Friday, April 30, 2010

The Withering away (or Elimination) of Israel

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "The Withering Away (or Elimination) of Israel."


"Pro-Israel group monitoring, intimidating Columbia faculty". (thanks Electronic Ali)

Operation Iraqi Theft

"In the chaotic aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, the thousands of sodden documents were spirited out of the country with an assist from then-Vice President Richard B. Cheney's office and a vague promise of their return once they had been restored. With the materials still sitting in a College Park office building, stabilized but with mold on them, the Iraqi government is demanding that they be shipped back, saying they are the property of the Iraqi people. "They represent part of our history and part of our identity. There was a Jewish community in Iraq for 2,500 years," said Samir Sumaidaie, the Iraqi ambassador to the United States. "It is time for our property to be repatriated. A high-level Iraqi delegation, led by Deputy Culture Minister Taher al-Humoud, met Thursday with senior State Department officials to press for the return of the artifacts. But others, including many involved in saving the materials, say that they belong to the Jews who fled, or their descendants -- many of whom live in Israel. "I don't see any reason for it to go back to Iraq, because if it is the patrimony of the Jewish community of Iraq, then wherever they are it's theirs," Harold Rhode, a former Defense Department official, told the Jerusalem Post last month. "When they left, they would have taken it with them had they been able to take it with them. You don't abandon Torahs."" (thanks Dina)

A trade off in Lebanon*? (Saudi Arabia)

This ad offers a trade off of a car for a Sri Lankan or an Indian maid. I kid you not. (thanks Ziyaad)
PS Ziaad sent it to me that it is from Lebanon, but the paper indicates Saudi Arabia.

why regrettably?

""Regrettably, the two-state solution is now a fantasy. Instead, those territories will be incorporated into a Greater Israel,which will be an apartheid state bearing a marked resemblance to white-ruled South Africa. Nevertheless, a Jewish apartheid state is not politically viable over the long term. In the end, it will become a democratic bi-national state, whose politics will be dominated by its Palestinian citizens. In other words, it will cease being a Jewish state, which will mean the end of the Zionist dream."" (thanks Leila)

Zionist dictionary

"According to the Zionist dictionary colonialism is defined as peace, while resistance to colonialism is terrorism. Thus, when Israel expands its West Bank colonies (known as "settlements" in the Israeli lexicon -- something that sounds peaceful, calming and, well, settled) it is practicing peace. The acts of aggression come when the Palestinians, mistakenly seeing the places where they and their ancestors have lived for centuries -- if not longer -- as their rightful home, resist, and thereby practice terrorism. This terrorism requires the Zionist state to practice self-defense to safeguard their security." (thanks Layali)

Pol Econ of Lebanon's problems

"TRABOULSI: Of course, that was on the assumption that Middle Eastern peace is coming, and then the rewards would be enormous. It was based on a very bad calculation, and there was no Middle East peace coming. And so we did build a huge Beirut city center [inaudible] of one million square meters of office space. A lot of it is still not occupied, and it did cost a tremendous amount of money.
JAY: So to understand the transaction, you have privately owned Lebanese banks, on behalf of the government, selling these bonds at 49 percent. The money is then owed—this is foreign money? Or it's Lebanese money that's loaned to the banks?
TRABOULSI: No. It's—I mean, it's everything. But now I should say that now it's 17.5 percent, the interest rate on government bonds.
JAY: Given, at a time when rates in the US are practically zero.
TRABOULSI: Yup. And at that time in the '90s you had an inflow of international capital, Arab capital, attracted by the huge [inaudible] profits that you can imagine. But a few years, when the rates came down, most of those sold their government bonds. So now we have—actually, 40 percent is foreign debt, and 60 percent is mainly our local banks. Now, when we say Lebanese banks, we mean—it's not always necessary to mean that the Lebanese own the majority of those banks. Usually you have oil money invested in it." (thanks Olivia)

Well, I sure hope that Israel does not make peace

"Israel's choice: Make peace or disappear"

Praise for a feminist

"Saudi Female Lecturers Praise King Abdullah’s Appreciation of Female Role". (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

Virgin Mary running for office in Lebanon

Comrade Pierre on Virgin Mary's politics in municipal elections in Mt Lebanon.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Zio-hummus alert: boycott

Richard sent me this (I did not have time to check the info): If you want to publicise a boycott of anything that might benefit the Israeli economy, please note the following:

The company Sabra Dipping Company, LLC is selling a huge quantity of hummus, babaganoush, "Moroccan matbucha" and other middle eastern/Arabic recipes throughout the U.S.A. through Costco, Ralphs, Vons and many large grocery chains. Currently, the container of the Sabra brand products says it is made in the USA by Sabra Dipping Company, LLC out of Astoria, N.Y, although not long ago, the reference of the manufacturer on the container was Blue and White Foods, from Astoria, NY. According to the company profile on Sabra’s web site (, the huge conglomerate Pepsico and major food distributor Strauss-Elite formed a joint-venture partnership in March 2008 that operates under the name of Sabra Dipping Company, LLC. According to their web site ( ): "Sabra is also a leading importer of snacks and foods from Israel." Actually, the Sabra hummus has a good texture, but it is full of preservatives that permeate the taste of the hummus. An alternative, at least at Costco, is Waleeds hummus."

Lebanese success stories: send them to An-Nahar

""Le patron du Zaman Café, le bar au centre d'une affaire de proxénétisme touchant certains joueurs de l'équipe de France, est passé aux aveux. Entendu par la police, il a reconnu que des prostituées fréquentaient son établissement, rapporte Le Point, qui a eu accès au PV de l'audition. Les filles bénéficiaient de réductions sur les boissons afin de faire venir la clientèle, tandis que certaines passes avaient lieu dans les toilettes.
"Né au Liban en 1983, le gérant du Zaman Café, prénommé Farhat, a également admis qu'un employé de l'établissement dealait de la cocaïne dans les toilettes de son club"". (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

where the hell are they?

"Maybe I just don't go to enough protests, but it seems like such a blatant human rights violation would attract more attention, I mean, more than 120 protesters. Unfortunately, Bill 94 is supported by over 95% of Quebecers, and 4/5 Canadians , so I understand that it is not popular to oppose it. However, I'll be damned if I have not personally met well over 120 feminists in Montreal -- where the hell were they?" (thanks Dana)

Don't let me be misunderstood

""But PA Communications Minister Mashhour Abu Daqqa told a press conference in Ramallah yesterday that this is not political boycott. Rather, he said, it is an attempt to regulate the PA's cellular communications market.""

Leila Khaled

"Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) politburo member Laila Khaled called Tuesday for dismantling the Palestinian Authority "if that body is the cause of Palestinian division." In Damascus, Khaled said division among Palestinians "is threatening the Palestinian national project." She said Palestinians "have not struggled throughout their history for an Authority, but for a homeland for a displaced people and people under occupation."" (thanks Tarek)

Which is worse? Jimmy Cater or the Guinea worm?

