Tuesday, November 27, 2012

James Zogby's Latest Lies

The Huffington Post, not content with a mere eight day war between Israel and Gaza, wants to wring some more blood from a stone in their blogger stable. So having thrown as much mud as they can, they've called in veteran propagandist James Zogby to throw some more. Dr. Zogby actually does a pretty job balancing legitimate criticism with straight up lies and lies by omission. His article is long, so I won't be going over everything, but as always you can read it yourself and spot the lies. Let's get into it. My eyebrow went up when I saw him say this:
"In the midst of the short but deadly Gaza War, one statement by an Israeli spokesperson struck me as a particularly disturbing distortion of the truth. He claimed that Israel's goal in the conflict was 'to finish [Hamas] off, so we can sit with moderates and talk peace.'"
I am always suspicious when people like Dr. Zogby claim to have sole possession of a nice sound bite. If you Google that phrase you will find that it appears in many places, but the source of the quote is always the same: James Zogby. And it's not that I don't believe him (okay, I don't) but if it really happened, can we get the name of the Israeli spokesperson, sometimes referred to as an "Israeli ambassador?" How about where he said it and when? I mean, if James Zogby was there he should know all that right? Unfortunately  as even Dr. Zogby admits, Israel didn't finish off Hamas, so therefore why even bring it up? Of course, the answer is to accuse Israel of not talking with the fake moderates aka Abbas and the PA.

But more about that later. First Dr. Zogby says that Israel is "satisfied" with the way it all turned out, that Hamas will act as their "policeman" (doesn't that sound familiar), and that the Gaza withdrawal was not a test of the Palestinian national character that we all thought it was. In other words, better get that rewriting of history started now, before finishing off with the tired "open-air prison" line. Some forms of propaganda never get old, I guess. Naturally, nothing about Egypt or about the Palestinians endless terror attacks on Israel is ever mentioned nor will ever be mentioned, so you might as well put that out of your mind now.

Finally, though, we're back to the Palestinian Authority:
"If Israel never intended to "finish Hamas," then what of the claim that it wants to work with "moderate" Palestinian leaders to "talk peace?" That, too, is a clear distortion of the truth. In the midst of the Gaza conflict, Israel announced the construction of hundreds of new housing units in the Occupied Territories, coupled with renewed threats against the Palestinian Authority should its President, Mahmoud Abbas, proceed with plans to seek limited U.N. recognition later this month."
Your "moderate" Palestinian leaders, Dr. Zogby, have refused and continue to refuse to negotiate until Israel freezes settlements (and even then not so much). And the UN bid is the opposite of negotiations and talking peace, so I don't see why you are complaining about Israel reacting to it.

Oh, but let's not forget that Abbas' Fatah not only fired 500 rockets into Israel during Pillar of Defense, they expressed supporting for the targeting of Israeli civilians with armed attacks. They may even have been behind that bus bombing. It sure seems to me that Israel is making the right decision not to negotiate with the PA, and that the Huffington Post is continuing to make the wrong decision by allowing someone who lies by omission like that to continue to write for them. But rather than admit this, Dr. Zogby goes after the Huffington Post's all time favorite punching bag: Benjamin Netanyahu. After some legitimate criticism (I feel), that requires some mind reading, Zogby ratchets it up to the next level:
"Netanyahu's goal is not a lasting peace based on two states. It appears that he has never surrendered the Revisionist Zionist goal of a Greater Israel, with an autonomous and pacified Palestinian population that submits to Israel's diktat."
This leaves me scratching my head. Leaving aside for a minute how Zogby claims to know what is in Netanyahu's head, he doesn't appear to know what "Greater Israel," means. I thought it meant that Israel had control over not only the "67 borders" but also the West Bank and Gaza. Dr. Zogby on the other hand seems to think that if Palestinians aren't killing Jews, that means that Greater Israel has been achieved. Most people would call that "peace." But let's hear him out, fair is fair:
"The Palestinians (and the international community), he believes, have been sufficiently subdued to allow for continued settlement expansion. The PA areas are now more or less self-policed and dependent on international largess -- and threatened with losing some of that financial support should they be defiant and go through with their push for U.N. recognition. And now Gaza may be tamed, as well."
Of course, no settlements have been expanded. Buildings have been built inside existing settlements. Now if you're wondering what nay of that has to do with "Greater Israel," you might as well stop. Dr. Zogby, like Palestinian propagandists before and after him, doesn't even bother to explain his points in a mannered and logical way. He had to fit the points of "Greater Israel," "Netanyahu" and "settlements" into his article somehow so he threw them all together like a salad and let it bake.

