The social Matrix

The social Matrix

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shocking NEWS! According to Gingrich Palestinians are to blame for the conflict

There are numerous sources that clearly show Mr. Gingrich is a bit confused when it comes to the Palestinian-Israel conflict. Gingrich received heat a few weeks ago when he said that Palestinians are an invented people, so I guess then that the Kurds, and Roma are invented people? What makes someone an “invented people?” Is it not Ironic that an American, an identity that didn’t come into existence until three hundred years ago, is questioning the historical origins of another group of people?

This is not my major contention with Gingrich though. His assessment of the Israel-Palestine is demonstrably one sided. So he thinks it is courageous speaking out against radical Islam, in front of a group of Jewish Republicans?

During his speech Gingrich attacked U.S. officials for their criticism of Israel and sympathy toward Palestinians. Rather than write one long response I decided to categorize my responses based on specific quotes Gingrich made during his speech to Jewish Republicans.

We have a state department incapable of articulating the cause of freedom

I take it Gingrich is not aware of the impact the Israeli occupation has had in the Palestinian territories. Gingrich, like most GOP candidates, prides himself as a capitalist. For GOP candidate’s economic freedom is just as important as political freedom.

However, none of the candidates seam to realize how the separation wall in the West Bank has greatly curtailed economic activity. More than 75 percent of the wall is located in the West Bank rather than the border. Specifically, the wall limits employment opportunities, agricultural output, and access to hospitals, schools and water.

Palestinians within the Israeli side must have a permit to live in their house. Can you imagine if we forced citizens in San Antonio and deeper into Mexico to have a permit to live in their homes?

Perhaps the absurdity of such a policy culminated in August when Israel place restrictions on visiting Jerusalem based on age. Checkpoints were setup to ensure that male Palestinians under the age of 50 and women under the age of 45 where not permitted in the city.

where was this proponent of “freedom” at in 1998 when B’Tselem, an Israel Human Rights organization reported that Israel was violating 29 of the 30 Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its treatment of Palestinians under Israeli occupation?

O yea Gingrich was busy calling then-secretary of State Madeline Albright “an agent of the Palestinians” while trying to pass legislation in support of moving the capital of Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Hey, at least his position has been consisted on that issue over the years
Its amazing to me how little people study history
The Grinrichian interpretation of history would suggest that the current geography from Egypt to Jordan has always been populated by Jews and that those Jewish settlers were only defending themselves against vicious Palestinians in the late 40s. Yes Jews have inhabited the region for centuries but so have the Palestinians.

The Israeli Ilan Pappe explain in great detail, Israeli’s military incursions in five costal areas including a massacre in the North. During this time, five hundred Palestinian villages and eleven urban neighborhoods were destroyed.

The violence perpetrated by Israel was so intense that the U.S. ambassador to Israel criticized the Jewish state for its policy against Palestinians and threatened it with sanctions.

For those like Gingrich and the rest of the GOP candidates who may be skeptical of the atrocities that Palestinians incurred during the birth of Israel I suggest they research the mission of the Haganah, The hebrazation of Arabic villages, such as Lubya and Safuria, and the history of the village of Tantura.

Of course, Former New York Mayor and 9-11-patriot Giuliani has to be right when he suggest that the Palestinian refugees are the only group to use terrorism as a means to obtain a state. There is of course no precedence for such behavior. Then I guess TIME is wrong in its analysis of the history of the birth of Israel when it accuses groups such as Lehi and Irgun of terrorism. I mean, does TIME have any proof that Irgun agents were responsible for the terrorist attack on King David Hotel which killed 91 people?
How about saying to Hamas give up violence to come to the table saying to the PLO recognize Israel and come to the table


OK OK so Hamas is not the friendliest neighbors in the world. Let me be clear. Using violence to settle disputes that indiscriminately kills innocent civilians is always wrong. Yes Hamas and other armed groups should be heavily criticized for launching rockets into Israel in addition to the numerous suicide bombings that took place in the aftermath of the second intifada, but the truth is more nuanced than most the GOP candidates are willing to admit.

Hamas has not always been viewed as an enemy of Israel. It might surprise some people to learn that Israel recognized Hamas as a force that could be used against the PLO from 1967-1984.

