Friday, October 1, 2010

Sam Sedaei Lies, Revises History on the HP

Every once in a while, the HP really takes the gloves off and lets a blogger run roughshod over truth and history in his or her pursuit of slandering Israel. First it was Michael Carmichael, and now it's Sam Sedaei. Who is Sam Sedaei? According to his HP bio, he's an Iranian American who is a "political analyst". So let's see what he got.

The article starts with the inflammatory headline "That's What You Get For Not Rocketing Israel", so we don't even have to read further than that to know how much interest the writer has with balanced reporting and nonpartisanship. But the first paragraph alone is hilariously illuminating.
"Throughout its short life, Israel has engaged in many actions that the world democracies have deemed dubious and inconsistent with Israel's claim to be "the only democracy in the Middle East." One can mention the Israeli wall in the West Bank, Wars on Lebanon and Gaza, a choking and indiscriminate blockade on the citizens of Gaza, ethnic discrimination against Arabs and attack on and killing of a number of individuals on board a Turkish flotilla in international waters just over the past few years alone. "
Yes, apparently democracies do not build security walls, fight wars, set up economic blockades, have ethnic discrimination in their states, and maintain their blockades with force. Even though France built the Maginot Line after WWI, the United States has declared wars for far less compelling reasons than Israel's wars, the UK set up a blockade of Germany during WWII, and every state in the world has ethnic discrimination at one level or another, Mr. Sedaei accuses Israel alone of having a "dubious claim" to being a democracy, going so far as to put democracy is quotes. This kind of ethereal standard for a democracy is hilarious in its transparency, but it's really unfortunate it's published in an major newspaper like the Huffington Post.

Let's see what Mr. Sedaei's got next for us.

"So is that Israeli claim true? Are Israel's actions truly a reaction to hostilities against its existence and security? Let's look at this claim in the context of the ongoing negotiations between the Palestinian Fattah Movement and Iran. Here is a Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, representing the Fattah Movement in the West Bank, under whose leadership not a single rocket has been fired at Israel from the West Bank....And after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran condemned Mr. Abbas for resuming negotiations with the Israelis and called on the Palestinians to fight on, Mahmoud Abbas showed unprecedented leadership by strongly condemning Ahmadinejad, stating "He who does not represent the Iranian people, who forged elections and who suppresses the Iranian people and stole the authority, is not entitled to talk about Palestine, or the President of Palestine."
 So Mr. Sedaei here tries and fails to take down the Israeli claim that the occupation is for security. He points out that the West Bank has not fired a single rocket into Israel. While this is not only a lie, it's a classic cause and effect logical fallacy. Pointing out that the West Bank is quiet when the occupation is there does not mean the Palestinians of the WB have suddenly become peaceful any more than a man has stopped killing because he's suddenly cured of his violent instincts, not because he was in jail for the past year. And, of course, Mr. Sedaei cannot and therefore does not address the other acts of violence in the West Bank that are not rocket attacks, most notably the terror attack by Hamas that took the lives of six Israelis two weeks ago.
"And what has President Abbas gotten in return from the Israelis? After taking office, Prime Minister Netanyahu would not even mention a Palestinian state as a solution. He only did so later and under much long-overdue pressure from the Obama administration. But at a time when there is much at stake in the current negotiations and much hope for its success, the Prime Minister refused to renew the freeze on settlements. "
Note that (of course) Sedaei hits the parts of the history that makes Israel look bad, but not the Palestinians. Netanyahu begrudgingly freezes settlements...and then refuses to at a critical time! Sedaei could not mention the extremely key fact that the settlement freeze was for ten months (which Obama praised) and his beloved Abbas waited for nine of them to start talking. I wouldn't expect an HP blogger to mention that fact, but I guess hope springs eternal.

Next comes the lawfare argument,
"It is true that Netanyahu's freeze on settlements was somewhat unprecedented for Israel. But what is sorely missing in the public debate or media's reporting on the settlement is the reminder that Israel is building houses for resistance on land it has illegally and militarily occupied in 1967, has held hostage since and used as leverage in negotiations. This makes settlements undeniably and unequivocally illegal and in direct violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. These are not subjective ideas, opinions or points-of-views. These are simple, ink-on-paper facts that have not even been challenged even by the Israelis."
 Now, let's ignore whether settlements are illegal or not. That takes a while. But did you see that Sedaei snuck in the implication that Israel has been illegally occupying the WB since 1967, even though Resolution 242 gives Israel the legal right to be there? There's clearly no one holding Sedaei accountable for his lies, so why not throw another one in there?
"What is outrageous is that the settlement movement is not on the fringe, but receives the recognition of mainstream politicians on a regular basis. One of the people who was at the aforementioned event was Danny Dannon, a Likud member of Parliament. In response to a question from a New York Times reporter, asking "Do you want a deal [with the Palestinians] in a year [the timeframe set forth by President Obama and agreed upon by Netanyahu and Abbas]?" he said "No.""
Is it actually outrageous that the settlement movement is mainstream in Israel? Seeing as how apparently the killing of settlers is mainstream in the Palestinian territories, the relative difference makes it not seem like a big deal. For those of us who know the entire history of this conflict (as opposed to, say, the history after the First Intifada), we know that the settlements are not the source of the conflict, they're merely a symptom. If there had been peace in 1948, Palestine surely would not have objected to Jews living in Hebron and Bethlehem. But because they want to destroy Israel, they need to come up with a red herring, and settlements are as good a herring as any.

So there you have it. Another HP article long on Palestinian propaganda and short on historical facts.

1 comment:

  1. Such is historical revision is an effort to sidestep the truth.

    Anti-Zios playing fast and lose with it underscore why Israel is so concerned about Palestinians' unwillingness to compromise and to keep signed agreements with it.

    Unfortunately, while anti-Zios like Sam Sedaei go to a great deal of trouble to document alleged Israeli shortcomings, you never see them do that with their own side.

    Self-criticism is not a virtue on the HP. Thus, in the absence of a real commitment to be objective, to look at the truth and to work for real peace in that spirit, don't look for it to happen between the Palestinians and Israel in your lifetime or in mine.


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