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Archive for August 14th, 2014

 

Zionism vs. Arabism or islamism Or mainly the existance of Syrian Nation?

What is the frequent and successive preemptive wars on Gaza all about?  And how are the main actors performing?

ZIONISM VS. ARABISM, NOT HAMAS IN GAZA

Rami G. Khouri published this August 09, 2014

We should keep in mind two important elements of the frustrating continued uncertainties surrounding the situation in Gaza:

What is this war about, and how are the main actors performing?

First,  this is not just about Israel vs. Hamas in Gaza, as mainstream Israel-American media and politicians depict it, but rather about the deeper rights and demands of both Palestinians and Israelis.

Most analysts and politicians have focused on whether either Hamas or Israel have “won,” “lost,” or come out of this latest round of fighting in a tie.

That kind of very short-term analysis is useful in the span of days or weeks at a time, but the actual determinants of the ongoing clashes will likely remain the longer term drivers that have shaped this conflict for some 4 generations, effectively since the 1930s, when the conflict between Zionism and “Arabism” first ignited in Palestine.

Events are moving quickly. I write this a half hour after the Friday 8 am deadline for the 72-hour ceasefire to expire, and all kinds of possibilities are likely to occur.

These include renewed low-level fighting, all-out warfare, or an informal continued ceasefire followed by more negotiations, after both sides show their determination to kill each other until their demands are met, while Israel bizarrely refuses to acknowledge that repeated warfare has not achieved any of their key demands.

The attempt by Israelis-Americans mainly to focus only on Hamas’ options, tactics and aims is a mistaken diminution of the entire Palestinian national struggle for self-determination, rights and statehood.

They do this probably because it is easier for American-Israeli propagandists to highlight Hamas’ militancy rather than to grapple with the fact that all Palestinians — and most of the world, actually — support the demands that Hamas has articulated and that have been negotiated by the all-inclusive Palestinian delegation in Cairo.

So the next time you hear or read an Israeli-American journalist or politician talk about the position or demands of “Hamas,” simply substitute for “Hamas” the term “the Palestinian people” and you will get a more accurate reading of the situation.

Hamas receives disproportionate attention because it and its militant colleagues are the last Palestinians standing who use armed resistance to fight back against Zionist colonization, siege, assassination and savage attacks.

Hamas’ militancy sets it apart from Mahmoud Abbas’ Fateh and others who have acquiesced to Israeli occupational demands, but Hamas’ political demands are shared widely by all Palestinians. Those demands, especially lifting the siege of Gaza, releasing prisoners and ending the Israeli occupation and Palestinian refugeehood, are the core issues that must be resolved for the Palestinians to coexist with an Israeli state.

This is where the focus must remain, not only on whether Hamas does this today or that next week.

The second important aspect of the current situation — spanning both the last month and the last two decades — is that the defining characteristic of the six major political actors has been resounding and repeated failure, i.e., the Israeli government, the centrist and leftist Israeli political camps, the Fateh-led Palestinian government under Mahmoud Abbas, the armed resistance movements led by Hamas in Gaza, the United States, and the European Union.

In the four critical domains of war, peace, diplomacy and development, these six actors have generated a track record of collective incompetence that is as stunning as it is sad.

The default condition in the West Bank-East Jerusalem thus remains Israeli occupation and colonization alongside Palestinian acquiescence, and in Gaza it is Israeli siege alongside Palestinian armed resistance.

Neither of those situations is sustainable or desirable, but current approaches to conflict resolution have failed to achieve any long-term breakthrough — primarily, in my view, because the Israeli-American view of the conflict favors Zionist colonial supremacy over equal rights for both peoples, which prohibits Israel from acknowledging legitimate Palestinian rights and the United States from acting as an effective mediator or even just a credible facilitator.

The Palestinian side, with the sleep-walking Arab regimes competing for the Docility Award of the century, has been incompetent in mobilizing the enormous support and goodwill for their cause that exists in the world, and channeling it into an effective diplomatic process.

