Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Russian Spies in America!!!

The Huffington Post's main headline yesterday (besides a GOP Senator stating he thought the retirement age should be raised to 70) is about the US arresting numerous Russian spies that had been living in America. This is interesting news in its own right, but as you can go to any news site and read all about that, I'm not going to talk about the actual event, but about the HPers' reaction. If you recall from any of our numerous HPWs about Israeli espionage activities, the HPers consider spying to be "treasonous", "uncivilized", "serially vile", etc. Surely for a case of an ally caught spying in the United States itself, surely the bile will be flung left and right!

Since when is it a secret that the Russians plant spies here? Since when is it a secret that we plant spies everywhere? When the catch them they should give them the boot as the damage is already done. If you imprison their guys, then they will imprison your guys. It is interesting how spying is considered justified if your are the United States, but it is a terrible act if you are Russia.

I don't even know why this is so controversial. Russian spies got caught in the US. Ok. Yes, we do it too, so do the Chinese and Israelis and every other country. And when the spies get caught, they're either deported, jailed, or executed. Again, why is this controversial at all?

" "Would you act like that in the 21st century?" he said in a reference to allegations that agents retrieved cash that had been buried in the ground years before."
Well, actually, now that you ask ... yes. Launder it long enough and it cleans itself from its source.
Actually the whole thing is much ado about nothing. If they don't have spies corroborating that we aren't trying to cheat on nuclear arms deals, and other policy areas, it is not natural that they would just trust us. Why any surprise that the Spy v. Spy games go on all the time?

Dangerous Dan
No big deal. Even our friendsdo it.
Yes, and an Israeli spy was imprisoned for 20 years. 
This is just another example of how well "respected" we have become under the Obama presidency.
What I don't understand is why are they hiding their activties.
All they need to do is file a Freedom of Information request.
Spy, saboteur, terrorist, invader, moving freely within our borders, for their own agenda, not ours.
Better 'Red' than dead?

And that was just in the first two pages. But of course, the usual haters couldn't resist bringing Israel into it. 

My Letter to the Huffington Post (MJ Rosenberg Edition)

Dear Huffington Post Staff,

I am writing in response to your request for more information in combating the problem of anti-Semitism on the Huffington Post. I would like to draw your attention to a blogger named MJ Rosenberg whose actions in many ways encapsulate this problem; he does not say anything anti-Semitic himself but enables and legitimizes those who do. If I could spare a moment of your time I will explain why I make this accusation. It was not made lightly.

I will began by informing you about an anti-Semitic staple that has appeared in various forms for centuries: The myth of the Zionist occupied government. In short this myth claims that a secret group of Jews control not only the government of many countries but in fact seek to control the entire world (if they do not do so already). The most prominent example of this is the famous forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” which made exactly that claim. Since then it has appeared in the writings and political cartoons of many anti-Semites, including the Nazis and quite a few Muslim nations. It is one of the few myths about Jews that have persisted into the modern era, even when many religiously-based slanders (such as deicide) have all but disappeared.

So you might be asking at this point: What does this have to do with MJ Rosenberg? Well I will tell you: Mr. Rosenberg writes almost exclusively about what he likes to call “The Lobby” aka “the pro-Israel lobby” aka AIPAC. In fact it appears that Mr. Rosenberg is on a quest to tear down AIPAC and replace it with other pro-Israel groups that he likes, most notably J Street. For every one post about any other topic, there is one attacking AIPAC or people who support it. This isn’t all that unusual, there is much to criticize about the way that AIPAC operates. If criticizing AIPAC was all that Mr. Rosenberg did, I would not be writing to you.

The problem is that Mr. Rosenberg discusses this issue in a matter that, quite frankly, inflames anti-Semitic sensibilities, though he is clearly not an anti-Semite himself. In fact he encourages people who believe the “Zionist Occupied Government” anti-Semitic myth mentioned above, and in some cases (intentionally or otherwise) appears to push it himself. Let me give you one of many examples. In his second most recent article published on the Huffington Post, Rosenberg wrote the following (emphasis mine):

“Take a look at this AIPAC-drafted Senate letter, designed to show that, flotilla or no flotilla, AIPAC owns the Senate including your favorite liberals”

As if this were not revealing enough, Rosenberg then links to another article (written by himself, though not on the HP) with the title, “On Israel, Congress Still Obedient.” That article closes with the sentence: “Our United States Congress hard at work, doing what it's told.” This is hardly the first time Rosenberg has gone so far as to claim that “the Lobby” has gone past merely influencing the US Congress to controlling it. In fact many of his writings take on the sound of conspiracy theory, only occasionally with facts to back up what he claims:

-Jewish bloggers exposed a story about Richard Goldstone? Israel told them to do it.
-The US Congress doesn't agree with Obama's handling of the peace process? AIPAC pushed them to sign.
-Congress passes resolution recognizing Armenian Genocide? AIPAC.
-California senate candidate wants to run? Needs to satisfy the Lobby!
-American sanctions Iran? The Lobby is behind it.

Hagai El-Ad And HP Balance

Huffington Post blogger Hagai El-Ad, the Executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) has recently written an article bemoaning the current nature of Israel. He doesn't focus on anything too specific but instead complains about how Israel was founded in response to the genocides of the 1940s and yet still isn't perfect 60 years later. I'm not going to fisk his article, because there really isn't anything to fisk. Nor is he completely wrong: There is still a lot about Israel that needs to be changed. 

I bring this up because it really tells you about the nature of the Huffington Post editorial section and what they consider to be balanced. When it comes to the Middle East conflict, Huffington Post bloggers divide up into about four sections:
-Those who criticize Israel because they want it destroyed (like Ahmed Moor and Ali Abunimah).
-Those who criticize Israel because they want it to "save it from itself" (this includes pretty much all of them, but most notably MJ Rosenberg, Bradley Burston and Hagai El-Ad).
-Those who criticize Israel because they want to change it into something completely different from what it currently is (like David Shasha and Kevin Coval).
-Those who defend Israel, but are pretty clearly only there for tokenism (like Alan Dershowitz and Ed Koch).

