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  • Israelis making fun of the Gaza dead


    by Sunny
    7th June, 2010 at 10:12 am    

    I accept that there isn’t much sympathy in Israel for the 9 Flotilla deaths, but this is is actually shocking and deeply callous:

    The Israeli government has been forced to apologise for circulating a spoof video mocking activists aboard the Gaza flotilla, nine of who were shot dead by Israeli forces last week. The YouTube clip, set to the tune of the 1985 charity single We Are the World, features Israelis dressed as Arabs and activists, waving weapons while singing: “We con the world, we con the people. We’ll make them all believe the IDF (Israel Defence Force) is Jack the Ripper.”

    Here’s the video

    It features a group led by the Jerusalem Post’s deputy managing editor Caroline Glick (so much for journalistic balance there) and includes the lyrics: “There’s no people dying, so the best that we can do is create the biggest bluff of all” - wow. Just, wow. There’s also: “We must go on, pretending day by day, that there is in Gaza, crisis hunger and plague“. That’s a real show of humanity right there.

    Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev tells the Guardian: “I called my kids in to watch it because I thought it was funny.” - I’m sure those imaginary dead people from the Flotilla appreciate the humour.

    Perhaps the IDF is frustrated after it’s terrible attempts at PR keep backfiring:

    Last week, the Israel Defence Force had to issue a retraction over an audio clip it had claimed was a conversation between Israeli naval officials and people on the Mavi Marmara, in which an activist told soldiers to “go back to Auschwitz”. The clip was carried by Israeli and international press, but today the army released a “clarification/correction”, explaining that it had edited the footage and that it was not clear who had made the comment.

    The Israeli army also backed down last week from an earlier claim that soldiers were attacked by al-Qaida “mercenaries” aboard the Gaza flotilla.

    The Jerusalem Post is still crowing about it.


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    Filed in: Current affairs,Media,Middle East






    123 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. sunny hundal

      Blog post:: Israelis making fun of the Gaza dead http://bit.ly/anTblp


    2. Leischa

      RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: Israelis making fun of the Gaza dead http://bit.ly/anTblp


    3. Breaking the Siege of Gaza - the Mission Continues - Page 7

      [...] I don't know if anyone has posted this ''We are the World'' type video that was made by Israelis as there are so many threads on this now. Make of it what you will. Very poor taste IMO, but that's what many of them are like. Pickled Politics Israelis making fun of the Gaza dead [...]


    4. Marcel Duda

      Pickled <b>Politics</b> » Israelis making fun of the Gaza dead http://goo.gl/fb/YgTeN


    5. BabaGrr

      May we make fun of the poor jews that aledgedly died in europe? #Israelis making fun of the #Gaza dead http://is.gd/cGM6Z #flotilla




    1. earwicga — on 7th June, 2010 at 10:32 am  

      Vile stuff.

      I found this interesting from CounterPunch:

      In the opinion of much of the world, Israel is descending to the status of South Africa in the final years of apartheid (in which period, it has just emerged, Israel was trying to sell South Africa nuclear weapons) – a pariah nation.

      In February the Tel Aviv–based Reut Institute presented a big report to the Israeli cabinet, long in the making, called “The Delegitimization Challenge: Creating a Political Firewall.” It has sinister recommendations for a strategy of “offense.” Israel’s government is embarking on a methodical assault on human rights groups and kindred NGOs seen as delegitimizers. It’s not paranoid to expect COINTELPRO-type black-bag jobs sponsored by Israel on solidarity groups here and around the world.

      Israel is plunging into deeper darkness. As the Israeli journalist Gideon Levy recently told one interviewer: “In the last year there have been real cracks in the democratic system of Israel.… It’s systematic—it’s not here and there. Things are becoming much harder.” And Levy also wrote in Ha’aretz, “When Israel closes its gates to anyone who doesn’t fall in line with our official positions, we are quickly becoming similar to North Korea. When right-wing parties increase their number of anti-democratic bills, and from all sides there are calls to make certain groups illegal, we must worry, of course. But when all this is engulfed in silence, and when even academia is increasingly falling in line with dangerous and dark views…the situation is apparently far beyond desperate.”

      http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn06042010.html

    2. bananabrain — on 7th June, 2010 at 10:33 am  

      it’s great to see the “sophisticated”, “co-ordinated”, “highly professional” zionist pr “machine” in action, ain’t it?

      are the israelis masters of pr puppetry, or inept, fumble-spinning dunderheads?

      close your eyes.

      frown.

      put your index finger on one side of your temples and your thumb on the other.

      now you’re making the expression i’m making.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    3. Refresh — on 7th June, 2010 at 10:51 am  

      Someone needs to step in to protect Mark Regev’s children.

    4. cjcjc — on 7th June, 2010 at 11:06 am  

      “We must go on, pretending day by day, that there is in Gaza, crisis hunger and plague“.

      An accurate description of the “Gaza is a concentration camp” crowd.

    5. earwicga — on 7th June, 2010 at 11:18 am  

      What do you think this video says to those who aren’t in that camp cjcjc?

    6. cjcjc — on 7th June, 2010 at 11:29 am  

      Combat the lies is what it says, inasmuch as a satirical YouTube video “says” anything.

    7. GW — on 7th June, 2010 at 11:33 am  

      You may call it callous.

      I call it accurate.

      GW

    8. BenSix — on 7th June, 2010 at 11:53 am  

      An accurate description of the “Gaza is a concentration camp” crowd.

      Pahaha! Yes, those cockeyed moonbats. Imagine thinking there’s hunger in Gaza!

      *Reality coughs, politely.*

      While 35% of West Bank households can be considered food secure, only 17% are food secure in the Gaza Strip.

      Food security has markedly worsened in the Gaza Strip since the blockade started in 2007 and further more immediately after the Israeli military offensive at the end of 2008. Increased humanitarian assistance has only been able to prevent the trend from worsening.

      …chronic malnutrition has risen over the past few years, reaching 10.2% in 2006 (compared to 7.5% in 2000). Micronutrient deficiencies (anaemia, vitamin A and iodine deficiencies) among children and women have reached levels indicative of a severe public health situation. All nutritional status parameters are worse in the Gaza Strip than in the West Bank.

      But…But…But Melanie Phillips had a picture of a market!

    9. damon — on 7th June, 2010 at 12:01 pm  

      Callous indeed. And indicative of a section of Israeli society. When I said as much (bluntly) the other day, I was told I was out of order for being so harsh about Israel. Now it’s being compared to the last days of apartheid.

      Perhaps it’s time to move on a bit from the events on the Mavi Marmara and try to talk about how this whole mess will be sorted out once and for all.
      Ending the blockade of Gaza is just the first and most obvious step. If Gaza port is to be opened to the world and under local control, how will Israel’s security be protected?

      George Galloway is talking about another land Convoy going down there and asking Egypt to let it across their border. Is this the kind of thing you would want to get behind. ”Viva Palestina” and all that.
      http://www.vivapalestina.org/

      That ”dreadful” bloke from Spiked Online said this:

      Palestinians are turned into the playthings of moral charlatans, some of whom even wear the keffiyeh, in a PC version of blacking up, or go to live with Palestinians and act as ‘human shields’.

      I linked this thread (see above) to this Irish site I read a bit.
      It can be quite good on Irish politics, but this issue of the aid convoy being attacked has really brought out some wild and wacky posters - on both sides of the argument, and they have had thousands of posts on it the last week. Too many to read - but the quality of the debate overall is so poor that it must be typical of how emotion can get the better of reason on an issue such as this.

    10. Sarah AB — on 7th June, 2010 at 1:22 pm  

      I think there is a place for an effectively edgy satirical treatment of some of these issues - but this isn’t it.

    11. Ravi Naik — on 7th June, 2010 at 1:22 pm  

      An accurate description of the “Gaza is a concentration camp” crowd.

      Tell that to these parents.

    12. Kismet Hardy — on 7th June, 2010 at 2:01 pm  

      This is appalling. Jack the Ripper is the best pun they could come up with? Come on Rupert, free up some of your subs from the Screws and help your lads out

    13. MaidMarian — on 7th June, 2010 at 2:02 pm  

      Damon is right - it is time to look to a settlement rather than just have this on-going finger pointing every few months.

      Present day Israel is in no way like South Africa - indeed, something overlooked is that slowly, quietly and (yes) imperfectly over in the West Bank there is something resembling normalcy emerging.

