Archive for Propaganda

LGF: Fact-Checking Pamela Geller: ‘270 million’ victims of Islam?

Posted in Loon People, Loon Sites, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2011 by loonwatch

No surprise here, Geller is making up facts as she goes along, but what did you expect from the Looniest Blogger Ever.

Fact-Checking Pamela Geller: ‘270 million’ victims of Islam?

by Sergey Romanov (LGF)

In her latest post Pamela Geller screeches:

It is time there was a museum exhibit dedicated to the victims of jihad. Where is the Met’s showcase of the lives and cultures and histories of the 270 million victims of over a millennium of jihadi wars, land appropriations, cultural annihilations, and enslavements? Where is the grandiose suite of new galleries dedicated to highlighting Islam’s systematic dehumanization of women: honor killings, clitorectomies, and so much more?

Wow, wow, Pamela, wait there a second. “270 million victims” of Islam? Are you sure? What might be the source for this? She gives no link.

Thankfully, Gus found what might be the primary source for this statistic:

Tears of Jihad

These figures are a rough estimate of the death of non-Muslims by the political act of jihad.

Africa

Thomas Sowell [Thomas Sowell, Race and Culture, BasicBooks, 1994, p. 188] estimates that 11 million slaves were shipped across the Atlantic and 14 million were sent to the Islamic nations of North Africa and the Middle East. For every slave captured many others died. Estimates of this collateral damage vary. The renowned missionary David Livingstone estimated that for every slave who reached a plantation, five others were killed in the initial raid or died of illness and privation on the forced march.[Woman’s Presbyterian Board of Missions, David Livingstone, p. 62, 1888] Those who were left behind were the very young, the weak, the sick and the old. These soon died since the main providers had been killed or enslaved. So, for 25 million slaves delivered to the market, we have an estimated death of about 120 million people. Islam ran the wholesale slave trade in Africa.

120 million Africans

Christians

The number of Christians martyred by Islam is 9 million [David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200, William Carey Library, 2001, p. 230, table 4-10] . A rough estimate by Raphael Moore in History of Asia Minor is that another 50 million died in wars by jihad. So counting the million African Christians killed in the 20th century we have:

60 million Christians

Hindus

Koenard Elst in Negationism in India gives an estimate of 80 million Hindus killed in the total jihad against India. [Koenard Elst, Negationism in India, Voice of India, New Delhi, 2002, pg. 34.] The country of India today is only half the size of ancient India, due to jihad. The mountains near India are called the Hindu Kush, meaning the ‘funeral pyre of the Hindus.’

80 million Hindus

Buddhists

Buddhists do not keep up with the history of war. Keep in mind that in jihad only Christians and Jews were allowed to survive as dhimmis (servants to Islam); everyone else had to convert or die. Jihad killed the Buddhists in Turkey, Afghanistan, along the Silk Route, and in India. The total is roughly 10 million. [David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200, William Carey Library, 2001, p. 230, table 4-1.]

10 million Buddhists

Jews

Oddly enough there were not enough Jews killed in jihad to significantly affect the totals of the Great Annihilation. The jihad in Arabia was 100 percent effective, but the numbers were in the thousands, not millions. After that, the Jews submitted and became the dhimmis (servants and second class citizens) of Islam and did not have geographic political power.

This gives a rough estimate of 270 million killed by jihad.

This was written by Bill French aka “Bill Warner” of “Center for the Study of Political Islam” (cf. this FrontPageMag interview).

Let’s go over it step by step.

1. Africans. The number of 120 million victims is, of course, taken from thin air. Even assuming the number of 25 million slaves to be correct, and assuming that “Islam” was responsible for them, one cannot simply multpily the number by a single dodgy statistical point to get some sort of a total number of “dead”.

Notice that the whole transatlantic slave trade is attributed to Islam! Apparently, Christians had nothing to do with it. This way we will soon hear that Confederacy was an Islamic separatist state.