"Mr. Carter, 85, told me a few years ago that he was determined to outlive Guinea worm. I called him by satellite phone from here and asked if he still thought he would win the race. He laughed and said he was increasingly optimistic that he would outlast the worm. “If I can survive two more years, I’ll meet my goal,” he said." I would argue that Jimmy Carter has been worse, and has caused more deaths, than the Guinea worms. I mean, just think that he launched the fanatical war in Afghanistan against the Soviet-installed government, which resulted in the production of the Taliban and Al-Qa`idah, among other fanatics who benefited from American largesse.

publicity-seekers and religious fanatics

"The trend began in 1995 when a group of Islamist lawyers succeeded in divorcing Cairo university teacher Nasr Abu Zayd from his wife on grounds of apostasy. Since then, there have been hundreds of hesba cases against writers and activists, brought by a mixture of publicity-seekers and religious fanatics." (thanks Layali)


"In a private meeting yesterday with a Meretz member of the city council and her aide, deputy Jerusalem mayor Yitzhak Pindros allegedly said in jest that "at Haredi education we do not accept Sephardim, monkeys, Russians and Ethiopians." Pindros denies saying that and says that Laura Varton, the city council member, is "a liar and an anti-Semite."" (thanks Sarah)

foreign domestic workers in the Middle East

"Reforms undertaken by governments in the Middle East to protect domestic workers from abuse are insufficient to shield women working as house maids from abuse and violence, Human Rights Watch said Thursday. Millions of mostly Asian women who work in countries like Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates remain at risk of human trafficking, forced labor, confinement and sexual violence, the New York-based group said." (thanks Olivia)

Patronizing headline

Look at this lousy headline. They always have to aspire to be "a Western man." (thanks Sellam)

Hariri hagiography

"The greatest problem with the book, however, pertains to what goes unmentioned, uninvestigated. Blanford’s identification with an institutional narrative of Rafik Hariri’s person has seemingly led him to assimilate the institution’s own taboos. Hariri began his political career in the 1980s as a Saudi national and the personal envoy of King Fahd and was regarded throughout this period as a representative of Saudi policy in Lebanon; but nothing is uttered about the political dynamics between Hariri and Riyadh beyond 1985. Equally, some of the most important junctures in Hariri’s career are sidestepped, notably the 2000 parliamentary elections, a real watershed that crowned Hariri as a lone “Sunni” leader and ended the influence of long-reigning political dynasties. In sum, Blanford’s book does not document or interrogate the process through which."

They don't want to go to Israel

""Then Labour politician Diane Abbot pops up on the JC website with her blog Fighting for Yemeni Jews. She wants to offer the persecuted Yemeni Jews sanctuary in the UK. Maybe they would like to go to Israel though? For some reason Abbot does not consider this obvious option. There is no mention of Israel in her entire post but then again Abbott thinks Israel commits war crimes as you can see in the video below in which she passionately denounces Israel during Operation Cast Lead."" (thanks Asa)

You know he must be awful

Tony Blair hearts Salam Fayyad (thanks Sami)

Obama's surge

"A Pentagon report presented a sobering new assessment Wednesday of the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan, saying that its abilities are expanding and its operations are increasing in sophistication, despite recent major offensives by U.S. forces in the militants' heartland." (thanks Dina)

Lebanese civilization: lynching in the Cedar Homeland

Today, there was a lynching in Lebanon. Another proof that Lebanon is more than a country: it is a message, of love and peace. (thanks Raed)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hamas rules

"Security forces of the Islamist group Hamas detained Palestinian political activists overnight for distributing leaflets urging them to ease up on the people of Gaza or face a possibly explosive revolt. An official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) told Reuters several members were arrested late on Tuesday and set free on Wednesday." All that is good, let us now see the PFLP revolt in the West Bank.

appearing above it all

Comrade Khalid on the municipal elections


PFLP issued a strongly worded statement against Hamas' measures in Gaza, esp economic measures. The statement was justified. Let me now see PFLP issue a statement against Fath in the West Bank. But that is unlikely because Abu Mazen disperses funds to PFLP and other Palestinian organizations to control them. That only confirms my view: PFLP should disbands. It exists on paper only anyway.


PFLP-GC responds to mini-Hariri. (You should search in the archives to find my account of the meeting between Ahmad Jibril and mini-Hariri in the wake of Hariri's assassination. One of the people present gave me the full account. hehehehe).

Dumb Hamas video

When it comes to propaganda, Hamas has the propaganda skills of the Ba`th Party or of Prince Salman's media. I saw the video put out the Hamas about the captured Israeli terrorist soldier. I mean, it is so stupid and unwittingly generates sympathy for the captured occupation terrorist.

Against Israeli occupation soldier

Activists face off against Israeli occupation soldiers. (thanks Farah)


"Up till recently, the prevailing estimate of civilians killed specifically by the paramilitaries has been around 30,000. Father Girardo, citing new estimates by Colombia's own Prosecutor General, has now shattered those original estimates, announcing that the Prosecutor General is currently investigating 150,000 extrajudicial killings by the paramilitary groups - killings which took place between the late 1980's and the current time. Even the prior, more conservative estimates would have made Colombia the worst human rights abuser in South America in recent times, having victimized more than Argentina's fascist junta and Chile's Pinochet dictatorship."

HRW is kid-gloved: how cute

""[B]elieve me,” [HRW Middle East Director Sarah Whitson] wrote in an e-mail to a MENA advisory committee member, “on israel in particular, we are overly cautious and extremely kid-gloved because of the harassment we endure.”" (thanks Regan)

The best interests of Israel

"Charles E. Schumer slams Obama administration's attitude towards Israel. If White House fails to change its policy, he says, 'we’ll have to take it to the next step'." (thanks Olivia)

Against Israeli odds

"Watching her blind aunt and uncle struggle to navigate the steep slopes and scant sidewalks of this hilly city, one Palestinian girl decided to reinvent the stick. Armed with spare parts that are hard to find in the West Bank, Asil Abu Lil and two classmates patched together an obstacle-detecting cane that has won them a trip to San Jose, California, for Intel Corp.'s international youth science fair."" (thanks Ashita)

The repression and occupation entity

"Israeli soldiers call the truck the Skunk, and they say it has become one of their favorite tools in confronting the rising challenge of West Bank demonstrations. As Palestinians have reshaped their resistance in recent years from suicide bombings and armed attacks to civil disobedience and nonviolent demonstrations, Israel's military is grappling with how to alter its tactics as well.
"This is a new trend, and we're trying to address it in a new way," said Lt. Col. Eliezer Toledano, operations officer for the Israeli army in the West Bank. "We have to adjust ourselves to the reality today."" (thanks Dina)

Not in the US press: the real ugly face of Israel

"More than half of Jewish Israelis think human rights organizations that expose immoral behavior by Israel should not be allowed to operate freely, and think there is too much freedom of expression here, a recent survey found." (thanks Sarah)

The Tuffar Phenomenon

Comrade Ibrahim on the Tuffar Phenomenon in Ba`albak.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Telling tall tales now

This is like those who Israel put on the speaking circuits here in the US and who claim that they were former "hardcore terrorists": ""He asked for my help. Bin Laden asked me personally, you know. I responded immediately on the spot ...'No. I'm not going to help you.'"Bin Laden was stunned." And then Noman Benoteman (and the names sounds more Brooklyn than Arabic--but that is another story altogether) stood and slapping Bin Laden on the face. He then took off his belt, and started to belt Bin Laden on his back. That is when Muhallah Omar entered the cave and Mr. Benoteman kicked him on the behind. There are more details about the adventures of this man in a book coming to you soon from Harper-Collins.

Khalas: the protection of Lebanon is guaranteed now

"The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) received Monday 20 off-road vehicles and four ambulances from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) during a ceremony held in the UN force’s headquarters in the southern border town of Naqoura."

Dont let me be misunderstood

"the Egyptians claimed that Aboul Gheit was misunderstood..."

Israeli guns pointing

"Khalil Abdullah is the king of the castle – and the enemy is at his gates. The castle in question is the Village Chateau Wazzani Touristique; the enemy, 30ft across the brown-flowing stream, is the entire Israeli army in Israeli-occupied Golan. Indeed, two Israeli tanks turned up two weeks ago, their guns pointing menacingly towards Khalil Abdullah's 60ft palm-roofed Africa-style barn-restaurant, his castellated walls, his wooden drawbridge and his windmill-topped entrance towers. The Lebanese army have a sentry box above what will be the swimming pool and United Nations troops of the German and Belgian battalions drop by twice a day to make sure the world has not gone to war over Mr Abdullah's 40,000sq m hotel-to-be." (thanks Layali)

A man of principle

"Mr Saleh has played a delicate game with the Islamist radicals. He sponsored the dispatch of mujahideen to Afghanistan in the 1980s and enlisted jihadist help in his own campaigns against southern separatists in the 1990s and allegedly also against the Houthis, many of whom practise Zaydi Islam, a Shia version that the Sunni jihadists abhor. But he has also co-operated, sometimes closely, with Western anti-terrorism efforts. If such collaboration brings useful foreign aid, it also risks a nationalist backlash that helps the jihadists." (thanks Sultan)

An Israeli group hacked Lebanon's National News Agency website

This is a lousy country that has failed to defend its borders from Israel, and you want to protect its sites? Are you kidding me?