It's pretty clear where the Huffington Post bloggers fall into these categories. I just find it very amusing that the Huffington Post's version of balance is "a critic of Israel motivated by caring" is counterbalanced by "a critic of Israel motivated by malice." If you think I am exaggerating, look for yourself. The numbers don't lie. And then the HP wonders why they have this problem of anti-Israel extremism and anti-Semitism on their website.

HP Covers Hamas School Attack

Shocker! The Huffington Post actually covered the story about gunmen raiding a summer camp for Gazan children. Of course, most of the HPers fixated on the fact that there was no proof that Hamas were the ones doing it, even though it seems unlikely that Hamas would have let such a thing happen without their approval. But since we criticize the Huffington Post so much it seems only fair that we also share when they get the stories right.

Now if only they would talk a little bit more about Hamas indoctrination of Gazan children, that would be great!

Comment of the Day

The original link.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

HPW User Profile: Perry Winkler

Despite his excellent taste in avatars, a quick glance through Perry Winkler's comments reveals that he has a definite problem with Jews and Israelis as well. His comments are the usual fair: Racist comments about Israelis, comparisons with the Nazis, calling people who disagree with him "hasbara." Really the only thing that makes Winkler unique is that he complains about the "K" on foods in supermarkets, that all the foods in the US are kosher just to satisfy the Jews, and that the money to buy kosher foods goes partially to Israel. Gee, that sounds familiar.

Perry Winkler has been active since June 2010, has about a thousand comments, and 74 fans.

The HP's Latest Misleading Headline

The Huffington Post's latest misleading headline was given top billing in the "World" section:

Wow! Turkey stopped all Israeli military flights?! Oh wait, no they didn't. Right there in the first paragraph you can read that it closed it's airspace to "some" Israeli military flights, implying that others are still allowed to go ahead. In fact in the third paragraph it said that "it was not a blanket ban and each flight would be assessed case-by-case."

I guess the Huffington Post was trying to save Internet ink by leaving out the word "some" in it's headline. And if you don't think that this misled the readership, check out this comment:

At least she acknowledges that Israel has right to everybody's airspace!

Jihadist Syria? HuffPosters Nowhere To Be Found

Yesterday the Huffington Post posted a front-page editorial from the New Republic that read, "Could Jihadists Overthrow the Syrian Government?" The article itself talks about the Obama administration and how it is approaching Syria in an attempt to engage it. According to the author Obama believes that keeping the Assad regime around (despite it's autocratic nature) is helpful because it will remain stable and therefore allow Syria to be relied upon. The author doesn't consider this to be a particularly good idea. I suggest you read the article, it is interesting, even if you don't agree with it's conclusions.

What else is interesting is that, despite all the talk about human rights violations and the possible destruction of freedom in Syria altogether, the Huffington Post talkbackers are nowhere to be found. Amazing! There is currently not a single post on the entire thread. But don't you worry, they are hard at work tracking down the possibility of autocracy in guess where:

I'm not knowledgeable enough on the subject to say with certainly whether or not "Kahaneism" is prevalent in Israel nor whether or not Lieberman and Netanyahu are racist. But it's pretty tough for either Hedges or this poster to claim that assassinating an enemy combatant in Dubai or striking back against a hostile terrorist entity is either undemocratic or racist. But I guess you don't need evidence if you make your point loudly enough.

On Spamming and Copy-Bombs

We have talked about the phenomenon of copy-bombing and spamming before, and those people who are familiar with Internet discussions have probably seen them a million times before. Generally only the anti-Zionists use them, though are a few exceptions. The most common forms of these is when one user makes multiple posts one after another without replying to other users. They generally take the form of paragraphs (long or short) pushing one particular point of view (Israel is bad) and sometimes a link is included as well. Here is one example:

None of these had anything to do with the topic at hand. The most common topics of these kinds of spamming include:
-General waving the bloody shirt/playing the victim for the Palestinians.
-Talking about bygone incidents that make Israel look bad (like Rachel Corrie/USS Liberty)
-UN Resolutions.
-Quotes by people like Noam Chomsky or Norman Finkelstein.
-Youtube videos that may or may not show Israeli soldiers/settlers doing something bad.
-General threats/calling for Israel's destruction.

One of the reasons that I brought this up was to show that on the Huffington Post World section, at least, there isn't very many spammers or spamming of this kind. We don't see it with articles about Pakistan, Syria, or even the Vatican. That being said, there are probably people who do this in the "politics" section, but I don't read that enough to know for sure.

I also know that the Huffington Post moderation system doesn't allow for spamming, and they can't cover everything, but isn't it interesting that the Israel-related threads are the only ones that have this kind of endless copy-bombing spam.

Could it be that there are users who only use their accounts to mindlessly spam anti-Israel propaganda? And yet they are always so quick to call the Zionist posters "hasbara!" Very informative.

Conspiracy Theory of the Day

The original link.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Little Terror Support Goes a Long Way

One of the main talking points HPers who are devoted to defending Iran at all costs like to use is the "fact" that "Iran has never attacked anybody, Israel has attacked lots of bodies". Well, aside from the fact that the past is the past, an article from the BBC sheds some light on just exactly how passive Iran really is.

Something most HPers are not aware of, or don't care about, is the terror bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires in 1994, an attack that killed 85 people. I could point out that just as anti-Zionists spam complaints about the U.S.S. Liberty and Rachel Corrie, pro-Israel users could post this over and over again as well, but don't, and what does that tell us about either side, but instead we'll talk about this new article.

The article states that,
"The international police agency, Interpol, has voted to approve arrest warrants issued by Argentina for five prominent Iranians and a Lebanese...Argentine authorities accuse Iranian officials of having masterminded the bombing which they say was carried out by the Shia radical movement Hezbollah, based in Lebanon. The Iranian suspects include the former Iranian intelligence chief, Ali Fallahian and the former leader of the elite Revolutionary Guards, Mohsen Rezaei. In 2006, Argentine prosecutors issued arrest warrants against eight prominent Iranians, among them former president, Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, and former foreign minister, Ali Akbar Velayati"
So, in essence, Iran's top officials have been accused to support and masterminding a bombing that killed 85 civilians and was aimed at Jews (not Israelis). Iran may not march their own armies into battle against "the Zionist entity", but they seem more than willing to help others achieve that goal. 

