. This “analysis” is by by Barbara Plett – BBC correspondent in Ramallah. The analysis of the analysis is by Robert Hinkley of The Sporadic Chronicle. (The title of this post is by him, too.) Alert readers may notice that that the present BBC text differs from the text Mr Hinkley quotes. For instance, this
“Syria is, of course, Israel’s enemy. The two countries are still in an official state of war, caused by Israel’s occupation and illegal annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights.”
“Syria is, of course, Israel’s enemy. The two countries have been in a state of war since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.”
I guess that in the several hours between the time Mr Hinkley wrote the piece and when I posted it that stealth editor has been busy again. The second version is an improvement on the first – but it is interesting to have the window into Barbara Plett’s thought that the first inaccurate and tendentious version provides.
From this point on Barbara Plett’s text is in ordinary type and Robert Hinkley’s in italics.
“Syria is, of course, Israel’s enemy. The two countries are still in
an official state of war, caused by Israel’s occupation and illegal
annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights.”
This state of war is caused by Israel’s illegal occupation of a
Syrian mountain range. Bad Israel. If only Israel gave Syria its
mountains back everything would be fine. Why, if only Israel had given
the mountains back in, say, 1972 then all those Syrian soldiers
wouldn’t have had to climb over the mountains on Yom Kippur in 1973
and that way Israel could have been pushed into the sea and we
wouldn’t have this ongoing conflict.
“And since the beginning of the Palestinian uprising, Israel has
increasingly focused on the Palestinian opposition groups hosted by
First they’re not “terrorists”, they’re “militants”. Then they’re
not “militants”, they’re “opposition groups”. Opposition. A lot like,
say, the Conservative Party, or the Democratic Party. Conservative
Party, meet Islamic Jihad, your fellow Opposition. The next step will
be for Islamic Jihad to be described as “modernisers”, or perhaps
“progessives”. [Members of the Palestinian Authority _acknowledge_ Syrian support of
Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Walking Bomb Brigade etc…]
“In response to Syria’s anti- war, anti-occupation stance, the US has
demanded that it clean up its act to fit the new regional order – one
that increasingly defines all armed resistance, whether in Iraq or
other occupied Arab territories, as “terrorism.” ”
The US has demanded Syria clean up its act (ie: stop supporting
terror groups, which members of the Palestinian Authority acknowledge
Syria does). How unreasonable. How dare the Americans? Cos it’s not
“terrorism”, it’s “opposition”! The Americans have only done this
because of Syria’s anti-war, anti-occupation stance, and not because
the Americans in any way want to cut off funding and material to
groups which try very hard to kill civilians in large numbers.
“According to diplomatic sources, Damascus also urged the exiled Hamas
and Islamic Jihad leaderships to accept the unilateral Palestinian
ceasefire declared in June.
They did, but the truce has since broken down. ”
Just how much LSD does someone have to have taken to beleive that
Hamas and Islamic Jihad actually observed any cease-fire?
“It is in this climate that Israel has chosen to go on the offensive,
to send what Israel Radio called a clear signal that Damascus must
stop its support of Palestinian “terror groups”.”
Sneer quotes remind us that the so-called terror groups are actually
Then Rob writes,
Let’s play Sneer Quote Shuffle – take the same article and reposition
There have been more than 100 suicide bombings during the three-year Palestinian intifada, many carried out by Islamic Jihad.
So why did Israel respond to Saturday’s attack – a devastating
explosion in Haifa – by targeting Jihad’s Syrian- based leadership,
deliberately “extending the conflict” beyond the borders of Israel and
the occupied territories?
Syria is, of course, Israel’s enemy. The two countries are still in an
official state of war, caused by Israel’s occupation and “illegal
annexation” of the Syrian Golan Heights.
The Israelis have long charged that Damascus uses the Lebanese
resistance movement Hezbollah as a proxy army to launch attacks along
Israel’s border with Lebanon.
And since the beginning of the Palestinian uprising, Israel has
increasingly focused on the Palestinian “opposition groups” hosted by Syria.
It accuses the exiled leaderships of planning attacks carried out by
their military wings in the occupied territories, and accuses Syria
(as well as Iran) of backing them.
The Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, had already indicated he was
ready for direct confrontation.
After assuming office in 2001, he attacked Syrian targets in Lebanon
in response to a Hezbollah raid.
In recent weeks, media reports have again raised the ante by
suggesting that Israel might assassinate the leaders of Palestinian
groups in Syria and Lebanon.
And in August, Israeli jets buzzed the holiday palace of Syria’s
President, Bashar al-Assad, in what was widely seen as a warning to
rein in Hezbollah fighters.
To some degree, Israeli claims are backed up by sources in the
They allege that in the northern West Bank, some cells of Islamic
Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades -a militia loosely tied to Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement – receive support from Iran and Syria via Hezbollah.
But at the same time, Damascus has never been more vulnerable.
It has come under heavy American pressure since the “conquest” of Iraq.
In response to Syria’s anti-war, anti-occupation stance, the US has
demanded that it clean up its act to fit the new regional order – one that increasingly defines all armed resistance, whether in Iraq or other “occupied Arab territories”, as terrorism.
With the spectre of Iraq hanging over its head, Syria has taken measures to close down the political offices of the Palestinian groups; it says “none of the military wings are operating in the
According to diplomatic sources, Damascus also urged the exiled Hamas
and Islamic Jihad leaderships to accept the unilateral Palestinian “ceasefire” declared in June.
They did, but the “truce” has since broken down.
Such steps have fallen short of US demands – a sweeping crackdown
difficult for a regime that officially defines these groups as national liberation movements.
It is in this climate that Israel has chosen to go on the offensive, to send what Israel Radio called a clear signal that Damascus must stop its support of Palestinian terror groups.
It is an approach in line with the thrust of America’s regional policy, and consistent with Israel’s insistent message to the Palestinian Authority – if you do not act against the Palestinian militias, we will.
UPDATE: I’ve just noticed that another commenter, Dan Skapol, has taken a critical look at the same Barbara Plett article in the comments to the post below.