NYT says Jordanian bomber was triggered by Gaza

on 85 Comments

Blowback: The Times has a fine report on Human Khalil abu Mulal al-Balawi, the Jordanian doctor who killed 7 CIA agents in Afghanistan, that relates his rage over the Gaza massacres. More evidence of the absence of official accountability. Unless and until the U.S. acknowledges the merits of the Goldstone report, there will, alas, continue to be violent outbursts of this character. The Times:

"He [Balawi’s brother] described Mr. Balawi as a “very good brother” and a “brilliant doctor,” saying that the family knew nothing of Mr. Balawi’s writings under a pseudonym on jihadi Web sites. He said, however, that his brother had been “changed” by last year’s three-week-long Israeli offensive in Gaza, which killed about 1,300 Palestinians.
The brother said that Mr. Balawi was arrested by the Jordanian authorities after volunteering with medical organizations to treat wounded Palestinians in Gaza. The family is itself of Palestinian origin, from a tribe in the Beersheba region."

I wonder how long the mainstream media will continue to treat this angle as a sidelight and not a main event. 9/11, the recent Fort Hood massacre, the murder of Bobby Kennedy– all had a Palestinian angle. Still the dots remain unconnected, the elephant unreported. Now it feels like the third intifada has started, and it’s a global one. Something’s got to give. It’s time for Chris Matthews and Jon Stewart to end the hypocrisy.

85 Responses

  1. yonira
    January 7, 2010, 3:17 am


    Ever news account I’ve read said he did because of the drones being fired by the CIA. It’s not convenient at all for his brother to blame it on the Israelis either is it?

    Funny you haven’t blamed the failed attempt on NWA 253 on the I/P situation too. Also funny there was zero mention on it on here.

    • potsherd
      January 7, 2010, 6:09 am

      Yonira, it is quite possible for both factors to have motivated him.

      This is one reason you piss people off around here – you’re always accusing people of lies, always shooting your accusations without thinking them through.

      • yonira
        January 7, 2010, 10:37 am

        I piss people off on here because I don’t believe the EXACT same thing that everyone else believes…. I call them like I see them, and lately, I’ve seen a ton of bullshit on this site which not only is untrue frankly it hurts your guys’ cause.

        That headline is misleading as shit, I read a different NYT article that said something completely different. It’s shitting journalism at best and and outright lie at worst.

        This is the second attack where numerous Americans have been killed by Islamic fundamentalists and there isn’t no mention of the people killed or the what they were fighting for. If the soldiers/agents and their families read this shit, they’d be appalled. There is zero mention of their sacrifice EVER, its just oh lets blame it on Israel.

      • potsherd
        January 7, 2010, 10:59 am

        yonira, you piss people off because you read something on a hasbara site and get in a twist when the facts don’t agree with it.

        If the bomber came from a Palestinian family, that’s a fact. Now you’re complaining because reporting this fact doesn’t focus on a completely different issue – the “sacrifice” of the CIA murderers in Afghanistan.

        The blame here goes not directly to Israel but to the US, for its support of Israel and its aggression against other Muslim peoples.

      • yonira
        January 7, 2010, 11:01 am

        Thank you Potsherd.

      • Les
        January 7, 2010, 4:29 pm

        For consumers of US media coverage of Israel/Palestine, it is necessary to read between the lines the way the Germans had to with their media during WWII. Think of Mr. Quisling as “a moderate we can deal with.” Consider the attack on the Warsaw Ghetto as a “war” against armed terrorists. If the German reporting of war in faraway places with maps that showed where the fighting against terrorism was happening did not include Germany’s borders in the map, this helped to discourage unpatriotic attitudes among the German public about foreign wars. In Israel’s schools and universities “Jewish history” is taught differently from all other history in an effort to glorify the state of Israel. Think of the US media’s coverage of Israel/Palestine as an attempt to validate “Jewish geography” where borders don’t count; how else to justify the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. “Jewish geography,” however appropriate it might be for a synagogue to teach young children, is a wildly inappropriate notion for the US media to use when explaining Israel/Palestine. When you read or view media coverage, ask yourself if this particular piece is an example of Jewish geography where you have to read between the lines if you are to learn anything.

    • aparisian
      January 7, 2010, 9:40 am

      yonira, you said it yesterday the MSM is biased, AIPAC taught them that this kind of things are dangerous for them so they avoid it.
      But you and everyone knows here that its all related to the I/P conflict, Zionists are to blame because they are the cause of the terrorism.

  2. yonira
    January 7, 2010, 3:25 am

    If the truth matters to any of you:

    On Wednesday, the operational leader of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan issued a statement praising the work of the suicide bomber, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, and said that the Khost bombing, which also killed a Jordanian intelligence operative, was revenge for the killings of a number of top militant leaders in C.I.A. drone attacks.

    link to nytimes.com

    • sammy
      January 7, 2010, 4:10 am

      Does this “operational leader of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan” have his statement displayed anywhere where we can read it?

