Guardian

Crocodile Tears for Gilad


On 28 August it was the 23rd birthday of Gilad Shalit,  the young Israeli soldier who was captured from inside Israel on 25 June 2006 and has since been held captive by Hamas without any of the rights normally accorded to prisoners of war.

Seth Freedman wrote about Gilad on CIF yesterday. The line he took is entirely predictable: Israel had it coming:

Whether or not efforts are successful to bring Shalit home alive and well, future kidnappings will only be prevented once and for all when Palestinian militants are denied the fuel for their fundamentalist fires. If Israel’s behaviour is whiter than white, it will be far harder for Palestinian radicals to justify their own illegal acts of war; until then, there will be more Gilad Shalits snatched ….

Here at CifWatch we had to hold our noses when we read Seth Freedman’s article. For you don’t have to look very hard to see that he does nothing to oppose the kind of people (here we call them terrorists, unlike CIF and the BBC where they are ‘militants’) who captured Shalit. In fact he opens the door to terrorism. Only a few days ago he whitewashed Fatah. And he regularly advocates the end of the Jewish State1how many Israelis (Jews and non-Jews alike) would have to die in the Armageddon that would be needed to achieve that?

_______

1 Eg here is what he wrote on 26 June 2008: “but surely if there was no zionism, there’d be no objection to letting the palestinians be part of the future state, and hence they’d not be “the same battered Palestinian population on its doorstep”. once you remove zionism from the equation, the rest of the racist policies currently in place ought to collapse like a house of cards, and the country becomes a democratic state for all its citizens.”

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28 replies »

  1. what is the problem? We can go back to being nice Jews, quiet, respectful, retiring, useful and occasional victims and scapegoats when anybody needs one.

  2. Oh well…. as if this is news.

    Brian Whitaker, ME editor at the Guardian has summed up the Shalit kidnapping, right after it occurred, the following way:

    “Can someone please explain the difference between a) abducting an Israeli soldier and holding him in Gaza, and b) abducting “enemy combatants” from Afghanistan and holding them in Guantánamo?”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/jun/28/thepuzzleofgaza

    So in essence, the Guardian groupthink is that terrorists kidnapping soldiers are morally equivalent to the USA who captured terrorists after the biggest terror attack in human history and sent them to Gitmo,

    I suppose Whitaker has examined what captivity was like at Gitmo, where most prisoners have put on weight, had Korans, prayer mats and directions to east provided to them by the “kidnappers”.

    I suppose he also “knows” that Shalit has been provided a lawyer, Jewish ritual accessories, kosher food and advocates at leading Leftist rags like the Guardian which championed the cause of every prisoner at Gitmo while only offering a token excuse for remembrance by Freedman, who of course blamed Israel for Shalit’s fate.
    Not to say that Shalit demanded a basketball court to shoot hoops while being held by Hamas as Gitmo prisoners spend time on one on ones at Gitmo tax payer funded basketball courts. In fact we know nothing of Shalit as even the Red Cross has been denied visits. We have no idea whether he is still alive or is already a bag of bones like Eldad and Goldwasser were upon returning home in exchange for a psychotic, Hitler saluting, child murdering Lebanese maniac who s birthday was celebrated on Al Jazeera.

    “Brother Kuntar we celebrate you….praise Allah”

    Neither did the Guardian offer a space for Shalits parents who have been campaigning for his release around the world for the 3rd year now, reaching even the ear of the French president.
    All the while the Guardian was featuring columns by Hamas leaders on Cif and deleting posts “insulting” to the terror masters on display.

    So Freedman can stuff it along with his “crocodile tears” despite probably feeling a little sympathy for Shalit based on the possibility that it could have been him in his place awaiting a Guardian piece, in vain, condemning his kidnapping.

    So whats next?

    “Feel for me as this could have been me”

    Well I m sure had it been Freedman, Khaled Meashal would have still been featured on the Guardian blaming the Jews and Whitaker claiming this is no worse than Gitmo. Poor Seth would have been slightly disappointed to find so much lacking in Guardian employment benefits.

    …They always say: read the small print……

    But if Gitmo is the comparison, and we know the Guardian ran dozens of threads demanding the release of prisoners there, why the lack of the same for Shalit, Eldad and Goldwasser?

    Is not the same now all of a sudden?
    Hmm……

    Ahh……did I tap into a discord here? Feels like someone struck the wrong note.
    The Gitmo comparison falls apart within the context of the Guardian itself which was promoting it.

    Why is that….well lets just say I am not here to back up their lunatic comparisons but hoped that at least they d try.

