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Comment: Re:It's obvious. (Score 1) 491

Because it is as accurate to claim that the Hamas Charter represents Hamas' unchangeable views as it is to claim 1 Samuel represents Jewish unchangeable views.

The Republican pollster Frank Luntz in his The Israel Project memo popularized the idea of promoting the Hamas Charter as the literal beliefs of Hamas today. If you read his memo you'll see he says that you shouldn't say things because they're true, but because they'll convince people. One of Luntz' students became an Israeli citizen and is now Israel's ambassador to the US.

Hamas has made repeated peace offers to Israel, and they've been repeatedly rejected. Ahmed Jabari was head of Hamas' military wing, had arranged the Giliad Shalat exchange, and was in charge of keeping the non-Hamas militant movements under control when Hamas was trying to keep a cease-fire with Israel. Jabari was working on a permanent peace agreement with Israel, and had just received the final draft, when the Israelis killed him with an air-to-surface missile in his car. That was no accident. The Israelis didn't want peace, because then they'd have to give up the settlements.

Quoting the Hamas Charter to prove that you can't make peace with Hamas is one of Luntz' strategies to avoid dealing with the facts. Luntz tells his clients that they should lie, and they do.

Comment: Re:maybe (Score 1) 491

If that allegation is true is may constitute a war crime - if it is true and there are no mitigating factors. The truth of that allegation isn't clear, and it is completely unrelated to the organization of Israel's government.

The evidence shows major inconsistencies and contradictions in the Abed Rabbo incident. NGO Monitor, CAMERA , and other researchers have documented at least 14 significantly different versions of the story. NGOs have published 6 distinct accounts, and 8 others are from the media. The evolution of these accounts also suggests motivations for promoting allegations that may be far from the truth.

Oh come on. I used to work in Israeli public relations. I know what they're doing. I've talked to them on the phone and in person, and I went to their meetings. When I first started out, I actually believed in it myself.

NGO Monitor and CAMERA are propaganda organizations paid by the Israeli government and their American millionaire and billionaire pro-settler supporters, as you can see from their Wikipedia entry. They don't have any investigators on the ground. They don't talk to witnesses or go to the scene. Everything they do is second-hand and third-hand, from their offices in Morningside Heights or wherever they're working. They have never researched a case and concluded that Israel was wrong. Try to find one.

The Rabbio incident was investigated by many human rights groups and news media, who sent people to the scene to look it over and interview witnesses. It was investigated by the Goldstone commission. Goldstone was appointed because he had unimpeachable Zionist credentials, until he came to a conclusion that they didn't like. The Israeli government itself didn't even try to challenge the facts. It's as true as anything we can know without a criminal proceeding, and Israel refuses to investigate it themselves. You might as well say the truth of the Holocaust isn't clear.

I've talked to many Israeli government officials about human rights abuses and killings. Their consistent response is to deny it all. And I regularly caught them in lies. They would admit it and brush it off.

NGO Monitor and CAMERA do one thing that is so deceptive and misleading that I have to call it out. I've worked with lawyers (on matters that have nothing to do with Israel) and they taught me something about how they (and the police) do investigations and interview witnesses. The cross-examination textbooks say that if you interview 5 different people about an incident, you'll get 5 different versions, even if they're all trying to tell the truth. There are always inconsistencies and contradictions in truthful testimony.

In fact, the lawyers who do cross examination say that if you get different people giving you the same version without inconsistencies and contradictions, that's a sign that they got together and colluded on their testimony. So that's a sign they're lying.

NGO Monitor and CAMERA are taking evidence of the accuracy of their testimony and using it to make it seem that it's evidence of inaccuracy.

Comment: Re:It's obvious. (Score 1) 491

Do you also have trouble distinguishing your arse from your elbow?

I was going to respond to you seriously until I saw that.

