Monday, May 31, 2010

Anti-Semitic Comments of the Day

The original link.

The HP Covers Flotilla Clash

I assume by now you have all heard and become well informed about the clash between Israeli naval commandos and Freedom Flotilla people that left several soldiers wounded and nine protesters dead. What we're going to talk about is how the HP covered the story.

First of all, we've got the front page, usually free of Israel-related coverage:

This screengrab doesn't even do it justice, as the pictures at the bottom of this one scroll between several such pictures, including ones of people protesting, pictures of the innocent protesters, etc. It's huge news on the HP, so much so that you'd think everything else in the world (nuclear Iran, North and South Korea heading for war) doesn't matter nearly as much as this. That's not to say the incident is not significant, and in my opinion it deserves the screaming headline. But considering the focus they are putting on the story, they are leaving out a lot of pertinent information. And speaking of the headline, let's talk about what it says. Israeli troops storm an aid ship in international wars, and suddenly 9 are killed. No mention of the attempt by the ships to break the Israeli blockade (illegal under "International Law") or the fact that the activists were unmistakably violent, or in the words of one commando, "they came for war". How about the other headlines? "International outcry" "Israel cancels meeting" "White House concerned". We couldn't mention the fact that the activists were violent and Israeli soldiers were wounded in the headlines? That's kind of important!

Moving on to the Israel section, we've got five (5) different news articles. Two are redundant, Israel Attacks Palestinian Aid Flotilla and 10 Dead on Aid Ship after Botched Israeli Raid. Then there's three "reaction" and "supplementary" articles, Obama Administration Expresses Concern, Watch Footage from Israeli Raid, and Israeli Boat Raid Causes International Outrage. Again, we've got a bunch of headlines, but NONE of them, not even the footage article which shows activists attacking soldiers, could be bothered to say, "Hey, this isn't a one sided conflict. The activists were violent."

Beyond the news, we have seven (7) blog posts, some of which describe the violence as a "massacre", an "attack", and a series of "murders". None of them tried to take the Israeli side, or point out how the Israeli actions could be justified under international law, and how the activists are to blame for the violence as they started the fighting.

The HP is allowed to cover this news story as much as they want, and have as many bloggers talk about it as they see fit. But it would be nice to see in a story with as many sides as this one a little more of an effort at balanced reporting to be made. I know it's hard to hope for from the HP, but we have to keep hoping the HP will be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Linkdump: More Information on Flotilla Violence

This is still a developing story but Jewish bloggers across the internet have been successful in shining a light on the events of what happened today. The following links make it clear that the so-called "peace activists" on the Gaza boat were armed and ready to attack the IDF soldiers with lethal force. Let's get started.

Elder of Ziyon reports how Free Gaza told the IDF to expect only "symbolic resistance" and that the IDF equipped their soldiers with paintball guns (with pistols as backup) accordingly. Because the Free Gaza people planned this ambush and forced the IDF into an extreme situation, they are the ones to blame for the ensuing deaths and injures. He also has videos of IDF soldiers being beaten with chains, being on the receiving end of Molotov cocktails, stun grenades and lead pipes, and a "peace activist" stabbing one. He also helpfully provides proof that the IDF more than had a legal right to search the ships, as well as this picture of a "peace activist" (from Ha'aretz):

Solomonia has found some videos as well as one of the IDF finding (primitive) weapons aboard the ship after everything was all said and done, as well as the videos of injured IDF soldiers. He also found an article containing more information about everything that happened, as well as one by international law expert Dr. Robbie Sabel explaining why Israel's actions were legal. There is also one that reveals now old information about what flotilla organization Greta Berlin thinks about the Jewish people.

The Augean Stables has found a great video of how the IDF soldiers were greeted when they rappeled down to the ship:

Finally, here is a video (through Elder) of a disturbing display about the Free Gaza ship. It's translated by PMW, so take it with a grain of salt, but I would watch it anyway:

One thing is very clear: The so-called "peaceful activists" came in wanting a fight, and a fight was what they got. Let's see how much of this information makes it to the Huffington Post.

Memorial Day!

It's Memorial Day Monday today so we won't be blogging as much until tomorrow, though I will work on a HPW for the flotilla thread. Hope everyone has a great holiday! In the meanwhile, here's a comment for you to enjoy during the break:

HP Spins Coverage of Commando Raid on Flotilla

If you checked the earlier morning newspapers you would find that there was an Israeli raid on the Free Gaza flotilla that ended in violence. Five Israeli soldiers were injured, two seriously, when the "activists" attacked them with knives, iron rods and pistols. Elder of Ziyon is already all over the story with videos of IDF soldiers being stabbed by these "peaceful" activists, as well as a story about how the IDF was completely within it's rights to search the ships under international law.

The thread about it on the Huffington Post has already soared to over 4,000 comments, a new record by any standard. After Memorial Day celebrations we'll get to the thread but I wanted to get this in first, because you can see the HP already spinning it to make Israel look like bloodthirsty psychos. We'll start with the headline from the HP's "main" section, not the world.:

Yes, Israel just up and "attacked" the aid flotilla. Notice how the five injured soldiers are left out of the headline as well, though they did at least make it into the article. Let's go through the article. Here's the first two paragraphs:
"Israeli naval commandos stormed a flotilla of ships carrying aid and hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists to the blockaded Gaza Strip on Monday, killing at least 10 passengers in a predawn raid that set off worldwide condemnation and a diplomatic crisis...Israel said the forces encountered unexpected resistance as they boarded the vessels. Dozens of passengers and at least five Israeli soldiers were wounded in the confrontation in international waters."
It then follows with a lot of descriptions about the "worldwide condemnation" of the incident, and it gets to halfway through before we get the details:
"There were conflicting accounts of what happened early Monday....An Al-Jazeera reporter on one of the Turkish ships said the Israelis fired at the vessel before boarding it. The Israelis, who had declared they would not let the ships reach Gaza, said they only opened fire after being attacked by activists with sticks, knives and live fire from weapons seized from the Israeli commandos."
Seeing as how the IDF was careful to get videos, I'm sure an investigation here will exonerate them. But I have to get to Memorial Day celebrations so further discussion will have to wait.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Iran Nuclear Three-Step

Reading Zach's post about Iran just now made me think about another example of double talk among the Huffington Posters when it comes to the Iranian nuclear situation. Usually this is a case in which a number of HPers will make the following claims, but if you are perceptive you can find that a single user will contradict himself or herself, sometimes in the same thread.

First the Huffington Posters claim that Iran in fact is not making nuclear weapons at all:

Then they will claim that okay yes, Iran is making nuclear weapons but they are justified because they only want it for self-defense, even though it is forbidden under the non-proliferation treaty.