However, when we assume the scope of the Arab slave trade (which existed before Islam) to be between 10-18 million people, to claim that Islam as such is responsible for the associated victims is the same as claiming that Christianity is to blame for the victims of slavery and racism perpetrated by Christians (among many other things).

2. Christians. The first source cited is not quite scholarly. It’s a mish-mash of statistical data, and when it comes to “martyrdom” particularly, there is no careful, scholarly discussion of each particular number as well as its sources, which leaves the question of the reliability of each particular statistic open. Here’s the table 4-10. It is so exhaustive, yet it has only 9 million alleged Christian victims of Muslims (I did not bother to verify by recounting, but table 4-5 does have 9 million alleged victims of Muslims). However then the “Tears of Jihad” article claims that there were 50 million more of them. How did the authors of that table somehow miss these additional millions? If they were so incompetent, why cite their statistics in the first place?

But where is the 50 million figure from? The source is given as “History of Asia Minor” by Raphael Moore. Quick Google search brings up this source, which is an article by Raphael Moore entitled “In Memory Of The 50 Million Victims Of The Orthodox Christian Holocaust”. Its first sub-section is called “History Of Asia Minor: 1894-1923”, which is apparently at the root of confusion for Geller’s source: the name of the sub-section was confused with the name of the complete work. Such brilliant scholarship.

The number “50 million” does appear in the article, but only as a total number of Christians martyred in XXth century!

Between the tolls exacted from prisons, concentration camps, forced marches and exiles, warfare, famine, and brutal military occupation, it is reasonable to conclude that up to 50 million Orthodox Christians have perished in the first eight decades of the twentieth century.

Geller’s source simply took this number and ascribed it to “Jihad”.

(As a side note, this source is also far from scholarly and the number is not calculated properly, but that is already irrelevant for the purposes of the present critique.)

3. Hindus. It is claimed that the number is estimated by Elst (who is known for right-wing anti-Muslim bias). However, when we take a look at his book we see this:

As a contribution to research on the quantity of the Islamic crimes against humanity, we may mention Prof. K.S.Lal’s estimates about the population figures in medieval India (Growth of Muslim Population in India). According to his calculations, the Indian (subcontinent) population decreased by 80 million between 1000 (conquest of Afghanistan) and 1525 (end of Delhi Sultanate). More research is needed before we can settle for a quantitatively accurate evaluation of Muslim rule in India, but at least we know for sure that the term crime against humanity is not exaggerated.

So it’s not Elst’s estimate, but Lal’s estimate. And moreover, it is not an estimate of 80 million murders. It’s an estimate of a population decrease in five centuries, the causes of which may be many, including natural population decrease, conversions, etc.

The problem, however, is that Lal’s estimates are simply fantasies. One cannot take seriously any such estimates based on extremely fragmentary demographic data for the year 1000. Simon Digby writes in his review of Lal’s book, after addressing some of Lal’s assumptions (Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, vol. 38, no. 1, 1975, p. 177):

Regarding the population of India before A.D. 1000 Lal quotes the guesses of Colin Clark – 70 millions – and Jyotindra Mohan Datta – 200 to 300 millions. He himself prefers 200 millions and he believes that, mainly as a result of the Muslim invasions and presence, the population of India fell from 200 millions in A.D. 1000 to 125 millions in A.D. 1500, to rise under more amiable Mughal rule to 175 millions in 1700.

[…]

The author is known for his detailed studies of the Khalji dynasty and of the fifteenth century Delhi sultanate. He is well versed in the sources of medieval North Indian history. In the present study he has assembled almost all the conceivably relevant data and for this reason it will remain of value as a compendium of references. Yet the unknown variables are so great and the quality of the data yielded by our sources so poor that almost any detailed general estimates of population based upon them must appear wilful, if not fantastic. At the time when this review was being written, E. J. Hobsbawm (in New Society, 11 July 1974, 76) called the attention of historians of premodern Europe, who dabble in social statistics based on sources of comparable quality to those of Lal, to an axiom of computer operators ‘GIGO’: this stands for ‘Garbage in – Garbage out’!