HPW: Ben Cohen's "Boycott" Thread

Huffington Post blogger Ben S. Cohen wrote an article about how if one is progressive, then one should not boycott Israel. Most of the HPers didn't even read it, based on their comments, and the usual litany of Israel attacking began. The comments in general weren't very abusive but there were a few who we felt was worth sharing. Click below to read them.

The thread was fully moderated and had about 700 comments.

Example of a Post: HPer Dishonesty

One question that Zach and I always ask ourselves is, why, if the Palestinian cause is so right and so just, are Palestinian advocates so frequently dishonest and misleading? Let me give you an example

Goodness, gracious! Israel killed an "80 year old blind man in a wheelchair". What a terrible country, murdering such innocent and ineffectual people for no good reason.

But who is "Shiehk Yassim"? He's a founder of Hamas opposed the peace process, and called for all Palestinians to long for martyrdom. Yassim also coined the phrase, "We chose this road, and will end with martyrdom or victory", which is a favorite phrase of the Palestinians. Of course, the HPer couldn't be bothered to mention this, he simply hoped we wouldn't check and we would think he was just an old man that never hurt a fly.

I should also point out that Yassim was assassinated by a Israeli helicopter, not a "US made jet". Just the icing on the cake of lies this HPer baked.

Teach the Children War

The anti-Zionists on the Huffington Post endlessly talk about Palestinian children above all other populations involved in the conflict. Usually it is to tell us about how they are dying, going hungry, or otherwise being oppressed by Israel. In other words, they wave the bloody shirt. Of course, in order to make these kind of appeals to morality and pity they need to leave out much in the way of salient information. The most prominent examples of those would be the Palestinian use of children as soldiers, suicide bombers and human shields, but indoctrination is another key part of Palestinian life that is often overlooked. Solomonia has found two really good examples:

This kind of thing coming out of the Palestinian territories tells us many things:

1) That "Zionist oppression" on it's own is not enough to stoke the Palestinian population to violence. This contradicts the anti-Zionist refrain that terrorism is a "natural reaction" to what Israel does. If that were the case, indoctrination of this kind would not be necessary. The use of terrorism and violence by the Palestinians is a choice made by their leaders. It always has been.
2) That the Palestinian leadership does not mind teaching their children hatred all the time, even when they are not actively at war or preparing for an intifada. Which in turn indicates that they intend to perpetuate the conflict for decades into the future. If they expected the conflict to end (one way or another) within ten years, there would be no need to teach a two-year-old murderous hatred.
3) Like #1, this shows that the anti-Semitism and hatred that we see among the Palestinians is not a reaction to Israeli misdeeds. Again, if were really the Israelis who were teaching Palestinian children to hate Israel, then television programs and indoctrination like this would be redundant and unnecessary.

The anti-Zionists will probably respond to this by claiming "the Jews do it too!" Just like they always do when confronted with Palestinian misdeeds that are too big to play down or ignore. But you will not find anything like this among the mainstream media in Israel. You never will. And the AZs wonder why America supports Israel over the Palestinians.

Democracy Hypocrisy

Last week Israel captured four Hamas politicians in Jerusalem and decided to expel them from the city. According to the Huffington Post this set off warnings of an all-new crisis, but I'm not sure I get why this is so controversial. Hamas and Israel are at war, so why shouldn't Israel expel the diplomats? Did Ireland expel Israeli diplomats for a far less legitimate reason just a couple of weeks ago? And what would America do if they caught four Al Qaeda leaders hanging around in Washington, DC?

None of that is really what I wanted to talk about, though. What I wanted to talk about was the reaction of the Huffington Post readership who through some strange logic tricks concluded that Israel's actions against the Hamasnicks somehow made it undemocratic. Here are some examples:
"There can not be equality for all within the construct of Exceptionalism , a concept that marginalizes and dehumanizes all others.  israel is not a democracy, rather a theocracy."
"That's the famous Israeli democracy they like to talk up."
"Jailing and expelling people on the basis of their political affiliation are NOT the actions of a democracy."
You get the idea. This news story and the subsequent reactions of it are a perfect example of the ethereal standard. For any other nation to expel terrorists with whom they are at war would be a completely natural and acceptable reaction. For Israel (and only Israel), though, suddenly it becomes an attack on it's democratic nature. Don't expect these anti-Zionists to explain their logic, though. I'm pretty sure they can't.

Where the hypocrisy part comes in, though, is that as much as the Huffington Posters will jump on every tiny thing that Israel does to try and prove it isn't a democracy, they will overlook massive human rights violations and oppression on the part of Israel's enemies. For instance, Hamas won one election, and that is enough for the Huffington Posters to declare "Palestine" a democracy. They will ignore the human rights violations and the oppression in their rush to declare the Palestinians a democratic society.

Same thing with Iran, it's most prominent defenders like "Richard Pearce" and "persianadvocate" (who has never been accused of being a "propagandist" in my understanding) will argue with anyone who thinks that Iran is anything less than perfect. All the while they ignore terrible things happening there that, were the topic about the Jewish state instead, would have rightfully received the HPers wrath. 

And then these anti-Zionists can't understand why we consider them to be hypocrites and liars. How can they tell us with a straight face that all they care about is human rights while applying a ridiculous and arbitrary standard with only one tenant: That Israel is always wrong? However my feelings on this issue, I value the truth (no matter how ugly it is) over my own worldviews. I do not think many HPers could say the same.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Away Today

The Brothers of Judea are in New York City this weekend so there won't be any new updates until tomorrow. In the meantime, check out this story (sent to us by reader Califlefty) and notice the picture:

Why exactly would the Huffington Post decide to use the Neturei Karta for a generic picture of "Jews?" Anyone care to guess?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Movie Review: American Radical (Part 2)

If there is one thing that I learned from watching American Radical, it is that Norman Finkelstein is not as radical as I thought he was. Even though he is a strong supporter of Hezbollah and other terrorist groups (which by HP standards isn't radical at all) he thinks Israel should continue to exist, the Jews have a history there, and they have every right to be there. At least, that was what the movie said. What didn't make it into the movie was that in a telephone interview with Today's Zaman, in 2009, Finkelstein stated that Israel was a "satanic" "terrorist" "insane" and "lunatic" state, and that "sometimes I feel that Israel has come out of the boils of the hell." Awesome.