  3. For Freedman, this was a relatively mild example of his anti-Israeli xenophobia – or what ever the Greek word is for “self-hatred”, since he counts himself occasionally as an Israeli when he is not swanning around the WB on his British passport and his narcissistic desire to draw attention to himself.

    He reached bottom in my opinion as did the Guardian by publishing the piece attacking the recently bereaved parents of the Habad Rabbitzen Holzberg murdered in Mumbai:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/02/israelandthepalestinians-mumbai-terror-attacks

    Rottweilers on the loose

    Amid rioting by settlers in Hebron, relatives of two Mumbai victims are pouring fuel on the already-raging fire

    (Guardian editors rushed to remove the original title, which was “Israeli Rottweilers on the Loose”)

    Which included this gem, surely among the great efforts in the area of “crocodile tears”:

    While the anguish caused by the loss of their relatives is of unimaginable proportions, that they have used the attention of the world’s media to fan the flames of intolerance and defiance of Israeli law is utterly unacceptable …

    Not, apparently, unimaginable enough for this nasty piece of work. He should never be forgiven nor forgive himself (faint chance!) for this comment directed at the parents of a daughter not yet even in her grave.

    Fortunately, perhaps, the Holzbergs are unaware of this nasty this nonentity, unknown outside the world of CIF, and his attack on them. Just as I hope Gilad’s parents will be spared the indignity of reading or hearing about Freedman’s latest article, where he uses the inhumane captivity of their son to toss out his childish views on the conflict with the Palestinians.

    The best that can be said about it is that he actually seemed to think that Shalit should be released, even if, in his view, it is Israel’s fault he was captured.

  4. Yes, I can well imagine CiF’s Sick Frogman shedding crocodile tears for Shalit.

    That’s because most of his writing is a croc.

  5. Armaros – “Can someone please explain the difference between a) abducting an Israeli soldier and holding him in Gaza, and b) abducting “enemy combatants” from Afghanistan and holding them in Guantánamo?”

    A typical example of the moral equivalence that the Loony Left use across the board to justify any subject that attracts their peverted attention.

    Mind you, the other loony group that puts out a fair amount of these types of ‘moral equivalences’ is the ‘Far Right’.

    A convergence of ideas between the loony left and the far right. Who would have thought it possible?

  6. CIFDisgustsMe

    “A convergence of ideas between the loony left and the far right. Who would have thought it possible?”

    Yes and the lubricant for that cluster _______ is antisemitism.

    How telling n’est pas?

    Oh yeah Porky Pig,
    …not that Zionist Pig again but sure beats HamasMishailMouse in cuteness.

  7. Good article Louise.

    It seems that Freedman nods in the direction of humanity but in reality he doesn’t know whether to scratch his watch or wind his backside as regards Israel’s right to live free from aggression.

    Although he lives there.

    Although if he got what he last believed he wanted he’d almost certainly not have the life he wants there.

    But then he could use the “Golden Ticket” he boasted about on CiF – his British citizenship which would safely take him out of harm’s way, no doubt to cry crocodile tears here about the fate of Israeli Jews under the new one state which (I think) he says he wanted last time there was a wind blowing from the north west.

    The hypocrite.

  8. armaros, I went to the link you gave in your post above.

    I noted that Whitaker was asking his readership (???!!!) for their opinion – the CiF readership, that is – which automatically means that what ever he writes subsequently should be taken with whole tubs of salt.

    And I wouldn’t be surprised if Freedman is glad that it wasn’t him. Well, though it pains me to say it, even Hamas et al probably have standards. What leverage could they put on Israel to give them what they want with Freedman as a bargaining tool? The Israeli government would probably say, “You are welcome to him! Keep him for as long as you like! Have this one on us!” or such like, and woe betide Freedman if he asked whether he could bring his own gun.

    One suggestion is that Freedman could offer himself in exchange for Shalit, but Hamas would probably not accept. As I have said, even they have their standards.

  9. I posted this on CIF paraprahsing Freedman’s assertion saying that if Israelis would behave as modern day saints then it would be harder justify Hamas’ actions.

    peterthehungarian
    05 Sep 09, 10:18am (1 minute ago)
    Freedman
    “If Israels behavior is whiter than white, it will be far harder for Palestinian radicals to justify their own illegal acts of war…”

    This sentence should get a place in the book written on the history of CIF most brilliant statements.

    In according to your logic:
    If the kulaks’ behavior would have been whiter than white in the thirties, it would be far harder for Stalinists to justify the gulags…

    If the behavior of Jewish bankers is whiter than white, it will be far harder for anti-Semites to justify their assertions regarding Jewish greediness…

    If the behavior of dark skinned US citizens is whiter than white (no pun intended), it will be far harder for white supremacists to justify their own racism…

    If the Jews’ behavior would have been whiter than white, it could have been far harder for the Nazis to convince the German (and other European) masses that the Jews must be annihilated…

    etc, etc,
    Please accept my congratulations, a new record of your “journalistic” talent.

