Friday, August 31, 2007

"Newly released documents show that FBI agents spied on the widow of Martin Luther King for several years after he was shot dead in 1968."
"Arabic as a terrorist language" (thanks John)
"Thus commenced the smear campaign against the Khalil Gibran International Academy and, specifically, Debbie Almontaser. For the next six months, from blogs to talk shows to cable networks to the right-wing press, the hysteria and hatred never ceased. Regrettably, it worked." (thanks Sellam)
"Le retour de balancier autour d'une approche - sans émotion, ni exclusive - s'imposait. « Ne se serait-on pas fait manipuler par le 14 mars ? » s'interroge-t-on au Quai d'Orsay. Les dérives de l'entourage de l'héritier Saad Hariri pour soudoyer un faux témoin que la France récupéra complaisamment en 2005 risquent d'apparaître au grand jour, lorsque le juge Brammertz, en charge de l'enquête onusienne sur l'assassinat d'Hariri père, remettra son rapport." (thanks Firas)
"The British Zionist Federation cancelled a London appearance by Ha'aretz columnist Danny Rubinstein the day after he called Israel an "apartheid state" at a United Nations conference on Palestinians." (thanks Regan)
An Egyptian actress was sexually harassed by some of her fans. This Hariri-Saudi funded magazine said that in fact she sexually harassed her fans by not dressing "properly".
"Reacting swiftly to Lebanon’s revocation of its ban on his performance piece, Rabih Mroue presented “How Nancy Wished That Everything Was an April Fool’s Joke” twice yesterday at the Theater of the City in Beirut."
Husni Mubarak swears that he is not dead.
The Maronite church in Lebanon wants to make Patriarch Istifan Duwayhi a saint. To help out, As-Safir lists his miracles during his lifetime (well-over the needed three): He became blind in Rome so he prayed to Virgin Mary, and she cured him; he once stopped a fire in Majdal Al-Ma`ush; he froze a fig tree because the people of the village of Ito could not agree--he seems to have had temper; he cured "several people;" he brought down rain in Qannubin; he stopped rain in `Alma coast; he stopped a rock in Qannubin; he contained rain between Ghazir and Qannubin; he prevented insects from destroying crops in Jubayl, Barbarah, and Ihdin; one night, he lit the night for the girl Terez Habib Dahdah in Ihdin. With a record like this, what is delaying the Vatican?
He may be disabled; he may have his hands amputated. But he also is a suspect in US-run Iraq. (AP)
The site printed a "correction". This is the most disingenuous and dishonest correction to date. To say that her comment was "misinterpreted" when she actually said "whom the angry academic labels" is another lie to be added to the initial lie...It seems she needs not only lessons in common sense but in basic English too. And let me say this since I have the attention of Zionist hoodlums: there is a famous saying in Texas. It goes like this: Don't mess with Angry Arab.
PS And another thing. I don't need lessons about prejudice or about anti-Semitism form anybody. I can give lessons in that regard especially to an American right-wing movement that has a history--and present--of harboring anti-Semites.
"The Palestinian envoy to Iraq has said Sudan is willing to take in Palestinian refugees who are stranded on Iraq's borders with Syria and Jordan." (thanks Bill)
I am still waiting for a correction and retraction from this site which simply falsely and maliciously attributed to me something I never said--and would never say. But if by those standard tactics of Zionist hoodlums, they think that they can influence or reduce my pro-Palestinian advocacy, they need to know that 1)I discovered the Palestinian question at the age of 13; 2) my aunt Nadia used to refer to me as mule-headed. Oh, and I just noticed that the timing of the lie coincided with the counter of my site reaching the number 2 million. A coincidence, I am sure.
So somebody lied about me on National Review site, and now Campus Watch runs with the lie. Standard tactics of Zionist hoodlums.
PS For those who asked, I have sent an email to the address asking that they print a correction and retraction. I shall wait and see.
"The report was leaked before it could be doctored by the Bush administration, which promptly denounced it and pledged to . . . doctor it."
Shoes in Thai culture: "One of the controversial clips that led to the ban depicted shoes with the soles pointed toward the king's image — a major taboo in a culture where feet are considered extremely dirty and offensive." (thanks John)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

When Zionist hoodlums can't find dirt on somebody, they just make them up. This writer on National Review website falsely claimed that I referred to Giuliani by an anti-Semitic slur. This is the post (from Harper's) in question.
"In the initial IDF statement after the incident on Tuesday, the army said it "wishes to express sorrow" for the "use of children in terror attacks," implying that the children had been sent by terrorists to collect the rocket launchers. The military has frequently accused terrorist organizations of using teenagers and children in this fashion. But the probe, which was launched immediately after the incident, determined that the children were playing tag..."
To my surprise, an article in Saudi sleaze site, Elaph, revealed that it is banned in...Saudi Arabia (and Iran and Syria).
"Tarcov had always found the link between Strauss and the neocons suspect, but now he had some hard and fast evidence to present to the world that what the neocons said they took from Strauss was not actually there to take. Perhaps in their vanity they’d embraced Strauss’s exoteric discussion of the “noble lie” as the esoteric message only they were smart enough to see."
"The first, about Bechtel, illustrates just how nicely these firms have done. Of Bechtel’s 24 sewage, water treatment and electricity projects, only 11, as Sigir puts it, have ‘clearly met their original objectives’. Sigir discovered that, despite this, Bechtel has been quick to submit its invoices, amounting to some $1.3 billion, and that they have been paid promptly by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Baghdad, within the ten days stipulated in Bechtel’s contract. ‘It appeared,’ the Sigir report continues, that USAID ‘did not perform a detailed analysis of the costs being incurred because of the limited time available for review’. Sigir also says that Bechtel charged more than 40 per cent of the contract value as ‘support costs’, and claimed $250 million in ‘a large miscellaneous category’ under the heading ‘Other’." (thanks Laleh)
Conspiracy? What conspiracy? "Allawi Gets a Baathist Endorsement" (thanks E)
"The Arab affairs editor for the Israeli newsaper Ha'aretz, Danny Rubenstein, told participants at a United Nations conference in Brussels Thursday that Israel is an apartheid state." (thanks Regan)
"An Israeli company is installing sophisticated blast protection equipment at Kabul's new airport as the US Army seeks to protect the airport from missiles and car bomb attacks."
"A source at al-Hayat’s office in Riyadh said the government had been upset by recent columns criticising the agriculture ministry’s handling of the mysterious death of some 2,000 camels – so far blamed on poisoning rather than an infectious disease – and articles critical of the health ministry following the death of a young girl after a medical operation." (A source at Al-Hayat told another newspaper that the government was upset at criticisms of the Health Ministry--I kid you not).
Kamal Khalaf At-Tawil on the "beginning of American collapse" in Iraq.
With Ahmad Sa`dat in Israel jail, Israel and Abu Mazen were able to steer the PFLP in the Dahlan direction.
AlArabiya TV is already advertising for a forthcoming "documentary" on the Saudi King. It should be quite objective, no? I mean, from what I saw, his brothers and nephews the princes are all interviewed.
When the Mufti of Lebanon speaks, clerics...doze off. (thanks F.) (Dalati and Nahra)
Today, I had secular nostalgia. I remember reading that Muhammad `Abdul-Wahab planned to put the entire Qur'an to music back in the 1940s and 1950s.
He prayed that Bush keeps him as puppet prime minister.
Israeli occupation soldiers stripped them and arrested them. (AFP)
An excellent "interrogation" of Human Rights Watch's Sarah Leah Whitson in Al-Akhbar.
