Friday, October 31, 2014

US funding of Area Studies: do away with Title VI and free Middle East centers of fear and conformity to Zionism

I am not stressing over the US Congressional funding of under Title VI of area studies. That does not concern me in the least.  I mean, year after year, there is an outcry by some academics over the funding and the result is less money and more pressure for "balance" in Middle East studies.  This will basically year after year produce more docile centers and academics: the fear of MESA to adopt BDS (like American Asian Studies or even American studies association) is party due to the weak mentality generated by the fear over Title VI funding.  The pressure and the funding will only train those centers to internalize further the message of "balance" which means that the Palestinian question and viewpoint will be buried behind tons of Zionist lectures and classes, and that the few million Israelis have to be considered equal--if not more important--to the 1.6 billion Muslims and the 350 million Arabs, and that if you wish to teach Arabic or Urdu you have to offer classes on Hebrew (an almost dead language spoken by some 6 million people in the world, at most).  For that reason, I say, do away with Title VI and maybe we can then have Middle East studies (less funded but) independent and free of Zionist pressures, and where departments feel less obligated to host a "visiting Israeli professor" every year. 

There is a pscychological malady afflicting the Lebanese people

""Digital drugs," otherwise known as binaural beats, have sparked an outcry in Lebanon, with the Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi calling Thursday for legal measures to be taken against the product."  Of course, the Justice Minister (a tool of Prince Muhammad bin Nayif) is more dumb than the average Lebanese.

Wall-mart celebrates Halloween

(thanks Fatimah)

Turkey and ISIS

"Erdoğan’s government could have held the balance of power between Assad and his opponents, but instead convinced itself that Assad – like Gaddafi in Libya – would inevitably be overthrown. When this failed to happen, Ankara gave its support to jihadi groups financed by the Gulf monarchies: these included al-Nusra, al-Qaida’s Syrian affiliate, and Isis. Turkey played much the same role in supporting the jihadis in Syria as Pakistan had done supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan. The estimated 12,000 foreign jihadis fighting in Syria, over which there is so much apprehension in Europe and the US, almost all entered via what became known as ‘the jihadis’ highway’, using Turkish border crossing points while the guards looked the other way." "The exact nature of the relationship between the Turkish intelligence services and Isis and al-Nusra remains cloudy but there is strong evidence for a degree of collaboration."

Israel's apocalyptic plans

"In fact, Glick, with a long record of arrests and provocations, is a key figure in a movement whose goal is the replacement of the al-Aqsa mosque and the nearby Dome of the Rock with a Jewish “Third Temple.” Glick is at the nexus of a host of “Temple activist” groups whose activities are detailed in a 2013 report by the Israeli nongovernmental organization Ir Amim. He was a founder and director of The Temple Institute, which according to Ir Amim, “enjoys the [Israeli] establishment’s most generous support.” Many such groups have close ties to and receive funding from the Israeli government." (thanks Amir)

Israel bars worshippers from Al-Aqsa Mosque

The New York Times has to put a positive twist on any negative action by Israel.  If Israel were to drop a nuclear bomb on Arabs, the New York Times would headline: Israel provides more heat for the Arab people.  The front page headline of the story is: "Israel reopens", and the article (before it was altered) started with this sentence: "After closing it over security concerns"...."

Who is tormenting whom in the Middle East?

"The guards also sponsor Hamas and Hizbullah, the missile-toting tormentors of Israel." In that case, Israel is the tormentor of the Arab people.

Iranian economy

From Economist: "“The bazaar is ruined,” says one shopper."  Said one shopper. Funny enough, this very week, I read about a trip to Iran by a group of AUB professors.  One of the professors said: "I've never seen anything like the bazaars in Iran".  (Main Gate, Fall 2014, p. 20.

The Economist does not think that Saudi regime is perceived by Arabs to be a stooge of the US

There is a beefy (or tofu) supplement on Iran in the Economist.  The worst section of it is the one about Iran's neighbors. You read this in it: "Since Saudi Arabia and Egypt have become noticeably less friendly with America, they can no longer be depicted as stooges."  Arabs are that dumb? They no more think that Saudi regime is a stooge of the US?

The Economist does not know what Khawarij means

"Abu Qatada, called IS khawarij, or “rebels”, for twisting Islamic precepts."  Some of the correspondents of the Economist are as ill-informed and ill-educated as correspondents for mainstream US media.  Are you kidding me? Does not know who the Khawarij are?

Abe Foxman proves, yet again, that he is quite funny and does not object to humor

""The cartoon in question is offensive on many levels," ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said in a statement."

AUB has never been a PC school

The headline of an article in AUB magazine (the recent issue), Main Gate, about energy-efficient chicken coops is "Hot Chicks".  That their idea of wit.

Secular or religous state?

Famed Iraqi sociologist, `Ali Al-Warid, used to say that Arabs would vote for a religious state, but would go and live in a secular state.

Covering Iran in the US press

I have been in the US for more than 30 years, and the propaganda filled coverage of Iran in the US press has not changed one bit.  It is always the same: the clerical regime is on the verge of collapse and the economy is "in shambles".  This article in the Economist is of a very different quality (despite the cover of the new issue).  It contains facts and figures that you will never ever read in the silly US press: "The most visible shift is in public infrastructure. Tehran, the capital, is a tangle of new tunnels, bridges, overpasses, elevated roads and pedestrian walkways. Shiny towers rise in large numbers, despite the sanctions. Screens at bus stops display schedules in real time. Jack Straw, a former British foreign minister and a regular visitor, says that “Tehran looks and feels these days more like Madrid and Athens than Mumbai or Cairo.”

Smaller Iranian cities have changed even more. Tabriz, Shiraz and Isfahan are working on underground railways. Half the traditional bathhouses in Qazvin, an industrial town west of Tehran, have closed in recent years. In a basement with a domed ceiling built 350 years ago, the forlorn manager sweeps around two kittens and bemoans the loss of a 700-year-old competitor, musing that “people now have bathrooms with hot running water.” In Yalayesh, a remote village near the Caspian sea, entertainment remains old-fashioned: a Kurdish strongman, Ismail the Hero, shows off a lion in a cage on the back of his blue truck. Still, two years ago the government finished piping natural gas into every house, making winters with temperatures of -20ºC “tolerable for the first time”, says a spectator.

During the eight-year presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which ended in 2013, prosperity spread rapidly. Loans, handouts and social-housing programmes, however corrupt and ineptly run, showered billions of oil dollars on the poor. Many found white-collar jobs in government agencies. The middle class ballooned. Villagers streamed into Tehran to buy property as GDP per person rose from $4,400 in 1993 to $13,200 last year (at purchasing-power parity). Despite the sanctions, Iran does not look like beleaguered Cuba; people drive new sedans made locally, not 1950s Chevrolets. Life became harder when sanctions were tightened in 2011, but even now Iranians live much better than most of their neighbours.