    • David Samel
      January 7, 2010, 9:31 am

      yonira, you’re being silly. Why do you doubt Balawi’s brother’s statement that he was “changed” by Gaza? Does the fact that he was sent on this mission as a reprisal for drone attacks cast the slightest doubt on the brother’s information? Do you think it implausible that Balawi, and millions of others, would be so angered by the carnage in Gaza? I was, and I have no connection whatsoever with Muslims or Arabs. Is it so hard to believe that some closer to the situation would be much more angered than I, and even motivated to sacrifice their lives for revenge against Israel or the US? What do you think you are disproving by citing this statement in a NYTimes article?

      • Chaos4700
        January 7, 2010, 10:55 am

        Why? Simple, David. Yonira denies that Gaza every happened, basically. Like I keep saying, he’s the Jewish equivalent of a Holocaust denier.

      • yonira
        January 7, 2010, 11:00 am

        Chaos, I’ve posted to you directly over 10 times the exact opposite. You are a liar, straight up its really sad. All your doing is discrediting yourself when you continue to lie about what I say.

      • Chaos4700
        January 7, 2010, 11:24 am

        Oh, so you’ve stopped denying that Israel targeted civilians? That Israel shot women and children, and shelled homes and buildings after forcing people to take refuge in them? That the IDF targeted and destroyed civilian infrastructure, like water treatment infrastructure, schools and UN facilities and personnel? Have you stopped denying that Israel used white phosphorous as an incendiary weapon instead of an illuminant (because why exactly does one need an illuminant in BROAD DAYLIGHT?)

      • aparisian
        January 7, 2010, 11:43 am

        yonira, even Holocaust survivors know how cruel the Zionism is, read what Hedy Epstein said link to uruknet.com

      • yonira
        January 7, 2010, 4:51 pm

        Civilians were killed, homes were shelled, civilian infrastructure was destroyed after it was deemed a threat(not sure about the water treatment facility). WP was used in civilian areas which is a war crime.

        This is what I admit you can try to put words in my mouth or skew what I say as much as you want Chaos its kinda your MO on here.

      • Ael
        January 7, 2010, 5:11 pm

        Actually, WP makes for a poor illuminant because of the thick clouds of white smoke it releases. WP’s primary role is as an obscurant. I.e. it provides a smoke screen. Smoke screens are often employed during daylight hours.

        However, the photographs I have seen do not reveal an effective smoke screen. Rather it seems that only a few WP rounds were fired. Thus suggests that, in fact, the purpose was to harrass the target and potentially set something on fire.

  3. cogit8
    January 7, 2010, 3:28 am

    A good post Phil, regarding the Palestinian roots of Humam (not Human), but very much human. The Times storyline “Jordanian Bomber’s Path Remains a Mystery to His Family” is a prime example of the intentional lack of intelligence so prevelant in MSM. As if the “bomber” (not the warrior who took out his enemy because they were killing people in his ummah) can be explained by Islamic Terrorist Websites that radicalize even reasonable people using electronic brainwashing techniques that the CIA would dearly love to replicate. HEY NYTIMES: LOOK AT GAZA, ABU GRAIB, AND GUANTANAMO: THAT’S WHAT RADICALIZES PEOPLE! (oh, I forgot about those NY cops that brutally beat and imprisoned people for exercising their right to protest the dumb f’king war during the War Party convention)

  4. Citizen
    January 7, 2010, 7:03 am

    This article on how terrorist motivations regarding rigid US support for oppressive Israel and the Arab despot regimes are skirted paints the problem clearly–it’s by a former CIA analyst, who prepared and briefed the President’s Daily Brief and chaired National Intelligence Estimates:

    link to commondreams.org

    Could a democratic government and MSM be more irresponsible?

  5. Citizen
    January 7, 2010, 8:08 am

    Obama adds 14 more Muslim countries onto the US terror list:
    link to sabbah.biz

    Why not just add the whole world (except Israel of course)?

    • Citizen
      January 7, 2010, 8:14 am

      “Under these new guidelines, almost every American Muslim who travels to see family or friends or goes on pilgrimage to Mecca will automatically be singled out for special security checks – that’s profiling,” said Nihad Awad, CAIR’s national executive director.

      The TSA said it does not profile.

      “TSA security measures are based on threat, not ethnic or religious background,” TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee said.

      Read more: link to sdnn.com

      • sammy
        January 7, 2010, 9:28 am

        Too bad there is no security measure that can keep American/Israeli troops out of other countries. That would curb terrorism more effectively.

      • edwin
        January 7, 2010, 9:37 am

        When it comes to terrorism, the US is in positive feedback mode.

    • potsherd
      January 7, 2010, 11:01 am

      And Cuba, just because of all those Islamic terrorists harbored there.

      • yonira
        January 7, 2010, 11:02 am

        Having Cuba on the list is absurd.

