Huffington Post UK political director Medhi Hasan is back on the Huffington Post pushing anti-Israel advocacy, despite his journalist position at the HP. We've encountered him before, and now he's back to spread more lies against Israel. The article title this time? "Debunking Israel's 11 Main Myths about Gaza, Hamas, and War Crimes." Don't wait for an article from Hasan debunking Palestinian myths of Gaza, of which there are dozens.
Before we get into debunking his debunking, let's quote a bit from the beginning of the article:
"Having said that [he doesn't support Hamas (what a moderate!)], however, in recent days I've been debating supporters of Israel's latest assault on Gaza on radio and on Twitter and I've been astonished not just by the sheer number of fact-free claims made by those supporters, but also by their confidence, slickness and sheer message discipline. According to the pro-Israel, pro-IDF crowd, Hamas is to blame for everything."
So Hasan himself admits he's been "debating" supporters of Israel on Twitter. Is this what an "objective journalist" is supposed to do? If he's actively debating people in the public forum, what do you think he's up to behind the scenes at the Huffington Post? Do you believe anything that he doesn't agree with will get published in the HP's UK politics section? He doesn't even pretend to be objective.
With that in mind, let's get to the myths!
"1) The Gaza Strip isn't occupied by Israel. Boston Globe: "Israeli-imposed buffer zones.. now absorb nearly 14 percent of Gaza's total land and at least 48 percent of total arable land. Similarly, the sea buffer zone covers 85 percent of the maritime area promised to Palestinians in the Oslo Accords, reducing 20 nautical miles to three." Human Rights Watch: "Israel also continues to control the population registry for residents of the Gaza Strip, years after it withdrew its ground forces and settlements there." B'Tselem, 2013: "Israel continues to maintain exclusive control of Gaza's airspace and the territorial waters, just as it has since it occupied the Gaza Strip in 1967.""This is literally his argument. Quoting NGOs, who don't make international rulings, and who don't even say that Gaza is occupied. Read the quotes. None of them say Gaza is occupied by Israel. Great job, Mr. Hasan! You really debunked those rotten Israelis!
Mr. Hasan doesn't mention that even Hamas admits Gaza isn't occupied by the UN. How does it feel to be less honest than Hamas? The only meat that his argument holds is that UN considers Gaza to be part of the political entity that they call "the Occupied Palestinian Territories" but that doesn't change the fact that under international law Israel is not the ruling power there and therefore it is not occupied.
I'm not going to do every myth, although I easily could. But let's just do a couple more.
5) Hamas use the civilians of Gaza as 'human shields'Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor: "I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel's accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields." The Guardian: "In the past week, the Guardian has seen large numbers of people fleeing different neighbourhoods.. and no evidence that Hamas had compelled them to stay." The Independent: "Some Gazans have admitted that they were afraid of criticizing Hamas, but none have said they had been forced by the organisation to stay in places of danger and become unwilling human-shields." Reuters, 2013: "A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces on Thursday of mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody and using others as human shields."Let's throw that fourth quote out immediately. Not only is it from 2013, but whether or not Israel uses human shields has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not Hamas uses human shields. I would expect that kind of blatant deflection and whataboutery from a college student on the Internet, not a political director at the HP (or maybe I would.)
As for the other three quotes, Mr. Bowen hasn't seen any evidence, and none of the Gazans interviewed by the Independent came out and said they were forced to be human shields. Hardly a smoking gun. Clearly these statements is more convincing than the actual video footage of human shields, the fact that Hamas itself admits on its Facebook page (and elsewhere) that rockets are fired from civilians areas, and eyewitness accounts of Hamas using a hospital as a military base. Who are you going to believe, Hasan or your own lying eyes?
10) The Israeli government, unlike Hamas, wants a two-state solutionTimes of Israel: "[Netanyahu] made explicitly clear that he could never, ever, countenance a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank.. Amid the current conflict, he elaborated, 'I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.'"Note how Hasan cleverly phrased this myth so he didn't have to address that Hamas doesn't want a two state solution. I guess not even he would be willing to lie that much.
As for his attack on "the Israeli government" (which I guess is only Netanyahu), yeah, Netanyahu has said he doesn't abide a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank. But he's also said that
"I told President Obama in Washington, if we get a guarantee of demilitarization, and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state, we are ready to agree to a real peace agreement, a demilitarized Palestinian state side by side with the Jewish state."To an honest person, that sounds like the two-state solution. Clearly, Mr. Hasan is not such a person.
I could do the rest of the myths, how they are built on opinion pieces and half-truths, if not outright fabrications. But that's not the point of this posting. The point of this posting is to make you aware that the Huffington Post's UK political director is a dishonest hack with a mad-on for Israel, and he's the one controlling the editorial decisions at the Huffington Post. What a great "newspaper."