Finally they will claim that although Iran is justified in making nuclear weapons clandestinely because they need it for self-defense, Israel is not:

Is your head spinning yet? It can be quite fun to watch when this plays out on the threads.

News the HP Doesn't Cover: Rhianna in Israel

Remember when the Huffington Post was overjoyed to write about Elvis Costello's decision not to come to Israel?

Well apparently the singer Rhianna is touring Israel in preparation for a concert there. She has called her trip "an amazing, amazing experience." Metallica also performed in Israel earlier this month, and the Pixies and Elton John are scheduled to come. The Huffington Post has yet to cover any of them.

Mythbusting: The Nuclear Double Standard

I know that I don't write about the Iran situation very much, because in truth I am not as well informed about it as I am about other subjects. But I did want to tackle one central complaint that I often see in both Israel- and Iran-related threads.Here is an example:

That one is a bit long but it usually goes something like this: "It's not fair that Israel can have nuclear weapons but Iran can't. WAAAAH!" Naturally, this is based on the assumption that Iran is developing nuclear weapons at all but that's a discussion for another time.
In this post I'm going to try to bust some of the myths centered around this argument and explain why the USA is going through with it's plans against the wishes of some of the Huffington Posters:

1. The UN: As much as it's a logical fallacy the appeal to majority makes a lot of sense here. When the UN condemns Israel, the Huffington Posters take that to mean that "the world" hates Israel and what it does. Should the UN sanction Israel, the Huffington Posters cheers will reach the high heavens now that they are secure that "the world community" feels exactly the same as they do.
In contrast, when the UN actually succeeds in sanctioning Iran, all of that gets thrown out the window. Now the UN has been hijacked by the interests of "a select few" or simply just the USA, and doesn't represent the will of the world. If there's any double standard here, that would be where it falls.
In short, the world trusts Israel with nuclear weapons, but they don't trust Iran. And you can take that one to the bank.

2. Trustworthiness: Another common claim by the HPers is that Israel has fought at least one war per decade with it's neighbors while Iran has never started a war in centuries. This is therefore taken to mean that Israel is a war-mongering and bloodthirsty state while Iran is peaceful and would never hurt a fly. This leaves out some key facts:
1. Israel has never used a nuclear weapon even when threatened with annihilation. They have hinted that they might use them, but never did. In contrast, Iran's leaders like to preach "death to Israel" and "death to the USA."
2. Iran did not start the Iran-Iraq war during the '80s, but their behavior during that war is still worth noting. For instance...
a) After Iraq with drew from Iran, Khomenini declared Iran would keep fighting until they could pray at Karbala and Jerusalem. He also declared "There are no conditions. The only condition is that the regime in Baghdad must fall and must be replaced by an Islamic Republic."
b) Iran's use of child soldiers for mine-sweeping, suicide missions and "human wave" attacks. This indicates a lack of caring about ordinary people that might also apply to a nuclear exchange.
c) Iran attacked neutral shipping and placed mines in international waters. Both of which are war crimes.

The Truth About South Africa

The Anti-Zionists love to advocate for the BDS movement as a way to stop the Israeli occupation. Depending on how extreme their views are, they also advocate for BDS as a way to "end Israeli apartheid." Here is an example:

In other posts skialethia actually claims that "Sanctions brought down South Africa, they will bring down Israel too." I have neither the time nor inclination to go find it though, you'll have to take my word for it.

Anyway, this whole argument is built around the fact that it was international pressure from the international community (in the form of boycotts) as well as UN sanctions that caused the apartheid regime in South Africa to fall. Is this true? No it's not.

CiFWatch found an article that proves it was in fact not the outside world's boycott movement that brought down South Africa's government but the hard work of the people who actually lived there. Things like the African National Congress and the Durban strikes of 1973 are left out of the anti-Zionist narrative. I suggest you read the whole article, it's quite informative.

What this means for us is that it really shows the failure of the AZ (and the Palestinian) strategy of sitting back and waiting for the outside world to solve their problems and force Israel to make peace. Divestthis has been reporting on the continual failure of the BDS movement, and it looks like even if it did succeed there would still be no more progress toward peace. The Palestinian "waiting" strategy has never brought them anything but misery, and it never will. It's time they started working toward peace and meet the Israelis halfway.

Enlightening Comment of the Day

Gakabani here shows us what the Palestinians are really thinking:

Exactly. While those "uppity" Jews still think they deserve a state of their own, the Palestinians can't possibly compromise with them. Once they're back under Arab rule and regain their "dhimmi" status, only then can we negotiate.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Short, Sad Saga of "JoshCohen"

"JoshCohen" is a user that has now been banned from the Huffington Post, but I thought I would show you his few comments to demonstrate the kind of anti-Semite that is attracted to the Huffington Post like a moth to a flame. He was around for a few days, at the most, had only around fifty posts, but did attract one fan: Our old buddy skialethia. Without further ado, here are the comments:

Netanyahu To Visit White House, Is Invited By Rahm
All good posts and never reported on USA msm.
Of course the Megaphonies here will call YOU a hater now.
Masters of trickey and deceit and twisting things.
They think they are smart but the world is waking up to these reptiles who even use the catchall ''hate'' to play the victim card over and over and over. Reptiles, vermin, not worthy to even be called human beings,.”

Netanyahu To Visit White House, Is Invited By Rahm
The stereotypical Jewish mother of yesterday was often heard bragging about …
“My son the doctor ….”
“My son the lawyer ….”
“My son the investment counselor…
The list was endless….
Today one hears …
“My son the organ trafficker….”
“My son the extortionist ….”
“My son the drug dealer ….”
Again, the list is endless….
What’s gone wrong???
ISRAEL!!! That’s what’s gone wrong!”

Netanyahu To Visit White House, Is Invited By Rahm
.they should just rollover and be slaves to the Chosenites and water the grass and wash their dishes and clean the pool.”

Netanyahu To Visit White House, Is Invited By Rahm
“of course not. I am orthodox Christian ,. ex Jew religion.,
.... actually Khazarian which are not really Jews or semites.
Eastern European background.”

Netanyahu To Visit White House, Is Invited By Rahm
“What hatred do you speak of? I am just warning you....if you don't follow their orders you might be the next country attacked.”

Netanyahu To Visit White House, Is Invited By Rahm
My brother Nathaniel Kapner can tell you at this site.”

Netanyahu To Visit White House, Is Invited By Rahm
“Megaphonies are here in force spreading disinfo.
So obviouis.”

Netanyahu To Visit White House, Is Invited By Rahm
“If push comes to shove and Israel drops Israel , Israel will attack the USA.
You think they are your friends? Think again.
They only care about ONE thing.....
........themselves and will attack anyone who tries to stop them from creating a ''greater Israel''.....meaning the whole region and eventually the world.
I am an exJew converted to Jesus. so I KNOW how they think....even my family which has now disowned me.”

HuffpoWatch User Profile: Realtalk7

EDIT: I don't know what's the deal with the giant space below, nor do I have the time to fix it. You're just going to have to scroll past it, sorry.

We have an HPer here for your interest today who is special and unique among the AZs because he is open and honest about his virulent anti-Semitism, realtalk7. He truly believes in the worldwide Jewish conspiracy, laments the Jewish infiltration of US media and government, and knows the Jews are to blame for 9/11 and all US wars. More interesting than this guy himself (as he will no doubt be banned sooner rather than later) are his friends. He has three fans of interest: muck-raker, Backspace2525, and Freenation. These posters, who have a little more staying power, should be confronted with the fact that they are friends with an anti-Semite.

And now onto the posts. If you STILL believe there is no anti-Semitism on the HP, I encourage you especially to read what's below.

Faisal Shahzad Conspiracy Theories: Pakistanis Finger 'Think Tanks' As Real Culprits

“what happened to the israeli jew caught in the subway tunnel with cyanide ????? he was dressed as a subway worker and caught inside a subway tunnel at 3 am. why the media blackout?? . 94 percent jewish owned media is a threat to national security.”

Skialethia Proves Her Anti-Semitism

You can click the link for context, it's very enlightening.

Yep, apparently the Jews are overrepresented in the government, and thus she can "rest her case." The post was in response to another response to an equally anti-Semitic post, complaining about Jewish control of the US government and Jewish disloyalty. Likewise, skialethia, I rest my case on you. You have finally proven where you really stand and I for one will not forget this.

"Jews As Zionists"

As soon as I saw this comment I knew I wanted to talk about it:

The original link. If you check out the thread you will see that T-Faz realized that he did not in fact know that "Zionists" meant, and admits that he was wrong. So I don't want anyone to get the impression that I have a problem with him personally.

That being said, this is exactly the kind of thinking which is so prevalent in the anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist discourse today. As I mentioned earlier, one of the causes of anti-Semitism is the reaction of the outside world to Jewish nationalism (aka Zionism).  We see that demonstrated very clearly in the discussions on the Huffington Post: Jews who don't assert their national identity are fine and welcomed. Jews who do (or support those who do) are insulted and slandered in all kinds of colorful ways, including the use of old anti-Semitic myths.

In some ways this pattern is not new. As Prager and Telushkin have mentioned, Jews who renounced their beliefs and forsook their people were welcomed by the anti-Semites and no longer hated. In other words, the price of acceptance by the anti-Semites was everything Jewish in that person. Zionism has always been a part of Jewish identity, but it has now taken the place of the Jewish religion in the acid test of acceptance by anti-Semites. A Jew can still be a Jew and be accepted among the AZ Huffington Posters, but he can't be a "Zionist."

And of course, the AZ Huffington Posters will claim that they have legitimate reasons to hate Zionists and Zionism. They can't single out the Jews for denial of their rights without a reason for doing so. Of course the anti-Semites (and racists, bigots, etc) throughout history always claimed they were justified as well. On another level, the anti-Zionists are quick to claim that "not all Jews are Zionists," as if to imply that Zionism is not part of Judaism and always has been. They will wave anti-Zionists Jews like flags while ignoring that the vast majority of Jews (+95%) support Israel's existence, if not it's policies.

Jews, both on the Huffington Post and elsewhere, should not have to choose between supporting their fellow Jews and being the subject of hatred and bigotry, both Jew-specific and otherwise. The hallmark of a free society is that minorities need to be allowed to support themselves and their interests without facing hate. Hating someone for choosing to assert their difference is not much different from hating someone just for being different. Jews are a nation and must be allowed to assert their national identity without fear. Just like every other nation.

HPW: Netanyahu To Visit White House, Invited by Rahm Emanuel

I've been having trouble keeping up with the latest flurry of Israel-related articles on the Huffington Post. Here is one from earlier this week. Rahm Emanuel, as we noted, went to Israel because of his son's Bar Mitzvah. While there he invited Netanyahu to the White House to try and get peace talks back underway.

The Huffington Posters reaction was basically endless variations on "the Jews control America" watered down for public consumption. You can read the ones below. There were more but I think they were deleted before I went back to the thread to collect it. The thread has about 780 posts and is fully moderated.

McCarthyist Comment of the Day

Yeah, we should definitely get rid of everyone in the government who holds a particular point of view! Heck, why not make the point of view against the law while we're at it ?

The original link.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The HP's Latest Anti-Semitic Exchange

In the latest Netanyahu visit thread we had the following exchange of posts. Zach screengrabbed it because (hopefully) the whole thing will be scrubbed by the mods. He also had a reply by the user "JoshCohen" that we thought is worth sharing:

Here's the link to the original post. Let's keep this in mind the next time someone says that there is no anti-Semitism or anti-Semites on the Huffington Post.

HuffPoWatch User Profile: Chipduyck

Chipduyck is a strictly small-time user, but he has been around in recent threads so I thought I would profile him. In short he spams threads with calls to either "boycott Israel" (yawn) or claims that "Israel will be the death of us all." Of course there is some anti-Semitism thrown in there as well. He only has 41 posts, but I get the impression he has others that have been deleted.

Chipduyck has been active since October 2007. Fans of note include Macready.

Guest Post: Israel's Worth to America

I saw this comment on the Huffington Post yesterday and knew that I needed to share it. In response to the question of why America supports Israel, the user Vlady replied with:
"Former Secretary of State, General Alexander Haig, a former Supreme Commander of NATO, refers to Israel as “the largest, most battle-tested and cost-effective US aircraft carrier, which does not require a single US personnel, cannot be sunk and is located at a most critical area for US national security interests.”
General George Keegan, former head of U.S. Air Force Intelligence has publicly declared that “Israel is worth five CIA’s.” He further stated that between 1974 and 1990, Israel received $18.3 billion in U.S. military grants. During the same period Israel provided the U.S. with $50-80 billion
in intelligence, research and development savings, and Soviet weapons systems captured and transferred to the U.S. “"
I added the links in case people wanted to go back and check.

Blood Libel of the Day

The original link. I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that this kind of a thing surpasses legitimate criticms of Israel and is solidly in the real of blood libel.

HPW: Israeli Warplanes Strike Gaza

If it's deja vu you are experiencing when you read this story, don't be surprised. It's almost a mirror image of this story from April, right down to the picture of the IAF plane. Israel hit targets including a Hamas training camp after (a) a donkey laden with explosive blew up on the Israel-Gaza border and (b) several mortar rounds were fired into Israel. The terror attacks did not make the Huffington Post, the response did.

The HPers reacted in more or less the same way they did last time: It's all Israel's fault, Israel attacked Gaza for no reason, how can you blame the Gazans for fighting back, oh isn't the whole thing just so unfair. At the time I wrote this there were about 450 comments and the thread is fully moderated.