Joseph writes on the division of Palestine and the Palestinians.
Human Rights Watch is shocked that the Arab people don't admire the Zionist bias of the organization. Just shocked.
Families of of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners in Syrian jails held a press conference in Lebanon yesterday.
"Lebanese perfect the art of torturing, stealing [from], and raping Sri Lankan [female]workers". (As-Safir).
It is really bothering me a lot: Arab media keep mispronouncing the name of the new Turkish president. It is Abdullah Gül and not gul (as in pool). It is üüüüüüüüü. And Angry Arab likes the sound of it too.
"A 10-year-old Palestinian girl and two boys, 10 and 12, were killed by Israeli fire in northern Gaza."
They dared to speak Arabic on a plane: "All passengers on an American Airlines redeye flight to Chicago were ordered off a plane after complaints about a group of Arabic-speaking men." (thanks Amina)
Munir told me that when (the now defunct) Al-Mustaqbal magazine decided to publish the memoirs of Kamal Jumblat in the late 1970s, Walid Jumblat intervened to censor his criticisms of the Syrian regime. (Munir was a witness to the negotiations).
"Since May, charges against two infantrymen and a Marine officer have been dismissed, and dismissal has been recommended for murder charges against a third infantryman. Prosecutors were not able to prove even that the killings violated the American military code of justice."
So why is Salam Fayyad a Palestinian puppet prime minister? Well, it is true that he received 2.4% of the votes (on his list with Hanan Ashrawi) but "The Israelis like Fayyad."
The New York Times says: "Abu Ghraib Swept Under the Carpet"
The New York Times wants you to hate Muslims but not innocent Seikh people: "Although Sikhism has nothing to do with Islam, its members often suffer from anti-Muslim sentiment because their turbans lend them a superficial resemblance to men like the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran and Osama bin Laden. They say law enforcement officers are often ignorant of the difference."
Today, Human Rights Watch is releasing a new report. It will hold the Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank responsible for allowing Israeli bullets into the bodies.
Really strange article by the BBC; as if it was planted by the Israeli embassy. Does the BBC need a list of the tens of Lebanese and Palestinians who have died from wounds caused by Israeli fire in the same period? (thanks David)
There is no coverage whatsoever in the Western or Arabic press of the displacement and harassment of Palestinians in Iraq at the hands of Shi`ite sectarian militias. The New TV had a report the other day but only because Angelina Jolie was visiting them.
"The undeclared war on Arab cuisine" (thanks Yasmine)
"Israeli soccer fans filmed cursing Prophet Muhammad" (thanks Xeres and Sophie)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"And here, Simon allowed the most telling aspect of the story to pass by without remark. An apparently well-meaning Jewish American visitor is able to chuckle and cajole his way past the same border guards who keep lifelong inhabitants of the region from seeing their families, selling their goods, receiving supplies. Crops rot while soldiers sullenly stare at the desperate farmers, but don't despair. We'll be surfing tonight!"
"It is owned by Prince Khaled bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's deputy defence minister and son of its crown prince, Sultan bin Abdul Aziz. It describes itself as "an independent, international and Arab political daily paper"." (thanks Rashid)
If a newspaper is banned in Syria or Iran, Al-Hayat puts it on the front page. When Al-Hayat was banned in Saudi Arabia, it is not mentioned. `Abdur-Rahman Ar-Rashid calls it "professional journalism."
General Dayton Plan II. Brace yourselves; another chapter of the Bush Doctrine.
No figure in Europe bothers me more than Havel: "Former Czech president pulls play from theatre after partner is refused the lead." And his words of wisdom always read as if they were plagiarized from Hallmark cards. And he thinks that he can sound profound if he mentions--merely mentions--Hegel (as in "I ate a potato today; Hegel.")
""Hezbollah is trying to silence criticism of its conduct during the 2006 war," Sarah Leah Whitson, director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa division, said in a statement. "But the fairness and accuracy of our reporting will speak for themselves, whether we hold a press conference or not."" I don't know why Sarah does not mention that Fu'ad Sanyurah and March 14 figures of Bush's favorite "democratically elected" government of Lebanon have also been "trying to silence criticisms" of HRW. Even An-Nahar said in its headline today that the campaign agaisnt HRW was also conducted by the Lebanese government. But wait. I know. She was trying to win favor with the Bush administration and most importantly with Zionists in the US by only mentioning Hizbullah when there was a whole array of groups, parties, and leaders who opposed the HRW's press conference. The only one who supported the HRW's right to hold a press conference in Beirut was former prime minister, Salim Huss (who called on people to express their outrage at HRW's biases in the Middle East). I am glad that HRW was not around during WWII. I am certain that they would have opposed the revolt of the Warsaw ghetto.
As you all know, this site is dedicated to covering the vast hat collection of Maronite Patriarch Sfayr. I think I spotted a new one today. (For other hats, search the archives).
Comrade Fawwas on neglecting social justice in Lebanon.
I am not making this up. Hariri rag is proudly informing its readers that there is a new internet site: Tomorrow, Hariri rag will inform its readers of another new site,
It is not true that Democrats don't have the courage of their convictions. Sen. Durbin just made it clear that he will lead a campaign against dangerous Chinese toys. I mean, is there a danger to this country bigger than Chinese toys?
Khalid Saghiyyah on Lebanese-US partnership.
I just read that the British House of Commons has voted unanimously to erect a statue for Ahmad Fatfat in parliament square. Upon hearing the news, Lebanese people took to the streets and cheered.
Laleh writes on "Orientalism in the camps" of Lebanon.
Ayatullahs-for-Bush: this is the new Iraq. "He said he has the support of Iraq's supreme Shiite religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, and that he talks with him regularly."
For those who asked, my talk in London next week is in Council Room, King’s College, Main Building, Strand from 10:30AM to 11:15AM. (Friday Sep. 7) It is titled: Determinants and Characteristics of Saudi role in Lebanon (the post-civil war years).
"Add another neoconservative adviser on the Middle East to an already impressive roster–Daniel Pipes signed on with Rudy Giuliani’s campaign today. I’d heard Pipes was advising Giuliani and asked him about it yesterday. He told me by e-mail that he had “close relations with several people in the campaign,” but said that he did not have “official connection to it.” He e-mailed back just now to say that, as of today, he has officially signed up with the campaign." (thanks Laleh)
"The Wealthy Get an Extra Shield for Wildfires"
Omar Bakri: another fanatic co-opted by Hariri Inc in Lebanon. (Do you think that Ayman Adh-Dhawhiri will run on Hariri parliamentary list in the next election?) ""From one angle, this is a Syrian conspiracy against the security and stability of Lebanon, against the Future Movement [Tiyar al Mustaqbel], the Siniora government, and the Palestinian camps and their armed factions that are affiliated to the Sunni sect and that counter the armed Shia sect..." (thanks Ghayur)
Of this article by Thomas Friedman, you need to read this: "I don’t know whether the surge is working — too early, too short a visit."
Human Rights Watch and the Lebanon controversy. A reliable source sent me this:
"i dont want to sound like i'm defending them but they have a report about israel's use of weapons too which they are releasing in a few days but their people in new york thought it would be better to release the one on hizballah first to do damage control in the US in anticipation of the one critical of israel, so they can say they covered their bases. i think sanyura was just grandstanding you didnt hear any of this from me of course"
What do you say about Human Rights Watch when Fu'ad Snyurah himself accuses it of pro-Israeli bias?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My article "Between Kamal and Walid Jumblat."
