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Sunday, September 30, 2007

A new twist on an old joke

An ancient Jewish joke:

Abe is sitting on a bench in a park reading an anti-Semitic newspaper. His friend Solomon walks by, sees the paper, and stops in shock.

“What are you doing reading that disgusting paper?” Solomon asks.

Abe replies, "I like to read about good news. This anti-Semitic paper says the Jews have all the money … the Jews control the banks … the Jews control the press … the Jews control Hollywood. Better to read nothing but good news!”

With that as an introduction, check out this great news courtesy of the Kuwait News Agency:
The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization "ISESCO" on Saturday strongly condemned the opening of a temple by Jewish extremists in the western part of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In a statement, ISESCO described such act as "an aggression against the entire Islamic World" and is a violation of the international law.

It also condemned the Zionist practices against emotions of the Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.

The ISESCO called on all institutions and organizations to protest this aggression against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and halt it, saying that the Jewish extremists have always sought to demolish the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The statement pointed out that the opening of the temple in the western part of the mosque was the beginning to a more serious action.
It's about time that Jews took control of their holiest site! Too bad that only Arab newspapers are reporting this....

"West Bank Qassams" were a hoax

As I suspected last week, the "rockets" that were supposedly caught by Abbas' Fatah security terrorists were a hoax, a photo-op to make it appear that the PA "security" forces have the ability to fight terror. As IMRA reports:

From: Khaled Abu Toameh
To: "Dr. Aaron Lerner"
Sent: Sunday, 30 September, 2007 05:43
Subject: Fatah hoaxes [pls send out]

.....
Last week Fatah managed to sell another hoax to reporters
when it claimed that its security forces had discovered
rocket launchers in Bethlehem that were directed against
Jerusalem. It later turned out that the "rockets" were
simple pipes that has been set up by children who were
trying to imitate Hamas.

But this didn't stop Mahmoud Abbas from claiming that the rockets were real in today's WaPo interview(noted in the same IMRA link.)
(h/t Soccer Dad)

Welcome to Hamastan

From the Times(UK):
Hamas wants you to believe it has created a benevolent sanctuary where once chaos reigned. At the beginning of the journey into Gaza it’s easy to believe that things are better....

Then you start talking to people – in private.

----------

Young men show you bruised limbs and welts on their feet; every girl wears a hijab head covering and, for the first time, women wear niqab – Saudi-style face coverings that reveal only the eyes. And people whisper.

Welcome to Hamastan.

Ahmed Al-Naba’at, 24, sits in his courtyard in an oversized Barcelona shirt. He looks too young to be the father of the three young children who toddle barefoot round the tiny dirt courtyard.

His feet still hurt. Hamas came for him at 2am.

About 30 armed men, their faces masked but wearing the black uniforms and badges of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigade, the military wing of Hamas, had surrounded the house. They covered his eyes and took him away in a car.

“They took me somewhere, I don’t know, a room,” Naba’at says. He has high cheekbones and the near-black skin of his Sudanese ancestry. “They were screaming and beating me, punching me, slapping me on the face,” he says. “Then they tied my legs together and started falaka” – a traditional Arabic torture where the soles of the feet are beaten with sticks. “I relaxed.”

He sees the surprise in my face. “I thought they were going to kill me,” he explains.

“When I realised it’s just falaka, I thought, okay, it’s just torture.”

Qassam dumped him near his home, hours later. It took him half an hour to walk what usually takes two minutes. “You were lucky,” interjects his unsympathetic father, who is sitting against a courtyard wall. “Most of the people they beat, they throw them unconscious in the street and they are not found until the morning.”

His crime? Earlier that night at a party for a friend’s wedding, Naba’at had danced and played a song popular in Gaza – an over-romanticised ballad to Samih al-Madhoun, a Fatah commander executed by Hamas during the fighting. Hamas cameramen had filmed as Madhoun was dragged down the street amid spitting crowds, shot in the stomach, beaten and shot some more. It was shown on Hamas television that night.

The overblown ballad of his death – “Your blood is not for free Samih/You left behind an earthquake/We will not forget you Samih” – is such a Gazan hit that many young people have it on their mobile phones. Hamas, predictably, is furious. Three of Al-Naba’at’s friends who had danced at the wedding were also beaten.

Al-Naba’at, who left school at 14 and worked as a farm labourer and painter, has little recourse. He is too afraid to sleep at home any more. His father is clearly exasperated – like many of the older generation, he thinks his sons should shut up. He points to another son, 17-year-old Mustafa. Hamas came after him when he burnt a Hamas flag: they arrested his father and twin brother until he gave himself up.

Hamas is not just going after the poor. Azil Akhras is a sophisticated 24-year-old woman with heavily kohled eyes, thick, flowing black hair and rouged lips, comfortable in her jeans and tight red shirt. Life used to be shopping, going out – maybe to Roots, a popular Gaza nightclub even though it now serves only soft drinks – and going to the beach. Her life changed dramatically three months ago when Hamas took over Gaza.

“Now, I cover my head when I go in a car. Hamas is at the checkpoints. Last week, they stopped a girl who was not covered and they beat her brother when he tried to protect her.”

She and her sister must be careful; they are alone. Their father, a former government health minister, has fled Gaza to escape Hamas. He has holed up in Ramallah, the West Bank capital, and is unable to return.

It’s not just shopping trips she misses. A university graduate, Akhras had wanted to sit her master’s degree; she wanted to travel. “I had an idea, I wanted to be famous in history. Maybe a journalist,” she says. “Now, there’s no chance, I can’t even go outside.” She resents Hamas’s repression. “If I decide to cover [my head], it will be for my God, not some Qassam soldier.”

Gazans are living in a climate of fear. The place is eerily serene, not only because of the presence of disciplined Hamas security forces on the streets but, as in all successful police states, because everyone has started policing themselves, afraid of the consequences of stepping over a line not defined in formal law.

Hamas took power after five days of vicious, internecine fighting with the security forces of the PNA, who mostly belong to the rival Fatah organisation co-founded by Yasser Arafat, the late president.

Tension had escalated into clashes between the secular Fatah, who governed for a decade and whose members stack the civil service and security forces, and Hamas, after the religious party won national elections in March 2006.

The differences were exacerbated by Gaza’s isolation. The international community cut funds to the Palestinian government after the Hamas election victory. Israel blocked the millions in tax revenue it was supposed to pass on for imports, and closed the borders intermittently. The economy went into freefall.

A national unity government formed in February failed to end the confrontation. But the speed of the coup in Gaza was shocking.

Hamas fielded only about 7,000 members of the Executive Force, its police force, which was backed by the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigade, the military wing of the party, against the 70,000-strong government forces loyal to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president.

There are many reasons for the swift collapse: the government security forces hadn’t been paid for 18 months and were demoralised by the corruption of their own leaders. Their commanders fled, and many foot soldiers found that their guns were locked in storage. Hamas was better armed, better trained, and fought with the single-mindedness of those with a cause.

It was the worst ever clash among Palestinians: 110 died, and the population is still shocked by the brother-on-brother nature of the battle. Today there is a deadlock, and essentially two Palestinian governments. Abbas fired the Hamas-led coalition government and named a new emergency cabinet, but its powers run only in the West Bank. Hamas ministers refused to step down.

By Palestinian law, the government must be renewed by the parliament, but Hamas dominates the legislature and, anyway, it lacks a quorum: about one-third of its members are in Israeli jails for belonging to Hamas.

The evidence of the ferocity of the fighting can be seen across Gaza City. The headquarters of the Preventive Security Service, the PNA’s main security force, was the last stronghold. Now occupied by the Executive Force, there are gaping holes in the walls from bullets and rockets.

Abbas’s presidential house is guarded by Hamas police who brew tea under new posters of Hamas members killed in the fighting. They shake their heads at the marble floors and luxurious furnishings, contrasting it with the home of Ismail Haniya, the Hamas prime minister, who lives in the al-Shati refugee camp.

At the Muntada, the Palestinian version of the White House, Hamas fighters stroll the corridors, and dust gathers on Abbas’s rosewood desk, where Arafat once sat.

Hamas is extending its control. Nobody is safe if the example of Ashraf Juma, one of their more articulate opponents, is anything to go by. Juma is a senior member of Fatah, who refused to leave his home or office in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city on Egypt’s border. He is one of the most popular politicians in Gaza: when Hamas won the election, sweeping Gaza, he was one of the few elected from the Fatah list.

He was leader of the al-Aqsa hawks during the first intifada (uprising), and hands out money from his own pocket to the needy of both Fatah and Hamas (these days it’s from his brother’s, a wealthy businessman). His latest project is to find £5,000 for school uniforms for poor children.

None of it was any protection from Hamas. It began on the internet. Juma was criticised on the official Hamas website for supposedly sending Abbas the names of people whose salaries should be cut because they were Hamas members.

Then critical leaflets were distributed in the local mosque. “Someone called from Hamas and said, ‘Leave your office. This is a preparation for an attack on you,’ ” he says, sitting at home in a white short-sleeved shirt, dark trousers and sandals.

