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Monday, February 28, 2011

It's not only a Zionist Olympic logo. It's a Gay, Freemason Zionist logo!

It turns out that the London Olympic 2012 logo is not merely Zionist. It's even worse!

From Iran's Hamsayeh.net:
Iranian Olympic Committee has launched an official complaint to the International Olympic Committee concerning the design of London 2012 Olympic games logo.

Baharm Afsharzadeh, the secretary general of Iran’s Olympic Committee told reporters the logo depicts the word ZION, a totally irrelevant symbol for what it is supposed to depict i.e. the spirit of Olympics.

We had to show protest against the measure. We intend to write a letter to Asian Olympic Council to call for them to follow up on the issue more seriously,’ said Afsharzadeh in a report published by Iranian Student News Agency ISNA, Monday.

According to Afsharzadeh, the so-called designer of this logo has a proven track record of being affiliated to certain well-known Zionist organizations and Freemasons.

The logo’s rudimentary and rather silly design shows the word ZION written in off pink color - a much revered color theme associated with some deviated Western-based circles. Yet it is not clear, why the British Olympic Committee has chosen this design as the main logo of the Olympic games which is to be held in London, England in August 2012.

Several countries including some British organizations have protested against this logo, finding it pejorative as well as totally irrelevant to spirit of Olympic games.

‘This is the first time that it has happened in the history of Olympic. Zionists have exercised influence in Britain and based on our information, designer of the summer games' logo has been a Zionist organization linked to Freemasons,’ Afsharzadeh said.
Anti-semitic and anti-gay sentiments all rolled up into one nice pink kerfuffle!

UPDATE: You can jump on the bandwagon and buy your own T-shirt with the Zion logo!

Iranians are on to me!

From MEMRI, an Iranian TV program that exposes my nefarious plan to take over the world!


Following are excerpts from a TV show on the influence of the Internet, which aired on IRINN, the Iranian news channel, on December 31, 2010:

Iranian author and journalist Pejman Karimi: In 1969, the Internet was established by the Pentagon, the US war department, and then it was presented to the world. The goal of the virtual control over the world was and still is to [enable] American imperialism to take over the world, through the security and intelligence services of the Pentagon. Keeping the [plan] a secret, while spreading the Internet worldwide, led millions of users to be trapped in the spiderwebs of the Western Crusader Zionist intelligence systems.

[...]

Reporter: Facebook is managed by a Zionist called Mark Zuckerberg, who offered a prize for Israelis who kill Palestinians.

Voice over footage of Israeli Minister of Science Daniel Hershkowitz: We should honor Mark Zuckerberg, who said: It is my honor to give 100 gold coins to any Zionist soldier who kills a Palestinian in Gaza.
Of course, I'm not worried, because Pejman Karimi is on the payroll to scare Iranians into creating their own version of the Internet that will be easy to break into and install Stuxnet 5.0. Thats' where the real Zionist Web will shine. (You never heard of Stuxnet 2, 3 and 4? Just wait.)

I like how Iran thinks Jews still deal with gold. We've gone way beyond, and have standardized on Zionist Monetary Units, tied to a combination of of the prices of platinum and corned beef. In fact, I'll offer 350 ZMUs to anyone who kills any random Palestinian in Gaza - who is about to fire rockets at Israel.

(h/t SES)

Meanwhile, in Oman...

From Al Arabiya:
Men and women casually looted a smoldering supermarket in Oman's main industrial centre on Monday, after police disappeared in the wake of violent protests in the normally placid Arab state.

"It's a free for all," said one man who watched while people grabbed all they could find -- from food to metal sheets and electronic goods -- and piled their hauls into trolleys at the Lulu Hypermarket at a road junction in the port of Sohar.

The looting followed protests on Sunday night when Omanis demanding jobs and political reforms clashed with police, throwing stones and setting government buildings and part of the market ablaze. A doctor said six people died in the clashes, although the health minister said only one person had died.
Must be Israel's fault.

Is the ancient tekhelet dye bluish-purple?

An interesting New York Times article was published today about the ancient Biblical dye known as tekhelet.
One of the mysteries that scholars have puzzled over for centuries is the exact shade of blue represented by “tekhelet,” which the Bible mentions as the color of ceremonial robes donned by high priests and ritual prayer tassels worn by the common Israelite.

What was known about tekhelet (pronounced t-CHELL-et) was that the Talmud said it was produced from the secretion of the sea snail, which is still found on Israeli beaches.

Traditional interpretations have characterized tekhelet as a pure blue, symbolic of the heavens so that Jews would remember God. Not so, according to an Israeli scholar who has a new analysis: tekhelet appears to have been closer to a bluish purple.

The scholar, Zvi C. Koren, a professor specializing in the analytical chemistry of ancient colorants, says he has identified the first known physical sample of tekhelet in a tiny, 2,000-year-old patch of dyed fabric recovered from Masada, King Herod’s Judean Desert fortress, later the site of a mass suicide by Jewish zealots after a long standoff against the Romans.

“It really is majestic,” Dr. Koren said of the shade, which he said remained close to its original hue and appeared to be indigo.

Dr. Koren is scheduled to deliver a paper on Monday at a conference here at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, where he heads the Edelstein Center for Analysis of Ancient Artifacts.

Dr. Koren, originally from Staten Island, described his work as “Indiana Jones meets C.S.I.” He said that when he first photographed the fabric scrap with the tekhelet dye, “the L.C.D. on my camera literally radiated.”

Until now, the limited number of blue or purple dyes found on textiles from the period in this region have been derived from plant material, he said.

The fabric he examined was one of many items discovered at Masada in the 1960s and stored at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. It came to his attention when a British historian, Hero Granger-Taylor, who specializes in ancient weaves, asked him to analyze some textiles. Dr. Koren said he was the first researcher to make the connection between the fabric and the snail dye.

He found that the dye used in the Masada sample, a piece of bluish-purple yarn embroidery, came from a breed of Murex trunculus snail familiar to modern Israelis. Such shades on textiles are rare finds since they were typically worn exclusively by royalty or nobility.

But the article does not quite explain everything. Today there are people who are producing tekhelet from that same murex trunculus snail, but the dye they are producing is more sky-blue than dark blue/purple. To understand this, one must go to the Tekhelet website:
While researching the methods used by the ancient dyers, Prof. Otto Elsner, of the Shenkar College of Fibers, noticed that on cloudy days, trunculus dye tended towards purple, but on sunny days it was a brilliant blue! He found that at a certain stage of the dyeing process, exposure to sunlight will alter the dye, changing its color from purple to blue.
So if Dr. Koren is correct, the dye must be shielded from the sun in order to produce the correct, darker shade of blue.

The NYT does interview the people who make tekhelet nowadays, and now the rest of the article makes sense:
Baruch Sterman, a P’til Tekhelet founder, said that new scientific findings were unlikely to change the tradition his group had reintroduced: using the sky-blue color for ritual tassels.

“Probably in ancient times, what was most important to the Jews was that the color is a beautiful color and it comes from the snail,” Mr. Sterman said. “The minor distinction — sky blue, turquoise, lapis or purple blue — were probably not of significance to them.”
But then the Times ends off the article with a ridiculous quote, from someone not involved in the entire enterprise and that was almost certainly taken out of context:
Yuval Sherlow, a prominent rabbi in Israel’s modern Orthodox circles — where wearing tekhelet in ritual fringes has become increasingly popular, as it has in American ones — agreed.

“Tradition is not so interested in science,” Mr. Sherlow said. “There is a type of denial of science and new information.”
Since it is modern science that allowed Jews to rediscover which snail was used to create the tekhelet dye, and those who use it today are relying on that same science, the Sherlow quote seems to have been included simply for the Times to bash traditional Jews.

Video: Damage from Grad rocket, Beersheba

Here is some of the damage caused by the Grad rocket shot into Beersheba last week. Note the damage from the ball bearings in the missile, as buildings and cars are pockmarked.

(h/t Uri P)

EoZ "Apartheid Week" posters go international

The posters I created for the upcoming "Israel Apartheid Week" have been featured on the front page of a popular Dutch site, Het Vrije Volk ("The Free People"), and I received hundreds of hits from that site.

They were also featured in a posting on a Polish site, Racjonalista (Rationalist).

