Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Interestingly enough, it's actually quite simple to rebut these lies using some rather simple arithmetic. All of the statistics used here are from Israeli-Palestinian ProCon, which is a neutral site that does not take positions on the issues and is not run by advocates with either a pro- or anti-Israel position. (Of course, you can hear the screams of "if you're not obviously against the racist-colonialist-Zionist-occupiers then we can't trust anything you say" from those who promote the big lies. Just ignore them and focus on the facts.)
In 1946 "Palestine" (the British Mandate, comprising what is now Israel, the West Bank and Gaza) had 608,000 Jews and 1,237,000 Arabs (all statistics rounded to the nearest thousand). As a result of the war of extermination launched by 5 Arab countries against the nascent state of Israel, there was a population exchange-- the Arab population mostly ended up in the West Bank and Gaza, to be imprisoned in refugee camps there. The Jewish population that had lived outside the borders of the state of Israel either fled as refugees to Israel or were killed. By 1949, Israel had 159,00 Arab citizens and 1,014,000 Jewish citizens. In 1950, the nearest year for which population statistics are available, the West Bank and Gaza had 1,005,000 Arabs and no (living) Jews-- it was a thoroughly ethnically cleansed area. Some towns like Hebron that had Jewish populations for uninterrupted centuries were actually ethnically cleansed long before the UN Partition Plan, as the result of pogroms. Some, like the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and the kibbutzim of the Etzion Bloc, were conquered by Arabs and the survivors forced to flee for their lives.
You can learn more about the ethnic cleansing of Jewish communities in Palestine here .
Now let's see what happened after 1967. The population of the West Bank in 1970 (prior to the re-establishment of any Jewish population in that area, outside of Jerusalem) was 677,000 Arabs--and no Jews (except for a few hundred of the ancient Samartian cult living near Nablus). By 2003, the Arab population was 2,300,000 and the Jewish population was 219,000. Yes, that's right. The Arab population more than TRIPLED over that time. In Gaza there were 368,000 Arabs in 1970; by 2003 there were 1,337, 000. Yes, that's not a typo. Under the supposedly genocidal and tyrannical rule of Israeli occupation, the population of Gaza went up FOURFOLD. The Jewish population of Gaza in 2003 was 7,500. Now, of course, it is down to one: Gilad Shalit, the kidnapped Israeli soldier who has been held incommunicado by Hamas terrorists for nearly a year and denied access to Red Cross representatives.
Oh, but certainly in Jerusalem the Arabs are getting pushed out of their neighborhoods and ethnically cleansed, right? Sorry, once again those pesky facts get in the way:
1946: Population of Jerusalem --34,000 Muslims, 31,000 Christians (probably not all Arab), 99,000 Jews
1967: 58,000 Muslims, 13,000 Christians, and 197,000 Jews
2000: 197,000 Muslims, 14,000 Christians and 440,000 Jews
Once again, the Muslim population more than tripled since Israel re-unified the city!
Those crafty Zionists-- conducting ethnic cleansing but hiding it so well that the Arab population doubles every 20 years. How do they pull it off?
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
2006: Lebanese villages are targeted by the army because of a fanatical Islamic terrorist group that has taken over these villages and used them as human shields for launching of hundreds of missiles against civilians. This heavily armed group has refused to accept the authority of the government and operates outside of the law. The army responds with attacks attempting to deter the firing of the missiles. The world community is once again outraged, claims of "massacre" are again accepted at face value by the world media, despite photos showing purported victims standing up under their shrouds and other doctored photos published worldwide presenting the images of widespread bombing. The kidnapping of soldiers and the firing of rockets at towns that led to the counterattack once again go essentially unnoticed in the rush to condemnation.
2007: A Palestinian refugee camp is the target of indiscriminate shelling by the army, in its attempt to root out a band of fanatical Islamic terrorists. Civilians flee for their lives and condemn the terrorists. The Arab League itself blames the terrorists for threatening the country's security, safety and stability. However, the United Nations remains strangely silent and the world media have not run the blazing headlines about atrocities and massacres.
Could it possibly be that the world only cares about protecting terrorists if it's the Israeli army that's attacking them? The Arab League statement made it very clear why it can condemn Fatah al-Islam: the group "has no relation to the Palestinian question or Islam".
OK, NOW I get it! As long as the group is truly Islamic, or conducts terror operations on BEHALF of Palestinians, then it gets a free ride. Well, at least they're up front about their hypocrisy. Hezbollah doesn't have anything to worry about, at least from the Lebanese Army.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
The arguments made 40, 30, or even 20 years ago said that Israel should allow the Palestinians to have a state in the territories conquered in that June 1967 war. Now, of course, with the international community (including Israel) having agreed with that concept (though not on borders, as well as other minor details such as security for 7 million Israelis in the face of such a state controlled by radical Islamist jihadis), the anti-Israel groups have revealed what was undoubtedly their true goal all along-- the dismantlement of Israel as a Jewish state. One of the claims made to justify this is that Israel is a racist/apartheid state and that the primacy given to Jews and to Judaism is prima facie unacceptable and must be eliminated. Reading those arguments, one would think that no other country in the world provides any type of differential treatment to members of its own ethnicity.