The next day, as he and his office staff finished evening prayers, blue police cars pulled up, disgorging men in the uniform of the Executive Force. They also wore black masks.

As he opened the door, he saw his secretary, Osama, trying to fend them off with a table. The gunmen began screaming and shot Osama in the thigh. They started beating him in the hallway before running off . “You were my sons. I served you,” he shouted after them.

Juma shakes his balding head, and describes how the situation turned almost farcical. As word spread that he had been attacked, hundreds of people poured into Shifa hospital and packed the emergency room and courtyard.

“There were so many people, the doctors couldn’t work properly. Look, they put stitches in wrong,” he says, ducking his head to show newly healed scars. The crowds carried him out of the hospital before the doctors had finished, afraid that Hamas would return, and grabbed Osama from the operating room before his broken hand and gunshot wound were treated.

They almost killed their hero. Juma fell unconscious, Osama writhed in pain. Hundreds poured into the streets, denouncing the Executive Force. A doctor finally came and treated both of them at home.

It was a night of terror for many. Ismael, 29, an English teacher for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, sits in the front room of the house he had just painted for a marriage that now will never happen.

“My last hours before they came were happy,” recalls Ismael, who doesn’t want his last name used because Hamas threatened to kill him if he told the story.

“I had just gotten engaged and I spent from 7.30pm to 11pm talking with my friends about what we would do for the celebrations,” he says.

Suddenly, his house was surrounded by armed men in black with Qassam Brigade emblems. “One tried to hit me with a stick, and I said, ‘What are you doing? I have done nothing.’ ”

They took him first to the Sayed Sayel Executive Force post. “They put me against a wall and started shouting, ‘Have you been to a demonstration?’ he says. “They became hysterical, shouting, ‘You have been making riots here,’ beating me with sticks, metal bars, stones.”

His ordeal had just begun. “They said, ‘What about the orphans?’ ” Ismael supports two orphans, Allah, who is nine and needs an eye operation, and Dina, who is 11, while trying to get them medical help through an American charity. Hamas said he should have no contact with foreigners.

They beat Ismael for an hour and a half, moving him at one point during the night to Idara Madaneh, the civil administration building in Jabaliya camp. He was blindfolded, but two young teenagers who had been taken in ran to him, screaming “Teacher! Teacher!”, probably recognising him from school.

“Then Hamas started beating me on the arm I was using to try to protect the children,” he says.

He was finally released at 4am with a warning not to talk, and not to go to a hospital. A doctor friend came round and treated him secretly.

Photographs from the June beating show welts on his back, ferocious bruises on his left arm, and a swollen right arm and elbow. He won’t show me his legs out of modesty, but says they were black, and his knees are still not right.

But that was not the worst. His fiancée’s family heard of the incident and believed he was a political activist against Hamas, which would endanger her future. Her father revoked his permission to marry and he has not spoken to his fiancée, a fellow teacher, since then. “My sister tells me she is crying and crying,” Ismael says. Can’t they marry when things calm down? “No chance. This is our tradition.” For the first time in a long story, he brushes away a tear.

“Most of the educated people here feel they are living in a country that doesn’t belong to them,” he says when he recovers.

....

Now that Hamas has solidified power, they are putting in place their system of keeping it. One part of this is a new “ladies unit”, reminiscent of the one in Iran where fierce, make-up-free women drag other women out of cars and away for re-education. Ominously, Hamas have failed so far to set up a court system, so cases are being heard by an Islamic judge.

The one thriving industry is the arms industry. I visit a Qassam area leader in Yibne camp in southern Gaza who has been “cooking” for three days – making the explosive mixture that goes in the rockets they fire into Israel.

He takes me to one of the many armouries they have and shows me the extraordinary range of weapons they manufacture locally, mostly in underground factories. What they can’t make, they smuggle through tunnels from Egypt.

The armoury is in a small, concrete block house, indistinguishable from its neighbours in the squalid maze of the camp. The home-made weapons I see include foot-wide land mines, tank-busting missiles, guns, rocket-propelled grenades, all stored amid the clutter of a bedroom with flowers on the shelf above the bed and a teddy bear lying belly-up on the floor.

He is nervous while we are there – the Israelis target such places if they get information from collaborators, but he opens up when we go to another house for tea, although he won’t give his name. He is unconcerned about his outside image, and this is the true voice of Hamas.

“Of course we will create an Islamic state. This is called for in the Holy Koran,” he says. What would that mean, I ask him.

Well, for one, sharia law. “For a murder, death, not this life sentence there is now. A thief should have his hand cut off. An adulteress must be stoned,” he says, in a chillingly nonchalant voice.

“There is no possibility of recognising Israel,” he says. “All the land is ours. We are taught this by our leaders and they will never compromise.”

His certitude comes from how Hamas recruits. It gets them young; my informant started at 14. Only when he proved himself “mentally and spiritually” was he allowed to join Qassam and receive military training.

And not all girls are like Azil Akhras. Gehad Nehan, 19, is studying law at the Hamas-dominated Islamic University in Gaza. She wears glasses, a hijab, and is covered in a navy-blue robe down to her thick black shoes. “Hamas has taken over the police stations and now the life is good.”

She insists women are equal, but as she talks, a different reality is revealed. At the university, she says, “the boys say woman is weak, her work must be in the home. I say this is wrong”.

Even getting to study was a struggle. “My father hits me and he punishes me and says I should not go to the university. It’s difficult.”

But despite having described Hamastan as virtually a perfect state, she has the yearning of all here to leave. “I want to travel all over the world and see people and how they live.”

Those who have already travelled are the most angry at Hamas.

One restaurant owner begins by extolling Hamas for improving security. He sits at a banquette in his eatery in a yellow polo shirt. Christmas streamers still hang from the ceiling, and Whitney Houston is on the soundtrack.

“And they cancelled all family connections,” he adds. “Before, if someone was connected to the government, they could eat and just not pay.

“But they are not the future for the Palestinian people,” he insists. “We need a government that can deal with the international community.” Despite growing dissatisfaction such as his, there is little sign that the green flags of Hamastan will be coming down any time soon.

... Back in Gaza City, Salah Rajoub is happy enough to testify that the streets have become much safer under Hamas. ‘When you see shoppers out late at night and old fellows sucking on their hookahs in the cafes, it’s obvious that people are feeling more secure,’ he observes. Yet what lies ahead for Rajoub and his friends is anyone’s guess. ‘Nobody has forgotten how Islamic mobs trashed premises where alcohol was sold and burnt down our only cinema for showing films the imams considered immoral,’ he points out. Reports say that Hamas has already begun ordering dress shops to remove female mannequins and advertisements for ‘immodest’ lingerie from their windows, while hotels have been instructed to refuse rooms to unmarried couples, or face the consequences.

Egypt allows terrorists to cross Rafah into Gaza?

From Reuters:
Scores of Palestinian militants who had been stranded in Egypt since Hamas seized Gaza in June returned to the territory on Sunday, witnesses said, signaling possible new accommodation between Cairo and the Islamist group.

Egypt, the architect of Arab rapprochement with Israel, has straddled a diplomatic fence with Hamas, neither shunning it nor accepting its violent removal of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction from the Gaza Strip.

But in what Hamas sources described as a deal between Hamas and Egypt, around 85 militants crossed into Gaza overnight through Rafah, a terminal on the Egyptian border which had been closed for three months after Abbas's monitors were chased out.

The militants, whom witnesses and Hamas sources said included senior Hamas figures, had refused to avail themselves of an alternative return route to Gaza that runs through neighboring Israel for fear of being arrested by the Israelis.

There was no immediate comment from Cairo.
This story, if true, is troubling on many levels.

It shows Egypt to be collaborating with Hamas.

Even worse, it shows that Egypt is ignoring the agreement that only allowed Rafah to be opened in the presence of the EU monitors. Either that, or somehow the EU gave the green light for this transfer.

Either way, this is something that responsible journalists should follow up on.

An anti-Ahmadinejad article that proves its own point

A microcosm of the Bollinger/Ahmadinejad fiasco can be seen in the following two articles: in the first, a media critic blasts Columbia and the media for their part in the Iranian leader's speech - and then Iran's Press TV distorts this same editorial to make Ahmadinejad look good.

First, the LA Times:
Ahmadinejad walks away with a win
His Columbia engagement gives him what he wants -- legitimacy -- and his hosts look rude to Islamic eyes.
By Tim Rutten
September 29, 2007
One of the world's truly dangerous men, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left New York a clear winner this week, and he can thank the arrogance of the American academy and most of the U.S. news media's studied indifference for his victory.

If the blood-drenched history of the century just past had taught American academics one thing, it should have been that the totalitarian impulse knows no accommodation with reason. You cannot change the totalitarian mind through dialogue or conversation, because totalitarianism -- however ingenious the superstructure of faux ideas with which it surrounds itself -- is a creature of the will and not the mind. That's a large lesson, but what should have made Ahmadinejad's appearance at Columbia University this week a wholly avoidable debacle was the school's knowledge of its own, very specific history.

