Guardian

CiF Smoke Screen?


Any article on CiF which touches on the subject of Jewish settlements in the West Bank is bound to get the ‘usual suspects’ out in force. Any article dealing specifically with Jews living in Hebron; even more so. It therefore came as no surprise to see that the recent article by Andrew Kadi and Aaron Levitt  produced some relatively extreme comments.

All Jewish Hebron residents were tarred with the same brush, described as anything from extremists and fanatics to terrorists.

jsb1080 8 Dec 2009, 1:02PM

autonicolas: so, if saudi arabia is rife with extremists and fanatics, extremism and fanaticism become eo ipso perfectly cosher?
stop trolling.
oh, and if you are jewish, stop demeaning your own people by choosing saudi fanatics as an appropriate yardstick of moral comparison. personally, i would feel deeply ashamed and humiliated if such comparisons were used as an excuse for my behaviour, or for the behaviour of my people or my fellow countrymen.

kadi & levitt: who on earth are contributing money to that fund? i would expect only repuglican ultras of the deepest shade of red to be attracted by the politics and the morals of the hebron fund. and yet such specimens are rare among the jewish american community.

stell

8 Dec 2009, 1:45PM

Good article,

It is sad how the US has allowed fund raising by terroist organisations, in the past the IRA and the Israeli Settler movement. I call them terroist organisations because that is what they did/do, terroise civilians.

I think that this is such a sad state of affairs. I can never see peace in the region while settlement expansion is permitted to continue. It is illegal and immoral.

How much more evidence do we need before we start boycotting Israeli goods? What the world did to south african to bring about the dimise of the apartide regime should be done to the Israeli governmet.

Ranong

8 Dec 2009, 3:15PM

toryziuonist forgets one tiny, unimportant detail.

The activities of the settlers are not legal; they are thieves and they are violent.

TimothyL

8 Dec 2009, 3:49PM

“If a little old lady in Switzerland gave money to a charity for an Afghan orphanage, and the money was passed to al Qaeda, could she be held as an enemy combatant?” the judge asked.

U.S. Attorney Boyle indicated that might fit within the definition of enemy combatant……

Give a Gaza charity a loaf of bread….. to jail for financing terrorism. Give a Zionist killer a sack of cement to build on a Palestinian farm . . you get a charitable tax break.

The US taxpayers are forced to sponsor Zionist crimes and terror.

marvyn

8 Dec 2009, 4:04PM

Absolutely disgusting. These people are fascists, plain and simple.

As was to be expected, the usual accusations of ethnic cleansing appeared, but this time with a bit of a twist:

Raashid

8 Dec 2009, 1:28PM

Why is it surprising that one nation that was largely built by ethnic cleansing of natives with justifications from religion, values and technological capabilities supporting another nation with similar said justifications?

And of course, we couldn’t have a CiF thread without the Giyus conspiracy theorists, who apparently wish to drum up some free publicity for CiF Watch. Very kind.

NapoleonKaramazov

8 Dec 2009, 2:28PM

TheShermanator

Slandering the messenger as a way of invalidating the message- typical cifwatch/giyus tactic.

How about for a change, actually addressing the issue of the article?

On a more serious note, there were those who ‘understand’ terrorism…

NapoleonKaramazov

8 Dec 2009, 1:42PM

Explosive article.

We are always told by the Zionsit lobby to refer to the Hamas Charter or Hezbollah’s goals or whatever which shows their goals of either destroying all Jews or the state of Israel or whatever. People with these opinions exist, but they are in the minority,

(despite Hamas being the largest elected party in Gaza, the fact is if bombs are falling on your head or your city is a prison/pile of rubble then you are less likely to be tolerant)

And now we know (evidenced by the article) that there are some Israeli Jews who see murdering Arabs/Muslims for no reason except ethnicity and racism (Baruch Goldstein is praised) as equally justified. People with these opinions exist in Israel, but they are in the minority.

What I am trying to say is that both sides have a minority of fringe lunatics. But one side has galas and fundraising event in the heart of New York.

…and those who appear to be fans..

Berchmans

8 Dec 2009, 1:52PM

Beithadassah

.

## Yassir Arafat himself recoginized the legitimacy of Hebron’s Jewish community##

Yeah but wasn’t he a terrorist? 🙂

B

PS Yasser RIP.

Finally, some Nazi analogies were thrown in to complete the picture.

corrocamino

8 Dec 2009, 2:01PM

Never again sure didn’t last long.

Conie

8 Dec 2009, 6:56PM

My friend Pauline has just returned from the W Bank – heart-breaking photo of a Palestinian family living on the pavement outside their East Jerusalem house. They were evicted from this house by zionist extremist settlers. The family have their clothes hanging int he trees. In one photo, the settlers’ son, a young man, watches impassively. That’s how the Nazi guards were – impassive, banal, without humanity. The victims of the nazis have become the nazis . The horror of it – the US and Britain are supporting this (i.e. doing nothing practical to stop and the US is supporting extremists it seems. Mind, they supported the Taliban so why be suprised).

