article from the Israeli mainstream newspaper Ha'aretz
- An article from the Israeli mainstream newspaper Ha'aretz
>October 11, 2000
>By Amira Hass
>GAZA CITY - For the past ten days, the Israeli public has been preoccupied
>with its feelings that it is being attacked, besieged, victimized and
>humiliated.The spokespersons of the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel
>Police, as well as high-ranking military and police commanders, have been
>busy gathering information from every district and every local battlefront
>and have been quickly passing on this information, reflecting their
>respective angles, to the media. Because things are happening so fast,
>there is not time to compare every official version with the version on the
>street on the day that it is presented. The official version is always more
>readily available, is always given considerable prominence and always
>promotes the victim mentality. Here are a few examples:
>l On October 6, the IDF spokesman reported that soldiers stationed at the
>Netzarim outpost fired twice at Palestinians, in response to Palestinian
>gunfire and the hurling of a natural gas cylinder at the outpost. According
>to the spokesman, IDF personnel acted with self-control and self-restraint.
>Yet that same day, four Palestinians were killed and 24 wounded. Can this
>kind of behavior on the part of the IDF be termed "self-control and
>I was there. The IDF spokesman failed to report the dozens of isolated
>shots and volleys of fire from the Jewish settlement of Netzarim (located
>two kilometers due west of the outpost). Like all Jewish settlements in the
>Gaza Strip, Netzarim is fortified by means of extremely sophisticated
>watchtowers. From those watchtowers, or from some other location, IDF
>troops fired high-speed, high-powered live bullets at thousands of unarmed
>persons. The troops wanted to deter these people from approaching the
>well-fortified outpost and protesting the Israeli occupation. In this
>particular case, the IDF was not defending lives. The very incomplete
>reporting by the IDF spokesman was intended to create the impression that
>the incident involved a confrontation between two almost equally matched
>l Israel Radio correspondent Nissim Keinan has reported several times,
>based on information supplied by the commander of the engineering corps
>unit in the Gaza Strip, that Palestinian ambulances have been transporting
>tires and ammunition to the various confrontation sites. In the northern
>part of the strip, there are only 20 ambulances, two of which have been hit
>by IDF bullets. Furthermore, IDF troops have killed one Palestinian
>ambulance driver, Bassam Al-Balbissi.
>To convey "tires and ammunition," the Palestinians have no need for
>ambulances. They can quite easily use private vehicles. Representatives of
>the International Committee of the Red Cross can be found at all the
>confrontation sites, and it is their job to supervise the operation of the
>ambulances arriving at and departing from these sites. The false
>information given by the IDF was an attempt to cover up the scandalous
>attack by Israeli security forces on Palestinian ambulance crews and to
>buttress the image of a Palestinian military campaign initiated by the
>higher echelons of the Palestinian Authority.
>l On October 7, I received a call from the Al-Arub refugee camp in the Gaza
>Strip. The caller described how a 14-year-old boy, Ala Mahpouz, had reached
>the state of clinical death. On October 6, immediately after the weekly
>Friday mosque services, the residents of the camp set off to take part in
>the local Palestinian "Day of Rage" demonstration. The refugee camp, part
>of which is fenced off, is situated in Area B, which is under full Israeli
>Refugee camp residents approached the fence and began hurling rocks at the
>soldiers who were at the camp's entrance. Soldiers started beating one
>young resident in close proximity to his home: He required 19 head
>stitches. Mahpouz, who heard shouting and the sound of someone being
>beaten, ran out to see what was going on. A soldier standing nearby shot
>the boy with a "rubber bullet" from close - and deadly - range. Afterward,
>refugee camp residents saw the soldiers dancing and jumping up and down on
>The IDF spokesman responded as follows: "Hundreds of residents of Al-Arub
>rioted and attempted to obstruct vehicular traffic on the highway linking
>Bethlehem and Hebron. IDF troops from the Etzion Brigade pushed back the
>crowd, exercising maximum self-restraint and using only standard
>demonstration- dispersal methods. The IDF is not familiar with the incident
>referred to. Nonetheless, the brigade will carry out an in-depth
>examination of the alleged incident once the riots have subsided."
