israeli-palestinian-conflict

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What The New York Times Won't Show Readers o CAMERA

July 6, 2015by Ricki Hollander

CAMERA’s 2011 study, Indicting Israel: New York Times Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, devoted an entire chapter to “Violence Double Standards” demonstrating how Palestinan terrorism and violence against Israelis is routinely reported through the lens of Israeli actions and Palestinian victimhood. (See here, page 53) Reporting, news placement, and photo choices are all geared toward deflecting readers’ attention away from Palestinian aggression and away from Israeli victims onto Palestinian victims of Israeli defensive actions, even when those Palestinians are engaged in aggression against Israelis.

While we noted some improvement in the newspaper’s reporting on the Arab-Israeli conflict, recent coverage of violence in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict suggests that the newspaper is guided by the same bias and employs the same double standards to distort readers’ understanding of the conflict.

Let’s examine this past week’s violent events:

On June 29, shortly before 11 PM, two terrorists driving a car bearing Palestinian license plates targeted an Israeli car on the Alon road in the West Bank. That car was carrying four young Israeli men returning home from a nearby basketball game. The terrorists opened fire on the men and continued shooting even after the Israeli driver sharply turned his vehicle onto another road. The Israelis drove on for about 200 meters until they could stop and call for help. The four were wounded and evacuated to Israeli hospitals where one, Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, died of his injuries. The Palestinian assailants fled. This was the latest of several terrorist attacks, the second deadly one, that took place in the region since Israeli security forces eased restrictions on Palestinian travel at the beginning of the Muslim Ramadan.

Several days later, on July 3, an Israeli military vehicle came under attack by Palestinian stone-throwers near the Qalandia checkpoint north of Jerusalem. The windshield was smashed. According to the IDF spokesman, the brigade commander, Col. Israel Shomer, fired warning shots in the air before firing toward the assailants and killing Mohammed Hani Al Kasbah. (See Palestinian news report.) Some Palestinians claimed that Al Kasbah was  attempting to scale the security fence to reach the Al Aqsa mosque for prayer services when he was shot.  According to Palestinian reports, Al Kasba’s funeral was attended by hundreds of Palestinians who marched from the Qalandia checkpoint to his house.

How Did the New York Times Cover These Events?The Palestinian terrorist attack, the Israeli victims, the emotional funeral for Malachi Rosenfeld attended by thousands, elicited scant interest from

New York Times

staffers. A terse paragraph by Isabel Kershner in the World Briefing section covered the story, but almost half of that was devoted to an entirely different non-fatal incident in which a Palestinian was shot at a checkpoint (after he charged at Israeli security forces).

The print headline, “Man Dies After West Bank Attack,” like so many other NYT headlines about deadly Palestinian violence targeting Israelis, avoided referring to the Palestinian perpetrators and to the Israeli identity of the victim. The only identifying piece of information deemed important enough to include was the location of the murder, the West Bank, as if to suggest the victims’ presence there somehow mitigated the crime against them. (Only the Web site headline noted that the victim was Israeli.)

By contrast, the killing of the Palestinian stone-thrower received much lengthier and more prominent coverage (a 750-word article on page A6 in the international section) by the same reporter, Isabel Kershner. The headline, “Palestinian, 17, Is Killed by Forces From Israel,” immediately identified the victim as Palestinian, noted his age, and implicated Israeli forces as the perpetrator of the killing.

The article was accompanied by two photographs, a large one of weeping Palestinian women mourning the death of the Palestinian stone-thrower and a smaller one of an Israeli soldier pointing a gun at passing Palestinians. The captions reinforced and remphasized  the themes New York Times wanted its readers to retain, namely, that Palestinians were victims of Israeli aggressors on “occupied” territory.

Caption beneath first photo: “Relatives mourned the death on Friday of Muhammad Hani al-Kasba, a 17-year-old Palestinian. He was killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank.”

Caption beneath second photo: “Hours after Mr. Kasba was fatally shot, an Israeli soldier stood guard on Friday as Palestinians waited to cross into Jerusalem via the Qalandia checkpoint in the West Bank."

