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‘NYT’ terms Islamic Jihad’s 4 percent support– ‘new traction in Gaza’

Israel/Palestine
on 56 Comments
New York Times headquarters. (Photo: Wikipedia)

New York Times headquarters. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Over the weekend Jodi Rudoren of The New York Times wrote a story from Gaza about the rise of Islamic Jihad: “Islamic Jihad Gains New Traction in Gaza.” It was scary, featuring photos of martyr murals and guys in ski masks carrying shoulder-fired grenades.

Smaller and less known internationally than the militant Islamic Hamas faction that has ruled since 2007, Islamic Jihad and its Al-Quds Brigades are having something of a renaissance. Last month the group captured global headlines by firing a barrage of 100 rockets toward Israel in less than an hour.

Not till the 16th paragraph of the story did you discover that it has fractional support:

The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found 5 percent of Gaza residents supporting Islamic Jihad in December and 4 percent in March, up from 1 to 3 percent in recent years.

I.e., Islamic Jihad’s support might have grown as little 1 percent in recent years. And it’s gone down between December and March! As James North wrote to me, alerting me to the story: “It is fake and melodramatic.”

Speaking of The New York Times, Victoria Brittain has an excellent piece up at Open Democracy on the rapidly shifting media narrative of Israel Palestine, and the role of the internet in rocking the old paradigms.

She pits the two forces. First, there’s the “western press’ long-standing compliant relationship with the official Israeli version of progressive dispossession of the Palestinian people over more than 60 years…”

Against this powerful current in recent years a modestly-financed series of initiatives in new media has begun a kind of guerrilla intellectual war challenging the old dominance.

Dents in the old master-narrative of Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East, and with no interlocutor among the Palestinians, who threaten its existence, are visible in many areas.

And Brittain itemizes the erosion of the New York Times’s authority, citing our site among many others doing this work.

One strand of this is a tireless scrutiny of the New York Times. The paper’s bureau chiefs and reporters on Israel/Palestine are invariably based in West Jerusalem and some have had personal connections with Israel (for example: former bureau chief Ethan Bronner’s son served in the IDF ). The Washington DC-based Jerusalem Fund/Palestine Centre, the Electronic Intifada and Mondoweiss systematically launch detailed challenges to the NYT reporting. They take on the NYT professionalism – making dents in the credibility of the key US paper of record, and having these critiques amplified by an incalculable number of new media links.

 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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56 Responses

  1. hophmi
    May 5, 2014, 10:54 am

    You keep saying you have traction in the United States, where support for your movement is in the single digits.

    • Philip Weiss
      May 5, 2014, 11:10 am

      Well played Hophmi. I see our support going from 8-15 percent in the US generally and 12 percent among Jews.

      • peterfeld
        May 5, 2014, 11:30 am

        Depends how you frame the question. The percent of Americans who wouldn’t want $3b/year sent to Israel is probably high. Likewise, the percent who would want the US to disengage from the Middle East in general.

      • Citizen
        May 5, 2014, 12:14 pm

        @ peterfeld
        Imagine if a poll asked Americans if they support a fifth of total US foreign aid going to tiny, well-off, nuclear-armed Israel (which has national health insurance)? Or break it down, to Egypt & Israel, with aid conditional on Egypt supporting Israel, plus unconditional aid to Israel, including its illegal settlement expansion.

      • Boomer
        May 5, 2014, 1:48 pm

        Exactly. For now, those views don’t matter to Congress or the neocons in the State Department, of course. But perhaps someday . . . we can hope.

      • Krauss
        May 5, 2014, 11:40 am

        Here’s mine!

        Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

        – Margaret Mead

        And wasn’t she right?

        There was popular support for Jim Crow in this country for many decades, too. Hophmi and people like him are finished.

      • Sycamores
        May 5, 2014, 12:44 pm

        @ Krauss,

        the science behind tipping points says you only need to reach 10% of the population with a steadfast belief for it to be adopted by the majority. http://news.rpi.edu/luwakkey/2902

        Given Peter Weiss figures the support for the movement have surpass that percentage and in fact beginning to spread out into the majority.

        if the science holds out these coming years will see drastic changes for the status quo.

      • Boomer
        May 5, 2014, 1:46 pm

        I don’t know where you get your numbers, but I think there is also a qualitative element. I don’t have poll data to support my perception, but I think that some of us who are uneasy with U.S. support for what Israel has done and is doing have become more willing to talk about it with friends and neighbors. Thanks to sites like this one, we have more awareness of reality, more facts, and more references to credible sources of information that does not get reported by ABC, CBS, NBC and NPR. Ten years ago, a combination of ignorance and fear of being labeled anti-semitic kept more people silent. That kind of change (if my perception is accurate) can have an effect over time, much as global warming can eventually melt all glaciers.

    • justicewillprevail
      May 5, 2014, 12:40 pm

      Yes, and dull, unimaginative, repetitive zionists (like guess who?) wheel out the same tired old has-been rhetoric against both. There is no division as far as they are concerned – the whole world who don’t worship at the altar of the cult of zionism are scary anti semites. From the pages of the NYT to the comments section at MW, the same old false accusations are peddled endlessly. Boring, and desperate.

  2. geofgray
    May 5, 2014, 11:04 am

    Without net neutrality mondoweiss and other sites won’t be able to rock the old paradigms. The facts won’t get out. Mondoweiss readers might want to sign a few petitions and make a few calls to their “representatives.”

    • Citizen
      May 5, 2014, 12:23 pm

      @ geofray
      Here’s some context on net neutrality from last February, when FCC was set to propose new rules on open internet: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/business/fcc-to-propose-new-rules-on-open-internet.html

      I’m a bit vague on just how it would impact, say Mondweiss and its regulars.