A professor at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, has put some of the posters outside his office door, and plans to add more:


Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to send the link to your local college's Zionist organization or Hillel House so they can be better prepared. Especially if you live near one of the cities that "Apartheid Week" is going to have activities. (I've sent to a few but there are thousands of colleges out there, and it takes time to find the right contact...)

I'll happily repost any photos of how the posters are being used.

Saudi king to buy Facebook? Arab, Iranian sites fall for joke post

On Sunday, a site called Dawn Wires published this story:
In what is being termed as pure Wall street Gordon Gecko tactics, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has decided to make an offer of $150 billion to buy out Facebook. Inside sources within the kingdom suggest that he is very upset with Mark Zukerberg for allowing the revolt to get out of control. In a personal meeting between Mark Zuckerberg and King Abdullah on Jan 25, 2011, Zuckerberg had promised that he would not allow any revolt pages to be formed on Facebook even while he allowed Egypt and Libya revolt pages to be formed. But little did King Abdullah know Zuckerberg. Had he seen the movie “Social Network”, he would have been better advised than to trust Zuckerberg.

Left with no option, Abdullah advised by Goldman Sachs has decided to buy out Facebook and “clean out the weeds”. The offer on the table is $150 billion.....

According Goldman report, the many advantages of buying out Facebook far outweighs the cost of the transaction. Goldman Sachs made a presentation to King Abdullah of how the facebook could be used to cement his position for ever. Never again will his kingdom see another revolt. The presentation also involved some Facebook pages of bikini clad models profile among other profiles. Sources reveal that King Abdullah had made up his mind immediately and spoke to Lloyd Blankfein to complete the transaction as soon as possible.

In the meanwhile king Abdullah has now logged on the Facebook and was buzy profiling some of the models in the Goldman Sachs presentation.
The post was not only obviously meant to be humorous, but it even says explicitly
Sunday Humor
(Sunday Humor article at Dawnwires.com are meant to humor our readers. They may or may not be the truth.)
However, the Arabic media picked up on the story and published it straight. It is at Ratan News, Firas Press and elsewhere.

Even funnier, the Tehran Times copied the English report verbatim on its site - even correcting some misspellings from the original piece!

(h/t Folderol)

Simple proof that J Street is not pro-Israel (UPDATED with poster!)

This past weekend, J Street held a conference. Plenty of  bloggers and others covered the event, and there are some very good articles that discuss exactly how J-Street is not even close to being "pro-Israel."

Here is one simple proof.

Starting next week we will see the annual Israel Apartheid Week at colleges and universities worldwide. Every pro-Israel organization on campus is gearing up to counter the avalanche of anti-Israel vitriol and lies that attack the very legitimacy of the Jewish state.

But at the J Street U site, there is nothing but silence. No pro-Israel programming, no pamphlets to distribute, no flyers or posters to counter the hate. Nothing. (They do have some statements that are against BDS.)

When pressed, J-Street will mouth some words of support for the existence of Israel. But on their own, they do not do anything to actively defend Israel without carefully calibrating the message to equally defend "Palestine."

How can a supposedly pro-Israel organization not lift a finger to defend Israel when it is under the most withering attack?

(For an example of what a pro-Israel campaign looks like, check this out.)

UPDATE: A great poster idea from a a commenter:

Sidelined diplomats insist that "peace talks" remain the core issue in the Arab world

Diplomats seem really upset that they are being sidelined by events in the Arab world that are happening, inexplicably, without any input from them. Somehow Arabs are acting in ways that diplomats could not predict, did not expect, and have nothing to do with Israel.

Naturally, these same diplomats cannot accept the new reality, and they feel compelled to do everything they can to make the bizarre claim that stability in the Arab world depends on events between a Palestinian Arab people - who have already been widely derided within the Arab world for their inability to get their own act together - and Israel.

So we are now seeing a series of statements, each one dumber than the previous one:

Catherine Ashton, EU foreign policy chief, February 5:
"I believe that regional events shouldn't distract us from that objective for the future. We want to see peace and stability in the region. We believe the Middle East peace process is an essential part of that," Ashton told reporters.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, February 9:
The foreign secretary, William Hague, has warned Israel against allowing the Middle East peace process to become a casualty of turmoil in the region, urging it to tone down "belligerent language" over protests in Egypt and other neighbouring states.

Speaking on a visit to the region, Hague told the BBC: "Amidst the opportunity for countries like Tunisia and Egypt, there is a legitimate fear that the Middle East peace process will lose further momentum and be put to one side, and will be a casualty of uncertainty in the region."

The foreign secretary implicitly criticised recent statements by the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, in which he warned the country to prepare for "any outcome" and pledged to "reinforce the might of the state of Israel."

Hague told the Times: "This should not be a time for belligerent language. It's a time to inject greater urgency into the Middle East peace process."

One senior Israeli official said he was "simply flabbergasted" at the comments, adding that relations between friendly countries did not extend to issuing instructions over language.

February 22:
The European Union on Tuesday told Israel that growing instability in the Middle East makes it imperative to immediately resume the stalled peace process with the Palestinians.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi, whose country currently chairs the EU, told Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday that "time is pressing" and that the Israeli-Palestinian talks "remain the core issue."

Robert Serry, UN Special Coordinator for the Peace Process, February 24:
A senior United Nations official today called for “credible and effective international intervention” to break the impasse in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, noting that a negotiated solution would help stabilize a Middle East currently in ferment.
And now, Daniel Kurtzer:
There is one set of U.S. policies that would impact positively on developments in Egypt and elsewhere and draw the collective breath of the Arab street: a determined, pro-active, aggressive effort to achieve a breakthrough in Israeli- Palestinian peace negotiations. The Obama administration is already on record as committed to this goal; two years of sustained effort without results prove the need for a more coherent and encompassing strategy.
Now, are these diplomats getting these ideas wholly out of their frustration that their efforts have been shown to be irrelevant towards real peace and stability in the region?

Or are they parroting the line that some Arab leaders are using to distract from their own potential revolutions?

From Arab News:
Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit pledged Sunday to give “priority” to the reactivation of the Arab-Israeli peace process despite the spate of uprisings that swept the region over the past weeks.

Bakhit, who formed a new Cabinet two weeks ago, made the remark as he presented his main policy statement to the lower house of parliament as a prelude for obtaining the chamber’s confidence.

“In spite of the escalating Arab and regional events and their subsequent repercussions, the government emphasizes that priority should be given to the Palestinian question … because it is a pivotal issue for Jordanian national security,” Bakhit said.

And Syria also weighs in with words that sound much like those we are hearing from the EU and UN:
The EU should take firm action against Israeli settlement-building and human rights abuses instead of playing politics in Egypt if it wants to calm tension in the Middle East, Syria's ambassador to the Union has said.

Speaking to EUobserver in Brussels on Wednesday (16 February), Mohamad Ayman Soussan said the main danger of conflict in the region comes from the Arab-Israeli problem not the revolution in Egypt or Tunisia.
Sounds like the Jordanians, Syrians and frustrated diplomats are singing from the same songsheet.

UN Human Rights Council praises Libya's record

This one document brilliantly shows UN hypocrisy.

 From UN Watch:
Despite having just voted to suspend Libya from its ranks, the UN Human Rights Council is about to adopt a lengthy report hailing Libya’s human rights record. The report, which is on the council website, is the outcome of a recent session that reviewed Libya’s human rights record. Although the “Universal Periodic Review” mechanism is described by council defenders as its saving grace, the vast majority of council members and observers falsely praised the Gaddafi regime for its alleged promotion of human rights. The regime’s reps also declared the same — click here for quotes  — though now they admit that the opposite is true. The report is on the council website and set to be adopted during the current March session.
The report shows how much other states with horrendous human rights records praise Libya's own stellar adherence to human rights standards.

Iran, Syria, Jordan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Egypt - on and on it goes, countries falling over themselves to praise Libya.

Will anyone from those countries hold their leaders to account for their words?

Oh, I forgot. Their people generally aren't allowed to criticize their regimes. My bad.

Unfortunately, even Western countries tempered their criticisms of Libya in the report:

Australia welcomed the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s progress in human rights and its willingness to facilitate visits by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, which  demonstrated the country’s commitment to engaging with the international community on human rights. Australia remained concerned over restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression; the detention of political prisoners; limited rights to fair trial under the new State Security court; enforced disappearances; deaths in custody; discrimination towards minorities; lack of legal protections against domestic violence; and the application of the death penalty. Australia made recommendations.