In the 1930s, Columbia was run by Nicholas Murray Butler, to whose name a special sort of infamy attaches. Butler was an outspoken admirer of Italian fascism and of its leader, Benito Mussolini. The Columbia president, who also was in the forefront of Ivy League efforts to restrict Jewish enrollment, worked tirelessly to build ties between his school and Italian universities, as well as with the powerful fascist student organizations. At one point, a visiting delegation of 350 ardent young Black Shirts serenaded Butler with the fascist anthem.

Butler also was keen to establish connections with Nazi Germany and its universities. In 1933, he invited Hans Luther, Adolf Hitler's ambassador to the United States, to lecture on the Columbia campus. Luther stressed Hitler's "peaceful intentions" toward his European neighbors, and, afterward, Butler gave a reception in his honor. As the emissary of "a friendly people," Luther was "entitled to be received with the greatest courtesy and respect," the Columbia president said at the time.

...

Three years later, Butler sent a delegation of Columbia dignitaries to participate in anniversary celebrations at the University of Heidelberg. That was after Heidelberg had purged all the Jewish professors from its faculty, reformed its curriculum according to Nazi educational theories and publicly burned the unapproved books in its libraries.

It would be interesting to know if any consideration of these events -- and all that followed a decade of engagement and dialogue with fascism -- occurred before Columbia extended a speaking invitation to a man who hopes to see Israel "wiped off the face of the Earth," has denied the Holocaust and is defying the world community in pursuit of nuclear weapons. Perhaps they did and perhaps that's part of what motivated Lee Bollinger, Columbia's president now, to deliver his extraordinarily ill-advised welcoming remarks to Ahmadinejad.

Bollinger clearly had an American audience in mind when he denounced the Iranian leader to his face as a "cruel" and "petty dictator" and described his Holocaust denial as designed to "fool the illiterate and the ignorant." Bollinger's remarks may have taken him off the hook with his domestic critics, but when it came to the international media audience that really counted, Ahmadinejad already had carried the day. The invitation to speak at Columbia already had given him something totalitarian demagogues -- who are as image-conscious as Hollywood stars -- always crave: legitimacy. Bollinger's denunciation was icing on the cake, because the constituency the Iranian leader cares about is scattered across an Islamic world that values hospitality and its courtesies as core social virtues. To that audience, Bollinger looked stunningly ill-mannered; Ahmadinejad dignified and restrained.

Back in Tehran, Mohsen Mirdamadi, a leading Iranian reformer and Ahmadinejad opponent, said Bollinger's blistering remarks "only strengthened" the president back home and "made his radical supporters more determined," According to an Associated Press report, "Many Iranians found the comments insulting, particularly because in Iranian traditions of hospitality, a host should be polite to a guest, no matter what he thinks of him. To many, Ahmadinejad looked like the victim, and hard-liners praised the president's calm demeanor during the event, saying Bollinger was spouting a 'Zionist' line."

All of this was bad enough, but the almost willful refusal of commentators in the American media to provide their audiences with insight into just how sinister Ahmadinejad really is compounded the problem. There are a couple of reasons for the media's general refusal to engage with radical Islamic revivalists, like Ahmadinejad. He belongs to a particularly aggressive school of radical Shiite Islam, the Haghani, which lives in expectation of the imminent coming of the Madhi, a kind of Islamic messiah, who will bring peace and justice -- along with universal Islamic rule -- to the entire world. Serious members of this school -- and Ahmadinejad, who was a brilliant university student, is a very serious member -- believe they must act to speed the Mahdi's coming. "The wave of the Islamic revolution" would soon "reach the entire world," he has promised.

As a fundamentally secular institution, the American press always has had a hard time coming to grips with the fact that Islamists like the Iranian president mean what they say and that they really do believe what they say they believe.
Now, look how Iran's Press TV views this extraordinarily anti-Ahmadinejad article:
Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has returned to Iran "with a win" thanks to his Columbia University speech, a US paper says.

"His Columbia engagement gives him what he wants -legitimacy- and his hosts look rude to Islamic eyes." The Los Angeles Times reported in its Saturday edition.

When the President of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger, introduced President Ahmadinejad to the audiences with the harshest words possible, it seemed that Iran's face had been scratched, but Ahmadinejad's speech spoiled Bollinger's vicious plans, the paper added.

Even to the president's domestic opponents, Bollinger's boorish remarks "only strengthened" Ahmadinejad's situation in the country, the LA Times said.

Many "found the [Bollinger's] comments insulting, particularly because in Iranian traditions of hospitality, a host should be polite to a guest, no matter what he thinks of him." In Columbia University, Ahmadinejad was a "victim, and even hard-liners praised the president's calm demeanor during the event, saying Bollinger was spouting a 'Zionist' line," an Associated Press report said.
Press TV deliberately makes it appear that the LA Times article is referring to Americans being impressed with Ahmadinejad's speech - their purposeful fudging of facts is apparent by adding the word "even" to the AP report quote, which transfers the subject of the sentence from Iranian supporters of Ahmadinejad to American detractors.

The lesson is that even an uncompromising criticism of Ahmadinejad and all he stands for can be twisted by a totalitarian society's unscrupulous press to make it appear as if he was being praised. And Iran's press proves the author's point: even talking negatively about Ahmadinejad will inevitably increase his stature in a Muslim world that craves honor above all.

Because to Muslims in general - specifically those in the Middle East who subscribe to the honor/shame culture - nothing is as disgraceful as being irrelevant. This is the entire mentality behind terrorism, a means to gain world headlines or hurt the dominant West in a sickening bid to feel important. This is how Ahmadinejad sells his nuclear program domestically, as a way to increase Muslim prestige, not energy.

This doesn't mean that we should stop criticizing totalitarian leaders, but it does prove the folly of legitimizing them by giving them their own platform in the nation that they want to see destroyed.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mahmoud Abbas, the warmongering extremist

One of the more glaring double standards in how the media reports about Israelis and Arabs is the use of the word "moderate" and "extremist." Attitudes that would be considered "extreme" should any Israeli hold that position are perfectly fine when Mahmoud Abbas holds a corresponding position.

Here are some of Abbas' viewpoints, made clear today in an interview to be published in Sunday's Washington Post:

* An offer similar to the one made by Clinton at Camp David, giving Palestinian Arabs 92% of the West Bank and Gaza, is completely unacceptable and out of the question. The "moderate" position is that some 400,000 Israeli Jews would have to be uprooted and could not possibly live in a Judenrein Arab Palestine. The 1967 Green Line, which the Arab nations never accepted themselves before 1967, is the sacrosanct borders of the mythical Arab Palestine.

* " I say and have always said that east Jerusalem is an occupied territory. We have to restore it." He is not saying that he would share East Jerusalem with Israel; he is saying that no Jews can live in the ancient Jewish Quarter, let alone the rest of Old Jerusalem which was majority Jewish since the 1880s.

* "
Asked if he would demand to return to his birthplace, Safed, Abbas said: 'This is my right, but how I will use this right is up to me and to the refugees and to the agreement which will take place between us.' " - So he will not be flexible either on his "right" to move to Israel proper, either.

If an Israeli would say that they advocate the transfer of 400,000 Arabs, or that all of Jerusalem should stay under full Israeli control, or that Jews have the right to take back their homes that they had to abandon in Egypt and Yemen and Syria in the 1940s and 1950s, he would be dismissed out-of-hand as being a right-wing extremist who is against peace. But Abbas holds exactly these same positions, showing no flexibility at all in trying for a peaceful compromise.

To be sure, he keeps saying the word "peace" while he is parroting the extreme positions of his predecessor, master terrorist Arafat. And he wears a suit. So he must be moderate!

Latest Western/Zionist plot against Arabs: Pornography

It looks like the Arabs have been a bit naughty on the Internet, and they know exactly who to blame (autotranslated from Ma'an):
Lebanese affairs educational specialist and social researcher Dr. Hassan Reza warned that there are Western and "Zionist" schemes working to destroy Arab and Muslim communities across a large number of pornographic sites on the "Internet".

Dr. Reza explained in an interview with Agence Islamic Republic News that aired or being pornographic sites on the Internet have negative great when the younger generation at the psychological, moral, educational and social.

Reza: "There is an internal struggle when everyone Tstlah it studies the psychological conflict" Ego Supreme "and" gap ", and represented the first control social, legal and religious, with a second instincts and desires, and if the young man found in those locations against morality on the Internet that feeds the negative side in this conflict, the victory will be at the expense of "Ego ideal" any censorship.
I love autotranslated psychobabble!

If this is a Zionist plot, it is spectacularly successful. At this moment, on Google Trends, the number one language searching Google for "sex" is Arabic, with the top country being Egypt.

