Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Biases"? The Real Issue is: Is It Accurate or Not?

Janprops, you complained about me citing Richard Falk, United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in the Occupied Territories, arguing that, "biases can steer even the most genius people into the hole of stupidity." As Falk says in the video I posted, "the real issue is: is what I've said in the reports and what I've written true or not, is it accurate or not?" And it is true, mainstream media has apparently mislead you by not presenting the facts. Is that what the problem is? Are you so unfamiliar with these things that you think people who simply state these facts must "blindly hate Israel?" I think you're too eager to dismiss what you don't want to hear that you claim people have "biases" when they report on what Israel is doing, about the ongoing cruelty and unlawfulness of the Gaza blockade imposed by Israel. Falk, who is Jewish, explained that, "such a policy of collective punishment, initiated by Israel to punish Gazans for political developments within the Gaza strip, constitutes a continuing flagrant and massive violation of international humanitarian law as laid down in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention."

I thought a previous post made it clear that the media is not telling you the whole story. See how Israel mistreated Falk. Notice how mainstream media was unwilling to report what Israel did to Falk? Why didn't they interview him? And it was Israel which broke the cease-fire, why is nearly all mainstream media not making that clear? (CNN's Rick Sanchez mentioned it yet the media trend is still to play the game that it wasn't Israel who broke the ceasefire, even on CNN they still play that game!)

Stephen Shalom has written a good article which answers many questions (over 30 questions) about what Israel is doing to Gaza. You questioned if Israel can still be considered an occupying power in Gaza, Shalom answers this in question 3, "Hasn't Israel withdrawn from Gaza, thereby ending its occupation?":

The Israeli withdrawal did not end the occupation. As John Dugard, the UN's then special rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, noted in 2006:
Statements by the Government of Israel that the withdrawal ended the occupation of Gaza are grossly inaccurate. Even before the commencement of 'Operation Summer Rains,' following the capture of Corporal Shalit, Gaza remained under the effective control of Israel. This control was manifested in a number of ways. Israel retained control of Gaza's air space, sea space and external borders. Although a special arrangement was made for the opening of the Rafah border crossing to Egypt, to be monitored by European Union personnel, all other crossings remained largely closed.... The actions of IDF [Israeli Defense Force] in respect of Gaza have clearly demonstrated that modern technology allows an occupying Power to effectively control a territory even without a military presence. [John Dugard, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, report transmitted by the Secretary General, "Situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967," UN General Assembly doc. A/61/470, Sept. 27, 2006.]
On November 20, 2008, Human Rights Watch wrote to Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, stating, among other things,
"Even though Israel withdrew its permanent military forces and settlers in 2005, it remains an occupying power in Gaza under international law because it continues to exercise effective day-to-day control over key aspects of life in Gaza." [Human Rights Watch, "Letter to Olmert: Stop the Blockade of Gaza," Nov. 20, 2008.]
If Israel had truly withdrawn from Gaza, then Israel could not prohibit Gaza from trading by sea or air with other nations, bar people from sailing or flying in to or out of Gaza, overfly Gazan airspace or patrol its coastal waters, or declare "no go zones" within Gaza. Israel also controls Gaza's Population Registry and collects import duties on any goods it allows into Gaza. [Sari Bashi and Kenneth Mann, Disengaged Occupiers: The Legal Status of Gaza, Tel Aviv: Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, Jan. 2007.]


Anonymous said...

Glad we have people like Tom, Amy Goodman and Noam Chomsky to report this more accurately. I can't believe people can bend words enough to call this justified.

TheMessiah said...

Your with Israel or your with the terrorists period. Nothing better to prove this than showing Palestinians celebrating and dancing in the attacks of 911.

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