Comment of the Day

I particularly like the line "Dual citizens (Israeli) are literally running everything." Yes, the Jewish conspiracy theory is back in full force.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Threatening, Anti-Semitic Comment of the Evening

Hawkeye at CiFWatch alerted us to this one:

Unfortunately he didn't have the original link (the user has now been banned). But then again it is a useful demonstration of how people can become anti-Zionist and then anti-Semitic, because they misunderstand what exactly Zionism is. This would be fine, if they were willing to educate themselves about Zionism, but they aren't. Once they make up their minds they won't be convinced otherwise. And their problem is now ours, unfortunately.

"War On Anti-Semitism" Comment of the Day

The original link. If this doesn't strike you as particularly problematic, imagine if this guy were complaining about black people dominating the term "racist" as if to imply they are the only race, and that they are using it to silence anyone who disagrees with what a black person says. Yeah...

Causes of Anti-Semitism: Jewish Nationalism

It took me long enough but I am now getting around to writing the final installment of the causes of anti-Semitism, according to Prager and Telushkin's "Why the Jews?" I feel like it is important to finish the process since anti-Zionists on the HP often demand that Jews confront the reasons for anti-Semitism, implying that it must be due to Jewish wrongdoing. Well here are the answers: Don't be surprised if you don't like what you hear.

Having covered the Jewish God and Jewish law, we are now on to Jewish nationalism. Zionism has long been the target of the current generation of anti-Semites (and anti-Zionists) so it is now the "cause" that overshadows the rest in the 21st century. I know that I have already discussed many of the myths and misinformation surrounding Zionism, and I don't want to repeat myself too much.

According to Prager and Telushkin, part of the problem that outsiders have with Zionism is that one usually associated national groups with land and a state. Jews do have their connection to the land of Israel but it is one that is not immediately apparent to outsiders. So of course the anti-Zionists do their best to undermine the Jewish connection to the land to attack Israel's legitimacy. We also see this when people deny the Jews their nationhood by claiming that "Jews are a religion." Apparently they are not familiar with the right of self-determination; it isn't up to the HPers to decide what the Jews are. If the Jews declare they are a nation, they are. No one challenges the Palestinian right of self-determination, it should be the same with the Jews.

Life in Gaza: Supply Exceeds Demand

Elder of Ziyon posted a couple days ago about this story by England's Financial Times, which describes a serious economic issue in the Gaza Strip: Prices dropping from surplus goods. According to the article,

"...[T]he prices of many smuggled goods have fallen in recent months, thanks to a supply glut that is on striking display across the Strip.
Some argue that Gaza's tunnel economy is becoming a victim of its own success. Hundreds of tunnels have shut down over the past year as the result of greater Egyptian efforts to stop the flow of goods - and weapons - into the Strip. But the remaining tunnels, about 200 to 300 according to most estimates, have become so efficient that shops all over Gaza are bursting with goods.
Branded products such as Coca-Cola, Nescafé, Snickers and Heinz ketchup - long absent as a result of the Israeli blockade - are both cheap and widely available.
However, the tunnel operators have also flooded Gaza with Korean refrigerators, German food mixers and Chinese airconditioning units. Tunnel operators and traders alike complain of a saturated market - and falling prices.
"Everything I demand, I can get," says Abu Amar al-Kahlout, who sells household goods out of a warehouse big enough to accommodate a passenger jet."

Let's keep this in mind the next time an anti-Zionist sings the sad tale of the Gazans. It's simply not true. 

WTF-Worthy Exchange of the Day

The original link. There are many things I could say about these two comments, but I think I'll let the words speak for themselves.

HPW: Israel Supposedly Offered to Sell South Africa Nukes

The Huffington Post decided to cover the bogus Guardian story about Israel supposedly offering to sell nuclear weapons back in the 1970s a few days ago. I say bogus because CifWatch effectively proved how the story is based upon a completely lack of evidence. Of course this did not stop the Huffington Post talkbackers from eating up the story with a spoon and demanding more damning information against Israel. Truth was effectively trampled under the comments.

The thread has about 500 comments and was fully moderated.

Comment of the Day

The original link.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The HP's Latest Misleading Headline

The Noam Chomsky story has picked up yet another headline on the Huffington Post, bringing the whole affair to a grand total of three articles. But what I really wanted to show you was the headline itself, check it out:

If you have trouble seeing it, click the picture to zoom in. If you can't read it it says "Israeli Academics Denounce Chomsky Ban." The inside headline says the same thing.

The bias here is that there is no "Chomsky ban." Israel hasn't banned Chomsky from coming, they denied entry to him last week. Even the article itself contains the following paragraph:
"The Interior Ministry later said the border agent had made a mistake and Chomsky was welcome to return."
 Gosh, doesn't the Huffington Post editors read the articles before they print them?

Liberals and Zionism

Solomonia linked to this article about liberals and Zionism a while ago, but I felt it was very relevant to what we do around here, so I wanted to repost. It's well worth reading, it discusses the tension between the liberal belief that if you do nice things, nice things will happen to you, and the Zionist belief that if something is worth having, you sometimes have to fight for it. Check it out.

HPW: Australia Expels Israeli Diplomat

Another breaking news story published on the HP yesterday was that Australia has expelled an Israeli diplomat because of Israel's alleged theft of Australian passports for the assassination in Dubai (remember that?). This story got top billing in the Israel section, but there were few truly abusive comments (most of the comments were just statements of support for the Australian government). I should point out this article, which quotes the Australian opposition as stating this move was purely political so that the government could gain support from Arab Australians.

Anyway, on to the comments. I wasn't able to get the links to the comments because of technical difficulties, but trust me, they were all there at one point or another.

Anti-Semitic Comment of the Day

This user has now been banned from the HP and the comment was removed.

The Brothers Vs Pro-Palestinian Protesters

In my second video from the Brookline rally Sunday, here is a nine-second clip from when the rally passed by the group of seven counter protesters. Here are some things to look for:

1. The man in the Muslim garb holding the sign that says "Obama is a Jewish puppet" figures prominently, as with the other signs.
2. The same man says to the Christians, "Jesus was not the son of God! We are all the sons of God!"
3. Near the end of the clip, the bearded hippie-looking guy says, "The Zionists are using you!" and Matt responds by saying, "We are Zionists!" In later reflection we considered he might have been talking to the Christians, implying that the Jews are manipulating them. I don't think it worked.

HuffPoWatch: Rahm Emanuel Goes to Israel

The Huffington Post covered a story about Rahm Emanuel going to Israel for his son's Bar Mitzvah. Naturally the HPers reacted to this in the way we would expect they would. There were many abusive comments, as you will see below. There were also some other comments about people asking why "an Israeli" was part of the White House, but I didn't count them as abusive. The thread has about 700 comment and was pseudo-moderated, in the sense that if your comment was long enough it might get held up in moderation.

