Thursday, December 31, 2015

Documentation by Human Rights Watch: this is unprecedented

SO now we know: HRW does relay on the figures of the Qatari and EU-supported Syrian Observatory.   This is like HRW relying on the figures of Syrian regime about civilian casualties of US bombing in Syria and Iraq. By the way, did you take a look at the report of Syrian Observatory on this?

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Russia bombers reportedly killed 792 Syrian civilians (180 kids). All terrorists, of course.

Where does the Israeli ministry of education get its inpiration for book-banning?

From Eval: ""A while ago the Israeli ministry of education banned the inclusion of  the book "living hedge" by Dorit Rabiniaan as an optional part of the highschool literature colloquium. Among the arguments given for the ban were the need to "maintain the identity and heritage of students of all
sectors of the population", the view that "intimate relations between Jews and non-Jews threaten the separate identities", and the concern about "adolescents not having the overall systemic view including considerations of the people's identity preservation and the meaning of 
Assimilation [of Jews in non-Jewish society]". The ban decision was made despite objections by many teachers and Academics, as well as officials in charge of literature studies in secular highschools.

An appeal of the ban by the inspector general in the ministry of education, Dr. Shlomo Hertzig, has now been rejected."

Ok, so this is terrible enough, and good on people like Hertzig for at least trying to appeal the decision, right? Well, here's a quote from Hertzig's appeal: "The acute problem Israeli society faces today is ignorance and racism spreading through it - not the fear of mixed marriage ... the notion that a literary piece might 'trigger' the romantization of such a relation in real life is simply ludicrous... [the Ministry of Education] must not be swayed by baseless false fears."

So, essentially, even this guy is agreeing on the principle, just not on the means of pursuing it or on the 'acuteness' of the problem of intermarriage. Now... where do we remember a government acting to 
prevent marriage between non-Jews and Jews? The answer actually springs immediately to mind if you've studied the history of Germany in the 1930s (which every Israeli highschool student does indeed study):

"The second Nuremberg Law [of 1935], the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor, banned marriage between Jews and non-Jewish Germans. It also criminalized sexual relations between them. These relationships were labeled as “race defilement” (Rassenschande)."

PS - The incumbent Israeli minister of Education is Naftali Bennet, from the Jewish Home party. While this is likely due to his influence, and just to be fair it is not yet clear whether the Likkud-led party will let this stand. I'd say the odds are, say, 60% that they will."

US government claims that it has brought peace to Syria: please spare us American peace in the Middle East

"The State Department is counting "bringing peace" to Syria as one of its wins in 2015."

India test-fires missile with the help of Israel

"The test-firing of the missile system, jointly developed by India and Israel, was carried out by warship INS Kolkata, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement." "Israel is one of India's top three arms suppliers, delivering items such as missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, but such transactions were for long largely unpublicised because of India's fear of upsetting Arab countries and its own large Muslim population."

Democratic funder

"The suspected Israeli agent was inferred (it was the opinion of Josh Marshall and Ron Kampeas) to be Haim Saban, the giant contributor to the Democratic Party. So a “suspected Israeli agent” is also a giant Democratic funder with influence over the Congress?"

Obama is rewarding Israel for spying on the U.S.

"After the Pollard affair, Israel apologized and promised to stop spying on the US. It broke that promise many times and was apparently doing so with the knowledge of Obama when he decided not to oppose Pollard’s parole. On top of that – and of much greater practical significance – Obama is determined before he leaves office to reward Israel with a massive increase in US military aid, by some accounts by more than 50 percent over the current $3 billion annual subsidy."

Afghan civilians continue to pay the greatest price

"If the highest ranking U.S. and NATO military commander in Afghanistan gets his way, America’s longest official war could become even more protracted." "The pact also secures immunity for U.S. service members under Afghan law—a highly controversial measure in a country that has suffered civilian massacres by U.S. troops." "Meanwhile, Afghan civilians continue to pay the greatest price. In the first half of 2015 alone, United Nations agencies documented 4,921 civilian casualties (1,592 deaths and 3,329 injured)." (thanks Amir)

Mahmoud Abbas awards King Salman the medal of PA collaboration

Sulaymani missing?

Qatari and Saudi media had a field day for two weeks inventing a story (carried in some Western media) that Qasim Sulaymani was hit or that he is missing. He reappeared.  Of course, Qatari regime and Saudi regime media won't post a correction or retraction. They are above that.  

A traveling Arab in the US

My dear nephew Ihsan Abu-Khalil was visiting us in the US. Upon arriving in the US, the security person at Denver Airport scribbled "Ar" (for Arab presumably) on his arrival form, and that guaranteed extra scrutiny and inspection for him. Such special measures for Arabs are not even subtle anymore.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Restricting NGOs in Israel: versus restricting NGOs in Russia

Restricting NGOs in Israel caused no stir in the US, and there were no US official recriminations. Yet, when such restrictions are imposed in Russia, the US government AND media react with such vigor.  

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Saudi influence on all Jihadi terrorists: the new religious rules for the city of Jisr Ash-Ashuqur

Ahrar Ash-Sham

Some argue that Ahrar Ash-Sham is the real Syrian branch of Al-Qa`idah in Syria.  

