Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Down to business

Click the title to read the advertisment recently sent by KBRM to various newspapers throughout New Zealand. In addition to critically examining advertisements like this, I will also examine articles placed on their website, KBRM members' letters, and site feedback both for and against the KBRM stance.

Now, back to the matter at hand, "Civilian casualties: the missing truth". Let's take a close look at the text, sentence by sentence, even word by word.

First, the statistics.
It's true that 123 Israeli children have been killed in Palestinian terrorist attacks since 29 Sept 2000, but in the same period 1487 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis.

And whereas the Israeli children fell victim to indiscriminate terrorist attacks, the Palestinian children were killed by the highly trained IDF using some of the most sophisticated and accurate weaponry ever produced.

Now let us examine the language. It is highly significant that according to KBRM Israeli children are murdered but the deaths of Palestinian children are merely civilian damage.

And the crocodile tears No one likes to see innocent people, especially children, killed in war reflect the cynical Israeli coping mechanism, "We shoot and we cry".
lists the names, ages and circumstances of death of each child. Studying this list would bring true balance to discussion.

Now more statistics, this time concerning the ludicrous claim that two thirds of those killed were militants. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs accepts the Palestinian Ministry of Health figures over the Israeli figures. It puts the death toll at 1440 souls, including 431 children and 114 women (slightly over 1/3 of the total) .

Therefore, by Israel's figures, every Palestinian male over the age of 15 is "Hamas militant". I prefer the Hamas figure of less than 50 of their foot soldiers killed. Which is exactly the point I made in this email to, in response to a support letter posted on their website:

Perhaps you could let Brian know that he has unwittingly exposed Israel's racist attitude to Palestinians. "Only" 300 women, children and elderly killed. What a caring adjective to use about so many defenceless humans murdered in cold blood. Also, he confirms that Israel considers ALL male Palestinians between the ages of 16 and 65 to be terrorists, known locally as resistance fighters.
Perhaps Dr Brooks could counsel Brian on the subtleties of propaganda.
But at least Brian has the courtesy to call Palestinians, Palestinians, unlike Dr Brooks who unfailingly calls them Arabs, in line with the Israeli propaganda strategy of denying Palestinians their identity. Palestinians, Syrians, Egyptians, to Dr Brooks, don't exist. Just Arabs.
Luc Hansen

Although I received no reply, the letter in question, from a Brian Metcalf of Hamilton, NZ, was promptly removed and I noticed that the next advertisement published by KBRM did refer to Palestinians, so I guess I had a couple of small victories there.

It makes sense that these guys (Hamas, et al) are getting pretty skilled at taking on the IDF and know how to survive to fight another day. Bear in mind the IDF did not venture into central Gaza, where the loss of life on both sides would have been considerably higher.

Returning to the advertisement: then there is the contemptible quoting of anonymous "military advisors" who supposedly consider the civilian-militant kill ratio, which, as we have seen, rather than 1:2 could be as high as 13:1, "remarkable". I presume the "military advisors" are this group's Mossad controllers.

Finally, KBRM trot out the old canard of "an enemy that operates from civilian areas and uses civilians as human shields"... well, Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on earth. And Gaza is completely civilian, in fact, as Gaza, and all of the Palestinian Territories, is not permitted to have an official military force. That privilege is reserved for Israel.

Israel just wants the resistance to stand on street corners waving catapults at the Apache slaughtering machines, waiting patiently for their inevitable vaporisation. Luckily, Palestinians are a lot smarter than that!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why I care

Even prior to 1948, Israel has controlled the narrative of the colonisation of Palestine by largely European (Ashkenazi) Jews, while Palestinians have struggled to present a coherent alternative narrative.

Israel has successfully promulgated the myth of a former great Jewish nation, conquered, enslaved and exiled returning to its homeland.

It has successfully promulgated the myth that Palestinians fled their homeland of thousands of years voluntarily.

It has successfully promulgated the myth of a civilised "chosen people" fighting against the uncivilised Arab barbarians who would exile the Jews yet again.

And it successfully promulgates the myth that Palestinian resistance justifies wholesale slaughter.

But a Palestinian narrative is emerging; it is one of tragedy and of abandonment by most nations of the world, and by the UN, especially.

And it is one that now must have only one goal: One State, now inevitable.

Why do I think one state is inevitable?

First, the demographics tell us that the Palestinians, much as Israel is desperately trying to encourage it, are not going to disappear. The total number of Palestinians in Israel, the occupied territories and refugee camps in various Arab states is at least 1.5 times the number of Israeli Jews, and at a birth rate over double that of Israeli Jews, the Palestinians will reach 2 times in the relatively near future.

Second, not only is the Palestinian cause just, but Palestinians have shown a dogged determination and they are still there, just over the wall, or just over the hill from the latest illegal Jewish colony, waiting.

Third, Israel itself has eliminated any possibility of a viable Palestinian state. It destroys Palestinian livelihoods; it takes the best land; and it demands total control over borders, telecommunications and utilities. In effect, Israel has created a series of giant open prisons. 

Fourth, there are now over 500,000 Jewish settlers, mostly East Europeans who receive Israeli state aid and private US donations, to grab the best land in the occupied West Bank, appropriate the resources, especially water, and build fortress-style large towns deep in Palestinian territory.

Any return to the international consensus of two states based on the 1967 armistice line seems impossible to fulfill.

I used to think that the settlements would be expendable in final status negotiations, but I no longer hold to that.  I now believe they are intended as permanent extensions to the state of Israel and will never be voluntarily relinquished.