What made Finkelstein famous, and what in turn was what brought him down, was not his political views themselves. After all, they demonstrated that he was in not-so-good company with the likes of Noam Chomsky and other members of the Far Left. What brought him down was that Finkelstein was incapable of discussing, debating or writing about anything without verbally assaulting anyone who held different views from him. He surely felt like he was justified in his anger and his insults, but the truth is that he can't be surprised when he ends up as an embarrassment at the universities where he works.

This started with his book The Holocaust Industry in which he accused the Jews of exploiting the Holocaust not merely for money (which would have been bad enough) but so that they could portray Israel as the perennial victim and whitewash it's bad behavior. Sounds a lot like the HPers, doesn't he? It continued with his failed attempt to destroy Alan Dershowitz's career by accusing him of plagiarism, and finally culminated with his denial of tenure from DePaul. After doing further research into the issue, the movie made clear that DePaul made their decision expressly because Finkelstein was functioning like an academic attack dog more than a dignified professor. Finkelstein's critics claimed that they were in fact censoring him because they don't like his views, which is quite ironic considering that is exactly what he accuses "the Jews" of doing. I don't think DePaul made the right decision but I can understand why they made it.

Since then, Finkelstein has been having trouble finding full time work, and this eventually culminated in a trip to Lebanon for a love-fest with Hezbollah. This seems to indicate that the problem is not his political views. After all, Chomsky has been at MIT for quite a while.

HPW: Jewish Dancing Group Hit By Stones

Yesterday the Huffington Post published a story about a Jewish group in Germany that was putting on a dance performance. They were attacked by stone throwing youths who yelled anti-Semitic slogans through a bullhorn.

In this case, we did not include merely abusive comments but comments that attempted to deflect blame for the incident off of the perpetrators and onto the victims, such as saying it was Israel's fault. That included those by people who usually claim that Israel and "Jews" are totally separate, except in this case.

The thread has about 900 comments and was fully moderated.

Movie Review: American Radical (Part 1)

Unlike the last review, this one actually is relevant. American Radical: Trials of Norman Finkelstein is a documentary about one of America’s most prominent anti-Israel academics, Dr. Norman Finkelstein. Zach and I watched it last night because we don’t want it said we never expose ourselves to the other side’s point of view (even though we get plenty of that every day from the HP).

The film is fairly standard fare from a documentary point of view, it chronicles Finkelstein’s childhood growing up in New York City, then his education, his academic career and some of the controversies he’s been engaged in. For those of you not familiar with Finkelstein’s work, the film talks about three main controversies: his book “The Holocaust Industry”, in which he accuses American Jews of mining the Holocaust for monetary gain, his accusation of plagiarism directed at Alan Dershowitz and Finkelstein’s resulting dismissal from DePaul University, and his trip to Lebanon in 2008 to meet Palestinians in refugee camps and Hezbollah.

From a political point of view, the film is, in my opinion, quite balanced. Finkelstein himself speaks quite a bit, and so do his admirers (his brother, Noam Chomsky) and his opponents (Alan Dershowitz and other Israeli Jewish leaders). I would say the main message of the film, that all the individuals interviewed agree with, is right or wrong Finkelstein is a man of strong convictions and personal courage. He does what he thinks is right. The film seems less concerned with arguing Finkelstein is right or wrong and more interested in how people react to what he says and what his life is like.

HPW User Profile Update: Panziram

Anti-Semitic user Panziram has been banned from the Huffington Post. If you don't think that's a fair assessment, here is our profile of him. See for yourself.

MJ Rosenberg: "AIPAC Owns The Senate"

From MJ Rosenberg's latest blog post:
"Lobe has it exactly right. (Take a look at this AIPAC-drafted Senate letter, designed to show that, flotilla or no flotilla, AIPAC owns the Senate including your favorite liberals)."
And if that wasn't bad enough, Rosenberg linked to another article written by himself titled, "On Israel, Congress Still Obedient" which concludes with the sentence, "Our United States Congress hard at work, doing what it's told."

To whom is our Congress "obedient?" Who is telling our Congress what to do? Pick your answer: It's the Jews. Or it's the Zionists. Or it's "the Lobby." Does the Huffington Post staff really think that this kind of thing does not contribute to the anti-Semitic myth of the Zionist Occupied Government? Or do they just not want to know?

Book Review: Infidel

In the grand tradition of the Brothers of Judea, here’s a review for a book that came out three years ago and lots of people have already reviewed. Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the autobiography of a woman who was born in Somalia, grew up there, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, and then moved to Holland and thrived. The author talks about her family, her relationship with God and Islam, and her movement from devoted Muslim to atheist Westerner.

The drama in the book comes from the tension between Ali’s faith and her ever increasing knowledge. As she learns about the world and her place in it, sometimes the teachings of her mother and religion do not always match up. She shifts between non-observant, to very observant, and back to non-observant again. After Ali moves to Holland, this conflict becomes an external one as she renounces Islam and speaks about the dark side of the faith, resulting in threats and the life of one of her friends.

Ali’s story is a refreshing, no holds barred look at the reality of the culture clash between the West and East which is taking place primarily in Europe. Ali like many other Somalians traveled to Holland to escape the Somalian civil war, and she observed her fellow immigrants while she was there. She said they looked down on the Dutch, saying that they were unclean, heathens, immoral, etc. The vast majority of Somalian immigrants believed they were better than the Dutch. They showed no interest in assimilating, they created their villages in the refugee camps and refused to learn Dutch customs, language or culture. Ali talked about how confused she was, the Somalians hated the Dutch and thought they were inferior, but Ali could tell Holland was a better country in every measurable way than Somalia. It was cleaner, more peaceful, even the buses ran on time. Ali mentioned earlier in the book how she was taught from childhood to hate the West and especially the Jews, but when she got there, it was obvious to her the West was better than the culture she had come from.