      • Boomer
        May 5, 2014, 2:58 pm

        Of course, details of impact are vague now, but the potential is that this site could take much longer to load than sites that pay the ISPs for faster access, thus making it unpleasant to use, thus making it less used.

        For the most part, the telecoms own Congress on their issues just as Wall Street does on its issues, but there are some corporations on the other side, so perhaps the outcome isn’t already set in stone. Mozilla has made a proposal (also a bit vague at this point), which sounds interesting:
        http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/05/mozilla-offers-fcc-a-net-neutrality-plan-with-a-twist/

      • Citizen
        May 5, 2014, 8:25 pm

        Yes, Boomer, that’s how I read it at this point. Seems the PTB just want more lucrative business in quick fashion, and those of us who use the net to get information would be sent to the back of the bus.

  3. Woody Tanaka
    May 5, 2014, 11:04 am

    Not surprised. The Netanyahu regime and its fifth column in the US fear their divide-and-conquer strategy will fail, with the recent thaw between Hamas and Fatah, so the NYT has its instructions and will fear monger by any means necessary. Benji can always count on Rudoren to carry his water.

  4. seafoid
    May 5, 2014, 11:25 am

    today is memorial day, one of the
    high points in the calendar of the cult of Zionism.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.589016

    “The official state ceremony for the fallen in wars and operations commenced immediately after on Mt. Herzl, in the presence of President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.”

    “Their [the soldiers’] sacrifice allowed us to live here in an independent country that is proud of all its citizens, a state that is the national home of our people,” Netanyahu said.

    “On Memorial Day we feel as one family, together. At these moments the significance of the loss in establishing the state of Israel becomes clear. We have the right to build a state that only few could dream of, a democratic state like a moral beacon, a state seeking peace that deals well with the unending threats to its security and determined to stand up to every test.”

    The cult of the war dead is very 19th century European
    Mount Herzl was never mentioned in the Bible.

    • eljay
      May 5, 2014, 11:33 am

      >> Bibi: “On Memorial Day we feel as one family, together. … ”

      One family, together…unless you’re a non-Jew.

      >> ” … We have the right to build a state that only few could dream of … ”

      If few could dream of such a state, it’s because most are not hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists.

      >> ” … a democratic state like a moral beacon … ”

      A self-declared supremacist “Jewish State”…
      – created by means of Jewish terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands; and
      – maintained and expanded by means of a 60+ years, on-going and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder,
      …is anything but a “moral beacon”.

      >> ” .. a state seeking peace … ”

      Except that it doesn’t seek peace sincerely, and it doesn’t seek a peace that is just and mutually-beneficial.

      >> ” … that deals well with the unending threats to its security … ”

      …even as it continues with its 60+ year campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder.

      King Bibi is a bad Zio-supremacist joke.

  5. seafoid
    May 5, 2014, 11:31 am

    Zionism is such a deluded ideology

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.589016

    “With regard to the fallen, Peres said, “Every word they left behind was a testament that tells us to be as principled as the Ten Commandments, to be strong and of good courage, to be a productive, enlightened society, to be a free and democratic country, to be a people that strive for peace.”

    He continued, “To our neighbors, we offer a true partnership and a new life in which trees bearing fruit will take the place of arrows sowing agony. I am certain that all of us will yet see those days.” “

    • amigo
      May 5, 2014, 12:17 pm

      “Every word they left behind was a testament that tells us to be as principled as the Ten Commandments, to be strong and of good courage, to be a productive, enlightened society, to be a free and democratic country, to be a people that strive for peace.” perez

      How could Apartheid Israel have gone so wrong.It has/is breaking almost every one of the 10 commandments.

      • seafoid
        May 5, 2014, 3:56 pm

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.588901#

        “The state prosecutor, via attorney Moshe Willinger, argued that the plaintiffs themselves were to blame for the vandalism of their orchard since they had not installed lighting on their own (this in Area C, where just pitching a stake in the ground, not to mention connecting to the electricity grid, entails endless amounts of red tape for Palestinians).

        The police closed the investigation into the vandalism “for lack of evidence,” even though army trackers found footprints leading directly from the orchard to the home of a settler named Yissachar Mann in the nearby Maon Farm outpost.
        Because of the regularity of the abuse by the Maon Farm settlers, since 2004 the IDF has been escorting a group of schoolchildren from two small nearby villages on their way to school in A-Tawani and back. Sometimes the soldiers don’t show up for the assignment and the terrified children make their way through the rocky hills below Maon Farm alone.

        This is what happened on April 24. Two Israelis on quad bikes appeared from the direction of Maon Farm and hurled stones at four children and their mother as they returned from school without a military escort. A 7-year-old girl was hit in the head and had to be taken to hospital for stitches.

        Lev’s response to Mack’s request for confirmation that “IDF soldiers escort schoolchildren to school in A-Tawani in wake of violence from Israeli extremists”: “The question is not relevant to the lawsuit, which is about vandalism of olive trees.” ”

        Such a tragedy for Judaism that the project ended up like this.

  6. Kay24
    May 5, 2014, 11:38 am

    “We have the right to build a state that only few could dream of, a democratic state like a moral beacon, a state seeking peace that deals well with the unending threats to its security and determined to stand up to every test.”

    It is amazing they can utter such words, pretend it is true, and hope the rest of the world will fall for their BS. Building a state at the expense of the indigenous people there, who shed their blood, tears, and live in fear that their homes will be demolished, is totally unrealistic, and how about the unending threats to the victims of oppression, and a brutal occupation? How about their security from their ruthless occupier?