      • David Samel
        January 7, 2010, 11:11 am

        In one sense, it’s not really absurd. Cuba’s inclusion on the list is a telling indication that the list itself is absurd. The fact that Obama has to throw a political bone to the anti-Castro lobby exposes how the entire issue is being treated like a political football rather than a genuine effort to increase safety.

      • Citizen
        January 7, 2010, 5:31 pm

        David Samel, you are on target. The anti-Castro Lobby is a very tiny and much more limited clone of the Israel Lobby. The shit list is totally political to the nines. And why we are at it, let’s consider the case of the underwear bomber
        and all the ridiculous fear mongering and shit list making of Obama and our congress when it’s obvious the underwear bomber was not a result of defective SOP Amercan
        airport security:

        Just how surprising it it to learn that the knicker bomber apparently received special treatment at Amsterdam airport before he boarded his flight to Detroit. Eyewitness Kurt Haskell reported that a sharply dressed Indian man escorted him to the gate and told the attendant that the knicker bomber had no passport but needed to get on the flight. The sharply dressed man was told that he would have to speak to the manager, which he apparently did and successfully got the young ‘terrorist’ on board.

        Now this requires some serious string pulling, and all the hoopla in the press about whether or not the security system worked is just hubris, because if the knicker bomber appeared at the gate without a passport, it is unlikely that he went through the normal process up to that point, including check in which requires passengers to show their passports. In all probability he was escorted as a VIP to the gate by the sharply dressed man. So how do two suspicious looking terrorists, at least one of them without a passport, get to the gate in an airport and then onto the flight? The answer is they don’t unless they have some diplomatic credentials or high-level contacts in the airport.

        Guess who runs the security at Amsterdam Schipol airport? ICTS of course! the same Israeli owned security company that somehow managed to let the shoe bomber on his Miami flight in 2001 and several of those mythical hijackers who allegedly flew out of Boston’s Logan airport on 9/11. It is also useful to remember that the shoe bomber was cleared through ICTS and El Al security at Amsterdam airport on a flight to Tel Aviv in July 2001 for what was apparently an all-expenses paid week-long trip to the Israeli city. What precisely he did there remains a mystery. Hold your breath waiting for the USA mainstream media and cable and satellite TV news shows tell you this.

      • Danaa
        January 7, 2010, 7:04 pm

        Citizen, a minor point – you do know I am a she(-wolf)? eat witties for breakfast. yonira’s for snack.

        Apologies for taking up much space to explain the obvious. But it’s yonira’s fault for pushing me into teachable moments (to add insult to injury lecture is replete with typos, too. oh shucks).

      • Citizen
        January 7, 2010, 7:26 pm

        Oh, I didn’t know your sex, Danaa. So what do you think of the teen-age Israeli Phil encountered on the bus in Israel (another Phil article, he’s the innocent in Israel? He’s says that entitled pimply type abounds. A light to the world?

      • yonira
        January 7, 2010, 7:28 pm

        are you sure it wasn’t the chucacabra or the Yeti?

        Did a search of: Schiphol ICTS

        Its like a whose who of conspiracy and anti-Semitic sites. Which of course sense they are anti-Israel conspiracy sites they are legitimate and probably even considered scholarly sources.

        Again if you guys want truth, visit their website (ICTS) it clearly states they are not responsible for security @ Schiphol. But who can trust an Israeli company for telling the truth, especially when they are knowingly bringing in terrorists to America.

      • Chaos4700
        January 7, 2010, 7:50 pm

        You’ve been falling down the MEMRI hole all this time and now suddenly you decide to play pretend academic, yonira? (Little hint: if you want to be taken seriously, the word “Yeti” should not appear in your post).

        You could have maybe left a link to what you found yonira. As it stands, I really don’t care if Citizen is right or wrong so I’ll let someone else waste their time doing your homework for you, yonira.

      • Danaa
        January 7, 2010, 7:51 pm

        Citizen, I know the type well – but it’s gotten way more ubiquitous – and way worse – since I left. Once upon a time there was still a sense of shame, even if it wasn’t always exercised, even if it got buried under everyday coarseness, even if it was a teenager. it is hardly surprising though that a place run amok with rampant entitlement, aided and abetted by society’s acceptance of arrogant triumphalist militancy and tolerance of beyond-the-pale crude manners, would bear forthsome of it’s worst fruit in the form of it’s most obnoxious teenagers.

        Phil may simply be tuned to notice the ugly underside that most jewish visitors avert their eyes from, pretending it’s one of those “boys will be boys’ things. If Phil stays there long enough and interacts enough with other than upstanding leftist/ultra-educated types, he won’t find that lack of civility quite so charming. One does have to be tuned to the flow of life there to notice what compromised humans israelis have become. All it took is 2 generations of entitlement and triumphalism.

        OTOH, perhaps Phil’s experiences help clarify why the average israeli turned out to be quite as aggressive as their reputation is. can’t say I escaped a touch of the predicament myself (but am working on resurrecting as a gentile self; honest (even if the quest is hopeless)

      • yonira
        January 7, 2010, 9:01 pm
      • yonira
        January 7, 2010, 9:02 pm

        Google ICTS Schiphol:

        link to google.com

        there is your homework, enjoy…..

