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Israel Violates Egyptian Sovereignty, Kills Four Alledged Sinai Militants

Today, the IDF continued its serial violations of the territorial sovereignty of frontline Arab states as it has for decades. An IAF drone attacked a group of alleged militants preparing to launch missiles into Israel. Four were killed. The site was several miles inside the Egyptian border near Rafah. Israel has carried out a series of such attacks and a recent kidnapping with the blessing and full coordination of the Egyptian military and intelligence apparatus.  Sheera Frenkel tweeted that this was Israel’s first drone strike in Sinai.

It probably used a drone because it was safer to use an unmanned vehicle while executing an operation on foreign soil.  Israel has used drones in attacks before in such circumstances–at least once in Sudan and in Gaza as well.

Egypt seems to have farmed out security matters in Sinai to Israel. Presumably, the Israelis have told the Egyptians that they have far superior surveillance and operational capabilities than they do. Since it’s in Israel’s interests to suppress militant activity in Sinai, the IDF has generously offered to become the local sheriff.

Though most countries in the world would strenuously object to a foreign power engaging in military activity on its soil, Egypt these days seems not to be a normal country. In fact, the generals there have more and more in common with Israel and the IDF than they do with Egyptian nationalists. Since when has any red-blooded Egyptian believed its security interests coincided with Israel’s?

That’s why the Egyptians released this mendacious statement about the incident.  They must think that their own citizens are more credulous even than Israelis who hear the lies from the mouths of IDF spokespersons:

…An Egyptian army spokesman denied in a subsequent statement any Israeli role in the incident.

“It is not true, either in form nor substance, that there were any attacks from the Israeli side inside Egyptian territory,” he said.

“Likewise, the claim that there exists coordination between the Egyptian and the Israeli side in this matter is a matter completely void of truth.”

The Egyptian border was a red line that could not be violated, he said.

A confirmation that the army is lying can be found in Sheera Frenkel’s tweet from an unnamed Israeli official which confirms Israel’s responsibility for the attack.  The militant group itself also confirmed that its members were victims of the attack.

The Israeli government is delighted with the recent coup. The Muslim Brotherhood was an independent entity Israel couldn’t control. The generals on the other hand are typical strongmen. Israel understands such dictators whether they be named Mubarak, Assad or el-Sisi. Democracy in the Arab world threatens Israel. Democracy inside Israel threatens its extremist political leaders as well.

Today’s attack is not the first Israeli assault on Egyptian soil. It assassinated a militant there a year ago. Last month, it even mounted a covert operation with the help of Egyptian intelligence by which it lured a Gazan, Wael abu Rida, from Cairo, where he was tending to his wife who was receiving medical treatment. Abu Rida traveled to Rafah, where his taxi driver took him for refreshments to his home. There a group of undercover Mossad agents met him and plied him with a drugged drink (a trademark Mossad trick). He woke up in an Israeli prison.

The Shabak, which interrogated him, leaked to willing Israeli security reporters all of Abu Rida’s ‘transgressions,’ none of which amounted to any successful attacks against Israeli forces. The worst thing he did was organize rock throwing which so frightened an Israeli soldier that he fell down and injured himself (not from the rocks themselves, mind you).  To this day, no Israeli reporting about this man acknowledges he was kidnapped by the Mossad inside Egypt.  Presumably, few Israelis would care.  The Mossad keeps them safe is all they know or care about.  Even if it doesn’t.

That’s what it did a few years ago when Sinai militants attacked the road to Eilat, killing eight Israelis. The IDF’s first claim was that the attack originated in Gaza. As a result, the army launched a massive series of attacks there which killed 30 people, none of whom were engaged in any militant activity.  It even assassinated a Gaza militant leader claiming he masterminded the attack inside Israel.  Only later did Alex Fishman prove, with inside IDF and intelligence sources that the attack had nothing to do with Gaza.  Rather, it was orchestrated by Sinai Islamist elements.

It was during this attack that Israeli military forces went in hot pursuit of the attackers and crossed into Egyptian territory, where they killed five Egyptian police officers who themselves were seeking to engage the terrorists.  Though this could (and perhaps should) have elicited a far more vigorous protest from the Egyptians than it did, the incident seems to have marked a watershed of sorts.  It was around this time that Egypt appeared to cede more control and operational flexibility to Israeli forces in Sinai.

There is a cost to what Egypt is doing.  While it may be convenient to allow Israel to oversee security in Sinai, it may not always be this way.  At some point in the future, Egypt may not want Israeli interference.  But once you establish a precedent by allowing Israel access, you can’t put that horse back in the barn.  Now, Israel may cross the border virtually at will for any purpose it deems necessary.  In future, how will Egypt ever be able to turn around and tell Israel and the world it objects to such incursions?  Israel will respond by saying: sorry fella, we only did for you what you wanted and asked us to do.  You gave us permission, you can’t rescind it.  Israel is like that: give it an inch and it takes a mile.  And it never gives back anything you’ve given it.

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{ 91 comments… add one }
  • איציק הימן August 10, 2013, 1:09 AM

    I don’t see any problem with such actions, as long as Egypt doesn’t as well…
    It is a very sensitive issue indeed.

    • Richard Silverstein August 10, 2013, 1:49 AM

      Egypt’s MILITARY may not have a problem with this, but I cannot think Egyptians themselves approve of it. I’m hoping to make them more aware of what Israel is doing.

      • Miki August 10, 2013, 5:59 AM

        @ Richard
        “but I cannot think Egyptians themselves approve of it”
        You are right, that’s why i believe the Egyptian army spokesman who denied Israel attacked inside Sinai – http://tinyurl.com/l5j2szb- This can be a psy-ops attempt on behalf of the Brotherhood and their supporters (Islamic Jihad and Hamas) to rally some public sentiment against the Army.

        Even if the story was true, considering the current death toll of Egyptian soldiers / officers in Sinai which became an almost daily occurrence (google it), i think that the Egyptian people would be further outraged towards the Jihdi groups killing their personal then with their current administration cooperating with Israel and in attempt to secure the border and deny terror groups from firing on civilians.

        A quick word on Sheera Frnkel and her anonymous sources . Edward Snowden leaked information about highly sophisticated aggregating systems that enable the US government and others to collect all kind of information from people’s emails, phones, social media accounts etc, without hacking their accounts and leaving any signs. It’s safe to assume that same capabilities are available to our government Anyone who leaks classified information to reporters / bloggers would be found in no time, Hence i don’t buy her statement.

      • איציק הימן August 10, 2013, 7:36 AM

        The Egyptian public opinion should be directed at the Egyptian army and government, not the IDF – If the Egyptian army approves such an action.

        • Richard Silverstein August 10, 2013, 1:41 PM

          @איציק הימן: Egyptian public opinion already detests Israel & the IDF. In time it will probably detest its own army equally. THen Israel’s generals & Egypt’s will be in the same boat & have caused massive ill will towards Israel & themselves.

          The IDF has no right to invade foreign countries period. There are lots of international convenants that point this out. Not that Israel gives a fig about such things. As I wrote, there will come a time when Egypt won’t want Israel invading its territory, but Israel will be able to say it had permission to do so before & won’t stop now.

  • Ramon August 10, 2013, 8:43 AM

    And you would rather have a 9-ton M-75 missile hit Eilat than “Israel Violate Egyptian Sovereignty”?

    • Richard Silverstein August 10, 2013, 1:37 PM

      @Ramon: So that’s what the choices boil down to? Violating foreign sovereignty & behaving like a rogue state or accepting missiles raining down on Israeli civilians? Somehow I think you’re being rather simplistic. OTher nations manage to fight terrorism without using Israel’s brutalistic tactics. But of course most other nations don’t deliberately refuse to be good neighbors and act the bully & gobble up territory of their neighbors as Israel does. That may explain some of that ill will Israel is generating.

      • Miki August 10, 2013, 1:45 PM

        “OTher nations manage to fight terrorism without using Israel’s brutalistic tactic”

        You mean like the US who launched few drone attacks in Yaman this week, killing 34 in the last 10 days ?
        http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/world/middle-east/1.2092476

        “behaving like a rogue state”
        I don’t believe that Israel violated Egyptian sovereignty, i think the Egyptian themselves attacked the Rocket launcher, But let’s for the sake of debate assume you are right. If such an attack took place with the cooperation with the current Egyptian government then i don’t see why Israel is a rouge state.

  • Noam August 10, 2013, 10:50 AM

    “Egypt seems to have farmed out security matters in Sinai to Israel. Presumably, the Israelis have told the Egyptians that they have far superior surveillance and operational capabilities than they do”

    A day before the attack, it was Egyptian Security official who tipped of Israel about a group of militant preparing to fire rockets from sinai. Eilat airport was ordered closed for 2 hours to prevent planes from being shut down.

    this was published by main stream israeli media today:
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4415919,00.html

    don’t know how credible it is but the sequence of events does fit.

