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"a blot that will forever live on the history of the state of Israel"
April 25, 2002 5:20 AM   Subscribe

"a blot that will forever live on the history of the state of Israel"
posted by specialk420 (54 comments total)

 
A blot that will forever live on the FP.
posted by anathema at 5:27 AM on April 25, 2002


More hot Jenin pictures here and here.
posted by Keen at 5:47 AM on April 25, 2002


Take a look at the way they cropped the picture in their article, and then take a look (http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0ll60) at these aerial photos of the same scene.
posted by mikegre at 5:48 AM on April 25, 2002


"No holds are barred in the Israeli PR counterattack"

< !-- apologies to those tired of the israel/palestine - threads... this article really horrified me -->
posted by specialk420 at 6:00 AM on April 25, 2002


As much as I think the Israelis crossed the line in Jenin (can you say "war crimes"?), you're never going to get an objective view from this source.

Having said that, mikegre, how would you have them crop the photo? In pictures of the WTC, did you see all of manhattan?
posted by jpoulos at 6:14 AM on April 25, 2002


The pictures say it all. I rest my case.
posted by mikegre at 6:20 AM on April 25, 2002


How tedious to post from a paper notorious world-wide for its strong anti-Israeli bias and its leading moronic writer R. Fiske, a laughing stock.
Why not simply wait till the place is examined and a report(s) issued rather than all this nonsense? If one insists upon "explainig" things before an investigatyion is made, then why rely on but one well-known biased paper? Or is this what we are to take as an objective view of things?
posted by Postroad at 6:32 AM on April 25, 2002


Postroad: Why not simply wait till the place is examined and a report(s) issued rather than all this nonsense?

Although I tend to agree re: the credibility of the Independent, emotions have run so high in this case that NO ONE has sufficient credibility to be respected by both sides. With all due respect to ParisParamus and his self-imposed moratorium - meaning I'm not intending to goad him, when he's decided to remain silent but just to use him as an example - if a report were issued that said something he didn't want to hear, he would attack it's credibility regardless of who issued it.

This is a war of extremes and the extremists on both sides have no interest in hearing anything that's not their point of view.
posted by Sinner at 6:49 AM on April 25, 2002


I'm sorry but the Independent is really a good newspaper, we're not talking about a lowbrow tabloid here.
Anti-Israel bias? I don't know. But all Israeli newspapers obviously have a pro-Israel bias -- is that a good reason not to read online the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz? They are good newspapers, good journalists on the staff.
And btw, it's pretty lame to argue that it's anti-Semitism to think that maybe mr.Sharon's strategy is neither very effective in the long term nor very humane.
We should really be able to analyze the situation: you can be all for the State of Israel (its right to exist and everything) and simultaneously be able to criticize the choices of the (very, VERY right-wing) present government of that State.
That's what I call intellectual honesty. But of course all the Ygal Amir fans here on MeFi can't really understand that.
posted by matteo at 6:51 AM on April 25, 2002


Why not simply wait till the place is examined and a report(s) issued?

Because it is obvious that Israel (with the tacit backing of the US) is bitterly opposed to such an inspection, and it is therefore up to investigative journalists to do the hard work NOW of documenting evidence before any Israeli cover-up can take place.
posted by mapalm at 6:52 AM on April 25, 2002


Postroad, maybe it's known in *your house* for its anti-Israeli bias, but where I'm from the Independent has a reputation for generally balanced reporting - so much so, in fact, that it is often criticised for not being extreme enough in its editorial.

Conversely, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency claims that the Guardian, the Independent and the BBC are all anti-Israeli. Is there a respected news source that doesn't have an anti-Zionist agenda?

Frankly I think most people would find it hard to be pro-Israel at this point, given the pictures we've all been seeing on our TV screens. The images speak for themselves - there's no editing or cropping or slant or bias needed. No amount of spin can make Jenin look like a picnic.
posted by skylar at 6:52 AM on April 25, 2002


Find me a paper that doesn't have some angle to play Postroad. For the moment this kind of info is all we have. And as for bias, you are obviously biased against the Indy, so why should I take anything you say seriously?

"R. Fiske, a laughing stock" - do you have a source for this?
posted by jackiemcghee at 6:55 AM on April 25, 2002


I read the Independent nearly every morning.... and often haaretz as well to get the coverage we are often so lacking in the US media - I dare say we in the US and Israel are lucky if coverage of these events through-out the Islamic world (and most of the rest of the world) are as "biased" as the Independent.

