Israel

Anatomy of a Hamas Pallywood production

Pallywood and Hamas producer snapped in purple shirt

Pallywood and Hamas producer snapped in purple shirt

Remember the death of 4 Palestinian school kids on a beach and the outrage of the media, the world and the assorted leftist apologists for Hamas?

Of course you do…it was massive news at the time.

But it turns out that it might well have been staged by Hamas in one of their most successful Pallywood movies yet…and they killed the kids themselves.

James Delingpole explores the facts as ascertained by Thomas Wictor.

Here was the evidence – or so it seemed – that wanton Israeli aggression was leading to the needless deaths of innocent civilians, in this case four boys who had been playing football moments earlier and now lay in bloodied rags on the beach.

The story was reported by the Independent, the Huffington Post, Reuters, Channel 4 News, the Times, the Telegraph, NBC News, CNN, the Washington Post, and others, none of them questioning the premise that Israel was to blame for the deaths of the children.

And why should the media have doubted it? The entire sorry event  had, after all, been witnessed by numerous members of the international press corps, among them NBC reporter Ayman Mohyeldin, who tweeted that he had been playing football with the boys just minutes before the Israeli ordnance struck.

But did they actually see what they think they saw? Not according to a US-based weapons expert who has conducted a forensic analysis of what happened on the day, pieced together using Hamas propaganda footage, film from various international TV networks, and still photographs, and who has drawn a conclusion which could hardly be more different from the Hamas/mainstream media narrative.

His name is Thomas Wictor and if his theory is right then those four dead boys were not, after all the victims of Israeli missiles, but were murdered by Hamas in one of the most complex and ingenious “Pallywood” propaganda stunts ever staged.

If this sounds implausible – another wacko, 9/11-style conspiracy as some will no doubt suggest – then consider the evidence.  Read more »

You cannot bow down to threats

John Key states the obvious in saying that threats of reprisals from the head-hackers of ISIS won’t cloud any decision to go ISIS hunting.

Good we must not live in fear of these scumbags.

The threat of terrorist reprisal won’t sway New Zealand’s decision on whether to join the US-led response to Islamic State militants in Iraq.

Prime Minister John Key said yesterday it was unlikely that committing military forces to Iraq would put New Zealand at greater risk, but that could not be a factor in the decision.

“If you weren’t prepared to do anything solely on the basis of that [increased risk], then you actually start losing your independent foreign policy because by definition you’re saying that the actions of terrorists will stop you standing up to those terrorists.”

Officials are set to brief Key this week on options for Iraq, and he has not ruled out a military contribution.

Professor Robert Ayson, strategic studies professor at Victoria University, said the range of options being weighed up by Key would likely include humanitarian aid through to deploying New Zealand’s special forces troops, the SAS.

Australia had already done so and the New Zealand SAS had proven itself in other theatres.

Read more »

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Bill Maher and Sam Harris give Ben Affleck a good kicking over Islam

Ben Affleck is an ignorant idiot on things to do with Islam.

This is a must watch. Bill Maher and his guest Sam Harris are absolutely correct and present fact after fact after fact to Ben Affleck.

Watch Ben Affleck sulk.

Read more »

Comment of the Day

From the post about ISIS, Olivia Pierson writes:

I’m so glad you put this up Cameron. I have to say I felt a twinge of disgust when I read Andrea Vance’s op-ed; again with the staggeringly militant ignorance of NZ journalism on geopolitical issues which deeply matter!

Firstly – Vance says; “In the last two decades, Iraq has not been far off the military radar.

Military intervention to eliminate weapons of mass destruction was built on a fallacy, years of slaughter failed to remove the threat of terrorism or install democracy.”

The removal of the psychopathic Saddam Hussein Baathist regime was inevitable and appallingly long-overdue, a reality which Tony Blair knew along with President Bush – hence the Anglo-American coalition to overthrow it. The questions around WMD was only ONE of the reasons which put this coalition on the right side of history.

