Friday, January 25, 2008

Pools panel forecast: home win

Melanie Phillips is on the money as usual - Hamas: 2, World: 0...


Once again, the shrewd strategists of Hamas have played a blinder in the past few days, managing to wrong-foot the governments of both Israel and Egypt and manipulate the ever-obliging western media. First, Hamas bombards southern Israel with rockets and shells -- 220 in four days, the latest volley in the 4000-plus such rocket attacks since Israel disengaged from Gaza in 2005. Then, when Israel closes Gaza’s supply route from Israel in a desperate attempt to stop this relentless onslaught, Hamas shuts off Gaza’s electricity, claims that Israel is thus killing its old and sick and organises a candle-lit demonstration whose poignant images of winsome young faces illuminated in deep shadow are broadcast round the world, packing the emotional punch of an electronic Rembrandt. The resulting outcry by a so-called civilised world community that has resolutely refused even to report the rocket barrages (does anyone imagine that if any of those countries had been hit by 4000 rockets in two and a half years they would not have simply flattened the attackers making war upon them?) forces Israel to beat a hasty retreat and re-open the supply route.

Israel: nil, Hamas: one.

Yet even while Israel is being excoriated for ‘laying brutal siege’ to Gaza and inflicting ‘collective punishment’ upon the Palestinians in their ‘open prison’, the said Palestinians suddenly breach a hole in the wall with Egypt and pour through. What’s this – a ‘Berlin wall’ that the Telegraph and others have suddenly discovered Egypt operates to keep the Palestinians in Gaza and out of Egypt? Just like Israel has done? Isn’t Egypt’s wall therefore also an ‘apartheid wall' -- or is it only the Jews who do apartheid? And what’s this – a supply route into Gaza controlled by Egypt, not Israel? So how can this have been Israel’s ‘brutal siege’? Hasn’t Egypt equally been laying ‘brutal siege’ to the Gazans, also enforcing upon them ‘collective punishment’ and also forcing them to live in an ‘open prison’? Or is it only the Jews who can ever be guilty of such heinous acts? Clearly this is so for Tim Butcher of the Telegraph, for whom breaching the Egyptian wall ended
Israel's swingeing blockade
.And what’s this? Khaled Abu Toameh reports in the Jerusalem Post:
At least 90 Gazans, most of them women, were wounded by Egyptian border guards using tear gas, clubs, water cannons and live ammunition to disperse the demonstrators, who were protesting against the continued closure of the border crossing
That’s protesting against the closure of Egypt’s border crossing. If Israel had wounded 90 Palestinians using tear gas, clubs, water cannons and live ammunition, there would have been hysterical claims of a massacre and genocide. Yet when the Egyptians do it, the British media scarcely even report it.

The astounding distortion of the media’s coverage of the Middle East means that most people are unaware of the extreme lengths to which Egypt routinely goes to keep the Palestinians out. That is in large measure because Egypt’s President Mubarak is fighting to prevent the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood (of which Hamas is an important terrorist branch) from taking over his country. Gaza is thus a nightmare for him. Fighting to contain the Brotherhood within, he now has them on his doorstep in Hamastan. Unable or unwilling to act against them himself, he relies on Israel to do it for him in killing Hamas terrorists, and has been happy to co-operate with Israel in operating a barrier against them.

But now Hamas has breached that barrier. According to a scoop in today’s Times, far from the na├»ve stories that the wall was breached by opportunist gangs of ‘masked men’ this was an operation carefully planned and executed by Hamas. As the Times reports, Hamas had been secretly cutting the border with Egypt for months.
Hamas, which took control of the coastal territory last June after a stand-off with Fatah, has denied that its men set off the explosions that brought down as much as two-thirds of the 12-km wall in the early hours. But a Hamas border guard interviewed by The Times at the border today admitted that the Islamist group was responsible and had been involved for months in slicing through the heavy metal wall using oxy-acetylene cutting torches…
The guard, Lieutenant Abu Usama of the Palestinian National Security, said of the cutting operation: ‘I've seen this happening over the last few months. It happened in the daytime but was covered up so that nobody would see.’ Asked whether he had reported it to the government, he replied: ‘It was the government that was doing this. Who would I report it to?’
Priceless. Egypt: nil; Hamas: two.