This is Zionism

"Fourteen and 15-year-old brothers stood trial at Ofer's military court on Monday, facing charges of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank."

If you want to know about Palestinian collaborators turn to...Israeli media of course

"Israel's Channel 2 aired an exclusive interview with President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday night, where the Palestinian president announced that he was not in favor of the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. "

Israel as the enemy

Israel and its agents and stooges around the world are up in arms because the Egyptian foreign minister referred to Israel as "the enemy" in conversations with journalists in Beirut. This is significant because it tells me that the foreign minister, Abu Al-Ghayt is preparing for the post-Mubarak era and wants to save his neck especially after the sullying of his lousy reputation when he met with Livni just before the assault on Gaza. But Israel does not seem to know that all Arabs (with the exception of the polyganous princes of the Gulf and their paid propagandists) consider Israel as the enemy. That is how little Israel knows about the Arabs. MEMRI just put out a crying bulleting titled "waaaaaaa. Waaaaaaaaaaaaa. Waaaaaaaaa." complaining about the statement that Israel is the enemy.

I like this: collaborators versus collaborators

"Leading members of the dominant Palestinian movement Fatah are demanding more power in the Palestinian Authority cabinet of U.S.-backed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Fatah officials said on Tuesday." (thanks Olivia--if that is her real name)

If you want to know what shallow is

"In "The Sandwich Swap," lunch sandwiches -- one peanut butter and jelly, the other pita bread and hummus -- serve as a metaphor for the differences between two friends from different cultures." She is now resorting to imitating the stupid and empty non-cute "this verus that" cliches from Thomas annoying Friedman. I am cringing as I write this, I swear by the most juicy peaches. (Oh, thanks to one of the enemies of the Hashemite rule in...Jordan).

Fred Halliday is dead

Fred Halliday died. I never met him but I have read most of what he has written over the years. I was an early fan of his important book, Arabia Without Sultans (and a young comrade, Fawwaz Trabulsi, assisted him in that book). This is an important and courageous book that dealt with a subject that has been rarely covered. What I liked about Halliday is that he wrote (especially as a journalist but also as an early scholar) with political passion and agitation. He did not make an attempt to hid behind the cloak of academic objectivity. (I remember how I had to adjust to writing in college having been used to revolutionary writing on the walls of Beirut and other revolutionary places in high school. I remember my adviser, Rashid Khalidi, who guided my academic preparation, would tell me regarding my research papers: you can't write manifestos in college papers. It was not easy to stop, so that is why the blog has been useful for me.) Halliday's Arabic was very good and he would conduct interviews and even engage in political discussions in Arabic on Aljazeera and elsewhere. He also studied Persian, if I am not mistaken (he wrote a very good book on Iran by the way, that very few still remember). He was always interesting and self-assured. I stopped liking the writings of Halliday in 1991 with the American invasion of Iraq. He was close to the Iraqi exile community in London, and his views started to approximate those of Ahmad Chalabi. He also became more willing to gravitate toward awful generalizations about Arabs and their political preferences. He could be harsh on Arabs who did not share his enthusiasm for two American wars on Iraq. Yet, this is a man who left a mark on the study of the Middle East.

J Street hearts Israel

"As you might or might not know, Israel's President Shimon Peres had agreed to host the J Street crowd for a meeting. Some think it is the breakthrough J Street were waiting for - the ultimate proof that the Israeli leadership, or some branches of this leadership, endorse J Street type ideas."

The collaborationist puppet works on his image

"Fayyad, an independent, delivers a weekly radio address, meets regularly with Palestinian reporters and has hired a consultant to manage his Facebook and Twitter accounts."

Utter disgrace unto the Nations: reprimanded for murdering Arabs

"Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi on Tuesday reprimanded two senior officers over shooting incidents last month that killed four Palestinians in the West Bank."

Parrots of Hariri Inc

Comrade Khalid writes on the parrots of Hariri Inc.

Monday, April 26, 2010

As`ad Shaftari: the war criminal

Robert Worth seems very impressed with As`ad Shaftari. I am not. This is one of the henchmen of the Israeli-arm in Lebanon, the Lebanese Forces terrorist militia. He supervised one of the worst war criminal gangs in the country during the civil war years. I am not impressed with his alleged apology: which he almost retracted when the Syrian army withdrew from Lebanon: I watched him on Hariri TV in 2005, almost affirming the correctness of his war criminal activities. And he has killed and tortured, by his own admission. An apology does not suffice. Ask his victims and their relatives. (thanks Raid)

Kuwait bans Palestinians

Kuwait bans Palestinians from participating in a sports competition. (thanks Sultan)

Yes, but this stooge of Mubarak would not dare say that in English

"Speaking to reporters in Beirut, Aboul Gheit says did not come to Lebanon to relay warning from 'the enemy to a sister Arab country'; adds that Cairo would stand by Lebanon, Syria in case of attack."

Sinister arm of the occupation

"The Palestinian Authority has foiled terror attacks planned by Hamas by discovering a number of arms caches in Nablus, a security official in Ramallah told Ynet on Sunday night."

These are acts of kidnappings that you approve of

"Israeli soldiers kidnapped on Sunday Shereen Al Esawy, a lawyer representing Jordanian Detainees imprisoned in Israel. Al Esawy was kidnapped at a roadblock, near Jabal Al Mokabbir, in East Jerusalem." (thanks Olivia)

Western media need to take cognizance of class factors in Arab society

"Young Arab women wait in an upmarket medical clinic for an operation that will not only change their lives, but quite possibly save it. Yet the operation is a matter of choice and not necessity. It costs about 2,000 euros (£1,700) and carries very little risk." (thanks Nabeel)

Sushi in Syria

How dare they offer their own food. What about food for the White Man? ""A decade or two ago Damascus offered just a handful of restaurants serving typical Syrian cuisine"" (thanks Piom.)

Secular march in Beirut

This is a blog coverage of the secular march in Beirut. (thanks L.)

Marching for secularism in Lebanon

Such stories would not get much coverage in the Western press, of course. Because they run against the stereotypes and the preconceived assumptions about the natives. "As many as 5,000 people turn out in a grass-roots effort to demand the separation of religion from politics." (thanks Dina)

Israeli spying in Lebanon: Mossad is desperate for some success stories so they go to history now

"Shula also succeeded in recruiting the Lebanese official "George Anton" (Antun, Antone, Antoine ?), and she established a group named "Jewish Self-Defense Forces" which infiltrated the Christian-rightist Party Al-Kataeb. With this group she helped to bring Jews from Lebanon and other Arab countries to Israel over the mountain roads of Lebanon. In the course of her mission as a spy, Shula collaborated with the director of the Olympiad Casino, where most of the Lebanese political elite indulged in gambling. In this Casino she met Camille Chamoun, President of the Lebanese Republic 1952-1958." (thanks Reem)

Israeli media prepare to justify racist campaigns against Ethiopian Jews

Is that why the Israeli white supremacist founders of the usurping entity treat the non-European Jewish immigrants to the state like dirt? Because they were suspecting Al-Qa`idah infiltration back in 1948 and 1949 and on? I mean, really. Think about it. I know of no despicable state with disgusting methods of propaganda like this entity: "'Al-Qaida terrorists may pose as Ethiopians to sneak into". I mean, aside from Elie Wiesel, who is this propaganda fooling? (thanks Tarek)

Your moderate friends in the Middle East

"For more than two years, Ali Hussain Sibat of Lebanon has been held in a prison in Saudi Arabia, convicted of sorcery and sentenced to death. His head is to be chopped off by an executioner wielding a long, curved sword. His crime: manipulating spirits, predicting the future, concocting potions and conjuring spells on a call-in television show called “The Hidden” on a Lebanese channel, Scheherazade. It was, in effect, a Middle Eastern psychic hot line."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

US help: how nice

"the constitution that the United States helped craft..."

