Anti-government protests spread to Tehran today [Monday, July 27, 2021], after a week of raging demonstrations in Khuzestan over water and power shortages.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters across the capital began shouting such slogans as “Death to the dictator!” (supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ) and “Clerics get lost!”

Some took up on the watchword of the 2006 opposition riots that were brutally quelled:

“No for Gaza, No for Lebanon, My life for Iran.”

– allusions to Iranian support for two terrorist organizations: Hamas, ruling Gaza, and Hezbollah, disastrously holding Lebanon hostage.

Placards carried the words

“Today is the day of mourning, workers’ lives hang in the balance”

– as 31,814 new covid cases were recorded, the highest single-day figure ever, and 322 fatalities took the death toll to 89,122. Altogether 3,500 people were hospitalized in the last 24 hours, according to Iran’s health ministry, with a warning that the fifth wave has yet to peak out.

Deputy governor of Tehran Hamidreza Goodarzi admitted that there was “street unrest” which he attributed to long power outages, some spanning several days. He offered no information on how security forces were dispersing the furious protesters.

In the southern oil-rich Khuzestan, eight demonstrators were killed when the Revolutionary Guards were enlisted to break up protests against water shortages and electricity blackouts.

The lives of Iranians are unlikely to improve when Ibrahim Raisi is sworn in as president in August.

Who is Ibrahim Raisi? A monster who has earned the trust of the ayatollahs.

In 2019 Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Kamenei appointed him chairman of the judiciary.

He has the approval of the very powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

He is particularly remembered for his part in a great  binge of zealous cruelty in 1988, ordered by the founder of the republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Raisi was a member of an infamous “death committee” which condemned thousands of Iranians to be hanged from cranes for religious heresy and/or political dissent. 

According to DebkaFile –

Some activists voiced disappointment over the absence of words of support from the Biden administration or condemnation of the clerical regime’s harsh crackdown of dissent.

But they have no reason to expect anything helpful from the “Biden” administration. The Democrat-loyal state department is pursuing Obama’s policy, desperately trying to revive the rotten “deal” Obama made with the Iranian regime to help it become a nuclear power while seeming to restrain it.

Heroic child-killers welcomed back to DC 168

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, DFLP (formerly the Popular Democratic Front for etc., PDFLP), was founded by a Jordanian Christian Bedouin named Nayef Hawatmeh. It was a break-off from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the PFLP, led by another Christian – Greek Orthodox – named George Habash.

Both Habash and Hawatmeh were also Communists, Hawatmeh favoring the Trotskyist denomination of that evil religion, and the New Left.

Both are sub-groups of the Palestine Liberation Organization, PLO, formed under the headship of Yasser Arafat.

On May 15, 1974, three members of Hawatmeh’s group broke into an apartment in Ma’alot, in the Galilee, and shot to death a man, his wife, and their son aged four, and gravely injured their five-year-old daughter. The three heroes then went on to a local school where they killed twenty-two children and wounded another fifty-six. All three were eventually killed by Israeli soldiers and are now honored martyrs.

Palestine Media Watch reports and questions:         

While the Biden administration is planning to reopen the PLO offices in Washington DC, one of the PLO member factions – the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) terror organization – is openly glorifying its bloody terror attacks as “acts of heroism”.

[Last month] the DFLP terror organization listed in a statement, with “pride, admiration, and esteem”, its lethal terror attacks over the decades – among them the massacre of 26 Israelis, including 22 children. DFLP vowed to “continue… to provide our people and its political forces with the blood of the heroes”. The terror organization further took pride in the “glorious list of the thousands of Martyrs who sacrificed their lives and their blood under the flag of Palestine”. [Donia Al-Watan, independent Palestinian news agency, June 3, 2021]

In its terror glorifying statement, the DFLP stressed its affiliation with the PLO, stating that the DFLP “always marches and advances in the national ranks under the flag of the PLO, the sole legal representative of our heroic people and its national project“. The organization then listed several of its “heroic operations” – i.e., lethal terror attacks – among them what is known as the Ma’alot Massacre.

Palestine Media Watch asks:

Will Biden reopen PLO offices while a PLO member organization glorifies its bloody terror attacks as “acts of heroism”?

The answer is yes. That is exactly what “Biden” – more accurately the junta now in power – intends to do: reopen the offices of the Palestinian terrorists that President Trump closed. 