      Moral relativism is not good thing.

    14. Refresh — on 7th June, 2010 at 2:17 pm  

      Here is a piece worth reading as to where we are headed and why. It might also explain why senior members of the Israeli government feel able to lead the national merriment triggered by this video.

      ‘Ilan Pappé: The deadly closing of the Israeli mind

      The decline in Israel’s reputation since the brutal attack on the Gaza flotilla is unlikely to influence the country’s leaders’

      http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/ilan-papp-the-deadly-closing-of-the-israeli-mind-1992471.html

    15. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 7th June, 2010 at 2:27 pm  

      sorry to admit I have become quite apathetic to the whole situation. It’s both sides faults!

      someone please tell me what happens to the MILLIONS of dollars the world pours into gaza?
      The EU 400+ - England alone 100+
      Saudi 1 BILLION!

      http://groups.google.co.uk/group/sangkancil/browse_thread/thread/1abdefc67f19ba97/5b8da96599bbb4c9?show_docid=5b8da96599bbb4c9

    16. MaidMarian — on 7th June, 2010 at 2:30 pm  

      Refresh - That link of yours is certainly interesting. I can’ say that I agree with all of it but it is well worth a read.

      It is like one of the better points in the article on Spiked!. The boats in the flotilla were full of people calling for Western intervention in Israel, it is not exactly difficult to see why the Israelis would be closed given that the protesters reinforced every one of Israel’s fears.

      Interestingly, those protesters demanding Western interventions were likely to have been in the vanguard of those denouncing such interventiontion over Iraq and Yugoslavia.

      Closed minds are seriously getting in the way of a solution.

    17. Refresh — on 7th June, 2010 at 2:31 pm  

      I suspect you could have carried on with your google search and possibly found that most of it was for rebuilding infrastructure, and as such remains unspent.

    18. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 7th June, 2010 at 2:39 pm  

      and why does it remain unspent?

      Who is in control of gaza? Who do they give it to?
      If Hamas put as much effort into rebuilding and actually taking care of the humanitarian crisis they have helped create - instead of - what ever it is they do everyday ./..
      we could ALLL GET ON WITH OUR LIVES!

    19. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 7th June, 2010 at 2:44 pm  

      and what about Egypt? Why do they have closed borders?

      http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6502H820100601

    20. MaidMarian — on 7th June, 2010 at 3:03 pm  

      TQoF - As I understand it, the Egyptians take the view that what is going on in Gaza is utterly terrible, that it is a shining example of the evil of Israel and that the Gazans should be supported, though that support does not actually extend to letting anyone from Gaza cross the border or actually letting people trade and the like.

      It’s that sort of relationship.

    21. freeman — on 7th June, 2010 at 3:04 pm  

      Yet the fact is the effort to paint the Mavi Marmar as entirely stocked with ‘unarmed peace activists’ falls flat on it’s face on the most cursory of looks.

      And that distortions to paint Israel as terrible murderers of innocents singing combya and that hiding of the knives and blood pictures in official Reuters output to give a totally different impression to reality.

      A terrible, botched raid, with incredibly unfortunate outcome, yet what would Turkish navy do with an approaching ship destined for Kurdistan, which in the past ships have been found carrying 500 tons of weapons, and which refuses to stop, and then on boarding the ‘peace activists’ attack with poles and knives and try to take four soldiers hostage???

      And the back to Auschwitz comment was not false, somebody said it on the radio, however the source was not identified. They shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions.

      Really, does one need to exaggerate, distort, lie and misrepresent the truth? It’s not as clear cut as people make out, and actually they damn well know it and are too stubborn to admit it.

    22. Naadir Jeewa — on 7th June, 2010 at 3:06 pm  

      I strongly recommend this discussion between David Frum, Peter Beinart, John Mearsheimer and Derek Penslar on the falling support of Israeli foreign policy amongst young American Jews, and placing the flotilla incident in the larger context of resolving the conflict.

      Queen of Fiddlesticks’ questions can be answered through a look at the Israel/Palestine section of Gregg Carlstrom’s The Majlis site, or Foreign Policy’s MidEast channel.

      Finally, I tend to discount much of what Cockburn says after he became a climate denialist.

    23. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 7th June, 2010 at 3:10 pm  

      ok well, since it seems people like to answer questions instead of thinking about them … why does Israel have a blockade?

    24. Lucy — on 7th June, 2010 at 3:29 pm  

      “ok well, since it seems people like to answer questions instead of thinking about them … why does Israel have a blockade?”

      Are you deliberately rude or what? Why don’t you say what you think - if you have thought about it.

    25. boyo — on 7th June, 2010 at 3:45 pm  

      There’s a lot of angry people about, and a lot of people looking for the opportunity to be angry…

      According to this report

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article7144448.ece

      One soldier accounted for six of those on board, in scenes that appear most reminiscent to me of the 1988 Milltown killings.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporals_killings

      Plainly the Israelis screwed up, but I vote for incompetence over design - certainly the people on the boat were spoiling for a fight and some of their supporters will have been delighted by the outcome.

      I agree with the observation that the video is a sign that some Israelis are becoming like Millwall fans - everybody hates us and we don’t care.

      To some extent the attitudes of the anti-American Left, alongside the Islamic world, contribute to this - if they can never do any right, then why the hell bother?

    26. boyo — on 7th June, 2010 at 3:46 pm  

      Though obviously the Israelis certainly don’t help themselves!

    27. Sofia — on 7th June, 2010 at 3:47 pm  

      yes when israelis kill palestinians..it’s always incompetence..never design…they’re proper stupid those israelis aren’t they?

    28. boyo — on 7th June, 2010 at 4:03 pm  

      no, not always, but i prefer not to buy in to the stereotype of the clever jew sofia. i prefer to hang on to the somewhat unfashionable belief that they’re just like the rest of us.

    29. bananabrain — on 7th June, 2010 at 4:21 pm  

      sofia: the attribution of what is termed “motiveless malignancy” to the intentions of any group does not generally fill the reader with confidence in the impartiality of the writer.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    30. MaidMarian — on 7th June, 2010 at 4:25 pm  

      Sofia - I don’t think that any of the dead on the flotilla were Palestinian.

    31. damon — on 7th June, 2010 at 4:58 pm  

      Another four Palestinians killed off the coast of Gaza.
      This take on it, on that Irish political site I mentioned earlier is a good example of the way that many people are now just polarised over this issue.

      It’s irreverent and vey slack, but I couldn’t help laughing at some of the comments.
      These fellas have Irish accents remember.

      http://www.politics.ie/current-affairs/131178-israelis-kill-4-swimmers.html

    32. cjcjc — on 7th June, 2010 at 5:05 pm  

      Of course given that Dublin has a statue to a Nazi collaborator, the Irish might not be the best people to look to on this kind of issue!

      http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/kevin-myers/eichmann-would-get-a-statue-if-hed-had-an-irish-grandmother-1815598.html

    33. Fred — on 7th June, 2010 at 5:40 pm  

      Sunny should make clear that the IDF did NOT retract their claim about the audio clip, but simply clarified that they could not be sure the comment about Auschwitz was made by someone on the Mavi Marmara, but could have been made by someone on another of the convoy ships.

      Incidentally, it’s been estimated that some 3 million people in the UK suffer malnutrition (see here), a proportion not much less than in Gaza, despite the absence of an Israeli blockade.

    34. Lucy — on 7th June, 2010 at 5:48 pm  

      Going back to: 28:” i prefer not to buy in to the stereotype of the clever jew ” Wow! What a manipulation of the previous comment (27) is that remark… As if killing by military forces anywhere is never designed - and the only people ever accused of killing ‘by design’ are Israelis. That is absurd.
      Lest there is any confusion:Not all Jews are Israelis. Or approve of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians. Nor do all Israelis.

      hubris…arrogance

      more than incompetence, I think. Getting away with it. No, not in PR terms. In blood terms.

      re (30): It is true the dead on the flotilla were not Palestinian - not even Israeli Palestinians - though it is alleged that this was attempted:
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/05/hamas-fatah-israel-palestine.
      But since more Palestinians have been killed by Israeli militarists than Turks, Sofia’s point is easily understood, and since ending the boycott of Gaza is not unrelated to ending what many independent observers - too numerous to mention - consider to be an open prison for Gazans -1,400 of whom were killed in Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 by the IDF, as we know, her point was particularly well taken.