    • Lark August 10, 2013, 11:30 AM

      Richard doesn’t comprehend the idea that Israel is actually under attack, or ever has been for that matter. Such a “sequence” does not register with him, or with the anti-Israel crowd generally.

      • SimoHurtta August 10, 2013, 1:22 PM

        Under attack? Hmmm in those news I read it is Israel which has a rather strange view of borders between countries. Israel’s soldiers, planes and drones are constantly on the wrong side of the borders in all directions.

        Debka claims, that the in question terrorists got from Hamas as a donation Iranian Fajir-5 rocket launcher system. Have you Lark any idea how large are those Fajir-5 rockets and their launcher? I doubt you do not. Fajr-5 rocket is 6.5 meters long and the launcher is almost 11 meters long.

        The Egyptian army is certainly not so ineffective, that they would notice such huge missile launchers driving around Sinai to the direction of Gaza and Eilat. You may also ask you self how did Iranians get this large and heavy rocket system smuggled to Gaza (or Sinai).

        The problem with you Israelis is that you believe you have world best spying equipment and organization, which can find the secret weapon caches, even the smallest, in Gaza’s clinics, schools, hospitals, mosques and homes. You know when a Palestinian resistance leader is taking his daughter to school so you can assassinate them in their car. But on the same time you are told and demanded to believe, that Israel does not know when Iranians are driving lines of Fajr-5 launchers trucks from Sudan to Gaza through the whole Egypt (several thousand kilometers). You and Egyptian Army do not notice when those large trucks with rockets are driven through a very, very large tunnel to Gaza and stored in a huge secret storage. And one day some guy from Teheran phones to Hamas and demands to donate one Fajr-5 system to their friends extreme Sunnis financed by Saudis. The merry Hamas guerrillas take one launcher truck and drive through that giant tunnel to Egypt side and begin to wait for Salafist Bedouins to park their camels. Then those arch enemies of Iran drive the present they got towards Eilat. Israel gets information about this only through a tip off Egyptian intelligence. Egyptian army knows who the attackers are , but … Come-on. If this episode would be in a movie, the movie would be laughed off the theater because of it childish stupid script.

        Debka offers a tale, that these rockets are disassembled to 10 parts in order to get through the tunnels. They can not offer any credible story how the necessary launchers are smuggled. A rocket of this system is useless without a right kind of launcher. Also handling of these 1000 kg heavy rockets in putting them in the launcher’s tubes demands specialized equipment.

        • Richard Silverstein August 10, 2013, 1:52 PM

          @SimoHurtta: It’s possible that once in a very blue moon Debka actually gets something right. If so, it’s a very rare occurrence and based more on luck than observing standards of accuracy or research. Personally, I’d prefer they not be referenced here except as the butt of a joke, which is what I think you intended in yr comment.

        • Miki August 10, 2013, 3:59 PM

          @ SimuHurtta

          During the last conflict between Israel and Hamas, Hamas fired M75 to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
          M75 is the local version of the Fajr-5 rocket with similar technical specifications.
          You can learn that the incident took place from Alqassam Brigades twitter account here https://twitter.com/AlqassamBrigade/status/269483873648377857
          You can see a model of the M75 here http://news.yahoo.com/photos/large-model-m75-long-range-rocket-seen-thousands-photo-155417534.html

          Considering the huge tunnels connecting Gaza to Sinai, it’s more then possible that such weapon will find it’s way into the Islamist groups working in Sinai, not to mention that Sinai until not so long ago was the backbone of Gaza with weapons storage facilities etc.

        • Noam August 10, 2013, 4:06 PM

          @ SimoHurta,
          “Under attack? Hmmm in those news I read it is Israel which has a rather strange view of borders between countries. Israel’s soldiers, planes and drones are constantly on the wrong side of the borders in all directions.”

          so are you saying that the authorities closed Eilat’s airport for 2 hours because of what exactly? happy hour at the Hilton bar? that 2 hours, as i guess you know, cost a lot of money and closing one is not something you do unless you think there’s an actual risk.

          if these rockets were fired on israeli towns in the south will it get the kind of recognition by this site or similar to this one like the fact that israel attacked before they could launch? would you have said that the Egyptian violated Israeli sovereignty? would you hold Egyptian authorities accountable? according to recent experience the answer would be ‘NO’ to all of them.
          and what if civilians were killed in such an attack? i suppose that considering the possible outcome of a successful missile launch a pre-emptive strike when time is pressing is the better solution – with coordination with egyptian authorities.
          and by the way, you don’t need to drive all the way to eilat in order to in danger flying planes. there’s a simple ballistic calculation (flight envelope) which shows the possible trajectories of a missile with a given launch angle (and other parameters) if the planes fly with in this envelope it may be a possible target. therefore cancelling flights is a standard safety procedure in these cases. and as you mention the fajr 5 is quite big…

          • Richard Silverstein August 11, 2013, 12:05 AM

            @Noam:

            would you hold Egyptian authorities accountable?

            Sinai-based militants have attacked Israel before & I certainly hold Egypt’s security forces responsible for preventing those attacks. Israel should be allowing Egypt to bring sufficient forces into the region to protect security there properly. But Israel refuses to allow Egypt to do this under terms of the 1979 peace agreement. So in effect, if Egypt can’t properly police the Sinai it is at least partially Israel’s fault because it doesn’t want a massive Egyptian army presence there.

            what if civilians were killed in such an attack?

            “What if.” That vague, hypothetical term that means almost nothing. Only 20 Israelis have been killed in all rocket attacks from Gaza in 10 yrs time. The chance of any rocket from Gaza or Egypt hurting, let alone killing someone, are exceedingly slim.

      • Richard Silverstein August 10, 2013, 1:32 PM

        @Lark: Saying or inferring that I am “anti-Israel” is a comment rule violation. That’s why you’re moderated & will continue being so.

        • Lark August 11, 2013, 6:44 AM

          [2nd comment rule violation--you have been banned]

  • MollyManagua August 10, 2013, 11:15 AM

    Israel overseeing security in the Sinai? Perhaps. But the Egyptian army certainly hasn’t been sitting back and doing nothing. In the past month according to Ahmed Ali, an Egyptian Military spokesman, 103 suspected terrorists were arrested and 60 armed militants killed in the Sinai. At the same time, 102 tunnels into Gaza were destroyed well as 40 fuel storage containers. And that’s not all! 38 vehicles belonging to terrorists were confiscated. This is all part of the public record and doesn’t at all sound like the actions of a military that has abdicated it’s security role. Now I spoke to my friend Ahmed who has been jailed and abused by the Muslim Brotherhood for protesting against some of Morsi’s attempted power grabs and he seems to be ok with the situation. He fears the Sinai radicals far more than he does an IDF that has never tortured him. Now don’t get me wrong, overall the sentiment in Egypt is very anti-Israel. However pragmatic elements recognize when circumstances are in their best interests.

    • Daniel August 13, 2013, 11:34 AM

      Yes, the pragmatic liberals and secularists of Egypts recognize when it is convenient for the Dear Leader al-Sisi to recieve billions of dollars of American money, and when it is convenient to groundlessly accuse the Muslim Brotherhood of conspiring with the Americans. The pragmatics of Egypt recognize when to allow Israel to help the fascist Armed Forces murder Egyptian citizens in the Sinai, and when to talk loudly in public about how awful Israel is.

      Why are you boasting about how “102 tunnels into Gaza were destroyed” as if this were some kind of grand achievement? Then why not mention how they flood the tunnels with sewage? Why not spell out in detail how the Armed Forces of Egypt are slowly strangling the people of Gaza to death, arm in arm with their Israeli friends?

      The worshipers of al-Sisi are craven hypocrites, little better than their Likudnik counterparts on the other side of the Sinai. And no matter how many stories like this Mr. Silverstein publishes, they will continue to worship the Egyptian and Israeli armed forces for keeping them “safe” from Arab democracy.

  • Noam August 11, 2013, 2:15 AM

    @ Richard,

    “Israel should be allowing Egypt to bring sufficient forces into the region to protect security there properly. But Israel refuses to allow Egypt to do this under terms of the 1979 peace agreement”

    that’s not accurate. israel allowed reinforcment of egyptian military in sinai in the past few months:
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.535988
    and there was another reinforcment including 2000 soldiers and tanks. you can find the article in Haaretz as well.

    ““What if.” That vague, hypothetical term that means almost nothing. Only 20 Israelis have been killed in all rocket attacks from Gaza in 10 yrs time. The chance of any rocket from Gaza or Egypt hurting, let alone killing someone, are exceedingly slim.”

    so i guess rockets fired at civilian population is ok as long as no one gets hurt. the best alltimer lefties excuse – if you didn’t kill anyone it is Kosher – no matter what your intentions were. if you are incompetent and can’t aim right – no worries you still haven’t done anything wrong yet so you’d get another chance until you get it right.