Posted under communism, Israel, Palestinians, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, June 22, 2021

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Report from Gaza 11

From Instapundit:

 

Hamas spokesman: “The illegitimate Zionist entity must be forced to end its occupation of all of Palestine, from Tel Aviv to Jericho.”

Western Reporter: “So what you’re saying is that you support a peaceful 2-state solution.”

 

Hamas spokesman: “We will kill the sons of pigs and apes like the great Hitler.”

Western reporter: “So what you’re saying is that you object to right-wing Israeli politicians like Netanyahu.”

 

Hamas Spokesman: “We want an Islamic state governed by sharia.”

Western reporter: “Democracy, one-person, one-vote, religious freedom for all. Got it.”

 

Hamas Spokesman: “We thank our great friends in Iran for their money, missiles, and bombs.”

Western Reporter: “Hamas insists on being a grassroots Palestinian movement not dependent on foreign support.”

Posted under Israel, Palestinians by Jillian Becker on Sunday, May 23, 2021

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The media spread lies world-wide 248

… and in doing so co-author terrorism, war, oppression and mass murder.

Almost all news reporting is false. Almost all of it is propaganda. Most of the press, all over the world, is the tool of terrorists, Communists, Islamic religious fanatics, and their useful idiots.

Matti Friedman, a rare truth-telling reporter of Middle Eastern affairs, writes (in part) at The Atlantic (which is woke, so well done Matti Friedman for getting it in there!):

To make sense of most international journalism from Israel, it is important first to understand that the news tells us far less about Israel than about the people writing the news. Journalistic decisions are made by people who exist in a particular social milieu, one which, like most social groups, involves a certain uniformity of attitude, behavior, and even dress (the fashion these days, for those interested, is less vests with unnecessary pockets than shirts with unnecessary buttons). These people know each other, meet regularly, exchange information, and closely watch one another’s work. This helps explain why a reader looking at articles written by the half-dozen biggest news providers in the region on a particular day will find that though the pieces are composed and edited by completely different people and organizations, they tend to tell the same story.

Foreign activists are a notable feature of the landscape, and international NGOs and numerous arms of the United Nations are among the most powerful players, wielding billions of dollars and employing many thousands of foreign and local employees. Their SUVs dominate sections of East Jerusalem and their expense accounts keep Ramallah afloat. They provide reporters with social circles, romantic partners, and alternative employment—a fact that is more important to reporters now than it has ever been, given the disintegration of many newspapers and the shoestring nature of their Internet successors.

In my time in the press corps, I learned that our relationship with these groups was not journalistic. My colleagues and I did not, that is, seek to analyze or criticize them. For many foreign journalists, these were not targets but sources and friends—fellow members, in a sense, of an informal alliance. This alliance consists of activists and international staffers from the UN and the NGOs; the Western diplomatic corps, particularly in East Jerusalem; and foreign reporters. There is also a local component, consisting of a small number of Israeli human-rights activists who are themselves largely funded by European governments, and Palestinian staffers from the Palestinian Authority, the NGOs, and the UN. Mingling occurs at places like the lovely Oriental courtyard of the American Colony hotel in East Jerusalem, or at parties held at the British Consulate’s rooftop pool. The dominant characteristic of nearly all of these people is their transience. They arrive from somewhere, spend a while living in a peculiar subculture of expatriates, and then move on.

In these circles, in my experience, a distaste for Israel has come to be something between an acceptable prejudice and a prerequisite for entry. I don’t mean a critical approach to Israeli policies but a belief that the Jews of Israel are a symbol of the world’s ills, particularly those connected to nationalism, militarism, colonialism, and racism—an idea quickly becoming one of the central elements of the “progressive” Western zeitgeist, spreading from the European left to American college campuses and intellectuals, including journalists. In this social group, this sentiment is translated into editorial decisions made by individual reporters and editors covering Israel, and this, in turn, gives such thinking the means of mass self-replication.