Some experts say that Israel was tacitly responsible for the Muslim Brotherhood’s growing popularity in the occupied territories. The Israeli government let the Islamic Association, which is the parent organization for Hamas, setup up space for mosque and charities in the occupied territories.

Furthermore it should be noted that Hamas has adjusted its stance toward Israel by framing peace as a temporary suspension of jihad.

This is especially true in 2008, when Israel refused to talk with Hamas and unilaterally ended the ceasefire between them. Hamas even went as far as to arrest armed groups launching attacks against Israel, as reported in Xinhua news.

In June 2009 Hamas has stated that it will focus on “cultural resistance” as a form of protest rather than violence.

Also, its worth mentioning, Hamas did not get elected because of its anti-Israel policies but because of its organizational effectiveness. At the time Hamas emerged as a legitimate political contender in a social environment where Palestinians felt dismayed at the collapse of social institutions, economic problems, and political corruption that was wide-spread.

Hamas emerged at a time when the Palestinian infrastructure was crumbling and the housing market was stagnant.

Glen E. Robison makes it abundantly clear that many countries throughout the Middle East are autocratic and as a result of this restrictive political landscape the citizenry have very few outlets to entertain contrary political opinions. The mosque is one institution were people can voice their political opinions freely.

In 1997, Hamas established the Scientific Medical Association which operated dental facilities, blood banks, and medical clinics. Hamas provides both educational and medical support for Palestinians. In particular, 95 percent of Hamas’s $70 million budget is directly invested in these social programs.

Even President Obama’s predecessor believed that Hamas won because of its organizational efficacy and not because of its animosity toward Israel.

But of course this all gets overlooked because Republican candidates are searching desperately to find a discrepancy between Obama’s foreign policy and Israel’s interest in the region. I guess they have one fact that can support this claim—Bush has vetoed more U.N. Resolutions critical of Israel than his successor:

U.S. Veto Record on Israel Criticism
The Ambassador to Belgium should be fired for his remarks?

Freshly minted conservative candidate Mitt Romney shared similar thoughts;

“President Obama must fire his ambassador to Belgium for rationalizing and downplaying anti-Semitism and linking it to Israeli policy toward the Palestinians,”

So what exactly did the JEWISH Ambassador to Belgium say that was SOOOOO Controversial?

“Throughout the Muslim communities that I visit, and indeed throughout Europe, there is significant anger and resentment and, yes, perhaps sometimes hatred and indeed sometimes an all-too-growing intimidation and violence directed at Jews generally as a result of the continuing tensions between Israel and the Palestinian territories and other Arab neighbors in the Middle East,”

To paraphrase, animosity towards Jews is growing because of Israeli’s policy toward Palestinians. Guttman’s statements were nothing more than observations not an anti-Semitic diatribe foaming at the mouth.

Its worth noting that Arabs are Semitic people as well, I find it personally amusing when someone calls Arabs anti-Semites.

SO what are some of the root causes of this hatred. Some of admittingly, stems from pure hatred but not all. Consider the following:

1. Since 1967 over 12,000 homes have been demolished for Israel Settlers
2. Palestinians are often denied adequate legal protection and counsel when convicted under the military court system. Out of 9,542 cases there are 25 acquittals. In addition The rate of conviction is nearly 99 percent. Stone throwing Children are often treated as adults.
3. the Siege on Gaza has hurt the Gaza economy tremendously. According to Political Economist and scholar, Sara Roy, 80 percent of Gaza’s agricultural was destroyed. Moreover 96 percent of Palestinians from Gaza depend on Humanitarian aid. Many of the trucks that are delivering food as a part of the Humanitarian effort are denied entry by the security checkpoints. This problem has increased food scarcity for many Palestinians. Aapproximately 900,000 Palestinians out of 1.5 million are malnourished.
4. There are also many questionable travel restrictions including 700 checkpoints, and Israel-Highways only.

“(Obama should) Reprimand the secretary of Defense for an insulting performance”

Whats perhaps more ridiculous than how Guttman is characterized is how the political right has tried to depict Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta as anti-Israeli based on a speech he gave at the Brookings Institute Saban Center. Reading reactions to Panetta’s statements you would think that Panetta stabbed Israel in the back and forced it to drink the blood off of the knife he stabbed Israel with.

“Get to the damn table,” Panetta thundered twice — as if Israel was refusing to talk, instead of the reverse. Wrote William Kristol, chairman of the Emergency Committee for Israel.

