Monday, January 12, 2009

Those Poor, Poor Palestinians

Question: Why would a terrorist use civilian areas to launch missles into Israel?

Answer: Um...because it's crowded in Gaza?

WRONG. It's so when the inevitable civilian casualties happen during the inevitable Israeli counterstrike, they can take pictures of dead children and put them on the internet. It's called marketing. Westerners are suckers for marketing because it saves most of us from having to learn about stuff that is hard or complicated.

There are websites full of pictures of what those mean Jews in Israel are doing to peace-loving Palestinians. But wait! Is it fact, good marketing, lazy media, or just ol' fashioned Western anti-Semitism? Consider:

"In Paris, the state-owned TV network France-2 broadcasts film of dozens of dead Palestinians killed in an Israeli air raid on New Year's Day. The channel subsequently admits that, in fact, the footage is not from Jan. 1, 2009, but from 2005, and, while the corpses are certainly Palestinian, they were killed when a truck loaded with Hamas explosives detonated prematurely while leaving the Jabaliya refugee camp in another of those unfortunate work-related accidents to which Gaza is sadly prone. Conceding that the Palestinians supposedly killed by Israel were, alas, killed by Hamas, France-2 says the footage was broadcast "accidentally."

There are also five year old photos floating around the internet of Israeli soldiers posing with the dead. Dispicable, I will not deny. I think it speaks volumes about how little regard many in the West have for Israel that five year old photos can be passed around and people will, with little consideration, believe that they are current. People who will immediately (and falsely) think the worst of Israel can, in the same breath, excuse Palestinians for putting the innocent in harms way.

There are even pictures that look like mean Israeli soldiers are pointing guns at children. Children! I couldn't image why an Israeli soldier would possibly do such a thing.



This was posted by Steve, not CC.

11 comments:

B. Hold said...

Maybe if the US didn't give such a disproportionate amount of aid to Israel every year, not holding them accountable for it, there wouldn't be such public outcry in the states. Sure, there are people who have seen a few images in the media and don't know what they're talking about, but are you seriously going to defend Israel over Palestine? Hate Hamas and their tactics, not the innocent Palestinians who suffer because of both Israel AND Hamas. You're complaining about a few unfair media attacks against Israel in recent years. I'm curious as to what you said or did when Israel received unwarranted support from the US media for decades while they forced Palestinians out of their homes as Zionism infected Evangelical America.

By the way, I think your blog is great and I won't "unfollow" you just because I think your support for the Zionist Republic is anti-Christian (remember, many of the Palestinians suffering over there are followers of Christ). I'm just giving you my 2 cents and I hope you don't hate me for doing so.

God Bless.

Richard Truman Michael said...

Ok well I support Palestine, because of the many Christians there and non Zionist Jews.

I have a big problem with our Country funding Israels terrorism. I pray that a peaceful dual state comes into existence because what has happened has happened and it will never be fully Palestine again and never fully "re-created" Isreal.

USMC 9971 said...

Israel left Gaza completely in September of 2005. What have the peace loving Palestinians done since then?

They destroyed their own infrastructure, such as the greenhouses that the Israeli settlers left behind, so that they could sell copper and other metals for a quick profit. This left their people hungry, and dependent upon foreign assistance for the basic essentials. The Gazans brought that upon themselves.

The people of Gaza voted for Hamas. After winning such a mandate from the peace loving Gazans, Hamas forceably remove the Palestinian Authority. The Gazans elected terrorist rule for themselves.

While Hamas, Gazans, and the Arab states complain about Israel's border closures following mortar, rocket, and terror attacks; they all conveniently forget that aide for their Muslim brothers and sisters in Gaza could quite easily be sent to Egypt and pass through the Rafah Gate. It's just easier for them to blame Israel.

If Hamas and the Gazans were to lay down their weapons tomorrow, they could have peace with Israel.

If Israel were to lay down their weapons tomorrow, Hamas and the Gazans would take the opportunity to destroy the defenseless Jews.

Forgive me or not, but I do not shed one tear for any of the residents of Gaza.

B. Hold said...

Please, USMC... don't blame the election of a terrorist organization on an entire group. That's worse than saying that an American president represents much more than half of his country's political attitudes. And I'll humor your naivete in believing that an election in that part of the world isn't easily rigged.