The perspective of the Islamic world and those that do not unquestioningly support Israel. matter to me - as it should every Israeli and supporter of Israel.

note the quotes: "a blot that will forever live on the history of the state of Israel" come from the UN mid-east representative on the scene - not the "biased" journalists of Independent. I suppose, we, like Jesse Helms... we can say the UN is full of BS too.

note to postroad and self... lets both work on our spelling before we use the word "moron" in our posts.
posted by specialk420 at 7:29 AM on April 25, 2002


In the meantime, back in the world: Not disregarding the fate of some civilians who remained and died with militant fighters in that block of booby-trapped housing, there are still wonderings about why there is no worldwide call for an international investigation of atrocities committed by Sudanese Arabs against their non-Arab countrymen during an 18-year-old civil war resulting in the deaths of two million people.

One would think that Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general, would be leading the crusade for such a mission.

Is it possible that the international community's enduring obsession with Israel, in contrast to its stunning silence regarding Sudan, (and uncounted other places) is merely motivated by politics? Oil? Ethnic bias? But certainly not humanitarian concerns. Are we to conclude that there is a double standard?
posted by semmi at 7:34 AM on April 25, 2002


Robert Fisk is one of the main reasons why I started reading the Indy again (as well as the fab new tabloid section). He is obviously pro Arab, but is upfront about it.

This peice on HonestReporting attacks him as being biased and hypocritical, does not suggest he is a laughing stock.

If Israel had nothing to hide, they would allow UN inspections. Simple as that. How would the international community feel if Iraq had demanded to dictate the membership and mandate of arms inspections?

If they had committed war crimes, the logical thing would be to keep out journalists, the Red Cross and now the UN. Suprise, suprise..
posted by laukf at 7:35 AM on April 25, 2002


Do you mean to tell me that people actually die during war? I was unaware...
posted by eas98 at 7:42 AM on April 25, 2002


I second matteo's assessment of the Independent. I do not think that there is a single serious British conservative who would dare characterize the Independent as a "biased" newspaper, or even more Robert Fisk as "a laughing stock". These are slanders from people who have probably never read a single issue of that particular newspaper.
But if the Independent ain't good enough how about Haaretz: Amira Haas, Orly Halpern, Gideon Levy?
As far as I can see Israel has sunk beneath even apartheid South Africa, in moral legitimacy. It is the few, brave people in Israel that refuse to enlist in an occupation army and who are protesting the occupation (or reporting it accurately as illustrated in the above links), who are saving the honour of the state of Israel and, I hope, they will be seen in years to come as the heroes that they are, much like the few South African whites that resisted and fought bloody fights against racism, are celebrated today in South Africa.
And eas98: people die during wars- but an army has no right to murder civilians, indeed the Nuremberg tribunals set a clear precedent about this. Think about it.
posted by talos at 8:01 AM on April 25, 2002


Thanks laukf for the link to HonestReporting.com
posted by semmi at 8:02 AM on April 25, 2002


Israel has stated that it is not happy with the makeup of the team the UN wants to send to inspect...they claim--whether right or wrong--that they would like some professional military men toinspect what they claim has been a military operation. I say call their bluff and send in military me too. Then see if they accept the "visit."
I do not read the Independent on a daily basis. I have never seen a paper so biased (my view), and I read many many papers. This may be my view and thus not a true picture, but I do read the Guardian, The Economist, The Guardian weblog, look at BBC,CNN, NY Times, Christian Science Monitor, Wall St. Journal. Additionally, I read magazines and periodicals as well as Arab press and Arab online sources. Wih that in mind, I stand by my view.
And I have noted that even some Palestinians have retracted claims made...so I am willing to wait before deciding.
Of course there are biases: there are 25 Arab/Muslim member states in the UN and one Israel vote (state). Is there a bias? Well Syria now has a rotating seat on the Security Council and Israel is denied the right to sit at the Security Table! Bias?
Again, and finally: one might argue over the results of an investigation but at least there will be a full report and documents to view. Now there is not. Who then is biased?
posted by Postroad at 8:02 AM on April 25, 2002


Got to put a word in for The Independent here too, which is IMO the most credible broadsheet in the UK. I find the "chuck enough shit and some will stick" smear tactics (which have clearly worked on jpoulos to an extent) pretty distasteful to be honest.

If The Independent has any biases, they are ideological rather than political, and even then I'd argue that, whilst liberal-leaning, it is generally even-handed. Describing the paper as anti-Israel is also, frankly, horseshit - the chairman of the paper for a considerable period of time was Lord Sieff: ex-Marks and Spencer, and prominent Zionist (check here for a nice Simon Carr story about him).

