In Part I of this piece we looked at the Observer editorial published on CiF on December 27th 2009 and analysed its content. Now let’s peruse the comments relating to that editorial and examine the symbiotic relationship which exists between posters below the line and those above it who propagate lies and distortions about Israel.
Immediately, the influence of a recent CiF article by Neve Gordon can be seen in this comment, with an almost verbatim repetition of Gordon’s claims regarding the Second Intifada.
27 Dec 2009, 5:49AM
The problem with the I/P conflict is that Israel gets favourable and preferential treatment in all aspects of it, from reporting to UNSC vetoes.
How many tens of thousands of tons of ammunition has Israel fired at Gazans? At Palestinians in total? Israel shot over a million bullets in the opening weeks of the second intifada. Yet, despite this, the precise number of Palestinian rockets and suicide bombers is documented, displayed, discussed, and generally, disgustingly, used to avoid mentioning what Israel has been doing to Palestinians since 1948.
Right now Israel is effectively being rewarded, lavishly, for occupying the West Bank and starving Gazans. Until that changes, until Israel is boycotted, Israel and Israelis won’t care. They’ll simply carry on inflicting suffering and callously pretending it’s self defence.
(Don’t get me wrong though – I’m not proposing a boycott of Israel that is sadistic or cruel like the one on Gaza. A boycott can harm the economy and show that many people don’t think it’s moral to starve Palestinians without starving Israelis.)
Then, the influence of a recent Victoria Brittain article came to light.
28 Dec 2009, 11:27AM
As I wrote above, Genocide no-longer means mass deaths but rather a cut finger and a birth rate twice that of the world average.
And it’s not importnat th fact that the people are drinking poisoned water according to a recent CIF article? Doesn’t it matter the fact that people are malnourished, that they cannot develop normally in any sense?
Yesterday I saw in CNN a Palestinian girl who had her legs burned by white phosphorus in the Israeli assault. This is Israeli care.
Evidence of the effects of the above editorial’s downplaying, if not complete airbrushing, of terrorism was soon at hand.
27 Dec 2009, 3:23AM
When I started to hear about the tunnels in Gaza, nothing came to my mind but a dual carriageway with the usual neon and amber lights.
A shocking truth -one in a long list, unfortunatey- came when some articles showed what these things actually were:
Nothing but holes in the dirt where people, in their own land, crawl through to get some necessities for survival.
Showing Superiority by dehuminasing people is ANOTHER MASK to fall off the face of an aggressive and Brutal Tyrant (with capital T).
You can dehuminase people but please don’t force the whole world to support and finance your Thirst for Violence.
Unfortunately, the powerful world is providing material support and both explicit and implicit approval for these false self-defence policies.
Calling these enslaved human beings Terrorists is nothing but blatant admission of what the perpetrators really are.
27 Dec 2009, 5:53AM
Hamas does not call for the destruction of Israel. It wants Israel to return to original borders and every attempt to negotiate with israel has failed because of the Israelis.
One condemns violence but at least the Palestinians are fighting against occupation and colonisation. The Israelis use violence to maintain occupation and colonisation, killing ten, twenty, thirty times more Palestinians than the Palestinian resistance has killed Israeli occupiers.
27 Dec 2009, 7:08AM
Hamas talks to Israel. Of course they recognise the entity. They have also changed the charter.
By the way, which other occupied and colonised people are judged as the Palestinians? None, never. Double standards.
This problem exists because Israel continued to occupy and colonise.
? completely agree with woodyvx. Hamas wants all of the Holy Land and will not stop until its greed is satisfied.
And that is exactly why the People of Gaza live in misery. No one can get rid of Hamas other than the Palestinians themselves
Why wouldn?t they want all of the Holy Land. It is their homeland which was stolen by zionists.
