Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sharmine Narwani Attacks "Jewish Groups," Defends Hezbollah (Part 2)

Now that Ms. Narwani has set up her distortion of what exactly "Jewish groups" are saying, and has made it clear that the flotilla organizers are not associated with Hezbollah (and if they were, it's okay because Hezbollah aren't terrorists) it is now time for her to tell us about how he meeting with them went! How exciting! And as I am sure none of you are surprised to hear, the ladies told Ms. Narwani exactly what she expected to hear. Huzzah!
"Lovely ladies they were. In the hubbub, I had the chance to meet and chat with a few. Firstly, they are all calling themselves Mariam, "Mary" in Arabic. They are lawyers, architects, doctors, journalists, graphic designers, students, professors, human rights activists and school teachers. Some are full-time moms too."
I'm not going to quote everything that Ms. Narwani wrote but the above gives you the idea. Basically all of these people are normal, not fanatics, not violent, and just want to free Gaza. Of course, I can't help but wonder: If they had told her that Hezbollah was backing them and they were smuggling ten thousand pounds of plastic explosive in a false bottom of their boat, would she put it in the article? Probably not.

Ultimately though none of this matters because Mr. Cohen wasn't saying that these people were terrorists, and I don't believe Elder was either. Nor were most of the people on the original "Freedom Flotilla." After all, only about two dozen people attacked the soldiers out of a crew of hundreds (if I recall correctly). The rest of them weren't terrorists, but they were useful idiots helping terrorists out because they thought they were doing the right thing. That is what seems to be going on here, and it is a belief that Ms. Narwani's article does absolutely nothing to disprove.

Once she has finished her description of her time with the women, that is when her article really starts to go off the rails. And for an article like this that is quite the achievement. Click to continue.

"Sometimes it occurs to me that Israel sits atop nothing more than a stack of playing cards, each card a myth spun by the Jewish state: "this was a swamp and we made it into a garden" or "Palestinians sacrifice their children willingly" or "they want to drive us into the sea.""
 Gee, someone who is merely "critical of Israel's actions" once against seems to have a problem with Israel itself. If claiming that Israel is "built on myths" isn't an attack on Israel's legitimacy (which again has nothing to do with the article) then I haven't seen it yet! And of course it is funny because those comments cited really aren't myths. The first one is an exaggeration but there is some truth to it, Palestinians do sacrifice their children willingly, and a great many Arabs do want to drive Israel into the sea. They have said as much themselves, even if Ms. Narwani refuses to believe it. Let's continue:
"Together these cards make a veritable fortress. But start picking away at the myths and the whole enterprise comes tumbling down. What happens when one ship breaks through the blockade and nothing happens except the "bearded" men, the "shackled" women and the "expendable" children of Gaza run forward, grinning widely, tears running down those toughened "terrorist" cheeks, thanking "Allah" for the blessings of the brave humanitarians on board the ship that broke their four-year siege, even if only for a day?
That's a foundation card that falls."
 Give me a fucking break. There's so many things wrong with this paragraph that I can't even put it into a coherent narrative, I need to use bullet points. We'll start with the most obvious:
-Her implication that nothing has ever gone through the blockade in four years is a complete and utter lie. Israel ships in aid every week. Other aid ships, once Israel has inspected them, have been allowed to deliver their cargo. For Ms. Narwani to imply anything different is incredibly dishonest.
-The extent to which there is enough food in Gaza is a manner of debate, but even Al Jazeera broadcasts that there is a lot of food on the shelves there. And I know Ms. Narwani watches Al Jazeera. The Gazans might take the aid from the ships, but it is not needed for them to survive.
-These "brave humanitarians" wouldn't need to break the blockade in the first place if they would let Israel make sure they weren't carrying weapons. As we have long known, and I am sure Ms. Narwani knows too, these flotillas were never about getting aid to the Gazans. For Ms. Narwani to honestly try and convince her audience that they are makes her nothing more than a propagandist. The Free Gaza leaders themselves have proven her wrong.
-I hardly see how one "myth" that isn't about Gaza has anything to do with what she calls "the foundation myth" of Israel's existence. Not that it's a complete surprise for Ms. Narwani to claim that Israel's existence is built on lies, I would just hope she was a touch more logical about it. I guess logic isn't her strong suit.

Whew! Okay, let's finish this up:
"And so Israel and its American supporters will do anything to prop up these myths. Even calling a bunch of really amazing ladies "terrorists" to potentially pave the way for their untimely but necessary demise."
 So now we have gone from Ben Cohen, to "Jewish Groups," to "mainstream Jewish groups," and now to "Israel and its American supporters." That Mr. Cohen must be quite the spokesperson to speak for all of them. Again, Ms. Narwani is strawmanning. Nowhere did Mr. Cohen, Elder of Ziyon or anywhere else call the all-female crew of the Mariam "terrorists." But I guess when you make your living pushing the Palestinian point of view (aka "truth") to the slavering readership on the Huffington Post, truth gets left by the wayside. Ms. Narwani is hardly the only one to do so.

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