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Larry Cohler-Esses interviews Abu Marzook
April 21, 2012 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Larry Cohler-Esses from the Jewish Daily Forward interviews Abu Marzook, Hamas' deputy political director. The interview captures Hamas in a state of transition and includes a segment (with audio) of Cohler-Esses explaining to the confused Hamas leader that the 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' is a Russian hoax.
posted by the mad poster! (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sure, in all that time none of them ever looked at the first sentence of the Wikipedia entry.

Abu Marzook: I'm shocked, shocked to find that propagandising is going on in here!
[a flunky hands Marzook a pile of poll results]
Flunky: Your papers, sir.
posted by jaduncan at 12:16 PM on April 21, 2012


This Wikipedia entry says that the Protocols are taught in some Arab public schools and have been widely reprinted in the Middle East. I find it entirely plausible that he believes them to be true.
posted by Wordwoman at 12:31 PM on April 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


"But anyway, most of the Muslims believe in that. Not because of this book; because of many things you see whose support was inside that book."

Yeah, that was a real breakthrough right there. I'm sure a revision of the Hamas charter is being worked out right now.
posted by R. Schlock at 12:36 PM on April 21, 2012


Sure, in all that time none of them ever looked at the first sentence of the Wikipedia entry.

People who are willing to believe inflammatory and ridiculously outrageous shit like that - or like the usual bullshit political email forwards, &c - are also the ones who will take any purported evidence to the contrary as vile propaganda from the group(s) concerned, obviously.
posted by elizardbits at 12:40 PM on April 21, 2012


The Protocols were a hoax, but Hamas was completely, totally serious about Tomorrow's Pioneers.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:58 PM on April 21, 2012


Sure, in all that time none of them ever looked at the first sentence of the Wikipedia entry.

Does Wikipedia think any conspiracies are real? Let's see:
Illluminati: kind of - is a name given to several groups, both real (historical) and fictitious.
The Plan: maybe - The "age-old" theory has quiet, but considerable support.
The Tri-lateral Commission: Real! - The Trilateral Commission is a non-governmental, non-partisan discussion group founded by David Rockefeller in July 1973, to foster closer cooperation among the United States, Europe and Japan.
Republican gay sex at the Bohemian Grove: Oh yeah! - but it is the most faggy goddamn thing you could ever imagine—President Richard M. Nixon on the Watergate tapes

posted by 445supermag at 1:03 PM on April 21, 2012


Hamas has finally started to realize that they need a peace deal with Israel to survive.
posted by humanfont at 1:03 PM on April 21, 2012


Wikipedia isn't actually a reliable source for most things - News at eleven.
posted by pyrex at 1:15 PM on April 21, 2012


"Wikipedia isn't actually a reliable source for most things - News at eleven."

I think Wikipedia faithfully reflects what is largely believed to be fact and can be cited as such. This can lead to a very pernicious form of unreliability.

The link to the Palestinian show, "Tomorrow's Pioneers". When I first heard of it, I thought, "OMG those sick Palestinians" despite the fact that I am somewhat sympathetic to their plight.

Just now I realized that the characterization of the show as promoting violence is probably a complete load of horseshit. There are people in the US characterizing Sesame Street as "Communist" and "Pro-Homosexual" (as if those were bad, shrug) - but their agenda is to shut Sesame Street down.

You can imagine the feelings about a Palestinian TV show would be quite a bit stronger than the generally beloved-around-the-world Sesame Street, and subject to much mischaracterization.
posted by Xoebe at 1:35 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just now I realized that the characterization of the show as promoting violence is probably a complete load of horseshit.

Assoud asks Saraa "we are all martyrdom-seekers are we not, Saraa?" and Saraa replies "Of course we are," to which Assoud responds "we will liberate Al-Aqsa from the filth of those Zionists." Assoud introduces the concept that the viewers compose the "soldiers of the Pioneers of Tomorrow" and the show ends with Assoud's famous declaration: "I, Assoud, will get rid of the Jews, Allah willing, and I will eat them up, Allah willing, right?" to which Saraa optimistically replies "Allah willing."
posted by Behemoth at 1:48 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing is he did an interview with Forward. Don't focus on the nonsense comming out of his mouth, that's just a magicians patter to distract you. This is a positive sign. I remember when Arafat started to come around. The PLO was losing influence with the Madrid talks and the locally run Intifada. The Gulf War caused him to lose money and he was forced to cut a deal or be left stranded in Tunis. So they opened up secret negotiations in Oslo and started granting interviews. First they said the same old crap, but slowly they became more guarded and eventually came around. Of course then Rabin was killed, then things got fucked. Then they almost got done again but Sharon had a stroke. ***Fuuuuuckshitdamn**. Anyway keep calm, carry on, look for a glimmer of hope.
posted by humanfont at 2:06 PM on April 21, 2012