Many freshly arrived reporters in Israel, similarly adrift in a new country, undergo a rapid socialization in the circles I mentioned. This provides them not only with sources and friendships but with a ready-made framework for their reporting—the tools to distill and warp complex events into a simple narrative in which there is a bad guy who doesn’t want peace and a good guy who does. This is the “Israel story,” and it has the advantage of being an easy story to report. Everyone here answers their cell phone, a d everyone knows what to say. You can put your kids in good schools and dine at good restaurants. It’s fine if you’re gay. Your chances of being beheaded on YouTube are slim. Nearly all of the information you need—that is, in most cases, information critical of Israel—is not only easily accessible but has already been reported for you by Israeli journalists or compiled by NGOs. You can claim to be speaking truth to power, having selected the only “power” in the area that poses no threat to your safety.

Many foreign journalists have come to see themselves as part of this world of international organizations, and specifically as the media arm of this world. They have decided not just to describe and explain, which is hard enough, and important enough, but to “help.” And that’s where reporters get into trouble, because “helping” is always a murky, subjective, and political enterprise, made more difficult if you are unfamiliar with the relevant languages and history.

Confusion over the role of the press explains one of the strangest aspects of coverage here—namely, that while international organizations are among the most powerful actors in the Israel story, they are almost never reported on. Are they bloated, ineffective, or corrupt? Are they helping, or hurting? We don’t know, because these groups are to be quoted, not covered. Journalists cross from places like the BBC to organizations like Oxfam and back. The current spokesman at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees in Gaza, for example, is a former BBC man. A Palestinian woman who participated in protests against Israel and tweeted furiously about Israel a few years ago served at the same time as a spokesperson for a UN office, and was close friends with a few reporters I know. And so forth.

International organizations in the Palestinian territories have largely assumed a role of advocacy on behalf of the Palestinians and against Israel, and much of the press has allowed this political role to supplant its journalistic function. This dynamic explains the thinking behind editorial choices that are otherwise difficult to grasp, like the decision to ignore a report about an Israeli peace offer to the Palestinians in 2008, or the idea that Hamas’s development of extensive armament works in Gaza in recent years was not worth serious coverage despite objectively being one of the most important storylines demanding reporters’ attention.

When the UN released its controversial Goldstone report on the Gaza fighting, we at the bureau trumpeted its findings in dozens of articles, though there was discussion even at the time of the report’s failure to prove its central charge: that Israel had killed civilians on purpose. The director of Israel’s premier human-rights group, B’Tselem, who was critical of the Israeli operation, told me at the time that this claim was “a reach given the facts”, an evaluation that was eventually seconded by the report’s author. “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document,” Richard Goldstone wrote in The Washington Post in April 2011. We understood that our job was not to look critically at the UN report, or any such document, but to publicize it.

Decisions like these are hard to fathom if you believe the foreign press corps’ role is to explain a complicated story to people far away. But they make sense if you understand that journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories often don’t see their role that way. The radio and print journalist Mark Lavie, who has reported from the region since 1972, was a colleague of mine at the AP, where he was an editor in the Jerusalem bureau and then in Cairo until his retirement last year. (It was Lavie who first learned of the Israeli peace offer of late 2008, and was ordered by his superiors to ignore the story.) An Indiana-born Israeli of moderate politics, he had a long run in journalism that included several wars and the first Palestinian intifada, and found little reason to complain about the functioning of the media.

But things changed in earnest in 2000, with the collapse of peace efforts and the outbreak of the Second Intifada. Israel accepted President Bill Clinton’s peace framework that fall and the Palestinians rejected it. Nevertheless, Lavie recently told me, the bureau’s editorial line was still that the conflict was Israel’s fault, and the Palestinians and the Arab world were blameless. By the end of Lavie’s career, he was editing Israel copy on the AP’s Middle East regional desk in Cairo, trying to restore balance and context to stories he thought had little connection to reality. He wrote a book, Broken Spring, about his front-row view of the Middle East’s descent into chaos, and retired disillusioned and angry.

I have tended to see the specific failings that we both encountered at the AP as symptoms of a general thought pattern in the press, but Lavie takes a more forceful position, viewing the influential American news organization as one of the primary authors of this thought pattern. This is not just because many thousands of media outlets use AP material directly, but also because when journalists arrive in their offices in the morning, the first thing many of them do is check the AP wire (or, these days, scroll through it in their Twitter feed).

Journalistic hallucinations occur when reporters are not granted the freedom to write what they see but are rather expected to maintain a “story” that follows predictable lines. For the international press, the uglier characteristics of Palestinian politics and society are mostly untouchable because they would disrupt the Israel story, which is a story of “Jewish moral failure”.