On Zahran Alloush by former leader of Nusrah Front (Bin Laden's branch in Syria)

عشت معه ستة أشهر في منطقة واحدة التقيته عشرات المرات لم تر عيناي بشجاعته وإقدامه وحزمه وعداوته للنصيرية والرافضة"
(My eyes never saw someone of his courage, forwardness, decisiveness, and his enmity toward Nusayris and Rafidah (Alawites and Shi`ites)

Zahran Alloush (who cleared by the US from the terrorism and list and approved as legitimate leader) on Usama Bin Laden

Watch here

Syrian National Coalition eulogizes Zahran Alloush and other Jihadis who died with him

"The Closed Mind of Richard Dawkins"

"Born in 1941 in Nairobi, Kenya, and growing up in Nyasaland, now Malawi, Dawkins writes of life in the colonies in glowingly idyllic terms: “We always had a cook, a gardener and several other servants. ... Tea was served on the lawn, with beautiful silver teapot and hot-water jug, and a milk jug under a dainty muslin cover weighted down with periwinkle shells sewn around the edges.” He remembers with special fondness the head servant, Ali, who “loyally accompanied” the family in its travels, and later became Dawkins’s “constant companion and friend.” Unlike the best of the colonial administrators, some of whom were deeply versed in the languages and histories of the peoples they ruled, Dawkins displays no interest in the cultures of the African countries where he lived as a boy. It is the obedient devotion of those who served his family that has remained in his memory. "

World's number one arms and death dealer

"American weapons receipts rose to $36.2 billion in 2014 from $26.7 billion the year before, bolstered by multibillion-dollar agreements with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. Those deals and others ensured that the United States remained the single largest provider of arms around the world last year, controlling just over 50 percent of the market."

With U.S. blessings India is creating new fuel for an arsenal of H-bombs

"Officials at the Pentagon argued before Washington reached its 2008 nuclear deal with India that lifting sanctions would lead to billions of dollars worth of sales in conventional weapons, according to a U.S. official privy to the discussions.That prediction was accurate, with U.S. exports of major weapons to India reaching $5 billion from 2011 to 2014, and edging out Russian sales for the first time. “But the U.S. is also looking for something intangible: to create a new strategic partner capable of facing down China,” and so India has taken advantage of the situation to overhaul its military nuclear capability, the British official noted." "He also said the nuclear deal had unfortunate repercussions, because other nations concluded that Washington was playing favorites with India."

U.S. is complicit in war crimes in Yemen

"Cluster bombs contain dozens of submunitions that are released in mid-air and scatter indiscriminately over a wide area. The bomblets fell all around Gomaa and her granddaughter. One hit the tree branches above them while several others exploded next to them. Three-year-old Hasna, named after her grandmother, was thrown off the swing as shrapnel flew into her leg. The elder Hasna was also hit, with shrapnel slicing through her right thigh and left ankle."

Turkey-Israel normalization

""There is a near consensus that a pipeline running through Cypriot territorial waters to Turkey is the most viable route for Israeli gas exports to Europe. Then, the question pops up: Is the normalization of bilateral ties a precondition for Israeli gas exports via Turkey?"" (thanks Amir)

What about civilian casualties of US and EU bombings in Syria and Iraq? Will HRW issue a report on that?

"More than 260 civilians have been killed in coalition strikes in Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights".

Monday, December 28, 2015

Email problems

My school email has been down. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Not in US media: Israelis Rally in Northern Israel Against Housing for Arabs

The Disgrace Unto the Nations: "Some 500 people, including a group of right-wing extremists, protested in Afula on Saturday night against the awarding of a housing tender in the northern city to 48 Arab families."

Clinton's anti-Islamophobia campaign is nothing but veiled opportunism

"Wesley Clark isn’t the only campaign patron actively furthering the Islamophobia industry. One of Clinton’s leading donors, billionaire Haim Saban, has given Clinton’s super PAC at least $2 million and recently suggested that Muslims should face “more scrutiny and that profiling of Muslims should be permissible." "Hillary Clinton, lauded by progressives for her role as Secretary of State, pushed for escalating the war in Afghanistan, attempted to pressure Obama into maintaining U.S. troop presence in Iraq, voted for the Patriot Act in 2001 and again to reauthorize it in 2006, and pledged to further arm Israel while also threatening Iran." "Despite Hillary Clinton’s sentimental rhetoric, her policies and political affiliations are concrete and show that she has never been a friend to Muslims, nor will her administration be one."

Historical Pics: Map of Palestine

Map of Palestine from page 742, December 1947 issue of National Geographic

Glueck, Nelson. "An Archaeologist Looks at Palestine". National Geographic Magazine, December 1947. Pages 739-752. (thanks Amir)

Zahran Alloush, in his own words: you filthy Rafidah (Shi`ites) speech

What is Israeli cuisine really

This is what I have discovered: Israeli cuisine is this: they take Arabic dishes and they slice cucumbers on top and call it "Israeli cuisine".  Oh, and if they add cherry tomatoes they call it "special Tel Aviv Israeli cuisine".

religious Zionism versus secular Zionism

There is a new fad: to draw a dubious distinction between secular Zionism, which is presented like Rabin as humane, kind, lawful, and democratic and religious Zionism, which is presented as fanatic and dangerous.  In reality, the dangers to Palestinians and Arabs, and even to Jews in the Middle East, stem from Zionism in all of its forms.  Remember that the land was occupied and wars were launched (most of them) under secular Labor leaders.  Rabin is a war criminal before there was even a state of Israel.   And the article cited here fabricates a qualitative difference between racism and occupation in the occupied territories (of 1967) and the occupied territories of 1948.  1967 is a replica of 1948.  (thanks Glenn) 