    • Richard Silverstein August 11, 2013, 12:05 PM

      @Noam: No, it is your claims that are not accurate. Israel allowed Egypt to bring a limited number of new forces into Sinai. It did not allow Egypt to bring adequate forces to fight this insurgency. You think 2000 new soldiers and a few tanks is enough to fight what they’re facing? Does Israel use 2000 troops to deal with Gaza militants or Hezbollah in the north?

      The best solution to rocket fire aimed at Israeli cities is Israel negotiating a peace agreement with its enemies. As long as it continues to refuse, it will continue being targeted.

      • Noam August 11, 2013, 12:56 PM

        @ Richard,
        even if israel will allow 10000 soldiers and 5 times the tanks it won’t matter in this case (or at least won’t be much more effective). the Sinai is a vast desert with lots of tough terrain and hiding places. what the egyptian need isn’t more fire power – it’s more intel. if you don’t know where to look you will never find the weapons caches.

        comparing fighting in the Sinai – a desert – with Gaza – a heavily populated city – is highly unprofessional. the amount of soldiers needed to fight in an urban environment is much greater than open terrain for various reasons – if you’d like i’ll elaborate on that in my next comment.

        “The best solution to rocket fire aimed at Israeli cities is Israel negotiating a peace agreement with its enemies. As long as it continues to refuse, it will continue being targeted.”

        well isn’t that kind of what we are doing right now? and didn’t we do it scores of times and it didn’t help?
        do you really think that Jihad militant affiliated with Al Qaeda will stop because of the peace talks? and who are exactly does enemies in this case? who do we talk to now because we already have a peace agreement with Egypt.
        are you suggesting we reach a peace agreement with any militant group in the middle east?

  • Miki August 11, 2013, 10:15 AM

    @ Richard
    ““What if.” That vague, hypothetical term that means almost nothing.”

    Excuse me ? Israel has a mutual border with Egypt, we are being threatened by terror groups operating within the same geographical region and within range of hitting Israeli civilians. Do we need to wait until Israeli civilians will get killed ? may we retaliate or launch a preemptive strike’s if the effect is only off financial nature due to damages ?

    Compare Israel to the US, you guys operate far away from US soil, in places such as Libya( 6,255 miles from Seattle Washington), Yemen (8135 miles from Seattle Washington) and other places. What gives the US the right to operate in those places ?

    You want to be a part of a meaningful discussion ? you want your voice to be heard where it counts ? move to Israel, share the risk, vote in the elections and make a difference. Of course you will object to what i said, claiming you have more influence writing this blog. Check Alexa, your site rank’s 38,728 in the US & 41,006 in Israel, so much for influence. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/richardsilverstein.com#trafficstats

    • Richard Silverstein August 11, 2013, 12:16 PM

      @Miki: The effect of Israel invading Egyptian territory is far more than of a “financial nature.” In most other places in the world doing so would cause a war. That it doesn’t do so in Egypt is due to the fact that the Egyptian army represents Israel’s interests far more than those of its own nation.

      I don’t accept U.S. drone strikes against Muslim countries. So you’re looking in the wrong place if you expect me to defend such actions.

      Actually, my site is ranked quite high for its content. I’m quite pleased with those rankings. There are very few blog sites dealing with the Israeli-Arab conflict that are ranked higher. The fact that you don’t understand this indicates how ignorant you are about these matters.

      Still waiting for that explanation of why you accused me of using an out of date photo of the Lebanon explosion which wasn’t. Care to admit your error?

      • Miki August 11, 2013, 1:05 PM

        @ Richard

        “That it doesn’t do so in Egypt is due to the fact that the Egyptian army represents Israel’s interests far more than those of its own nation.”

        So you claim that the Egyptian interest is to allow the terror groups to fire onto Israel like they did in the past ?
        Thank god the Egyptians have another vision of what the Egyptian interest. Egyptian Interest is to eliminate using force if necessary all the Jihadi group activities in the Sinai peninsula. The Egyptians experience first hand that a group that operates against Israel today will act against their government and interest tomorrow. If Israel did strike that rocket launcher it served first of all the Egyptian Interest, the Israeli interest second.

        “You think 2000 new soldiers and a few tanks is enough to fight what they’re facing”
        In April 2012, Israel allowed Egypt, in deviation from the peace agreement, to send 7 battalions to Sinai. This June Israel agreed they will send two more battalions including armored personal carrier’s, tanks, attack helicopter and fighter jets. I understand that you don’t think that’s an adequate force (were you an officer in the American military ? ) the Egyptian Army command think it is. The issue was never the force but the willingness of the Egyptian government to operate against the terror groups, that had changed dramatically with the last overturn of power and the imprisonment of Mohamed Morsi.

        “Still waiting for that explanation of why you accused me of using an out of date photo of the Lebanon explosion which wasn’t. Care to admit your error?”

        from reading your site, i see that you have an issue with Off-Topic subjects injected into the conversation.
        First, your question seems extremely off topic. Second i responded in the relevant place – time stamp is Aug 10th 2:14 PM.

        • Richard Silverstein August 11, 2013, 6:11 PM

          @Miki: Actually, Egyptians generally hate Israel because of the way it’s treated the Palestinians. But the ruling elite is easily corrupted by Israeli interests. The army doesn’t represent “Egyptian interests.” It represents its own interests as an entity that controls 40% of the Egyptian economy with its own businesses, swindles, etc. It would be in Egypt’s interests for it to be a true democracy, not under the thumb of chest-thumping Generalissimos. That would mean it would have an independent domestic & foreign policy that wasn’t under the thumb of Israel either. Egyptian nationalism and democracy scares the hell out of the Israelis. That’s why they’ve figured out ways to buy them off.

          a group that operates against Israel today will act against their government and interest tomorrow.

          True, the Islamists (who I do NOT support) will act against the interests of the Egyptian elite. The corrupt military and oligarchs will be anaethema to them and the rest of the Egyptian masses. So what Israel is doing along with the collaboration of these elites is creating a strong powerful Islamist insurgency which will eventually take over the country & make things far, far worse than they ever could be under a real Egyptian democracy. And Israel will have only itself to blame because it had a choice & threw in its lot with the dictators & generals instead of the people.

          The Egyptian army command has never said that it considers the force Israel “allowed” it to deploy in Sinai as “adequate.” I dare you to provide such evidence to support this claim. And the size of the force the army has at its command clearly determines the level of response of which it is capable. For a large & growing-by-the-day insurgency, the forces Israel has approved are inadequate. The failure of the army so far (read yesterday’s NYT article by Egypt correspondent, Robert Worth for more on that) proves that to be true.

          Frankly, I do not believe your original comment, claiming both pictures were mislabeled, was a typo. I believe you thought they (or the way I was using them) both were fraudulent in some way.

          • Miki August 11, 2013, 9:13 PM

            [ed., it is no accident that two separate hasbarist commenters have come up with precisely same argument. As I noted above, this is entirely off-topic & has been deleted. Respect the rules, stay on topic. And take this warning seriously.]

          • Richard Silverstein August 12, 2013, 4:41 PM

            @Miki: This is WAY, WAY off topic as other commenters have told you. Respect the comment rules. Stay on topic. This is a first warning.

          • Bob Mann August 12, 2013, 6:22 PM

            Which comment is this in reference to? I am not sure if it comes up this way for everyone, but it is not clear to what these comments in blue on the very bottom are responding to. It is saying something is way way off topic, but there is no clear indication as to which post is the one in question.

          • Richard Silverstein August 12, 2013, 10:45 PM

            @Bob Mann: Sorry, it was Miki’s catalogue of the alleged anti-Semitic sins of the MB.

          • Miki August 12, 2013, 9:56 PM

            @ Richard
            You mean that it’s impossible that two people who don’t know each-other will catch you in an attempt to bolster your reputation and will respond accordingly ?

            by deleting a comment backed by links you didn’t like, you have proven to me, that you are not interested in a factual debate.

            I have better things to do with my time, and will not read or write here anymore.

          • Richard Silverstein August 13, 2013, 1:32 PM

            @Miki: El Al flight “Miki” departing for take-off. You may notify your replacement that he’s approved for landing at Tikun Olam.

            A bit of an in-joke you wouldn’t understand.

            Actually, what’s possible is that either you hasbarists all think alike or you have a certain limited cache of sources & ideas that keep repeating themselves ad nauseam.

            Contrary to what you may believe, there are scores more like you who will take your place. Your voice & perspective are not unique. So as Edward R Murrow used to say: “Goodbye & good luck!”

  • Noam August 11, 2013, 1:06 PM

    @ Richard,

    “That it doesn’t do so in Egypt is due to the fact that the Egyptian army represents Israel’s interests far more than those of its own nation.”

    are you saying that preventing the sinai peninsula turning into a global terror base filled with Jihadist is not in Egyptian interest?

    @ Miki,
    although i don’t agree with most of the content and my views probably are more similar to yours than richard’s in most cases the reason i am writing in this blog is because i’ve heard it mentioned several times in main stream media in israel. the last one being in channel 2 (it was also mentioned in channel 10 and mako). that’s the reason i am commentating here.

