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April 30, 2008

What Would Martin Luther King Say about Anti-Zionism?

MLK photo.jpg

The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed (King and the Jews, April 30) by Clarence Jones, who had been Martin Luther King Jr's personal attorney. He offers interesting insight into King's views:

"I was his lawyer and one of his closest advisers, and I can say with absolute certainty that Martin abhorred anti-Semitism in all its forms, including anti-Zionism."


Wall Street Journal

King and the Jews


April 30, 2008; Page A15

Earlier this month, at a Los Angeles event for the national African-American fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi, the keynote speaker launched into an anti-Semitic tirade – directed at the fraternity's guest of honor. The shocking episode shows just how far we've strayed from the original vision of the civil rights movement – and how far we have yet to travel to realize that vision.

The guest of honor, Daphna Ziman, an Israeli-American woman, had just received the Tom Bradley Award for generous philanthropy and public service. But instead of praise, the Rev. Eric

Lee berated her. "The Jews," he claimed, "have made money on us in the music business and we are the entertainers, and they are economically enslaving us." (Mr. Lee would later apologize to Ms. Ziman.)

It was bad enough that the event took place on April 4, the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. Even more galling, Mr. Lee is the president-CEO of the L.A. branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Foundation – the very civil-rights organization co-founded by the slain civil-rights leader.

Martin would have been repelled by Mr. Lee's remarks. I was his lawyer and one of his closest advisers, and I can say with absolute certainty that Martin abhorred anti-Semitism in all its forms, including anti-Zionism. "There isn't anyone in this country more likely to understand our struggle than Jews," Martin told me. "Whatever progress we've made so far as a people, their support has been essential."

Martin was disheartened that so many blacks could be swayed by Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam and other black separatists, rejecting his message of nonviolence, and grumbling about "Jew landlords" and "Jew interlopers" – even "Jew slave traders." The resentment and anger displayed toward people who offered so much support for civil rights was then nascent. But it has only festered and grown over four decades. Today, black-Jewish relations have arguably grown worse, not better.

For that, Martin would place fault principally on the shoulders of black leaders such as Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson – either for making anti-Semitic statements, inciting anti-Semitism (including violence), or failing to condemn overt anti-Semitism within the black community.

When American cities were burning in the summers before he died, Martin listened to any number of young blacks holding matches blame Jewish landlords or Jewish store-owners in the inner city – no matter that Jews were a minority of landlords and store owners. He asked them, Who else might have bought the buildings that we lived in and rented us apartments? Who else was willing to come in and open stores and sell us the things we needed? Where were these Negroes with money who'd abandoned their communities? And if blacks had bought those businesses and buildings, would they have charged less for rent and bread?

As Martin wrote in 1967, "Negroes nurture a persistent myth that the Jews of America attained social mobility and status solely because they had money. It is unwise to ignore the error for many reasons. In a negative sense it encourages anti-Semitism and overestimates money as a value. In a positive sense, the full truth reveals a useful lesson.

"Jews progressed because they possessed a tradition of education combined with social and political action. The Jewish family enthroned education and sacrificed to get it. The result was far more than abstract learning. Uniting social action with educational competence, Jews became enormously effective in political life."

To Martin, who believed the pursuit of excellence would trump adversity, Jewish success should, and could, be used as a blueprint and inspiration for blacks' own success rather than as an incitement to bitterness.

Any blacks who subscribe to the views represented in Mr. Lee's speech would do well to heed the words and deeds of the man whose name and legacy they claim to represent.

Mr. Jones was Martin Luther King's personal attorney and close adviser. He is the coauthor, with Joel Engel, of "What Would Martin Say" (Harper, 2008), from which this was adapted. 4/29/2008

Posted by LG at 05:13 PM |  Comments (1)

The Bare Bones on Foreign Coverage

Dry Bones blog offers up a cartoon today on the fundamental challenge to accurate reporting on the Mideast, and kindly features CAMERA.

Bones on CAMERA.gif

For CAMERA's collection of articles on intimidation of the media, see here.

