Thursday, July 24, 2014

unfavorable perceptions of Israel around the world

"A 2013 Pew poll found vastly more unfavorable feelings toward Israel outside than within the United States, which registered a 27 percent unfavorable view of Israel and a 57 percent favorable view. In contrast, 44 percent of people in Britain had an unfavorable view of Israel. Unfavorable views of Israel were held by 62 percent in Germany, 65 percent in France, 66 percent in China and in the 80 percent to 90 percent range in Arab and Muslim countries."  But stop. Aaron David Miller has a brilliant insight as to what that is the case: "because Americans perceive Israelis “more or less the way they perceive themselves, as a democratic entity,” said Aaron David Miller".  And Germany, UK, France, and Finland, etc are not democratic? 

Gaza from space

 Image from @Astro_Alex
​‘Saddest photo yet’: Astronaut photographs Gaza offensive from space" (thanks Amir)

Infographic: Who violates ceasefires more, Israelis or Palestinians?

Western media claims about Hamas and its rockets

From a comrade who works for an international NGO in the Middle East (she/he does not want to be cited):  "But Asad, I want to assume that bombing a house full of civilians is ok if the house is storing rockets, but who is checking that? If these fucking journalists don't want to question the legality and morality of these attacks, shouldn't they at least verify that the claims about the rockets are true?
Then, the claim that Hamas is firing rockets from near homes, where should they fire from? Build a barrack and give its coordinates to Chris Guinness to give to the Israelis? Or from the many football fields that they have there?
And did Anne Barnard who affirmatively concluded that Hamas is operating in civilian areas ever mentioned that about her beloved Syrian opposition groups?"

He just lost his mother, two of his brothers, his sister, and his mother-in-law

The massacre of Bayt Hanun

Providing context in the Times: Anne Barnard from Gaza

I have seen this routine before. When the facts on the ground speak against Israel and its image in the world, the Zionists panic and they start exerting pressures on mainstream US papers. They did that in 1982 and they did that in every episode of Israeli wars and massacres. They then succeed in extracting promises from the editors to print more "context" and "background" stories in order to drown the stories about the reality of war crimes and massacres.  Anne Barnard has been writing such "context" stories for the last two days.  When Barnard reported the reality in Gaza she did a fine job but now she is writing the context stories, i.e. propaganda to serve Israeli military interests.  I posed this question to Barnard on Twitter today: have you ever reported from Syria about how Syrian rebels operate from schools and home and houses of worship?  And was the use of civilian sites by Syrian rebels EVER used in US media as a way to justify bombings of those sites by the Syrian regime? We know the answer, of course.  Here Ms. Barnard makes a great discovery: "But it is indisputable that Gaza militants operate in civilian areas".   Really, Ms. Barnard? Where do you want them to operate? On the moon? Hamas fighters are just like Hizbullah fighters: they are the people of the area under occupation who volunteered to resist occupation.  Where would they operate from? Should they all gather say in a stadium and invite Israel to bomb them? And where did the French resistance or Algerian resistance operate from? Another planet?  But here, Ms. Barnard makes an analogy: "Some of Hamas’s tactics mirror those of other insurgent groups, like the Irish Republican Army and Nicaraguan contras."  It is interesting that she did not draw a comparison with the glorified Syrian rebels. 

Do you honestly think that Isarel will still exist a century from now?

To all those who study Middle East history or world politics, just ask yourselves: how many of you do honestly think that Israel will still be in existence a century from today?

casualty breakdown in the New York Times

"16 days of fighting that has killed nearly 700 Palestinians, 32 Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians".  Notice there is no breakdown for civilians versus military among the casualties of the Palestinians.

As I predicted yesterday: Yet again, New York Times distorts the words of Khalid Mish`al

"“Everyone wanted us to accept a cease-fire and then negotiate for our rights,” Mr. Meshal said at a news conference in Qatar, his home in exile, taking aim at the very approach Mr. Kerry has sought to nurture. “We reject this, and we reject it again today.”"   Even some Israeli newspapers reported that Mish`al actually said "Hamas prepared to sign ceasefire agreement – on the condition that Israel's siege of Gaza is rescinded".