Comment of the Day

The original link.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Special Report: Rally and March for Jerusalem

Yesterday Matt and I were able to attend this rally in Boston. Below the following link is a series of pictures that I took while we attended the march and rally. In short, what the protesters did was meet at Congregation Kehilath Israel, listened to speakers talk for about an hour, then marched around the block. Some of the speakers were quite famous, including Rev. Fumio Taku, the leader of Christians and Jews United For Israel. I took video of some of the dancing as well as the speeches but in the interests of time I wanted to get all of the pictures in one place.

The rally was mostly pro-Israel, but there was a large focus on keeping Jerusalem undivided. In the later videos you will see that many of the speakers were talking about how Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people and should remain that way. There also was an undercurrent of anti-Obama sentiment as well. There is one woman's sign that referred to the "Chicago mafia." One man I was standing next to referred to him as "that Muslim anti-Christ in the White House." Not cool, but I'll be talking more about that later as well.

There were about three hundred people in the rally, by Matt's estimation. There were also a grand total of seven people who showed up to counter-protest. Ones of note include a man who wore, in the words of one of the speakers, "a dress" (Muslim garb) and held up a sign that said "Obama is a Jewish puppet." There was also a young woman who had a sign that said "Victory For Hamas." Anyway, here are the pictures.

I'm Just Saying...

The Arab-Israeli conflict is an issue about which a large number of people have very strong opinions. I am as familiar with the pro-Palestinian point of view as I am with the pro-Israel point of view, and I have come to accept that from a certain point of view free-thinking, moral, intelligent people can come to support the Palestinians over Israel. Even though that is not my particular view, I can see how others can come to the conclusion.

That being said, I have noticed among the HPers at least, the more scurrilous debating tactics are used far more often by the pro-Palestinian commentators than by the pro-Israel ones. I know that I am not the most objective of observers, and I know that I have my own biases. But in my experience (and I think most objective observers would agree as well) someone who is pro-Palestinian/anti-Zionist is far more likely to use the following tactics:

First Video of CUFI Speaker

This is my first (and best) video from the Rally for Jerusalem yesterday. The rest of the pictures will come in another post but I wanted to start with this one. The speaker (I don't remember his name exactly, Reverend Frank something) claims to be a reformed anti-Semite and really calls out the counter-protesters across the street. I don't agree with everything he says, most notably when he starts talking about religion. But you can't deny that he is a great speaker and really can carry a crowd:

Comment of the Day

The war on anti-Semitism continues:

"Greater Zionism haters" huh? That's a new one.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rally in Boston!

Zach and I are going to Boston today for this rally in Brookline, MA. We're getting an early start so that will mean no more new posts for today, but stay tuned for a photo essay of the march tomorrow!

News the HP Doesn't Cover: Hamas Demolishing Homes

Yaacoz Lozowick (among others) has covered Hamas demolishing homes in Gaza, oftentimes at gunpoint. The Huffington Post has yet to cover the story.

Comment of the Day

The original link.

HPW: Rabbi Schwarz's "Israel Wrestling"

Last week Rabbi Sid Schwarz wrote an article about what it means to support Israel, yet disagree with it at the same time. For the Huffington Post, it was pretty moderate, and in turn set off many discussions among the talkbackers. Sometimes it got out of line. The article itself is quite interesting, I suggest you read it.

The thread has about 760 comments at the time I write this, and is fully moderated.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Ethereal Standard

Many of Israel's defenders claim that it is subjected to double standards in the world community. If one looks at the spread of United Nations resolutions there can be no doubt that some double standard exists, unless one truly believes Israel to be the most evil nation in the world today. Other examples includes the fact that the UN couldn't wait to issue the Goldstone Report over Cast Lead but has yet to do the same for NATO's invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Alan Dershowitz in particular is quick to claim that those who subject Israel to a double standard are either hypocrites or anti-Semites. The EU's definition agrees.

That being said, I do not find that many of the talkbackers on the Huffington Post (anti-Zionist or otherwise) intentionally subject Israel to a double standard. Israel's defenders will often claim that Israel is not doing anything that America or Britain hasn't done many times before, and with far less good reason to do so. Their opponents will not attempt to dispute this point, but will instead ignore it and switch to other topics such as home demolitions. They will not argue against the fact that a double standard exists, but instead claim that Israel should be judged on its own merits and should not be compared with other nations. "Don't change the subject!" They say. Sometimes there is the knee-jerk reaction of "you're just trying to apologize for Israel's war crimes!" as well.

This is not a case of double standards, in my view. It is instead a case of the ethereal standard. The HPers won't tell you what exactly Israel should do when confronted with enemies like those they have. But what they do know is that Israel is doing the wrong thing. There is a standard for how Israel should behave in their minds, but Israel by it's very nature will never meet it. The standard will continue to climb higher and higher so that it is forever out of reach.

Cast Lead and it's fallout was the perfect example of this. The anti-Zionists had no answer to how to stop Hamas' rocket fire, but they were 100% sure that Israel went too far. They had no response for Colonel Richard Kemp's claim that Israel was doing more to avoid civilian casualties than any other army. They instead just said that "Israel killed too many people," and it doesn't matter what other nations do. They then went on with their rants. For Israel one civilian casualty is too many. Other armies fighting in other wars never even enter the conversation.

Bradley Burston's article about Israel becoming a fascist state (potentially) is another example of this. Burston is an Israeli, so he can criticize his nation as fairly or unfairly as he wants. The HPers don't have this luxury. For them, one old academic being denied entry is enough evidence to declare Israel is a fascist, totalitarian apartheid state, even though they would never say that were the discussion about any nation other than Israel. According to the ethereal standard, Israel is a fascist state for one or two or three actions (no matter how justified or unjustified they are). When other nations are brought up, the standard disappears again, only to return the moment Israel violates it.

Of course, I feel that the ethereal standard is just an excuse. As we have seen with many of the users on the HP, they will continue to hate Israel no matter what it does because they hate Israel's very existence. They will therefore impose the ethereal standard as an excuse for their bombastic rhetoric against Israel, all with the excuse that should Israel someday meet that standard, all will be forgiven. In some ways it is less an ethereal standard that is impossible to meet, but a pie in the sky that is forever sought but never gained. And then the HPers expect Israel to trip over itself to satisfy them and all it's other critics. When it's critics start being fair and the double standards disappear, maybe then I will agree with them.