Prosperity has inspired an obsession with technology that restrictions on internet access cannot dampen. Facebook is the primary medium for half the country’s youth and Twitter is used by officials to put out statements—never mind that both are banned. Freedom House, an American human-rights lobby, ranks Iran last in the world in terms of internet freedom, but in reality access is cheap and fast. (The fastest speeds are achieved near seminaries, since clerics preach online and get priority on fibre-optic cables.)"

Enrollment in Tertiary Education

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What Iranian political and religoius leaders don't want to know

One of the annoying features of Iranian political rhetoric is the notion that Arabs wish to emulate the Iranian political system.  It is high time that Iranian leaders disabuse themselves of this silly notion. Let them know that there are no takers for their model in the Arab world. Not even the mass audience of Hizbullah wish to emulate that model.  Hizbullah foolishly tried to apply some of the features of Iranian model in predominantly Shi`ite areas of Lebanon back in the 1980s, and the attempt failed miserably.

Gen. Sulaymani

Iraqi leftist, `Ala' Al-Lami on the Iranian media and their obnoxious cult of Sulaymani leading the war on ISIS in Iraq.

Why do I feel that Malala will be increasingly less popular in the West?

"Malala Yousafzai gives $50,000 to reconstruction of Gaza schools"

anti-Semitic computer

From Daniel: "Don't ask me why I was reading this old book, "Techniques of Program Structure and Design" (1975). It contains the following choice paragraph on page 285:

8.1.4 Programmer, Know Thyself
The programmers who have the most difficulty debugging their programs are often those who blame ALL of their problems on the hardware, on the operating system, on the compiler, or on someone else's program. I once had the remarkable experience of working with a programmer who, whenever he had problems with his program, complained that the computer was anti-Semitic!"

Turkey and ISIS

From Eyal in 1948 Palestine:

A group of 3 soldiers approaching a fence and having some altercation/exchange with some militants on the other side - even if these are ISIS people - that video is practically meaningless. There's no context in time (what happened before and after) and no context in space.

Now, blaming the rise of IS on your political opponents seems to have become a national sport: They're the creations of Assad; they are secretly encouraged and funded by Iran; the US wanted them to pick up all those tanks and weapons; It's all Saudi money; Turkey's secretly pleased that they're harassing the Kurds are pressuring them into an anti-Assad front; etc.

I don't think Turkey being supportive of IS makes much sense, but even if it did, I'd expect much more serious evidence and not post a link to the video."  What can I say, he is right.

can you imagine the international feminist uproar if those men were Muslims?

"Israel’s national airline is facing outrage over what critics call the “bullying” of women on flights by ultra-Orthodox Jewish men who refuse to sit next to them."

South Korean intelligence

And you still believe the lies and fabrications about North Korea that come from this intelligence service?

The American rocket that exploded

If this rocket was Russian or Iranian it would have been on the front page of every US newspaper. But patriotism rules.

Look at this guy

Now he compares ISIS to the Viet Cong.  But what is amusing to me is that he, among other Western Zionist writers, maintain that he brutality of the Asad regime caused the brutality and terrorism of ISIS. So do those people then accept a Palestinian version of ISIS against Israel in the same logic?

The UN is shocked by an execution in Iran

Can you find a trace of an expression of "shock" by a UN official of an execution in Saudi Arabia? Can you find one trace? And then I read: "Mr. Shaheed said he had been shocked by the execution on Saturday of Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, who was convicted of killing a man she had accused of raping her."  In fact, the woman never accused the man of raping her. She accused him of attempting to rape her. But what the hell: he should have shot him nevertheless. He is an Iranian man, and the killer has been transformed (without her consent) into a feminist heroine, and is a darling of the Rajavi cult in exile.

Did I not tell you a few days ago?

Syrian opposition groups and personalities will be winning Western awards for the best film, the best play, the best dance, the best potato, the best song, etc.  Of course, the criteria are not political.

We have a new writer at the Post on Hizbullah: his name is Hugh Naylor

I mentioned yesterday that he cited a bevy of experts who belong to the enemy camp of Hizbullah but this really reveals ignorance, if nothing else: "Hezbollah reportedly pressured Web sites to have the video removed."  How can Hizbullah pressure website to remove the videos? Half of Lebanon and its media are opposed to Hizbullah and much of the Arab world media are owned by the Saudi and Qatari royal families.  How can they arrange to remove the video? But wait. The web version of the article has a hyper link and it takes you to an article: it is by the political director of Hariri family TV, and it was published in Al-Arabiyyah (the news website of the station owned by the brother-in-law of King Fahd), and from an article that the woman writes in the mouthpiece of Prince Salman.  Do those people really pass their introductory journalism courses, assuming they took any?

Abe Foxman corrects

"(UPDATE: Foxman just e-mailed me this statement: "The quote is accurate, but the context is wrong. I was referring to what troubles this administration about Israel, not what troubles leaders in the American Jewish community.")"

The ABC of Zionism

"In September, Israel’s Supreme Court dismissed a petition challenging the Admissions Committees Law, which allows communities to reject housing applicants based on “cultural and social suitability” — a legal pretext to deny residency to non-Jews. In practice, even before the law was passed, it was virtually impossible for a Palestinian to buy or rent a home in any majority-Jewish city. Further ethnic separation is maintained by the education system. Aside from a few mixed schools, most educational institutions in Israel are divided into Arab and Jewish ones. According to Nurit Peled-Elhanan, a Hebrew University professor of sociology who has produced the most comprehensive survey of Israeli public school curriculums, not one positive reference to Palestinians exists in Israeli high school textbooks. Palestinians are described as either “Arab farmers with no nationality” or fearsome “terrorists,” as Professor Peled-Elhanan documented in her book “Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education.”"

Discriminatory Laws in Israel

Discriminatory Laws in Israel

Mahmoud Abbas taps the phones of his allies and aides

Here is the link.

evidence that Bahrain has a burgeoning problem with Salafi radicalization

"The video is graphic evidence that Bahrain has a burgeoning problem with Salafi radicalization. Support for extremist groups has flourished even as the state has been cracking down on the non-violent, pro-democracy opposition." "Not only is there a direct link between IS and Bahrain's security services (as the video suggests), but the Bahraini cohort in the Islamic State includes Turki al-Binali, one of the movement's most influential radical preachers."

human rights in the US

""Graphic footage has emerged showing a homeless man being shot and killed by police in the US who fired a barrage of 46 bullets as he held a penknife." "As he lies bleeding, the officers are seen attempting to handcuff his lifeless arms and dragging his body along the ground, with one officer appearing to kick his back."" (thanks Amir)

Western correspondents and HRW director in Beirut

I was looking at the Twitter page of the correspondent of the Economist in Cairo (who has been writing advocacy pieces on behalf of the Free Syrian Army in the magazine).  And here is what struck me: they chronicle every single incident of barrel bombing by the regime (based only on the claims of the rebels), which is OK: but they never ever report the killing of civilians by rebel car bombs or indiscriminate shelling. That never registers in their chronicle of the war in Syria.  For all those, there is a brutal regime on one side, and only civilians on the other side.

