Wednesday, June 30, 2010

torture by us versus torture by them

"Examining the four newspapers with the highest daily circulation in the country, we found a significant and sudden shift in how newspapers characterized waterboarding. From the early 1930s until the modern story broke in 2004, the newspapers that covered waterboarding almost uniformly called the practice torture or implied it was torture: The New York Times characterized it thus in 81.5% (44 of 54) of articles on the subject and The Los Angeles Times did so in 96.3% of articles (26 of 27). By contrast, from 2002‐2008, the studied newspapers almost never referred to waterboarding as torture. The New York Times called waterboarding torture or implied it was torture in just 2 of 143 articles (1.4%). The Los Angeles Times did so in 4.8% of articles (3 of 63). The Wall Street Journal characterized the practice as torture in just 1 of 63 articles (1.6%). USA Today never called waterboarding torture or implied it was torture. In addition, the newspapers are much more likely to call waterboarding torture if a country other than the United States is the perpetrator. In The New York Times, 85.8% of articles (28 of 33) that dealt with a country other than the United States using waterboarding called it torture or implied it was torture while only 7.69% (16 of 208) did so when the United States was responsible. The Los Angeles Times characterized the practice as torture in 91.3% of articles (21 of 23) when another country was the violator, but in only 11.4% of articles (9 of 79) when the United States was the perpetrator."

non sequitur

"Leaving aside the complete non sequitur that is his response -- how does that remotely pertain to Goldberg's granting of anonymity to his friends to smear people they don't like or the serial fear-mongering fabrications he spread about the Saddam threat prior to the invasion? -- I don't need to travel to Kurdistan to know that many Kurds, probably most, are happy that the U.S. attacked Iraq."

Human Rights Watch urges Middle East governments to follow the secular example of Saudi Arabia

"As Human Rights Watch documented during a trip to Gaza in May, severe violations of personal freedom and repression of civil society groups that defend that freedom appear to be sharply on the rise. The Hamas government, trying to shore up its image as an Islamic reform movement in the face of challenges from more radical Islamist groups, is consolidating its social control by upping its efforts to "Islamize" Gaza." Let me say this: the efforts by Hamas to Islamize Gaza are real: I have been receiving messages from Palestinians about that. But can you imagine if a staffer of Human Rights Watch were to warn about the efforts to Islamize Saudi Arabia by the Saudi royal family? Or would Human Rights Watch dare talk about the Judaization of Israel? Just imagine. (thanks Dina)

arrest the thieves at once

"Le prince saoudien Khaled Ben Sultab Ben Abdelaziz Ben Saoud héritier de la famille royale et vice-ministre de la Défense de son pays s’est fait piquer des grands crus...Dans le panier : deux bouteilles de Lafite-Rothschild 1979 (230 euros), des La Fleur-Pétrus 1978 (910 euros), des Haut-Brion 1990 (400 euros) en passant par des La Tour 1985 (500 euros) ou des Château Le Pin 1989 (4500 euros). Un butin d’œnophile qui devraient motiver les flics qui ont consigné sa plainte le 3 juin dernier."

Other side of fashion

"But what has been liberating for Western women is a system built literally on the backs of women in the developing world. How do Primark and its competitors in the West’s shopping malls and High Streets keep that cute frock so cheap? By starving and oppressing Bangladeshi, Chinese, Mexican, Haitian, and other women, that’s how. We all know that cheap clothing is usually made in sweatshop conditions – and usually by women. And we know – or should know – that women in sweatshops around the world report being locked in and forbidden to use bathrooms for long periods, as well as sexual harassment, violent union-busting, and other forms of coercion."

minimize not end?

"Human rights group Amnesty International has called on Gen. David Petraeus to redouble the military's effort to minimize civilian casualties in Afghanistan." So Amnesty would be fine with, say, 10 civilian casualties per week?

This is Zionism

"In other areas, the violations continued as in the past. The general lack of accountability in cases where security forces are suspected of harming Palestinians remained in place. Israeli civilians who injured Palestinians and damaged Palestinian property were also generally not prosecuted for these attacks. Although Israel declared a freeze on construction in the settlements, the settlement enterprise continued to have severe repercussions for Palestinians’ human rights. The Jerusalem Municipality expedited the handling of a few plans to build settlements in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. The Separation Barrier continued to isolate a number of villages in the West Bank from their surrounding areas and detached farmers from their farmland. Israel continued to restrict Palestinian access to extensive areas in the West Bank, such as East Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley, and land west of the Separation Barrier, and generally treated Palestinian freedom of movement as a privilege it may retract at will." (thanks Farah)

Women versus men

"In some places where a boy’s education is favored, women had opinions far different from those of men. In Egypt, for instance, a solid 60 percent of men said boys were more entitled to that education, while an equally solid 60 percent of women disagreed. The gender gap was similar in Jordan and Pakistan."

Men and women

From NYT. Click to enlarge NOW.

American men are satisfied

"Indeed, the United States and Germany reported an especially strong gap between the sexes on whether enough has been done to give women equality. Of those who believe in equal rights, many more American and German men believe their nations have made the right amount of changes for women, while many more women than men in those countries think more action is required." (thanks Olivia)

The feminist West

"But after Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, when women's rights were subverted in an attempt to gain clerical support for the Baathist regime, female literacy plunged from 75 percent to less than 25 percent." Of course, Western sanctions had nothing to do with this because the West is very feminist in its foreign policies in the Middle East as evidenced in its embrace of Saudi ruling family.