“Leon Panetta in his speech to the 2011 Saban Forum, is more than simply inaccurate. It is disturbing and potentially dangerous. Wrote Abraham Fox, wrote the National Director for the Anti-Defamation League.

If you want a good joke take a look at the speech in its entirety. If Mr. Panetta’s comments were so inflammatory and “Insulting” then why did everyone clap?

Panetta's Speech

At any rate, both Gingrich and Romney’s comments are absurd and pathetic. They are simply trying to court the evangelical base and make conservatives forget the glimpses of political compromises made with liberals. Besides, aren’t “Friends” usually critical of each other? IF a friend does something I don’t agree with I usually confront him/her about it rather than avoid it.

Its also worth noting that the Israelis have not always been willing to compromise on Peace as well. The 2003 Road Map, said that Palestinians must give up violence yet Israel was not willing to return the favor and cease violence against Palestinians.
As former Israel ambassador Martin Indyk, pointed out in a syndicated column for the New York Times in 2005 Sharon had taken provocative steps that have not always been in the interest of peace.

However, to be fair, Sharon did make meaningful concessions toward Palestinians near the end of his term.

Could you imagine if we had someone shooting rockets at us and asked them could we come to the table?

Gingrich would like everyone to believe that the Palestinians have a monopoly on violence. The controversial Goldstone report, clearly outlines examples has used force when the rationale was questionable:

• Between Dec. 27 and Jan.18 The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights reported the Israeli Occupation Forces launched at least 300 air and sea strikes against Gaza Strip including 37 houses, 67 security and training sites, 20 workshops and private institutions seven mosques and three educational instiutions
• The attack on the house of Wa’el Al-Samouni
• The use of white phosphorous on al-Quds and al-Wafa Hospitals and on the Abu Halima famila in Atara.

In 2009 the Chief Sephardic Rabbi sent a letter to then Prime Minister Olmert stating that there is no “Moral Prohibition” against killing innocent civilians in response to rocket attacks. Moreover, the Rabbi’s son said that Israel would be justified in killing a million Palestinians if the rocket launching still continued.

You would figure after the first 1,000 civilians   dead the “collective punishment” method wasn’t useful.

“We have mortal enemies who want to kill us” Gingrich

Why create another state where they are going to be training people to come here and blow us up”
Former New York Mayor Rudy Gulliani

First, didn’t anyone tell the former mayor that the terrorists accused of 9-11 were from Saudi Arabia and not Palestine?

I wonder what both Guiliani and Gingrich would say if they knew many Palestinian Christians have been victims of Israel policy in Palestine. There are currently close to a million Palestinian Christians in the world yet only 2 percent of Palestinians living in Gaza, West Bank or East Jerusalem are Christian. Many Christians have left because of the weak economy coupled with Israeli policy in these areas. One strong example is in Bethlehem where the Israel gov. interferes with the church business such as appointing clergy.

Also it might behoove Mr.Guilani to learn that president Bush supports a two-state solution:
“The fundamental problem was the lack of freedom in the Palestinian Territories. With no state, Palestinians lacked their rightful place in the world. With no voice in their future, Palestinians were ripe for recruiting by extremist.” (Decision Points pg. 403). Even the former Israel leader Ariel Sharon disagreed with Guiliani, “It is in Israel’s interest not to govern the Palestinians, but for the Palestinians to govern themselves in their own STATE.” (pg406)
Again, these statements give the impression that the conflict is always the fault of Palestinians.
I may be wrong but weren’t the Palestinians the victims in the Shabra Shatilia massacres in the early 80s?
Is it at all surprising when the Palestinians use non-violent protest such as dressing up as characters from Avatar to protest a wall being built by Israel in a town called Billin none of the Republican candidates said anything in support of their efforts?

Furthermore, are any of the Republican candidates aware of the Wikileaks cable that surfaced about the draconian measures put in place to curtail protest at the West Bank? According to the cable, Israel has used “dirty water-a mixture of tear gas and water” against Palestinians in the West Bank even if the Palestinians were protesting peacefully?

What people like Gingrich and Guiliani conveniently forget is Israel culpability in the conflict. Until Gingrich seeks out contrary positions of his own on the issue of Palestine-Israel conflict then I can’t trust him as an “Historian.” Especially if it has anything to do with the Middle East.