      Judging by the comments made by Israel Navy reserve officers [linked and quoted on the 'Pirates' thread]:
      “the responsibility…belongs principally to the hierarchy of commanders and those who approved the mission.” Deliberate policy. Failed, but deliberate. In their view. They are particularly riled by the blame placed on flotilla activists for the killing.
      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-navy-reserves-officers-allow-external-gaza-flotilla-probe-1.294536
      Officers denounce operation as ‘military and diplomatic failure’…

    35. Saj — on 7th June, 2010 at 6:06 pm  

      cjcjc
      “Of course given that Dublin has a statue to a Nazi collaborator, the Irish might not be the best people to look to on this kind of issue!”

      Ah yes the holocaust alibi- dont leave home without it
      When non-Jews speak out against Isreali atrocities they are anti-semites; when Jews speak out they are self-hating Jews.

      and I’m suprised you didnt blame Israel’s action on the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

    36. Saj — on 7th June, 2010 at 6:06 pm  

      cjcjc
      “Of course given that Dublin has a statue to a Nazi collaborator, the Irish might not be the best people to look to on this kind of issue!”

      Ah yes the holocaust alibi- dont leave home without it
      When non-Jews speak out against Isreali atrocities they are anti-semites; when Jews speak out they are self-hating Jews.

      and I’m suprised you didnt blame Israel’s action on the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

    37. boyo — on 7th June, 2010 at 6:09 pm  

      @ 34 Yes, but to be fair that’s not because they’re actually starving but because they don’t know how to eat proper.

    38. boyo — on 7th June, 2010 at 6:20 pm  

      @34 In “blood terms” Lucy? Really? Sofia’s inference was quite clear. I suggest you stop digging ;-)

      I agree with you it is “absurd” however.

    39. Cauldron — on 7th June, 2010 at 6:25 pm  

      @32 And let’s not forget that Eamon De Valera signed the book of condolence when Hitler died.

      It’s an interesting thought experiment to work through what might have happened had the UK government responded to Irish terrorism in the same way as the Israelis deal with Palestinian terrorism. I’m not sure that the conflict would have been solved by now, but the thought of pro-Noraid bars in Boston being bombed by the RAF is intensely pleasurable.

    40. Refresh — on 7th June, 2010 at 6:27 pm  

      Fred,

      I think you are missing the point here. Given the radio channels were open, it would not take much for anyone to utter those words - including the IDF or another agency. Then of course there is still the question of whether it was done in the editing rooms.

      If you read the clarification again, the IDF itself says it edited the exchange and don’t know where the comment came from.

      Note that, that comment was a necessary part of the narrative to then justify the claim al-Qaida ‘mercenaries’ were on board the flotilla. Which has now been retracted.

      Retraction of the first was related to withdrawal of the second.

      The abysmal PR operation is leaving a lot of knee-jerk supporters looking a bit silly.

    41. cjcjc — on 7th June, 2010 at 6:30 pm  

      I can understand why you might be a little, erm, defensive about the Grand Mufti!

    42. earwicga — on 7th June, 2010 at 6:34 pm  

      Fred @ 33 - the report you link to clearly states that it relates to malnutrition in the elderly of the UK. The average age of Gazans is 16, in the UK it is 39.

    43. soru — on 7th June, 2010 at 6:53 pm  

      we are quickly becoming similar to North Korea

      I do think that risks becoming relevant in understanding current Israeli policy.

      The population of NK is 24 million. From the resources of that population, while under pretty comprehensive and long term sanctions, North Korea has the capability to defend itself against pretty much any chance of outside military intervention. Invading it would cost even a joint US/Chinese alliance a million or more casualties: several hundred Iraqs.

      Israel’s population is 7 million, with a higher proportion of educated and productive workers and no starving peasants. It’s entirely plausible that a faction of the ruling coalition see North Korean levels of military self-reliance as a achievable goal.

      In order to get to that position of military juche, alternative security arrangements (collective self-defence, or remaining a US client) must be discredited. Existing allies must be tested for unconditional reliability, distant potential threats brought forward into the here-and-now. Spending on consumer goods must be minimised, lifestyles kept Spartan, paranoia promoted.

      From that perspective, dependence on military aid gives the donor an unacceptable leverage, constrains necessary freedom of action. No country would want to be one freak US election result from destruction.

      But if aid is given freely, you can’t plausibly say no to it. So you have to cut it off at source.

      If current attempts to piss of the US fail, it will be grimly interesting to see what Lieberman&co try next…

    44. cjcjc — on 7th June, 2010 at 7:41 pm  

      North Korea.

      Right.

      Now I have really heard it all.

    45. BenSix — on 7th June, 2010 at 7:41 pm  

      I note that, rather than defend his claim, cjcjc‘s still dropping one-liners like an MC spits his rhymes. Plus ça change…

      Fred -

      …it’s been estimated that some 3 million people in the UK suffer malnutrition (see here)…

      From your link…

      Researchers estimated that of the three million either malnourished or at risk of malnutrition

      Earwicga’s comment re: age is also relevant; many of those affected in Gaza are children.

      The report said the health cost of the problem was also likely to be in the region of £13bn - twice as high as some previous estimates.

      Malnourished people stay in hospital longer, succumb to infection more often and visit their GP more frequently.

      The blockade, of course, helps to ensure that Gazans are denied that option.

    46. cjcjc — on 7th June, 2010 at 7:56 pm  

      What claim?

      That Gaza isn’t a “concentration camp”?

      Perhaps you aren’t wholly familiar with what went on in concentration camps?
      The comparison is a best infantile and at worst disgusting.
      But then I expect in some cases it is meant to me.

    47. Don — on 7th June, 2010 at 8:24 pm  

      Is that actually your understanding of current Israeli policy?

    48. earwicga — on 7th June, 2010 at 8:32 pm  

      Unfortunately I have to agree with cjcjc at 45. The term ‘concentration camp’ has no place in a discussion about Gaza.

    49. BenSix — on 7th June, 2010 at 8:34 pm  

      Ah, moral outrage! Well, that’s one of the courses that you could have taken. Of course, your claim - let’s remind ourselves - was that the line “we must go on, pretending day by day, that there is in Gaza, crisis hunger and plague“[sic] represents “an accurate description of the “Gaza is a concentration camp” crowd“. Yet, as I’ve shown, there is massive hunger, and there has been crisis. Your claim, then - that the video’s “accurate” - isn’t, er - accurate.

      Perhaps you aren’t wholly familiar with what went on in concentration camps?

      Different things happen in different concentration camps. I don’t use the term in relation to Gaza, but, then, I haven’t given descriptors much thought.

    50. Fred — on 7th June, 2010 at 8:36 pm  

      This study found malnutrition affecting a significant proportion of children in Gaza AND the West Bank. Rates were higher in Gaza than in the West Bank. The study was conducted PRIOR to the imposition of the blockade (under which foodstuffs and medicines are not embargoed).

      Furthermore, this study conducted in Egypt found higher rates of malnutrition amongst Alexandrian children than amongst Palestinian children.

      All easily accessible with a few minutes googling, ladies and gentlemen. If you are going to demonize Israel you really are going to have to try a bit harder next time.

    51. cjcjc — on 7th June, 2010 at 8:44 pm  

      Hahaha - I think you’ll find that (the most tiresome and petulant kind of) moral outrage tends to be the preserve of the Israel haters.

      But you know that already.

      Respectfully
      cjcjc

    52. BenSix — on 7th June, 2010 at 8:49 pm  

      Fred -

      That’s from 2005. A more recent study (quoted in comment 8) found that “food security has markedly worsened in the Gaza Strip since the blockade started in 2007 and further more immediately after the Israeli military offensive at the end of 2008“.

      And, no, I’m not going to “demonize Israel“; I’m going to point out that its blockade is inflicting pain on hapless men, women and children. That’s because, my friend, it is.

      cjcjc

      I think you’ll find that (the most tiresome and petulant kind of) moral outrage tends to be the preserve of the Israel haters.

      And I should care because…? (By the way, you’re still wrong.)

    53. douglas clark — on 7th June, 2010 at 9:14 pm  

      OK.

      Gaza is not a concentration camp, and that is hyperbole. But what does seem a better analogy is that it is a city under siege. Things that any modern state would take for granted - free trade for instance - is controlled my someone else. Access to your city is also controlled by a naval blockade and border points. Access to goods and services are also at the beck and call of another party.