To prove that Muslims are fanatics in the West: so easy

"As a snarky response to Muslim bloggers who "warned" Comedy Central about an episode of South Park showing the Prophet Mohammed wearing a bear suit, one Seattle cartoonist, who calls laughter her form of "prayer," is asking artists all over the world to create depictions of Mohammed on May 20, then submit the images to a Facebook page she set up." So basically, it has become so easy in the West to prove the widespread theory of Muslim fanaticism and their proclivity to issuing threats. Any time anybody attacks Islam or Muslim, it takes one real or concocted Blogger or anonymous person to express outrage, for Western media to shout and yell: Look. Muslims are issuing death threats. Look: they issued one of their fatwawas. I mean, no one was able to find the source of this alleged Muslim "death threat."

Walid Jumblat and the US Army

You see, when Jumblat was one of George W. Bush's boys in the Middle East, his utterances and words were covered widely in the US. Not anymore, since he switched to the Syrian regime's side. In an interview with Al-Akhbar this week, he described the US Army as "an army of mercenaries". Later, he said he was talking about the US security firms.

They will kill and strave for you, O Jamal Mubarak

"Egyptian authorities have kept the Rafah crossing closed for the past 55 days, with only two border openings since the start of 2010, a report by the de facto border administration said Saturday." (thanks Olivia)

Saudi King: beheads and inspires

If you are wondering what one reads in the propaganda mouthpiece of Prince Salman and his sons (Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat): "The era of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz has created an unprecedented inspirational intellectual atmosphere throughout Saudi Arabia."

J Street and the Zionist usurping entity

"So the big rift between you and the Israeli government is over?
"I think we've seen a real gradual improvement in our relationship over the last six months. And it continues to improve. I hope it will only continue to be the case." (thanks Sarah)

Mini-Hariri on the front

Mini-Hariri seen in a helicopter on his way to the front with Israel to liberate Israeli-occupied lands. (thanks Bob)

So what does American democracy project produce?

"The parliament remains a rogues' gallery of drug barons, criminals and warlords."

The best definition of an American puppet in the Middle East region

""We need U.S. support. If they don't support us for one day, we cannot survive to the next day," said Moeen Marastial, a parliament member who advised Karzai's reelection campaign last year."
Of course, the Washington Post calls them reformers: "Many of the reformers are strongly in favor of the U.S. role here and have been unsettled by Karzai's recent statements that appeared to attack the foreign presence."

Mahmoud Darwish in Iran

Iranian refromerist students holding a sign with Mahmud Darwish's poetry. (thanks Laleh)

Meet an American Zionist "expert" of the Arab world

"Rhode’s field is Islam – he has a PhD from Columbia in Islamic studies and Middle Eastern history. He is fluent in Farsi, Hebrew, Arabic and Turkish....If he’s secular, why did he write “Allahu akhbar” in his own blood on the flag, why did he supposedly have a Koran written in his blood? Why? I don’t know what secular means. Secular is a nice Western word. The best way you can put that in Arabic is la diniyah. La means no and diniyah is the law. That means you don’t fear God, you don’t fear judgment day. That means you can kill me or I can kill you and I’m not afraid of what God will say." It is a great consolation that those American Zionist experts on the Arab world are both: ignorant and dumb. (thanks Goran)

Patrick Seale: and Riad As-Sulh

I still have much to say about Patrick Seale's new important book, the Struggle for Arab Independence. I mean, you read the book and it is a great read with a wealth of information assembled and references to recent and classic literature in Arabic, English, and French but the sections on Riad As-Sulh just don't make sense. They are all unsubstantiated especially the section about his dealing with King `Abdullah. Seale would like you to believe that Riad As-Salh when he went to Amman (and was assassinted there) in 1951, it was in order to rally Arab regimes to fight against Israel. There is absolutely no evidence of that. We need to remember that As-Sulh began negotiating with the Zionists as far back as the 1930s (read Ben-Gurion's book on his dealings with Arab leaders). The book is very well-documented and researched, except the references and sections dealing with Riad As-Sulh, and much of that is based on the author's conversation with Alia As-Sulh, daughter of Riad. I saw Alia As-Sulah only once in Washington, DC, and I remember ruled her quickly as mentally unstable, LITERALLY. She is the one that the worst Lebanese, Bashir Gemayyel, wanted to appoint her as prime minister. The public statements of Riad As-Sulh on Palestine are in contrast to the radical anti-Zionist that Seale invents for this book. Also, Seale ignored the references in the private papers of Chaim Weizmann to Sulh as being on the payroll of the Zionists (it is too early for me to find u the footnote but it can be found in my article in Al-Adab, Against Francophonie and the article is on the website on the magazine).

dozens of shoes were scattered in the streets

""Silwan residents flooded the streets in efforts to prevent the march from going ahead. Palestinian flags were hung in the windows and dozens of shoes were scattered in the streets as a symbol of protest. "" (thanks Redouane)

sexual harassment in Lebanon

""Au Liban, un pays considéré comme l'une des plus "occidentalisées" du monde arabe, aucune loi ne prévoit de sanctions pour des remarques ou des gestes obscènes et parfois des attouchements dont sont victimes de nombreuses femmes au quotidien dans la rue, les transports et le lieu de travail." "Les filles n'osent pas en parler car la société libanaise est encore machiste et rejette systématiquement la faute sur la femme", souligne Raghida Ghamlouch, assistante sociale à l'Association de lutte contre les violences faites aux femmes. On lui dit "c'est de ta faute si tu es montée dans un taxi collectif, si tu es habillée de cette manière, si tu es rentrée tard, etc.", souligne-t-elle. "S'il s'agit d'une femme adulte, c'est pire: c'est elle qui a délibérément provoqué l'homme"". (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What do you need? And when do you need it?

"And on 15 December, at a conference of military and arms control specialists in Omaha, Nebraska, sponsored by the Program on Nuclear Information with part of its funding from STRATCOM, he declared: “We will need nuclear weapons as long as there is a US.”" (thanks Ali)

The real record of Iyad `Allawi

This article really gets into the background of Iyad `Allawi (former Iraqi puppet prime minister/car bomber/embezzler-in-Yemen/Saddam's henchman). (thanks Hassan)

Israel versus Palestine

Who is scaring whom? (thanks Hala)

I bet he will run 50k for Israel

"Caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad ran in the Ramallah 5k on Friday, in support of the Palestine Medical Compound which hopes to provide medical services to children upon completion." (thanks Olivia)

This is Israel

"Thursday witnessed several attacks carried out by Israeli soldiers and policemen leading to the kidnapping of 58 Palestinians in the West Bank and in the 1948 areas, while one fisherman was wounded in Gaza and 70 Dunams of farmlands were flooded by Israeli Sewage."

All that you have done to our people is registered in notebooks

" 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the West Bank.

- IOF continued to fire at Palestinian farmers and workers in border areas of the Gaza Strip.

- IOF continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank.

- IOF conducted 15 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and a limited one into the Gaza Strip.

IOF arrested 22 civilians, including 4 children, in the West Bank."

