Guardian

Red Rag to a Bull


Petra Marquardt-Bigman’s excellent article on CiF recently was like the proverbial red rag waved in the face of the assorted bullish anti-Israeli commentators below the line. Almost immediately, there were cries of ‘propaganda!’ from a variety of posters. So quick were they off the starting block that one does have to wonder if they actually bothered to read Petra’s well-constructed piece, or does the very fact that a CiF article fails to meet their expectations of a daily ‘fix’ of Israel-hatred produce this knee-jerk reaction?

orwellwasright

17 Dec 2009, 12:25PM

It’s lines like these that make Petra one of my favourite Zionist propagandists:

“Those willing to give peace a chance would be greatly helped if the Arab states gave up their convenient place on the sidelines and stepped forward to shoulder the responsibilities they have due to their role in opposing Israel’s establishment.”

The “responsibilities” of the Arab states to deal with the problem created by the immoral, violently expansionist Israel, I think she means.

The topsy-turvy world of Marquandt-Bigman on show once again.

Logic101

17 Dec 2009, 1:12PM

I think we have something to learn from zionists. If we just stop giving Petra’s propoganda the spotlight, she will be foreced to shut up. Seth will be able to back me on this 🙂

Namokel

17 Dec 2009, 12:31PM

Another brilliant piece of propaganda. Thank you Petra.

I like this bit best:

One of the things supposedly often said behind closed doors in the Middle East is that the millions of Palestinians who have been told for decades to hold out for a “right of return” to the homes their parents or grandparents left in 1948 will have to make do with a “return” to a future Palestinian state or alternatives such as naturalisation in their current country of residence.

justimagin

17 Dec 2009, 1:03PM

PetraMB

justimagin
Poor imagination!

Wishing for a better world for everyone regardless of colour or creed and a stop to the blatant double standards going on, is poor imagination?

This “article” is nothing short of propaganda.

bass46

17 Dec 2009, 1:29PM

You just know Petra will print propaganda and sure enough, here it is.

The only people who support Abbas are the Americans and Israeli’s, and they do it because they need something to pin their pontification to while they’re busy taking land in order to distract from…. taking land.

This is clearly meant as a challenge to the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who has been repeating for months that he is ready for serious negotiations.

Rubbish. Netanyahu isn’t ready to negotiate anything no matter what he repeats. All his words are false. When he gives this impression it’s only to highlight how difficult the people he doesn’t want to negotiate with are being, so he can’t negotiate with them even though here he is! Ready to negotiate! What a charade.

The rubbish continues from there down. Once you accept the truth that Israel isn’t prepared to give what it would take for peace, namely land, equality and justice, then the pronouncements of the Israeli government are revealed for what they are. Drivel to distract from the land grab and make it appear as if it’s everyone else’s fault.

But let’s assume we live in the parallel universe that Petra lives in. What have the Israeli’s done to make anyone think they want peace? The “freeze” on settlement expansion is a sop to the Americans and doesn’t mean a thing. The siege of Gaza continues, while the wall building goes on a pace. A couple of road blocks are removed even as the IDF are supporting settler violence, while the judiciary create new ways for the army to take more land. The war drums against Iran are deafening while international calls for an investigation into war crimes are sneered at and the Israeli government promises a “disproportionate response”, or isn’t that their position anymore?

Trying to paint this bunch of war loving nuts as seekers of peace would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic.

As is usual on the rare occasions when a balanced view of the Middle East’s problems is presented on CiF, the hardliners were in their default state of apoplexy at the very idea of any kind of compromise on the part of the Palestinians which may have the result of upsetting the world view of their valiant key-board bashing supporters. (Incidentally, Matzpen: any relation to the Machovers by any chance?)

Matzpen

17 Dec 2009, 12:46PM

PetraMB

One of the things supposedly often said behind closed doors in the Middle East is that the millions of Palestinians who have been told for decades to hold out for a “right of return” to the homes their parents or grandparents left in 1948 will have to make do with a “return” to a future Palestinian state or alternatives such as naturalisation in their current country of residence.

Transfer has been Zionism’s answer to ‘the Arab question’ for over a century; it is a perverse world view indeed that sees in one of the principal sources of a conflict, a possible “solution” to it.

It’s madness, in fact.

Almost as mad as the idea that any Palestinian leader could trade away the right of return and survive longer than a day after it.

Matzpen

17 Dec 2009, 12:57PM

Keo2008

a way forward which would be acceptable to both Israelis and Palestinians (it’s called “peace”)

Peace – which is unthinkable without the right of return for Palestinians, without the de-Zionisation of Israel, without a secure right to self-determination for Israeli Jews in the region and the reorganisation of the region as a whole – is precisely what is not acceptable right now.

29numbers

17 Dec 2009, 1:09PM

Peace? Bad news for people like you, Petra.

Papalagi

17 Dec 2009, 12:57PM

Last but not least, the Palestinian refugees were created in a war started by the Arab States; so don?t you think they should have some responsibility?

