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Sunday, September 14, 2003

Is it Ramallah or is it CounterPunch?

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, center, smiles as Israeli peace activists Latif Dori, left, Uri Averny, right, flash the 'V'sign to hundreds of school children and supporters who packed into Arafat's compound to support him in the West Bank town of Ramallah Saturday Sept. 13, 2003. The two Israeli activists came to Ramallah to support Palestinian leader as Israel threatens to send him into exile or further isolate him. (AP Photo/Muhammed Nasser)
It's funny, I had been perusing CounterPunch Magazine when these photos were released. I recognized the name Uri Avnery as a frequent contributor there, along with Edward Said and Hanan Ashrawi.

israelinsider describes Avnery as "a journalist, a peace activist, former member of the Knesset and leader of Gush Shalom, the most militant part of the Israeli peace movement. "Most militant" - "peace movement." Keep your eyes on this paradox.

I looked at a single month (August 2003) of the radical Left's CounterPunch magazine published in Petrolia, California, to get some cursory idea of the whole. I shouldn't have been surprised --given that their website's About Us page boasts that "Ours is muckraking with a radical attitude," "We try to stay beyond the pale"-- to see 22 anti-Israel articles in that one month. But I was surprised -- by the shrill fervor of the hate. Five of the 22 articles were authored by Avnery.

I'll give you a quick, but chilling, tour.

August 2nd, there were four anti-Israel articles; Avnery's was "Blair as Bush's Creature," in which he took the opportunity to demonize Ariel Sharon.

August 4th: Edward Said:
"There's been so massive and calculatedly aggressive an attack on the contemporary societies of the Arab and Muslim for their backwardness, lack of democracy, and abrogation of women's rights that we simply forget that such notions as modernity, enlightenment, and democracy are by no means simple, and agreed-upon concepts that one either does or does not find like Easter eggs in the living-room." [huh?]
August 5th, Avnery glorified Arafat in "The Prisoner of Ramallah: Arafat at 74":
"While Ariel Sharon is sinking in a morass of corruption affairs and world leaders like Helmut Kohl in Germany and Jacques Chirac in France have starred in major scandals, Arafat has remained above suspicion. Neither his opponents at home nor the Israeli intelligence agencies have succeeded in discovering any spots. He lives a very simple life, has no home of his own, his clothes are his khaki uniforms." [swoon]
August 7th, Hanan Ashrawi: "A Trilogy of Dysfunction: When the Bully Whines." The whining bully? Arik Sharon, of course.

August 8th, "The Painful Horrors of Political Autism" by John Chuckman
"Israel released 340 carefully-selected Palestinian prisoners, and the act was front-page news as though something important had happened. Never mind that Israel holds about 6,000 such prisoners, and never mind that all of them were improperly arrested and imprisoned by the Middle East's 'only democracy.'"
August 9th, "Empire of the Settlements" by Rob Eshelman, "a freelance journalist based in Palestine," describes the ominous threat of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria:
“The largest post-2001 outpost within the West Bank, Migron is home to 35 families. Little more than a few boxy trailer homes, it started in 1998 with a cell phone antenna. However, as Dror [Peace Now tour guide] is quick to point out, many outposts begin as seemingly benign utility infrastructure projects. 'If you have an antenna, you need a guard to protect the antenna.' Inevitably, settlers follow and the Israeli conquest of the West Bank has a new base."
August 9th, Daoud Kuttab whines about how difficult it is for his 16-year-old daughter to get an ID card from the Israeli government: "A 16-year-old in Palestine: Life is an ID card."
[Stay tuned, I intend to post an antidote to this, about a 16-year-old Israeli kid named Momo]

August 11th, We have Avnery again: "Who Will Save Abu Mazen? The US leaves him hanging":
"If they had wanted to 'help Abu-Mazen,' to quote the formula current in Washington, they would have fulfilled at least some of these demands. But nothing of the sort has happened. The well publicized release of a handful of prisoners, most of whom where due to be released anyhow, only highlighted the absence of goodwill and increased the anger."
August 13th, CounterPunch editor Alexander Cockburn rushes to the defense of a "world-famous philosopher" hit (unfairly, of course) with anti-semite slur. The victim, Honderich, says this: ""I am being attacked as anti-Semitic because I assert the moral right of the Palestinians to their terrorism . . . "

August 14th, Ramzy Baroud (editor-in-chief of PalestineChronicle.com and editor of Searching Jenin) describes the hudna:
“Israel seems a bit too nervous because of the lull in violence. The right-wing government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon thrives on violence.”
August 18th, Avnery again:
“If Sharon and the army command succeed in disrupting the hudna (truce) and bring about the renewal of the intifada, they will not break the Palestinians, who will refuse to submit. And after large-scale bloodshed, Yasser Arafat will make a speech in the Knesset, as did Sadat, the ‘Hero of War and Peace.’”
[Yasser Arafat in the Knesset, now there's a dream for you; Avnery no doubt hopes to be at his side there.]
August 19th, CounterPunch points to "Tom Delay's Dual Loyalties" in their Website of the Day: www.majorityleader.gov

August 21st, the Palestinian right of return, and August 25th, "Israeli Outlaws in America"

Also August 25th, Uri Avneryagain:
"The road Map is dead, because Sharon was against it from the beginning, Bush saw it only as a photo opportunity on a nice background and Abu-Mazen did not get from Israel and the US anything that he could present as a Palestinian achievement."
August 26th, "Collective Punishment on the West Bank"

August 27th, "Israel's Assassination Policy - The Trigger for the Latest Suicide Bombings"

And last but not least, August 28th, "Collective Self-Deception, the most common mistakes of Israelis" by Gilad Atzmon:
". . . there is good reason to believe that Hitler developed some of his anti-Semitic arguments after reading early Zionist texts . . . Zionism and Nazism are very similar in spirit (both are nationalistic movements inspired by concepts of racial purity)."

If you thought that it would have been enough - DAYENU, that the Arab terrorists are killing us, that we are villified on the world stage no matter what we do, that antisemitic violence is on the rise all over the world and especially on American college campuses, and that most of the major media outlets are biased against us . . . . then think again. Even the American Left, the "peace"-niks, are making war on us.