Palestinian nationalism

Face of the day

 

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cartoonist Mohammed Sabaaneh.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has appointed a team to investigate today’s face of the day, cartoonist Mohammed Sabaaneh. Despite being censored by his own Editors and being imprisoned in the past by Israel for five months because of? contact with a hostile organisation? in 2013 he still does not agree with freedom of expression. He argues that a cartoonist should not harm any religion.

He was against the re-publication by Western newspapers of Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of Mohammed. “Republishing them reactivates hatred and hostility. It’s provoking more hatred in the society, based on religion.”

Ironically however it was Sabaaneh’s cartoon of Mohammed that got him suspended from his job and under investigation.

He tells Ben Lynfield in Ramallah that he just wanted to make people think

sabaaneh

It was meant to be a favourable image, designed to counter negative stereotypes of Islam in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shootings.

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A Gay perspective on Islam

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I have given this article the title? ‘A Gay perspective on Islam’, but after re? reading both the blog post quotes and the advertisement I realised that both have failed to link Sharia Law ( Which is Islam ) to the way homosexuals are treated in Palestine, Syria and Iran. It is this liberal failure to gloss over the root cause and to instead pretend it is a terrorist/autocratic thing that deeply concerns me. Why this fear to say what is so obvious? Saudi Arabia is held up as an almost perfect example of Islam and we all know how they treat women and gays.

The rights of LGBT people in Saudi Arabia are unrecognized. Homosexuality is frequently a taboo subject in Saudi Arabian society and is punished with imprisonment, fines, corporal punishment, capital punishment, whipping/flogging, and chemical castrations.

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I think people are confused because they see Islam as a religion and separate from politics/government. It is the fact that religion and politics are the exact same thing in Islam that is the problem. The Islamic activists are very honest about this. They say Islam is Sharia and Sharia is Islam. Historically and now there is no shortage of hard evidence that this is the case, so why are the victims so afraid to name their oppressor? I think that the below advertisement is great but it is like the victim of child abuse speaking out against the social worker who placed them with the pedophile rather than speaking out against the pedophile who abused them.

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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 »

Propaganda 105

human-shield

The message we can take from the political cartoon is that Israel protects its children from Hamas rocket fire into Israel by using its defensive ‘ Iron Dome to shoot down the rockets’ while Hamas protect their rockets and themselves by using Palestinian children as human shields.
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Unspinning the Kia Ora Gaza liars

The NationI was on the Nation today and due to time constraints I didn’t get to slam into the liars of Kia Ora Gaza. Sean Plunket however did a fair job of trying to expose their lies.

Here is the transcript:

SEAN In the past week you?ve been asked to give again to a group called Kia Ora Gaza. ?They tell us they’re a group of Kiwis joining an international aid convoy to deliver humanitarian supplies to the needy of Gaza. ?They?ve had some media coverage in the papers and on the tele. ?They?ve adapted a Hank Williams song and have a cute little Kiwi cartoon on their website where they’re asking for $100,000 to fund this mercy mission. ?But is this really a homegrown handout for the needy of Gaza, or is there something else going on? ?To find out we have in the studio Roger Fowler, Team Captain of Kia Ora Gaza, good morning to you, and from the Jewish Council of New Zealand, David Zwartz, he’s in our Wellington studio

SEAN Roger Fowler I want to come to you first, is this about delivering aid, or making a political statement?

ROGER It’s definitely about delivering aid, we’re talking about millions of dollars worth of humanitarian aid which is desperately needed by the people of Gaza. ?We’re talking about medical equipment, educational equipment, and building equipment to try and rebuild some normality of life for the people of that desperate nation.

SEAN Alright and to do that the six of you are going to London and then driving to Gaza?

ROGER There’ll be a massive convoy Sean of about 500 vehicles, coming in three legs. ?One’s coming down from London and that?s the one that we’ll be joining with the people of Palestine, and there’ll be another leg coming from Dohar, and another one from Morocco, all coming towards Gaza on the same day.

Ok here we have the first lies. That 500 vehicles is a massive convoy to save the embattled Palestinians. They are trying to make out that Israel is starving the people out of their homes through a blockade. It is a lie that “aid” is even needed.

The July Monthly report of border crossings of Civilian and Humaitarian Aid shows the lie of Kia Ora Gaza.
Civilian and Humanitarian Aid to Gaza – Monthly Report – July 2010

A total of 3,665 truckloads and 82,701 tons of general goods, 4.1 million litres of fuel for power stations and another 400,000 litre of other fuels.

This is just for July.

For the first week of August the totals were 1,166 truckloads carrying 23,279 tons of humanitarian aid (including food, goods, and fuel) were transferred into the Gaza Strip , and 324 patients and accompanying individuals left the Strip for medical purposes.

SEAN Can you not buy the supplies, the medicines and the building supplies you want on Cairo and simply send them over the border to Gaza, why the need for this massive road trip?

ROGER Well this is a big international effort once and for all to bring much needed aid to the people of Gaza.

SEAN But as I’ve just explained to you there’s a far logistically simpler and one would presume more economically sustainable way to do that?

ROGER There is but the need to bring this humanitarian aid is because there is a siege on Gaza, which is inflicted by their neighbours, and we have seen a need to break that siege. ?So yes there is a physical component to breaking that siege and bringing that aid.

SEAN So are you actually going to physically drive through the lines and sort of confront the Israeli Security Forces?