Omri at Mere Rhetoric just mentioned that a Saudi man divorced his wife for watching a man on TV alone. Maybe Arabs don't need Zionist pornography in order to have a truly skewed viewpoint on women.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Chag sameach!

Wishing all my readers a great Sukkot!

I will not be posting until at least Saturday night. You can always look through my archives, though :)

Christians under attack in Gaza

Arutz-7 reports:
The 2,500 remaining Christians in Gaza have been under attack of late. An 80-year-old Christian woman was recently robbed by a man demanding, "Where is the money, heretic?" Her family members said the "robber would never have dared to attack a Moslem woman that way."

The attack followed a brutal break-in of a Christian church and school several weeks ago. Stocking-clad men hurling grenades blew open the entrances and stole computers and religious items. They also smashed many crucifixes in the buildings.
I must have missed the Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International reports on this phenomenon of religious persecution by Muslims in Gaza.

Of course, some Christians still consider Muslim terrorists to be "resistance fighters."

West Bank Qassams caught by PA?

Given the PA's track record for the truth, this seems equally likely to be true as it is to be a way to make the PA look like an effective security force against those other terrorists.

From YNet:

Palestinian security forces uncovered two rockets ready to be launched in the town of Beit Jala near Jerusalem. A large amount of explosives were also discovered.

Palestinians news agency Ma'an reported that the Bethlehem commander said the rockets seized were a meter-and-a-half long and carried the words "Allah hu akbar".
Ma'an Arabic adds:
It should be noted that attempts to manufacture home-made missiles is not new to the Bethlehem area, and earlier attempt commander Nasser Saladin Brigades martyr Jabr Mute production of such missiles, but the Israeli army arrested the group that helped him and the then Israeli commando unit shot him dead in an assassination.

It seems the sensitivity of the subject in the area of Beit Jala, near the Aida camp, Bethlehem is because it is near the city of Jerusalem and the Western matters, which would not protect the Knesset (parliament headquarters) only ten kilometers away, and there are places important and sensitive political and Israeli away only several kilometers from Beit Jala and north of the city.

For his part, Abu Abir told Ma'an: that the security organs of power (have the ability) to prevent the plans of the bold resistance in the West Bank and surroundings.
That last sentence make me wonder whether it really happened or whether this was staged. The worst terrorists know that a single rocket towards Jerusalem would not be treated with the same relatively hands-off approach that those aimed at Sderot have. The relative autonomy the PA has in most of the West Bank would be gone.

Rockets are terrorist tools, terror is a political act and decisions to shoot or not shoot rockets must be looked in that context. The PalArabs have already managed to gain a great deal because they know how to use terror to get what they want - the world has rewarded them again and again for their terror acts.

The reason that you no longer see Palestinian Arab airplane hijackings as in the 1970s is because while the initial attacks gained them political points, continued terror against the world became counterproductive. Once they changed to exclusively Israeli targets the world heaved a sigh of relief and decided that sacrificing Israel is not such a bad price to pay to avoid themselves being terrorized, and in a very short time Yasir Arafat addressed the UN. Terror is the Palestinian Arabs' best tool to gain their goal of destroying Israel - but it is not that terror hurts Israel so much as terror keeps pressure on Israel to give up yet more "pieces" of land for "peace."

A rocket from Beit Jala would be counterproductive politically so it is unlikely to happen by an organized terror group. Daily Sderot rockets, on the other hand, have been a goldmine - mostly from the perspective of Arab honor, therefore keeping terrorists in power in Gaza. The Israeli response so far has not been strong enough to change that equation. A credible threat of a permanent return to Gaza would, and so would targeting Hamas leaders after every rocket attack.

See this post from 2005, "Pavlov and the Terrorists."

Ahmadinejad postscript

I've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating...

Ahmadinejad cannily talks to Western audiences about the supposed evils of Zionism in an attempt to isolate Israel. The Western press eats it all up, of course, because it makes good copy.

This plan has been in place since the infamous Tehran conference in October of 2005 called "A World Without Zionism." But what doesn't get reported was the name of the October 2004 conference - "A World Without America." Here was its logo:


In the poster for the World Without Zionism conference, an hourglass is shown where the Israeli ball is falling - and the American ball is already on the bottom of the glass, broken:





Also at the World Without Zionism conference, Ahmadinejad said, "They [ask]: 'Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism?' But you had best know that this slogan and this goal are attainable, and surely can be achieved."

The US press is simply ignoring the threats that Iran has made against America and focused only on Israel. But Iran's goals are clear and have been for years: to create a superpower to not only rival but to defeat America, by not only uniting the Muslim world but also by obtaining nuclear weapons.

See my posts here on how the MSM is wrong on Iran, here on a collection of Ahmadinejad's statements, here on his threatening the free world, this post comparing his methods with Hitler, and this early 2006 post on Iran's plans which is still relevant (as well as its own links to earlier postings.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Saudi Vice, episode 6 (double episode) - Protecting Saudi Women



Two Saudi women were walking down the street in Alkhobar. Shockingly, they dared to do this act while wearing (Allah forbid) - makeup.

Luckily, our heroes from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice were on the scene to be able to kindly explain to them the error of their ways.

But these women, who had already proven that they didn't understand their proper role in the world, turned violent. They called the helpful Muttawa "terrorists," and one sprayed them with pepper spray while the other taped the incident on her cell phone.

As a Muttawa spokesperson, um, spokesman explained it: "Two members of the commission were attacked, cursed and sworn at by two women, who were blatantly dolled up."

The Commission sprang into action, and together with Saudi's Best security personnel they were able to subdue the women, who saw the error of their ways and apologized for their improper behavior.

Meanwhile, in Jeddah, many restaurants set up outdoor tables for their customers to eat their Iftar meals during the hot Ramadan nights. The Commission noticed that not only were men sitting at these tables, but their wives and daughters were as well!

Not only that, but some of the women also were "dolled up," wearing the Shaytan's (Satan's) makeup!

The Muttawa didn't hesitate. They immediately banned families from eating together to avoid the horrible crime of women eating in public with their husbands. Wives and daughters were forced to stand next to tables where the head of the household sat in all his splendor.

While the restaurant owners expressed some concern over losing business, they are nothing but infidels who do not realize the importance of maintaining high standards of modesty and decorum. How else can you properly defend women from male advances without forcing them to stay completely away from men?

Once again, the Kingdom is safer because of the courageous actions of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.

Kadima - and Bush - want a Palestinian Arab state more than PalArabs do

The world continues to go topsy-turvy as the West and Kadima blindly pursue the establishment of an Arab-only terror state in two pieces surrounding Israel.

President Bush yesterday said, "I strongly support the creation of a Palestinian state. I believe it's in the interests of the Palestinian people, I believe it's in the interests of Israel to have a democracy living side-by - democracies living side-by-side in peace."

And when the "democracy" elects a terror government - what then? We've already seen the fruits of giving election powers to Palestinian Arabs when they have been raised in an environment that lionizes terror and seethes with hate. I like many things about President Bush, but when he read Natan Sharansky's book, The Case for Democracy, he either fundamentally misunderstood the message or he ignored a crucial part of it - the Town Square test:
If a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm, then that person is living in a fear society, not a free society. We cannot rest until every person living in a "fear society" has finally won their freedom.
All the events in the territories prove that Palestinian ARabs are not ready for free elections, let alone a state, and when the leaders of the world effectively reward them with a state while they continue to support violence then the world is rewarding terror. (Not to mention that after Hamas took over Gaza, Abbas resorted to extreme non-democratic measures to maintain power in the West Bank.)

And it is not only Bush. While Israeli newspapers emphasized Tzipi Livni's speech yesterday saying that a secure Israel is in the Palestinian Arab interest, they ignored what the Palestinian Arab newspapers highlighted about the speech - she said that a Palestinian Arab state is in Israel's interest.

History shows, however, that Palestinian Arabs have not the slightest interest in a state. The could declare a state in Gaza today if they wanted to; they could build all the institutions they want and make a model democratic society in a contiguous area where not a single Jew or Zionist lives. When they were offered a state in 2001 they rejected it, as they did in 1947 when they rejected partition and in 1950 when the West Bankers voluntarily chose to be annexed to Jordan and become Jordanian citizens.

Time and time again the Palestinian Arab leaders have proven that they do not want to establish an Arab state but to destroy a Jewish state. Their refusal to consider compromise on Jerusalem - an ignored part of the Arab world until Zionism came along - is only one proof of this. Their refusal to compromise on the 1967 borders - which the Arab world did not recognize in 1967, but belatedly found to be acceptable after the Six Day War - proves this. Their refusal to push the Arab world to allow Palestinian Arabs to become citizens of their nations, rather to leave them stateless to increase pressure on Israel proves that they don't even care about their own people, let alone statehood. (Does anyone really think that PalArab leaders would welcome some five million Arabs of Palestinian descent moving into the West Bank and Gaza? )

And if Israel debased itself so much as to allow a state to be established on the entire West Bank and Gaza, who is so naive as to think that the leaders of this state would make any serious moves to prevent terrorists to infiltrate Israel from the territories as they did during the '50s and '60s? Who can claim that the Palestinian Arabs, or the Arab world as a whole, would not use this state as a launching pad for further terror and pressure - just as Hezbollah does with Shebaa Farms, you know that Palestinian Arabs will choose even the tiniest border disputes as excuses to keep terror going.

