Israel Forum Watch; 24-Hour Vilification, Apologetics and Hate from a Fanatically Pro-Israel Viewpoint

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Suppression of Guilt - Part 1

There is a constant theme running through most of the apologetics by the Stalinists at IsraelForum. Should any Israeli action cross the line in terms of lawful behaviour there are 2 defences that are consistently and constantly invoked,

1. That others behaviour necessitates Israeli action. Therefore they assume all responsibility for the consequences of Israels actions.

2. That whatever occurred, was unintentional, a mistake, as Israel, by definition, can not possibly intend to act illegally or immorally.

Fortunately, a former journalist, Daniel Dor, has done an outstanding job of examining this issue in relation to the Israeli media. What follows are some short extracts from Dor’s book (‘The Suppression of Guilt’) that help us understand how Israels defenders try to deflect blame and what drives them to do so.

The suppression of guilt is a much wider phenomenon than the mere suppression of information that potentially implies guilt………guilt can also be suppressed by counter-blaming (the other side is guilty, therefore I am not) and by disqualifying the source of the blame or the judging authority (they have no right to judge me). It can be explained away by blurring intention (I did not mean to do that, it happened by mistake), and by recourse to a claim about coercion (I was forced to do what I did).

Dor examined the coverage of Israels re-occupation of the West bank in 2002. He looked at the three major newspapers (Ha’artz, Ma’ariv and Yediot Ahronot) and 2 TV stations. Keeping in mind the above, in a nutshell this is what he found,

….all the different media, with virtually no exception, implicitly complied with a basic imperative; they suppressed reports that could be perceived as incriminating, that is, reports which would suggest unreasonable or immoral acts committed by Israel intentionally, both at the level of government policy and at the level of IDF conduct on the ground. Most significantly, the media suppressed reports which strongly indicated that the goal of the entire operation was not the fight against terror, but the reoccupation of the West Bank and the destruction of the Palestinian Authority……..

This constant struggle against guilt goes hand in hand with a wider world-view, one which fends off guilt by blaming the other side. This world-view insists that Israel does not have its own agenda in the present crisis, that Israel was dragged into it by Palestinian terrorism, and that the occupation and the IDFs mode of operation play no role in the persistence of terror.

And a few examples to demonstrate the points. Dor looked at the coverage of the Israeli attack on Jenin, particulary by Ha’aretz.

…..Ha’aretz consistently supplies with significant information about the state of affairs on the Palestinian side…...In this sense Ha’aretz is still in a league of its own ….. The other side of this is that very little critical coverage finds its way to the front pages.

In all of this Ha’aretz sends its readers a complex message: on the one hand, the paper accentuates its own commitment to democratic values; on the other, it also indicates quite strongly that with respect to the factual bottom line- who did what to whom, when and why- it prefers to go along with the perspective of the Israeli establishment. This is the perspective which consistently makes the front page……………

This complex attitude is dramatically revealed in the papers coverage of events in Jenin. Ha’aretz publishes quite a few critical reports from the refugee camp, and their distribution is fascinating. Reports originating from within the IDF, or reflecting the Israeli perspective, appear on the front page, or the main news pages. Thus, for example, the first report about Jenin by military correspondent Amos Harel appears on the front page……..

But when Amira Hass sends her first report from the camp, it is published… section B of the paper, far from the news pages. The report is an extremely harsh account of the IDF’s actions in the camp. Hass tells the story of a 51-year-old Palestinian man…..who for 5 days was forced to open the doors to houses, while IDF soldiers hid behind his back…………

However, this is not the end of the story. Much more significant is the way the paper itself, in its editorial, refers to Hass’s report. Under the headline ‘There was no Massacre in Jenin’…….This paper’s editors, then, use Hass’s ‘extensive article’ – which they themselves relegated to the back pages – as part of an argument which starts by determining that there was no massacre…..

Part II to follow soon.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Targetting Civilians Ethically

Absolving Israel of responsibility for it’s actions is one of the main activities for Israels apologists at IsraelForum. Here they promote views that deny Israels targetting of civilians is unethical (let alone a war cime!).