The West: paradise of gender equality

"Despite the advances of women in places such as Iran, she argues that such countries are not nearly as advanced as they could be if women's opportunities were equal to men's." Yes, unlike in the West where women's opportunities are equal to men. Oh, yeah.

Good news at last

Palestine is still subject to a savage Zionist occupation but Larry King will quit. I used to see Larry King on M Street in the 1980s. He would walk the streets hoping to be recognized. (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

Mossad: desperately seeking victory--even fake ones

So the Mossad is so embarrassed with Lebanese police's victories again the Zionist entity, so Israel yesterday announced that it cracked a Hizbullah spying network although the Zionist entity strictly censors news about military and espionage affairs involving Israelis. I won't comment on the veracity of Israel's claims but let us say that Lebanon has thus fair arrested 120 Israeli spies. So the score is 120 to 6--in Lebanon's favor. In Lebanese police's favor, for potato's sake. Another indication why Israeli years are numbered. Hehehehe

Warning: the danger of terrorist babies

"Gohmert: I talked to a retired FBI agent who said that one of the things they were looking at were terrorist cells overseas who had figured out how to game our system. And it appeared they would have young women, who became pregnant, would get them into the United States to have a baby. They wouldn't even have to pay anything for the baby. And then they would turn back where they could be raised and coddled as future terrorists. And then one day, twenty...thirty years down the road, they can be sent in to help destroy our way of life. 'Cause they figured out how stupid we are being in this country to allow our enemies to game our system, hurt our economy, get setup in a position to destroy our way of life." (thanks Khaled)

Obama speaks on the Saudi King

"I always value His Majesty’s wisdom and insights"

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How the Lebanese president protects himself from Tweets

This is a full account of the way the Lebanese presidents protects himself form tweets. (thanks As`ad)

Israeli violations of UNSC 1701

Lebanon has officially recorded 6945 Israeli violations (by land, sea, and air) of UNSC 1701 since 2006.

120 accused spies for Israel in Lebanon

Lebanese police and army have thus far arrested 120 Israeli spies in Lebanon. 120 to 0 for Lebanon. I find that hilarious. Mossad's brilliance? Are you kidding me? Beaten by Lebanese police, for potato's sake.

Chief PA collaborator who does not need to run for re-election, in Western eyes

""The Palestinians have long feared the Jewish lobby in Washington. Now, they are embracing it. During a swing through the U.S. capital this month, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was the guest of honor at a dinner with a small but influential gathering of more than 30 Jewish American leaders and political heavyweights. In what participants on both sides have described as a highly successful meeting," (...)Among them were Elliot Abrams, a veteran of the Reagan and second Bush White Houses; Sandy Berger, the National Security Adviser to Bill Clinton; publisher Mortimer Zuckerman; and leaders from major Jewish groups like the powerful AIPAC lobby, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Anti-Defamation League.(...)Participants said Abbas was so engrossed in the conversation that he didn't even eat his dinner. When flying home two days later, he still spoke warmly about the event."" (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

Moderate Arab monarchies

"In the United Arab Emirates, a country that prides itself on modernity and its willingness to advance women's rights, the criminal court in Abu Dhabi has sentenced an 18-year-old Emirati woman to a year in prison for illicit sex after she reported that six men had gang-raped her."

This is Zionism

"Three weeks ago, an Israeli border police officer shot and killed Palestinian Ziad Jilani execution-style after a hit and run accident involving a squad of four police officers. After first reporting the police version of the incident that Jilani was a terrorist attempting to kill police, the Israeli media, in the person of Amira Hass, put forward a far more credible report claiming that a border policemen approach a wounded Jilani who was lying in the street and shot him in the head from point-blank range." (thanks Sami)

CIA/Likud sinking of Carter?

Evidence is weak. (thanks Steve)

One thing in private, and another in public, and yet another one in public

"« Il y a deux pays au monde qui ne méritent pas d’exister : l’Iran et Israël », lui a déclaré le roi Abdallah, le 5 juin dernier." (thanks FLC)

Why do you want to buy a donkey in Fez?

I mean, what is the point? That you can't move in Fez without a donkey? (thanks Nabeel)

The West Bank model of official collaboration

"Children living in the poorest parts of the West Bank face significantly worse conditions than their counterparts in Gaza, a study conducted by an international youth charity has found."

Obama redefines the death penalty

"When it was confirmed last winter by then-Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair that the Obama administration had authorized the assassination of American citizens working with terrorist groups overseas, it appeared that no more than three Americans were being targeted in this manner.In an interview last week with the Washington Times,however, Deputy White House National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John O. Brennan suggested that the number might actually amount to "dozens.": (thanks Sellam)

Learning Lebanonese

Learning the Lebanonese "language". (thanks Daniel, Q)

The smell of racism: roses to US congressional noses

"The Israel Medical Association charged Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman on Sunday with delaying the transfer of ministry budgets to Nahariya’s state-owned Western Galilee Hospital because its director-general is an Israeli Arab. Litzman’s recent statements in the Knesset about the hospital “raise the smell of racism,” said IMA chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman."

Building a Palestinian army to protect...Israel

"The most senior Israeli military people told me the new security force that Fayyad has built is the real deal — real enough that Israel has taken down most of the checkpoints inside the West Bank." (thanks Olivia)

Whatever Israel claims, the New York Times believes

"The Israeli police on Monday announced the April arrests of seven young Arab men who, they said, had militant Islamic sympathies and had planned attacks on Jews and Christians." Israeli police added that they planned to revive the Third Reich.