What’s remarkable about Ali as a person and her story is that she led the awakening in Holland and possibly Europe in general to the truth about the immigrants coming in. The new immigrants to Europe hate European culture and extol their own, even though in Ali’s view their culture is primitive and violent. Ali saw the Dutch people for what they were, unwilling to criticize the Muslim immigrants because of fears of being called racists. But Ali felt there was nothing racist about advocating that immigrants should assimilate into the Dutch culture and speaking out against some of the most brutal customs such as wife-beating and genital mutilation. I think the book is empowering because it tells Westerners that it’s OK to criticize aspects of Muslim culture and to not be afraid of being called a racist.

Infidel is an easy to read, gripping tale of a conflict that is probably one of the most relevant today. The Iraq war is far away and so is Israel/Palestine, but Muslim immigrants are moving into Western countries like yours all the time and sometimes (not all the time) they bring customs that are morally wrong with them. We should not be afraid to stand up and say such customs are wrong.  

Comment of the Day

The original link.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"The IDF Rapes Little Boys"

I'm sure it's just legitimate criticism of Israel! The original link.

HuffPoWatch User Profile: Atlantis1star

Atlantis1star only arrived on the HP in March 2010, but it didn't take long for him to join the upper echelons of the anti-Zionists there. He doesn't exclusively talk about Israel, but it is pretty clearly his area of focus. Like many AZs, he spams the same talking points over and over, as you would find if you looked at this profile above. As for abusive comments, it is mostly claiming that Israel is a "terrorist state" akin to Nazi Germany.

Most notable is that he spams a paragraph in which he claims that "the Jewish Lobby" is "a Fifth Column" that brought the US into wars with Iraq and so forth. You can read the comments below for yourself. Atlantis1star has about 600 comments and 62 fans.

"Why Do They Hate Us?"

You might remember the question of "why do they hate us?" from American life immediately after the 9/11 attacks. People asked it because they wanted to know what, if anything, they had done to motivate the hijackers to commit such monstrous crimes. This question figured prominently in Art Spiegelman's "In the Shadow of No Towers" so I thought I would put down some of my thoughts on the topic.

Although the question of "why do Islamic terrorists hate us and want to kill us?" mostly applies to America and our terrorist opponents, it also applies to Israel as well. At first glance the question implies that Americans and Israelis must have done something wrong in order to have become the recipients of this murderous hatred. I don't think this is a particularly bad way of approaching the topic: In a dispute we can't control what the other side thinks and does, we can only control what we think and do. Demanding that the other side be reasonable might be necessary and might be right, but it could also simply lead to both sides yelling at each other to be reasonable.

What I have found when people attempt to answer the question of "why do they hate us" their responses come not from their own understanding of Islamic terrorists but from their own politics. People on the right simply claim that "they hate us for our freedoms" in other words they hate us for being different from them. Therefore the only solution to that kind of hatred is a bullet to the chest or a Predator drone to the head. People on the left, on the other hand, say that Islamic terrorists only hate us because we interfered with their countries and basically pursued our own interests there regardless of the consequences to the ordinary people.

I do think that both sides could make a compelling case. Although it is true that ordinary Afghanis, Pakistanis, and so forth could be and will be motivated to anger by US actions, it is also true that the leadership of Al Qaeda are principally concerned with what America is, not what America does. Although they claim it was American actions against Muslims that stirred them to anger, they are notably silent on the subject of Muslim vs Muslim violence. So it seems logical to conclude that they have a special grievance against "the Zionist-Crusader alliance," for having a different religion from them.

So I guess what I am getting at is that when people attempt to answer the question of "why do they hate us" they need to be willing to look at the facts first and put their politics aside. Although it may fit leftist ideology to believe that Hamas only hates Israel for Israel's actions against the Palestinians, a quick look at the Hamas Charter proves otherwise. To ignore new information is not only unscientific but foolish. That being said, this doesn't mean Israel and the US should not try peaceful means as well. Removing a terrorist group's foundation of support is almost as effective as destroy the terrorist group itself. They just need to be sure that the foundation is actually disappearing.

Videos the HP Doesn't Publish

We saw yesterday the sort of video the Huffington Post will broadcast as news. Now let's take a look at some of the videos that the Huffington Post doesn't allow into it's hallowed halls:

How informative.

"Flag" Button Abuse by the AZs

Take a look at this comment:

For a post that has nothing abusive in it, it is quite amazing that it received four "flags." Just goes to show not only the irrational hatred that the anti-Zionists hold for Israel and it's supporters, but how easily the "flagging" system can be abused. Which is quite ironic, since all the AZs ever seem to complain about is how their Zionist counterparts abuse it.

Comment of the Day

The original link.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Psychiatric Conference On Genocide Girl

I found a link to a great article through Solomonia about recent develops with the Muslim girl who advocated the genocide of Jews at a David Horowitz lecture. Apparently after she made her statement she "apologized" for it in the usual way, saying she was sorry but immediately blaming Horowitz for her own foolish actions:
“Towards the end of the exchange, I became emotional. I could no longer hear Mr. Horowitz speaking and so did not even hear his injection of Hezbollah’s credo of ‘rounding up’ Jews in his last tangent.  I could no longer contain my anger at being implicitly and improperly labeled a terrorist, an anti-Semite, and a proponent of genocide. The answer I was coerced into giving grossly misrepresented my beliefs and ideologies.”
Yeah, whatever. But what I really wanted to talk about was a great article in which four psychiatrists are hired by Front Page Magazine to talk about why she would say such a thing and then apologize for it in such a half-hearted and victimized way. It's really very long, and they talk about "Muslims" in general a lot, which might strike some as uncomfortable, but for people like myself who are intersted in psychology and why people behave the way they do, it's great. Here is an interesting passage from it:
"She admitted that she couldn’t contain her rage. This shows who has the problem. Second, Robert Spencer also gets kudos for parsing the layers of denial in its verbiage. Denial is the psychological shield Albahri throws up to protect her shame-filled self from being found out as to the fraud she really is. Why? Because she comes from Arab tribal culture and Islam, which completely devalues the female.  She lacks a stable healthy sense of self. Her need to hate the Jew is really her own “anti-Semite” self-hatred projected onto the Jew. She attacks because she is envious of the Jew and the fact that Islam is deeply indebted to Judaism but could never really acknowledge that debt. Having been brainwashed from a young age by being fed a steady diet of garbage about Jews, she moves to annihilate them — and me."
I don't quite know if I agree with all of that without knowing more about Albahri's life and the way she thinks, but it does make you wonder, doesn't it?