      • MRW
        January 7, 2010, 9:32 pm

        Yonira, “Again if you guys want truth, visit their website (ICTS) it clearly states they are not responsible for security @ Schiphol.” Oh yeah?You’ve got the wrong company. Read on.

        First, Israelis responding:
        From this website: link to israelmatzav.blogspot.com

        Sunday, December 27, 2009
        Israeli company ran security at Schiphol

        Israeli television interviewed the CEO of the company that handles security at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport last night. Unfortunately, he’s an Israeli and it’s an Israeli company. Not good. (I did not see the interview).

        Tweet from Israel: link to twitter.com

        And Yonira, ICTS is old news. It ran the security at Logan Airport on 911.

        In 1998, ICTS International N.V. made a strategic decision to focus on the US market. The following year, it acquired Huntleigh USA Corp., which provides airline passenger screening services at 47 US airports, including all the international aviation gateways in the USA.

        Huntleigh does Logan.

        Where have you been? It is 100% Israeli owned, and its European headquarters is in Amsterdam.

        You have the wrong website.

        In 2001, ICTS International N.V. sold its European division to Fraport AG. Within the framework of the agreement, Fraport was permitted to name the purchased division ‘ICTS Europe’. We hereby emphasize that ICTS Europe is not a member of the ICTS International N.V. Group, but an entirely different entity, and that from the completion of the sale transaction, the two companies do not maintain any further business relations. Furthermore, the proprietary, leading edge technologies and security concepts developed by ICTS International N.V. remain under its sole ownership.

        Here is what you dont know, yonira: http://www.icts-int.com

      • MRW
        January 7, 2010, 9:37 pm

        [Put in too many links] Yonira, “Again if you guys want truth, visit their website (ICTS) it clearly states they are not responsible for security @ Schiphol.” Oh yeah?You’ve got the wrong company. Read on.

        First, Israelis responding:
        From this website: link to israelmatzav.blogspot.com

        Sunday, December 27, 2009
        Israeli company ran security at Schiphol

        Israeli television interviewed the CEO of the company that handles security at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport last night. Unfortunately, he’s an Israeli and it’s an Israeli company. Not good. (I did not see the interview).

        Tweet from Israel: link to twitter.com

      • MRW
        January 7, 2010, 9:39 pm

        And Yonira, ICTS is old news. (You have the wrong corp website) It ran the security at Logan Airport on 911.

        In 1998, ICTS International N.V. made a strategic decision to focus on the US market. The following year, it acquired Huntleigh USA Corp., which provides airline passenger screening services at 47 US airports, including all the international aviation gateways in the USA.

        Huntleigh does Logan.

        Where have you been? It is 100% Israeli owned, and its European headquarters is in Amsterdam.

        You have the wrong website.

        In 2001, ICTS International N.V. sold its European division to Fraport AG. Within the framework of the agreement, Fraport was permitted to name the purchased division ‘ICTS Europe’. We hereby emphasize that ICTS Europe is not a member of the ICTS International N.V. Group, but an entirely different entity, and that from the completion of the sale transaction, the two companies do not maintain any further business relations. Furthermore, the proprietary, leading edge technologies and security concepts developed by ICTS International N.V. remain under its sole ownership.

        Here is what you dont know, yonira: http://www.icts-int.com

      • MRW
        January 7, 2010, 9:43 pm

        THIS IS THE WRONG WEB SITE. The correct one is http://www.icts-int.com.

        And they not only do Schiapol, but they were on the job on 911 at Logan airport. They do ALL international gates in the USA and they are 100% Israeli owned.

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2010, 4:33 pm

        Hollywood teen movies (horror or comedic) always paint the vile bigoted white trash or the entitled white frat bullies in HS or college. It would be interesting to see someone put such a (barely veiled) satiric camera eye and ear audio
        on Israeli youth and culture, where Jewish power reigns supreme. LOL. If the model was extended, it would have to include PC victims–LOL–Palestininas.
        Of course, they don’t even generally go to the same schools as Israeli Jews, right?

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2010, 4:37 pm

        And then one day, who knows, there might be a revenge fantasy starring
        an American hillbilly and his Palestinian dirty dozen? Then the Palestinian Americans could sit around after prayers and yak about their guilt feelings for having enjoyed the movie–reminding each other it was only a movie, and took historical license (as if the I-P history is not already the most objectively abused swirl of narratives of any).

      • syvanen
        January 7, 2010, 3:39 pm

        The irony of having Cuba on this list is that she was the first victim of a politically motivated terrorist act involving commercial airlines. In 1976 an ex-CIA employee blew up a Cuban airliner. Posada who led the act today lives in Miami as a free man. The US refuses to extradite him to Venezuela where the flight originated and the bomb was placed.

        This case like no other illustrates the utter hypocrisy of our war on terror.

