October 26, 2012

Zionists try the what about Syria routine

It would be trite for me to say that I can't believe the hasbara brigade sometimes because I can never believe them and nor should you.  But Jonathan Freedland abuses the privilege of being the resident hasbarista at The Guardian.  See the headline of his article from some time last week and you don't need to read the article itself to know what it is saying:

We condemn Israel. So why the silence on Syria?

When Israelis kill Arabs there is outrage. But Assad's brutal campaign has cost 30,000 lives and there've been no protests
 Except of course, Freedland rarely condemns Israel.  The article attracted well over 800 comments most of which seemed to notice that there has been nothing like "silence on Syria".  And Chris Doyle of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding had a withering criticism of Freedland published in the letters page a couple of days after Freedland's piece appeared:

Jonathan Freedland's argument about contrasting reactions to events inIsrael and Syria is significantly flawed (Comment, 20 October). First, there has been huge outrage over the Assad regime's brutality, including weekly protests outside the Syrian embassy and others in Trafalgar Square. Is there any credible figure in British politics who has not condemned its behaviour?
Second, the British government has quite rightly unequivocally opposed the Assad regime's crimes and supported 19 rounds of sanctions against regime figures and entities. Though Israel's crimes are not directly comparable, when its forces bomb schools, level villages, use human shields, demolish houses, torture civilians, and steal land there is little more than routine tame verbal criticism and a business as usual approach. Britain cannot even support Palestinian statehood. This rank hypocrisy and double standards rankles with many.
There is little more that we can expect the British government to do on Syria short of engaging in a dangerous war, while the Assad regime hardly cares what British protesters think, any more than it cares about peaceful Syrian demonstrators. In contrast, there is much our government could do tangibly to demonstrate that it takes Israel's consistent violations of law and Palestinian human rights seriously, not least a full arms embargo.
In both cases there has been plenty of prominent media coverage, not least in the Guardian. Those suffering in other conflicts such as Congo would love even a fraction of the attention.
Chris Doyle
 Luckily for the hasbaristas Jenny Tonge also had a letter published saying,
Jonathan Freedland makes the usual plea "why condemn Israel?". Israel claims to be a western-style democracy that respects human rights and international law. The US and the EU, as well as our own country, have social, academic, cultural and trade links with Israel, and many of us have friends or colleagues in Israel. To many UK citizens, it is their home too. Israel drove the Palestinians from their homeland and livelihoods in 1948 and for 45 years Israel has occupied the West Bank. The treatment of the Palestinians is brutal and humiliating, as I have witnessed. We are right to condemn Israel for its actions. We are right to demand a higher standard of behaviour from Israel than from Arab states that are only now struggling to achieve political change. I have been to Syria. Does Mr Freedland really want Israel to be judged by the same standards by which we judge Syria?
Jenny Tonge
House of Lords
Darling of the hasbara bloggers, Norman Geras, couldn't believe his luck skipping past every point to the nugget that Israel should be held to a higher standard than Syria. Of course Israel should be held to the same standard as Syria but it isn't held to any standard at all.

Jim Denham at Shiraz Socialist was also rather pleased about Jenny Tonge's letter.  He describes Freedland's ludicrously transparent zionist propaganda as "wisdom" and he just loves Norman Geras's "devastating reposte" to Jenny Tonge.  But even Jim Denham is forced to concede that western bankrolling and arming of Israel makes a real difference from the west's approach to Syria.

But it was thanks to Jim Denham jumping through hoops to serve the racist war criminals of the State of Israel that I saw what truly was a "devastating reposte" to Freedland's effort.  It was in one of the below the line comments to the original (well, not that original) article from a David Pavett.  It's a long comment so I won't reproduce it in full here. Let these few lines suffice:
[Freedland writes] They say nothing because there is no pressure on them to say anything. Here and abroad, there is virtual silence, save for the desperate pleas of a few Syrian expats and yesterday's cry for humanitarian help from the Turkish foreign minister.
Virtual silence! What can he mean? Later he says "The story is rarely on the front page or on the TV bulletins."
Whatever political universe JF lives in it is clearly not the same as the one I am familiar with. In mine I have watched hours and hours of news footage of the fighting in Syria (largely filmed on the mobile phones of opposition activists). I have read acres and acres of front page news items and endless discussion of the problems.
Many comments make a similar point and it is encouraging to see that zionists are no longer getting away with their hasbara antics though it is worrying to think that Freedland thought that he could get away such nonsense without people noticing.


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