      Cast Lead was probably the equivalent of medieval siege engines such as the trebuchet. Sieges back then could go on a long, long time.

      Next time you are protesting outside the Houses of Parliament, you should take a look Rodins’ statue, The Burgers of Calais. I think these pieces of cast bronze say quite a lot about how the victims of a siege, or Cast Lead as some would have it, actually feel.

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/18/The.burg.of.calais.london.arp.750pix.jpg

    54. martin — on 7th June, 2010 at 9:14 pm  

      Cauldron
      “@32 And let’s not forget that Eamon De Valera signed the book of condolence when Hitler died.”

      Or that the Israeli state was founded by terrorism such as the King David Hotel bombing which killed 91 British citizens (and whose 60th anniversary was celebrated by Israeli leaders including present one Netanyahu) as well as the ethnic cleansing of its Arab population and that terrorists such as Yithzak Shamir and Menachem Begin (who collaborated with the Nazis) and war criminals like Ariel Sharon have been elected as leaders in Israel not to mention extremists racist loonies like the Shas party, Moledat and the present foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman been part of various Israeli governemnts.

    55. earwicga — on 7th June, 2010 at 9:15 pm  

      Anybody care to tackle damon’s questions from 9?

      Perhaps it’s time to move on a bit from the events on the Mavi Marmara and try to talk about how this whole mess will be sorted out once and for all.
      Ending the blockade of Gaza is just the first and most obvious step. If Gaza port is to be opened to the world and under local control, how will Israel’s security be protected?

      It would be a lot more interesting than constantly stating one’s position.

      Naadir Jeewa - thank you for the link to the TVO programme. Very interesting, as is the Peter Beinart article on the NY Review of Books.

    56. martin — on 7th June, 2010 at 9:18 pm  

      cjcjc
      “I can understand why you might be a little, erm, defensive about the Grand Mufti!”

      Or why you might be a little defensive about zionist leaders’ collaboration with the Nazis, their expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and excellent relations with fellow apartheid state South Africa.

    57. cjcjc — on 7th June, 2010 at 9:23 pm  

      Is it a full moon?

    58. Sarah AB — on 7th June, 2010 at 9:24 pm  

      earwicga and damon - here’s an example of a relevant positive initiative.

      http://www.childrenofpeace.org.uk/charity-noticeboard.html#STAND

    59. Fred — on 7th June, 2010 at 9:33 pm  

      I’m going to point out that its blockade is inflicting pain on hapless men, women and children.

      Indeed it is, tragically. The party ultimately responsible for that suffering is Hamas. The purpose of the blockade is to deny Hamas the ability to launch terrorist attacks. That’s why food and medicine are being allowed through, pretty unusual for a military blockade, you’ll agree.

    60. earwicga — on 7th June, 2010 at 9:37 pm  

      Sarah AB - I think perhaps you meant this link: http://www.childrenofpeace.org.uk/peace-charity-projects.html#CONFLICT

      I certainly won’t be running a marathon with damon!

      Fred - go away now. All relevant information regarding the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is in the public domain. If you choose not to believe it then fair enough, but stop writing rubbish here.

    61. MaidMarian — on 7th June, 2010 at 9:51 pm  

      earwicga - As much as many don’t want to face it, Israel’s security is an issue here and opening the port would have security implications.

      The tempting answer is some sort of international administration, however the experiences of Bosnia, Kosovo and South Ossetia does not exactly fill one with confidence in the International Community or its faux law.

      Similarly, as painful as it is to say, it doesn’t altogether look like democracy is the answer either. If Hamas is the outcome of elections, that does not suggest a democratic impulse to peace.

      So how to protect Israel’s security? The only straw in the wind I can think of is some sort of Arab police-style force along the PROXIMA model that has sort of worked OK-ish in the Balkans. The problem is the PROXIMA grew from EUFOR which was a much more hands on intervention so the model would not be a good fit.

      As an aside, some on here have mentioned North Korea. Personally, I am far more worried about a North Korean nuclear weapon than an Iranian one, but no one seems to want to see North Korea as any sort of problem.

    62. Fred — on 7th June, 2010 at 10:21 pm  

      Fred – go away now.

      Where to, Poland or Germany?

    63. FlyingRodent — on 7th June, 2010 at 10:41 pm  

      An accurate description of the “Gaza is a concentration camp” crowd.

      Well, quite. A concentration camp is somewhere that a large population, mostly civilian, is interred and segregated from society, often for a period of years, due to some characteristic of racial or political undesirability, generally under harsh or oppressive conditions, with ingress and egress of people, supplies, humanitarian aid, and so on strictly curtailed or suspended altogether.

      Gaza, on the other hand, is “blockaded”, which is much presumably much nicer, with none of the above criteria being met.

      P.S. I know that people come out with some Godawful, ridiculous Nazi comparisons when talking Israel/Palestine, whichever side they’re harping on about. If you’re going to chuckle about Israel’s official policy of imprisoning and immiserating one and a half million people though, you pretty much deserve to have that one stuck right up you.

    64. BenSix — on 7th June, 2010 at 10:55 pm  

      cjcjc now appears to be talking to himself. Perhaps he’ll have more luck in getting answers than the rest of us…

      Fred -

      The purpose of the blockade is to deny Hamas the ability to launch terrorist attacks. That’s why food and medicine are being allowed through, pretty unusual for a military blockade, you’ll agree.

      Some resources are permitted. Much, however, isn’t…

      Bailey expressed frustration at the ever-changing list of goods Israel allows in. School textbooks, clothes, shoes, toys, lentils, pasta, pumpkin, fruit juice, chocolate, cigarettes, toilet paper, musical instruments and seedlings are amongst the items banned.

      “Every month the list changes, so we are not sure what will and won’t be permitted to enter the following month, and this makes it harder to coordinate relief,” Bailey told IPS.

      As this impeccably left-wing source details…

      The crisis may be more an economic one, yet there are clearly humanitarian aspects to it.

      For children, hunger is beginning to bite. More than one in three babies is anaemic, while nearly one in ten is malnourished, according to a survey sponsored by the Danish government. For their older siblings it is increasingly hard to find a place in school as none have been built since the blockade began.

      For their parents, life is equally tough.The average income of adults has fallen by a third over the same period, says Mr Shaban, while UNRWA estimates that 80 per cent of all Gazans rely on it for food aid.

    65. Saj — on 7th June, 2010 at 11:44 pm  

      The Israelis have a long history of this

      Remember this?

      Israeli army t-shirts incite rape and baby killing

      http://adamite.wordpress.com/2009/03/22/israeli-army-t-shirts-incite-rape-and-baby-killing/

    66. Sunny — on 7th June, 2010 at 11:44 pm  

      P.S. I know that people come out with some Godawful, ridiculous Nazi comparisons when talking Israel/Palestine, whichever side they’re harping on about. If you’re going to chuckle about Israel’s official policy of imprisoning and immiserating one and a half million people though, you pretty much deserve to have that one stuck right up you.

      nail, head.

    67. douglas clark — on 7th June, 2010 at 11:51 pm  

      Fyling Rodent @ 62,

      Well, yes,

      Gaza is blockaded by folk that don’t appear to give a fuck about Gaza. And excuse that boycot, and the miserable bastards that love it when the screw is turned?

    68. Refresh — on 7th June, 2010 at 11:56 pm  

      MaidMarian,

      I take issue with your call for more security for Israel, when its the Palestinians that need protection from the Israelis.

      An answer to this would be a UN protection force, but sadly I doubt any contributor nations could be found given the UN blue flags and blue helmets mean nothing to the Israelis if the experience of southern Lebanon is anything to go by.

    69. Lucy — on 8th June, 2010 at 12:43 am  

      Where is the ‘Gaza is a concentration camp’ crowd?

      This reference is cjcjc’s recycled on this thread and spread like wildfire.

      It wasn’t on the demo, neither on the march, nor on the lips of the many speakers…

      Just googled it and first entry is Ron Paul, second the Vatican. Not exactly on the lips of the masses…

      ??? Through the looking glass

    70. soru — on 8th June, 2010 at 12:46 am  

      Ending the blockade of Gaza is just the first and most obvious step. If Gaza port is to be opened to the world and under local control, how will Israel’s security be protected?

      NATO membership.