When these two dominant realities converge — focusing on Hamas instead of wider Palestinian national rights, while all the principal actors pursue their certificates in diplomatic incompetence — the result is the current narrow focus on military action by Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Until all parties move out of this constricted and distorted view of the conflict and tackle the wider conflict between Zionism and Arabism, we should only expect more bloodshed, destruction, suffering, and political failures.

Rami G. Khouri is Editor-at-large of The Daily Star, and Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, in Beirut, Lebanon. On Twitter: @ramikhouri.

Copyright © 2014 Rami G. Khouri—distributed by Agence Global

Note: In the fundamental and longer-term problem is the fact that the Colonial mandated powers of France and England foiled the aspirations of the people of the Syrian Nation ( constituted of the current states of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Iraq).  The colonial powers decided to implant Israel in our midst in order to keep this people fragmented and divided according to UN faked borders and prevent effective integrated internal market.

Currently, Da3eshor ISIS has demonstrated that the borders between Iraq and Syria are fictitious and their troops are advancing on all fronts and from all directions.

 

 

 

 

Is the BBC trying to shore up support for Israel’s assault on Gaza?

Pro-Israeli broadcasters are finding it ever harder to defend Israel in the face of the large-scale massacres and destruction in Gaza.

 But the BBC is determined to do its best, sacrificing all claims to impartiality and journalistic integrity in the process.

In addition to flooding its radio and television programs with Israeli spokespeople, while keeping Palestinian voices to a minimum, the BBC, as it did during Israel’s 2012 assault on Gaza, has taken to presenting pro-Israel commentators as independent.

BBC audiences are, therefore, given strong doses of pro-Israeli propaganda — being told that Hamas is using civilians as human shields, that Israel has shown nothing but restraint in the face of constant rocket attacks, that it is defending its citizens and so on — while under the impression that they are hearing neutral, independent comment.

These key Israeli messages are, of course, more likely to be believed by viewers and listeners if they think they are impartial observations, rather than the opinions of pro-Israeli spokespeople.

On 17 July, as part of its 10pm news broadcast, the BBC News Channel ran an interview with Davis Lewin, deputy director and head of policy and research at the Henry Jackson Society.

The Henry Jackson Society is a virulently pro-Israel think tank, described in 2012 by its founding member, Marko Attila Hoare, as “an abrasively right-wing forum with an anti-Muslim tinge, churning out polemical and superficial pieces by aspiring journalists and pundits that pander to a narrow readership of extreme Europhobic British Tories, hardline US Republicans and Israeli Likudniks.”

In a 2013 job advert for the position of its North American director, the society wrote it was looking for someone who could reach out to the “pro-Israel community.”

Lewin himself is the recipient of an “Israel research fellowship” — a one-year placement awarded to university graduates, under which they work for the Israeli government or an organization sympathetic to Israel (he is listed as an alumnus of the class of 2009/10).

On its website, the Israel Research Fellowship (IRF) organizations says recipients of the award are “mentored by senior executives in their placements and informed by specially designed conferences.”

It adds: “Israel research fellows, with their comprehensive knowledge of historical and intellectual trends, serve as articulate spokespeople for Israel. The IRF is a pro-Israel, apolitical, non-partisan enterprise that aims to serve in the best interests of the State of Israel.”

Damage already done

And yet, when he appeared on the BBC News Channel, Lewin was introduced by presenter Martine Croxall as simply: “Davis Lewin, who’s from the Henry Jackson Society, a foreign and defense policy think tank.”

Few people watching would have been aware of the nature of the Henry Jackson Society or of Lewin’s pro-Israel placement.

Speaking, it seemed to viewers, as a spokesperson for an independent think tank, Lewin had three minutes to push the pro-Israeli, anti-Hamas line, aided at times by Croxall’s interviewing, which included this question: “Hamas is regarded as a terrorist organization by not just Israel but other countries, too. What are Israel’s intentions towards Hamas? It has said this is a limited scope action. Why doesn’t it just try and get rid of Hamas altogether?”

Not surprisingly, the interview was quickly posted on YouTube by the Henry Jackson Society.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign wrote to the BBC to remind it of its own editorial guidelines, which include this: “We should normally identify on-air and online sources of information and significant contributors, and provide their credentials, so that our audiences can judge their status.”