Dahlan, O Dahlan

His dirty hands are so visible.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sri Lankan maids

Sri Lankan maids in Lebanon learn Arabic much faster than Europeans and Americans. Let that be noted.

injustice in Egypt

"According to the official story, as outlined in two coroner's reports, hedied of asphyxiation caused by his attempt to swallow a packet of "bungo" (a form of marijuana), presumably out of fear of being caught in possession. The post-mortem did concede that the young man had injuries resulting from a "collision with solid objects", but claimed that these had not led to his death."

Repressive Lebanese laws

"The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by repressive aspects of a new technology bill that is pending in the Lebanese parliament. CPJ urges parliament to remove several provisions that would restrict press freedom and free expression. The bill focuses largely on electronic business transactions, including security and contractual issues. The legislation is seen as important among officials and business people who cite a need for Lebanon to adopt generally accepted online business standards. But research by CPJ and other groups shows that the bill includes a number of broadly written provisions that could hinder freedom of expression." (thanks Rima)

No mention of "spitting attacks"

"20 stoning attacks". (thanks Sarah)

Lebanese language

Did you know that there is a Lebanese language? (thanks Q)

Saddam and Sa'ib: the dictator and the buffoon

Zainab tells me that Saddam Husayn and Sa'ib `Uraykat have the same birthday.

did you know?

Did you know that the Israeli occupation force kidnapped a Lebanese citizen the other day from Lebanese territory and that the lousy UNIFIL force, which is stationed to protect Israel and its "citizens", did nothing?

Sharbil Qazzi

"An alleged Israeli spy arrested by Lebanese Army Intelligence last week had access to the "most significant segment" of one of the only two mobile networks in Lebanon, an industry expert told Babylon & Beyond. The alleged spy, identified by officials as "Charbel Q," reportedly has confessed to working on behalf of the Israelis since 1996 and may have planted monitoring devices allowing the Israelis to tap directly into the Alfa network, one of the two major cellphone companies operating in Lebanon, according to local media reports (Arabic link). "There is evidence that the accused, Charbel Q., had ties to Israel," a spokesman for the army confirmed. "The investigation is ongoing, and when it finishes, the matter will be decided according to Lebanese law."" Tell the LA Times that his full name is Sharbil Qazzi. (thanks Dina)

housekeepers, nannies, and other domestic workers

"New York lawmakers have passed bills to require overtime pay after eight-hour workdays and at least one day off weekly for more than 200,000 housekeepers, nannies and other domestic workers in the state." (thanks Shawna)

Maryam Rajavi and Bolton

"The event Saturday in the suburb of Taverny drew former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and John Bolton, who served as Washington's ambassador to the UN." (thanks Olivia)

friend of Obama

"Obama is my friend, but I won’t ask for assistance from abroad, I will ask for assistance from the Egyptian people,” he continued." (thanks Moustafa)

Sectarianism and Racism in one

In this lousy article in An-Nashrah (which has a picture of May Murr, a kook who supported Ariel Sharon after the release of the Kahan report on his complicity in Sabra and Shatila masacres), the author manages to combine anti-Muslim sectarianism with anti-Palestinian racism. (thanks Raed)

It is illegal in Lebanon to criticize the Lebanese president on Facebook

I kid you not. Three Lebanese were arrested for criticizing the Lebanese president on Facebook.

When a dumb right-wing Lebanese talk about the Palestinians in Lebanon

This is Nayla Tuwayni--a person who can't even write her own articles--I mean that literally--a right-wing Lebanese offering her racist views on the Palestinians in Lebanon. (thanks Zaynab)

Romantic terrorism in the New York Times

"Your parents were among the country’s founders.

They were the first couple to marry in Israel, the very first. Both of them were in the Irgun. They were freedom fighters, and they met while boarding a British train. When the British Mandate was here, they robbed a train to get the money in order to buy weapons.

It was a more romantic era. Is your mom still alive?.. " (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

GUESS WHO THIS IS????????????????????????????

"one of the most engaging human beings I have ever seen." (thanks Joel)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

US congressional insights on the Middle East

"Iran-tied terror group Hezbollah may be colluding with drug cartels along the U.S.-Mexico border, a Republican congresswoman warned, calling on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to establish a special task force to figure out how to "clamp down" on this "national security" threat." I won't be surprised if the US Congress stumbles on a document that "proves" that Hizbullah collaborated with the Nazi regime in WWII. (thanks Seham)

Zionism and anti-Zionism

"Only when the Reform leadership, on the eve of World War II, reversed course did its anti-Zionist faction break away, ultimately forming the council in 1942. Its discourse was simultaneously idealistic and contemptuous — a proposed curriculum in 1952 described Zionism as racist, self-segregated and non-American — and for a time it boasted leaders like Lessing J. Rosenwald, heir to the Sears fortune, and a membership of 14,000." (thanks Sarah)

Israeli/Saudi propaganda

You can easily now spot Israeli/Saudi propaganda.

Thieves, occupiers, and murderers

"Israel confiscated seven oxygen machines en route to hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza based on the claim that there was a chance the generators attached to the machines would not be used for medical purposes, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported Saturday." (thanks Olivia)

Walid Khalidi at AUB

Here, Walid Khalidi 1) seems to blame the Palestinians for the Lebanese civil war; 2) absolves the right-wing pro-Israeli Lebanese forces and Phalanges from responsibility; 3) bizarrely takes sectarian sides in the war and pays special tribute to Christians over Muslims.

