Wednesday, 30 July 2014

"Dead Presidents" are not the only currency

I've been following the Israel /Gaza situation as much as current circumstances will allow me. It's been heartbreaking to see the images of the dead and injured women and children. In part I understand my friends inadvertently helping to peddle the simplistic propaganda doing the rounds on social networks. As terrible as those images are they are at the same time curious and for me as well as the plight of them being caught up in the situation they tell you something if you think beyond the one dimensional narrative presented by far too many in the mainstream media.

I find the images curious because the question I'm struck with is"where are the dead men?" Yes we're seeing a few, but what we're being served an almost exclusive helping of are bloody and dead women an children. Over and over and over again is a barrage of images that contain virtually no men. Is that not just a little curious. I find it so and regardless of all the possible variations of how they came to be in that location and how they came to be hit I am drawn to a conclusion:

The women and children are currency. Like contraband in prison, Hamas through their clearing houses in the mainstream media are trading the lives of women and children as a form of currency on the figurative international market and are finding a sea of willing buyers. Perversely their using to buy the worlds perception of Israel. In reality it should say more about Hamas' view of its own people as a disposable means to an end than Israel's, but curiously it doesn't. I've said it before. A lot of people don't want Gaza (and the West Bank) fixed, because it has more value being kept as a weeping sore.

This view of the everyday folk being used and abused by its leaders came home to me last night. Watching BBC Ten O'Clock news let a cat out of the bag for those willing to pay attention and think through what they're being told.

Israel finally got a bit more of its PR act together by taking a reporter into one of the tunnels that cross into Israel for offensive purposes built by Hamas. During the segment, the reporter comments on this one of many tunnels including how long it probably took to build and also the materials used. At one point the reporter refers to the concrete as "concrete from Israel".

This is quite telling. Concrete coming through the crossing monitored by Israel is one of the dual use items I mentioned in my post the other day. Dual use items are those that can also have a military use against Israel and are therefore subject to restriction. The restriction for this essentially requires that it includes an appropriate permit explaining where it is going and what it will specifically be used for I.e. Civilian use.

Assuming the comments by the reporter were correct, this would suggest that prior to crossing into Gaza, this Israeli concrete was designated for a villain project. However, once in Gaza, someone made a decision that it was no longer to be used for the people of  Gaza and was to be repurposed for use against Israel. Hamas decided that the people it governs were not to have their infrastructure developed. It was they that decided the people should go without and be kept in the under developed state in favour of  perpetuating a state of tension with Israel.

It would seem evident that Hamas are comfortable with the notion of trading the lives of the people they rule in pursuit of their hatred of Israel.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Stolen, you say?

It seems the misinformation campaign continues with regards to the Israel and Gaza situation and so I continue swimming against the tide in what is probably a vain effort alongside other bloggers such as Nourishing Obscurity.

It is said that history is written by the victors. As a statement it is only half true. The other truth is that some people try and rewrite and repurpose history for modern aims. Israel / Palestine is one that undergoes many a rewrite, usually by those who only want to see the Palestinian side of events and who care not that it is infinitely more complex than that.

It's begun to come to the fore again as a form of rationale for the rocket attacks from Gaza. Usually the rocket and mortar tacks are downplayed and once again mainstream media outlets have played a pretty disgraceful role in that. Their usual line to take has been to run with the narrative that it all started when Israel retaliated. Although they tried to advance that narrative around the broken ceasefire recently, on the whole it's been a little tougher to downplay the rocket attacks. The story of the attacks has got out more than previously and there's a more of a consensus that Hamas is has overplayed its hand this time. That consensus has made it a little difficult amongst the general Israel bad / Palestine good crowd to defend Hamas when the rocket attacks are brought up in the argument.

But they try.

They try and take the position that Hamas has no option but to shoot rockets from at Israel and in particular from civilian areas because the Israelis stole their land and penned them into squalid conditions. That's the logic, Israel stole the land and keep stealing it. That's the simple logic they want you to have in your head that justifies anything they do in Palestine.

Except it's not true. You don't have to take my word for - you can look it up yourself. Heck that's what I want you to do, so that when the pub bore amongst your mates starts coming off all Yasser Arafat on you and your mates you've got something to challenge him on.

What they'll try and do is try to talk about the period before the official formation of the state of Israel. Why? Well partly because they find it hard to admit that Israel was willing to accept getting shafted on the original, accepted a smaller chunk of land and still got attacked because their neighbours didn't want to give the Jews even one square metre of land.