For the benefit of any intelligent people who might be reading this, the "Hamas Charter" is one of Frank Luntz' talking points for the right-wing "The Israel Project," where he tells pro-settler supporters to keep repeating it, because it tested well in the polls.

In fact, Hamas had other documents that set those statements aside, and Ahmed Jabari, head of Hamas's military wing, who negotiated the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange, was communicating with Israelis and preparing a long-term peace agreement with Israel in 2012, when the Israelis assassinated him with a missile attack on a car he was riding in.

If there's one thing Netanyahu doesn't want, it's peace with Hamas. Then he'd have to deal with the settlements. Now (not sometime in the vague future, as Luntz tells him to do).

There's a long list of Palestinians who took risks for peace and were killed by Israel.

Comment: Re:maybe (Score 1) 491

https://www.amnesty.org/fr/lib...

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

AI Index: MDE 15/021/2009 Embargoed for 00:01 GMT Thursday 02 July 2009

Israel/Gaza: Operation ‘Cast Lead’ - 22 Days of Death and Destruction

Amnesty International found no evidence that rockets were launched from residential houses or buildings while civilians were in these buildings, but Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups at times launched rockets and located military equipment and positions near civilian homes.

Comment: Re:maybe (Score 1) 491

Look, I used to work in public relations years ago and one of our clients was the Israeli government. I used to go into the stock room and copy press releases on our stock of blue-and-white Israeli government letterheads, and mail them out to the newspapers and broadcasters.

After I started reading about the IDF and settlers killing children, I didn't want to do that (relatively well-paid) work any more.

I used to call the Israeli government to check out the Amnesty International reports of killing Palestinians (mostly children) and other human rights abuses, like arresting journalists and Palestinian advocates of Ghandian non-violence.

I really was surprised that they routinely lied. A lot of times they really got caught red-handed. Once they claimed that a Palestinian peace activist had said in a newspaper interview that he wanted to take over all of Israel. I looked up the newspaper interview and he said just the opposite.

One Israeli embassy guy apologized to me when he checked something out and it became clear that his government had lied.

The Israeli government PR people claim that everybody lies. That's the "everybody does it" excuse. It's not true. Amnesty International, B'selem, Human Rights Watch never lie, and when they do make (rare) mistakes, they admit it. And I challenge anybody to demonstrate otherwise.

The human rights groups get their facts from eyewitnesses on the ground. The Israeli government gets its statements from government officials in Jerusalem who have never been on the ground. The Israeli government doesn't investigate what happened on the ground. The eyewitnesses say that nobody from the Israeli government asked them what they saw.

You could find all that out from reading the B'Tselem reports on their web site.

When those boys were shelled and killed on the beach in Gaza, they were killed in front of a hotel full of foreign reporters, including a guy from the New York Times. They deliberately killed a group of boys who were playing soccer. How do you justify that? The Israeli government hasn't even tried.

So I'll pull rank on you. I know more about the subject than you do. The Israeli government, and the IDF, lies. You can't trust what they say. And you can trust what B'Tselem says. If there were terrorist activities in Wafa hospital, I'd like to see the evidence. And the Israeli government's claims aren't evidence. They've proven that they'll just deny everything.

Comment: Re:maybe (Score 1) 491

Best way to evaluate that claim is to look at the facts.

I look forward to you gathering relevant ones. So far you seem to be providing pointers to Hamas war crimes. You can't use protected structures or civilians as shields.

Terrorists fire rockets from Gaza hospital

(From the article: "The photos claim to show rocket launchers inside the grounds of a mosque and a playground as well as a rocket launcher that appears to be adjacent to al-Wafa hospital.")

Israel says Hamas uses Wafa hospital compound to attack soldiers, fire anti-tank missiles; ground, air forces attack Gaza City where they claim 'an entire Hamas brigade is active'; 10 terrorists killed.

To repeat:

http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/...
Israeli military destroyed el-Wafa hospital even though it knew there were no weapons inside
Allison Deger on July 19, 2014

“We’ve seen a lot of launches of rockets that came from exactly near the hospital, 100 meters near,” said a spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), continuing, “Obviously the target was not the hospital.”

