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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Andrew Sullivan, another Israel hater who cannot read

I am being increasingly convinced that Israel-haters have lost all ability to read leaked memos without having their Zio-sirens interfering with their ability to comprehend basic English.

We saw plenty of examples with the Palestine Papers, but here's one from Andrew Sullivan on a Wikileaks cable.

First, the paragraph in question from the August 2008 memo:

Regarding the Tahdiya, Hacham said Barak stressed that while it was not permanent, for the time being it was holding. There have been a number of violations of the ceasefire on the Gaza side, but Palestinian factions other than Hamas were responsible. Hacham said the Israelis assess that Hamas is making a serious effort to convince the other factions not to launch rockets or mortars. Israel remains concerned by Hamas' ongoing efforts to use the Tahdiya to increase their strength, and at some point, military action will have to be put back on the table. The Israelis reluctantly admit that the Tahdiya has served to further consolidate Hamas' grip on Gaza, but it has brought a large measure of peace and quiet to Israeli communities near Gaza.
The bolded sentence is what gets Andrew Sullivan up in a tizzy, as he quotes another English-impaired analyst, Daniel Luban:

The memo does not say that the Israelis believe “military action will have to be put back on the table” because at some point Hamas will break the ceasefire, but rather because Hamas would like to maintain the ceasefire to strengthen its position. Thus if the memo accurately reflects the Israeli government’s thinking, it would appear that the Israelis were, from relatively early on, contemplating breaking the ceasefire in order to cut Hamas off at the knees.
Um, no.

The memo states the quite obvious fact that Hamas was using the calm to import huge quantities of weapons into Gaza through the Rafah tunnels. That's what "increasing their strength" means. And, for those whose memories manage to reach all the way back to 2008, that was a major concern on the Israeli side at the time.

Now, why would Hamas need to import so many new rockets and explosives and RPGs and anti-tank missiles? Who could they be considering using them against? Hmmm, another toughie.

The memo is quoting Israeli officials as saying that there will inevitably be a military conflict between Hamas and Israel because Hamas is building up its strength to strike at Israel at some point in the future, and the tinderbox will ignite.

It does not in the least bit say that Israel is planning to break the ceasefire to attack Hamas. In fact, the memo itself states in the very next sentence that things were relatively better in the Negev communities because of the calm - so only an anti-Israel bigot can interpret the sentence as saying that Israel was planning to attack Hamas and force residents of Sderot to sleep in bomb shelters again.

But Sullivan seizes on this poor excuse for analysis by Luban as being indisputably true.

Sullivan's source Luban also says:
 The rockets only resumed in earnest after Israel broke the truce with aNov. 4 raid that left six Palestinians dead; because the raid coincided with the US presidential elections, it was barely reported in the US media. 
His source that it was "barely reported in the US media?" IPS News, an extremely anti-Israel publication. Here's what it said:

Consumed by coverage of the Nov. 4 presidential election, U.S. mainstream media ignored a key Israeli military attack on a Hamas target that some Palestinians claim marked the effective end of the ceasefire between the two sides and set the stage for the current round of bloodletting.

While the major U.S. news wire Associated Press (AP) reported that the attack, in which six members of Hamas's military wing were killed by Israeli ground forces, threatened the ceasefire, its report was carried by only a handful of small newspapers around the country.

So according to Luban's source, only AP reported the strike, and it was ignored by the major media.

This is, of course, a lie. A three minute search shows that Reuters, the New York Times, the LA Times and other major media printed the story.

So Sullivan relies on an analyst that relies on a lying anti-Israel news source to buttress his conspiracy-minded thesis that Israel had preplanned an Election Day attack against innocent Hamas members.  A source who misinterprets basic English to slam Israel based on evidence that doesn't exist.

Now, that's journalism!

(h/t Aaron)