Why shouldn't they? Terror has gotten them this far, and the world is telling them that they can accomplish all of their goals not with freedom and democracy but with violence.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Frenzy over Israeli dates hits Egypt

It is not only Morocco that is freaking out over the existence of Israeli dates in their marketplaces, but even Egypt, that country that signed a peace treaty with the Zionist state some thirty years ago. Because, of course, there is such a great possibility that Israeli fruits are poisoned (presumably to make Egyptian men sterile.) From Palestine Today (autotranslated):
Crept into the Egyptian market varieties of dates in boxes wrapped with the slogan "Star of David" symbol of the State of Israel, in the absence of control bodies concerned.

The newspaper quoted "Egyptians" Egyptian officials that the Israelis came to Egypt during the past few months brought in a shipment dates help Jordanian exporters.

That shipment was packing slogan of production Saudi adhesive tape mask-making in Israel in Hebrew, has met these dates turnout heavily on the supply of supermarkets, shopping Almulat large, and the focus of those dates sold in the markets of Cairo, Giza, Alexandria and Sinai.

Security sources added that the Egyptian Interior Minister Major General Habib al-Adli assigned to the Director of Public Administration DETECTIVES Supply refueling intensive campaigns at all Almulat shops, and supermarkets throughout the republic to control these types of dates and withdrawn from the market as soon as possible.

It was also impose stringent security measures at the customs, cargo village and Alexandria airport to thwart any attempt to introduce spoiled food or poisoned by the Egyptian markets.
It looks like there is a burgeoning underground economy in Arab countries for Israeli goods. Once again, ordinary Arabs are infinitely more practical and clear-headed then their supposed "leaders."

Speaking of, here is a wonderful piece of logic from a Palestinian Arab professor:
"If one kg of Israeli dates is worth about 35 shekels, and the expenses of making one bullet of M16 rifle is worth 8 agora (an Israeli currency unit), that means that the Palestinian consumer contributes to the manufacture of about 44 bullets, which is enough to kill 44 Palestinians."
Not only does all of the Israel profit from dates go directly to bullets to kill Palestinian Arabs, but the very rules of mathematics gets suspended when dealing with Israel. (The math works out to 437 bullets, not 44. The problem is ten times worse!)

One can almost imagine the foaming at the mouth of these self-proclaimed academics and intelligentsia as they do everything in their power to impoverish their fellow Arabs - in the name of "unity."

Hamas hiding behind pregnant women. Literally.

From the Jerusalem Post:
IDF soldiers operating in Nablus on Sunday arrested a Hamas operative who attempted to escape by hiding in a weapons cache located under a pregnant woman's bed.

Soldiers who entered the house where Ahmad Al-Az was believed to be hiding asked the pregnant woman to search under her bed but she refused. The woman was then moved aside and Ahmad was found under the bed with several weapons.

"Israel Occupation Forces Harass Pregnant Woman in her Bed" is how Arab terror apologists would spin this one.

Arab-American: "I am with Israel" (NY Daily News)

I don't know how I missed this piece from last week (h/t Augean Stables):
'I am with Israel': One Arab-American's salute

Despite all the spit, kicks & insults, the Jews would rather build than destroy


EMILIO KARIM DABUL

One of the greatest Arab poets of the 20th century was a Syrian named Nizar Qabbani. He was, in his own way, the Pablo Neruda of the Middle East. His love poems in particular are on a par with anything Don Pablo wrote.

So, it was with great disappointment that I came across one of Qabbani's poems written in the late 1990s, entitled, "I Am With Terrorism." I hoped the title would prove ironic. It didn't. Not even close. In fact, it is one of the most naked, awful pieces of anti-Israel, anti-U.S. drivel I've ever read.

Witness this rhetorical device in which he is able to insult two peoples with one poetic stone:

"I am with terrorism as long as this new world order is shared between America and Israel half-half"

And that is actually one of the more moderate sections of the poem. As an Arab-American, I came away from reading it with a real sense of despair. If one of the great voices of Middle East poetry can do nothing more than recycle the Arabs-as-victims stance, justified in horrendous acts of violence against their "oppressors," then what hope is there ever that Arabs and Israelis will ever know true peace?

Having just passed the sixth anniversary of 9/11 - and in the midst of a new conversation about the so-called "Israel Lobby" that allegedly dominates U.S. foreign policy - I want to offer an antidote to that toxic verse and the other vitriol that has poisoned too much Arab thought.

Israel, with all its imperfections, remains the beacon of light for the Middle East. For that reason, I wish to salute her, not only as one of America's greatest allies in the war on terror, but as one of the true miracle countries of this time or any other.

With no apologies to Qabbani, I give you my twist on his verse:

"I am with Israel

because a people so long denied bread and freedom,

crushed under the wheels of pharaohs, emperors, czars and Führers,

has done more than any other people to free the world from itself.

What single people in history have contributed more to faith, science, philosophy and the arts?

And done so against the greatest odds, with a sword at their throats...

I am with Israel

because my people, so long in the desert,

have not had the courage to acknowledge the great teachers among them,

but instead have turned on them,

blamed them for all evil and shed their blood...

What other people could crawl away from the wreckage of the Holocaust

and, instead of seeking revenge, build the miracle called Israel?

Why, as Wufa Sultan has asked, have there been no Jewish homicide bombers?

Perhaps it is because despite all the spit, kicks and insults they've faced,

along with the constant threat of extinction,

the Jews would rather build than destroy.

I am with Israel

because I am with life,

and because beyond its verdant desert,

Israel offers the knowledge that those most desirous of peace and freedom

are a people who have so long been denied it,

and who with all they know of the world,

look still toward Jerusalem and reach for their enemy's hand."

Dabul, an editor with the American Congress for Truth, is author of "Deadline," a novel about terrorism.

A small peek at Muslim hate - for Muslims

A couple of days ago, some Fatah members shot at a Hamas jeep in Gaza and allegedly injured two people. Some new group named the Abu Ghraib Martyrs or something like that took credit. This is hardly news, and in fact it was only reported in the pro-Fatah Palestine Press Agency.

What is more notable is the vitriol shown for Hamas by the Fatah supporters on the site. This is a bit more graphic than what one would see in even the most raucous Western websites. The autotranslation breaks down when the source material is written poorly, but the gist is pretty clear:

Yes, it was the first good will, God willing winter rain and loss of blood

The Awadnakam you sons of adultery operations Here are the sons of Conquest are you strike again, and tell you that pork lo saying the rain Everyone to hell you build beggars, prostitutes who Basoko Pkponh Zahar of pork and Siam Yellowdog and Haniya Bugger Meselmeh liar and Mashaal Queer Shiites because you analyze this and the Burktm explosions and forward you sons of Conquest heroes and blessed Sutantkm tremendous victory or martyrdom and the mercenaries and lackeys of the Zionist occupation Shiite Iranian Syrian Country

Name of God the Merciful: Oh Burktm Giants blessed you pure driving trigger always blessed Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Al-Quds military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine yes pursued those pigs in Ghorham to Ahgo Almlain those who abandoned their God continued Dharbackm continued Jihad against the enemy of Allah and your enemy, you will bring glory of Jerusalem and Park God you forward Dear Jihadists, With greetings stormy Thundershowers

Blessed hands and wish that the news is true this gap kick Almenkellepin eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and initiator darkest also wish Conquest brave men to be very high security alert and be the person responsible for dealing with only one and that is a link to others so as not to be revealed as not official God as we wish them good selection Mujahideen selection of concealment of work and strict confidentiality, ethics and God used succession

The beginning of the end for owners of the Shiite doctrine in Palestine: Welcome these operations superb indelible lines injustice line and the line We at the hands of these heroes mujahideen sons opened honest

O Lord, drive and hit a shot against the Shiites Humasaoyen Rehana O Lord God of injustice

We say death and disgrace and shame of Savoyen infidel dogs Iran and Syria
And very soon we waited Oh dogs Hamas death and hell and Nhaitakm will not all of you will not exclude you only need one home and declared his innocence of Hamas Alangas
And tomorrow for the warden soon .. It is a struggle .. Jihad victory or martyrdom

May God never ماننساا our land and kill you Dignity sons Conquest and cruel الحمساوي putschists and the scourge of the next The punching of a fire Revolution to Mathdi Aztec destroy Beniankam Obsolescent Yamelchiat death

Kill them and the injuries are not Tafhein These Essou God, you and we each and every bullet you Alvthaoyen O heroes May peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you


As with the Arab/Israeli conflict, the major source for the hate is the humiliation and shame suffered by the losers. The Shiite/Sunni divide, as with the JudeoChristian/Muslim divide, is not nearly as important as the fact that in these cultures there is no greater disgrace than losing a battle that you felt should have won. The words of these people are dripping with the desire for revenge and restoration of what little perceived glory Fatah once had.

