Tuesday, September 8, 2015

James Carleton's Hamas Obsession

Aaargh! I've finally decided after yesterday (7/9) morning's James Carleton interview with former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad on Radio National's Breakfast program that Carleton should interview only card-carrying Zionists from now on.

There's something in the man - ignorance? contrariness? shallowness? a Zionist dybbuk? a combination of all four? - that seems to render him incapable of sensibly interviewing anyone who doesn't spout Zionist talking points. (See my July 2014 post, for example, on his interview with anti-Zionist Israeli academic Marcelo Svirsky, and note Carleton's interventions in the comment thread which follows it.)

Carleton kicked off by referring to a UN report "that Gaza could become uninhabitable in less than 5 years, such is the state of economic disrepair in that benighted area of the world."

Fayyad addressed the topic, but Carleton, ignoring completely the bleeding obvious cause of Gaza's near uninhabitability - Israel's ILLEGAL, IMMORAL & INHUMAN blockade, and its SERIAL FIRESTORMS & MASSACRES (8 since 2004) - went straight for his favourite whipping-boy, Hamas:

"Well, your opponents, Hamas, continue to rule that country or that statelet or whatever you want to call it. [It's an "open-air prison," according to UK PM David Cameron] That's not likely to change, is it?"

Fayyad had barely got in a word about the need for a unified, inclusive Palestinian regime in Gaza, before Carleton struck again with:

"So Hamas has to democratise before Israel can relax the borders?"

That Hamas was democratically elected in 2006 seems to have been forgotten by Carleton.

It wasn't, of course, possible to see Fayyad's eye-roll on radio, but trust me, his voice said it all:

"I'm not really sure that is the sequence one has to wait for in order for Israel to relax the restrictions or remove them. There has been a state of siege since the mid-90s before Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007..."

But no, it wasn't the diabolical and crippling Israeli siege that Carleton wanted to talk about, it was, you guessed it - Hamas:

"So the argument then is a Fatah-Hamas coalition. Does that not risk, however, inflaming the Israelis who want no truck with Hamas given their desire to destroy the Zionist entity?"

Poor Fayyad. He tried to explain that "we've been trying to get peace for 22 years now, since Oslo... long before Hamas took over..." (He might even have reflected that just before Operation Mowing the Lawn Protective Edge, Hamas, as part of a government of national unity with the Palestinian Authority had not opposed the PA's acceptance of USrael's 3 preconditions for peace, namely, recognition of Israel, renunciation of violence, and acceptance of agreements, but Carleton wouldn't have been interested even if he had.

The latter then launched a pre-emptive (moderate/extremist) strike by equating Hamas with the "Israeli far right," on the bizarre assumption, I suppose, that Netanyahu's Likud, the party of the terrorist Irgun and Menachem Begin, belonged in the 'moderate' box:

"But this is an ongoing issue wherever there's a war. Do you get the moderates together on either side or do you get the extremists together on either side because they're the only ones who can deliver peace. You need Hamas and the Israeli far right..."

Fayyad tried to explain that no one in Israel's governing coalition subscribes to the old Oslo agreements and commitments, but to no avail.  Carleton went on:

"But there are people in the Israeli government who deem Judea and Samaria, their name for the occupied Palestinian territories, are theirs by the gift of God. How are you going to negotiate with the government when elements of the cabinet have that non-negotiable position?"

Fayyad patiently explained that blah about moderates and extremists simply didn't cut it in the case of Netanyahu's regime, that the latter was, so to speak, over the the hills and far away:

"It's more than just elements in the cabinet. Even those who say they accept a two-state solution - their concept of Palestinian statehood is way too short of what is minimally acceptable to us."

Carleton's obsession with Hamas finally gave way to this doozie:

"Should Israel take [Syrian] Christian refugees?"

This question boggles the mind. For one thing, it suggests that Carleton has no idea that Israel is a refugee-producing/exporting nation (1948/1967). For another, it suggests that Carleton believes that the Jewish state is partial to Christians. Which in turn suggests he has no idea why Palestinian Christians are packing up and leaving in droves, and no awareness that Netanyahu's coddled settler darlings are burning down Christian churches and spitting on priests in the street. Finally, you'll note, that Carleton's first thought is for Christians. As for Muslims... 

Jeeesus, someone take him away!

1 comment:

Grappler said...

I recall James Carleton's foray into your comments section MERC, a while ago. He beat a hasty retreat when someone - not me - pointed out that his grandmother was Jewish, screaming anti-semitism. Carleton is
unwilling - perhaps unable - to address the truth about Israel.

Netanyahu has already said Israel will not take any refugees (Christian or otherwise) from Syria but James Carleton, on account of his Jewish grandmother, will be more than welcome should he wish to emigrate there. If he doesn't get that only Jews are welcome to emigrate to Israel he has some serious problems.