Posted by TS at 03:33 PM |  Comments (0)

A New News Concept at Abu Dhabi Paper: Independence

the_national_logo small.gif

The International Herald Tribune reports:

One of the Middle East's wealthiest ruling families has a new asset: The National, a newspaper that promises independence from its royal owners.

The paper, an English-language daily based in Abu Dhabi, published its first issue on April 17, under close scrutiny in the Middle East and abroad. With its pledge to emulate Western newspaper standards and to "help society evolve," The National is an anomaly in the Middle East, where most media are tightly controlled by the government. . .

So far The National is drawing some guarded praise. "I looked very carefully to see if I could find any evidence that they were censoring themselves, and I didn't see it," said Josh Friedman, director of international programs at Columbia University's graduate school of journalism. For example, the paper, which is available online at, referred to Hamas fighters as "militants," Friedman said, a type of description that is rare in the Middle East.

Click here for The National's Web site.

Posted by TS at 06:09 AM |  Comments (0)

April 23, 2008

Injured Israeli child not news "fit to print"?

When the New York Times published Ethan Bronner's article "Carter Says Hamas and Syria Are Open to Peace" on its web site on April 21, 2008, the article stated that

"Hamas fires rockets on Israeli towns and communities in an effort to hurt and kill civilians. On Monday a 4-year-old child was injured from shrapnel after a rocket hit a home on a kibbutz and caused damage, the Israeli army announced."

The next day, the International Herald Tribune published Mr. Bronner's article ("Hamas and Syria are ready for peace, Carter says," April 22). The Herald Tribune omitted the reference to Hamas intending to hurt and kill civilians, but did report that

"On Monday, a 4-year-old child was wounded by shrapnel after a rocket hit a home on a kibbutz and caused damage, the Israeli Army announced."

However, when Mr. Bronner's story appeared in the April 22 print edition of the New York Times, both the reference to Hamas's intentions in firing its rockets and the report of the injury to the Israeli child had been deleted and were nowhere to be found in the published 22-paragraph article. Nor were these words still available on the web site.

A Google search shows that they used to be there, but when one clicks on the posted article, the words are missing.

Carter Says Hamas and Syria Are Open to Peace - New York Times... and declaring a 30-day unilateral cease-fire with Israel — Hamas fires rockets on Israeli towns and communities in an effort to hurt and kill civilians. ... - Similar pages

The final published version of the New York Times article, with the words deleted, is available here.
The International Herald Tribune version is available here.

By contrast, the Associated Press prominently noted the injury to the Israeli child in its report. The AP's Karin Laub ("Carter says Hamas willing to be Israel's neighbor") stated in the third paragraph of her 35-paragraph story that day:

"Actions on the ground — seven rockets were fired on Israel from Hamas-ruled Gaza Monday, including one that wounded a 4-year-old boy — contradicted the Islamic militant group's positive words about coexistence and a truce."

The AP report also mentioned the injury to the Israeli child in the story's 22nd paragraph as well.

The New York Times prides itself on publishing "all the news that's fit to print." So why did the Times decide to not just ignore, but actively censor, a newsworthy report on the injury of an Israeli child in a Palestinian terrorist missile attack, as well as the words of the Times's Jerusalem bureau chief explaining Hamas's intent to "hurt and kill Israeli civilians"?

Letters can be sent to the Times at: [email protected]

Stephen A. Silver

Posted by LG at 12:30 PM |  Comments (1)

April 21, 2008

Carter & His Terrorist Pals

Sometimes an editorial cartoon sums it up best:

give killers a chance.bmp

(hat tip to David Steinmann)

Posted by LG at 01:23 AM |  Comments (3)

April 17, 2008

Carter, Once Again, Inspires Censure


Jimmy Carter, whose legacy is already stained by his distorted and error-filled book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, is once again on the receiving end of dismayed criticism as a result of his decision to meet with leaders of the Hamas terror organization.

Shmuel Rosner, Ha'aretz's chief US correspondent, writes that the decision of Israel's Prime Minister and Defense Minister not to meet with Carter during the former president's Middle East trip — a decision apparently in response to Carter's insistence on meeting with Hamas — was justified. (Rosner also describes Carter's book as being "nothing but a concoction of exaggerations, inventions, distortions and lies.")

