Naiman starts with an inference that there really is no conflict between Israel and Iran, and as evidence points out that there hasn't been much response from American officials or Iranian officials either on the topic. Of course he includes the usual HP distortion of the events: "the Israeli military attack on the Turkish aid boat that killed eight Turks and an American..." Notice the implication there that Furkan Dogan was not Turkish, which is hilarious. Anyway, Naiman then shares that two Iranian ships are now going to Gaza but won't get the Iranian navy to protect them. It's then that he makes this interesting little comparison:
"You may have heard that the IRGC [a unit of Iranian soldiers] has a force called the "Qods Brigade." It's a provocative name - Qods is the Arabic name of Jerusalem. Imagine if, during the struggle against apartheid, the government of Angola had an elite fighting force called the "Johannesburg Brigade." Presumably some white South Africans might have regarded that as provocative."I could point out how Naiman is once against using the insulting "Israel as apartheid" which is so common among it's detractors, but what I really wanted to get into was the "Jerusalem-Johannesburg" thing. Unless my memory is fault Johannesburg is part of South Africa, which I think is what Naiman is implying: Jerusalem doesn't belong to the Jews, it instead belongs to some else.
And that's where it gets weird. For his analogy to work it would mean that Jerusalem belongs to....Iran? That is news to me! Especially when you consider that Iranians don't speak Arabic either, they speak Farsi. It sounds like Mr. Naiman is half right, the name is provocative because it shows that they want to take Jerusalem, the holiest city in Judaism, away from the Jews. But they also don't seem to care who it goes to as long as the Jews don't get it. More likely Iran just wants to sound like it is supporting the Palestinians, and Mr. Naiman just doesn't know what he is talking about when he made his analogy. His line of thinking was probably more along the lines of, "How can I get a cheap shot at Israel?" instead of, "Does this comparison make sense?"
Naiman then hits a couple of news stories, such as Ahmadinejad saying that the flotilla would have soldiers on board to "teaching Israel a lesson" for defending itself, and that last year Israel stopped Iranian ships and they went home without violence, though not before lodging a protest to Egypt. But then Naiman has this WTF-worthy paragraph:
"Perhaps this "existential" conflict has been slightly exaggerated. Maybe that's why the US media isn't going nuts over this.
"Israel claims Iran is an existential threat - that's why Israel must bomb Lebanon and blockade Gaza. Israeli and U.S. officials have threatened to bomb Iran. But so far they haven't been stupid enough to actually try it. As bullies are wont to do, they usually only attack those who appear too weak to defend themselves."Mr. Naiman doesn't seem to be too keen on the concept of "separate issues." Just because the US media doesn't care about the blockade doesn't mean that they don't care about the possibility of a nuclear Iran. The HP covers Iran way more than Gaza, and that's the HP!
Second, he makes a strawman worthy of a professional: Israel needs to "bomb" Lebanon and Gaza because Iran is an existential threat? I'm sorry, I don't think I have ever seen anyone say that before Mr. Naiman did. Israel needs to take measures against Lebanon and Gaza because rockets and/or terrorists come out of those places to attack Israeli people. It doesn't have anything to do with Iran except that Iran is the one financing and arming the terrorists who do this.
As for the "bully" thing, I don't think Mr. Naiman can deny that Israel and the USA are taking measures against Iran in the form of UN sanctions. President Obama has not taken a military option off the table. It's interesting that now Mr. Naiman is calling them "bullies" who are too cowardly to attack Iran. Yet I have a feeling that should they actually attack Iran, he'll be the first in line to call them war criminals and murderers. He needs to figure out his talking points.
Mr. Naiman continues with drawn-out metaphors about how all the politicians in this situation are full of hot air and never actually do anything. But check out this alleged story from his "friend:"
"I recently asked a friend whose father was driven from his home by Israeli forces in 1948 to ask his dad whether he agreed with those Palestinians who are comparing Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to the Arab nationalist leader Nasser. No, came the reply: "Nasser = speeches. Erdogan = deeds.""Didn't Nasser lead Egyptian armies against Israel in 1967? And then started the War of Attrition after that? Maybe Mr. Naiman didn't like including that part in his history because it would mean reminding people about previous existential threats to Israel. Existential threats that he would probably deny ever existed as well.
Naiman also points out that because Turkey helped the world confront the issue of the Gaza blockade, it did more for the Palestinians than Iran ever did. Which I suppose is true, but it's all an issue of perspective. Turkey is helping Hamas by demanding that Israel drop the blockade without doing anything about the root cause of it. Iran is helping Hamas by sending weapons and money. So I guess depending on your perspective both nations are helping the Palestinians (by helping Hamas) or oppressing the Palestinians (again, by helping Hamas). But of course Naiman won't point that out. And then we have his second WTF-worthy paragraph of the article:
"For all their brave talk against "the Zionist entity," Turkey, Britain, and America have more martyrs to the Israeli occupation than Iran does. Judging from Western press reports, the last foreign protester shot by Israeli forces was a Jewish art student from Maryland."What do Mr. Naiman and terrorists around the world have in common (among other things)? They all refer to useful idiots who have died while protecting terrorists as "martyrs." I cannot be the only one who finds Mr. Naiman calling Rachel Corrie a "martyr" seriously creepy, especially when you look at her politics and wonder what cause she really wanted to die for.
Notice also the distortion in the last sentence: When I said that "X shot Y," that usually implies that X killed Y intentionally with a gun. Not that "X hit Y in the eye with a tear gas container" which is what really happened. But I guess telling the whole truth wouldn't help Mr. Naiman make his point, so his journalistic integrity suffered for it.
"What might happen if the whole Muslim world took a siesta from protesting cartoons and novels and focused its energy on supporting resistance to the Israeli occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem?"I can only imagine what Mr. Naiman was doing when he wrote those words. The "whole Muslim world" has never united on anything, and despite Mr. Naiman's wishful thinking they won't be unifying against Israel's occupation. Unify against Israel's existence, maybe. But somehow I don't think Mr. Naiman would be too upset if they got a little too carried away and wiped Israel out. Just a feeling I'm getting.
"As Tariq ibn Ziyad is purported to have said: "The sea is behind you and the enemy in front.""What a peaceful thing for Mr. Naiman to say! I can't imagine why he would think that this quote is a useful one with which to make his argument. I thought Mr. Naiman's ilk is telling us that Israel is just "paranoid" and all the suffering they have experienced is entirely of their own making? Now he is saying that Israel is caught between "the enemy" and "the sea?" Well then I guess Israel is more than justified in maintaining the blockade as well as the occupation to stop their enemies from killing them. Thanks Mr. Naiman! Or should I say, Mr. Tariq ibn Ziyad, famous Muslim imperialist of the 8th century.