Monday, December 30, 2013

From Ian:

Football Jihad: The media misses the key point over Anelka's antisemitic gesture
However, most reports avoid the background on the antisemitic French 'comedian' and holocaust denier Dieudonne M’bala M’bala** (see, e.g. here and here). He is the one who invented ‘la quenelle', and he has a string of convictions in French courts for antisemitism, including just last week being found guilty of incitement to hatred and racial discrimination - a conviction which apparently triggered Anelka's response. Hence, not a single report has pointed out the curious nature of the 'defence' used by Anelka (and his club) that he was 'only making a dedication to his comedian friend'. On that basis any public figure doing a Nazi salute could justify it by claiming it is only a dedication to their friend Adolf Hitler for the unjust treatment he got from the media.
The Guardian whitewashes antisemitism of Nicolas Anelka pal, Dieudonné
The Guardian stands alone in whitewashing the “comedian’s” clear record of anti-Jewish rhetoric – another antisemitic sin of omission at the “liberal” broadsheet which has, by now, achieved a well-earned reputation for such curious moral blind spots.
French NBA star Tony Parker also panned for Nazi-like salute
“As a leading sports figure on both sides of the Atlantic, Parker has a special moral obligation to disassociate himself from a gesture that the government of France has identified as anti-Semitic,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Wiesenthal Center’s told the website Algemeiner.
More after the jump.