Michael Kraft, a former State Department counterterrorism adviser, writes in the Baltimore Sun that

For a high-profile person such as Mr. Carter to put the gloss on Hamas and publicly meet with its leader at this stage only encourages Hamas to believe that if it remains steadfast in its "resistance" and rejectionist rhetoric, the West will try to make deals or concessions without Hamas having to end terrorism and its opposition to Israel's existence. ...

Mr. Carter's well-publicized meeting plans amount to rewarding terrorists in advance without any negotiations.

A Washington Post editorial today similarly criticizes Carter for lending undue legitimacy to Hamas. The editorial asserts that

no act of terrorism is out of bounds for the Hamas leader [Mahmoud al-Zahar], who endorses the group's recent ambush of Israeli civilians working at a fuel depot that supplies Gaza. The "total war" of which he speaks was initiated and has been sustained by Hamas itself through its deliberate targeting of civilians, such as the residents of the Israeli town of Sderot, who suffer daily rocket attacks.

These facts would hardly need restating were it not for actors such as Mr. Carter, who portray Hamas as rational and reasonable.

The Post takes Carter to task for believing — or making believe — that Hamas accepts Mahmoud Abbas's negotiation with Israel, while conveniently ignoring that Zahar called Abbas a "traitor" for negotiating. (This amounts to an "incitement to murder," the editorial notes.)

Democratic Congressmen Howard Berman and Gary Ackerman wrote a letter to Carter explaining that "The legitimacy and prestige that Hamas will derive from your visit will be seen in the region as a clear demonstration that violence pays."

Perhaps the most scathing commentary is by the opinion editor of Lebanon's Daily Star, Michael Young. Under the headline "Jimmy Carter: A fool on a fool's errand," Young describes the idea, promoted by Carter and others, that meeting with Hamas will enlighten its supposedly pragmatic leaders on the benefits of peace and negotiation, and counters: "You can almost hear Khaled Meshaal gasping at the naivete of such sweeping positivism, as he prepares to score points off his solemn American visitor." He adds:

it makes no sense today to damage Abbas by opening a channel to Hamas, which has never endorsed the agreements reached with Israel during the Oslo years. In fact, to bring Hamas into negotiations would only grant legitimacy to the movement's rejection of those agreements, and of the entire Oslo process. This, in turn, would only further constrict Abbas' slim margin of maneuver. ...

There is also a valid case to be made that Hamas is not interested in a peace treaty with Israel, because its ultimate ambition is to liberate the whole of Palestine. Certainly, that's what the movement demonstrates day in and day out. Meshaal has declared that Hamas would accept a deal on the basis of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, but has added a key caveat that this must also include a right of return for the Palestinian refugees of 1948 to their places of origin. For Israel this is a non-starter on demographic grounds, and Meshaal knows it. ...

That's why Jimmy Carter is on a fool's errand, complicating an already complicated situation. It's often said that Carter has been a better ex-president than president. That's no compliment, so ghastly was his tenancy of the White House - the Camp David accords notwithstanding. Peace may be a long way away between Palestinians and Israelis, but Carter won't speed things up any by turning into Meshaal's patsy.

Posted by at 10:10 AM |  Comments (6)

April 15, 2008

A Monument to News, Warts and All

The International Herald Tribune reports today on the opening of the new Newseum, a $450 million Washington DC monument to the news industry. The Tribune notes that despite the grandiosity of the place,

there's at least one sign that the Newseum knows when not to take itself too seriously: scattered tiles in the museum bathrooms are inscribed with journalistic gaffes and embarrassing corrections.

The Tribune also reports:

Along with the many testimonials to journalistic courage and a memorial to journalists who lost their lives on the job, there are examples of distortions that mar the profession: the frauds perpretrated by a Pulitzer Prize winner or by a trusted reporter . . . or even Peter Arnett's 1991 broadcast on CNN that seemingly swallowed the Saddam Hussein's government account of the United States having bombed a "baby-milk plant."