  6. Taxi
    January 7, 2010, 9:14 am

    Waiting for Chris Mathew et al to wake up from their hasbara stupor is like waiting for godot.

    • Citizen
      January 7, 2010, 9:56 am

      Chris is like Obama; he just wants to have and keep his job. Which reminds me, what happened to Lou Dobbs?

  7. edwin
    January 7, 2010, 9:39 am

    Glenn Greenwald also has a post on this topic:

    More cause and effect in our ever-expanding “war”

    link to salon.com

    • David Samel
      January 7, 2010, 9:58 am

      Amen. I hate to engage in hero worship of anybody, but I find Greenwald brilliant just about every time.

      • MRW
        January 7, 2010, 11:11 am

        I agree, David Samel. The article that edwin links to is superb. Living in Brazil must be freeing to him, because he was never this direct when he lived here.

    • Citizen
      January 7, 2010, 10:53 am

      Thanks, edwin. Very good Greenwald post–nearly all the many comments beneath it applauded it. Like the former CIA analyst’s article I referenced above in this thread, the key point is our government and MSM should at the very least publicly debate
      the costs and benefits of our long-stuck foreign policy and foreign aid gears. The biggest culprit is the MSM; it has made our First Amendment thinner than a paper tiger crayoned by an infant. I hear there’s a viable bill being pushed in congress now to exert more governmental control over internet content–and I don’t mean a bill trying to curb
      child sex predators.

      • MRW
        January 7, 2010, 11:12 am

        But they wont be able to exert control over Greenwald. He’s not under US jurisdiction, although you could say Salon.com is.

  8. potsherd
    January 7, 2010, 11:06 am

    Here, yonira, is another report on Balawi’s anger at the Gaza offensive as a motivation.
    link to haaretz.com

    It doesn’t say a single word about the “sacrifice” of the CIA agents. That lying Ha’aretz!

    • Citizen
      January 7, 2010, 5:39 pm

      Never forget that Haaretz is subject to daily Israeli military censorhship. You can rest easy that the USA censorship by our volunteer MSM is much more severe when it comes to what Americans can hear, that is, all the news “gud 4 yuze.” Bernays set the tone, Goebbels made it obvious; the USA MSM has blended this to a refined formula
      of hasbara; the vaunted “free” sheeple never know what day it is in real time. Bernays taught us to smoke with shiksa high-steppers; you think the German goosesteppers are a joke? Nothing like the dance into oblivion on center state for the last half century at least. All the directors of our MSM media corporations should be tried for treason, followed by most of congress, the Shrub regime, the Obama regime, and….what’s left?

      • potsherd
        January 8, 2010, 5:25 pm

        I think it’s more that Ha’aretz is interested in Israelis, in Jews, and in Palestinians who can be fingered as terrorists. About the sacrifice of US agents – not so much.

  9. Kathleen
    January 7, 2010, 1:37 pm

    How long will we ignore what leaders and people from that region have been repeating for decades. The I/P conflict and the lopsided U.S. policies in that region are why so many people in that part of the world continue to be pissed off with the U.S.

    How many times do we have to hear this? How many suicide bombers have to blow themselves up along with U.S. corporate and Israeli operatives? How long? How many?

  10. Danaa
    January 7, 2010, 1:58 pm

    Interestingly, the nigerian wanna-be bomber also had major issues with the gaza massacres. On Olbermann, during the interview with Wolf, who practically came out with a conspiracy theory (neocon redux), there was a picture of the nigerian pointing to a home made placard, denouncing the gaza slaughter. maybe it was during a demonstration of sorts in England. They flashed the picture several times, but not a word was said about the obvious implications. Elsewhere comments by the Nigerian to friends/family about the palestinian injustice were mentioned. Again, no one connects the dots.

    John stewart’s bumper sticker – taking off from Obama’s words (who did not finish the thought): “It’s not a failure to collect, not a failure to connect”.

    That actually says it all. gaza comes home to america.

    • yonira
      January 7, 2010, 2:07 pm

      I also had major issues w/ the gaza massacres Danaa. Difference is I didn’t travel to Yemen, join a terrorist network and try to kill innocent Americans on a transatlantic flight.

      • Cliff
        January 7, 2010, 2:15 pm

        Why would you even say that? Was Danaa legitimizing the guy’s frustration/manifestation of his legitimate grievances?

        You can agree with the terrorist actually, but where he becomes a terrorist (and you if you agreed 100% w/ him) is to kill innocent civilians in revenge.

      • Chaos4700
        January 7, 2010, 2:17 pm

        No, indeed. Instead, you make excuses for Israeli soldiers to spray innocent children with white phosphorous and cluster bombs.

        You’re less of a “hands on” person and more of a “public relations” person, I guess.

      • yonira
        January 7, 2010, 2:42 pm

        Chaos, whats the point in continuing to lie about what I’ve said in the past? How does it help anyone? It sure doesn’t help you, and it lets me make my point clear about how I felt about Cast Lead, the use of WP, and the killing of civilians.

