Saturday, December 18, 2010

'Israeli War Crimes' signs to go on Seattle Metro buses: That's Right: Not Hamas War Crimes, but Israeli

Ed Mast, the self-styled "peace activist" for the Palestinians is at it again. This time, as a spokesperson for the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign. The group is paying for billboards to be plastered on Seattle Metro buses, starting on the 27th of this month, to "protest" Israeli war crimes. What are those crimes?
The Israeli response two years ago to unrelenting Hamas rocket attacks into southern Israel. Over 8,000 such rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel, thousands after Israel's total withdrawal from Gaza in the summer of 2005.
In a bizarre, Orwellian twist of logic, it is Israel who is being accused of war crimes for defending its citizenry from unprovoked attacks against its civilian population. For the historically challenged, over 250,000 Israeli citizens in southern Israel lived under constant terror from Kassam rockets and mortar fire from Gaza. Children and families had literally 15 seconds from the sound of a siren announcing the launching of another salvo to go to the safety of a bomb shelter.
It would seem to the average Martian who visited planet earth that the real war criminals are the leaders of Hamas, a terrorist organization with a charter avowing the destruction of Israel.
These leaders deliberately target civilians, firing their rockets from residential areas in Gaza, making it excruciatingly difficult for the Israelis to retaliate without causing inadvertent civilian casualties on the other side. Sounds to me like double war crime behavior on the part of Hamas.
But then, this is a group who, in their bloody coup against their rivals Fatah, back in the summer of 2007, threw their political opponents off of rooftops, blindfolded and handcuffed.
Hamas make no bones about their political agenda. Destroy the 'Zionist entity' by any means necessary.
Israel, fighting an asymmetric war against jihadist fundamentalists, makes every effort to avoid civilian casualties. In fact, by Hamas' own reckoning, the vast majority of those killed in "Operation Cast Lead," Israel's defense against those rocket attacks in late December, 2008, were Hamas operatives. Israel's track record in avoiding civilian casualties on the other side is unrivaled in modern warfare.
But so much for truth and an honest appraisal of the situation. For Ed Mast and his ilk, any tactic is acceptable, including a callous disregard for the facts.
One would think that fighting for the liberation of the Palestinians would necessitate identifying the true enemy of the Palestinians: Hamas, not Israel.
That these ads should appear on Seattle buses is as disgraceful as it is disingenuous.
David Brumer
Seattle
'Israeli War Crimes' signs to go on Metro buses

by ALLEN SCHAUFFLER / KING 5 News
SEATTLE – "Israeli War Crimes," the enormous advertisement reads. "Your tax dollars at work."

To the right of the image is a group of children -- one little boy stares out at the viewer, the others gawk at a demolished building, all rebar and crumbled concrete.

It's an ad you'll be seeing soon on a handful of Metro buses in downtown Seattle.

A group calling itself the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign has paid King County $1,794 so that 12 buses will carry that message around town, starting two days after Christmas. That's December 27: the two-year anniversary of Israeli attacks on Gaza, aimed at stopping rocket attacks and weapons smuggling.

Ed Mast, a Seattle man who is a spokesperson for the group, says it’s not meant to be an anti-Israel message, but a message designed to generate discussion and awareness.

"I wouldn't say it's an anti-Israel message any more than any complaint about a country is anti-that country. We would like Israel to stop violating human rights. We would like Israel to give equal rights to its Palestinian citizens and its Palestinian subjects who live under occupation," said Mast.

At the Pacific Northwest office of the Anti-Defamation League, the ad campaign is seen quite a bit differently.

"We're dismayed," says Community Director Hilary Bernstein, who calls the bus-born advertisement grotesquely one-sided. "Citizens young and old will be seeing this sort of propaganda, this very one-sided distortion. It's unfortunate."

So, is the side of a public bus the right place for this kind of attack? Are the issues that regularly inflame one of the most flammable hot-spots in the world appropriate fare for people strolling the sidewalks of Seattle?

As far as King County is concerned, it's not really up to them what appears on the side of their buses, as long as it fits specific guidelines regarding:

•Pornography
•Alcohol
•Tobacco, and
•As long as the images and material used don't interfere with public safety or insult specific groups to the point that a riot could be incited, vandalism could occur or public safety could be threatened.
King County Metro Transit spokesperson Linda Thielke acknowledges some people will be offended by the campaign, but that is not enough to prevent the rolling billboards from hitting the streets.