That’s a lie. Ilan Pappe has shown carefully how Israel was preparing to take the lands of the Palestinians, Tom Segev has said that the Zionists only accepted the partition as a diplomatic move. They knew that they couldn’t have a Jewish state where a big part of the population was Palestinian. Were they so stupid that they wanted a partition which would give them a Palestinian state instead of a Jewish state? And how could they get a Jewish state then? Pappe explains this in his book the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

Matzpen

17 Dec 2009, 3:51PM

– Immediate and unconditional withdrawal to the 1967 borders
– Right of return for refugees

These are the twin premises for any possible peace.

One of Lynne Truss’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynne_Truss worst nightmares (I do hope she doesn’t read CiF) then popped along to show us how it is still possible to misinterpret the rise of Hamas to power in the Gaza strip.

gondwanaland

17 Dec 2009, 1:54PM

Surely if the Israeli’s are serious about the peace process with Palestine, they should be talking to the democratically elected government of Palestine?

Yes, we all know there are some unsavory Hamas members, just as there are unsavory Likud members, But there’s something farcical about two alleged democracy’s talking to each other via an old man who’s widely believed to be a flunky for one side.

I linked to the map which looked interesting Petra, and seems to suggest the Israeli’s are no longer interested in the Internationally recognised borders of 1967. I would be very surprised if the Palestinians see these borders as anything other than a temporary stop-gap.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m becoming increasingly curious as to just what causes the CiF moderators to be so touchy about pro-Israeli comments. Take this one, for example – is it offensive? Is it irrelevant to the topic of discussion? If it is either, I’m afraid I just can’t see it.

zamalek

17 Dec 2009, 2:46PM

Indeed, when Obama spoke in Cairo, some Egyptian-born Jews hoped he would mention the fact that just like Palestinians, hundreds of thousands of Jews in Arab countries suffered displacement and dispossession.

Three cheers for Petra for clearly setting out all the issues, not least the hitherto neglected question of Jewish refugees from 10 Arab states. There was an important development in November when the Knesset voted to introduce a bill for the safeguarding of Jewish refugee rights. The original draft made peace talks conditional on the Jewish refugee issue, but was toned down to say that no final agreement would be signed unless Jewish refugee rights were taken into account.

As Petra says There was an exchange of roughly equivalent reufgee numbers between Israel and the Arab world, but 300,000 Jews were resettled in the West. Their rights to compensation too need to be taken into account.

Go figure….

15 replies »

  1. These persons have nothing to refute reasonable and mainstream comments supported by facts so what remains is only personal abuse tolerated by the moderators (in this case naturally).

    My favorite is this from Logic101

    “If we just stop giving Petra’s propoganda the spotlight, she will be foreced to shut up. Seth will be able to back me on this ”
    Seth… will be able… What? Maybe he will be able to accept the offer of a discussion with Petra on CIF?

    And we just stop?… Who are the “we”? Is s/he belomg to the Guardian’s editorial staff? Or maybe some anti – Giyus conspiracy group?

    But Nurse you are mistaken to compare these deeply frustrated haters to bulls. Bulls are stupid but strong. These are not stupid, only weak and impotent, trying to compensate these flaws of their personality under the loving umbrella of the Guardian.

  2. Deleting zamalek’s post was way out of line.

    @ peter
    OK, here is indeed a clear example of what we were discussing recently.
    😉

  3. Deleting Zamalek’s unobjectionable post was like deleting Tom Wonacott’s a few days ago. The moderators are becoming increasingly unreasonable.

  4. The shocking truth is that if you took all the articles on CiF dealing with the I/P issue, almost the only ones (certainly written those by the regular CiF contributors) that represent reality and which are researched and provide verifiable, correct facts are those written by Petra.

    That is why she is made such a target by the Israel bashers – she punctures their bubble of hatred with every article and every comment. There are those who need to feed off Israel as the source of everything that is wrong with the world, and every article she writes is an intellectual slap in the face calmly and precisely delivered that shakes their phantom mental world to its foundations.

  5. Petra brings out the best in CiF.You get these minnows like orwellwasright,with their pathetic attempts,circling around her trying to get a piece of her.

    She has the patience to reply to these posters like orwellwasright,I consider the best writer in the Guardian.

    A rose in a dung heap.

  6. SickFrogman

    Great article in the NYT. I have always firmly believed that President Obama will not authorize a strike against the Iranian nuclear facilities, and indeed, would strongly discourage Israel from unilateral actions against Iran. Yet, the longer that Obama is office, the harder it is to figure out what he will do. He really is not easy to predict. Also, Hillary Clinton has been talking a lot tougher lately probably to encourage Iran to seriously reconsider the offer on the table. Maybe the most worrisome aspect of Obama diplomacy might be his willingness to settle for a compromise that will leave Israel at great risk down the road (as this article suggests).

    Considering that the priority of the Obama administration’s Middle East policy is to solve the IP conflict which they believe will undermine Iran’s regional hegemony, then it still seems logical that they will oppose a strike against Iran. One reason is simply that in bombing Iran, the conflict could easily expand to Lebanon and Palestine through Iran’s proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, respectively. In other words, there is potential for another devastating bombing of Lebanon, and Gaza which would, more than likely, kill any possibility of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians for the foreseeable future (undermining the US’s own regional priorities).

