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Amid the ruins of Jenin, the grisly evidence of a war crime.
April 16, 2002 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Amid the ruins of Jenin, the grisly evidence of a war crime. "A monstrous war crime that Israel has tried to cover up for a fortnight has finally been exposed." Strong stuff from the Independent.
posted by Leonard (103 comments total)

 
The sweet and ghastly reek of rotting human bodies... Sweet?
posted by elvissinatra at 11:24 AM on April 16, 2002


pretty sad, but given sharon's actions of late, i would unfortunately not be surprised if it were true.
posted by moz at 11:25 AM on April 16, 2002


Arafat is a 30+ year (so far) war crime.

So what? Both sides are fucked up, and anyone who feels the need to take sides and point accusing fingers at the other side has bought into the patholgy of the whole tragedy.

Take the afternoon off and go see a ballgame, Leonard.
posted by BentPenguin at 11:27 AM on April 16, 2002


So what? Both sides are fucked up, and anyone who feels the need to take sides and point accusing fingers at the other side has bought into the patholgy of the whole tragedy.

Take the afternoon off and go see a ballgame, Leonard.


interestingly, Leonard expressed no opinion beyond his belief that the stuff from the Independent was "strong." you're wrong to put words in his mouth in suggesting that makes him out to have taken sides, BentPenguin.
posted by moz at 11:36 AM on April 16, 2002


BentPenguin, Leonard didn't even voice an opinion. all he did was post and quote a goddam article. since when is that grounds for rebuke on MeFi? thanks for the post Leonard.
posted by aLienated at 11:36 AM on April 16, 2002


oh, and that the mass murder was grisly is opinion also, i suppose.
posted by moz at 11:37 AM on April 16, 2002


I have the impression (totally unfounded in personal experience, it's true) that mass murder is rarely tidy.
posted by gleuschk at 11:39 AM on April 16, 2002


In an analysis by a Jewis media watch group, this Brit paper singled out as about the most biased, and American papers given much applause for fairness. Here is what is said about the "authority" of the Independent:

===== THE INDEPENDENT =====

The Independent (UK) calls Jenin "a monstrous war crime," and takes at
face value Palestinian propaganda about "mass executions" of unarmed
Palestinians by "death and torture squads." The Independent compares
these
Palestinians to those disappeared in Argentina -- although informs
readers
elsewhere in the paper that the missing men have been found in
detention.

The flavor of The Independent's reporting is reflected in its headlines
from on April 15:
- "Survivors of Jenin creep home to see destruction"
- "Palestinian captives 'tortured and humiliated' at Israeli army base"
- "Ramallah Diary: Rampaging tank crushes a brief taste of freedom"

A day earlier (April 14), the Independent on Sunday's five news reports
were headlined:
- "The camp that became a slaughterhouse"
- "Franciscans refuse to quit besieged birthplace of Christ"
- "Israel's bloody intransigence silences Bush"
- "The bloody evidence of the tragedy that is Jenin"
- "Israel's war of words gets dirty"

Read Phil Reeves' biased report from Jenin:
http://honestreporting.com/a/r/202.asp

Columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown writes (April 15):

"I would suggest that Ariel Sharon should be tried for crimes against
humanity in Sabra and Shatila and Jenin and be damned for so debasing
the
profoundly important legacy of the Holocaust, which was meant to stop
forever nations turning themselves into ethnic killing machines."

Comments to:
feedback@inuk.co.uk
newseditor@independent.co.uk
Might I suggest we wait till we get some objective reporting, body counts, etc before jumping on bandwagons?
posted by Postroad at 11:40 AM on April 16, 2002


BentPenguin's comment : Opinion of a person with enough food, freedom and safety. You dont give a damn. You are just mad that you have to read about human suffering. It is your right not to give a damn. But keep it to yourself.
posted by adnanbwp at 11:41 AM on April 16, 2002


Just to be fair to the poster, the "grisly" isn't his comments either. The link is the exact headline "Amid the ruins of Jenin, the grisly evidence of a war crime" ... perhaps he should have put quotes around that as well.
posted by bclark at 11:43 AM on April 16, 2002


Who didn't see this one coming?

I mean, it's pretty obvious you've done something pretty bad when you demand to burry the bodies in unmarked graves. Despite the Supreme Court ruling, I very much doubt that they stopped.

What I'm most curious about is how they'll go about counting the dead. Will they dig through looking for bodies, or will they just make a count of all the people not there? One could seriously undercount the other widely excaudate. (Just look at the WTC, initial estimates were around 6k, but now were looking at around 2,800 totals for the day)

And even supposing that they didn’t kill thousands of people, what’s the point of smashing their homes and stuff? I mean, all it’s going to do is make the people even more pissed off. Jenin may have been a hotbed of anti-Israeli feelings but I doubt more then a few places were active centers of bomb-making or whatever.
posted by delmoi at 11:43 AM on April 16, 2002


sweet and ghastly reek of rotting human bodies... Sweet?

That there is hyperbole, which is what writers use when they want to milk something for emotional impact and diminish their credibility at the same time. Unfortunalely, I'm still inclined to believe a lot of it...this really sucks.

Isreal is f*cked. Palestine is f*cked. The media is f*cked. The whole deal is motherf*cking f*cked.

Dunno where this thread can possibly go from here, but I don't wanna see it.
posted by andnbsp at 11:46 AM on April 16, 2002


Fucking butchers.

Israel generally seems to try to portray itself as a civilized people taking the moral high ground, and the Palestinians as barbaric animals.