This writer urges you to not judge Jayash Al-Islam based on statements of its leaders and based on calls for extermination of Shi`ites and Alawites

While the leader has called for extermination of Shi`ites and Alawites, this writer was able to locate a Christian who liked Alloush.  This should settle the matter: "He has also been condemned for having made sectarian statements alluding to the extermination of Shia in Syria....Sectarian statements are unjustifiable because they stoke tensions in an already polarised landscape...But it is a mistake to equate the group with extremist organisations, especially since such statements by no means reflect the group’s intentions or actions....[This is like judging Al-Qa`idah on the basis of statements by Bin Laden, I guess]...Bassam Malouf, a Christian dissident, for example, recalled a meeting he had with Alloush".  That should settle the matter for you.

Human Rights Watch director's homage to Zahran Alloush

There is no question that Western human rights organizations, especially Human Rights Watch but including Amnesty International, have been losing much of their credibility over the last two decades particularly as their work seem to increasingly fit into the framework of US foreign policy, and their approach to Israel has become nothing more than a justification of its war crimes under the banner of "both sides commit war crimes so there is no need to judge Israel." But there is no one man who has done more to discredit Western human rights organization than this director of HRW:  
"Killing Zahran Alloush is part of Assad strategy of trying to reduce choice to him or ISIS."

Elias Muhanna on Shahab Ahmed

A moving tribute.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Do you know how to drive a fuel truck?

Just look how the New York Times (with a byline of a token Arab reporter) characterizes the murder of Palestinians

"Palestinians using knives, guns and vehicles have killed 19 Israelis, an American student and a Palestinian resident of the West Bank over the past three months. More than 130 Palestinians have been killed during the same period, about two-thirds of them in carrying out, or attempting to carry out, attacks. Others were killed during violent clashes with Israeli forces in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and demonstrations along the Gaza border."  Notice that Palestinians kill Israelis, so we know who killed Israelis. In the case of the Palestinian killed (and note that NYT always lists Israeli victims before Palestinian victims although almost ten times more Palestinians have been killed in this period than Israelis).  And notice that passive voice in "Palestinians have been killed", as we don't know who killed them.  And then notice how justifications are given: that they were killed either as they were carrying out or "attempting to carry out". How do we know they were attempting to carry out if they did not carry out? Because Israel says so of course. The remaining are listed to have been killed "during violent clashes".  So basically with that slight of language, the New York Times manages to make 130 Palestinians killed guilty of crimes, while it manages to make 19 Israeli killed to be innocent victims of Palestinian "murderers".  Welcome to the world of US journalism about the Arab-Israeli conflict.  Oh, and notice how it links Palestinians who were killed "in violent clashes" with Palestinians killed in "demonstrations", thereby implying that demonstrating is a crime that should be punished by death.  

Meet Isam Buwaydani: successor to Alloush

This founder of Sariyyat Al-Islam will be declared a moderate secular polygamist feminist any hour now, by Liz Sly and Anne Barnard.  

Israeli planes spray chemicals, ruin Gaza farmland

"The ministry said the losses affected approximately 3,000 square meters of crops.
Wael Thabit, a senior official at the [Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza], told Anadolu Agency that Israeli planes sprayed pesticide along the eastern border of Gaza, especially in Deir al-Balah and Khan Yunis.
The harmful pesticides killed off crops, including beans, peas, wheat, barley and spinach, according to Thabit.
A Gazan farmer told Anadolu Agency on the condition of anonymity that Israeli planes have sprayed harmful pesticides for four straight days this week." (thanks Regan)

List of Palestinians killed since October

"The following is a list of names of all Palestinians shot and killed by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, including one in the Negev, in the period between Thursday October 1st and the December 26th, as confirmed by the Palestinian Health Ministry."

WaPo gets Iran missile story exactly backwards

"Israel, the only Mideast country that does have nuclear weapons, has repeatedly threatened to bomb Iran. Given that Israel has already bombed Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia, there’s no need for the Post to attribute “nuclear ambitions” to Iran to explain why it would be interested in developing a credible deterrent to the prospect of an Israeli attack."

occupation with a humane face

"This image of the benevolent occupier (who helps grow democracies even as he grows individually) has captured the imagination of a certain sort of American liberal since John Kennedy became a counterinsurgency enthusiast during his administration. The public narrative of counterinsurgency also assuages the fears of people in advanced capitalist countries by emphasizing things like building infrastructure, promoting democracy, and liberating women. In the process this narrative helps hide the reality of counterinsurgency war: death squads, the manipulation of sectarian and ethnic tensions, the fostering of regimes dependent upon their sponsor’s powers." (thanks Amir)

American backed Syrian rebel commander eulogizes Zahran Alloush

Massacres and war crimes are extremely popular in the occupation state of Israel

"The Israel Democracy Institute’s annual survey for 2015 found that the military was the national institution that earned the highest level of trust among Israeli Jews, with a score of 93.4 percent."

US government and Zahran Alloush

American readers are not told that the Obama administration in the negotiations in Vienna has lobbied for excluding Ahrar Ash-Sham (Al-Qa`idah linked) and Zahran Alloush's Islamic Army from the terrorist list and called for their classification as legitimate and acceptable opposition groups. Kid you not.  If only the US government knows how much closer to Al-Qa`idah and its affiliates the Obama administration has been inching (from Yemen to Syria and elsewhere).  

