Monday, November 26, 2012

Nader Raids Reality

It's interesting how Ralph Nader, who began public life by presenting well-documented information about the auto industry, has taken to writing fiction.

A recent venomous, anti-Israel diatribe written by Nader may be found on his website and in several newspapers.  Here are a handful of the more outrageous fabrications, misrepresentations and distortions and comments on them.

Nader: "Out comes the well-worn playbook by Israel's militaristic government that has worked to silence Israeli politicians and citizens who want a two-state solution."

Reality check:  The leader of the Israeli government has come out publicly and firmly in favor of a two-state solution. Nader is arguing the Israel's government is trying to silence its own leader!

Nader: "This is an opportunity to use and test advanced weaponry from the U.S., compliments of U.S. taxpayers, and squelch ongoing peace efforts, small and large, by Palestinians, Israelis and international peace advocates."

Reality check: There are no effective "ongoing peace efforts," for the simple reason that the Palestinian Authority refuses to allow them. Since not even bothering to respond to an Israeli offer way back in 2008 to establish a Palestinian Arab state in the equivalent of the entirety of the disputed territories, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to negotiate.

Nader: "The playbook's first chapter is provocation to upset a tense but workable truce with Hamas, the elected government of Gaza."

Reality check: Mr. Nader might try asking the residents of Sderot whether they believe a "workable truce with Hamas" existed. This year alone, nearly 900 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israeli civilians before the start of Operation Pillar of Defense! Thousands of rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza during the "truce."

Nader: "Hamas was encouraged at its creation years ago by both Israeli and U.S. backers to counter the secular Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Bit of a blowback there."

Reality check: When Hamas was forming, there was a brief period during which it pledged itself to non-violence and there was some hope in Israel that it would become a reasonable entity. Period.

Nader: "Israeli government leaders are expert provocateurs when they wish to seize land, water or prisoners and upset any movement toward a peace that would create a viable Palestinian state back to the 1967 borders, which includes East Jerusalem."

Reality check: Israel long ago gave away the vast bulk of the territory which it found itself administering after the 1967 war. It has repeatedly given more territory to the Palestinian Authority and offered to give the Palestinian Arabs the equivalent of 100% of the disputed territory - despite the fact that Israel has at least as much of an historical, legal and moral right to that territory. Unfortunately, the leaders of the Palestinian Arabs have been unwilling to pay the necessary price: giving up on their dream of destroying Israel and living together in peace.

There were no "1967 borders," only temporary armistice lines. Indeed, at the insistence of the Arab countries, the armistice agreements contained the provision that the armistice lines had no political significance. One may reasonably consider negotiations based on those armistice lines to be a violation of the armistice agreements!

Nader: "When Israel came into being in 1948, it soon broke a UN truce and doubled its territory by taking the large area known as the Negev desert ,whose refugees ended up in the Gaza Strip."

Reality check: Israel was invaded by Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia the day after it was reestablished in 1948. It greatly preferred peace, but was forced to defend itself in the Arabs' genocidal war. It ended up with more territory than called for in the UN Partition Plan, but the amount was far from double (a mathematical impossibility) and was a consequence of the Arab aggression.

Nader: "Now 1.6 million encircled and impoverished humans, blockaded and under siege by Israel, try to survive in an open-air prison little more than twice the size of the District of Columbia."

Reality check: Israel controls only its own boundary with Gaza and, as allowed under the Oslo Accords, sea access. Gaza also has a border with Egypt, which is now ruled by the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is also a branch. Not only is it physically impossible for Israel to "encircle" Gaza, but Israel transfers immense amounts of humanitarian assistance to the people in Gaza. Astoundingly, this assistance continued even during the recent flare-up. One would be hard-pressed to find another example of a country providing assistance to the very people murdering its citizens!

Nader: "Israel's strategy of breaking cease-fires and truces over the years has been documented by Princeton University history professor emeritus, Arno J. Mayer, in his scholarly book Plowshares into Swords: From Zionism to Israel (Verso, 2008)."

Reality check: Nader isn't the only one who writes fiction. Note again the thousands of rockets launched by Hamas and other terror groups from Gaza during the so-called "cease-fire" before Israel finally defended itself recently.

Nader: "In late 2008, Israel broke a months-long truce with Hamas with an attack that took half a dozen lives. Modern Israeli missiles and crude Hamas rockets started flying to and fro."

Reality check: A concise summary of Operation Cast Lead may be found at , where it is pointed out "Israel's Operation Cast Lead comes after three years of suffering thousands of daily Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel's southern cities."

More specifically, from : "On June 17, 2008, after several months of indirect contacts between Israel and Hamas through Egyptian mediators, Hamas agreed to a cease-fire (tahadiya). Almost immediately afterward, terrorists fired rockets into southern Israel. Despite what it called a “gross violation” of the truce, Israel refrained from military action.1 In fact, during the six months the arrangement was supposed to be observed, 329 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel."