Canada welcomed improvements made by the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in its respect  for human rights, specifically the recent legislation that granted women married to foreigners the right to pass on their Libyan nationality to their children, as well as the acknowledgement of  the deaths of hundreds of Abu Salim prisoners in 1996 and the first incountry release of a report  by an international non-governmental organization in 2009. Canada made recommendations.

The US statement wasn't bad:
The United States of America supported the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s increased engagement with the international community. It called on the country to comply with its human rights treaty obligations. It expressed concern about reports of the torture of prisoners and about the status of freedom of expression and association, including in its legislation, which often resulted in the arrest of people for political reasons. The United States made recommendations.

Only one state showed the bluntness and truth necessary when dealing with regimes like Libya:
Israel noted that The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya should live up to the membership standards set forth in General Assembly resolution 60/251 and serve as a model in the protection of human rights; while, in reality, its membership in the Council served to cover  the ongoing systemic suppression, in law and in practice, of fundamental rights and  freedoms. Israel made recommendations.

If you need just one document to show how morally corrupt the UN is, this is it.

(h/t Folderol)

Disproportionate? NYT only reports half the story (David G)

From David G:

Isabel Kershner in the New York Times reports on the investigation into the killing of Salah Shehada:
Israeli Panel Finds No Crime in 2002 Assassination

Nearly nine years after an Israeli assassination of a Hamas leader in Gaza killed at least 13 civilians and led to widespread international condemnation, a government-appointed panel of inquiry concluded Sunday that the operation was flawed but that the consequences “did not stem from disregard or indifference to human lives.”

The three-member panel, headed by a retired Israeli Supreme Court justice, found that the collateral damage was “disproportionate.” But it said that its examination of the operation according to the rules of Israeli and international law “unequivocally” removed any suspicion that the Israelis responsible for the attack committed a criminal offense.

It attributed the deadly results of the operation to “incorrect assessments and mistaken judgment based on an intelligence failure in the collection and transfer of information” among the different agencies involved.
Unfortunately, Kershner only provides half of the story.

In the past Israel has over-reacted from the Shehada killing, and let other killers escape.
In Israel, a Divisive Struggle Over Targeted Killing

On Sept. 6, 2003, another pilot was on the mission, firing from the cockpit, as a voice from the command center boomed into his headphones.

"Did you hit it?" the general asked the F-16 pilot. The billowing smoke from the bomb obscured the screen in the war room. The generals couldn't see a thing.

" Whoa! " The generals shouted as coils of ash turned white to black.

Mofaz's military secretary, Brig. Gen. Michael Herzog, was phoning in reports to the defense minister.

"We did it -- a direct hit," Herzog told him.

A minute later, Herzog called again: "The results are unclear."

A minute later: "It seems people escaped alive."

Another " Whoa!" filled the war room, one of disappointment.

Dichter recalled: "We saw people running out of the house faster than Olympic runners."
For Abu Ras, the Hamas leader whose home had been bombed, "it felt like an earthquake. A big, black smoke," he said in an interview. His guests had sat down to lunch. "I was so happy to host them," Abu Ras said. "What was our crime? I'm an ordinary citizen, not a terrorist. We have no terrorists among the Palestinian people."

Haniyeh was serving rice to Yassin. Then an explosion shook the room, and Yassin looked at the ceiling. "Why all this dust? Where is it coming from?" said Yassin, who was lightly wounded in his hand along with another Hamas member and 12 neighbors.

Haniyeh laughed bitterly, "We are hit, Sheik."

But the men were gathered on the ground floor of the house. The quarter-ton bomb destroyed only the third floor. Abu Ras's wife and four children, on the second floor, survived. And the Hamas leadership was safe.
Israel does have a doctrine for fighting in civilian areas developed by Gen Amos Yadlin and Prof Asa Kasher.

(Gen. Yadlin was one of the pilots who destroyed the Iraqi reactor, though not as well known as Ilan Ramon or Yifrah Spektor. He recently served as head of Military Intelligence.)

It's been debated in the New York Review of Books.

It's been discussed at Z-Word.

Given this information it would have been appropriate for Kershner to draw on the doctrine, but I guess preparing background isn't the job of a news reporter.

There's also one really annoying line in Kershner's article:
There has been a sharp drop in such killings since the suicide bombings subsided, though the military and intelligence services still resort to this method on occasion.
Why isn't the "sharp drop" ascribed to the effectiveness of tactic? Instead of being portrayed as an effective deterrent the sentence makes it sound like it's simple revenge.

Iran complains that London 2012 Olympic logo spells "Zion"

From AFP:
Iran have protested against the already controversial logo of the 2012 Olympic Games, saying the emblem is racist and spells the word "Zion," the ILNA news agency reported on Monday.
The jagged, multi-coloured emblem, which reportedly cost 400,000 pounds (nearly 650,000 dollars) features four bold numerals representing 2012, with the signature Olympic Rings emblazoned within the digit zero.

But Mohammad Aliabadi, head of the National Olympic Committee in the Islamic republic, said the logo was undermining the event and accused the British organisers of indulging in "racism," ILNA reported.

"Unfortunately, we all are witnessing that the upcoming Olympics ... faces a serious challenge, definitely spawned out of some people's racist spirit," Aliabadi said in a letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge.

"The use of the word Zion by the designer of Olympics logo ....in the emblem of the Olympics Games 2012 is a very revolting act," he added, warning that if Rogge did not act the logo would "affect the participation of several countries, especially like Iran which insists on following principles and values."
Here's the logo:

Does it spell "Zion"? Well, if you don't worry about the order of the geometric figures, and rotate some of them, and have a fertile imagination, you can see what this YouTube video shows:



Rabid Israel haters can be really, really funny sometimes.

(h/t Kramerica)

UPDATE: Now you can buy the T-shirt!

Video: "Activists" stealing water from Jewish farm

Earlier this month, several "peace activists" attempted to pump all of the water out of a well in a Jewish-owned farm in Sussiya.

When the manager of the farm, Avidan Ofir, arrived to stop them, one of the women tried to wrestle him, grabbed his hair, ripped his shirt and chased him around. He remained steadfast and almost superhumanly calm as he worked to keep his water from being stolen.

This sort of harassment happens all the time.


(h/t Yerushalimey)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hamas demands UNRWA schools not teach about Holocaust

Last week, Jordanian newspaper Al Ghad published an interview with UNRWA spokesman Sami Mshasha saying that UNRWA intends to teach Palestinian Arabs about the Holocaust as part of its curriculum on human rights.

He said, "This curriculum is aimed as a whole to enhance the understanding of students of Palestinian human rights, civil and political rights, as living under Israeli occupation....We are talking about rights, whether Palestinian or an Arab or a Jew...What happened in World War II, the killing and oppression of the Jews and others, is a stain on the forehead of humanity"

The article goes on to disparage the "so-called Holocaust" and quotes anti-semite Israel Shahak as saying that the Zionists collaborated with the Nazis. It also bizarrely complains that the UN has a day dedicated as Holocaust Remembrance Day but does not have a day for the Palestinian "holocaust". (Of course, the UN commemorates "Nakba Day" every year on Israel's Independence Day and it also commemorates the anniversary of the partition resolution as a Palestinian Arab day of tragedy as well.)

Hamas is livid at this interview.

Firas Press reports that Hamas is demanding that UNRWA not teach anything about the Holocaust.
The [Hamas] movement asked UNRWA to stop teaching the course immediately, having already been rejected by our people with marches and sit-ins condemning [such curricula], and demand that UNRWA abides by the demands and directions of the Palestinian people, and not force us to take draconian steps that will not please Washington.

The group said, "...teaching materials contrary to the understanding and culture of the Palestinian people brings up several questions about the role played by the Agency in the Palestinian territories."

And Hamas called on the Palestinian people to be alert to this conspiracy and should show high readiness of escalating steps to take against the agency if they do not respond to our demands.

A similar controversy broke out in August, 2009. At the time UNRWA denied any current plans to teach anything about the Holocaust.

(h/t Folderol)

Video: Iran's Gender Apartheid

From Free Middle East:

Arabs embrace spoof Israeli Gaddafi music video

From NYT:

A satirical YouTube clip mocking Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s megalomania is fast becoming a popular token of the Libya uprising across Middle East. And in an added affront to Colonel Qaddafi, it was created by an Israeli living in Tel Aviv.