Madame Claude

Condolences for Madame Claude are being accepted by palaces of Saudi princes.

A Moving tribute (by Anne Barnard) to moderately polygamous, moderately sectarian, and moderately murderous, and moderately Salafite Zahran Alloush

Look at this sentence: "The Army of Islam is regarded by the Syrian government and its most powerful ally, Russia, as a sectarian".  So she is saying that the man who called for the extermination of Shi`ites and Alawites is not really sectarian but is unfairly regarded as sectarian by the Syrian and Russian regimes.  2) She then implies that by dispatching a delegation to Saudi Arabia, his patron, it means that he is indeed moderate and secular just like the Saudi regime: "The Army of Islam sent members to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this month for talks among opposition groups". 3) She then tells readers that while it is true that he has engaged in kidnapping and murder but he is is willing to talk: "Mr. Alloush and his faction had not been universally accepted in the Syrian opposition — they are widely blamed for the disappearance of four secular opposition activists from the Damascus suburb of Douma. But unlike harder-line armed groups, the Army of Islam has shown a recent interest in taking part in politics".  4) She then cites the opinion about Alloush by a correspondent for the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid bin Sultan, Al-Hayat, but identifies Al-Hayat thus: "a Syrian correspondent for Al Hayat, a pan-Arab newspaper.".  The word Saudi does not even appear in her identification of the "pan-Arab" newspaper, and I don't know why American pro-Saudi regime media now habitually refer to Saudi newspaper as "pan-Arab".  Imagine how Nasser would have reacted to that designation.  5) She then cites the opinion of someone saying that Alloush fought with ISIS, as if fighting with ISIS is a sign of moderation when Al-Qa`idah in Syria has in fact also fought with ISIS: "“to systematically fight ISIS & its cells.”".  6) She then asks readers to disregard the sectarianly genocidal calls of Alloush: "Mr. Alloush, a religiously conservative Sunni Muslim, had a history of making sectarian statements. But after having met with American officials recently, he softened his tone." 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Zahran Alloush, as a moderate Syrian rebel commander

""Alloush was ideologically at odds with ISIS and al Qaeda, espousing a more moderate brand of Islam. However he rejected democracy and also called for the killing of Shiites and Alawites."" (Thanks Nu`man)

The family of feminist--albeit polygamous--Syrian rebel commander, Zahran Alloush

If you wish to offer condolences about Alloush, you may either send condolences to the nearest Saudi embassy or to one of the three wives that Alloush was married to--simultaneously.  

CS Monitor article on Muslim host of Swedish Christmas TV Special

From A: "Article begins "Sweden is known for its egalitarianism and openness".
Interesting, just for comparison's sake, how journalists describe, very broadly, countries in other (non-European) regions of the world. 
This description isn't explicated in any factual or analytical way in the article, except for one sentence:
"The Scandinavian country admits more refugees per capita than any other country in Europe and is proud of it."
Which is true, fair, and very commendable. It should be noted though that another "Scandinavian country", Denmark, accepts almost one-tenth of the number of asylum seekers as Sweden and has some of the most regressive asylum policies in the EU.
The article quotes Ingrid Carlqvist who is described as "a firebrand journalist opposed to Sweden’s refugee policies."
In fact, she is a fellow at the Gatestone Institute, a lesser-known Zionist/Islamophobic think tank based in NYC, which yesterday published an article titled "Why Palestinians Love Baby-Killers"

One would expect more from Christian Science Monitor."

How Saddam gave him ISIS

Regarding the author, Narrima sent me this: "wrt to the opinion ed in the NYT about the creation of ISIS , well have a very good laugh:
or this one:
I recently obtained an MSc in Humanitarian Studies from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, writing a 16,000-word dissertation on the condition of the healthcare services for the Syrian refugees in Lebanon. I had to conduct interviews in-country and then analyse my data and present it afterwards. 

My focus is on the Middle East, about which I write a blog ( that has received positive feedback, being quoted by news cites and earning recommendations. I have also written for other outlets.

My scientific background enables me to read scientific literature and critically evaluate it, including statistics.

I am active on social media, especially Twitter, where I have more than 1,000 followers.

I am competent with office software, including database, and am able to work to time constraints."

Another brilliant foreign policy scheme by Obama which worked wonders

""The White House's policy in 2011 was to get to the point of a transition in Syria by finding cracks in the regime and offering incentives for people to abandon Assad," a former senior administration official was quoted as saying."