If Hamas were ever to come to power in the West Bank – which would almost certainly happen if Israel were to withdraw -- and in Egypt, Islamism would be well on the way to sweeping through the entire region, and the rest of the world would be in even more danger than it is now. The gullible stupidity of the western intelligentsia, in sanitising Hamas and mindlessly reproducing its propaganda lies as facts, is thus helping deliver further victory to the very people who are pledged to destroy the free world. But blinded by their prejudice against the Jewish state, this is the last thing the useful idiots of the west will ever see.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Throwing the switch

Goebbels, Alistair Campbell and Al "ManBearPig" Gore could not have spun this any better. For such a deprived group, Hamas seem remarkably well informed, educated and equipped when it comes to manipulating the media (albeit they are quite willing to comply, perhaps even chipping in with the odd suggested still shot or extra-poignant camera angle).

Firstly, they persuaded the world (including Freedmansmum, for crying out loud) that Israel had really turned off all their power, when in fact 75% of it was still on, and they were supposed to have kept reserve fuel stocks to run their local generator

Secondly, they added to this a treacly layer of fantasy about how Gaza was just an open prison controlled by Israel, even quoting the ubiquitous Geneva Convention to try and give it some legal justification. Just so we're clear, Article 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention explicitly states that "the Occupying Power shall be bound for the duration of the occupation to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory...." If no Israeli military government is exercising its authority or any of "the functions of government" in the Gaza Strip, then there is no occupation.

Having pointed that out, it's quite clear that on the other hand, Hamas is also not exercising its authority or functions of government (as we might define it in even the most remotely-civilized country), except for its attempts to keep to its main policy, on which it was elected: "neither the liberation of the Gaza Strip, nor the liberation of the West Bank or even Jerusalem will suffice for us. Hamas will pursue the armed struggle until the liberation of all our lands. We don't recognize the State of Israel or its right to hold onto one inch of Palestine," (that's the recently-bereaved Mahmoud Al-Zahar, quoted by the charming Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, based right here in Londonistan).

Anyway, the world gobbled all this up (one notable exception here), whilst Mubarak over in Cairo pressured everyone and their uncle to help his "brethren" - the same brethren Egypt have systematically persecuted, ignored, bullied, starved and OCCUPIED for various parts of the last 60 years. At the same time, Egypt stood by and allowed their border with Hamastan to become completely porous, only for all parties to perpetuate the myth of Gaza being an "open-air prison". At best, with tunnels under one of its four walls, and now a huge chunk of wall flattened, it might be described as an open prison, to and from which tens of thousands of people can stroll as they please.

So guess what? Hamas get to have their cake AND eat it, at home and abroad. To their own people, they are the resourceful heroes who defeated the "Israeli siege", whilst to the mugs of the UN, EU and BBC, they continue the lie that Israel is on a genocidal course to starve and deprive Gaza out of existence. And of course, it's just humanitarian supplies coming over the border. No rockets, no guns, no dynamite. After all, Hamas is a welfare organisation, right?

Enough is enough.

They have cried wolf so many times and the world has chosen to believe them. Now it's time for Israel to really throw the switches and lock down the three sides of the border they DO control. That means the wonderful Egyptians and all the Palestinians' "friends" can step up to the plate.

So good luck, world! I'm sure many of you will be on the next flight out (via Egypt please) to grasp the chance to help the plight of your favourite underdog with both hands, and will be justly rewarded.

Here's a list of some of the things you, dear world, are going to have to pick up responsibility for. I hope the Palestinians treat you with the same contempt as they have us for providing these resources:

1. Electricity
About 2/3 is currently supplied directly from the Ashkelon power plant, which they have hit with rockets.

2. Fuel, petrol, gas etc
This is supplied through a contract with the refinery at the port of Ashdod, the one where they tried a "mega-attack" and also where two teenagers killed 10 people in another bombing.