>This is the kind of news item that does not make it into the stream of
>breaking news reports, but which could make some people begin to ask some
>questions about the orders being given to IDF troops. Even if we can assume
>that Ala was hurling rocks, was the soldier who shot him in the forehead in
>l The Israeli media has repeatedly reported the release of "dozens of Hamas
>detainees." This news item has no basis in fact. A total of 17 detainees
>have been released. They had been held in custody without trial for
>prolonged periods. The Palestinian High Court of Justice had already
>ordered the release of some of them, after the Palestinian security
>services were unable to supply evidence that they posed any danger to
>This false, inaccurate report was compiled to reinforce the image of the
>Israelis as humiliated victims - an image that dissipates the terrifying
>significance of 85 persons killed by IDF gunfire and another 3,000 wounded,
>many of whom suffered head and chest injuries. An Israeli military
>commander on the West Bank has told me that IDF personnel fire only at
>those who fire at them. Does that mean that all 3,000 of these injured
>persons fired shots at the IDF? Does that mean that Mohammed al Duri, the
>12-year-old boy killed at the Netzarim Junction, fired shots at the IDF?
>The Oslo process has imprisoned the Palestinians in dozens of cages, both
>large and small, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It has reinforced the
>Jewish settlements in both military and numerical terms, and has made the
>economic development of the Palestinians dependent on the PA's agreement to
>the creation of a new breed of Israeli control. The victims of Israel's
>seven-year policies of closure and incarceration are now committing suicide
>opposite IDF outposts and Israeli soldiers charged with the task of
>safeguarding prosperous Jewish settlements.
>The IDF is continuing to seek those who have planned the disturbances.
>Sometimes the planner is PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, sometimes the title is
>assigned to Marwan Barghouti, a Ramallah-based Fatah leader. Meanwhile,
>Oslo supporters are falling for the bait, because they have, for years,
>collaborated with the intolerable reality of a peace that exists only for
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- Hey, did you notice the coincidence in endorsements between the Bay
Guardian and The Chronicle?
The Bay Guardian endorsed some of the same people than the Chronmicle
for Supervisors, including right wing Democrat without community
support Gerardo "Brown is doing a fine job" Sandoval. Then the
Guardian endorsed right winger Leland Yee (the Chronicle endorsed
right winger Hsieh).
Breaking another tradition, the Guardian endorsed Proposition A -
which is the most outrageous fraud on the ballot today - Prop A asks
people to pony up millions of dollars to pay for unspecified
retrofitting of public libraries (didn't they criticized the Main's
disaster before?) On this, they also agreed with the Chronicle.
But most strikingly, for the first time as far as I can remember, the
Guardian endorsed for Community College Board three people who are
openly promoting privatization of education (Gaddi, Scott Brown and
Ramos?). I was told that the same people will be endorsed by the
For School Board, the Guardian is endorsing at least one candidate
who is financially in the pocket of Willie Brown: Mauricio Vela.
- I'm confused. Hank Wilson, the engineer of Ammiano's Mayoral bid is
running AGAINST Ammiano-endorsed Magilavy. The Guardian endorsed
Chris Daly - another Ammianoist - who is running against Magilavy.
Marc Salomon, who supported Ammiano, now is running for Supervisor
dennouncing Ammiano and Brown. Denise D'Anne, another Ammianoist is
running against all the others and is complaining about Tom. What is
going on? But really, what's up?
- I work for a company distributing water bottles in businesses around
the City. I love political signs. The best so far: Mark Leno signs.
They are artistic and they have a Picasso taste. Is this the guy who
is in the sign business?
- FRONTLINES SPIN BULLETIN Volume 1 - Nr.1
Friday the 13th, 2000 (Watch Out!)
In This Issue:
1.Political Pundits Wrong Again: Supervisorial Candidates ARE Using
2. Reilly's $50,000 Contribution to Prop. L: A Tactical Mistake
3. The Second Horse of the Machine in District 11
4. Leland Yee Tastes the Revenge of the Machine
5. Bad News Delivered to Willie Last Monday
1. POLITICAL PUNDITS WRONG AGAIN
You probably read it in the newspapers. "No candidate for the
Board of Supervisors is going to use TV ads." And "Using TV ads for
District Elections is over-reaching and a waste of money."
Moreover - we are told - "Cable and Commercial TV stations cannot market
political messages for District candidates because their systems are
not setup to target specific narrow geographical areas in the
Wrong on all counts. Mike Denunzio, the conservative right wing
Republican running for Supervisor in District 3 is already using an
effective TV commercial calling to "balance the board."