Missing From the Coverage

There was little information and no photographs of the slain Israeli, Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld,  

or any of the other wounded Israeli victims of the Palestinian terrorist attack.

There was no coverage of the large funeral for the murdered Israeli. and no mention or photos of any of his mourners.  

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huffingtonpost.com
'Middle East Peace Process?' High Time for a New Name
It's long overdue to get real about the region -- and stop living in the world of illusions. A first step would be to drop the misleading term "Middle East Peace Process." That's not simply wordsmithing, but rather changing the way we think about this vital and volatile region.


    There are those in the international community who have long claimed that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root cause of the Middle East’s problems.

    Among the more prominent voices articulating this notion has been Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He has asserted that the absence of a Palestinian state is the crux of all problems in the Middle East.

    And former British Prime Minister Tony Blair once wrote: “How can we bring peace to the Middle East unless we resolve the question of Israel and Palestine?” Achieving peace, he continued, “would not only silence reactionary Islam’s most effective rallying call, but fatally undermine its basic ideology.”

    The widespread use of the words “Middle East Peace Process” (MEPP) has served to reinforce this view that if the heart of the region’s problems is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, then, ipso facto, solving it could usher in a Kantian era of “perpetual peace.”

    Consider, for instance, the job titles of these officials dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian agenda: Nickolay Mladenov, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process; Fernando Gentilini, the EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process; and Tony Blair, until recently the Representative of the Quartet to the Middle East Peace Process. (For the record, the American counterpart position is named U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations.)

    Or this statement from the Irish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Ireland has a long record of support for a lasting peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution.”

    But, of course, there’s one fundamental flaw in this reasoning – it defies the facts on the ground.

    Needless to say, an enduring accord between Israel and the Palestinians would remove one of the long-standing conflicts in the Middle East. No doubt about that. Moreover, peace in and of itself is a sacred objective.

    But the idea that such a settlement is the pathway to wider peace in the Middle East, or that it would take the wind out of radical Islam’s sails, is unsupported by the facts. Apropos, when al-Qaeda listed its “grievances” prompting 9/11, the Palestinian issue wasn’t even mentioned.

    Let’s assume for a moment that Israel somehow added a peace treaty with the Palestinians to those it’s enjoyed with Egypt since 1979 and Jordan since 1994. Or, for that matter, let’s go a step further and, for a minute, remove Israel from the regional picture entirely, as if it did not exist.

    Would that prove Erdoğan right? Would the Middle East achieve peace?

    Not even close.

    Would Iran abandon its nuclear ambitions, ICBM program, regional destabilization, apocalyptic eschatology, support for terrorist groups, and human rights oppression?

    Would Syria’s civil war, with its heavy outside involvement, suddenly come to a halt? Would the massive killings cease? Would all the various groups turn their swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks? Would the millions of refugees confidently return home to live happily ever after? Would the collapsed state be rebuilt?

    Would Yemen overnight end its civil war that has drawn in Iranians and Saudis on opposite sides? Would the country stop serving as a sanctuary for al-Qaeda and its leaders who plot against Americans, among others?

    Would the Shi'ite-Sunni split, with its profound political and strategic ramifications, just evaporate into thin air? Would the deadly bombings of one another’s mosques come to a halt?

    Would Iraq magically transform itself into a unitary nation? Would Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds gather around campfires to sing “Kumbaya?” Would Iran end its interference in Iraq’s affairs?

    Would Islamic State disappear, abandoning its quest for a caliphate, withdrawing from areas it’s captured in Iraq and Syria, leaving the Yazidis alone, and calling on its affiliates, such as Boko Haram, to stop their spree of killings and kidnappings?

    And would it reconsider its chilling ultimatum to Christians – leave, convert, or be killed?
    Speaking of Christians, would the dramatic outflow of persecuted Christians from the Arab Middle East instantaneously come to an end?

    Would the millions of Kurds, scattered across Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, enjoy self-determination and a nation of their own?

    Would Turkey withdraw its troops from northern Cyprus where they’ve been deployed for the past 41 years, release imprisoned journalists, ease the conditions of the Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, and become more cooperative in dealing with the flow of “foreign fighters” en route to and from Iraq and Syria?