You claim that aid for Muslims (forgetting about Christians) can be sent through the Rafah Gate... where is this aid supposed to come from? Even Egypt, the 2nd largest recipient of US foreign aid, only gets $25 per citizen per year. Israel, who has taken land from the Palestinians, receives over $400 per citizen per year. I suggest you read a great book called The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by University of Chicago and Harvard professors Mearsheimer and Walt. You may find it hard to believe because it does not praise the Republic of Israel, but it is an unbiased and academic overview of the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. Plenty of facts in this book (and common knowledge if you have ever spoken with a Palestinian or one of the many Israelis who disapprove of the treatment of Palestinians) show that it is far from being as simple as "those people elected terrorists and they'll get what they deserve."

You obviously have little heart for innocent victims in this situation. You'll probably come back and call me anti-Semitic, but I really support the basic rights of Israelis who live there, whether or not they deserve the land, just as much as I do the Palestinians. I just get agitated when brainwashed Zionist Americans make it an issue of Islamic vs. Judeo-Christian ideologies. You're forgetting that Israeli soldiers, just a few years ago, were poised to destroy a Christian holy site - the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem - because they merely suspected a terrorist was hiding inside.

And if Hamas and the Gazans were to lay down their weapons tomorrow, I'm not so sure they wouldn't lose more land to the Zionists. Just because one people's technology and education are more sophisticated does not make them less barbaric and racist.

Terry Nelson said...

I took the photos I posted on face value - I had no idea they were old. I was stupid. I got the photos from a person I consider a reliable source - he obtained them from a priest. I don't think there is any such thing as a reliable source these days. That is why I decided, that for myself at least, the way to peace is continual repentance.

Thom Curnutte said...

You don't need pictures to see the atrocity that's being committed here. The autheniticity of some photographs is a red herring thrown out by the Israel-only people to try to distract from the hell that has been unleashed on the civilian population of Gaza.

Carolina Cannonball said...

Thom, so accuracy & honesty are unimportant as long as the "truth", as you believe it to be, supports your opinion?
-----------------------------------Terry, I didn't write this post but I do agree that there is alot of misinformation presented as fact, and in many cases its to play on our sentimentalities. That is why I agreed to publish this post. It wasn't meant as a personal attack, please don't feel that way. It is in response to many other articles out there circulating the web that paint a one sided picture of a very complex issue.

Thom Curnutte said...

Of course accuracy and honesty are important. Don't be reductionist. My point is that the scale of the mortar attack on Israel via Hamas translates to a death toll of 3. The Israeli assault on Gaza has a death toll of 900 that continues to climb. Even UN refguee camps set up in Gaza for the scores of displaced and homeless have been shelled and bombed by the Israelis. The attack is completely unproportional, and the very fact that Israel is not letting aid or journalists in, or foreign nationals out, is very telling.

Thom Curnutte said...

*Let me raise that 3 to 12. My apologies.

USMC 9971 said...

B. Hold,

Please, USMC... don't blame the election of a terrorist organization on an entire group. That's worse than saying that an American president represents much more than half of his country's political attitudes.

The 2006 Palestinian elections were not a case of electing one potentially polarizing political figure to an executive position (Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas remained the Palestinian president), but rather it was the election of 74 members of a terror organization to positions within the parliamentary body.

When Americans elect members of a subversive organization to a majority in Congress, and then that subversive organization commits a coup in regions of its strongest support against the existing government a year later, you will have a better comparison. Hamas' election to power by the Palestinian people (with its strongest support in Gaza) is not the same as, let alone worse than, saying that an American president represents the political beliefs of about half of our nation.

All Palestinians didn't vote for Hamas, but the majority of Gazans did. Elections have consequences.

And I'll humor your naivete in believing that an election in that part of the world isn't easily rigged.

Hamas won over 40% of the total vote, and over half of the seats in the Palestinian parliament. There were hundreds of international election monitors, including former President Carter. I'd be surprised if there wasn't voter fraud that occurred in the 2006 Palestinian elections, but I don't buy that Fatah (which controlled much of the civil and political infrastructure) allowed Hamas to massively rig the election.

There is plenty of corruption and backdoor dealing throughout the Middle East, but that doesn't make everything a conspiracy. While elections have the possibility to be rigged with relative ease in the Palestinian territories, I have yet to see worthwhile evidence to backup such a theory.

You claim that aid for Muslims (forgetting about Christians) can be sent through the Rafah Gate...

I stated, "While Hamas, Gazans, and the Arab states complain about Israel's border closures following mortar, rocket, and terror attacks; they all conveniently forget that aide for their Muslim brothers and sisters in Gaza could quite easily be sent to Egypt and pass through the Rafah Gate."

