Saturday, December 27, 2008

[logic 101] clear thinking exercise

Q1: Pick what's wrong with this report:

Palestinians say Israeli F-16 bombers have launched a series of air strikes against key targets in the Gaza Strip, killing and injuring dozens of people.

Missiles destroyed security compounds run by the militant group Hamas in the centre of Gaza City, killing at least 120 people, Hamas officials said.

Hamas quickly vowed to carry out revenge attacks on Israel in response to the air strikes.

A1: That's right, students, it is a thoroughly biased report, quoting the very people who provoked the strike, leaving the other side of the question unstated. These are the same people who killed their own the day before with a misdirected rocket.

Also, the report fails to mention the daily strikes against internationally recognized sovereign territory which, by definition, constitutes a declaration of war on Israel which they were within their rights to answer at any time.

Back to school for the BBC.

Some other quotes to ponder:

Peter Dodd and Halim Barakat, River Without Bridges.- A Study of the Exodus of the 1967Arab Palestinian Refugees (Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1969), p. 43; on April 27, 1950, the Arab National Committee of Haifa stated in a memorandum to the Arab States: "The removal of the Arab inhabitants ... was voluntary and was carried out at our request ... The Arab delegation proudly asked for the evacuation of the Arabs and their removal to the neighboring Arab countries.... We are very glad to state that the Arabs guarded their honour and traditions with pride and greatness." Cited by J.B. Schechtman, The Arab Refugee Problem (New York: Philosophical Library, 1952), pp. 8-9; also see Al-Zaman, Baghdad journal, April 27, 1950.

... and:

The people are in great need of a "myth" to fill their consciousness and imagination.... [Musa Alami, 1948]

... and:

Since 1948 Arab leaders have approached the Palestine problem in an irresponsible manner.... they have used the Palestine people for selfish political purposes. This is ridiculous and, I could say, even criminal. [King Hussein of Jordan, 1960]

... and:

Since 1948 it is we who demanded the return of the refugees... while it is we who made them leave.... We brought disaster upon ... Arab refugees, by inviting them and bringing pressure to bear upon them to leave.... We have rendered them dispossessed.... We have accustomed them to begging.... We have participated in lowering their moral and social level.... Then we exploited them in executing crimes of murder, arson, and throwing bombs upon ... men, women and children-all this in the service of political purposes .... [Khaled Al-Azm, Syria's Prime Minister after the 1948 war]

... and :
The nations of western Europe condemned Israel's position despite their guarantee of her security.... They understood that ... their dependence upon sources of energy precluded their allowing themselves to incur Arab wrath. [Al-Haytham Al-Ayubi, Arab Palestinian military strategist, 1974]
Interesting, eh?


Pisces Iscariot said...

like shooting fish in a barrel - the Nazraeli people must be so proud of their valiant forces.

James Higham said...

Not exactly shooting fish in a barrel - if they could have taken out the rocket launchers, they would have by now. Instead, they've had to desist while daily rockets hit Israeli territory.

Nazraeli, Bin Ladenaeli, whatever, they are still under daily assault, whichever way it's cut and diced.

JPT said...

The BBC don't need to go back to school - they're perfectly well educated in what they're trying to do.

Andrew Allison said...

Israel has every right to declare war on those who continue to launch attacks on her. They are very measured in their responses. The BBC and other people who seek to take the anti-Israeli position, regardless of the facts, should take note.

Pisces Iscariot said...

I realise that I am standing in pro-Israeli blogspace here, but surely it is self-evident that this conflict began long before Hamas or even the PLO.
The core of this is the creation of the state of Israel(and continued seizure of land once known as Palestine).
Now you may accuse the BBC of bias here but surely you must realise that the bias swings much further in the other direction both financially and in the language used my most media, leaning towards ‘occupied territories’ rather than ‘invaded areas’ to use but one example.
We are held at bay when we criticise Israeli aggression by the shadow of Hitler and the shadow of the Holocaust.
Isn’t it ironic that Gaza is little more than a concentration camp, with the civilian population being held hostage and subjected to shortages of basic human rights – food, water, - all at the mercy of Israel. In other areas of Palestine (yes there is such a place) walls are being built to contain its citizens, there movement restricted (often arbitrarily)
In reality, every time we spout the ‘Israel’s inherent right to self-defence’ party line, we reinforce the colonisation and destabilisation policies that those forces within the US and Britain have been maintaining since they created the ‘state’ of Israel.

James Higham said...

You're not standing in pro-Israeli blogspace but in a "quest for the real truth" space, Pisces. i carry no banner for either side, being Christian.

Given that you are equally on the quest for truth and that invevitably there are distortions on both sides, the truth must lie somewhere in there.

The sources I quote here are Arab, not Jewish.

"We are held at bay when we criticise Israeli aggression by the shadow of Hitler and the shadow of the Holocaust."

This is so and having taught in a Jewish school for three years, what would you assume? That I am pro-Israeli? Not a bit of it. I saw excesses and blind Zionism there which was not to the Protestant taste.

In this matter of Palestine though, it does seem to be that a better organized and more efficient smaller population, in the Israelis, has occupied an area traditionally its own as well as belonging to the Palestinian Arabs.

Both have the right to be there. In 1987, a solution was suggested and one side agreed. The other declared war. If it had been the Jews who'd said no and declard war, then they would have been equally condemned.

We are equally held at bay in that the great Arab concept of truth which permeates the media is not allowed to be challenged.

You, Pisces and myself, are not at odds because we are not part of this conflict but we're educating ourselves over it.

"In reality, every time we spout the ‘Israel’s inherent right to self-defence’ party line, we reinforce the colonisation and destabilisation policies that those forces within the US and Britain have been maintaining since they created the ‘state’ of Israel."

There is both truth and inadvertent non-truth in this. Yes, the colonial powers acted out of self-interest and have a reason for the instability in the region but this gets down to the whole banker-elite thing, discussed elsewhere.

As far as the indigenous people - do you assert that the Jews do not ahve historic ties to the region? Given that both peoples live there, then a solution needs to be found.

As for the Gaza concentration camp, it would be interesting to see what would happen if there were no Hamas rocket strikes into Israel, if there was no threat.

Then the worthy Hamas leaders could concentrate in improving the lot of the people there and work towards a greater Palestinian state along the lines of the 1948 map, which would give the Palestininan nation an economic base.