Sectarian militia supports the sectarian government

""There is an invitation from Moqtada Sadr to members of the Mahdi Army to cooperate with security forces," Hazim al-Aaraji, a leader in the movement, said in an interview. "This is in order to provide protection for the worshipers.":

Long live the Gaza tunnels

Israel's war on goats. (thanks Nikki)

El Baradeieieieiiiieeeeieiieieiiieee

"Similarly, El Baradei represents the new face of a potential candidate - professional, unconnected to the military - unlike Lieutenant General Omar Sulieman, Director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Services, who was touted as a possible successor to Mubarak - or to what many see as a corrupt regime.A possible indication of his popular support may be the strong membership of the Facebook group El Baradei for Presidency of Egypt 2011 which runs up to 100,000, compared with one source that puts Gamal Mubarak's at just over 6,500. He has used his video message to call on Egyptians to join his newly formed group, the National Front for Change." (thanks Sultan)

wrongful imprisonment

"The pilot falsely accused of training the hijackers responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks has won his almost decade-long miscarriage of justice battle.Lotfi Raissi, an Algerian living in Britain who lost his career as an airline pilot, suffered wrongful imprisonment and damage to his health, will now be eligible for up to £2m compensation." (thanks Zaki)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Against Sects

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "I want a sect: Against sects"

I am NOT a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon

Marwan kindly translated this article of mine from Al-Akhbar from three weeks ago.

"I am not a Palestinian Refugee in Lebanon
by As`ad AbuKhalil

I am not a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon. UNRWA can go to hell. A refugee becomes one by choice. The Zionist gangs could not intimidate us in Palestine, despite their terrorism. We did not - like you claim- seek refuge in Lebanon, but we were expelled from Palestine. We prefer the thyme of Palestine to the cedars of Lebanon. We were uprooted from our land with rifle butts. We came grudgingly, and some of us died of heartache and thirst on the way. Refugee is a word invented by Zionist propaganda and the propaganda of the gruesome Arab regimes. The goal is to blame the Palestinian victim. I am a rebel, not a refugee, do you hear me?

I will tell you my story. I lived each and every one of its bloodstained seconds. I wrote it on my wounded back, and I painted it on my tearful tombstone; a story that summarizes the history of the Palestinian plight. It contains no braveries of Arab regimes and no plans for the Liberation of Palestine. Series of disappointments, defeats and lies are added to an enormous amount of bad poetry for Palestine and stupid speeches that were a great assistance to the Zionist propaganda. I was uprooted from my land by force, and they stomped on my forehead after I tied my neck to the door of my house in the Galilee. They dyed grey all of my green and red clothes, and they claimed that I wasn’t born yet. They said I was hallucinating about my homeland and that the sky above my head was a fantasy. No vegetables or fruits in my land, they went on repeating. They claimed that my olive evaporated, that my soil melted and that my trees are booby-trapped. They advised me to read Hebrew literature to understand their suffering. I advised them to leave my land so they understand my suffering. They stole a picture of my grandfather and grandmother and hung it in a museum of “Israeli” history. They accused me of anti-Semitism, and I only accused them of Zionism.

I came carrying my home on my shoulders. I carried my children in my pocket. My parents died in my hand. I left Palestine hastily. I made my key with my own hands, and my home ownership paper is stamped with my own blood. My hymns are humming in my ear, and my history is woven on my wife’s dresses. My loved ones died with no obituaries and my comrades have been eating dust for decades. I saw the Arab armies entering Palestine reluctantly, and I saw them fighting each other. I saw them shooting at each other. I saw the soldiers whispering with Zionist soldiers, and I saw some of them receiving moneys from Europe. I did not kill King Abdullah. No, you and I thought that I killed him. I never got the honor. I lived the battle to liberate Palestine and I carried a hunting rifle from a previous century. I saw weapons that looked like remnants from the Levant conquest wars. I squeezed my orchards and came. I shackled my heart and came. I challenged my pride and came. I didn’t see anyone welcoming me. On the contrary, the people of Lebanon received us with humiliation.

They put us in tents of degradation, and we soon heard the Lebanese stance on the Palestinian people. Not a week went by after we arrived until we started hearing the jokes, the humor and the gloating about a people who sold their home and land, like they say about us, and as we’ve been called in the past few years by the “unbiased” newscaster May Chidiac and by Gibran Bassil. If it was up to me, I would make it mandatory for all Lebanese people to learn about the history of the Palestinian cause. What do these know? What do they know about the imminent Zionist threat? Israel threatens them every day, and they threaten the resistance with disarmament. Sa’ad Hariri threatens to retaliate using the internal security forces and the army if Israel attacks. Where were they during the July war? Who prevented them from responding?

We were beaten and questioned in the police dungeons when we spoke politely of the sale of Palestinian land by Lebanese people (of the families: Tayyan, Salam, Tueni and Sarsaq). As soon as we’d open our mouths to tell them about our properties and our crops and how the Palestinian farmer did not leave any fertile ground go unplanted (as narrated by Ahad Ha'am in his visit to Palestine late in the nineteenth century), they’d mock our home, our wounds and our agonies. Zionists later invented the story of “Making the desert bloom”. Our desert bloomed before Theodor Herzl was even born. We embellished the land of Palestine with our blood, sweat and tears. They came later and stole our blood, sweat and tears, and they added more of our sweat, tears and blood to the land.

I slept in a tent, but I did not fall asleep. I’d shut my eyes and open holes in the roof of the tent. I travel at night toward Palestine. I feel its villages, cities and streets with my hands. When the rooster crows, I wake up terrified. I remember that I am in an ugly country: it humiliates and insults me then asks me to be grateful. They beat me and ask me to praise Lebanon, like they do today to Syrian workers in all regions of Lebanon without any condemnation from the two opposite factions. I try to say that all the neighboring Arab countries gave the Palestinian people greater rights than Lebanon. I remember days of sweat and hard endurance, I remember that the Lebanese police became experienced in insulting us. I was trying to roam the streets to fill my lungs with air, but the police was restricting our movement. I would hear the word refugee multiple times. It wasn’t my decision to seek refuge. We were trying to recount the scenes of planned operations to expel my people from their own land; we’d hear that we sold our land and that we made up stories about groves in Palestine. We used to flee towards the border. Even my beautiful accent was mocked. We’d try to hide our accent. This is Lebanon, the country of empty pretense. We’d try to approach the land of Palestine. The Lebanese army would prevent us from approaching, and the Israeli border guards would shoot us as soon as they see our heads. Thousands upon thousands of us died at the border. They died because they tried to look over their homeland.

I lived years of roaming. Parties and organizations from all over promised us victory, liberation and unity. We were scattered among a number of them. They started arguing among themselves: some decided that the unity supersedes liberation, others saw that liberation is more important, and there are those who decided that serving the oil princes is more important that liberation, unity and justice. The Field Marshal Abdel Hakim Amer was of the opinion that shaking the hips comes before liberation and before unity. And Michel Aflaq decided that nationalism is love, and that the Ba’ath soldiers are the best fighters. The radio was those organizations’ most efficient weapon, and they excelled at using it. They would draw it in battles and aim it towards Israel and fire it relentlessly; one radio, two radios, and more. They were pouring the lava of their screams on the enemy, and the enemy laughs. The Ba’athists were firing, the Nasserites were firing, but the communists were still trying to justify their decision to support the unjust partition of Palestine. But Abdel Nasser revived our hearts. In the speech battles, we preferred his speeches. Michel Aflaq was a shy orator, even in front of a small audience at cafes only. Radio wars were interesting but we did not appreciate the extent of their harm until after the 1967 war. Their promises and victorious rhetoric went all in vain. I did not hear one single speech from Nasser after the heinous 1967 defeat.

In Lebanon, we quickly became a ball in an awful sectarian soccer game which the Lebanese mastered. Camille Chamoun discovered that the Palestinian presence could benefit the sectarian wars in Lebanon. Numerous Palestinian Christians received their Lebanese citizenship quickly. Even the Phalange party, whose racism against the Palestinians was public, praised the plan. Camp children became a toy in the hands of the sects’ priests or wizards. Everybody wanted a piece of the sectarian battles. They snatched and chomped us and we were reduced to instruments in the periodic killing festivals. We contributed in building their homeland of which they are proud: Palestinian talent established for Lebanon in all areas: education, art, dancing, singing, media, economy, politics and revolution. Even the Rahbani-Fairouz phenomenon bears Palestinian hallmarks. But no one in Lebanon remembers Sabri al-Sharif. They remember Said Akl, who thanked the Israeli army for invading Lebanon.