Hamas is only trying to oppose what the west should be doing?.ending occupation by a brutal racist regime. I don?t condone all their methods or their poor planning but I definitely oppose using modern warfare machinery against civilians. It doesn?t matter whether the victim is blown apart by suicide bombs or an A to G missile, the victim is still dead and the family grieves that is unless they were also wiped out by collective punishment.
Is it hard to see where the present situation took root. It doesn?t take Enstein (and he opposed zionism) to figure out if you move into someone?s neighborhood, steal their land, kill their kin folk and humiliate them that it will lead to trouble. I?m sure you can?t all be that dumb. I believe you know you are wrong as did Ben Gurion and now you try to justiy you deeds
.Cant be done WRONG is WRONG and you know it and just cant face your guilt. One day it will find you.
Distortion of history and facts is as popular below the line as it is above.
27 Dec 2009, 11:49AM
A few years back I recall reading about a book (I don´t remeber the name and would be happy if someone would let me know it) that caused uproar in Israel by stating that many of the Jews who went to Israel after WW2 did so under the coercion of Zionists. Many would have preferred to rebuild their lives in Europe or go to America which has, of course, the worlds largest Jewish population.
On my frequent visits there, almost without exception, the Israelis I meet tell me of their desire for a US or european passport. Other demographics of that tragic country include Russians who are generally not in the slightest way religious but managed to find a jewish grandmother on their family tree to allow them to escape the poverty and cold of siberia. Likewise from the south come African Jews, usually found filed away in desert sh*tholes like Be`er Sheva or hanging out on the streets of Eilat waiting for occasional menial work.
Aside from a few hardcore Zionists, who with their gift for propaganda have managed to convince several others, most sane people would rightly think that establishing a western society in a desert with no oil and no water (save that which can be stolen from the west bank) was a bad idea. Let alone the fact that there was already people living there. You`d have to be the the king of dubai to think that one would work – perhaps they could build an enormous artificial island in the shape of a palm tree just off the coast of Tel Aviv to take some of the overspill of Gaza.
At its heart the state of Israel is the lovechild of some crazy religious fundamentalists and Imperial American megalo-maniac leaders. They should´ve been pushed down the stairs during pregnancy to abort their monstrous baby that was to kill an destroy the lives of millions upon millions of Jews and Arabs.
Frankly you`d think an article headed “One year on we need progress in Gaza” wouldn`t create so much controversy but such is the hate that this little experiment has casued.
28 Dec 2009, 5:22PM
Why do Israel supporters ignore the fact that Hamas agreed to a 2 state solution based ’67 borders months ago and prefer to peddle the myth that the only thing they want is war?
Totalo boycott of Israel and a complete ban on anyone going in or out of the country is what is needed for the Israeli to start lobbing their nukes around.
Giving land to religious fanatics who believe that some god gave them land is never a good idea.
From there, it is only a short step to the delegitimisation of Israel as a nation.
27 Dec 2009, 3:23AM
The use of white phosphorous against civilian targets, as well as other suspected breaches of humanitarian law, have corroded the country’s moral standing even among its most robust supporters.
Yes, I must say that doubts is rising whether Israel is a state in its own right or just a haphazard construction, leaning on one hand on a fairytale myth about an ancient people that emigrated and on the other hand a myth about the need to have a ‘Western’ bridge-head in the Middle East.
The crimes committed by IDF and The Israel government during these years, and last year in particular, does not speak in its favour. It points at a failed state, or at least a failed state to be, unless some sensible people take the leadership.
As is the case all too often on CiF, the use of terms such as ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘genocide’ abounded on this thread.
27 Dec 2009, 2:02AM
As the appeal on the Comment is Free ‘Letters’ page (4th letter down) so rightly states: “The confinement and punishment of an entire population is no way to bring about peace for all the people of the Middle East.” But one wonders if Israel actually ever wanted peace. It seems obvious to me that the aim has always been to drive the Palestinians out. We all know about the ethnic cleansing in 1948, but go back to the massacres in Gaza in 1956 for example:
?They Planted Hatred in Our Hearts?
