Monday, August 13, 2018

Elie Wiesel and the Sea is Never full (or empty)

I don't understand why people who like Elie Wiesel and approve of his politics and his posturing would not concede that his writings have no literary value whatsoever.  The titles of his books are more like titles of bad B movies, and the narratives in all of them are like articles you read in the Atlantic (when it was under the editorship of the former Israeli military prison guard).  In the Sea is Never full (how profound), he tells a story: how the Palestinian poet Rashid Husain contacted Wiesel and assured him that he is not a dangerous Arab and not even a PLO and that he is "an Israeli". He met with Wiesel and showed him a list of Israeli repression, injustices, and censorship.  Wiesel said that he did not believe what he heard and that he contacted an Israeli Jewish journalist to verify (because Arabs are liars) and that the Israeli journalist verified what Husayn had told him. So Wiesel went to Golda Meir who basically told him to mind his own business. The irony is that Wiesel never ever criticized Israel.  So it works: what Meir ordered him to do.

Refutation of Zionist propaganda on Al-Arabiyyah: part III

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Refutation of Zionist Propaganda on Al-Arabiyyah: an abstract on Nakbah, Part III."

My interview with the Real News

Here is a link to my interview with The Real News on the political developments in Gaza.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Walid Jumblat and French colonialism

My article for Al-Akhbar: "Walid Jumblat honors French colonialism and reminds it of Mukhtarah's alliance with it."

PS This is the official response of the party's mouthpiece to my article.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Refutation of Zionist propaganda

My weekly article: "Refutation of Zionist Propaganda: the Documentary on Al-Arabiyya: an abstract about Nakbah II".

Damascus book exhibit: censorship in full force

I today learned that the authorities in Syria have banned a whole number of books in the Damascus book exhibit even by writers who support the Syrian regime in the region.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Chulov wrote this propaganda piece for the Saudi regime in order to blame the Muslim Brotherhood for Bin Laden's terrorism

"One of the men he met there was Abdullah Azzam, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood"."  It is being widely circulated by professional Saudi regime propagandists.

Martin Chulov: another lousy Western correspondent in the Middle East with a lousy track record

Look at this: "and the bowls of dates and chocolates that mark the three-day festival that follows it sit on tabletops throughout the house."  He thinks that Muslims (and Arabs) don't eat dates and chocolates except on holy days.  

If you want to know why New York Times (and most Western) correspondents in ME are clueless, read this:

How New York Times correspondents cover the world:
“I depend way too heavily on Google Translate, both for work and in my personal life. For accurate translations I rely on an excellent support staff”.  I like how unaware he is of the blatant incompetence and ill-prepeaation that he is admitting to here.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Refutation of the Zionist documentary on Al-Arabiyya

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Refutation of Zionism in the Documentary of Al-Arabiyyah: An Abstract of An-Nakbah".

Friday, July 27, 2018

Kim Philby: his articles for the Observer

Anyone knows how to get copies of Kim Philby's articles for the Observer? They were so bothersome to Israel that his anti-Zionist bent played a role in his ultimate exposure.   But I could not find any of those articles.  You know Patrick Seale started as his understudy.  

Qatari regime media and ISIS apologia

There is no question that Qatari regime media, especially Al-Quds Al-`Arabi, has provided propaganda cover for ISIS. DO you know that there was not a single ISIS bombing in Syria (including last one) that this regime mouthpiece didn't absolve ISIS from responsibility for it?

Imran Khan

Saudi regime can't be happy about his victory. A Pakistani colleague told me that he talked about improving relations with Iran in his victory speech.  His stance on Syria has been different from the policies of GCC, and has been accused of being an Asad apologist by supporters of Saudi regime.  Personally, I think he is a demagogue.  

Missionary sentenced for molesting children in Haiti

"A missionary from Virginia has pleaded guilty to child sex abuse charges after engaging in illicit acts with at least 15 boys in Haiti."

Democracies/dictatorships

The biggest advantage that democratic governments enjoy is that they managed to convince their population that they are free. This advantage, of course, facilitates repression and control. For purposes of control and repression of populations, democracies have been proven to be far more effective than dictatorships. In fact, the very distinction between dictatorships and democracies is a devious democratic invention to disguise its own repression and deception.

U.S. allies have killed thousands of Yemeni civilians from the air

“More than three years into Yemen’s civil war, more than 16,000 civilians have been killed and injured, the vast majority by airstrikes,” “The United States is playing an essential role in the war, supporting the coalition with intelligence, refueling, technical assistance and billions of dollars in bombs and other weaponry.” (thanks Amir)

The World According to Ben Rhodes

My article for Consortium News: "The World According to Ben Rhodes."

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Trump and Putin in Helsinki

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Trump and Putin in Helsinki: The State of American Intelligence".

His name is Diab Ahmad Diab

Diab Ahmad Diab is the name of a Lebanese who was beheaded a few days ago in Saudi Arabia for smuggling emphatamine pills. You won't see coverage of this beheading in Western or Arab media.

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:
Google-Translated:


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.