Sectarian Christian Lebanese nationalism

Read the sectarian Christian argument about and for Lebanon by the ill-cited, Bashir Gemayyel's adviser, Bulus Nu`man.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Protest in Alexandria

Protest for Khalid Sa`id in Alexandria. (thanks Farah)

Economic growth in Gaza

"World Bank figures due to be published in coming weeks are likely to show that economic growth in the Gaza Strip in the first quarter of 2010 has exceeded that in the West Bank. While virtually all economic growth in the West Bank is a result of foreign aid, much of the growth in Gaza is attributable to a "parallel economy" that has emerged thanks to the tunnels. This has even created a small new class of nouveaux riches in Gaza." (thanks Olivia)

This is Zionism

"In 2007, Yuval Diskin, the head of Shin Bet, made it clear that the agency would "thwart" any activities that challenge the Jewish character of the state, regardless of whether those activities are legal. Hussein Abu Hussein, a lawyer on the legal teams representing Makhoul and Said, says he feels that some within the Israeli establishment are looking for a confrontation with the Palestinians inside Israel."The state has reached a political dead-end, with worldwide condemnation of Israel's actions, and calls for the prosecution of leaders in international courts." (thanks Ben)

Israeli apartheid

"Also Wednesday, Jewish residents of eastern Jerusalem threatened to hire a private security firm to evict four Palestinian families living in a building that once was a Yemenite synagogue. The building is located in Silwan, near Beit Yonatan. The settlers set a deadline of July 4 for the 40 members of the four families to move off the property, which they say is Jewish-owned." (thanks Sarah)

`Uraykat threatens to sweat

`Uraykat thus establishes yet again his credentials as chief PA buffoon: "Erakat warned the Israelis that "if by the end of this year we do not have a two-state solution, you will sweat, you will sweat." (thanks Ziyaad)

Anti-Palestinian racism in Lebanon

"Today, Lebanon is the most hostile country to Palestinian refugees after Israel. They are second-class citizens here, but they are not the only ones." (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

Where are you tears?

Israelis are suffering from a terrible siege. Boo hoo and hoo. "The international community has imposed an “emotional blockade” on Israel that has prevented the world from sympathizing with Israeli citizens, according to France’s Ambassador for Human Rights Francois Zimeray." This is like saying that Goebbels got bad press. (thanks Lidia)

Mubarak's Egypt: the evil of Sadat

"The Islamisation of Egyptian society deepened after the 1967 war; it became explicit government policy under Sadat, the self-styled ‘believer president’ who supported radical Islamists in his battles with the left, and who made the sharia ‘the principal source’ of law in 1980 – a year before his assassination by an Islamist. Under Mubarak, praying has become as popular as shopping or football and now serves a roughly similar function as a distraction from the innumerable frustrations of Egyptian life. Indeed, Islam as observed by Egyptians is increasingly an Islam that caters to consumerist needs. The popular televangelist Amr Khaled mixes Quranic citations with boosterish advice of a more general kind. This variety of Islam is no threat to the regime, but it has made life far less easy-going. ‘My neighbour used to water his plants in his pyjamas on the balcony, where he’d be joined by his wife in her nightie,’ a friend tells me. ‘They’d drink beer in the open, and then he’d go downstairs for the sunset prayers in the local mosque. Today he’d be killed for this, but at the time he would have seen no contradiction.’" (thanks Abdallah)

Another Lebanese miracle

The dead, Father Istifan, cures a Lebanese child. Praise the cedars. (thanks Karim)


""We have the sub-governor, the police, the Afghan army, the Marines here, and with all these forces they can't destroy the Taliban," Kalim said. "Who will protect us?""

numbers and war

"The writer claims that 95% of injured soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen were not reported as casualties due to what he refers to as the Pentagon's "fudging the numbers" in a bid to win funding from American lawmakers to finance the wars. "Wounded in action is narrowly defined to essentially be an injury directly caused by an adversary," he writes. "So called 'friendly fire' injuries and deaths would apparently not be counted. The emphasis is on acute injuries caused by enemy munitions which pierce or penetrate." He cites sources such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, the New England Journal of Medicine and the Navy to conclude that the more than 170,000 U.S. soldiers suffer from hearing damage, the 130,000 or more cases of milder brain injuries, and the 200,000 troops suffering from mental problems are left out of the casualty count. If they were to be included in the Pentagon's official numbers of 5,500 troop deaths and 38,000 injuries, the total American military casualty toll in Iraq and Afghanistan would amount to well over 500,000." (thanks Dina)


Comrade Samah on the boycott of Israel.

Mirvat Hatem and Joseph Massad

It occurred to me while shaving this morning: my comrades/friends Joseph Massad and Mirvat Hatem were quite perceptive in warning against the dangers of Arab "liberal" voices back in the early 1990s. They deserve credit.


My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Sa`d Hariri as Prime Minister: The Rule of the One who does not rule."

Lebanese Cabinet

Comrade Hanady on the performance of the Lebanese cabinet.

Interruption of service

My internet has been down, my email has been disrupted due to oversize materials, and my mother has been in the hospital.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

anti-Palestinianism in Lebanon

Comrade Khaled writes on Anti-Palestinianism in Lebanon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Budget of the ruling party

Comrade Fawwaz writes on the budget of the ruling party.

Prince Turki

The letter attributed to Prince Turki is a hoax. Don't send it to me.