      People outside Israel sometimes forget that it was hardly much longer ago than the Falklands war that Israel was attacked by surprise with tank columns, and the USA (and the rest of the world) watched it on the news.

      A hard guarantee of collective security would remove the kind of fears that drive the popularity of the far right. It would provide a real, untrumpable security guarantee in a way that North Korean-style militant Spartism never could. Despite some of the exaggerated claims of Israeli military prowess, 7M people is just not enough to support a regionally-dominant army in the long term. If everyone is in the army, it will inevitably include all the people other professional militaries turn down. With foreseeable consequences that make the front pages every 6 months or so.

      The big cost is the non-zero possibility of the West getting into a hot war as a consequence. Which I guess is why you never hear any politician suggest it…

      But pay that cost, and tie it together with something like the 3-state solution:
      If the West Bank achieves meaningful concessions from Israel, gets some level of autonomy, economic growth, territorial integrity, and even some of the big dreams like shared control of Jerusalem, than Hamas’ argument that Israel is operating in bad faith will be seriously eroded, and Gazans may start to realize that they can join the process, and Hamas’ support will be eroded as well. Gaza will turn the tide of extremism, and start to follow the path of non-violence.

      In short, collectively reward the West Bank, instead of collectively punishing Gaza.

      Closely involve at least Egypt and Jordan. Set up some kind of regional free trade area with a special relationship with the EU.

      Collect Nobel prize (or another one, if your name is Obama).

    71. Refresh — on 8th June, 2010 at 12:47 am  

      ‘This reference is cjcjc’s recycled on this thread and spread like wildfire.’

      But it served his purpose. cjcjc should be left to howl at the moon.

    72. Refresh — on 8th June, 2010 at 12:51 am  

      ‘Collect Nobel prize (or another one, if your name is Obama).’

      Better to recycle the one given to Shimon Peres, its clearly proven to be a millstone round his ego.

    73. Lucy — on 8th June, 2010 at 1:09 am  

      Max Blumenthal’s latest:
      http://maxblumenthal.com/2010/06/pro-idf-anti-turkish-rally-in-tel-aviv-or-a-glimpse-into-collective-israeli-derangement/

      “The rally provided a clear window into the mentality of many Israelis after the raid. International condemnation has deepened the public’s siege mentality, leading many demonstrators to claim that anti-Semitism best explained the world’s motives. The belief that the Mavi Marmara was a terrorist ship with support from an assortment of Islamic evildoers including Al Qaida was nearly unanimous, and was offered by rally participants as an excuse for their killing. Many viewed the incident out in the shadow of the Holocaust, convinced that Marmara passengers had shouted at the commandos, “Go back to Auschwitz!”

      Such convictions were understandable in light of the aggressive propaganda campaign the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli Foreign Ministry have waged in the wake of the flotilla raid. The IDF has claimed that it discovered 40 “Al Qaeda mercenaries” on the Mavi Marmara and blasted out an audio clip purporting to show flotilla passengers proclaiming to the IDF, “Go back to Auschwitz!” Even though the IDF retracted its claim about Al Qaida operatives and was forced to concede that its “Auschwitz” audio clip was doctored, Israeli and American media outlets that reported the army’s claims have not corrected their stories. Consequently, many Israelis are accepting their government’s view without a second thought. As one demonstrator said, “I believe every word our soldiers. Every word!”

      -Israel is besieged…by righteousness.

    74. damon — on 8th June, 2010 at 2:13 am  

      The Queen of Fiddlestics @19

      and what about Egypt? Why do they have closed borders?

      http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6502H820100601

      In that link it seems that Egypt seals its border with Gaza because it doesn’t want to let Israel off with its responsibility to Gaza.

      I’m not sure if Israel (in the long term) will have any responsibility to keep its land borders open with Gaza. Why should it?
      Any more than Malaysia has a responsibility to provide Singapore with nearly all of its drinking water.
      It does so because they have friendly ties.

      I can’t find the post now, but someone brought up the plight of a seriously ill Palestinian boy who suffered from a traumatic birth, and needs hospital attention, and the poster gave it as an example of Israel’s cruelty, as the boy could really benifit from some medical care in Israel or Germany but couldn’t get out of Gaza.

      I just wondered why couldn’t the Egyptians take him.
      Or send him on to Saudi Arabia. Why is it Israel’s responsibility? It sounds a bit hard hearted, but half of Africa might also benifit from Israel and Germany’s healthcare systems too, but no one really demands that all sick African children be taken to those countries.

    75. Lucy — on 8th June, 2010 at 6:23 am  

      It’s down to the whims of either Israeli or Egyptian border control authorities - or the governments that exercise control over them - to let people out - to anywhere - even if all other arrangements are in place ie it’s an open prison. Nor are materials or equipment to furnish and supply hospitals allowed in - by Israeli authorities or Egyptian authorities.

      What about what about what about what about what about what we don’t demand for the rest of the world all in the same breath. Absolutely Damon.

      What about foreign vessels that restricted fishing off the coast of Somalia and encouraged the growth of piracy there? What about that…too!!

      What about if the demands for Gaza were met from a country which prides itself on being the only democracy in the region? These are such bleeding heart issues. What about forgetting about them?

      http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11275.shtml
      “Aside from denying Palestinians in Gaza an astonishing number of the most basic of daily items, as well as material vitally needed for reconstruction or in the health sector or for schools and universities, the siege is a psychological attack and strangulation which has pronounced affects on Palestinians dreams, hopes and daily realities.

      “I’ve tried on various occasions to leave Gaza, for workshops abroad and for study,” says 24-year-old Majed. “But even when I’ve secured visas and invitations, the closed Israeli and Egyptian borders have prevented me from leaving.”

      Hey. Tough. Stay in prison. You are a Gazan. There are lots of people living in the UK who aren’t doing too well either. Or can’t meet their dreams or have them in the first place. So that’s that then. Let’s spread the misery. Down with the demands of Gazans.

    76. cjcjc — on 8th June, 2010 at 8:28 am  

      What about what about what about indeed.
      What about recognising Israel’s right to exist?
      What about stopping the rockets?

      How would we behave faced with this:
      “The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”
      Backed up by the rockets and the suicide bombings.
      The Jew hatred spewed out every day to children by Hamas TV.
      How do you think we would behave?

      What about what about what about.
      What about this Rachel’s dreams, and those of her parents?

      “Rachel Thaler, aged 16, was blown up at a pizzeria in an Israeli shopping mall. She died after an 11-day struggle for life following a suicide bomb attack on a crowd of teenagers on 16 February 2002. Even though Thaler was a British citizen, born in London, where her grandparents still live, her death has never been mentioned in a British newspaper.”

      http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/6061198/the-other-rachel.thtml

      How would we behave?

    77. FlyingRodent — on 8th June, 2010 at 9:15 am  

      How would we behave?

      Oh, probably attack Dublin, blow up half its bridges, a port, an airport, bakeries, petrol stations, shops, civilian transports etc., I imagine. Then tell anyone who complains to go fuck themselves.

      Then we’d blockade Northern Ireland in a deliberate policy of inflicting misery on the populace while launching routine raids into its territory and then flinging billions of dollars worth of cutting edge high explosives into heavily-populated urban areas… And you know, go fuck yourselves.

      We’d definitely build towns for our citizens on every piece of Irish land we could quietly grab and we’d for real attack any vessels approaching with aid and shoot a load of civilians in the face before telling anyone and everyone to go fuck themselves.

      Look son, I sympathise entirely with what you’re saying here, and I can well imagine how Britain would go in a similar scenario. The point here is that all of the above actions have been borderline insane and totally counterproductive. The only thing they’ve achieved is to lock the Israeli people in a padded cell of their government’s making and the only place it’s going is to 100% ultraviolence all the time.

      The time for hand-waving away the violent lunacy of either side is long since over, if there ever was a time. Every new operation the Israelis launch forces the Palestinians further into bed with the creepiest, looniest factions of their ruling classes, and vice versa. The sooner everybody gets down with that, the better in my view.

    78. Malnourishment — on 8th June, 2010 at 9:20 am  

      If the children of Palestine and Alexandria are reported as being malnourished would not this be exacerbated by lower socio-economic groups having large families which they cannot afford? A situation which one found in Ireland where the RC church banned the use of contraception until not too long ago?

