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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another Lebanese politician against Palestinian Arab rights

Lebanese politicians continue to speak out against giving Palestinian Arabs equal rights - and some want them to have fewer rights than others.
Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel criticized the way the issue of granting Palestinian refugees in Lebanon their rights was presented in parliament, saying that it was aimed at dividing people between those who are for and others who are against this issue.

He made his statements after holding talks with the head of UNRWA in Lebanon Salvatore Lombardo on improving the situation of Palestinians in Lebanon.

Furthermore, Gemayel stated: "Granting the Palestinians the right of ownership in Lebanon is a step closer towards naturalization."

"A number of legal matters need to be studied calmly in order to improve the Palestinians' humanitarian situation and maintain the Lebanese state's higher interests in a way that would prevent their permanent residence in Lebanon," he stressed.

He added that Lebanon does not have the funds to support presenting the Palestinians with their rights, saying that this is the international community's duty.
Arabs are all behind their Palestinian brethren - as long as all they have to do is talk. Once they are asked to actually do something, then the excuses start to fly.

Golda Meir, the UN, and "Palestinians"

One of the most quoted, supposedly racist sayings by an Israeli leader is Golda Meir's supposed 1969 statement that "There is no such thing as a Palestinian people." You can find it cited over 18,000 times in Google.

The quote is false.

Here is what Meir said, referring to when the bulk of Zionists returned to their land in the first half of the 20th century, quoted in the June 15, 1969 Sunday Times:

There were no such thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state? It was either southern Syria before the First World War, and then it was a Palestine including Jordan. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.
Notice that she stated it in past tense, and given the timeframe that she was referring to, her statement is indisputable. (The correct statement is quoted much less frequently on the Internet.)

There is another interesting thing about the timing of her statement.

The first time that Palestinian Arabs were recognized as a "people" by the UN was not in the 1940s or 50s. It was in December, 1969, six months after Meir spoke on the topic. In GA Resolution 2628, it refers to the "people of Palestine" - the first time that this term was used by the UN to refer exclusively to Palestinian Arabs.

And the first time that the term "Palestinians" was used by the UN in reference to Palestinian Arabs was a year later, in A/RES/2628 in November, 1970.


Isn't it interesting that for over twenty years after the Palestinian Arab exodus, the UN never referred to them as a people? Only after the Six Day War, when the Arab world changed its tactics from bragging about "throwing the Jews into the sea" and into "Jews as tyrants, Arabs as victims" did the UN pick up on this new construct of recognizing a people and a state whose existence were denied even by Arabs only a few years beforehand.

Not to mention afterwards, as this (Hebrew) video shows, as Palestinian Christian politician Azmi Bishara says explicitly:


Or the famous quote from the PLO's Zuheir Mohsen denying the existence of a Palestinian people in 1977.




(I did not research the UN resolutions exhaustively; I came upon this in a footnote in this paper. H/t to Biodegradable and Jed for post-1970 quotes.)

Iran boycotting Jewish companies?

From YNet:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad signed Wednesday a new amendment to a law in the Islamic Republic that forbids the airing of advertisements for "Zionist companies." The blacklist of prohibited companies is comprised mainly of international companies, mainly American, owned by Jews or that operate branches in Israel.

Among those on the list are Coca Cola, Nestle, Intel, and IBM.

The amendment obligates a number of government ministries to establish a committee to identify and locate products from "Zionist" companies being sold in Iran. In addition, this committee will be charged with finding the names of leading figures in the blacklisted companies so that they may be boycotted as well.
I cannot find any verification of the "Jewish-owned" part of this; Iran's PressTV merely says that the boycott was of Israeli companies:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the implementation of a bill demanding major efforts to enforce a total boycott on goods with Israeli origin.

According to the website of the Iranian government, President Ahmadinejad ordered the implementation of the pro-Palestinian bill, which was ratified by the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) earlier in June.

Iranian lawmakers agreed to task a committee with identifying Israeli companies and institutions to step up efforts for imposing a ban on Israeli products.


The bill also demands the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting not to air television and radio advertisement for Israeli products.
Ahmadinejad's website does not have any such story, nor does the official Iranian government website.

It will be interesting to see the list of boycotted "Zionist" companies.

Today's deceptive Reuters photo caption

Reuters shows us an outpouring of grief at the funeral of a PFLP militant:

Palestinians carry the body of militant Bassam Badwan during his funeral in Gaza City June 29, 2010. An Israeli air strike on the Gaza Strip on Monday killed at least one Palestinian militant, Badwan, and wounded two other people, medical workers said. An Israeli army spokeswoman said a military aircraft had "targeted a Palestinian who fired a rocket-propelled grenade at soldiers" that struck inside Israel.