Sadat Speaks

Also from "Why the Jews?", quoting Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, most famous for his signing of a peace treaty with Israel,
"The most splendid thing our prophet Muhammed, God's peace and blessing on him, did was to evict them [the Jews] from the entire Arabian peninsula...I pledge to you that we will celebrate on the next anniversary, God willing and in this place with God's help, not only the liberation of our land but also the defeat of the Israeli conceit and arrogance so that they must once again return to the condition decreed in our holy book: 'humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them'...We will not renounce this." (April 25, 1972)
But I'm sure if the occupation just ended, there will be peace! And this guy is a moderate no less.

We see in this quote the truth of this conflict. The Arabs hate the Jews for not being humiliated and wretched, and for living in what they perceive as Arab land. The ex post facto Israeli crimes against the Palestinians are nothing more than a convenient red herring for Arab hatred of Israel. There is only one thing that caused the initial fighting since time immemorial: Religiously commanded anti-Semitism.

Life in 19th Century Palestine

A quotation from "Why the Jews?"...
"In nineteenth century Palestine, under Ottoman Muslim rule, Jews had to walk past Muslims on their left, as the left was identified with Satan, and they always had to yield the right of way to a Muslim...Failure to abide by these degrading customs often provoked a violent response. In Palestine as elsewhere, Jews had to avoid anything that could remind Arabs of Judaism: therefore synagogues could only be located in hidden, remote areas, and Jews could only pray in muted voice. In addition, despite the widespread poverty among Palestinian Jews, they had to pay a host of special protection taxes...These anti-Jewish laws and taxes had a rather intimidating effect on the Jews".

To sum up, for centuries in Palestine, the Muslim Arabs treated the Jews very poorly. Arbitrary laws and customs were enacted specifically to humiliate Jews for no reason other than they were Jews.

So when we look at the history of the region as a whole, beginning before the twentieth century, a very different picture comes into being rather than the narrative the anti-Zionists advocate. The innocent, peaceful Palestinians who were mercilessly driven off "their land" by the evil Zionists is transformed into Jews for the first time in modern history being strong enough to fight back against Muslim racism and oppression and succeeding in throwing off the chains of oppression. The anti-Zionists often claim that Israel will suffer "karmic justice" for its "crimes" against the Palestinians. I doubt it ever occurred to them that there's a possibility the Palestinians are suffering the karmic throwback on the centuries of pain and suffering their ancestors inflicted on the Jews.

"Merely Critical of Israel" Comment of the Day

The original link. I wonder if (a) there have been any other countries that have been described as "a nation of bigots and terrorists" and (b) if I'll get any flack for claiming that this is the point where criticism of Israel crosses the line to anti-Semitism. I'm guessing yes.

HPW: Elvis Costello Cancels Israel Concert

 The "Entertainment" section of the Huffington Post decided to cover Elvis Costello's decision to cancel his concert in Israel because of (according to the headline) its "treatment of Palestine." They did not decide to cover the 30+ artists who are still playing in Israel this year and didn't cancel their concerts. 

The thread has about 300 comments and is unmoderated. Most of the HPers praised Costello, but others took it a little too far. Click below to read them.

Comment of the Day

The original link.  If you don't see why we thought it was necessary to share this post, it is because the link goes to the website of someone named Jeff Rense. Rense is a radio DJ who is noted for his conspiracy theories, including 9/11 truth and Holocaust denial. And of course, there were many conspiracy theories centered around Zionism and the Jews. Check out his website for yourself if you don't believe me.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Zionism is Racism Comment of the Day

From a recent article posted about "Israel Wrestling" by Rabbi Sid Schwarz:

"The Anti-Zionist Hypocrisy"

There's an interesting editorial posted on Ynet yesterday entitled the anti-Zionist hypocrisy, so naturally I had to check it out. It's very good, I highly recommend you read it. There's not much I want to say beyond what the article itself says, but I just want to point out reminding legitimate critics of Israel that they are often allied with individuals who want to see the state destroyed is always a good thing and should happen often and loudly.

What Does It Mean To Be “Pro-Israel” Part 2

Continuing with my post from earlier, I’m now going to talk about “the J Street method” of what it means to be pro-Israel.

J Street believes that America should support both Israel and the two-state solution at the same time. I guess in contrast, AIPAC thinks that the peace process should be put on hold if it doesn’t serve Israel’s interests. Anyway, J Street also “supports diplomatic solutions over military ones,” as well as “dialogue over confrontation.” They also claim to give political voice to “mainstream American Jews” who support the two-state solution, implying that the mainstream is disconnected from AIPAC. This might be true, but I guess people will vote with their feet.

What Does It Mean To Be Pro-Israel? Part 1

In my short time reading the Huffington Post talkback sections, I have come to the conclusion that there is no one there who is truly “anti-Israel.” Yep, even those who call for the destruction of Israel and the expulsion of the Jews back to Europe claim that they only do so because they have the interests of the Jews at heart. Israel is on a suicidal course they say, and it is up to them and theirs to save her from herself. And if a few Nazi comparisons are made, and if a few accusations of “dual loyalty” are busted out, that is justified by the nobility of their cause.

This got me to thinking about what it means to be “pro-Israel.” Does it mean agreeing with everything Israel does, as many of the AZs claim AIPAC believes? Does it mean standing for Israel when it’s detractors line up out the door? Or does it mean doing what’s best for Israel even when it’s the last thing the Israelis are willing to do?

In that sense, there are two methods to be pro-Israel. What I call “the AIPAC method” and “the J Street method.” They both have their advantages and disadvantages. In this post I am going to talk about the AIPAC method. Click below to continue.

History Repeating Itself

I'm taking my own turn reading "Why the Jews?" by Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin, and it's pretty interesting. This particular section that I felt is worthy of your attention is a section about "non-Jewish Jews". Non-Jewish Jews are, according to Prager and Telushkin's definition, Jews who are Jews in heritage alone, they don't practice religious ceremonies, believe in God, or follow Jewish laws. What is remarkable about these Jews is that in their pursuit of acceptance outside Jewish circles, they often bring disaster on their fellow practicing Jews.

Prager and Telushkin point out that a lot of revolutionaries turn out to be Jewish (at least in Europe). Not a lot of Jews are revolutionaries, but a lot of revolutionaries are Jews. They're not totally sure why this is the case, they think it has something to do with the belief that non-Jewish Jews keep looking for a community to replace the Jewish one they abandoned, and when they can't find it, they seek to make everyone else just as community-less as they are. In any case, they give two examples of revolutionary non-Jewish Jews whose actions bring up pain and suffering for Jewish Jews.