"hard hitting Guardian coverage on Saudi Arabia"

A Saudi propagandist (writing in the formerly progressive Guardian) on why Saudi Kingdom is a purer form of a Salafite Jihadi Obscurantist Wahhabi regime: "Isis’s adherence to the Kharijite ideology is not the only reason it is not a true Salafi movement; it has also committed an act of disobedience that effectively nullifies its Salafi pretenses. In original Islamic scriptures and practice, the highest authority is the “guardian” of the ummah, (wali al amr). All religious, political and military powers are concentrated under this authority, which Saudi Arabia’s system best exemplifies in the modern world. In other words, King Salman’s legitimacy to rule is contingent on him being first and foremost the wali al amr of the people, and in return the people show their acceptance of his rule by proclaiming him as their ruler. This proclamation (bay’ah) is a contract between the ruler and the ruled in which the first swears to promote Islam and the welfare of the second, and the second swears to obey (ta’ah) the tenets of Islam and follow the first’s leadership. Should the first deviate from Islam, the second is obliged to replace him. The joint bay’ah of the ummah to the ruler is fundamental to Salafism and anyone that breaks the bay’ah – as Isis has done – can never again be considered a true Salafi."  (thanks Michael)

Before Liz Sly rushes to assure you that Alloush was a feminist, secular, and democrat: here is a piece by Joshua Landis

Joshua Landis on the ideology of Zahran Alloush: "This is an anti-Shiite tirade and “bring-back-the-Umayyad-Empire” propaganda piece. It shows how sectarian Alloush is. He refers to Shiites, and reduces the Nusayris into this grouping, as “Majous”, or crypto-Iranians. “Majous” is the old term for pre-Islamic Persians or Zoroastrians. Arab Christians use the term in Christmas carols about the Magi, or “three kings from the Orient” (or east) who come to pay homage to Jesus—Magi are Persians or Easterners. Here it is an Islamic term of abuse meant to suggest that Alawites and Iranians not only have the wrong religion but also the wrong ethnicity—they are not Arabs, but crypto-Iranians. The term Majous is used in many rebel videos to refer to the Assad regime—”al-nizam al-majousi”—or simply to refer to Shiites (or Alawites) generally. It demonstrates how demonized the Alawites are in the propaganda of the new Islamic Front.
Zahran calls for cleansing Damascus of all Shiites and Nusayris. (“Nusayris” is the old term that referred to the Alawites prior to the adoption of “Alawite.” It is considered a term of abuse by Alawites. “Nusayri” refers to the founder of the religion, Ibn Nusayr, and is used by rebels to underscore the assertion that the Alawite religion is man-made and not sent from heaven. For the same reason, Muslims object to the old Christian appellation, Muhammadans, because it suggests that Islam was founded by Muhammad and not God. Christians, of course, believe there is no problem being named after their founder, Christ – but, of course, Christ is considered to be God. Not so Muhammad or Ibn Nusayr by their followers.) Alloush calls for ridding Damascus and Greater Syria of the evil works and impure deeds of the Nusayris, using Qur’anic language throughout to underline their deviant ways. Such language makes Assad’s effort to demonize the revolutionaries and rebels easy. On hearing this sort of talk from the leaders of the revolution, Alawites and other non-Sunni sects worry that their struggle is a fight for their very existence." 
PS I bet that Liz Sly will say that the slogans on the banner near Alloush are "secular".

Patient decapitated on the operating table by U.S. airstrike on hospital

"It was razed to the ground by the Americans in the early hours of October 3, killing 42 patients and staff in a raid which those who survived say lasted almost an hour. The majority of the hospital had been destroyed by fire. The bodies which remained were little more than charred skeletons, lying in amongst the twisted bed frames, charred rubble and shattered glass. But this room was different: this particular wing of the hospital had not been as badly damaged by fire - which meant Baynazar still looked like the father-of-four who had been admitted to the hospital on October 1, despite most of his head having been sheered off."

Israel's extremists aren't as fringe as you think

"But the official condemnations are disingenuous at best. De facto, the settler ideologues are deeply embedded in the Israeli security and political establishments."

Indian workers beaten by Saudi boss

"Three Indian men are to be flown home after claims they were badly beaten by their brutal employer in Saudi Arabia." (thanks Amir)

The work of US allies in the Middle East: US has Yemeni bloods on its hands

School DESTROYED: Saudi airstrikes attack elementary school in province of Saada this morning

Who is your "martyr"?

Saudi writers and journalists (including those--like one below--who are promoted in the West as "moderate" and "liberal") refer to Jihadi Zahran Alloush (who eulogized Mullah Omar and aligned himself with Al-Qa`idah and who had with him in the meeting which was targeted: a judge of Shari`ah--and I thought that Westerners fear Sharia`ah law law law) as "martyr":
استشهد مع قياديين من وفيلق الرحمن وجيش الاسلام . انه رد بوتين على ونجاحها في توحيد المعارضة .

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Aljazeera and US government

When Aljazeera (after its launch) was run by secular Arab nationalists, it was fiercely opposed by the US government which constantly protested against its coverage. But when Aljazeera became run by militant Islamists, the US governments because quite pleased with the network and its coverage.  Which proves my point: the US in its contemporary history, always sided with religious reactionaries and obscurantists against progressives and enlightened Arab people.

women in Muslim societies

It has to be said: no one has respected and honored women in Muslim societies more than, or except, communists during their brief years of rule--despite Western wars on them.

UK Government attempting to keep details of secret security pact with Saudi Arabia hidden from public

"The British Government signed a secret security pact with Saudi Arabia and is now attempting to prevent details of the deal from being made public. 
The Home Secretary Theresa May agreed to the so-called ‘memorandum of understanding’ with her Saudi counter-part Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef during a visit to the Kingdom last year.
The Home Office released no details of her trip at the time or announced that the deal had been signed. The only public acknowledgement was a year later in a Foreign Office report which obliquely referenced an agreement to “modernise the Ministry of the Interior”.
But now following a Freedom of Information request from the Liberal Democrats, who were in Government at the time, it has emerged that the agreement is far wider than has been acknowledged."