Of course, we would not condone not granting to members of minority groups such basics as voting rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. Israel, of course, does grant these. The Freedom House annual report on political and civil liberties around the world ranks Israel as "free", with a ranking of 1 (highest) for political rights and 2 for civil liberties. (The PA , "partially free", manages a 4 for political rights; civil liberties are at 6 [lowest is 7]. That of course doesn't factor in the recent threat to one's political rights or civil liberties of being shot dead for belonging to the wrong militia or being kidnapped for being a journalist. They probably already took into account other risky behaviors in the PA such as being a Christian or being a young woman who "dishonors" her family by being seen with an unrelated male in public).
But I digress. The main right being challenged is Israel's Law of Return, which gives the right of immigration to anyone with one Jewish grandparent or who has converted to Judaism. From reading anti-Israel screeds, one would never know that immigration preferences are quite common in the world today. The legal term for this right is lex sanguinis. Countries that provide such preferences include Armenia (another country with a widespread diaspora), China, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Poland, Romania, Russia and Spain. That covers a pretty fair-sized chunk of the world's population right there. Especially given that none of these countries (except Armenia) can document any history of genocidal persecution in its diaspora similar to what the Jewish people have experienced, why is only Israel singled out as if this is unique? One possible answer can be found in this landmark article by Natan Sharansky.
We also hear that the flag and the national anthem must also be changed to not show any preference to Jews and Judaism. As far as flags, how about this salient fact:
The flag of Turkey, which was the flag of the Ottoman Empire, has been an inspiration for the flag designs of many other Muslim nations. During the time of the Ottomans the crescent began to be associated with Islam and this is reflected on the flags of Algeria, Azerbaijan, Comoros, Malaysia, Mauritania, Pakistan, Tunisia, and of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flags)
Also, the following countries feature a different religious symbol, the Christian cross, in their flags:
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Greece, Tonga.
Once again, only Israel is pilloried for using the symbol of the Jewish people on its flag.
And for national anthems, here are slections from the national anthems of a few other countries that somehow are not vilified as “racist”–
Saudi Arabia:Hasten to glory and supremacy!Glorify the Creator of the heavensAnd raise the green, fluttering flag,Carrying the emblem of Light!Repeat - God is greatest!O my country,My country, may you always live,The glory of all Muslims!Long live the King,For the flag and the country!
Thailand (I'm not criticizing Thailand here, but I do suspect that not 100% of the citizens of Thailand are ethnic Thais…):
Thailand unites its people with flesh and blood.
land of Thailand belongs to the Thais.....
The Czech anthem includes the lines "Where is my home? Where is my home?
If, in a heavenly land, you have met
Tender souls in agile frames,
Of clear mind, vigorous and prospering,
And with a strength that frustrates all defiance,
That is the glorious race of Czechs,
Among Czechs (is) my home!"
The mention of the Jewish soul's hope to become a nation in its own land isn't so different, is it? Not really-- unless you've got an underlying agenda.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Over one hundred rockets have been fired off at Sderot from locations in Gaza in the last week by Hamas and its pals.
Israel, which delayed reaction longer than was necessary or even sane, perhaps out of a hope-against-hope that confrontation could be avoided, has struck back in the last day and a half.
Predictably the Hamas leadership has voiced outrage and called for massive bloody revenge against the Zionist monster, threatening suicide bombings and other creative acts.
[Note of perspective: Far fewer Hamas members have perished as a result of recent Israeli actions than have snuffed it in the internecine combat between Hamas and Fatah. And note also that Fatah have suffered more casualties than Hamas in the gang-battles on the streets of Gaza these past two weeks.]
For good up-to-date coverage on this war, from a realistic and Israeli perspective, please visit Jameel at the Muqata:
Aussie Dave also updates about the war:
Calling it a war is perhaps an overstatement, as there has been no significant Israeli incursion, the Qassams from Gaza in the direction of Sderot (and soon also Ashkelon) are routine and entirely predictable attempts to massacre civilians, and so far more Palestinians have slaughtered each other since this latest round started than have been killed by Israeli actions.
It is perhaps better to think of it as a Beirut-type conflict, with the sparks and shrapnel from the main participants (Hamas and Fatah) hitting the bystanders, and with provocative acts by both participants the sole purpose of which is to draw the attention of outsiders, with the hope that other parties will get involved and so change the equation.
The only way in which this gangbang significantly differs from the Beirut fracas of a generation ago is that all Gazan factions represent the same ethno-religious group, and still enthusiastically cheer the deaths of Jews. In Beirut, for a while, there were ethno-religious differences and they were more enthusiastic about the deaths of each other.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
So go vote! Right now. Go.
Given the overwhelming hypocrisy of this organization, pro-Israel activists from StandWithUs/San Francisco Voice for Israel have been standing across the street in a well-received counterprotest. Not, of course, standing in favor of the occupation, but rather standing clearly in support of Israel's existence as a Jewish state. On April 21, they were joined by dozens of members of Temple Beth Abraham complete with guitar-playing rabbi, singing songs of peace. After standing with the Israel supporters, they proceeded across the street to the opposite corner where the WIB were standing, then continued around the entire intersection. Watch it yourself at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8N67M6Y9AM and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKjtL2kbWBs .
The response of BAWIB? They called the Oakland Police Department! Those little kids singing "Am Yisrael Chai" must have really worried them. Yet, of course, Hamas' use of children to probe Israel's security measures or carry bomb belts doesn't seem to worry them at all.