Notice also the frequent invocation of "Allah the merciful" as they describe how much they want to butcher the Syrian/Iranian/Shiite/Hamas pigs. I don't think that Islam is as important a factor in their hate as their Arab honor/shame culture, but it certainly is a useful tool in magnifying the seething that is dripping from their keyboards and tongues.

Make no mistake, though - as much as they hate their fellow Muslims, their hatred for the entire non-Muslim world is much greater, with "Zionists" and "Crusaders" at the top of the list. The very idea that people who are raised in such an environment have the ability to even conceive of living in peace with Israel, or on a global level that Arabs or Muslims who subscribe to this worldview can learn to truly accept Western hegemony, is ludicrous. Being the rulers is where honor lies, and being ruled - even indirectly, or even to a small extent - is the definition of disgrace. Avoiding disgrace and trying to recapture honor is the driving force behind the entire Islamic war on the West, and everything else is BS that is meant to obscure this primal, visceral rage.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Abourezk, part 5

More fun from the comments section of the California Literary Review:

  • Brad Brzezinski Says:

    My goodness! You’re all still at it. I salute your indefatigability.

    Mr. Abourezk’s mention of Camp David piqued my interest as this was the issue that led me to takes sides on the Israeli/Arab confab. Given that we had the Israelis and the Palestinians in failed negotiations, why would one simply believe either side? It seems reasonable to at least turn to the mediators for some understanding. In this case, the two chief functionaries were Clinton and Ross, both of whom categorically blamed Arafat.

    Given the enormous cachet that would have attached to solving this issue, it seems highly likely that the mediators did in fact seek a real solution and the balance of probability strongly suggests their accounts should be reliable.

    Even if not, even if the stories about how it was a bad deal are true, it was the best offer ever. (I know this because the media in general was quite adamant and even at that time when I paid less attention to world affairs, I knew the general media was hardly pro-Israel.) Given that Israel was bending so far, what on earth was the point of not only not negotiating further, but starting an Intifada? It speaks volumes.

  • James Abourezk Says:

    I’m given to wonder whether both Elder and Brzezinski are in touch with reality. When Dennis Ross left the government, he returned to a component of the Israeli Lobby to work. I guess it’s OK to identify Wolf Blitzer as a part of the Lobby, mostly because he worked for AIPAC. If these folks deny that AIPAC is part of the Lobby, then I find it impossible to continue this debate.

    And yes, I think Bill Clinton lied a lot about a lot of issues when he was president.

  • Brad Brzezinski Says:

    Fair enough Mr. Abourezk, but I offered an argument even if Clinton & Ross were wrong. You have not countered what I said for that case.

    It also strikes me that if someone working for “a component” of The Lobby is automatically disqualified from talking on this issue, then the same must apply to you on the other side for you have made your biases very plain.

  • Elder Says:

    I appreciate that Mr. Abourezk finally acknowledged a couple of my comments, even if they were extremely peripheral to the major points I was making. (Wolf Blitzer indeed edited an AIPAC newsletter some thirty years ago although he never lobbied for AIPAC, and Dennis Ross indeed works for a pro-Israel think tank now - although I am not aware of any earlier work he may have done for the “Lobby” that Mr. Abourezk implies from the word “returned.”)

    The implication that Mr. Abourezk is making, of course, is that anyone who is pro-Israel on any level is assumed to be a liar.

    While I gave specific reasons why the books written by Ilan Pappe and Clayton Swisher can be considered unreliable, from their own words and/or omissions as well as my own original research, the best that Mr. Abourezk can do to cast aspersions of Ross’ book is to mention that he now works for that evil “Lobby.” Using that logic, of course, would allow us to assume that Abourezk is equally suspect for being an uncompromising supporter of Arab causes. I prefer to stick with facts, not guilt by association, and any problems I have with Mr. Abourezk come from his own words, most specifically his praise for Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists that was mentioned earlier in this thread and that he has studiously ignored so far.

    In the end, the biggest flaw with Abourezk’s positions is that he consistently ascribes the best of intentions to Arab and Muslim countries and the worst of intentions to Israel and, often, the US. In one particularly hilarious paragraph in his review above he says that “both Iran and Syria have proposed a nuclear weapons free Middle East.” The reported events of recent weeks by British journalists who can hardly be considered pro-Israel indicate that not only did Syria have a clandestine nuclear weapons program, but also that there was a major chemical weapons accident this past summer killing dozens of Syrians and Iranian engineers with WMD that were meant to be placed on missiles. But Abourezk, quite willing to publicly assume that anybody who supports Israel is not trustworthy, has no such skepticism about the public pronouncements of dictators and the world’s worst human rights abusers.

    This, in a nutshell, is the problem with Mr. Abourezk’s positions on the Middle East and of the “Israel Lobby.”


Peaceful PalArab weekend

A Hamas member who was shot four days ago by Fatah in the "Shati" camp in Gaza has died.

The Central Gaza headquarters of Fatah al-Yasser was set on fire.

Fatah arrested a Hamas leader in Nablus.

Hamas confiscated a car belonging to a Palestinian Arab TV director.

A peaceful women's rally in Ramallah was hit with tear gas from PalArab security forces.

Our 2007 count of Palestinian Arabs violently killed by each other is now at 527.

Abourezk, part 4

James Abourezk continues to dodge commenting on his terror-supporting performance on Al Manar while trying desperately to find more verbal missiles to shoot at the anti-Palestinian terror crowd:

  • James Abourezk Says:

    I neglected to mention one other book that will help those who are historically deprived with respect to the Middle East. It is: “The Truth About Camp David,” by Clayton Swisher, who interviewed dozens of witnesses to the events both at the U.S.- Syrian summit when Ehud Barak backed away from a promise of a deal, and the Palestinian-Israeli talks later. Unfortunately, as Swisher points out, Israel’s negotiators refused to compromise, but Dennis Ross, who was supposedly a neutral U.S. mediator, got to the press first and told the world that both the Syrians and the Palestinians refused the best deal they were ever offered–just the opposite of what happened.

    Also, my regards to the person who claims to be Wolf Blitzer’s mother. Not realizing that my description of him could be interpreted as anti-Semitic, I had said he was short and asked hostile questions. I probably should have said he was just “not tall,” and that his questions were as “sweet as honey.”

    But you can see how easy it is to be thrown off the subject. We are now discussing Wolf Blitzer’s height rather than his work for the Israeli Lobby back then.

    As well, Alan Dershowitz attacked my in his column which he wrote for the Jerusalem Post. I tried to respond with a comment, but apparently Arabs are not allowed onto that website.

    Mr. Dershowitz came up with something original–he said my remarks on a television interview I did with Almanar television, which is actually Hisbollah’s station, were anti-Semitic.

    I had always thought that Mr. Dershowitz and I could have been friends, except for his support of torture, his efforts to have Norman Finkelstein thrown off the faculty of De Paul University, his plagiarism, which Norman caught him doing, and his defense of O.J. Simpson during the famous murder trial. Mr. Dershowitz will most likely be busy now with O.J.’s latest venture into the world of crime.

    He did a magnificent job, however, of trying to change the subject of what Israel is doing to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, which is to brutally occupy an unwilling population.

  • Elder Says:

    Ah, so now Dennis Ross - who was actually at Camp David - is a liar.

    Of course, Mr. Abourezk is silent on whether Bill Clinton is also a liar for saying that Barak accepted Clinton’s plan and Arafat rejected it. But if he accepts the words of graduate student Clayton Swisher over what Clinton and Ross have said, that is indeed what he is saying.

    (Swisher seems to base much of account on interviews with Saeb Erekat, who is an accomplished liar in his own right - see http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2007/08/laughing-it-up-with-liar.html for some examples. But Swisher’s agenda is clear when he completely fails to mention the official PLO response to Clinton’s offer, where they reject virtually all of it - and it is still on their web site: http://www.nad-plo.org/inner.php?view=nego_nego_clinton_nclinton2p )

    So I just documented proof of what Dennis Ross said from the PLO’s own words that Abourezk’s recommended source inexplicably ignores.

    Another innovation brought to us courtesy of Mr. Abourezk is saying that Wolf Blitzer’s “hostility” towards him is evidence that Blitzer is himself a member of that amazingly powerful Lobby. It appears that the definition of this “lobby” has been watered down to pretty much anyone who is not lockstep with the Abourezks of the world in supporting Syrian and Palestinian terror.

    Apparently, there is another liar in the room: Mr. Abourezk himself. Dershowitz did not call Abourezk anti-semitic in his article in the Jerusalem Post, although he does broadly imply it - in much the same way Abourezk broadly implies that Jews (i.e., “Zionists”) were behind 9/11. I don’t know whether Abourezk’s comments to JPost were indeed censored, but I for one would love to see him actually address what he said on Al-Manar rather than change the subject repeatedly as he has done on this thread (notice that he chooses to attack the weaker Zionist posters on minor topics and ignores my substantive responses and challenges.)