      @Nadeer Jiwah - you made my day! “I do not listen to much to Cockburn after he became a climate denialist”. ROFL - do you expect people to listen to you after such an incredibly educated and well thought out position? Still ROFL

    79. MaidMarian — on 8th June, 2010 at 9:21 am  

      Refresh - ‘I take issue with your call for more security for Israel, when its the Palestinians that need protection from the Israelis.’

      If you check back up the thread, I was responding to earwicga who was responding to an earlier comment raising the point of Israeli security.

    80. cjcjc — on 8th June, 2010 at 9:28 am  

      Wow there’s objectivity.
      And needless to say I am not your “son”.

      No wonder you have washed up on the friendlier shores of PP - must be tiring getting your butt kicked all the time at HP!

    81. FlyingRodent — on 8th June, 2010 at 9:32 am  

      @cjcjc: http://tinyurl.com/c67xn5

    82. cjcjc — on 8th June, 2010 at 9:43 am  

      Thanks for that, Dad.

    83. douglas clark — on 8th June, 2010 at 9:49 am  

      cjcjc @79.

      HP is a lunatic asylum.

    84. douglas clark — on 8th June, 2010 at 10:10 am  

      Son.

    85. Refresh — on 8th June, 2010 at 10:56 am  

      MaidMarian, thanks for the clarification.

      Soru,

      Membership of NATO would be disastrous for Europe, US, Middle East (especially Israel) and the rest of the world.

      Can you imagine how many perceived and manufactured slights will be turned by Israel into calls on NATO to go invading, invariably a muslim country?

      They do it now and they are not even in NATO.

      No - Israel’s security rests within itself. It needs psychotherapy on a national scale, not donations of clusterweapons, napalm and phosporous bombs.

    86. cjcjc — on 8th June, 2010 at 11:15 am  

      Thank you Lord Nelson.
      Now I have two dads.
      How trendy!

    87. Cauldron — on 8th June, 2010 at 12:01 pm  

      I thought this was a thoughtful article on the underlying realpolitics

      http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20100607_limits_public_opinion_arabs_israelis_and_strategic_balance?utm_source=GWeekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=100608&utm_content=readmore&elq=b3cd573f76ae47c39154719cf03a24eb

    88. douglas clark — on 8th June, 2010 at 12:11 pm  

      cjcjc,

      It is about parental authority son.

      Do you agree with me that HP is a lunatic asylum, or not?

      If it is the latter, you will obviously be cut out from my will!

      __________________________

      Which reminds me, I really ought to have one…

    89. Lucy — on 8th June, 2010 at 2:39 pm  

      Update: Max Blumenthal>NYTimes:
      http://maxblumenthal.com/
      NY Times Lede blogger Robert Mackey has cataloged some of the IDF’s most egregious fabrications and distortions and provided a gallery of new photos smuggled off the Mavi Marmara that blow the IDF’s version of events out of the water. Among the distortions Mackey mentioned was the doctoring of the now-notorious “Auschwitz” clip:

      http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/07/photographs-of-battered-israeli-commandos-show-new-side-of-raid/The second video is  a short clip of what the I.D.F. said were audio transmissions Israel’s navy received from the Mavi Marmara before the raid. The clip suggested that a polite request from the navy to the ship was met with responses from three people who said: “Shut up — go back to Auschwitz,” “We have permission from the Gaza Port Authority to enter,” and “We’re helping Arabs going against the U.S., don’t forget 9/11, guys.”
      This clip, posted on the I.D.F.’s official YouTube channel on Friday, was met with immediate skepticism by some bloggers and journalists in Israel. Max Blumenthal pointed out in a post on his blog that the I.D.F. had already released  video of what seemed like the same exchange four days earlier in which the only reply from the ship was “Negative, negative. Our destination is Gaza. Our destination is Gaza.”
      Mr. Blumenthal suggested that at least one of the voices making the inflammatory remarks in the clip “sounded like an impersonation of an Arab.” He also noted that Huwaida Arraf, one of the organizers of the flotilla, said that it was her voice saying “We have permission from the Gaza Port Authority to enter.” But Ms. Arraf was not on the Mavi Marmara, which suggested that the I.D.F. tape was not an unedited snippet of the exchange between the naval ship and the Mavi Marmara.
      On Saturday, the I.D.F. published what it called a “Clarification/Correction” regarding the clip which said that the audio had been edited. The military’s statement insisted that the audio of the exchange was genuine, but had been condensed for clarity:
      There have been questions regarding the authenticity of the recording as well as its attribution to a communication with the Mavi Marmara.
      So to clarify: the audio was edited down to cut out periods of silence over the radio as well as incomprehensible comments so as to make it easier for people to listen to the exchange. We have now uploaded the entire segment of 5 minutes and 58 seconds in which the exchange took place and the comments were made.
      This transmission had originally cited the Mavi Marmara ship as being the source of these remarks, however, due to an open channel, the specific ship or ships in the “Freedom Flotilla” responding to the Israeli Navy could not be identified.
      The  longer clip, which the I.D.F. calls the “Unedited Radio Transmission Between Gaza Flotilla and Israeli Navy,” also includes the audio of the inflammatory statements, but since they are snippets of audio over a black screen, it is impossible to verify their authenticity.

    90. earwicga — on 8th June, 2010 at 3:07 pm  

      Equally Lucy, it is impossible to refute their authenticity.

      Thanks MaidMarian for your reply. Obviously security is needed by a third party for both Palestine and Israel. I look forward to details of the cited ‘creative solutions’ promised this week, but also note that Condoleezza Rice used the exact same phrase in 2008 when she also said Hamas were solely to blame for the situation in the Gaza.

      Malnourishment - there are plenty of studies available on the internet regarding contraception in Palestine. As you would expect, war zones kinda get in the way of effective reproductive control. Emergency contraception in particular is difficult to access - the sort needed after sexual violence which is increased in a war zone.

    91. Refresh — on 8th June, 2010 at 3:09 pm  

      cjcjc,

      ‘Now I have two dads.
      How trendy!’

      What do you mean? Please elaborate if you can. I don’t want to read too much into it so an explanation would help me.

    92. cjcjc — on 8th June, 2010 at 3:14 pm  

      Both Rodent and Douglas referred to me as “son”.
      The second line was meant to be a vague joke.

      Meanwhile, on the Auschwitz theme, here are some attractive pictures from last week’s rally in Istanbul.

      http://hurryupharry.org/2010/06/08/pro-flotilla-rally-“hitler-we-need-you”/

    93. Lucy — on 8th June, 2010 at 5:13 pm  

      earwicga @89 - Yep. As one of the posters said in the comment section on MB’s site, we could have done without editorialising - let people make up their own minds - or wait for more material - should it arrive. But when anyone or any group deliberately doctor something the onus of proof falls on them - inevitably. It is rare for the NY Times to be critical of Israel. There has been a change…or a blip. I imagine few investigative journalists can resist the kind of forensic examination this material requires…

    94. bananabrain — on 9th June, 2010 at 3:02 pm  

      If the children of Palestine and Alexandria are reported as being malnourished would not this be exacerbated by lower socio-economic groups having large families which they cannot afford? A situation which one found in Ireland where the RC church banned the use of contraception until not too long ago?

      and a similar situation found in israel in the case of lower socio-economic groups with large families. according to this website, 22% of israelis are undernourished:

      http://mazon.org/get-involved/hunger-resources/facts/international/

      Of those Israeli citizens who are food insecure, 60% are Jewish, 20% are Arab, and 20% are new immigrants.

      the jews and new immigrants referred to are, i would suggest, far more likely to be ethiopian or ultra-orthodox than russian, although i can’t evidence that.

      Malnourishment – there are plenty of studies available on the internet regarding contraception in Palestine. As you would expect, war zones kinda get in the way of effective reproductive control. Emergency contraception in particular is difficult to access – the sort needed after sexual violence which is increased in a war zone.

      i would be very surprised indeed if palestinians were great users of contraception at any time, given the traditional religious positions of most of them. i presume that you can point me to a study comparing the use of contraception by palestinian arabs to that of israeli arabs, which might make this point rather more convincing? blaming poor take-up of contraception in palestine on the israelis feels like reaching, rather.