When you hear a spokesman for Hamas, Gaza, or one of the surrounding Arab states, there is a very good chance that you will hear that spokesman refer to the people of Gaza as his Muslim brothers and sisters, or as a Muslim people who are being choked-off by the Israeli border closures. Consistently ignored, by both the spokespeople and the press, is that Gaza also has a border with Egypt, and that any aid could be sent without needing to go through Israel. Aid could be sent directly to the people of Gaza through Egypt.

I did not forget the Christians, but keep in mind that there are only a few thousand Christians amongst the 1.5 million residents of Gaza (Muslim (predominantly Sunni) 99.3%, Christian 0.7%).

where is this aid supposed to come from? Even Egypt, the 2nd largest recipient of US foreign aid, only gets $25 per citizen per year. Israel, who has taken land from the Palestinians, receives over $400 per citizen per year.

The aid can come from all of the people who stand in solidarity with the poor people of Gaza. If all those who feel that the people of Gaza are being oppressed would pool their resources, then I am certain that they would be able to provide food, medicine, technology, and materials to build an amazing infrastructure once the Zionists finally heed the will of the world body. I am sure that the people of Gaza would be happy to flourish with such an outpouring of assistance, and that they would not squander it or risk its destruction by engaging in future cross-border attacks or acts of terrorism.

If you want to help out, you can check-out the United Palestinian Appeal page at Charity Navigator. You could also search for other charities there as well.

One-third of all U.S. foreign aid is sent to Egypt and Israel combined. Egypt has a population of about 81.7 million people, and Israel has a population of about 7.1 million people. According to your figures, Egypt would receive about $2.08 billion in U.S. aid annually (81,700,000 x 25), and Israel would receive about $2.84 billion in U.S. aid annually (7,100,000 x 400). Israel may receive more aid from the U.S., but the amount of aid per citizen of each nation creates a false impression of an immense disparity (1:16 with the per citizen figures vs. 1:1.37 with the extrapolated totals based upon your per citizen figures).

Besides the aid to Egypt and Israel, though, the U.S. still provides billions-upon-billions of dollars in foreign aid to people around the world. In fact, the U.S. has been helping the poor people of Gaza since 27 December 2008.

"The United States Government, through the US Agency for International Development, continues to deliver humanitarian supplies to the people in Gaza.

During the week of December 29, USAID has provided badly needed medical and food supplies to health care facilities in Gaza, including syringes, tubes, gloves, x-ray film, tape, silk for sutures and bedding (mattresses, blankets and linens). USAID continues to work with international organizations operating in Gaza to prepare additional assistance for health care facilities in Gaza.

USAID continues to provide food assistance through the World Food Program, supporting approximately 20,000 non-refugee Palestinian households in Gaza with a bimonthly package of five basic foods, including wheat flour and vegetable. Since December 28, WFP and its implementing partner, CHF, have distributed approximately 720 metric tons (MT) of food commodities to USAID-supported beneficiaries in Gaza. An additional 1,350 MT is available in Gaza for distribution if the security situation allows.

In addition to medical and food supplies, USAID is delivering 18,000 kilograms of plastic sheeting to cover broken windows and help mitigate the cold. An additional 100,000 kilograms will be delivered within the coming days."

I suggest you read a great book called The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by University of Chicago and Harvard professors Mearsheimer and Walt. You may find it hard to believe because it does not praise the Republic of Israel, but it is an unbiased and academic overview of the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. Plenty of facts in this book (and common knowledge if you have ever spoken with a Palestinian or one of the many Israelis who disapprove of the treatment of Palestinians) show that it is far from being as simple as "those people elected terrorists and they'll get what they deserve."

It's an interesting book (which started as a working paper that was originally rejected by The Atlantic), but much like the Da Vinci Code, it is a grand conspiracy theory woven around a few selected facts.

Here are two critiques of the paper/book from people who were not as taken with it as you are:

"The essay itself, mostly a very average 'realist' and centrist critique of the influence of Israel, contains much that is true and a little that is original. But what is original is not true and what is true is not original. [...]

"If it is Israel that decides on the deployment of American force, it seems odd that the first President Bush had to order them to stay out of the coalition to free Kuwait, and it is even more odd that the first order of neocon business has not been an attack on Iran, as Israeli hawks have been urging. Mearsheimer and Walt are especially weak on this point: They speak darkly about neocon and Israeli maneuvers in respect to Tehran today, but they entirely fail to explain why the main initiative against the mullahs has come from the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Authority, two organizations where the voice of the Jewish lobby is, to say the least, distinctly muted. Their theory does nothing to explain why it was French President Jacques Chirac who took the lead in isolating the death-squad regime of Assad's Syria (a government that Mearsheimer and Walt regard, for reasons of their own, as a force for stability)."