ROGER Well the Israelis have indicated that they?ve eased the blockade and indicated that it’s easy to get stuff through. ?So that will be put to the test.

So this big international aid effort is only going to deliver a sixth of the usual monthly amounts, not even half of the trucks for the first week of August….sounds like they are just trying to make a show for cameras. There is not a siege on Gaza, a siege would not allow anything through. The Israelis have made it quite clear that they will allow anything through so long as it can’t be used for war-making.

SEAN Okay, I’m going to put it to you that actually this is about politics. ??You and Grant Morgan who’s the person you send the money to if you want to back Kia Ora Gaza, members of the Social Workers Party people have been involved in what one would call the far reach of left politics in New Zealand for quite some time.

ROGER Sean you probably know that left leading people are often the very first to come to the aid of the underdog in New Zealand, and in fact it’s a good Kiwi tradition. ?We come to the side of the underdog whether it’s in sports or its social events.

SEAN So you would agree there’s a political motivation to this?

ROGER No, there are people politically involved, but there’s people from a wide selection of backgrounds come to ….

SEAN Not on the trip there isn’t?

ROGER Yes there is a wide selection of people.

SEAN Well could you just name some people who aren’t politically active on the trip? ?Your son perhaps?

ROGER My son has put his hand up and he’s been selected too.

SEAN Okay, politically active?

ROGER He’s involved in community work just as I am. ?I’m the manager of a community centre in South Auckland, have been heavily involved in community work all my life.

SEAN Part of the Resident Action Movement that stood for Council?

ROGER Yes I’ve been active in politics.

SEAN Okay, other people on the truck been involved in that movement as well?

ROGER One other one yes.

This is about politics pure and simple. They are communists and antisemitic and want nothing more than? a conflict with Israeli border troops entering Gaza. they will drive up and expect to drive straight through, that isn’t going to happen, those trucks will be thourghly searched and then allowed to proceed, but this won’t be good enough for these guys, hoping to make a huge deal with some pushing and shoving with Israeli troops.

Plunket is right, why not just buy the goods in Cairo and drive from there. After all one of Gaza’s borer crossings is into Egypt and managed by Egypt. Are they too blockading and laying siege to Gaza. Of course they aren’t, they don’t want bombs flying over their borders just as much as the Israeli don’t want them over theirs.

SEAN Okay, Grant Morgan as I said the man who’s taking the money the last General Secretary of the Communist Party in New Zealand. ?Where does that money go and who administers it, are you a charity?

ROGER We’re in the process of setting up a charitable trust. ?This has all come together quite quickly and the support has been enormous and is growing.

SEAN Okay, and you would agree that the person Viva Palestinia the group you are linked up with in London, is spearheaded by George Galloway, former Labour MP, virulent anti American, a man who’s said ‘I never met a dictator I didn?t like’ and Viva Palestinia itself was investigated by the British Charities Commission last year. ?Two of its directors resigned and questions were asked about direct payment of money to Hamas which is of course listed as a terrorist organisation in Great Britain.

ROGER Yes, I think all those allegations were proved to be false, and yes George Galloway has been a long time campaigner against war.

Right, so the charity isn’t a charity. One other thing that Plunket didn’t cover is the endorsement of these communists by the CTU president Helen Kelly.

ROGER Sean, we all know that there is definitely a siege and a blockage on Gaza, even the Prime Minister of the UK has come out and denounced this inhumane blockade, and demanded that it be stopped. ?World leaders …

SEAN No what he’s actually said and I’ve got the direct quote here. ?He said that Gaza couldn?t remain a prison camp, and he says progress is being made, and he made that speech in Turkey, he said progress is being made, which is unlike George Galloway, who says that at the end of the day this is all about the fall of the capitalist system, and Grant Morgan says that in some of his political writings as well.

ROGER Well actually anybody making those references to this issue, this is an issue of taking humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, they’re in desperate straits despite what our friend says, and they have been for some time. ?Yes there has been an easing, and all that means is there’s a few bits and pieces are getting through. ?250 trucks a day is completely inadequate, they’re people in a desperate situation.

Still they lie. Calling Gaza a prison camp and saying the people are in a desperate situation.

Kia Ora Gaza are lying when they call Gaza a prison camp, they too presumably haven?t seen these appalling pictures starv?ing locals try?ing to find scarce food, or basic neces?si?ties at impov?er?ished shops lack?ing stock because of evil Israeli block?ades, or even try?ing to find a cool pool of water to take the edge off of the desert heat in the ?prison camp?. This is the only ?prison camp? in the world with a flash mall too. Lord only knows how they con?structed all that with a block?ade/siege in?place.

Kia Ora Gaza are tricking through lies and obfuscations, Kiwis into believing the mass media lie that Gaza is somehow a place of squalor. If there is squalor the solution for citizens of Gaza is simple. Stop throwing missiles, bombs and bullets over the border, start to live peacefully with your neighbours like Egypt does and they will find that life gets a whole lot simpler and easier. Nothing brings prosperity like peace does. The solution is in the hands of the the citizens of Gaza, that they keep using those hands to make bombs, and voting in Hamas is no ones fault but their own.

David Zwartz, former Honorary Israeli Consul to New Zealand, gives some very sensible advice for people wanting to donate to the needy.

I would say that $100.000 given to the Pakistan Aid Relief will help one million children instead of going to the diesel fuel and trucks to drive 4,000 kilometres from London to deliver aid which can be delivered much more efficiently through the International Red Cross.