        It allows people from the outside to see what levels you guys will stoop to and that lying about something repeatedly is par for the course.

        For a future tip, if you are going to lie about what i said, try to do it maybe in subsequent thread where I don’t denounce the exact thing you accuse me of supporting?

      • Chaos4700
        January 7, 2010, 3:32 pm

        You’ll have to forgive me, you change what you’re willing to say with such lightning speed it’s hard for the rest of us to keep track of your vacillations.

        You know, like how you called Cliff a “whiner” and let it stand for days, and then only apologized when I cornered you about it. Yeah, really classy.

        Or how about that time you mocked the Gazans for painting donkeys to look like Zebras because most of the animals in the zoo in Gaza have died as a result of the crippling siege. “Those stupid Palestinians! How many Nobel prizes do they have?”

        I’m pretty sure the people from outside can see both of us quite clearly, yonira. I’m not really worried about that.

      • yonira
        January 7, 2010, 3:42 pm

        And I am not worried about this movement ever really succeeding anything, because there are too many people who are as callous and more concerned with total demonetization of Israel than they are about improving the situation.

      • Chaos4700
        January 7, 2010, 4:00 pm

        Too busy voting to send more American troops to their death in the Middle East on fake intel to really notice, are you?

      • Danaa
        January 7, 2010, 4:21 pm

        Yonira, the point I made was not a defense of bombing anything, as Cliff and chaos point out. It was about motivation for a crime and the blowback issue. Lots of people, 100’s of millions in fact, are royally enraged about what was done to the gazans and the casualness with which the killing of so many children were greeted by the US media (ie, hardly mentioned, when a single kidnapped american child is all over the news 24/7). Out of those many 100’s of millions, there’ll be a few who are more motivated to actually commit extreme violence as well as be capable to throw their own lives away. I am probably as enraged as the Nigerian was about Gaza for example, and the way the siege is enforced. However, due to my own circumstances I choose to deal with my range through say, Mondoweiss postings. As do many others. Phil was sufficiently enraged to go to cairo for the march, as were 1400 other people. A 1000 demonstrated in israel. Who knows how many egyptians are seething with rage at the way their government treats gaza? not so hard to imagine that out so many egyptians, one or 2 will find the motivation, opprtunity and means to carry out a violent act against some target, probably a soft one.

        The problem we are discussing – blowback – is that when there’s already a powder keg in the making – all it can take is that extra little push.

        I’ll give you another example, which I hope will make it clear how this works in practice. Think of all the people who are dead set against abortion in the US, many using words like holocaust and evil to describe it – and probably believe it too. yet out of the few million who may feel so strongly, there were only a handful who chose to actually kill or try to kill doctors or bomb clinics. May be abetted by support from a several 10’s of thousands, who function as enablers and inciters, both before and after the crime. You could say that the “pro-lifers’ are like the jihadists, with many participatating in forums for the like-minded, egged on by TV pundits like o’reilly and even a few precher types. And out of this multitude there’ll be eventually one ready and willing to commit the acts others wish for.

        BTW, this example should in no way mean I’m drawing any kind of parallel here between abortion, gaza or what not. It is only offered to yonira as a way for him/her to process how a jihadi mind frame can produce a few criminal acts, even if a majority would never think or be capable of resorting to actual violence.

        By way of another example, and because i’m feeling pedagogically inclined today, think of all the millions of super-bitter divorces going on right now and the enormous potential for revenge killings of ex-spouses. Yet only very few actually happen or are attempted. Obviously a desire for revenge and feelings of rage are insufficient, by themselves to cause a crime. Not for the vast majority of people.

      • yonira
        January 7, 2010, 4:29 pm

        Thanks for the explanation and response Danaa

      • aparisian
        January 7, 2010, 4:59 pm

        Israel is a terrorist state yonira read this link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Citizen
        January 7, 2010, 5:55 pm

        I don’t really understand, yonira, why Danna had to explain what he did to you–it’s obvious to most regulars on this blog that you are missing the point of so many commenters. Why does this continually happen? Is it the commenters or you? Perhaps you can clarify your basic position by showing how it differs from Phil’s to the best of your wisdom? And, in contrast, does it differ from
        Phil’s authorized hasbara agent’s, Dick Witty? If you don’t know what I mean as to Witty, see recent past posts by Mooser regarding how Witty’s pompous,
        and intentionally cloudy, abstract verbiage always boils down from 1 to all 4 of
        the standard hasbara talking points. For further details, go read the Israel Project’s hasbara dictionary. BTW, white separatists here in the USA have recently used the Israel Project’s dictionary and extensively fleshed-out talking points as a model for their own agenda.

      • Citizen
        January 7, 2010, 7:33 pm

        Sorry, Danna–I didn’t know you were a lady. I totally agree with your comments on this thread.

  11. cogit8
    January 7, 2010, 3:30 pm

    Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi grew up in a “refugee camp”, ie, a hell-hole where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians thrown off their land still live today and are totally forgotten by the MSM.