The killings took place during the Suez crisis of 1956, when the Israeli Army swept into the Gaza Strip, the great majority of whose inhabitants were Palestinian refugees. According to figures from the United Nations, 275 Palestinians were killed in the town of Khan Younis at the southern end of the strip on Nov. 3, and 111 died in Rafah
A shame about the gutless David Milliband and his pathetic apology to the racist Israeli FM on the event of a show of integrity by a British judge recently.
27 Dec 2009, 3:20AM
I wonder why my post was removed..? Ah yes, probably because I quoted the scathing Gerald Kaufman House of Commons speech on atrocities being committed in Gaza earlier this year. Perhaps the moderator didn’t realise that it was merely an posting an excerpt from the excellent video linked to by russellhiggs, second post down.
Actually, I would say that the words of Yonatan Shapira, former Israeli Airforce Captain (on the BBC News item at the beginning of the video), are the ones to that should not be missed.
27 Dec 2009, 12:23PM
And Israel’s cowardly land theft and genocide of Palestinians continues with the West’s support.
28 Dec 2009, 2:19PM
It seems that there are those who claim to “condemn any action which contradicts the Geneva convention”, but they seem to be less forthcoming if these violations are committed by Israel. Not a single day passes without Israel persistently violating the Geneva Convention.
Similarly, there are those who fail to admit and condemn the Israeli systematic war crimes against the Palestinians. As there is overwhelming evidence of the Israeli war crimes, such as those listed in the Goldstone report and there is evidence of the death, maiming and suffering the Israeli war crimes are causing the Palestinians, the issue is the Israeli “intent to destroy” to establish that what Israel does in Gaza is genocide. In that context the murderous statements made by Israeli official are important. Statements made by soldiers carrying out these Israeli policies, such as in graffiti declaring: “The Zionist occupier was here” and “We came to annihilate you” [see
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1063768.html], are relevant. It is therefore pathetic to state: “so graffiti writing are War Crimes ?”, as it ignores the fact that it was made while 1400 Palestinians were massacred by Israeli soldiers.
In particular, the siege, which is imposed by Israel, is causing the death of babies, children and adults. It is my view that the slow genocide of Gaza has already started, but for sure if the siege is held for much longer the death toll would escalate and the life expectancy would be further reduced. Do those who attack comments that criticise the Israel crimes agree that the siege is a war crime? Do they oppose the siege?
As ever, the conspiracy theorists were out in force on this thread too.
27 Dec 2009, 2:17AM
The article is fair, reasonable and honest. Your comments on the other hand defy any sense of reasonableness. It appears that you connected in some way with the Israel military or government otherwise you would not be so sure of the exact casualty figures. Be honest and declare your allegiances.
27 Dec 2009, 9:01AM
?But things have changed. For the worse. Not so long ago Palestinians were highly educated, they still had opportunities for work and business. People could come and go more freely. Today the fragmentation of their land is accelerating, education is what it was a hundred years ago. They are restricted and controlled at every point of life. Food, water, electricity and other elementary resources are restricted in the most petty and penny-pinching way. Health service is not even the most basic?.
The morality of Western politicians goes only skin deep. It is obvious their concience can be bought cheaply. Quite likely your representative. Research their bribes. Many Israeli lobby groups maintain control of their ?prostitutes? as is customary in the profession but not the usual drugs or a beating instead with either all expenses paid trips to Israel, threats to withold campaign funds or blackmail. Not much will change until their corruption is exposed and the popular media can have a free voice to expose Until the propaganda war is less one sided little will change and the Zionist cheerleaders are out in force at present.
?Israel should also bring any of its citizens suspect of warcrime to the Hague before an international court.?
This is unthinkable to those who consider themselves on a superior moral planet while they commit war crimes. Nazis were not delivered by the Third Reich, likewise they will be brought to the ICC by others.