Israeli Children Crippled, HPers Nowhere To Be Found

Yesterday the Huffington Post published a blog entry by Jacob Schrybman of the Sderot Media Center. In the article he told the story of Osher and Rami Twito, 19 and 8 at the time, who were maimed by a "harmless" Qassam rocket. Here are some further details from the story:
"The rocket attack left Osher in a coma for two weeks. The young boy had to go through intensive surgeries; his left leg had to be amputated, and doctors had to operate on a hole in his chest and his injured lungs. The older brother Rami's legs were also badly damaged and operated on.

After a year in the hospital, Osher was released in a bright red wheelchair. His right leg was still badly damaged, but a new artifical limb was fitted on his left."
I cannot help but wonder if this were a story of Palestinians being hurt by Israeli weapons (and you know the HP loves those) how quickly the anti-Zionists would come charging into the thread. But this time it was a ghost town: Right now the article has a grand total of seven comments, most of which have been made by pro-Israel commentators.

But there was one that I thought I would share, in reaction to this story of innocent children suffering:

Remember guys, we're the ones who are the hateful, blinded, brainwashed, unthinking propagandists! This was a perfectly acceptable response to this article, right?

Iara Lee's Smuggled Footage Given Top Billing

In the 21st century viral videos are the new weapons in the battle for popular opinion, and no example of this phenomenon is more prevalent than the fallout from the raid on the Mavi Marmara a couple of weeks ago. Both sides attempted to use video footage to show their side of the story. Israel provided video of their soldiers being attacked with clubs and thrown overboard. Their opponents tried to ignore those videos or pretend the activists only were defending their ship. Regardless, the point is that videos are not only the best evidence we have for finding out what happened, but make a big difference for influencing people's opinions.

Of course, when you have websites like the Huffington Post only showing you the videos that they want you see, they stop becoming objective journalists and start becoming soldiers in the PR war. And that is what has been happening for the past few weeks, but most clearly happened last night when a video and article was published by "Cultures of Resistance" journalist Iara Lee.

Ms. Lee is now the second activist on the flotilla fleet that was given a platform by the Huffington Post, after Paul Larudee and not counting journalists who repeat verbatim what the activists said like Mya Guarnierni. Meanwhile no soldiers or crew who give dissenting opinions (like the captain of the MM) have appeared yet. It is worth nothing once again that the Huffington Post is giving uncensored, open airwaves to members of an organization that not only has a history of lying, but continues to claim a distorted version of events after it is already known. This article is just such an example.

Ms. Lee begins by telling us what we are long used to hearing at this point: The activists were peaceful, Israel attacked for no reason, "nine civilian peace activists...were unjustly killed." But then she gets angry, and things start getting fun:
"In their defense of the indefensible, the Israeli government has attempted to slander the character of the victims and other flotilla participants by drawing false links to terrorism, and portraying us as a lynch mob of anti-Semitic Muslim fanatics"
 Oh how cruel! What logic hoops did the Israelis jump through to portray you as "a mob of fanatics?"


Update On Sharmine Narwani's Flotilla

As I wrote yesterday, Sharmine Narwani wrote an article talking about how peaceful the latest Hezbollah backed flotilla from Lebanon is, because all of the women who are on it are so nice and friendly. Thanks to zombie I found a relatively old article with new information about the flotilla organizers, none of which made it into Ms. Narwani's article:

"Women are “the new secret weapon” in use against the “thieving enemy," said Samar Alhaj, the woman leading the Lebanese boat that is scheduled to try to break the naval blockade...Asked on Radio A-Shams by Zohair Bahloul why the ship, Mariam, would only be carrying women, she said, “We are women in order not to give the thieving enemy an excuse to use arms against the ship.” She said the ship would be carrying cancer medication for children, and women suffering from breast cancer and cancer of the uterus due to “chemical bombs” dropped on Gaza by Israel.
"Speaking of Israel, she said, “the entity that was not defeated will be defeated by women that will come on the boat. Our weapon is cancer medication."
"Meanwhile, Yasser Kashlak, a Syrian businessman of Palestinian descent who heads the “Free Palestine Organization” and is funding this boat, as well as another that is to carry journalists and parliamentarians, said over the weekend on Hizbullah’s al-Manar television station that he was more and more optimistic that one day these same boats would take “Europe’s refuse [the Jews] that came to my homeland back to their homelands.
 "Gilad Schalit should go back to Paris and those murderers go back to Poland, and after that we will chase them until the ends of the earth to bring them to justice for their acts of slaughter from Deir Yassin until today.” Kashlak, a fervent Hizbullah supporter, called Israel a “rabid dog sent to the region to frighten the Arabs. He said he had a message for Israelis: ‘Get on the ships we are sending you and go back to your lands. Don’t let the moderate Arab leaders delude you, [you] cannot make peace with us. Our children will return to Palestine, you have no reason for coexistence. Even if our leaders will sign a peace agreement, we will not sign.’” He said the boat carrying journalists and parliamentarians will carry 12 former American diplomats as well.."

Gee, they don't sound like terrorists at all, do they? Clearly Mr. Ben Cohen is just being racist for thinking that!