Hezbollah intentionally operates from within a civilian population, often from house terraces and mosque courts. Furthermore, most of the civilians used for these ends do so in full consent and thus they cross the line from non-combatant to combatant.
Any basis for such a claim? None whatsoever. Imagine if we were to apply the same standard to the illegal settlers in Gaza or the West Bank. There would never have been a terrorist attack, as they allowed the IDF to operate from within and near the settlements, and hence the settlers “cross the line from non-combatant to combatant”.

I think it will be a cold day in hell before we see the Forum fanatics suggest something like that. But then these arguments aren't meant to be statements of universally applicable principle, they’re just routine cynical apologetics served up in defence of Israel.

Its weakness is no excuse since it is a result of a conscious decision not to maintain a force that can enforce a rule. An attempt to force it to follow its duties is therefore not unreasonable. In view of this, a measured attack on infrastructure is not illegitimate, more so when it is known that Hezbollah makes use of this infrastructure (i.e transportation routes to the south) for its hostile operations; the only option is to attack these infrastructures in the required measure.
Of course. Hezbollah fighters use electricity and drive their cars on the road, therefore it’s OK to destroy vital civilian infrastructure.

I can’t recall such disgusting and stupid defence of war crimes for quite some time. But then, I haven’t been following Saddam Husseins defence lawyers’ arguments all that closely.

What next? Will Israel bomb hospitals where wounded Hezbollah fighters are being treated. And why not, they have already fired missiles at Red Cross ambulances.

And the same insane apologists will be out there explaining how it’s all OK.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Islam: "Just like Satanism"

Another favourite activity at IsraelForum is one that I haven’t touched on much yet. And that is Islamophobia. It may be more accurate to describe as a hatred of Islam and Muslims. Whatever it is, a few quotes will give you the general idea.

There is no forgiveness in Islam

the Arab and/or Muslim wars and genocide against the indigenous people of the middle east is still ongoing today

Islam is the only “Religion” in the world in which the believer is not actually responsible for their own belief, the God is. The fact is that only an irrational mind can contain such concepts. I think this is nexus of why Muslims have not progress very far from their 7th century roots.

In summary, “Allah” is a Monster of a God

Over and over Islam preaches that those who are not in the Dar al Islam are to be subjugated

The level of internal contradictions within the "Perfect" Koran are astonding. It’s almost as if it jumbled collection of hastily thrown together ravings of an illiterate murdering thief.

Islam is a totalitarian ideology………..Islam's victory is Islam's domination of the world.

an evil political ideology called Islam

Islam is more of a totalitarian political ideology

Islam is a perversion of monotheism, just like Satanism

you think you can moderate Islam and control it, but this monster is uncontrollable

u muslims should be ashamed for being soo barbaric

a cult that is created by a psychopath and honors the memory of a monster

write against it, ridicule it, and even ridicule its proponents. Islam cannot be reformed, but it can be eradicated.

Thanks for that guide to interfaith dialogue, IsraelForum style.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bombing and Crying - for Israel.

The last few weeks, starting with the killing of civilians in the Gaza Strip, interspersed with Palestinian and Hizbollah attacks on Israeli soldiers and finishing with the recent Israeli killing of hundreds of Lebanese has been an orgy of the usual apologetics, excuse-making and hate at IsraelForum.

First we have an attempt at some routine apologetics for Israels massacre of civilians in response to attacks on its military.

It is good that people are shocked and dismayed by the hurt and deaths of innocent civilians. Therefore, it is understendable when they raise their voice of protest when they witness large numbers of civilian casualties and suffering. However, it is somewhat simplistic to just stop and to focus just on this outcome at the exclusion of everything else.........."Heads the terrorists win" because they sap Israeli morale by continuously terrorising, hurting, maiming and killing a few Israeli civilians at a time. "Tails Israel loses" because when Israel reacts, they get chastised by the world for a "disproportionate response"!