Palestinian activists should move towards imprisoning Israelis in their compound, Israel, targetting them when they venture outside. BDS initially and failing that hit them hard where they cannot so readily control their security and retaliate with collective punishment.
Focus on high profile arrests and targetting of suspected zionist criminals and their “prostitutes”. Politicians love and deserve the lime light.
27 Dec 2009, 10:23AM
You need us much more than we need you The very programme you are using to convey your (whoooo so frightening) threats is based on an Israeli patent.
You really believe your own propaganda.
b>No one needs you, infact you and your little terror camp are the root of many of our problems. We are identified with you and your brutality.
Yes there are creative and bright people amongst Israelis. The majority from all indications distance themselves from the actions of your regime. You are left with the uneducated who believe Israel was given to them as G*D?s own bit of discrimination. Then there are those who cant resist a bargain, like land for free and maybe a free house. Amazing what you can do on the $3B plus military ?loads and trade credits at our tax payers expense. Without the hand outs you guys would be happy to labor in Palestinian fields growing watermelons. My sympathy is with your poor children who will carry the load created by the present generation. More future refugees in the making. Get it straight. No one needs you and few like you. The main support is from the politicians you have bought, again with our tax money. I do know the difference between Zionists and Jews. You are the former and doing a dis-service to Judaism who will ultimately suffer for Israli government crimes. History repeating itself with your help.
My hope is for one day a genuine leader to rise and create a non racist state for all people. Drag yourself away from your blood sports a few thousand miles into space and look down….then THINK.
28 Dec 2009, 2:57PM
As the days and months go by it appears fewer and fewer people could give a flying one if israel disappeared into an enormous black hole.
It has exactly zero supporters in the right thinking world these days. It is, quite frankly, about as popular as anthrax.
Sadly this is also against the backdrop of an Israel that is falling to bits. Boycotss are springigng up, less people want to trade with it, noone wants to move there, people are leaving, arreat warrants issued for its criminal leaders.
How did it come to this? And how much blame should be attached to the keyboard giyus warriors who did more than anyone to destroy israels reputation. How ironic that the giyus call is the signal for them to perform positive PR on behalf of Israel.
I for one used to have a lot more time for israel until i began reading these threads and got a whiff of what israels supporters were really about (stand up Geoffrey Alderman, MoveAnyMountain, et al).
Those who would see Israel disappear look well on the way to victory. Once upon a time I would have been arsed.
Although the Guardian itself may not use Nazi analogy when attacking Israel, it certainly lacks diligence when it comes to preventing such analogies appearing below the line. Increasingly too, we see apartheid analogies used.
27 Dec 2009, 12:07PM
Thank you for the link you posted:
It does explain it all very clearly.
27 Dec 2009, 11:43AM
So you want to mention UN resolutions. I recall about 65 UN resolutions that Israel chooses to ignore. It only wants to recognise the one that is beneficial to itself. I believe that one was a grave mistake which has since cost a lot of lives and suffering. It was a bad idea then and it is a bad idea now. Did anyone bother to ask those who already occupied the land whether they minded? What would Americans do if over half the US was given to, say China, as they need more land? Would Americans move out of their hoses to make way for the Chinese? Would Americans accept being humiliated at checkpoints? I suspect the situation would unfold pretty much along the lines as have happened in Palestine.
.NO ONE wants their homeland taken from them by force or by decree from a third party. It?s as simple as that. The situation has since grown more complex and those Israelis born into Palestine have a right to be there and so do the Palestinians who were driven from their homes and their descendents. International law supports both. Therefore a solution has to be found or the bloodshed will continue with your children and don?t assume you will always have the military might. You?ll face destruction one day if you do not find an acceptable agreement to both sides. In my opinion a Palestine for all is the only morally right outcome unless you remain committed to apartheid and condemnation from much of the world population.