Western Human Rights organizations and Russian strikes

It took mere weeks after the launch of Russian raids for Western human rights organizations to raise a hue and cry over the civilian casualties and war crimes of Russian strikes in Syria (which I don't dispute). But how long will take those same organizations before they document war crimes by Western strikes in Syria and Iraq?

The reportage of Liz Sly

From Andrey: "With great interest I’m following your Angry Arab blog representing the Middle Eastern native touch over the Western reporting on Syria. I remember you used to repeatedly condemn the WP ME reporter Liz Sly for her biased and one-sided articles fueling inter-sectarian conflicts and misunderstanding in the wounded region. Last week she released another sample of this kind: As you see, being based on unconfirmed and unclear sources in Turkey, she reports that the Russian air strikes are causing dramatic infrastructure damages and civilian losses in Syria. She tries to add some confidence referring to the UN Humanitarian Affairs officials. As a matter of fact, she used the following UN OCHA release dated Dec7, 2015 by  the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kyung-wha Kang. While lacking almost all details (to say nothing about any indication on the Russian air strikes as the source of the problem) the latter does not conceal that the information came from Turkish relief agency AFAD and the Kilis Governorate authorities (parties, which could be interested in discrediting the Russian counter-terrorist operation due to the well-known factors). The UN Humanitarian Chief, Stephen O’Brien, who has been visiting Damascus on Dec 12-14, in his official statementat the end of the trip did not say a single word about Russian operation in the context of humanitarian crisis in Syria. Another, indirect prove of the false allegation about “Russians bombing the hospitals in Syria” is that the notorious “human rights defender” Joshua Foust feels deeply frustrated about the “lack of reaction” of Doctors Without Borders on the “Russian war crimes” comparing to the US bombing of a hospital in Kunduz. It seemingly does not occur to him that Doctors Without Borders are simply perfectly aware that no hospitals were being bombed by the Russian forces in Syria, so there is nothing to cry about.
Please take note that the latest report of OCHA to the UN Security Council (Dec 21) does not contain any point of humanitarian concern regarding the Russian counter-terrorist operation neither."

Western media ignore the real story of 4-year-old killed during 1979 Nasser Operation in Nahariya

"Israeli police decided to attack with full force instead of attempting to negotiate, and the father of the family and a police officer were killed. The 4-year old was killed when her head hit a rock during the scuffle. Two fighters, identified as Abdul-Majid Aslan and Moayyad Mhanna, were killed, while al-Kuntar and Ahmad al-Abrass were captured."

If a Muslim were to say that?

"The head of Lehava, a prominent Israeli Jewish extremist organisation, has called for the celebration of Christmas to be banned in the land where, according to the Bible, Jesus was born, lived and preached. “Christmas has no place in the Holy Land,” Benzi Gopstein wrote in an online article posted on an ultra-Orthodox Jewish website earlier this week, Israeli media reported. In a series of provocative comments, Mr Gopstein also attacked members of the Christian faith directly, calling for them to be expelled."

Israel's illegal naval blockade of Gaza & theft of Palestinian resources

" “Israel has closed off access to Palestine’s territorial waters to protect Israeli gas platforms and export pipelines,” according to “Annexing Energy,” a new report from the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq. At the same time, Israel has forcibly blocked Palestinians from developing gas fields in Gaza’s waters. “Israel’s unlawful appropriation, exploitation and prevented development of oil and gas resources constitute plunder and further breach Palestine’s right to self-determination,” Al-Haq states. It also points out that Israel is not acting alone: “By their actions, international corporations and states, including EU members, concluding pipeline agreements to export gas from Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan fields … will effectively support and profit from Israel’s continued illegal closure of Palestinian maritime waters.” "

Israeli-Turkish plan for stolen Palestinian gas

"Israeli and Turkish officials have said that a renewal of diplomatic ties would pave the way for talks on a potential undersea pipeline project to deliver Israeli gas to southern Turkey."

Human Rights Watch has finally spoken on the massacre of Shi`ites in Nigeria

From Basim: "It seems HRW finally spoke on the massacre of Shi'ite Muslims in Nigeria after all, but only yesterday, and one week after the fact. They called it "unjustified"  - as if entertaining the government's notion that it might have been."

New York Times finds foreign occupation and violations of international law to be very cute

There is nothing that the Israeli occupation ambassador does that the New York Times does not find alluring and charming.

Who can preserve the Arab identity of Yemen better than Colombian and Australian mercenaries?

"Revealed: The mercenaries commanding UAE forces in Yemen"

Will there be calls in the West for Israeli to reform their culture and religion? Or does that only applies to Arabs?

"Video: Israeli youths dance, stab picture of murdered Palestinian baby"

Meet Saudi media

This mouthpiece of King Salman, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, publishes a front page story alleging--based on Syrian opposition sources--that Russia and Iran are at war--although no one has noticed--and that Russian planes are killing Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria. You know what that means? That one of the worst foreign correspondent in the Middle East, Liz Sly, may report the story soon.

Israeli cheering the murder of a Palestinian toddler

"Israeli politicians were aghast following a Channel 10 report Wednesday night of Jewish extremists dancing at a wedding while cheering the murder of a Palestinian family in Duma and calling for more killings.  The one minute long video showed young men wearing white skullcaps and shirts dancing while holding knives and guns. One of the dancers stabbed a photograph of a slain Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabsha. Another young man was held aloft as he clutched a molotov cocktail in one hand and a knife in another."