 First is the Bolshevik Jews of revolutionary Russia. Because so many of the Bolsheviks were Jews (i.e, Trotsky and Lenin), their enemies associated Judaism in general with Communism. So the anti-Communist Ukrainians considered all Jews their enemies and took steps accordingly, culminated in the deaths of 50,000 Jews in the 1918-20 civil war. On the other side, even though the Bolsheviks were led by Jews, those Jews didn't like the practicing Jews either, as they were religious, something Communism rejected. The Russian Jews were stuck between a rock and a hard place because of these non-Jewish Jewish revolutionaries. The second example Prager and Telushkin cite is 1920s and 30s Germany. At the same time the Nazis were rising to power, non-Jewish Jew intellectuals were virulently criticizing the government. Many of them were part of the extremist revolutionary Left, and the Nazis used their disloyal speech and action to turn the German people more solidly against Jews in general. Once again, non-Jewish Jews bring down suffering on their estranged relatives.

I couldn't help but think after reading this section that it's happening again today with the I/P conflict. We see far-Left non-practicing Jews fiercely condemning Israel (and the United States), trying to overthrow the Israeli government/create a one-state solution, and believe so strongly in their own political ideals they are willing to ally with people who disagree with everything the Jews are. Such non-Jewish Jews include Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein and MJ Rosenberg. These people were willing to put their own beliefs, ambitions, and lust for attention before everything else, and they are (deliberately or not) putting their fellow Jews in danger. If MJ Rosenberg gets his wish and AIPAC is dissolved as a US lobby, and the Arabs invade Israel and destroy it because Israel can no longer prevent UN sanctions (a doomsday scenario to be sure), Rosenberg will be able to disappear into the US, shrugging his shoulders and saying "Oops", while his fellow Jews have to pay the price.

We have to be on guard against these people. They claim they have our best interests in mind, but they've internalized their own ambitions so much they refuse to accept the possibility that what's best for them isn't necessarily what's best for Israel.

UPDATE: Apparently Lenin wasn't Jewish after all. Whoops. But my point remains, a lot of other, less famous Bolshevik leaders were Jewish.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

David Mamet's Wisdom

I have finished this book by a screenwriter named David Mamet who has a lot of things to say on the subject of anti-Semitism, "self-hating Jews," and related topics. The book is, "The Wicked Son," and I found this one passage to be quite interesting and so I thought I would share it with you. I'm not sure if I agree with it, but it certainly made me think. By the way, at this point Mamet has been talking about anti-Semitism as a form of sexuality. Yeah, it's out there...:
"There are, similarly, two Palestines and two Israels. And to many, the fantasy Palestinians: totally wronged, totally powerless, offers the masturbatory fantasy of a mythic race so put-upon that they are empowered, limitlessly, to kill.
"This fantasy, just as the fantasy of (as opposed to the actual) Holocaust, allows the devoted to indulge in the simultaneous sadism and masochism: the Palestinians are wronged, and, so, empowered. They kill with suicide bombs and are, thus, unstoppable; their deaths, along with their murder, is endlessly sad, as they have been driven by their sufferings to the ultimate extremity."
Like I said, it's a little bit out there. But I must admit that I do see a little bit of this among certain Huffington Posters. They are more in love with feeling sorry for the Palestinians and getting them their "justice" than they are in the two sides living together in peace. And in many ways they would rather keep the conflict going so that the Palestinians could get more followers (like them) and crush Israel under a tide of righteous retribution. Talk about a fantasy!

Thoughts from "The Truth Machine"

Someone on the Huffington Post published a link to his blog yesterday, and I suggest that you read his article: In short, even though he is not by any means a blind critic of Israel, he is an Israel supporter, and was surprised at the vitriol he encountered on a Huffington Post discussion. Of course, to those of us who have been watching the HP for a while, it is no surprise. Still, I'm glad to not be the only one who is feeling this way.

HPW: Jewish Groups Criticize University of Milwaukee

Yesterday the Huffington Post covered a story about an incident at the University of Milwaukee. As near as I can tell, it went something like this: A group of Jewish students wanted to celebrate something called "Israelpalooza," which went along with Israel's independence day. A group of protesters showed up and there was a number of incidents. At one point a Jewish student was punched in the face when he attempted to toss a Palestinian flag in the garbage. Students also found chalk drawings of a swastika on the ground along with insults. The picture of the swastika was not in the HP version, but was in the Jewish Chronicle.

Interestingly enough, even though the headline of the article refers to these as "anti-Semitic incidents," no one in the actual article says that they are. Even so, this didn't stop the Huffington Posters from pulling out all the usual stops: The Jews over use anti-Semitism, they are seeing it where it isn't there, this is just anti-Zionism, etc. Some posters even claimed that it was the Jews themselves who put it there to get sympathy or other gains. Many people also said that the anti-Israel protesters have a right of free speech too, obviously those comments wouldn't be included.

The story has about 470 comments and is (sort of ) unmoderated.

"Merely Anti-Zionist" Comment of the Day

The original link. Isn't amazing how these people who only have a problem with Israel's actions need to resort to comments like "Talmudic?"

Chomsky Story Pulls Double Duty on the HP

Remember how on Monday the Huffington Post covered the story about Noam Chomsky not being allowed to enter Israel? Well, apparently that wasn't enough information for the HPs audience so they published another story, this time about how Chomsky was instead going to deliver his speech through videoconferencing. It also had more information about what happened between him and Israel, but there was nothing new there.

Meanwhile, stories like Iran trading uranium with Turkey, Al Qaeda planning to attack the World Cup, and tensions between North and South Korea get just one story.

Comments of the Day

That Chomsky thread is a gift that keeps on giving:

The original link.

The original link.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Anti-Semitic Incident in Germany

Less than a week after the graffiti in Greece, as I covered earlier, there has been an arson attack on a synagogue in Worms, Germany. According to YnetNews, "unknown perpetrators setting fire to eight corners of the building and throwing a Molotov cocktail against a window." Especially considering this incident took place in Germany, usually the most diligent country to stop anti-Semitic incidents, it's very concerning. 

Something that's interesting about this news story is that the perps wrote, "As soon as you don't leave the Palestinians in peace, we won't let you in peace." on the synagogue wall. I would be very interested to read the reactions of the HPers if this story were to be covered on the HP, considering they use very similar arguments to justify all manner of atrocities directed against the Israelis. Let's see if their standards apply equally to innocent Jews as well.

Palestinian "Mobs" Take Over Wikipedia

It is not news to most of us that the "other" Arab-Israeli conflict rages across the internet, but a new report from the Jerusalem Post indicates that it is now Wikipedia that is under attack. According to certain editors (who wished to remain anonymous) pro-Palestinian users of Wikipedia are using scurrilous tactics to tilt the Internet Encyclopedia in their favor.

Of course this is not the first time pro-Palestinian people have used illicit tactics to further their cause. Nor is it even the first time they have done so online. But I do find it very ironic that the HPers continually complain about invisible "hasbarists" in every corner of the Internet, while those on the anti-Israel side are quite real and destructive.