Brookings in Doha

"At an April 2013 Brookings forum in Washington, Indyk mentioned that he and then Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, a key player in Qatar's engagement with Brookings, had remained friends for "two decades." This relationship dates to when Indyk served as special assistant to President Clinton and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs at the National Security Council.

Indyk noted that he approached the sheik after the 9/11 attacks, informing him that Brookings planned to launch a project focused on American engagement with the Islamic world.

"And he said immediately, 'I will support it, but you have to do the conference in Doha.' And I said, 'Doha, well that sounds like an interesting idea,'" Indyk said at the 2013 forum. "Three years into that, he suddenly then told me we want to have a Brookings in Doha. And I said, 'Well, okay, we'll have a Brookings in Doha, too,' and we ended up with the Brookings Doha Center" (BDC), in 2008."

Brookings' Qatar-based scholars see their host country with rosy spectacles, ignoring the emirate's numerous terror ties."

This is the Israel that the US so admires

"A right-wing Israeli member of parliament has proposed legislation that would ban the Muslim call to prayer in Israel, where 20 percent of the population is Arab (the majority of whom are Muslim). Robert Ilatov, a MP from the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, argued for restricting the ability of mosques to project the 'Adhan," or call to prayer, which are sung out usually by a local muezzin five times a day.

The song of the muezzin is a fixture of urban life in many parts of the world where there are Muslim populations. But for Ilatov and others, it's a problem of noise pollution. The proposed bill would give Israeli authorities the right to decide whether public address systems can be placed in mosques -- a de facto right to muffle the muezzin."

Walid Jumblat is on Twitter

This has been the big news; that Jumblat has joined Twitter. It has been hilarious.  A friend wrote me yesterday to note the large number of typos and grammatical mistakes in every sentence in English and French (and you thought that this blog needs editing).  What is hilarious because he is big in Lebanon is that he thinks (typical Lebanese syndrome) that he is big everywhere.  He writes messages to Obama and other foreign leaders.  He wrote to Bill Gates but then added his name so that Gates would recognize him.  Gates ignored him so he wrote him again, rather apologetically.  But of all the funny things in his replies and tweets is the expression of admiration for Nasser: one wanted to ask him whether he discussed Nassser with Bush, Rice, and Cheney.  He also freely mocks the bad influence of oil money as if his subservience to Saudi regime is a secret. But the most hilarious part of them all is his exchange with Nadim Shehade (did you know that he was a leftist? I didn't) about the plight of the left. Notice that when they speak of "dictatorships" they only mean one dictator, Bashshar, because they are fans of the Saudi regime and its alliance of dictatorships.

PS For Shehade and Jumblat to discuss matters of the left is like Cheney and Bush discussing matters of Arab nationalism.

Max Blumenthal, the anti-Semite? Are you kidding me?

This attack piece on Max Blumenthal is one of the most vulgar and crude anti-Semitic labeling that i have seen--and I have seen a lot from the Zionist propagandists.  In fact, no one has damaged the real cause of combating anti-Semitism like those Zionists who use the charge of anti-Semitism to settle political scores and to silence critics of Israel.  Basically, this writer (in an unintelligent language) maintains that Blumenthal is anti-Semitic because he saw fascistic racist features in Israel, and because he exposed Israeli youth racism and because some Nazi or two in the US used the writings of Blumenthal against Israel for their own ends.  I mean, what kind of an argument is this? Anti-Semites, for example misuse the Old Testament to make points against Jews and Judaism, does that make the Old Testament anti-Semitic, and do you hold the Old Testament responsible for its misuse by anti-Semites? How dumb is that?

Who is Abdullah Sindi?

I posted yesterday an article about the Saudi Wahabi takeover of Mecca.  Someone sent it to me and I never heard of the author before.  An alert reader did some investigation and found out that this Sindi guy had written a holocaust denying article.  So apologies to the ears and eyes of the readers.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Enabler of war crimes at the UN

"In her five years in government, however, Power has done nothing of substance to prevent atrocities. In fact, her most notable accomplishment might be her enabling of their most ruthless perpetrators, primarily through her protection of Israel, a serial human rights abuser and the world's only active settler-colonial state." "Power routinely coordinated with the Israeli government to help protect its occupation of Palestinian territory." "With Power seated at the UN, the Israel lobby chalked up one of its greatest political coups of the Obama era, securing perhaps the most high profile product of the human rights industrial complex as a weapon in its war on the Palestinians."

Assessing Israel's military

Those are as reliable and objective analysts on the matter as the "experts" on Hizbullah below: "These assessments were based on the media outlet's own research, and on interviews with two experts: Patrick Megahan, from the Foundation of Defense of Democracies' Military Edge project, and Chris Harmer, senior naval analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. "

"The WP's cast of characters for comment on Hizbullah"

From Basim: "“Hezbollah is spread thin. They are waging so many battles and are positioned on so many fronts,” said Imad Salamey, associate professor of political science at the Beirut-based Lebanese American University.

“This attack was really striking. It really damages¬ the reputation of Hezbollah as a competent military force,” said David Schenker, director of Arab politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former Pentagon official.

“If Israel wanted to launch a war against Hezbollah, this would have been a perfect opportunity, and this time around, Hezbollah’s losses¬ would be huge,” Hanin Ghaddar, managing editor of the Lebanese Web site Now News, wrote in an editorial.

“Hezbollah is trying to keep the situation as calm as possible,” said the analyst, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of angering Bekaa Valley clans."  I would say that is a fair objective range of views on the subject.

Is ISIS a member of NATO?

""A remarkable video has emerged purporting to show Islamic State militants chatting casually with a group of Turkish border guards near the besieged Syrian city of Kobane. The amateur footage, understood to have been filmed close to Zarova Hill in the outskirts of Kobane, raises serious questions about the apparently relaxed relationship between the terror group and officials from the Nato member state."

