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Emet m'Tsiyon

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Arab Conquest -- Massacre, Enslavement, Population Transfer, and the like

Descriptions written nowadays of the Arab/Muslim conquest of the Fertile Crescent lands [633-642] often paint a benign, mild picture of the conquest, which supposedly did not cause major inconvenience or disruption in the daily lives of the inhabitants and made few changes. Even a respected historian like Bernard Lewis leaned towards this edulcorated or embellished view in his The Arabs in History. Carl Brockelmann, the German, does likewise, writing:
Emperor Heraclius [of the Byzantine Empire]. . . In 632. . . installed Cyrus . . . both as patriarch of Alexandria and head of the civil administration at the same time. His ecclesiastical policy and his tax demands weighed so heavily on the Copts that they necessarily greeted the Arabs as emancipators, just as their Syrian fellow [monophysite] believers had done. . . In return for the promise of a fixed payment of tribute [jizyah] the Muslims bound themselves to leave the Christians in possession of their churches and not to interfere in the administration of their communal affairs. . . [C Brockelmann, History of the Islamic Peoples (New York: Capricorn 1960), pp 56-57]
In Egypt, as in the other provinces, the Muslims took over the substance of their predecessors' administrative system; they even left all their functionaries at their posts, which were generally administered by Copts later also. [This seems generous, but the Arabs, nearly all of them illiterate, were not fit for administration] [p 57]
. . . `Umar dispatched Khalid ibn-Thabit to conquer Jerusalem, which soon surrendered; `Umar himself approved the rather mild terms [p 55]
The cities and rural areas which had submitted to the Muslims without a struggle retained their freedom and their property. . . Localities which had had to be taken by force of arms fell to the victors as booty [p 61]
Brockelmann rightly points out that Muslims placed the conquered cities in two classes, those that had surrendered and those taken by force. However, despite what Brockelmann says, even those who surrendered might be dispossessed, as we shall see below.

In short, there is a common tendency to whitewash the Arab conquest. These mild portrayals of the Arab Conquest often serve the policy needs of 21st century empires, just as today's "neo-colonialism theory" and anti-Zionism often serve those same interests.

The edulcoration notwithstanding, documents from the early period of Arab rule often depict a brutal murderous conquest. Now, Milka Levy-Rubin, an Israeli historian has thoroughly examined Arabic and non-Arabic sources, as well as archeological findings, to show that whereas in some places --typically inland and hilly areas-- the conquest was relatively rather mild, along the coastal plain of the Levant, from Ashqelon to Antioch, there were population transfers, enslavement and massacres of recalcitrant cities and towns, flight by masses of inhabitants, especially Christians, but others as well, induced emigration of non-Arabs soon after the conquest, the takeover by Muslims of homes abandoned by the refugees, who had often hoped to return if the Byzantine Empire had succeeded in retaking their cities, confiscation of homes for the sake of Arab warriors, new populations replacing the old ones, etc. She cites one case where Jews were brought in to replace Christians. One can imagine that these Jews had also been forcibly uprooted from their homes and brought to a coastal city for the conquerors' purposes.

Levy-Rubin makes clear that the reason why inland areas suffered less change in their daily lives and less oppression is that the conquerors feared that if the Christian population --Greek and Aramaic-speaking-- stayed in place in the coastal cities and towns, they might aid a future Byzantine attempt at reconquest. The Jews on the other hand could be trusted more by the Arabs since they had their own resentments of Byzantine anti-Jewish policy. Nevertheless, Jews too suffered from the conquest as in this Syriac account which depicts Jews being massacred along with Samaritans and Christians east of Gaza. Levy-Rubin writes that even after conquest of a town or city had been completed, the conquerors might try to induce the native population to leave. This policy succeeded in several places and in some places freed up the homes formerly housing the departed natives for Arab settlement. We know that many Jewish homes in Tiberias --for example-- were taken over by Arab settlers, although it is not certain that the Jews had left before their homes were taken over.

