As promised, here’s the responses I received to questions posed to Israel’s Consulate in New York, represented by Consul @DavidSaranga in a governmental world first public press conference on Twitter today.
One of the aims appeared to be pushing a slick vidcast ad about life under Hamas bombing in Sderot complete with petition – perhaps in the interests of global citizen’s democracy and balance, the Israelis will turn the power back on in Gaza so its hapless populace can prepare a glossy vid of their own.
Though one couldn’t say real twittering rapport was achieved, the flood of questions from round the planet kept the Consul’s fingers hopping! Twitter is probably not the best medium to conduct open press conferences that are likely to attract large numbers of participants – still, I gained a few interesting followers and was pleased some of my questions were answered, albeit with nothing particularly unpredictable – where information delivered was questionable, I took the trouble to reply with correct links where applicable.
@IsraelConsulate what is your understanding of the word “apartheid“? [link]
@Jinjirrie: There are no Israelis are living in Gaza so there is no segregation. the only solution is a 2 state solution #askisrael [link]
@israelconsulate gaza effectively occupied by israel , yet without rights enjoyed by israelis … justification? #askisrael [link]
@israelconsulate why not aim for a wonderful 1 state solution? sooner or later demographic facts will make this inevitable surely #askisrael [link]
@IsraelConsulate why did Israel break the ceasefire with Hamas with incursions in November? http://is.gd/e7c0 #AskIsrael [link]
@Jinjirrie: Hamas decided to break the CF: http://tinyurl.com/3v4gkl #askisrael [link]
@israelconsulate better source for cf here http://is.gd/dTEH – hamas offered to renew truce, on very reasonable terms – comment? #askisrael [link]
@IsraelConsulate why is Israel attacking a civilian mercy ship? #AskIsrael #gaza http://is.gd/e8n6 [link]
@jinjirrie During CF 3 ships were let in. Due to escalation, we have decided to keep the ships out of harms way 4 their safety.#askisrael [link]
@israelconsulate how is ramming an aid ships & firing round it keeping ‘them out of harm’s way’? #askisrael [link]
@israelconsulate Ur reply to @jinjirrie disingenuous.Aid ship blocked 4 its own safety? Imagine they know risks http://is.gd/eds8 #askisrael [link]
The captain of the Dignity told Penhaul he received no warning. Only after the collision did the Israelis come on the radio to say they struck the boat because they believed it was involved in terrorist activities.
The captain and crew said their vessel was struck intentionally, Penhaul said, but Palmor called those allegations “absurd.”
“There is no intention on the part of the Israeli navy to ram anybody,” Palmor said.
“I would call it ramming. Let’s just call it as it is,” McKinney said after the boat docked in Lebanon. “Our boat was rammed three times, twice in the front and one on the side”
“Our mission was a peaceful mission to deliver medical supplies and our mission was thwarted by the Israelis — the aggressiveness of the Israeli military,” she said.
The incident occurred in international waters about 90 miles off Gaza.
Followup questions I asked pursuant to replies received by others:
@anotherpundit Isr. only targets mil. installations. Unfortunate damage 2 civ. targets occurs. Hamas purposely puts civ. at risk. #AskIsrael [link]
@israelconsulate why does israel bomb civilian police stations & universities if it ‘only targets military installations?’ #askisrael [link]
@realprince IL is pro ceasefire, but due 2 R exp. these R used 2 strengthen Hamas. we’d rther negotiate than fight. #AskIsrael [link]
@IsraelConsulate ‘rather negotiate than fight?’ why a different tune from you to israeli politicians http://is.gd/ediV #askisrael [link]
@jranck crossings r open. 2day 33 trucks of aid & 5 ambulances. Among them r: UNRAW, MSF, ICRC & WFP. In the last 6 mnts: 17,000 @askisrael [link]
@IsraelConsulate UN says 600 lorry loads of food & medicine needed daily & israel allows in 33 .. discrepancy??? #askisrael [link]
@xylem we believe talking is the best way, but we’ll talk only to factions that accept our right to live. a right Hamas denies #AskIsrael\ [link]
@israelconsulate http://is.gd/edAy hamas conditns for accptig israel were clear & reasonable esp. ending the illegal occupation #askisrael [link]
And lastly, my remaining unanswered questions, which I hope will be addressed at a later date:
@IsraelConsulate when did the psyop warning phone calls to gazans start after the initial Cast Lead surprise? #askisrael [link]
@IsraelConsulate how long before abbas stops being a suitable ‘partner for peace’ like all the others before? #askisrael [link]
@IsraelConsulate 5000 palestinians koed by israel & 14 israelis koed by rockets in 7 yrs – when will the illegal occupation end? #askisrael [link]
A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity – Nelson Mandela
I’m admiring my new haughtily petulant, verging on malevolent, inscrutable cat avatar by divine Australian cartoonist, FirstDogOnTheMoon (@firstdogonmoon), conjured up from a photo of my companion Voldemorte, a siamese cross black cat.
FirstDog inhabits the First Blog On The Moon, an inspired compendium of cheerful animal observations, biting(sic) political satire, cartoons and comics. His artwork can be found regularly elsewhere on Australia’s premier online news and commentary site, Crikey.com.au – don’t miss the hilarious FirstDogOnTheMoon Christmas Spectacular! And now, his precocious animalia has overrun the twitterverse.
Interlopers should note my delicious black cat avatar should not be copied or used elsewhere at the risk of deep doo doo – it belongs to the artist and is for *my* use.
Again thanks, FirstDog – your work is treasured!
Somebody think of the children takes the cake with a list of the 20 worst censorship outrages in Australia in 2008.
Huffington Post’s 10 Best Youtube clips Someone pointed out there might be a problem – wonder which one?
Scott Bridges at New Matilda looks at Oz Political Wingnuts and Tragics for 2008.
On Freedom to Differ, Peter Black sports two lists – Best of TV and Best of the Web and he’s in line for a well-deserved 2008 Weblog Award – good luck! In mock pique, Stilgherrian, whom we’ve nominated for a Shorty Award for #irony, has objected to his elevation on Freedom to Differ.
All the best for 2009 folks, it’s going to be a great year!
I’m grateful for time spent away from my computers and so far have resisted acquiring a net-capable phone device to complete my transmogrification into a 24/7 netizen. I’ll be the last kid on the block with an iPhone – yet today I won an Invisible Shield for an iPhone 3G at Tech Wired Australia.
The Invisible Shield can protect your iPhone 3G and its valuable contents from a range of disasters though perhaps not from intrusion by certain over-zealous members of the constabulary.
In honour of the New Year and recent initiation of consultations coordinated by Father Frank Brennan for (or not) of an Australian Charter / Bill of Rights, I’m putting the amazing Invisible Shield prize up for grabs again.
Though some, including Brennan, are sceptical about the value of such a Bill / Charter, this Australian thinks there would be tangible benefits provided by the invisible shield created from the explicit adoption of the rights expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Australia is the last country standing of all democracies in not having formal human rights protections.
I propose the next winner of the iPhone 3G Invisible Shield shall be chosen from convincing, uniquely ‘Australian’ flavoured submissions for the first clause to a potential antipodean Charter / Bill of Rights to be posted in the comments below. The use of wit, irony and satire as well as a fair command of Australian vernacular may assist. No serious argument will be entered into as the judges’ decision will be final.
Other Terms: You must be in Australia to enter.
Competition closes 9/01/09 11:59PM