For those who asked me about my talk in London next week. Yes, it is at King's College in London and is open to the public. It is part of a conference on Saudi Arabia. Professor Madawi Rasheed (the organizer) informed me that a link will be available soon, and I shall post it when it becomes available.
Scroll down to see the clients of this Israeli "security" company. (thanks Cheryl)
"Norman Finkelstein, whose work led to a long-running public feud with Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, says he may respond by committing civil disobedience when classes resume Sept. 5. Finkelstein, 53, was denied tenure in June after six years on the DePaul faculty, but he was permitted to teach for the one year remaining on his contract. On Friday, however, the university e-mailed students saying Finkelstein's sole political science course had been canceled. By Monday, the books for the course had been pulled from the DePaul bookstore's shelves."" (thanks Aliyar)
"Saudi Arabia has banned the influential Arab newspaper Al Hayat from distribution in the kingdom, just days after it reported a Saudi man had served as a key figure for an al-Qaida front group in Iraq, journalists and diplomats said Tuesday....One of Saudi Arabia's most influential journalists, Dawood al-Shirian, who is a former regional director at Al Hayat and still writes a weekly column, said he believed there was a different reason for the ban. Al-Shirian, who now is deputy head of Al-Arabiya TV, said Al Hayat staff had told him that Saudi Information Minister Iyad Madani had asked that some writers be stopped from appearing in the newspaper, but that the paper had refused to comply. Madani previously had been considered something of a reformer. "The minister believes that those writers are critical of ministers and not of their performance -- that they are being personal in their criticism," al-Shirian said." (thanks Marc)
"Former interim Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi, who is trying to put together a new coalition to replace the current Baghdad government headed by Nouri al-Maliki, said yesterday that a powerful Washington lobbying firm is working on his behalf, funded by an Iraqi whom he cannot identify. Allawi confirmed on CNN's "Late Edition" yesterday that Barbour Griffith & Rogers had been hired "to help us advocate our views, the views of the nationalistic Iraqis, the nonsectarian Iraqis." Allawi said reports that Barbour Griffith is to receive $300,000 over six months are accurate, "but that these figures are really much less than the figures that are being paid by others, our adversaries." Asked the source of the funds, Allawi said, "I cannot unfortunately divulge his name," adding: "He is a supporter of our program.""
""We need weapons, conventional and advanced ammunition," Gen. Michel Suleiman, commander of the Lebanese Army, said recently. "We didn't get anything but promises and best wishes and some ammunition, but no equipment. It's as though they are telling us, 'die first and assistance will follow.' " The US views the Lebanese Army as key to stabilizing Lebanon and providing a counterweight to the military might of Hizbullah, which Washington classifies as a terrorist organization. But the US traditionally has been reluctant to provide weapons to the Army in case they end up being used against Israel. "The Americans say they want to help us, but we have one big problem in the US, and that's their Congress," the anonymous general says. "They won't even let us have a handgun."" (thanks Ashraf)
"Russian police detained an Israeli man wanted by Interpol for training militants when he arrived at Moscow's Domodedovo airport, Russia's agency for fighting organized crime and terrorism reported Tuesday. Yair Gal Klein, 61, had been sentenced in absentia to 10 years in jail by a Colombian court in 1991 for training militants for drug cartels in the late 1980s, the agency's spokesman said, citing intelligence reports."
"But the president, who has his own very special set of history books..." (thanks Maryam)
"Lebanon renews diplomatic relations with Costa Rica: Tico Times reported that Costa Rica and Lebanon broke diplomatic relations in 1984 after the Islamic League Conference called on Arab states to reconsider their ties with Costa Rica because it chose to maintain its Israeli Embassy in Occupied Jerusalem." (thanks Firas)
Saudi Arabia will open a new embassy in Iraq. That should end the conflict in that country. It is not clear who the new ambassador will be but it is expected that he will be somebody very senior in the Al-Qa`idah organization.
A rare article on Roma people in Lebanon.

Monday, August 27, 2007

An insider source: "Fox TV bought a sitcom called Little Mosque on the Prairie - now a Canadian show, but they will remake it for a US audience."
If you ask my opinion (ask NOW), she makes more sense than Thomas Friedman.
The story of "Layla."
"Theology of War" by Husam `Itani.
Adam suggested that I do a book club in which I recommend books to be read and discussed. Excellent idea for those who may be interested. But I start my semester (at UC, Berkeley) tomorrow, and at California State University, Stanislaus (my main campus) next week--although I will be in London next week (speaking on Saudi Arabia at King's College). So I will be very busy this semester (teaching every weekday between UC and CSU), especially if I will manage to fit a few speaking engagements before January. I will continue to blog daily, as much as I can, but may provide less links. Sometimes I may only post a sneeze or a yawn. Many of you help me by sending me good links. My friends at Electronic Intifada offered me a house on EI if I decided to close shop here. But while everybody close to me wants me to close down the site--because it is so consuming--it will remain open (but not always caramelized). My enemies seem to be too irritated by it. Is that not a good reason to continue?
"Neither Israel nor the American Israel Public Affairs Committee are putting together a proactive campaign to combat the new Stephen Walt-John Mearsheimer book slamming the Israel lobby for allegedly hijacking US foreign policy." (thanks Adam)
"A writer for a national security group set up by a conservative think tank has called on President Bush to declare himself "President for Life" and remove all Arabs from the Middle East so he can "repopulate the country with Americans."Philip Atkinson, author of the book A Study of Our Decline, argues that Bush should have followed the model of Julius Caesar in Iraq, slaughtering all Iraqis who did not comply with his demands. "He could then follow Caesar's example and use his newfound popularity with the military to wield military power to become the first permanent president of America, and end the civil chaos caused by the continually squabbling Congress and the out-of-control Supreme Court."" (thanks Laleh)
Idris Al-Basri: the former Interior Minister of Morocco is one of the most cruel and bloody men in contemporary history. But he was--like all other interior ministers in Arab countries--a henchman for an oppressive regime.
The political courage of Sen. Hillary Clinton. Without fear, and without any equivocation, Sen. Clinton asserted today in an event in Iowa that if elected president she would declare a "war on cancer." That really made news. This clearly sets her apart from all other candidates. As is well-known, most candidates are coming out strongly in support of cancer, while Sen. Obama has made his support for malaria and typhoid a centerpiece of his campaign.
Who but Thomas Friedman would ask such a dumb question: "I spent Friday hanging around the newsroom of Al Jazeera here in Doha, on the Persian Gulf. I asked Arab reporters here what would be the results of a popularity poll in the region between Mr. Bush and bin Laden." As if the only choices for the Arab peoples are Bush or Bin Laden. I think that it is clear from existing evidence that the Arab people are neither for Bush nor for Bin Laden. Get it o New York Times columnist?
When Talal Asad writes, Angry Arab reads--very carefully: "Thinking about "Just War"
To recommend Christiane Amanpour's show on religion is like recommending the phone book as the best book to read on the Arab-Israeli conflict. I was driving and heard the first few minutes, and it was sufficient for me to turn the dial to Mr./Ms. Potato Head's happy hour of news. She started her program by saying something like "the same Shari`ah has been dominating in the region for more than a thousand years" or words to that effect. I do enjoy the decline of CNN: not only is it bad politically, but it is most boring. If I have a choice, I watch Fox News--for entertainment value.
"However, during more than 40 years of Israeli control, the West Bank has become, either consciously or unconsciously, our garbage dump, and particularly that of the settlements and illegal outposts in the area." (thanks Jessica)
"A demonstration has been held in south- east Afghanistan accusing US troops of insulting Islam after they distributed footballs bearing the name of Allah." These kind of stories are part of what makes Angry Arab angrier. So the demonstrators said that they have no problems with the occupation and with the bombs over their heads provided that the footballs don't bear the name of Allah? (thanks Sellam)
Peace is at hand: "Upheaval in the Middle East and Islamic civilisation could cause another world war, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was quoted as saying in an Austrian newspaper interview published on Monday." (thanks Kumar)
"An influential former chief rabbi of Israel has caused controversy by saying its soldiers fall in action because they do not observe Jewish law." (thanks Marc)
A colonialist debate: "A MacArthur-Karzai debate had raged within the administration for months: should the United States run Iraq like Gen. Douglas MacArthur in postwar Japan or seek a local Karzai-like leader and operate behind the scenes? Bremer still believes the MacArthur route was imperative. An exile-dominated Iraqi government would have had no legitimacy or competence. Nor would it have changed the legal fact of the U.S. occupation. “The way we did it gave Iraqis the best chance of a sustainable political process,” he argued. Nonsense, Khalilzad believes. “I feel strongly that the U.S. ruling was wrong. We could have had an interim Iraqi government. I argued, based on Afghanistan, that with forces, diplomacy and money, nothing can happen anyway without your support.” Powell agrees. “Everything was Bremer, the suit, the boots, the whole nine yards.” It was a mistake not to move “more rapidly to putting an Iraqi face on it.”" (And why is Khalilzad's tenure in Afghanistan treated as a success story? Unless his mission was to bring back the Taliban into the country.)
This obituary of Muhsin Mahdi* in Weekly Standard leaves out an important fact: that the late professor opposed US wars in the Middle East. I know that he opposed the 1991 war and the sanctions that followed. Politically, Professor Mahdi was not easy to classify--like many philosophers and professors of philosophy.
*I wrote a previous post on the first tenured Arab professor at Harvard University. Professor George Saliba confirmed that Professor Mahdi was indeed the first one, and that he helped bring professor Sabra.
"For this, Mr Sadr owes some thanks to Saddam Hussein, but a great deal more to those who toppled his dictatorship." (thanks Amina)
"The Israeli ban on deliveries of paper to Gaza is not only threatening to create a shortage of textbooks in the Strip but also shining a spotlight on what constitutes legitimate humanitarian aid. Israel is allowing in food, medicines and fuel, which it sees as essential aid, but not paper, even though many would see education as a vital sector in need of all the support it can get. "Some 200,000 children will go into our classrooms on 1 September, and won't have the books they need," John Ging, the Gaza director of UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, told IRIN."" (thanks Naseer)
"Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Monday praised the Palestinian Authority for rescuing an Israel Defense Forces officer who inadvertently entered the West Bank city of Jenin. "This operation proves that the Palestinian government and its forces are growing stronger in the field relative to the terrorist organizations," Livni said, during a meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayad." (thanks Ali)
"What do Palestinians really think?" by dear Ali.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The students of Ibn Baz in Gaza! (Ibn Baz died not believing that anybody stepped on the moon).
Today, Iraqi puppet prime ministers lashed out at French foreign minister, and two Democratic Senators. He said that Iraq is not a village of the US. Oh, no it is: take a look out your window, o puppet prime minister. And a person who serves both the US and Iranian governments is in no position to speak about the sovereignty of his country.
Massive pro-Saudi demonstration in Beirut. Hariri Muftitititi in Lebanon arranged for a "massive" pro-Saudi demonstration to protest "reports" of threats against the Saudi ambassador in Lebanon. Above is a picture of the entire massive demonstration as displayed in Hariri rag, Al-Mustaqbal. The sign says: "Appreciation, homage, and gratitude to you, o Servant of the Two Holy Sites [they forgot to refer to his service to the IKEA store in Saudi Arabia)". It is signed "People of Lebanon."
"About a hundred Iraqi-Americans rallied this morning outside the Saudi Embassy -- and across the street from The Gate -- in protest of the kingdom's support for Sunni insurgents and terrorists in their home country. Bearing signs and banners that read "Saudi Are Behind 9/11 And Iraqi Suiside Bombing [sic]" and "Wahhabi Saudi Money Kill Our Children," the protesters traveled from across the country to send Saudi Arabia a message." (thanks Talal)
I normally don't link to sleazy Saudi website, Elaph, but this article talks about threats by Mahmud Darwish against Naji Al-`Ali. I can confirm that this is true. (Read it before they take it down). (thanks Hilal)
Ahmad Fatfat (on Munzir Fatfat): read the last paragraph.
A damning report about the plight of the youth in Syria (it was prepared by an official party agency). (thanks to anonymous in Syria)
Sources close to Harakat Ash-Sha`b in Lebanon confirmed to me today that Hizbullah not only betrayed Ibrahim Al-Halabi in the by-election in Beirut, but they also lied to him, having promised to deliver thousands of votes. My sources suspect an under-the-table deal being prepared between Hizbullah and Hariri Inc (mirroring a deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia prior to the presidential election.)
I was informed that I am still blocked in Syria. Let me see if this will remove the block: how much money did the Makhluf family embezzle from Syria? The Syrian government now wants to convince us that `Abdul-Halim Khaddam was the only corrupt official in the country.
"U.S.-led forces said Friday's predawn raid in the Shula district, controlled by cleric Muqtada Sadr's Mahdi Army militia, was in response to an attack on a U.S. patrol in the area. But residents said the U.S. helicopter attack caught many people asleep on their roofs, where they go to escape the stifling heat of apartments that get only an hour or two of electricity each day. Hospital officials reported that two female bodies were among those brought to two local morgues, and a Sadr spokesman said four women had been killed. Angry relatives and neighbors vowed revenge as they carried the victims' coffins through the streets."
"Al-Karnawi's family claims the troops shot the boy dead after they had already wounded him. Family members added that the boy's mother told the soldiers that he was an Israeli citizen. Family members were later outraged when an ambulance driver transporting the boy's body to the Bedouin town of Rahat refused to enter the city. The driver was bringing al-Karnawi's body back from the National Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir, where it had been autopsied."
The most stupid interview: in the New York Times Magazine. Here is by far the most stupid interview. Let us begin with an intelligent foreign policy question:
"Didn’t President Ahmadinejad begin his career as one of the guards? In photographs, I always think he looks more like a homely professor than a tyrant. Yes. He’s so dangerous, but he looks like a little mouse." And then she asks this: "What was it like growing up as a Jew in a Muslim country? Every morning before classes the entire school would line up in the schoolyard and sing revolutionary songs. Afterward we would chant: “Marg bar America! Marg bar Israel! — Death to America! Death to Israel!” Did school officials know you were Jewish? Yes, but they view Judaism and Zionism as different entities. They may have some tolerance for the religion, but Israel is Zionism, and that’s the evil. As they say, the big Satan is America, and the little Satan is Israel." Does the New York Times really want to know what was it like growing up as a Jew in a Muslim country? I can help here. It is comparable to growing up as a non-Jew in a Jewish country, LIKE ISRAEL. Did you get it, o New York Times? Here, our native informant helps the New York Times readers in understanding the cultural codes of Middle East culture: "I would think that Iranian-born women see memoir-writing as a kind of protest against a society that demands so much stillness and silence of them. Perhaps. Even Farsi, as a language, is elusive and indirect. There’s this whole idea of taarof — you say something you don’t mean, and the other person is supposed to pick up on it. For example? If I am visiting you, I may say, “It is getting late; I must go,” and you say, “No, please stay,” and I am supposed to know that you really want me to go. People have to pick up on codes." Oh, really? What about shoes? Tell me, o expert on Middle East culture? Do they get offended if you throw shoes at them? Oh, and here is taarof for you: You have nothing interesting to say; you are quite boring. And I mean that literally. Did you understand, or shall I add more hints by using taarof?