Here are some passages quoted from Milka Levy-Rubin's article. It represents important, thorough research:
We learn from the words of al-Baladhdhuri [Muslim historian writing in Arabic, died ca. 892] that the northern coastal strip was mostly evacuated of its inhabitants. . . Among the cities of which many of the inhabitants left, he counted. . . Gabala [not to be confused with Gbal = Byblos], Antarados (Tartus), Trablus (Tripolis), Beirut (Berytos), Tyros (Tyre, Sour [= Tsor]), Sidon. [M Levy-Rubin, "The [Arab] Conquest as a Shaper of the Map of Settlement in the Land of Israel in the Early Muslim Period," Cathedra (September 2006; Jerusalem, Yad Ben-Zvi, in Hebrew), p 56]
Meanwhile, Antioch [Antiochia, Antakiya] and Laodicea [Latakiya],
were partially abandoned [p 56]
However,
Caesarea was conquered by the sword [that is, it did not surrender] and its inhabitants were taken captive [and sold as slaves], and it seems that `Akko and Ashqelon too were mostly evacuated of their Christian inhabitants in the end. At the end of the process, the coastal strip was emptied of the overwhelming majority of its previous inhabitants, and the latter were replaced by a new population. [p 56]

What can we learn about the way in which the Christian population was evacuated from the coastal cities? At which stage of the conquest and in which way was it evacuated? . . . In many cases, the city was conquered first and only afterwards abandoned by its inhabitants. [p57]
Milka Levy-Rubin continues her article with details illustrating what happened in particular cities. We will return to her picture of events which vitiates much of Brockelmann's mild depiction, and the claims of other embellishers and edulcorators as well. And her main source is al-Baladhdhuri, a Muslim historian.

At a time, when charlatans like the late Edward Said have demanded adherence to an embellished picture of Arab and Islamic culture in the name of "leftist" political correctness --in the name of "anti-imperialism," God save us-- yet often serving the contemporary policies of empires, the ugly truth is a necessary corrective.
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Coming: more on James Baker and US Middle East policy, more from Milka Levy-Rubin on the Arab conquests, Jews in Jerusalem and Hebron, propaganda, peace follies, etc.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Jim Baker Makes Things Worse in the Middle East -- He's an Old Hand at Creating Chaos & Befriending Oppression

Condi Rice, US secretary of state, is a follower of the Bakerite religion which came back into vogue in Washington in 2006. She recently testified to a congressional committee that many problems in the Middle East were because of Israel's presence in the region, although she was not specific. This is the position of many in Washington and has long been a theme heard there, especially from oil industry defenders, pro-Arab lobbyists, and some of those who call themselves "realists," not to mention most of what is called the "Left." By blaming Israel, they exemplify what in psychology is called projection. That means projecting on someone else what you yourself are doing or want to do. So they blame Israel for causing problems.