CAMERA's collection of Israel-related corrections (including the outrageous ones) can be found not on our bathroom floors, but here on our site.

Posted by TS at 03:30 AM |  Comments (0)

April 14, 2008

"Moderate" PA Adheres to Piece by Piece Process

Once again, an official with the "moderate" Palestinian Authority has made clear that Palestinian leaders still see the so-called peace process as a means to implement Yasser Arafat's 1974 "Phased Plan" for destroying Israel, rather than as a path to achieving genuine peace.

According to a translation by MEMRI, the Palestinian Authority's Ambassador to Lebanon, Abbas Zaki, told Lebanon's NBN TV during an interview that aired on April 9, 2008:

The P.L.O. is the sole legitimate representative [of the Palestinian people], and it has not changed its platform even one iota. In light of the weakness of the Arab nation and the lack of values, and in light of the American control over the world, the P.L.O. proceeds through phases, without changing its strategy. Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine.

The story has been reported in the Jerusalem Post .

If you don't see this quotation reported in your local paper, please contact the editorial staff and/or foreign desk of the newspaper to educate them about the issue and urge them to cover the story.

- Stephen Silver

Posted by LG at 03:34 PM |  Comments (0)

Dutch Reporter Bins 'Good Guy, Bad Guy Thing'

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Dutch reporter Nicolien den Boer had her own opinion about the onerous security checks she endured at Ben-Gurion Airport, a view that drastically changed after an encounter with a terror victim. An English translation of Den Boer's article is circulating through cyberspace and is also posted here:

Five hours at Tel Aviv airport Diary from the Middle East (1) by Nicolien den Boer in Israel*


What does daily life look like in Israel and the Palestinian territory? Two editors of the Arabic desk of Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Nicolien den Boer and Abir Sarras, will be - separately - travelling through the region in the coming weeks.

Their trip coincides with the 60th anniversary of the state of Israel and the commemoration of the naqba (catastrophe) for the Palestinians. They are keeping a travel diary.

In the first contribution of Nicolien den Boer: five hours at Tel Aviv airport.

(edited translation of the original Dutch report by Nicolien den Boer)


When the Israeli woman who's interrogating me at Tel Aviv airport says, "I've just sent someone back who didn't co-operate", what she actually means is "you've been warned". It's 4 a.m., and this is the third time I've been questioned so far. I'm trying to stay calm. I haven't slept yet and I haven't had anything to drink for hours. The woman, probably a member of the Israeli security services, points me to the water fountain outside the toilets. I rinse my mouth, nothing more (is it safe to drink the water here?).

My passport has stamps from various Arab countries: Dubai, Yemen and archenemy Syria. After having to explain away all the telephone numbers I have in my possession, give my e-mail address and provide information about all my planned visits to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, there yet another interrogation of about an hour followed, this time about my time in Syria: "What did you do there?" "Do you know anyone there?", "Where exactly did you go?".

Finally, after more than five hours of waiting and being questioned at Tel Aviv airport, I get my passport back and am allowed to go. My suitcase is waiting, but - despite what I was promised - there's no one keeping an eye on it.

On the way to my hotel, I am feeling rather confused. I thought the Israelis always laid out the red carpet for members of the Western press. Haven't they got a reputation for bending over backwards to help journalists, handing out beautiful press packs and great quotes? If they treat me, a Dutch woman like this, what's it like for a Palestinian? I'd started going on about getting the Dutch embassy involved. I even rang them up - they were closed, of course. But a Palestinian wouldn't have any embassy to call. I'm trying not to think in simplistic terms of 'good guy, bad guy', but it's difficult.

So I save my complaint for the government press office in Jerusalem, where I go to pick up my press card next day. "Security measures," is the explanation I get from the press officer, a tired looking woman by the name of Pnina Aizenman. "What do you think it's like for us, waking up each morning and never knowing what the day will bring?" she says, clearly referring to Palestinian suicide attacks on Israeli civilians.

