Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rasheed Screed Trilogy, August 2011, Part 1

The New Haven Register regularly published op-eds written by Jamilah Rasheed , coordinator of the Connecticut Islamic Speakers Bureau. Rasheed ironically has the email address, ironic since so much of what she writes is of, at best, highly questionable veracity.
The Register published one of her op-eds, more accurately referred to as a Rasheed Screed, on August 9, 2011, with the title "Palestinians also struggle for freedom."

We post three entries relating to Rasheed's latest screed. This one contains quotes from her screed along with comments about each.
The second will contain a letter sent to The Register but, as of today, unpublished.
The third will also contain two versions of a letter sent to The Register, the published version and the original.

The Quotes and Comments

Re the title "Palestinians also struggle for freedom":

The Palestinian Arabs certainly have a strange way of "struggling for freedom."
They rejected "freedom" in 1947, when an Arab state was proposed by the United Nations through the Partition Plan. The Zionists agreed. The Arabs rejected it and launched a war instead.
They rejected "freedom" throughout the period 1948-1967 when the currently disputed territories were under Arab occupation and an independent Palestinian Arab state could have been established unilaterally.
They rejected "freedom" after the Six Day War when Israel offered to withdraw from all the captured territory in exchange for peace.
They rejected "freedom" in 1978, when the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt called for the negotiation of autonomy for the Arabs in the disputed territories by they refused to negotiate.
They rejected "freedom" in 2000, when they were offered a state in nearly all of the disputed territory, even including parts of Jerusalem, and they instead launched a brutal terror offensive.
They rejected "freedom" in 2008, when they were offered a state in the equivalent of all the disputed territory and they didn't even bother to respond.
They've rejected freedom for the last two and a half years, during which they've refused to even pretend to negotiate with Israel.


Re "Sadly, the plight of Palestinians continues without intervention by the United States. ":

Au contraire, it would be a gross understatement to say the Obama Administration has given the self-induced and self-perpetuated plight of the Palestinian Arabs disproportionate attention. One might more reasonably argue that the Obama Administration has undermined the real interests of the Palestinian Arabs by being far too accommodating of their intransigence.


Re: "The total disregard for the brutality that continues against a population of more than 1.7 million is appalling.":

One wonders to what population Rasheed is referring. According to Wikipedia, the Arab population in Judea and Samaria is roughly 2 1/2 million and the population of Gaza is just under 1.6 million.
One also wonders about what "brutality" Rasheed is referring, since all those Arabs in Gaza and roughly 95 percent of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria live under their own governments.


Re: "The 60-year struggle of Palestinians has been encumbered by the failure of the Obama administration to deal firmly with the intransigence of the Israeli government."

The Israeli prime minister has repeatedly stated his willingness to agree to the establishment of another Palestinian Arab state and his willingness to make enormous concessions. He has made it clear he expects to give the Palestinian Arabs most of the disputed territory and even displace significant numbers of Israelis.
In contrast, Mahmoud Abbas, the so-called "moderate" leader of the Palestinian Authority, Fatah and the PLO, has insisted he will never make any concessions on the core issues and admitted peace would have been made long ago had he been willing to show any flexibility.
"I can't allow myself to make even one concession." (Al-Ayyam newspaper, September 7, 2010)
"If we showed flexibility on these issues the peace agreement would have been signed a long time ago." (October 15, 2010)
Re "To live free in their place of birth is a dream deferred. Palestinians want to regain some semblance of their life before occupation.

Is Rasheed referring to their life before 1948, when Egypt occupied Gaza and Transjordan occupied Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem? She certainly can't be referring to their life between 1948 and 1967, since their lives improved dramatically when Israel took over the administration of the disputed territories. Unfortunately, things have basically gotten worse since the Palestinian Authority took over near the start of the failed Oslo Process.
Among many other sources, the article "What Occupation?" by Ephraim Karsh, available at and originally published by Commentary in 2002, details some of the vast improvements in the lives of the Arabs in the disputed territories in the aftermath of the 1967 war.


Re " Their desires are no different from those any human being would want for themselves and their fellow citizens.":

Perhaps this is true for many, but they have certainly followed leaders who put far more importance on their desire to destroy Israel than on the welfare of their people.


Re "According to statistics gathered by the website,since Sept. 29, 2000, 6,430 Palestinians have been killed. Factored into this number is the attack on Gaza in December 2009 in which Israel bombarded Gaza for 23 days, killing 1,417 civilians.":

This is simply false. Even representatives of Hamas have conceded a large majority of those killed during Operation Cast Lead were not civilians but were fighters and operatives of Hamas and other terror groups. See "Finally, A Hamas Leader Admits That Israel Killed Mostly Combatants In Gaza," 
by Alan M. Dershowitz . See also .


 Re "The Gaza Strip is an open-air prison where food and water are restricted and unemployment is at 40 percent.":

Gaza has an open border with Egypt. If Gaza is an "open-air prison," then Hamas is the jailor.
Israel certainly tries to control its border with Gaza. In this way it is no different from any other state, although most other states don't have a government pledged to its destruction on the other side, nor do they have missiles launched at their citizens on virtually a daily basis. Amazingly, Israel also transfers massive amounts of humanitarian assistance to Gaza, helping the very people attacking Israel. This is virtually unprecedented in human history.


Re "Citizens of the world have to unite to free the people of Gaza and the West Bank from the debilitating assault on their humanity.":

To do that, they need to put pressure on the rulers of the Arabs in those areas, Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in Judea and Samaria, to treat their subjects like human beings.


Re "The revolution in Egypt brought a glimmer of hope to the Palestinian plight. The new administration in Egypt has opened permanently its border with Gaza.":

Rasheed contradicts her own assertion about Gaza being an "open-air prison."


Re "Organizations outside the occupied territories have been sending people into Gaza to assure Palestinians that they are not forgotten.":

Given the obsession of the United Nations with the Palestinian Arabs, there is no chance they are being forgotten. Unfortunately, international coddling of Arab rejectionism actually harms the Palestinian Arabs by encouraging their continued refusal to make peace.


Re "In June, American activists organized a U.S. vessel named Audacity of Hope that was to join a flotilla assembled by activists who were gathering to challenge the illegal Israeli economic blockade of Gaza.":

Even the United Nations, hardly friendly to Israel, recognizes that Israel's blockade, preventing some heavy weapons from reaching terrorists in Gaza, is legal. See, for example, the Haaretz article "Gaza flotilla probe: IDF used excessive force but naval blockade legal"  .

No comments: