Wednesday, February 9, 2011

KBRM hasbara exposed

KBRM have published yet another advertisement in at least one of our daily newspapers. Although some take the money and run (NZ Herald, bow your head in shame) others take a more principled stand and reject the self-serving lies, misinformation and disinformation that so characterises the Israel public relations efforts.

Of course, this is but a necessity for Israel, because it would stand condemned by the facts if it didn't attempt to "spin" the truth.

The latest advertisement is titled: Top five lies about Israel (all dramatically in upper case, naturally).

Let's look at the No 1 lie (according to KBRM):

Jewish settlements are an obstacle to peace.

And their "truth":

Even the US has recognised that a settlement freeze will not lead to progress on the core issues, primary of which is Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital. Before 1967 there were no settlements and yet there was no peace. Houses can always be torn down after borders are determined. Or maybe Jews could be allowed in a Palestinian state, as Israel has accepted its 1.4 million Arab citizens.

So what is the truth? The real truth?

Israel's settlements are illegal under international law, and have declared so by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly.

Although the US does not set international law, Obama in Cairo (June 4 2009) said:

The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.

Even Israel's greatest ally is emphatic that ongoing settlement construction
"are an obstacle to peace."

Under the Oslo peace agreement, construction was meant to stop forthwith, but it never did. The settlements existing at the time of Oslo in international law remained illegal, although their fate was to be determined in the "Final Status" negotiations.

It's well known that Israel works to establish "facts on the ground" that, they hope, are impossible to undo.

(to be continued)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Crocodile tears from cynical KBRM

It's embarrassingly easy to hoist KBRM with their own petard. I have highlighted just one word in the item copied from the KBRM website, the letter proudly displayed as KBRM's letter of the Month.

Letter of the Month

July 9, 2010

What a contrast.
Remember when Israel stopped the protest flotilla? (31 May) Sadly 9 protestors were killed battling with soldiers. The next day (1 June) the UN condemned Israel, The Times - HERE
The UN Secretary-General said he was shocked by the killings and demanded answers urgently. The UN Security Council demanded an explanation. In “outrage” the Security Council members broke off from their “spring holiday” and held an emergency session calling for a ‘prompt, impartial, credible, transparent’ investigation.
In contrast to that on March 26th a South Korean boat was sunk and 46 were killed. The UN calmly undertook a careful detailed enquiry lasting a month. Finally last Thursday they “reached agreement on the text” of a statement. A ‘draft statement’ that “stops short of directly blaming North Korea”. In fact it doesn't identify who is responsible, or “have the clout of resolutions”, it just goes “on record” and nicely “emphasizes the need to maintain peace and stability in the larger region”. What a contrast.

That this is evidence of crocodile tears is apparent by another letter proudly displayed on KBRM's website:

Submitted to The Press on March 13 (short version of the letter of March 11 that was rejected)

I love Rosemary McLeod's column, but she missed the mark when she said Gazans ‘were entitled to their anger’ because of the lopsided body count (March 5). In fact, body count has nothing to do with who's right or wrong (compare with World War II). If you persist in throwing stones at a lion, you should expect to get bitten.(emphasis added)

Printed March 16

KBRM is a deeply cynical, albeit tiny, organisation (85 members, according to a spokesman in a Radio New Zealand interview).

Despite their protestations, it's difficult to believe that such a small number can finance the deluge of advertisement they subject us to.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The inhumanity of KBRM principals exposed

KBRM criticises the reports from Palestinian Authority (no friend of Hamas, in case the state of virtual civil war has escaped their notice) on the numbers of males killed on the basis of nothing other than a bald assumption.

And it ignores testimony given by Palestinians and IDF soldiers as to the nature of the attack - that anyone and everything was considered a legitimate target. There are many, many, documented instances of civilians being bombed for no reason, being ordered to leave a location and killed in the process, of being ordered into a different location then shelled and killed.

The high male death toll is quite simply explained in terms of husbands and fathers simply doing their duty, and placing themselves at risk trying, futilely, to find save haven for their loved ones.