The more accurate truth seems to be that the majority population of either side is truly desiring a peaceful, equitable solution, while their leaders are bloodthirsty creeps with no respect for life.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:50 AM on April 16, 2002


Postroad: I'm sure a Jewish "watchdog" group is totally unbiased. All that the 'report' is saying is that the independent has said bad stuff has been happening in Israel.

It’s also pretty obvious that the guy is writing from his own observations of the site, rather then any ‘propaganda’ fed to him.

Finally, I’ve just been disgusted at the behavior of the ADL, Ellie Wissel(sp?), etc. They’re all just jumping all over themselves to defend Israel’s every action. I’ve lost every ounce of respect I ever had.
posted by delmoi at 11:51 AM on April 16, 2002


Just to be fair to the poster, the "grisly" isn't his comments either.

thanks, bclark. i hadn't caught that.
posted by moz at 11:51 AM on April 16, 2002


sweet and ghastly reek of rotting human bodies... Sweet?
Actually, the smell of a rotting corpse is sweet-ish smelling, provided it hasn't been burnt, which makes it smell a bit like roasted pork. Think more the sweet-ish smell of beer; mainly because it's "fermenting" rather than the sweet smell of flowers.
posted by macadamiaranch at 11:59 AM on April 16, 2002


"Might I suggest we wait till we get some objective reporting, body counts, etc before jumping on bandwagons?"

And where will that come from? Israel does all they can to keep the press out. They control their own media to a large extent. People in the area report bodies being stacked and buried by bulldozers are they less reliable than a government who try's to avoid independent verification.
posted by onegoodmove at 12:05 PM on April 16, 2002


The Metafilter crowd is great.

1. I read a strong article in a paper I don't know much about
2. Post it to MeFi
3. Get flamed
4. Get defended and thanked
5. Get the score on the paper and the couter-biased critique.

It's the whole internet experience, inside a 4 hours.
posted by Leonard at 12:10 PM on April 16, 2002


So I assume you did not go to the ballgame then, Leonard, good show. It's nice to see people are still more concerned about tragedy then sports.
posted by bittennails at 12:18 PM on April 16, 2002


In Jenin, sorting out elusive truth: MSNBC/Washington Post coverage of the same subject.
posted by justlooking at 12:19 PM on April 16, 2002


Heh heh ... sign of a good thread, Leonard :)
posted by bclark at 12:21 PM on April 16, 2002


I'm sure that since the US media is rated "fair" by Jewish watchdog groups we will not get a fair body count. This is just like Iraq & Afghanistan, the reporters in the field are writing home about murder and no one will believe them until the NYT and Rupert Murdoch chime in...
posted by n9 at 12:21 PM on April 16, 2002


Granted, Leonard's FPP was in proper form and without any opinion. My response was as to the posting of an inflamatory article (don't even try and argue The Independant isn't biased in its reporting) which is makes a powerful statement in and of itself.

Adnan's comment : Opinion of a person with enough food, freedom and safety. You dont give a damn. You are just mad that you have to read about human suffering. It is your right not to give a damn. But keep it to yourself.

Employ your righteously omnipotent laser-vision just once more Adnan, and tell me what I had for breakfast today. For the record: I give a damn. "It" sucks ALL THE WAY AROUND.

The Isrealis are as wrong as the Palestinians. The simple solution to this human tragedy is for Israel to withdraw to to its pre 1967 borders and for the rest of the world to guarantee Israel's safety from any further hostilities regarding those borders. The Palestinians should get the territories and start getting to the business of building their country up.

How likely is that? Not nearly, because no other country wants to get in between the Israelis and a newly formed Palestinian state and besides, neutrality in this situation has been obliterated.

To my critics: remember to be as outraged by the coming palestinian retaliation for what happened in Jenin etc, because of course, the outrage you voice today is born simply out of your sense of humanity and not anything akin to taking sides.

Taking sides was what my post was all about. Its like betting at a dogfight instead of stopping it.
posted by BentPenguin at 12:23 PM on April 16, 2002


To my critics: remember to be as outraged by the coming palestinian retaliation for what happened in Jenin etc, because of course, the outrage you voice today is born simply out of your sense of humanity and not anything akin to taking sides.

So we're all agreed that there will be retaliation, can we now agree that Sharon's warmongering is and will be a total disaster for Israel?
posted by niceness at 12:44 PM on April 16, 2002


WRT Postroad's post:

Lives Reduced to Rubble
Jenin Camp Is a Scene of Devastation But Yields No Evidence of a Massacre

Interviews with residents inside the camp and international aid workers who were allowed here for the first time today indicated that no evidence has surfaced to support allegations by Palestinian groups and aid organizations of large-scale massacres or executions by Israeli troops.

"Everybody was thinking mass graves in the way we think of Kosovo," said Guy Siri, deputy director of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. "I don't think we have seen that."


Does this mean evidence is not forthcoming? Of course not. But I would suggest that Postroad is absolutely correct that we need to wait for at least a modicum of evidence before we brand this a massacre.

I have no problem with criticizing the IDF for cutting off all journalist access. However, our well-founded fears of war crimes must not be inflated into outright accusations until we have a better idea of what transpired.

niceness: no.
posted by apostasy at 12:53 PM on April 16, 2002


*you had cereal.

:S
posted by adnanbwp at 12:58 PM on April 16, 2002


So we're all agreed that there will be retaliation, can we now agree that Sharon's warmongering is and will be a total disaster for Israel?

"Sharon's Warmongering" doesn't happen in a vacuum. His actions are no less tragic AND REPREHENSIBLE than Arafat's.