Headline Fails Over Lebanon Rockets
Early Sunday morning, five Katyusha rockets were fired from south Lebanon, two of which landed in northern Israel near the town of Kiryat Shmona. Israel launched some 20 artillery shells at the source of the rocket fire – a firm yet limited response. So how then did Israel’s limited retaliation morph into these headlines?
Faux equivalence, ‘last-first’ reporting in BBC report on rocket attack from Lebanon
The IDF responded to the attack with artillery fire directed at its source near Marj Ayoun and lodged a complaint with UNIFIL.
So how did the BBC News website report that incident? Visitors to the Middle East home page saw the headline “Israel-Lebanon border fire exchanged” which of course gives readers no indication of which of the two parties mentioned triggered the incident or from where. The sub-heading read:
80% of December missile attacks from Gaza Strip ignored by BBC
Not all missiles fired by terrorist groups from the Gaza Strip land in Israeli territory: a significant proportion of them (some estimates say as many as 40%) fall short, landing in the Strip itself and hence endangering the local civilian population. Even if they eventually fall short, missiles fired do however trigger the early warning sirens which give residents of the area fifteen seconds to find cover from the incoming attack and of course for the local population, every sounding of the ‘Colour Red’ siren is a real incident which demands an instant and rapid response at whatever time of night or day.
Both aspects of this story – that of the residents of the Gaza Strip endangered and sometimes injured or killed by short-fall missiles and that of residents of southern Israel living with the constant threat of missile attacks – are severely under-reported by the BBC.
Wary of rockets, IDF beefs up security on Golan Heights
The IDF, bracing for an increased threat of rocket attacks along the border with Syria, has begun installing air raid sirens and fortified safe zones in all its bases on the Golan Heights.
“The goal we set for ourselves is to provide warning and physical protection to every soldier,” Maj. David Ben-Gigi, the deputy engineering officer for the Golan Heights division, told the IDF’s website.
Hamas Stresses it Views Negotiations, Abbas as Illegitimate
Hamas declared Sunday, on the 5th anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, that it would continue to "fight the Israeli occupation" and "advance national goals," no matter what the outcome of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) might be.
"Our nation (the Palestinians) did not authorize a single person to negotiate with the Occupation," the group declared in a statement, slamming Abbas and the PA.
Elliott Abrams: Mohamad Chatah, RIP
That Hezbollah/Assad alliance continues to plague Lebanon and to take the lives of political leaders and journalists who resist their control. Mohamad Chatah bravely criticized the Assad regime and Hezbollah, even tweeting what proved to be his last critique on the day of his death: "Hezbollah is pressing hard to be granted similar powers in security & foreign policy matters that Syria exercised in Lebanon for 15 yrs." Surely he knew the risks he was taking, which makes his courage and patriotism remarkable.
Anti-Hezbollah Chants at Funeral of Former Lebanese Minister
Friday's attack on Shatah, a Sunni who was a vocal critic of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and his Lebanese ally Hezbollah, has once again stoked sectarian enmities exacerbated by the spillover of Syria's conflict.
"There is no God but God and Hezbollah is the enemy of God," mourners chanted as Shatah’s coffin - draped in green and gold cloth - was carried to a central Beirut mosque, reported Reuters.
No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but Hezbollah has been blamed. The group has denied it was responsible for the assassination, saying it was “heinous” and urging the Lebanese people to be "rational."
Lebanese TV Host Instinctively Blames Israel After Hearing Blast While on Air (VIDEO)
A Lebanese TV host instinctively blamed Israel after hearing a bomb blast while on air. The incident happened on Friday in the Beirut studio of Lebanon’s Future TV, and a video of the incident was published online on Sunday by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
UN troops vow to catch Lebanese rocket launcher
Early Sunday morning, at around 7:30 a.m., at least two Katyusha rockets fired from South Lebanon landed west of the northern Galilee town of Kiryat Shmona. So far, no one has assumed responsibility for the attack.
“It is of paramount importance to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of this attack and we will spare no efforts to this end working in cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces,” said UNIFIL commander Maj. Gen. Paolo Serra. “This is a very serious incident in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701 and is clearly directed at undermining stability in the area.”
Media Council: Seeking Israeli comments is illegal
Local media outlets are not allowed to seek comments from Israeli officials, the government’s media monitoring and licensing arm reminded local outlets Friday.
“The Army is a sovereign issue, and it should be the only source for news in such incidents,” said Abdul-Hadi Mahfouz, the head of the National Media Council.
Officials: Lebanese forces fire on Syrian planes
Security officials say Lebanese forces have fired on Syrian aircraft that violated the country’s airspace.
It was the first time since the outbreak of the Syria’s conflict three years ago that the Lebanese military took action to prevent Syrian warplanes from violating its airspace.
Sworn to Destruction: 20 Threats Iranian Leaders Made Against Israel in 2013
The danger of the Iranian regime is not confined to the rhetoric of its leaders. As demonstrated in the above quotes, Iran’s desire to see Israel destroyed is clear, but even more worrisome is the fact that the Islamic Republic is developing the capabilities that will enable it to carry out its intentions.
The Iranian Armed Forces regularly hold military parades in Tehran. One of the main displays in such parades are truckloads of Shahab-3 missiles, which have a range of 1,300 km. (800 miles) – far enough to strike Israel. Fixed on the front or side of these missile trucks are banners that read, “Israel must be wiped off the map.” The message is often translated into English by the Iranians themselves.
Iran negotiating with Russia over construction of new nuclear plants
Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, announced on Iran’s Channel 1 on Saturday that the new plants will help solve the country’s energy needs, Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported.
He said three or four plants would be built according to the 20-25 year plan to provide 20,000 megawatts of electricity.
Egypt arrests Al-Jazeera TV’s 4-member crew
The ministry says only two Al-Jazeera staff were arrested, an Australian journalist and a second person, a Brotherhood member. It says they were meeting at a five-star Cairo hotel that is used to “spread rumors harming national security.”
Egypt's Interim President Promises Elections Within 7 Months
The timetable means that Egypt would have an elected government by next summer to replace the interim government installed by the army after it ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.
Mansour said that it would not be unconstitutional for presidential elections to be held before parliamentary elections.
Turkey Leaders Blame Jews, Foreign Conspiracies as Political Warfare Rocks Country
Erdogan and his AKP allies have during previous crises sought to link domestic unrest to foreign conspiracies. Their scapegoating has at times been explicitly anti-Semitic, at other times has targeted the United States, and occasionally has implied that Jews are driving anti-Turkish American policies.
Earlier this week Truman National Security Project fellow Joshua Walker noted that the AKP has already blamed Jews, gays, and others for the chaos around the corruption probe. Earlier this week Erdogan ally and then-EU Minister Egemen Bagis reportedly declared that “the people won’t give up on Erdogan because Zionism is past its expiration date.” AKP figures have also already also blasted the US in the context of the corruption probe.
‘Middle East has become a killing field for journalists’
At least 70 journalists were killed on the job around the world in 2013, including 29 who died covering the civil war in Syria and 10 slain in Iraq, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The dead in Syria included a number of citizen journalists working to document combat in their home cities, broadcasters who worked with media outlets affiliated with either the government or the opposition, and a handful of correspondents for the foreign press, including an Al-Jazeera reporter, Mohamed al-Mesalma, who was shot by a sniper.

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