  7. John Douglas
    May 5, 2014, 11:51 am

    Jodi Rudoren reports for the NY Times:

    “The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found 5 percent of Gaza residents supporting Islamic Jihad in December and 4 percent in March, up from 1 to 3 percent in recent years.”

    The actual report states:

    “Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No (51), 20-22 March 2014. Total size of the sample is 1200 adults interviewed face to face in 120 randomly selected locations. . . Margin of error is … [+/-] … 3%.”

    Okay, given the margin of error, the real December number could just as likely have been 8% (that would be the +3) and the real March number could just as likely have been 1% (that would be the -3) in which case there would have been a drop in support for Islamic Jihad from December ’13 to March ’14 of 7%. Some ‘traction” that is.

    But Jodi is comparing these two numbers not to each other but to “recent years”. What were the margins of error in these “recent years”? Anyway, there is no more reason to believe in Jodi Rudoren’s traction toward than to believe there’s a stampede away from Islamic Jihad.

    Finally, since the sample testing was through face-to-face interview, in a region of intense conflict within and from outside, I would expect that the margins of error are quite greater.

    • G. Seauton
      May 5, 2014, 11:49 pm

      Hmm… Slight innumeracy in the Times’ Middle East bureau, it appears. Of course, the innumeracy of the New York office is already well established.

  8. Joe Catron
    May 5, 2014, 12:50 pm

    I’m with Rudoren on this one. The PSR’s question was poorly-worded and misleading:

    “Which of the following political parties do you support?”

    It stands to reason that PIJ would fare poorly, given that they aren’t a political party and don’t field candidates for office.

    I could be the biggest PIJ fan in the Strip, but if someone asked me, in the context of electoral politics, which party I supported, doesn’t it stand to reason that I would probably name:

    A. An actual political party;
    B. That I planned, at some point, to support by voting for it?

    And of course, it wouldn’t and couldn’t be PIJ.

    The real howler in the article came in the second paragraph:

    “No Israeli soldier has set foot in Gaza City in five years …”

    Yeah, except for all those countless incursions Saraya al-Quds is deployed to discourage.

    http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=84&Itemid=236

  9. Dan Walsh
    May 5, 2014, 2:02 pm

    hophmi says:
    May 5, 2014 at 10:54 am
    You keep saying you have traction in the United States, where support for your movement is in the single digits.

    Hophmi you may be correct. In fact your comment may be a perfect reflection of current empirical reality. It may indeed be that support for the “movement”, i.e., support for Palestine Solidarity as represented by, among others, the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Mondoweiss, the Electronic Intifada and majorly BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) and a host of others may only tally in the single digits … at the moment.

    But that is not what counts. What counts is the trend and the trend is up. Even if it is accurate to say that support for Palestine Solidarity is in single digits now consider that ten or perhaps even five years ago it might have been … zero in terms of measurable percentages. Keep your eye on the trend. It is early days in terms of measuring the actual popular support Palestine enjoys among the mainstream.

    The other key indicator to watch is the decline of “support” for political Zionism/Israel. Even Netanyahu/AIPAC/Government of Israel realize that the image/market share of support for Israel is in free fall. The key element to bear in mind about that phenomena is that barring a miracle…it cannot and will not be reversed.

    A long time AIPAC wag once said that “Zionism is like a mushroom…it grows best in the dark”. The internet and social media have radically and permanently altered Zionism’s environment. A parallel would be to say that Zionism was growing along merrily for sixty odd years in a dark cave when suddenly the ground shifted (the emergence of the internet) and collapsed the roof of the cave exposing the mushrooms to direct sunlight. Now the key challenge of Zionism’s perception mangagement efforts today is: how to adapt a sunlight-hating organism to life in direct 24/7 sunlight.

    Of course it cannot and that is why we see so many bizarre informational efforts emanating from Zionism such as the IDF’s decision to engage with social media. These are desperation measures and bound to fail or worse to accelerate Zionism’s implosion.

    Palestine solidarity has no such problem: it thrives on transparency/sunlight/direct analysis/empiricism/viralness. Which is not to say that Palestinians are perfect or free of contradictions (they are not … they are as full of them as all human societies) but it does go to the question of who is the oppressor/occupier/tyrant and who is the victim. It does go to the question of where justice lies.

    • hophmi
      May 5, 2014, 3:21 pm

      “But that is not what counts. What counts is the trend and the trend is up. ”

      OK, that’s all Jodi Rudoren is saying about Islamic Jihad. The trend is up.

      “The other key indicator to watch is the decline of “support” for political Zionism/Israel. Even Netanyahu/AIPAC/Government of Israel realize that the image/market share of support for Israel is in free fall.”

      I haven’t seen polling to prove that contention. Of course, anything can change, and I do expect some change (maybe a few percentage points) this year given the press interest in the BDS movement. But as late as this year, Americans supporting Israel outnumbered those supporting Palestine by a factor of about 8 to 1, and the overall numbers were the same as they’ve been for the past two decades.

      “A long time AIPAC wag once said that “Zionism is like a mushroom…it grows best in the dark”. ”

      I think that the quote was that a lobby was like a mushroom, not Zionism.

      “The internet and social media have radically and permanently altered Zionism’s environment. ”

      I just don’t see the facts bearing that out. Internet and social media have a sort of delusional effect on people. It enables them to find others in the their camps, and with them, they create an echo chamber that makes them sound and feel strong. I believe that’s generally true of the BDS movement. I’m not saying that things won’t change in the future, but as I’ve said many times, I don’t see you doing anything to get into the mainstream. You seem like most radical movements – very loud, very proud, and basically marginalized.