(thanks Amir)

When the Wahhabi Jihadi terrorists entered Mecca

"Nevertheless, when the vicious Saudis/Wahhabis finally entered Islam's holiest city, they found Makkah's terrorized inhabitants hiding in their homes, the city's streets were
totally deserted, and the houses' doors and windows were tightly shut in their faces. The Wahhabis brutally broke into Makkah's houses and destroyed all musical instruments and records, gramophones, radios, cigarettes, tobacco pipes, pictures, and mirrors - all considered by them to be the work of the Devil. The primitive Wahhabis then used the
wooden frames of the houses' windows and doors for cooking fire. The barbaric Wahhabis also flogged Makkah's inhabitants who wore Western clothes, gold, perfume, or silk. They desecrated most graveyards, and destroyed many of Makkah's beautiful tombs, ornamental mosques, and shrines that had stood for centuries reflecting the glorious Islamic past and the great history of the religious city. The ignorant Wahhabis also barbarically destroyed any physical traces of Prophet Mohammad's historical monuments and sights as well as all other buildings or physical structures that could be traced to his disciples "in order not to be worshiped as holy spots". "

Lest we forget, lest we forgive: martyrs of Kafar Qasim

She was found dead a year ago after she was kidnapped and raped by a Saudi prince.

Embedded image permalinkHer name is Ibtisam Al-Harbi.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sunnis and Shi`ites agree on one danger

Yesterday, Hasan Nasrallah in his speech (see below) spoke against the dangers of the rise of atheism in the Arab world.  This is one "danger" that both Sunnis and Shi`ites are alarmed about.  Nasrallah spoke about a "wave of atheism" sweeping the region.

Nasrallah against Wahhabiyyah

This is an important speech by Nasrallah in which he launches a strong denunciation of Wahhabiyyah.

Nasrallah and anti-Semitism

Yesterday, Hasan Nasrallah was speaking and referred to "Jewish occupation of Palestine", but then quickly corrected himself and said: "Zionist occupation of Palestine" and quipped: so that they won't say anti-Semitism.

The father of Hasan Nasrallah speaks

This is a revealing interview with Hasan Nasrallah's father. He reveals that he was a local official of the Syrian Social National Party in his youth.

Awards for Syrian opposition

Let me predict for you: Syrian rebel supporters will win the best short film, the best long documentary, the best painting, the best sliced potato, the best short novel, the best poem, and the best hummus in all Western contests this year. Congratulations to the winners.

The Iranian woman who was executed and the Mossad propaganda operation through Mariam Rajawi cult organization

It will be revealed soon how this story was really taken and spun by Mossad and US propaganda.  Saudi propaganda made the woman Sunni to make it resonate in the sectarian climate created by Saudi regime. There are more details emerging: that the woman who was said to be "an internal decorator" was only 19; that she knew the man in question and had exchanged text messages with him; that she did text a male friend of hers prior to the murder declaring her intent to kill him; that the stories about her being raped have now been exposed as blatant lies.  Yet, any story that is damaging to foes of US and Israel are peddled by Western media without asking questions. Also, Saudi regime behead men and woman at the rate of once a week, at least. How come those victims are not famous? How come their letters (real one and not fake ones) are not published and translated? You are too keen on preserving the image of your beloved Saudi royals?

1000 German Nazis working for American intelligence

This really passed without much notice yesterday.  For someone with a contemporary memory of US propaganda in our region, the news was quite stunning.  Do you know that for much of the 1950s and 1960s, the US and Israel launched propaganda campaigns against Nasser on the ground that Egypt sheltered a handful--a handful--of German scientists who really didn't do much work?  US and Israel audaciously said that this was evidence of Nazi inclinations of the Egyptian regime.  And now we learn 1000 Nazi war criminal (or "moderate Nazi war criminal" in the language of the US government, which now labels Nusrah Front as "moderate terrorists").

Lies and Lenin

I have said before and will say it again: you can't trust Western media when it comes to foes of the US and Israel.  They established a tradition of lies and fabrications during the Cold War against communist regimes and continue to this very day.  Take this saying falsely attributed to Lenin: ""A lie told often enough becomes the truth."  This was clearly invented (probably by J Edgar Hoover) and now is widely cited as not only a saying but as a call by Lenin.  I am not a Leninist anymore but Lenin had more integrity than all Western politicians combined.

Lebanese Army soldiers in action

This is the full 8-minute video of the Lebanese Army soldiers in captivity with Nusrah Front.

literature of the Syrian "revolution"

This book is titled "Don't consult with anyone in the matter of killing `Alawites".  Kid you not.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

The letter (From the Iranian woman who was executed) to her mother: True or Mossad propaganda?

From comrade Electronic Ali: "As'ad, to follow up on your post: Many people and lots of media have been sharing this message supposedly sent from the executed woman to her mother:

You can see how many media reported it with a google news search: reyhaneh jabbari mother message

Here's the thing: it comes from an MEK website. "National Council of Resistance in Iran" is just another name for MEK.

Yet no one who has shared it has questioned its credibility. I say this as a fierce opponent of the death penalty in any place. But seriously, now all of a sudden MEK is a credible source on events inside Iran? I asked on Twitter a couple of times if anyone had a source other than the MEK website. I have not seen one yet.

Here, for instance, Middle East Eye refers to MEK as just "Iranian activists"!!!

It just goes to show how standards are completely different when it comes to reporting on Iran or Arabs or Muslims."

PS As you all know, the National Council cult used to be a tool of Saddam's intelligence service before becoming a tool of the Mossad.

Despicable Lebanese Army

I know that they are in captivity with ISIS and Nusrah Front (the Al-Qa`idah branch in Syria which is an ally of the US in its war in the region), but there are limits.  The display of disgustingly humiliating begging and the vomiting of sectarian and vulgar discourse is one manifestation of a deep crisis in the indoctrination and training of the lousy always defeated Lebanese Army.  Any one who ever dares to suggest that this lousy Army should replace the resistance movement in Lebanon in defense of Lebanon against Israeli aggression should go now and play in the garden.  Shameful.  Little kids in `Ayn Hilwah refugee camp have more courage and dignity than all members and officers of the Lebanese Army. 

So who does Israel support in Syria?

"We have the Free Syrian Army, which we believe should be supported."  It is official now.  Liz Sly and Anne Barnard should be very pleased.

When Israel kills Americans

"Most importantly, the U.S. Government has a remarkable history of exhibiting indifference, or even support, when Israel kills American citizens. The State Department never uttered a peep of protest over the Israeli bulldozer killing in 2003 of peace activist Rachel Corrie, and then implicitly endorsed the killing by Israel of the Turkish-American teenager Furkan Dogan aboard the anti-blockade Mavi Marmara flotilla (in stark contrast to the Turkish government, which – acting as most governments would – was furious that Israel had killed its citizens). In general, countries become indignant when other nations kill their own citizens. But all of the normal rules are inapplicable when the countries in question are the U.S. and Israel."

CIA employed "moderate" Nazis?

