Mehdi Hasan, a "political director* of The Huffington Post UK" came out with a piece titled Debunking Israel's 11 Main Myths About Gaza, Hamas and War Crimes.
The article starts with a useful disclaimer:
Let's be clear: I'm no fan of Hamas, a brutal and anti-Semitic group which has been accused by Amnesty International and other NGOs...Then Mr Hasan quickly cuts to the chase:
According to the pro-Israel, pro-IDF crowd, Hamas is to blame for everything.Fact-filled and evidence based... my foot. But lets' get to the gist of the "debunking" already:
This, of course, is utter nonsense.
So, in a Moynihanian spirit, here are fact-filled, evidence-based rebuttals to the 11 main myths, half-truths and self-serving 'talking points' that are repeatedly pushed by various Israeli spokespersons, both on the airwaves and on social media:
1) The Gaza Strip isn't occupied by Israel
First of all, Gaza Strip is blockaded, no one denies this - but there is a difference between a blockade and occupation. And accidentally, legality of said blockade isn't challenged anymore. Secondly, describing the current status of Gaza Strip without going into the last 9 years of its history, since 2005, is an (intentional) fallacy. Imagine two consequent photographs of an incident: one showing a man A attacking a man B with a knife and the second photograph showing the man B kicking the crap out of man A. You would agree that there is a story to tell. However, destroy the first photograph... should I retell the story now? But this is exactly what Mr Hasan is trying to sell you.
2) Israel wants a ceasefire but Hamas doesn't
I shall skip the author's use of Al Jazeera for obvious reasons, but here is a quote from Jerusalem post:
One day after an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire accepted by Israel, but rejected by Hamas, fell through, the terrorist organization proposed a 10-year end to hostilities in return for its conditions being met by Israel, Channel 2 reported Wednesday.. Hamas's conditions were the release of re-arrested Palestinian prisoners who were let go in the Schalit deal, the opening of Gaza-Israel border crossings in order to allow citizens and goods to pass through, and international supervision of the Gazan seaport in place of the current Israeli blockade.Wow, a 10-year end to hostilities. Here is the full list of the demands, Channel 2 being a TV channel, squeezed it in a short time frame. So - a hudna (yes, that hudna) for opening an airport and a seaport with some vague "international supervision". How about demilitarization and some real no nonsense international control of thereof? No? I thought so. So we should be handing Hamas two venues for transporting newer and better mass murder tools - for a hudna? There is a con man and a mark in this discussion, but I just can't put my finger on the identities...
Should I also skip the fact that during the recent round of hostilities Hamas has broken four consecutive ceasefires? Oh well.
3) Israel, unlike Hamas, doesn't deliberately target civilians
It is a lowly practice, I know, to beat a man on the head with the list of sources for his "fact-filled, evidence-based rebuttals". But let me see: Guardian*, Navy Pillay, United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, 2009 (not including the retraction by Goldstone, of course). How much lower could one stoop to get some "fact-filled, evidence-based rebuttals", I wonder?
(*) I am not linking anything about Guardian's attitude to Israel. Excuse me, I prefer to vomit in the privacy of my home.
4) Only Hamas is guilty of war crimes, not Israel
With a nod to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Since Goldstone report wasn't mentioned by me to start with, does Mr Hasan know what exactly Mr Goldstone said in his retraction about the subject of deliberation? Worthy reading for a man who is ostensibly after "fact-filled, evidence-based rebuttals".
5) Hamas use the civilians of Gaza as 'human shields'
Instead of flaming against the Mr Hasan's choice of sources (Jeremy Bowel, Guardian, Independent, UNHRC-Pillay), here is "some" info re human shields.
And how about reading the bloody Hamas' field manual for a change - to close the subject?
To top it all: use of hospitals:
I hope it will be enough for Mr Hasan. If not, nothing will be enough.
6) This current Gaza conflict began with Hamas rocket fire on 30 June 2014
The IDF operation in the framework of the last Gaza war started after more than a week of intensive Hamas' rocket bombardment. Full stop. Introducing various other imaginary or real acts by both sides into the story makes the story more interesting, possibly, but doesn't change that first fact.
7) Hamas has never stopped firing rockets into Israel
The point of this item by Mr Hasan is that, while the rocket launches never really stopped, the said rockets weren't launched by Hamas itself, but by "groups other than Hamas". Bullshit - as if Hamas doesn't control every square inch of the Gaza strip.
8) Hamas provoked Israel by kidnapping and killing three Israeli teenagers
Here we see another pathetic attempt to declare that Hamas isn't involved at all in the kidnapping and murder mentioned. Put paid to already.
9) Hamas rule, not Israel's blockade, is to blame for the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip
Again the chicken and egg game. But who is responsible for the blockade, Mr Hasan?
10) The Israeli government, unlike Hamas, wants a two-state solution
I really don't know how this item is relevant to the current Gaza war, but Bibi saying that he doesn't want a fully armed Palestinian state on Israeli borders is not exactly the same as saying that he is against the two-state solution. Even a person hell-bent to prove his point should be aware of it. Or shouldn't he?
11) All serious analysts agree it was Hamas, and not Israel, that started this current conflict
Now, really, finding an "expert" that disputes the opinion of another "expert" - it is a real achievement. Read the newspapers, Mr Hasan, and be content with 10 items instead of 11. Oops, I forgot, the other ten also appear to be full of shit.
Oh well, there always is the next time. So try again.
(*) "Political director"- is it something like "commissar" in HuffPost, I wonder?
Update: I was unhappy with Mr Hasan using Al Jazeera for a source. He appears to be working for Al Jazeera too... oh well.