A reasonable person can agree with this conclusion. Thus, the figure of “80,000,000” Hindus murdered by Muslims is based on nothing but weak speculations.

Interestingly, elsewhere Elst writes:

Prof. K.S. Lal once estimated that the Indian population declined by 50 million under the Sultanate, but that would be hard to substantiate; research into the magnitude of the damage Islam did to India is yet to start in right earnest.

4. Buddhists. The only source given for the alleged Buddhist victims of Muslims is the same book with Christian statistics, not any scholarly historical source about, you know, Buddhists. But when we look at the table 4-1, we only see the number of 10,000,000 Buddhists cited (without sources, I might add; and it contains 80,000,000 alleged Muslim martyrs as well, 10 million more than alleged Christian martyrs, estimated to be 70 million!). There is no indication in the table that these Buddhists were slaughtered by Muslims.

———

As an atheist, I have no problem with talking about the responsibility of religions for many evils of this world. However I must state that the much bandied about number of “270 million” victims of Islam is total bunk based on nothing.

How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory

Posted in Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2011 by loonwatch

via. Islamophobia Today

The onetime Nixon operative has created the most profitable propaganda machine in history. Inside America’s Unfair and Imbalanced Network

By TIM DICKINSON MAY 25, 2011 8:00 AM ET

At the Fox News holiday party the year the network overtook archrival CNN in the cable ratings, tipsy employees were herded down to the basement of a Midtown bar in New York. As they gathered around a television mounted high on the wall, an image flashed to life, glowing bright in the darkened tavern: the MSNBC logo. A chorus of boos erupted among the Fox faithful. The CNN logo followed, and the catcalls multiplied. Then a third slide appeared, with a telling twist. In place of the logo for Fox News was a beneficent visage: the face of the network’s founder. The man known to his fiercest loyalists simply as “the Chairman” – Roger Ailes.

“It was as though we were looking at Mao,” recalls Charlie Reina, a former Fox News producer. The Foxistas went wild. They let the dogs out. Woof! Woof! Woof! Even those who disliked the way Ailes runs his network joined in the display of fealty, given the culture of intimidation at Fox News. “It’s like the Soviet Union or China: People are always looking over their shoulders,” says a former executive with the network’s parent, News Corp. “There are people who turn people in.”

This article appears in the June 9, 2011 issue of Rolling Stone. The issue will be available on newsstands and in the online archive May 27.

The key to decoding Fox News isn’t Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity. It isn’t even News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch. To understand what drives Fox News, and what its true purpose is, you must first understand Chairman Ailes. “He is Fox News,” says Jane Hall, a decade-long Fox commentator who defected over Ailes’ embrace of the fear-mongering Glenn Beck. “It’s his vision. It’s a reflection of him.”

Photo Gallery: Roger Ailes, GOP Mastermind

Ailes runs the most profitable – and therefore least accountable – head of the News Corp. hydra. Fox News reaped an estimated profit of $816 million last year – nearly a fifth of Murdoch’s global haul. The cable channel’s earnings rivaled those of News Corp.’s entire film division, which includes 20th Century Fox, and helped offset a slump at Murdoch’s beloved newspapers unit, which took a $3 billion write-down after acquiring The Wall Street Journal. With its bare-bones news gathering operation – Fox News has one-third the staff and 30 fewer bureaus than CNN – Ailes generates profit margins above 50 percent. Nearly half comes from advertising, and the rest is dues from cable companies. Fox News now reaches 100 million households, attracting more viewers than all other cable-news outlets combined, and Ailes aims for his network to “throw off a billion in profits.”

Slideshow: An hour-by-hour look at how Fox disguises GOP talking points as journalism

The outsize success of Fox News gives Ailes a free hand to shape the network in his own image. “Murdoch has almost no involvement with it at all,” says Michael Wolff, who spent nine months embedded at News Corp. researching a biography of the Australian media giant. “People are afraid of Roger. Murdoch is, himself, afraid of Roger. He has amassed enormous power within the company – and within the country – from the success of Fox News.”

