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Emet m'Tsiyon

Friday, March 28, 2014

The New York Times Once Again Shamelessly Displays Its Partisanship & Contempt for Facts

No doubt that the New York Times lies or omits vital information on all sorts of matters and issues. But when Israel is concerned, the NYT can be relied upon  to both be partisan and to falsify almost always. This carries over of course to Arab affairs. The officials and operatives of the PLO, known to be bloodthirsty enemies of Israel, need to be protected from their own records of mass murder and Big Lies.
Therefore, Rashid Khalidi, now an American professor, must have his reputation protected and his personal record sanitized. He is a scion of the al-Khalidi family, long prominent in the Jerusalem area with some of its sons taken into the imperial service by the Ottoman Empire and given high imperial rank. His relative Walid Khalidi worked with British political agents to make propaganda for the Palestinian Arab cause --also a British cause-- in the UK and the USA.  Rashid is American-born, yet served the PLO as one of its leading PR agents, that is, leading liars, for several years in Beirut. Now that Rashid is a prof at the Ivy League Columbia University, it might embarrass not only him but Columbia and his friend B Hussein Obama if it became common knowledge that he was a leading PLO liar in Beirut when the PLO and its member groups made no attempt to conceal their terrorist bloodthirst.
 So the NYT must cover up for its pet "moderate" Arab terrorist mouthpiece. Here is the essence of Prof Martin Kramer's devastating refutation of  the lies about Khalidi in and by the NYT:
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. . .  I do care how the New York Times reported one aspect of the story this morning: “Critics have accused the professor of having had ties to the Palestine Liberation Organization, which he has denied.” The reference here is to the activities of Khalidi when he resided in Beirut in the 1970s and up until Israel’s 1982 invasion. In those days, the PLO ran an exterritorial gangland, and was neck-deep in terrorism planned by Arafat and his mob.
Note this phrase: “Critics have accused…” Today’s article thus repeats a trope that appeared back in 2008, when the Times ran a piece on Khalidi prompted by his past association with Barack Obama:
He taught at universities in Lebanon until the mid-’80s, and some critics accuse him of having been a spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization. Mr. Khalidi has denied working for the group, and says he was consulted as an expert by reporters seeking to understand it.
Again, it’s the “critics” who “accuse him.”
Well, I’m a critic, but we critics didn’t just imagine Khalidi’s PLO affiliation. We were alerted to it by a parade of highly regarded journalists, including two from the New York Times. So here are the “critics” who first leveled the “accusation” (still more sourcing here):
• Joe Alex Morris Jr., reporting from Beirut for the Los Angeles Times on September 5, 1976, quoted Khalidi and described him as “a PLO spokesman.”
• James M. Markham, reporting from Beirut in the New York Times on February 19, 1978, quoted Khalidi and described him as “an American-educated Palestinian who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut and also works for the P.L.O.”
• A Pacifica Radio documentary, reporting in 1979 from Beirut, interviewed Khalidi “at the headquarters of the PLO in Beirut,” and described him as “an official spokesperson for the Palestinian news service Wafa,” “PLO spokesperson,” “official spokesperson for the PLO,” and “the leading spokesperson for the PLO news agency, Wafa.”
• Thomas Friedman, reporting from Beirut in the New York Times on June 9, 1982, quoted Khalidi and described him as “a director of the Palestinian press agency, Wafa.”
• Doyle McManus, reporting on rumored American-PLO contacts in the Los Angeles Times on February 20, 1984, quoted Khalidi and described him as “a former PLO official.”
• James Rainey, reporting on Khalidi’s connection to Obama for the Los Angeles Times on October 30, 2008, described him as “a renowned scholar on the Palestinians who in the 1970s had acted as a spokesman for Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization.” (As I noted at the time, the Los Angeles Times thus honorably stood by the 1976 reportage of its legendary, long-dead Beirut correspondent, Joe Alex Morris Jr.)
• Thomas W. Lippman, for thirty years a diplomatic, national security, and Middle East correspondent for the Washington Post, in a letter published in that paper on November 1, 2008, wrote that “Khalidi was indeed ‘a PLO spokesman.’ In the early years of the Lebanese civil war, Mr. Khalidi was the Beirut-based spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization, and his office was a stop on the daily rounds of journalists covering that conflict. As we used to say in the pre-electronic newspaper business: Check the clips.”
None of these people were or are “critics” of Rashid Khalidi, and two of them were reporting for the New York Times itself. So why does the Times repeatedly inform us that it is only Khalidi’s “critics” who have “accused” him, when in fact a raft of esteemed journalists who interviewed him in Beirut identified him as a PLO spokesman, as a fact? This is not another he-said she-said (or Jew-says Arab-says) question. As Thomas Lippman said: Check the clips.
This is another opportunity to urge the New York Times to get off its derriere and get to the bottom of the Khalidi story. It is unthinkable that a Brooklyn-born, Yale-educated U.S. citizen operated in PLO headquarters in Beirut in the late 1970s, and wasn’t known to the personnel of the U.S. embassy and the CIA station. That was over thirty years ago, so some documents must have been declassified. Can we get some investigative reporting here? Instead all we’ve ever read about Khalidi in the Times is the puff piece.
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For full article by Martin Kramer, go here.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Why Do the Arabs Oppose Recognizing a Jewish State?