More Amy Klein on Media Matters

Huffington Post blogger Amy Klein, who writes almost exclusively about what "Jewish public relations" published a couple of weeks ago an article about what she called "the political fallout" from the flotilla raid, which was mostly about the "We Con the World" video. In it she discusses the same topic she did last time: Namely Jewish and Israeli relationship with the media and "spinning" stories. This time she doesn't come off quite as nasty as she did last time, so maybe that is a sign that there is improvement.

In the beginning of her article she talks about the "Con" video, about how when she watched it she didn't think much of it but then in later retrospection she realized that it was probably in bad taste, seeing as how people died. Unlike some other HP bloggers, she didn't feel it was necessary to play the race card. She also talked about Caroline Glick's background and peoples' reactions to the video, but it is only towards the end we get some good stuff:
"I suppose when I said in my article here on Jewish Chosenness that the Jews were good at P.R., what I should have instead said was that many Jews and many Israelis feel that it's all about P.R. It's all about spin, winning the media war. They often point -- rightly so -- to the 2002 Jenin attacks, when Israel was accused of killing hundreds, when in the end "only" 56 Palestinians were killed."
 She's right, but I feel like that is only part of the story. In most conflicts there is no need to even fight a media war, the conventional war is enough. The only time the governments in question would need to worry about PR is to sell the war to their own people, something that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians need to worry about. The fact that the I/P situation has a whole subsection of media struggle means that it is something that the Jews and Israelis cannot ignore. Especially when you consider that when it comes to conventional warfare Israel is clearly dominant.

As for the Jenin example, Ms. Klein seems to be misunderstanding exactly what happened. There was a battle in which 56 Palestinians were killed, most of them terrorists. But 23 Israeli soldiers were killed as well. Despite this the Palestinians ran to the world media and claimed that Israel had "massacred" hundreds of Palestinians. It is not an "accusation" Ms. Klein, when news agencies are reporting it as fact, as they were. In fact there are still people who think that Israel really did massacre innocent people at Jenin, the same way there are still people who think that everyone who died in Cast Lead was a civilian and that Mohammad Al-Durah was murdered by Israel.

These kinds of perceptions are what Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorists are banking on, Ms. Klein. They no longer fight to destroy Israel on their own, they fight to make Israel look bad. She then goes on to say that the Israelis feel they can never win a media battle so why even try? Ms. Klein doesn't weigh in on the subject, she instead simply reports what her "friend" says, so we'll have to wait and see. We know that Ms. Klein writes almost exclusively on this topic, so it's likely we'll be hearing from her again real soon.

HuffPosters Long For Destruction of Israel

The original link.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lebanese Christian Calls Out Sharmine Narwani

In the thread of Sharmine Narwani's latest article:

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.

The HP's Latest Misleading Headline

Yesterday the Huffington Post published an article with the following headline:

But what was contained in the article was really something quite different. Although "a planning body" did approve a plan that involved the above situation, it hardly meant that it was going to happen tomorrow. In fact these two paragraphs, midway down the page, was much more informative:
""Now, after fine-tuning the plan and seeking more cooperation with the residents as far as their needs and improving the quality of their lives, the municipality is ready to submit the plans for the first stage of approval," said Barkat's spokesman, Stephan Miller, before the city's planning commission agreed to the plan.
Final approval, which would require an Interior Ministry green light, could take many more months."
The fact that there were no quotes of outrage from actual residents in the article would seem to back up what Miller was saying. Furthermore, this plan hasn't even been approved, so there is no guarantee that it will happen. In contrast, the headline implies that the plan has been approved all the way around and will go forward imminently.

None of these little details stopped the HP talkbackers from promptly freaking out and running into other threads claiming that right now Israel was demolishing 22 Palestinian homes. For example:

And a slightly more hysterical example:

So is the problem misleading headlines and articles, or is it stupid Huffington Post readership? Either way, something weird is going on.

Sharmine Narwani Attacks "Jewish Groups," Defends Hezbollah (Part 1)

 "Today I realized that being a "terrorist" is maybe a good thing."
-Sharmine Narwani

The matriarch of the anti-Israel brigade on the Huffington Post, Sharmine Narwani, has posted another screed rampant with insults, unprofessional writing, and her usual tribalist attitudes. The article is entitled, "The Day US Jewish Groups Went Too Far With the Word 'Terrorist.'" Oh really? That sounds exciting! Jewish groups overstepping their bounds? Share, Ms. Narwani, share!

Oh, how disappointing. It turns out that when Ms. Narwani said, "Jewish groups," she really meant "one Jewish person," aka Ben Cohen of the American Jewish Committee, who Ms. Narwani refers to as "a run-of-the-mill propagandist." She then proceeds to take the rest of the article tearing into Mr. Cohen about his article published here about what he called "The Hezbotilla." I might comment about how dishonest it is for Ms. Narwani to imply in her headline that it was many Jewish groups who are doing this when it is really just one person, but I think that's a given at this point. So let's move on.
"Right here on the Huffington Post, Cohen launched into a diatribe against the latest aid flotilla headed for Gaza - this time an all-female ship called the "Mariam"...With zero evidence whatsoever, Cohen tries to malign this humanitarian effort by linking the flotilla and its participants to Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah:"
Unfortunately for Ms. Narwani I am capable of reading Mr. Cohen's article as well, and this "Mariam" did not appear in it. But there is quite a bit of evidence that his aid convoy is backed by Hezbollah, some of which were provided by Mr. Cohen in his article. Mr. Cohen mostly operates through guilt-by-association, the flotilla organizer has been to "pro-resistance" conferences attended by the likes of Islamic Jihad and the PFLP. Elder of Ziyon has even more, I suggest you read that as well. Don't expect Ms. Narwani to try and counter these facts, though. She's after "Jewish groups," by which I mean to say Ben Cohen.