Since I wrote that I saw that Dershowitz has posted essentially the same piece at The Huffington Post, and Abourezk did not comment. Was he being censored there as well?

I emailed The Jerusalem Post to ask if they in fact received any comments from Abourezk.

The book by Clayton Swisher is a partisan joke that invoked Rachel Corrie for dramatic effect. Parts are online here. He does seem to have done a good job documenting what the Camp David participants ate, though. To see a takedown of that book, which no one takes seriously outside the pro-terror crowd, see this post at Peace with Realism, which is where I found out that the book ignored the PLO January 1 2001 response to Clinton.

UPDATE:

  • Elder Says:

    Sorry, but I just had to mention a couple of other things:

    It is difficult to respond to the accusations that Israel-bashers are fond of hammering away at that the Zionists who built Israel were racist bigots hell-bent on ethnically cleansing Palestine of Arabs. How can someone prove that the mindset of the vast majority of Zionists were the exact opposite, that they truly wanted to live in peace with the Arabs despite the daily terror that the Jews of Palestine were subjected to?

    I posted something last week that does in fact go a long way towards proving exactly that - http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2007/09/zionism-and-intense-desire-for-peace.html . I took a single issue of the Zionist Palestine Post from March 10, 1946 and analyzed exactly how the Zionists quoted there, as well as the editors of the paper, wrote about Arabs. The desire to live in peace with the Palestinian Arabs was not just empty words - it was pervasive. I invite anyone to look at the archives of the old Palestine Post and try to find articles that disprove what I am saying. You have two decades of issues available online. The tendency of historians to take individual quotes out of context is reprehensible when it is done for partisan purposes - but here is real source material that cannot be faked that shows, pretty clearly, that Abourezk and Pappe are not being honest in their slander against Zionism.

    I also noticed that the Dershowitz column was also published in the Huffington Post, and Abourezk didn’t have a reply printed there either. Is the HuffPo part of the Israel Lobby as well? (I emailed the Jerusalem Post to ask them whether they censored Abourezk’s reply to Dershowitz.)

    Cheers!

Couple of Sunday morning links

Daled Amos has a good update on the latest from Columbia University inviting Ahmadinejad to speak.
Columbia's "free speech" fig leaf would be more convincing if they would invite someone like David Duke to speak.

Israel Matzav analyzes the latest report about Syrian nukes.
He's been skeptical from the start, always convinced it was chemical WMD, which at this point in time is possibly worse.

Yom Kippur in Afghanistan (h/t Sophia)

Crossing the Rubicon presents A Hard Day's Night - in Yiddish.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Israeli dates sold in Morocco - Muslims freak out

One of the top stories at IslamOnline.net:
RABAT — Branded with Israeli trademark "Bat Sheva", Israeli dates are flooding Moroccan markets during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

"I found dates carrying Israeli trademark in the markets," Abdel-Jalil, a teacher, told IslamOnline.net Saturday, September 22.

Trademarked "Bat Sheva" – the Hebrew name of the town of Beersheba (well, no it isn't - it is the Hebrew name for Bathsheba - EoZ) – the Israeli dates can been seen in abundance on the shelves in eastern and central Morocco.

The "Made in Israel" label is obviously seen on the packages.

"We used to buy dates from Arab countries such as Tunisia," said hajj Mohamed, a dates vendor.

"I myself would not buy dates produced by our enemy," he said.

Mohamed said some merchants are greedy and uncaring.

"They disrespect the sensibilities of Moroccans and are only after money," he said.

He said some retailers are baffling merchants like him and mix Israeli dates with Arab ones.

"The other day, I was shocked to know that some of the dates were made in Israel," he said.

Abdel-Jalil, the teacher, says merchants tend to remove the Israeli label and sell the dates as if they were made in Arab countries like Egypt.

"This is provocative," said Khaled Al-Sufiany, coordinator of the national group for the support of Iraq and Palestine.

"The pro-Israel camp is exploiting Ramadan and slam dunk a trade normalization on the laypeople," he added.

The advocates "are funding the Zionist regime to continue its daily crimes against the Palestinians," he said.

Morocco repeatedly denies any trade relations with Israel.

The North African kingdom closed its trade office in Tel Aviv and the Israeli trade office in Rabat following the outbreak of the 2000 Al-Aqsa intifada.

But non-government groups say that the two countries are having booming ties, especially in the agricultural field.

A recent report by Israel Export Institute said that Israeli exports to Morocco mushroomed by 5.3 percent in the first quarter of 2006.
The comments on the article are even funnier:
could be harmfull

By bilade on 2007-09-22 16:55 (GMT)

israel is known to put chemicals in food they export to arab countries that make you steral. there not harmful chemicals but they make you not have children anymore. so good luck with that!!

By Ahmed on 2007-09-22 20:16 (GMT)

I fully support the previous comment by Bilade commented. I really disappointed by our Muslim bothers not only in Morroco but sadly almost everywhere. And this is prove of that ahadith of our beloved Rassullu allah (S.A.W). Which says that. There is the time will come we (Muslims) will be many but fibble.

I feel very sorry for our brothers in Palestine

By Nawale on 2007-09-22 22:54 (GMT)

I'm a Moroccan girl and I feel manupilated from our government and those merchants that sell us those Israely products without our knowledge.
It's a shame . Hasbona Allah Wani3ema Alewakile


UPDATE: I just saw that Israellycool beat me to this story. But he does have a six hour advantage :)

Israel thwarts Yom Kippur Tel Aviv suicide attack

From Ha'aretz:
A suicide attack in Tel Aviv was thwarted on Saturday when security forces found an explosives belt in an apartment in the city, designated to be used in an attack over the Yom Kippur holiday.

The belt was found Saturday morning in an apartment near the southern end of Allenby Street by the Shin Bet security service, operating with Yarkon District Police.

The apartment was occupied by Palestinians residing there illegally. It was apparently smuggled in parts from the West Bank City of Nablus.

The belt was intended to be used in an attack to be carried out by a suicide bomber who was arrested in Nablus late Thursday, after a three-day operation by the Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet officers.

The IDF had deployed large forces in the Beit Ilma refugee camp in Nablus, in an effort to capture a cell of militants that included members of Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The security services had received intelligence information that the cell was planning to carry out a suicide bombing attack in central Israel during the holidays.

The Shin Bet security service had picked up the trail to the explosives belt when it arrested Nihad Shkirat, the head of the joint Hamas-PFLP cell on Thursday, the army said. Shkirat told investigators he passed the belt to another Palestinian who works in Tel Aviv.

Police arrested that suspect Friday night and were led to the Tel Aviv apartment where they found the belt.

During the three-day operation, IDF Staff Sergeant Ben-Zion Henman was killed, as were two Palestinians, a civilian and an armed PFLP militant.
During the entire week the Palestinian Arabs were complaining about the Israeli operation near Nablus (except, of course, for the part where an IDF soldier was killed - they bragged about that part.)

The world sees Israel arresting Palestinian Arabs (the PalArabs call it "abducting") they it is always condemned as being disproportionate or inflammatory. The 24-hour news cycle can't be expected to relate what happened last week with the fact that possibly dozens of lives were saved this week as a direct result of they perceive as Israeli cruelty.

Objectively speaking, it would be much crueler to let the PalArabs bomb Israeli civilians at will, but the world is not objective.

Friday, September 21, 2007

G'mar chatima tovah 5768 - גמר חתימה טובה

At the moment, my most popular post is one I made 3 years ago wishing everyone a G'mar Chatima Tovah, as many people are now Googling that phrase. (Also popular are my Yom Kippur wishes from 2005 and 2006.) It is nice to see so many people wishing each other to be sealed in the Book of Life!

I wish all of my Jewish readers an easy fast and a meaningful Yom Kippur. I unconditionaly forgive anyone who may have wronged me during this year, and I ask forgiveness for anyone I may have wronged as well.

May we all be sealed in the Book of Life and have a year of peace, prosperity, unity and wisdom.

The Syrian concept of democracy

From Israel HaYom (translated via Daily Alert):
In the last two years, Syria has assassinated its major opponents in Lebanon one after another.

First and foremost, their efforts are directed at killing off members of the Lebanese parliament who oppose Damascus and its policies. Thus, the majority which the anti-Syrian camp in parliament has enjoyed has been narrowed from 72 to 68.

Another one or two assassinations and this camp will equal the pro-Syrian camp, which is led by Shiite organizations at the head of which is Hizbullah.
If you can't get a majority of people to vote your way, just murder those who disagree until the only ones left are on your side!

Of course, not everyone blames Syria for the assassinations:
Hosseini blamed Israel, Iran’s arch regional enemy, for Wednesday’s murder of MP Antoine Ghanem in a mainly Christian neighbourhood of Beirut.

