Sunday, June 06, 2010

It's all in the nuance at SLATE

(This was written by Jameel earlier this week, and is on a scheduled release, with some later editing on the side by the Muqata team).

A leftist blogger sent the following Slate article to me this evening with the byline "One of the best takes on the blockade disaster so far..." and "marvelous."

That's No Way To Enforce a Blockade
How Israel botched what should have been a straightforward military operation.
By Fred Kaplan (Fred Kaplan is Slate's "War Stories" columnist.)


Liberal, leftie, Kaplan takes his best potshots at clubbing Israel and there are disturbing, glaring issues in his analysis. I've edited the original post down to just concentrate on one topic, because the original of Fisk of everything he wrote just became too long.


So let's just discuss his blatant lies about Israel's embargo on Gaza.
"One way to begin extracting itself from this morass might be to reconsider the Gaza blockade. The logic of the policy is unassailable: The ruling party, Hamas, doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist and occasionally hurls mortar shells at Israeli territory. Israel is reasonable to make sure that goods coming in to Gaza don't include weapons.

However, the execution of the policy has been unreasonably draconian. Israeli officials take so long to inspect the cargo that medicines often expire by the time they reach Palestinian patients. Construction materials, such as pipes and heavy metals, are confiscated on the grounds that they could be used to make weapons, and so the Gaza authorities are unable to rebuild destroyed neighborhoods."
Unreasonably draconian? Protecting Israel's population from thousands of rockets which have rained down from Gaza merits kid gloves? Throughout the entire article, Kaplan refuses to even mention kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit even once, which is also partially the reason for the embargo.

Yet this lie is simply too bitter a pill to swallow: Israeli officials take so long to inspect the cargo that medicines often expire by the time they reach Palestinian patients.

Unlike Kaplan, who primarily researched his article from Haaretz and what I assume are other Hamas-sympathizers, I did some real investigative reporting, and spoke to a senior official in COGAT the other evening.

JAMEEL: Had the date of the aid medication brought by the flotilla, expired?

COGAT: So far, we have located two types of medication. An unlabeled cough syrup of some sort, which expired this past April, and children's paracetamol (liquid acetaminophen) which expires this coming July.

JAMEEL: Slate magazine wrote a highly critical article against Israel's handling of this flotilla and the Gaza embargo in general. They wrote specifically that:

"However, the execution of the policy [of the embargo] has been unreasonably draconian. Israeli officials take so long to inspect the cargo that medicines often expire by the time they reach Palestinian patients."

How long does it take COGAT to inspect and transfer medicines; what is the average turnaround time?

COGAT: The average turn around time is 2 weeks. We need to ensure the medicine meets international health standards. Often, the medicines arrive, having already expired, or they arrive in packaging in a foreign language that no one here in the region knows, let alone the people in Gaza.

Slate Magazine should speak with the UN health organizations that were responsible for distributing the medical aid from the "Free Gaza" organization after the Cast Lead operation.

The vast majority of the medicine received was useless.

Kaplan defames Israel with his lies about transferring medical aid to Gaza. He ends his rant as follows:

The situation has not only spawned a humanitarian crisis, it has also played into the hands of militants who seek to exploit the genuine concern of international aid groups for their own advantage—and to further portray Israeli policy as savage while evading their own responsibility for the continued hostilities.

At the very least, Israel's leaders need to rethink what (to some extent, legitimate) goals the blockade serves—and how those goals might be achieved without incurring such dreadful costs.
Today, over 100 humanitarian aid trucks enter Gaza on a daily basis. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Rethink "to some extent, legitimate, goals the blockade serves"?

Israel left Gaza, forcibly uprooted thousands of its citizens from Gaza, withdrew it's military, abandoned millions of dollars worth of greenhouses and agriculture, and in return, Gaza continues to attack Israel through border attacks, terrorist incursions, thousands of rockets on Israel's civilians, and the kidnapping of Israel's soldiers.

And now we shouldn't even blockade them?

Another question: This Slate article bashing Israel appeared at the very height of a frenzied, vicious, global media/diplomatic attack upon the Jewish state. Even if the charges made in the Slate article were true (rather than being a pack of malicious lies, which they clearly are), how could a Jewish blogger who purports to care about Israel possibly describe such an article as "marvelous"?!

I guess it's all in the nuance.



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6 comments:

NormanF said...

Leftist Jews have made their bed and have to sleep in it. They have ensured the Left won't be returning to power in Israel in the foreseeable future.

Anonymous said...

A leftist blogger sent the following Slate article to me this evening with the byline "One of the best takes on the blockade disaster so far..." and "marvelous."

Who is this "Jewish" blogger, exactly? It's difficult to believe that someone like that really cares about Israel at all. Is it conceivable that someone who does care, could possibly think it's "marvelous" that people are kicking his brothers when they're down?

Fred said...

Anonymous: Who is this "Jewish" blogger, exactly? It's difficult to believe that someone like that really cares about Israel at all. Is it conceivable that someone who does care, could possibly think it's "marvelous" that people are kicking his brothers when they're down?

Does a Bear sh*t in the woods?

Yonatan said...

Yes

Kovi said...

I'm surprised you didn't point out some of the more obvious lies and assumptions in the article, such as him asking why the Israelis didnt board with non-lethal weaponry. Is he aware they dropped down the rope with paintball guns? And talking about how elite israeli soldiers are "presumably trained to deal with organized military foes armed with grenades, machine guns, and worse." - well yes, they are. they shoot them. The fact that the enemy mercenaries are posing as civilians makes them much more dangerous because you don't realize they're dangerous until they shoot first.
"no doubt frightening." yes, being shot in the gut is a frightening experience. these soldiers didn't shoot because they were "frightened." their lives were in jeopardy.

JoeSettler said...

That was all in the much, much longer version that was edited down to this.

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