Seconds before the second televised Presidential debate, tens of thousands of
viewers watched Denunzio ads. His campaign announced long ago that
would not abide by the voluntary spending limit of $75,000
Moreover, sources at ATT cable system indicated that they received
more than a dozen requests from Supervisorial candidates about rates
and schedules and that at least 4 candidates were ready to start
airing ads before the end of next week.
Moreover, ATT cable in order to benefit rich candidates
customized its "targeting" geographical areas for
advertising. It is possible to buy airtime targeting specific Supervisorial Districts.
Kind of. They are not exactly customized for the Districts, but the
technology is there for ATT to customize the advertising messages by
switching on and off households receiving cable signals. They cannot
deliver the advertising exactly matching the Districts but, hey!
what's the problem when you are planning to spend $300,000.
Welcome to the world of soft money and unrestricted reign of corporate
2. PROPOSITION L'S TACTICAL MISTAKE: ACCEPTING $50,000 FROM REILLY
Proposition L supporters, the slow-growth measure on the ballot, put
the proposition on the ballot counting on $75,000 coming from a
couple local magnates, including $50,000 from Clint Reilly. Most of
the money, we are told, was used to pay signature gathering and other
Apparently, Reilly and other Downtown millionaires are dumping big
money supporting Prop. L because they are no planning to expand
beyond their present holdings, let's say into the SOMA or Mission
Districts (where Prop. L would freeze big developments). If Prop. L
is passed, big landlords like Reilly with properties for rent in
Downtown will see their properties rise in price and will make a
Now some people think that accepting Reilly's money handled the
political machine a weapon to attack Prop. L and push for the
fraudulent Prop. K (put on the ballot by Willie Brown to compete with
Prop. L). As a matter of fact, Willie is already planning -with
the help of no other than Jack Davis a series of mailings and
advertising focusing on Reilly's contribution and highlighting
the fact that Reilly will benefit economically with the passage of Prop. L
Add to that the fact that the mailings will try to focus on the
information that Reilly ended up 4th in last year's mayoral race
after spending millions of dollars and what you get is a
distraction from the real issue at hand: gentrification.
By the way, did you watch the TV add against Proposition L paid by
for SPUR (the right wing unthinking tank of Downtown Big Businesses)?
3. THE SECOND HORSE IN DISTRICT 11
Couple of weeks ago, Myrna Lim, a member of the State Central
Committee of the Democratic Party and former Brown's appointed
Commissioner called Frontlines and told us that "Sandoval is now
the second horse in the race." She explained that wherever she went
for endorsements from the political machine, she found people that were
for Sandoval because Amos Brown is losing big and the machine needs a
potential replacement. Myrna is also running for Supervisor in
Sandoval is a perfect unknown in District 11 and his campaign do not
seem to have any support, volunteers or resonance in the District
itself. However, suddenly, he found himself with money (is he really
planning to spend $60,000 in the campaign?) and he started to tone
down his message and get friendly with Amos Brown himself.
In several public forums he was heard praising Willie Brown as a
Mayor who did a "fine work for the City" and at the meeting
with the Editorial Board of the Chronicle he highlighted the fact that he was
appointed to the Transportation Commission by the Mayor himself and
that he worked closely with the Mayor in overseeing budgets and other
issues. The Chronicle endorsed Sandoval and we all know that is
no coincidence. Sandoval is also backtracking in his support for rent
At a recent public forum, another candidate for Supervisor, Rebecca
Silverberg disclosed the information that, in fact, Sandoval
contributed $500 to the re-election campaign of Willie Brown.
Sandoval complained that Rebecca was using confidential information
and asked why Rebecca - who also campaigned for the Mayor was
now complaining about his support for Willie.
There are at least six candidates competing with each other for the
favors of the political machine in District 11. But obviously,
Sandoval got the nod as "second horse" when it was clear that
Amos Brown, in spite of more than $200,000 spent in his re-election
campaign is dead in the water. A recent poll conducted in the
District indicated that he now stands at 8% and ranking third after
two of his challengers.
At four public forums held in the District, Amos Brown had little or
no support, while Progressive Left candidate Carlos Petroni
Editor of Frontlines got the majority of those in attendance.