      Fred – go away now.

      earwicga, you’re not helping your emerging reputation as someone who doesn’t tolerate dissent. fred made some reasonable points; your objections appear to be doctrinaire.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    95. zec — on 9th June, 2010 at 9:56 pm  

      It is a clever video

    96. Refresh — on 9th June, 2010 at 11:01 pm  

      ‘i would be very surprised indeed if palestinians were great users of contraception at any time, given the traditional religious positions of most of them.’

      I am not aware of any religious restrictions on use of contraception.

    97. damon — on 10th June, 2010 at 12:06 am  

      From the Guardian:

      A delegation of gay residents of Tel Aviv has been banned from joining a gay pride march in Madrid because authorities in the Israeli city have not condemned the recent attack on the Gaza flotilla.

      “After what has happened, and as human rights campaigners, it seemed barbaric to us to have them taking part,” explained Antonio Poveda, of Spain’s Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transexuals and Bisexuals. “We don’t just defend out own little patch.”

      This is where some of this virulent anti-Israeli ideology can lead you.
      This is a backward move IMO.

    98. Refresh — on 10th June, 2010 at 12:12 am  

      ‘This is where some of this virulent anti-Israeli ideology can lead you.
      This is a backward move IMO.’

      This is how it went for apartheid South Africa. When influential states don’t deal with the problem, it finally lands in the court of public opinion.

    99. Lucy — on 10th June, 2010 at 1:08 am  

      It’s not hard to understand the Madrid position: “We don’t just defend our own little patch.” Well done them.

      From that same article: “”They [organisers of the gay pride event in Madrid] would be able to talk to Arab gays who travel here [Tel Aviv] secretly because they would be murdered at home if they revealed their sexuality.”

      Curious how they got in ‘secretly’. Air?

      Sea? Perish the thought.

      Through the checkpoint …darkly..???

      Is there a secret gay ‘no borders’ org. in Israel exclusive to gays???

      So the Israeli pecking order recognises, first of all, the superiority of Israelis…some of them at any rate - Jewish Israelis, that is - over other [Jewish] Israelis.

      But gay Arabs? where do they fit in? before or after Ethiopian Jewish Israelis???

      And whaddabout Darfur? Where do they fit in?????

    100. damon — on 10th June, 2010 at 9:28 am  

      How many other countries citizens could the Madrid gay pride march also exclude?
      Britain for a start because of Iraq and Afghanistan - and even in the past, our behavior in Northen Ireland.

      What have these Israeli civilians got to do with what happened in the Mediterranean?

    101. cjcjc — on 10th June, 2010 at 9:55 am  

      But gay Arabs? Where do they fit in?

      In the condemned cell if they are unfortunate enough to be ruled by Hamas, that’s for sure.

    102. bananabrain — on 10th June, 2010 at 11:41 am  

      I am not aware of any religious restrictions on use of contraception.

      although i understand islam is quite liberal about such things compared to judaism and indeed parts of christianity, i know that the sort of salafi-influenced ideologues that do the religious thinking (such as it is) in gaza are not keen; not religious perhaps, but certainly cultural.

      lucy: clearly your anti-israel prejudice fails to allow for the fact that there are israeli arabs, most of whom are well-integrated into israeli society. in the case of gay arabs, they are far more likely to be able to lead a fulfilling life in tel aviv, which is the most gay-friendly area in israel, than they are in traditional arab communities. so, no, no conspiracy needed. your reaction is instructive, however.

      What have these Israeli civilians got to do with what happened in the Mediterranean?

      the same thing, presumably, that i do - that is enough to condemn them irrevocably in the eyes of the lucys of this world.

      how terribly progressive.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    103. Shamit — on 10th June, 2010 at 12:19 pm  

      bananabrain -

      “your reaction is instructive, however.”

      Spot on - and she also wrote on this thread itself:

      “It is rare for the NY Times to be critical of Israel.”

      Actually it is quite common for NY Times to be critical.

      She has also called me inhuman for suggesting that IDF soldiers were forced into shooting people on one ship out of 6 because they were attacked.

    104. damon — on 10th June, 2010 at 4:09 pm  

      The Flotilla Wars: one stunt begets another
      Now, Israelis plan to sail a flotilla to Turkey to ‘raise awareness’ about the plight of Kurds and Armenians. The organisers talk to spiked.
      http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/8981/
      I presume this will be one of those articles that some mods realy find irritating. But what ever you might think of the people who wrote that … they’ve got a point haven’t they?

      In political terms, very little differentiates the ‘Gaza freedom’ flotilla and the Turkey-bound aid ships from Israel: both are PR stunts that use beleaguered peoples as political props to send a message about the decency of the seafaring campaigners themselves. Yet while the Gaza flotilla garnered massive international support, and is treated as a serious, legitimate effort by the global Great and Good to free Palestine from tyranny, the new Turkey-bound boats are likely to be treated as little more than an arrogant Israeli joke. Some self-serving political stunts are regarded more highly than others today.

    105. damon — on 10th June, 2010 at 4:20 pm  

      btw, I really hate this editing system that exists on PP. You can’t seem to edit beyond the first five lines - and to try any more will see you run out of time like I just did above.

    106. Refresh — on 10th June, 2010 at 7:17 pm  

      The only worse stunt they could try (apart from shooting dead some more), is put one of the settler groups into boats as a buffer between the next flotilla and the IDF.

      I must admit, I thought that’d be what they’d do.

    107. Lucy — on 11th June, 2010 at 2:50 am  

      bananabrain: When you write: ‘clearly your anti-israel prejudice fails to allow for the fact that there are israeli arabs, most of whom are well-integrated into israeli society’ I think you missed the point of that particular comment… I had not forgotten about Israeli Arabs.

      Israeli Jews are privileged with respect to Israeli Arabs. It’s written into law. Arabs are denied Israeli nationality and critics claim this is a way of undermining the citizenship rights of non-Jews in Israel, especially the Arab population.

      Recently political representation has been under attack. Kadina’s efforts to disenfranchise an Israeli Arab political party caused a ripple internationally, but that’s a ticket Avigdor Lieberman ran on, collected votes on in 2009.
      And there is the reaction against the aid flotilla and those Israeli Arabs who participated in it or supported it. …
      A recent vote in the Knesset called for revoking the Parliamentary privileges of MK Haneen Zoubi. She has also received death threats.
      http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/blog/freedom-flotilla-blog/1140-an-appeal-to-parliamentarians-worldwide

      New: Another punitive move against Israeli citizens - or residents of Israel - who support BDS. It doesn’t just apply to Israeli Arabs:
      http://jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com/2010/06/criminalising-bds.html
      “The Knesset has introduced a new bill which provides that Israeli citizens or residents of Israel could be sued by whoever was harmed by the boycott and would have to pay up to 30,000 shekels in restitution and an additional amount according to the harm established by the Israeli courts.”

      Shamit - It is a subject of dispute: the issue of whether IDF was ‘forced’ to shoot ‘one ship out of six’ or whether they selected that ship. Footage shot by the activists was confiscated by the IDF. It is not established that the Mavi Mamara was not singled out for special treatment by the IDF. That story is nowhere near cut and dry.

      I’ve linked up with this twice before, but, bananabrain, I don’t think you would claim that Israel Navy reserve officers are anti-Israel and they say that it’s a sham to blame the activists.
      Here’s the headline and, once again, the link:
      Israel Navy reserves officers: Allow external Gaza flotilla probe
      Officers denounce operation as ‘military and diplomatic failure’, slam government for placing blame on the activists.
      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-navy-reserves-officers-allow-external-gaza-flotilla-probe-1.294536

      Of note in this context: Nine Turks died, peppered with 9mm bullets, many,shot at close range http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/04/gaza-flotilla-activists-autopsy-results

      ===========
      Shamit, when you say ‘it is quite common for the NY Times to be critical’, what do you mean? In comparison to what? The NY Times’ coverage of the OPT or of the situation of Palestinians in general is not as reported on in the NY Times as is Israelis’ situations? Numbers of dead reported regularly is one stark comparison. I think ‘rare’ is apt.

      What were you referring to when you said the NY Times was commonly critical of Israel?

      http://pulsemedia.org/2010/02/14/the-new-york-times-and-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict-the-bronner-affair/
      http://www.ifamericansknew.org/media/nyt-report.html
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lysandra-ohrstrom/the-new-york-times-covera_b_452992.html
      http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/17560/muting_the_alarm_over_the_israelipalestinian_conflict.html

    108. Lucy — on 11th June, 2010 at 2:54 am  

      re: Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!