So anyway Ms. Narwani quotes a paragraph by Cohen in which he uses his guilt-by-association tactics and then responds with this:
"The article - ostensibly about the flotilla - uses every trick in the substandard-journalism book to connect individuals and groups by mashing together tidbits of information to suggest a coherent linkage. Have an Arab-sounding name? Palestinian is better. Have a beard? Headscarf? Good. I can make you into a terrorist in 24 hours or less."
It's interesting to see another anti-Zionist resorting to the race card, especially one who complained that the Jews use it to silence all their critics. Mr. Cohen doesn't have much proof that the flotilla is associated or supported by Hezbollah, which is why he needs to use the logically unsound guilt-by-association. However, Ms. Narwani ignores what he says altogether and instead makes up a strawman where Mr. Cohen is simply a racist who thinks all Arab people are terrorists and is willing to lie through his teeth to make it look that way. Cohen said...
-That flotilla organizer Yasser Kashlak has been to these "resistance conferences," and has links to back it up. Does Ms. Narwani deny this? No.
-That Al Manar, Hezbollah's media arm, announced that the flotilla started prepping immediately after Hezbollah called for more flotillas. Does Ms. Narwani deny this? No.
-That the wife of Ali Hajj, a man who helped assassinate a Lebanese PM (aka a traitor) is on the flotilla. Does Ms. Narwani deny this? No.

She doesn't quite seem to understand that the way you disprove a person's statements is by proving them wrong, not by strawmanning. Of course Ms. Narwani has been using the same tactics for months now, I don't know why she would stop now. Fortunately she then switches back onto topic for the rest of her article. Click below to continue.

A Comment Dichotomy

Take a look at the number of comments in these news stories. You might need to click to zoom in.:

I think this tells you everything you need to know about the Huffington Post readership, or really the readership of any newspaper. Two thousand people dead in Somewhereistan? Well we usually care about human rights and the suffering of innocents, but not this time. But look! There are Jews protesting something? Especially really religious ones? We are there, man!

Threatening, Anti-Semitic Comments of the Day

This user has now been banned.

Isn't it great the sort of people the Huffington Post attracts?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Zionism and Judaism

The never-ending refrain that we hear on the Huffington Post is that "Zionism and Judaism" are not the same and are completely separate. The two HP bloggers who have written whole articles on the subject are MJ Rosenberg and Sharmine Narwani, who of course were pushing the viewpoint that Zionism and Judaism were totally different, and therefore that anti-Zionism was not anti-Judaism, which in turn was not anti-Semitism.

On the surface, this line of argument makes perfect sense. Zionism is a political movement, Judaism is a religion, and Jews are a people. They have nothing to do with each other, and one can be against Zionism but be perfectly fine with both the Jewish people and the Jewish religion. Right? After all, that is what HP talkbackers, including Narwani and Rosenberg, have been saying for years.

Unfortunately for them, the whole thing really doesn't work, and part of their problem is because they are using the classic anti-Zionist tactic of changing what the word "Zionism" means so as to make it appear undesirable. Narwani and Rosenberg don't do this, in fact they avoid all the issue altogether by implying that anything critical of Israel is "anti-Zionism," a classic anti-Zionist strawman. What Narwani and Rosenberg do attempt is to change the definition of anti-Semitism. Narwani just pulls the usual tactic of implying that anti-Semitism only exists as a last resort counter-argument, but Rosenberg actually goes out and says:
"Anti-semitism is the dislike of Jews."
Wrong. "Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews." This may seem like a petty distinction (and I am all about petty distinctions) but when it comes to the issue of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism it makes a big difference. In Plessy v Ferguson the Supreme Court ruled for "separate but equal" schools between American blacks and whites. Was this racism and discrimination? Yes. Was it based on dislike or hatred toward blacks? Maybe, but there is no way to prove it.

As much as the AZs try to pretend that Zionism is something that it is not, Zionism is the Jewish nationalist movement. People who are Zionists believe that Jews should have their own homeland and be able to decide their own national destiny. It therefore follows that people who are anti-Zionist believe that Jews should not have their own homeland, are not a nation and should not be able to self-determine, a right granted to all other people. Zionism is the self-determination movement of the Jewish people, and yet I have heard AZs tell me that Zionism and Judaism have nothing to do with each other. How can the national movement of the Jews have nothing to do with Jewish people? Only a fool would make that claim, and we have met quite a few at this point.

This is why it is so absurd when AZs claim (and they do) that though they are anti-Zionists they have nothing against the Jewish people. They do, whether they intend it or not, because when they advocate against Zionism they are advocating against the national rights of the Jewish people. Period. It isn't up for discussion. They always claim they have a good reason, and I am sure in their minds they do, but in that case I would wish that they are at least honest with their audience. 

If this doesn't seem problematic, just imagine if I wrote on this blog that "I don't think the Palestinians are a people. They were made up by Arab leaders and they aren't a real nation. They should not have their own state and should instead be scattered throughout the world and remain stateless forever. But I have nothing against Palestinians! I love them, I think they are awesome!" No one would believe me, because in that example I have singled out the Palestinians for denying them of their rights to which they are entitled as human beings. 

At this point some of you may say, "Ah-ha! Well in that case how come there are so many Jewish anti-Zionists, huh? If Zionism is so irreversibly tied to Judaism then how can anti-Zionism have such a long history?" There are a couple of responses to this:
First of all, throughout Jewish history the number of Jews who had views that could be defined as truly "anti-Zionist" has been at the most 1% of Jews. If 1% of America voted for Nader in the last presidential election, should we give him the job and ignore the 99% of Americans who felt otherwise? I didn't think so.
Second, there are Jews who don't think organized religion is a good thing. There are Jews who think they should get rid of Hebrew, Shabbat services, and talit. But are you going to tell me that Hebrew, Shabbat and talit have nothing to do with Judaism? Not very likely, I would hope.

So to conclude, anti-Zionism is anti-Judaism (aka anti-Semitism), but not in the way that we have all come to think of it. An anti-Zionist may like the Jews as individuals, and may have some as friends. An anti-Zionist may not hold any prejudices against the Jews, and he may be Jewish himself. But an anti-Zionist, when faced with the nation of the Jewish people, will stand against them and say, "I deny you what I allow everyone else in this world. What the rest of the world takes for granted you may never have. For no other reason than you are Jewish." That is nothing more than simple discrimination. Not hatred, not dislike, but anti-Semitism all the same.

Don't tell me Zionism has nothing to with Judaism. It has everything to do with Judaism. As does anti-Zionism.