Reform in Saudi Arabia

"Judicial officials say a Saudi court has convicted four women and 11 men for mingling at a party and sentenced them to flogging and prison terms. The men, who are between 30 and 40 years old, and three of the women, who are under the age of 30, were sentenced to an unspecified number of lashes and one or two year prison terms each.The fourth woman, a minor, was sentenced to 80 lashes and was not sent to prison.:"


"Nato spokesman James Appathurai said the article was "unfortunate", but that the organisation's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen had "full confidence in General McChrystal as the Nato commander and in his strategy"." (thanks Karim)

Israel's dirty hands

"For those interested in Middle East politics, Gertler, a devout Orthodox Jew, is also behind the Green Park and Green Mount companies that are helping to finance the building of new Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank." (thanks Olivia)

Fox News on Arab/Muslim men: this is in the US, where 23 women are killed per week by boyfriends or husbands, and where 30%of women are victims of dom

"While exceptions do exist, in general, the Western woman is, more often, treated as if she were an Arab or Muslim woman, which means she is verbally abused, downgraded in status to that of a house servant, routinely monitored, isolated, threatened, battered, expected or even forced to convert to Islam, and to promise to bring up her children as Muslims. If she refuses to do so, she might even be honor-murdered." (thanks Ahmed)

Egypt and the Rafah Crossing

I am not making this up. Egyptian prime minister, Ahmad Nadhif (this translates of as "clean" in Arabic) was in Beirut. He was asked about the reason for the belated opening of the Rafah crossing. He said that the Rafah crossing has been open all along but that Egypt decided to open it again recently.

Thus spoke Sheikh Mo

"Dubai's Sheikh Mohammed: It's not a recession, it's a challenge." He added: I am not a ruler: I am a clown and puppet. (thanks Zainab)


"It will be stressed here that the boycott is not a personal boycott on Israelis but rather, a boycott of official Israeli institutions and of events taking place under their auspices." Oh, no: it should be a personal boycott to all those Israelis who 1) do not break with Zionism; 2) who serve in the Israeli terrorist forces. (thanks David)

Al-Akhbar broke this story first: Anger towards Lebanon is brewing in Sudan

"Anger towards Lebanon is brewing in Sudan and in Sudanese online forums. According to reports in the Arab media, a fundraising party held by Sudanese immigrants and asylum seekers in Beirut in aid of a child with cancer, was raided by Lebanese security apparently on the hunt for illegal residents." (thanks Sarah)

Leaked documents show PA undermined Turkey's push for UN flotilla probe

"One of the document's annotations explains that "TK [Turkey] has checked with their capital and they are still under high-level instruction to insist on language as originally proposed." The note adds that "PA and PAK [Pakistan] can agree to both proposals" -- i.e to replace the independent HRC investigation with one merely approved by either the UN Security Council or the secretary-general." Asa adds this to me in a note: "Something I didn't highlight in the article (but perhaps should have) is that Khraishi was also the PA's man in Geneva when they attempted to scupper Goldstone at the HRC there last year." (thanks Asa)

Judith Butler refuses prize in Berlin

Judith Butler protests anti-Muslim racism in Berlin. (In German with subtitles) (thanks Samer)

Dirty secrets of Israel

"A mysterious arrest carried out recently by Israel’s security services has renewed condemnation from human rights groups about the country’s treatment of prisoners and its possible infringement of press freedoms. A report last week on the website of Israel’s biggest newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, said that a so-called “Mr X” is being held in complete seclusion at the maximum-security Ayalon prison, and his identity is being kept so closely under wraps that it is not even known to his prison guards or fellow inmates." (thanks Therese)

A tribute to the White Man at AUB

As I entered the conference room in the basement of College Hall at AUB, I stopped to look at the pictures outside. They basically were a tribute to the White Man and to Charles Malik and Rafiq Hariri--two of the worst Lebanese ever. And there was even a tribute to Mark Twain--an early enemy of the Arab people whose disdain for them made them invisible to his eyes when he visited the Holy Land, and even to Theodore Roosevelt--it suffices to read the latter's speech in Cairo early in the 20th century and his private comments about Arabs in any of the published biographies of the man. You wonder why I call for the nationalization of AUB.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Nailed to a cross: in Saudi Arabia

"Saudi Arabia executed two murderers including a Yemeni whose body was nailed to a cross after he was convicted of killing a fellow countryman and his daughter, the Interior Ministry said on Monday." By the way, the reason why you see such an item in the Daily Star is because the conflict between Saudi Arabia and UAE is showing in UAE press. Daily Star is close to UAE than to Saudi Arabia.

It is a matter of time before Israel goes under

"Pro-Palestinian protesters on Sunday created a blockade of their own on Sunday by gathering at the Port of Oakland before dawn to block the unloading of an Israeli cargo ship." (thanks Rami)

Don't eat those

I mean, what did they use for coloring? I would not eat the one in blue. Food that are blue are rather rare because they may be poisonous, or some other scientific reason that i had forgotten. (thanks Hicham)

who won?

"The cabinet's decision Sunday to ease the blockade on the Gaza Strip means, for the most part, an end to the siege on Hamas' rule in the territory. And it's more than a victory on points for Hamas and the Turkish government. It's a genuine achievement for what is described as the muqawama (the resistance ) - the radical alliance of Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah, and recently also Turkey."