      “Of course it cannot and that is why we see so many bizarre informational efforts emanating from Zionism such as the IDF’s decision to engage with social media. These are desperation measures and bound to fail or worse to accelerate Zionism’s implosion.”

      I think, Dan, that they’re savvy measures. Israel has always felt the need to engage in public relations because it has always been surrounded by hostile states. Why wouldn’t Israel (and BDS, and any other movement that wants to be relevant) use social media?

      “Palestine solidarity has no such problem: it thrives on transparency/sunlight/direct analysis/empiricism/viralness.”

      Eh don’t sell yourself short. Pro-Palestinian activists have become good propagandists.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 5, 2014, 4:08 pm

        “OK, that’s all Jodi Rudoren is saying about Islamic Jihad. The trend is up.”

        Except, as John Douglas has noted, the numbers don’t support what she is saying.

      • tree
        May 5, 2014, 6:01 pm

        OK, that’s all Jodi Rudoren is saying about Islamic Jihad. The trend is up.

        No, as the headline indicates, what the article is saying that Islamic Jihad is “gaining traction” in Gaza. You then went on at length about how, in your estimation, the small US numbers for pro-Palestinian views means that such a viewpoint is not gaining traction here. So you are arguing that smaller percentage numbers and a smaller uptick indicates “gaining traction” when it comes to IJ in Gaza, but slightly larger number in the US indicates that pro-Palestinian viewpoints are NOT gaining traction here. You are in essence contradicting yourself. Not that I find that at all surprising on your part.

        Israel has always felt the need to engage in public relations because it has always been surrounded by hostile states.

        You have that backwards. Israel has been surrounded by states whose populations don’t take particularly kindly to the killing, ethnic cleansing, and oppression of fellow Arabs perpetrated by Israel. The “public relations” are not meant for the “hostile states”. They are meant to lie and dissemble to Western states and the Western public about the source of the animosity, and those lies began well before the animosity began. Israel consciously lied about its actions from its very birth. It continues to lie about its actions, and apologists like you continue to aid and abet that lying.

      • Citizen
        May 5, 2014, 8:34 pm

        @ h0phmi

        What you say depends on the mainstream media selling AIPAC’s song. The internet says this won’t go on forever. When the average joe or jane gets the facts, thing will change, quickly.

      • eljay
        May 5, 2014, 9:39 pm

        >> Israel has always felt the need to engage in public relations because it has always been surrounded by hostile states.

        It’s funny how…
        – using terrorism and ethnic cleansing to establish an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state; and, then,
        – engaging in a 60+ years, on-going and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder,
        …makes people hostile.

        It’s also funny how Israel has never felt the need:
        – to stop acting unjustly and immorally;
        – to accept responsibility for its past and on-going (war) crimes;
        – to honour its obligations under international law; or
        – to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

        I guess it doesn’t need to do any of that when, instead, it can use social media to justify, excuse, deflect, distract, attack and smear.

      • The Hasbara Buster
        May 5, 2014, 10:05 pm

        @hophmi

        You seem like most radical movements – very loud, very proud, and basically marginalized.

        We’re not marginalized in as much as you come here to tell us we are. Remember Gandhi’s aphorism? “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” At present, you’re in the stage of fighting us. If we were marginalized, you would just ignore us.

      • talknic
        May 5, 2014, 10:09 pm

        @ hophmi http://www.timesofisrael.com/survey-finds-zionism-in-decline-among-israeli-youth/

        https://www.google.com/search?q=“lobby is like a mushroom”

        ” Israel has always felt the need to engage in public relations because it has always been surrounded by hostile states. “

        States who encroach upon other folks territory, dispossessing, illegally settling, illegally annexing, need something to cover their vile smell

        “Pro-Palestinian activists have become good propagandists.”

        No need for propaganda when one can cite verbatim irrefutable incriminating evidence from Zionist/Jewish/Israeli leaders and countless instances where Israeli propaganda is proven to be bullsh*t

      • hophmi
        May 6, 2014, 12:29 pm

        “States who encroach upon other folks territory, dispossessing, illegally settling, illegally annexing, need something to cover their vile smell”

        Yeah, because every country on earth was started by angelic people in an angelic way. No, I think it has something to do with the fact that on any given day, there are several dozen Muslim countries representing over a billion people willing to make the case against Israel.

        “No need for propaganda ”

        Nevertheless, you engage in it. And let me give you a word of advice – you should be aware that you engage in it. Because when you become unaware, you end up making mistakes. Egypt’s leader used to tell his people that Egypt won the 1967 War. Egypt’s not in great shape today.

        “Israel has been surrounded by states whose populations don’t take particularly kindly to the killing, ethnic cleansing, and oppression of fellow Arabs perpetrated by Israel.”

        These states were not fans of Israel or the idea of Israel before 1947, and they aren’t countries with positive human rights records, so it isn’t about the events of 1947 and 1948.

        “Israel consciously lied about its actions from its very birth.”

        Every countries maintains some founding myths. I think you’ll find exceeding few places on this earth that were as open to debating them as Israel is after 66 years of existence. How long did it take the United States? Do Arab states debate them?

      • RoHa
        May 6, 2014, 8:04 pm

        “These states were not fans of Israel or the idea of Israel before 1947, and they aren’t countries with positive human rights records, so it isn’t about the events of 1947 and 1948. ”

        You are right. It is about the whole concept of Israel from 1897 onwards. The idea of Israel was always repugnant. The Zionists made it quite clear that they intended to set up a state which would either expel or subjugate the Palestinian Arabs. They told the Arabs “We matter and you don’t.” You can hardly expect the Arabs in other states to take kindly to this.