How the IDF arrives at it's figures is simple: Israel treats every male Palestinian in Gaza as a Hamas fighter, even though the estimate of the actual number of trained Hamas fighters vary widely, it is probably less than 20,000 out of a total adult male population of Gaza of about 500,000.

Given the reluctance of Hamas to engage in mass confrontation during the Gaza attack, and the widespread destruction caused by the IDF, the PA figures do indeed appear very credible.

And to blithely argue, as KBRM does, that civilian deaths are acceptable when compared to major wars ignores the fact that Palestinians do not possess an army. Hamas' military wing is merely a lightly armed milita.

But the only way Israel and its apologists like KBRM can justify Israel's crimes against humanity is to cite the crimes of others - illustrative of complete a lack of moral standards.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More on KBRM Gaza lies (cont)

The advertisement then complained about
uncorroborated allegations of war crimes against both Israel and Hamas
by the United Nations Fact Finding Mission of the Gaza Incident, headed by renowned international jurist, Justice Richard Goldstone.

In fact, the report if one bothered to read it, very carefully details its sources for alleged criminal acts on both sides. Israel, of course, refused to cooperate, to the extent of refusing access to the Goldstone committee not only to IDF participant but to Israel itself, even for just transit purposes.

The United Nations were also very careful in ensuring that the committee appointed, especially its world renowned head, Goldstone, is, from Israel's perspective beyond reproach - of course, that was before. Now he is no doubt a Self Hating and Israel Threatening (SHIT) Jew, and yes, if you are curious, Goldstone has made the list.

How do my friends at KBRM react to the Goldstone report? By referring to the IDF's own cursory investigation, which, and we will not be surprised at this, naturally finds Israel without fault. I read an interesting analogy on this line of (non?)reasoning employed by Israel: it is akin to murdering someone in our civilian lives, and selecting our own Judge and jury to cast judgment on our crime.

But, as always, I am interested in the words employed by KBRM found fully 83% of the documented Goldstone "most serious" alleged breaches of international law had simply
no basis in fact
and the remainder were merely
operational errors and mistakes

While one could be forgiven for raising an eyebrow at these ludicrously one-sided findings, here is something to ponder:

According to the IDF, 1400 mainly civilian Palestinians were deliberately targeted and killed, unless of course, all six
were responsible.

Let's move on, as KBRM does, to study the issue of credibility. No, this is not the credibility of the Goldstone report, but the credibility of Hamas, a legitimate resistance organisation to Israel's belligerent occupation of what is left of Palestinian land (in reality, now about 20% of the 22% internationally recognised as forming the basis of the future State of Palestine).

This is a common tactic of Israeli propaganda - to justify it's own actions in terms of the actions of its opponents. The quick answer is the old aphorism of "two wrongs don't make a right." Hamas' credibility is irrelevant. Both the United Nations and major NGO's such as Human Rights Watch, which gives its view here.

Even more invalid comparisons can be seen in this Jerusalem Post article that, naturally, finds Israel always acted morally.

Time for a break before I move onto the most offensive sections of KBRM's advertisement.

Friday, January 29, 2010

KBRM persists in lies about Gaza massacre

Click on the post title to view the recent advertisement by KBRM.

It would be an interesting exercise to follow the money trail behind KBRM, as it appears to have had a recent influx of money enabling it to publish yet more untruths. I would not be surprised if that money trail lead directly to Israel as it appears to have commenced a concerted campaign to discredit the Goldstone Report.

As it happens, I addressed much of this advertisement in my very first post on this site, nearly one year ago, in reply to a similar advertisement, and many other points are simply revisiting previous posts, but I will take the time to reply in full.

As usual with our hasbara (Israeli term for propagandists, I believe) friends of Israel, the lies begin immediately. I quote from the advertisement:

The Gaza war that ended on January 18, 2009, was Israel's response to a five-year long rocket barrage that had killed 19 citizens and wounded hundreds more.