Noy Alooshe, 31, an Israeli journalist, musician and Internet buff, said he saw Colonel Qaddafi’s televised speech last Tuesday in which the Libyan leader vowed to hunt down protesters “inch by inch, house by house, home by home, alleyway by alleyway,” and immediately identified it as a “classic hit.”

“He was dressed strangely, and he raised his arms” like at a trance party, Mr. Alooshe said in a telephone interview on Sunday. Then there were Colonel Qaddafi’s words with their natural beat.

Mr. Alooshe spent a few hours at the computer, using Auto-Tune pitch corrector technology to set the speech to the music of “Hey Baby,” a 2010 electro hip-hop song by American rapper Pitbull, featuring another artist, T-Pain. He titled it “Zenga-Zenga,” echoing Col. Qaddafi’s repetition of the word zanqa, Arabic for alleyway.

By the early hours of Wednesday morning Mr. Alooshe had uploaded the remix to YouTube, and began promoting it on Twitter and Facebook, sending the link to the pages of young Arab revolutionaries. By Sunday, the original clip had more than 400,000 hits and had gone viral.

Mr. Alooshe, who at first did not identify himself on the clip as an Israeli, started receiving enthusiastic messages from all around the Arab world. Surfers soon discovered that he was a Jewish Israeli from his Facebook profile — Mr. Alooshe plays in a band called Hovevey Zion, or the Lovers of Zion — and some of the accolades turned to curses. A few also found the video distasteful.

But the reactions have largely been positive, including a personal message Mr. Alooshe said he received from someone he assumed to be a Libyan saying that if and when the Qaddafi regime falls, the liberated Libyans would dance to Zenga-Zenga.
Might as well join the party:


(h/t many people)

Our absurd obsession with Israel laid bare (Nick Cohen)

A rare voice of sanity in CiF:
To a generation of politically active if not morally consistent campaigners, the Middle East has meant Israel and only Israel. In theory, they should have been able to stick by universal principles and support a just settlement for the Palestinians while opposing the dictators who kept Arabs subjugated. Few, however, have been able to oppose oppression in all its forms consistently. The right has been no better than the liberal-left in its Jew obsessions. The briefest reading of Conservative newspapers shows that at all times their first concern about political changes in the Middle East is how they affect Israel. For both sides, the lives of hundreds of millions of Arabs, Berbers and Kurds who were not involved in the conflict could be forgotten.

...Far from being a cause of the revolution, antagonism to Israel everywhere served the interests of oppressors. Europeans have no right to be surprised. Of all people, we ought to know from our experience of Nazism that antisemitism is a conspiracy theory about power, rather than a standard racist hatred of poor immigrants. Fascistic regimes reached for it when they sought to deny their own people liberty. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the forgery the far-right wing of the decaying tsarist regime issued in 1903 to convince Russians they should continue to obey the tsar's every command, denounces human rights and democracy as facades behind which the secret Jewish rulers of the world manipulated gullible gentiles.

...The London School of Economics took £1.5m from Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, money which by definition had to have been stolen from the Libyan people, despite being warned to back away by Professor Fred Halliday, the LSE's late and much-missed authority on the Middle East, who never flinched from looking dictators in the eye.

"I've come to know Saif as someone who looks to democracy, civil society and deep liberal values for the core of his inspiration," purred the LSE's David Held as he accepted the cheque. Human Rights Watch, once a reliable opponent of tyranny, went further and described a foundation Saif ran in Libya as a force for freedom, willing to take on the interior ministry in the fight for civil liberties. Meanwhile, and to the surprise of no one, Peter Mandelson, New Labour's butterfly, fluttered round Saif at the country house parties of the plutocracy.

Last week, Saif, the "liberal" promoter of human rights and dining companion of Mandelson, appeared on Libyan television to say that his father's gunmen would fight to the last bullet to keep the Gaddafi crime family in business, a promise he is keeping. The thinking behind so many who flattered him was that the only issue in the Middle East worth taking a stand on was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that the oppression of Arabs by Arabs was a minor concern.

...The European Union, which did so much to export democracy and the rule of law to former communist dictatorships of eastern Europe, has played a miserable role in the Middle East. It pours in aid but never demands democratisation or restrictions on police powers in return. That will have to change if the promise of the past month is to be realised. If it is to help with democracy-building, Europe will need to remind itself as much as the recipients of its money that you can never build free societies on the racist conspiracy theories of the Nazis and the tsars. They are and always have been the tunes that tyrants sing.

Vogue fawns over the wonderful Assads

Asma al-Assad is "a rose in the desert" in this puff piece on one of the world's most ruthless dictators.


How easy is it to play the Western media? Apparently, it is trivial.

Vogue went to Syria to show how wonderful Bashir Assad and his wife are. Without doing a modicum of research on Syria's history of ruthless oppression and mass murders, the writers fall under the spell of Bashir Assad's lovely wife, wearing a T-shirt that says "Happiness."
Asma al-Assad is glamorous, young, and very chic—the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies. Her style is not the couture-and-bling dazzle of Middle Eastern power but a deliberate lack of adornment. She’s a rare combination: a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind who dresses with cunning understatement. Paris Match calls her “the element of light in a country full of shadow zones.” She is the first lady of Syria.
Let's fall in love!

Other gems:
Syria is known as the safest country in the Middle East.

Asma’s husband, Bashar al-Assad, was elected president in 2000, after the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad, with a startling 97 percent of the vote.

The French ambassador to Syria, Eric Chevallier, says, “She managed to get people to consider the possibilities of a country that’s modernizing itself, that stands for a tolerant secularism in a powder-keg region, with extremists and radicals pushing in from all sides—and the driving force for that rests largely on the shoulders of one couple. I hope they’ll make the right choices for their country and the region. ”

On Friday, the Muslim day of rest, Asma al-Assad opens the door herself in jeans and old suede stiletto boots, hair in a ponytail, the word happiness spelled out across the back of her T-shirt. At the bottom of the stairs stands the off-duty president in jeans—tall, long-necked, blue-eyed. A precise man who takes photographs and talks lovingly about his first computer, he says he was attracted to studying eye surgery “because it’s very precise, it’s almost never an emergency, and there is very little blood.”
Did the writers check out any human rights reports on Syria? Did they discuss freedom of expression? Anti-semitism? Did the word "Hama" escape their lips?

Perhaps the people from Vogue would be interested in how Bashir's father liked to spend his time...

The article is so fawning it sometimes appears to be a spoof. Unfortunately, it is quite serious.

(h/t Folderol)

Kristof doesn't get it

In today's New York Times, Nicholas Kristof writes:
Is the Arab world unready for freedom? A crude stereotype lingers that some people — Arabs, Chinese and Africans — are incompatible with democracy. Many around the world fret that “people power” will likely result in Somalia-style chaos, Iraq-style civil war or Iran-style oppression.

That narrative has been nourished by Westerners and, more sadly, by some Arab, Chinese and African leaders. So with much of the Middle East in an uproar today, let’s tackle a politically incorrect question head-on: Are Arabs too politically immature to handle democracy?

This concern is the subtext for much anxiety today, from Washington to Riyadh. And there’s no question that there are perils: the overthrow of the shah in Iran, of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, of Tito in Yugoslavia, all led to new oppression and bloodshed. Congolese celebrated the eviction of their longtime dictator in 1997, but the civil war since has been the most lethal conflict since World War II. If Libya becomes another Congo, if Bahrain becomes an Iranian satellite, if Egypt becomes controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood — well, in those circumstances ordinary citizens might end up pining for former oppressors.

“Before the revolution, we were slaves, and now we are the slaves of former slaves,” Lu Xun, the great Chinese writer, declared after the toppling of the Qing dynasty. Is that the future of the Middle East?

I don’t think so. Moreover, this line of thinking seems to me insulting to the unfree world. In Egypt and Bahrain in recent weeks, I’ve been humbled by the lionhearted men and women I’ve seen defying tear gas or bullets for freedom that we take for granted. How can we say that these people are unready for a democracy that they are prepared to die for?