    It has been deleted. Any of you could direct me to the rule(s) of CIF’s talk policy that my post antagonized (apart from proving Freedman kingsize stupidity)?

  10. peterthehungarian

    The famous or infamous RD Laing once characterised families in schizophrenic transaction as people saying “If you weren’t the way you are I wouldn’t be the way I am” and acting accordingly.

    No responsibility. To me that covers a lot of Palestinian support on CiF.

    I picked this up in the comments on the Ziad Asali article:

    Someone called neoc said:

    05 Sep 09, 1:14pm (about 1 hour ago)
    Moeran,

    Why are so many of your posts’ been deleted, but hardly any others referring to yours?

    I know that the Israeli side has a blog police for the deletion of critical postings. But the mods aren’t supposed to bend to their wishes.

    I’ve often seen absolutely evil lies told about Palestinians here, and left untouched..

    I always want to read your posts, Moeran. You’re a lot more knowledgeable. Do something about those deletions.

    [I have to say that I didn’t see a single lie in the Israel supporters comments].

    But plenty of brattish behaviour from the antis.

  11. Ariadne, I agree with you but the failure to take responsibility rests with the Palestinian government and that is further entrenched by the gloopy “poor things, they can’t help it” sentimentality for the underdog which characterises many of the posters like neoc. This in turn means that Palestinians are held to far lower standards of behaviour than are many others and have no incentive to change. Indeed this misplaced sympathy from CiF Israel-haters militates against that.

    Neoc’s attitude (and that of Moeran) represent completely wonky thinking. Like so many others of their ilk on CiF, their almost visceral hatred of Israel is out of all proportion, and because of its all consuming nature is a hatred not only of her policies but also of her people, is therefore essentially antisemitic. Anyone so focused on hatred loses critical thinking capability and sees the whole world only in those hare-filled terms.

    Look at his paranoia about the “Israeli side’s” blog police. You couldn’t dream it up!

    But all this is meat and drink for CiF. CiF allows the machinery of hatred to be cranked up even on threads which are reasoned and articulate, like that of Ziad Asali.

  12. Ariadne: [I have to say that I didn’t see a single lie in the Israel supporters comments
    ———————————————
    We don’t have to support our contentions. The truth is on our side. I hope it doesn’t take the rest of the world too long to understand this again.

  13. Mita, I know. There was an excellent suggestion on the Elder of Ziyon’s blog that Israel should create its own satellite television channel to get the truth out.

  14. Ariadne: look at this that a friend of mine posted today: there are obvious lies but nobody pays the slightest bit of attention. We need to show people that they are being fooled, as many did at the time of the Lebanon War, when so much fauxtography was being done and publicised:
    —————————————————————————–
    “You are right that there has been a sea-change in Israel’s public image. The footage of Gaza has a lot to do with that. Those of us who organise pickets at supermarkets noticed an enormous difference in the public response to our campaign in January”

    Those pictures of bleeding children must have had quite an effect on the British. Before the truth came out about the UN school with children NOT having been bombed by Israel there were some very poignant pics of little ones with blood on their faces looking pathetic and ashen who we were told were hurt at that school in that non-existent bombing.

    You might have swayed public opinion but did nobody ask you where those truly heart-wrenching pictures of children at the UN school come from? Since the incident did not occur
    there should not have been any pictures if people are being honest – just to press the point home.

    Of course it makes me question all the rest of the pictures. Doesn’t it worry you Moeran?

  15. “If Israel’s behaviour is whiter than white, it will be far harder for Palestinian radicals to justify their own illegal acts of war”

    ********

    “If women’s behaviour is whiter than white, it will be far harder for rapists to justify their illegal assaults”

    “If America’s behaviour is whiter than white, it will be far harder for Islamist radicals to justify flying planes into high buildings in New York”

  16. Louise

    I think there’s a deviousness in Freedman’s statement that is absent from your examples. That “their own [illegal acts of war]” – (as compared to Israel’s non-existent ones).

  17. Sad Frothman’s pieces all have the same basic under-message, feeding into the already overflowing vat of Palestinian sense of victimhood and resentment against a viable and hugely successful neighbouring state.

    Instead one of the most interesting pieces CiF has ever published on the ME is:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/04/independent-palestine

    a call to Palestinians to get themselves organised, do some state-building instead of wailing and terrorism, and a bright future would beckon.