      I did. But the usual procedure didn’t happen.

    109. Arif — on 11th June, 2010 at 9:35 am  

      Damon #103 - that’s quite interesting, and I find it potentially quite a good development.

      On the one hand, the treatment of Kurds and Armenians in Turkey is unjust, and the Turkish Government should be held responsible for this.

      It is also encouraging that Israeli students are connecting the mistreatment of the Kurds with the mistreatment of the Palestinians - so they implictly accept the injustice of Israeli Government policy (and that the liberation struggle of the Palestinans does not negate their human rights any more than does the struggle of Kurdish groups).

      On the other hand, if they attempt to connect the campaign for Kurdish and Armenian human rights with a campaign to legitimise Israeli Government human rights abuses, then it will harm both the position of the Kurds and Armenians as well as the integrity of human rights.

      Overall though, I see it as a nonviolent and creative response to the flotilla they oppose, and perhaps opens up the possibility for new human rights campaigns, if it is attempted with any degree of integrity. Otherwise it will just do harm to the cause of the Kurds and Armenians and I assume they would distance themselves from the counter-flotilla, thereby undermining the value of the flotilla even as a self-serving stunt, if that is what is intended.

    110. Lucy — on 12th June, 2010 at 11:53 am  

      Iara Lee, a US filmmaker and human rights activist who was on board the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara smuggled this video
      http://gazaflotilla.delegitimize.com/statements/activist-statements/full-60-minute-footage-smuggled-from-mavi-marmara/

      One of the most interesting bits on this -IMHO fascinating - video is the sequence
      beginning from 44’20” , showing a document captured from one of the Israeli commando, which appears to be a hit-list of selected passengers, with pictures.

    111. cjcjc — on 12th June, 2010 at 12:41 pm  

      And here’s the ship’s captain giving a slightly different story.

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/gaza-flotilla-captain-activists-prepared-attack-against-idf-raid-1.295591

    112. Sarah AB — on 12th June, 2010 at 12:54 pm  

      Lucy - I don’t see how that can be termed a hit-list - unless there is evidence, that I can’t make out, that this is the case. There might be good reasons for wanting the soldiers to be able to identify key players - apart from wanting to kill them! Does anyone actually think the Israelis wanted this to end with several people dead - even if only for PR reasons I assume a bloodless operation was the *goal*.

    113. Refresh — on 12th June, 2010 at 2:24 pm  

      ‘Does anyone actually think the Israelis wanted this to end with several people dead – even if only for PR reasons I assume a bloodless operation was the *goal*.’

      We don’t know whether your assumption is reasonable, the regime is entirely capable of it. The propaganda value of striking fear into the defenceless is not unknown, especially if you are unaccountable.

      I believe you should encourage Shamit to join the call for release of all confiscated evidence.

    114. bananabrain — on 14th June, 2010 at 1:42 pm  

      I think you missed the point of that particular comment… I had not forgotten about Israeli Arabs.

      i was responding to the comment where you appeared to posit some sort of weird underground network rather than being able to bring yourself to deal with the fact that the metropolitan area of tel aviv is the only part of the middle east where a gay arab can live a gay-friendly lifestyle.

      Israeli Jews are privileged with respect to Israeli Arabs.

      yes, i know about that. it is not the point i was addressing.

      That story is nowhere near cut and dry.

      yet you seem anxious to suggest that this should result in the usual presumption of motiveless malignancy on israel’s part.

      It is also encouraging that Israeli students are connecting the mistreatment of the Kurds with the mistreatment of the Palestinians – so they implictly accept the injustice of Israeli Government policy (and that the liberation struggle of the Palestinans does not negate their human rights any more than does the struggle of Kurdish groups).

      on my recent trip there, it was a lot more than implicit acceptance - but this doesn’t reach the political classes in any meaningful way at the moment.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    115. Saj — on 14th June, 2010 at 3:16 pm  

      Why is this even a suprise given what we know about the Israelis?

      Book about killing gentile children becomes bestseller in Israel

      http://www.eutimes.net/2009/11/book-about-killing-gentile-children-becomes-bestseller-in-israel/

    116. Lucy — on 14th June, 2010 at 3:53 pm  

      “i was responding to the comment where you appeared to posit some sort of weird underground network rather than being able to bring yourself to deal with the fact that the metropolitan area of tel aviv is the only part of the middle east where a gay arab can live a gay-friendly lifestyle.”

      I find it hard to believe, bb, that you don’t know better than to think I was seriously positing something of that sort!! The premise of this thread was a ‘joke’ [see top 'Israelis making fun of the Gaza dead']. Surely that entitles a response laced with a little sarcasm now and then. I was mocking, don’t you know, mocking - and what was I mocking? The inability of the outraged gays from Israel hoping to take part in Madrid’s ‘Gay Pride to understand at all that nine people in the aid flotilla to Gaza were shot - shot many times - dead, killed, and it has provoked a certain outrage - a certain solidarity - whether or not those feeling outraged are gay, straight or both. It’s to my mind a little basic. If the Israeli gays in this particular instance can’t appreciate that, then what we’ve got is a big big failure in empathy! That is what the gay pride Madrid declaration was about - empathy. There is no point except self-immolation to ALWAYS bring up some other example of victimhood. As if the rest of the world was anti-Semitism fixated to the very marrow every time Israel is criticised. It is a sickness of the soul. Yes yes yes to those who will pop in and say but but but.. Good grief. It’s just a tad robotic having everyone always having to declare on a stack of bibles or torahs or korans or the surreal manifesto … or whatever… their belief that there is wrongdoing elsewhere…
      By the way, who said anything about ‘motiveless’? I didn’t. And I don’t. Power plus fear that ends in extreme militarism and the desire to maintain that at the expense of any other solution at all costs. why on earth is Vanunu always being arrested after serving his sentence? For meeting foreign nationals. Why on earth is that man not allowed to meet foreign nationals??? Naked power and the will to control. In whose interest is it?

    117. bananabrain — on 14th June, 2010 at 3:53 pm  

      without even looking, i know that you’re talking about the shapiro book, which has caused a huge scandal and is about as representative as the opinions of osama bin laden.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    118. bananabrain — on 14th June, 2010 at 4:16 pm  

      I find it hard to believe, bb, that you don’t know better than to think I was seriously positing something of that sort!!

      i was responding to your apparent lack of understanding of the use of the word “secretly” in the quote. the reason arab gays have to travel to tel aviv “secretly” - in other words, without telling their friends, family and neighbours - is because to do otherwise would put their lives at risk. you appeared not to understand this basic fact.

      The premise of this thread was a ‘joke’ [see top 'Israelis making fun of the Gaza dead']. Surely that entitles a response laced with a little sarcasm now and then.

      i am sorry, but i have a bit of a sense of humour failure about the way some people appear to believe that israelis consider the day a failure that they have not spent beating activists, eating babies and bombing hospitals. that is what i mean by the attribution of “motiveless malignancy”. the people there are just like you and i. the political class, on the other hand are idiots.

      The inability of the outraged gays from Israel hoping to take part in Madrid’s ‘Gay Pride to understand at all that nine people in the aid flotilla to Gaza were shot

      what nonsense. perhaps they didn’t see the issue as “cut and dried”, as you put it? it seems to me that that is what is being demanded. toe the line - or be boycotted, divested and sanctioned. how very productive.

      If the Israeli gays in this particular instance can’t appreciate that, then what we’ve got is a big big failure in empathy!

      i think what we have is the persecution of people based on their assumed solidarity with the political programme and military tactics of their government. gays from tel aviv are unlikely to have voted for netanyahu, lieberman or any of the seven nincompoops that approved this operation.

      Vanunu always being arrested after serving his sentence? For meeting foreign nationals. Why on earth is that man not allowed to meet foreign nationals??? Naked power and the will to control. In whose interest is it?

      i expect you think that burgess, philby and maclean should have been given an amnesty as well. as far as the israeli government is concerned, the guy’s a traitor. as it happens, i don’t really see that continuing to keep vanunu under the restrictions he’s under really helps anything practical, but these people have a bunker mentality; and if israeli gay pride marchers and string quartets and academics can be boycotted to punish their citizenship, then i can see why they end up feeling that way. i increasingly feel that way myself and i am far from a fan of the current israeli government as anyone who has been reading this site for any length of time will know - but i simply cannot tolerate the ridiculous demonisation that i see going on.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

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