Baker himself is an old hand at Middle Eastern troublemaking. Many of the corpses littering the Middle Eastern landscape can be attributed --in part at least-- to Baker's policies. To this day, Baker's "realism" or cynical hatred for people causes problems. Some of his earlier doings as secretary of state have caused enduring trouble. Let's take Lebanon as a case in point. Lebanon has been bedevilled for years by Syrian hegemony, up to 2005, and since then by Syrian efforts to return and retake control of the Land of the Cedars. Here is Michel Gurfinkiel on Baker's illustrious accomplishments in and for Lebanon:
. . . in August 1990, Saddam Hussein's Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait. The Americans knew several months before that such an operation was being prepared, but did not react as vigorously as one might have expected. For Baker, there was a dilemma between interest and interest. Kuwait, like the other Gulf monarchies, was situated at the heart of the American-Arab petroleum partnership. But Iraq too was a first rank oil producer and seemed to form moreover, in the 1980s, a rampart of those same monarchies against Khomeiniist Iran [bear in mind here that Baker's forerunner as a "realist" US foreign minster, Zbig Brzezinski, had helped Khomeini take over Iran]. What is more, Baker had "advised" --in a personal capacity-- both of those countries [Kuwait & Iraq]. In the end, the secretary of state [Baker] adopted the worst possible attitude. On his instructions, the American ambassador April Glaspie let Saddam Hussein understand in July 1990 that "the United States did not have an opinion on the border conflict between Iraq and Kuwait." The Iraqi dictator interpreted this as an implicit approval of his planned invasion.
For several weeks, Baker tried to dissuade George H W Bush from freeing Kuwait by force. The American president only made a final decision in that direction on the recommendations of British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Then Baker made a strategic and diplomatic "reverse shift." He won over another Baathist dictatorship, Syria, to the anti-Iraqi operation by allowing it to occupy Lebanon in its entirety, including the last Christian bastions. In other words, the United States authorized one Arab country [Syria] to subjugate another [Lebanon] in order to prevent a third [Iraq] from absorbing a fourth [Kuwait]. It might well be, obviously, that Baker wanted to create --through a Syrian protectorate over Lebanon-- a precedent applicable to Kuwait, as long as Saddam Hussein renounced formal annexation [of Kuwait]. Up to 9 January 1991, the American secretary of state was negotiating with the Iraqi minister of foreign affairs, Tariq Aziz, in the hope of finding a compromise [allowing Iraq to keep on occupying Kuwait without formal annexation].
[Michel Gurfinkiel, "Rapport sur Baker" France-Israel Information (Oct-Nov-Dec 2006), p 25]
Here is Gurfinkiel's key phrase above in the original.
En d'autres termes, les Etats-Unis autorisent un pays arabe a` en subjuguer un autre afin d'interdire a` un troisie`me d'en absorber un quatrie`me.
Baker boggles the mind. He is quite a troublemaker all by himself. Can we find anybody to equal his skill at wreck and ruin? The cartoonist Al Capp who drew the Li'l Abner comic strip had a character named Joe Btspflk. Joe always had a cloud over his head wherever he went and wherever he went there was trouble. Joe Btspflk was the artistic representation of James Baker before his time.
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Coming: Jews in Jerusalem and Hebron, peace follies, propaganda, more on Jim Baker versus Israel, etc.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Does Anybody Care If Iran Gets the Bomb???

UPDATING 11-3-2009 at bottom

Politicians have been talking about the Iranian bomb for years. As I recall, Yits'haq Rabin was warning about it before he died in 1995. Yet the mad Mullahs of Teheran keep on advancing towards possession of a Bomb. The International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] kvetches and frets and wrings its hands and complains either that it can't do anything or that everything is OK and not to worry. The UN Security Council passed a few resolutions. It even set some deadlines. But most of the deadlines were violated by Teheran, while the UN Security Council and other high officials, like the Iran contact group or whatever it's called, then set new deadlines, giving the mullahs another chance. So does anybody important really care about Iran having the Bomb?

La Repubblica wrote up the IAEA meeting from March 2006 when the IAEA finally submitted the Iran case to the Security Council. La Repubblica points out some background: The first clashes between the Agency and Iran took place in 2003 when the IAEA reported an Iranian program for enriching uranium going back 18 years which Teheran had apparently hidden until then. If so, then the warnings by Israeli leaders over an Iranian bomb on the way were not given attention or not taken seriously.

At this point, I should mention that Iran is a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty [NPT]. Hence, its development of the Bomb is a violation of a treaty, whereas other states that are believed to have a bomb [Israel] or have recently unveiled their bomb [India, Pakistan] were not signatories to the NPT treaty. Again, it is curious that Israel was warning of an Iranian bomb since Rabin's time and was apparently ignored or not taken seriously. Further, while the USA harshly criticized Teheran's nuclear policy, the Europeans wanted to mediate. The Europeans, such as Germany and Britain, have extensive trade with Iran but no one would suspect them of molding their policy to fit their trading interests and profits. After all, Iran also claims to be developing long range rockets that could reach Europe as well as Israel. Would the EU states endanger their populations for the sake of short term profits from trade with Iran in strategic goods, materials and equipment? Of course, we wouldn't expect the EU to care at all about the welfare of the Jews in Israel.

Iran, to be sure, claims that it intends to use nuclear power for "civilian" not military purposes. At the same time, Iran's fuhrer, Ahmadinejad, threatens to destroy Israel. Which promise or threat are we to believe??