What a terrible chastisement that Israel has suffered. And so effective in making it alter it's murderous policies. Isn’t this great, the Forum fanatics think it’s OK for people to be “shocked” that Israel kills hundreds of civilians in response to 2 attacks on military targets that killed only soldiers. But, as they point out, it would be “simplistic” to spend too much time dwelling on that. And really, whatever the outcome, it's poor little Israel that really suffers.

What puerile rubbish! Hundereds of dead civilians, and we should feel sorry for Israel because it's accused of being, oh the horror, disproportionate.

Naturally, it descends into the usual hate-filled bigoted rubbish,

Arabs are like dogs. Dogs like to fuk in public places. Arabs like to show their corpses in public places.They have no dignity.

What a lovely requiem to the innocent Lebanese and Palestinians killed by Israeli military attacks, from our rabid bigots at IsraelForum.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Milk of Human Kindness

Our forum fanatics are very concerned at the difficult situation for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and have a solution that will make everyone happy. Surely we aren't about to see an outbreak of compassion?

Israel does not need to negotiate a cease-fire for the citizens of Israel to be safe. They simply need buffer zones. ….. Israel needs buffer zones along the green line, along every major road in the West Bank, and around every Jewish settlement and farm.……….In order to establish buffer zones, Palestinian emigration must be nurtured………The time is ripe to assist them in the course of action of their choosing, a quiet, secure, prosperous life, outside the cross fire……..

How very thoughtful.

After September 11 it has become very difficult for Palestinians to obtain visas to Western countries, although professionals and wealthy investors still are desirable. Even then, it requires significant legal work. We have a network of immigration attorneys that have a demonstrated track record in difficult cases. Visas to undeveloped countries require employment offers first and the majority of jobs are for unskilled laborers. Attorneys are set up in Brazil and Argentina to obtain large numbers of visas…………..

A group of philanthropists, no less!

The costs of large scale emigration from Yehuda and Shomron need not cost the government any money and can generate significant revenue for the Israeli government if they sell to Jewish investors land that they purchase and that has clear title, provided that the Jewish owner can build on it and farm it……………..Furthermore, revenue generating joint ventures can be arranged in host countries for large-scale agricultural projects. Many third world countries seek Israeli agricultural expertise. By conditioning the Israeli agricultural project upon employing Palestinian emigrants, emigration of unskilled laborers is not only financed, but generates income for the Israeli government…………..

The 'spirited' people can then work for a pittance in the ‘transit country’, creating profits for the Government that got rid of them. What cruel genius!

This does remind me somewhat of the words of one of Zionisms’ founding fathers,

We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment opportunities in transit countries…” -Theodor Herzl

And here they are 100 years later, still trying to do it.

As this is a grassroots organization that pools talents and resources from various quarters, we seek other individuals and organizations to participate, whether in funding or offering their talents and contacts to facilitate emigration.
We believe this program is in everyone’s best interests.

Yes, of course, as long as the definition of ‘everyone best interests’ means everyone who counts, ie. Jews only.

Who says that the fanatical Zionists aren’t kind and generous?

Our ethnic-cleansing advocate promotes his website on the Forum, without comment. Well almost. One diehard defender of Palestinians points out what this really is. A ‘Senior Member’ of Israel Forum defends it like this,“the Oklahoma land rush (I forget the year, 1856 maybe?). Thousands of settlers lined up like in a race and waited for the appointed time to simply charge across the border and stake their claim.

So it's actually just an opportunity for riches!

If only the SS were on hand to give some logistical advice regarding the use of trains!

This is already the official policy of the Israeli party Moledet (Moledet is essentially Kach with a name change). This was the leader of Moledet, Benny Elon, on his plan for Palestinian-Israelis,
I will close the universities to you, I will make your lives difficult, until you want to leave”.

Moledet also suggested a Government sponsored program of emigration assistance (for non-Jews, of course) to help facilitate this process, which is the logical end-point of Zionism. And this is directed at Palestinian citizens inside Israel.

Naturally the fanatics see its usefulness in the West Bank and Gaza as well and have less need for discretion.