Friday, July 30, 2010

Daoud Kuttab Strikes Again

As I believe I mentioned in the past, I wish all of the HP bloggers could be like Daoud Kuttab. Although he is pretty clearly pro-Palestinian, he isn't condescending or insulting and (most of time) just reports the facts. Sometimes, though, he publishes opinion pieces that are quite frankly chock-full of half truths and distortions. And when he does I feel obligated to call him out on it. Like his latest article for instance, about the peace process in general.

Mr. Kuttab begins by telling some personal stories. But then check this out:
"Only when the Turkish led multi-ship flotilla had challenged the blockade and embarrassed the Israelis who were blocking jam and coriander (among other things) did the blockade ease on food items, and not on any other materials needed for the conduct of a normal life."
There were flotillas before the MM one. It's just that none of them succeeded in getting their own people killed. If Mr. Kuttab wants to explain that "peace activists" getting themselves killed for the cause was what really caused Israel to back down, he would be making a good point and he would probably agree. But the flotilla simply "challenging" the blockade would not have made a difference. Just look at the other peaceful flotillas if you don't believe me.

Furthermore, what is this about "any other materials needed for a conduct of a normal life?" Can Mr. Kuttab be more specific? According to news reports (which I know can be unreliable) construction materials and weapon-making materials are the only things no longer allowed in. From the outside it certainly appears like normal life is happening. Even Hani Almadhoun admitted that water, electricity and the Internet were available, just not easy to get. Maybe this depends on what we mean by "a normal life."

Then Mr. Kuttab spins this story like crazy:

"One of these results was the victory of the pro Hamas reform and change parliamentary list. Among those who won parliamentary seats were four Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. By running in the elections, they broke no Israeli law, but by winning a free and fair elections that was supervised by respected international observers such as former US president Jimmy Carter, they seem to have broken an unwritten law. This mysterious undeclared law seems to say that by winning the Jerusalem seats, because they had an Islamists persuasion these elected Islamists are doomed for life.

For a while after the elections they were left alone, one of them Khaled Abu Arafeh was even made minister in the Palestinian Authority for the affairs of Jerusalem. But the moment that an invading Israeli soldier was captured in Gaza, these legislatures and others in the West Bank were rounded up and put in jail. Recently and after being released, they are about to loose their rights to reside in Jerusalem."
 This is a perfect example of when certain people try to make a political issue into a legal issue. Hamas and Israel are still at war. Hamas is still a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel's destruction. So just because Hamas members live in East Jerusalem and were elected into their position does not mean that Israel is obligated to leave them alone. If anything I am surprised that Israel did not arrest them immediately.

It's also interesting that Kuttab claims that it was "because they had an Islamist persuasion" Israel mistreated them. Not because they were leaders of a genocidal terrorist organization. Does this strike anyone else as an attempt to play the race card? Even though Islamism is not a race?

I am not going to quote Kuttab's next two paragraphs but in sum he continues with the 'legal' argument: That the Hamasnicks were criminals and not members of an enemy organization and therefore were entitled to legal protection. He also talks about how the status of Jerusalem is considered to be an unresolved issue and quotes many organizations who feel the same way.

Of course none of that matters because, as I said above, they are members of an enemy organization, not criminals or Israeli citizens. Well they are criminals, but criminals of a different nature than what Mr. Kuttab is implying. He continues:
"Since the beginning of the proximity talks eight weeks ago Israeli behavior has not reflected a country interested in peace. Six Palestinians have been killed including a 16-year-old, 121 have been injured, settlement activities, especially in Jerusalem have continued uninterrupted and plans are being made for 2,700 more West Bank units once the unilaterally imposed settlement slow down was declared by the Netanyahu administration. House demolitions, evictions, travel restrictions and incitement against the peace process by cabinet ministers (including the foreign minister) have continued unabated."
Six Palestinian just keeled over and died for no reason did they? Of course, Mr. Kuttab isn't going to mention that since the beginning of the proximity talks....
On June 10 a Palestinian militant attempted to run over two border policemen in the Wadi Joz neighborhood, close to the Old City Walls.
On June 7 an attempted terror attack was thwarted.
On June 1st Palestinians attempted to infiltrate from Gaza using a donkey bomb.
Rocket attacks and violent protest continued.
And of course just a few days ago we had the story about the daughter of a terrorists' eye being saved.

But I am sure Mr. Kuttab just forgot that all of that happened, because Israel just likes to kill Palestinians for no reason at all, those jerks.

As for the settlement freeze, it was made clear that it wasn't going to be in Jerusalem right from the start so I don't know what he's complaining about. As "incitement against the peace process" don't make me laugh. After Mr. Kuttab is done bashing the Israelis, he tries to make the PA look good. How does that go? Not so great:
"If US president Barack Obama feels that the peace process fully embraced by the Palestinian Authority and leadership does produce results, many Jerusalemites are asking whether Israel's strongest ally, the US, can at least guarantee that Palestinians residing in Jerusalem can continue to live in the holy city and can have regular access with their families in friends in the surrounding Palestinian cities and communities."
Fully embraced by the Palestinian Authority? Huh? Abbas has now become the only major player in the region who is still not only against starting direct talks but is still making preconditions before he will consider it. All of the complaints that Mr. Kuttab had about Israel (especially incitement) could very easily be turned against Mr. Abbas and the PA. I find it especially irritating the Mr. Kuttab can't be bothered to tell both sides of the story here. 

As for his comment about Palestinians living in Jerusalem being allowed to stay, I agree, needless to say. But that doesn't make up for the other failings of this post.


  1. The point is that Israel has treated a lethal enemy with far more compassion that the Jews' ancestors treated the Amalekites. Even then King Saul spared their leader and G-d had to order the Prophet Samuel to kill their King Agag so they could never do evil to the Jews again. One day, the Palestinian Arabs will share the fate of all those who tried to destroy Israel and disappeared into history. Let it be said very clearly Israel offered them the olive branch and as a result of their own free will, they spurned it. Perhaps Daoud Kuttab can tell us one day why the Palestinian Arab leaders continue to remain on the very path that has led to disaster for their people since the last century.

  2. Zach,

    I think that you must have overlooked this little nugget, where Kuttab says:

    But the moment that an invading Israeli soldier was captured in Gaza...

    I assume that Kuttab is referring to the hostage Gilad Shalit who, of course, was captured in Israel when Hamas and allied terrorist groups staged a cross-border raid that also killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded three others.


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