No wonder Americans are so ignorant of the Middle East

Look who will be teaching Middle East studies.  I won't be surprised if Abe Foxman directs the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

The UNRWA spokesperson and the story about Hamas boming the school

From a source: Basically, "the UNRWA spokesperson reported it from an Israeli news channel and now the Israelis are using him as the source. "

Such Terror: Hamas rocket hits tree, cat runs off no problem.

Watch. (thanks Laure)

Che Guevara in Gaza

nothing scares the Israeli enemy more than the truth

"Israel Has a New Worst Enemy — Twitter".

More lies of Israel exposed

"Jeremy Bowen's Gaza notebook: I saw no evidence of Hamas using Palestinians as human shields"

Look at the headline in this disgusting Israeli paper: "at least 15 die in explosion at UN school". Explosion? by whom?

Embedded image permalink

No military targets found in Gaza

"But Whitson says Israel is still culpable. Israeli warnings do not provide enough time for residents to flee, and "in most of the sites we investigated so far (in this conflict) we found no valid military targets," she said."

When Gallup polled Americans on Gaza


Just look at the phraseology.  Israel's actions are directed--according to the question--"against Hamas", while Hamas' actions are directed "against Israel".  So Hamas' actions are directed against the whole of Israel while the actions of Israel are--surgically I am sure--only directed against Hamas.  It should have been, if you want to be fair or symmetrical, phrased as Hamas' actions against Likud, or Israel's actions against Palestine. You can't chose different criteria for the same question when applied to one side. 

For the record: I did not sign this petition on Gaza

For the following reasons, I did not sign this petition:
There are several problems with the text:
1)      We don’t know who kidnapped the three Israelis.  We don’t know if they are Palestinians or if they are “militants”. 
2)      I don’t believe that occupation of Palestine started in 1967
3)      I am opposed to ruling out armed struggle for Palestinians.
4)      I disagree with the characterization that Hamas “targets civilians”.  The movement never said that and it is an assumption that does not match the actual Israeli record in that regard.
5)      The notion that Hamas has committed “war crimes” seems like an attempt to equate the culpability of victims and killers.
6)      The “international consensus” cited about the framework for peace is no consensus at all. Palestinians have not supported that consensus. 

Will the destruction of the Israeli wall be celebrated as a sign of feedom?

Palestine (West Bank) in revolt tonight

The most popular Arab

By far the most popular Arab this week is Abu `Ubaydah, the spokesperson of Al-Qassam. 

There was no Hamas in the 1940s

"Ruins of the Semiramis Hotel, located in the Palestinian residential quarter of Bak'a in West Jerusalem. On 5 January 1948, the day after members of the Haganah blew up the hotel, killing twenty civilian guests including women and children".

I bet you my toes that Queen Youtube does not know what dystopia mean before she read it in the piece prepeared for her

Jordanians are wondering where there King is, and there are a lot of rumors about his health.  Dissident Layth Shubaylat wrote an open letter to the prime minister about that.  Today, the Queen youtube returned from her long vacation and tried to feign concern for Gaza.

Donations for Gaza: MECA

If you want to donate to Gaza, this one is "permissible" under US laws.

Palestinians in Al-Aqsa refuse aid from UAE

So the UAE was forced to transfer the aid to UNRWA. (thanks Diana)

I don't usually agree with him but...

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)

7/23/14, 9:49 PM
Cheap excuse. There were no "human shields" when Israel targeted boys on beach, attacked hospital, killed 25 in house

Dershowitz settles the matter: media coverage of Palestinian deaths is anti-Semitic

"“But a few dozen Palestinians were killed and the body count was prominent.”" (thanks Bailey)

Palestinaians are not all Hamas but...

So what if they are? Who are you, enemies of the Palestinian people, to tell Palestinians who to choose as their leaders? I know, I know that you favor Palestinian collaborators and Israeli informers as the preferred leaders of the Palestinians but do you think Palestinians will listen to you? And what about Israeli choices where the political spectrum now runs from extreme fascist to mainstream fascist.

All what you, war criminals, have done to our people is registerd in notebooks

Displaced Palestinians from Beit Hanoun sleep inside the UNRWA school in Jabalia, July 23, 2014.