Heroin-addicts-for-Bush: it is a surge. It is a surge.
"The Great Iraq Swindle" (thanks Abdirahman)
"Saad Hariri, a son of former Lebanese prime minister Rafique Hariri, has held a meeting with Sharif brothers and advised them to abide by the deal with the government and should not return back to Pakistan." (thanks Naqi)
One more time. There is no evidence of US government propaganda permeating the Daily Star.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"“There’s a strong sense that Fayyad wants to do the right thing and is trying to do the right thing,” said Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the House majority leader, after a meeting in Ramallah. “We trust that Fayyad won’t steal or misappropriate money. Not to say some won’t be, but everyone wants to strengthen Abbas and Fayyad, those who are positive and helpful, instead of those, like Hamas, who are negative and dangerous.”"
"Obama: Dennis Ross gives me Mideast advice" (thanks Regan)
A large collection of Joseph Samahah's articles are now available in a book form, under the title Al'an...Huna (the title of his column in As-Safir). I received my copy yesterday. (thanks Zeina)
"The Anti-Defamation League, a leading US-based Jewish organisation, has for the first time - and with some reluctance - recognised the slaughter of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by the Turks between 1915 and 1917 as genocide. It did so under pressure from some American Jewish communities, including those in areas where there are Armenian populations, and against a background of attempts to push a new bill through Congress to force the United States to recognise the genocide. Like Israel, the US does not officially acknowledge it."
It is a surge. It is a surge. "US surge sees 600,000 more Iraqis abandon home"
"The government's terrorist screening database flagged Americans and foreigners as suspected terrorists almost 20,000 times last year. But only a small fraction of those questioned were arrested or denied entry into the United States, raising concerns among critics about privacy and the list's effectiveness."
President for Lebanon?
"One after another, the men and women who have stepped forward to report corruption in the massive effort to rebuild Iraq have been vilified, fired and demoted. Or worse." (thanks Laleh)
"“In the course of writing classical and medieval Arab history,” Massad writes, “these modern historians encountered an ancient Arab society with different sexual mores and practices that were difficult to assimilate into a modern Arab nationalist project informed by European notions of progress and modernisation and a Victorian sexual ethic.”" (By why is Joseph described as "controversial"? Sometimes one has to be careful as Zionist hoodlums invent labels without connection to reality, and then they stick and get circulated. So Zionists can falsely make you controversial simply by calling you controversial. This is like when the Zionists invented a saying (about "throwing the Jews into the sea") and falsely attributed it to PLO leader Ahmad Shuqayri. Of course, nobody can find that quotation except in Zionist literature. In fact, the only similar quotation can be found in the official order issued by Israeli Air Force Commander in 1967 in reference to Arabs, Motti Hod: "...Fly, soar at the enemy, destroy him and scatter him throughout the dessert"--cited in Michael Oren, Six Days of War, p. 170).
This picture in As-Safir says that the Lebanese soldier is helping her carry her child. No, he was searching the child.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Somebody has to translate this for the readers here. Religious police stops an "entertainment show" in Saudi Arabia. How dare they be entertained? For the House of Saud: entertainment is only for the royal family, while the masses have to settle on the recitation of the Qur'an for entertainment. (thanks Haytham)
It bothers me in the Arab world that people take very seriously the silly Guinness World Records. They seem to think that it is a big deal. They must have gotten that misconception from the capital of ranking, Beirut.
Lebanese media are still suspiciously mostly avoiding covering the Elie Nahhas scandal. Here is an article in Al-Akhbar. New TV reported that there are names of politicians in Lebanon and Gulf that came up in the investigation.
"To be a Palestinian in the Age of Division" by Suheir.
Hisham on US support for Lebanon.
I linked to an article a few days ago about Al-Arabiya ratings. The full article (available through subscriptions) contained remarks by director of Al-Arabiya (former editor-in-chief of Prince Salman's mouthpiece, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat). He said that his favorite work as a journalist was covering the space program of NASA. Only later I realized what he was talking about. No, he did not cover the space program. He covered Prince Salman's son, Sultan, when he obtained (through hard work, I assure you) a seat on one of the shuttle trips in space. Back then, all Arab journalists and editors were dispatched to US to cover the daily routines of Prince Sultan. But they were objective. They said that he was by far the most talented and best looking astronauts to date. Mr. Ar-Rashid miss those years.
This columnist in Prince Salman's mouthpiece is railing against environmentalists. House of Saud is not keen on environment, eh?
Conspiracy? What conspiracy? From the opinion page of Hariri rag.
Somebody should study this scientifically: the wealthiest Muslim countries are the least democratic (Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc), and the poorest Muslim countries are less undemocratic (Pakistan, Bangladesh).
Nir Rosen on Future TV: not white enough for Lebanese TV. So while working out, I watched Nir Rosen on Future TV. The man kicked ass big time. He was strong and assertive, although he appears expressionless and emotionless on TV. Some forms of drugs can change that--I am told. The host, the able Najat Sharaf Ad-Din, has been changing. I talked about her show before: Transit is a weekly show that is devoted to discussion of media coverage. She started by inviting people from the other side--uncommon in Hariri or Saudi media; and she stayed largely profession. But not as of late. She must have received more instructions. And today, she was quite propagandistic. She seemed too eager to just promote the propaganda line of Hariri Inc. The other guest was Zaki Shihab: but Zaki is better in English media. In Arabic he appears too cautious perhaps because he serves as bureau chief for Al-Hayat (the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid Bin Sultan (brother of Prince Bandar Bin Bribe) in London, and he knows that his Arabic media appearances are closely watched. My favorite part was when Sharaf Ad-Din was discussing with Shihab the deterioration in security conditions in Gaza--because according to Western and Saudi Arab media the situation in West Bank is fabulous and Israeli troops voluntarily withdrew). She then turned to Nir and asked a different question on Iraq. Nir--kudos to you--insisted on discussing the Palestine issue, and he was most effective thereby guaranteeing his ban by Saudi media forever. I told Nir today he deserves a blender from me for using the phrase "the gangs of Dahlan" on Saudi-Hariri TV. Zaki Shihab was ridiculous when he said that there was one particular collaborator in Hamas (of course, most Palestinian organizations have suffered from Israeli infiltrations and manipulations). Nir said Fath has more collaborators than any other place. He even managed to speak about the role of Arab regimes and Saudi Arabia in particular against democracy in Palestine. Nir also discussed Iraq, and talked about the Saudi role there. He spoke about Iran without being apologetic about it, and talked about the death squads of Badr gangs there. But the host wanted him to say that the US troops have to stay. He did not give her that pleasure. It being understood that I still intensely dislike Nir's book on Iraq, but he promised me to never do that again, otherwise I can send Dahlan goons after him. Nir is now working on a piece on Sunni fundamentalist groups in Lebanon for the New York Times Magazine. Let us put it this way: I doubt that Nir will get the dubious honor that Nicholas Blanford received from Hariri rag, Al-Mustaqbal, when it featured his hagiography of Rafiq Hariri on its front page. Get to work NOW, Nir.