Then there was the strange affair of a deleted comment by ‘Beithadassah’ – supposedly on the grounds of being ‘irrelevant’. Judge for yourself –

Beithadassah

8 Dec 2009, 2:10PM

Perhaps all of those defending the Arabs would like to explain why Hebron’s Islamic rulers closed off Judaism’s second holiest site, the Tomb of the Patriarchs, called Ma’arat HaMachpela, to Jews and Christians for 700 years, claiming that it is a mosque and only moslems can pray there. Remember that the building on top of the caves was built by Herod, a Jewish King, two thousand years ago, which is some 600 years before Muhammad was born. Today they clearly say that should they ever again control this site, it will be open only to those of the Islamic faith.

Perhaps you can also explain why the ‘peaceful’ Arabs in Hebron murdered, in cold blood, 67 Jews living in Hebron in August of 1929. Remember, they were not ‘fanatic, extremists’ like those of us living here today.

As for ‘occupied territories’ – the Arabs consider all of the State of Israel to be ‘occupied palestine.’

Why not face the truth and be honest with yourselves!?

Now of course the subject of Hebron is a very emotive one – of which I am sure the Guardian is well aware. My personal view is that whilst I may disagree with the politics, beliefs and tactics of some of the Hebron Jews, they are still Israelis just like me and as long as our democratically elected government supports their living where they do, they deserve the same treatment as any other Israeli regardless of where she or he lives. You see, I always try to think about the day after any potential peace agreement which would lead to Israel relinquishing more territory, because if that ever happens, we need to be able to welcome them to their new homes as brothers, not as enemies.

I am, therefore, very interested in the motives behind Kadi and Levitt’s article, which is guaranteed to get emotions running high, as seen above. Take this statement for instance:

“The fact that the Hebron Fund likely raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for extremist Israeli settlers at a major US venue with little public scrutiny is a troubling sign for those who hope that the US can play a constructive role in achieving a just peace in the Middle East.”

This seemingly banal statement has to be taken in context, and the context comes with an understanding of the organisations which these two writers represent.

Aaron Levitt is a member of ‘Jews Against The Occupation’ – an organisation based in the US which, amongst other things, campaigns against what it describes as the ‘Apartheid Wall’ and categorises itself as ‘A Jewish Voice of Opposition to the War on Palestinians’.

Andrew Kadi is a member of Adalah – an organisation whose agenda focuses on seeking an end to Israel as a Jewish state. One of Adalah’s main foreign funders is the Ford Foundation, which is based, of course, in the US, and has a rather ignoble history of funding the extremist NGOs at the infamous Durban I conference.

So it seems a little strange that Kadi and Levitt should be making such a song and dance about ‘The US cash behind extremist settlers’ when Adalah, which has an agenda which could be considered far more extremist than the restitution of the Jewish settlement in Hebron, gets a large chunk of its budget from US cash too. After all, what is sauce for the Adalah goose must also be sauce for the Hebron gander.

However, I also take into account that over at Adalah HQ, people are probably a little jumpy these days due to the recent Knesset Conference which examined the subject of the funding of NGO activity in Israel by foreign governments. Could it just possibly be that Kadi and Levitt, with the help of CiF, are keen to distract public and even governmental opinion by means of a smoke screen comprising that tried and true element, the ‘extremist settler’?

9 replies »

  1. IsraeliNurse, interesting and thought-provoking as ever.

    The fact that the Hebron Fund likely raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for extremist Israeli settlers at a major US venue with little public scrutiny is a troubling sign

    It is interesting which particular public scrutiny this precious pair is calling for since attention was called to it by grassroots organisations. There was no stealth involved apparently.

    The fact is that it is fashionable to call the towns and kibbutzim built across the green line illegal, when the framers of the laws and agreements on which this is based had no knowledge of this situation or its likelihood and would probably have disagreed with the popular assumptions, in both legal and moral terms. I find it hard to accept that people whose only crime is building on land that they own can be doing something illegal merely because they are Jews.

  2. The lack of understanding about the position of the settlements as they are called in international law may be illustrated by this comment in the responses to the piece discussed:
    I think Israel is the only country who can openly defy the 4th Geneva Convention without having boycotts and embargos imposed upon them
    Since this was purely a Convention, as the title suggests, what makes people think that a penalty for ”defiance” should be imposed? A deplorable lack of understanding of the problem is fostered by people such as Kadi and Levitt who presumably deliberately mislead the public. Or perhaps they don’t understand the position themselves?

    Mr Levitt is certainly articulate enough, posting comment after detailed and lengthy comment in his own defence as well as in criticism of others who dare to protect the Hebron Jewish population.

  3. Exactly, Margie, and of course what is particularly interesting about Hebron specifically is that the situation on the ground today is the result of agreements signed by both Israelis and Palestinians within the Oslo accords.

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/hebprot.html

    Calling the Jewish settlement in Hebron ‘illegal’ is therefore a form of over-riding the Palestinians’ right to negotiate and sign agreements: another example of that kind of patriarchal attitude towards the Palestinians which we see so often in the West.

