Thursday, July 17, 2014


Dispatches From A Planet Not Our Own

You're entitled to your own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.

Ronald Reagan

Seumas Milne at the ultra left Guardian has a disturbingly alien look at a small part of Earth, the Gaza, here. I have no idea how to pronounce his first name.

I use the headline and the word 'alien' above because I can't believe Mr. Milne is anything but a late arriver here on our lovely planet. He certainly seems to know very little about the Middle East. Behold.

For the third time in five years, the world’s fourth largest military power has launched a full-scale armed onslaught on one of its most deprived and overcrowded territories.
Is he talking about Gaza, from which Israel left, forcing out all its settlers, nearly nine years ago? Why yes he is. How is a wholly un-occupied Gaza one of Israel's "territories"? I'm gob smacked. He doesn't let up.

But instead of demanding a halt to Israel’s campaign of collective punishment against what is still illegally occupied territory, the western powers have blamed the victims for fighting back.
The Israelis are not occupying Gaza. That's just a well established fact. Does the United States occupy Mexico because we guard the border between us and Mexico. Wait, that's a bad example. Ah, does South Korea occupy North Korea because it guards the border between it and perhaps the worst place on Earth? I mean wouldn't you have to have occupying forces to actually, uh, occupy a foreign country in order to make it occupied? One would think so. Is there an explanation for this groundless belief of Mr. Milne? Well, no but at least he tries.

The idea that Israel is defending itself against unprovoked attacks from outside its borders is an absurdity. Despite Israel’s withdrawal of settlements and bases in 2005, Gaza remains occupied both in reality and international law, its border, coastal waters, resources, airspace and power supply controlled by Israel.

OK, so at least he knows that the Israelis withdrew completely from Gaza nine years ago. Let's parse the rest. Milne says that Gaza today remains occupied both in reality and international law. Well, perhaps international law occupation could be argued but not "in reality" occupation. Milne says the border is controlled by Israel. So every guarded border makes the adjacent country occupied in fact? So every country occupies in fact the country next to it? Come on, that's just stupid. Milne says the Israel controls the coastal waters. I believe that's true if by control you mean tries to guard against delivery by sea to Hamas and Gaza military munitions, mortars and rockets. Milne then goes completely gaga saying that Israel controls Gaza's resources. What resources? What control? Mindblowingly deceitful that. Airspace control? You mean they control the flight paths of the rockets the Arabs in Gaza are launching into Israel?

But there is one thing Milne has exactly right. Israel does control the power supply in Gaza but that's because the Israelis generate the electrical power the Arabs use in Gaza. And we all know that supplying electrical power across the border between countries is a well established form of illegal occupation. That was sarcasm and I have to point it out because someone of Milne's ilk would be twit enough to think I was meaning what I said. OK, so all in all, Israel does not occupy Gaza but defends against its citizens trying to kill Israelis by preventing them from getting rockets etc. and sometimes degrading their ability to keep launching rockets by direct application of IDF munitions.

But here's my favorite part:

But the idea that Israel is responding to a hail of rockets out of a clear blue sky takes “narrative framing” beyond the realm of fantasy. In fact, after the deal that ended Israel’s last assault on Gaza in 2012, rocketing from Gaza fell to its lowest level for 12 years. (Emphasis added).

OK, so the idea, to Mr. Milne, is that it is absurd to think that Israel is responding to a "hail of rockets out of a clear blue sky" just because there is a hail of rockets coming out of Gaza and into Israel out of a clear blue sky. And why is it absurd to think that? Because the hail of rockets coming out of Gaza is at its lowest level in 12 years. I really don't have anything further to say about the Milne idea of comparative rocket launch rates equaling no rockets. Math does not seem his strong point. Having an unpronounceable first name seems his strongest point.

A normal person would think that Gaza residents stopped rocketing their neighbor so much after the 2012 incursion to stop rockets because Israel did a good job of diminishing the Arabs' ability to launch them. But not this genius.

How many American Jews consider themselves on the left? 60-70%? Why? The left hates them, and always has.

UPDATE: Charles Krauthammer agrees with me (which is a good thing) and adds some very helpful history to the mix here.


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