Prime Minister Netanyahu suggested to US  secretary of state John Kerry that the framework he was drawing up for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority include Palestinian Arab recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Kerry did intend to include this Israeli proposal but since has backed away from it in view of Arab opposition, first of all from Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah and Palestinian Authority. Just today, the Arab League voted its support for Abbas' position.

One of the justifications for this opposition that apologists for the PA/PLO present is that by Israel being a Jewish state, the civil rights of Arab citizens of Israel would be adversely affected. However, all states belonging to the Arab League define themselves as Arab states. All Arab League member states but Lebanon define themselves constitutionally as Islamic states in one way or another. This does not stop them from opposing Israel being defined as a Jewish national state. The arguments against Israel as a Jewish state could logically be applied to Arab and Islamic states, and with more justification, since we have the benefit of hindsight to know just how non-Arabs and non-Muslims have been treated in Arab states.

The explanation for the Arab position lies, I believe, in the traditional Arab-Muslim view of Jews as an inferior dhimmi people, a millet [see below] devoid of national rights, and only entitled to live if they pay a yearly head tax on dhimmis called the jizya. The dhimma system applied to all non-Muslims who were subjects of the Islamic state, with individual exceptions. Within this system, the Jews were at the bottom of the barrel, at least in the Fertile Crescent  countries, including the Levant, where the Jews' status was inferior to that of their fellow dhimmis, the Christians.

Whereas the Quran and medieval Arab historiography, such as the writings of Ibn Khaldun, recognize the Jews as a nation or people, the entrenched Islamic view of Jews as an evil, inferior contemptible millet is now dominant. Moreover, in fact, in practice, that was the actual status of Jews in the Arab-Muslim countries for centuries. Even today in the 21st century Muslims believe that Jews do not deserve the dignity of having a national state of their own, the Quran and the old Arab historians notwithstanding.

This contemptuous view of Jews is clearly stated by the PLO in its charter. Article 20, already denies that the Jews are a people, claiming that they are merely a "religious" group. Jewish tradition holds that the Jews are both a people and a  religious group. Here is the relevant text of Art. 20:

"The claim of historical or religious ties between Jews and Palestine does not tally with historical realities nor with the constituents of statehood in their true sense. Judaism in its character as a religion is not a nationality with an independent existence. Likewise the Jews are not one people with an independent identity. They are rather citizens of the states to which they belong."

Note the contempt for Jews which oozes from this text. The history of Israelite/Jewish kingdoms in the country, as well as of the Roman province of Judea, is denied. The setting of much of the Hebrew Bible lies in the Land Of Israel which the PLO denies in a way reminiscent of Holocaust denial. Further, Jews do not have "the constituents of statehood in their true sense." Just by the way, the Nazis and other German Judeophobes claimed that the Jews were not capable of being a "state-forming nation." [see Francis R  Nicosia, The Third Reich and the Palestine Question (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press 1985)].

For texts of the PLO charter and the  Hamas charter, see here.
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Addition: in ancient Greek Jews were sometimes referred to as Ethnous Ioudaion, Jewish nation.
millet -- Turkish word referring to a recognized, organized religio-ethnic community within the Ottoman Empire [from the Arabic word milla or millatun, meaning originally people or nation but in Turkish usage referring specifically to the legally inferior communities of dhimmis (zimmis in Turkish), who were in turn the non-Muslim subjects of the Islamic states]. The millet was charged with keeping order among its members and often charged with collecting the jizya tax from them, and the millet enjoyed a certain religious autonomy and authority over its members, provided that Islamic restrictions on dhimmis were not violated. The traditional millets were the Armenians, Ermeni millet, like the Jews a religio-ethnic community, the Jews, a millet within the Ottoman Empire and also including Samaritans defined as Jews in Muslim tradition; as well as Greek Orthodox Christians, who were called I believe Rumi millet. The Greek Orthodox millet included Arabic-speaking Christians as well as other Eastern Orthodox Christians, such as Vlakhs [the old name for Rumanians], Bulgars, Serbs, etc. In the 19th century up to 1914, eleven millets were added to the original three, with the new millets representing ethnic subdivisions of the Greek Orthodox.There were no doubt nuances of the law in effect in different places.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Crimea? Why Doesn't Obama Blame Bush for Kossovo?