"In the decades after World War II, the C.I.A. and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies and informants and, as recently as the 1990s, concealed the government's ties to some still living in America, newly disclosed records and interviews show." "Mr. Dulles believed "moderate" Nazis might "be useful" to America, records show." What irked me most about this, aside from the obvious, is that while the US employed hundreds of Nazi terrorists it complained about a handful of Germans living in exile in Egypt. 

Saudi fanatical network in China

"They returned to China carrying Wahhabi books, leaflets, fatwas (religious rulings), and sermon tapes that broadly disseminated Salafi ideas. Other significant channels included the arrival of Saudi organizations and preachers in China during the 1980s." "The activities of these groups were greatly facilitated by a network of Chinese Salafi activists who had graduated from Saudi or Saudi-affiliated institutions like Imam Saudi University, Umm Al-Qura, and Medina University." (thanks Amir)

Saudi Arabia-UAE versus Qatar

Elections in the Arab world are not allowed to freely express the aspirations and desires of people. They are merely contest between local billionaires on the one hand, and external powers on the other hand.  In Tunisia, Saudi Arabia-UAE-US basically faced off against Qatar-Turkey and the first group one. You want me to celebrate?

radical reform in Islam

My latest blog post for Al-Akhbar English: "Radical Reform in Islam: Shaykh `Abdullah Al-`Alayli"

So did he rape her or attempted to rape her, and does it matter?

I noticed that suddenly some Western media started referring to the woman who was executed in Iran as a victim not of rape but of attempted rape, weeks after all stories talked about her heroism in killing her rapist.  "The final message of a woman executed in Iran for killing a man she said tried to rape her..."

Sunday, October 26, 2014

US ambassador in Tunisia "observes" the election

The US ambassador in Tunisia assumed that he was still operating in the land of America's friend, the dictator Bin Ali. So he went and entered a polling a station.  Tunisian voters who recognized him started chanting against the US and Qatar and he had to leave the scene.  The US embassy in Tunisia merely reported that the ambassador visited a polling station as "an observer".  If Tunisia ambassador in the US entered an American polling station, he would be escorted to...Guantanamo.

A Tunisian child cries and refuses to shake the hand of the US ambassador in Tunisia: this is flying in Arab social media

Nation magazine

Have you noticed that the Nation magazine has never been able to defend Muslims or Palestinians without offending them. Ever.

Is this a problem of "Muslim communities" per se?

"There is no denying that many Muslim communities across the world have a long way to go when it comes to women’s rights, minority rights and freedom of expression."  I don't think that it is an issue of "Muslim communities" as it is an issue of regional communities affected more by culture than religion, or by both.  Take Lebanon: the status of women among Christians in Lebanon is in no way ahead of those among Muslims or Druzes.  So the issue is more about the culture.  Of course, one is not assuming that Western culture is free of sexism, patriarchy, and misogyny. 

The Iranian murderer who was executed

Correct me if I am wrong, but did she even accuse the man of rape, or of sexual harassment?  I can't believe how the Western media created a narrative (based on tweets by "activists") and ran away with it, regardless of facts of the case.

American mercenaries

"After the nauseating pictureshow of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, America’s reputation had sunk to another nadir: Blackwater became a symbol of a country so arrogant in its treatment of an Iraq it was professing to save that it allowed hired guns to use the capital as a shooting range."

investing in democracy

"The Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, will arrive in Britain amid a growing furore over his country’s alleged links to the financing of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and al-Qaeda. The Prime Minister will host the Qatari ruler and his entourage for lunch in No 10 as part of talks to attract billions of pounds of investment."

achievements of the Israeli lobby

" "It was intransigence from hard-line elements of the US administration, pushed by the government of Israel, which led to the collapse of the last negotiations in 2005. Iran then had 200 centrifuges. By the time the negotiations resumed, following President Rouhani’s election in 2013, they had nearly 19,000 – and this despite tightened sanctions." " (thanks Amir)

on lies and liars in the US government

From a speech by Ben Bradlee.

Speaking in Sacramento

For those who don't care, I am speaking in Sacramento about Syria and the US in a few weeks.

The US government is outraged over execution in Iran

""We condemn this morning's execution in Iran of Reyhaneh Jabbari," said the statement by State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who said there were "serious concerns with the fairness of the trial and the circumstances surrounding this case."" When was the last time the US government expressed "serious concerns" over beheading in Saudi Arabia, know ing that the trials there are of very high standards, of course.  (thanks Basim)

The recent execution in Iran: when a murderer becomes a feminist heroine

There is no question that the foreign policy propaganda of the US government (any administration) determines the media coverage of all the enemies and foes of the US around the world.  You can rarely trust the coverage by US media of, say, Hamas or Hizbullah or Iran or Russia or Cuba.  The coverage becomes a thinly disguised form of crude propaganda.  Let us talk about the recent execution of a woman in Iran.  First, I would like to say that there is nothing--I mean, nothing--that a leftist can or should admire about the political system in Iran.  I have been opposed to the Iranian regime when Khumayni was plotting for its construction from his exile in France.  Secondly, regarding executions around the world, we know that the US, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq (after the US invasion) now lead the world in the number of executions and that the number of executions in Saudi Arabia and Iran are thought to be much higher than announced.  Thirdly regarding the recent case: how did the murderer who killed the Iranian surgeon becomes a feminist heroine? Do you know that this was arranged by what is called in the media "Iranian activists"?  Are those activists as reliable as those Syrian activists in Syria who fed the US media only lies and fabrications in the last three years?  And the Iranian woman murderer did not even stick to one version of her story, and later said in court that there was another man in the apartment who killed the surgeon. So which is which? Is she the woman is allegedly is trying to rid Iran of rapists or is she not?  Can you stick to one version of a story?  There was also evidence presented in court that the knife used in the stabbing (she stabbed the man in the back, incidentally) was purchased two days prior to the stabbing. Why is that not presented in Western media coverage?  Also, maybe I missed it, but is there something in Western laws that allow women to kill their rapists?  Did I miss that element in the law?  This case just like all cases pertaining to Iran and Syria are examples of US propaganda efforts to focus on their enemies, and where the UN jumps to attention when ordered by the US.  And how come the UN does not say a world about the fifty beheading ore more in Saudi Arabia this year alone?  Was one voiced raised in that regard? And why is the voice of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch always higher when discussing human rights violations by enemies of the US? Coincidence? Hardly.

PS There is another reason why Gulf regimes want the US to raise its voice on this matter. Someone alerted me that the Qatari regime media, like Aljazeera, are referring to the murderer as "a Sunni woman".  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

your dear ally in the Middle East

"Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry on Thursday issued a warning to women not to get behind the wheel in defiance of the kingdom's men-only road rules after a renewed social media campaign to challenge the law by driving in public." "The conservative Islamic kingdom is the only country in the world to stop women driving," "In Saudi Arabia, a top Arab ally of the United States, women are legally subject to a male guardian, who must give approval to basic decisions they make in fields including education, employment, marriage, travel plans and even medical treatment."

