Funny how these things work

Just yesterday, I posted about the usually ignored fact of the difference between what Muslim leaders generally talk about in Arabic, Farsi, etc, vs. what they say in English.

No more striking example of this occurred yesterday in the LA Times. Hamas leader Mousa abu Marzouk was granted space to write an op ed piece.

Now, over and above the immorality of giving newspaper space to someone like this, (would the Times have given space to Goebbels, or Pol Pot, etc/), was the absolute absurdity of what he had to say.

Even in trying to present his moderate message in English, Marzouk continued to present the falsifications, obfuscations and outright outrageous claims that highlite the Arab world’s campaign against Israel.

If you go to Youtube and enter Hamas as a search, look for videos by “ezbesh”, It is entitled “No Peace, no recognition….”

In the video, Marzouk clearly outlines the strategy that was originally put forth by Yasser Arafat. That the Arabs needed to engage in negotiation, systematically taking land, piece by piece until Israel was no more.

He says clearly the statement that is constantly repeated in Arabic all over the Arab world “From the River to the Sea”. This means from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, i.e. NO ISRAEL. What it means is that the Arabs will retake all the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, thus eliminating Israel through a combination of negotiation, terror, and war.

I plead with you to look at the video. The matter of fact way, even when the Arabic interview presses him about compromise, that he discusses this, will shock those of you who still don’t see.

I reprint the op ed piece here with trepidation. Why?

Well simply this. Most people have a great deal of difficulty dealing with lies, particularly lies in print. If it is written, there must be some truth to it.

So, for example, he uses a famous quote from David Ben Gurion that has been bastardized since it was uttered. Purposely cut off and mistranslated from Hebrew, the Arab world took a statement that was universally pro Arabist (Ben Gurion firmly believed in both the Jewish nature of Israel AND the full rights of it’s Arab citizens which they have).

The quote ACTUALLY IS: “We do not wish, we do not need to expel Arabs and take their place … All our aspiration is built on the assumption that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs.”

Just as Walt and Merscheimer, in their famous paper last year misquoted, Marzouk lists the quote thusly: “we must expel the Arabs and take their places.”

This is but one of the reasons that I tell you to beware of what you read and see.

In addition, conveniently I have just recently done a post on the Declaration of Independence. In it, I quote from Jefferson’s, original draft which included an explicit call about slavery. Unfortunately, and to the shame of the US, the Southern bloc, first passed a motion that the vote on Independence had to be unanimous, and then, forced the editing of that passage. Of course, slavery was a worldwide phenomena at that time, but it was the US’s shame for 75 more years.

However, Marzouk compares our declaration to the Hamas charter, claiming, essentially, that it is not applicable in it’s call for the violent end to Israel.

What he, of course, fails to mention, is that the US, repealed the offending sections of the Constitution, fought a war over slavery, and has struggled to make it right for over a century.

Hamas, of course, has done nothing of the kind, and continues, each and every day, to call for the destruction of Israel, as the video clearly shows.

He starts the piece with the discussion of the release of British Journalist Alan Johnson. He takes credit for this.

Funny, but he does not accept the blame for the Hamas faction who TOOK Johnson hostage and held him for months, nor does he ever mention that this could never, would never happen in Israel.

No matter how anti Israel a reporter is, their safety is guaranteed. In fact, Johnson himself is perhaps the most consistently pro Palestinian, anti Israeli western Journalist working today, and yet it was Hamas own men that took him.

There are several other ridiculous claims:

* Hamas “resistance” is justified under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

However, even Human Rights Watch, an organization not regarded as friendly towards Israel, clearly stated: “Hamas has repeatedly failed to respect a fundamental rule of international humanitarian law by attacking civilians and civilian objects.”

*Hamas deserves a place at the international negotiating table.

This, despite the Hamas Charter which states: “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

Of course, Marzoulk conveniently, as in the calls for the destruction of Israel, never discusses this portion, nor why it has never been repealed.

*Israel is guilty of “foundational crimes of murder and ethnic cleansing by means of which Israel took our towns and villages, our farms and orchards, and made us a nation of refugees.”

This is so outrageous that it simply makes me ill. As in the Ben Gurion quote, Israel, unlike the Arab nations that forcibly expelled Jews when the UN declared the partition, encouraged Arabs to remain. They retain full citizenship and rights and of course, as I have stated, Arabic is even an official language of Israel. You won’t find Hebrew anywhere in the Arab world.

Marzouk also conveniently forgets that the 1948 war was the direct result of an Arab invasion and rejection of the UN Partition Plan, which Israel accepted (as they have accepted EVERY compromise solution since). Had the Arabs also accepted this, there would never have been a so called Palestinian refugee problem.

Of course, more egregiously, Israel specifically requested that Arabs remain, and the it has been shown repeatedly, that many of the Arabs that left, did so because of the calls of the Arab leaders of the countries that unilaterally attacked Israel to leave, so that they would not be in the way of the rampaging Arab armies.

*Israeli leaders made “repeated calls for the destruction of Palestine’s non-Jewish inhabitants”.

There has never been any official, unofficial, off the cuff, or any other Israeli policy of this nature in nearly 60 years of statehood. The existence of a million-strong Arab minority living as citizens in Israel is testament to the utter absurdity of Marzouk’s statement. Moreover, while Marzouk makes false claims regarding non-existent Israeli policies, he attempts to distance Hamas from its own charter, which clearly lays out the organization’s murderous and anti-Semitic discourse.

Almost incredibly, he ends the op ed by saying he does not concern himself with recognizing Israel, that it exists. Hmmm, since it is this very recognition that Israel seeks, if it is so unimportant, why not just do it.