Read about the GOP’s dirty war against Obama

Fear, in fact, is precisely what Ailes is selling: His network has relentlessly hyped phantom menaces like the planned “terror mosque” near Ground Zero, inspiring Florida pastor Terry Jones to torch the Koran. Privately, Murdoch is as impressed by Ailes’ business savvy as he is dismissive of his extremist politics. “You know Roger is crazy,” Murdoch recently told a colleague, shaking his head in disbelief. “He really believes that stuff.”

>> Continue reading: How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory

David Horowitz’s blog spouting propaganda as usual part 2

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2011 by loonwatch

It’s a daily barrage of explicit anti-Muslim messages over at David Horowitz’s NewsRealBlog. Not just extremist Muslims, but all Muslims (over 1 billion people) and Islam (over 1,400 years of tradition) itself. I recently called out Mr. Paul Cooper for his sweeping claims about women and Islam. Today, we find another Islamophobic underling spouting anti-Muslim talking points but whose knowledge of basic facts is, to be polite, somewhat limited.

Mrs. Lisa Graas, a self-proclaimed Catholic, is furious that Cardinal Sfeir of Lebanon is “suffering from an acute case of dhimmitude.” His crime? This single statement:

Islam is, of course, a religion that promotes worshipping the goodness in life, worshipping God and being fair to others.

Of course, what the Cardinal said is the largely accepted non-controversial stance of serious comparative religion scholars who aren’t indoctrinated with anti-Muslim libels and canards. The Quran says:

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, acquainted. (4:135)

This call for justice is universal; that is, it is applied to both Muslims and non-Muslims, as is clear from the phrase, “even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives.” It is recorded in the practice (Sunnah) of the Prophet and his early companions:

Narrated Abdullah bin Amr: The Prophet said: “Whoever killed a person protected by a treaty shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be found at a distance of forty years (of traveling).”

[Sahih Bukhari, Book 83 Number 49]

Dr. Maher Hathout, a respected American Muslim scholar, writes about the precedent set by the first four Caliphs of equal treatment, Muslims and non-Muslims, before the law:

The Caliph Ali is noted to have said, concerning non-Muslims, “they only entered the covenant so that their lives and properties would be [protected] like our lives and properties.” This point is important because it highlights the underlying purpose of entering into a treaty with the ruler. The state has the ability to provide protection for its people and both Muslims and non-Muslims enter into a political contract with the state so that they are granted equal protection.

The equality with which all are to be treated before the law is illustrated when the Caliph lost his armor in the battle of Siffin. A few days later, he noticed a Christian wearing that armor. He referred the case to a judge, and both he and the Christian appeared before the judge, each arguing that it was his armor, but the Christian stated that his possession of it was proof of his ownership. Caliph Ali could not produce any witnesses to support his own claims to it. When the judge hesitated in pronouncing the verdict, given the Caliph’s status [as chief executive], he exhorted the judge to disregard any such considerations. The judgment was in the Christian’s favor, and the Caliph accepted it.

[Hathout, M., Jamil, U., Hathout, G., & Ali, N. (2006). In pursuit of justice: The jurisprudence of human rights in Islam. Los Angeles: Muslim Public Affairs Council. P. 212]

All three branches of the United States government have acknowledged this fact about Islam; such as the 96th Congress, the United States Supreme Court, and many Presidents including Bush and Obama. In addition, Mrs. Lisa Graas, a self-described “experienced apologist for the Catholic faith,” has likewise either not read or has rejected the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions by Pope Paul VI:

The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

Thus, in reality, Cardinal Sfeir is being faithful to what the Catholic Church has taught about these matters; an interfaith consensus of peaceful coexistence and respect built over many, many years of painful learning from the follies our collective intolerance. But that doesn’t stop Mrs. Graas from accusing the Cardinal of betraying his symbolic Christian blood oath and paving the road for non-Muslim enslavement, simply by stating what Islam and Christianity obviously have in common. Nay! For those indoctrinated in the Spencer-Horowitz closed information system (based on pretend information), anything uttered about Islam must be in terms of pure evil, otherwise it becomes part of the conspiracy. She fusses:

While Lebanon is not yet to the point of being a Muslim-majority country enslaving, abducting, or deporting Christians, it is important to point out that attitudes like Cardinal Sfeir’s are attitudes of contentment with dhimmitude that pave the way for the advancement of Islam which itself results consistently in more oppression of non-Muslim peoples.

