Thursday, May 31, 2018

Lies and Fabrications of Liz Sly

In the course of the Syrian war, there has been no Western reporter who has fabricated and lied more than Liz Sly of the Washington Post. She ranks among the top propagandists of that awful war. This is her latest example.

Who plotted Saudi "reform" plans?

“It provided psychological analyses of citizenry in places like Libya under Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. Last year, it was hired by the government of the United Arab Emirates, a close Saudi ally, to conduct a social media campaign against its rival Qatar.”"

God wants you to buy me a private jet

“The televangelist went on to say God told him he needed the Dassault Falcon 7X.” (thanks Amir)

The Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon

HE said that Syrian refugees have made Lebanese feel "like they are strangers in their homeland".  Of course, his attitudes to refugees is a function of their religion.

Noah Feldman and Bernard Lewis

"Lewis was chaperoned by the young Noah Feldman, the legal adviser to Paul Bremer, who was the "provisional coalition administrator" of Iraq after the US invasion."

Strike in Jordan

Notice that protests in Jordan rarely get covered in the Western press. I think that the image of Jordan as a virtuous autocracy is well-preserved in the West.  Yesterday, strike in Jordan was quite successful.  The best part was the statement by Minister of Information who said that the origins of 49% of all social media commentaries on events in Jordan came from... Syria.  He means that protests are largely foreign agents.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

My comments on Bernard Lewis

BBC Arabic interviewed me about Bernard Lewis.

"60 Palestinians killed and no one mentions their names but ..."

From Basim: "The military says Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky of an elite undercover commando unit succumbed to his wounds Saturday. The soldier was mortally wounded Thursday when during an arrest near Ramallah a large marble block was dropped on his head from the top of a building."

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Pompeo Speech on Iran

It was an unusual speech, not only because of the substance matter but also the rhetoric. It really reminded me of the 1960s speeches of Ba`thist leaders.

Bernard Lewis

Of course, I have plenty to say about Bernard Lewis. I wrote a long article for Al-Akhbar which will appear next week.  I will also speak about him tomorrow for the Arabic BBC program, `Alam Al-Kutub.

Charlie Hebdo

I grew up drawing caricature and it is an art form that I enjoyed for years in childhood and boyhood and even considered making it a career (before I discovered that I was just mediocre in it).  But I hold special contempt for this disgustingly sexist and Islamophobic magazine.  It is just like the trash media that Goebbels used to vomit against Jewish people.  This is their portrayal of a student leader just because she is a Muslim.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Clashes in Tripoli Lebanon

There are on-going clashes in Tripoli, Lebanon, between an Islamist militia (which is part of what Western media call "pro-Western March 14 coalition) and the Lebanese Army.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Some of the forgotten pearls of wisdom of Bernard Lewis:

""Chairs are not part of Middle Eastern tradition or culture". ("Notes on A Century: Reflections of A Middle East Historian", p. 218).  
PS Naturally, I wrote this post while standing.

Video documentation of Israeli war crimes in Gaza

Viewer discretion is advised: Watch here. (thanks Nicholas)

Bernard Lewis and Henry Kissinger.

Gender segregation and the West

You know what is ironic? Western governments used to complain against any manifestations of gender segregations among Muslims.  Now, Western governments encourage gender segregation. This is about a "women-friendly" (i.e., women-only) garden in Cairo.  It is funded by USAID.  According to this writer, this is unprecedented in Egypt.  

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Israeli terrorism in Lebanon: the war years

"This is an essential account of Israeli record of terrorism in Lebanon while the Israeli occupation army used a fictitious name for its car bombs."

The first two political eulogies of Bernard Lewis

The first was from Middle East scholar, Mike Pompeo, while the second was from the Israeli scholar, Netanyahu. More to follow.

Iranian foreign policy options

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Limited Options for Iranian Foreign Policy".

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Aras Habib

This is a true story: the US Treasury Department issued a new sanctions list on Iran, which included the head of Al-Bilad Islamic Bank, Aras Habib. Do you know that this guy was head of intelligence for Ahmad Chalabi before the invasion and was the closest figure to US government?

When massacres become "clashes"

“None of the usual media suspects has taken it upon themselves to explain how it is that the term "clash" can possibly apply to a situation in which Palestinian men, women, children, and old people - all of them trapped on a sliver of land with no escape - are attacked by an Israeli military with a monopoly on violence and a penchant for utilising the Gaza Strip as its own personal shooting range.”

U.S. media refuses to say who’s killing the civilians of Gaza

“If you’ve been noticing the headlines about Israeli forces killing Palestinian protesters that seem carefully designed to avoid mentioning who’s doing the killing,” (thanks Amir)

The "mighty" Israeli army

From Dale: ""IMO
the IDF ground forces are nothing like what the average American assumes them to be. They are in fact an army that has been very lucky in the enemies that they have faced. Their present employment in the massacre of Palestinians at Gaza is the kind of thing that they are now good at. The fabled hard assed kibbutzniks of long ago who won against Arab armies are gone, replaced by the Gucci generation. Israel should be wary of committing these people to combat against serious fighters.""