THIS CONFLICT SUCKS DIRTY ASS IN BOTH DIRECTIONS.
If you can't see that; if you're gonna take sides, then you've contributed to the problem and reduced yourself (in small measure)to being just like Sharon/Arafat.

ADNAN: Thats makes twice your assumptions were mistaken (today).
posted by BentPenguin at 1:04 PM on April 16, 2002


Well they said the same about Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps years ago. Also the doing of Sharon. The Intefadas and suicide bombings came way after the occupation and humiliation. Sharon talks about pulling out if Palestinians stop the suicide bombs. Why did he then bring in the settlers and still plans to. Every prime minister including Barak and others have brought in settlers and built more settlements. They dont intend to leave occupied lands. They dont bluff the whole world. They will have to leave the occupied lands and lives because then will the suicides stop. If Sharon doesnt go back to 67' boundaries, I am looking forward to more suicide bombings against IDF and terrorist land grabbing zionist occupants, so called settlers. Some one said around here, " Better to die standing on feet rather than living on knees". Viva Intefada.
posted by adnanbwp at 1:06 PM on April 16, 2002


Bent, i am sorry. You had carbohydrates for breakfast. :P
posted by adnanbwp at 1:07 PM on April 16, 2002


Apostasy:
Short of total apartheid, how will having a nation of potential bombers living in anarchy help the Israelis feel safe?
posted by niceness at 1:08 PM on April 16, 2002


So we're all agreed that there will be retaliation, can we now agree that Sharon's warmongering is and will be a total disaster for Israel?

Sure, and we can also agree that the intefada was the fastest road to oblivion that the Palestinians could have chosen to snatch war and strife from what loomed as a promise of lasting peace. Nobody gets out without guilt here, a wider war appears almost certain and all the glad handing by the administration is unlikely to change that. 3000 years of human history and this is the best we can do...
posted by shagoth at 1:08 PM on April 16, 2002


If Sharon doesnt go back to 67' boundaries...

Um, why? The expansion into the occupied territories came as part of a DEFENSIVE war, not some imperialist effort. I really don't see an obligation to give the territory back, just make peace within it. Of course, given events neither looks particularly likely.
posted by shagoth at 1:10 PM on April 16, 2002


I am looking forward to more suicide bombings against IDF and terrorist land grabbing zionist occupants, so called settlers. Some one said around here, " Better to die standing on feet rather than living on knees". Viva Intefada.

Easy for you to say from a safe distance, Adnan. Weren't you boasting of your equanimity and working alongside Jewish coworkers in another mefi thread just a day or two ago?
posted by BentPenguin at 1:14 PM on April 16, 2002


Bent;
You didn't answer my question: do you agree that Sharon's warmongering is and will be a total disaster for Israel?

What are Sharon's motives? does he have a long-term plan? I could have phrased it differently but these don't have to be partisan questions. Even if you're a rabid Sharon supporter, short of making you feel good, how will it help your average Israeli?
posted by niceness at 1:17 PM on April 16, 2002


I'm not denying the possibility that a massacre took place. But as others have already asked: where's the "evidence" alluded to in the title of the article? The author saw several corpses, smelled some others and was told by several people that there are mass graves. That's it.

If there are bodies there, they can be exhumed. Seems to me that it would be in Israel's best interest to supply a backhoe or two to the UN or another organization that is not affiliated with either side.
posted by groundhog at 1:26 PM on April 16, 2002


Bent I still stand by that. I didnt say I am looking forward to suicide bombings against Israelis or God forbid Jews. I said IDF which is a military and the settlers who stepped into those settlements knowing very well what they are being used for. They knew they are going to live on occupied lands. They know they are being paid to increase the population and create facts on the ground.

If Sharon says that he is fighting a war and all Palestinians are fair targets, I stand firm in my statement. Both the groups I have mentioned are fair targets in my humble opinion. IDF and settlers that is. I still had lunch with my Jew friend at work :D Atleast I remember what I had for lunch.
posted by adnanbwp at 1:26 PM on April 16, 2002


adnanbwp: Don't know whether I'd put it quite like that but It's an important point - aren't suicide bombers a gruesome extension of 'collective punishment' as practiced by the IDF?
posted by niceness at 1:29 PM on April 16, 2002


Um, why? The expansion into the occupied territories came as part of a DEFENSIVE war, not some imperialist effort. I really don't see an obligation to give the territory back, just make peace within it.

How can they create a Palestinian state that is crisscrossed by Israeli roads leading to their settlements?

When I saw a picture on the news showing the distribution of settlements I was quite shocked.t the way they were distributed throughout the occupied territoritories. It obviously a rather aggressive expansionist policy.

I am not sure how accurate this is but here is a graphic:
Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs
posted by srboisvert at 1:33 PM on April 16, 2002


*wondering if I can hijack this thread a bit*

It seems to me that in the court of public opinion, the Israeli's are starting to lose a bit. Relative to the past weeks, it seems pretty clear to me that Israel is being given shorter and shorter shrift. Can those of you consider yourselves objective - please, no need for zealotry, it's a simple question - respond to this?

I actually think this could be a positive thing. If Israel begins to look excessively bloodthirsty and the US reins them in, then our hand will be forced. In that case, if we act "against" Israel, we look a bit less like their accomplice and more objective. No, of course I'm not suggesting that the deaths of innocents - on either side - are a good thing in any way.