Most consumers of the Israel story don’t understand how the story is manufactured. But Hamas does. Since assuming power in Gaza in 2007, the Islamic Resistance Movement has come to understand that many reporters are committed to a narrative wherein Israelis are oppressors and Palestinians passive victims with reasonable goals, and are uninterested in contradictory information.

Hamas is aided in its manipulation of the media by the old reportorial belief, a kind of reflex, according to which reporters shouldn’t mention the existence of reporters. In a conflict like ours, this ends up requiring considerable exertions: So many photographers cover protests in Israel and the Palestinian territories, for example, that one of the challenges for anyone taking pictures is keeping colleagues out of the frame. That the other photographers are as important to the story as Palestinian protesters or Israeli soldiers—this does not seem to be considered.

In Gaza, this goes from being a curious detail of press psychology to a major deficiency. Hamas’s strategy is to provoke a response from Israel by attacking from behind the cover of Palestinian civilians, thus drawing Israeli strikes that kill those civilians, and then to have the casualties filmed by one of the world’s largest press contingents, with the understanding that the resulting outrage abroad will blunt Israel’s response. This is a ruthless strategy, and an effective one. It is predicated on the cooperation of journalists. One of the reasons it works is because of the reflex I mentioned. If you report that Hamas has a strategy based on co-opting the media, this raises several difficult questions, like, What exactly is the relationship between the media and Hamas? And has this relationship corrupted the media? It is easier just to leave the other photographers out of the frame and let the picture tell the story: Here are dead people, and Israel killed them.

In previous rounds of Gaza fighting, Hamas learned that international coverage from the territory could be molded to its needs, a lesson it would implement in this summer’s war. Most of the press work in Gaza is done by local fixers, translators, and reporters, people who would understandably not dare cross Hamas, making it only rarely necessary for the group to threaten a Westerner. The organization’s armed forces could be made to disappear. The press could be trusted to play its role in the Hamas script, instead of reporting that there was such a script. Hamas strategy did not exist, according to Hamas—or, as reporters would say, was “not the story”.  There was no Hamas charter blaming Jews for centuries of perfidy, or calling for their murder. [There is.] This was not the story. The rockets falling on Israeli cities were quite harmless; they were not the story either. [It is.]

Hamas understood that journalists would not only accept as fact the Hamas-reported civilian death toll—relayed through the UN or through something called the “Gaza Health Ministry,” an office controlled by Hamas—but would make those numbers the center of coverage. Hamas understood that reporters could be intimidated when necessary and that they would not report the intimidation; Western news organizations tend to see no ethical imperative to inform readers of the restrictions shaping their coverage in repressive states or other dangerous areas. In the war’s aftermath, the NGO- UN-media alliance could be depended upon to unleash the organs of the international community on Israel, and to leave the jihadist group alone.

When Hamas’s leaders surveyed their assets before this summer’s round of fighting, they knew that among those assets was the international press. The AP staff in Gaza City would witness a rocket launch right beside their office, endangering reporters and other civilians nearby—and the AP wouldn’t report it, not even in AP articles about Israeli claims that Hamas was launching rockets from residential areas. (This happened.) Hamas fighters would burst into the AP’s Gaza bureau and threaten the staff—and the AP wouldn’t report it. (This also happened.) Cameramen waiting outside Shifa Hospital in Gaza City would film the arrival of civilian casualties and then, at a signal from an official, turn off their cameras when wounded and dead fighters came in, helping Hamas maintain the illusion that only civilians were dying. (This too happened; the information comes from multiple sources with firsthand knowledge of these incidents.)

Colford, the AP spokesman, confirmed that armed militants entered the AP’s Gaza office in the early days of the war to complain about a photo showing the location of a rocket launch, though he said that Hamas claimed that the men “did not represent the group”.  The AP “does not report many interactions with militias, armies, thugs or governments,” he wrote. “These incidents are part of the challenge of getting out the news—and not themselves news.”

This summer, the Western press corps showed up en masse to cover the conflict. It was deliberately fought from behind Palestinian civilians, many of whom died as a result. Dulled by years of the “Israel story” and inured to its routine omissions, confused about the role they are meant to play, and co-opted by Hamas, reporters described this war as an Israeli onslaught against innocent people. By doing so, this group of intelligent and generally well-meaning professionals ceased to be reliable observers and became instead an amplifier for the propaganda of one of the most intolerant and aggressive forces on earth. And that, as they say, is the story.