[The director of the hospital said] “My authority, my control is within my premises, it is my hospital. I cannot control what people do 100 meters from me.”

IDF campaign shows rockets in schools and hospitals

On Monday afternoon the IDF publishes visuals displaying rocket launchers placed at a number of civilian sites, like playgrounds, schools, and hospital .... Last week, prior to the ground incursion, Israel was criticized for an aerial bombardment of a rocket launcher in Gaza City's Saja'iyya neighborhood. The IDF said then that the launcher was in an empty structure adjacent to el-Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital. Hours before the strike the hospital received an automated phone message from the IDF saying its staff had to evacuate all patients as they could get hurt in the strike ...."The strike was on an unpopulated structure that used to serve as the hospital's geriatric ward," he said.

The lawyers tell me that under the Geneva Conventions, collateral damage including the killing of innocent civilians is acceptable if it is necessary to achieve a military objective.

Why don't you explain the military necessity of blowing up a hospital when the IDF itself admits that the only military objective was 100 meters away.

Comment: Re:The proofs (Score -1, Troll) 491

Because the Israelis (and their propagandists) lie.

I found that out when I was regularly calling the Israeli embassy to check out stories of human rights abuses.

"What about this case that Amnesty International and B'Tselem described in which an IDF soldier machine-gunned down a Palestinian child?"

"It never happened."

The New York Times, the BBC, Human Rights Watch -- they're all lying.

This goes on even when the evidence becomes overwhelming. In one case, an IDF soldier in a watch tower shot and killed a Palestinian boy playing soccer 400 meters away. B'Tselem did a full investigation, complained to the IDF, and an IDF lawyer wrote to B'Tselem saying that they had reviewed the case and there were no grounds for an investigation.

By mistake, the lawyer included with the letter a memo to her own supervisor in which she said that there were grounds for an investigation. (Just so you know that I'm not making it up, this was in an Amnesty International report http://www.amnesty.org/en/libr...)

Comment: Re:The Muslim world cares so much for the Palestin (Score 1) 491

Bit of history in the "creation" of the Palestinians (as they stand today): When Israel was formed and the Arab nations that surrounded it declared war, the Arab nations told the Arabs who lived in Israel: "Flee from Israel to us. When we drive Israel into the sea, we'll give you your land back."

Many fled, but not all.

Citation needed. From a reliable source. Not a "pro-Israeli" website.

Comment: Re:It's obvious. (Score 1) 491

From the Hamas charter:

Well, how about your Torah:

1 Samuel 15:3: "This is what the Lord Almighty says ... 'Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.' "

Psalm 137: "Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us / He who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks."

Comment: Re:Or maybe you're not so good at math (Score 1) 491

Great stats here: http://notquant.com/the-israel...

We must care about civilian casualties. But we must not care more about some casualties over others.

First of all, for somebody who claims to be using mathematics correctly, how can he make a chart of "Fatalities in 2014" when 2014 is only half over?

Second of all, his numbers are wrong. Even near the end of July, there are over 1,000 deaths in Gaza. That would place Gaza near the top of his bar chart.

But most important, I don't agree with his basic premise, that unless you pay attention to international conflicts according to the number of deaths, you're biased.

I might pay more attention to conflicts that I can do something about, or in which my country is responsible. Which is the case in Israel/Palestine.

Or I might pay attention to conflicts according to the amount of my tax money that was going to support them. In which case Israel would be number 1.

Comment: Re:maybe (Score 1) 491

Well. except for the fact that nobody is paying much attention to Syria AND the Syrian government is slaughtering more Arabs than the Israeli government.

That's simply false to say that nobody is paying attention. If you go to the web sites of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, or the other human rights organizations, you'll see lots of attention to the human rights abuses of the Syrian government and the Syrian rebels.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley

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