Comments?
posted by Sinner at 1:49 PM on April 16, 2002


I'm sure many of the survivors who witnessed these massacres had cameras and videocameras, and when that evidence is given to the media all hell is going to break out. War crimes tribunals will be coming and all Israelies in positions of authority will be tried as war criminals. As soon as that proof is presented.
posted by Mack Twain at 1:59 PM on April 16, 2002


Interviews with residents inside the camp and international aid workers who were allowed here for the first time today indicated that no evidence has surfaced to support allegations by Palestinian groups and aid organizations of large-scale massacres or executions by Israeli troops.

So interviews with international aid workers indicates that there's no evidence to support allegations by aid organizations?

WTF does that mean?
posted by five fresh fish at 2:06 PM on April 16, 2002


"I'm sure many of the survivors who witnessed these massacres had cameras and videocameras".

hah ahhahah ahha ahaha aahahha ... and why would they present proof to any one person.. why wouldnt they use their brand new G4 Macs and Cable modems to upload streaming videos to their corporate sponsored websites. And while they are at it.. why wouldnt they just have mattresses inplace of beds, cheap furniture instead of designer ones, and while they are on the internet why wouldnt they just surf to cheaptickets.com and buy themselves an year long cruise on The International, before the IDF takes away their electricity and comes crashing through their bathroom wall ?

I wasnt aware of a Best Buy around Jenin. Hmm.. i wonder if they have a Massacare day sale ???
posted by adnanbwp at 2:34 PM on April 16, 2002


niceness: I would agree with you on that point unless the bombings are against the two groups I mentioned above.
posted by adnanbwp at 2:36 PM on April 16, 2002


It seems to me that in the court of public opinion, the Israeli's are starting to lose a bit. Relative to the past weeks, it seems pretty clear to me that Israel is being given shorter and shorter shrift.

Good point: commentators in the US, even on the right, are beginning to admit that the terms of Bush's half-decent speech a couple of weeks ago have been ignored by Sharon. Arafat fulfilled the letter of what was asked of him. (You can argue about the spirit.) Even given the benefit of a week of Powell's scenic meanderings to Jerusalem, Sharon has redefined 'now' and 'immediate' in a way that gives hives to people who shrilly condemned the way Clinton redefined 'is'. It may explain why Wolfowitz, of all people, was having to emphasise the innocent Palestinian victims at the rally in DC: if it comes a straight choice between defending Sharon's actions and Bush's credibility as a player in the Middle East -- a very real possibility -- I can't see the White House sustaining a situation that makes Bush subject to ridicule.
posted by riviera at 2:40 PM on April 16, 2002


An article of bullshit supreme. because (1) only a fraction of those claimed killed actually were killed (I love how Palestinian statements are taken at face value...); and (2) most of those actually killed were armed; and (3) those not armed were either (a) giving the others shelter and assistance or (b) poor slobs caught in a tragic situation (tragic for them, not the others).

Europe's indifference and dislike of Jews persists.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:55 PM on April 16, 2002


An article of bullshit supreme. because (1) only a fraction of those claimed killed actually were killed (I love how Palestinian statements are taken at face value...); and (2) most of those actually killed were armed; and (3) those not armed were either (a) giving the others shelter and assistance or (b) poor slobs caught in a tragic situation (tragic for them, not the others).

Europe's indifference and dislike of Jews persists.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:55 PM on April 16, 2002


An article of bullshit supreme. because (1) only a fraction of those claimed killed actually were killed (I love how Palestinian statements are taken at face value...); and (2) most of those actually killed were armed; and (3) those not armed were either (a) giving the others shelter and assistance or (b) poor slobs caught in a tragic situation (tragic for them, not the others).

paris -- without evidence, your words are just as doubtful.
posted by moz at 3:01 PM on April 16, 2002


adnanbwp: Ibrahim bu Hassan, 53, a farmer with silver hair, emerged from his basement for the first time in 10 days on Friday. The first thing he checked was his satellite dish: “It was full of holes,” he said. “They didn’t want me to watch the news.”


But yeh, I wouldn't be counting on independant video. Anyone who could afford a camcorder would have gotten the hell out of there, or at least not stood out on the street filming it. And anyone who did would probably have gotten shot.
posted by delmoi at 3:18 PM on April 16, 2002


delmoi : In Pakistan, talented young guys make themsleves dish receivers by reading a book and opening a thrown out old receeiver. They make dish antennas from cut out steel nets. The total thing costs umm I would say $4. It might not get all the channels with all the clarity, but it is good enough to watch cricket games across the globe. I am sure such talent is abundant in the refugee camps too. Cameras and Videocameras are different.
posted by adnanbwp at 3:25 PM on April 16, 2002


paris -- without evidence, your words are just as doubtful.

Not really: I didn't advance the premise of this thread. I don't have the burden of disproving a massacre.

You know, it's not like the Arab world has a free press and is famous for non-propagandistic journalism. I either pity, or have contempt for those who are so quick to conclude the Israels are operating in some inappropriate, justified way: WAKE UP.

By the way, to date, the most objective scrutiny of Ariel Sharon's supposed evil, murderous nature has disproven it: The Time law suit (which Sharon only lost because, while Time's allegations were false, actual malice couldn't be proven).
posted by ParisParamus at 3:34 PM on April 16, 2002


paris -- without evidence, your words are just as doubtful.