While Pnina's busy getting my press card ready, I take a look at the photos of children and a newspaper article on the wall behind me. The article is about a woman who lost her mother and her five-year-old child in a Palestinian suicide bombing. The name of the woman is Pnina Aizenman. I get the shivers. "That's you," I stammer. "Yes. Do you understand now what I mean by security measures?" she replies. I suddenly feel ashamed that I've just been complaining about being kept waiting for five hours when this woman's life has been totally wrecked by a bomb.

Then I also remember the bread roll that a police officer offered me at the airport, and that one of the women questioning me told me about the death of two friends and how she dedicated her work to their memory and did it "to defend her country". Totally confused, I leave the press office and walk out onto the streets of Jerusalem. Suddenly I find that I've totally binned that 'good guy, bad guy' thing I had in my head less than 24 hours ago.

Posted by TS at 08:16 AM |  Comments (1)

April 13, 2008

Gush Shalom Falsely Accuses Israel of Killing 5-year-old

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In a page A2 advertisement in Ha'aretz Friday (April 11), Gush Shalom falsely accuses Israel of having killed a five-year-old, Abdallah Bahar. The text reads:

5-year-old Abdallah Bahar Was killed this week In the Gaza Strip By army fire.

Not a single word about this
Was published by
Yediot Aharonot, Maariv
or any TV channel
Only Haaretz published a photo.

In the democratic State of Israel
There is no need for
A military coup d'etat
In order to muzzle the media.
The editors do it themselves.

But, as the Palestinian Center for Human Rights documents in an April 8 release entitled "Misuse of Weapons by Armed Groups and Security Personnel," Behar was killed by a Palestinian mortar shell which accidentally hit near his house.

Some questions:

1) Does Ha'aretz have any policy requiring the fact-checking of ads for factual accuracy? Will Ha'aretz print a correction about the ad which contains a false, defamatory charge against Israel? Ask Publisher Amos Schocken ([email protected]).

2) What evidence does Gush Shalom have that would negate PCHR's findings that Behar was killed by a Palestinian mortar? If none is available, will Gush Shalom retract its accusation? Contact [email protected] .

Posted by TS at 05:11 AM |  Comments (0)

Hamas Continues to Manufacture a Crisis

Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials charged in Ha'aretz this weekend that Hamas continues to manufacture a fuel crisis:

The head of the Israel Defense Forces' Coordination and Liaison Administration at the Erez checkpoint on the Israel-Gaza border said over the weekend that Israel consistently streams fuel to the Gaza Strip while Palestinian actions have caused an initiated fuel crisis.

Colonel Nir Peres said that Gaza's closed fuel depots and excruciating lines at gas stations were the direct result a carefully planned and publicized Hamas campaign to create a fuel crisis, which stems from the group's refusal to transfer available fuel from the Israeli Nahal Oz fueling terminal into the Strip.

According to Peres, as of this weekend, the fuel containers on the Palestinian side of the fueling terminal contained some 190,000 liters of gasoline and over 800,000 liters of diesel fuel. . .

On Thursday, Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials said Hamas seizes half the fuel Israel sends to the Gaza Strip and uses it in part for its military wing's vehicles.

Hussein al-Sheikh, a PA official, confirmed to Haaretz that Hamas seizes half the amount of fuel transferred by Israel to the Strip. The amount confiscated is approximately 400,000 of the 800,000 liters of diesel transferred to Gaza weekly and intended for uses such as generators, hospitals, water pumps and sewage pumps. In contrast, Hamas uses this fuel for militant purposes.

Israeli sources said Hamas was preventing the pumping of all the fuel from the Nahal Oz depot's reserves and funneling it to the Strip's gas stations. In the past week, only a small amount of fuel and diesel was pumped from the depot, leaving some 820,000 liters of diesel and 200,000 of gas in the depots, they said.

See also Ynet or the Foreign Ministry.