"As a government, we are mindful of the provisions in state and federal constitutions to protect freedom of speech. So, we can't object these campaigns simply because they offend some people," said Thielke.

The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign has targeted their advertising so that the buses carrying their message will run mostly on Seattle routes.

26 comments:

LJansen said...

Gee I wish King 5 would have addressed the subject of the signs more directly!

Does the U.S. give money to Israel in the billions every year (even though they have universal healthcare and a high standard of living)?

What about the war crimes charge? Didn't Judge Goldstone say there were war crimes committed by Israel when the attacked Gaza in 2008-2009.

That might have helped people figure out more about this.

baldarab said...

Well said LJansen. One could continue to argue about who is historically challenged here (Israel did after all ethnically cleanse most of Palestine of its Christian and Muslim inhabitants), and we would end up in another tit-for-tat argument. The point of this campaign (I guess) is that the US taxpayer is funding a nation which stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity to the tune of $Billions. Could that money not do something better for America's own citizens?

David Brumer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Brumer said...

The Goldstone report is rife with unfounded assumptions and faulty research ( Understanding the Goldstone REport: http://www.goldstonereport.org/). Israel is in the bizarre position of having to defend itself for defending itself against terror attacks in asymmetric warfare.
The U.S. doesn't just "give" Israel "billions every year." There is a reciprocal relationship from which the U.S. derives much. Israel remains one of the American taxpayers' best investments as a bulwark of freedom in the Middle East.

Anonymous said...

I am glad my fellow americans are waking up ,is just the truth ! I will see the day where all this dirty politicians who have found a comfort spot in our system be prosecuted for traitors and spies.Israhell killed innocents everyday,is just unhuman ,my grandpa fought APARTHEID in ww2 and here is ISRAHELL with thousands crimes against humanity.They have destroy our media and are in the way to destroy not just this great nation but the world

Jeff Morton said...

Please, would one of the mindless dolts who support this lunacy tell me the names of the last Israeli Terrorist who boarded several planes MURDERING over 3000 people. Will you also name the Israeli women who strapped bombs onto themselves and then ventured into shopping areas MURDERING other woman by blowing themselves up. And while you are at it, PLEASE name for me all of the Israeli children whose parents forced them to walk into schools with bombs strapped to them so as to kill other children. While you are at it Name too the archaeological excavations that have revealed the glorious past and roayl blood lines of the Palestinian people. Show to me the ancient history of the Palestinian dynasties. Should you run across notable historical philosophies and literature of these amazing and historical ARABS, please tell us of all your findings. These refugees of Jordan and Egypt that are historically recorded in the annals surely have a plethora of historical data right?

Anonymous said...

The day that a Palestinian leadership commits to a peaceful two-state solution, there will be peace between Israel and Palestine and the Palestinian people will prosper. So far, no Palestinian leadership has agreed to a peaceful solution. Hamas' stated goal is not peace, nor the success and happiness of the Palestinian people. Their stated goal is to destroy Israel by any means at any cost. That is the whole story.

Moti Gur said...

After over 8000 Rockets and missiles launched by the Hamas into Israel civilians.

Israel has the right and the obligation to defend its citizens.

I do not remember any of you hate Israel groups ever attacking the Hamas and the Fatah for shooting and terrorizing the civilians of Israel.

Defending its citizens is NOT a war crime.

Your ad is hate speech not a free speech!

Anonymous said...

$2.5 billion per year is not a lot of money. Look at defense appropriation in Germany; look in Japan, look in South Korea. At least Israel will buy something from the US. Germany won't buy anything from the US or build a factory here unless they have to. I don't mind criticism, I just can't stand the lies.

Anonymous said...

I was curious to learn more about Ed Mast and what he stands for, so I did some research. He and his followers are dangerous and don't seem to care if they are jeopardizing the safety of others to get their message across. Here is a little history http://www.seattlepi.com/local/113302_shield20.shtml

George Jochnowitz said...