Perhaps in a Palestinian or Syrian Court, but not in New York.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:39 PM on April 16, 2002


Paris what are you talking about ? Sharon was made to resign from his position after the Sabra and Chatila camps massacre. The Israeli committe found him directly responsible for the massacres.
posted by adnanbwp at 3:46 PM on April 16, 2002


Paris, you are so obviously blindly biased that in the end, you harm your cause instead of supporting it. Every time you spew forth on MeFi, you help make Jews look bad.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:49 PM on April 16, 2002


Why does he make Jews look bad ? He makes Zionist Israelis look bad. There are Jews in other parts of the world and most of them are God fearing creatures.
posted by adnanbwp at 3:50 PM on April 16, 2002


Unlike the one's who boed Wolfwowitz yesterday as he spoke about Palestinian casualties. hehe
posted by adnanbwp at 3:51 PM on April 16, 2002


adnanbmp, if you think suicide bombings against the IDF and settlers is a good thing, how do you decide who should be a bomb?

Kids, the sick, you? It's not a flame, if you're so willing to send others, strap one on yourself. If homicide bombings are effective and you're so passionate, go make a difference.

If you can't, if your life is of too much value to yourself, how can you support a culture that promotes such horrid disregard for self?

Genetics is not so strong a bond to override reason.
posted by Mick at 3:58 PM on April 16, 2002


Paris what are you talking about ? Sharon was made to resign from his position after the Sabra and Chatila camps massacre. The Israeli committe found him directly responsible for the massacres.

And George Bush 41 was voted out of office because the economy was shitty. That doesn't mean he made it so. Politics is not a court of law. Thankfully.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:02 PM on April 16, 2002


Mick: Disregard for self has no place in a culture where you see daily disgrace from simple levels of humanity. Where IDF members entice youthful boys by calling their mothers cunts and them sons of dogs. Where a stone of agression is matched by rockets fired by F-16 fighter jets. Where the whole world is told that these people backed out of peace talks. Where the oppressed are accused of not taking a peace plan that was born out of bad faith. Where the "independant" state is divided into three parts surrounded by IDF and the occupant settlers, divided further by Jewish only fenced roads, thus creating a virtually unviable "independant" state. Where the land being offered in place of agricultural land is desert land along the west bank used for Israeli toxic waste storage. The oppressed are being told they have no right to fight back. Where every one conveniently forgets that the oppression and occupation of land and lives has been going on for more than 35 years, way before the first suicide attack. I support those people's effort against the IDF and occupant settlers. And no matter of simplification can change the facts on the ground. Also, it is adnanbwp, thankyou very much.
posted by adnanbwp at 4:47 PM on April 16, 2002


Paris Sir, your statement just proves to me that the whole nation of Israel made Sharon a scapegoat for the Sabra and Chatilla refugee camp massacres. If true this implies that the whole nation of Israel was cool with the massacre and just needed a scapegoat to move on. The "dirty work" as Sharon himself puts it is being carried out up til this moment.

I would like to believe on the contrary. I genuinely believe that the Israeli people, who themselves had to go through a holocaust, would not want to inflict the same on others. It is only freaks like Sharon who would do this and then bring the holocaust to his defense.
posted by adnanbwp at 4:51 PM on April 16, 2002


Paris what are you talking about ? Sharon was made to resign from his position after the Sabra and Chatila camps massacre. The Israeli committe found him directly responsible for the massacres.

And George Bush 41 was voted out of office because the economy was shitty. That doesn't mean he made it so. Politics is not a court of law. Thankfully.


What a day we're having! Congratulations, Paris, that's some of the most laughable moral equivalence I've ever seen attempted on MeFi! You've now crossed out of mere mumbo-jumbo, into the realm of mumbo-pocus!
posted by Ty Webb at 5:01 PM on April 16, 2002


And then one can look at an actual map (courtesy srboisvert, above) of the settlements and roads, and wonder just what the hell the average Jew in Israel is thinking, anyway.

Like, WTF are the settlements of "Ganim" and "Kadim" all about? They obviously exist only to split a Palestinian Autonomous Area. In fact, when you realize that the map is showing only the P.A.A., roughly 1/3rd of the area of Israel, you start to see that all the settlements exist only to fragment the land.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:04 PM on April 16, 2002


ParisParamus: You really are an idiot man. You spew out completely made up facts and act as if the IDF/Israel is capable of no wrong. We don't know how many people died, but we do know that people's homes were destroyed, a lot of them.

You have zero credibility here, if you're going to spout facts, at least back them up.
posted by delmoi at 5:20 PM on April 16, 2002


Thanks for the civil discourse. I smell college student who knows a lot less than he thinks. Hopefully.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:31 PM on April 16, 2002


The Independent is sometimes guilty of breathless sensationalism. In this case, however, it speaks volumes that all four of the most respected British dailies ran the same stories. Some of the sources are the same, but each newspaper had its own reporter in Jenin yesterday, and while the readiness to jump to conclusions varies, we all know that the IDF version (e.g., 70 Palestinians killed) is a crock. Here are the other accounts:
  1. The Times: Inside the Camp of the Dead
  2. The Telegraph (!): Blasted to rubble by the Israelis
  3. The Guardian: The lunar landscape that was the Jenin refugee camp
Cf. also LA Times. The NYT reports IDF shooting at civilians gathering food rations at a UN building in Jenin.
posted by Zurishaddai at 5:40 PM on April 16, 2002


I also recommend these links
Indymedia Palestine and this other link
(warning very graphic material , not for the easily offended)
Pictures of destruction in Jenin

The problem is the old, usual one. We have no video
about what happened, something recorded LIVE, a-la
CNN style but without the "adjustments" they sometime
do. If someone have such a video, please let the people
on internet know ! Not necessarily a full report, but even
a few pictures are significant , a movie is the best possible
thing ! I think the population of both Israel and Palestina
want the carnage to stop, but their govts aren't really
doing anything to do that.
posted by elpapacito at 6:58 PM on April 16, 2002


civility? But this is the internet!
posted by delmoi at 8:15 PM on April 16, 2002


Palestinians accuse Israel of a massacre, and there are convincing accounts from local people of the occasional summary execution.

