Monday, July 16, 2018

Lebanese Army commander in DC: the 3rd visit

My weekly article for Al-Akbar: "Lebanese Army commander in DC: the 3rd visit".

Success rate of the Paper Dome

"Israel said that in the initial hours of the ceasefire militants had fired two rockets across the border, of which one was intercepted by the Iron Dome system." So is it 50% now? (thanks Basim)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

WINEP: U.S. should occupy 40% of Syria's territory

“Carefully integrated into a larger strategy, a small, nimble U.S. force presence offers a powerful obstacle to two threats—a regenerated Islamic State, and Iran's effort to use Syria as a power projection platform in the heart of the Arab Middle East and against Israel.” “Iranian aims conflict squarely with Israeli security, and the IDF has repeatedly taken action to blunt Syria's transformation into a platform for attacks against the Jewish state.” Second, work out an understanding with Turkey in the north that would permit the United States and its allies to exercise control over 40 percent of Syria's territory, including the country's most resource-rich tier.” (thanks Amir) 

How Ocasio-Cortez has suddenly started to sound like a mainstream Democratic candidate on Israel:

Does not she sound like Bush or Obama or Hillary?

"Margaret Hoover: What is your position on Israel?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Well, I believe absolutely in Israel's right to exist. I am a proponent of a two-state solution. And for me it's not--this is not a referendum I think on the state of Israel. For me, the lens through which I saw this incident, as an activist, as an organizer, is sixty people were killed in Ferguson, Missouri, sixty people were killed in the South Bronx--unarmed--sixty people were killed in Puerto Rico. I just look at that incident more through...through just, as an incident, and to me it would just be completely unacceptable if that happened on our shores. But I am--
MH: Of course the dynamic there in terms of geopolitics--
AOC: Of course
MH: and the war in the Middle East is very different than people expressing their first amendment right to protest.
AOC: Well, yes. But I also think that what people are starting to see at least in the occupation of Palestine is just an increasing crisis of humanitarian condition, and that to me is just where I tend to come from on this issue.
MH: You use the term "the occupation of Palestine"? What did you mean by that?
AOC: Oh, um. [long pause] I think it, what I meant is like the settlements that are increasing in some of these areas and places where Palestinians are experiencing difficulty in access to their housing and homes.
MH: Do you think you can expand on that?
AOC: Yeah, I mean, I think I'd also just [waves hands and laughs] I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue. You know, for me, I'm a firm believer in fighting [possibly "finding"] a two-state solution on this issue, and I'm happy to sit down with leaders on both of this issue, on both of these, for me I just look at things through a human rights lens--and I may not use the right words. [laughs] I know this is a very intense issue.
MH: That's very honest, that's very honest. It's very honest and when, you, you know, get to Washington and you're an elected member of Congress you'll have the opportunity to talk to people on all sides and visit Israel and visit the West Bank and--
AOC: Absolutely, absolutely. And I think that's, that's one of those things that's important too is that, you know, especially with the district that I represent, I come from the South Bronx, I come from a Puerto Rican background, and Middle Eastern politics was not exactly at my kitchen table every night. But, I also recognize that this is an intensely important issue for people in my district, for Americans across the country, and I think what's at least important to communicate is that I'm willing to listen and that I'm willing to learn and evolve on this issue like I think many Americans are."  (transcript from Steven Salaita).

Is this the origin of what we now call "fake news"?

"The Pentagon is developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries, military officials said."

Friday, July 13, 2018

U.S. airstrikes in Syria & Iraq

“Officials admitted last year that strikes against Isis in both Syria and Iraq since 2014 have killed at least 800 civilians, but credible monitoring teams put the toll at at least 6,000.” (thanks Amir)

This is hilarious: Washington Post publishes an article which claims that Samir Ja`ja` is an anti-establishment politician

You have to read this to believe it.  It does not tell you that while Ja`ja` "doubled" the number of seats for his bloc it it is now 15 seats, while the parliamentary bloc of the `Awn movement is 29 seats. (thanks Sean)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Income disparity between Arabs and Jews in Israel

From Eyal:"Prof. Dror Feitelson's blog on statistics and public affairs has a post
and chart up:

Hebrew original:
contrasting the per-household income of Arabs and "Jews" (not sure about the exact definition of Jews for purposes of that chart; I doubt it's properly religious), at different household sizes. The circle sizes indicate the number of households of the different sizes. The income disparity is very stark, usually over 2x for Jews over Arabs. The raw data was published by the Central Bureau of Statistics in Israel, and is based on a statistical survey from 2015."