3. Medical treatment
Those who require care have been allowed across the border to hospitals in Beersheva and elsewhere. This is the thanks they get.

4. Food and other basic goods
This arrives in bulk, in the form of "humanitarian aid", like this "sugar" - wouldn't it be a shame if the Hamas boys stirred it into their tea? - or this "fertilizer". If you don't check what goes into the Strip, you are responsible for the consequences, and if you do, it's not only part of the "evil occupation and siege", but this, this, this or this might happen to you.


Welcome to the Dark Side...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Melanie follows suit...

When Gaza was plunged into darkness, the western media knew who was to blame.

The Guardian:
Besieged civilians pay the price for Israel's hardline response to rocket attacks.
The Independent:
Israeli blockade forces Gaza's only power plant to shut.
The Times:
Darkness falls on Gaza as Israel takes revenge for rocket attacks.
One small problem with this version of events. It wasn’t Israel that shut down Gaza’s electricity supply. It was Hamas. What Israel did was close its border crossings to all goods (eased yesterday) in response to intensive Qassam rocket attacks on the western Negev – 220 rockets fired in four days. Hamas promptly plunged Gaza into darkness, knowing that the west would uncritically swallow its claim that Israel was to blame for the distressing accounts that would follow of a humanitarian crisis. Naturally they did -- just as they continue to pretend that Hamas has only the one border with Israel through which it can obtain supplies, and therefore it is Israel which always 'blockades' it; whereas of course Gaza has a second border with Egypt through which it could certainly receive a flow of goods and fuel – especially since it continues to receive through it an uninterrupted flow of weapons with which to attack and kill innocent Israelis. Indeed, the border with Egypt means that the idea that Israel can ever 'cut off' Gaza or that it has turned it into a sealed 'prison' is entirely false.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, normally so slow to defend its own actions, is on this occasion clearly incandescent at the gross unfairness of the coverage and has issued this furious statement:
The supply of electricity to Gaza from the Israel and the Egyptian power grids (124 Megawatts and 17 Megawatts respectively) has continued uninterrupted. These 141 Megawatts of power represents about three quarters of Gaza's electricity needs. While the fuel supply from Israel into Gaza has indeed been reduced, due to the Hamas rocket attacks, the diversion of this fuel from domestic power generators to other uses is wholly a Hamas decision - apparently taken due to media and propaganda considerations. Noteworthy is the fact that while the Gaza population remains in the dark, the fuel generating power to the Hamas rocket manufacturing industry continues to flow unabated. The Hamas claim of humanitarian crisis in Gaza is also greatly exaggerated. There is no shortage of basic foodstuffs, and Gaza patients who need treatment in Israeli hospitals continue to travel into Israel for care.
Far from Israel imposing ‘collective punishment’ or taking ‘revenge’ upon Gaza, as the EU, UNWRA and the media have claimed, it is almost certainly the only country on the planet which continues to provide fuel and other supplies to people who use them to continue to wage war upon it.

But then, people in the west don’t know about those 220 rocket attacks in four days because the western media simply refuse to report them. Instead they only report Israel’s attempts to defend itself which are thus represented as ‘revenge’, ‘punishment’ or simple aggression. Vile. As usual.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fuelling terror

The lights are out in Gaza, and as usual it's all Israel's fault. Apparently we are supposed to give them electricity directly and a whole bunch of fuel as well. Funny thing is, I'm sure Israeli is sitting on pretty much the only slab of the Middle East that doesn't have any oil. Perhaps those generous Saudis and Gulf Arabs, recently offered $20bn of goodies from the Yanks, could dip into their resources?

Now, I'm not sure who to believe, whether it's the Hamastan government who claim the power is off because of Israel's decision to collectively punish 1.4m Palestinians, or the Israeli government who claim they are still delivering 2/3 of the electricity, and by their calculations think there should be plenty of fuel reserves for the Gaza power station. Could it be that this fuel has been siphoned off, for example to power Qassam rockets? And that the electricity was switched off to make the evil Zionazis look even worse?