US influence in Latin America

"Increasingly, the U.S. seems to be isolated from its Latin American and Caribbean neighbours, says Birns, who argues the same is true of Canada. Both countries are excluded from recently established regional organizations such as CELAC (the Spanish abbreviation for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) and Unasur (the Union of South American Nations)."

torture graphic

"The graphic below diagrams the participation of key high-level officials in the torture program based upon publicly available information."

Yet another poll from WINEP: plling firm a mystery

"The Washington Institute and conducted in September by a leading local commercial survey firm".  With an outfit tied to the Israeli lobby, and with a heavy baggage of hostility to Arabs and Muslims, all results, especially in the absence of naming the polling firm in question, the results should be regarded as suspect.  And those results seem cooked in Washington, DC: for example: the question about "Israeli-Palestinian peace": how was that phrased in Arabic? That makes a whole lot of a difference. 

Eric Alternman lied

"So Alterman states baldly that BDS activists are anti-Semitic in a speech to students who are considering pro-Palestinian action. He’s wrong.

P.S.  Alterman also urged the students not to vote for boycott because such a vote would not reflect well on him. He’s a distinguished professor of English and journalism at CUNY, and “I have a lot of titles, but that’s the one I’m proudest of, and I would hate to see it sullied by this.” Gosh. Talk about taking yourself too seriously..."

Google's plans to find a Lebanese Shi`ite alternative to Hizbullah

""In fact, Cohen had moved to Google from the U.S. State Department in 2010." "State Department cables released as part of Cablegate reveal that Cohen had been in Afghanistan in 2009, trying to convince the four major Afghan mobile phone companies to move their antennas onto U.S. military bases. In Lebanon, he quietly worked to establish an intellectual and clerical rival to Hezbollah, the "Higher Shia League." And in London he offered Bollywood movie executives funds to insert anti-extremist content into their films, and promised to connect them to related networks in Hollywood."" If only you know the names mentioned in those wikileaks. Ha ha.  (thanks Amir)

"relatively moderate" now refers in the Western media to strict Al-Qa`idah followers

"But while Riyadh has backed relatively moderate Sunni rebel groups fighting Iranian-backed governments in Iraq and Syria, it has also joined air strikes against the fundamentalist Islamic State and aided Egypt's military in its crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood." (thanks Basim)

Gauze and Gaza

Do you know that the word "Gauze" is derived from Gaza because this ancient city was known for making very fine fabrics?


The West did not know sugar before the crusades.  They used to sweeten with honey in the Europe. The story is told that crusaders were drawn to the sight of boys sucking on sugar canes on the coast from Beirut to Tripoli (note that the two cities excel in the making of sweets).  That is how the European discovery of sugar started. William of Tyre acknowledges this.  Note also that the name for sugar in English and French is from the Arabic sukkar.

Hanna Batatu

My weekly article for Al-Akhbar: "Hanna Batatu: A brilliant social historian of Arab social classes".

Friday, October 24, 2014

Saudi king’s nephew admits to Riyadh support for ISIL

"Billionaire Saudi businessman Alwaleed bin Talal has admitted to the kingdom’s support for the ISIL Takfiri terrorists who fight against the Iraqi and Syrian governments.

The Saudi business tycoon, who is a member of the Saudi royal family, told CNN on Monday that “some extremists in Saudi Arabia” provided financial support for the terrorists."

WINEP in Arabic

I am so sure that there are Lebanese right-wingers with their typical lousy command of Arabic who translate into Arabic for WINEP. This one is really funny.

Saudi Arabia and Huthis

From a colleague in France: "The Saudi government is so humiliated with the advance and success of the (reactionary) movement of the Huthis that its media have
been cheering the Al-Qa`idah threats in Yemen against the Huthis. Often times they are referred to as "tribes of Yemen"."

I don't want to waste your time with details that you are not going to publish, but my daughter, who works for an NGO on Yemen, tells me that the Saudis have been much more flexible with the Houthis than one could imagine. After all, an entity which is capable of taking San'a'
is capable of posing a serious danger to Saudi."

Israel and heritage: BDS call

From Daniel (I, of course, cite with permission): "As I may have let on previously, I am an adoptee from Lebanon, living in this forsaken place for 10 years now. I recently submitted a saliva sample to the company 23andMe, and hope to find some kind of identifying information through DNA testing. I was horrified to read today that the company has formed a partnership with a genealogical web site called MyHeritage. They are based in Israel, and you gotta ask: Is it not obscene (or worse) that such a company be founded in a place that denies the heritage of millions of Palestinians? Is it not creepy (or worse) that an Israeli company actively catalog genealogical information from around the globe?

May the usurping entity's days be numbered...."

Would they dare work illegally in Israel?

"After the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the U.S. Agency for International Development hired several non­governmental organizations to set up pro-democracy programs in Egypt — even though they were not registered to work in the country."

The bottom 90 percent are poorer today than they were in 1987

Dumb bigotry

"“Literally every Muslim believes that Jesus, the God father, Maria and no other God on the planet is tolerable but the God of Muslims. So, there is no room for negotiations here. Some can say that it is like taking Nazism to another level.” "  And is this different from religious dogmas in other religions?

Meet the darling of the Western media; Ashraf Ghani wants to investigate blasphemy

"The investigation, apparently being led by intelligence and cultural affairs officials, came at the request of Afghanistan’s new president and chief executive officer."

Do Syrian rebel groups ever have to substantiate their claims?

"“During the last three days, we have been hit by over 120 barrel bombs,” said Ahmed Abu Talal, a rebel belonging to the Islamic Front group".  Is there any claim that they make get verified? If they were to say that nuclear weapons were dropped on them (and I believe that one rebel group made that claim every in the war), would that get verified or printed as is?  I mean, it could be 5000 barrels but how was the number reached?

Again, this passes as sophisticated analysis of international affairs in the New York Times

"Reading the papers these days I find that the two world leaders who stir the most passion in me are Pope Francis and Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia. One is everything you’d want in a leader, the other everything you wouldn’t want. One holds sway over 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, the other over nine time zones. One keeps surprising us with his capacity for empathy, the other by how much he has become a first-class jerk and thug. But neither can be ignored and both have an outsized influence on the world today."  Even William Safire never wrote like this about his enemies and enemies of Israel.

Which holy book calls for murder and enslavement?

"THE holy book is clear about what to do when you capture a city: “Put to the sword all the men in it”. As for the women and children, “You may take these as plunder for yourselves.” ...Besides, imagine if Christians and Jews still followed the letter of the Bible, which is, incidentally, the source of the passage at the top of this article. The verse (Deuteronomy 20:10-20) also prescribes that in case of capturing a city from the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites or Jebusites, the victors should “utterly destroy them” and “save alive nothing that breatheth”."