Similarly, to describe Robert Fisk as a laughing-stock is to look in a mirror and not know it. I really, honestly, truly can't see where the ammunition for this comes from. The poor bastard clearly needs a holiday, but nevertheless is very obviously consistent in his condemnation of both sides (most recently... yesterday - hardly a sympathetic portrayal of Palestinians). I can only think that the issues come from the fact that he won't give space to propaganda (either Arab or Israeli) - which I completely support. Find me good evidence of him consistently treating Israel in a fundamentally less fair way than arab states and I'll start to reconsider (and refusing to unquestioningly treat government statements as fact doesn't count - he's an investigative journalist for God's sake). Laukf - I really don't think he *is* pro-arab...
posted by bifter at 8:11 AM on April 25, 2002


there are 25 Arab/Muslim member states in the UN and one Israel vote (state). Is there a bias?
I'm not ironic or anything, I'm just slow: you mean Israel should be able to vote 25 times?
It's great that it's the only democracy in the region, and I think we all cherish that. But it's not bias: the fact is Judaism is a minority religion, much much smaller than Christianity or Islam or Sikhism or Buddhism.
There's only one Jewish State and 25 Arab/muslim because there are not that many Jews in the world.
It's not bias, it's math.
posted by matteo at 8:17 AM on April 25, 2002


Of course, HonestReporting is no great shining example of unbiased coverage itself: as its front page notes, it 'was started at the initiative of The Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah,' and like that other right-wing media criticism site, the Media Research Center, it consistenly accuses the 'liberal' media of bias, particularly against Israel, while handing out awards to such models of unbiased journalistic probity as Charles Krauthammer and Bernard Goldberg. Oh, and it's not afraid to engage in selective quotation to 'prove' its points.

You take your biases where you wants em, but you ought to take em all with a good pinch of salt. Any 'media research' organisation is just a political lobby group that reads the papers. HonestReporting is just a clearing-house for mail-bombing zealots.
posted by riviera at 8:25 AM on April 25, 2002


*sigh*

For those of you who are alarmed at the destruction of war with Palestinians and, furthermore, trust the UN to conduct an unbiased investigation...

Does it bother any of you that:

* The Intefadeh is being mindfully and willfully misused as both an incitement to, and a declaration of insurrectionary war against Israel. Echoed by Arab regimes throughout the region and vivified by the insistent blessings for the use of nihilistic violence against any and all Israeli citizens, regardless of their combatant status in Israeli society, as a strategy of warfare.

* Arafat and the fationalized leadership of Palestinians have used the deliberately misleading tactic of making combatants indistinguishable from non-combatants to protect an infinitely inferior fighting force at the expense of their noncombatant population--thus increasing the chance that innocent civilians would be wounded or killed during direct engagement.

* With the declaration of insurrectionary war against Israel, Palestinians have no legal or moral right to expect Israel to put their security forces or their civilian population at risk by disregarding either the declaration or the acts of violence suggestive of that war, regardless of however more powerful or well-organized they are in comparison to the Palestinian combatant forces.

* The 58th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution (E/CN.4/2002.L.16) on 15Apr02 which condones Palestinian violence against Israeli soldier and civilian alike. Source

* E/CN.4/2002.L.16 made no attempt to acknowledge the illegitimate use of Intefadeh, or the use of terrorism against Israeli citizenry. Source

* The preceding resolution is a direct violation of the Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations. Source

* Journalist such as Peter Beaumont of the Guardian Unlimited have reported that "For even as the hunt for the bodies goes on, it is increasingly clear from evidence collected by this paper and other journalists, that the majority of those so far recovered have been Palestinian fighters from Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the al-Aqsa Brigades.
Certainly, civilians died. But so far they are in the minority of those who perished." Source

Do any of those facts give you pause at all?
posted by Tiger_Lily at 8:41 AM on April 25, 2002


"It's not bias, it's math."

So Matteo, does this mean Allah wins over Jehovah because His followers procreate more than His does?