4. LELAND YEE IS TASTING THE "REVENGE OF THE MACHINE"
During his tenure as Supervisor, Leland Yee did some things that
annoyed Willie Brown. Like voting against some of his proposals and
refusing to endorse him in the race against Ammiano. Now he tastes
some of the "Revenge of the Machine."
Political consultants and employees of the machine are now digging
deep in Leland Yee's past trying to find some dirt. They found a
record with the Hawaii Police Department from 8 years ago, accusing
Yee of shoplifting ($8.09worth of shoplifting). They also found out
that he was stopped by cops in the Mission District for allegedly
being suspect of soliciting prostitutes (Did anyone forgot
Is anyone interested in this? Apparently, the machine thinks this is
big news. They distributed copies of the police record and Yee's
mug shot to the media. They also apparently think that the voters will
swallow the pill of an elected official shoplifting a bottle of
tanning cream. Progressives in this City for many reasons can oppose
Yee, not least of them some of his right wing votes at the Board.
However, they should reject this dirty politics of digging in the
past of candidates and fabricating or blowing out of proportion
incidents like the $8.09 bottle of tanning cream.
Instead, we have to remember the big picture. The hundreds of
millions given away by Willie Brown and the political machine to
Downtown Big Businesses in the form of corporate welfare and tax
Leland Yee responded to the accusations by saying that Brown is an
"asshole" (according to today's Matier & Ross). Instead
of that, why doesn't Yee explain the voters how the political machine
"shoplifted" hundreds of millions and got away with it?
5. BAD NEWS DELIVERED TO WILLIE LAST MONDAY
Jack Davis was busy so they say and could not or did not
want to deliver the bad news to Willie. Polls show that some of Willie's
candidates for Supervisors are losing, and losing big. Alicia
Becerril's name won't even be remembered after November 7.
She is ranking fourth in the polls in District 3 after Aaron Peskin,
Denunzio and Lawrence Wong. Amos Brown is ranking third after Carlos
Petroni and Rebecca Silverberg. Brown's preferred candidate in
the Mission District Tullier is far behind Ammiano, Lucrecia,
and even Martinez who is a distant third at this point.
Dittenhaffer, Willie's candidate in District 6 is ranking fifth
in the polls behind Magilavy, Daly, D'Anne and even Hank Wilson.
Mabel Teng is fighting for survival against other powerful candidates to
her right and with tons of money and help from Clint Reilly.
Tom Hsieh is running a distant second from Leland Yee and that is what
explains the sudden campaign to discredit Yee in the media. In
District 10, Richardson, Willie's candidate, is running third in
Michael Yaki, while running first in the polls, got only 21%,
followed closely by two of his opponents. This means that, in case of
a runoff, he is doomed. Everybody voting for his opponents will vote
against him in the second round.
The three-page memorandum given to Brown and read aloud to him by one
of his aides (apparently Brown is experiencing serious vision
problems and is unable to read) indicated that Proposition K (his
"slow growth" measure is getting 38% positives and 43%
negatives) and Prop. L is winning with 51% for and 31% against. However, this is what enraged Willie:
"Ralph Nader is now standing at 25% in San Francisco and he is
carrying at least two Supervisorial Districts (5 and 9)". Nader
is running at 9% in California and 6% in the country. Why this
information enraged Willie? Because he and the local political
machine in San Francisco will look really bad if Nader gets his
largest percentage in San Francisco. Moreover, for the first
time in the last two decades, the Democratic Party candidate for President
will get LESS than 50% in San Francisco. Are those breaking news or
PLEASE FORWARD AND POST THIS INFORMATION.
- We just received news that the expenditure caps for Districts 10
(Potrero Hill - Bayview Hunters Point) and District 11 (Excelsior,
Crocker-Amazon, Ingleside, OMI)were lifted.
This is due to the fact the Willie Brown's poliical consultants and
his "independent committees" are dumping tens of thousands of dollars
on behalf of Richardson (District 10) and Amos Brown (District 11) in
a desperate effort to save their candidacies.
This is not being received very well in these working class
neighborhoods where spending more than $15,000 in a District campaign
The Ethics Commission confirmed this information today. The
"independent committees" reported on October 3 that they spent more
than 25% of the total allowed under the voluntary spending limit.
The figures reported do not include recent expenditures made on
behalf of these on other candidates in the last 10 days.