Hamas rockets and "Israeli civilian population centers"

In Israeli war propaganda--the only propaganda that is allowed to prevail in US coverage of Arab-Israeli issues--it is basically (falsely) claimed that Hamas announces its intention to target Israeli population centers when Hamas and other resistance groups in Gaza today states military targets. You won't read tomorrow that Hamas today declared its targets as an "intelligence center".

Senate Democrats and Israel

"Democrats are daring Republicans to oppose a border bill that includes aid to Israel during its increasingly heated conflict with Hamas.

As the simmering battle in Gaza reached its boiling point last week, the Israeli government turned to its strongest ally: The United States. And the White House was happy to oblige, relaying a request to Senate Democrats late last week to ask for more money for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense program, according to congressional sources familiar with the request.  On Tuesday, Senate Democrats responded by slipping $225 million into its emergency funding package for the migrant crisis at the border, demonstrating the political might of Israel and putting pressure on the GOP in one fell swoop." (thanks Michele)

Bahraini youth gathered in front of the US Fifth Fleet in solidarity with Gaza

From a comrade in Bahrain: "Yesterday a group of Bahraini youth gathered in front of the Bahrain-based US naval Fifth Fleet to express our outrage at the ongoing slaughter of the Palestinians. Addressing the Americans, our banner read: "you are complicit."

Since our protest is clearly illegal (the government wouldn't grant anyone a permit to protest anywhere in Manama, let alone this no-go zone), we chose not to publicize it, and hence our relatively small number (there was around 25 of us). Within 20 minutes the police showed up and asked us to leave. They also took a few of us in for questioning.

Here's a video of one of us reading our statement, which we've delivered to the Fifth Fleet:

The text of our statement can be found below and a couple of photos in the attachment. You may circulate these materials if you like."

Where does FSA store its weapons by the way?

From Alfred: "BTW, the US recently gave a half a billion dollars worth of weapons to the "FSA". Where are those weapons stored? In the skies?"

Zionist dictionary

"There is a standard script for how to deal with Palestinian casualties. After Israel killed four boys on the Gaza beach on July 16, the U.S. establishment media fell in line behind Israel's PR framework: acknowledge the tragedy but blame Hamas." "This framework, developed in 2009, can be found in The Israel Project's 2009 Global Language Dictionary. The Orwellian manual provides a detailed outline on how to "communicate effectively in support of Israel." (thanks Amir)

Hamas rockets

"In the World War II bombings in London, the warheads were much larger than those used by Hamas, carrying about 2,000 pounds of explosives; in the Gulf War of 1991, SCUD warheads were also much larger, about 500 pounds each. In the case of the recent artillery rocket attacks against Israel, the overwhelming number of artillery rocket warheads are in the 10- to 20-pound range. These small warhead sizes make early warning and protective sheltering even more effective, because the smaller warheads are very unlikely to penetrate or destroy a shelter."

Demonstrations for Gaza in London:

From comrade Asa: "Regarding your blog post about LA: I also saw that phenomenon in London, although in a less direct way. There were both Syrian rebel and Hizballah flags (although I personally saw more of the latter -- despite the fact that the British government has proscribed the armed wing of Hizballah as a "terrorist" organisation)."

Mershheimer and Walt

I really believe that the thesis of Mershheimer and Walt is increasingly being validated.  The FAA story yesterday and the role of AIPAC warrants a special study.

Will there be hearings in US Congress about Israeli genocidal calls?

"Right-wing rabbi’s ruling: Israel may totally destroy Gaza if necessary".

Israeli terrorists killed those children

From Gaza

Stories of Gaza.

the Israeli lie and the truth:

The Israeli lie
The truth

Is this guy morally responsible or what? (He is the official spokesperson of UNRWA)

 Chris Gunness ‏@ChrisGunness

"Precise co-ordinates of the UNRWA shelter in Beit Hanoun had been formally given to the Israeli army RT"


From Tarek: "This is with regards to your blog post: A French Politician asks:
It seems that the Twitter account was fake:

American public safety and the Israeli lobby

The pressures on the FAA yesterday but loyal soldiers of the Israeli lobby in US Congress AND the US administration prove that the PR interests of the state of Israel far supersede the safety of the American travelers.