    • Miki August 11, 2013, 1:42 PM

      @ Noam, i didn’t say this site doesn’t have exposure in Israel, it does, though it’s a very limited one (based on Alexa) It get’s exposure mostly in the left circle and a bit among others like you or I. (regardless i find the site to be very interesting, as a it represents part of the Jewish world opinion about the state of Israel). My argument was that someone who’s such an advocate for the vision he has for the state of Israel should live in Israel and participate in the democratic game and actually create the change he preaches for and believes in.

      • Richard Silverstein August 11, 2013, 5:57 PM

        @Miki: You are quite mistaken. Alexa is only one indicator of the impact & influence a site has in a particular country. My blog has been profiled in every Israeli paper except Haaretz. I don’t mean mentioned, I mean profiled. An Israeli reporter flew from Israel to my home & spent 2 days interviewing me for a Maariv profile. Another filmmaker traveled here and spent three days preparing a documentary film.

        My scoops have been referenced numerous time on Israeli TV as well. The IDF censor has referred publicly to me on at least one occasion indicating how annoying & inconvenient she finds my work.

        As for Alexa, as you should know (but probably don’t), it presents a snapshot of popularity on one particular day. There have been periods when my site was ranked as high as 6,000 in Israel and as high as 25,000 in the U.S. Since you’re probably not aware of how many websites there are in the world, there are hundreds of millions. So a world ranking of 195,000 is quite respectable.

        As for living in Israel and participating in the “democratic game,” are you aware that if I even visited Israel, let alone lived there I could be detained for questioning by the security services? If I wanted to become a citizen I could be arrested and thrown in prison. Frankly, I’d prefer to consider living in Israel after it becomes enough of a democracy that I wouldn’t become Israel’s Edward Snowden if I tried to become a citizen. Why don’t you take that project on? Make Israel a real democracy where activity like mine isn’t criminalized. Then we can talk.

        • Miki August 11, 2013, 9:15 PM

          @ Richard
          “My blog has been profiled in every Israeli paper except Haaretz. I don’t mean mentioned, I mean profiled”

          Being profiled by few Israeli leftist members of the News Mafia is meaningless, and let’s not forget they have a huge interest in doing so, after all it’s to be able to quote “foreign sources”. Every time you were mentioned on Israeli TV it came with a disclaimer that you are not very accurate.

          I do not wish to go into a debate over who your sources are, in my opinion if you had any real – and by saying real I mean a politician / public servant in any capacity – the Shabak would have put an end to it a long time ago.

          I’m sure you are aware off the type of info Edward Snowden leaked, only yesterday the Guardian published a new piece stating the NSA was reading all the emails sent between the US and any other point on earth. All phone calls are being monitored as well, and it is very safe to assume that Israel has the exact same capabilities if not better. If you had any “real” source, Shabak would have traced him after the first expose was published on your site. Unless you are using mail pigeon or smoke signals, but I doubt neither would be any good considering the distance.

          “The IDF censor has referred publicly to me on at least one occasion indicating how annoying & inconvenient she finds my work”

          That’s not remotely close to what the IDF censor stated about you. She stated: “You Richard Silverstein, an American Jew, expose – or you think you expose – things in your blog ‘Tikun-Olam’, you are not subjected to the censorship rules and regulations, it can’t you are not an Israeli” http://tinyurl.com/lnxeyev

          “As for Alexa, as you should know (but probably don’t), it presents a snapshot of popularity on one particular day”

          No it doesn’t. From the Alexa website: “The global traffic rank is a measure of how a website is doing relative to all other sites on the web over the past 3 months”

          “Are you aware that if I even visited Israel, let alone lived there I could be detained for questioning by the security services”

          Since the Shabak didn’t bother putting an end to the leaks, I doubt you will be arrested or questioned. As for Israel being enough democracy, it is more than enough for most of us, if you are not happy about things, make alyia register a new party and run for Knesset. If Y. Lapid was able to get himself elected I’m sure you can to.

          • Oui August 12, 2013, 1:05 AM

            Colonel Sima Vaknin “not a military unit and the Israeli consensus” – apparently had second thoughts on modern social networks just 3 months later:

            Big Brother, Israeli Censor, to Monitor Journalists’ Social Media Accounts by Richard Silverstein on May 2, 2012

            The IDF military censor will be assuming even more ominous Big Brother-like prerogatives as it begins monitoring the social media accounts of Israeli journalists and bloggers for potential violation of censorship provisions. At a conference on digital media, the censor, an IDF colonel, announced that her staff would further constrict freedom of the press and speech by assuming the mantle of social media enforcer …
            [Source Haaretz article]

            BTW what is the point of your discussion way off topic of the article? Just an oppurtunity to discredit Tikun Olam? Your opinion is so one-sided by itself loses all credibility to a reader. It doesn’t contribute to the discussion and you don’t engage or want to learn about realities in the big, ugly world and the people who live and need to survive. In a paternalistic society, love is one-sided and authoritarianism is not a conept for peacemaking. This reflects on all three major religions on our planet and is a constant cause for aggression and war. Just keep building settlements beyond the green line and Israel expects to gain friendship in the Arab world? I’ve lived through all challenges that faced the State of Israel. From a person with warmth and love for Israel, i’ve come to be very critical of its policies. That’s not anti-Israel! The likes of Geert Wilders will not help Israel in any future confrontation, it’s a choice of the Israelis themselves.

          • Miki August 12, 2013, 3:55 AM

            @ Oui

            “BTW what is the point of your discussion way off topic of the article?”
            What are you talking about ? i wasn’t discussing anything, i was answering Richard’s previous comment. What started the conversation was a statement that i made about this site exposure and influance in Israel and my suggestion that if Richard would like to promote a real change within the Israeli society then he should make Aliya, and preach from within. Is that allowed ? just FYI, Richard has a wiki page in both Hebrew and English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikun_Olam_(blog)) all my knowledge of the subject was taken from reading the articles listed in the wiki page.

            “Just keep building settlements beyond the green line and Israel expects to gain friendship in the Arab world?”
            Do i need to remind you that the hostilities in the region i live in started at least 40 years before the 67 war ? The settlements – which i think by the way should me disassembled, not all – has nothing to do with hostilities in the region, they are not the root cause and just for the sake of accuracy the Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded in 1964, by an Egyptian not a Palestinian. If what you say is true, then historical events do not reflect it.

            “The likes of Geert Wilders will not help Israel in any future confrontation”
            Being a European you must know how little guys like you did to help the State of Israel in general and Jews residing in Europe in particular. I rather not count on You or Geert Wilders for any type of help.

          • Richard Silverstein August 12, 2013, 10:43 PM

            @Miki:

            The settlements – which i think by the way should me disassembled, not all – has nothing to do with hostilities in the region

            It is outrageous that an Israeli like you, whose views & acts are the source of the problem, should try to define for us what is the problem & what isn’t. Of course in your mind the settlements aren’t part of the problem. But the ‘problem’ with this claim is that the hostility generated from the Arab side isn’t defined or quantified by you. You don’t get to determine what pisses them off. They do. So telling us settlements aren’t the problem is a bit like Truman saying, after dropping 2 atomic bombs on Japan, that radiation wasn’t “the problem” for the hundreds of thousands who died as a result. I think the victims would beg to differ.

            the Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded in 1964, by an Egyptian not a Palestinian

            If I remember my history of the era & you’re referring to Arafat, he certainly was not Egyptian. He was Palestinian having roots in Egypt and Kuwait.

            I rather not count on You or Geert Wilders for any type of help.

            Wilders is the darling of the Israeli nationalist community and pro-Israel advocates in the Diaspora. So what you think of him hardly matters since they call the shots in Israel.

          • R2D2 August 12, 2013, 11:55 PM

            “If I remember my history of the era & you’re referring to Arafat, he certainly was not Egyptian. He was Palestinian having roots in Egypt and Kuwait.”

            Arafat was born in Cairo in Aug 24, 1929. His father and mother were Egyptians. His mother was the 3rd or 4th degree cousin of some Palestinians. That doesn’t make Arafat a Palestinian, more then it makes you an israeli if you have such a bloodline connection

            PLO was not founded in 1964 it was founded in 1959. Arafat funded together with Abu-Jihad , Abu Aiad, Faruk Kadumi and Khaled El-Khasan. 1959, and you claim the settelments built on land “conquered” 9 years later is the problem ? Don’t let history destroy your theories.

          • Richard Silverstein August 13, 2013, 1:35 PM

            @R2D2 appears to be the new flight landing at Ben Gurion Airport. Welcome to the new hasbarista.