Damn! The mormons were right!
posted by ZachsMind at 8:42 AM on April 25, 2002


Powell says no evidence so far of Massacre at Jenin vs. Egyptian Leader Condemns 'Despicable Crimes' by Israel. This is already reminding me of the Ani Difranco thread in reference to the 9/11 victims: "10% literal, 90% metaphor"
posted by gwint at 8:43 AM on April 25, 2002


Let's not forget that UN resolution E/CN.4/2002.L.16 has supported the use of "armed violence" against Israelis in order to erect a Palestinian statehood that constitutionally advocates the "eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence" and acknowledges that "this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished". Source (See Articles 12 & 13 of the constitutional "goals")
posted by Tiger_Lily at 9:07 AM on April 25, 2002


the talk of biased papers is pathetic. It is quite ovbious that any piece of journalism is subject to and driven by the particular ideological / political leanings of the author, that however does not make a source invaluable or necessarily incorrect. It merely means that this must be considered when attempting to extricate the 'facts' from that particular source. For the life of me I cannot fathom why a paper like the independent should be attacked in such a manner, the murdoch press is nauseatingly biased especially in its slavish devotion to the chinese (tiannamen square; I can't even spell it...)
posted by johnnyboy at 9:13 AM on April 25, 2002


Sinner's on the money here. Everyone interested in this debate is failing to do so.

They pick sides, then wait for the cycle of violence to come around to their side of things, then they scream righteous indignation.

Is the independant biased? Perhaps someone can find a an article of theirs as indignant about palestinian violence as they are about Israeli acts. It amazes me that people try and say that one side is wrong, while the other isn't.

This is how you start a world war, folks. And if you wanna talk about uneven newsreporting, let me point out that the media is not discussing the fact that Iraq has positioned 4 of its seven battalions along its Jordanian border. It seems like Jordan, a moderate nation trying to keep the peace, is in danger of being invaded. Why? It probably has a lot to do with Bush's sabre rattling.

The Saudis, too, have moved battalions into position along their border with Jordan. Abdullah is in DC to deliver an ultimatum. We've already packed up our command centers for friendlier gulf states. Have I ruined your lunch hour yet?

Meanwhile, the UN is so hopelessly politicized in all this, that its completely defesated its function as intermediary between nations. If they are horrified about what took place in Jenin, perhaps they could have done more to stop the warmaking that came from the camp that they administer. Good work, Tiger Lily.

While the rest of the world is playing moral superbowl with all this, armegeddon nervous. How about you?
posted by BentPenguin at 9:27 AM on April 25, 2002


Zachsmind, You are a stupid idiot Sir. Your juxtaposition of Allah and Jehovah is absoloutely moronic. It is clear to any sensible observer that Jews, Christians and Muslims are all people of the book, and thus worship the same God.

Atleast think before you post.
posted by adnanbwp at 9:58 AM on April 25, 2002


Tiger_Lily: feel like sourcing that "armed violence" quotation? Or were you mixing in a few "scare quotes" of your own?
posted by riviera at 10:03 AM on April 25, 2002


As I read the article-50 are confirmed dead in Jenin, of which half are civilians and the attack on Jenin was inspired by the Seder massacre in which 28 civilians were slaughtered. Setting aside qualms about calculus with the massacre of innocents, sounds like a draw to me.
Meanwhile today is Africa Malaria Day!
P.S. Malaria causes more than a million deaths a year;
Ninety per cent of those deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa, and the majority of those dying are children.
But never mind-the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is more important...isn't it?
posted by quercus at 10:05 AM on April 25, 2002


riviera,
Slight misquote--my mistake--the word "struggle" appeared in place of "violence".
"Canada and two EU countries -- Britain and Germany -- opposed the measure, which supports the use of "all available means, including armed struggle" to establish a Palestinian state. Guatemala and the Czech Republic joined the opposing voices, but with 40 countries of the 53-member commission voting yes and seven abstaining, the resolution is now part of the international record." Source
posted by Tiger_Lily at 10:23 AM on April 25, 2002


but I do read the Guardian, The Economist,

Eeeeeeuuuuuwww! The Economist says! The Economist says! I read The Economist! Aren't I cool? Aren't you impressed with me?

Sorry, couldn't resist.
posted by homunculus at 10:42 AM on April 25, 2002


But never mind-the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is more important...isn't it?

In America it surely is. US foreign Aid to sub-saharan Africa is a tiny drop in the bucket of the $3b+ given to Israel, the 14th richest country in the world in terms of GDP.
posted by cell divide at 10:49 AM on April 25, 2002


...the 14th richest country in the world...

And a democracy. Hmmm.
posted by gazingus at 11:03 AM on April 25, 2002


More than pictures, Arab press accounts of what happened in Jenin show that Israel is telling the truth. They had reason to go into the Jenin camp, yet did so in an restrained manner (they could have used artillery) and at exceptional tactical risk to themselves.

Read this Al-Ahram Weekly interview with a Jenin bomber. The translation is echoed by MEMRI and the facts recounted in this San Antonio Express column.

The UN task force includes Cornelio Sommaruga who in November of 2001 dismissed admitting the Mogen David (the Jewish Star or Sheild of David) as a recognized symbol of the International Red Cross and stated "If we're going to have the Shield of David, why would we not have to accept the swastika?" This was originally reported by Charles Krauthammer on March 27. With this background, is there any wonder why Israel objected to the UN team?

This NY Post oped sums it up unfortunately well, "Sadly, the damage to Israel's image already has been done. Far too many people already believe the legend of the Jenin massacre, and international media reports - especially in Europe - refuse to acknowledge the truth."
posted by joemaller at 11:20 AM on April 25, 2002


hahaha yeah dude new york post op-eds are just stellar assessments of the truth. i make sure i pick up the daily news too, just to get the other side of the story. i'm sure the 800 families that used to live in that "cropped image " (and that's not from an op-ed, it's reported as fact.) would love to hear about innocent israel and the horrible lies it's being accused of.
posted by aLienated at 12:23 PM on April 25, 2002


aLienated,
Stop me when these fallacies in your logic start to sound familiar....

Appeal to Emotion
An Appeal to Emotion is a fallacy with the following structure:

Favorable emotions are associated with X.
Therefore, X is true.

This fallacy is committed when someone manipulates peoples' emotions in order to get them to accept a claim as being true. More formally, this sort of "reasoning" involves the substitution of various means of producing strong emotions in place of evidence for a claim. If the favorable emotions associated with X influence the person to accept X as true because they "feel good about X," then he has fallen prey to the fallacy. This sort of "reasoning" is very common in politics and it serves as the basis for a large portion of modern advertising.

Misleading Vividness
Misleading Vividness is a fallacy in which a very small number of particularly dramatic events are taken to outweigh a significant amount of statistical evidence. This sort of "reasoning" has the following form:

Dramatic or vivid event X occurs (and is not in accord with the majority of the statistical evidence) .
Therefore events of type X are likely to occur.

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because the mere fact that an event is particularly vivid or dramatic does not make the event more likely to occur, especially in the face of significant statistical evidence. People often accept this sort of "reasoning" because particularly vivid or dramatic cases tend to make a very strong impression on the human mind.

Red Herring
Also Known as: Smoke Screen, Wild Goose Chase.
A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to "win" an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic. This sort of "reasoning" has the following form:

Topic A is under discussion.
Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is actually not relevant to topic A).
Topic A is abandoned.

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because merely changing the topic of discussion hardly counts as an argument against a claim.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 12:34 PM on April 25, 2002


Joemaller:

You link to MEMRI for "Arab press accounts of what happened in Jenin" but it's based in frickin' Washington D.C. of all places. And anyway, how does that show that Israel is telling the truth? I think we all know that men, women and children are fighting against Israel. Your link explains nothing about Israel lying about human rights violations.

The NY Post is not a bastion of legitimacy either.

Tiger_Lily:

Pretty good links and sources. Got any regarding how many UN Resolutions have been passed regarding Israel, sanctioning Israel, etc.? I know there have been dozens.

and

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because merely changing the topic of discussion hardly counts as an argument against a claim.

Funny you should mention that.
posted by taumeson at 12:44 PM on April 25, 2002


"A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue."

hmm, let's see, this thread is about Jenin. my commentary was about Jenin. there was no epistemic credibility in the prior post (by that i mean no facts sited or reasoned argument presented) so i pointed it out and brought it back to Jenin, and you can quote the "800 families" i use in my "fallacious" commentary and trace it back to paragraph two of the intial post, which is also about Jenin. so who's posting bullshit?
posted by aLienated at 12:55 PM on April 25, 2002


taumeson,
No, I would not care to do your homework for you.

aLienated,
I didn't say it was bullshit. People displaced and hurting is serious business--but the thread has taken taken on the shape of a logical argument about who bears the burden of that responsibility.
It's been pretty well established by now that Israel may have committed the act--but Palestinian leadership is, in fact, the ultimate culprit behind the hardship of innocent civilians in Jenin.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 2:12 PM on April 25, 2002


Excuse the double posting--but the additional question of the UN being the appropriate choice for a "fact finding mission" was raised, and that also been successfully challenged.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 2:16 PM on April 25, 2002


"the additional question of the UN being the appropriate choice for a "fact finding mission" was raised".

If the rest of the world community can not participate in a fact finding mission, then will the fact finders be imported from MARS ???