This was my response to this allegation previously:

And the claim of enduring four years of rocket fire compelling a response misses the truth that in the six months leading up to the massacre, a ceasefire was in place, adhered to by Hamas but deliberately broken by Israel to provoke more rocket fire. I question the wisdom of Hamas' response to Israeli provocation but make no judgment as I am not subject to brutal occupation.

I see that in the intervening period from April last year the period of the rocket fire has been extended by one year.

But just to provide even more context, the ceasefire was predicated on the terms that Hamas would ensure rocket fire ceased and Israel would at least ease the crippling medieval-style siege imposed on Gaza after Hamas, then the legally elected governing party of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, preempted a planned, US and Israel supported, Fatah coup.

I will discuss later war crimes in the context of the Gaza attack, but this siege is itself a war crime in that it is collective punishment imposed on a people for events beyond their control. It is a war crime for an occupying power, as Israel is of Gaza and the West Bank, to impose collective punishment.

Not only did Israel not ease the siege, they tightened the noose. Regardless, Hamas still expected that the ceasefire would be extended. They had not planned on the cowardly surprise attack by Israel.

So the main point is that far from a sustained "barrage" from Gaza, the rockets were quiescient until Israel launched a murderous attack into Gaza, as they continue to do to this day, and Hamas allowed some rocket fire to recommence.

To be continued...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

What the BBC won't show: Israel Targets Children

Yesterday (15 July 2006) Israel gave the people of Ter Hafra village in South Lebanon two hours to leave their village or face destruction. Those who were able to flee went to the nearby UN base. The UN refused to shelter these children, not wanting to take responsibility after the Qana massacre in 1996 when Israel massacred the civilians taking shelter in the UN headquaters. Left on the open road without shelter these fleeing civilians made easy picking for the Israeli airforce with their US donated F-16 fighter planes. Most of the victims were children, their bodies burnt in the precision targeted missle attack. The photos are from Associated Press but it seems no western media is prepared to show them.
Original Source:
Action Alert: Protest Israeli war against Lebanon and Gaza

Saturday, August 29, 2009

KBRM's July Letter of the Month

This little gem is currently prominently displayed on the home page of KBRM

It remains in its exalted position even through August, so it obviously struck a chord with the principals of KBRM. Problem is, it is replete with the usual religious myths recounted as historical facts and yet again paints a powerful, hegemonic war machine called Israel as victims - yes, the cult of victimhood remains alive and well in Israel. Pity the oppressor!

Anyway, please read the letter and I will respond in detail below (I have added paragraph breaks to make it more reader-friendly).

July 2, 2009
Kudos for the excellent ad in today's Herald. It is very sad, I must stay, that KBRM has to pay in order to expose dishonest reporting. Why do they hate us so much?

I have been made refugee because I was Jewish. First my ancestors were forced to leave the land of Israel after the destruction of the second temple by the Romans. They found a new home in the welcoming Iberian peninsula, where they flourished in art, science and commerce. But then King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, under pressure from the Catholic Church and their inquisitors drove my family out of Spain in what is known as the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal at the end of the 15 th century.

They managed to get out alive and settled in North Africa, in Casablanca precisely where I was born. Life was good, but the ‘euphoria’ was short lived. The French Colonialism ended in 1956 and Morocco declared its independence. As soon as the last French officer left, the Arabs turned their anger towards the Jews of Morocco. We were forced to leave everything behind us and emigrated to Israel to start a new life.

For my family , as for hundred of thousands of other Jewish families, it meant closure! It meant returning to our homeland after being abused, rejected, persecuted and expelled from every other country. We joined an extended family already residing in Jerusalem. They were there in Israel. They've always been there, a part of that land, long before Muslims came and claimed any rights. Long before Rome changed my country's name into Palestine, long before the western world got blinded by the petrodollars and dropped its moral values. I served in the army to defend my country against daily Arab aggression. Against prejudice. Against anti-Semitism. I helped build a modern and prosperous country- The new State of Israel, on what used to be the kingdom of Judah and Israel.

