Friday, November 30, 2012

Linda Milazzo Waves the Bloody Shirt for Gaza

There was a time when Linda Milazzo was a proud part of the anti-Israel blogger stable on the Huffington Post. She shilled for BDS, insulted anyone who stood up to her, claimed "Zionists" are disloyal, declared that America is "owned" by AIPAC, and even picked fights with other Huffington Post bloggers. After such distasteful behavior (not to mention endorsing anti-Semitic tropes), you'd think the Huffington Post would have dropped her for good. But she has returned to wave the bloody shirt for Gaza, after a solid two years of completely ignoring Syria (which also is never mentioned in this article).

Now Milazzo's article in the Media section is incredibly long, so I'll try to summarize where I can. She takes five paragraphs to make the following statement: "If people saw more graphic photos from wars, maybe there would be less of them." The fact that there has been graphic photos from wars ever since the invention of the camera doesn't really help that argument, but fine. If people saw more bloody shirts maybe there would be peace. Now, do you think she applies that equally? Of course not, she hates Israel. So right away she starts spinning:
"Hamas and Israel faced off in an uneven battle. Hamas' long range missiles, most of which were intercepted by Israel's state of the art American-made defense system, flew into Israel as far as the areas around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, reportedly taking the lives of six Israelis and injuring many more. For its part, Israel bombarded Gaza using American-made F-16 fighter-bombers and American-made Apache helicopter gun ships that repeatedly dropped American-made bombs into heavily populated areas. As of now, the eight long and brutal days of bombing, resulted in more than 160 Gazan deaths and reportedly close to 1,000 wounded."
Notice how Israel's armaments get a tag about where they are from,  but we don't hear anything about Iran-made Fajr-5 rockets landing on Tel Aviv. Furthermore  the seven years of Hamas firing rockets onto Israel are not even mentioned, while Israel's self-defense action is described as "eight long and brutal days of bombing." Nothing about how the majority of Gaza casualties were soldiers, and how the majority of Israeli casualties were civilians. The editorializing is bad enough, but at least she didn't call it a "Gaza Massacre," so I guess that's progress.

After this, Milazzo repeats the classic "Israel targeted journalists" talking point, that had been debunked long before this article was published. She claims that Israel attacked their hotels and cars, forgetting that just be sheer coincidence the only journalists killed just happened to also be part of Hamas. Oops! How silly. Thank goodness the Huffington Post refuses to hire bloggers who will tell the truth, though. Let's move on with Milazzo. Her biases begin to seep through when she praises a Russian TV host for yelling at an Israeli, something that she claims "American journalists and the American government lack the courage to do." Now I wonder why that would be, don't you? Unfortunately she doesn't tell us because it's finally time to talk about the Gaza photos. And you can stop wondering, she doesn't talk about how pictures from Syria were passed off as pictures from Gaza by Palestinian propagandists. The Huffington Post will go to its internet grave before admitting such a thing ever happened. 
"A large number of gruesome and disturbing photos made their way to newspapers and online news sites around the world. Many of the photos were of fallen children, which increased the already widespread and loud condemnation of Israel for being overly aggressive and reckless in bombarding areas populated by innocent civilians -- including children."
Actually, this makes me wonder if she knows about the Syrian pictures but doesn't want to come right out and say the whole truth. After all, she isn't saying that pictures of fallen Gazan children were taken and then posted on the Internet. She said a "large number" of photos (from who knows where) "made their way" to the world depicting "fallen children" (who may or may not be from Gaza). This led to condemnation of Israel for what she calls being "reckless" but there is no proof that the photos are even real.

Regardless, but not coming right out and saying that Palestinian propagandists like herself were manipulating the media, she is still not only lying by omission but is complicit in that deception. I can't help but wonder whether she was secretly hoping for more and more pictures of dead Gaza children to come out so that Israel would be criticized more. It would certainly be fitting from what we know about her.

She then moves from this to straight up personal attacks on Israel, leaving any kind of journalist integrity behind:
"Israel, which sees itself as the world's perpetual victim, an increasingly implausible portrayal, went on an all-out media offensive against journalists who photographed the casualties. Understanding how incriminating images of massive explosions, battered bodies, demolished buildings, dead babies and grieving families could be for Israel, Israel deployed every available surrogate to appear on as many international media platforms as possible to parrot the story that Israel had been forced to defend its people against the relentless assault by Hamas."
Hang on. How does journalists interviewing Israeli government officials (something that is done for every conflict) translate to "an all-out media offensive." What "journalists" were attacked for photographing casualties? Do you mean Jon Donnison, who posted a fake one? Is that the kind of attacks you are talking about? Furthermore, Israel was forced to defend its people. We knew this anyway, but it helps that Milazzo doesn't even try to argue that point. She instead just moves on, as if it's obvious to everyone that Israel shooting back after months of rocket fire onto civilians is not in fact self-defense. For someone who claims to be media related, she doesn't watch the news very much does she?

Anyway, after whining that the Palestinians didn't get enough airtime (I guess Ismail Haniyeh was busy hiding in a hospital), she takes on the claim that Hamas used human shields and that's why civilians were getting killed. Check out this awesome failed logic:
"Well-schooled in their responses, the surrogates [Milazzo's term of Israeli government spokespeople] answered with Israel's customary refrain that it wasn't Israel jeopardizing the civilians, but Hamas, who purposely hid in residential neighborhoods to use civilians as human shields -- a claim refuted by the 2009 United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, also known as the Goldstone Report, which stated [that they found no evidence of human shields.]"
Yes, that's right. In Milazzo's world, because a biased UN report published three years didn't find Hamas using human shields then, therefore Hamas must not have be using human shields now. That's not an argument, in fact it's so dumb I'm amazed that Milazzo has the gall to sell it like it is one. Leaving aside that gulf of logic, and that the Goldstone Report was not proof of anything, and therefore can't be said to "refute claims," Hamas have admitted that they use human shields, and the literally hundreds of examples of them firing out of residential neighborhoods. Milazzo is denying the truth, and she can only do it in a clumsy, ugly way, by making personal attacks on people that she doesn't want to listen to.

She begins by personal attacks on the Huffington Post's favorite punching bag, Alan Dershowitz:
"Perhaps the most shrill and offensive of Israel's surrogates is American lawyer and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz...Dershowitz may have invented [a claim] for the purpose of dehumanizing the Palestinian people. It's hideous in its label and its tone..."
What claim is this, that has her so upset? It's what Hamas admitted above, that they seek to get their own people killed so they can look good for the cameras. Rather than actually try to argue with Dershowitz in a serious way, she attacks him, references the meaningless Goldstone Report, and starts quoting from others because (like Ahmed Shihab-Eldin before her) she has "never been to Gaza."

Milazzo references Kristen Ess Schurr, who is part of Codepink, a BDS endorser, and blogger at Al Jazeera. Here's a picture of her:

Shockingly, Ms. Ess Schurr denies that Hamas uses human shields and says that anyone who says that they do is just "dehumanizing Palestinians." Next Milazzo asks Barbara Lubin, Director of the Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA). Ms. Lubin says that she never saw anything to indicate that the Palestinians were trying to get Palestinians killed, and therefore it must not have happened. She also tosses in a personal attack on Dershowitz, just to ensure her place in Milazzo's article. 

After more fake handwringing and a call for "an end to all wars," Milazzo leaves us with two links. One is of Alan Dershowitz at the Washington Times (the same Alan Dershowitz she just spent six paragraphs attacking), the other is to Richard Silverstein. I think that says it all, doesn't it?

But here's one last thing before we go. Milazzo's entire article was about "powerful photographs" that can change the course of nations and peoples. Yet there is only one photograph in the entire article. Want to see it? Here you go, it's from Al Jazeera:


That's it? That's the best you got, Milazzo? A blurry picture of a guy being carried. What happened to the "massive explosions, battered bodies, demolished buildings, dead babies and grieving families" that you claimed Israel was responsible for?

Could it be that there are no such pictures? Or that she can't be sure which ones are real, and which ones are stolen from Syria?

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