        The Zionists then made good their threats of killing, ethnic cleansing, and oppression.

        Even though their states have poor human rights records, this is still an outrage to the populations of other Arab states.

      • talknic
        May 6, 2014, 9:28 pm

        @ hophmi //“States who encroach upon other folks territory, dispossessing, illegally settling, illegally annexing, need something to cover their vile smell”//

        “because every country on earth was started by angelic people in an angelic way”

        If you say so hop. Name those (apart from Israel) who after 1933 http://pages.citebite.com/y1f0t4q1v4son are continuing to encroach upon other folks territory, dispossessing them, illegally settling, illegally annexing.

        “I think it has something to do with the fact that on any given day, there are several dozen Muslim countries representing over a billion people willing to make the case against Israel”

        Far more in fact and not all are Muslim countries. UNSC res 476 for example, one hundreds of opportunities for Israel to adhere to the law Israel, passed unanimously

        “Nevertheless, you engage in it … “

        UNSC resolutions, Jewish Agency and Israeli Government statements are propaganda? http://talknic.wordpress.com/ AMAZING!!

        “when you become unaware, you end up making mistakes. “

        As you, the Israeli Govt and all Hasbarristas continue to demonstrate so well

        “These states were not fans of Israel or the idea of Israel before 1947”

        Why would they be? They’d already agreed to the LoN Mandate for Palestine incl Art 7 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp#art7 . It was the Zionist movement destroyed the right to live anywhere in Palestine by demanding a separate state. Take your pathetic whining to them.

        “Every countries maintains some founding myths”

        Many founded on the myth of a God who was AWOL when most needed?

    • weareone
      May 5, 2014, 4:17 pm

      Dan, touche. Love the fungus(mushroom) analogy-a rare bit of honesty from AIPAC.

      1S1P1V!

  10. David Doppler
    May 5, 2014, 3:25 pm

    Now would be a good opportunity for Mondoweiss to reveal how many unique readers hit its pages daily, or other statistics measuring its impact.

  11. DICKERSON3870
    May 5, 2014, 4:24 pm

    RE: “The Washington DC-based Jerusalem Fund/Palestine Centre, the Electronic Intifada and Mondoweiss systematically launch detailed challenges to the NYT reporting.” ~ Victoria Brittain

    MY COMMENT: Robert Parry of Consortium News also deserves a mention. And he doesn’t just challenge the NYT on its coverage of the Middle East.

    SEE: “Will Ukraine Be NYT’s Waterloo?” ~ by Robert Parry, ConsortiumNews.com, May 3, 2014
    Exclusive: As Ukrainian soldiers from the coup regime in Kiev tighten the noose around anti-coup rebels in eastern Ukraine, the New York Times continues its cheerleading for the coup regime and its contempt for the rebels, raising grave questions about the Times’ credibility, writes Robert Parry.
    LINK – http://consortiumnews.com/2014/05/03/will-ukraine-be-nyts-waterloo/

    • JeffB
      May 6, 2014, 10:16 am

      @DICKERSON3870

      The NYT is an establishment paper. The USA establishment is pro the Kiev government. How is “cheerleading” going to present any threat to their credibility? Assume there were a massacre, what would that change? They report what’s going on and reflect the USA mainstream. I happen to agree with Putin more than Obama on the Ukraine issue, but I can’t deny that the majority of non-Russians in the USA are at least as anti-Russian on the Ukraine issue as the NYTimes.

      • Citizen
        May 6, 2014, 4:05 pm

        @ JeffB

        “…but I can’t deny that the majority of non-Russians in the USA are at least as anti-Russian on the Ukraine issue as the NYTimes.”

        Source?

      • JeffB
        May 6, 2014, 8:31 pm

        Overall, 68% say Russia was not justified in sending troops into Ukraine while just 10% say it was justified; 22% express no opinion

        http://www.people-press.org/2014/03/11/most-say-u-s-should-not-get-too-involved-in-ukraine-situation/

      • DICKERSON3870
        May 6, 2014, 5:31 pm

        It should not be the job of the U.S. press to cater to (and reinforce) the biases of the American people. What’s wrong with the unvarnished truth?

      • JeffB
        May 6, 2014, 8:34 pm

        @DICKERSON3870

        There are 2 different arguments here. You were arguing that the NYTimes is going to lose credibility. You are now making a case that the role of the press shouldn’t reflect the population or the establishment but rather the “unvarnished truth” whatever that is. The NYTimes has never claimed to be anything other than an establishment paper. If they reflect the establishment they are doing what they claim to do. They don’t claim to represent the “unvarnished truth” or be unbiased. They work to fairly represent different establishment factions and that’s about it.

  12. ckg
    May 5, 2014, 5:35 pm

    I see a positive, highly-significant trend. The last 24 quarterly published surveys show Gaza support for Islamic Jihad at these values: 2.4 2.3 1.4 3.2 1.4 0.9 1.6 1.6 3.3 2.0 2.9 n/a 1.6 2.4 4.4 3.9 4.0 n/a 3.5 3.3 3.3 3.4 4.8 and 4.0 percent. A test for linear trend yields 0.107 percent increase per quarter (standard error 0.024 percent, p-value 0.0002).

  13. ckg
    May 5, 2014, 7:13 pm

    By ‘positive’ I mean greater than zero. Islamic Jihad’s small but growing support in Gaza is not a welcome development for any who advocate for a secular outcome that respects human and political rights for all.

    • Bandolero
      May 5, 2014, 9:58 pm

      By ‘positive’ I mean greater than zero. Islamic Jihad’s small but growing support in Gaza is not a welcome development for any who advocate for a secular outcome that respects human and political rights for all.