The Arab world is fighting against an independent Palestinian state with its lives and the lives of its children. The Arab states rejected the UN vote of 1947, which would have created a Palestinian Arab state in half of the British Mandate of Palestine–bigger than anything they could ever have gotten since then. Beteen 1948 and 1967, when Jordan and Egypt ruled the Arab parts of Palestine, there was no movement for a Palestinian state. The cease-fire lines that were established in 1948 were recognized by one country in the whole world: Great Britain. Today, on the other hand, the pre-1967 lines are considered holy in most of the world.
Why are there settlements? Because in 1967 the Arab states, meeting in Sudan, unanimously voted for the Three No’s of Khartoum. Had they not done so, Israel would have been willing to cede most of the territories it had conquered during the Six-Day War. Since there was no hope of doing so, those who wanted to settle were allowed to go ahead with their plans.
In 2000 and 2001, Clinton negotiated a deal that would have given the Palestinians pretty much everything they could hope for. Arafat rejected the deal.
In 2005, Israel created and independent Palestinian mini-state in Gaza. Settlers were removed kicking and screaming. The Gazans responded by electing Hamas and launching rockets aimed at civilians. The rockets had no strategic and no military purpose. “Ah, but the rockets were hardly effective; they killed only a few people,” says the world. When Israel launched Operation Cast lead, the world reacted with horror. “Israel killed many more Gazans than were killed by the rockets. How disproportionate! How evil!” said the world. Nobody ever said that about Dresden or Hiroshima.
When I visiited Israel in 2009, I saw Arab women with headscarves strolling down Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem along with all the other Israelis and the tourists. I saw members of Hare Krishna singing and dancing along the beach in Tel Aviv. I saw copies of a Hebrew-language edition of the Falun Gong newspaper “Epoch Times.” Most impressive of all, I saw a vigil in Jerusalem–not Tel Aviv–after murders had taken place at a gay counseling center in Tel Aviv. There were people with yarmulkes at the vigil. And of course there were gay-pride flags.
Israel has an annual gay-pride parade not only in Tel Aviv but in Jerusalem. Israel drafts openly gay men and women into its armed forces. Nevertheless, gay-rights organizations all over the world are anti-Israel. Organizers of gay-pride parades in Canada and Spain announced before their parades that Israelis were not welcome to march.
Women are victims of honor murders everywhere in the Arab world. Israel, on the other hand, elected Golda Meir to be its Prime Minister before any other woman in the world who was not the wife (like Sirimavo Bandaranaike) or the daughter (like Indira Gandhi, daughter of Nehru) of a previous head of government had attained such a position. Despite this, feminists everywhere are anti-Israel.
Almost all of the so-called settlers live in East Jerusalem or its suburbs. The fight about settlements is a fight to retain East Jerusalem, including the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital. Israel has made it clear time and time again that it is eager to withdraw from most of the West Bank. “But the 1967 borders are holy,” says the world.
Fighting for the 1967 borders is a way of fighting against the creation of a Palestinian state. After all, such a state would legitimize Israel’s existence. If the Palestinians wanted a state, they could have one tomorrow–the same state they could have had in 2001 at Taba. Leftists don’t care. The Left licks Islamic ass.

Anonymous said...

Very pleased about this. The mainstream media, largely owned and operated by people with interests in Israel have neglected the fact that the majority of people being slaughtered in the greater Palestine area are Palestinians by racist Israelis. Everyone saw what happened two years ago. Israel has a way of turning things around even when the facts are staring everyone in the face. It is NOT "anti-semitic" to oppose what Israel does with its military (and beyond). All crimes against humanity need to be exposed, including US crimes. But the issue is Israel here. While our people here in America are losing jobs, living without health care and homelessness and tent cities rise, Our pathetic government that panders to this foreign entity called Israel continues to arm these b*stards and give them money. Now they want their spy Pollard out of prison, when it is well known the crimes he did against the U.S.

Uzi Silber said...

bravo to jeff morton and george jochnowitz. i would add that as recently as 2006 Israeli PM Ehud Olmert offered Mahmud Abbas pretty much everything he supposedly asked for -- including a foothold in the old city of JM. Abbas didnt even respond to this offer. why has it always been no? and why did Oslo self destruct? because a historic compromise by the Palestinian Arabs would require an official end to the armed conflict with the Jews, a renunciation of what they see as their sole rights to all the land between the Med and the Jordan and a recognition that Jews have rights there. The only reason they have never accepted a compromise is that they dream of a demographic if not armed takeover of Israel, which they see as a temporary and illegal entity.

Uzi Silber said...

As for the Islamic ass-kissing leftists they are knee-jerk jew haters -- including the jewish self loathers among them, with Israel serving the emodiment of 'Jew'.
and as for the 2 billion in aid to Israel, the money goes directly back to the US in the form of jobs, since the weapons are made in the US and tested in israel's tough and hostile neighborhood.

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