Sunday, March 25, 2012

Daoud Kuttab Swings Again

The last time we saw Huffington Post blogger Daoud Kuttab, he was calling a suicide bombing supporter and Islamic Jihad leader a "hero." Even when the truth about who Khader Adnan came out, Mr. Kuttab simply waved his hand and said "it doesn't matter who Adnan is, Israel is still wrong for holding him illegally." And now he is back to try it again with Hana Shalabi, another Palestinian hunger striker, complete with all of the usual half-truths and assumptions that we have come to expect from a once respect journalist.

Mr. Kuttab doesn't know much about the case so he pads his article with a lot of exposition. The half-truths begin when he reiterates about how bad administrative detention is, once again ignoring that America and Britain (among other democratic countries such as Ireland and Australia) also use it. Ready for another half-truth? Kuttad admits that administrative detention is used when security services "have a strong feeling that they are guilty of some security crime and prefer to keep them behind bars." Here comes the giant "but" though:
"many times administrative detention are used as punishment, revenge or as part of a system that the Israeli intelligence service (Shin Bet) uses to control the Palestinian population....This seems to be the case against Shalabi, who was released last year as part of an Israeli-Hamas prisoner exchange."
Okay, so two notable sections of this paragraph. First: "seems to be case." When you use the phrase "seems to be," that basically means "I don't know but I am making an assumption." Which is acceptable when trying to assess someone's motivations, less acceptable when we are talking about matters of law and order. It also relates directly to my second observation: That Shalabi was released last year. Remember, Hamas did not want innocent people, they wanted their fellow terrorists. So Shalabi must have done something to get herself arrested in the first place. But ah! Once again, according to Mr. Kuttab, it doesn't matter whether or not she is a professional criminal:
"Shalabi's previous record, regardless of what she did, cannot be used against her....The state of Israel has no new evidence of wrongdoing against Shalabi, otherwise they would have charged her. In fact, the Israeli commander who signed the order against her chose the unusual step of ordering her incarceration for four months, rather than the usual six months."
At least he isn't calling her a "hero" this time, but what is also clear is that she is not an innocent malevolently picked on by the (what did he call it?) "system used to control the Palestinian population." Furthermore, as he himself admitted above, the Israelis also use administrative detention to hold those who they suspect of a crime. He didn't appear to have a problem with it then but he does not. As for the four months vs six months, that means nothing and he must be aware of that. We don't know exactly what is going on, but neither does he, and Israel won't hold onto her and deal with her hunger striking for no reason.

Read for some famous Daoud Kuttab spin? Check it:
"In an attempt to get out of the quagmire they find themselves in, and to prevent setting a precedent, the Israeli military prosecutors offered to free Shalabi on condition that she is transferred to Gaza."
First we must notice that his link is to an actively anti-Israel blog, which is informative if that's where he gets his informative from. But the blog does link to Ma'an News and what does it say?
"The Palestinian Authority minister of prisoners said Saturday that Israel offered to deport hunger-striker Hana Shalabi to the Gaza Strip, but the government rejected the offer."
So (a) we don't have any proof that it's actually true, given the source. And (b) if it is true it is the fault of the PA that she didn't take the deal. But as usual Mr. Kuttab can only spin it to make Israel look desperate. However, lest we misrepresent what he says, he does admit that Shalabi had a choice:
"Both offers were rejected by Shalabi through her lawyer....The idea of deportation, temporary or permanent, touches a nerve with the Palestinians. Since its establishment in 1948, the state of Israel has prevented Palestinians who left to avoid the violence from returning to their homes."
Oh, so it's not about "freedom" at all. She's starving herself because she wants to get away with her crimes but also doesn't want to live anywhere else except "Palestine." That makes her much more righteous than the Syrias bravely dying for their freedom to vote against Assad, not to mention the Jewish children murdered in the streets of Toulouse (both topics appear to have slipped Mr. Kuttab's mind). Once again, we see that these moral Palestinian "victims" who are starving for their freedom or "justice" quickly become something else entirely once we get passed the propaganda tweets.

But we aren't finished yet. Click below to continue.

Having whined about Israel's unfair right of return law, while forgetting again about the 24 Arab states that won't let Jews immigrate, Mr. Kuttab teaches an odd choice of history lesson:
"Even inside areas that Israel controls there is a policy of internal displacement and exile. Twenty-six Palestinians who took refuge in the Church of the Nativity in May 2002 were expelled to Gaza, and 13 to various European locations. They have been denied the right to return to their homes since..."
"Took refuge," did they? Well that's a nice spin by Mr. Kuttab. Here in the real world, armed terrorists (and that's what they were, no one denies that) brought guns and bombs into one of the holiest sites in Christianity, and from there proceeded to wage a gun battle with the IDF outside:
On April 7, "one of the few priests evacuated from the church told Israeli television yesterday that gunmen had shot their way in, and that the priests, monks and nuns were essentially hostages....The priest declined to call the clergy 'hostages,' but repeatedly said in fluent English: 'We have absolutely no choice. They have guns, we do not.' 
And when it was over what did the Israelis find?
The Palestinian gunmen holed up in the Church of the Nativity seized church stockpiles of food and "ate like greedy monsters" until the food ran out, while more than 150 civilians went hungry. They also guzzled beer, wine, and Johnnie Walker scotch that they found in priests' quarters, undeterred by the Islamic ban on drinking alcohol. The indulgence lasted for about two weeks into the 39-day siege, when the food and drink ran out, according to an account by four Greek Orthodox priests who were trapped inside for the entire ordeal.... The Orthodox priests and a number of civilians have said the gunmen created a regime of fear. Even in the Roman Catholic areas of the complex there was evidence of disregard for religious norms. Catholic priests said that some Bibles were torn up for toilet paper, and many valuable sacramental objects were removed. "Palestinians took candelabra, icons and anything that looked like gold," said a Franciscan, the Rev. Nicholas Marquez from Mexico. 
Oh, those poor innocent Palestinians! Mr. Kuttab is right. It's such a tragedy that Israel didn't let them stay in the West Bank. I think we should hold a big protest for them right now! Clearly they are the victims here. Unbefreakinglievable.

Mr. Kuttab then proceeds to whine against about administrative detention, and makes a shot at Israel being the only democracy in the Middle East, once again ignoring the inconvenient facts I posted above. He then finally concludes:
"Most Palestinians have learned the hard way to acquiesce to this unjust rule and play the game by obeying the rules of the military dictators. Shalabi refuses to play by these unjust rules. She is using a centuries-old nonviolent technique to show her protest. She suffers to make the world see injustice. Will anyone see and react?"
I'm guessing probably not, based on what I've seen on Twitter. You already tried this tactic once with Khader Adnan, and you got egg on your face when it was revealed that he's a loud and proud terrorist. Did you really think it would work again? Especially after you undermined your own argument multiple times over the course of the thread? Please. Read the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" some time, and you'll see why this plan isn't working.

But of course if you and the other Palestinians don't like this "unjust rule" by Israel, there's an easy way to get rid of it.


Of course, if Hanah Shalabi and Khader Adnan are truly the "heroes" of the Palestinians that Daoud Kuttab seems to think they are, I don't think peace will be coming any time soon. And in that case he'll only have himself to blame for it.

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