Boaz Tibon blog on Israel and Middle East politics, history and what ever else comes to mind.
Monday, November 16, 2009
The ‘Daily Show’ guests Anna Baltzer and Mustafa Barghouti, distortion center stage
For anyone who enjoys a professional work on television, especially satire, ‘The Daily Show’ with Jon Stewart is an almost guaranteed delight. Even on October the 28th 2009, when his guests were leading Palestinian propagandists, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti and his current sidekick Anna Baltzer. It was a wall-to-wall professional performance by all participants. Jon Stewart was naturally professional in managing a sensitive subject with a somewhat charged audience, and his guests were professionals in doing their job and administrating their poison.
Speaking to a pro Israeli, pro Jewish public opinion, they had to appear pro Jewish themselves. But with an anti-Israeli purpose they had to shove in their hateful messages somehow, and as professionals they did so.
Four simple messages, simple and false, slipped between praise for the Jews as people caring for the weak and the oppressed:
The first one was that there are a lot of Israelis behind them. The fact of the matter is that when people sharing Baltzer’s political convictions showed up to demonstrate during Israel’s Hebrew Book fair in Tel Aviv in June 2009, there were barely 15 people among them, shouting in English, carrying signs in English, in a Hebrew language event (I was there). In other words, they were not there to win over Israelis, just to get their pictures taken and leave. In Israel, organizations with convictions close to that of Anna Baltzer have to spread throughout the country just to get a hundred Israeli Jews. Why?
Because they are not trying to win over Israeli Jews!
Second was Dr. Barghouti's statement that the state of Israel used the language of force for 60 years. This statement is evidently false by a simple examination of the historic facts: when the UN General Assembly voted for the two states solution in 1947 the Yishuv, the pre-state Jewish community in the land of Israel, accepted, the Palestinians and the Arab world rejected, violently. When a new government took power in Egypt in 1952, Ben Gurion sent a message of peace, but that government, that of Gamal Abdel Nasser marshaled the Arab world against Israel, culminating in the wars of 1956 and 1967. After the Israeli victories of 1967, Israel offered territories for peace but was answered by the Khartoum no, nos, and war resumed. When president Sa’adat of Egypt offered peace in 1977 Israel replied with a YES and evacuated the Sinai, including all settlements there. And this record goes on until these very days.
So why did Dr. Barghouti make such a monstrous lie? May be because his definition of a forceful act is different then that of the rest of the world, and he regards the very existence of Israel as something he is forced to accept against his will and against his convictions.
Anna Baltzer made the false comparison between Israel’s alleged violations of UN resolutions and those of Iraq, and Iraq got bombed for its violations.
Does she want Israel to get bombed? She stopped herself there.
But her comparison remains invalid, as Dore Gold had pointed out, all the resolutions against Israel are chapter 6 resolutions, negotiated solution resolutions where the use of force is unfavorable, while those against Iraq are chapter 7, enforceable resolutions against a recognized threat to peace. Sadly for Anna Baltzer even the bias UN does not see the existence of Israel as a threat to peace.
Anna Baltzer also repeated the familiar line about Jews living good under Islamic rule. It’s the old 50’s reasoning that said, ‘slaves like to be whipped’, the 1850’s that is. Because while there were relatively tolerant rulers in Islamic history; much like in the Christian world; they were not necessarily the norm, as recent history records. With examples such as Ali Burzi Pasha of Libya who murdered hundreds of Jews in 1785, Algiers where Jews were massacred in 1815 and 1830, Damascus where a classical blood libel lead to the murder of Jews in 1840, Safed, whose Jews were brutalized, plundered and killed in 33 days long fest by their Palestinian neighbors in 1834. Mashhed Iran, where Jews were forced to convert to Islam in 1839, and Baghdad where a famous pogrom took place in 1941, and more.
Now why would a Jew, or any other minority will have warm feelings for these kinds of memories? Why would those feelings be any different then those a slave has towards the whip?
Finally they claimed their divestment campaign is a non-violent resistance. Is it?
Have they ever condemned the murderous acts of Palestinian terrorist organizations?
Have they encouraged a single farmer on the path of Israel’s security barrier to say ‘not through my land’ not just to Israel but also to the members of those armed groups, who crossed over so many times and murdered so many people in the name of that farmer and his people, in the name of Palestine?
Because if their punishment - oriented boycott campaign against Israel hasn’t even tried to avert a single suicide attack, a single rocket, then it is not there to replace the violent struggle, but to assist it, and support it, by punishing Israel for successfully defending its citizens.