I contributed to the ungrateful world, in science and medicine. In arts and music. In Biotechnology and Hi-tech. In humanitarian efforts, desalinisation of water, agriculture and the list goes on. In fact we Jews and Israelis account for 1/3 of all intellectual property and patents in the world. Yet we represent only 1/4 of a percent (0.25%) of the entire population on this planet. Me thinks; Can you please tell me why they hate me so much?

Please let us know how can this household help KBRM in any way?
Best regards

I commented on the KBRM advertisement this letter referred to in my preceding post.

My objections?

Let's start with the nonsense of a mass expulsion by the Romans. Like with the so-called Exodus, so popularised by the fiction writer Leon Uris, there is no historical record of such an event by a civilisation that put great store in record keeping. It was, like the miracles of the New Testament, invented at a later date to manufacture a history.

Then there is another myth, the myth of the great biblical nation nation of Israel, for which not only does no archaeological evidence (other than distortions of dedicated Zionists) exist, but archaeological evidence does exist which disproves the biblical inventions (see my reading list).

And it is important to understand that the adherents of Judaism who lived in Palestine (always, like Christians, a tiny minority in a pagan land) were Arab Jews. If the New Testament Jesus actually lived, he was an Arab Jew, not the idealised European version we all grew up with.

The letter writer uses the Spanish expulsion of 1492 as another example of Jew's status as the most victimised people ever (a claim made, I think, more justifiably by all non-Europeans slaughtered, dispossessed and oppressed by the all-conquering Europeans), yet Spain also expelled all Muslims. And who took in tens of thousands of the expelled Jews? The Ottoman Empire, including Palestine. And again, the Jews in Spain were Mizrahi Jews - semitic Jews - not the European variety now in power in Palestine '48.

As far as the Romans changing the name of Palestine (supposedly from Israel?) is concerned, I think the truth is that Romans actually adopted the name in use in a conquered area and "Romanised" it.

Now then, don't you just love the turn of phrase of the "western world blinded by the petrodollars and dropped its moral values"?  That compliment aside, at last we have something we can agree on!

Let's have a look at some instances of the western world, blinded by petrodollars, did indeed dropped it's moral values.

IN 1953, the US and Britain organised a coup against a democratically elected government led by Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadeq. More details are here but basically it was an argument over ownership of Iran's oil. In the words of that famous poster: how did our oil get under their sand?

Then there is the ongoing support for dictators like Mubarak (no oil to speak of, but strategically placed in an oil rich region), Saddam Hussein, and, well, any Arab regime you care to mention, really. Then we have Venezuela and their generals. And, not least, from 1967 and especially after 1973, unquestioning support for Israel, especially, and shamefully, from the United States of America.

Talking about Israel, let's move to the letter writer's defend[ing] my country against daily Arab aggression.

It is simply the genius of the Jewish propaganda machine which has enabled Arab resistance to the Jewish conquering and colonisation of historic Palestine to be reframed as aggression on the part of the indigenous Arab population.

Now I understand how difficult it is to overturn a lifetime of conditioning from undoubtedly one of the greatest propaganda exercises in history, to see through the smoke and mirrors and set the conflict in its true historical perspective.

And understand that the western world not only was complicit, but actively assisted in one last great colonising project, which, as colonising projects always do, ignore the human rights of the local, indigenous population, resulting in slaughter, dispossession and oppression.

Now let's consider the final paragraph, a long anguished cry of perpetual victimhood. An ungrateful world? What a strange comment to make about a world that has accorded Israel its dubious legitimacy in the family of nations and remains, sadly, supportive of a state that, if it was a Muslim nation, would long ago have been placed at the top of the list of rogue states.

Then the letter writer seems to be saying that a disproportionate contribution to science, technology and the arts somehow outweighs the tremendous wrong done to Palestinians. Of course it does not.

Why do they hate us so much? Read the above.

The fact is that Israelis live in a world of willful self-delusion, perpetuating gross injustice for the most base of human motivations - the greed of the oppressive coloniser.