Wednesday, November 10, 2010

9-Nov-10: Gaza's jihadists admit to telling very large lies. World yawns.

Screen shot (above) is from the website
There are solid reports the past week that the number of terrorist combatants permanently eliminated by Israeli forces during the anti-jihadist operation known as a Operation Cast Lead, in  December 2008 and January 2009, was orders of magnitude larger than Hamas admitted at the time.

One account points out that Hamas has been saying all along fewer than 50 of its men were killed during the IDF operation from more than 1,300 Gazan casualties and that all the rest were civilians. Israel at the time said the correct figure was 709 dead terrorists and published actual names to substantiate the quality and authority of its assessment. Being Israeli, the IDF report was universally ignored and denied by virtually all parties.

Subsequently the Goldstone Report, commissioned by the highly problematic UN Human Rights Council, slandered and demonized the IDF and Israel's political leadership for what was done during Cast Lead while strikingly averting their gaze from the appalling terrorist actions of Hamas. Dr Richard Landes penned a factual, detailed, substantive, uncompromising and damning critique of the Goldstone clique's performance - see the well-named "Goldstone's Gaza Report: Part One: A Failure of Intelligence". He notes:

"If Hamas fired from their midst, if they tried to draw Israeli fire to kill their own civilians in order to accuse them of war crimes, then the mission is in a double bind: 1) How can they judge Israeli actions without knowing what IDF soldiers were aiming at when they fired their weapons, and 2) how can they avoid becoming the dupes of this strategy of waging war intended to maximize one’s civilian casualties for the public relations victory?"
Were Goldstone and his fellows in fact dupes of the terrorists? The answer is connected to the concept of 'public relations victory' that Dr Landes mentions. For whatever we know about terrorism and terrorists, it's clearly not ever about achieving strategic progress on some military battlefield (there almost never is a military battlefield) but all about PR. About terrorizing ordinary people and the society in which they live their lives. About terrorizing ordinary people even when those ordinary people are literally the sisters and cousins of the jihadists themselves, as is the case in Hamas-controlled Gaza.

It turns out that Hamas did not lose 49 of its fighters to the Israelis in Operation Cast Lead but rather 600 to 700, and the source for the number is Hamas. (Remember Israel said two years ago that the right number was 709.)

From today's Haaretz:

In an interview with the London-based Al-Hayat daily last Monday, however, Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad detailed the heavy price his group had paid during the war... "On the first day of the war, Israel attacked the police command and killed 250 martyrs, from Hamas and other factions. This was in addition to the 200-300 members of the Al-Qassam Brigade [Hamas' military wing] and 150 security personnel... The rest of the fatalities were from among the civilian population."
In plain terms, the Hamas version was wildly and deliberately wrong, and the Israeli account was spot on. The UN report authored by the highly problematic Goldstone swallowed the first, and ignored and contradicted the second.

Richard Landes points out that there is a repeating theme here:
Both in terms of what it permits and what it considers believable, the official culture in the Palestinian territories (and beyond, in the Arab and Muslim world) affirms any vicious narrative about Israel as true. This is an old and long, repeatedly documentable, story and should have raised concerns among the “fact-finders” about the credibility of Palestinian witnesses. In cases where these witnesses described particularly heinous and gratuitous Israeli assaults on Palestinian civilians... these concerns should be paramount: Did Hamas use the family farm to fire rockets at Israel? Were the children killed in an air strike as originally reported, or in cold blood, as later claimed? In other words, were these children victims of Hamas deliberately drawing fire against its own people or victims of Israeli malevolence? These are legitimate questions, and considerable evidence supports the former narrative.
But the considerable evidence was consigned to the garbage. And the new admission by Hamas of the lies they told will have no impact either because the power of the narrative in which Palestinian Arabs are eternal, powerless victims, no matter the degree of their complicity in the situation in which they live, is so compelling in the current realpolitik.

Until we get to a better understanding of who the terrorists (everywhere) are, what they and their co-conspirators in the world of the media and of public life are doing to advance their terrorist agenda, and how important it is to make the effort to identify and reject jihadist propaganda when it confronts us, we are doomed to relive this script again and again. In th war against the terrorists, it is a mistake to think we are winning.

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