Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Return of Richard Burden

MP Richard Burden, perhaps better known as Chair of the Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group (aka an ideal Huffington Post blogger) has come back to the Huffington Post to give us a lot of pontificating and meaningless chatter about the latest round of violence between Israel and Gaza. After dishonestly talking about Cast Lead referring to the casualties as "mostly civilians," he continues to slant his reporting:
"On Friday an Israeli air strike hit a car carrying the leader of the militant Palestinian group, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC). Zuhair al-Qaissi and another Palestinians [sic] died in the attack. Scores of rockets were fired into southern Israel seriously wounding one person. Seven other Israelis were also hurt by those rockets, or incidents related to them. More Israeli air strikes have left a further 13 Palestinians dead so far and more wounded."
1) Did rocket or mortar fire precede the strike on the car? Yes.
2) Who was the other Palestinian who died in the attack?
3) Why does MP Burden not differentiate between Palestinian militants and civilian in this paragraph, after taking care to do so when talking about Cast Lead? Could it be because he knows that if he did he would tell us that all of those13 Palestinians were militants and not civilians, an inconvenient fact that he dare not share?

At this point MP Burden does through a leap of logic so vast it qualifies as Olympian. You see in his opinion Israeli civilians are under fire, but not under fire enough to justify Israel defending them. Don't believe me? Let's take a look. We'll begin with his concession:
"It is true that militants have been firing rockets and mortars into southern Israel. The fact that most of those rockets land in open country does not, of course, make them acceptable and the international community is right to condemn them"
They're not just "unacceptable," they are war crimes and every one is a declaration of war. I can't expect MP Burden to say that of course, not if he wants to protect his chairmanship. But this is where it gets weird (emphasis mine):
"It is no surprise of course that the killing of a figure like Zuhair al-Qaissi would spark precisely the response it did, putting even more Israeli civilians at risk, at least in the short term. Why then, did Israel do it?" 
This doesn't make any sense, but it does indicate the mindset of Israel's critics. MP Burden already admits that Palestinian terrorists are firing rockets against Israeli civilians, but he criticizes Israel for defending itself, giving the reason as that it would make them want to fire rockets more? The Israeli civilians are "at risk" whether Hamas is firing rockets or not as long as a state of war remains between the two. Ultimately we see this as MP Burden taking every opportunity he can to blame Israel for anything and everything that he can.

The next part is also informative:
"One theory is that the killing of al-Qaissi was unfinished business for the IDF who held him responsible for killings in the Gaza/Sinai/Israel border region last August...Last August - so why the retaliation now, over six months later?"
That's a good point. Oh wait no it's not. How long after 9/11 did it take us to kill Osama Bin Laden? That's right: eleven freaking years. And as for his question there are a million reasons why they waited but we can start with the most obvious one: This was the first opportunity that they had to kill him. Or maybe the first opportunity they had to kill him without hurting any civilians along with him. Fortunately MP Burden does read some newspapers, but it doesn't make him any wiser about this situation:
"Some reports say the IDF killed him to thwart another such attack soon. If that is the case then provoking a predictable escalation of rocket attacks on southern Israel appears an odd way of preventing killings near the Egyptian border."
Well thank you for the opinion General Burden. But as you yourself already admitted, rocket attacks were already happening. And as your anti-Zionists friends never tire of telling us, the rockets are less dangerous to Israelis in general than bombings, shootings, stabbings, etc. Finally, just because Israel stopped yet another terror attack on their Egyptian border does not mean that Hamas needed to fire 200 rockets in retaliation. Like many Huffington Post bloggers, MP Burden refuses to hold Palestinians responsible for their own actions. See:
"Is Israel deliberately ratcheting up tit-for-tat tension to give itself the space to go in heavy on Gaza while the world's attention is understandably focussed on Syria?"
I have a feeling that no matter what happens you'll blame Israel for it anyway, MP Burden. He also doesn't seem to be aware that this country called "Iran" exists, and is occupying most of Israel's attention at the moment. In fact it doesn't appear anywhere in the article. But I guess you don't get to join the Britain-Palestine All Parliamentary Group by being objective.

1 comment:

  1. Israel tested the "non-pre-emptive" approach to self defence in 1973. The results were clear:

    1) Israel got into a situation where it came close to losing and its death-toll was very high compared to 1967.

    2) The response of its 'friends' in the EU was an eye-opener: despite the extreme legality of Israel's position, Europe under threat of oil embargo sacrificed Israel. They refused US overfly rights to resupply Israel whilst granting them to Russia on behalf of the Arabs.

    Even the US was not clean; Nixon overrode overwhelming opposition to resupplying Israel. It was a close thing.

    Reality says that NONE of these actors has any rights at all in telling Israel what to do. It is only UberPolitik that demands Israel kowtow to the Quartet.

    Along those lines, Israel now has to suffer the burden of Burden.


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