            Arafat was born in Cairo in Aug 24, 1929. His father and mother were Egyptians

            You have published a lie. Here is Wikipedia’s far more accurate version of Arafat’s biography:

            Arafat was born in Cairo, Egypt to Palestinian parents. His father, Abdel Raouf al-Qudwa al-Husseini, was a Palestinian from Gaza

            The Nobel Committee website says this about his background:

            Mohammed Abdel-Raouf Arafat As Qudwa al-Hussaeini was born on 24 August 1929 in Cairo**, his father a textile merchant who was a Palestinian with some Egyptian ancestry, his mother from an old Palestinian family in Jerusalem. She died when Yasir, as he was called, was five years old, and he was sent to live with his maternal uncle in Jerusalem

            This is a major comment rule violation. Posting lies is absolutely forbidden. I am moderating you. If you wish to comment in future & your comments respect the rules (which you MUST read) I will remove you from moderation.

            I don’t think the settlements are “the problem.” They’re only part of the problem. The root of the problem, Israel’s Original Sin, was the Nakba. This wound must be healed while the settlements (most of them) must be discarded as well or returned to Palestinian sovereignty.

          • R2D2 August 13, 2013, 2:19 PM

            Richard
            “As for Arafat’s origins I don’t believe your claims for a minute. A credible source please?”

            What don’t you believe that he was born in Cairo ? or that he’s a forth cousin to the Husseini family ?

            French biographers, Christophe Boltanski and Jihan El-Tahri revealed in their 1997 book, “Les sept vies de Yasser Arafat” that Arafat was born in Cairo.

            The Palestinian themselves admit to that. As for his family tree, the university of CA did a research on the subject, available http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/data/13030/pc/ft896nb5pc/figures/ft896nb5pc_fig6.jpg

            “The root of the problem, Israel’s Original Sin, was the Nakba”
            So what are they fighting for (and what do you support ?) ? getting the 67 territory or getting the 48 territory ?
            As for the Nakba being the original sin, is it an “on-topic” subject ? or are you going to be double faced about it initiating a subject to a conversation and then when you don’t like the facts claiming it’s “off-topic” ?

          • Deïr Yassin August 13, 2013, 2:36 PM

            @ R2D2
            “What don’t you believe: that he was born in Cairo ? Or that he’s a fourth cousin to the Husseini family”
            That’s NOT what you wrote in your first comment.
            Everyone knows that Arafat was born in Egypt. You claimed that his parents were Egyptians, and that “his mother was the 3rd or 4th degree cousin of some Palestinians”, thereby clearly insinuating that his father had NO llink to Palestine, and his mother ONLY by a very far family connection.
            That’s simply a lie !

          • R2D2 August 13, 2013, 2:58 PM

            @ Deir Yassin

            Arafat’s bloodline and the connection to the Famous Al-Hussini family is a myth developed by Arafat himself for years who also referred to himself as “the son of Jerusalem” claimed he was born in Jerusalem etc.
            Arafat did it for political reason, admitting his true birth place and the origins of his parents would have impact his chances for success. That’s why for years he lied for years about the info. Claiming he’s connected to the Jerusalem’s Al-Hussini’s was extremely important for two reasons:
            1. This family is extremely placidity connected
            2. They are known to have direct blood line to the prophet Muhammad.

            So Arafat himself told this BS to few prominent journalists : Milton Viorst, Elizabeth Ferber, Chris Harper, William Stewart, Janet & John Wallach and many others.

            Later on when his birth certificate was found the lie was so deeply rooted that no one believed the document.
            You being a good example.

          • Deïr Yassin August 13, 2013, 3:19 PM

            I left a comment (with reference to Said Aburish’ biography),. For some reaon, it ended up much further up the thread.
            Don’t give me any lessons on how Palestinian names are constructed, I surely know that far better than you (and so do Aburish who explains it thouroughly in his book) !
            I know very well the “I’m a son of Jerusalem” and the myth of him being born in Jerusalem etc etc.
            That doesn’t change anything about your claim that his parents were Egyptians is a lie, and so is your claim that his mother only had 3rd or fourth degree cousin of some Palestinians.

            Et pusique vous lisez le français (enfin, peut-être vous avez juste balancé le bouquin de Boltanski comme ça, pour frimer….), je vous conseille de lire la biographie d’Arafat écrite par le journaliste franco-israélien Amnon Kapeliouk.

          • R2D2 August 13, 2013, 3:33 PM

            I responded to your comment up there
            Read the book, i linked to it. The Author states that the Al-Hussini Arafat belonged to was a Gazan based one.
            No connection to the Jerusalem family or the one in Nablus.
            Arafat’s father was Egyptian, he established that in the book, he ended in Gaza and lived there for few years and came back moved back to Cairo

            This is getting boring, Arafat’s been dead for 9 years, and you still spread the lies associated with him.

          • Deïr Yassin August 13, 2013, 4:32 PM

            @ R2D2
            No, you’re the one spreading lies here. Your first comment is here for everyone to see.
            And I’ve reponded to your comment above too, particularly your claim about Aburish establishing that his father was Egyptian ! He clearly claims his father was Palestinian and I’ve given you the page and quote !
            Irhal !
            @ Richard. I’m sorry. I know this is way-way off topic. I’ll never do it again.

          • Richard Silverstein August 13, 2013, 7:53 PM

            @Deir Yassin: It’s OK. I knew it had to be a lie, so it spurred me to do my own research to confirm it was. I knew Arafat was born in Cairo, but didn’t know much beyond that about his origins. Frankly, I didn’t care. But apparently it’s important to the pro-Israel crowd. Anything to smear Palestinian nationalism & its origins.

          • Richard Silverstein August 13, 2013, 8:25 PM

            @R2D2:

            That’s why for years he lied

            I don’t know anything about the lies of Arafat. But I know about yours. And nothing you write here has any credibility.

            You’re also going so far off topic you might as well be in another blog galaxy. Do NOT go off topic.

            Did you see that? R2D2 has Arafat’s birth certificate. He must have Obama’s as well. The one proving he was born in Kenya.

          • Richard Silverstein August 13, 2013, 7:56 PM

            I’ve written my views on this subject. I don’t repeat myself ad nauseam. The post is there for you to find & read.

            No, Nakba is not on topic unless I write about it in a post. It was on topic in the post I wrote several years ago about it. You must confine yourself to the subject of the post on which you are commenting.

            Now that I’ve moderated you, this means only if your comments respect the rules will they be published. Keep that in mind.

          • Deïr Yassin August 13, 2013, 2:25 PM

            @ Richard
            R2D2 (seems to be the new incoming plane from Ben Gourion) is simply lying when he claims about Arafat: “His father and mother were Egyptians. His mother was the 3rd or 4th degree cousin of some Palestinians”.
            Arafat was born in Cairo to Palestinian parents (his full name includes al-Husseini, and he was a member of the al-Husseini clan from Jerusalem°. His mother was also from Jerusalem, and when she died when Arafat was aged 4, his father sent him and a brother to live with her family in the Moroccan Quarter for some years.
            And when R2D2 claims that PLO was not founded in 1964 but in 1959, he is wrong again. Fatah was founded around 1959 (the date is not clear), but the PLO was founded at the first summit of the Arab League in Cairo in 1964.

          • R2D2 August 13, 2013, 2:45 PM

            @ Deir Yassin
            Bull Shit comes in many forms, yours is very unique, i wonder if you work for the Palestinian ministry of propoganda.

            Arafat full name was: Mohammed Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat Al Qutua Al Husseini.
            Mohammad Abdel Rhaman = his first name
            Abedl Raouf= His father name
            Arafat = His grandfather name
            Al Qudua = his family name
            Al Husseini = the name of the clan he belonged to.

            The combination of Arafat’s name , Mohammed and another name (Abdel Rahman) is more common in Egypt then any other place in the Arab world., and shows that he comes from a religious Egyptian bloodline. Two famous examples are Mohammed Anwer Sadat & Mohammed Husni Mubarak

            With respect to the 1959 / 1964 PLO vs Fatah, you are right, it doesn’t change the fact that though the Palestinian present to the world as if the 1967 territory is the issue, both organizations were created before the 1967 war even took place.

          • Richard Silverstein August 13, 2013, 8:16 PM

            @R2D2:

            i wonder if you work for the Palestinian ministry of propoganda.

            This guy either works for the MFA or the new PMO’s hasbara initiative. Only someone who’s an official shill would accuse Deir Yassin of being what he himself is.

            Family names sometimes reflect geographical origins and sometimes don’t. Your attempt to manipulate Arafat’s family names to prove a lie is quite entertaining.

            I expect to see you say explicitly that you were wrong in conflating the PLO’s founding with Fatah’s. If you don’t it will be yet another display of your bad faith.

          • Richard Silverstein August 13, 2013, 8:14 PM

            @Deir Yassin:

            Fatah was founded around 1959 (the date is not clear), but the PLO was founded at the first summit of the Arab League in Cairo in 1964.

            In R2D2-World: “Fatah, PLO, what’s the diff?? You’ve seen one Paly you’ve seen ‘em all.”