Iyad `Allawi is posing as the alternative to Nuri Al-Maliki and Jibril Rajjub is posing as the alternative to Muhammad Dahlan. This is like Hamid Karzai posing as an alternative to...Hamid Karzai.
The Syrian government and Hizbullah deserve the attacks on them by Walid Jumblat. They both have done their utmost to help him (in more ways than one) over the last 15 years.
The tomb of Rafiq Hariri. People in Lebanon have been wondering why there is no monument erected at the tomb site of Rafiq Hariri. I am told that the reason is due to Hariri family's deference to Wahhabi doctrine, which forbids such measures. In fact, Ayatullah Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah recently expressed outrage at the razing of tombs (he was referring to the Wahhabi campaign in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere).
The King of Jordan--away from his PlayStation. (thanks Nour)
I came across this. "President Hrawi visited Libya, so Qadhdhafi asked him about Walid [Jumblat], and sent him his regards. So President Hrawi transmitted the regards to Walid and told him: The man likes you, why don't you visit him? He replied: "May God preserve you, your excellency. Call him and tell him that you know his bank account number in Geneva, and let him initiate first and then we can go." (Muhsin Dallul, Hiwarat Sakhinah, (Beirut: Riyad Ar-Rayyis, 2007), p. 95.
"Among those who cite spirituality as the most important thing in their lives, a larger majority report being happy with life (80 percent) compared to those who say spirituality is not an important part of life (60 percent). Religion and spirituality are integral to nearly half of America's young people (44 percent). More than half say they believe there is a higher power that has an influence over things that make them happy (62 percent)."
I had a nightmare last week. I was walking on a street in Pakistan, and suddenly, a group of men shove me into a car. I was taken into a very crowded neighborhood, with chicken running around. And I discover to my horror that it was Al-Qa`idah hideout, where Bin Laden was living with men and women from the group. They protested at something I had written. I would barely speak. And a woman from the group--with very bad hgyine, gets closer to me and tries to be romantic. I looked at her and tried to move away in a small room. Suddenly, Bin Laden comes toward me, and uncovers his head and says: "Look. You and I have the same hair." At that point, I realized that I had to flee. So I calculated that I would run longer than them. So I started to run, only to hit a wall. A gunman from Al-Qa`idah comes angrily toward me with Doberman dogs. I was terrified. At that point, I woke myself up (I have that capacity during particularly terrifying dreams.)
From the Dancing with the Stars special.
Red Flag over Beirut. The Lebanese Communist Party held a rally yesterday in Beirut. There was little coverage in the Lebanese press. (Haytham Al-Musawi, Al-Akhbar).
"The personal assistant of the top general in the California National Guard has been placed on leave after revelations that the aide’s personal Web site contained derogatory statements about women, jokes about black Jamaicans as “cannibals,” and violent references."
Oops. "Three British soldiers died in southern Afghanistan on Thursday in an apparent friendly fire incident involving a bomb dropped by an American plane, British officials announced today."
It is a surge. It is a surge. "More Iraqis Said to Flee Since Troop Increase."
It is a surge. It is a surge. "The number of detainees held by the American-led military coalition in Iraq has swelled by 50 percent under the troop increase ordered by President Bush, with the inmate population growing from 16,000 in February to 24,500 today, according to American military officers in Iraq."
There is news coming to AlJazeera (I am told) that Castro may have died.
On the one hand this, and on the other hand that.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

This is a Lebanese group that just wants "sovereignty." If this group is called Islamic Forces, it would be banned in the US, and listed as a terrorist organization.
"The charges Hilberg and I independently leveled back in 2000 have since been vindicated. The $1.5 billion extracted from the Swiss banks bore no relationship to the pittance they actually owed, while Holocaust survivors have complained of receiving only a pittance of the fully $20 billion extracted from Europe in their names."
Walid Jumblat was asked why he agreed to serve as a client of Syria for decades, he answered: "It is better not to open the wounds of war."
PS Conspiracy? What conspiracy? Notice how Bush's speech is prominently displayed on the site.
"Reading Arendt in Caracas"
"Well what does Abdul calling Mohammed mean, and how do I interpret that?"
"Guess what’s King Abdullah of Jordan is doing?" (thanks F.)
"And I want to say, I stand before you a very miserable person." (thanks Laleh)
"Although it has never formally accepted responsibility, the Israeli government has largely sponsored her complicated medical rehabilitation for the past 15 months. But now her father has been told by the Israeli Ministry of Defense that his daughter must leave Israel and return to the territory of the Palestinian Authority. "Sending her away from this hospital, out of Israel, is like sending her to hell," says Aman, 30."
The Syrian-Saudi conflict is getting funnier by the day. Syrian foreign minister insists that all is well. Syrian media refrain from saying one negative word about the Saudi government, while the Saudi media continue their 2 year-old attacks on the Syrian government while expressing outrage at criticisms of Saudi Arabia in Syrian media. I still think that the Syrian government will still manage to make up with the House of Saud.
"Israel kills 12 Gazans, including two children, in 24 hours"
When Syrian "liberals" appear in Saudi media they seem like a monkey on a rope. One "very liberal" Syrian appeared on Al-Arabiya TV (with Gizelle Khuri). He said that while he was not physically tortured (in Syrian jails), he was put in the same cell with "effeminate characters" (mukhannathin). He was outraged. But he remained "very liberal."
"The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) and Americans for
Peace Now (APN) today announced the initiation of a new joint internship program that
will offer students a unique perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – from two leading*
advocacy organizations – that spans borders, dispels prejudice, and promotes a two-state solution." Toward that effort, interns will be asked to carry Muhammad Dahlan wherever he went. (Dahlan has been having knee problems as of late). (thanks A.)
*Leading in the statement refers to an organization with 3 to 5 members.
"The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever — or, as the book's compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, "neither in her heart or in the eucharist."" (thanks F.)
"Palestinians stand behind a fence on the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing, which has been closed since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip. (Hatem Omar, Maan Images)". Look at the anger in the eyes. (thanks Yasmine)
A spider was spotted in a room at the Red Lion Hotel in Eugene, Oregon. Fortunately, it was not in my room.
A split in what is left of the Iraq Ba`th party? I am amused (not really) that the son of Michel `Aflaq is playing a role. (thanks Victor)
"A Malaysian newspaper is facing calls to shut down after it published an image of Jesus holding a cigarette and what appeared to be a can of beer." (thanks Ema)
The two Kuwaiti reporters were harassed by Mukhabarat (see a previous post) because they posted this (now removed) on a website:
هل الامير البلاد موجود في البلاد؟؟؟

هل يعرف الامير مايدور في الكويت من فساد ؟
يعرف عن الاختلاسات؟ والسرقات؟ وتنفيع شخصيات ؟ واهمال الشعب؟ وهل يعرف ان الشعب فيه حالة غليان؟ وهل يعرف ان الديون تراكمت على المواطنين وغلاء الاسعار ينهش في معاشاتهم. هل يعى الامير هذا الامر .

اكيد يعى الامير هذا الشىء. ويعرف عن
الفساد والسرقات والاختلاسات .لكن لماذا لا يتصرف كما تصرف الملك عبدالله بن عبدالعزيز .