I just wanted to point out the silliness of relying on something as silly as Wikipedia because.. really.. a crowd-sourced end to.. a crowd-sourced conflict.. how could that ever work?
posted by pyrex at 2:27 PM on April 21, 2012


Hamas has finally started to realize that they need a peace deal with Israel to survive.
Are you sure it's not the other way around? Hamas and Fatah have announced recently that they are forming a unity government, so it doesn't seem like they are going anywhere at the moment. Rather they are gaining political power and legitimacy at the moment.

In fact, when has Hamas ever said that they would refuse to negotiate with Israel, rather then Israel refusing to negotiate with them? Was it Hamas that was unwilling to negotiate with Isreal when they were democratically elected in 2006?

Also in the article they say:
“We will not recognize Israel as a state,” he said emphatically. “It will be like the relationship between Lebanon and Israel or Syria and Israel.”
I remember hearing things like that they would be willing to agree to a 10 year ceasefire (and again, 2 years later). The problem is, people would bring up the charter from 1980 or whatever, as if it were in any way actually binding or even still current and say "See!!! They once said they would refuse to recognize Israel, that means Isreal can never negotiate with them". As if, somehow, their refusal to recognize Isreal wasn't something you could negotiate about if you were willing to actually sit down and talk with them.

But not recognizing Israel does not mean they would necessarily be violent towards them. A 10 year ceasefire would be a good building block to continue working towards peace. And ultimately Hamas' rocket fire from Gaza did little actual damage anyway.
posted by delmoi at 3:26 PM on April 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


The unity government under caretaker PM Fayyad has been unable to form a stable cabinet. Hamas not let him take any meaningful control in Gaza. The elections that were supposed to happen now will not happen this year and probably won't happen ever.

The median age in Gaza is 17.7 years. The Israeli withdrawal was 7 years ago and Hanas has been in control for over 5 years. More and more often population has only known rocket strikes and retaliation from Israel. They see a lot of Hamas guys getting rich off the blockade. Older Palestinians have become disillusioned with Hamas. Meanwhile Hamas' major sponsors of Syria and Iran are having their own problems. Hamas is not faring well in opinion polls. This will continue to drive changes in Hamas' political positions over the next few months.
posted by humanfont at 4:23 PM on April 21, 2012


Dismissing criticism of Tomorrow's Pioneers by comparing it to the faux controversy about Sesame Street? That just doesn't hold water. That's politically correct moral equivalence run amok.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:05 PM on April 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


If you meet any Westerner who believes in The Protocols, you can be sure you've met a racist crank to be shunned. With Muslims in Muslim countries it really is a different story; even gentle efforts at education, in my experience, are often met with honest disbelief and resistance. I have had pretty much exactly that audio conversation with men here in Malaysia - sadly, the tendency is for them to brand you a Zionist supporter rather than be ready to question the obvious and true nature of The Protocols.

Has any secret service ever managed such a successful and long lived disinformation campaign? Top marks to Okhrana, they fucked the Jewish people* much better than they ever could have hoped!

*Used intentionally, as the readers tend to use it as evidence against "the Jews" and not just "the Zionists".
posted by Meatbomb at 7:01 PM on April 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have had pretty much exactly that audio conversation with men here in Malaysia - sadly, the tendency is for them to brand you a Zionist supporter rather than be ready to question the obvious and true nature of The Protocols.

And it's getting more pernicious lately -- some local publisher has reprinted Mein Kampf, and it's being displayed prominently in both the autobiography and self-improvement sections, and if I'm not mistaken, a local Malay-language daily printed a glowing feature on Hitler.
posted by cendawanita at 10:00 PM on April 21, 2012


The silence on Palestinian and Arab eliminationist anti-semitism is a disgrace. I was talking to a friend, currently monitoring Palestine/Israel crossing points and he was shocked to hear Israeli football crowds chant "Death to the Arabs," and wrote about it.

What about all the people telling you how great Hitler was? I asked. Oh yes, he gets that all the time. Has he seen the Protocols on sale all over? Yes. He doesn't write about it.

The result is that these attitudes, of specifically eliminationist anti-semitism isn't challenged, so it isn't too suprising that such a high ranking official of Hamas has never been told before that the Protocols are a forgery.
posted by quarsan at 1:06 AM on April 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


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