    Who could oppose that? Well … Iran, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, parts of Fatah …

    Oh Palestine, your future really is in your hands

  18. Seth Freedman is a disgusting, smarmy, evil hypocrite. I don’t know why I torture myself reading his articles.
    Or the CiF commenters’ replies. Here’s a good one (not antisemitic on the surface of course, but seems to be underneath):

    justimagin
    03 Sep 09, 5:11pm

    “‘Israel’s method of dealing with kidnap situations goes against many other countries’ policies of not negotiating with terrorists,’

    One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.

    ‘He declared that Israel would do its utmost to bring about Shalit’s release, but “not at any cost, and not under any circumstances’.

    Hope he get back safely, even though hes an oppressor , hope he gets home soon. ”

    So, not only has Gilad been kidnapped by “freedom fighters”, not terrorists, he is only an “oppressor”, but depite that, the good-hearted Guardian reader hopes he gets back safely.

    It makes my stomach churn. Thank goodness I have low blood pressure otherwise reading CiF would really be bad for my health!

  19. You can call Seth a number of things, but not evil hypocrite.
    Naive perhaps.
    He goes to the school of we need to show our warts if we expect to have any credibility.
    At the end of the day he is one of us and when the shit hits the fan as it always does at some point in time he knows very well that he will be in it with the rest and he will fight it with the rest.

    I don’t think one can honestly say that there are faults in what Seth has to say as much as what he doesn’t say.

    He walks a line in that he wants to be heard and knows how easily and quickly he will be dismissed if seen as an apologist for Israel, and anybody writing anything positive about Israel is smeared with the label.

    If nothing else he succeeds in proving that diversity of opinion is alive and well in Israel and he can and does write what he chooses to.

    Where he is naive is in thinking that his writings will be used in any way at all positive and that people WILL see the diversity.

  20. 1peter that is very generous of you.

    Seth does have a grievous fault in that he does not make it clear that he is describing one particular segment of society. He often makes remarks that sound inclusive of all of Israel when this is not so, particularly in his Susiya pieces where all settlers are bad and all Arabs are good. Does his readership believe in the literal truth of what he sells – I believe they do and this is the danger. We are all stigmatised by his lack of precision.

  21. Ok, mabe not evil, but he is not naive. He deliberately takes all his “exeperiences” out of context and uses them to portay Israel as so evil, he has so much animosity towards Israel, he never says a good thing about it. He is a traitor, all he does is contribute to the UK media’s horrible image of Israel that is lapped up by all the anti-Zionists over here, and eventually it becomes antisemitism if it isn’t already.
    He portrays Hamas and Fatah as so moderate, blames everything on Israel, puts things out of proportion, exaggerates, dramatises, almost excuses terrorism or implies it is understandable, dismisses antisemitism and contradicts himself a lot.

  22. I would think that he writes as per his mandate, and it isn’t lies or evil.
    Take for example his article on Norwegian divestment, there is nothing incorrect in it, no lie either.
    There is nothing evil in stating that these kinds of policies can/do/should work.

    It is common for people to purchase or not purchase on ethical grounds.
    I’ll by Israeli products any and every time there is a choice.

    I didn’t buy Pepsi for a long while.

    I gave blood to Magen David Adom and not the Red Cross.

    He’s paid to write and he tries to push the edge, of course he would have some credibility with us if he was balanced, and his naivetee shows in who his fan base is over there, all the Arabist Apologists.

  23. His writing isn’t exactly lies or evil, but he twists things so much they seem untruthful, and he does portray Israel as evil.

    I don’t understand why you’re trying to defend him with that Norwegian boycott article, the “occupation of the West Bank” he referst to turns out to be the maintenance of the security fence! I don’t know about you but I am pro, pro, pro that fence and anyone can see the good it’s done, so Freedman’s “ethical grounds” are just wrong, because the wall is a whole lot less harmful than the terrorist attacks it’s preventing. If the wall is a “violation of human rights”, what are suicide bombings!?

    There’s my problem with Seth, he goes on and on about the wall but doesn’t even credit it for protecting Israelis. (maybe cos he doesn’t care about Israelis)

    Maybe I am being too harsh on him but you’re definitely being too soft!!

  24. Proud Zionist,
    The security fence isn’t even a question in my mind and anybody opposed to it just doesn’t understand the area.
    You don’t need to sell me on it.

    I also didn’t say that I don’t have any problems with Seth, but those problems have nothing to do with thinking he’s evil or that he lies.

    I just wish he had the maturity to be more judicious.

  25. I didn’t say he lies, I said he twists things. And fine, he’s not evil, he just acts it! But there are a lot worse anti-Zionists/antisemites than him, I’ll give you that. So compared to them, people like George Galloway, Robert Fiske, Ben White, I can see why you’d maybe call Freedman naive. He still repulses me though.