"It's been pretty well established by now that Israel may have committed the act--but Palestinian leadership is, in fact, the ultimate culprit behind the hardship of innocent civilians in Jenin.".

The Rape Victim is the ultimate culprit for causing the bruises and cuts because the Rape Victim challenged and struggled with the Rapist.
posted by adnanbwp at 2:43 PM on April 25, 2002


adnanbwp,
Having had the dubious distinction of having to fight off a rapist, I can tell you that the differences between waking up at 0417 to find a stranger mauling you and declaring war when you're woefully unprepared to fight--get your ass summarily stomped by a vastly superior force--and then crying to the UN to call of your "oppressors"...Yeh, I got to tell you--those are teo completely different situations.

Having the UN make a declaration about the wrong-doing of Israel would be like inviting someone who's been openly hostile towards you to testify at your parole hearing. So, I don't know where you'll find a committee objective enough to do the job--but it sure as hell shouldn't be the one they've got lined up.

Look, we've all got our sympathies--there's nothing wrong with that. Problems only arise when people are unwilling to acknowledge logic in their effort to sustain support for their position. That's all I'm asking for--and I have yet to see a sound logical argument from anyone who supports the Palestinians in this conflict. I'm not saying it doesn't exist--but I sure as hell haven't seen it, not yet anyway.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 3:04 PM on April 25, 2002


I have yet to see a sound logical argument from anyone who supports the Palestinians in this conflict

Problems only arise when people are unwilling to acknowledge logic in their effort to sustain support for their position
posted by cell divide at 3:31 PM on April 25, 2002


cell divide,
Sorry dude, I'm fresh out of window pane--I don't know where you're supposed to be headed with that observation...
It doesn't matter. Whatever.
If any of you would care to put forth a logical foundation for the support of Palestinians in this conflict, you know where to find me.

TL out.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 3:40 PM on April 25, 2002


hmm...late to the fray as usual. But it's odd that I just had this same discussion regarding this UN resolution just recently. Bit of a deja-vu really.

Tiger_Lily, I think you need to take a step back and get your facts straight.

Linking to the UN press release about a resolution for which E/CN.4/2002.L.16 is only the draft, doesn't help your case. The actual Resolution isn't yet online, but will not contain any wording such as "all available means, including armed struggle". It instead will merely refer to a former 1982 General Assembly resolution that dealt with both Israel and the then white-run government of South Africa. The 1982 resolution does state that it "reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.", but I don't see that as a blanket affirmation of Palestinian violence.

You may also like to take a look at Article 51 of the UN charter for which you only pointed out the Preamble. I'll grant you Palestine is not a Member state, but I would think it's within a people's right regardless of whether they are a Member state or not.

The National Post article you linked to as a source is more a source of fallacious reporting. To use your definitions:

"This fallacy is committed when someone manipulates peoples' emotions in order to get them to accept a claim as being true. More formally, this sort of "reasoning" involves the substitution of various means of producing strong emotions in place of evidence for a claim."

The National Post article begins with:

UN backs Palestinian violence
Arab, European nations pass resolution supporting use of 'armed struggle'

and does nothing to clearly state the facts, but only manipulate them to garner reaction. True that's what good editorializing is supposed to do, but it's misleading and still a fallacy. You might also have linked to the previous days article (by the same author) for some more background info on what was actually taking place with the resolution.

The only facts that you did state is that the UN Commission approved the resolution and that they didn't condemn the Palestinian "Intefadeh" or the suicide bombings. Since when is someone guilty because of something they didn't say? If you prefer to state that the UN is biased based on the sheer number of Resolutions condemning Israel I might be more inclined to agree with you, and certainly the silence is telling in some respects, but interpreting the silence is just that; interpretation.

You're whole argument, again using your own definition, is a bit of a Red Herring.

Topic A is under discussion.
Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is actually not relevant to topic A).
Topic A is abandoned.


I'd say Topic A got abandoned. Anybody remember what was originally being discussed?
posted by mikhail at 6:20 PM on April 25, 2002


Lot of attacking PostRoad here for pointing out that the Independent is not so independent. For those of you that couldn't bother to click on the link that to other articles written by the author, here are some titles:

'Jews may not want to look at this'
Unholy War: The Bethlehem bellringer, the doctor, the mother. The innocent keep on dying
Collaborators slaughtered in besieged West Bank
Arafat offers ceasefire as summit backs peace deal
Arabs wait for reply to their offer of peace
Palestinians walk out as summit snubs ArafatPalestinians walk out as summit snubs Arafat

For those too lazy to look at the other articles printed by the paper by the Middle East:

Teenagers shot by Israelis, then run over with a tank
Palestinian teenagers leave Bethlehem church
I am happy to have survived. One day, I know we will be free
Nurse shot through heart and man in wheelchair among Jenin dead

The fact of the matter is that the Independent hasn't ever written a pro-Israeli article. They're all negative. How does that happen without the paper having a slanted point of view.