We would walk and listen to speeches inciting racism against the Palestinian people. The enemy’s Hebrew radio station would call us subverters before they adopted the word “terrorist” in the seventies. The Phalanges and Lebanese Forces media followed suit (not by coincidence). The Phalanges propaganda, which was allied with Israel, was restrained at the beginning. They talked about “strangers”, but they meant us, and only us; incitement against us and blaming us for all their problems. The Intra Bank scandal was a suspicious start. But let’s remember Pierre Eddeh, and what do you know about Pierre Eddeh (but Itamar Rabinovich in his book about Lebanon recalled that Eddeh was his father’s envoy to the Zionist movement). They subdued us to what they call “the dirty work”; domestic servants, construction workers, and farmers without rights. Political rights were forbidden, and racial discrimination was a right and a duty for them.

The Second Bureau entered the camps. They set up stations and gangs in official uniforms. The army's official doctrine of the time required appeasing to Israel and stomping on the Palestinians, day and night. This was Fouad Chehab’s desire. The oppression soldiers and officers specialized in humiliating the Palestinian people in the camps. We would hear of Israeli plots and militias loyal to Israel, and we would also hear of the collusion of the official Lebanese army with the enemy. The entry of Israeli terrorism commandos to Lebanon would not have been possible without the vigorous coordination with internal elements. Wholesale assassinations took place without any outcomes from the investigations. Assassinations sometimes would depend on placing the missiles conspicuously, as was the case in the assassination attempt against Wadih Haddad.

I walked in a demonstration for the first time in the fifties; it was against the tripartite aggression. They took me to the nearest police station and hit me on my head and all over my body. They mocked me and shamed me for being a refugee. I kept silent. Then they started mocking and deriding Palestine, and say that we sold our lands to the Zionist Jews. I revolted, ridiculed their cedars, stomped on their flags, insulted their leaders, denounced their sects and threw an ashtray at their officer. They beat me and threw me from an elevated storey. They wounded me gravely. I came out determined to more demonstrations, anger and revolution.

I revolted with my people. We planted guns in our camps, and our women gave birth to armies - as said by Muzaffar Al-Nawwab. Guns grew in leaps and bounds. We’d stuff the rice and flour bags in the UNRWA warehouses with bombs and bullets. None of us choked, swallowing or chewing on them. We revolted against the filth of the Second Bureau. The general context changed. We were deployed in Lebanon, and we started training. Countless Palestinian organizations, including the shops of the spiteful Arab regimes that wanted to influence the Palestinian issue to the benefit of the regimes and their survival. And some expressed revolutionary aspirations. The Fatah movement was the strongest. We got stronger and we expelled the second office from the camps. We imposed the Cairo Agreement, in spite of the doctrine of Fouad Chehab of appeasing Israel. Some Palestinian groups were serious in the liberation of Palestine, while the susceptible Arab regimes were shops filled with suspects and spies. I leaned towards the organization of George Habash. I heard him speak once: I didn’t even have to listen to the whole speech. A few minutes into it, I decided that this man does not sell or buy, and he isn’t similar to Yasser Arafat in any way. George Habash taught me about “the liberation of every square millimeter of occupied Palestine”.

During the civil war in Lebanon, my father died. My father died after they shut Palestine in his face, and he never got to see it again. My father died without trusting the promises of a single Arab regime. He never believed in them or others. He lived the 1936 revolution and he saw how the regimes of the colonial British will imposed a cease-fire for the Zionists to catch their breath again. My father died and the agony never left him during the years of forced exile. I carried his body and stood on the border with occupied Palestine until it disintegrated. But his body appeared hanging down from an olive tree inside Palestine, just a few weeks later. His will was not to be buried anywhere outside the land of Palestine. I chose to degrade his body in my hands so I can disseminate it through the border with Palestine. And whenever my father dies, and he dies more than once a year, I carry him to the border with Palestine.

I've learned in the civil war not trust any sect. The sects took turns at tearing my body and shedding my blood. From sectarian Christian militias to sectarian Shi'ite militias (they were no less brutal than the Phalanges militia during the camps wars) to militias who support Harisrism during the party of the destruction of Nahr al-Bared camp. They ate my flesh and drank my blood, and they all danced on my father’s grave. They drew the cedar on my grandfather’s tombstone, by force. And they made my suffering worse by accusing me of wanting to resettle in their freak-of-a-homeland. Resettlement? I would sell all of their cedars for one single olive or a handful of grass from Palestine. I would throw their entire Phoenician monuments in the sea for one orange from Jaffa. Do you think I would settle in this freakish nation, which had been, since its foundation, a supporter of the usurping entity? Those who accuse the Palestinian people of the desire to resettle have not been to Palestine, and never set foot in the refugee camps of the Palestinian people in Lebanon. If we really intended to settle, we would’ve done it during the civil war. And Arafat, in spite of his flaws, was not satisfied with settlement. But the settlement was the invention of Christian sectarian militias and Shiite sectarian militias to justify their brutal wars and their racism against us.

They talk about Shaker al-Absi, but they never mention Nidal Hamad; this exemplary model in the struggle. Why don’t school children in Lebanon and Palestine know of Nidal Hamad? They know of Mohammed Dahlan but not Nidal Hamad!? Says who? This boy who was born in a refugee camp, found himself in 1982 (very young at the time) alone after the departure of Palestinian organizations from Lebanon. He saw the Israeli army in Beirut, and he went crazy. He did not stand or wait. He quickly got a rocket propeller and went down to the street proudly, with a comrade of his from the Palestinian Liberation Front. He stood in the middle of the street and aimed at an Israeli tank. His missile launched as the shell of the Israeli tank hit him and his friend. His companion died on the spot. Nidal did not die; he flew in the air, and then landed missing a foot and a leg. And after the enemy left their marks all over Nidal’s body, he picked up his remnants and went to the nearest hospital.

Nidal Hamad, who has one foot, never got tired. He never stopped to catch his breath in the struggle against Israel; not in Lebanon, and not in exile in Norway. One leg or two, Nidal kept the pace of his struggle. One time, Nidal Hamad saw a media gathering in Oslo, to cover the propaganda of whoever was sent by Israel to speak as an Israeli “victim” in front of the Norwegian media. Nidal Hamad did not find a rocket launcher this time. He grew irate and took off his pants in public, in the street, and showed what remains of his lower body in front of the cameras. This is what Israel did to me, he screamed in their faces. You want victims for the cameras, shoot me with your cameras, he ordered them in anger. Capture what is left of me. They photographed Nidal Hamad, but without the rocket launcher that made him fly in the air. Nidal Hamad live today in Oslo with his wife and children, but without a rocket launcher. Who took the rocket launcher from my comrade Nidal Hamad? And who would return it to him? Defense strategy? Ask Nidal Hamad.

I hear them talking about me today without seeing me. A government delegation visited us and they confirmed that we do not live in fifth-class hotels in the camps of misery. The delegation went back in a hurry and then ordered the destruction of Nahr al-Bared over the heads of its inhabitants. They said the gangs resorted to the camp. Their word was enough to destroy the camp over the heads of its inhabitants. The event was a major one for us. For the first time a Lebanese war against is waged against a Palestinian refugee camp without the support of any of Lebanon's political parties. They burned the camp using the help of Arab and American mortars and rockets, in the name of the fight against terrorism. The word terrorism (even in Michel Suleiman’s rhetoric) is adjacent to the word Palestinian. The Lebanese people across its sects cheered for the burning and destruction of the camp. All for the destruction of Nahr al-Bared. All of the freak-of-a-nation. And the Lebanese army, who has not yet found a site for a heroic confrontation of Israel (despite having received used Humvees and used helicopters suitable for the destruction of another Palestinian refugee camp), and who wastes its time chasing the brave blogger Khoder Salameh (chasing bloggers or threatening them became a part of the defense strategy), “fought epically” against the camp, as mentioned by its publications and its supporters among the people. Not even one Lebanese party did stand up to advocate the people of the camp. The word “terrorism” was heard everywhere.