Posted by TS at 02:05 AM |  Comments (0)

April 06, 2008

Bad Rap at Los Angeles Times

According to blog Smoking Gun, criminal James Sabatino (above) forged a FBI document about the attack on rapper Tupac Shukar. The false document was the basis of a major investigative report at the Times

The Los Angeles Times, once again, has had to issue a lengthy apology after relying on a fabricated document in an investigative report about a 1994 violent attack on rapper Tupac Shukar. An excerpt of the apology follows:

A Los Angeles Times story about a brutal 1994 attack on rap superstar Tupac Shakur was partially based on documents that appear to have been fabricated, the reporter and editor responsible for the story said Wednesday.

Reporter Chuck Philips and his supervisor, Deputy Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin, issued statements of apology Wednesday afternoon. The statements came after The Times took withering criticism for the Shakur article, which appeared on last week and two days later in the paper's Calendar section.

The criticism came first from The Smoking Gun website, which said the newspaper had been the victim of a hoax, and then from subjects of the story, who said they had been defamed.

"In relying on documents that I now believe were fake, I failed to do my job," Philips said in a statement Wednesday. "I'm sorry."

In his statement, Duvoisin added: "We should not have let ourselves be fooled. That we were is as much my fault as Chuck's. I deeply regret that we let our readers down."

Times Editor Russ Stanton announced that the newspaper would launch an internal review of the documents and the reporting surrounding the story. Stanton said he took the criticisms of the March 17 report "very seriously."

"We published this story with the sincere belief that the documents were genuine, but our good intentions are beside the point," Stanton said in a statement.

"The bottom line is that the documents we relied on should not have been used. We apologize both to our readers and to those referenced in the documents and, as a result, in the story. We are continuing to investigate this matter and will fulfill our journalistic responsibility for critical self-examination."

This is not the first time in recent history where the Times has been caught with its pants down. See here and here.

A lawyer for a man falsely accused by the forged document warned that the Times article created "a potentially violent climate in the hip-hop community." If faulty reporting based on fabricated material can lead to violence in the hip-hop world, think of the potential for Mideast violence in the wake of reporting based on fabrications.

Mohammed Al Dura, anyone?

Posted by TS at 07:08 AM |  Comments (0)

April 04, 2008

NY Times Headline Mars Article on WHO Report

In 2007, Israel granted entry permits into Israel for over 7000 critically ill patients from Gaza, a 43% increase over the previous year. Despite Israel's efforts to alleviate the suffering of its enemies, the director of the UN's World Health Organization office for the West Bank and Gaza portrayed Israel's efforts as inhumane, insufficient and too slow.

The New York Times coverage of the new WHO report noted that Israeli officials said WHO investigators had never asked Israel about the Palestinian accusations before the report was written and that Israel denied the allegations. Israeli Col. Nir Press, the liaison officer for Gaza crossings, was allowed to give a detailed refutation. While the April 3rd article ( "Israel Slow to Admit Gaza Patients, U.N. Says," ) was balanced, it was marred by the headline and pull-quote ("Delays have caused 32 Palestinians to die, a report contends"). Both were from WHO's perspective, appearing to favor WHO's allegations over Israel's refutation. Israel's refutation should have been at least a subheadline or pull-quote.

While this was a story centered around the release of the WHO report, readers would have a better understanding of the complex issues involved if the focus had been expanded to include more context, such as:

Israel allows thousands of Gazans to enter Israel every year to receive medical care, despite the fact that:

* Wafa Al-Biss, a burn patient from Gaza who had been treated several times in an Israeli hospital, was caught at the Erez Crossing security checkpoint with explosives and admitted that her goal that day was to go once again to Soroka Hospital, but this time to blow up the very doctors and nurses who had cared for her in the past. She also asserted that she wanted to kill as many children as possible.

* Fatma Zak, a nine-month pregnant mother of eight from Gaza, along with her niece, a mother of four, obtained a permit to enter Israel for medical treatment in order to carry out two terrorist attacks. After being arrested at the Erez Crossing security checkpoint on May 20, 2007, the two women confessed to the plot and said they had used Israel's humanitarian policy to acquire entrance permits on a false medical pretext.