At the March 2006 meeting of the IAEA board of governors, Gregory Schulte, the US delegate,
listed what he considers the overwhelming proofs about the real intentions of the Islamic Republic. Schulte argued in his speech that, "Iran announced to the Agency that it intends to install this year the first 3,000 P-1 centrifuges at the Natanz generating center. It has accumulated a stock of 85 tons of UF6 (Uranium hexafluoride), that once enriched can produce material for about 10 nuclear bombs. . . Everything," he thundered, "makes us clearly understand that Iran is determined to acquire a large-scale enrichment capacity. In January the Agency came into possession of a 15-page document in which the procedures were indicated for transforming enriched uranium into hemispheres of uranium metal. And the IAEA inspectors had no doubts as to the fact that this information served specifically to produce nuclear bombs. This is not even to mention the project on Green Salt, the test on explosions, the plans to obtain a long-range missile capable of transporting nuclear warheads. The Iranians swear that they want to use nuclear power for peaceful and research purposes only. We want to believe them. But why do they then insist on making efforts to elaborate the system of centrifuges? This is the basis for developing uranium enrichment and arriving at building atomic bombs."
[Daniele Mastrogiacomo, La Repubblica 9 March 2006]

This all sounds very ominous. But did even the US government really care? What has it done to demonstrate its concern?

While the American delegate had emphasized that the Iranian endeavors could easily be directed toward building the Bomb, the Iranian delegate, Ali Asghar Sotaniyyah, claimed that the report of Agency head Barada'i was:
too technical and too political.
Then he went on to say:
The nuclear events should have been treated simply as a technical question.
As if the possibility of bellicose jihad worshippers' getting the Bomb could ever be considered a simple "technical question"!!!

Sotaniyyah went on that
All the annoying political information [supplied by the US delegate] has deceived the international community. [That is, only the Americans were deceiving the world, not the Iranians]
It's not clear to me why Sotaniyyah cared to complain that the Americans had "deceived" the international community. Supposing that the American delegate was believed, how much did the world care about the possibility of an Iranian Bomb?

Meanwhile, US delegate Schulte also implored the board of governers of the IAEA:
The time has come that IAEA reacquire its power and that the Security Council give it proper instruments. [Daniele Mastrogiacomo, La Repubblica, 9 March 2006]
Here Schulte wanted the Security Council to authorize special IAEA inspections in Iran.
The board of governors of the IAEA agreed to finally send the Iran case to the Security Council. This decision led to threats from Teheran made by Javad Vaidi, the chief Iranian negotiator:
The USA has the means to cause damage and pain, but they are also susceptible to feeling suffering and pain. If they choose this route, then they take the responsibility on themselves.
Teheran also threatened revenge by means of oil. However, the Iranians
alternated threats with new calming statements. Iran conjured up fire and flames, but then said that they were ready to restart negotiations with the IAEA inspectors. [Mastrogiacomo, La Repubblica, 9 III 2006]
Note the Iranian tactic. First, they make horrendous threats. Then, they say something conciliatory. Meanwhile, the Europeans asked Iran to suspend all enrichment activity, in accord with Agency directives. Barada'i looked unhappy. Then the Iranians
announced that they were ready to return to the negotiating table. But on one condition that they consider "irreversible": that they continue, even on a reduced scale, the activity of nuclear research and development. [Mastrogiacomo]
Even as they set aside their threats and agree to negotiate, they are chiseling away at previous commitments, both to the NPT and to the IAEA. What has the "international community" done since March 2006 to show that it is truly bothered by an Iranian bomb?

postscript: Dear No`am Chomsky and other supposed "ultraleftists" and assorted friends of humanity have turned up in Iran to express support and/or understanding for Nazi Ahmadinejad.