          • Noam August 13, 2013, 2:57 PM

            @ R2D2,
            i think you are confusing the Fatah movement who was founded in 1959 by Yasser Arafat (which is Abu Jihad by the way) with the PLO. fatah believed that only a violent struggle is the way to free Palestine. the PLO (which isn’t the same as Fatah but also didn’t recognise israel’s right to exist of course) was founded at the first arab league summit in 1964 and it’s chairman was Ahamad el Shukeri. the Fatah movement and Yasser Arafat became the major party in the PLO after the Khrame Battle with Israeli forces march 1968 (along with other inner and global processes in the palestinian people, arab nations and Israel which affected the power change – though the battle and it’s aftermath was the major tipping point). Arafat was elected chairman in February 1969, and he held that position until he died.

            bottom line, neither thought Israel had the right to exist even before the Settlements were established.
            i think that Richard is partially right about the Nakba being the main issue. i say that this is partially true because the Arab Israeli conflict (not only with the palestinians) started before the Nakba and the first climax of this conflict was the 1948 war.

          • Deïr Yassin August 13, 2013, 3:27 PM

            @ Noam
            “… Yasser Arafat (which is Abu Jihad by the way)”
            Haha, you’re as ignorant as the guy you’re correcting who wanted to correct me. He mixes up Fatah and the PLO, and you mix up Yassir known by the kunyaAbu Ammar and Khalil al-Wazir known as Abu Jihad.
            ‘Ahmad’, and not Ahamad, ‘Karameh’ and not Khrame….

          • Deïr Yassin August 13, 2013, 3:28 PM

            Yassir Arafat that is.

          • Eli August 13, 2013, 8:36 PM

            Yasser Arafat is Abu Ammar. Abu Jihad is other person (Salah Khalaf).

          • Eli August 14, 2013, 2:45 AM

            I do apology for my mistake: Yasser Arafat is Abu Ammar, Khalil Al-Wazir is Abu Jihad and Salah Khalaf – Abu Ayad.

          • Deïr Yassin August 14, 2013, 3:10 AM

            @ Eli
            “Abu Jihad is other person (Salah Khalaf)”
            Great ! R2D2 doesn’t know the difference between Fatah and the PLO but feels okay about correcting other people on the subject. Noam claims Yassir Arafat used the kunya Abu JIhad, and now you claim it was Salah Khalaf. Geee. Do you guys ever check anything before commenting, or is Israeli chutzpah enough ?
            Yassir Arafat, kunya Abu Ammar. Khalil al-Wazir, kunya Abu Jihad. Salah Khalaf, kunya Abu Iyad.
            Khalil al-Wazir and Salah Khalaf were both assassinated in Tunis, wonder who did that….

          • Richard Silverstein August 13, 2013, 8:22 PM

            @Noam: Noam, is that you? That comment just doesn’t sound like you at all. We actually agree on something?! Wow. I’m impressed (I don’t mean this ironically or satirically). And I appreciate your pointing out R2D2’s error. He might learn from your example.

            R2D2 should not mistake my comment about Nakba to mean that I believe it entirely delegitimizes Israel’s right to exist. Nakba is a deep injustice that must be resolved for Israel to exist, just as apartheid was S. Africa’s Original Sin. That country has dealt with this injustice and make recompense with those who suffered from it. Israel can do similarly. But that can only happen through a sea change in Israeli consciousness & Israeli society and politics.

          • Noam August 13, 2013, 3:01 PM

            @ All of us commentating,

            i don’t know how we got from the original topic to the source of the PLO and who Yasser Arafat was.
            but no one here mentioned that a rocket was fired last night toward Eilat and was taken down by Iron Dome.

            Egypt is accountable for this shooting and goes to show that it can not (at least yet) control the Sinai Peninsula.
            Israel as far as i know didn’t retaliate and hopefully the egyptians will track down the cell responsible before they try it again – maybe resulting with another IAF attack on Egyptian soil.

          • Deïr Yassin August 13, 2013, 3:59 AM

            @ Richard
            Either Miki is giving us the Arafat-is-an-Egyptian spin (but he wasn’t the founder of the PLO, and only the third chairman) or he’s referring to Nasser whom the hasbara likes to present as the founder of the PLO.
            The French also accused Nasser of being behind the young Algerian nationalists who rose against France in 1954, they apparently had no reason to do so on their own….

          • Oui August 12, 2013, 5:03 AM

            @Miki: Wow! Did I catch a nerve? Getting personal won’t restore your credibility. When launching such general attitudes towards “Europeans” [you don't know my citizenship] you are on a sliding scale of anger without rationale. Why are Israeli Institutions funding a Dutch Islamophobe?

            BTW I have been scolded by Palestinians for being a “Jew” and by bloggers for being “anti-semitic”. I’m neither. As for the Dutch people and WWII, check the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem for the names as Righteous Among the Nations. Your rant is very becoming and reveals the person you are.

          • Deïr Yassin August 12, 2013, 8:09 AM

            @ Miki
            “Just for the sake of accuracy the Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded in 1964 by an Egyptian not a Palestinian”
            For the sake of accuracy, this is complete BS.
            The Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded at the first summit of the Arab League in Cairo 1964, and the first chaiman was Ahmad Shuqayri (born to a Turkish mother and a Palestinian father), a member of the Hizb al-Istiqlal (Independance Party).

            And your “The Egyptian Army invaded Isreal in 1948″ further up the thread is of course a Zionist version of the events. The Brits withdraw before any solution was found, and the Arab armies entered what was still Palestine to them, and they mostly (I say mostly) kept to the territories that were attributed to the Arab state. The 15th of May more than 300.000 Palestinians had already been driven from their homes (also in territories NOT attibuted to the Jewish state), but of course it doesn’t matter…
            It’s just incredible how Zionist rewrite history, isn’t it ?

          • Richard Silverstein August 12, 2013, 10:33 PM

            @Miki:

            Being profiled by few Israeli leftist members of the News Mafia

            Miki’s far right politics are clear from his or her depiction of reporters for Yisrael HaYom, Jerusalem Post, Maariv & Yediot as “leftist members of the News Mafia.” That would doubtless charm the reporters who wrote those profiles whose newspapers are at best centrist (Yediot), but more likely right wing to far-right (all the rest). THe fact that such center-right media outlets have profiled me indicates your claim is abjectly false.

            Every time you were mentioned on Israeli TV it came with a disclaimer that you are not very accurate.

            This too is false. Sometimes when I’m mentioned my work is described fairly & sometimes it is disparaged as you claim. But the disclaimers from Israeli TV themselves were inaccurate because my reporting is quite accurate. If the media thought I was inaccurate they wouldn’t bother to report what I publish. If you thought I was inaccurate you’d be screaming it from the rooftops. Most of the time when people like you have ridiculed my reports it’s me who ends up vindicated & not the doubters.

            I strongly object to your claim that my sources are not “real.” The realness of the sources is proven by their accuracy. If you dispute the accuracy of a report prove it with facts. If you ever again say that my source is not real it is YOU who will become unreal as a commenter here. Also, I will share your conviction with my source that he is unreal. His ‘virtual’ self will enjoy that immensely. He & his enjoyment will be quite real, I assure you.

            The status of my source is far more complicated than you realize. In some instances, the Israeli intelligence apparatus wants my source to convey information to me. Though I doubt they like the spin I put on some of those stories. In other instances, my source elicits stories the security folk definitely do not want publicized. But my source comes from a world that isn’t that dissimilar from their own. So to prosecute or silence him would mean in effect silencing themselves. Not something easy to do.

            As for Alexa, it presents two rankings–by week or by last 3 months. I repeat my previous claim, those ranking present a snapshot only of that particular time period. My site in the past has ranked much higher on Alexa and it has ranked lower. My site has existed for ten yrs. Your ranking shows its rating for a 3 month period out of that ten yrs. Not terribly reliable or informative.

            I’m glad you’re such an expert that you can offer me certainty that I won’t be arrested by the Shabak should I enter Israel. Others with far more expertise than you in this matter have cautioned me & suggested that precisely the opposite is likely. So I’d rather trust their judgment than yours. I’m sure you won’t mind.

            As for Israel being enough democracy, it is more than enough for most of us

            These may be the only true words you’ve written here. Indeed you’re presented precisely the problem for Israel & Israelis. They believe there is such a thing as too much democracy and have standards that for most others living in normal democracies would be woefully inadequate. But for Israelis who think they know what democracy is but really have hardly a clue, that’s just fine.

          • R2D2 August 13, 2013, 2:20 PM

            Richard,
            Allow me to dissect few of your statements, though no doubt they gave me a good laugh.

            “These may be the only true words you’ve written here”

            I think that we – the natives who live in Israel – should express our gratitude to Richard Silverstein for showing us what true democracy really was. In RS democracy it’s own security apparatus – NSA,FBI,CIA and other services – read all emails sent to a person, launch drown attacks on own citizens, spy on allies such as Europe, Israel and others. And you want to teach us Democracy ? laughable at best.

            “So to prosecute or silence him would mean in effect silencing themselves. Not something easy to do.”