What does Crimea have to do with Kossovo? In both cases, you have a territory with a certain amount of official autonomy within a larger state. Kossovo was part of Serbia with an autonomous status officially. And Serbia was a part --a republic-- of Yugoslavia.  The Crimea was an autonomous republic, officially, within Russia until 1954. In that year, a year after Stalin's death, the new boss of the USSR, Nikita Khrushchov, administratively transferred the Crimea from Russia to Ukraine. Why did he do it? I can't be sure. He was part Ukrainian and maybe wanted to flatter his conationals or make up for the cruelties under his own rule over Ukraine in the 1930s. In any event, it didn't much matter in Soviet days since all the big decisions were made in Moscow.

So historically the Crimea was never Ukrainian. In ancient times it is said to have been inhabited by Scythians and Sarmatians, people of whom little is now known. There were Greek colonies there in classical times and it became part of the Roman empire along with Greece and later, in the Middle Ages, it formed part of the East Roman [Byzantine] Empire, although as Byzantium grew weaker, Genoa set up colonies there along with Byzantine-ruled areas, after a time of Khazar rule. In the 1200s it was conquered by Genghis Khan's Mongol Golden Horde and Tartars have been there ever since.

The peninsula was mainly inhabited by Tartars, eventually converted to Islam, and under loose Ottoman suzerainty. The Tartars raided the Slavic zones of northern Ukraine, southeastern Poland, Belarus and southern Russia for slaves, They seem to have been the major source of slaves for the  empire. It was after Russia had stopped the slave raids after annexing the Crimea in 1783 that the Ottoman Empire turned to Black Africa as its major source of slaves.

In fact all of southern Ukraine of today was Tartar territory conquered by Russia starting with 1774 and the Treaty of Kutchuk Kainardji. The conquest of Crimea crowned this Russian effort. The Turkish historian Kamal Karpat notes that  most of the Tartars migrated to the lands of the Ottoman Empire so as not to live under infidel rule. The Russian tsars undertook to give special inducements to get their subjects to come settle in the depopulated formerly Tartar territory. Even Jews were given inducements to settle there, such as exemption from restrictions on Jews elsewhere in the Russian Empire. Settlers, including Jews, were given land.

Hence, the southern Ukraine of today was not Ukrainian originally. But the clown Yatseniuk, new leader of the Ukraine, says that the Ukraine will never surrender. He was referring to the Crimea, never Ukrainian until 1954. And he almost sounds like he is saying that the Ukraine will fight for the Crimea until the last drop of blood. And Yatseniuk and his followers want to fight over what was never Ukrainian until a Soviet ruler made an arbitrary decision in 1954. It seems that Soviet Communist decisions are more important than self-determination of the current population now in the Crimea.

The Western powers, especially the EU and USA, are mightily outraged. International law is being violated by Russia and its planned annexation of the Ukrainian real estate called the Crimea. The pro-Russian referendum is another violation of international law. To be sure, the referendum was hardly fair. Voters could not vote to stay with the Ukraine. The choices on the vote were limited, much like the choices on many public opinion polls that are designed to elicit the desired answer, whatever public opinion may really be. On the other hand, TV reports on Israel and France24 TV showed that the majority wanted reunification with Russia. In the Crimea the West exalts the principle of  "international law" and rejects self-determination.

In Kossovo, on the other hand, where Kossovo was part of Serbia, the West rejected international law in favor of self-determination for the Kossovo Albanians who had, by the way, performed ethnic cleansing on the Serbs in that territory with seeming international approval. And this was after centuries of Kossovo Albanian oppression and exploitation of Serbs in Kossovo since nearly all Kossovo Albanians were Muslims in the Muslim Ottoman Empire.

Let's say politely that the West has flexible standards, not double standards, God forbid. Just flexible ones. And it seems that interests overcome principles.

Prez George Bush II, the one whom Obama likes to blame for all domestic and international problems, pushed Kossovo independence and its breaking away from Serbia. Russia opposed this on the grounds of international law. Now the situation is reversed. Putin and other Russian officials warned at the time that supporting Kossovo independence against Serbia could lead to other actions elsewhere that the West might not like. But Bush and Condoleezza Rice went ahead with promoting the independence of a government of traders in human body parts. It's obvious that the subsequent Georgian and Crimean crises are Russian reactions to Western actions in Kossovo, promoted by Bush and Condi. But Obama has nothing to say in criticism of Bush's Kossovo policy. That he apparently approves of although, as Putin said, that policy opened a Pandora's box.

In view of the above, how can anyone both sane and well-informed believe that US mediation can lead to Israel-Arab peace?

Also on Kossovo see here & here & here.

On Crimea and Ukraine see an interview with Charles E King  here.
Leftist writer also acknowledges presences of Nazi-sympathizers in Ukrainian Maidan movement [here]