Posted under Israel, media, middle east, Palestinians by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, May 19, 2021

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Biden’s new war 97

President Trump achieved a remarkable development in the Middle East with the “Abraham Accords”, bringing peace, trade, and –  even more amazing – good will between Israel and several Arab states. A new era had dawned, in which a settlement of the Palestinian problem was for the first time in a hundred years genuinely possible.

Then along came the crooked “Biden administration” and undid all the good President Trump and his envoy Secretary of State Pompeo had done. “Biden” gave billions to the terrorist group Hamas, and released billions to the mullahs of Iran, who fund not only Hamas but terrorist attacks everywhere in the region.

It was not just encouragement to Hamas to make war on Israel, it was a signal to do so. The Democrats’ anti-Israel White House did everything it could to undo the Trump achievements and return to the disastrous policies of Obama, with greater intensity.

And it is Israel who is blamed for the war! As usual.

Richard Kemp writes at Gatestone:

During an operation in Gaza last week, the Israel Defence Forces attacked a Hamas tunnel complex with 12 squadrons of 160 combat planes striking over 150 targets with hundreds of bunker-busting JDAMs [Joint Direct Attack Munitions] in less than an hour. Although the battle damage assessment is still underway, the raid destroyed perhaps the most critical element of Hamas infrastructure, wiping out vast stocks of munitions and likely killing dozens if not hundreds of fighters. This was a hammer blow to Hamas and may prove to be a turning point in the conflict. It also sent a powerful message to Iran and Hizballah, foretelling the consequences of an assault on Israel with their arsenal of tens of thousands of missiles in southern Lebanon.

The IDF operation was a carefully coordinated combination of intelligence, surveillance, knowledge of enemy tactics, deception, surprise and precisely targeted, overwhelming force. Of all these, deception and surprise were key. Surprise is a principle of war in the American, British and many other forces, defined in the US Army Field Manual as “striking the enemy at a time or place or in a manner for which he is unprepared’. The manual goes on to say: “Deception can aid the probability of achieving surprise”. Throughout the history of warfare, surprise achieved through deception has led to many stunning military victories — often against the odds.

Last Thursday, the IDF massed tanks, artillery and infantry combat vehicles on the Gaza border. The build-up was observed by Hamas and widely reported in international media as an imminent ground invasion. Hundreds of Hamas fighters rushed to take shelter inside the “metro” tunnel network. Built by Hamas after the 2014 conflict to house command facilities, store weapons and facilitate protected movement, these tunnels covered dozens of kilometres beneath the Gaza Strip. There the fighters were trapped as JDAM after JDAM thundered in from above. Emerging to fight the invasion that never came, the surviving anti-tank teams and mortar squads were then also hit from the air.

This masterpiece of tactical synchronisation, with all its complex elements, symbolises the IDF’s precision attacks during this campaign, Operation Guardian of the Walls, which have already inflicted damage from which Hamas will not recover for years. The IDF learnt many lessons from previous engagements in Gaza and since 2014 have vigorously collected intelligence and worked to develop battle plans and technological solutions to deal with Hamas and their Palestinian Islamic Jihad bedfellows.

Hamas is no match for the IDF and could be quickly and much more cheaply defeated by blunt and crushing military force were it not for one thing — the Israeli need to minimise loss of civilian life. Hamas know that. They know they cannot prevail over the IDF and have no intention of trying. Their entire strategy is to attack Israeli population centres using rockets, kamikaze drones and tunnels, aimed at luring IDF counter attacks that will kill their own civilians in order to vilify and isolate Israel around the world and gain international support for their cause. With human shields as the fundamental element of every operation, Hamas are the first “army” in history to use the lives of their own civilian population as weapons of war.

Their strategy has been woefully successful. Over many years of conflict in Gaza, the majority of the world’s media have enthusiastically reported the deaths of Palestinian civilians as though they were the deliberate object of Israel’s callous and uncaring way of war. This blatantly false propaganda has been taken up by Hamas supporters and “useful idiots” in the West. In the US, Britain and Europe, last week we have seen hundreds of anti-Israel demonstrators brandishing Palestinian banners, burning Israeli flags, spitting out their hate for the Jewish state and screaming about IDF baby-killers. Hamas’s calumny is a prime motivator among Israel-loathing academics in Western universities and high schools who have mined their false allegations as rich seams of material to indoctrinate generations of students.