He then talks of a child victim of Israel’s recent forays into Gaza. Now, aside from the fact that this injury most likely was caused by Hamas own artillery, he fails, conveniently, to discuss the several hundred murders of his own Gazans committed by Hamas in just the last few weeks alone.

Marzouk’s false claims, when properly deconstructed, demonstrate the danger of granting Hamas access to the mainstream media. Hamas clearly recognizes the value of reaching a Western audience. Editors and publishers must not allow their publications to be exploited by a terrorist organization that speaks in two voices – a “moderate” one for the West and its true, extremist voice which is often unheard except in the Arab media.

So read this, and as your eyes start to water from the smell of the feces, you will know why I get so worked up.

As I once said “Shining light on the lies”:

Hamas’ stand
An official of the movement describes its goals for all of Palestine.
By Mousa Abu Marzook, MOUSA ABU MARZOOK is the deputy of the political bureau of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement.
July 10, 2007

Damascus, Syria — HAMAS’ RESCUE of a BBC journalist from his captors in Gaza last week was surely cause for rejoicing. But I want to be clear about one thing: We did not deliver up Alan Johnston as some obsequious boon to Western powers.

It was done as part of our effort to secure Gaza from the lawlessness of militias and violence, no matter what the source. Gaza will be calm and under the rule of law — a place where all journalists, foreigners and guests of the Palestinian people will be treated with dignity. Hamas has never supported attacks on Westerners, as even our harshest critics will concede; our struggle has always been focused on the occupier and our legal resistance to it — a right of occupied people that is explicitly supported by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Yet our movement is continually linked by President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to ideologies that they know full well we do not follow, such as the agenda of Al Qaeda and its adherents. But we are not part of a broader war. Our resistance struggle is no one’s proxy, although we welcome the support of people everywhere for justice in Palestine.

The American efforts to negate the will of the Palestinian electorate by destroying our fledgling government have not succeeded — rather, the U.S.-assisted Fatah coup has only multiplied the problems of Washington’s “two-state solution.”

Mr. Bush has for the moment found a pliant friend in Abu Mazen, a “moderate” in the American view but one who cannot seriously expect to command confidence in the streets of Gaza or the West Bank after having taken American arms and Israeli support to depose the elected government by force. We deplore the current prognosticating over “Fatah-land” versus “Hamastan.” In the end, there can be only one Palestinian state.

But what of the characterization by the West of our movement as beyond the pale of civilized discourse? Our “militant” stance cannot by itself be the disqualifying factor, as many armed struggles have historically resulted in a place at the table of nations. Nor can any deny the reasonableness of our fight against the occupation and the right of Palestinians to have dignity, justice and self-rule.

Yet in my many years of keeping an open mind to all sides of the Palestine question — including those I spent in an American prison, awaiting Israeli “justice” — I am forever asked to concede the recognition of Israel’s putative “right to exist” as a necessary precondition to discussing grievances, and to renounce positions found in the Islamic Resistance Movement’s charter of 1988, an essentially revolutionary document born of the intolerable conditions under occupation more than 20 years ago.

The sticking point of “recognition” has been used as a litmus test to judge Palestinians. Yet as I have said before, a state may have a right to exist, but not absolutely at the expense of other states, or more important, at the expense of millions of human individuals and their rights to justice. Why should anyone concede Israel’s “right” to exist, when it has never even acknowledged the foundational crimes of murder and ethnic cleansing by means of which Israel took our towns and villages, our farms and orchards, and made us a nation of refugees?

Why should any Palestinian “recognize” the monstrous crime carried out by Israel’s founders and continued by its deformed modern apartheid state, while he or she lives 10 to a room in a cinderblock, tin-roof United Nations hut? These are not abstract questions, and it is not rejectionist simply because we have refused to abandon the victims of 1948 and their descendants.

As for the 1988 charter, if every state or movement were to be judged solely by its foundational, revolutionary documents or the ideas of its progenitors, there would be a good deal to answer for on all sides. The American Declaration of Independence, with its self-evident truth of equality, simply did not countenance (at least, not in the minds of most of its illustrious signatories) any such status for the 700,000 African slaves at that time; nor did the Constitution avoid codifying slavery as an institution, counting “other persons” as three-fifths of a man. Israel, which has never formally adopted a constitution of its own but rather operates through the slow accretion of Basic Laws, declares itself explicitly to be a state for the Jews, conferring privileged status based on faith in a land where millions of occupants are Arabs, Muslims and Christians.

The writings of Israel’s “founders” — from Herzl to Jabotinsky to Ben Gurion — make repeated calls for the destruction of Palestine’s non-Jewish inhabitants: “We must expel the Arabs and take their places.” A number of political parties today control blocs in the Israeli Knesset, while advocating for the expulsion of Arab citizens from Israel and the rest of Palestine, envisioning a single Jewish state from the Jordan to the sea. Yet I hear no clamor in the international community for Israel to repudiate these words as a necessary precondition for any discourse whatsoever. The double standard, as always, is in effect for Palestinians.

I, for one, do not trouble myself over “recognizing” Israel’s right to exist — this is not, after all, an epistemological problem; Israel does exist, as any Rafah boy in a hospital bed, with IDF shrapnel in his torso, can tell you. This dance of mutual rejection is a mere distraction when so many are dying or have lived as prisoners for two generations in refugee camps. As I write these words, Israeli forays into Gaza have killed another 15 people, including a child. Who but a Jacobin dares to discuss the “rights” of nations in the face of such relentless state violence against an occupied population?

I look forward to the day when Israel can say to me, and millions of other Palestinians: “Here, here is your family’s house by the sea, here are your lemon trees, the olive grove your father tended: Come home and be whole again.” Then we can speak of a future together.

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