In a zone where on a weekly basis, people are executed for "colloraborating with the Zionists," how likely is it for someone to say something other than that there was a masacre? Or anything objective?
posted by ParisParamus at 8:52 PM on April 16, 2002


"In a zone where on a weekly basis, people are executed for "collaborating with the Zionists," how likely is it for someone to say something other than that there was a massacre? Or anything objective?" Quite likely. Does Non-Sequiter ring a bell. It simply doesn't follow that a person that says there was a massacre is saying it because they fear being labeled a collaborator. They might simply be relating facts. You are trying to say that if they claim there was a massacre that proves they are simply acting out of fear, and since there are other alternatives your argument simply isn't sound. Perhaps a trip to this site would be helpful to you.
posted by onegoodmove at 9:25 PM on April 16, 2002


No, ogd. I am describing a the extreme chilling effect of living in a thug-run police state. "They might be relating facts"? Or, the people who might disagree that it was a masacre (assuming the level of propaganda and censorship is not so tight as to preclude that) are affraid to speak out. Or never get heard. You sound like an Arafat mouthpiece.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:40 PM on April 16, 2002


From a recent AP Newswire:
Almost everyone [inside the camp] talked freely of having seen mass graves or houses full of bodies — but upon questioning, acknowledged the information was secondhand, from a friend or relative
So they saw it except that they really didn't. Funny how all the recent actually-witnessed massacres seem to have happened in places like Jerusalem, Netanya and Haifa rather than Jenin, Nablus or Ramallah.

onegoodmove: Once information becomes second or third-hand, the principle of Cognitive Consistency comes into play:
Our desire to maintain such consistency and avoid changing our attitudes if we possibly can accounts for the results of Allport's and Postman's study (1954 ). Subjects were asked to describe a picture which showed a white man arguing with a black man. The white had an open razor in his hand. As the story was passed from one to another the details changed. Those who were prejudiced against blacks changed the details so that it was the black who held the razor.
posted by boaz at 9:55 PM on April 16, 2002


the reporters in the field are writing home about murder and no one will believe them until the NYT and Rupert Murdoch chime in...

n9 made this cynical but very astute, I think, point early in the thread, and I would like to add to it and emphasize something that was kind of glanced over earlier. In comparing the Independent report with the Post article that was introduced later, I note that the writer for the Independent article takes pains to repeat, in various ways, "I was there" and "I saw it." The Post article, by contrast, is filled second-hand references like,

"..., said Guy Siri, deputy director of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East..."

and

"...according to Bahaldin, who said they used his three-story home as 'a bridge to the camp...'".

Now, I recognize it would be silly to argue that this proves anything about what happened, but if all you really have to go on, like me, are news reports, isn't even a biased first hand account worth more than a neutral or stand-offish collection of official reports and hearsay?
posted by Bixby23 at 10:13 PM on April 16, 2002


So they saw it except that they really didn't.

Whether something was a "massacre" of unarmed civilians, or the unfortunate side-effect of soliders cleaning out the terrorist rats nests of the territories cannot be differentiated without knowing what was actually going on when it happened. And people who give shelter to people making bombs and who store weapons in their living rooms will likely die when the Army arrives. And for such people, I have no sympathy.

And of course, some people think the IDF going into the territories on any terms was/is wrong.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:17 PM on April 16, 2002


It's always best to wait for the facts. Israel has a long history of massacres, the most recent being Qana just 6 years ago, but if you call massacres before they are proven, you run the risk of covering up all the real horrors the IDF and Israel visits on people every day for the past 35 years.

Anyway the 'truth' will probably come out in the end, and it probably won't be clear-cut. One would hope the Israelis would not be stupid enough to massacre innocents, but the whole journalists barred from entry for days and plans to bury the dead in mass 'enemy' graves doesn't smell good.
posted by chaz at 10:19 PM on April 16, 2002


Paris: In your opinion then, do Israelis who go through military training and support IDF atrosities, get your sympathy when they are killed in a suicide bombing, in their neighborhoods ? Collateral Damage right ?
posted by adnanbwp at 10:39 PM on April 16, 2002


You sound like an Arafat mouthpiece.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:40 PM PST on April 16

from your profile:Hope you don't take what I write that seriously: most of the time, it's 47.2% to liven up your day.

Well you're right about that it seems few take you seriously.
posted by onegoodmove at 10:41 PM on April 16, 2002


Israel has a long history of massacres, the most recent being Qana just 6 years ago

Not to put too fine a point on it, the last massacre committed by the Palestinians was on Friday.
posted by boaz at 10:46 PM on April 16, 2002


boaz: The atrocities of IDF, the occupation of lands and lives is way older than the suicide bombings. Why didnt it raise one's ears before and suddenly when the game has been brought to one's neighborhood, one starts screaming about massacres.

However sad are the suicide attacks in Israel proper, this does not make IDF and the occupant settlers any kind of angels.

Why does your memory go back till Friday ? what about Sabra and Chatilla ? There was no suicide bombing then. What about all the settlements dividing what ever west bank there is ? What about Jewish only roads ? When they were being built there were no suicide bombings.