      Why? AFAIK, PIJ is non-sectarian and is committed to human and political rights for all.

      • Taxi
        May 5, 2014, 11:20 pm

        Thanks Bondolero for saving me the effort of writing a explanation of who PIJ really are.

        It’s so easy to pick on them because of their name – fearmongering is usually the intention. The IPJ are, like you said, a liberation group dedicated to the liberation of Palestine and not to the expansion of the islamic umma.

  14. Bandolero
    May 5, 2014, 9:17 pm

    There is so much nonsense in Jodi Rudoren’s NYT article that it’s hard to find anything to begin with. So, let me start with a few words.

    Both, PIJ and Hamas, take their ideology from the MB. What are the differences? Hamas is a political and military org, while PIJ is only a military org – and it’s only aim is resistance against Israel. PIJ doesn’t use it’s military prowess to play hardball inside Gaza politics. While MB and Hamas have strong sectarianist elements, PIJ does not. PIJ, a largely Sunni org, therefore closely collaborates with Iran, something which MB dislikes for sectarian reasons and Israel dislikes for political reasons.

    What’s worng with PIJ then, if it’s not sectarian? Well, for zionists PIJs desire to abolish the perceived as unjust and racist Zionist state of Israel is certainly wrong. And even more so it’s wrong for Zionists, because PIJ resists with military means while Zionists feel themselves deserved to military superiority, and PIJ isn’t controlled by Israel’s GCC allys, but takes it’s power from the axis of resistance. Reading Jodi Rudoren’s NYT piece one may only guess this. Recent Hamas & MB blunder to attack their Syrian & Iranian sponsors in Syria for sectarian reasons make PIJ an even more well-regarded partner for Iran, Syria & Hezbollah. As PIJ is not sectarian, it’s easy to understand that Israel dislikes it even more for this because it can’t be manipulated to attack Iran, Syria & Hezbollah. PIJ is also a very disciplinated military force focused only on liberation of Palestine, what makes it have no problem with whatever force rules Egypt. One more reason for Israel to hate it.

    Now, regarding Jodi Rudoren’s claims regarding PIJs popularity.

    First, Jodi Rudoren frames the pcpsr as being run by PIJ founders director, which implies he is close to PIJ. What Jodi Rudoren doesn’t tell the readers is that the pcpsr polls where made in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), yes, this is the main foundation of Angela Merkel’s US-friendly German gouverning party. A sentence like “polls made by pcpsr in collaboration with Germany’s KAS” would sound completely different as “polls made by pollsters led by the brother of PIJ’s founder.”

    Second: As PIJ is not a political party trying to get political power, PIJ of course is an odd choice as a political choice for voters. PIJ as a military org pledged to be in service of whoever politically runs Palestine to defend Palestine from Israeli aggression. Just imagine a poll in the US: which party do you support: Democrats, Republicans, the greens, the National Guard or none of them? Choose one. The pcpsr poll question was similar: which party do you support: Fatah, Hamas, one fron a list of some others, PIJ or none of them? Choose one. To get an idea of how the organisation is respected or not, one would need a question like: do you think having the National Guard or PIJ is a good thing?

    Third: Cherry picking: Jodi Rudoren picks the December 2013 poll, where PIJ got for the question of the former type seeing it as competitor of Fatah and Hamas instead of a national guard serving whoever rules 4.8% in Gaza, 1.8% in the westbank and 2.9% overall in Palestine. Jodi Rudoren bases on these percentages the fantasitic story that PIJ is on the rise. However, she didn’t cite the March 2014 poll with the same stupid question (likely introduced by KAS), where PIJ got 4.0% in Gaza, 0.4% in the westbank and 1.6% overall in Palestine. As the PIJ numbers declined from December 2013 to March 2014, this poll would have trashed Jodi Rudoren’s whole story about rising PIJ figures.

    See for yourself:

    December 2013 poll (page, 20#66): http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2013/p50e.pdf

    March 2014 poll (page, 18#68): http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2014/p51e.pdf

    Conclusion: Jodi Rudoren’s NYT story is a totally bogus fear-mongering hasbara piece not based in any reality, typically for the junk people are used to get from the paper famous for Judy Miller’s fake WMD stories.

    I hope this comment may help some people to get a sense of reality about the extent of the crap the NYT publishes as reporting.

    • ckg
      May 5, 2014, 9:39 pm

      Rudoren is correct on the poll, unfortunately. See my post above.

      • Bandolero
        May 5, 2014, 9:48 pm

        ckg

        I got my figures from the very source Rudoren used for her article, and I actually linked them.

        In last three months there was a decline in these nonsense figures, but Rudoren used older figures to invent an uptrend of those figures, because the downtrend in latest figures had destroyed her story.

        Usind old figures to make up the story and being silent on new figures with other tendency was totally dishonest from her side.

      • ckg
        May 5, 2014, 10:20 pm

        My figures are from the same website too. The 1-quarter downtrend is not statistically significant. The 24-quarter uptrend is highly (p-value 0.0002) significant. Unfortunately.