UPDATING: Iranian fuehrer, President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said Tuesday Tuesday [June 5, 2007] that it was "too late" to stop Iran's nuclear program and warned the US and its allies not to push for new UN sanctions on Iran, which he compared to a lion sitting quietly in a corner.
"We advise them not to play with the lion's tail." . . . prompting applause from a room of reporters, Iranian officials and foreign dignitaries at a Teheran news conference.
"It is too late to stop the progress of Iran. . . Iran has passed the point where they wanted Iran to stop.". . .
Addressing the West Ahmadinajad said that a third round of sanctions will only "make things harder for you and distance you from resolving the issue. . . We advise them to give up stubbornness and childish games.". . .
The country's nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, said this week that Iran's disputes over its nuclear program could be settled in the coming weeks if the UN Security Council drops preparations to debate the third round of sanctions.
[Michael Weissenstein, Associated Press, printed in Jerusalem Post, 6 June 2007]
Note the bullying tactics used by the Iranian leaders. At the same time, they hold out the promise of resolution or settlement of the issue if only the Iranian leaders are obeyed.
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UPDATING 11-3-2009 Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal surveys the history of Western pretending by "diplomacy" to get Iran to stop its nuclear bomb project from 2003 to 11/2009 [here]
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Coming: More on Jim Baker and US policy towards Israel, more on Jews in Jerusalem and Hebron, peace follies, propaganda, and more.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

UK-Arab Relations -- Everything's Cozy When the Cash Flows Freely

Let's see what the Brit "Left," so quick to falsely claim that the West favors Israel over the Arabs, will do with this story. British weapons manufacturers sold $85 billion of killing devices to the Wahhabite Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the process, they paid a $2 billion kickback to Prince Bandar for facilitating the sale. Now, $85 billion is a fairly nice sum, even for a rich, capitalist, imperialist country like the United Kingdom of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Here is an AP piece on the story and here a BBC report. The AP and BBC report disagree on the amount of the sale. The AP has $85 billion, while the BBC has only 40 billion pounds sterling, which is less than $85 billion --but only by five or six billion bucks, depending on the dollar-pound rate of exchange which changes from day to day. What are a few billion bucks between friends??

Tony Blair has claimed that the huge weapons sale to the Wahhabite Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was a "strategic interest" of the UK. Tony said this while justifying the quashing of the investigation into the kickback. Tony ought to change his name to Tannous Abu Liar or Antoun bin Kazabin.

It seems that Debbie Schlussel is the only one [among AP and BBC] that remembered that Prince Bandar was Saudi ambassador to the USA at the time of 9/11 and that Bandar's dear wife, Haifa, gave financial aid to two of the 9/11 "activists."

One doubts that the Brit or US "Left" [such as the avowedly Marxist publication, Monthly Review, which has favored "economic" explanations for social and political phenomena] will be led to perceive who really has the big bucks and who really can bend foreign governments to its will --or their will. Somehow, the "Left" will avoid the fact that the Saudi-British relationship is a "strategic interest" of "capitalist, imperialist" Britain. It seems that the "Left" serves to conceal the true British attitude toward Israel. One wonders why.

UPDATING: Here's a little gem of an article that demonstrates just how great Bandar's influence has been in Washington. But the info in this article will not change the paranoid fantasy of the "leftist" Judeophobes that Israel and AIPAC control the USGovt.
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Coming: Jews in Jerusalem and Hebron, peace follies, propaganda, Jim Baker and US policy towards Israel, etc.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The "Ultra-Left" and the Boycott of Israel -- What Are the Grounds?

Precisely on the issue of the British university boycott do we need to go more deeply into what "left" means today. If I had time, I could compile a book of quotes from "leftists" about Israel that echo what Judeophobic "rightists" said about Jews in the 1920s and 1930s. Think about Father Coughlin of the 1930s who used to rail against Jewish bankers, etc., although Coughlin himself met with some international bankers who were not Jews [according to a pamphlet on Coughlin written by A B Magil & published by the American CP]. The Nazis too used to portray Jews as capitalist bloodsuckers. They also used to depict Jews as bolshevik subversives.