If you'll pardon the mixed metaphors, it's time for another trademark Zogby lie by omission!
"Strengthening Hamas, while weakening the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority, is, at best, a mistaken strategy. Hamas is playing for time -- its ideology has not changed.."
Okay, Dr. Zogby, this is the part where you tell us what Hamas' ideology is. But he doesn't. Maybe it's because he can't bring himself to write "the murder or expulsion of all Jews in Israel and the creation of an Islamist state in Palestine," but as Israel has learned lately pretending that things aren't real doesn't make them go away. If Dr. Zogby had an ounce of honesty he would say that Hamas is still committed to Israel's destruction, and if he had a liter of honesty he would also say that Fatah feels the same way. But we can't expect miracles. This is just a great example of how Dr. Zogby will say literally the most bare minimum of truth necessary to defend the Palestinians, even to the point of lying by omission.

When it comes to Israel, however, he just makes stuff up, like in the beginning of this article and then again at the end:
"In the early years of the British Mandate, some Zionist writers were wont to refer to the indigenous Arab population of Palestine as "Red Indians" -- an obvious indication of their future intentions. Eighty years later, the colonial enterprise has continued unabated, without the acquiescence of the Palestinians." 
There's the eyebrow again. Like all "peaceful" Arab writers, Dr. Zogby seems insistent on denying Jewish connection to the land of Israel in order to prove that Israel is a colonialist entity and therefore has no right to exist. This is how he expects to make peace in the region. But unlike many other writers, Dr. Zogby seems to think his word is good enough that people should believe him. I look for Zionist writers and the phrase "red Indians," and turned up exactly nothing, except for James Zogby's articles of course.

There was, however, one exception. Ze'ev Jabotinksy, writing in "The Iron Wall" did use that phrase. And here it is in complete context (something Dr. Zogby will never want you to see):
"My readers have a general idea of the history of colonisation in other countries.  I suggest that they consider all the precedents with which they are acquainted, and see whether there is one solitary instance of any colonisation being carried on with the consent of the native population. There is no such precedent.  The native populations, civilised or uncivilised, have always stubbornly resisted the colonists, irrespective of whether they were civilised or savage.And it made no difference whatever whether the colonists behaved decently or not. The companions  of  Cortez and Pizzaro or ( as some people will remind us ) our own ancestors under Joshua Ben Nun, behaved like brigands; but the Pilgrim Fathers, the first real pioneers of North America, were people of the highest morality, who did not want to do harm to anyone, least of all to the Red Indians, and they honestly believed that there was room enough in the prairies both for the Paleface and the Redskin. Yet the native population fought with the same ferocity against the good colonists as against the bad."
That is the only time that any Zionist writer has used the phrase "Red Indians," at least as far as I can find. And in direct contradiction to what Dr. Zogby was saying, Jabotinsky did not refer to the Palestinian Arabs that way. In fact, if you read "The Iron Wall," you will find that Jabotinsky uses the phrase "Palestinian Arabs" or "Palestine Arabs" on many occasions, even before the Arabs themselves thought of themselves as Palestinians.

So Dr. Zogby's lies are as follows:

1. A Zionist or multiple Zionists referred to Palestinians as "Red Indians." They didn't.
2. It was not one man, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, who used that phrase, but "some Zionist writers." This is not true.
3. The writing of Jabotinsky can be used to conclude the intentions of all Zionists. It can't, unless you would like to claim that Reverend Phelps represents all Christians or Osama Bin Laden represents all Muslims.
4. That because Jabotinsky allegedly referred to the Palestinians as "Red Indians," therefore Israel's intentions toward the Palestinians must be exactly the same as America's intentions toward the Native Americans. Not only illogical, but not backed up by any evidence.

And those are just the most direct lies, let alone the question of whether Jews returning to their ancestral homeland can honestly be described as "colonial."

The question now is: Why does the Huffington Post give a platform to someone who could care less about the truth?

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