Olivia found this news item and wondered whether it was invented for propaganda purposes. I mean, there is no other media source that reported it: "A Senior member of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah party was killed Monday by a missile fired by an American Drone in Pakistan. 16 persons were killed in the attack, and dozens of were wounded." (thanks Olivia)

Sit now. Good boy. Good boy, you are, O Abu Mazen.

"What gave me hope was that he unequivocally, in every way, rejected violence as a strategy or as a tactic. In fact, he said that the intifadas were a terrible failure for the Palestinian people."


I find it a bit odd that I will be speaking in English today at AUB. I mean, it is like giving a talk in Arabic in the US.

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon

I will be going to Qatar early July to tape a show on AlJazeera Arabic on Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

By the way, Israeli media often contain absurd claims that one sees in An-Nahar about Lebanese claims

"Israeli researchers have developed software that claims to identify depressed bloggers by analyzing their writing." Other researchers developed software that claims to identify potato-eating bloggers by analyzing their droppings. (thanks Sallam)

attacked with metal rods

Those poor Israeli terrorists: "after being attacked with metal rods"... (thanks Lidia)

Official Zionist endorsement of terrorism--even terrorism by Western standards

"Ya'alon praised Lehi founder Avraham "Yair" Stern and expressed regret at the way the late rightist leader's nationalist views have been cast into negative light."His words of eternal dedication and national Jewish pride have been contaminated in public discourse. They have been turned from words of national consensus to negative remarks seen as 'extreme' and 'uneducated,'" said Ya'alon." (thanks Sarah)

America's love affair with capitalism

"Even after the collapse of Wall Street and all that has followed, an overwhelming majority of Americans say in opinion polls that they prefer capitalism to socialism. Gallup found in January that 61% had a positive view of capitalism and about the same percentage had a negative view of socialism. In March last year the Pew Research Centre asked Americans whether they were better off in a free-market economy “even though there may be severe ups and downs from time to time”. Seventy percent answered in the affirmative. Most Americans also say their federal income taxes are too high. Even those who favour higher taxes on the rich think the top rate should be 20% or less." (thanks Bassam)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mistakes happen, every day

"Ten civilians, including at least five women and children, were killed in NATO airstrikes in Khost Province, the provincial police chief said Saturday. Five other civilians were killed, as were two Afghan National Army soldiers and two police officials, in other violence around the country on Saturday."

It is cute when pro-US governments shoot at demonstrators

"One person was killed when the police opened fire on the demonstrators, who were throwing rocks at the provincial headquarters in Basra."

Why Abu Mazen should be supported

The mouthpiece of Prince Salman and his sons, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, is so impressed that Abu Mazen ate ice-cream in Ramallah.

When Friedman puts his words in other people's mouths

"As one Turkish foreign policy analyst said to me: “We are not mediating between East and West anymore. We’ve become spokesmen for the most regressive elements in the East.”" It is just a coincidence that this "Turkish foreign policy analyst" looks exactly like Thomas Friedman.

Punishing the victim, literally

"The Criminal Court of Abu Dhabi, in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, ruled this week that an 18-year-old Emirati woman who accused six men of gang-raping her will herself serve a one-year sentence for consensual sex."

child workers

"The number of children employed as street vendors and in agriculture, construction, factories or workshops is estimated between two and 2.5 million in Egypt. But figures are scarce for children who leave home to work as housekeepers or nannies despite the magnitude of the phenomenon, the study said." (thanks Olivia)


"If Israel goes down, we all go down". Please, Aznar. Feel free to go down with Israel. (thanks Hassan)

Bandar sick

""L’état de santé de l’ancien ambassadeur saoudien aux Etats-Unis – pendant plus de vingt ans - et ami personnel de la famille Bush alimente les spéculations. Certains lui attribuent un cancer du colon, d’autres une forte dépression nerveuse."" (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

The underground Hariri Economy

"In 2007, the U.S. Department of State released a report stating that although prostitution was illegal without a license, Lebanon’s General Security gave “implicit consent” to the trade. The equivalent report from 2009 mentions Syria as a “transit country for Iraqi women and girls trafficked to Kuwait, the UAE, and Lebanon for forced prostitution.” It also lists Lebanon among those countries that are “a destination for men and women trafficking for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation.”The Ministry of Tourism is responsible for licensing super nightclubs. Director General Nada Sardouk was willing to speak to GlobalPost but reluctant to address her ministry’s involvement in the seedy super nightclub sector, though she did express her libertarian approach to the taboo subject." (thanks Ali)

UNIFIL in the service of Israel--make no mistake about it

Now they have muscles. (thanks David)

Sons of Zayid welcome Erik Prince

"Sources close to Blackwater and its secretive owner Erik Prince claim that the embattled head of the world's most infamous mercenary firm is planning to move to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Middle Eastern nation, a major hub for the US war industry, has no extradition treaty with the United States." (thanks Stephen)

cultural campaign

"In a televised interview last week, Ahmadinejad suggested a "cultural campaign" against unsatisfactory veiling rather than the humiliating, unpopular and high-profile police crackdown currently underway."

who is connected?