“It comes from ominous plots of the Zionist regime, which has always been threatening Lebanese sovereignty, independence, security and people’s solidarity,” he said in a statement.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

American Yom Kippurs in 19th century newspapers

This article from the 1875 Brooklyn Daily Eagle shows how Yom Kippur was celebrated in 1875 in Brooklyn (when there were only 3 shuls there!):


And this one from the Deseret (Utah) News, written by a Jew who converted to Mormonism in 1889, is also interesting if a bit biased:

40% of Egyptian women have been sexually abused

From YNet:

Yousra, the queen of the silver screen in the Arab world, is not only a beauty but also a highly opinionated actress who views her status as a springboard for conveying social messages. Every year during the Ramadan fast, the peak season for TV viewing in the Arab world, Yousra pushes urgent social issues to the forefront...

"A Case of Public Opinion," the latest Ramadan series, has become the talk of the town even before being aired in 22 Arab countries. Ratings are sky high; no one dares miss the show. This time the queen of the screen from Cairo chose to focus on a topic that Arab society has insisted on burying deep underground: Violent rape and sexual abuse .

The series recounts the story of three young female doctors who work in a respectable hospital in the heart of Cairo; the three are summoned in the middle of the night to treat an urgent case. As they race to the destination from a remote neighborhood, drugged thugs pounce on them from behind the shadows. They are attacked and raped, including the doctor whose pregnancy is very obvious. They weep, cut and bruised, while three knife cuts are evident on the cheek of the department head, portrayed by Yousra.

Ahead of the broadcasts, one of the human rights organizations in Egypt held a referendum among tens of thousands of women. The findings were shocking: 40 percent of respondents admitted that they had been raped and forced to remain silent. An additional 10 percent revealed that they are forced to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace. If they open their mouths, they will lose their jobs.

In a "Case of Public Opinion", the marriage of the star doctor is falling apart. Her husband insists on ignoring the facts, and the legal authorities remove the complaint against one of the rapists, the son of a senior government minister. Even the fate of her two colleagues plays against them, when the hospital director hints that "if they don't shut up, they will be fired."
YNet seems to be mistaken; it is not 40% that have been raped but 40% that have been victims of "inappropriate touching":
Results from our preliminary research efforts (conducted entirely on a volunteer basis) show that sexual harassment is not only a persistent threat to some women, but that it is a widespread issue for all of Egyptian society. Survey results attest that harassment is not limited by age or social class, but hinders the progress of women across demographics. Service workers, housewives and professionals alike all report experiencing sexual harassment. The most common form is inappropriate touching (40% of all respondents), followed by verbal harassment (38%). 30% of respondents reported being harassed on a daily basis and another 12% are harassed almost daily. Only 12% of respondents approached police when harassed, expressing a complete lack of confidence in Egypt's police and legal system to protect them from harassers.
Al Jazeera adds:
Many Egyptian women have stories, usually branded as "shameful" and "embarrassing", of public harassment and even outright sexual assault in public.

...In October 2006, Wael Abbas, a human rights activist, captured video images of throngs of men pulling scarves off veiled women and ganging up on two or three women at a time in downtown Cairo.

One picture even showed a group of girls taking sanctuary in a downtown store, crowds of men waiting at the door as a number of police officers seemed unable to contain the pandemonium.
Apparently, the honor of women is not quite as important in Arab societies as they have been claiming.
(H/T EBoZ)

Why is Rafah closed? Hint: It isn't because of Israel

Jeremy Bowen of the BBC has written another slanted piece about how Israel has turned Gaza into a giant prison, although he threw in a short reference to Sderot to keep his pretense at being impartial.

What he doesn't mention (along with the rest of the MSM) is that the Rafah border crossing into Egypt is not closed because of Israel, but because of Hamas.

When Hamas won the Palestinian Arab elections in January 2006, the EU stopped its supervision of Rafah as per the November 2005 agreement because that agreement was that the EU would only work with Fatah, not Hamas. In April 2006, a new agreement was hammered out where the Rafah crossings came under the responsibility of Mahmoud Abbas, not Hamas, and they re-opened until Gilad Shalit's kidnapping.

Now, with Hamas in control of Gaza, the EUBAM/Rafah team cannot legally reopen Rafah and it has remained closed since June 9th, when Hamas took over. The EUBAM is still there waiting for a change in the situation, but as long as Hamas is in control, they cannot do anything. And the thousands of Palestinian Arabs stranded on the Egyptian side of Rafah were stuck there because of Hamas - the only way to resolves the situation was for Egypt and Israel to go around Hamas and use a border crossing that Hamas could not control.

But blaming Hamas for Gaza's troubles is too close to the Zionist way of thinking, and the BBC cannot bear to be accused of that heinous crime. Much easier, and lazier, to call Gaza a big Israeli "prison."

Attorney General nominee forcing Jew-haters out of woodwork

It appears that Michael Bernard Mukasey is a religious Jew, which is freaking out the usual suspects.

At The People's Voice, a 9-11 "truther" is quite upset as he painstakingly goes through Mukasey's family tree, digging up every Jewish-sounding name he can:

Michael B. Mukasey married Susan Bernstock Saroff in July 1974. They were married by Rabbi Judah Nadich, the first adviser on Jewish Affairs to General Dwight Eisenhower, the commander of the U.S. forces in Europe. Nadich involved in the displaced person (DP) camps and requested that the Jewish DPs have their own camps and receive preferable treatment in such things as food and emmigration to the United States.

See: Judah Nadich (1912 — 2007)

Susan is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Bernstock. Her marriage with Mr. Saroff had ended in divorce.

According to obits in the New York Times, Michael Bernard Mukasey was born in, or about 1941 to Albert Mukasey and his wife, the former Mae Fischer. He has a sister named Rhoda Eckstein, who evidently married a Norbert Eckstein.

Albert Mukasey died in September 1972 and Mae Fischer Mukasey died in February 1975.

At Vanguard News Network (sorry, I won't link to it), the headline is " SURPRISE! Bush Picks KIKE for Attorney General!". (One comment was "Ashkenazim Talmudic serpentilic creature from the black pit of the Lord of Darkness. Put a black brim hat on his head and a long black beard on his face and you will see him as he truly is.")

One person has been spamming investment forums with "This means this traitorous, piece of parasitic filth has dual citizenship with Israel, which is against The Constitution Of The United States Of America. "

On Yahoo Answers, someone posted a question:
"Was the nomination of Jew Michael Mukasey a taunting message to White Christians (like the middle finger)?"


I found this account of him during the 1993 WTC trial interesting:
Given that all of the defendants are Muslims and most of the defense lawyers are Jews, the trial of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and 10 others on terrorism charges has all along had a strange-bedfellows quality. And there was a rare moment of conflict involving religion at the trial last week when the defendants were out of the courtroom on a regular break so they could perform their afternoon Muslim prayers.

With the jury out of the courtroom, Judge Michael B. Mukasey took the bench and, clearly annoyed, announced that a problem had arisen. It seems, the judge said, that the marshals had summoned the defendants in the middle of their prayers and, feeling insulted, they "took the position" that "they are either starting all over, or don't want to come out, or whatever."

"I take the position," the judge said through clenched teeth, "that anybody who isn't in here in five minutes is voluntarily absenting himself. We're going to go ahead without them." And to make up for the lost time, he said, he would sit a bit later than usual.

Judge Mukasey generally is low-key, soft-spoken, kindly, but he clearly wants the trial to move along, and he is impatient when legal arguments, or what he sees as small complaints about the prison conditions of the defendants, slow things down. He frequently cuts lawyers off in mid-sentence and tells them to sit down, or answers a request with a curt "no," offering no explanation.

On the afternoon the defendants refused to return to court before their prayers were finished, Lynne Stewart, the lawyer for Mr. Abdel Rahman, pleaded with the judge to take into account that it is now Ramadan, the monthlong holiday during which Muslims take no food from before dawn until after nightfall.

"I don't care what it is," Judge Mukasey snapped. "I gave a 20-minute break."

Ms. Stewart: "I don't think if someone said, 'I don't care if it's Passover or not,' you would take that very kindly. I wouldn't take it so . . . "

Judge Mukasey interrupted: "Take it kindly or not, they were given 20 minutes. That's ample time. They were to be back here in 20 minutes, or we will go ahead without them. That's the way it is going to get done."

Ms. Stewart: "Judge . . . "

Judge Mukasey: "Period."

A little later, another lawyer, Anthony Ricco, passed along to the judge a request by the defendants to discuss the issue, but Judge Mukasey refused. "I'm not talking to them," he said. Still, he seemed to soften, and when every lawyer on the case promised to talk to the defendants over the weekend and let them know that they had to follow the judge's schedule, he relented in his insistence on proceeding without the defendants. A few minutes later, the 11 men, most of them carrying prayer rugs in their manacled hands, walked back into the courtroom.
Sounds exactly right - allow them to practice their religion properly but don't allow them to use religion to bully everyone else.

This will be interesting!