But they finally discovered the “Civil Rights” of the Palestinian people. Even the Phalanges Party, the Lebanese Forces and Fouad Siniora (Wasfi al-Tal of Lebanon) talk about the civil rights of the Palestinian people. Are they aware that the term first appeared in the Balfour Declaration? ‘Civil rights’ because political and national rights have always been restricted to the Jews, as desired by the British colonialists. ‘Civil rights’ and we demand the liberation of Palestine? What do they mean by civil rights? The right to collect garbage? And the right to applause for visitors to the camps of the Governments of Lebanon who participated in the battle of destruction of Nahr al-Bared? The Lebanese army should look for their heroic actions outside the camps. And if they were really looking for sites to record their heroisms, I would’ve pointed them towards locations at the borders that were quenched with more Palestinian blood than the blood of Lebanese officials.

I am not a refugee, I am a rebel. I'll keep my weapons inside the camps, outside the camps, above the camps and under the camps. Everywhere. Behind the enemy, everywhere as we were taught by Wadih Haddad. Lebanese sects can go on with their hatred and resentment festivals, which they master, and they can recount their populations in preparation for endless rounds of brutal civil wars among themselves, but what’s in it for me? How am I associated with their small wars? They want me to recognize Mohammed Dahlan envoys in the camps? “Alleeno” or others do not belong in Ain al-Hilweh. I will keep my gun, no matter what they say. They will not decide for me in their ridiculous dialogue committees. Samir Gea’gea’ and everybody who’s experienced at serving Israel advice me to hand over the Palestinian weapons. I buried my father and mother in this land, but they asked me not to bury my gun. I’d rather bury my four children, but would never bury my arms. I will pass it on to my children so that they pass it on to their children. I'm staying here until I get there. I refused the apology of Abbas Dahlan Zaki on my behalf. The road to the Liberation of Palestine goes through Jounieh, Aley, Ba’albeck, Sidon and Tyre."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

All that you have done to our people is registered in notebooks

"Al-Maqdesi foundation for society development said that Israel demolished more than 10,000 Palestinian homes in the neighborhoods of occupied Jerusalem during the past 10 years." (thanks Farah)

Not all fighters are the same

""I was forced to be a fighter. My father taught me when I was seven years old. I don't imagine raising my son in the same way my father raised us. The situation now doesn't justify me teaching my son to use weapons to defend himself." She is a progressive. (thanks Nikki)

user requests

"Google's new tool displays the number of "user requests" that Google received from various governments from July to December 2009. According to the tool, the company received thousands of such requests from the U.S. government during that period — thousands of requests digging into the intimate details of individual lives that are captured in emails, search histories, reading and viewing logs, and the like. And if Google is receiving thousands of requests every six months, how many more are going out to Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook and the thousands of other online services that we use every day?" (thanks I don't remember who bec I am sleepy)

Ross is back: he never left really

"That decision has been interpreted by some in the administration as an attempt to sideline Mr. Mitchell in favor of Mr. Ross, who has advocated U.S. cooperation with Mr. Netanyahu, rather than confrontation. Mr. Ross has publicly taken positions in line with Mr. Netanyahu's government, particularly the centrality of stopping Iran's nuclear program as a means to underpin Mideast peace efforts." (thanks Khelil)

bragging about Mossad after Dubai, and bragging about Israeli occupation forces after Lebanon. that is classic

"Aharoni argued that the image of Israel could be improved by promoting more Israeli brands and increasing their recognition abroad. “We must increase awareness of our brands in the world. We have many brands to be proud of,” Aharoni said, arguing that currently Israel’s two most famous “brands” are the IDF and the Mossad." (thanks Sarah)

Zionist dirty tricks

"But prominent critics of the report quickly made the leap from debate to invective. Israeli President Shimon Peres called Goldstone "a small man, devoid of any sense of justice." Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School called him "a traitor to the Jewish people." An Israeli minister and numerous blog posts have labeled him an anti-Semite." (thanks Dina)

They surf and they resist

"It's therefore a somewhat surreal sight to see young men, clad in wetsuits, boards tucked under their arms, splashing into the water. These are the surfers of Gaza." (thanks Mehdi)

Dahlan, O Dahlan

"Gaza-based Palestinian movement Hamas has again accused a senior official of rival Palestinian group Fatah of spying for Israel. Speaking last week from Gaza, Hamas official Mohammed Nazal said that Fatah Central Committee member Mohammed Dahlan, who has been tipped for the post of Vice President in Fatah-controlled Palestinian National Authority, is actively gathering information on behalf of Israeli intelligence. Nazal said Hamas received a tip-off about Dahlan from a former security officer in the Palestinian National Authority, who appears to have defected to Hamas." (thanks Bernhard)

This is Zionism

"Israeli occupation forces (IOF) beat up a Palestinian child in Al-Khalil district after arresting him for alleged involvement in throwing stones at them then forced him to drink sewage water." (thanks Olivia)

my talk tongiht

My talk tonight at George Mason University is still on. But the workshop on Friday has been postponed until Fall because our host, comrade Bassam Haddad of Tartus, has been stuck in Amman.

People in Middle East Studies: BUY THIS BOOK

I did not know what to expect: I heard that Patrick Seale was commissioned by the Sulh family to write a book about Riyadh As-Sulh. And he co-wrote (or wrote, let us not kid ourselves) the autobiography of dumb Prince Khalid bin Sultan. I remember discussing it with him once, and let us say that he did not seem proud of the "coauthorship". Hut this book by Seale (The Struggle for Arab Independence) that just came out this week by Cambridge: is not about Riyadh As-Sulh only: it is about contemporary Arab history. Seale is an excellent story teller and he has a great skills of amassing tons of information and not being overwhelmed by it and tell a great story. This is one of his best book, and I am not finished with this 750-pages. But it has a wealth of information. This is one of the best books on the modern Middle East to come in a very long time. Politically, there are problems: the references to Riyadh As-Sulh and his family are fawning and unbecoming. Really bothersome and jarring to read. His account of the assassination of Antun Sa`adah was apologetic (I did not reach that far but read that section in question). So go and read it. People around the world ask me daily to make bibliographical references about the Middle East: and I dont always respond as I dont have the time but this is a book you all need to read.

PS I want to thank Badr Al-Hajj in London for rushing me a copy of the book. I don't normally thank people for gifts they give me. But Badr, also obtained for me a very rare Arabic book from the 19th century that I have been desperately looking for (Diwan Mutanabbi edited by Nasir Yaziji). That gift meant the world to me. And other books he has sent me.

PSS I will revisit this book for a longer review.

Poor women: victims of illegal abortion in Lebanon

I so am proud of AlAkhbar which dedicated a cover story to the issue of poor women and illegal abortion in Lebanon. And salutations to Narmine Al-Hurr for writing it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lebanese pimps in the news again: Lebanon (esp An-Nahar) could no more proudt be

""Le 13 avril, lors de la descente de police dans cet établissement, la Mondaine a découvert «18 victimes prostituées». Les deux patrons-gérants, deux frères d’origine libanaise, Georges et Elie F., âgés de 26 et 23 ans, ont été mis en examen par la suite pour «proxénétisme hôtelier», et placés en détention provisoire"" (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

fresh fish no more

"A Gulf Arab airline ditched a massive cargo of fresh fish and the desert region's supermarkets are fretting over fruit and vegetable imports trapped in a backlog of flights created by Europe's ash cloud."