    Would Saudi Arabia stop exporting its Wahhabi model of Islam, with its narrow, obscurantist view of the world and rejection of non-Muslims as so-called infidels, across the globe?

    And would it allow women to drive, permit construction of churches, and teach respect for all faiths in its school system?

    Would the radical Muslim Brotherhood just close up shop in Egypt, Gaza, Jordan, and elsewhere?

    Would disintegrating Libya awaken the next morning as a stable and unified country, with a central government, control over its borders and weaponry, and no significant trace of Islamic State?

    Would the International Criminal Court indictment against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes – an indictment ignored by South Africa during Bashir’s recent visit – be withdrawn?

    Would democracy replace the filial dynasties and occasional coups d'etat in the region?

    Would women gain full equality of opportunity and protection under the law?

    Would the poverty and illiteracy that dampen hope and create a fertile recruiting ground for Islamist movements suddenly be alleviated?

    Would the non-stop migration, mostly headed towards Europe, screech to a halt, because of a new era of political freedom and economic prospects?

    Would the majority of the region’s religious leaders heed the words of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi at Cairo’s Al Azhar University, and begin preaching peaceful coexistence and mutual respect?

    The painfully sad truth is that it is political oppression, human rights abuses, religious dogmas, intellectual suffocation, and gender discrimination that explain, far more than other factors, the chronic difficulties of the wider Middle East.

    To be sure, there are no overnight or over-the-counter remedies for these deeply entrenched maladies that would allow the region to unleash, at long last, its vast potential, but let’s be clear: they, and not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, are at the true epicenter of the problem.

    It’s long overdue to get real about the region – and stop living in the world of illusions. A first step would be to drop the misleading term “Middle East Peace Process.” That’s not simply wordsmithing, but rather changing the way we think about this vital and volatile region.



    David Harris
     is AJC Executive Director, Edward and Sandra Meyer Office of the Executive Director; Senior Associate, St. Antony’s College, Oxford (2009-11)

    Thank you Eddie Vedder for speaking up for peace in our world…. The people of Palestine and Israel deserve peace and prosperity. It is time to stop repeating the same old arguments, dogma and hate speech. It is the knuckleheads on both sides that should be criticized and not the singer from a rock band.
    —  Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic voices his support for Eddie Vedder and the singer’s recent anti-war comments
    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Historical Bibliography: Ottoman Empire

    Intro/Methodology
    Bronze Age Collapse-Roman Period
    Byzantine Empire and the Rise of Islam and Caliphate Rule

    Crusades, Medieval European Jewish History, and Sephardic Jewish History

    Ottoman Empire

    Ottoman Brothers: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Early Twentieth-Century Palestine by Michelle Campos

    Becoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era by Julia Phillips Cohen

    Osman’s Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire by Caroline Finkel

    A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire by M. Sükrü Hanioglu

    The Arabs of the Ottoman Empire, 1516-1918: A Social and Cultural History by Bruce Masters

    The Ottomans and the Mamluks: Imperial Diplomacy and Warfare in the Islamic World (Library of Ottoman Studies) by Cihan Yüksel Muslu

    The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922 (New Approaches to European History) by Donald Quataert

    Frontiers of the State in the Late Ottoman Empire: Transjordan, 1850-1921 (Cambridge Middle East Studies) by Eugene L. Rogan

    Palestine in Transformation, 1856-1882: Studies in Social, Economic and Political Development by Alexander Scholch

    The Second Ottoman Empire: Political and Social Transformation in the Early Modern World (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization) by Baki Tezcan

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    The video ends with a sustained shot of Banksy’s final, and most intensely political, work in the Gaza Strip. Scrawled in bright red paint on the ruins of another destroyed edifice, the piece tells the viewer, “If we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, we side with the powerful – we don’t remain neutral.”

    With the provocations of Egypt in May of 1967, culminating in the blockade, Israel had no intention of simply rolling over. The government had long made clear that a blockade of their Red Sea access would be seen as an act of war, and regardless of Nasser’s intentions, Israel was willing to accept it as such. 