Cardinal Sfeir tendered his resignation to the Vatican some time ago, but the Vatican has yet to accept it. Considering that Pope Benedict XVI has been consistent in every opportunity available to address the plight of Christians under Islam, emphasizing the need for divided Christians to unite and for Christians and Jews to work together, we can believe that a suitable replacement for Cardinal Sfeir is being sought by the Vatican, and one that will actually contend for the true peace offered by Christians, Jews and other peace-loving people rather than the false peace of dhimmitude.

Mrs. Graas relies on links to the closed information-propaganda system (based on pretend information) called discover the networks which features non-expert loons like Bat Ye’or and Andrew Bostom. She essentializes Islam as pure dhimmitude, the imaginary lust for persecution of non-Muslims that is the Islamic religious impulse. She has no need to refer to any contemporary realities concerning modern Muslim interpretations of classical rulings on dhimmi (“protected”) people and citizenship, such as the recent solidarity Egyptian Muslims showed to their Coptic Christian neighbors by serving as human shields against violent extremists. Nor does she need to refer to any fundamental documents that might shed light on attitudes about citizenship in Lebanon such as, perhaps, the Lebanese Constitution:


All Lebanese are equal before the law.  They equally enjoy civil and political rights and equally are bound by public obligations and duties without any distinction.

1.     The Chamber of Deputies is composed of elected members; their number and the method of their election is determined by the electoral laws in effect.  Until such time as the Chamber enacts new electoral laws on a non-confessional basis, the distribution of seats is according to the following principles:

a. Equal representation between Christians and Muslims.

b.    Proportional representation among the confessional groups within each religious community.

c.     Proportional representation among geographic regions.

2.     Exceptionally, and for one time only, the seats that are currently vacant, as well as the new seats that have been established by law, are to be filled by appointment, all at once, and by a majority of two thirds of the Government of National Unity.  This is to establish equality between Christians and Muslims as stipulated in the Document of National Accord [The Taif  Agreement].

Rather, for Graas, Islam is the essence of every evil the human mind can conceive; persecution, war, slavery, rape, abduction, misogyny (hatred of women), irrationality; and Cardinal Sfeir is a part of the problem because he won’t describe Islam for what it allegedly is. Perhaps she should read Danios’ enlightening article about how the medevial dhimmitude she essentializes to Islam was, although second-class by today’s standard, still far better than her own historical co-religionists. Yet, we know that loons have a strong allergy to information that contradicts their anti-Muslim ideology.

Mrs. Graas, take some anti-Islamophobia-hystamine by reading a balanced primer on Islam such as, say, Huston Smith’s World Religions. It’s great for undergraduate studies (where you seem to be).

 

David Horowitz’s Blog Spouting Propaganda as Usual

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs, Loon Pastors with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2011 by loonwatch
David Horowitz

David Horowitz’s NewRealBlog is (like FrontPageMag) a lightning rod for people who want to justify their preconceived prejudices about Islam and Muslims. Today, we find an article by Paul Cooper, a pastor, which allegedly purports to expose the reality of women under Sharia law. Of course, we’ve come to expect the usual dose of anti-Muslim bias from David Horowitz’s cash for hate scheme which regularly dehumanizes Palestinians and inspires right-wing terrorists.

Mr. Cooper exposes the “left-leaning” (what most call mainstream moderate) journalists who refuse to describe Sharia law in terms of pure evil:

Every week new articles come out from left-leaning journalists about how great Sharia law is and how we have nothing to fear. Yet we at NewsReal have written on many sad cases of how children are treated under Sharia all over the world. You don’t hear the whole story of the dangers of Islamic law unless you see how it affects women. This past week in Pakistan, for example, two women were falsely accused of blasphemy and almost beaten to death.