            So you have according to your claim a source – who’s identity you know – who’s identity is well known to the Israeli security services (you claim they are trying to feed you information but you outsmart them and spin the information around, to feed you information they need to know exactly who to talk to) and yet the Israeli security services in fear of exposing something let him run wild. Interesting….however a close look at the list of those members of the security services members who were either arrested or forced to resign will show you that the Israeli security services have no issue dealing with those who leak information:
            1. Uzi Arad, former National Security Adviser for the israeli PM, ex mossad agent, who leaked information to the newspapers. after a shabac interrogation he lost his job.
            2. Prisoner X – 1
            3. Prisoner X – the 2nd
            4. Eran Etzion, a highly ranked employee of the Israeli Foreign Minister, who will not get his new position because he leaked information to a reporter 5 years ago.

            And i can go on and on.

            In short your analysis is meaningless, but your comedy is great. keep it up.

          • Richard Silverstein August 13, 2013, 8:11 PM

            @R2D2: Actually, the laugh is entirely on you. At your expense & I’m enjoying it immensely.

            Saying I have no credibility as a critic of Israel’s national security state because I’m a citizen of a country that violates the civil rights of its citizens and others in foreign countries is one of the more ridiculous statements I’ve read in some time. That means that no Israeli peace activist has any right to criticize the civil rights violations of the U.S. government because his own government is a civil rights violator. It means no Palestinian human rights activist has the right to criticize Israeli human rights violations because the PA is a human rights violator.

            Talk about laughing–your reasoning is laughable.

            In fact, every individual’s credibility in criticizing his own or a foreign government must be judged on that individual’s terms and not some stupid arbitrary criterion you’ve created. My credibility in criticizing Israel’s security abuses rests of whether or not my claims are legitimate and based on facts and evidence, which they are. My credibility is further bolstered because I regularly criticize the abuses of the U.S. government as well.

            You, on the other hand, are a liar (see Arafat fake bio you tried to pass off as factual) and a fraud with NO credibility. Your presence here was painfully short till you were found out. You’ll be on a very short leash in future till your take-off for that bright hasbara in the sky.

            a close look at the list of those members of the security services members

            I never said that my source was a member of the security services. You should review what I did say about him so that you might be more accurate. Second, I think you’re arguing the same thing I am while thinking you’re disputing me: I said that the security services don’t appear interested in preventing him from leaking to me for a variety of reasons. One of them is that my source offers information to me they want known. Another, is that putting him under scrutiny for leaking stories they don’t want known would be quite radical & probably not countenanced even in non-democratic Israel. Because, as you said, members of the club you can get away with quite a lot.

            In short, your commentary is less than meaningless. But it does allow me to sharpen my rhetorical skills. So thanks for that.

          • R2D2 August 13, 2013, 8:19 PM

            Richard, no my friend you are the liar
            Arafat lies are well known around the world, one of them is him being a part of the Jerusalem Al-Hussini clan.
            He’s not and that is clearly noted in the book Both I and Deir Yassin referred to. That’s not disputable.

            With respect to your other nonsense, your argument that Israel doesn’t put an end to the leaks because of bad PR is laughable. Israel can just arrest who ever leaks you information and you would even know about it.
            As you stated Shabak know’s who it is.

          • Deïr Yassin August 14, 2013, 3:36 AM

            @ R2D2
            Your serie of comments is a perfect example of hasbara that is worth studying.
            In your first comment you claim that Arafat was born to Egyptian parents, and that his mother (only) has some 3rd or 4rth degree cousins.
            If you notice I metionned the al-Husseini clan in Jerusalem after your initial comment, and in my next comment I noticed that Aburish might be right about there being no connection between the Gaza al-Husseinis and the al-Husseinis from Jerusalem, Richard doesn’t mention that at all, and now you continue commenting on that detail because you realize that your first comment is BS but you simply won’t admit it.
            You claim Aburish writes Arafat’s father was born in Egypt, moved to Gaza for some years and then back to Egypt, but that’s not at all what he writes: he clearly states Arafat’s father was Palestinien, and more than once (cf my comment further up that you somehow ‘missed’ and didn’t answer).
            You also lie about Aburish’s explanation about Arafat’s name: he says nowhere it’s Egyptian, he explains that the combination of Muhammad and another name is more common in Egypt.
            Ant if the Al-Husseini clan is from Gaza, how can Arafat be Egyptian ?
            Aburish clearly writes that the Arafat al-Qudwa name belongs to Gaza, and that the Arafats of Gaza are not related to the ones in Nablus, Safed and Lydda.
            So let’s conclude once and for all: Abu Ammar was born in Cairo to Palestinien parents. His mother was from Jerusalem, and his father from Gaza (born to a Palestinian father and an Egyptian mother). Arafat thus has one paternal grand-mother who’s Egyptian.
            Further up the file you write “we – the natives who live in Israel”. Yeah, let’s go through your genealogy, and see if you don’t have some ‘foreign’ ancestry.
            R2D2 is member of the “A-Land-For-A-People-For-A-People-Without-Land hasbara team….

          • Deïr Yassin August 14, 2013, 3:39 AM

            Erratum: his mother only had some 3rd or 4rth degree cousins ‘among some Palestinians’.

          • Oui August 15, 2013, 2:14 AM

            The choice of nickname “R2D2″ I find intriguing – Phalanx used by Israel in the Gaza War. Perhaps same person, his/her first baby steps in 2003. Indoctrinated in the hasbara school of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), today’s counter-terrorism brigade for the BDS enemies. Mondoweiss also covered same topic. It’s perhaps easier to control the MSM than the “subversive” bloggers on the Internet.

        • Yah shove August 11, 2013, 11:02 PM

          Richard When you were mentioned by the Israeli Military Censor who was at a panel discussion with journalists you posted a link to the video. I watched the entire video and she did not indicate ” how annoying and incovinent she finds your work”.actualy what she said was far from that. Your name was brought up in reference to foreign bloggers and security related issues. As of that time she said the only ” security breach ” was by you re the Anat Kam case. She said that she had argued with the Shin Bet because she felt it should not be classified or censored and that no damage would be done if her name was released. But because of the persistence of the Shin Bet she censored the name. She also pointed out that all of the journalists on the stage and many other journalist knew the name but respected the ruling of the censor. The name itself was known to many just not published. At know time did she refer to your work on this blog as ” annoying and inconvenient ” and in fact was saying that interstate of security breaches bloggers have not done any damage and the most agregious case was your Anat Kam revelation which in her opinion was no big d eal. Now if you reveal a publicaly unknown Israeli nuclear strategic mobile missile storage base, that would be a huge revelation. I have never seen the base mentioned anywhere although I keep on looking. Nor have I seen any mention of israeli mobile strategic missile launchers anywhere. So I guess they don’t exist. :-) but they do exist and it is a secret waiting to be revealed.

          • Richard Silverstein August 12, 2013, 4:37 PM

            @Yah shove: The IDF censor was interviewed about me in a newspaper article where she expressed more disparaging views.

          • Miki August 12, 2013, 7:27 PM

            @ Richard
            Please link to the said article.

    • Richard Silverstein August 11, 2013, 6:02 PM

      @Noam: I’m saying that being a stooge of the IDF, as the Egyptian army is, does not represent Egypt’s national interests. I’m saying that a truly civilian \-controlled military would not collaborate with Israel. I’m saying that a free & democratic Egyptian government that wasn’t under the thumb of the army would have a far more muscular, independent & critical relationship with Israel (which is why Bibi loved the coup).

      All of this (i.e. democracy, independence) would discourage the sort of Islamist activity that is currently happening in Sinai. The Isalmists are popular because the ruling elite in Egypt is corrupt & autocratic & colludes with Israel.

  • djf August 12, 2013, 11:26 AM

    Richard, it amazes me how you consistently attribute Israel’s actions to only the worst of motives.

    The Israeli government is delighted with the recent coup. The Muslim Brotherhood was an independent entity Israel couldn’t control.
    . . .
    I’m saying that a free & democratic Egyptian government that wasn’t under the thumb of the army would have a far more muscular, independent & critical relationship with Israel (which is why Bibi loved the coup).

    Israeli leadership clearly did not support Morsi. But in speculating about their motives, you immediately decide that it’s because the Muslim Brotherhood threatens to push back against what you consider illegitimate policy. Could be.

    Could also be the Brotherhood’s affiliation with Hamas, which has declared on more than one occasion that it seeks Israel’s destruction. Could also be the Brotherhood’s penchant for antisemitic conspiracy theories (see: http://goo.gl/jX0CxG and http://goo.gl/CvNjHJ). Or Morsi’s personal history of antisemitism (see: http://goo.gl/3Vscgc).

    But no. For you, Israeli policy is based solely on crass political calculations. Egyptian attitudes, on the other hand, are genuine. As you write, “Egyptians generally hate Israel because of the way it’s treated the Palestinians.” Antisemitism has nothing to do with it. Just move on, nothing to see here.