  4. Interesting article Israelinurse. You certainly touched on a difficult issue. Outside of the creation of the Jewish state, itself, the settlements rank number two in emotional responses to the conflict. They also rank number one in propaganda used against the state of Israel. Internationally, the settlements have never been a positive or winning issue for Israel. Indeed, many in Israel disagree with the settler movement.

    It seems to me that international law may have been twisted to insure (as a protection of) a Palestinian state (by the ICC in their rulings). The Mandate for Palestine guaranteed that Jews could settle anywhere in Palestine (trans-Jordan was, of course, excluded from Jewish settlement). Article 80 guaranteed that the Mandate would be legal even as the League of Nations was dissolved and the United Nations came into existence. The partition plan proposed by the UN in 1947 was never adopted by Israel and the Palestinians, and there never has been an agreement to change the conditions of the Mandate (that I know about). The Oslo Accords did not ban new settlements as far as I know – thus, it seems to me that settlers can still settle anywhere in Palestine – but the ICC insured that if they did, it would be considered illegal under international law.

    Most people, including myself, believe in a two state solution. Certainly, the Palestinians deserve a state (if they can somehow get over the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine) so I oppose the settlements just like many of you in this forum (I suspect). From my point of view, the settlements are difficult to defend (politically) – and provide the perfect opportunity for the anti Israel “left” to attack Israel as a country not seeking peace (like Carter in the Guardian today).

    Anyway, thanks again. You have put forth a great deal of effort exposing the Guardian and CIF posters.

    PS. Today, my comment was deleted for calling Jimmy Carter a useful idiot of Hamas, yet a comment calling Netanyahu a racist was left on the thread (Bass46). Keep up the good work because there is a reason that CIFW has become a necessary counter to the Guardian.

  5. TomWonacott ” my comment was deleted for calling Jimmy Carter a useful idiot ”

    I have not read CIF today but if Carter has written an article you have insulted him, thus , as per their policy , your remark would be deleted . If it was an off-the-cuff comment then it would be deleted as off topic. To describe CIFW as a ” necessary counter to the Guardian. ” based on this is a little thin.

    If Netanyahu wrote an article and someone described him on the thread as a ” racist ” this should be deleted.. not only as insulting but as crass and lightweight , when there are many richer , more effective ways to describe such a man.

  6. Xavier Onassis

    The term “useful idiot” is a political phrase used to describe someone who is “manipulated” by a political movement i.e., like Hamas (Wikipedia). Nothing off the cuff or or off topic. I said exactly what was intended. Could I have said it in a less “offensive” way? No doubt, but, in my opinion, its just an accurate way (politically) to describe Carter and how he is used by the terrorist organization to advance their agenda. Regardless, it should not have been moderated.

    The phrase describes him perfectly.

    Its clear that the Guardian (and other news sources) delete comments in a biased, politically motivated fashion.

  7. Israelinurse, have you no respect?!?! The sauce-goose-gander recipe is Seth’s favorite, how can you just turn it against his chums?!???!!! Not that I didn’t find that delicious…

    But I think it has to be said that many Israelis view the Hebron settlers with much ambivalence, because some are definitely not a very endearing bunch and perfectly capable of talk that mirrors Hamas rhetoric. That’s particularly regrettable since there is an obvious case for the right to a Jewish presence in Hebron.

    That said, I read with interest Yaacov Lozowick’s recent reflections on a trip he took with B’tselem to Hebron, worth checking out:

    http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/2009/12/human-rights-against-international-law.html

    He also posted a longer piece with lots of interesting background information on Hebron here:

    http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgxshts6_76gpqgxjfb

  8. Xavier Onassis

    I have not read CIF today but if Carter has written an article you have insulted him, thus , as per their policy , your remark would be deleted . If it was an off-the-cuff comment then it would be deleted as off topic. To describe CIFW as a ” necessary counter to the Guardian. ” based on this is a little thin.

    You must be new to CIF. CIF uses it’s laughingly called ‘moderation policy’ to control, discriminate and manipulate the flow of a thread. Especially the IP threads. It ‘coddles’ commenters that ‘echo’ the Guardian World View but bans commenters that oppose it.

    One of the great things about CIFWatch is its constant surveillance of CIF IP related threads to find deleted comments and publish them to show the constant targeting of comments that do not suit ‘The Guardian’.

    One of The Guardian’s favorite ‘weaknesses’ is deleting comments that refer to the Hamas Charter.

  9. TomWonacott

    ” The term “useful idiot” is a political phrase ”

    As I said I am not sure whether Carter actually wrote the article. If you were talking about him, rather than to him , it seems less of an offence, but to call someone any kind of “idiot” and expect it to be “understood” as part of the cut and thrust of debate, is being optimistic. Im not saying it should have been deleted BTW.

    “Its clear that the Guardian (and other news sources) delete comments in a biased, politically motivated fashion.”

    It is far from clear. I am sorry but I simply do not see this and your statement looks a little weightless and evidence free. The posts above are all fine except the ones using Nazi comparisons. Your reply was appreciated however.