Clearly, by Nader's standards, a cease-fire is an arrangement during which Israel ceases to defend its civilians as Hamas continues to fire at them.

Nader: "When the Gaza invasion-massacre ended, there were more than 1400 Palestinian fatalities, including around 300 children, and many thousands of injuries, a population surrounded by destruction and deprived by this illegal blockade-siege of medicines, food, water, electricity and the other necessities of life."

Fact check: Anti-Israel fanatics love to scream "massacre;" the reality is that even Hamas later tacitly acknowledged the vast majority of casualties were terrorists, despite the fact that Hamas deliberately operated out of civilian areas and used civilians as shields. The proportion of civilian casualties was amazingly low, far less than is typical in urban warfare, even when civilians are not being used as shields.

Nader: "The current hostilities started in two stages. The first was a back-and-forth that saw an emerging truce broken decisively on November 14 when Israel pridefully blew up a car containing Hamas military chief, Ahmad al-Jabari who actually was leading the negotiations via Egypt with Israel for a longer-range truce."

Reality check: For Nader, a truce is emerging as long as Israel refrains from defending itself even as its citizens are bombarded by rocket fire.

Nader: "Back to Israel's playbook, chapter two can be called the instant, mandatory resolutions by the puppet show in Congress and the automatic one-sided mantra by the White House. "Israel has a right to defend itself," said President Obama, from the occupied, besieged, defenseless Palestinians, whose lands, water, homes, businesses and freedom of movement are being taken relentlessly by the raiding Israeli government that is not content with possessing 78 percent of traditional Palestine."

Reality check: Another mathematical impossibility, since Jordan is in control of roughly 78 percent of the territory of the Palestine Mandate. And rather than taking from the Palestinian Arabs, Israel keeps trying to negotiate a peace that would leave the Palestinian Arabs with most of the disputed territory, even after the Palestinian Arabs refused to agree to an offer to give them the equivalent of all the disputed territory.

Nader: "Finally, chapter three of the playbook is to make sure that the Israeli government advocates dominate the U.S. media - the talk shows, the news slants, and the opinion columnists. This is becoming less easy in an internet age. Which might explain that, along with homes, water wells, rescue teams, an ambulance, and other civilian installations, the Israeli air force already has bombed the office building housing Palestinian television studios and hosting media from the western world, including Fox TV. That is one indelicate way to tell these western journalists to get out of Gaza so that the truth about the immense civilian suffering and war crimes can no longer be told by them."

Reality check: Those on the PRIMER list know how humorous this assertion is. For at least 22 journalists, the decision of whether to stay in Gaza or leave was not their own decision; Hamas would not let them leave. (See .)

Nader: "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be resolved peacefully, without violence. During quieter times, more than half the Israelis supported a two-state solution. A few years ago, 61 percent of Israelis, polled by a prominent university there, favored negotiations with Hamas. A majority of Jewish-Americans, though unorganized, favor a two-state solution."

Reality check: Unfortunately, the Palestinian Arab leadership has repeatedly refused to accept a two-state solution.

Nader: "So what is the alternative? A one-state solution with both Palestinians and Israelis having equal rights? Noura Erakat, who teaches at Georgetown University, framed the dilemma back in August when she quoted former prime minister and current Defense Minister Ehud Barak, saying, after leaving his former post, "If, and as long as between the Jordan [River] and the [Mediterranean] Sea there is only one political entity, named Israel, it will end up being either non-Jewish or nondemocratic.... If the Palestinians vote in elections it is a binational state, and if they don't vote it is an apartheid state." (,8599,1962232,00.html) His rival, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the same thing."

Reality check: De facto, there are already three political entities in the area: Israel, the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority-ruled territories. Roughly 95 percent of the Arabs in the disputed territories are governed by either Hamas or the PA. It's not an ideal situation from Israel's perspective, but its existence until the Palestinian Arabs are willing to negotiate an alternative is a totally separate issue from the ethnic and democratic nature of Israel.

Nader: "Awareness of this pathway is leading some extremist Israeli politicians who call Palestinians 'vermin' and 'rats' to think about the day when they can, with suitable provocations, drive the Palestinians into the desert."

Reality check: Unfortunately, what Nader recognizes as extreme among Israeli politicians is mainstream in Palestinian Arab politics; indeed, this points to the heart of the conflict.

1 comment:

There is NO Santa Claus said...

Thank you for your rebuttal of Nader's remarks. If one starts with "I hate Jews" and works backward, anything can be rationalized against the Jewish State. Given the manner in which Nader has treated the Jewish State so unfairly, one has to wonder what distortions and lies he offered when he was a "consumer advocate".

One has to wonder whether Nader is equally concerned about the 40,000 people killed in Syria. Or perhaps Nader is concerned about the looming civil war in Lebanon. Alas! There are no Jews to blame for these atrocities. The same holds true of Yemen, Somalia and Sudan; all Arab League nations.