Surely not! I mean, it's not like this bunch (in their many forms) have cried wolf before, you know, made stuff up, manipulated, distorted or exaggerated events to stir the locals and the impressionable foreigner against Israel... not here, not here, not here, not here and not here.

And I'm quite sure that as they always have, the Palestinians and their humanitarian Western friends have only been importing the stuff that the people of Gaza need to live on. Like this, this, this, this or this (the last one not being necessary since they did this).

Meanwhile, here in London, the usual sickening bunch of lefties are graduating from the School of Anti-Semitism (SOAS) cum laude. At a talk there on Wednesday night, the new Israeli Ambassador was heckled and generally treated with the traditional lack of respect, despite his conciliatory and humble tone (I know, I wouldn't believe a Sabra was capable of it either). The pattern was quite typical - ask a hostile question, pay scant regard to the answer, then pointedly walk out with your kheffiyah riding high.

Now all that is just par for the course. What shocked me was the number of white, non-Arab students who kept making comments to the effect that the Palestinians have no hope other than to be suicide bombers. With the originator of that statement now enjoying a sabbatical with her hubby in downtown (by which I mean occupied of course) Jerusalem, it was incredible to hear these statements not only repeated but cheered.

I take a simple view - openly, proudly and defiantly condoning suicide bombing against a civilian population ANYWHERE is a form of glorification, justification or even incitement of terrorism, and the myriad policemen on duty (covering the ambassador's sizeable ass) should have been taking names.

If so many Palestinians are really so desperate that they see no other way out, they could, with a modicum of legitimacy, go and blow themselves up at IDF checkpoints inside the West Bank. After all, those are supposedly the instruments of their oppression.

But what she, he, him, her, these people or in fact any of these, have done to cause an anguish so great they deserve to die for it, is beyond me.

And if the benighted citizens of this country want to stand up and support this activity, let them go to Gaza and see how they fare. In the dark. Just like everyone seems to be over here.



-----UPDATE-----

The deafening sound of silence as the world fails to condemn South Africa for cutting the power supply to Mozambique and Zimbabwe. And they weren't even rocketing their neighbours! Once again, we are being ORFTORFUed...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Freedmansbrunch

Hi all

Following the unprecedented success of the last brunch (fifty fat freedman's friend fressers filled faces full of food) you are cordially invited to join me at Freedman Villas in Pinner for my birthday brunch, on Sunday 3rd February, from 11am to 2pm. As the house may shortly be flattened and/or I am planning to move out imminently, this is probably the LAST one in its current format, so please come and take advantage!

The usual dishes will be served:

Kedgeree (smoked haddock classic)
Vegeree (by advance request only)
- - - - -
Eggs royale (like eggs benedict but with smoked salmon for the piggie), served on home-made muffins
Creamy smoked salmon and scrambled eggs with fresh dill (yes, finished with residual heat, you old brunch hands)
- - - - -
Full veggie English breakfast
(includes fried eggs, sausages, fried bread, garlicky mushrooms, beans, grilled herby tomatoes)
Fish finger sandwiches
Proper Welsh rarebit with the mustard and beer and so on
- - - - -
Lighter options menu
Swiss-style bircher muesli (now sold in Selfridges)
Fresh bagels and rolls with jams and cheeses - including the Asquith Estates garden-grown, hand-picked, home-made blackberry jam
Fresh fruit platter
- - - - -
All washed down with a selection of fresh juices, tea and coffee

Due to high propensity for over-catering, please RSVP with any preferences (or suggested additions to the menu), and feel free to invite friends, partners, people you think might appreciate the spread.

I am always asked what can people bring, do etc. The rules are quite simple - everyone has to contribute by helping to cook or clean up (special mention to egg-separators and plongeurs from last time), or if you want a free pass to just trough out, please drop me a note in advance and I'll tell you what you can bring to buy your way out of servitude.

Also note that there will be an optional and weather-dependent constitutional stroll around lovely Pinner afterwards.

Travel advice and directions available by request. And yes, those eagle-eyed among you, I did just paste and edit the previous invite.

Cheers

Freedman