How to become collateral damage #37

Israeli military ‘regrets’ killing wrong man in Hamas raid, Unarmed Palestinian Amr Qawasme was shot dead during IDF operation to arrest militants in Hebron, Harriet Sherwood, guardian.co.uk, Friday 7 January 2011 16.03 GMT

OOPS!

In the occupied West Bank, Israeli troops killed a 65-year-old Palestinian civilian named Amr Qawasme in a pre-dawn house raid earlier today in Hebron. Amr Qawasme’s wife Sopheye said the troops stormed into his bedroom while he was sleeping.

Sopheye Qawasme: "He wasn’t even awake. They just entered the door and shot him right away. I had gone to pray. When I came back, they told me. I have no idea how they just broke into the house and shot him. They came at me and put a rifle to my head, and they shot him again."

The Israeli military confirmed that Amr Qawasme was a civilian, but said the raid was justified because a member of Hamas was living in the building. –Israeli Troops Kill 65-Year-Old Man in Home Raid, Democracy NOW! Headlines, January 7, 2011

So you better know ALL your neighbors – – – AND their politics.

But don’t worry, it couldn’t happen here! At least not too often – – –

PR Advice to the Palestinians

I’ve heard a certain criticism countless times over the years, but after seeing it three times in two days on the same site, I decided to do a little research. From that vast repository of respectable opinion, The Atlantic, here are Jeffrey Goldberg, Andrew Sullivan, and Megan McArdle with the idea du jour:

Jeffrey Goldberg:
“I don’t know yet exactly what happened at sea when a group of Israeli commandos boarded a ship packed with not-exactly-Gandhi-like anti-Israel protesters.”

Andrew Sullivan:
“The violence by the activists is pretty abhorrent. These are not followers of Gandhi or MLK Jr.”

Megan McArdle:
“Very clearly, these guys were not the next incarnation of Gandhi; they were on that mission spoiling for a fight.”

Now, unlike these three worthies, I’m just a rube who majored in booze at Football Tech, so I didn’t know much about this Gandhi fella. I wondered, what exactly would Gandhi have the Palestinians and their supporters do? What would earn them a pat on the head from serious, right-thinking Americans?

Luckily, I didn’t have to look very far to find a possible answer:

As an inspiration and a symbol, Gandhi has no peer in the 20th century; as a practical politician, he was a despair to his colleagues in the Indian national movement. His insistence on non-violence grew more extreme as he aged: during the war, he recommended to the British that they should “invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions.” And in an interview given after the war, he went so far as to say that “the Jews [in Europe] should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.

The things you learn on the intertubes! Well, there you go, Palestinians (and Turks, and Jewish Americans to the left of Jeffrey Goldberg): kill yourselves. When the last one of you is gone, The Atlantic will hold a special symposium on your righteousness.

Jerusalem Post Cranks Out More Hasbara Fodder

In the course of approving news links this morning, I read this article from the Jerusalem Post that claims that Hamas has taken to seizing and selling truckloads of international aid “to the highest bidders.” I looked for a few minutes for a mention of this in other publications, but the only material I found were stories that mentioned the one in the Post.

Of course it’s not completely implausible that Hamas would do such a thing in order to raise funds to fight the invading Israeli Army, but newspapers like the Jerusalem Post do not inspire confidence that this story is true, especially since Hamas is normally an organization that spends money on charitable works in Palestine. This is likely just another bit of fodder to disseminate to the worldwide hasbara machine.

Until we see corroboration by any other news organization, this item will not be presented as news. I guess that’s what Israel gets for banning press coverage.

The Spineless Huffington Post Gives ‘Equal Time’

Huffington Post was so very kind this week to give space to almost frustratingly moderate Palestinian intellectual Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi. In his well-reasoned article, “Palestine’s Guernica and the Myths of Israeli Victimhood,” he supplied all the basic facts behind the problems in Palestine. One would expect the hordes of so-called “liberal” Democrat ignoramuses who infect that publication’s comment areas to bleat tired, false old bromides about Israel’s porcelain-white innocence in the face of attacks by grizzled Arab barbarians, but what gives with the long disclaimer marring the top of Barghouthi’s article?

“HuffPo” runs all kinds of commentary from all over the political spectrum (or at least its leftish side), but only those who dare speak against the sainted Israelis seem to require an editorial explanation that resembles an apology.

Shame on Huffington Post for its disgusting lack of integrity.

Say What You Will About Cynthia McKinney…

But no matter what one thinks of Ms. McKinney, she backs her convictions not just with her own money but her very skin: she went as a human rights advocate aboard a Gaza relief boat. And this morning, that boat was rammed three times by an Israeli patrol vessel, leaving it damaged and forcing it to take a detour in Tyre, Lebanon.

Sometimes former US Rep. and recent Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney comes across a little…ah…wild-eyed. I do happen to agree with most of her foreign policy positions, and she even seems to prefer a hands-off approach to Zimbabwe and, surprisingly, liberal cause célèbre Darfur. I do find her positions on trade to be poorly informed but this isn’t kookery — most politicians hold similarly dirigiste views.

But no matter what one thinks of Ms. McKinney, she backs her convictions not just with her own money but her very skin: she went as a human rights advocate aboard a Gaza relief boat. And this morning, that boat was rammed three times by an Israeli patrol vessel, leaving it damaged and forcing it to take a detour in Tyre, Lebanon.

“I would call it ramming. Let’s just call it as it is,” McKinney said. “Our boat was rammed three times, twice in the front and once on the side.

“Our mission was a peaceful mission, but our mission was thwarted by the Israelis, the aggressiveness of the Israeli military.”

No other current or former US Congressperson has done something similar, as far as I know. Dennis Kucinich is calling for a United nations inquiry, and I suppose that’s a nice gesture. But Ms. McKinney got herself on board a ship to steward relief supplies to the suffering civilians of a war zone beseiged by weapons her own country financed. Maybe it takes a little wackiness to get us some real activism.