last article in the aftermath of the saturated coverage of the Gaza flotilla debacle, the mainstream media generally failed to follow through with the facts. In many instances facts and truth suddenly become malleable. Incidents like this and the reporting methodology can also be useful tools to enable a variety of agendas.">
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Those Noble Humanitarians
Israel - Middle East
Friday, June 18, 2010
Alf Cengia

Picking up from my last article in the aftermath of the saturated coverage of the Gaza flotilla debacle, the mainstream media generally failed to follow through with the facts. In many instances facts and truth suddenly become malleable. Incidents like this and the reporting methodology can also be useful tools to enable a variety of agendas.

Juan Cole (Richard P Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan) writing for Asia Times believes Israel's actions will be a windfall for hardliners in Iran. Hardliners and activists are very good at squeezing out truths and excuses to justify excessive retaliatory behavior. He writes:

"The Mavi Marmara assault was more splendid news for Iran's hardliners at the very moment when the Green movement was gearing up for demonstrations to mark the one-year anniversary of the contested presidential election. Around the Israeli assault on the aid flotilla and that country's blockade of Gaza they were able to rally the public in solidarity with the theocratic government, long a trenchant critic of Israeli oppression of the stateless Palestinians."

Does he really believe in Israeli oppression of the Palestinians or is he just quoting Iran's view? As a professor of history his writing carries influence over those who may not have preconceived opinions. Elsewhere he's written:

"The Israeli withdrawal of 2005 simply removed a few thousand colonists and withdrew troops, usually, to the borders. But it did not allow the creation of a sovereign state. Gazans are excluded from a third of their own farmland by Israeli restrictions on where people can live. That so many Gazans are unemployed, that their industries have collapsed, that they are food insecure, and that malnutrition is causing stunting in 10% of children, all these outrages derive from their lack of a sovereign state to look out for their interests."

So according to someone who should know better, the Palestinians' problems are Israel's fault. That would explain why so many armed humanitarians jumped on the peaceful flotilla bandwagon. Of course, they may not have wanted that particular bit of information to get out. But when push comes to shove the cause justifies the means.

An example of this mind-set would be that noble humanitarian and retired Melkite Archbishop of Jerusalem Hilarion Capucci who told Reuters that:

"Our trip to Gaza was a trip of love and God was with us. Israel by its actions had rightly drawn world outrage over its brutality against unarmed people carrying a message of love to an innocent occupied people under siege."

Among many of Fr. Capucci's past issues with Israel was that they had desecrated the Holy Land; undermined the Al-Aqsa Mosque and violated the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. He said, "Our most precious land has been desecrated and we have shuddered with repulsion to see it happen."

What these desecrations are is never elaborated on by Fr. Capucci. But could it possibly be that as a former Catholic bishop he's unaware of, or indifferent to, the infamous inscription on the walls of the Al-Aqsa Mosque?

"O you People of the Book, overstep not bounds in your religion, and of God speak only the truth.  The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only an apostle of God, and his Word which he conveyed unto Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from him. Believe therefore in God and his apostles, and say not Three. It will be better for you.  God is only one God.  Far be it from his glory that he should have a son."

In 1975, Fr. Capucci was convicted of running guns from Lebanon into the West Bank. He was also accused of acting as an undercover liaison man between the Al Fatah guerrilla group and Palestinian guerilla cells in the West Bank and of being an accessory to the murder of a Jerusalem Taxi driver as a result of guns he helped to supply.

He was finally sentenced to 12 years in prison but served only two years. Israel released him following a special request from the Vatican and the usual suspects. According to the Washington Post:

"The understanding with the Vatican, according to Israeli sources, is that Capucci will not be allowed to make propaganda for the Arabs against Israel and that he is to be posted to a place outside the Middle East.Demands for Capucci's release have turned up regularly in the lists submitted by airplane hijackers, including the Entebbe hijackers, but where the threats have failed, a personal letter from Pope Paul has apparently succeeded..."

Another humanitarian group on board the Gaza flotilla and at the mercy of the IDF was Viva Palestina. Unfortunately, VP also has a checkered past and is a supporter of Hamas. Earlier this year a VP convoy headed for Gaza via land. Egyptian authorities prevented the humanitarian convoy for "security reasons" and insisted that all aid be sent through the port of Al-Arish. In the resulting skirmish which Egypt claimed was provoked by VP, over fifty people were injured and an Egyptian soldier killed.

A humanitarian group is a security risk? Who would've thought?

Viva Palestina also has close connections with the Turkish IHH organization which Israel has singled out as being part of Hamas fundraising network and having ties to Al-Qaeda. Jean Louis-Bruguiere, who was a top counter-terrorism magistrate for France testified that IHH was involved in an Al-Quaeda plot to attack Los Angeles Airport in 1999. And the list goes on.

While the world's media, academia religious and humanitarian groups perpetuate the myth and pontificate about Israel's indiscretions, other events keep flying under the radar.

Arutz Sheva reported that the US backed Palestinian Authority had decided to postpone their scheduled municipal elections. No reason was given but it has been suggested that had the elections been held, they would have suffered an embarrassing defeat. Why bother holding an election in the first place if you are going to control the outcome anyway?

The Palestinian people are really pawns for the likes of Iran, Syria, Jordan and now Turkey in their programs to target Israel and benefit their respective agendas. But no one seems to care if the Palestinians are being oppressed unless there's a chance to blame it on Israel.

In the end it's a game that people play. It's just tragic that one has to go off the main-stream media to dig the facts out.

About Alf Cengia

Last week: Clueless in Gaza



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