For once, the BBC was quick to write back, sending this by email: “We apologize for this and would like to assure you that the matter has been raised with the relevant editorial staff at the BBC News Channel, who have been reminded of the need to clearly describe the ideology of such organizations in our coverage.”

However, the damage had been done. And what good is a reminder to journalists who have a history of presenting pro-Israeli commentators as independent and face no censure for doing so?

In November 2012, as Israel pounded Gaza for eight days, BBC News 24 (as the BBC News Channel was known), used Jonathan Sacerdoti as a commentator four times in two days, presenting him each time as an independent expert.

Sacerdoti, however, was no impartial expert. He had worked as director of public affairs at the Zionist Federation and, in 2012, he was elected to the international division of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. The international division’s primary work is to promote Israel.

After eight months of challenge, the BBC finally admitted it had breached its editorial guidelines on accuracy and impartiality with its misrepresentation of Sacerdoti.

And then, as now, the BBC told the Palestine Solidarity Campaign it would remind its editorial staff of the need to correctly identify its contributors. That “reminder” apparently came to nothing.

Defending Israel’s attacks

Presenting pro-Israeli commentators as independent is not just limited to the BBC’s airwaves, but is also evident in its online output.

On 22 July, BBC Online uploaded a long feature headlined “Gaza: How Hamas tunnel network grew.”

With 700 Palestinians killed at that stage, with thousands injured, and around 300,000 internally displaced, this came across as a desperate attempt by the BBC to shore up justification for Israel’s ongoing massacres.

Reams of paragraphs are devoted to tunnels “booby-trapped with explosives” — and the effort needed by Israel to detect them. The impression given to the reader is that Israel is under a very real threat from the existence of these tunnels and the existence of the organization — Hamas — which built and operates them. The lie that Israel “withdrew” from Gaza in 2005 is also contained in the report.

The article is written, not by a BBC journalist, but by Dr. Eado Hecht, who is described by the BBC as “independent defense analyst and lecturer in military doctrine at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University.”

But Hecht is not “independent,” as the BBC claims. He is in the pay of the Israeli army. Unknown to readers of the BBC Online article, Hecht also teaches at the Israeli military’s Command and General Staff College.

It’s not worth asking if a Palestinian in the pay of Hamas would ever be given space by the BBC to write a long feature about the threat to Palestinians of Israeli aggression. The answer is obvious.

But it is worth noting that the BBC has form in providing platforms to pro-Israelis to expound their views on Gaza.

In November 2012, as Israel’s onslaught on Gaza was drawing to an end, BBC Online ran a feature by Guglielmo Verdirame, a professor in international law at King’s College London.

The article was headlined “Gaza crisis: the legal position of Israel and Hamas.”

Verdirame used his BBC platform to defend Israel’s vicious, sustained attack on Gaza’s refugee population in “legal” terms.

To the reader, told only that Verdirame teaches at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, this was an impartial viewpoint. But Verdirame had presented the same arguments three weeks earlier to a Zionist Federation event in London for Israel advocates. His pro-Israel credentials are impeccable, being involved as well with UK Lawyers for Israel, an organization whose aim is to sue those it regards as “enemies” of Israel.

Verdirame was put to use by G4S this year to co-author a paper defending the security firm’s involvement in the Israeli prisons where Palestinians are held and routinely tortured. That he should have been asked to write as an independent commentator by the publicly-funded BBC is disgraceful.

Impartiality goes out the window

There are numerous legal experts the BBC could call on who would pronounce Israel’s assault on Gaza a violation of international law. Forty-two of them signed a statement to that effect on 28 July, including Richard Falk, the former UN special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

But none of them is likely to be receiving a phone call from the BBC. Their messages don’t fit the broadcaster’s apparent agenda.

On 31 July, when the BBC’s flagship news program Today wanted to discuss whether Israel’s current assault on Gaza had a legal basis, it interviewed, not just one, but two, Israelis. And not a single Palestinian.

The first Israeli interviewed was Pnina Sharvit Baruch. Listeners were told she was the “former head of international law at the IDF [the Israeli military], now a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies [in Tel Aviv].”