We Americans spout bromides about freedom. Democracy campaigners in the Middle East have been enduring unimaginable tortures as the price of their struggle — at the hands of dictators who are our allies — yet they persist. In Bahrain, former political prisoners have said that their wives were taken into the jail in front of them. And then the men were told that unless they confessed, their wives would promptly be raped. That, or more conventional tortures, usually elicited temporary confessions, yet for years or decades those activists persisted in struggling for democracy. And we ask if they’re mature enough to handle it?

The common thread of this year’s democracy movement from Tunisia to Iran, from Yemen to Libya, has been undaunted courage. I’ll never forget a double-amputee I met in Tahrir Square in Cairo when Hosni Mubarak’s thugs were attacking with rocks, clubs and Molotov cocktails. This young man rolled his wheelchair to the front lines. And we doubt his understanding of what democracy means?

In Bahrain, I watched a column of men and women march unarmed toward security forces when, a day earlier, the troops had opened fire with live ammunition. Anyone dare say that such people are too immature to handle democracy?
Kristof is making a major mistake. He is confusing bravery for political maturity.

No one doubts the protesters' bravery. No one doubts their integrity, or their desire for change, or even their desire for democracy.

But there are serious doubts at their ability to translate the raw desire for freedom into a functional, liberal, democratic government.

It is hard work to create the institutions necessary. More importantly, it takes time - and time is not on the side of the protesters.

It is now fashionable to pooh-pooh the dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kristof's liberal circles, but no one can doubt that the Islamists are better organized and much more politically mature than the Facebookers of Tahrir Square. It takes time to set up an organization, to define a clear agenda, to build a fundraising mechanism, to attract volunteers, to build a means to communicate with all the people - including in rural areas, and to do all the myriad details from physical buildings to a phone system to a mailing list.

True freedom cannot flourish until Egyptians have been exposed to a wide range of ideas on a level playing field. The existing Islamist groups are running circles around the "Egyptian youth" we hear so much about. Kristof is so caught up in the emotions of the moment that he cannot think outside Tahrir Square, to the 99% of the country that is not as emotionally invested in who their leaders would be. To them, the nice people with beards who build a free Islamic school for their kids are the only game in town.

Enthusiasm does not ensure effective state building and true freedoms. Kristof, instead of spouting straw-man arguments, should be advocating ways for his jeans-wearing heroes to channel their sparks of enthusiasm and bravery into the hard, thankless and often boring work necessary to build a new Egypt from scratch.

(h/r David G)

Mubarak had his name sewn into the pinstripes of his suit!

Mubarak's narcissism apparently knew no bounds.

I saw an Arabic news video that showed what appeared to be Hosni Mubarak wearing a suit that had his name sewn in, repeatedly, as the pinstripe pattern:


So I went hunting for the original photo, and, sure enough...it's there! HOSNYMUBARAK, over and over again.

Here is what the original photo looks like:




And here's what it looks like up close:



Who knew we were spelling his name wrong all this time?

(The photo was taken in October of 2009.)

Who is the Muslim Brotherhood? (Video)

From Fuel for Truth:

EoZ posters make it to UC-Berkeley!

I received this photo showing pro-Israel activists at University of California-Berkeley with two of my "Apartheid?" posters, taken on Friday:


They also handed out an article by Ishmael Khaldi, an Israeli Arab vice-consul in San Fransisco, which says in part:

I am a proud Israeli - along with many other non-Jewish Israelis such as Druze, Bahai, Bedouin, Christians and Muslims, who live in one of the most culturally diversified societies and the only true democracy in the Middle East. Like America, Israeli society is far from perfect, but let us deals honestly. By any yardstick you choose - educational opportunity, economic development, women and gay's rights, freedom of speech and assembly, legislative representation - Israel's minorities fare far better than any other country in the Middle East

So, I would like to share the following with organizers of Israel Apartheid week, for those of them who are open to dialogue and not blinded by a hateful ideology:

You are part of the problem, not part of the solution: If you are really idealistic and committed to a better world, stop with the false rhetoric. We need moderate people to come together in good faith to help find the path to relieve the human suffering on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Vilification and false labeling is a blind alley that is unjust and takes us nowhere.

You deny Israel the fundamental right of every society to defend itself: You condemn Israel for building a security barrier to protect its citizens from suicide bombers and for striking at buildings from which missiles are launched at its cities - but you never offer an alternative. Aren't you practicing yourself a deep form of racism by denying an entire society the right to defend itself?

Your criticism is willfully hypocritical: Do Israel's Arab citizens suffer from disadvantage? You better believe it. Do African Americans 10 minutes from the Berkeley campus suffer from disadvantage - you better believe it, too. So should we launch a Berkeley Apartheid Week, or should we seek real ways to better our societies and make opportunity more available.

You are betraying the moderate Muslims and Jews who are working to achieve peace: Your radicalism is undermining the forces for peace in Israel and in the Palestinian territories. We are working hard to move toward a peace agreement that recognizes the legitimate rights of both Israel and the Palestinian people, and you are tearing down by falsely vilifying one side.

To the organizers of Israel Apartheid Week I would like to say:

If Israel were an apartheid state, I would not have been appointed here, nor would I have chosen to take upon myself this duty. There are many Arabs, both within Israel and in the Palestinian territories who have taken great courage to walk the path of peace. You should stand with us, rather than against us.

Thanks to Faith (who sent me the email), Lauren and Susan!

And if anyone else uses my posters, I'd love to see photos as well.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

60% of Saudi men financially exploit their wives

From Al Arabiya:
A Saudi Arabian social researcher claims through his research that 60 percent of Saudi Arabian husbands financially exploit their wives’ money, the London-based Asharq al-Awsat reported on Friday.

Dr. Mahmoud Kisnawi from Univeristy of Umm al-Qura concentrated mainly on working wives, and said wives allow their husbands to take advantage of their salaries under the pretence of “ensuring family stability,” despite Islam giving women the legal and religious right to have her own complete salary.

Dr. Kisnawi told Asharq al-Awsat that 60 percent of husbands use their wives salaries to enter the real estate market or complete the construction of a home, without taking into consideration the needs and desires of their wives. He added that this phenomenon contributed to the increase in divorce rates in Saudi Arabia.

"In some cases, husbands have demanded that their wives provide them with large amounts of money so that they can complete the construction of their home. However these husbands may be deceiving their wives and want to complete construction in order to marry a second wife, with this [second] wife living in the home bought by the first wife's salary.

This daunting reality lived by some Saudi Arabian women caused some psychological trauma to these women, Dr. Kisnawi said, adding “this will make women lose trust in the sanctity of marriage, and as a result they would [therefore] seek separation and divorce."

Maha Yousef, who was a working wife, told the newspaper that the issue of husbands financially exploiting their wives salaries is today a major reason for divorce in Saudi Arabia. Maha ended up divorcing her husband after 25 years in marriage, when her husband decided to marry a second wife after he exploited her money.

"After he finished financially exploiting me, and the house was built, he decided to marry a second wife, and for this second wife to live in the house that I spent my life working to finance," she said, adding "this caused me emotional and psychological trauma, and I saw that divorce was the only solution that would end this crisis, and return a portion of my dignity which was ripped away by the father of my children."

As for the Islamic jurisprudential view of this issue, Sheikh Mohamed al-Nujaimi, a member of the International Fiqh Academy, said that the majority of Muslim scholars believed that a wife has complete freedom to utilize the money and property in her name as she liked, without needing the consent of her husband.

"Major setback" at Iranian nuclear plant

Good news to start the new week:

From NYT:
Iran told atomic inspectors this week that it had run into a serious problem at a newly completed nuclear reactor that was supposed to start feeding electricity into the national grid this month, raising questions about whether the trouble was sabotage, a startup problem, or possibly the beginning of the project’s end.

In a report on Friday, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran told inspectors on Wednesday that it was planning to unload nuclear fuel from its Bushehr reactor — the sign of a major upset. For years, Tehran has hailed the reactor as a showcase of its peaceful nuclear intentions and its imminent startup as a sign of quickening progress.

But nuclear experts said the giant reactor, Iran’s first nuclear power plant, now threatens to become a major embarrassment, as engineers remove 163 fuel rods from its core.

Iran gave no reason for the unexpected fuel unloading, but it has previously admitted that the Stuxnet computer worm infected the Bushehr reactor. On Friday, computer experts debated whether Stuxnet was responsible for the surprising development.