Nazi Comparison Comments of the Day

Check this one out:

I can't imagine why anyone might consider this to be anti-Semitic. And then we have this one:

HPW: Noam Chomsky Denied Entry to Israel

I'm sure the editors at the Huffington Post were positively drooling when they saw this story. I have already written some of my thoughts about it yesterday so we'll just jump right to the comments. Most of the comments were slanders of Israel and claims it wasn't a democracy. There were also many insults directed at people who didn't like Chomsky, but I didn't include them (there were too many). At the time I wrote this the thread has around 500 comments and is (sort of) unmoderated.

Abusive Comments of the Day

Notice which of these are flagged and which are not:

Remember this the next time someone complains that Israel-related threads are always moderated.

Thoughts on the Chomsky Story

As I'm sure most people who read the HP or Israel news will know by now, Noam Chomsky was denied entry to Israel today. They covered the story on "All Things Considered" as well, which included many quotes from Chomsky and less from Israel.

I'll start with the story: Obviously Israel should not have stopped him from going. There was no point and the bad publicity was not worth it. That being said I can also understand why they did it: Chomsky and his pen have done more damage to Israel than a thousand suicide bombers. If you think I am exaggerating, check out this report.  If you still think I'm exaggerating, check this out:

And let's not forget that Israel still has the right to decide who comes and goes (a) onto their territory and (b) who goes to visit people who they are still at war with. Yaacov Lozowick points out a similar situation in Australia, which of course has gone completely unnoticed by the HP.

Of course, many of Israel's critics, including Chomsky himself, are claiming this is a violation of "free speech." Again, the free speech defense is employed incorrectly. Israel is not forbidding Chomsky from saying or doing anything, he just can't do it there. Meanwhile, all of the people in Israel are still just as free to say what they want today as they were yesterday.

Chomsky was quoted on NPR as saying "This is what South Africa was like during the '60s," and "this is what a totalitarian state is like." This annoyed me greatly, not because it's the usual Chomsky rhetoric but because of the latent dishonesty behind it: Does Chomsky really expect us to believe that he didn't think Israel was a totalitarian state before the events of yesterday? It's pretty clear from his work that he made up his mind about everything decades ago.

Finally, it's very obvious why this happened. Chomsky wanted to be blocked. Why else would he not let them know he was coming and then refuse to come once they offered to let him in?

If they had just let him in, he would not have made front page news at the Huffington Post, nor would he have the opportunity to get up on his soapbox with all of America listening. It's just another publicity stunt, not any different from the kind employed by the "Free Gaza" movement. My only regret was that the Israelis were dumb enough to play into it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Evening Metaphor

You walk into a dark ally and see two men fighting. They are covered with slashes, bruises and injuries, so you get the impression they have been fighting for a while. One man is significantly larger and stronger than the other, and as you watch, he picks up the smaller man and slams him hard into the concrete.

You say, "Hey, what are you doing?" and move to intervene, but as you do you see the smaller man is holding a six inch knife in his hand.

"Thank God you're here!" The smaller man says. "Look what he's doing to me! You gotta stop him before he kills me!"

"Don't listen to him!" The larger man says. "He's the one who attacked me! I was just defending myself."

"I don't care who started it!" You say. "Get off of him!"

"No way!" The larger man says. "He'll hurt me if I do!"

"I only want to hurt you because you're holding me down like this!" The smaller man snapped back. "Just leave me alone and let me go my way."

"I agree." You say. "Just live and let live. Besides, you're so much bigger than he is, you should be the one taking the risk."

The larger man lets go of the smaller man, but just as he begins to step away the smaller man screams an insult and stabs the larger man in the leg with his knife. The larger man screams in pain, backhands the smaller one and pins him again.

"Hey what are you doing?" The smaller one cries. "Why are you oppressing me like this?"

"Because you stabbed me!" Says the larger one.

"Well what did you expect after you beat me up like that? That I was just going to walk away?" The smaller one says. "Now let me up and stop hurting me!"

"Tell you what." Says the larger man. "I'll let you back up if you drop the knife."

"Forget it!" Says the smaller man. "I need this knife to defend myself from you!"

Eventually your better judgment takes over and you leave them to it.

Dueling Images of the Palestinians

If you read the Huffington Post long enough, you will find that among those who advocate for the Palestinians, they usually work to build an image. Building an image is something that all advocates do, and pro-Israel ones aren’t any different. The trouble of course is that images never live up to reality, especially in a complex situation like that in the Middle East.

What I find amusing is that when most extreme Palestinian advocates push their images of the conflict, they often end up contradicting themselves. If you look at pretty much any thread where the discussion get heated, you will find them. Here we go:

Image #1: The Palestinians are a victim of a genocide! Israel wants them either dead or kicked out of their homes. Therefore, they need guns, suicide bombers and rockets to protect themselves against the murderous Israelis. You can’t expect the Palestinians to end the terrorism until Israel withdraws, as the terror groups are all that stands between Israel and millions of dead Palestinians. Here is an example:


Israel uses such tactics to get away with murder, exploitation and land grabbing of Palestinian land. Always under extreme pressure the Palestinian people lose and lose again as long as the US supports the slow but effective genocidal policies of Israel.

Image #2: The Palestinians aren’t fighting to keep themselves alive. Instead, they are fighting for their “rights,” which usually include ending the occupation and letting the refugees “return” to Israel. The Palestinians are no longer defending themselves but are instead employing “resistance groups” or “freedom fighters.” The anti-Zionists claim that their opponents, when they have been mistreated as the Palestinians have, would use violence too. They also end this by claiming, “No justice, no peace.” Here is an example:


Pals lost this battle but their children will remember and grow up to fight for their own freedom. No matter what! Pals want their freedom a any cost!

Now I’m not sure I need to explain the contradiction here but I will anyway: If the Palestinians really are victims of a genocide than they would be more than willing to give up all kinds of things just to keep themselves alive. The right of return? Gone! East Jerusalem? Take it! Half the West Bank? Sure, you can have three quarters! Just stop killing us!

But of course that isn’t what is happening. The Palestinians have their red lines that they are not willing to give up, and have shown their willingness to return to violence if they don’t get it. This indicates that they are not defending themselves nor “resisting occupation” either, as the occupation can be ended through peaceful means. The smart anti-Zionists avoid using image #1 altogether, or when they do they only use it sparingly.

Oh, and the Palestinian advocates aren’t the only ones to claim that the Palestinians are victims of a genocide. Mustafa Barghouti not-so-subtly hinted that the Israelis were acting like Nazis in that story about him the other day. Which of course is ironic, because no one does more to undermine image #1 than the Palestinians themselves. Every time they work away from the negotiating table or whip their people up into violence they make the claim that they are “defending themselves” a little harder to believe. It’s a tough situation for a Palestinian advocate to be in. I’m glad I’m not in it.