Cooper follows classic far right-wing tactics by using Islam as a political wedge issue; that is, to divide Americans according to their position on Islam. I’ve written before about right-wing activists using Islam as a stick to bash the Left. One wonders if his primary target is his political enemies (Democrats), not necessarily Muslims themselves.

Historically, Muslims had done away with harsh blasphemy laws in 1839 during the Reformation of the Ottoman Empire, specifically by a decree known as the Noble Edict of the Rose Chamber. For Mr. Cooper, though, a small troublesome detail like that need not prevent him from claiming that such severe laws are essential Islamic traditions practiced all over the Muslim world.

Admittedly, there are problems with Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law. But Muslims have been voicing their criticism of the Pakistani government’s heavy hand for quite some time. Yursil Kidwai, in an excellent piece for the Huffington Post, describes how so-called Sharia laws are actually tactics used by corrupt governments to distract people from their endemic corruption:

It seems more than coincidental that these ‘Sharia’ incidents occur in states that are run by atheistic/communist dictators (i.e. Saddam Hussein) or ridiculously corrupt ‘Islamo-democratic’ governments.

In Pakistan’s case, the International Crisis Group provided a report last year stating:

“Decades of mismanagement, political manipulation and corruption have rendered Pakistan’s civil service incapable of providing effective governance and basic public services. In public perceptions, the country’s 2.4 million civil servants are widely seen as unresponsive and corrupt, and bureaucratic procedures cumbersome and exploitative. Bureaucratic dysfunction and low capacity undermine governance, providing opportunities to the military to subvert the democratic transition and to extremists to destabilize the state.”

Ridiculous distractions such as modern ‘Islamic’ states opinions on blasphemy, adultery, and theft allow Islamophobes to target their favorite religion, while allowing corruption and real problems to go under the radar. These laws today serve a purpose that they never had in what was the most authentic Islamic state (now only a memory): a means to prove a government’s religiosity in a midst of lies, deceit, money and total corruption which make up most of its actual administration.

Yursil is correct that the misguided policies of unelected dictators to enforce only the most harsh Sharia laws are nothing more than superficial attempts to legitimate illegitimate governments. Islamophobes like to focus on these irregular examples as a typical day of Sharia law. However, this belies the sophisticated Ottoman legal system which, using Sharia’s own internal mechanisms (such as ijtihad and istihsan), had done away with severe punishments like stoning and blasphemy. Yursil continues:

Islamic laws which reward charity, promote honesty, promote tolerance have been forgotten in these states, while a handful of ‘Shariah’ punishments were mixed in with brand-new torturous and oppressive policies and procedures.

Interestingly enough, these selected ‘Sharia’ punishments were frowned upon under the centuries of Ottoman rule and by its end had become completely unpracticed. In Ottoman lands where Sharia was the be-all, end-all official state law, these laws were unenforced as a matter of practice. This was not through denouncing or revising Islamic Law, but by putting into practice the complete and holistic set of checks and balances built into Islamic Sharia.

Of course, most Muslim law makers are following precedents similar to the Ottoman reforms. Yet, all this history and context is simply too much information to consider before David Horowitz and company declare Sharia law a threat to all women. After recounting in detail a single anecdote from Pakistan, Cooper concludes that such events are representative of the entire Muslim world (over 1 billion people):

Sadly such stories are common in many Islamic regions. Yet news agency [sic], women’s groups, and human rights organizations continue to turn a deaf ear. Despite their indifference, some of us are listening and committed to getting the word out on the true dangers of Sharia law.

We are left to believe that women everywhere in the Muslim world, without exception, are suffering every day under Sharia law. I am curious to see how Mr. Cooper explains the fact that Pakistan, allegedly under misogynist Sharia law, has twice elected a woman Prime Minister. But what do you expect from someone who links his article to Nonie Darwish, among others, as his “resource” for Sharia?