Russia, which provided the fuel to Iran, said earlier this month that the worm’s infection of the reactor should be investigated, arguing that it might trigger a nuclear disaster. Other experts said those fears were overblown, but noted that the full workings of the Stuxnet worm remained unclear.

In interviews Friday, nuclear experts said the trouble behind the fuel unloading could range from minor safety issues and operational ineptitude to serious problems that would bring the reactor’s brief operational life to a premature end.

“It could be simple and embarrassing all the way to ‘game over,’ ” said David A. Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a former official at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees nuclear reactors in the United States.

Mr. Lochbaum added that having to unload a newly fueled reactor was “not unprecedented, but not an everyday occurrence.” He said it happened perhaps once in every 25 or 30 fuelings. In Canada, he added, a reactor was recently fueled and scrapped after the belated discovery of serious technical problems.

Faithless: Another hypocritical band boycotting Israel

From Mail and Guardian Online:

In December 2010 British electronic group Faithless’s lead singer Maxi Jazz wrote a note on his website to “family and friends of the band in Israel”.

He said: “We’ve been asked to do some shows this summer in your country and, with the heaviest of hearts, I have regretfully declined the invitation. While human beings are being willfully denied not just their rights but their needs for their children and grandparents and themselves, I feel deeply that I should not be sending even tacit signals that this is either ‘normal’ or ‘ok’.”

This adds Faithless to a lengthening list of artists, including Elvis Costello, the Pixies and the Gorillaz, who have refused to perform in Israel while it occupies parts of the Palestinian territories.
Faithless had played in Israel in the past.

Check out the justification their lead guitarist gives for choosing only to boycott Israel:
“A question that usually arises is why we aren’t boycotting the US or Britain because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said. “We can’t boycott Britain -- we live here -- and in the US the music market is so big that it would go unnoticed. If you’re serious about trying to make the world a better place, you have to be strategic.”
So, according to these brilliant rock stars, it is just as problematic to play in the UK and US as it is in Israel, but since it is not practical - they won't bother. Not to mention how their entire incomes would go down to zero.

Isn't it great to see how dedicated these jokers are to morality?

But it gets even better. Faithless has no problem playing in the UAE, for example, where there are massive human rights violations against its majority migrant population.

Even better, but Faithless has performed in Beirut - in a counry that has literal laws on the books that discriminate against Palestinian Arabs, severely restricting their ability to get jobs, to own land, and forbidding their becoming citizens.

Would this enlightened band consider boycotting these two relatively small countries where their political statement would be noticed by many people? Yeah, right.

Faithless pretends they are somehow making a moral statement by shunning Israel when in fact they are simply blindly following the crowd without knowing the first thing about the topic they are pretending to be so worked up about.

Friday, February 25, 2011

PalArabs burn photos of Obama - wearing a kippah

From AP:
A Palestinian protester holds a burning Israeli flag with a photo of American President Barack Obama during a demonstration against an American veto last week on a U.N. resolution that would have condemned Israel, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011.
AP notices the flag is burning, but doesn't seem quite to notice the Jewish star on Obama's face - or that they found a photo of him wearing a kippah.

But don't call them anti-semitic. That just makes them angrier.

So what can you do for "Apartheid Week"? (updated)

Here are some resources so you can help battle the haters during "Israel Apartheid Week" on college campuses.

1) I put all of my relevant posters on their own page; please feel free to forward them to any college Hillels or Jewish/Zionist campus organizations to use as they wish.

2) StandWithUs is working very hard on this issue. Here's part of their press release:
"Israel Apartheid Week" (IAW) campaigners will be in for a surprise when they mount their seventh annual hate fest this spring. Pro-Israel students on campuses are ready for them.

Over the past year, StandWithUs campus coordinators have worked closely with students to brainstorm about the responses that would be most effective on their campuses.

"Each campus climate is different," explained StandWithUs co-founder and CEO Roz Rothstein. "A hard-hitting, aggressive response might work at one school but alienate students at another school. At some schools, students feel that materials highlighting Israel's democracy and remarkable achievements would most influence the student body. Our philosophy is that the students usually know best about their campus climate, and they have many great ideas. Our mission on campuses is to empower students to educate their campus communities. We help them develop strategies, programs, and slogans for flyers and signs that we then produce, and we help with funding for speakers and other events. If they request a certain custom flyer or booklet, our graphics team designs and produces it."

StandWithUs has a big arsenal of materials for students on any type of campus. There are hard-hitting educational flyers that cover topics ranging from terrorism to the life-saving purpose of the security fence, the facts about water, checkpoints, Hamas, and Israel's peace efforts. Other materials underscore, in detail, why equating Israel with apartheid makes no sense. From the StandWithUs Web site, students can download signs with slogans such as "Israel We Stand With You," "Israel Wants Peace," and "The Fence Saves Lives."

"We are especially proud of our three colorful booklets designed specifically for Apartheid Weeks. One graphically contrasts democratic Israel and apartheid South Africa. Another calls for ending the real apartheid that does exist in the Middle East: gender, religious, sexual, political, and racial apartheid. Anyone who reads this booklet would not be surprised by the eruptions occurring in the Middle East today," said Rothstein. All may be found on the right-hand side of the homepage at www.standwithus.com.
Their material is uniformly excellent. Here's their latest booklet, and here's their video showing what BDS is really about:


3) A Facebook page has posters that spoof IAW posters, meant to be posted next to the others. Here's one.

4) A 2006 resource guide.

5) The Israel on Campus Coalition has resources available to help campuses. Here is an interesting publication where they show specifically what some pro-Israel students did to combat the hate groups.

6) Check out the "Wall of Lies."

Egyptian kiddie show: "Liberate Jerusalem from the disgusting Jews"

From MEMRI:


Following are excerpts from the "Ammo Alaa" children's TV show, which aired on Nour Al-Khaleejiyah TV on December 29, 2010.

TV host: Let's see how we should answer the disgusting Jews, who say that Jerusalem belongs to them. What proof do we have that Jerusalem is Islamic? We tell our friends that... Am I making you fall asleep, Mr. Sa'd, or what? Wake up Sa'd... Have a carrot... First of all, we tell the Jews that the Arabs lived in the blessed city of Jerusalem, more than 2,000 years before the first Jew settled in there.

2,000 is a very big number. Not one year, not two, not ten, not a hundred – 2,000 years. That's the first thing. We tell them that the Arabs lived in Jerusalem 2,000 years before the first Jew set foot in it. Okay? Okay!

[..]

The disgusting Jews are getting ready, and they let their little children do many disgusting things, so that they will hate Islam, and kill all our Muslim brothers there.

My advice to you is to place Jerusalem inside our hearts, learn and be smart. When we take exams, we must kill ourselves memorizing. We must do well and be very good Muslims, so we can use our knowledge to liberate Jerusalem.

[...]

Scientists know how to make weapons and things that serve Islam. They can make the Muslims have a strong state, and make a nuclear bomb and an atom bomb, and all those things that make [the Jews] stronger than us.

The show aired in December, so we can rest assured that these attitudes disappeared with Mubarak's exit.

Libya update: Gaddafi's last stand? (updated)

Things are happening very, very quickly in Libya today, and the feeling is in the air that Gaddafi's rule is about to end.

There have been more towns captured by the opposition, and counterattacks by Libyan troops failed to re-take Zawiyah and Misurata.

But the main action is taking place in Tripoli itself today - and it is falling to the opposition, neighborhood by neighborhood, even in the face of deadly attacks. The Souk al Juma and Tajoura areas of Tripoli haves been taken by the opposition. There is lots of shooting in the streets, and many are being killed. Some think the total death toll has passed 2000.

Some are reporting that all that is left is Bab Azizyah, a heavily fortified 6 square-kilometer compound where Gaddafi is presumably holed up. It is said to be able to withstand bombings from the air.

The feeling is that if Tripoli falls, then it is game over, although some fear Gaddafi making it to a neighboring African country and waging new battles from there.

The tweeters are way ahead of the media here.

UPDATE: Gaddafi emerged to speak to supporters at Green Square. And the latest reports are that presumed mercenaries are looking for protests and shooting on sight. So reports that Tripoli is close to falling seem to have been premature.

Islamic Jihad starts a full-time satellite channel today

Islamic Jihad mouthpiece Palestine Today will introduce a 24-hour satellite channel tonight, after a successful trial run for the past three months.

It will be available on Nilesat and Arabsat.