Leader of Tunisian "revolution"

Western media tells me that the man to the left (a graduate of the secret police of the autocracies of Bourguiba and Bin Ali in Tunisia) is the representative of the Arab youth and of the Tunisian "revolution".  Kid you not.

Saddam gave you ISIS?

In response to this silly piece: Well, it can be argued that: You gave us Saddam, who gave you ISIS, more accurately, You gave us the US invasion which more than anything gave us ISIS.

Turkish officers and ISIS

"Some Turkish officers on the Syrian border have been revealed to have communicated with terrorists of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria, a daily reported on Tuesday. “It emerged that the telephone communications some officers made with ISIL militants were wiretapped,” the Cumhuriyet daily said, describing the officers' contact with ISIL members as scandalous." "The Turkish government has long been accused by opposition parties of turning a blind eye to the activities of ISIL in Turkey and for letting ISIL terrorists freely pass through Turkey's border with Syria." (thanks Amir)

Algerian revolutionary leader, Hocine Ait-Ahmed, has died

I wrote this in Arabic: the death of Hocine Ait-Ahmed reminded me that the revolutionary leaders of the Algerian revolution were of a different material. They all were made of iron.  They were ruthless, firm, unwavering, principled, tough, and uncompromising.  That is why they won and could not be debated by the savagery of French colonialism.  That is not the same calibre of the Palestinian revolution. Palestinian resistance leaders are pragmatic, soft, compromising, and very diplomatic.  Even Arafat with my deep disagreements with all his policies, he was not a tyrant (in fact, Mahmoud Abbas is far more of a little tyrant than Arafat, who allowed his critics to be around the same negotiating table with him): he always avoided signing death sentences even in the cases of spies, embezzlers, etc.  Same for George Habash who always avoided going along with tough sentences against people who betrayed the Front.  As for Hizbullah: in the 1980s, its leadership was close to the Algerian model, while Nasrallah took it to the Palestinian model.  I am talking here only about effectiveness and not about assessing of policies and practices.  

What is considered a crime in the Saudi regime: what Western media will not notice (because it is not Iran)

This is actually the language of the sentence of a Saudi writer whose only crime is to call for a constitutional government in Saudi Arabia:  "convicted of a media writer of exciting public opinion and inciting sedition and reducing the aura of government among people".  The court also ruled that he will be sentenced  to four years in jail and a fine of 100,000 riyals and to remove his accounts from social media and to ban him from appearing in any media and from writing for 15 years fro the day he leaves jail, and to ban him from travel for five years from the day he leaves jail.  If this was in Iran, the story will be on the front pages of all US media, I guarantee you.

PS Incidentally, this writer always always expressed his support for the House of Saud.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Graduate research at Saudi universities

This is a MA degree thesis at Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University in Medina and it its titled: "Grendizer: a Critical Study according to Islamic Criteria".  Yes, according to the West, those folks will lead the battle for reform and moderation within Islam.  

Another take on the assassination of Samir Quntar

Nour Samahah has another take on the assassination of Samir Quntar.

We are not on the same page politically, but I love this joke. It really cracks me up.

"So Um Kalthoum walks into a bar. Walks into a bar. Walks into a bar. Walks into a baaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr."

One picture can explain American politics. صورة واحدة لتظهير السياسة في أميركا.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Distortion of my words on Aljazeera

What Aljazeera reported about my comments on Facebook about the assassination of Samir Quntar was not accurate: it is still there and it is clear that I accused Israel of responsibility for the crime (which also killed innocent people, but since when do those innocent Arab people count when the killers are Israeli)?  Yes, I criticized the Syrian regime and the Russian government but I never said that it was them who killed Al-Quntar.  

Hamra Street Beirut, 1890

Benedict Anderson and Negative Comparisons

"In my case, Ben gently steered me toward the scholarship in American politics, resulting in a dissertation that compared American national state-building in the Progressive era to the construction of a colonial state in early 20th century Philippines. The research puzzle I have been working on – why Filipino Muslims, in this age of the war on terrorism and the Great American Satan, remain strongly pro-American – continues to be guided by the negative comparisons that Ben urged us to investigate."

Israel and its US and Russian sponsors

Just as US is considered rightly by Arabs as a full partner in all Israeli crimes in the region, Russia should also hitherto be considered--by virtue of its direct military presence in Syria--a partner in all Israeli crimes in Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine 

Delinking the Palestinians by Joseph Massad

"While delinking the Palestinians from the interests of the Arab world and the Arab peoples has proceeded steadily since the 1970s for Arab governments and elites alike (including campaigns like “Jordan First,” “Lebanon First” and “Egypt First”), the Islamist countercurrent that emerged at the same time has undercut this effort considerably by insisting that Palestine remains a Muslim, if no longer, an Arab cause.
Here Jerusalem is not seen as a large Palestinian city whose lands and holy places are being confiscated day by day for exclusive Jewish colonial use, and whose Palestinian population – Muslims and Christians alike – is expelled, besieged, humiliated and denationalized. Rather, Jerusalem is depicted as merely a religious symbol for Christians and Muslims whose sanctuaries have fallen under the rule of Israel and Jewish colonial settlers.
Jewish settler-colonialism in this Palestinian city has not abated since the 1880s with the expulsion and ethnic cleansing of the first wave of Jerusalemites and the occupation and ethnic cleansing of the western parts of their city concluded in 1948.
The remaining and oldest parts of Jerusalem, where its holy places are located, would not become subject to Jewish colonial supremacy until after Israel occupied them in 1967."

