Friday, November 23, 2012

The Other 1 Percent

I know one thing I’m thankful for this year: Fox News, several news websites, and every other alternative media outlet reporting news that would never be reported by the mainstream guys.

If it weren’t for them, the small percentage of Americans who have any idea about what’s going on wouldn’t even have that.

Take reporting on Gaza. To borrow a metaphor from Raymond Chandler, what Americans don’t know about Israel would just about fill up the Rose Bowl. Yesterday the Detroit News, without challenge or follow up, ran the following quotation:

[Imad] Hamad, the senior national adviser and regional president of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said the cease-fire “is only a temporary step that will fail again and again if the root of the conflict is not removed, which is the occupation and lifting the siege."

But there is no occupation of Gaza by Israel. As Israeli President Shimon Peres said, Hamas can’t possibly say it’s firing rockets at Israel because of the occupation. “’It cannot be argued that Gaza is occupied. Israel left Gaza willingly (during the disengagement in 2005 –ed.), yet they target our children as they are leaving for school.’” (“Peres: There is No 'Occupation' in Gaza”).

This isn’t an issue of spin, or of a complex set of facts upon which reasonable minds may differ. Even Hamas doesn’t pretend there’s an occupation. Last January Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Zahar confirmed:

[T]here is no Israeli occupation of Gaza, according to a report published by Ma’an, a Bethlehem- based Palestinian news agency.

Zahar was casting doubt on whether Hamas would organize anti-Israel marches in Gaza in conjunction with similar protests that the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority would organize in the West Bank. 

“Against whom could we demonstrate in the Gaza Strip? When Gaza was occupied, that model was applicable,” Zahar said.

The radical Islamist organization has merely recognized the obvious: that after Israel in 2005 dismantled its military administration in Gaza, forcibly evicted all Israeli residents and withdrew every last soldier, Israel no longer occupies the territory by any legal definition or other sense of the term. (“Hamas says Gaza ‘not occupied’; UN disagrees”).

As noted in the Jerusalem Post, the UN continues to disregard all of that in order to keep defining Gaza as an “occupied” area, a false legal position

that has the effect, if not intent, of justifying Palestinian terrorism as “resistance to occupation,” undermining Israel’s ability to invoke its inherent right of self-defense against deadly rockets fired from Gaza, and, not least, dehumanizing Israelis as the demonic and faceless “occupier.”

This way the Palestinians are never to blame for repeatedly calling down Israeli munitions on their own houses, shops, and children.

Four-and-a-half years after seizing power in Gaza, Hamas runs its own police, courts, jails, schools, media and social services, noted Abraham Bell and Dov Shefi, two international legal experts, in a 2010 research paper for the University of San Diego law school.

Hamas regulates business activities, banks and land registries. It levies taxes, controls its own borders and even imposes a dress code. In sum, wrote Bell and Shefi, Hamas operates “a functioning and fully independent local civil government, buttressed by armed forces.”

In late 2008, the last time Israel had to get tough with Hamas to get them to stop launching rockets, Imad Hamad called Israeli actions against Hamas rocket launchers “a true genocide,” and Arab American News publisher Osama Siblani was quoted in his own newspaper defending Hamas: “The source of the problem is the occupation of Gaza," he said. "They are defending themselves from 60 years of brutal occupation.’" (“Hundreds protest Gaza bombardment in second local demonstration”)

As we noted at the time, Siblani “doesn’t mean Gaza has been occupied for 60 years, he means Israel has existed for 60 years, and that is what's intolerable to him.” (“Dearborn's Jihadist Newspaper”).

The Associated Press, in its article Wednesday giving all the credit for this fragile truce to Egypt’s newest dictator, President Mohammed Morsi, (“[a]n Islamist leader who refuses to talk to Israelis or even say the country’s name”) plays down the Muslim Brotherhood’s intransigence as best it can: “In ideology, the Brotherhood supports the use of force against Israel to liberate ‘Muslim lands.’” Sounds almost reasonable, until you figure out that the Brotherhood interprets “Muslim lands” as every square inch of Israel, no matter which set of borders anyone is talking about.

The Hamas Charter provides that “the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it. . . .” and that “Nothing is loftier or deeper in Nationalism than waging Jihad against the enemy and confronting him when he sets foot on the land of the Muslims.”

Only two months ago, the Brotherhood's supreme leader, Mohammed Badie, proclaimed that regaining Jerusalem can "only come through holy jihad."  Need I point out that Jerusalem is not in Gaza?

With few exceptions, in most reporting I’ve barely heard a word breathed of this fairly relevant sticking point to the diplomats’ grand illusion of a two-state solution.


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