Note the stylized map of "Palestine" in the logo.

I smell Iranian money.

Robert Fisk thinks Gaddafi is ALMOST as bad as Netanyahu

For a columnist with a history of asinine and idiotic articles, Robert Fisk still has the ability to surprise.

Check out his review of Gaddafi's rambling, incoherent speech on Wednesday:

He had not even begun to use bullets against his enemies – a palpable lie – and "any use of force against the authority of the state shall be punished by death", in itself a palpable truth which Libyans knew all too well without the future tense of Gaddafi's threat. On and on and on he ranted. Like everything Gaddafi, it was very impressive – but went on far too long.

He cursed the people of Benghazi who had already liberated their city – "just wait until the police return to restore order", this dessicated man promised without a smile. His enemies were Islamists, the CIA, the British and the "dogs" of the international press. Yes, we are always dogs, aren't we? I was long ago depicted in a Bahraini newspaper cartoon (Crown Prince, please note) as a rabid dog, worthy of liquidation. But like Gaddafi's speeches, that's par for the course. And then came my favourite bit of the whole Gaddafi exegesis last night: HE HADN'T EVEN BEGUN TO USE VIOLENCE YET.
So far so good...Fisk is pretty accurately describing Gaddafi's rant (although when watching it, the word "impressive" is certainly not one I would have used.)

But then Fisk can't stop himself from saying this:
Indeed, there were times last night when Gaddafi – in his vengefulness, his contempt for Arabs, for his own people – began to sound very like the speeches of Benjamin Netanyahu. Was there some contact between these two rogues, one wondered, that we didn't know about?
And there we have it.

A poster child for the Left is so filled with utter hate for Israel, that he thinks that Gaddafi's bizarre performance art at times only approached speeches made by Netanyahu?

Even if you believe that Netanyahu is a right-wing Greater Israel zealot - and he is far from it - how can any sane person say that Bibi's speeches have ever been anything but sober?

Can Fisk point to a single Netanyahu speech where he expressed contempt for Arabs? Let alone contempt for his own people?

How in the world can Fisk even float the idea that Gaddafi and Netanyahu are partners in genocide, part of a secret (Jewish, naturally) cabal intent on killing every Arab on the planet? I can imagine the phone call from the Libyan dictator, asking advice from Bibi on how to be more bloodthirsty.

The sad thing is, Fisk can say such things in his little Zionist-hating bubble, without anyone calling him on it. His reporting from the Arab world lately has not been half bad, and he is one of the few reporters who never fell for the "rehabilitated Gaddafi" of 2003.  But Fisk's abject hate for Israel - that in any normal planet would make him a joke - instead makes him a hero in the circles he travels.

Truth be damned - Fisk knows a higher truth, that Israel is a genocidal nation and its leaders are war criminals, far worse than anything the Arab world can produce. Nothing can shake him from his faith in Israel's absolute evil - and Arab dictators' repression is a mere faint echo of Israel's wish to kill, kill, kill.

God only knows why Fisk's murderous Israel hasn't nuked half the planet by now.

(h/t Dan)

Morning links

Iranian warships are just "a message of peace."

Khaled Abu Toameh discerns a bit of hypocrisy among those who are faster at condemning Israel for building houses than they are at Arab dictators slaughtering their own people.

Martin Peretz and Danny Ayalon notice that Israel doesn't seem to have anything to do with Middle East unrest. Who knew?

Gullible amnesia about the Muslim Brotherhood.

Honest Reporting resumes their excellent series on photo bias in the media, and I play a small part.

This weekend the J-Street conference will begin, and its luster has definitely gone down in the past year. Not that the JTA, Forward and other Jewish newspapers will stop their love affair with the fringe group that tries to pretend it is mainstream.

Norway's Foreign Ministry is sponsoring some friendly Israel-bashers in a conference in a "dialogue."

A British fashion designer seems to have gone on a drunken, anti-semitic rant in a Paris restaurant.

A richly deserved Dick of the Week.

(h/t David G, Zach N, Yisrael Medad, Richard Landes' excellent linkdump, Suso, Martin Kramer)

Latest Latma (2/25/11)

The Democracy Song, the UN condemns Israel for Libya, and more:

MSM Roundup (David G)

From David G:


1. Saudi Arabia:
Jackson Diehl writes that the Saudis may be next unless they do something. Maybe they'll reform; maybe they'll help stymie the change in Bahrain.

Abdullah has no love for Obama; he spurned the U.S. president's request for help in the Arab-Israeli peace process and fumed at Obama's turn against Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak. According to the New York Times, the last of their two phone calls during the Egyptian crisis "ended in sharp disagreement."

Still, I'm betting that Abdullah would rather be a Gorbachev than a Brezhnev. Rather than invade, he's more likely to embrace the strategy of trying to get ahead of the Arab wave of change before it is too late.

Diehl puts some hope in Adel al Jubeir, who is extremely westernized. (He's also as I recall, as is normal for someone of his background, extremely anti-Israel.)

But if Diehl was sounding a warning, someone may have been listening or anticipating his column. The NYT features

A Saudi Prince’s Plea for Reform By ALWALEED BIN TALAL BIN ABDULAZIZ AL-SAUD

Moreover, Arab countries have been burdened by political systems that have become outmoded and brittle. Their leaderships are tied to patterns of governance that have become irrelevant and ineffective. Decision-making is invariably confined to small circles, with the outcomes largely intended to serve special and self-serving interests. Political participation is often denied, truncated and manipulated to ensure elections that perpetuate one-party rule.

Disheartening as this Arab condition may be, reforming it is neither impossible nor too late. Other societies that were afflicted with similar maladies have managed to restore themselves to health. But we can succeed only if we open our systems to greater political participation, accountability, increased transparency and the empowerment of women as well as youth. The pressing issues of poverty, illiteracy, education and unemployment have to be fully addressed. Initiatives just announced in my country, Saudi Arabia, by King Abdullah are a step in the right direction, but they are only the beginning of a longer journey to broader participation, especially by the younger generation.

Prince Alwaleed is, of course, famous for his post-9/11 offer of $10 million aid to NYC which Mayor Giuliani rejected after Alwaweed suggested that 9/11 is partly America's fault.

There have been a few news stories about the Saudis including this from the WaPo:

16 miles away, Saudi Arabia's watchful eye looms over Bahrain unrest

"Saudi Arabia fears a constitutional monarchy in Bahrain," said Kristin Smith Diwan, an assistant professor at American University who studies Islamic movements in the Persian Gulf region. "It's about empowerment of the Shia and what that might mean for Shia in the eastern province" of Saudi Arabia, she said, in addition to fears about Iran's influence, which she deemed largely unjustified.

"In this current crisis, none of the solutions look good for Saudi Arabia," Diwan said. "A crackdown in Bahrain would be destabilizing. A reform itself would be destabilizing, unless Saudi Arabia was willing to make some reforms."

More on the eastern province of Saudi Arabia here:

The eastern province, by the way, is where the oil is.

2) You may recall in 2004 a group of former diplomats made the news when they condemned the Middle east policies of George W Bush.

The group was organized by the anti-Israel Council on the National Interest. Though they had a very clear agenda, for some reason their stunt was treated as news as a sign of deep discontent in the American foreign policy establishment.

I was surprised to learn that something similar recently happened in Turkey.

Interesting, even as a New York Times story (yesterday) holds up Turkey as an example of what we should be rooting for in Egypt, no one the MSM seems much interested in internal dissension in Turkey.

It's not just how things are reported that reveal the bias of the media, it's also what is (and isn't) reported.

3) NYT: Protests are being held around the region

Interesting note:

The Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement that was banned for decades but is playing an active role in politics here, also pledged to hold protests in Cairo and across the country with similar demands.

After the MSM's studiously ignoring anything about about the Brotherhood, this sentence suggests that it is more influential than we've read until now.

More from around the region in the NYT:

The Washington Post reports that regimes in the Middle East are buying protection.

It might be against protesters. It also might be ...

Amid all the change sweeping the region, the multibillion-dollar business of arms sales to the Middle East may remain the one constant. The rich Persian Gulf states - particularly the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia - are scooping up as much weaponry as they can. Some of it could, in theory, be turned on their own populations. But diplomats and defense industry representatives say the goal is to defend against Iran and to secure energy infrastructure that has become even more valuable with oil topping $100 a barrel.