So they talk about the bit beforehand, because they know that not too many people will know what really happened and that allows them to advance their narrative largely unopposed.

So just in case they decide to go their, take a look at this rather interesting summary of the history of the land from a time they'd hope you'd forget.

Early Palestine

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Check for yourself

It's been saddening recently to see my Facebook feed become increasingly populated by misinformed posts about the Gaza situation. Saddened for many reasons including the fact that many of these are intelligent people. Why it saddens me is because whilst I accept people are entitled to their opinion, so much of what I've seen is off the back of error riddled details and in some cases downright manipulated facts and images. Too many of these intelligent people are simply trotting out someone else's manipulative propaganda. Propaganda from those supposedly on the side of Gaza who are quite comfortable with the idea of dead  Gazans because  of the propaganda value they provide.

As Golda Meir once said "Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more that they hate us"

What's particularly saddened me, is that's it's all over my Facebook feed and the reality is I cannot really debate them. It's an exercise in futility for too many. Theirs isn't a question but a statement, one that I suspect there's no moving them from. I suspect that if I leave well alone, it will move on, but if I were to put something opposing to that, I would draw all sorts of additionally misinformed hellfire. It's a hallmark of the left v right in politics. Those on the conservative/libertarian right think you're entitled to an opinion whilst those on the left think counter opinion should be vociferously shut down.

The one that prompted me to post this morning was the infamous one in which Israel is "compared" (and I mean that very loosely) with South Africa and Nazi Germany and labelled as a third apartheid state.

I've come to the conclusion there going to be lots of this trotting out of dross and you, dear readers are also going to come across it from friends who will peddle it like it was a fact they have personal knowledge of.

My suggestion is to gently press back. When you hear it - ask questions.

When you hear the apartheid state myth - ask them to elaborate and explain. They probably can't (which will tell you so much). Ask them too to explain why this apartheid state has Arabs in its Parliament, and Arab Drs in its hospitals and Arabs in its infrastructure. Ask if Arabs are allowed to own property in Israel. Then ask them, how many Israelis and Jews are permitted the same rights in Gaza.

When you hear the idea the number of civilians killed in air strikes, ask them to explain how people came to be in those houses when they received a phone call from Israel beforehand telling them to evacuate followed up by the "hard knock" device to show a bomb was coming. If they try and tell you that warning isn't long enough, ask why the people in the town of Sderot managed to find shelter in the 10 seconds they get when another missile comes in from Gaza. If they tell you that most missiles fall harmlessly ask them how that makes it alright, when the intention was far different. If you want ask them that if you hung out of your back bedroom windows shooting at all the neighbouring houses, would it make it okay if you failed to hit anyone? Ask them too if they know how many of the missiles from Gaza fell inside its own territory. Ask them too about the missile that took out one of the Israeli power lines that provided Gaza with electricity.

If they complain about the occupation of Gaza by Israel, ask them what occupation? If Israel had already been occupying Gaza with its forces why did they have to launch a ground operation from outside Gaza? Ask them if they knew that in the past Israel had once occupied Gaza and pulled out in an effort to develop peace and was met in return by nothing but a barrage of mortars and missiles.

If they complain about the blockade and that Israel doesn't let goods in, ask them to explain that. Ask them what they know about the dual use restrictions because this is what Israel is blocking. Dual use restrictions are those things that could have a military as well as a civilian use and these include buildi building materials. They're not banned, the truck driver just has to have a permit by the proper authorities that states what the material will be used for and where it's going. Also ask them what it is about Gaza that even the Egyptians feel compelled to keep their border with Gaza closed too.

These are just a few.

I'm not saying the situation between Israel and Gaza isn't terrible and the loss of life isn't a tragedy beyond belief. My point is that it isn't as straightforward as many people believe, a situation exacerbated by biased viewpoints from the left dominated BBC and it's print version the Guardian. Both these outlets have a habit of leaving key details out, that serve only to misinform. There are other   facts and details that too many leave out which draw fair minded people to draw simplistic conclusions at best and at worst open to simply repeating the deliberate lies of those who want to keep people misinformed because it creates the very results I've just mentioned.

Form your opinion yes and be entitled to it. Just don't do the dirty work of  liars for them, nor let your friends. You won't solve this by jumping on their bandwagon because they have something much darker in mind than a simple peace agreement. Take a look for yourself,