British neocon blog exposed as Israeli mouthpiece
Harry’s Place in Israel’s social media war
By Laura Stuart
In the past 24 hours the UK-based neo-conservative blog Harry’s Place has exposed itself as an outright propaganda outlet of the Israeli armed forces.
For months I have been posting comments on the blog, which in 2006 won the annual Islamophobia award given by the Islamic Human Rights Commission. Although my comments have been generally tolerated, I receive constant verbal abuse for my beliefs as a Muslim from commentators on the blog. Nonetheless, I have continued to comment, in the hope that I might be able to put across just a few points amid the constant tide of Islamophobia. Misguidedly, I thought I might be able to succeed in persuading a few commentators to view Muslims as human beings and not savages, as Harry’s Place makes them out to be.
I realized that there was no hope of any change in the minds of those who post on Harry’s Place and that, in reality, the blog is heavily moderated as a propaganda outlet for Israel.
However, yesterday, 14 November, I realized that there was no hope of any change in the minds of those who post on Harry’s Place and that, in reality, the blog is heavily moderated as a propaganda outlet for Israel. It would seem that the last thing the blog owners want is for anyone reading their blog to feel that Muslims, especially Palestinians, are equal members of the human race. In other words, Harry’s Place is riddled with Zionist supremacism.
Yesterday, Israel escalated its ongoing war of terror and attrition on Gaza. For the first time, the Israeli army announced a military operation on social media. The so-called “Operation Pillar of Cloud” had begun. A picture of Ahmad Jabari, with the word “ELIMINATED” stamped across it, informed the world of the successful Israeli “extra-judicial assassination” of the leader of Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. This is the first time the Israelis have used social media to announce a military operation.
The Israelis also released a video of Ahmad Jabari being assassinated. They called it a surgical strike and appeared to be very proud of their work. But simultaneously Gazans started to send out tweets with links to videos and photographs of wounded civilians arriving at Al-Shifaa hospital.
I posted on Harry’s Place the video of the “surgical strike” on Ahmad Jabari and another video of a four-year-old little girl from the Arafat family who had been killed, her body charred and torn by the impact of the Israeli missile that killed her. I wanted those contributing to the blog to see that the attacks on Gaza are not surgical and that the majority of those killed are not resistance fighters but civilians, including children.
Although my postings never got through moderation, the Israeli army video was posted as a new thread with the title “The pinpoint strike on Ahmad Jabari – head of Hamas military wing” by Alan A. Suddenly, all my posts, which included pictures of the injured and dead children, their names and ages – the human attributes that are often denied Israel’s victims – disappeared from the moderation queue. Harry’s Place thus transformed itself from a blog where discussions took place (albeit very one sided ones) to a propaganda outlet for Israel.
Clearly, the Harry’s Place moderators do not want their readers to equate their feelings of protectiveness towards their own children with those of “terrorists” in Gaza. Being able to see and imagine the feeling of the “other” is not a Zionist trait.
One of my comments merely asked parents to imagine how it must feel to put their children to bed in Gaza knowing they have absolutely no way of protecting them from harm – no shelters and nothing to stop the missiles from falling through the ceiling and killing the children in their beds – and children so traumatized that they wet their beds at the sounds of the constant flying of drones, F-16s and shells. But my comment never appeared. Clearly, the Harry’s Place moderators do not want their readers to equate their feelings of protectiveness towards their own children with those of “terrorists” in Gaza. Being able to see and imagine the feeling of the “other” is not a Zionist trait.
Earlier this week I had pointed out to contributors to Harry’s Place that they were publishing outright lies, that the timeline of the recent escalation in violence was not, as they falsely claimed, a retaliation by Israel for Gazan rockets, and that during an Israeli army incursion into Gaza Israeli soldiers had shot and killed a 13-year-old boy who was playing football. Killing Ahmad Abu Daqqa brought to an end what had been a two-week period of calm, but that is obviously not what Israel and its propaganda agents want the world to believe. (Read here about the killing of a boy who lived for half of his life under siege but dreamed of being a footballer.)
A BBC journalist in Gaza, Jihad Misharawi, also lost two children in the “surgical” Israeli strike. One, Omar, aged 11 months, died of severe burns, and his elder brother Ali, aged four years, was critically injured. But true to its history of pro-Israeli reporting, the BBC took its time to report this, leaving it to other media, such as the Telegraph, to run the story first. Instead, the BBC chose to lead with the report that three Israelis had been killed in retaliatory rocket fire from Gaza, downgrading the news of dead Palestinian children, pregnant women and other civilians.
I am somewhat uplifted that Harry’s Place has shown itself to be a blog of lies and selective propaganda – totally the opposite to what its banner claims: “Liberty, if it means anything, is the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear”.
Depressing and tragic as all this killing is, I am somewhat uplifted that Harry’s Place has shown itself to be a blog of lies and selective propaganda – totally the opposite to what its banner claims: “Liberty, if it means anything, is the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear”.
Harry’s Place has been exposed as a peddlar of lies and a censor of free speech. But that is not all.
An article in the Washington Post asks whether Hamas is winning the Twitter war. It tells us that the Israeli propagandists are in fact losing the media war. I believe every right-minded individual can discern the truth when it is allowed to reach their eyes and ears. The mainstream media no longer control the hearts and minds of people. Israel, the Israeli army and the various Zionist outlets are being exposed as assassins and apologists for murder.
The people of Gaza will continue to resist the occupation, not only by rocket fire but in the spirit shown in the words of the parents of the martyred Ahmad Abu Daqqa. “They know who are the strangers here and they will leave one day.” They will also resist through the most bountiful weapon available to them: the womb of the Palestinian mother.