According to the United Nations, there are four egregious acts where breaking even one of them, can and should result in regime change; Saddam broke all four:
1 – committing genocide (against the Kurds),
2 – the invasion of a neighbouring state (Iran & Kuwait),
3 – proliferating nuclear weapons (Saddam himself boasted that Iraq was on its way to acquiring a centrifuge (we now know he only had a blueprint) and remember the 550 metric tons of yellow cake airlifted out of Iraq and shipped straight to Canada in 2008? Should the world have just taken a violent psychopath’s word that the enriched uranium was intended for peaceful purposes only?)
4 – aiding and abetting terrorism (Saddam was a renowned and prolific supporter of terrorism to many Islamist militant organisations, among them Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, who moved freely between Afghanistan, Syria, Jordan and Iraq – a fact which obviates Saddam’s blessing.) Read more »

They won’t be killing anymore Israeli teenagers

The IDF has found the terrorists responsible for the kidnapping and killing of 3 Israeli teenagers.

Terrorists Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha were targeted overnight by ISA and IDF security forces in an operation to apprehend them. After the terrorists opened fire on Israeli forces, the suspects were killed, ending a three month long manhunt.

Overnight, security forces carried out an operation to apprehend Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha – the Hamas terrorists responsible for the abduction and murder of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel. With the help of precise intelligence and coordination between the IDF and ISA, the suspects were located in Hebron.   Read more »

Personal message from Sean Fitzpatrick – ACT Candidate, Ohariu

I’ve been asked to post this personal statement from Sean, and under the circumstances, I’m happy to do so

Hi Cameron,

I have already sent this info to you via facebook, however to be thorough I am emailing you as well.

I just want to let you know that I do not at all support the BDS campaign to boycott Israeli business and investments. As someone who is on record as being very pro-Israel it disturbs me greatly that I am being associated with this sort of thing.

I have set the record straight with the NBR and also on my facebook page. I have received a lot of very positive and encouraging messages of support for this from folk in the NZ Jewish Council. They understand how mendacious this group is by presenting themselves as one thing but promoting quite a different agenda.

I have asked them to delete my name from their list of supporters and rest assured will be raising hell if they do not. Read more »

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An insiders guide to reporting on Israel/Gaza conflict

Journalists over looking Gaza from Sderot   Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

Journalists over looking Gaza from Sderot Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

Tablet has an essay about the media manipulations in reporting the Israel/Gaza conflict.

It is by  Matti Friedman who is a former AP correspondent who explains how and why reporters get Israel so wrong, and why it matters. What she writes echoes what I saw in Israel.

The lasting importance of this summer’s war, I believe, doesn’t lie in the war itself. It lies instead in the way the war has been described and responded to abroad, and the way this has laid bare the resurgence of an old, twisted pattern of thought and its migration from the margins to the mainstream of Western discourse—namely, a hostile obsession with Jews. The key to understanding this resurgence is not to be found among jihadi webmasters, basement conspiracy theorists, or radical activists. It is instead to be found first among the educated and respectable people who populate the international news industry; decent people, many of them, and some of them my former colleagues.

While global mania about Israeli actions has come to be taken for granted, it is actually the result of decisions made by individual human beings in positions of responsibility—in this case, journalists and editors. The world is not responding to events in this country, but rather to the description of these events by news organizations. The key to understanding the strange nature of the response is thus to be found in the practice of journalism, and specifically in a severe malfunction that is occurring in that profession—my profession—here in Israel.

She looks at the disproportionate staffing and reporting on Israel compared with other countries.

Staffing is the best measure of the importance of a story to a particular news organization. When I was a correspondent at the AP, the agency had more than 40 staffers covering Israel and the Palestinian territories. That was significantly more news staff than the AP had in China, Russia, or India, or in all of the 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. It was higher than the total number of news-gathering employees in all the countries where the uprisings of the “Arab Spring” eventually erupted.

To offer a sense of scale: Before the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, the permanent AP presence in that country consisted of a single regime-approved stringer. The AP’s editors believed, that is, that Syria’s importance was less than one-40th that of Israel. I don’t mean to pick on the AP—the agency is wholly average, which makes it useful as an example. The big players in the news business practice groupthink, and these staffing arrangements were reflected across the herd. Staffing levels in Israel have decreased somewhat since the Arab uprisings began, but remain high. And when Israel flares up, as it did this summer, reporters are often moved from deadlier conflicts. Israel still trumps nearly everything else.

The volume of press coverage that results, even when little is going on, gives this conflict a prominence compared to which its actual human toll is absurdly small. In all of 2013, for example, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago. Jerusalem, internationally renowned as a city of conflict, had slightly fewer violent deaths per capita last year than Portland, Ore., one of America’s safer cities. In contrast, in three years the Syrian conflict has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have ever died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.

News organizations have nonetheless decided that this conflict is more important than, for example, the more than 1,600 women murdered in Pakistan last year (271 after being raped and 193 of them burned alive), the ongoing erasure of Tibet by the Chinese Communist Party, the carnage in Congo (more than 5 million dead as of 2012) or the Central African Republic, and the drug wars in Mexico (death toll between 2006 and 2012: 60,000), let alone conflicts no one has ever heard of in obscure corners of India or Thailand. They believe Israel to be the most important story on earth, or very close.

That is an indictment in itself right there. That is a massive news imbalance.    Read more »

What the UN didn’t show with their maps of Gaza

UN Map

UN Map

Last week, the UN published several maps showing the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge. The maps paint a picture of catastrophe, marking damaged buildings with red dots scattered throughout Gaza.

But those maps tell only half the story: Hamas used many of these buildings  – including houses, hospitals and schools  –  as sites to launch rockets and carry out other attacks.

In many cases, the IDF struck buildings in order to stop Hamas’ violence. This means that the red dots on the UN’s maps represent more than destruction. They show the many cases in which terrorists attacked Israel from heavily populated areas in Gaza.

Read more »

The Israeli Navy – Defending the toughest border

Yesterday I was treated to a visit of the Israeli Navy in Haifa.

Security was tight, but not as tight as I expect tomorrow for my trip to IDF Intelligence.

We were told that we could only take photos of soldiers and sailors from behind, or from afar. Every photo had to be inspected.

After a briefing on how the Navy controls all shipping out to and beyond the 12 mile limit and the borders with Lebanon and Gaza we were escorted about a Super Dvora class fast patrol boat to have a look.

This border is their toughest boarder due to the constant movement of vessels, the terror threat along with smuggling and other criminal activity.

One was leaving on patrol and so we were allowed to photograph that as it left the dock.

IMG_0455

Super Dvora class fast patrol boat leaving dock in Haifa. Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

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Trotter on Good dead v Bad dead

Don’t know why I missed this yesterday.  It’s one of Chris Trotter’s best essays in some time.  A little on the heavy side first thing in the morning, but worth the time:

Where are the impassioned streams of citizens flooding our nation’s streets to protest against the actions of the Islamic State?

The righteous wrath stirred up by the Israeli assault upon Gaza has been plain to see. But the barbaric punishment meted out to Christians, captive Iraqi soldiers, Shia Muslims and followers of the ancient Yazidi faith has yet to inspire anyone to apply paint to placard.

Given the chorus of rage currently directed at the “Zionist Entity”, why are those who profess “progressive” sympathies so silent when it comes to the outrages perpetrated by the self-proclaimed caliphate?

The latest of these, the beheading of an American journalist, has generated a wave of revulsion around the world. Not least on account of the perpetrators’ cynical (but effective) use of social media to publicise their medieval celebration of cruelty and death.

But where are the Hollywood movie stars emoting to camera over the ritual killing of their defenceless compatriot? Where are the protest crowds of outraged progressives demanding justice for James Foley?

Does nobody else think it odd that the gunning down of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, can spark days of passionate protest, but the agonising decapitation of a helpless journalist elicits condemnation only from “mainstream” politicians and the equally despised “mainstream” media? Did progressives maintain a similar silence when images of a terrified Palestinian boy, caught in a deadly crossfire of Israeli bullets, appeared on the world’s television screens? No, they did not.

More and more, it seems to me, we are being presented with what some commentators are calling “good dead” and “bad dead”.

Why is Minto and his union rent-a-crowd out there calling for the destruction of Israel, yet they have no similar outrage when it comes to other deaths?   Chris is onto it.   Read more »