"Even when they are away, they are connected. Even during exiles and diasporas, they are connected." But those who are on the land, i.e. the Palestinians, are not connected? (thanks Nabeel)

Occupiers, thieves, and terrorists

"Israeli troops have been accused of stealing from activists arrested in the assault on the Gaza flotilla after confiscated debit cards belonging to activists were subsequently used." I can tell you that during the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Israeli occupying terrorists were known to steal cash, cigarettes, liquors, and personal items during searches of homes. People in South Lebanon would hide such items. (thanks Dina)

Saudi Wahhabi rehabilitation

25 of the Saudi former Guantanamo prisoners who underwent Saudi Wahhabi rehabilitation resumed their terrorist activities. (thanks Ramzi)

Friday, June 18, 2010

sexual revolution

""...during the last 20 years or so Turkey has ingested so much American culture that it has experienced a sexual revolution that most of the Arab world hasn’t..."" (thanks Louay)

arab oil money

"WOLFGANG PUCK is in town from Beverly Hills to cook for YOUSEF AL OTAIBA, ambassador from the United Arab Emirates, where more U.S. Navy ships are ported than any other foreign country. The ambassador (who was G’town classmates with Norah O’Donnell and knows the Morrells) hosted 14 young Washingtonians for dinner and convo at his McLean home, followed by Game 7 (and a life-size Kobe) on his 103-inch TV screen. What Puck whipped up: 1) terrine of foie gras with toasted brioche, seared foie gras with cherry chutney, and mousse on apricot tartlet (Riesling, Hirtzberger, “Singerriedel,” Austria 2004); 2) seared wild salmon with cucumber raita and sweet pea puree (Chardonnay, Littorai, “Mays Canyon,” California 2006); 3) risotto with porcini mushrooms (pinot noir, Clos De Tart, “Grand Cru,” Burgundy 1995); 4) veal Milanese (Barolo, Oddero, Italy 2000); 5) slow braised Kobe short ribs and grilled Kobe New York (cabernet sauvignon, Beaulieu Vineyard, “Georges de Latour,” Napa 2001); 6) strawberry shortcake, chocolate raspberry soufflé and peach cobbler (Grüner Veltliner Eiswein, Anton Bauer, Austria).
GUESTS INCLUDED Bill Burton, Laura Burton Capps, Helene Cooper, Josh Earnest, Betsy Fischer, Jonathan Karl, Ryan Lizza, Norah O’Donnell, Rep. Aaron Schock, Jamal Simmons, Jim VandeHei, Natalie Wyeth and Jessica Yellin. " (thanks Khelil)

The Nation magazine hosts opposition to boycott of Israel

This is a comment under the article: "I am surprised that the author claims Israeli academia is progressive. The reason Mr. Avivshai does [not] name a single progressive Israeli academic organization that opposes the occupation is because there are none. This is why Israeli academia should be shunned on the institutional level across the board." (thanks Richard)

Recruiting terrorists

The Israeli terrorist army is recruiting terrorists from around the world. (thanks Sellam)

Racism, harassment, and persecution of Sudanese in Lebanon

What the Lebanese Public Security Department did to a Sudanese charity benefit. (thanks Farah)

Hajj Amin and Hitler and Gilbert Achqar

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "When Gilbert Achqar Invaded the hearts of Israelis"

Israeli propaganda rag is mad at Al-Akhbar

This Israeli propaganda rag is mad at al-Akhbar, and to get back at Al-Akhbar it refers to it as "Hizbullah affiliated." Maybe they will publish a picture of editor-in-chief, leftist Khalid Saghiyyah, meeting with Hitler. I take what I said back. I don't think that they referred to Al-Akhbar as Hizbullah-affiliated to be mean. Oh, no. Israeli experts on the Middle East are just dumb and ignorant. And they are sincere in their ignorance and stupidity. I mean, they can't help it. Furthermore, their Arabic always sucks. When they see "workers" they read Iran. (thanks Lidia)

corruption and sectarianism and Hizbullah

Critique of Hizbullah in As-Safir (thanks Rami)

banned in Beirut

"A month ago in Beirut, Lebanon, a place I supposedly think of as my home, Eileen Khatchadourian’s song Zartir Vortyag was banned from the airwaves. Goodness forbids the Lebanese to offend the Turks. The song is a call of a mother to go fight the enemy, the enemy is not named but the Lebanese general security feared that the Turks might consider it as an Armenian uprising, pathetic to say the least, and no I am not surprised none of you haven’t heard of this." (thanks Nadine)

Racism is cute in the Israeli press

Why this country should not be supported--according to the Jerusalem Post: "The Ivory Coast is 60% Muslim." Can you imagine the uproar if an Arab wrote that about a country with a Jewish segment of the population? (thanks Paul)

Flash: the Israeli lobby discovers the Armenian genocide

I mean, there is no more immoral, cynical, opportunistic, hypocritical and deceptive movement like Zionism. Really.

Introduction to Israeli terrorism

"Imi introduced the discipline to Israel in the late 1940s after initially developing it on the streets of his Jewish neighborhood in Bratislava, a city in Eastern Europe that saw increasing anti-Semitic violence in the 1930s. He eventually immigrated to Israel and became a physical training instructor for the Israel Defense Forces. Krav Maga soon gained prominence and became the official hand-to-hand combat technique used by the IDF." (thanks Sarah)

Al Akhbar contaminated by Nahar silliness

"Ibn Rushd" sent this to me under the above headline.

Repression that does not bother the West

"A law passed by the Tunisian parliament this week is designed to silence government critics and human rights activists, Amnesty International has warned."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

If these were Muslims...

"The Ashkenazi students of the ultra-Orthodox Beit Yaakov girls' school in Immanuel stayed home on Wednesday, yet again, as part of an organized protest against the decision by the Education Ministry and High Court to end the segregation between Sephardi and Ashkenazi students." (thanks Melani)

What do Lebanese think

"In perhaps Pew Research Center's most shocking finding, Obama earned a 35 percent approval rating in Lebanon, while 39 percent expressed support for suicide bombings. The contrast was first highlighted online by Josh Rogin."