This discussion has been had before on Metafilter in regards to Independent articles posted about the Middle East situation. Every unbiased report (Times, London Times, etc) has long ago pointed out that it was mostly the bodies of Palestinian fighters from Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the al-Aqsa Brigades that have been recovered so far.

The Israeli papers may be just as biased, but I haven't read any articles lately about Muslims eating the blood of Jewish children.
posted by xammerboy at 7:45 PM on April 25, 2002


Actually I think the best coverage of the Israel situation is in the Israeli papers, they have a free press which doesn't exist in almost every other ME country, and their coverage is a lot more skeptical of both sides than the American papers.
posted by chaz at 8:53 PM on April 25, 2002


Ok, very late but a very simple answer to Tiger_Lily's question about arguments supporting the Palestinian position.
I support the Palestinians because:
1. they are an occupied nation,
2. they have been ousted in large numbers from their homelands in 1948,
3. the Israelis are in occupation of the remaining Palestine since 1967
4. the Israelis are treating the Palestinians in Israel proper like third class citizens (the term apartheid comes readily to mind) and in the West Bank and Gaza pretty much as if they were cattle.
5. I believe that every nation under occupation has a right to fight against their conquerors.
6. I believe that the ultimate goal of the Sharon faction is the final expulsion of all Arabs from what they call "Greater Israel".
Frankly, I cannot understand how someone can be for the Israeli occupation and against, say, China's occupation of Tibet.
Let me also state that for similar reasons I was against Indonesia's occupation of E.Timor (including the introduction of Indonesian settlers on the island), Turkey's occupation, expulsion of Greek Cypriots and settlement, of northern Cyprus, the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, and the creation of Bandustans by the S.African racist regimes, to mention a few similar cases.
Although I consider the choice for a Jewish homeland decided by the UN after the war, unwise and racist (a result of a colonial attitude that considered Arabs not really as human as Europeans), there is no denying now that Israel has a right to exist within its pre-1967 borders. Indeed the Saudi peace plan would offer Israel the security it claims it wants in exchange for its complete withrawal from the West Bank and Gaza. The fact that a day after the said proposal Sharon let loose the IOF in the West bank shows how little he is interested in safety and how much in the expansion of Israeli territories.
BTW I also agree with chaz about Israeli newspapers, in particular I find that Ha'aretz is doing an excellent job covering the situation (see the links in my previous post).
posted by talos at 2:06 AM on April 26, 2002


xammerboy

Lot of attacking PostRoad here for pointing out that the Independent is not so independent.


There didn't seem to me to be much, if any, attack on Postroad (I certainly didn't). There was plenty of attack on his insupportable insinuation The Independent treats Israel unfairly.

For those of you that couldn't bother to click on the link...

Classy! Nice one!

Unholy War: The Bethlehem bellringer, the doctor, the mother. The innocent keep on dying

??? What do you expect? "Hold the front page: war not as bad as everyone thinks"? They're war reporters, and civilian casualties are news.

Collaborators slaughtered in besieged West Bank

How does this reflect worse on Israelis than on Palestinians?

Arafat offers ceasefire as summit backs peace deal

And again... your point is? It's a news story, with a pretty dry headline. If you ever read a whole copy of The Independent you will find comment articles and editorials (and news pieces by Robert Fisk, natch) pulling no punches whatsoever with regard to just how innocent and sincere the Palestinian leadership is with regard to this situation.

Arabs wait for reply to their offer of peace

See above.

Palestinians walk out as summit snubs Arafat

Again, how does this prove your point that The Independent is biased against Israel?

For those too lazy to look at the other articles printed by the paper by the Middle East:

Here's a few more from the other side of the fence, as well as the Robert Fisk article I linked yesterday, which you ignore.

David Aaronvitch column
Another... pro-Arab?
Bruce Anderson on Israel
Robert Fisk on Palestinian lynch mobs


Teenagers shot by Israelis, then run over with a tank

Is your problem with the facts or the presentation?

Palestinian teenagers leave Bethlehem church

You've lost me again I'm afraid... should the public not be interested in what's happening during a siege of one of the holiest places for the 1st World majority? Do you dispute the facts here?