* Terrorists from Gaza launch daily rocket attacks against Israeli communities, particularly Sderot, killing, maiming, and traumatizing Israeli civilians and severely damaging the town's economy

* a Palestinian poll shows that 91% of Gazans support the Arab terror attack on March 6 that killed 8 yeshiva students in Jerusalem and 65% of Gazans support the daily indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza into Israeli towns

* Gaza's Hamas government has stated repeatedly that its goal is to destroy Israel

Letters-to-the-editor can be sent to [email protected]

Posted by LG at 03:23 PM |  Comments (0)

Terrorist Admits Arafat was Behind Intifada

Back in Abu Amar's day [the nom de guerre of Yasser Arafat], we had a plan, there was a strategy, and we would carry his orders...Everything that was done in the intifada was done according to Arafat's instructions, but he didn't need to tell us the things explicitly. We understood his message.

This candid statement by Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade terrorist Zakariya Zubeidi in an interview appearing in Ha'aretz (April 4, 2008) attests to the direct involvement of former Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat in the campaign of violence that erupted in September 2000 and lasted for four years.

Zubeidi's confession that "we failed entirely" contrasts with the position, advocated by some of Israel's critics, that the terror campaign could not be contained by steadfast application of tough measures. According to Zubeidi,

We, the activists, paid the heavy price. We've had family members killed, friends. They demolished our homes and we have no way of earning a living. And what is the result? Zero. Simply zero.

Zubeidi takes the position that Israel and the West have to do more to help Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and threatens that unless a state is established soon there will be war between Palestinian factions. But his comments also suggest that the current government may be irremediably weak, raising questions over the wisdom of the unprecedented financial support that the US, EU and Israeli government have committed to propping it up.

When considering Zubeidi's comments, it is important to keep in mind that he is a terrorist whose sincerity is suspect and motives for speaking out opportunistic. But nevertheless, his frank assessment of the failure of the intifada and Yasir Arafat's role in fomenting and directing it, exposes the naivete and knavery of those like internationally reknowned writers, Bao Dei, Juan Guytisolo, the committee that selected Arafat for the Nobel Peace prize and BBC journalist Barbara Plett, who fawned over the former Palestinian leader and waxed poetic over his virtues.

Posted by SS at 10:06 AM |  Comments (3)

April 02, 2008

IDF Slams WHO Report as 'Completely Wrong'


The Jerusalem Post reports:

A World Health Organization (WHO) report that sharply criticized the IDF's screening of Palestinians who seek medical treatment in Israeli hospitals was flatly rejected by defense officials on Tuesday, who called it "completely wrong."

The report was released during a press conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday held by Ambrogio Manenti, the head of WHO in Gaza and the West Bank, who called Israeli policy when it comes to allowing Gazans into Israel for treatment "inhumane." . . .

During the press conference, Manenti presented five cases of Gazans who died recently while he said they waited for a permit to enter Israel.

[IDF Col. Nir] Press rejected the claims that the five died while waiting for permits and claimed that each Palestinian mentioned in the report received permits to be treated in Israeli hospitals.

One such case was of 34-year-old Mona Nofal who died of rectal cancer at Shifa Hospital in Gaza in November. The report claimed that Israel delayed granting her permits.

Press pointed out, however, that Nofal's requests were approved each time and that she had in fact been treated in Israeli hospitals in July, August and October.

Press said that Hamas used Nofal's case to blame Israel when in fact "she had died of cancer and not because of the siege."

Posted by TS at 04:52 AM |  Comments (1)

April 01, 2008

Ha'aretz: Different Languages, Different Messages

It's often been noted that what certain Arab leaders say in Arabic before their own countrymen can differ sharply from what they say in English before Western audiences.

An Israeli blogger has noticed Ha'aretz, which publishes both Hebrew and English editions, playing this same double game.

He pointed out that a story today in English refers to the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev as "a Jewish settlement surrounded by Arab towns in the West Bank...." In the original Hebrew, it is described in more neutral language as one of the "Jerusalem neighborhoods located across the Green Line."

The blogger's conclusion is that "we have a very politicized Haaretz subverting Israel abroad."

Posted by at 02:21 PM |  Comments (1)