Now, it appears that lurking just below the surface of the UCU boycott resolution is the "trotskyist" Socialist Workers party of the UK. This is a continuation of the Healyite faction, which was identified years ago as receiving Arab funds, although organizational names may have changed. Here is the account of one disillusioned follower of Gerry Healy:
"When I joined News Line [the WRP daily] at its launch in 1976, it was no secret that our leader, Gerry Healy, was soliciting funds from the Middle East, but we didn’t realise how far this would go. Under the guise of supporting the Arab peoples against imperialism and Zionism, Healy insisted on slavishly following the line of Arab regimes and leaders - not always easy when they were competing with each other to betray their peoples and pretended cause!
"To my shame, I accepted a report that the Ba’athist regime was conceding autonomy to the Kurds, but I was shocked when Healy denied the Kurds were a nation entitled to rights . . . Then in November 1977 I made the mistake of ‘prematurely’ criticising the Egyptian leader, Anwar Sadat. . .
It seems that the SWP is also connected with the repulsive George Galloway. What is more important is that the SWP argues in favor of struggling against Israel on the grounds that Israel allegedly represents international finance capital, Western imperialism, etc. Yet, today, Arab rulers and individual capitalists hold a quite generous share of capital in the world. Think of the sums brought in every year for Arab oil, especially since the price went up. Think of the Arab-owned corporation stock in Western countries, the real estate holdings in the West, the return on capital to Arab stockholders from holdings in the West, etc. Think of the huge luxury shopping center in Dubai and the artificial real estate being built in the Persian Gulf. All this is reported on the worldwide cable news channels. Where did that money come from? The late Rafiq Hariri was a billionaire [from construction projects in Saudi Arabia] and knew how to buy friends in the West, such as Chirac. Otherwise, would anyone important in the West have cared about his murder?

What is less known and less discussed are his views of Israel and Jews. Hariri had deep Judeophobic prejudices, including belief in Jewish conspiracy theories. He also used his capital to help publish an expensive coffee table book in two volumes supporting Arab/Muslim control of Jerusalem. See link. One of Hariri's partners in this publishing enterprise was none other than the Prince of Wales. This fact alone should be enough to vitiate the pro-Arab enthusiasm of the Brit SWP. Here the Arabs possess huge amounts of capital, influence Western Govts [including the USA], hobnob with leading Westerners [Chirac, Prince Charles, Lord Norfolk, jiminy cricket (ex-prez of US), etc], supply funds to Western politicians [jimmy carter, etc.], finance distorted Middle Eastern studies in the USA and elsewhere, etc. Yet, Israel is depicted as a stronghold of Western capitalism. Part of the problem is that the Bolsheviks took a pro-Muslim stance from nearly the very beginning of their rule in the former Russian Empire. Healy and Galloway and their cohorts are merely following in that tradition.

When I say that anti-Zionism or Israelophobia is the anti-imperialism of fools, I am being too kind & generous to such as the British SWP. These are either vicious, conscious liars or hate-ridden Judeophobic fanatics. Bear in mind that Lenin's definition of imperialism in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism was that imperialism is essentially finance capitalism, the "highest stage of capitalism." Can we see the Kuwaiti sheiks and the Saudi princes as imperialists by Lenin's definition? Do these super-rich Arabs finance Hamas and Fatah and other anti-Israel terrorist gangs, or do they not? Are we allowed to ask the UK SWP to justify their position on the grounds of these facts and of Lenin's definition of imperialism?? If they cannot supply a reasonable justification in terms of their own supposed Leninist ideology, then it is quite clear that they are Judeophobes, in their vocabulary --antisemites. In my terms, they have become Nazis.
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Coming: more on Jews in Jerusalem & Hebron & Land of Israel, peace follies, propaganda, James Baker & US policy towards Israel, etc.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Arabs in Gaza Want Israel

The title of this post does not fit the usual mass media and "leftist" propaganda in the West. According to the usual picture put forth by the media/Left/diplomats, the Arabs in Gaza, Judea & Samaria are eager to be rid of Israeli control or "occupation," to be ruled by Hamas or Fatah --according to taste-- and to establish their own state, a "Palestinian" state, although there was never a "palestinian" nation or state in history. However, Fatah and Hamas both of them supported by Western powers to one extent or other, yet bitter rivals for power and the pecuniary goodies provided by Western and Arab support, have created chaos within Gaza by their internecine combat. This has led many Arabs to feel that they were better off when Israel ruled Gaza and to even wish that Israel might return and rid them of their homegrown tyrants and nemeses.

