Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ahmed Shihab-Eldin's Pointing Finger

It's weird Ahmed Shihab-Eldin has been working at the Huffington Post since 2008, yet he has only drawn attention to himself now. Maybe it took him that long to get himself into a position where he can spew his pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel agenda unmolested. Anyway, after a week where has shared anti-Semitic cartoons on the Huffington Post, drawing much negative attention, he has decided to double down with an attack on Israel. Another one. I know, surprise surprise. Let's get into it.

Right from the start, he lies:
"To ignore the role of Israel's occupation of Gaza is to ignore the fundamental fact..."
There is no occupation of Gaza. Period. End of discussion. We've already been over this with you, Ahmed, but you apparently just didn't listen. You can argue about whether or not Israel controls Gaza by proxy, but the word "occupation" has a very specific meaning that cannot be changed just because you don't like it. 

At this point he talks about how Israel (with the help of Egypt, grudgingly) controls the borders of Gaza. He does not talk about how this is a perfectly acceptable tactic of war that has been used for years and is perfectly legal, possibly because he knows that if he just remains silent. Then he whines that Israel hasn't let in enough trucks to feed all the people of Gaza, neglecting to mention that no other country allows aid to their enemies while under fire and that Hamas could bring in all the food they want through the smuggling tunnels from Egypt. He then proceeds to start telling some stories, completely unverified of course, about Israel bombing a UNRWA school while UNRWA denies that Hamas there. He also linked to a picture that didn't exist. Then we finally get to the most important part of the article (emphasis mine):
"I have actually never been to Gaza. But everyone I know that has comes back convinced that ending occupation is fundamental to resolving the conflict because it is fundamentally the problem -- even if it is ruled by so-called fundamentalists that were democratically elected in 2006."
It's always nice when a blogger admits that he has no idea what he's talking about, but his attempt to save it is the icing on the cake. Yes, we have seen the way that Ahmed Shihab-Eldin is really willing to listen to other people's points of view when we asked him an inconvenient question about the Latuff cartoon and he blocked us. And just because "everyone he knows" thinks a certain way, well that's not exactly the most convincing of arguments. Just follow his Twitter page for a while and you'll see that he doesn't exactly have a balanced perspective.

And there's nothing "so-called" about the fundamentalist nature of Hamas. You don't need to go to Gaza, Ahmed and I have access to the exact same resources, so there's no excuse for his ignorance about the repression and religious fanaticism there. Nor does he have a good reason to point out that Hamas should have allowed another election in Gaza and just decided not to. That kind of undermines the whole "democratic" thing. But hang on, we've got hypocrisy incoming!
"Frankly, I do not support Hamas' ideology or system of governance, but Hamas does not constitute all of Palestinians. I support the human rights and dignity of Palestinians, not simply because I am one, but because all humans deserve to live in dignity."
So let me get this straight: According to Shihab-Eldin, even though he just admitted that Hamas was democratically elected by the Palestinians to represent them, and must therefore know how the Palestinians supported with their silence the thousands and thousands of attacks on Israel (some less silently than others), he still insists on declaring the Palestinians an innocent party in all this! That's some terrorist supporter logic for you, no matter what fig leafs he tries to slap on Hamas.

I also like how he supports the human rights and dignity of Palestinians, but doesn't feel like it's necessary to single out Israelis as well. Where was he, exactly, when Israelis were running to bomb shelters in their pajamas? Oh right, he was retweeting Ben White? The Palestinians are suffering blowback right now from weeks and months of attack, and if he were honest and not blinded by his own nationalist fervor, he would admit it.

He then waves the bloody shirt some more, and then spends multiple paragraphs on Israel's hitting of the Hamas media tower near where some journalists were staying. If you recall, terrorists were killed in that attack. He also peddled the story that has now turned out to be false about Israel killing a BBC journalists' son. Nothing that Israel did was illegal, even though it's a tragedy that journalists were hurt or killed in the fighting. Ahmed Shihab-Eldin knows this, so he makes stuff up:
"Israeli airstrikes shattered the windows of many international and local reporters like NBC Foreign Correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin....This is the trouble with Israel's social media and PR efforts: they conveniently omit the facts that matter. Under the Geneva Convention, targeting journalists or civilians is considered a war crime."
Did you hear that? Ahmed Shihab-Eldin suddenly remembered that there's something called the Geneva Conventions, under which you are not allowed to target civilians! This is a surprise of course, because he has never once criticized one of his fellow Palestinians for targeting civilians or violating the Geneva Conventions, so I simply assumed that it was one of those "optional" things in his mind. Furthermore, you have yet to prove that Israel targets journalists. If they did, I hardly think that shattered windows would be one of your  examples. I guess Shihab-Eldin also misses how Hamas uses journalists as human shields, or else he just doesn't care.

Before he quotes Noam Chomsky (genocidal denier and peddler of anti-Semitic tropes) he turns up the waterworks:
"A feeling of powerlessness and hopelessness is inevitable among those suffering in Gaza, but many of us watching from afar continue to taste it too. The political divisions between Fatah and Hamas are sharp enough to cut rope that unites Palestinians and their right to freedom, dignity and self-determination. But it is oppression and occupation that continues to bleed Palestinians dry."
Yeah, maybe you should try MAKING PEACE. Whining on the Huffington Post and pretending that you aren't suffering the consequences of your own actions doesn't seem to be working out so well.

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