    And none of this even touches on the interruption of oil supplies in the straight of Hormuz, US interests in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the possible interruption of Saudi Arabian oil supplies (which could be targeted by Iranian missiles). The whole world could suffer the consequences from raised oil prices. The recent defection of Turkey to Iran will also probably be influential in discouraging a US or Israel strike. Additionally, Bush turned down the offer of a joint venture with Israel at the end of 2008 probably because of the possible destabilization of Iraq – and other US regional interests.

    Will Israel attack even if the US says no? It would seem possible given the threat to Israel, but only at a big risk to Israeli-US relations. However, the 2012 elections can/will influence the Obama team. The American people would likely support a US or Israeli strike on the Iranian nuclear facilities recognizing that Obama has made a sincere attempt to reach a diplomatic solution which, likely, failed. Obama deserves CREDIT for his policy on Iran so far.

    In my opinion, it still seems unlikely at this time that the US will bomb Iran, or sanction a strike by Israel. Besides, only regime change can alter Iran’s present course of action which is a policy of expanding regional influence. Internal regime change is still a remote possibility given the anger of the Iranian people.

  7. What is this world coming to when even a writer agreeing with the likes of Malley and Agha (the main Camp David revisionists and prominent Palestinian apologists) is castigated as not being anti-Israel enough. Petra’s piece is interesting yet can hardly be accused of Israeli partisanship. Of course in the wonderful world of CiF anything short of “from the river to the sea” is considered heresy and is met by a vitriolic hate-fest.

    For people not familiar with the works of the aforementioned duo, I suggest reading some of their op-eds at the NY review of books:
    http://www.nybooks.com/authors/7313

  8. I admire very much PetraMB’s knowledge and clarity of thought and expression. I also admire that whatever depths her detractors may plumb, she remains dignified and never descends to their level.

    Many of her excellently constructed arguments are, of course, the equivalent of casting pearls before the CiF swine, and we can see the futility of trying to reason with the inane, stupid and frankly crazy from the posts by such as papalagi, who still persists in his adulation of the disreputable and thoroughly discredited Ilan Pappe, and logic101 who seems to think that Seth Freedman’s opinions are important!

    AKUS – good post.

  9. AKUS

    almost the only ones … that represent reality and which are researched and provide verifiable, correct facts are those written by Petra

    Serendipity

    I admire very much PetraMB’s knowledge and clarity of thought and expression. … Many of her excellently constructed arguments are, of course, the equivalent of casting pearls before the CiF swine

    Petra, Akus, and Serendipity are spot-on.

  10. Tom

    Maybe the most worrisome aspect of Obama diplomacy might be his willingness to settle for a compromise that will leave Israel at great risk down the road

    Allow me to point out that the risk to Israel arises not solely from direct nuclear threat. At least as much risk to Israel arises from Iran’s ability and intent to use nuclear weapons as an intimidation factor, so as to allow Iran’s proxies (such as Hizbullah, Hamas, the Yemeni rebels) to further extend Iranian imperialism in the region, including the ongoing war of attrition against the people of Israel.

  11. Regarding Rob Malley, he is a long time favorite of the Guardian, The New York Times and the New York Review of Books. The NY Times frequently invites Malley and Agha to write for the NYT oped page and he just regurgitates what he writes in the Guardian. Lately, he has been echoing Qadafi’s call for the end of the State of Israel and it’s replacement by a Palestinian state in which Jews can live with the same rights that Jews in other Arab countries “enjoy”. Qadafi is slightly more moderate than Malley but they share the same sentiments. In his oped piece NYT piece, Malley said that the Palestinians would be willing to make the Palestinian state that would replace Israel officially “nondenominational”. According to Malley-Agha, the state would not be officially an Islamic nation.
    Malley was used by the New York Times in 2000. After the Camp David negotiations failed, President Clinton and Secretary Albright publicly blamed Arafat and the New York Times did not like that one bit. So the Times sent long time Israel critic Deborah Sontag to write an “investigative series” on why the talks broke doen. Sontag could not get Secretary Albright to play ball. So she found Malley, a low ranked minor State Department bureacrat to do her bidding. Malley, always prone for selfaggrandizement, told Sontag that he (Malley) was the lead US official at the talks and it all broke down due to Israeli intransigence. Sontag reported it all breathlessly and the ancient columnist Anthony Lewis wrote glowing columns about Sontag and Malley. It was all pure unadulterated nonsense but that is the NY Times in action. No wonder Malley is a Guardian favorite (Jewish and antiIsrael, the perfect Guardian combination).

  12. Sick Frogman

    “……At least as much risk to Israel arises from Iran’s ability and intent to use nuclear weapons as an intimidation factor, so as to allow Iran’s proxies (such as Hizbullah, Hamas, the Yemeni rebels) to further extend Iranian imperialism in the region, including the ongoing war of attrition against the people of Israel……”

    I couldn’t agree more.

  13. I can’t remember the exact words, but as Martin Amis wrote, Iran has been aided by almost all the nations of the world except Israel in its bid for nuclear arms, the target of which is Israel.