    • Richard Silverstein August 12, 2013, 7:03 PM

      @djf: The Brotherhood is not “affiliated” with Hamas. Hamas originally had its spiritual roots in the Muslim Brotherhood. But that goes back decades & both entities now pursue their own independent policies. The MB govt left the army to conduct policy toward Hamas & the siege was left largely intact because the Brotherhood felt it had other higher priority issues. So much for this alleged “affiliation” you’ve “exposed.”

      Israel’s attitude toward the MB & its government is not something dependent on my opinions alone. This attitude of hostility is well documented in the Israeli & world media. Maybe you don’t read widely?

      Could also be the Brotherhood’s penchant for antisemitic conspiracy theories

      This is off topic. Respect the rules & do not bring up extraneous subjects not covered by my posts.

      If there is anti-Semitism among Egyptian Islamists it’s more than balanced by Islamophobia among Israel Jews. Why no mention of that? Too inconvenient?

      This amounts to really tired hasbara. Is this the best you can cook up?

  • Eli August 13, 2013, 11:53 AM

    “I have better things to do with my time, and will not read or write here anymore”

    OK, last month we had Nimrod, Gonen, Eli, Lark and now Miki. Who is next, Mr. Democracy? sure not Deir Yassin!!!

    • Richard Silverstein August 14, 2013, 12:48 AM

      Every month there’s a whole new slew of you guys. All hasbara hacks. But every time one of you breaks the rules enough times to be banned another springs up like mushrooms after a spring rain.

      The proof that some or all of you are part of an orchestrated campaign is that the right wing commenters are an ever changing cast of characters. One leaves or is banned & another invariably takes his place. However, the commenters who are on the left are a relatively stable group with very little turnover. I wonder why?

      • Eli August 14, 2013, 2:41 AM

        @Richard: How can I prove that Eli is always Eli and only Eli and just Eli? How can I prove that I am not an official Hasbara, but an Israeli person that want peace and justice and only peace and justice? If you don’t delete my comments and let me express and explain my self, as well as you don’t delete other persons comments (you don’t have to agree with them), be sure that, with time, you will see another relatively stable group.

      • Miki August 14, 2013, 1:27 PM

        [comment deleted--violation of comment rules]

  • Deïr Yassin August 13, 2013, 3:04 PM

    I just found Said Aburish’s biography from 1999 on the net: “Arafat: From Defender to Dictator”.
    Here’s what Aburish says about Arafats origins (p. 7): The facts of Yasser Arafat’s birth (….) are now established beyond any doubt. Mohammed Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini was born in Cairo of Palestinian parentage”.

    There’s a good explanation of Palestinian names and what they indicate, and why Arafat had been reluctant over time to give private informations. Being born abroad, having an Egyptian grand-mother, he thought, might not be the best CV to lead a Palestinian nationalistic movement.
    If he’d known that the hasbara – and NOT the Palestinians – would misuse this, he’s probably acted differently….

    • R2D2 August 13, 2013, 3:27 PM

      @ Deir Yassin
      You should use more caution reading this book.
      In it the author says that Arafat belonged to the Gazan Al-Hussini clan which has no ties to the Jerusalem Al-Hussini clan what so ever.
      It further states that his father was born in Egypt, Ended in Gaza, was a policeman in the Ottoman Empire and in 1927 moved back to Cairo.
      It also states that Araft’s name was of Egyptian origin and rarly use by Palastinians or anyone else outside of Egypt
      the book is available here http://tinyurl.com/n4hv3py

      • Deïr Yassin August 13, 2013, 4:22 PM

        @ R2D2
        You’re telling me to read more carefully ? Ha.
        1. About the link between the two al-Husseini-families, I notice what Aburish write (it’s maybe right, I’ll chack thatelsewhere).
        2. When you write Aburish states his father was born in Egypt, ended up in Gaza and moved BACK to Cairo, that’s NOT what the text says. I can’t find where Aburish states his father was born in Egypt (please indicate) and it doesn’t say he moved BACK to Cairo but only that he moved to Cairo and it particularly states “Portraits of the man {his father] (…..) are representative of a particular class of Palestinians in the 1920s (p.9). Did you miss that ?
        I also don’t see why Arafat’s father would end up as a policeman in the Ottoman Empire if he was Egyptian. The Khedivate became autonomous in 1867, but that’a another story.
        3. Page 12 (p. 10-11 missing, we don’t get the beginning of the description) speaks about his stay in his maternal mother’s family in Jerusalem.
        4. Could you please indicate precisely where the text claims that Arafat’s name is of Egyptian origin etc.
        What I read is that “the combination of Mohammed and another name – though not unusual througout the Middle East – was more common in Egypt3.
        Aburish is trying to explain why his name led people to think he was Egyptian.
        And first of all ,Aburish writes clearly “born in Cairo of Palestinian parentage” ! You can’t hasbarize that away !

      • SimoHurtta August 14, 2013, 12:12 AM

        Well R2D2 do know who are Benjamin Mileikowsky, Golda Mabovitch, Mordechai Nemirovsky, Yitzhak Rubitzov, Icchak Jeziernicky, Szymon Perski etc. Israel has been lead by East Europeans all the time it has existed. Zionists seem to believe, that inventing a new surname makes them Middle Eastern people.

        And you “complain” about Arafat’s ties to Palestine. Funny. Arafat with “this Egypt theory” had more connections to Palestine/Israel than any Israeli prime minister has had. Arafat’s supporters had lived in Palestine for generations. Israeli PMs’ supporters were like the PMs, invaders from East Europe and Arabia.

        • Richard Silverstein August 14, 2013, 12:55 AM

          @SimoHurtta: I sometimes think that hasbara is little more than pro-Israelists examining the weaknesses of their own argument, seeking to find similar weaknesses among Palestinians, & exploiting them first so as to put the other side off balance. Presumably, this will mean the ‘enemy’ won’t have time to find those weaknesses you’re trying to hide.

  • Oui August 13, 2013, 11:55 PM

    @R2D2: “I think that we – the natives who live in Israel [1] – should express our gratitude to Richard Silverstein for showing us what true democracy really was. In RS democracy it’s own security apparatus – NSA, FBI, CIA and other services – read all emails [2] sent to a person, launch drown [drone] attacks on own citizens [3], spy on allies [4] such as Europe, Israel and others. And you want to teach us Democracy ? laughable at best.”

    Sorry I’m a bit late to the hasbarist landings and further attemp to discredit RS. The origin of all hasbara bs, must be of a poor accreditation as of late. Truly laughable the revisionist of contemporary history on the common morals and values of the US and Israel. [1] The “natives” just landed from Los Angeles, Paris, Amsterdam and settled (be sure to read link “some people”) in the housing of Shaarei Tikva. [2] Israeli tech companies drive most of the intrusive software of spying by the intelligence services. The new Utah NSA spy center is build jointly with Israeli tech companies (source: Wired). [3] Need the community a reminder which nation is leading in drone technology and export. Israel has the trademark of targeted killing from the sky, does not matter if the tool is a F-16, Apache helicopter or drone. Sharon established the moral playing field duplicated by George Bush and later continued under Obama, not the other way around. Same for Sharon’s support for the US decision to invade Iraq, joint special forces training in the Negev desert learning the Jenin tactics so well executed in Fallujah. The interrogation technique, rendition, torture are all shared values of US with Israel and it’s distressing hasbarists want to smear the US with its very own human rights abuses. Do we need a constant reminder? Abu Ghraib imprisonment and treatment of prisoners were clearly taken from the Israeli handbook of sexual abuse and humiliation in treating Palestinians. [4] A mix of all of the above.

  • Noam August 14, 2013, 12:50 AM

    @ Richard,

    we partially agree on something :)
    although i was only partially right in my comment as well, as Dier Yassin pointed out (quite harsh i might add).

    in time, i think that you’ll find that even though i’m leaning to the right side of the political arch i do share views which are similar to yours (or at least with some proximation) – about the settlements for instance.

    anyways, if the rockets fire continues from Sinai and the Egyptians continue to fail in stopping them – i think israel won’t have any choice but to attack the imminent threats and Egyptians will have no choice but to work with us intelligence wise in order to stop the terrorists before hand. no good will come from ignoring the chaos in Sinai and it is in both countries interest to stop it from growing.

    • Richard Silverstein August 14, 2013, 1:44 AM

      @Noam: Israel must allow Egypt to maintain the level of forces needed to combat the Sinai threat, which it isn’t doing.

      But the root cause of all this mess is the unstable situation between Israel & the frontline Arab states. Settle the Palestine issue & much (but not all) of the rest will fall into place. But no Israeli government will or can do that. And that’s the tragedy.

  • Eli August 14, 2013, 3:30 AM

    I sent an apologies and correction but I am not sure my comment will be published since I am among ‘Hasbaratis” that were banned from this site. I hope Richard, if not publish my comment, will send you my comments personally.

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