There's been a tendency to downplay Iran's growing influence in the region. This acknowledges that remaining regimes are concerned about it too.

4) Even as most of the MSM is ignoring Sheikh Qaradawi, Jeffrey Goldberg isn't.

Daily Alert has a summary and a link.

5) A new meme emerging from the anti-Israel left: (h/t Yaacov Lozowick and Martin Kramer who tweeted this.)

Beinart’s take on the situation — and I do not think it is an unusual one among American Jewish leftists and American leftists in general — is equal parts wishful thinking and willful self-deception. His thesis, to the extent that one can be gleaned from Beinart’s grab-bag of homilies, is that Israel is opposed to the Egyptian revolution because it is opposed to Arab democracy. The reason Israel is opposed to Arab democracy is that a democratic Arab world would make it much harder for Israel to do evil unto the Palestinians. Beinart presents no evidence whatsoever that this is actually the case, and it should be noted that the Israeli government has thus far declared no opposition to democracy in Egypt, though it has expressed strong concerns about where the current upheaval in that country may be leading. In Beinart’s eyes, however, even this elementary skepticism is simply incomprehensible and unconscionable. While he admits that “a theocracy that abrogated Egypt’s peace treaty with the Jewish state would be bad for Israel,” he informs us that this is “unlikely” because Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood “abandoned violence decades ago, and declared that it would pursue its Islamist vision through the democratic process.” He asks, “Might the Brotherhood act differently if it gained absolute power? Sure, but it’s hard to foresee a scenario in which that happens,” and reassures us that “Mohammed ElBaradei, the closest thing the Egyptian protest movement has to a leader, has called the peace treaty with Israel ‘rock solid.’” Indeed, Beinart appears to believe that Israel’s concerns about radical Islam are caused by nothing more than paranoia and craven self-interest.

Egyptian: "Unfortunately, my young son wasn't killed by the IDF"

On January 29th, a 10 year old boy named Bilal came home from school in Egypt and saw an anti-Mubarak demonstration nearby.

He immediately went to join the rally, and then was shot three times by Egyptian forces in the abdomen, and he died.

The father wants justice, but he is emphasizing that Bilal had fervently hoped to become a martyr defending Gaza from Israel.

The father told Egyptian newspaper El Shorouk, "He had wished to die in defense of the children of the Intifada in Gaza. But, unfortunately, he was not killed by Israeli soldiers."

What a touching story!

"Apartheid Week" poster #9

I had posted this photo, taken by reader Veet, a few months ago.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hasbara 2.0, part 3: Getting the message across

The latest chapter in my Hasbara 2.0 series for NewsRealBlog is now up.

America in the 1950s and 1960s was also a more outwardly religious nation. No one was insulted at the idea that the Founding Fathers would invoke Scripture and the word “God” was not considered inappropriate to use in public. The idea of a Jewish state in the land of the Bible was simply considered fitting.

As a result, Americans were very receptive to Israel’s narrative. The “barrier” between the two nations was very low, and trust was implicit.

Today the situation is different. Because of decades of propaganda and indoctrination, America is less patriotic and less religious. Moreover, the culture of hard work being its own reward is being slowly replaced with a culture of entitlement. The unity of purpose that America had during World War II – and even after Sputnik – has eroded.

To be sure, the heartland of America remains much as our nation was five decades ago. But on college campuses and in large cities, American ideals are being replaced with a philosophy that is truly dangerous to the nation over the long term.

This is of course a very big topic on its own.

But for Israel, this means that the barrier of communication with Americans has been raised. The constant demonization of Israel in the media and on campus has turned Zionists into “the other,” people no longer to be implicitly trusted. They are now regarded as Goliaths instead of Davids, as bullies instead of the bullied, as religious extremists who cannot be related to by an increasingly secular America.

The barrier is now high, and it must be broken down.
Read the whole thing.

Who knows...I might turn it into a book one day.

"Apartheid Week" poster #8 - different theme

Jews should visit Hebron (Moshe Arens)

Ha'aretz just had a series of articles decrying the idea that Israeli students should visit Hebron as part of their curriculum. After all, the deep Jewish connection to the ancient holy city is not nearly as important as the certainty that Arabs will be upset at Jews visiting it.

As the Ha'aretz editorial said:
Visits by schoolchildren to this place, while ignoring what Israel and the settlers have done there, is anti-educational. The visits will intensify nationalist feelings, faith in power and blindness to the injustices of the occupation.

Star Israel-bashing reporter Gideon Levy was more explicit in his hate of the idea of Jewish nationalism:

Here, too, as at Auschwitz, they will only scare them more and more. At Auschwitz they will make them frightened of the Poles and in Hebron of the Arabs. Everyone always wants to annihilate us. They will return from Hebron excited at having touched the ancient stones and even more blinded from not having touched the people who lived alongside those stones. They will see nothing and learn nothing. As at Auschwitz, they will come home even more nationalist: Hebron forever, and the force of arms.
Ha'aretz, being such a bastion of liberalism, therefore trotted out an opposing viewpoint whose words could be shouted down by the clueless commenters. But at least we have the article itself, by Moshe Arens, who is not religious but very nationalist indeed:
Who are the people, including the editorial writers of this newspaper, who have gone ballistic over the education minister's announcement that students should be taken on heritage trips to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron? Are they Zionists, non-Zionists, post-Zionists or anti-Zionists? Have their roots in the Land of Israel withered over the years, or have they lost hold of their senses in these tumultuous times?

They seem to have forgotten the very foundation of Zionism: that the Jewish State is located in the Land of Israel just because it is the ancient homeland of the Jewish people, and that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem are the icons of the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel - constant reminders to one and all that the Land of Israel is the ancient homeland of the Jewish people, who have returned after 2,000 years in exile.

They seem to have fallen under the spell of the "1967 borders." They are infatuated by the "Green Line" drawn like a scar across the Land of Israel. West of this line Israel is kosher, not an occupier of another people, but east of that line, you had better watch out. These, they hold, are occupied territories where Israel rules over another people, and no Jew should be living there, or God forbid, be allowed to settle there.

So what is this sacrosanct Green Line? It is nothing more than the armistice line agreed between representatives of Israel and Jordan at Rhodes on April 24, 1949. It was never intended to be a border between two nations. It simply represented, with some modifications, the line where the fighting during Israel's War of Independence ceased. The British-officered and -equipped Jordanian Arab Legion that had invaded the newborn state of Israel on May 15, 1948 had reached the point during the fighting where its commander, Glubb Pasha, realized that unless Jordan agreed to a cease-fire, the Israeli army was going to advance to the Jordan River and his army would be powerless to stop it.

The armistice left the biblical heartland of ancient Israel, the mountains of Samaria and Judea, the major historical and biblical sites of the Jewish people, east of the armistice line. The War of Independence brigade commanders Moshe Dayan and Yosef Tabenkin had urged the Israel Defense Forces' General Staff to allow them to capture the Old City of Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron, but they were halted by the cease-fire of October 22, 1948.

With Jordan in control of these areas, not only were Jews not allowed to live there, but during the 18 years of Jordanian occupation, Jews were denied access to the Western Wall, the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel's tomb. Masada, a site visited over the years by almost all Israelis, young and old, came under Israeli control only in March 1949, when IDF units moving from Be'er Sheva reached the Dead Sea at Sodom and Ein Gedi. One can imagine that had this "last-minute" operation not taken place, the very same people who now complain about students visiting the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron would be arguing against visits to Masada, located in "occupied territory."

This perverse objection by some to visits east of the March 1949 armistice lines seems to be part of a wider boycott movement of the whole area. Whether it is Ariel or Hebron, these rootless Israelis will not set foot there. They give credence to the frequently heard Arab propaganda that the Jewish claim of a historic connection to this land is nothing but fiction.

The supporters of the "two-state solution," who insist that Israel withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines and consider Judea and Samaria to be occupied territory, seem to give no thought to assuring contact between the Jewish people and these sites if such a withdrawal were to take place. Was this even on the agenda in the negotiations between Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat, or between Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni and the Palestinian Authority?

Perhaps supporters of the "two-state solution" would prefer to sever the connection between the Jewish people and the sites that are reminders of the Jewish people's connection to the Land of Israel. That might be one explanation for the objections voiced to visits by Israeli students to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

(h/t Elan Miller via Facebook)