I for one support any and all attacks against IDF and occupant settlers.
posted by adnanbwp at 10:58 PM on April 16, 2002


Boaz-- point taken, and you might add that the first massacre in this conflict was probably the Hebron massacre of Jews by Palestinians. But this thread was/is about Jenin, what happened there.
posted by chaz at 11:14 PM on April 16, 2002


adnanbwp: I'm just providing a little compare and contrast for those readers capable of Cognitive Dissonance to ponder. To clarify a few points, that particular massacre was aimed at neither the IDF nor occupant settlers, and it was chosen to represent the most recent attack, not to be a testament to my (actually quite good) memory. Just as an FYI, the Hebron Massacre that chaz refers to occurred in 1929; the Palestinians have been massacring Jews a hell of a lot longer than they've been suicide bombing.

Boaz-- point taken, and you might add that the first massacre in this conflict was probably the Hebron massacre of Jews by Palestinians. But this thread was/is about Jenin, what happened there.

Fair enough chaz. I guess it's wait-and-see time.
posted by boaz at 11:45 PM on April 16, 2002


First off, I just wanted to chime in with my opinion of Paris as being hopelessly biased and full of horseshit. If he expects people to withhold their judgement about what happened in Jenin, he shouldn't make assumptions that a bunch of unarmed civilians packed in a defacto ghetto deserve to die because they were harboring armed people -- either policemen, terrorists, or Palestinians who believed in defending their land.

You know... what might be appropriate is to bring in some Israelis (perhaps human rights volunteers, if they are willing) from nearby cities to dig through the rubble, extract any bodies that they can find, and give them proper burials. The process can be witnessed by foriegn inspectors and the international media. If there really was a massacre, the leaders of Israel should be invited to help with the cleanup process too. That way, nobody could possibly say "We didn't know..."

Why not?! After all, that method worked just fine at the concentration camps in Germany.
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:07 AM on April 17, 2002


"Israel has a long history of massacres"

How long is the history of your bias?
posted by ParisParamus at 4:48 AM on April 17, 2002


The Massacre That Wasn't
posted by ParisParamus at 6:51 AM on April 17, 2002


"I for one support any and all attacks against IDF and occupant settlers."

Gott in Himmel.

I for one tend to stay out of these IDF-vs-PLO debates, but that's enough to make me a cheerleader for ParisParamus. For this one post, anyway.
posted by StOne at 8:05 AM on April 17, 2002


This may already have been posted: No Sign of Massacre in Jenin Camp. It seems like a fairly balanced report, indicating individual horror stories, but no concerted mass killings. Just one more (probably biased in some way) data point, OK? More information will come out in the days and weeks to come, no doubt.
posted by Turtle at 8:24 AM on April 17, 2002


>Why does your memory go back till Friday? What about Sabra and >Chatilla ? There was no suicide bombing then. What about all the >settlements dividing what ever west bank there is ?--adnanbwp

My memory goes back to the 1967 war, when Israel's neighbors tried to drive Israel into the sea, and lost. Israel won the west bank and Gaza fair and square then. My memory goes back to the 1972 Olympics, when Palestinian murderers slaughtered innocent Israeli athletes. I remember 1973, when Jordan and Syria attacked Israel on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

I remember how all my life, thugs and murderers have flocked to the Palestinian side and have done their best to kill as many Israelis as they could.

How far back does YOUR memory go?
posted by faceonmars at 8:26 AM on April 17, 2002


How about when the Israelis marched around the Palestinian walled city of Jericho? Stupid priests with trumpets and that damned box..... They were guilty of slaughter, thousands of years ago!
posted by dwivian at 9:23 AM on April 17, 2002


If you want less-biased reporting, one must quit using the American media (Newsday, NY Post) and use international media.

America has too much riding on Israel to be able to tell the truth about what's happening.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:58 AM on April 17, 2002


It's good to see I'm not the only one with a long memory.
posted by faceonmars at 10:06 AM on April 17, 2002


You people sound like a bunch of fucking children.

"He hit me first!" "No, he did!"

It's this stupid, ego-driven, childish tit for tat behaviour that has put the Middle East in the position it is today. Sharon calls off peace talks because suicide bombers. Suicide bombers start because Israel cracks down on Palestine. Palestinians riot because Sharon goes the the stupid Jewish temple/holy mosque/christian church combination place.

And, fine, there's a huge history. You know what? I don't fucking care. Hey, some English dog slapped my great long lost Scottish ancestor, massacred the village and everything, so I'm just gonna hate every English person I see today. And English people hate me because my Spanish great ancestor sunk a bunch of passenger vessels that were with a British warship. One good massacre deserves another, right?

Sounds pretty stupid, right?

The topic of the discussion was what happened in Jenin when Shaorn decided to massively escalate the conflict for whatever stupid, assinine reasons he had.

From REUTERS:

"A Reuters correspondant saw the bodies of eight members of one family and 25 other Palestinians piled in a refrigerated dairy truck being used as a makeshift morgue at the Rafida hospital Tuesday. The mortuary was overflowing with corpses.

Israel has said it has killed at least 200 Palestinians, mostly militants.."

From independent news sources throughout the conflict, the Israeli army hasn't seemed the most picky people in choosing who to shoot at. And I'm sure they are classifying as 'militants' the Palastinian police force, who I don't think fit into the 'terrorists' Israel is trying to get rid of.

The New York Post and Daily News are the other side of the Independant, if we are going to criticize news sources, as well.