The world’s worst humanitarian crisis and South Korea

“Much of the anti-refugee rhetoric has taken on Islamophobic overtones,” “The most outspoken critics of the Yemenis have come from conservative Christian groups.” (thanks Amir)

Sunday, July 08, 2018

The Mossad now has the reputation of the incompetent Arab intelligence services of the 1950s: the story of the wrist watch of Elie Cohen

The Mossad has really suffered over the decades.  Its entire reputation (based on lies and fabrications and exaggeration) has been effectively demolished--certainly in the Arab world if not in the Western world.  But even in the West, there were many bungled Mossad operations: the assassination attempt on Khalid Misha`ah which was foiled by one bodyguard, or the famous parading of Mossad agents in Dubai Hotel, or the kidnapping of a man named Hasan Nasrallah because the Mossad experts thought that there was only one Hasan Nasrallah, etc.  The Mossad in my youth had a reputation that it can never fail in its missions, although from the 1980s Admiral Stansfield Turner had it right when he told ABC News that Mossad gets a high score in PR but a much lower score in actual effectiveness.  The recent episode was the press statement by Netanyahu that the Mossad was able in a highly sophisticated operation to snatch the wrist watch of Israeli spy, Elie Cohen.  But within a day the true story was exposed: that the Mossad bought the watch from an auction.  Tomorrow, the Mossad will show off a potato and it will claim that it was once owned by Elie Cohen.  Israel faces really acute strategic deficits that it never suffered before: 1) the Israeli soldier is no more scary to Arab fighters. If anything, it is the other way round.  People in South Lebanon still like to tell stories on how Israeli soldiers were audibly screaming out of fear in the July war of 2006. 2) the Mossad does not have the reputation that it had in the post.  It is a matter of time, really.

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Legacy and Fallacies of Bernard Lewis

My article for Consortium News: "The Legacy and Fallacies of Bernard Lewis".

PS The site does not publish endnotes; you may obtain them by emailing me.

My article in The Intercept on Saudi-Qatari rivalry in Syria

My article in The Intercept on Saudi-Qatari rivalry in Syria.

Obama's foreign policy and Ben Rhodes account in his book: my weekly article

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Obama's Experience in Foreign Policy (and its Difference from that of Trump).

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Justice Anthony Kennedy on Islam and Muslims (from 1993)

From the French archives

From the French archives from 1934: my grandfather, Muhammad As`ad AbuKhalil (among other signatories from Tyre) asks the French commissioner for political representation of South Lebanon.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The funeral of Bazi Zaki Yusuf: a hero in the 1973 war

This is the simple funeral of Gen. Baqi Zaki Yusuf, the military brain behind the destruction (with water cannons) of the Bar-Lev line in the 1973 war.

Did protesters in this Iranian demonstration really chant "death to Palestine" as Drudge Report is claiming?

This is the story from the right-wing Zionist site, but the original video in Persian contains no such chant.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

"A US occupation soldier puts words in Sadr's mouth as only an occupation soldier can"

"He is a pragmatist, and while he would never say it publicly, Sadr appears to understand that Iraq alone — without the United States and its coalition partners — cannot strengthen its security forces to prevent another implosion like what happened from 2013 to 2014". This is incredible. He wrote what Sadr would NOT say, and not what he would say.  (thanks Basim)

The Israeli former minister spying for Iran: much bigger than Elie Cohen of Damascus

Notice that intelligence successes and breakthroughs of Israeli enemies never get any coverage of hype that alleged Israeli successes get. There were some four movies and plays about Elie Cohen (whose tale was largely fictitious and whose contributions were very highly exaggerated and whose exploits were really invented by the Mossad to cover up their failures) and I doubt that there will be one movie about this Israeli spy for Iran.  Notice how muted the Western coverage of the case has been.  This is the biggest but certainly not the only intelligence penetration of the Israeli military-political establishment.  The New York Times in its coverage today made the story about the great Mossad adventure in...arresting the guy and not in Iran's recruitment of the former Israeli minister.

US pushing for Islamic reformism

This is really not new at all: successive US administrations after Sep. 11 have been pushing for this.  In fact, special offices under different names were organized in various departments and agencies.  Also, what is significant about the leaked documents is that the US is blatantly engaged in what we call "colonial feminism"--when sexists and misogynists of Western countries exploit issues of Muslim women in order to dominate their nations.  Obama in his last interview with the former Israeli prison guard at the Atlantic was very clear about his view of Islamic reformism.  

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Obama's foreign policy advisor, Ben Rhodes, really hearts Al-Qa`idah in Syria

In his book, The World as It Is, Obama's foreign policy advisor (who admits changing the speech of Obama at UN to make it more pro-Israel), Ben Rhodes, does not hide his admiration for Al-Qa`idah in Syria: "they were fighting for their lives". p. 197.

Obama's foreign policy: Ben Rhodes and his book

In Ch. 16 of his book, The World As It Is, Ben Rhodes (who admits he was a "member" of AIPAC) admits his role in lobbying against labeling Al-Qa`idah in Syria as terrorists because "it would alienate the same people we wanted to help". (can't cite a page number: it is electronic)

My assessment of the Lebanese elections, Part II, for consortium news

My assessment of the Lebanese elections, Part II

Grotesque in Mecca

This is almost unreal. What the House of Saud has done to the scene of Al-Ka`bah. Religion mixed with the aesthetics of Vegas.

Blogging, tweeting, etc

Some readers have asked: I have not been blogging as much as of late.  It is because it takes so much time and I now post in Arabic (and some in English) on Twitter primarily but also on Facebook.  My accounts are public if someone wishes to follow.  Also, I am now writing regularly at  so you can read me there.