Lord Balfour: a century later

"IN HIS declaration of 1917 giving Britain’s backing for the creation of a Jewish homeland, Arthur Balfour, the then foreign secretary, undertook to uphold the civil and religious rights of the native population of Palestine. A century later after less than total success, Britain’s Parliament added national rights as well. On October 13th it voted by 274 votes to 12 to recognise a Palestinian state."

Rebels that Liz Sly described as "moderates" are in fact Al-Qa`idah

From Ali, the Angry Arab's chief correspondents in Turkey: "Liz Sly's "moderates" Liwa Thuwwar al-Raqqa was part of Al Qaeda's Syria branch Al-Nusra Front. "

Zionists have been reinterpreting the First Amendment in the US

"On September 22, MSJP members handed out pamphlets at the group’s registered table in the MSU’s student center. The pamphlets described the group’s values, planned activities, and views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Upon receiving complaints about the overtly political and “offensive” nature of the pamphlets, SGA Attorney General Demi M. Washington sent a “Letter of Sanction” to MSJP, condescending to the group, “Must I remind you, you are a cultural organization and not a political one.”

In no uncertain terms — and in complete violation of the group’s First Amendment rights — Washington warned MSJP that its political expression was unwelcome and unacceptable on MSU’s campus:

Montclair State is a university that unites students regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender or sexual preference. We do not take positions in political issues….

We have strict rules from the government on how to run the organization while remaining in non-profit status…. Part of the list of things we cannot be associated with is any political or lobbyist organization.

MSJP didn’t receive only a reprimand from Washington; her letter imposed a five percent fine on the group’s fall semester budget as well as an order that the group cease all “political propaganda.” Washington’s letter also warned that, unless MSJP focused its events solely on Palestinian culture rather than politics, the group’s charter would be revoked.

On October 3, FIRE sent a letter demanding that these sanctions be reversed and reminding the MSU administration and the SGA that such unfair treatment of a student group, based on the political nature of its speech, is unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination at a public university bound by the First Amendment." (thanks Lisa)

Shame on the students of UC, Berkeley

I have always been arguing with people who don't really know US Berkeley that the university does not really deserve its leftist reputation and that it is increasingly a corporate university and that the student body has become as apathetic as other campuses, and that sororities and fraternities are the new craze there.  I am not surprised that the university would invite an anti-Islam bigot like Bill Maher, but the fact that the student body would not mind having Maher as a commencement speaker speaks volumes about the standards of the students.  If Maher or another speaker says about Judaism what Maher says about Islam, students would be picketing the administration building, and faculty would be signing petitions.

For sale in Dubai

"In Joseph O’ Neill’s new novel set in Dubai, the American protagonist describes the brown migrant workers that make the city go round “as color coded ants swarming all over a construction site”.   Even less seemingly human are the women, the armies of workers doing domestic work that ensures that all habitations inhabited by the wealthy are clean and pristine.   The domestic workers in O’Neill’s novel are invisible; they inhabit the deeper recesses of the high rise building that he lives in, when he tries to talk to them, they run and retreat in fear. To be noticed bears the risk of being fired, and that for them is the end of the world.   He feels bad for them, these brown others, sentenced to such an existence, and like a good and guilt ridden American he donates a portion of his paycheck to the Human Rights Watch.   In life beyond the novel, the Human Rights Watch this week issued a report about just the people that so preoccupied the privileged American protagonist of O’Neill’s novel.

Their latest report “I Already Bought You” is a detailing of just how hapless the lives of domestic workers imported to the United Arab Emirates really are.   Beyond the day-long drudgery of cooking, cleaning, caring for children and other such chores are woeful tales of passports confiscated upon arrival, wages unpaid for months, sexual and physical abuse, confinement, and denial of adequate food and clothing.    In several cases, the report finds women are taken from labour exporting countries like Sri Lanka, the Philippines and others are trafficked to the Gulf under false pretenses to be forced into labour for months and years.   The misery doesn’t end there.    The very vocabulary that is used to describe these women shows how their status before their employers is basically one of slaves, the ones who try to escape from their deplorable situations are described as runaways, and fines are attached to them when they are captured.   When they are employed, they are purchased, just like any of the other goods available in Dubai’s endless malls and stores." (thanks Nabil)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ashraf Ghani: the tributes continue

What is amazing about those tributes in the US press about Ashraf Ghani is that the man has been in office for WEEKS ONLY, damn it. Is that not too soon to make a verdict one way or another? I know that he is serious about reform and for that he chose Abdul-Karim Dustum as his first vice-president, but come on.  But in the article they tell a story about his promptness which was denied by the person involved and yet was used to his credit.  Also that the article lists among his achievements the signing of the treaty with the US.

The new Egypt

"Just months after they were appointed, 138 new prosecutors were removed from office in September 2013 following a ruling from the judiciary’s governing body that said only those born to parents with undergraduate degrees could join the state prosecution.

“We have nothing against the job of garbage collectors, but their sons belong in other fields than the judiciary, because it’s a sensitive job,” said Justice Ahmed Abdelrahman.

A year on, after failing to overturn the decision in the courts, they have asked for the intervention of the president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, whose parents did not attend university." (thanks Don)

Israeli soldiers kidnapped 278 Palestinians in September

"The Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies and Human Rights has issued its monthly report on Israeli arrests in West Bank and Gaza Strip during September. The report said that 278 Palestinians have been arrested and one was killed by Israeli soldiers."

Canada is shocked

"It is always stunning when a country that has brought violence and military force to numerous countries acts shocked and bewildered when someone brings a tiny faction of that violence back to that country." (thanks Amir)

Give it to Liz Sly: no matter what, she along still believes in the existence of "moderate" Syrian rebels

"Moderate Syrian rebels and activists living in Turkey say they often recognize men whom they suspect of belonging to the extremist group on the streets or in cafes frequented by Syrians."  She then says: "A popular Syrian fighter and former farmer who had earned renown for his persistence in confronting the Islamic State, Abu Issa had been fighting in Kobane before traveling to Sanliurfa a week before the incident to rest and consult with fellow rebels, according to Abu Shujaat."  And do you notice her tributes to Syrian rebels are all based on the accounts and claims of, you guessed it, Syrian rebels, and all of the claims are never ever verified by her. Why bother?

There is no Gulf royal sponsorship that does not impress David Ignatius Al Saud

"This tiny international organization, whose Arabic name means “guidance,” wants to be the softer face of the battle against such terror groups as the Islamic State. A brochure explains that if traditional counterterrorism efforts are perceived as soldiers with automatic weapons, Hedayah instead wants an image of kids sitting around a blackboard in a rural school. "

Greeted him like a returning king

"Streams of young Muslim men greeted him like a returning king.