From AP, Reuters, and similar sources, though, it is sounding more and more like this was a cleaning mission, and that there wasn't any distinguishing between non-combatants and military targets.
posted by rich at 10:22 AM on April 17, 2002


The world is an egalitarian utopia of fairness and justice while in America, we spread rumors and gossip in our tainted media. NOT

Meanwhile, I'll keep saying this till someone (perhaps even Adnan) decides to talk substance.

IF YOU'VE TAKEN EITHER SIDE, YOU'RE PART OF THE PROBLEM AND AN OBSTACLE TO ANY FAIR AND RATIONAL SOLUTION.
posted by BentPenguin at 10:46 AM on April 17, 2002


Mozilla no like MeFi scriptlets. the word "NOT" in my last post should have been a link to this: http://fallaci.blogspot.com/?/2002_04_07_fallaci_archive.html
posted by BentPenguin at 10:49 AM on April 17, 2002


My memory goes back to the 1967 war, when Israel's neighbors tried to drive Israel into the sea, and lost. Israel won the west bank and Gaza fair and square then.

Lets see following this brillant logic, My memory goes back to the second world war we won fair and square so why aren't we occuping Germany, Japan et al.
posted by onegoodmove at 11:08 AM on April 17, 2002


Nonetheless, Bent, the Toronto Globe and Mail, BBC, and several other non-American news sources provide a much more complete and less-biased reporting than any of the American media, as regards Jenin.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:12 AM on April 17, 2002


If you want less-biased reporting, one must quit using the American media

Proves how objective you aren't. Whose media should we use? The French, who think they actually resisted Hitler? Syria's, run by a thug? British press is the only true voice of reason?
posted by ParisParamus at 11:16 AM on April 17, 2002


"Proves how objective you aren't."

pot. kettle. black.
posted by n9 at 11:31 AM on April 17, 2002


One good massacre deserves another, right?

If (and that's a big if) they find compelling evidence of a massacre in Jenin, it should, and probably will, bring down Sharon's government. Compare and contrast this with the Palestinian and European communities who unblinkingly support Arafat as he orchestrates massacre after massacre after massacre.



From AP, Reuters, and similar sources, though, it is sounding more and more like this was a cleaning mission, and that there wasn't any distinguishing between non-combatants and military targets.

And your evidence of this is ... your own prejudices. If they didn't want to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, they would have just bombed it to rubble from the air. Keep in mind that they arrested hundreds of gunmen in Jenin after the fighting ended; how is it so improbable that 200 corpses would mostly be gunmen as well? Just because a newspaper jumps to conclusions based solely on a (still-theoretical) body count doesn't mean you have to.
posted by boaz at 11:33 AM on April 17, 2002


Keep in mind that they arrested hundreds of gunmen in Jenin after the fighting ended

Let's keep it at they arrested hundreds of *males* of 'fighting age'. Since, of course, any Palestinain male of 'fighting age' is allegedly a gunman and terrorist militant.

And let's not get into the 'bomb from the air vs ground assault' debate that is ranging well on its own thread.

As for the massacre thing.. by once again comparing it to the suicide bombings, you're ignoring the point I was trying to make.

On a second point.. one problem people continue to seem to have is saying Arafat is orchestrating all of this. Hamas is claiming responsibility, stating they want to disrupt the peace process between Fatah and Israel.. the bombings do not benefit Arafat or his faction politically or personally in any way.
posted by rich at 12:23 PM on April 17, 2002


Let's keep it at they arrested hundreds of *males* of 'fighting age'. Since, of course, any Palestinain male of 'fighting age' is allegedly a gunman and terrorist militant.

Actually rich, over a thousand Palestinians surrendered at Jenin; only a couple hundred of them were classified as gunmen. When the IDF classifies someone as a gunman, it means that they were armed and taking part in the fighting. It has nothing to do with age or gender, except insofar as the gunmen tend to be of a certain age and gender.

As for the massacre thing.. by once again comparing it to the suicide bombings, you're ignoring the point I was trying to make.

That both sides support massacres? Your point, rich, is not true; only one side supports committing massacres in this war. That's a point that bears repeating.

Hamas is claiming responsibility, stating they want to disrupt the peace process between Fatah and Israel.. the bombings do not benefit Arafat or his faction politically or personally in any way.

Uh, no. Just as an example, that most recent suicide bombing that I mentioned was claimed by Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, part of Arafat's Fatah faction. Fatah has been responsible for 5/6 of all attacks on Israel since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada (though to be fair, roughly 1/3 of those did target soldiers. Still, they've perpetrated a clear majority of civilian attacks). However, it is eternally amusing to see people believing hearsay in one situation and denying signed invoices and outright claims of responsibility on the other to maintain that precious Cognitive Consistency.
posted by boaz at 1:29 PM on April 17, 2002



posted by y2karl at 2:14 PM on April 17, 2002


Come off it karl. Try telling that to the brontosaurus that was brutally torn apart and eaten alive by that vicious, so called, "children's entertainer".
posted by euphorb at 2:35 PM on April 17, 2002


I would like to remind Paris Paramus that this forum is dedicated to discussion, not ad hominem attacks on people, institutions, or opinions that bother you. Stick to intelligent, polite, and well reasoned dialogue, you're cheapening the experience and painting yourself as the fool.
posted by jack-o at 3:37 PM on April 17, 2002




I almost always avoid posters. As for the other, they are not only fair game, but the focus of my posts!

posted by ParisParamus at 7:34 PM on April 17, 2002


The massacre that just might be?!

...again, the verdict is still out.
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:32 PM on April 18, 2002


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