If he were Muslim....

"A Cornell doctor is performing partial clitoris removal on young girls and then using a vibrator to test their sensation in follow-up tests, a shocking column by syndicated columnist Dan Savage asserted Wednesday.Dr. Dix P. Poppas has been performing the procedure on girls older than five for several years, according to 2007 paper (PDF) documenting the research. The doctor and patients' parents allegedly believe that the girls' clitorises are too large and create too much sensation". (thanks Olivia)

The Jerusalem Post figures Obama out

"Led by US President Barack Obama, the West has cast its lot with Hamas. It is not surprising that Obama is siding with Hamas. His close associates are leading members of the pro-Hamas Free Gaza outfit. Obama’s friends, former Weather Underground terrorists Bernadine Dohrn and William Ayres participated in a Free Gaza trip to Egypt in January. Their aim was to force the Egyptians to allow them into Gaza with 1,300 fellow Hamas supporters. Their mission was led by Code Pink leader and Obama fund-raiser Jodie Evans. Another leading member of Free Gaza is James Abourezk, a former US senator from South Dakota."

Aljazeera's Ziyarah Khassah

I taped more than 2 hours and a half for a profile/interview show, Ziyarah Khassah on Aljazeerah Arabic channel. The program dealt with my childhood and my views. I will let you know about airtime. Al-Jazeera's production team couldnt find baby pictures of me at my mother's house. I suggested that they use baby pictures of mini-Hariri.

Orientalist cliches

Such Orientalist generalizations about the natives find currency in Western media. The writer is annoyingly arrogant and feigns a morally superior position. He alone, he tells you, understtands what freedom means: "Sadly, much of Egyptian society operates this way. The entire concept of having the "personal freedom" to do what you wish, provided you don't harm others, is nonexistent. Even those who claim to be proponents of individual liberty misunderstand the concept. It's about time that a debate on individual liberties started, for we live in a society where social repression and hypocrisy have risen to sickening levels."


I will offer concluding remarks at the workshop on the Quest for Peace in the Middle East. It is next Tuesday (check details to the right.)

Ahmad Fatfat

Comrade Khalid on Ahmad Fatfat.

Gilbert Zuwayn

Comrade Khalid writes on Lebanese MP, Gilbert Zuwayn.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

another genius in Lebanon

"Artistic genius of Lebanon celebrated in New York" (thanks Khelil)

when Israel investigates itself

""This committee is on such a low rung I hesitate whether it can be called an investigation committee at all," said Moshe Negbi, a legal commentator on Israel Radio.He questioned whether the committee, which will not be permitted to question soldiers or commanders involved in the raid, will be able to determine whether top military or political leaders acted properly." When you read "painful soul-searching" in an article on Israel, u know where the article is heading.

I mean, the label killer is most likely literally true, as he had served in the Israeli killing army

"The University of California at Irvine has suspended its Muslim Student Union for one year and placed it on disciplinary probation for an additional year after 12 of its members called Israel's ambassador to the United States a "killer" during a speech on Campus in February." (thanks Layali)

questioning the widow

"Israeli security services Monday summoned for questioning the widow and three young daughters of the Palestinian man killed last Friday by Israeli Border Police at a “flying checkpoint” they had set up in Wadi Joz."

queer Arab organizations against Zionism

"We, the undersigned queer Arab organizations, are appalled by the US Social Forum’s decision to allow Stand with Us to utilize the event as a platform to pinkwash Israel’s crimes in the region. Stand with Us is cynically manipulating the struggle of queer people in the Middle East through its workshop entitled “LGBTQI Liberation in the Middle East.”Stand with Us is a self-declared Zionist propaganda organization which describes itself as “an international education organization that ensures that Israel’s side of the story is told in communities, campuses, libraries, the media and churches through brochures, speakers, conferences, missions to Israel, and thousands of pages of Internet resources”" (thanks Wissam)

Cute: a small army

"The State Department is quietly forming a small army to protect diplomatic personnel in Iraq after U.S. military forces leave the country at the end of 2011, taking their firepower with them." (thanks Dina)

slavery in Lebanon

"Lebanese employers confiscate the passports of their foreign wards and subject them to the spectrum of abuse, from beatings and sexual harassment to the withholding of wages and confinement. A number of nongovernmental organizations have released countless reports – entirely verified and credible reports, we should add – of foreign workers driven to attack their employers, to flee unbearable conditions and even to commit suicide." (thanks Olivia)

Autocratic monarchies that you like

"The case was brought eight months after Bouachrine received a four-year suspended prison sentence over publishing a cartoon that depicted the wedding of Prince Moulay Ismail, King, Mohammed VI’s cousin. The police shut down Akhbar al-Youm in September 2009 after the cartoon was published. Khalid Gueddar, the cartoonist, was also given a four-year suspended sentence. The newspaper was re-launched in December 2009 under a new name, Akhbar al-Youm al-Maghribia, but it is still referred to popularly asAkhbar al-Youm. “The Moroccan authorities are clearly using criminal charges to silence Taoufik Bouachrine,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem. “This is yet another in a series of politicized verdicts against the independent press. We urge the appeals court to show that there is no place in a democracy for such misuse of the courts by overturning Bouachrine’s conviction.” (thanks Rima)