What they weren’t told is that Sharvit Baruch was a colonel in the Israeli army, retiring after Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s attack on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009. They were not told that, in that role, she legitimized strikes on civilians in Gaza during Cast Lead, including the attack on the graduation ceremony of new police officers, which resulted in 180 Palestinians being killed.

She was considered so extreme that, in 2009, staff at Tel Aviv University protested her appointment as a lecturer in law. She was not, however, considered too extreme for the BBC.

The day before she made her unchallenged appearance on Today, Sharvit Baruch was interviewed on the legalities of Israel’s attack by the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM), which describes itself as being “dedicated to creating a more supportive environment for Israel in Britain.”

On Today she was joined by Yuri Dromi, introduced by presenter Sarah Montague as “director-general of the Jerusalem Press Club, but he used be a spokesman for the Israeli government in the Nineties.”

Sharvit Baruch and Dromi enjoyed nine minutes of gentle questioning by Montague. Her acceptance of everything they said and her failure to ask a single challenging or critical question was compounded by the absence of a Palestinian spokesperson who could have made that challenge instead and offered a different viewpoint.

It was an extraordinarily biased piece of pro-Israeli broadcasting, even by BBC standards. Montague’s questions seemed to be set up as deliberate cues for Sharvit Baruch and Dromi to set out the Israeli government’s key messages.

For example, she asked Sharvit Baruch, “Would you be advising the Israeli army that what they have done is legal?”

What answer did she seriously expect?

If the BBC wanted a genuinely impartial answer to this question, it could have invited a UN spokesperson onto Today to answer it. To ask it of a former Israeli army legal advisor who has greenlighted previous massacres seemed like a deliberate invitation to propaganda, not an attempt at serious journalism.

But serious journalism, and impartial journalism, seems to go out of the window at the BBC, at least when it comes to Palestine. Israeli spokespeople and supporters are given unchallenged platforms that are not offered to their Palestinian counterparts, they are presented as independent when they are not, they are allowed to speak without challenge, and with no Palestinian to oppose them.

The result is day after day of Israeli propaganda pushed down the throats of anyone who looks to the BBC for impartial reporting of the occupation.

Sarah Montague’s interview with Pnina Sharvit Baruch and Yuri Dromi can be heard here at 02:14:27 until the end of August.

Amena Saleem

Amena Saleem's picture

Amena Saleem is a journalist and activist, working closely with Palestine Solidarity Campaign in the UK. She has twice driven on convoys to Gaza with PSC.

More information on PSC’s solidarity work is available at www.palestinecampaign.org

Complaints to the BBC can be made at www.bbc.co.uk/complaints.

Who benefit from wars?

War is a racket

Who is printing the money?

Follow the money trail

Rania Masri shared on FB

Destruction of the economy in Gaza:
– The biggest and best factories in the Strip were destroyed, which used to provide 70% of local market needs
– “The occupation forces attacked the entire national infrastructure on purpose.

It bombed the largest food factories to turn Gaza into a consumerist and unproductive market.”
– The industrial and agricultural sectors in Gaza had already been facing disastrous circumstances.

Even before the [Israeli] aggression started on July 7, the occupation controlled the quantity and types of products [entering Gaza] through the siege it imposed on the Strip, closing all but one of the commercial crossings.
– According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), “the unemployment rate in Gaza has reached 41 percent.”
– “This time, the war brought the Palestinian economy back to zero. This time, the economic sector sustained a powerful blow, losing more than $3 billion.”
– “the Israeli war machine destroyed dozens of factories, in addition to the annihilation of whole industrial zones and directly targeting poultry and cattle farms and fishing ports.”

Dorothy Davis shared on FB

Dorothy Davis's photo.
All Wars are Bankers’- Wars The United States fought the American Revolution primarily over King George III’s Currency act, which forced the colonists to conduct their business only using printed bank notes borrowed from the Bank of England at interestSee More

topdocumentaryfilms.com

Private central banks that print the money are of course some of the biggest benefactors of the war economy.
They can fund both sides and make fortunes off of endless human suffering.
Can you read the names of weapons industries whose shares soar during wartimes?

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