As-salamu alaykum.

Wa alaikum assalaam."  This is normal greeting and there is nothing royal about it.  I am really sick and tired of this lazy and ignorant reporting.

Iraqi regime executions

"Iraqi authorities have executed at least 60 people this year, a U.N. report said Sunday, expressing concern that “irreversible mis­carriages of justice” were taking place in some death-penalty ­cases."

Liz Sly: her anthology of farcical propagananda

"The executioners, speaking in Tunisian, Egyptian and Saudi accents, taunted those not yet dead by swinging severed heads in front of their faces and telling them, “It’s your turn next.”" What a coincidence. Her Syrian rebels contact never ever admit that there are Syrians among those ISIS fighters. They always seem to have non-Syrian accents because the Syrian rebels are, of course, all moderates.

What gets covered in US media and what does not get covered

From Robert: "this DID get covered in US media.

Of course it had nothing to do with this:

Israel and the King of Jordan

"The Israeli ambassador to Jordan, Daniel Nevo, has said that "Israel couldn't dream of a better neighbour than Jordan," noting that the strategic relationship between the two countries is continuously developing...
...Nevo noted that such criticisms [of Israeli policy] are only made in the context of the Jordanian regime's attempt to contain public anger over what is occurring in Jerusalem and what happened in the Gaza Strip during the latest Israeli attack on Palestinians in Gaza, as well as an attempt to overcome the pressures put on Amman from other Arab and Islamic parties.
Nevo was also quoted as saying that all of the statements issued by Jordanian officials criticising Israel's policies have not prevented the continuous development of their bilateral relations, whether the exchange of intelligence, security coordination, trading, or economic cooperation between the two countries." (thanks Regan)

US chief Middle East ally fights Twitter

Religion and opium

If religion is the opium of the people, then Wahhabiyyah is the crack cocaine of the people.

Your freinds in Riyadh

From Michael: "" American policymakers continue to see Saudi Arabia as indispensable not because it has shown itself willing to change or develop a more inclusive and tolerant political order, but because it does not."

It is over: violent Islamic extremism is now officially dead

The US government came up with one of those brilliant schemes that only the US government can come up with: a center to fight extremism.  To host the center, the sons of Zayid in the UAE offered to host it given their democratic and enlightenment credentials. But what is curious is that the center does not identify the names of its board members or even the executive director.  It is all hush hush.

At least Hummus is not anti-Semitic

From Karim: "Your blog post yesterday on the possibly ‘divine’ explanation for the Israeli invention of hummus reminded me of this blog post from last year at The Guardian.
I had meant to pass it on to you at the time but never got around to it. Look at this paragraph (emphasis added):
The history of hummus can be traced back to at least the 13th century, when the first known recipes for it were recorded by Egyptian Arabs. But it is likely to date back much further. Chickpeas have been around for thousands of years in the Middle East, says Israeli-born chef Yotam Ottolenghi. Some scholars even claim an Old Testament passage indicates that Jews ate hummus in Biblical times.
So there you have it, it’s in the Old Testament!"

PS But where in the Old Testament, he didnt say.

Isareli Defense Minister

"Defense Minister Ya'alon: Middle East borders bound to change".  You bet they will change, and the most exciting change is that Israel will no more be there.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

suspected of being Arab in NYC

Hummus and Israel

It occurred to me that Israel only recently started to claim that Hummus is an Israeli dish. In the Israeli media and (stolen) "culture", there were no references about the Hummus craze until relatively recently the 1980s.  Yet, I grew up with Hummus (and "ful", fava beans) stores all over the cities and towns of the Lebanon.  So how is that explained? Is there a divine explanation for this one too?

Saudi media cheer Al-Qa`idah in Yemen

The Saudi government is so humiliated with the advance and success of the (reactionary) movement of the Huthis that its media have been cheering the Al-Qa`idah threats in Yemen against the Huthis. Often times they are referred to as "tribes of Yemen".

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

AJ Meyer advised Saudi planning minister H. Nazer to "keep [foreign workers] in ghettos

 Embedded image permalink

"In 1980, Harvard economist AJ Meyer advised Saudi planning minister H. Nazer to "keep [foreign workers] in ghettos." (thanks Abdallah)

Israel is more obsessed with Hollywood than Lebanon

Israel, having lost the "cool" embrace of Hollywood that it had enjoyed back in the 1950s and 1960s, now is willing to settle for silly claims of popularity of Israeli directors that no one has heard of.

To please the US, the UN is willing to violate internaitonal law

"The United Nations would offer humanitarian assistance for proposed "safe zones" inside Syria even if they were created without a Security Council resolution, the U.N.'s top humanitarian official Valerie Amos said on Monday." "So far Turkey's call has received at best a lukewarm response. The United States has said it is not a priority while Iran and the Syrian government have warned against the move, saying it would break international law."

a "suspicious" car accident near the Turkey-Syria

"Media worker Kadri Bagdu, 46, was shot dead on 14 October while distributing the Kurdish dailies Azadiya Welat and Ozgur Gundem in the south-eastern province of Adana. He was shot five times by two individuals on a motorcycle while distributing the newspapers free of charge on the street in district of Seyhan." "Press TV reported its correspondent in Turkey, Serena Shim, was killed in a "suspicious" car accident near the Turkey-Syria border on 20 October."

PS Ms. Shim holds American citizenship but no word from the US government about her.

U.S. ally steps up beheadings

"A sudden surge in public executions in Saudi Arabia in the last two months has coincided with a U.S.-led bombing campaign against Islamic State. This has led to inevitable comparisons in Western media between Islamic State's beheadings and those practiced in Saudi Arabia." "In the most extreme version of the Saudi death penalty, known by the Arabic word for "crucifixion" and reserved for crimes that outrage Saudi society, the corpse is publicly hanged in a harness from a metal gibbet as a warning to others."

Israeli soldiers terrorize disabled child

"In the video footage, filmed by B'Tselem volunteer Samih Da'na from his window, soldiers are seen holding the boy, handcuffing him, blindfolding him and closing him in the jeep, despite cries by Palestinian residents that the boy is mentally disabled. The footage also shows settlers from Kiryat Arba, watching the incident from behind the settlement's fence. Some are seen calling out encouragement to the soldiers, including several racist remarks." (thanks Amir)

PS Will they make an opera about this case?

Not in US media

"A young Palestinian girl who was struck by an Israeli settler vehicle earlier Sunday has succumbed to her wounds, medics told Ma'an. Einas Khalil, five, died after being hit by a car driven by an Israeli settler near the central West Bank town of Sinjil, medical sources at Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah said. Residents of Sinjil accused the settler of deliberately hitting the girls." (thanks Basim)