27 Dec 2009, 9:02AM
No rockets are fired at israel from the West Bank but the evil occupation continues. It is nonsense to suppose that if Hamas disappeared all would be well for the Gazans. Meantime Israel has done nothing to earn respect or recognition from those whose throats its jackboot has been stamping on for 40 or 60 years. The racist regime wants all of the Holy Land and will not stop until its greed is satisfied.
What we need is a western leader with balls enough to break the siege by sailing through international waters and landing supplies on Gaza’s beach – with escorting warships if necessary.
27 Dec 2009, 3:34AM
I am unsure as to why “a moderator” felt compelled to censor and remove my comment from 27 Dec 2009, 1:58AM, stating “Gaza is simply a well closed off ghetto. The western world should be ashamed to tolerate this.”
I assume an improper understanding of the word “ghetto” has led to this, therefore I reference here three definitions that hold authority on the web and are believed to be partisan:
– Google Dictionary
Gaza seems to me a territory suffering severe depravation where any traffic inside and outside, be it of people or goods, is rigorously restricted, and thus meets my statement formed at 1:58 am. That the west should feel ashamed for it inaction is a personal and legitimate opinion of mine.
I don’t see any reason for an impediment to my free speech, to which I am encouraged by the publishers here on the pages of CiF.
Should there be any misunderstandings with regards to my statement, I trust fellow contributors shall advise me and I will be happy to enter into further discussions.
Should I have overstepped any rules, so I am very happy to receive more specific advice that will enable me do adjust my contributions and help avoid further need for interventions by a moderator.
Advocates of the BDS movement are never in short supply on CiF threads, but this particular one is starting to sound like something of a scratched record.
27 Dec 2009, 2:41AM
A blockade on Israel is long overdue. It is time to use the tools that the UN give to its member states to enforce simple rules like the Geneva Convention.
Israel leaders have long ago lost their bearings. Time to bring them to justice for their crimes, not to change the criminal law to adjust to their behaviour.
Gaza’s children call on us to give them a secure homeland.
And it seems that ‘stoppers’ are attracted to CiF too.
28 Dec 2009, 11:23AM
One thing that shows the incredible hypocrisy of a lot of people who defend the Israeli hard line is that they were the ones who favoured a war in Iraq and in Afganistan, they were the ones who made propaganda for those wars. Now, when someone speaks about Israel they are the ones who ask what we are doing in Afganistan and in Iraq.
Of course, comments which contradict the GWV are swiftly deleted, no matter how accurate they may be.
27 Dec 2009, 5:21PM
now let us compare all the details I have given above to when the situations were reversed and the Arabs and the British besieged (not blockaded) Jewish Jerusalem.
Starting in early 1948, the Arab forces had severed the supply line supply line to Jewish Jerusalem (especially to the Old City). In response, the mayor of Jerusalem, Dov Yosef, introduced a draconian system of food rationing during the siege. The mallow plant played an important role in Jerusalem history at this time. When convoys bearing foodstuffs could not reach the city, the residents of Jerusalem went out to the fields to pick mallow leaves, which are rich in iron and vitamins. The Jerusalem radio station, Kol Hamagen, broadcast instructions for cooking mallow. When the broadcasts were picked up in Jordan, they sparked victory celebrations. Radio Amman announced that the fact that the Jews were eating leaves, food for donkeys and cattle, was a sign that they were dying of starvation and would soon surrender.
The Arabs were deliberately starving the Jews, hoping to break them and make them leave Jerusalem.
Despite the Guardian’s track record, there are still those who, rather hilariously, seem to find it too pro-Israeli!
28 Dec 2009, 5:24PM
and a happy Honikah to all the moderators and guardian staff
27 Dec 2009, 12:05PM
It would appear that Comment is Free in the Guardian but only if it supports Israel.
So there we have it; an above the line CiF editorial so full of blatant lies and distortions that it provokes a mirror image below the line in the comments. One possibly cannot demand more of private commentators, but one can, and indeed should, demand more of people who call themselves professional journalists because playing to the gallery of a baying crowd is not the hallmark of professionalism.