    On the morning of June 5th, an all-out strike was launched without preamble. In what has since often been heralded as the most successful air operation of all time, the Israeli air attack was able to destroy over 450 Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian aircraft, or more than 2/3 of the Arab states’ entire air forces, and significantly damage most military airfields. Surprise complete, most were knocked out on the ground. Possessing less than 200 combat aircraft at the beginning of the war - and losing only 19 that day - Operation Focus caused a major swing in the balance of forces, and afforded Israel an unexpected level of air superiority for the duration of the Six-Day War.

    (IGPO)

    I can no longer consider myself a Sam Harris fan!

    It is somewhat unfortunate for me to do this, but after contemplating it for a while, I have finally decided that I can no longer be a Sam Harris fan and I am leaving all Sam Harris groups on facebook. I say that it is unfortunate because I have a lot of respect for Harris’ intellectual skills and in the past I enjoyed reading his works. This is my opinion, and I know some may disagree with me!

    When it comes to his criticism of religion I actually agree with most of what he has to say. For this reason, it’s hard for me to say this because his works have always been instrumental in shaping my views on theology. But on foreign policy he is consistently wrong, not only because he takes a simple approach without actually investigating the big picture, but he easily buys into what the State and mainstream media sells. It seems like Harris’ only intent, when he speaks about politics, is to find a way to further condemn religion. I am extremely critical of religion as well, but I get out and travel and meet lots of people so I understand why for some people religion is a necessity. It doesn’t make them bad people. Religion is just so easy to blame for everything, and of course it does cause a huge amount of damage, but when you don’t know or refuse to understand what the big problem is the most convenient and simple fallback is to just blame religion.

    Harris recently made a statement about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and he does make a few good points as he always does, but he is fundamentally wrong about several major issues, not to mention how much he actually ignores.

    1) Harris says, “When Israel drops a bomb on a beach and kills four Palestinian children, as happened last week, this is almost certainly an accident. They’re not targeting children”. He is wrong, because he doesn’t know that, he is just making an assumption through buying into the same state-sponsored statements that can be extremely manipulative. Of course, if Israel went in and wiped out Gaza they’d know for sure that it would lead to WW3 and the probable end of the State of Israel. Hatred and racism exists on both sides leading to violence. Israel, unlike the Palestinians, tries to justify it as collateral damage or an accident. It’s happened many times. In fact the only reason that Israel tries to limit the death of women and children is due to its own personal self-interest. Let’s not kid ourselves here, when Israelis pull up lawn chairs to cheer on bombs launched on Gaza or when an IDF soldier posts a picture on twitter proudly stating how he killed a dozen Palestinian children, how could you say with certainty that if they harmed an Arab it is surely an accident?

    2) Then he goes on to tell us how all Arabs and Muslims want to kill and destroy the Jews. Look, I’m no fan of religion and I disagree with Islam on theological level, but I don’t generalize, I see the bigger picture. That proposition is simply not true, it’s not even close to being true. There are Jewish people in the Iranian parliament right now, there are 10,000 Jews living in Iran, and you want to tell me they are surrounded by 70 million people who want to kill them? When I read Harris’ End of Faith, though I agreed with a large part of what he had to say, I disagreed with his general assessment of Muslims, simply because he is wrong. He lists a bunch of countries where over 90% of people support terrorism. These pew polls that could have been conducted in a biased manner shouldn’t be the deciding factor on the issue. This is just sickening - to say people who are terrorized the most are the biggest supporters of it. I have many relatives in the Middle East, not a single of them supports terrorism, and in fact they strongly condemn it and are under a much bigger threat of it than the people who claim to be “fighting a war on terror”.

    3) Harris also ignores a very fundamental fact, people in Gaza are not just dying and suffering from lack of food and medical aid, but they can’t go anywhere, sure the settlements are no longer in Gaza, but the people there are still under Israeli and Egyptian control. They are blockaded, they can’t do anything, they’re suffocating and even then the overwhelming majority of people in Gaza want nothing to do with Hamas’ violence. The only reason they voted for Hamas was because Hamas was the only organization that brought them social welfare and promised to build schools and hospitals, not commit acts of terrorism. I love how Harris justifies Israeli crimes under the premise of them being under pressure, yet he can’t see it the other way for people who are under a lot more pressure.