Look at all those outstretched hands, all from people trying to pay their last respects and yearning to be able to touch the militant hero before he is buried!

But Getty Images shows a similar picture, with a showing a wider angle and with a decidedly different caption:
Press photographers crowd around Palestinian mourners carrying the body of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) militant Bassam Badwun duirng his funeral in Gaza City on June 29, 2010 after being shot dead by Israeli forces.

Hmmm...there seem to be more photographers there than mourners, and some of those outstretched hands were from journalists!

Reuters was not lying in this case, but it is always interesting to see what photos look like when they aren't cropped in order to make the story just a little bit better.

UPDATE: AP was as bad as Reuters (h/t Media Backspin)


Badwan_AP 
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Bassam Badwan, a militant from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), out of his family house during his funeral in Gaza City, Tuesday, June 29, 2010. Badwan was killed Monday in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. (AP/Khalil Hamra)

Beach open thread

On Sunday, Daughter of Ziyon and I played hooky from social obligations and headed to the beach:
Nothing clears your head quite like the ocean. I need to do this more often.

Anyway, besides spending time on creating an EoZ forum which may or may not become a permanent feature, here is some other meta-blog news:

The month of June shattered my previous record for monthly page views, with some 118,000 hits this month, beating my old record (of January 2009) by 35,000 and doubling my average volume from the past few months. It seems that a number of people who found this blog during the flotilla incident have stuck around, so thanks!

My quarterly numbers were also record breaking (for me, at least.)

In other EoZ news, posts on this blog have been nominated twice for the weekly Watcher of Weasels non-council awards:

The first, nominated by Snapped Shot, was for my post on Reuters' photo caption lies.

The other, nominated by the Watcher himself, was for Adam Levick's guest post "Mondoweiss: Hate as 'Progressive' Jewish Politics."

If anyone else has written a piece that they believe needs to get more attention, I would happily look at it for posting here. 

I also want to thank those who have been sending me links and ideas; I appreciate them all even if I don't always reply back. 

One last topic: as you can imagine, this is taking up a great deal of my time, far more than I comfortably have. If something is posted here that you think should be publicized more, or that should be brought to someone's attention, I would appreciate if you do that for me and let me know. This includes posting links in other forums or comment sections of newspapers, emailing to appropriate organizations or journalists, and placing them on bookmark sites like Yahoo Buzz, Reddit, Delicious or Newsvine.

Thanks again!

Turkey loses $400m from Israeli tourist cancellations

From Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey):
The Turkish tourism industry has been seriously affected by the recent tension between former allies Turkey and Israel. The Turkish economy has lost at least $400 million due to reservation cancellations from Israeli tourists, according to tourism agencies.

Some 50,000 Israelis have cancelled their reservations indefinitely. Furthermore, the Israel Travel Agents Association has announced that it cancelled 100,000 reservations out of a total of 150,000.

Levantin Tour, a tourism company has posted a 3.5 million Turkish Liras loss due to cancelled reservations, according to the owner of the company, Levent Güner. Levantin Tour has been bringing tourists from Israel to Turkey for the past 15 years.

“Our company’s main business channel has been cut,” Güner said. “Who will retrieve my 3.5 million-lira loss?”

Levantin Tour had aimed to bring 17,000 tourists from Israel to Turkey this year, said Güner, adding that until now the company was unfortunately only able to bring 200 tourists. The company has paid $1.1 million to hotels for cancelled reservations.

Turkey has suffered a minimum $400 million loss because of this situation, Güner said. “An Israeli tourist spends $650 on average. The number of tourists spending that much money is very low. Some tourism agencies have gone bankrupt due to this situation,” he said.
All together now: Awwwww.

(h/t Daily Alert)

Try out the EoZ message board

Because someone asked, and I aim to please, I just added a message board.

I did not spend much time looking for one; I am using free software from Aimoo. It looks like it has the features that people want in message boards. It seems customizable, although I cannot figure out how to turn off its sound, which might get very irritating after a while.

You would have to sign up for it. It also supports messaging between members, including private messages. It also supports a chat room although that is not up yet (supposedly tomorrow.) I don't know if there are enough people here to keep this interesting; we will see.

I really don't want to spend much time moderating it, but it might be a useful place for people to have side discussions or to place reference materials.

If it looks like it is being abused, or of it is more effort to maintain than it is worth, I'll simply delete it. So don't get too attached to it yet!

You can see a link to it on my left sidebar under "Pages."

Check it out.