Christopher Hitchens, "Overstating Jewish Power: Mearsheimer and Walt give too much credit to the Israeli lobby," Slate, 27 March 2006

"What then would have been different in US policy in the Middle East absent Israel and its powerful lobby? The answer in short is: the details and intensity but not the direction, content, or impact of such policies. Is the pro-Israel lobby extremely powerful in the United States? As someone who has been facing the full brunt of their power for the last three years through their formidable influence on my own university and their attempts to get me fired, I answer with a resounding yes. Are they primarily responsible for US policies towards the Palestinians and the Arab world? Absolutely not."

Joseph Massad, "Blaming the lobby," Al-Ahram Weekly, Issue 787, 23 - 29 March 2006 (Note: Joseph Massad is associate professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University.)

You obviously have little heart for innocent victims in this situation.

It is too bad that there are innocent victims in this situation. Hamas could have prevented the current situation by stopping rocket fire on Israeli cities. Hamas could help to greatly reduce civilian casualties in this current conflict (a conflict that was incited by Hamas' actions) by not using the people of Gaza as human shields.

And I'm sure that you have been just as concerned about the innocent victims of the Hamas rocket attacks on the cities in southern Israel.

You'll probably come back and call me anti-Semitic,

I don't know if you are, or are not, anti-Semitic. You do tend to sympathize with Hamas, though.

but I really support the basic rights of Israelis who live there,

It's good to know that support the Zionists, too. That's very big of you.

whether or not they deserve the land,

And it is becoming increasing clear that you truly do not believe that the Israelis deserve the land they are on.

just as much as I do the Palestinians.

That's a group that you really seem to support a lot more than the Israelis.

I just get agitated when brainwashed Zionist Americans make it an issue of Islamic vs. Judeo-Christian ideologies. You're forgetting that Israeli soldiers, just a few years ago, were poised to destroy a Christian holy site - the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem - because they merely suspected a terrorist was hiding inside.

Nice ad hominem label: "brainwashed Zionist Americans." Hamas launches rockets repeatedly at civilian targets, violates truces, and fails to live-up to past agreements; but if one has no sympathy when the terrorists finally receive a retaliatory strike from Israel, one gets labeled as a brainwashed Zionist.

I am presuming that your reference to Church of the Nativity is the incident from 2002. That was not a case in which Israel "merely suspected a terrorist was hiding inside," though. Many Palestinian police, militia, and terrorists, who were once again unable to match the Israelis that they had engaged in combat, had fled to the Church of the Nativity in their retreat. Israeli forces did attempt follow and engage the combatants, but eventually changed to siege tactics.

The Palestinians engaged Israel at times during the siege, once shooting two Israeli border police officers from the church's bell tower. When all was finally done, the mess inside showed the lack of regard that the Palestinians and their supporters showed for the church. Luckily the damage was not extensive, but one priest did tell the AP that some of those who had been in the church had desecrated the holy site by smoking and drinking alcohol.

Following the removal of all inside, the Israeli military searched the church and found 40 explosive devices that had been left behind by the Palestinians.

I haven't forgotten that incident.

Have you forgotten the bombing of the Teacher's Bookshop of the Palestinian Bible Society in 2007 by Palestinian terrorists? Have you forgotten the abduction and murder of Rami Khader Ayyad, the Christian owner of that same bookstore only months later? Have you forgotten the bombing of the religiously run Rahabat al-Wardia school and Zahwa Rosary Sisters School in Gaza City? Have you noticed that persecution of Christians in the Gaza strip has escalated dramatically since the Hamas coup, and that Hamas has done nothing to stop the attacks?

And if Hamas and the Gazans were to lay down their weapons tomorrow, I'm not so sure they wouldn't lose more land to the Zionists. Just because one people's technology and education are more sophisticated does not make them less barbaric and racist.

I haven't claimed that greater technology and education make one group more or less barbaric or racist than another. I do know, however, that Israel fully withdrew from the Gaza Strip in September of 2005 in an attempt to trade land for peace; but they did not get peace for land that they fully relinquished to the Palestinian people.

Israel could have taken back that territory at any time, but they did not. The Palestinians could have stopped the terror attacks at any time, but they did not. I'll stick by my assertion that Hamas and the Gazans could have peace with Israel if they would only lay down their weapons, while Israel would be destroyed by the Palestinians if they were to lay down their weapons tomorrow.

USMC 9971 said...

Thom,

If the Israelis would respond to the attacks from Gaza in the same manner, with random mortar and rocket attacks aimed at Gaza City, would you be okay with that level of proportionality?