الجواب ان الامير يتمنى لو انه يقدر ان يصلح البلاد ويلغى الفساد كما صرح سابقا ان هناك فساد في الكويت. لكن للاسف الامير على الرغم من انه يريد اصلاح البلاد لكنه لايستطيع فهو اضعف من الفساد ولا توجد لديه صلاحيات من قبل شخصيات معينة في الدولة. فهو لا يقدر ان يصرح باى تصريح بدون اخذ موافقتهم المبسبقة عدى الامور التافه التى لايحتاج الي اخذ موافقتهم فيها مثل حضور حفلة مدرسة بنات او ماشابه. اما اتخاذا قرار سياسيى وبالذات اقتصادي مثلا حل المشكلة الاسكانية عن طريق توزيع اراضي على المواطنين. لايستيطع اطلاقا ذلك فهو لا يملك الصلاحية ولا القدرة على مناطحة هذه الشخصيات التجارية التى تدير البلد خلف الكواليس., فمناطحتهم كارثة مابعدها كارثة. فهو امام خيارين وضوعوه امامها بطريقة غير مباشرة. اختيار رقم واحد واختيار رقم اثنين وبالطبع اضطر الي اختيار رقم 2 وهو الجلوس على الكرسي بدون اى صلاحيات عدى التمتمع بلقب امير والحصول على اموال هائلة .

نحن نواجه خطر
هؤلاء التجار والشخصيات السياسية المرعبة والتى استطاعت اسكات امير البلاد بحيث انه لم يقدر ان يصرح بتصريح واحد طوال الفترة السابقة عيد الاضحى او حتى ذكرى الغزوا 2 اغسطس . فاضطر الي السفر خارج البلاد حتى يحفظ ماء وجهه لانه ان بقي في البلاد فعليه القاء خطاب وهو ممنوع من القاء خطابات في الوقت الحالي وحتى شعار اخر. وسوف نجد الامير يسافر كل مرة تاتى فيها مناسبة هامة . ان الامير يحتاج مساعدة ليساعدنا . لانه اسير في دولته. اسير المافيا الكويتية. تجار الكويت وشخصيات الفساد الذين حولوه من امير دولة الي تمثال شمع . "
(thanks Joel)
""This is the work of the Saudi government," he said. Abukhalil also testified that his cursory reading of Seda's own pamphlet, "Islam Is," does not match the extreme language found in the appendices to the Quran supplied to Seda through Al-Haramain's parent organization in Saudi Arabia."
"In the other faction, there still are those so impervious to experience that they continue to refer to Syria as "lower-hanging fruit." Such metaphors bewitch minds. Low-hanging fruit is plucked, then eaten. What does one nation do when it plucks another? In Iraq, America is in its fifth year of learning the answer."
When the Dubai of Sheikh Mo acquires "culture": "The state-controlled investment vehicle of Dubai is betting on the glitzy fortunes of Las Vegas by pumping $5bn (£2.5bn) into a partnership to develop casinos with MGM Mirage - in spite of the fact that the emirate officially forbids gambling." (thanks Mohammad)
"Texas executes 400th inmate in 25 years"
"The South African president, Thabo Mbeki, chided critics of his handling of the political upheaval in Zimbabwe today, saying his efforts to mediate between the government and opposition were "on track" and would deliver a resolution to the crisis."
"A group of Saudi writers and academics called on the government this week to release reform activists detained without charge since February on suspicion of "terror financing"."
"The Bush administration plans to screen thousands of people who work with charities and nonprofit organizations that receive U.S. Agency for International Development funds to ensure they are not connected with individuals or groups associated with terrorism, according to a recent Federal Register notice."
I thought that you should know. Muhammad Dahlan is back in the West Bank.
"An 86-year-old Jewish surfing guru from Hawaii is bringing good vibrations to the impoverished Gaza Strip. Dorian Paskowitz, a retired doctor who has been surfing for 75 years, donated 12 surfboards to Gaza's small surfing community on Tuesday in a novel gesture to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians." (thanks Sellam)

This is what the Lebanese Army has done to the Nahr Al-Barid refugee camp--with most Lebanese and all political parties cheering. (Reuters, (above, and below Al-Akhbar: Nazih As-Siddiq). They think that they can build Lebanese nationalism from the rubble. It will not happen.
"Palestine and Oil Funding" by dear Joseph.
The story of Fawzi`Abdul-Majid As-Sa`di: A Palestinian in Lebanon.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I thought that we are not supposed to talk about the case, and then I see this: "Matasar also called an expert witness, As'ad AbuKhalil, a California State University professor who disputed the government's claim that Sedaghaty supported radical Islamic doctrine. AbuKhalil said Saudi wealth is used to promote Wahabbism worldwide by funding mosques and charities, and distributing a Saudi version of the Quran called the "nobel Quran" that has a more militant interpretation of its teachings. Muslims seeking to perform charity work often are forced to accept Saudi money in order to pay for buildings or supplies, and distribute the Saudi version of the Quran because it is typically the only free version available."
Look at how An-Nahar covers up for Elie Nahhas (accused of human trafficking in France). (thanks Wissam)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Stop the presses. Flash. This just in. Wake up the children and release the pigs from the barn. Ahmad Fatfat receives an official--no less--invitation to visit Kurdistan. He received it from the Iraqi counterpart--also Minister of Ping Pong and Toddlers.
According to the Lebanese Army, Israel has, since the passage of resolution 1701, violated it 939 times (735 by air, 58 by sea, and 146 by land). This is the kind of news that you will not read in Western media, even if Abed is driving the car.
Here, As-Safir confirms a story first reported on Angry Arab about the mysterious illness affecting Lebanese soldiers near Nahr Al-Barid camp.
I am in Eugene, Oregon now. But I can't stop thinking of one image: those Palestinian children from the Duhayshah refugee camp collecting funds in Bethlehem for their brothers and sisters in Gaza. For me, this is the true image of Palestine. (AFP)
My article in Akhbar: "Ghazir Honors Ernest Renan: Orientalism of Lebanese Nationalism."
Elie Nahas has powerful connections in Lebanon: with the political and media class. Only New TV--to its credit--has been reporting on the scandal.
The Fath Movement produced an alternative to Muhammad Dahlan: it is Jibril Rajjub. It is Rajjub, for potato's sake. This utterly corrupt man is supposed to clean up the Fath security forces. This is like asking Husni Mubarak to lead the efforts for democratization in the Arab world. Also, when in jail (enjoying according to contemporaries same prison privileges enjoyed by Dahlan during his charade jail years), Rajjub spent years translating Menachem Begin's The Revolt from Hebrew to Arabic. It is not known whether the Begin estate rewarded him for his hard work. He was asked on the show by the person who annoys me the most on earth (Jizelle Khuri), on the relationship with the US government. It is understandable, he answered. He said that the "birth certificate" of the Palestinian state will come out of Washington, DC and Tel Aviv, and not in Arab capitals. I kid you not. Let me tell Mr. Rajjub: a birth certificate of a Palestinian state that is produced in DC or Tel Aviv is null and void. It is the birth certificate of a stillborn.