    Are Jews the only human-beings who live, breath, and think about the tragedies of the past?

    Apparently not.

    • Colin Murray
      January 7, 2010, 4:38 pm

      Are Jews … ?

      Exactly how do you justify this sentence? Has it escaped your notice that Jews are well represented in the forefront of opposition to Israeli racism and occupation, ethnic cleansing, and colonization? Perhaps you meant to say “Are Zionists … ?”

      • Kathleen
        January 7, 2010, 5:08 pm

        this is a new phenomena. A welcome response. Way over due

      • edwin
        January 7, 2010, 7:55 pm

        It’s not new. 40 years ago my grandparents attempted to get the rabbi to hold a funeral for my father.

        Growing up, Jews were always a strong part of what little opposition to Israel there was.

        What is new is that opposition to Israel is no longer fringe. It is “left liberal” and moving rapidly towards mainstream. As it moves, the number of Jews who are on board is growing as well.

        It is not a new phenomena that Jews are well represented in the forefront of opposition to Israeli racism – they always have been Toronto, and I assume other cities. It’s just being well represented in a handful of far left radicals is not noticeable.

        It is not that Jewish opposition is way over due, but it is any opposition is way over due. I’d like to point out that with all the problems of mainstream Jewish progressive except Palestine, it is the Zionist Christians that are the real fanatics on the issue.

      • MRW
        January 7, 2010, 9:08 pm

        edwin, it is the Zionist Christians that are the real fanatics on the issue. They’re fucking terrifying, is what they are. I mean, Begin and Shamir concocted the plan in the late 7os and schmoozed Jerry Falwell, who thought Jews grew from square pegs on trees and who Begin/Shamir knew talked to Carter and then Reagan, and convinced him that they agreed wholeheartedly that homosexuality was evil, and wanted to help him stamp it out (I’m not making this up). So Falwell thought these Jews aren’t such bad Jesus-murderers after all, and got in bed with them, and B/S used Falwell to communicate with Reagan. They moved state info through Falwell, by design, increasing Falwell’s power with Reagan and tying Jewish money and clout with the multi-population of Southern fundamentalists votes.

        Fast forward to John Hagee, because Falwell is dead. Hagee was the heir apparent and holds constant Nights for Israel, or some such, under his Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and claims 70 million supporters. A Jew is the Director of CUFI now and handles all the Republican Jewish Coalition-style fear-mongering, like ex-Ambassador Danny Ayalon’s letter to 28 million newspaper subscribers up and down the eastern seaboard along with a DVD of the movie Obsession, which equated Hitler with Islamofascism. jewsonfirst.org did a bang-up job of demolishing their efforts. The Jewish Director of CUFI also wrote a book about CUFI and sent that along to every rabbi he knew.

        So…it’s these whack jobs, but the Israeli Yisrael Beitenu party is in bed with them.

      • Citizen
        January 7, 2010, 6:04 pm

        Which Jews in congress are representing opposition to Israeli racism and occupation, ethnic cleansing, and colonization? And which Jews in our MSM? Just asking. Phil’s blog is pretty tiny in comparison. Are you thinking of Ben Stein? Some other old teen movie cameo guy?

      • MRW
        January 7, 2010, 8:19 pm


        This is going to become — will have to become — a less sensitive issue because of Netanyahu. He stood up in the UN last September and banged the gavel for Israel being a Jewish state, a nation of Jews. He didn’t say Zionists. And he invoked the biblical age. One of the critical conditions of negotiations for the past few years between Israel and Palestine has been that the Palestinians first declare Israel a Jewish State, a nation of Jews (to which the Palestinians rightfully said, I dont care what you are. Describe yourselves anyway you want…it has no bearing on us.)

        We refer to people in the other theocratic state, Iran, as Iranians or Shiites, or Persians. No problema. In Iraq, which was secular, we described them back in 2003 as Sunni or Shia, and the Saudis are sometimes called the Wahhabis.

        But when it comes to Jews, whoops, we need the eggshells. We’re a race, we’re a people, we’re a religion, and god help you if you dont answer the multiple-choice question correctly in the right circumstance, or its a Hitlerian doppelganger.

        Well, you know something, Colin — and please believe me when I say this, this is absolutely not a criticism of you; I’m just glad you brought it up — maybe all the powerful, rich, prosperous, and, yes, also, militaristic Spartans of Israel dont get to lay the mercury-based rules of the road on us no mo’, especially since it’s become a killing machine we treat with kid gloves. Maybe, we take that ‘sensitivity’, that power to to dictate the language, control the rules of the road, away from them until they start acting like members of the 21st C instead of some medieval passion play with our 21st C weaponry out in the back-forty. You can’t have it three different ways, and then cry wolf because someone actually calls you what you’ve been demanding the world call you. It’s a cat’s-cradle of insanity. They want to be the Jewish state? Fine. They get to be the nation of Jews. What. Is. Wrong. With. That?