  15. Dan Walsh
    May 5, 2014, 9:31 pm

    @ hophmi …I don’t know you and I have never engaged with you before and for all I know you are a paid hasbarist working for some Zionist agency but in the spirit of engagement we embrace here at MW I will address your replies. I had hoped for something a bit less pre-programmed and predictable.
    DW:
    “But that is not what counts. What counts is the trend and the trend is up. ”
    Hophmi:
    OK, that’s all Jodi Rudoren is saying about Islamic Jihad. The trend is up.
    DW
    Not really. I understand your need to reflexively defend JR but the fact that JR could point to a one percent increase in a poll does not establish or even indicate a “trend”. Surely one percent was within the margin of error? One is left wondering how far she had to go to dig up that trivia and what I would have given to have been a fly on the wall as she discussed that article with her editor.
    DW
    “The other key indicator to watch is the decline of “support” for political Zionism/Israel. Even Netanyahu/AIPAC/Government of Israel realize that the image/market share of support for Israel is in free fall.”
    Hophmi:
    I haven’t seen polling to prove that contention.
    DW
    My point is no wise diminished by your imperious claim that you have not seen supposedly impartial/empirical data. But more to the point “trends” are not just polls. Anyone can do a poll. A more nuanced and meaningful survey, say one done according to the standards of a graduate/post-graduate anthropology survey at a renowned university would look at any number of indicators, not just polls. For example, one might include major political actions/decisions inimicable to Zionist interests such as the US refusal to send troops to Syria or to jettison diplomacy with Iran, both historic body blows to Organized Zionism’s vaunted influence on Capitol Hill and at the White House. Are those reasonable indicators of the loss of Zionist horsepower? Are they reasonable substitutes for polls? The UN vote on Palestinian statehood, the European Union’s refusal to allow grants to be expended in/for settlements, Kerry’s “poof” and apartheid comments to say nothing about the various US judicial decisions dismissing (all!) claims of antisemitism on US campuses. All these things contribute to trends.
    Try to think beyond polls. Read more broadly and challenge yourself to see beyond your Zionist conditioning.

    Hophmi:
    “Of course, anything can change, and I do expect some change (maybe a few percentage points) this year given the press interest in the BDS movement. But as late as this year, Americans supporting Israel outnumbered those supporting Palestine by a factor of about 8 to 1, and the overall numbers were the same as they’ve been for the past two decades.”
    DW
    There you are again with your poll fixation. If it gives you comfort to think that BDS is faltering/failing/forgettable fine. But once again I urge you to think beyond hasbara poesy. Try this: If you are ever in a position to influence the questions asked on a poll gauging how many/how much Americans “support” Israel add these questions:
    Do you support Israel’s killing of Palestinians and theft of Palestinian land?
    Do you, as an American support political Zionism?
    Do you think Israel should abide by international law?
    Do you think Herzl was correct and that anti-Semitism is both universal and “incurable”?
    Do you support the sending of US military troops to Israel, either as combat troops in the event of war or as peace-keeping troops in the event of peace?
    Can you name five positive things that the US has received in return for the 100 billion+ dollars it has given Israel since whenever?
    DW
    “A long time AIPAC wag once said that “Zionism is like a mushroom…it grows best in the dark”. ”
    Hophmi:
    I think that the quote was that a lobby was like a mushroom, not Zionism.

    DW
    I think you are wrong. I think my quote is correct and I will do some research to try to prove that. I recall it from a lengthy 3 part series the WAPO published back in like 1980-1981. A WAPO writer was allowed to “embed” at AIPAC for three or six months and he could ask any question, open any drawer, attend any meeting…and the quote was the last line of text in the last installment if memory serves. This was way before Mearshiemer/Walt’s seminal work on the “The Israel Lobby” and both the terms “lobby” and “Zionism” were still sharply proscribed which reinforces my belief that the term “lobby” was not used. If I prove myself incorrect I will report as much here.
    But as with all your other comments yours is a distinction without a difference. What, after all IS the difference between the Zionist Lobby and … Zionism? The Lobby is just the machinery/staff for the advancement of the goals of political Zionism. Please don’t respond by saying that Zionism is a thing of the past because it has accomplished its goal…a Jewish state. Please…spare us that at least.

    DW
    “The internet and social media have radically and permanently altered Zionism’s environment. ”
    Hophmi:
    I just don’t see the facts bearing that out.
    DW
    Again…the fact that you do not see what most everyone else sees does not give any weight to your response. You will simply have to do better than mouthing a subjective rebuttal. Look around you…the “facts” are everywhere bearing out my comment.
    Just consider the Israeli government’s response to BDS. Would panic be a good word? Israel is a now and becoming more so every day, a pariah state. Even Netanyahu has said as much. Read back a few weeks in MW for the article where he said that the one thing Israel could count on was that the world would always need Israel’s … technology! Israel…the “light unto the nations”… Israel, Herzl’s “Altneuland”…Israel, a gentle welcoming powerhouse of Nobel Prize winners. Something has gone awry. Israel, not loved by the world for its morals or its art or its culture or its expansion of democratic ideals. No. Now it is to be loved for its drone technology, cyber police surveillance technology and krav maga. These are facts hophmi. Read more and try to problematize an issue before you respond. Problematizing is the process by which you accept the other’s point and then try to find contradictions. It would be good for you.