Prof. Richard Landes at the Augean Stables blog, has written up this subject with a goodly number of quotes. A video showing a Gazan Arab uttering a wish for Israel to come back and rule Gaza appeared on Youtube about a week ago. I found the following in the Israeli daily newspaper Yisraeli, of 31 May 2007. The Israeli reporter Guy Tsabari interviewed the Gazan Arab journalist Sami Musa. Here is what Musa had to say:
. . . The difficult economic situation is causing many Palestinians to long for Israeli rule in the Strip. The functionaries of the [palestinian] Authority have not received salaries for a long time now. Goods are running out in the grocery stores and markets and the stock is not being renewed, because the purchasers don't have anything to pay with. . .
. . . From an economic standpoint, things were much better before implementation of the Oslo Accords. . . The Palestinian workers worked in Israel and brought a lot of money into the Strip, our teachers worked for the Israeli Ministry of Education, and even the Gaza municipality received budgets from Israel. Today we don't have any of this. . .
Although the various nationalist/jihadist groups have brought wreckage into the lives of the Arabs in Gaza and Judea-Samaria, despite the huge sums --the billions-- of Western, Japanese, and Arab money that have come into the palestinian authority zones, into the hands of Fatah, PA, and Hamas leaders, the West continues to support these gangs. Several previous posts here have shown that the UK government under Tony Blair has worked to advance the Hamas. Quisling Norway too favors the Hamas. The EU, however, officially disapproves of Hamas and favors the old PA/Fatah leadership of Mahmud Abbas, Abu `Ala'a, Dahlan, etc. The US State Department seems especially sweet on Muhammad Dahlan, himself a murderous thug. If the Hamas were less stubborn, they could have had the open support of most Western states and the EU, and still kept the Nazi-like clauses of their Hamas charter. Article Seven of the Hamas charter repeats an old Muslim fable, a hadith [tradition] from a thousand years ago or more. At the End of Days, the Muslims will fight the Jews. The Jews will hide behind rocks and trees. These inanimate objects will call out: O Muslim, a Jew is hiding behind me. Come kill him.

And Western governments, including Norway that has Jewish blood on its hands, support the Hamas, although most Western states are not as blatant as Norway, nor as diplomatically active in promoting the Hamas as the UK has been [in addition to UK tolerance for jihadists generally]. One sometimes wonders whom the Arab terrorist factions, Hamas & Fatah & the rest are meant to represent and to help, the Arabs or the West.

By the way, internecine combat among palestinian Arab factions, groups, gangs, and movements has a long history. For instance, in July-August 1978 hundreds of palestinian Arabs were killed in internecine combat in the southern Beirut neighborhoods of Sabra & Shatila & Burj al-Barajnah. In one case, one faction bombed an apartment building in which a rival faction had its offices, in an effort to wipe out the leadership of that other faction. In these actions, hundreds of non-combatants were killed. Of course, the anti-Israel media find it necessary to forget about these incidents of intra-Arab fighting, the better to smear Israel.
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Coming: Jews in Jerusalem and Hebron, more on James Baker & US policy towards Israel, peace follies, propaganda, etc.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

The Semi-Official Brits Do It Again -- The British Canard Ought to Be Muzzled [enchaine']

UPDATINGS AT BOTTOM

The surreptitious British campaign to smear Israel has struck again. The BBC, an arm of the British Foreign Office, is putting forth a virtually meaningless document to smear Israel and, as some have said, to shatter another Israeli "myth." Just why the British psywar experts and their Western and Arab comrades in arms are so busy "shattering" Israeli "myths" should be no mystery. It's an expression of hatred and a method of psychological warfare against an enemy. The Entebbe Rescue is one of the great stories of heroism in modern history. Israelis and Jews everywhere rightly took pride in it, albeit it was not 100% successful, since the commander, Yoni Netanyahu, as well as some hostages, died in the raid. Here is the BBC website article which clumsily puts forth a comment by an anonymous source as a serious argument against what Israelis and decent people throughout the world have believed about the Entebbe Rescue. See link here.
A UK government file on the crisis, released from the National Archives, contains a claim that Israel itself was behind the hijacking.