I find it quite curious--call me conspiracy-minded, please--that Ipsos polling firm in the Middle East always manages to produce poll results that are consistent with the Bush Doctrine. Look at this joke here: "Ratings released by Ipsos Stat in the wake of this summer's war between Israel and Lebanon showed Al Arabiya had finally overtaken its better-known competitor, no mean feat considering Al Jazeera had a seven-year head start." In fact, they have managed to claim in 2004 that Al-Hurra TV is number two (they said that it had 40% share--whatever that means) . And notice the hagiographic nature of this article which misses the key point: that Ar-Rashed is a mere propagandist for the House of Saud. A source who knows about the Arab media more than anybody I know told me this: "Event after event, Alarabiya slides in rating. it is a non-event news channel. I think the reason is that audiences make better judgment of the station in light of a major event, therefore Alarabiya seems to fail time after time." (thanks Mohammad)
Ipsos also found in an Arab poll that Bush is the best looking man on earth according to Arab viewers.

Shame on AlJazeera Arabic. AlJazeera Arabic is advertising for a "documentary" on Princess Diana. That is the globalization of media that worries me.
Iskandar Habash in As-Asafir has an article about Ernest Renan in which he proves that he does not know who Ernest Renan was.
"They support Israel -- which to them includes Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank. Church members tour settlements with Baras and have donated more than a $100,000 to support them." (thanks Hassane)

Monday, August 20, 2007

"Declaring the government of Iraq "non-functional," the influential chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said yesterday that Iraq's parliament should oust Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his cabinet if they are unable to forge a political compromise with rival factions in a matter of days." (First, don't you love the fact finding missions of US congresspeople? Graduate students travel to a country and spend a year or more to understand it. But not for the esteemed members of congress. They are able to understand a country on the basis of one day, or even two days (this trip was for THREE LONG DAYS but covered both Jordan AND Iraq) for an extensive fact-finding mission. Sen. Levin also called on the Iraqi puppet parliament to get him an order of curly fries NOW).
"Rabbi Feinberg called the virulent Internet campaign against the school "the lowest of McCarthyite tactics.""
I read that Human Rights Watch has advertised for a position of Shari`ah adviser for its Women's Rights section. So will Human Rights Watch also hire an adviser on Jewish and Christian religious laws, or do the folks of Human Rights Watch feel that gender equality has been fully achieved in all religious groups with the exception of Islam?
"Andrej Holm, from Berlin's Humboldt University, who specialises in urban gentrification, was arrested three weeks ago on suspicion of aiding a militant organisation suspected of carrying out more than 25 arson attacks in Berlin since 2001. In protest letters the academics from across Europe, the US and Canada said Mr Holm's arrest was based on his academic writings, and the evidence used to connect him to terrorism was at best flimsy." to Eugene, Oregon for a legal consultancy. And no, I can't tell you about the case. Returning on Wednesday night.
"Scholars of anthropology and of Middle East studies are rallying around Nadia Abu El-Haj, an assistant professor of anthropology at Barnard College whose tenure bid, like that of Norman G. Finkelstein at DePaul University earlier this year, has become the subject of an online skirmish in the larger conflict over research on the Middle East. Central to the controversy is Ms. Abu El-Haj's book, Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society (University of Chicago Press, 2001), which argues that Israeli archaeology has been shaped by Israeli national identity, and vice versa." (thanks Saba)
For the second time in a week, a prisoner dies in Lebanese state custody. Upon hearing the news, the US government calls on the family of the dead to support the "democratically-elected" Sanyurah government of Lebanon.
I swear. I will not be surprised if the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University offers George W. Bush after he leaves office his own classes in Middle East studies.
"The nation's largest group of psychologists scrapped a measure Sunday that would have prohibited members from assisting interrogators at Guantanamo Bay and other U.S. military detention centers. The American Psychological Association's policy-making council voted against a proposal to ban psychologists from taking part in any interrogations at U.S. military prisons "in which detainees are deprived of adequate protection of their human rights."" (This is the same association that until 1973 considered homosexuality a "perversion").
"Seven-year-old Muslim boy stopped in US three times on suspicion of being a terrorist"
"Operation Stand Up, an “evangelical military entertainment” group will be sending care packages to American troops in Iraq which will include the game Left Behind: Eternal Forces. Besides inciting outrage amongst activist groups shocked at the killing of non-Christians, the game has been criticized by everyone from industry mega-douche Jack Thompson, to game reviewers from the mega-site Gamespot." (thanks Lara--who thanks Jenny)
I received a statement to the effect that "The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is deeply troubled by the relentless criticism by conservative columnists, the New York Post and New York Sun regarding the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA)." In response, the ADC is planning a strong response. It has called on all supporters and friends to express their outrage by attending a special celebration in honor of Prince Al-Walid bin Talal.
"A one-legged Emirati father of 78 is lining up his next two wives in a bid to reach his target of 100 children by 2015, Emirates Today reported on Monday." (What is the relevance of "the one-legged"?) (thanks Wissam)
For those who believe that I never report good news. "This will be my last column for several months."
Pakistan versus Lebanon. In Pakistan, they honored an Orientalist. The people in Pakistan did their homework and read. The named a street after Annemarie Sschimmel: one of the most impressive and competent Orientalist. Schimmel deserved this honor. In Lebanon, they honored Ernest Renan: one of the most racist and anti-Semitic (he was against both Arabs and Jews) writers, who, as Albert Hourani mentioned, believed in the destruction of the Islamic political component in civilization. He was not even a qualified Orientalist. Read the critique of Renan by Ignaz Goldzhiher.
This just in. Tomorrow, An-Nahar will report that Lebanon will unveil a statue for Elie Nahas. The nation is proud.
"Seeing Corporate Fingerprints in Wikipedia Edits" (thanks Ema)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Kuwaiti secret police kidnapped two Kuwaiti journalists from outside their office building. (I did not see any reference to that in the Western or Eastern press).
"Iraqi scholars seek asylum"
"One of Iran's most powerful politicians has provoked controversy by suggesting that the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the country's Islamic revolution, wanted to drop its signature chant, Death to America."
"The Israel Lands Administration (ILA) is working together with the Ateret Cohanim association to wrest from Palestinian landowners control of 30 dunams (7.5 acres) of land in East Jerusalem and to transfer it to the association without a tender. Such is the claim outlined in a petition submitted two weeks ago to the High Court of Justice, and appearing in documents which Haaretz has received. Ateret Cohanim promotes settlement of Jews in and around the Old City, and at times takes over Palestinian assets in East Jerusalem so as to "Judaize" that area."
For coverage of the Elie Nahhas' scandal, go here. (Did you notice that An-Nahar which brags about every Lebanese in the news has been silent?) And will the French investigation lead to a similar investigation of the branches of the Style "modeling agency" in Dubai and Beirut? Of course, not.
"Another major change in the period from April through June of 2007 was that press coverage of the war in Iraq declined markedly. Together the three major storylines of the war—the policy debate, events on the ground, and the impact on the U.S. homefront—filled 15% of the total newshole in the quarter, a drop of roughly a third from the first three months of the year, when it filled 22%."
Colonialism; pure and simple. "In a conference room at State Department headquarters, Rice and national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley sat down with aides that winter to consider a pressing question: Should Palestinian parliamentary elections scheduled for January 2006 be canceled? Israeli leaders, including Tzipi Livni, now the foreign minister, had implored Bush advisers to not let the vote proceed. Hamas, deemed a terrorist group by the United States, could easily win, they warned. Even Sharansky, the president's apostle, urged the Americans to postpone the vote, arguing that democracy is about building institutions and civil society, not just holding elections. But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the Americans that his Fatah party needed the vote for credibility and it had to include his opposition. Rice and Hadley heeded his wishes. "We didn't think that postponing the elections would have solved any problems," said Philip D. Zelikow, who was Rice's counselor at the time and attended the meeting. "You would have been conceding Fatah's illegitimacy.""