The Daily Star: the voice of the Arab masses. Oh, yeah

"Today Mr. Young, the son of an American father and a Lebanese mother, edits the opinion pages of the Daily Star, Beirut's English- language daily. It is a background—and a perch—that allows him to write with authority on a subject typified by antithesis, paradox, surprise and inescapability." (thanks Suha)

Disgrace unto the nations

"Two Palestinian brothers with Israeli citizenship have won 8,000 US dollars in damages from Israel’s national carrier, El Al, after a court found that their treatment by the company’s security staff at a New York airport had been "abusive and unnecessary."" (thanks Farah)

what happens in academia

"The two students arrived late to a conference panel, after which Farred walked over and thanked them for making it out to the conference. According to one of the two students present, Farred then lowered his voice and said, “When you both walked in, I thought, ‘Who are these black bitches?’”" (thanks Aruna)

Killing for you, Jamal Mubarak

"Egyptian security sources reported Tuesday that a 31-year-old Eritrean man was killed by Egyptian Border Police fire while trying to infiltrate into Israel." (thanks Olivia)

mistreatment of maids in the Middle East

"An appeals court has reduced a jail term to seven years of a Kuwaiti woman who left her Asian maid suffer for 10 hours until she died after pushing her into a bathtub, a newspaper reported Tuesday." She will be out in less than a year. (thanks Marcia)

censoring google

"Google has hit out at state attempts to clamp down on the internet by revealing governments' requests to remove data from the web and get information about users.Tonight it released a web page with a map showing country by country where it has had government requests or court orders to remove content from the YouTube video service or its search results, or to provide details about users of its services." (thanks Zaki)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 to Washington, DC

I am speaking twice this week at George Mason University: on Thursday and Friday. Check your local listings.

Group challenges Egypt's barrier to Gaza in court

"Palestinian supporters in Egypt are taking the government to court to prevent them building an impregnable barrier along the border with Gaza." (thanks Olivia)

British soldiers accused of sickening sex assault on Iraqi boy, 14

""They made us sit on each other's laps," he said. "They were enjoying humiliating and abusing us, I wished I was dead at this moment." (thanks Suha)

For you, Jamal Mubarak

"Constitutional jurist Ibrahim Darweesh says that amendments to the constitution have already settled the outcome of the upcoming presidential election in favor of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) candidate, particularly Gamal Mubarak, the head of the NDP's Policy Secretariat and the son of President Hosni Mubarak." (thanks Moustafa)

This is Obama for you

"President Barack Obama has said on the Jewish state's 62nd anniversary that the United States shares an "unbreakable bond" with Israel and he was confident the relationship "will only be strengthened" into the future." (thanks Sarah)

Salam Fayyad: in the footsteps of dumb Lebanese

"Prime Minister Salam Fayyad testing a massive dish of musakhan, a traditional Palestinian food, in the West Bank village of Arura, near Ramallah on 19 April 2010. The dish has a diameter of 4 meters. " (thanks Ziyaad)

Literature as anthropology

""I don't want my work to be used as a piece of anthropology, a textbook for people who don't know about the Arab world," explained Egyptian writer Youssef Rakha, one of 39 Arab authors younger than 40 selected for the Beirut39 book festival. "I think [Arab literature] is in danger of becoming something else -- something non-literary," he added."

They will kill for you, Jamal Mubarak

"As Egyptian activists have grown more brazen in recent weeks, three members of the nation's parliament have criticized the Interior Ministry for not harshly cracking down on demonstrators calling for widespread political reforms. "Shoot them [activists] and use bullets against those outlaws. We are 80 million Egyptians, and we don't care if we lose a bunch of contraveners like them," said Nashaat Kassas, a lawmaker. His comments, aimed at Interior Minister Habib Adli, came after opposition protests on April 6 and April 13. "If it was my decision, I'd have questioned the minister [Adli] about his leniency towards those demonstrators," said Kassas, a member of the ruling National Democratic Party." (thanks Dina)

"Getting Away With Murder"

"CPJ’s 2010 Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and killers go free" (thanks Lilia)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Iranian religious kooks

"A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear revealing clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes."

Oh, please. As if there was ever a left in Israel

Lamenting the decline of the so-called Israeli left.

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid

"City bureaucrats may withdraw funding from Pride Toronto next year if the activist group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid is allowed to march in this summer’s Pride parade." (thanks Hicham)

Discipline and punish the puppets

"The army has begun looking into ways to crack down on the Palestinian Authority’s financial support of the so-called nonviolent public uprising it is supporting in the West Bank, The Jerusalem Post has learned."

Traditions of Kings versus the conduct of strugglers and rebels

Saudi clumnist, Dawud Shiryan, rules that the traditions of kings are superior to the conduct of strugglers and rebels. (thanks Omar)

Dahlan lobby in DC is keen on not opposing Israel

"The models of Gandhi and King can be a powerful tool to peacefully oppose the occupation, while not opposing Israel itself." Fortunately, such a view has the support of 0.000004 of the Arab people.

Real Tunisia

"But Tunisian citizens see another side of the country: a repressive state obsessed with maintaining the ruling party's monopoly on power. My Human Rights Watch colleagues and I came up against Tunisia's harsher side last month when we traveled to Tunis, the capital, to release a report critical of the country's authoritarianism." (thanks Olivia)

Yes, let the young go to priests for protection

"Pope: church will protect young from abuse"

Western sensibilities: how nice

""The whole system sounds a bit unsavory to Western sensibilities but the system is ubiquitous in Bangkok..." Yes, genius. Western sensibilities are so hostile to porn, sleaze, prostitution and denigration of women. Oh, yeah.

Hariri MP, `Uqab Saqr, Dancing the `Ardah in Janadiriyyah festival in Saudi Arabia

I thank my Saudi sources for unearthing this for me. Witnesses told me that Prince Salman invited Saqr to perform the dance and Saqr, of course, obliged. (thanks Saud)

Condemning Kramer

"Much has been made of Martin Kramer’s suggestion that Palestinians be denied food and medicine in order to weaken their opposition to the Israeli occupation. We, along with a group of 25 other professors, scholars, and Harvard alumni, add our voices to the chorus of condemnation directed towards Dr. Kramer and express our concern that the Weatherhead Center has lent him its credibility. As academics, we question both the ethical and scholarly basis of Dr. Kramer’s public statements. We maintain that this is not a question of protecting Dr. Kramer’s free speech, as was indicated by the Weatherhead Center’s response to criticism. Rather, it is about maintaining appropriate standards of ethical and intellectual conduct; Dr. Kramer’s repellent statements evince a clear failure to meet those standards." (thanks Maryam)

when a war criminal state expresses worries about its image

"The reason the Communications Ministry is blocking the entry of iPad tablet computers into Israel is that the device's wireless communications could interfere with frequencies used by the military, said MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beiteinu) yesterday. He wrote a letter to Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon, calling on him to allow the importation of Apple's new computers, which the ministry banned last week. Ilatov said the ban had harmed Israel's image around the world, and kept Israelis from using cutting-edge technology." (thanks Farah)

Chomsky warns

"Noam Chomsky, the leading leftwing intellectual, warned last week that fascism may be coming to the United States." (thanks Naseer)

those two royal clowns feel like dancing, dancing

The Saudi king and the Bahraini king feel like dancing. (Saudi news agency)

"But the simplest way to help the black family would be to lock up fewer black men for non-violent offences."

"IMAGINE that the world consists of 20 men and 20 women, all of them heterosexual and in search of a mate. Since the numbers are even, everyone can find a partner. But what happens if you take away one man? You might not think this would make much difference. You would be wrong, argues Tim Harford, a British economist, in a book called “The Logic of Life”. With 20 women pursuing 19 men, one woman faces the prospect of spinsterhood. So she ups her game. Perhaps she dresses more seductively. Perhaps she makes an extra effort to be obliging. Somehow or other, she “steals” a man from one of her fellow women. That newly single woman then ups her game, too, to steal a man from someone else. A chain reaction ensues. Before long, every woman has to try harder, and every man can relax a little. Real life is more complicated, of course, but this simple model illustrates an important truth. In the marriage market, numbers matter. And among African-Americans, the disparity is much worse than in Mr Harford’s imaginary example. Between the ages of 20 and 29, one black man in nine is behind bars. For black women of the same age, the figure is about one in 150. For obvious reasons, convicts are excluded from the dating pool. And many women also steer clear of ex-cons, which makes a big difference when one young black man in three can expect to be locked up at some point." (thanks Ema)