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Comrade Joseph Massad on Nakbah

Comrade Joseph Massad on the Future of Nakbah.

Lebanese elections

My weekly article for Al-Akhbar: "Lebanese elections and its peculiar electoral law".

Part Two of my articles for Consortium News: The (Unrecognized) US Contribution to Bloodshed in Syria, Part Two

"The (Unrecognized) US Contribution to Bloodshed in Syria, Part Two"

Monday, May 14, 2018

This brave Palestinian was killed today. #القدس_عاصمة_فلسطين_الأبدية

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

"Our Country is a Graveyard" by Tawfiq Ziayd:
"Gentlemen, you have transformed
our country into a graveyard
You have planted bullets in our heads,
and organized massacres
Gentlemen, nothing passes like that
without account
All that you have done
to our people is
registered in notebooks"

Friday, May 11, 2018

Israel in the Arab world: despised and humiliated (to borrow that tile from Dostoevsky)

The Israeli occupation embassy in Cairo held--with Sisi's encouragement--a reception for the anniversary of Israel's war criminal occupation of Palestine.  The Egyptian parliament issued strict rules for boycott as all Egyptian syndicates and unions--of course.  The handful of Arabs who attended (whose faces were covered in the videos and pictures released by embassy) were instantly placed on black lists and circuited widely on social media.

Saudi Crown Prince has become Israel’s partner

“Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has become Israel’s partner in plans to formulate a new reality in the region, Tel Aviv’s Ambassador to Egypt David Govrin said. The envoy made the remarks during a ceremony organised in Cairo to mark Israel’s establishment.” (thanks Amir)

Israel did the killing not "the war"--and the innocent civilians slaughtered were more than a 1000.

"The prospect is a grim one for the Lebanese. Israel has long warned any future war in Lebanon would be even more devastating than the July 2006 conflict, which killed hundreds of Lebanese civilians and reduced much of the country’s infrastructure to dust." (thanks Basim)

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

A Primer on Israeli politics

From comrade Eyal:
"Naftali Bennet, from the "Jewish Home" party, (the one with all those west-bank settlers, also known jokingly as The Jewish Brotherhood) is Israel's minister of Education. Naturally, he has strengthened the trend of instilling religious nationalism and has weakened scientific and secular pedagogic content in favor of putting as much as possible in a religious context.

This morning he was speaking to the National Council of Youth and (K12) Students, and made the following statement: 
If I had to summarize the policy of the Israeli Government Security Establishment in the present age, in four words, they would be: 'He who rises to kill you - arise earlier to kill him'. We are stronger and more determined than Iran.
Truly a marvelous inspiration for the impressionable minds of Israeli children.
For those who aren't very familiar with Israeli politics, let's remind ourselves of the other role models for kids set by members of Knesset (parliament) from the Jewish Home in the current term:
  • Ayelet Shaked: Minister of Justice, famous for calling Palestinian children "little snakes" suggesting they should be killed off early. No less famous for trying to pass (further) anti-democratic legislation, including a law to prevent base-law/constitutional oversight or parliamentary legislation, to enable the government plan to deport African asylum seekers.
  • Uri Ariel: A prominent west-bank settler, retired army Major, and former head of the council of west-bank settlers (Yesha council). Among other things, known for utilizing his cabinet position to leak Israeli military troop movement information to settler activists so that they may evade the troops in some of the few times the military was dispatched to remove settlement outposts.
  • Eli Ben-Dahan: Settler in the Joulan (occupied from Syria) and later in Beit-El in the west bank. Known for his view of the Palestinians being "like animals, they are not human" and for defending the deadly shooting of Palestinian demonstrators who throw stones.
  • Nissan Slomyanski: Senior dirty trickster of the Knesset (Parliament) Finance Committee - known for managing to funnel large amounts of funds through obscure budget correction measures to the settlements and other religious-nationalist causes, with governments mostly looking the other way. He had to suspend himself from chairmanship of another Knesset Committee after his sexual harassment of women in "The Jewish Home" surfaced. 
  • Yinon Magal: Another sexual harasser. A former news-anchor on state TV, then editor of the Netanyahu-skewed Walla news, Magal resigned shortly after the beginning of his Knesset term, after it was brought to light he had harassed female employees at Walla. Earlier in life, Magal took part in the abduction of Abd Al-Karim Obeid of Lebanon.
  • Moti Yogev: A west-bank settler, former commander of the "Sayeret Matkal" special forces unit and retired IDF Colonel. Yogev is famous for expressing his wish to raise "the shuffel of a D-9 tractor" on the Israeli Supreme Court building and destroy it, for rulings not favorable enough to his view. 
  • Betzal'el Smotrich: Party provocateur extraordinaire. The youngest of the bunch and a self-avowed "proud homophobe", he is known for naming the LGBT pride martch as a "beast parade". Some other pearls of his wisdeom include stating that real-estate developers should not be required to sell homes to Arabs; supporting maternity ward segregation between Hebrews/Jews and Arabs; suggesting that the "price tag" attacks against Palestinians must not be considered a form of terrorism; and opining that Palestinian teen Ahd Tamimi "should have gotten a bullet, at least to he kneecap" for slapping a soldier who invaded her yard shortly after her cousin had been shot in the head.
  • Shulamit "Shuli" Mu'alem: Petitioned the Israeli President to pardon El'or Azariah, the soldier caught on camera executing a wounded and defenseless Palestinian who had been immobilized after attacking Israeli occupation troops. Also famous for legal "normalization" of west bank settlements, supporting a death sentence for those convicted of terrorist acts, and of withholding food and medicine from Gaza.
And that's the lot of them."

EU congratulates killer of Gaza cancer patients

“Despite its open for support for war criminals like Mordechai and its ongoing deep complicity with Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people, the European Union still wants us to believe it is a champion of human rights.”

Most Americans support torture

“A clear majority of Americans—nearly two-thirds—support torture.”

Massive Israeli terrorist campaign of car-bombings in Lebanon

“Indeed, from 1979 to 1983, that is to say precisely the period between the Jerusalem and Washington conferences, very senior Israeli officials conducted a large-scale campaign of car-bombings that killed hundreds of Palestinians and Lebanese, most of them civilians.” (thanks Amir)

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Let it rip

And now watch Saudi regime media start reporting: Hizbullah has just started enriching uranium in the Biqa` Valley; Iraqi Hashd militias are enriching uranium in Najaf; Houthis are enriching uranium in Sana`a; and American Shi`ites are enriching uranium in Dearborn, etc.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Lebanese elections: preliminary reflections

In brief: a lousy electoral law.  A deformed application of proportional representation mixed with ranked-choice voting (the State of Maine is now experimenting with that) but the ranked-choice voting in Lebanon is done within the small electoral district so that it is really a sectarian preference vote.  From the early results and from people who know, this is clear: a huge win for Amal-Hizbullah (they may be the only ones who will get the whole list, 27 seats), while a loss for Hariri (Sunni opponents won in Tripoli, Biqa`, Sidon, and even Beirut ii district).  Lebanese Forces will expand their bloc while Phalanges will see their bloc shrink. Walid Jumblat is also a loser (in terms of shrinking of his list because he won't be able to select the Christian MPs in his district and the Syrian intelligence service won't help him like they did for years).  The electoral law was tailored for Jubran Basil to win his seat, and he will.

PS Hizbullah also benefited from establishing a broad multi-sectarian coalition. Thus, proportional representation was in his favor, and against the interest of Hariri (who most likely did not understand the new electoral law).

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Rationality and Irrationality

My weekly article for Al-Akhbar: "Rationality and Irrationality: the face-off between Kim Jong-Un and Trump".

Friday, May 04, 2018

Google and this blog

Every day I receive a note (warning?) that this blog has violated the rules of Google. I don't get to see how I suddenly started to violate those rules.  Someone (I accuse the Israeli government) is targeting my FB and blog daily.

New York Times and Wall Street Journal hail (alleged) Lebanese drug dealers just because they are running against Hizbullah

US media coverage of Lebanese election only sees foes of Hizbullah.  Yesterday, NYT published a fawning profile of a convicted (and jailed) drug dealer, Yahya Shamas, just because he is running against Hizbullah and presented him as the hope of change and rule of law (although he is aligned with the corrupt Hariri movement in the region), while the Wall Street Journal today presented an insignificant cleric, Abbas Jawhari, with a long sheet of drug charges (and who was recently arrested) as "influential".  For Western media, anyone running against Hizbullah must be a good person.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Correction: the wrong Lebanon

"Correction: The Morning Brief newsletter on Tuesday, May 1, included a line under the Middle East section that read, "A branch of the fried-chicken chain Popeyes is set to open in Lebanon." The Popeyes in question is opening not in the country Lebanon but in Lebanon, Pennsylvania." (thanks Laurie)

You rarely see such a WINEP disclaimer in a Western publication: they used to do that in the past

“The trend line that both countries are taking seems headed in the direction of a serious clash,” Michael Eisenstadt, director of military and security studies at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank with close ties to the Israeli military, tells Newsweek. (thanks Basim)

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Mossad agents in Saudi Arabia

I noticed that Western media and DC pundits--who normally regurgitate Saudi regime propaganda--ignored the story in all Saudi regime media yesterday about the arrest of two Mossad agents (with ISIS links) in Saudi Arabia.