An unnamed contact told a British diplomat in Paris that the Israeli Secret Service, the Shin Bet, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) collaborated to seize the plane. [BBC website, 1 June 2007]
Does this contain any information other than that British diplomats and their anonymous informants were hostile to Israel? The informant in this case seems to be an Arab, probably from Fatah rather than the PFLP, since Fatah had an incentive to "smear" the rival Popular Front gang as collaborators with Israel. The document, as cited, proves nothing about any Israeli involvement in the hijacking. To even make such a virtually meaningless document the centerpiece of a media smear campaign against Israel shows the depths to which the BBC and its partners in the British print media will go in efforts to smear Israel. At the same time, it may be a sign of desperation that they even use something so cloudy and lacking in substance. They have chosen a weak reed indeed to lean upon.

The BBC web site article is interesting in that it also reports a coy official British approach toward the successful Israeli operation. The article reports that British officials questioned whether the operation was legal under international law and were uncertain whether the Ugandan dictator at the time, Idi Amin, was really collaborating with the hijackers. There is no mention that Amin came to the airport to view the hostages and talk with the hijackers. Nor is there mention that Idi Amin was under the influence at that time of a white British officer named Major Bob Astles. This coy questioning about the international legality of the Israeli operation also demonstrates the depth of hatred for Israel within the Foreign Office at that time, more than thirty years ago.

One needs to read BBC articles like this one while bearing in mind the BBC and Foreign Office attitude toward the Holocaust. At the beginning of the Holocaust, the BBC pretended not to know about it, although Britain no doubt had excellent intelligence about doings within the Nazi-fascist domain. Later, some information was broadcast but such broadcasts were minimized and the role of the Jews as victims of a monstruous crime was obfuscated to an extent. Barbara Rogers, a British historian, gives an overview of British official policy on reporting the Holocaust. Here are some other of our earlier posts on the BBC and the Holocaust based on letters published in Yiddish by Shmul Zigelboym, delegate of socialist Jewish Labor Bund to the Polish government in exile in London, who made largely fruitless efforts to get the British to help the Jews trapped in Poland and to get the BBC to emphasize their plight. Here & here & here & qui & ici & aqui'. The British Foreign Office also ordered British troops not to go into Baghdad during the massacre of Jews in 1941 called the Farhud to stop that massacre, according to a British officer named Somerset de Chair. This can be considered a British contribution to the Holocaust. Moreover, it was British policy, specifically that of Anthony Eden, the foreign minister, to foster Arab nationalism and foundation of the Arab League.

The BBC cannot be considered a neutral party in the Arab-Israel conflict, nor are its reports reliable.

UPDATING
William Goldnadel of the Association France-Israel has pointed out that LeMonde too has also played up the meaningless British embassy report as if it proved that the Israel Shin Beyt security agency were behind the Entebbe hijacking. Le Monde is a newspaper controlled by the French foreign ministry as the BBC is controlled by the British Foreign Office.

COQUECIGRUES [par Gilles William Goldnadel, le six juin 2007]

Dans son édition du 3 juin, Le Monde publie un article qui affirme : « Des documents d’archives du gouvernement britannique rendus publiques vendredi 1er juin, jettent un doute sur la version officielle d’une des plus célèbres prises d’otage de l’histoire contemporaine, le détournement, il y a 31 ans, d’un avion d’Air France vers Entebbe, en Ouganda ».

Selon ces documents, ce détournement serait « l’œuvre du F.P.L.P. avec l’aide du Shin Bet (le service de sécurité intérieure israélien) ».

Lorsqu’on se donne la peine de lire l’article, on s’aperçoit que ce serait un « contact anonyme » membre de « l’Association parlementaire euro arabe » qui aurait transmis cette « information » à un diplomate britannique en poste à Paris…

Et c’est sur cette base dont on peut juger du solide, que notre sérieux quotidien conclut péremptoirement que cette thèse « éclaire d’un jour nouveau le raid sur Entebbe ».
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Here's an analysis of the same fake accusation as made by the French government's semi-official press agency, Agence France Presse [AFP]. This analysis, in French, comes from the Metulla News Agency.

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Coming: More on James Baker and US policy towards Israel, Jews in Jerusalem and Hebron, peace follies, propaganda, etc.

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