    4) Harris says, “There is every reason to believe that the Palestinians would kill all the Jews in Israel if they could.” I can’t even describe how ignorant it is to say something like. There are 1 million Arabs living in Israel, I’m not talking about Gaza or the West Bank, but Israel itself. If we have “every reasons to believe” that they want to kill all Jews in Israel, wouldn’t you think there would be some attacks within the borders of Israel on a daily basis perhaps, let alone more regularly, like every single one attacking Israelis? You hear about more mass shootings in the U.S in a single year!

    5) Israel at one point supported Hamas to counter Arafat and secular nationalistic PLO. Harris ignores this fundamental fact, people need to ask themselves bigger questions instead of just allowing a diplomatic voice direct them to think and assume things which are not true. As I said Palestinians only supported Hamas in the hopes of more social welfare, the building of schools and hospitals - not to be terrorized.

    6) Harris brings up human shields by Palestinians. This claim has been proven wrong many times, which is not to say it has never happened. Of course, many people would strongly support this premise because it allows them free themselves from any guilt when Palestinian children are killed. Anna Baltzer, who is a Jewish-American activist, toured Gaza and Israel and has said that in fact there is no proof of the Palestinians are consistently using human shield, this is utter nonsense, but she does go on to say Israel uses human shields. Watch her interview with FOX news, yeah on FOX of all places for that matter. We know of specific cases, such when the IDF used Nidal Abu M ‘Khisan. He was sent in to knock on the door of a terrorist who then shot him. Harris says, “The Palestinians are trying to kill everyone. Killing women and children is part of the plan.” A claim that is so preposterous that it overtakes ignorance. It’s made to dehumanize Palestinian people, and Harris should really be ashamed of himself for making such statements. “Killing women and children is part of the plan of the Palestinians”!! Are you kidding me? NO, they are part of the plans of some fanatical hateful extremists.

    Other well known journalists have also made it clear that the Palestinians are not using human shield! Jeremy Bowen, who has spent a great deal of time in Gaza says there are absolutely no evidences of human shields being used. There are many making similar statements.

    7) Harris also seems to forget that the Palestinian cause had always been and still is to a great extent a secular cause. He gives way too much merit to Islamic fundamentalism, which is the typical paranoia driven agenda of the State.

    8) He goes on talking about how there is no outrage over ISIS terrorizing people in Iraq. This old game of, “where is the condemnation when it comes to other crimes” is extremely ignorant. First of all it ignores the fact that Iraqis and Syrians are not just condemning ISIS but they suffer from the terrorism more than anyone else, they are fighting against them! Just take Iran for example. Think about how much protesting and political uprisings have gone on against the Islamic republic in the past 30 years! It’s not that people are not protesting ISIS or other terrorist organizations, they are, they put their lives on the line to do it, but who are they going to protest to? When a demonstration takes place against something Israel does it’s typically done in front of an Israeli embassy or consulate in the hopes of making a difference, where are people going to protest ISIS? The day ISIS sets up its headquarters in Toronto, I’ll be first in line protesting against the mere existence of the group. The other important issue is Western governments are not actively supporting groups like ISIS or Hamas, they call them terrorists, as they very well should. Many of the demonstrations take place in the U.S and Canada in the hopes of having the government reconsider their strong support for Israel. I don’t even agree with that because I am not against Israel. I am very supportive of Israeli people and I don’t think these protests should ever be directed at hurting or harming Israeli people

    I am not Pro-Palestinian or Pro-Israeli, I’m pro-human rights, more importantly I care about facts, unfortunately in this ever-growing image-based society the language of the internet seems to dictate “facts” because most people just don’t take the time to investigate further, so a man who is very intelligent and knowledgeable on other subjects can make false claims in a 15 minute recording online and present it in a calm and collected voice, and many people end up buying into everything he says.

    The fact that Harris is fails to accept these fundamental facts and decides to use global conflicts to further his own agenda, which undermines the suffering of millions and fuels more hatred, is sickening.