    Hophmi:
    “Internet and social media have a sort of delusional effect on people. It enables them to find others in the their camps, and with them, they create an echo chamber that makes them sound and feel strong. I believe that’s generally true of the BDS movement. I’m not saying that things won’t change in the future, but as I’ve said many times, I don’t see you doing anything to get into the mainstream. You seem like most radical movements – very loud, very proud, and basically marginalized.”
    DW
    More empty rhetoric. More opinion. More cock and bull. “I believe” and “I’ve said” and “I don’t see”…can you quote outside of your own realm? Do you read anything? Who are your favorite authors? What are the great ideas you embrace?
    DW
    “Of course it cannot and that is why we see so many bizarre informational efforts emanating from Zionism such as the IDF’s decision to engage with social media. These are desperation measures and bound to fail or worse to accelerate Zionism’s implosion.”
    Hophmi:
    I think, Dan, that they’re savvy measures. Israel has always felt the need to engage in public relations because it has always been surrounded by hostile states. Why wouldn’t Israel (and BDS, and any other movement that wants to be relevant) use social media?
    DW
    More subjectivity! “I think”….fine think as you will but you add nothing of value here. No protein. And yes, Israel has always engaged in pr not because it has always been surrounded by hostile states but because Zionism is an engine of hostility and it generates ill will wherever it goes. Political Zionism is to the Middle East what the Confederate States of America were to the Western Hemisphere and Europe: a self-privileging insult to morality. What does it say to you that Israel has “always” used pr? Does your statement resonate within your consciousness at all? I wonder if you think pr has been a success story for Israel? I wonder if you would defend Israel’s perpetual reliance on pr?
    DW
    “Palestine solidarity has no such problem: it thrives on transparency/sunlight/direct analysis/empiricism/viralness.”
    Hophmi:
    Eh don’t sell yourself short. Pro-Palestinian activists have become good propagandists.
    DW
    Try as I might I could make no sense of this comment. But I wonder if you would tell us how “pro-Palestinian activists” have become good propagandists and whether or not that trend us up?

  16. hophmi
    May 6, 2014, 2:42 pm

    “I don’t know you and I have never engaged with you before and for all I know you are a paid hasbarist working for some Zionist agency ”

    I’m not, and the moderators know that I’m not, but they keep allowing people to suggest it anyway. Oh well.

    “Not really. I understand your need to reflexively defend JR but the fact that JR could point to a one percent increase in a poll does not establish or even indicate a ‘trend’.”

    I think that’s a fair point. It’s just that you could make the same point about the BDS movement.

    ” One is left wondering how far she had to go to dig up that trivia and what I would have given to have been a fly on the wall as she discussed that article with her editor.”

    You can speculate all you want about stuff like this (as people in the pro-Israel community do), but the fact of the matter is that there is no conspiracy at the New York Times.

    “My point is no wise diminished by your imperious claim that you have not seen supposedly impartial/empirical data.”

    There has been quite a bit of polling on how Americans view Israel, and about whether Americans support Israel. They have been quite consistent over the past couple of decades. http://www.pollingreport.com/israel.htm

    As you can see, the last poll was taken about two weeks ago by Pew. The number of Americans who sympathize with Israel is 53%. The number that sympathize with Palestinians is 11%. The Israel numbers are actually up from last year’s 49%. 9% believe we favor the Israelis too much. 22% believe we favor the Palestinians too much. 45% think we have it right. Those numbers are virtually unchanged since last year.

    What does this tell you? It tells me that you’re doing virtually nothing to reach beyond your own camp to promote your issue. And that is very typical of the radical left, having observed it for the last 15 years or so. You always put ideology above everything. Most people are not ideologues. They are not people who are nasty to dissenters on a blog where there are 150 of you for every 1 of me.

    As I said, you guys are deluding yourselves. You come here, and everyone agrees with you, so you think you must be making a big impact. You’re making an impact, but it’s very small. You’ll celebrate Vassar (and I’ll freak out about it because I went there), but you’ll forget (as I did for the past couple of weeks) that Vassar is a very untypical place, a place where, when I was there, the student body held serious debates about whether to vote for Al Gore or Ralph Nader.

    “You seem like most radical movements – very loud, very proud, and basically marginalized”

    I think the polling essentially proves me right. You’re loud. You’re proud. But you’re not moving the needle. It’s not rhetoric. It’s the truth. I tell the same truth to rightists in the pro-Israel who don’t want to believe that Israel can do anything wrong. They’re oblivious.

    “More subjectivity!”

    Well, look Dan, do you know of any country that isn’t active on social media? The US certainly is. The Syrian Free Army is. Why shouldn’t Israel be involved?

    “And yes, Israel has always engaged in pr not because it has always been surrounded by hostile states but because Zionism is an engine of hostility and it generates ill will wherever it goes.”

    That’s subjective.

    “I wonder if you think pr has been a success story for Israel?”

    Oh, without a doubt. And Brand Israel, which is the campaign that includes Startup Nation, has also been quite successful, especially in the business community. Israel has its problems, but they’d be worse without these campaigns. Not every campaign is perfect, and not every individual campaign works, but Israel’s generally done a good job.

    “Political Zionism is to the Middle East what the Confederate States of America were to the Western Hemisphere and Europe: a self-privileging insult to morality.”

    You were saying something about subjectivity . . .

    • Citizen
      May 6, 2014, 7:42 pm

      Five corporations control 90% of US mainstream media. They have an Israel First agenda. Americans are in the dark except for those few who use the internet to get objective news elsewhere, instead of to gossip and pose on Facebook, and tweet about pop culture and sports.

  17. Dan Walsh
    May 6, 2014, 8:35 pm

    @ hophmi

    OK…you win. You are right on all accounts. My bad. I was wrong to ever think I could make a contribution by engaging you. You are simply too insightful, too erudite and too well educated. There’s just no denying it. That Vassar scholarship just shines right through. I apologize for having taken up your time. In parting I will humbly submit these few comments:

    What was it about my post that was “nasty”?

    What is it that place me on the “radical left”?

    What was it about my comment about Jodi Rudoren’s work that led you to believe that I was suggesting a “conspiracy at the NYT”? For the record I made no such remark and it is indicative of how off the mark your comments are. I was commenting on the vapid, mediocre quality of her work and writing. Nothing else.

    Bye-bye forever hops!

    Dan

  18. wes
    May 7, 2014, 5:35 am

    hi dan

    perhaps hops means well and vassar unbounds the bound which obviously has no bounds

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