Posts Tagged ‘Hamas’

Ground Zero mosque imam calls Hamas “a terrorist organization”–again

December 26, 2010

The imam behind Cordoba House at Park51, the so-called Ground Zero mosque, has been roundly pilloried by the right for refusing to call Hamas a terrorist organization. It’s a bum rap, but see for yourself in this interview with Feisal Abdul Rauf in the December 27 issue of Newsweek.

The mosque, the imam, 9/11, and six degrees of separation

July 22, 2010

I feel for Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam who has devoted his life to building bridges between Islam and the West, and is now leading the effort to build a mosque in New York 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero. When I was nine years old I learned to defend myself against bullies who beat me up because I had killed Christ. I didn’t know what the accusation meant, but I knew I was being picked on because I was Jewish, and I’d better learn to fight off these guys.

Most of the opposition to the mosque is because Imam Rauf killed 3000 Americans on 9/11. Or if he didn’t personally do it, his people (“they”) did it. Just as everybody is connected within six degrees of separation to Kevin Bacon, all Muslims are connected within six degrees to some terrorist. Or to someone who gave money to a charity that gave money to terrorists. Or who has a cousin who once said that Hamas had a point.

In the 1950s Senator Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee tarred innocents with guilt by association. Today’s haters don’t even need association to make their accusations, they just need something within six degrees of separation.

Thursday’s New York Times has a good analysis by Robert Wright of the accusations against Imam Rauf, (more…)

What’s the true story of the blockade-running Mavi Marmara and the Israel Defense Force: What happened off Gaza? Who to believe?

June 13, 2010

There are two dramatically different stories of the botched May 31 incident that cost at least ten lives and poisoned relations between Israel and Turkey, and perhaps damaged the relations of both with the United States.

In one version, Israeli forces attacked a peaceful group that was trying to deliver humanitarian relief to the besieged people of Gaza; in the other, violent extremists, in league with Hamas, surrounded themselves with naïve civilians while attacking Israeli forces exercising a legal search of a ship attempting to run a legal blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza.

We won’t know the true story for a long time. The best that could happen would be an objective and unbiased inquiry, but that won’t happen. As George Orwell said, “History is written by the winners.” The Israelis won, and they released video showing Israeli commandos sliding down ropes from helicopters and being attacked with what appear to be metal pipes.

The people on the Mavi Marmara took videos, too. All have been confiscated by the Israeli forces, all except one, snuck past the Israelis by San Francisco-based activist Lara Lee, available here. It records sixty minutes, starting about 30 minutes before the commandos boarded the ship. The dialog is mostly in Turkish, perhaps five percent in English. A brief and admittedly amateur analysis of the video is posted on the website of the United States Naval Institute, here.

Like any government that covers up evidence, Israel is damaging its credibility. Israel’s friends and impartial observers will believe Israel has much to hide, else why would they be hiding so much.

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Israel’s policy on Palestinians and their supporters: An eye for a tooth

June 3, 2010

The Bible says “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand.” (Exodus, 21:23) The Israeli government has long since amended this commandment. Israel’s policy appears to be eye for tooth.

Israel’s latest military action was to interdict an attempt to run an Israeli blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza. The blockade-running flotilla sailed from Turkey with humanitarian supplies. It was stopped by Israel Defense Forces, who subdued the crews, killing ten of them, seized the boats and supplies, and brought the 700 activists, mostly Turkish, to Israel. The Israeli government said it would deport almost all of them within the next two days, but about 50 would be held for investigation into their part in the violence at sea.

It was another great victory for the once vaunted Israel Defense Forces over unarmed civilians. Here’s the recent scorecard of deaths:

· 2010 Gaza blockade incident: Israelis 0, Turks (and a few others) 10

· 2008-9 Gaza invasion: Israelis 13, Palestinians 1300

· 2006 Lebanon invasion: Israelis 162, Lebanese 1035

Israel asserts the right of self defense, and clearly some of the people they killed were fighting against Israel, including against the civilian population. But most opinion inside Israel is that the vast majority of those killed by the IDF have been unarmed non-combatants.

Israel’s relentless war on Palestinians and those who support them (more…)


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