Mr. Cooper, perhaps those “news agencies, women’s groups, and human rights organizations continue to turn a deaf ear” because they don’t pay attention to exaggerated politically self-serving claims about women and Sharia law from non-experts like yourself.

 

Israel Forced to Apologize for Youtube Gaza Flotilla Spoof

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2010 by loonwatch

This is Hasbara, i.e. Israeli propaganda at work. I request everyone read Danios’ important article on the propaganda strategy after the flotilla fiasco.

Also the following article proves how out of touch Israel is with the view of the world in regards to what happened on the Gaza aid boats.  (hat tip: Milda)

Israel forced to apologize for Youtube Gaza flotilla spoof

The Israeli government has been forced to apologise for circulating a spoof video mocking activistsaboard the Gaza flotilla, nine of who were shot dead by Israeli forces last week.

The YouTube clip, set to the tune of the 1985 charity single We Are the World, features Israelis dressed as Arabs and activists, waving weapons while singing: “We con the world, we con the people. We’ll make them all believe the IDF (Israel Defence Force) is Jack the Ripper.”

It continues: “There’s no people dying, so the best that we can do is create the biggest bluff of all.”

The Israeli government press office distributed the video link to foreign journalists at the weekend, but within hours emailed them an apology, saying it had been an error. Press office director Danny Seaman said the video did not reflect official state opinion, but in his personal capacity he thought it was “fantastic”.

Government spokesman Mark Regev said the video reflected how Israelis felt about the incident. “I called my kids in to watch it because I thought it was funny,” he said. “It is what Israelis feel. But the government has nothing to do with it.”

The clip features a group led by the Jerusalem Post’s deputy managing editor Caroline Glick, wearing keffiyehs and calling themselves the Flotilla Choir. The footage is interspersed with clips from the recent Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound aid ship, the Mavi Marmara.

The clip has been praised in Israel, where the mass-circulation daily Yediot Aharonot said the singers “defended Israel better than any of the experts”.

But Didi Remez, an Israeli who runs the liberal-left news analysis blog Coteret, said the clip was “repulsive” and reflected how out of touch Israeli opinion was with the rest of the world. “It shows a complete lack of understanding of how the incident is being perceived abroad,” he said. Award-winning Israeli journalist Meron Rapoport said the clip demonstrated prejudice against Muslims. “It’s roughly done, not very sophisticated, anti-Muslim – and childish for the government to be behind such a clip,” he said.

A similar press office email was sent to foreign journalists two weeks ago, recommending a gourmet restaurant and Olympic-sized swimming pool in Gaza to highlight Israel’s claim there is no humanitarian crisis there. Journalists who complained the email was in poor taste were told they had “no sense of humour”.

Last week, the Israel Defence Force had to issue a retraction over an audio clip it had claimed was a conversation between Israeli naval officials and people on the Mavi Marmara, in which an activist told soldiers to “go back to Auschwitz”. The clip was carried by Israeli and international press, but today the army released a “clarification/correction”, explaining that it had edited the footage and that it was not clear who had made the comment.

The Israeli army also backed down last week from an earlier claim that soldiers were attacked by al-Qaida “mercenaries” aboard the Gaza flotilla. An article appearing on the IDF spokesperson’s website with the headline: “Attackers of the IDF soldiers found to be al-Qaida mercenaries”, was later changed to “Attackers of the IDF Soldiers found without identification papers,” with the information about al-Qaida removed from the main article. An army spokesperson told the Guardian there was no evidence proving such a link to the terror organisation.

While the debate over accounts of the flotilla raid continues, Israel is facing more boycotting. In the past week, three international acts, including the US rock band the Pixies, have cancelled concerts in Tel Aviv.

Best-settling authors Alice Walker and Iain Banks have backed the boycott campaign, with Banks announcing his books won’t be translated into Hebrew. Dockworker unions in Sweden and South Africa have refused to handle Israeli ships, while the UK’s Unite union just passed a motion to boycott Israeli companies.

• This article was amended on 7 June 2010. The original referred to Didi Remez as a female. This has been corrected.