Kfar Hashiloach ("Silwan"), 1891 and 1932

Wikipedia, in the entry on Silwan, mentions:


In 1882, a group of Jews arrived from Yemen. Initially, they lived in tents. Later, when the rainy season began, they moved into the ancient burial caves on the east side of the valley.[12] In 1884, the Yemenites moved into new stone houses on the eastern slope of the Kidron, north of the Arab village, built for them by a charity called Ezrat Niddahim. This settlement was called Kfar Hashiloach or the Yemenite Village. Construction costs were kept low by using the Shiloach as a water source instead of digging cisterns. An 1891 photo shows the homes on an otherwise vacant stretch of hillside.[13] An early 20th century travel guide writes: In the “village of Silwan , east of Kidron … some of the fellah dwellings [are] old sepulchers hewn in the rocks. During late years a great extension of the village southward has sprung up, owing to the settlement here of a colony of poor Jews from Yemen, etc. many of whom have built homes on the steep hillside just above and east of Bir Eyyub,”[14]
The Yemenite Jews fled for their lives from Silwan during the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine and non-Jewish Arabs moved into the vacated buildings. After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Silwan was annexed by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.[15]

Thanks to efforts by Robert Avrech of Seraphic Secret, here is a copy of the photograph of the Yemenite village of Kfar HaShiloach taken in 1891 (click to enlarge):

Its caption:
YNet, in a historic photo essay earlier this year, fills in some blanks and shows us a photo of the exact same area in 1932:
In 1882, Jews emigrated from Yemen to Jerusalem. As they failed to find room in the city within the walls, they resided in caves on the Mount of Olives slopes. The city's Jewish dignitaries rushed to help the Yemenite families, and Yisrael Dov Frumkin, owner of the Havatzelet newspaper, established the "Ezrat Nidachim" association which raised funds for the families.
South of the village of Silwan were non-constructed areas owned by Boaz the Babylonian, who donated them in order to build houses for the Yemenite Jews (marked with yellow arrows). The houses were named Kfar Hashiloach. Additional Jewish families gathered in the area, which housed up to 200 families.
In the 1921, Arabs attacked the neighborhood's residents, killed some of them and torched houses. They "completed" their work in the 1929 riots. The British Mandate authorities, which did not want any conflicts, ordered the residents of Kfar Hashiloach to evacuate themselves from the area.
Notice how much the neighborhood grew between 1891 and 1929.

So Jews were in this specific area for the 47 years from 1882 to 1929. They were expelled for the 38 years between 1929 and 1967. Israel has controlled the area now for 43 years. At least this part of what is now considered Silwan is being claimed by Arabs as their own, exclusive, area, and most of the world seems to agree.

Why does the world consider the anomalous 19 year period of when Jordan made the eastern part of Jerusalem Judenrein, or the scandalous time period when even relatively new immigrant Jews were forced out of their homes in the 1920s and 1930s, to be the "status quo?"

Aid to Gaza increases - and so do rocket attacks

As night follows day, the number of rocket and mortar attacks are increasing as Israel continues to loosen restrictions on Gaza.

Today, Israel plans to send more than double the amount of aid to Gaza that it has been sending - some 350 trucks. The types of items being sent in has also increased dramatically - here are the figures from last Thursday (via email):


Merchandise
Truckloads
Weight (tons)
Private Sector
Food
Rice
1
40
Candies
6
112
Produce (Fruits and Vegetables)
13
260
Meat, Chicken and Fish Products
4
58
Cakes
4
41
Dairy Products
5
66
Mixed\ Additional Food Products
16
339
Candies and Cakes
1
12
Sugar
3
103
Education items
Equipment For Schools
15
304
Toys and Equipment for School
1
7
Inputs to Agriculture
Fishing weirs
2
26
Wood Profiles for Hothouses
5
124
Parasols
1
15
Other
Aluminum
1
13
Bags
1
10
House wear
1
20
Kitchen wear
9
115
Wood Profiles
4
127
Medicine and Medical Equipment
3
21
Input to Agriculture
4
74
Glass
1
30
Toys
2
15
Hygiene Products
3
25
Clothing and Footwear
5
51
International Organizations
WFP
Dairy Products
1
14
UNRWA
Juice
2
50
Cooking Oil
13
230
ICRC
Hygiene Products
1
5
Overall Total
128
2,307

At the exact same time, the number of rocket and mortar attacks has increased just as dramatically:

6/21 Two attacks, at least 5 mortars
6/24 12 mortars (3 fell short) and one Qassam rocket
6/28 - 1 mortar
6/29 - Two mortars claimed
6/30 - Qassam, causing damage

Think there is a causal relationship?