        That whole district on the eastern side of Russia is a Jewish State, has been since 1928, although they didn’t set it up legislatively until later, and that’s what they call themselves: the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, whether they’re Christian or Muslim, and everybody has to speak Yiddish and Hebrew. [This would be a good model for Israel to study. The Jews are a minority there, and always have been.]

        There are Shiites all over Iran, but guess what, they’re in Michigan too, and Iranians in this country openly bitch about Iran, as well as support it. Any fool knows American Jews are divided on the Palestine issue. We have the Stern gang type, the Amira Hass type, the Meir Kahane type, the Henry Seligman type, the Norman Finkelstein type, the Weiss/Horowitz type, all on our shores. BFD. Just as there are Islamic and Christian ranges of types as well, and the latter have some whacked out sect practices waving snakes around, and talking in tongues.

        I say we stab at the exceptionalism that says they, and they alone — and I’m talking about the extremist Israeli Jews and their stateside extremist supporters — get to dictate the discourse and the labels…because Plato was right: He who tells the stories rules the world. And these extremists don’t get to hide behind Holocaust sympathies to shut you or me up.

        cogit8 doesn’t comment so much here anymore, but I don’t ever remember him or her being an anti-semite, or writing anything anti-semitic, and I didn’t take it as such.

        We have to bust through these taboos.

        [Excuse all typos and grammatical whatnots…in no mood to edit this.] :-)

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2010, 4:46 pm

        Bravo, MRW. You speaketh wisdom and keen political awareness, not to mention a good grasp of some Russian history.

      • potsherd
        January 8, 2010, 5:28 pm

        No, I think it’s “are Jews …?”

        Not all Jews who pray in the direction of Jerusalem and donate to the Holocaust Museums on every streetcorner are Zionists.

        And the answer, btw, is “no”. Serbs, for one, are just as bad about obsessing on old tragedies.

    • Citizen
      January 7, 2010, 7:37 pm

      Well, some very influential American Jews and many Israelis think every Gentile needs to constantly internalize the Jewish version of world history, especially the reality of the Shoah, which did happen; however, when it comes to discussing Israeli history, and looking for a just solution, you Gentiles need to move on, forget about the past–most especially when it comes to the Palestinians. The adage those who don’t remember history are condemned to repeat it contains many ironies in this context, yes?

  12. tommy
    January 7, 2010, 8:33 pm

    “Mr. Balawi was arrested by the Jordanian authorities after volunteering with medical organizations to treat wounded Palestinians in Gaza.”

    This behavior of Dr. Balawi is not indicative of blowback from the Gaza Massacre. I think what it informs is Dr. Balawi was motivated to provide humanitarian aid to the victims of heinous Israeli aggression, but the giving of humanitarian aid landed him into a security system that abused him. Was Dr. Balawi tortured or in any way coerced into providing ‘intelligence’ to the Jordanians, who are proxies for America, and then pressured into becoming an agent for the Americans with threats? Most likely. Almost certainly Dr. Balawi was put into some type of double bind by a US led security state apparatus, where all of his choices were horrendous . This is not blowback motivated by Gaza, but a response from someone trapped in an unbelievably dangerous situation without hope.

  13. Colin Murray
    January 8, 2010, 12:17 am

    I think it is important to note that the slain CIA agents, given that the attack was a direct response to American government political and financial facilitation (entirely the result of the Israeli Lobby) of the IDF’s Gaza terror attack, can accurately be described as victims of Zionism. The very specific and public linkage surely makes their colleagues and families far more aware of this than those of general military casualties in Iraq.

    • Chaos4700
      January 8, 2010, 1:24 am

      Conversely, and you’ll have to forgive me for being cynical and perhaps a little bit callous, but purportedly this was a mix of CIA personnel and “contractors” from Blackwater. Which means the victims in the bombing were very likely torturers, assassins or drone-operating mass murderers.

      Since the corrupt American government has proven itself completely incapable of policing its own when it comes to war crimes and human rights abuses (among other things), it’s hard for me not to imagine that in a roundabout way the bomber was doing us a favor. For all we know, the guy also took out the next batch of “Nigerian yellow cake” forgeries with his blast and delayed a charge into war with Iran to boot.

      • Citizen
        January 8, 2010, 4:49 pm

        Hey, the USA has decided to continue to do business as usual with Blackwater now that it changed it’s name. Why, it’s almost like how we continued to do business with
        that ZOA org after it changed its name to AIPAC. Capitalism first. Bobby K who?

      • potsherd
        January 8, 2010, 5:16 pm

        Let’s not forget, like they want us to, the massacre of the schoolboys by US forces/agents.

        This one has gotten as little press as the Gaza convoy – things they don’t want us to know.

  14. tommy
    January 10, 2010, 2:58 pm

    From today’s NY Times: Dr. Balawi’s father:

    ““I blame the agencies that recruited him, and changed him,” he said. “Changed him. They turned him from a human, a doctor, to a person with a heart full of negative and hostile emotions toward others.””

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