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Monday, April 17, 2017

Marwan Barghouti, "Why We Are on Hunger Strike in Israel’s Prisons": The New York Times Editorial Page Editor's Reply



In response to my prior blog item, "Marwan Barghouti, "Why We Are on Hunger Strike in Israel’s Prisons": The New York Times Again Omits the Truth," James Bennet, editorial page editor of the Times, sent me the following email:

"Dear Mr. Grossman -- As you say, we should have taken note of the specific crimes of which Marwan Barghouti was convicted. We've published an editor's note providing that information (while acknowledging our original omission). It can be found with the piece, here. Thank you for your note. Sincerely, James"

The "here" to which Mr. Bennet refers:

"Editors’ Note: April 17, 2017
This article explained the writer’s prison sentence but neglected to provide sufficient context by stating the offenses of which he was convicted. They were five counts of murder and membership in a terrorist organization. Mr. Barghouti declined to offer a defense at his trial and refused to recognize the Israeli court’s jurisdiction and legitimacy.
"

Marwan Barghouti, "Why We Are on Hunger Strike in Israel’s Prisons": The New York Times Again Omits the Truth



Recently, in a guest New York Times op-ed entitled "Israel’s Next War Is Always ‘Inevitable’," Larry Derfner observed:

"Hezbollah and Syria are well and truly deterred, and if Israel were to simply let them be, they would have to be crazy to strike first."

As I noted in a previous blog entry, at the bottom of the op-ed, the Times described Larry Derfner as "a journalist" and "the author of the forthcoming memoir 'No Country for Jewish Liberals.'" There was no mention by the Times that Derfner was fired by The Jerusalem Post after writing in his blog in August 2011, following a terrorist attack outside of Eilat, "...I think the Palestinians have the right to use terrorism against us..."

Well, it should come as no surprise that The New York Times is back to its old tricks today. In a guest Times op-ed entitled "Why We Are on Hunger Strike in Israel’s Prisons," Marwan Barghouti writes:

"Having spent the last 15 years in an Israeli prison, I have been both a witness to and a victim of Israel’s illegal system of mass arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners. After exhausting all other options, I decided there was no choice but to resist these abuses by going on a hunger strike.

. . . .

Israel has established a dual legal regime, a form of judicial apartheid, that provides virtual impunity for Israelis who commit crimes against Palestinians, while criminalizing Palestinian presence and resistance. "

At the bottom of this op-ed, we are told: "Marwan Barghouti is a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian." Needless to say, we are not told what is reported by The Jewish Virtual Library:

"On May 20, 2004, the Tel Aviv District Court convicted Barghouti of three terror attacks in which five Israelis were murdered, and also of attempted murder, membership in a terror organization and conspiring to commit a crime. He was acquitted of 33 other murders with which he was charged, because of a lack of evidence. On June 6, 2004, Barghouti was sentenced to five consecutive life terms and 40 years.

The court said in its verdict that 'Barghouti was responsible for providing the field units with money and arms….' The judges said that the attacks were sometimes 'based on instructions' from Yasser Arafat.

The court found Barghouti responsible for a June 2001 attack in Maale Adumim, in which a Greek monk was murdered, a January 2002 terror attack on a gas station in Givat Zeev, a March 2002 attack at Tel Aviv's Seafood Market restaurant, in which three people were murdered, and a car bomb attack in Jerusalem."

Barghouti is the innocent victim of Israel's apartheid justice system? Yeah, right.

On the masthead of The New York Times, we are told "Truth. It has no alternative." Perhaps this is true, except as it relates to the unrelenting campaign of the Times to smear Israel. I can only wonder if the Times would provide op-ed space to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who, together with his brother, perpetrated the infamous Boston Marathon Bombing...

Disgusting.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Nicholas Kristof, "President Carter, Am I a Christian?": Coffee in Hell With Gandhi



In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "President Carter, Am I a Christian?," Nicholas Kristof tells us of a recent "email conversation" with Jimmy Carter. (Which of these two Israel bashers do I despise more?) Kristof asked the former president:

"One of my problems with evangelicalism is that it normally argues that one can be saved only through a personal relationship with Jesus, which seems to consign Gandhi to hell. Do you believe that?"

And Carter answered:

"I do not feel qualified to make a judgment. I am inclined to give him (or others) the benefit of any doubt."

Translation, I'm f*cked.

Which brings me to one of my favorite jokes: A man, who recently died, descends to hell and is met there by Satan. Satan says to the man, "We don't pretend that this is summer camp, but we like to provide choices to those who have come to spend eternity with us. As such, you can pick option number one..." Satan points at millions of hapless souls walking over searing hot coals. "Option number two..." Satan points at millions of sinners whose limbs are being torn apart on the rack. "Or option number three..." Satan points to a multitude of wrongdoers standing waste-deep in excrement and drinking coffee.

The new arrival thinks for a moment and declares, "The smell of that cesspit is overwhelming, but I do like to drink coffee."

"So be it," responds Satan. "A cup of coffee, please, for our friend."

An imp comes running over and pours a cup of coffee for the newcomer, who wades into the sea of sewage, whereupon an announcement is made over the intercom system: "Coffee break over, back on your heads."

Coffee? Yes, at least five cups each day. Mahatma, I'm on my way.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thomas Friedman, "Why Is Trump Fighting ISIS in Syria?": A Question for Tom



In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Why Is Trump Fighting ISIS in Syria?," Thomas Friedman writes:

"This is a time for Trump to be Trump — utterly cynical and unpredictable. ISIS right now is the biggest threat to Iran, Hezbollah, Russia and pro-Shiite Iranian militias — because ISIS is a Sunni terrorist group that plays as dirty as Iran and Russia."

Friedman concludes:

"[W]here is Trump’s Twitter feed when we need it? He should be tweeting every day this message: “Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have become the protectors of a Syrian regime that uses poison gas on babies! Babies! Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, Assad — poison gas enablers. Sad.”

Do not let them off the hook! We need to make them own what they’ve become — enablers of a Syria that uses poison gas on children. Believe it or not, they won’t like being labeled that way. Trump needs to use his global Twitter feed strategically. Barack Obama never played this card. Trump needs to slam it down every day. It creates leverage.

Syria is not a knitting circle. Everyone there plays dirty, deviously and without mercy. Where’s that Trump when we need him?"

"Barack Obama never played this card"? In fact, Obama folded even before the cards were dealt.

Iran is dirty, devious and without mercy? You don't say! But here's a quick question for you, Tom. Syria did not eliminate its stockpiles of chemical weapons as we were told by John Kerry, Susan Rice and Obama's other toadies. Do you really think Iran is playing by the rules and abiding by the terms of that other Obama legacy achievement, the unsigned nuclear deal?

Go ahead, Tom, card player that you are, give us the odds!