My blog is now banned from certain places in the US

From a reader in the US: " I tried accessing your blog at my job today (clerkship at ...Attorney General's Office) and at my local Target store. It keeps saying your blog is blocked on account of it being "hate and racism." 
Can you believe that. I'm so sorry for this bullshit you have to go through this crap. But yes, I can't read your blog at work or when I'm out anymore it seems. "

Monday, June 11, 2018

Saudi propaganda now talks about Taliban's Shi`ite clerics

"The Iranians let the Arabs and their Some graffiti in Tehran called for expelling Taliban’s Shiite clerics to Afghanistan because they provided significant support to Arabs in Zahedan and Tehran,” he added." (thanks Basim)

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The professional liars and fabricators of Israeli propaganda industry: the Jerusalem Day in Iran

This Israeli propaganda site (carried over by many in the US media) claim that there was a low turnout in Jerusalem Day in Iran (and look at the picture they use).  The truth is in this source and this.

Nasrallah's unprecedented appeal to Israelis (not only to Jews)

One of the ways in which Zionists controlled the discourse about Arab-Israeli conflict in the West is by insisting on presenting to the West whatever they select (and distort and fabricate) about Arab discourse on Zionism and Judaism.  From the days of Yehoshovat Harkabi (former Israeli director of military intelligence and official expert on Arab statements on Judaism and Zionism) to the days of MEMRI--or even the writings of Bernard Lewis: there is a Zionist industry to produce only the ugly and hateful of Arab political discourse.  There is so much about Arab political discourse that is deliberately not being covered by MEMRI and the likes--because it does not fit into the Zionist political agenda.  On Jerusalem Day, Hasan Nasrallah concluded a long speech about Palestine with a direct appeal to Israelis. This is rather unprecedented from an Arab resistance group.  He said (my translation): "We don't want to kill, we don't want to destroy, we dont want to throw anyone into the sea. We say in a fully civil way, ride your ships and planes and return to your countries where you came from.  As for the indigenous Jews who are part of Palestinian people, those stay in Palestine...This is the message of Islam and this is the message of resistance, and this is the message of the people of the region.  No one wants to perpetrate a new Holocaust or anything like that as Netanyahu says".

Friday, June 08, 2018

Ahmad Sa`id is dead

My obituary of Ahmad Sa`id, director of Nasser's Voice of the Arab.

Features of the Classical Orientalism of Bernard Lewis

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Features of the Classical (Zionist) Orientalism of Bernard Lewis".

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

This chant in Jordan today is unprecedented

Chants from Jordan (earlier today): O, Abdullah son of Husayn, listen to this couplet If the change doesn’t occur, big heads shall roll O, Majdi son of Yasin, from where are your millions?” (Reference to Yasin is to the family of Queen Rania). (Naturally, these rhyme in Arabic).

Jordanian protesters have not spared the monarchy in their chants this time around

Contrary to what she says: "stopping short of denouncing the monarchy", the protesters this time were explicit in denouncing the King and even the family of his enriched wife.  (See my twitter page for samples of the chants).

It is amazing how Jordanian regime is getting away with repression

Where are those who specialized in the West in mocking the speeches of Arab rulers when they face protests? Notice how respectful the tone of Western media toward the Jordanian potentate.  In this lousy speech, the King says blatantly that Jordan is not ready for parliamentary rule because there are no parties in Jordan.  Same colonial argument.

The same Arab media propagandists who supported Syrian rebel car bombs in Syria, are appalled that a Jordanian security forces was injured

See here.

Look at this benign definition of what the IMF does in developing countries

"IMF, which is seeking to reform Jordan’s deeply indebted economy. "

Saturday, June 02, 2018

My assessment of the Lebonese election, part I

My assessment of the Lebonese election for consortium news, part I. 

Friday, June 01, 2018

Killed in Gaza

Razan Alnajjar, 21 years old, A Palestinian volunteer nurse, She was shot and killed by an Israeli solider today in Khan Younis south Gaza Strip.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Lies and Fabrications of Liz Sly

In the course of the Syrian war, there has been no Western reporter who has fabricated and lied more than Liz Sly of the Washington Post. She ranks among the top propagandists of that awful war. This is her latest example.

Who plotted Saudi "reform" plans?

“It provided psychological analyses of citizenry in places like Libya under Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. Last year, it was hired by the government of the United Arab Emirates, a close Saudi ally, to conduct a social media campaign against its rival Qatar.”"

God wants you to buy me a private jet

“The televangelist went on to say God told him he needed the Dassault Falcon 7X.” (thanks Amir)

The Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon

HE said that Syrian refugees have made Lebanese feel "like they are strangers in their homeland".  Of course, his attitudes to refugees is a function of their religion.

Noah Feldman and Bernard Lewis

"Lewis was chaperoned by the young Noah Feldman, the legal adviser to Paul Bremer, who was the "provisional coalition administrator" of Iraq after the US invasion."