Sunday, June 06, 2010

6-Jun-10: So while the world is obsessed with flotillas, who's REALLY firing missiles into Israel

On the BBC in the early hours of this morning, we heard an interview with Dr Ahmed Yousef speaking from Gaza.

The BBC's reporter asked the authoritative-sounding Dr. Yousef  (described in various places on the web as "Deputy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs", "the Hamas government's deputy foreign minister", and "a senior adviser to Gaza's Prime Minister Ismail Haniya") why Hamas would choose now, of all times, with so much concern about humanitarian flotillas and the human rights of the desperate, starving hordes of Gaza, to fire still more Qassam rockets into Israel.

The smooth-talking Hamas official did not hesitate for a second; this is not Hamas at all, he asserted. It's the work of collaborators in the service of Israel, firing into Israel without causing any REAL damage just so as to blacken the reputation of Hamas.

Nonplussed, the BBC's man said "C'mon, it's clearly the work of Islamic Jihad or one of your resistance groups." No, said the cool Dr Yousef, there is no indication at all that Islamic Jihad is connected to the rocket firings. Why would you ever think such a thing? [These are not direct quotes, but reproduced from our memory of the broadcast.]

Memo to Dr Yousef: If you get a free moment between media interviews, give a call to the Associated Press office in Gaza City. They published a claim this past week made by the Gazan terrorists of Islamic Jihad, seeking credit for this week's Qassam rocket attacks on Israel.

If we can locate a voice recording of the BBC interview, we will post it here.

In 2007, Yousef scored a triple-header, with op-eds published in the New York Times, Washington Post and International Herald Tribune in the same week. His thesis then, not so different from now, was that the respectable, sober and serious Hamas regime was abiding by a ceasefire agreement and was not allowing Qassam missiles to be fired into Israel from Gaza. At the time,  Dr. Alex Safian from the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), pointing out that missiles were indeed being fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza, wrote: "It's nonsensical for the Washington Post and the New York Times to open up their pages to what is just pure propaganda."

Some highlights from Dr Yousef's remarkable background: For years, he was director of the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), an Islamic think tank based in Fairfax County, Virginia in the United States. One source says the UASR promotes the ideology of the Palestinian-based terrorist organization Hamas, and frequently hosts terrorist-related radicals at its events. Yousef, who attributes America’s anti-terror policy to a wide-ranging Zionist conspiracy, succeeded Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook [indicted for terrorism when he lived in the US and who now serves Hamas from Gaza] in the UASR position. In December 2004, speaking on the Hezbollah television station Al-Manar, he said the Zionists are behind the events of 9/11. The American portion of his career ended in 2005 when, according to this report, he left the United States and moved to Gaza, becoming close advisor to Hamas' Haniyeh. It has been reported that his departure was related to the possibility of being prosecuted in the Fawaz Damra terrorism trial.

This is not meant to be a light-hearted dig at either the BBC or Hamas. The issue is deadly serious. Telling bald-faced lies to journalists is a tactic that has enabled the jihadists and their useful-idiot friends to create confusion in the minds of ordinary citizens. That their outrageous distortions are treated by analysts, journalists, editors and public figures with entirely undue respect is part of the price we in Western societies pay for subscribing to democratic principles. ["He/she would never tell lies in public like that..."]

It's also a reflection of the fact that most people don't know enough about complicated issues like the rise of jihadism, and the ongoing war of the Arabs against Israel to be able to distinguish fact from shallow hatred-based self-serving fantasy.

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