Human rights groups around the world have been doing the same. There have been dozens of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, often drawing on Hamas’s narrative, twisting every aspect of the conflicts in Gaza. The prize has been the International Criminal Court’s decision this year to launch a full investigation with the hope of dragging Israeli soldiers, officials and politicians into the dock at The Hague.

I have taken part in every UN Human Rights Council evidence session and emergency debate on Gaza conflicts in the last 15 years. The wilful ignorance combined with malice has always been breathtaking. Every commission of inquiry determined Israel’s guilt before it even met for the first time. Every debate and vote has overwhelmingly and of course falsely affirmed Israel’s supposed war crimes and crimes against humanity. Meanwhile Hamas’s actual multiple war crimes have been brushed aside.

The reality is very different from the lies emanating from these modern-day Towers of Babel. The IDF attack on the “metro” tunnels this week depended on lightning action and the coordination of 160 planes attacking a small area in a very short space of time. Alongside these awesome complexities, the IDF did all they could to ensure minimum loss of civilian life by selecting targets where the lowest levels of innocents would be harmed, such as empty roadways under which tunnels ran, and maintaining close surveillance to confirm a bus load of civilians didn’t suddenly appear. The IDF have so far destroyed several high-rise buildings containing critical Hamas military infrastructure as well as civilian offices and apartments. Remarkably all of these have been smashed down without any reported civilian casualties.

As in previous conflicts in Gaza the IDF has made radio broadcasts in Arabic, sent SMS messages and even phoned civilians inside the Strip to warn them of impending strikes, where to go for their own safety and which routes to take.

When civilians do not leave an intended target building, the IDF sometimes drop specially designed low-power munitions (“knock on the roof”) to encourage them to get out. With careful surveillance of target areas, the Israeli air force frequently aborts planned sorties if there is a risk of civilian casualties.

In a conflict designed by Hamas to maximize civilian deaths, some are inevitable. It is too early to accurately assess casualty figures or ratios of civilians to fighters killed, but current assessments suggest the IDF have been even more successful in minimizing civilian casualties during this campaign than in previous engagements in Gaza. Many in the media, human rights groups and international bodies have rushed to characterize all civilian casualties (other than those inflicted by Hamas, of course) as war crimes. But the Geneva Conventions disagree. Inflicting civilian casualties is not illegal provided a military operation is necessary for the prosecution of a war, they are not disproportionate to the planned military gain and that combatant commanders do not intentionally target civilians while doing all they can to avoid hitting them.

The media takes reports from the Gaza health ministry as authoritative and objective. That is disingenuous and they know it. The health ministry is controlled by Hamas and follows their every order. For example, of around 2,000 rockets fired so far by Hamas during this conflict, approximately 400 have fallen short, landing inside Gaza. Some of these have killed civilians and the health ministry has attributed all of them to IDF action.

Counterintuitively, the most effective means of saving Gazan civilian lives has been Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. Despite Hamas efforts to overwhelm it, Iron Dome has had a 90% success rate in preventing missiles from Gaza hitting their targets. Not only has this saved the lives of countless Israeli civilians but it has also meant the IDF campaign can be more deliberate, discriminating and precise. If hundreds of Israelis were dying under Hamas rockets, the IDF would have no choice other than to strike Gaza with much greater ferocity and ground forces would already have entered the Gaza Strip, unavoidably inflicting vastly more civilian casualties than we have seen so far.

Despite all of this, as the media unceasingly show us, the real victims in this campaign have indeed been Gaza civilians. But they usually get the cause wrong. Every one is due to Hamas’s unprovoked aggression against Israel. None would have occurred without it. Once this round of fighting is over, Hamas will work to build back better for next time — that is, to regenerate their military capability rather than civilian infrastructure. If Western governments, international bodies and human rights groups are genuinely interested in avoiding suffering in Gaza, they should start now, striving to end Hamas’s reign of terror rather than support it by parroting their baleful narrative.

Posted under Israel, Palestinians, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, May 17, 2021

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