I am happy to have survived. One day, I know we will be free

Ditto.

Nurse shot through heart and man in wheelchair among Jenin dead

Ditto.

The fact of the matter is that the Independent hasn't ever written a pro-Israeli article. They're all negative. How does that happen without the paper having a slanted point of view.

Did you check for demonstrably pro-Palestinian articles? Israel is at war and its tactics are [goodspin] pragmatic/ [badspin] dirty. Bias to me is about presenting stories in a way that greatly deviates from your best knowledge of the facts. It is not about being even-handed (read: incoherent) in your presentation of wildly spun stories from opposing perspectives. It is about presenting a consistent and balanced view of the situation, not about presenting a sanitised view of the participants. Palestine and Israel are not two sides of the same coin: to be anti-Israeli is not to be by default pro-Palestinian. As I see this (and I have no axe to grind at all wrt the Middle East), the people complaining about coverage in papers like The Independent are essentially complaining that they are calling things as they see them, and not paying even lip-service to a role as mouthpiece for propaganda machines on either side of the debate.

As an exercise, how do you propose that a newspaper should present "unbiased" (not pro-Israeli) articles that meet the dual criteria of "news" and "objectivity".

As a final point, The Independent's editorial policy tends to be just that: independent. It employs journalists, commentators and columnists who have clearly defined views of their own, and they are generally allowed to express them. While the majority tend to be centrists/liberals, people such as Spectator editor Bruce Robinson and ex-Tory MP Michael Brown also write for it. Columnists like David Aaronovitch are emphatically pro-Israel. To portray the paper as endemically and cynically leftist or anti-Israel is a smear: nothing more, nothing less.

This discussion has been had before on Metafilter in regards to Independent articles posted about the Middle East situation. Every unbiased report (Times, London Times, etc) has long ago pointed out that it was mostly the bodies of Palestinian fighters from Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the al-Aqsa Brigades that have been recovered so far.

A bit early to judge what happened I think. I'd tend to salute the journalists for a sound exercise in investigative journalism, supported with evidence clearly presented for readers to make their own mind up and recognising that it is an indication, rather than a fact at this stage. I'd say exactly the same thing about this investigation if the results were the opposite.

How, incidentally, do you judge the other papers as "unbiased"? Are "unbiased" and "pro-Israel" interchangeable terms to you?

The Israeli papers may be just as biased, but I haven't read any articles lately about Muslims eating the blood of Jewish children.

How does this relate to The Independent?
posted by bifter at 3:40 AM on April 26, 2002


From an article by Mouin Rabbani:
"...Does the atrocity perpetrated by Israeli forces qualify as a massacre? If one equates this term with the systematic slaughter of virtually every man, woman, and child with whom the Israeli military came into contact, the answer is a clear no. Given the methods used by Israel to conquer Jenin, it also seems unlikely that most civilian victims were first clearly identified as such and subsequently deliberately killed on this basis. Rather, it appears to be the case that a minimum of many dozens of Palestinian civilians were killed through a combination of the deliberate and indiscriminate use of excessive and disproportionate force in a densely-populated residential area, in a number of cases for purely punitive purposes; sniper fire; summary executions; and last but certainly not least the systematic interdiction of medical and rescue services from the very outset of the invasion until many days after the final cessation of hostilities. Many would indeed characterise the grim results of the sum total of these measures as a "massacre" - particularly if persistent allegations that Israel surreptitiously removed corpses or dug mass graves are proven true. Others would suffice with terming such conduct an "atrocity". In view of what we already know about what happened in Jenin, it is a semantic rather than substantive distinction, which will prove of little use to those responsible if they ever face a court of law..."
posted by talos at 3:45 AM on April 26, 2002


Agreed, chaz, and Ha'aretz is a must-read for anyone seriously concerned with the situation. (I'll even give you the JPost, though it's less essential just because its editorial line is more faithfully replicated in the Telegraph, National Post and most US media.) Ha'aretz, at least, provides a loyal opposition, a critical perspective from within Israel. That said, the Israeli military censor has the right to veto copy, which makes it a slightly less free press than it'd like to admit.
posted by riviera at 4:47 AM on April 26, 2002


mikegre: "The pictures say it all. I rest my case."

An analysis of the IDF before-after photos posted above, reveals that: "Israeli aerial photographs posted on the Internet to show that there was no massacre actually support claims by Palestinians (and many international observers) that hundreds of people were killed."
posted by talos at 5:22 AM on April 26, 2002


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