Monday, February 8, 2010

HuffPoWatch: Heather Robinson's "40 Million Dollars"

The other day the Huffington Post published a blog article by Heather Robinson, the former senior writer for the New York Daily News with the atrociously clumsy title of, "Will $40 Million US Tax Dollars Subsidize UN Agency That Tolerates Teaching Martyrdom to Palestinian Kids?" 

As you might expect, the article was complaining about US tax money being used to incite Palestinian children through the educational programs of UNRWA, examples of which can be found here. Robinson also talks about how Canada has changed it's $300 million funding for UNRWA to instead go to aid for food and a revamp of the Palestinian justice system, as well as Hillary Clinton and the organization "Palestinian Media Watch" speaking against the textbooks in 2007. I suggest you read the whole article.

So naturally, the anti-Zionist/pro-Palestinian crowd came out in force. They were quite vicious, perhaps because Robinson had hit a very vulnerable point for their "side" in three ways: (1) The Palestinians were doing something wrong. Incredibly wrong. Abusing a child to make him want to kill himself and others is about as low as you can go. (2) Robinson is calling for aid to the Palestinians to be shut off or redirected, something that AZs always hope will happen to Israel and (3) It does a lot of damage to those who claim that the Palestinians are doing all they can in pursuit of peace. How can the Palestinians be serious about a two-state solution when they continue to indoctrinate their kids with bloodlust? Of course, they cannot.

So the anti-Zionists had to respond, but they ran into some trouble: Robinson, Clinton, and Marcus were all correct. Palestinian indoctrination through the educational system and elsewhere continue to this day. It cannot be denied, though one poster did try to prove Robinson wrong. It didn't quite take.
So instead the AZs switched tactics to two main avenues: (1) Attacks on Robinson, Marcus, PMW, and other posters. (2) Off topic rants about Israel, Cast Lead, the blockade, or anything to try and deflect attention away from the actual topic of the article. This was sometimes combined with waving the bloody shirt.

That's enough from me. Anti-Semitism was not very prevalent on this thread, but I did want to record the comments, so you can see them for yourself. 

And how do they explain to Israeli children the eviction of thousands of Palestinian families, thousands of demolitions and the confiscation of land?
How do they explain the slaughter of hundreds of Palestinian children and the permanent injury of thousands?

Heather Robinson - may I say how awful your pieces tend to be.

And this one takes the cake! Suggesting punishing children [strawman] over a few verses, when some of our literature and psalms are chock-full of violence and praying for God's wrath and revenge [deflection] is pretty insensitive and hypocritical.
Canada ain't so mild-mannered anymore. Canda is on the forefront of some very dangerous and confrontational policies in the Middle East these days - in great part because of the influence of the pro-Israel lobby there. [Of course]

I found this article over the top. Is Hamas supposed to love Israel after decades of Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people? The Palestinians are not particularly radical, but insofar as their has been some radicalization of Palestinians society it is the direct result of the ongoing criminal treatment of Palestinians by Israel. We of course have supported Israel with arms and endless money making the U.S. almost as guilty as Israel.

lb, I had a quick look on the net and found Itamar Marcus, who she is quoting as some sort of neutral authority, apparently lives on an illegal settlement in the West Bank. and has been employed by Netanyahu. Judging by its site Palwatch, his organisation is yet another one disseminating Hasbara, and judging by her recent blogs the "independent" Heather Robinson is a cheerleader for AIPAC and Israel.
She seems to be doing her duty here and continuing Israel's campaign to defund and deligitimise NGOs which benefit Palestinians.
If you were to take her concerns at face value, she would appear to have a very strange set of values. She is worried about what Palestinian children may be reading, but I can't find any examples of her worrying about 400 of these children being murdered.

So why is it that you haven't written anything condeming this?:
Billions of U.S. dollars are being funneled into Israel for settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and billions of tax dollars towards a peace process that is being thwarted by settler organizations.
Where's your concern over this?
Why nitpick at some verses when the hate is being generated by Israel's injustice against Palestinians? What do you think scars a child more, an F-16 dropping a dime bomb or WP on their people, or a few verses?
Half of Gaza's population is made up of children, and Israel is inflicting collective punishment on them which is tantamount to child abuse, and yet you try to interfere with aid they desperately need because of a few verses???
Oh lord, please, please pick on someone else! [The perfect sum-up of the anti-Zionist argument.]

stcuthbert - you must have been off sick for those lessons.
however you've learnt very well extra curiculum wise. ["Hasbara" ad hominem.]

Why didn't John Stewart criticize the cartoons ridiculing the prophet Muhammad? I'm seeting a double-standard here!
I rest my case.
As far as the "demonization" of Israel goes, nobody has done a better job of that than its own government and military complex.
When are Americans going to wake up to the fact that their congress is, for the most part, bribed or arm twisted by the lobby of a foreign power that would, should the eventuality materialize, gladly drag its great "benefactor and ally" down with it if necessary.
Americans owe zero to Israel, and there is no real coincidence of interests, strategic or otherwise between the two nations. Israel remains the albatross around this nation's diplomatic neck.
50 or so million is a drop in the bucket. Your tax dollars at work:
billions in direct aid from your wallet to the Knesset for the purpose of:
Fortifying the settlements as they further encroach on Palestinian lands, furthering the Bantustanization of that pitiful nation.
Invading Lebanon.
Bombarding, strafing, and blockading Gaza.
Ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem.
Maintaining an illegal nuclear arsenal.
Building the apartheid wall.
Espionage against the American government and American industry (or what's left of it).

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