Nobody excels in political humor more than the Egyptian people, and I mean, nobody

Who Recruited for ISIS in Western countries first? Western media did, and with great enthusiasm

Why don't you go back to US and Canadian media back in 2011 and 2012: just see how many article lionized and glorified those men and women who left everything here and went to fought against the Syrian regime, according to those stories. Do you remember them? I do.

Do people at the Huffington Post (US) know the kind of trash being produced by Arabic Huffington Post Qatari regime? Or is there a financial arrangement?

This is a headline and an article about Samir Quntar: but it only focuses on: how he changed his sect from a Druze to a Shi`ite (and both are people whose blood is spillable from the standpoint of Qatari Wahhabi ideology).

Monday, December 21, 2015

Look what we missed in the Syria story: moderate revolutionary democratic feminist Syrian rebels electing councils

""There is no question that the moderate Syrian opposition exists, in the form of hundreds of civilian councils, sometimes directly elected, and at least 70,000 democratic-nationalist fighters. In a recent blog for the Spectator, Charles Lister, one of the very few Syria commentators to deserve the label ‘expert’, explains exactly who they are."" (thanks Eric)

Ignorance of US media: Van Susteren interviewed a "Yazidi Christian"--this is like saying a Muslim Jew or a Christian Buddhist

Illustration of Zionism

the miracles of Mother Theresa

Are you are that this blog was founded to partly cover the miracles of Mother Theresa (see cartoon in the left column, blow, from an article about the blog when it first came out in a SF publication): "Two miracles are generally required for canonization. Mother Teresa was beatified in 2003 after the Vatican concluded that an Indian woman’s prayers to the nun caused her incurable tumor to disappear. The second miracle involves a Brazilian man who suffered a viral brain infection that caused multiple abscesses, and eventually left him in a coma and dying. His wife had been praying for months to Mother Teresa, and on Dec. 9, 2008, as he was about to be taken to emergency surgery, she and her husband’s priest and relatives intensified their prayers.  The next morning, the man fully awoke, with normal cognition, according to the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, a Canadian priest who was the postulator, or chief proponent, of Mother Teresa’s canonization. The man did not need surgery, and resumed his work as a mechanical engineer. Moreover, although doctors had previously told him that he was sterile because of his weakened immune system and antibiotics, he and his wife had two healthy children, in 2009 and 2012, Father Kolodiejchuk said."

The US in one week: "mistakenly" bombed Syrian army positions; "mistakenly" bombed Iraqi army positions and then this

"U.S. Bomber Mistakenly Flew Near Disputed Island in South China Sea"

Is this a validation of the thesis of Joseph Massad? Will his critics freak out now?

"U.S. Support of Gay Rights in Africa May Have Done More Harm Than Good"

Haim Saban center for the promotion of Zionism at Brookings:

Guess what their verdict is about a paper plan to fight terrorism?  "This latest move may be a step in that direction."

A Major victory in the War on terrorism

Saudi mouthpiece of King Salman, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, confirms that Tajikistan and Azerbaijan are both studying whether to join the Saudi-led coalition against terrorism.

The Jihadi appeal of Anwar Awlaqi (or Awlaki in US media)

I read an article about attempts to ban his videos on Youtube.  So I checked some of them out.  This is the reason why he appeals to militants in the West and East: he is the only Jihadi religious kook that I know who is effective in propaganda equally in two languages.  There is not one Muslim cleric or kook that I know who can propagandize in Arabic and in a Western language. Not one.  Thus, Awlaqi knows how to deliver the message to Arab youth and to youth in Western countries.  It seems that his influence grew after his death; his was far less famous before his assassination. 

"Moderate" Muslims in US and Israeli press

"MLI operates in coordination with the Shalom Hartman Institute (SHI), which in the profoundest of ironies is a group regularly funded by ardently Islamophobic organizations like the Russell Berrie Foundation. Members of MLI, including Moghul himself, have traveled with SHI to Israel-Palestine against repeated pleas from countless individuals, including those who argue the initiative undermines the Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions movement that has been generating steam and that aims to end Israel’s military occupation and discriminatory policies against Palestinians."

Human rights violations in Jordan: look at the mild words of Human Rights Watch: compare his language with his condemnations of countries which are allies of US

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Jordan sentences professor to two years in prison for critical posts he made on Facebook.

One third of Canadians agree with Trump

"The poll by the Angus Reid Institute (ARI) found that 33 per cent of Canadians strongly or moderately agree with Trump's call for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." While two-thirds of Canadians disagreed (and 49 per cent strongly so), that still leaves a large proportion of Canadians looking kindly on a plan that has been widely condemned both in Canada and the U.S. And it puts Canadians on almost the same level with Americans."

Chair of UN Human Rights & U.S. ally set to behead 3rd teenager

"Al-Zaher is the third youth to face execution in the past several months." "In September, the U.S. State Department said it “welcomed” the news that Saudi Arabia would be heading a U.N. human rights panel, noting “We’re close allies.” "

attacks against Muslims in the US

"In recent years, there has been an average of 12.6 suspected hate crimes against Muslims in the United States a month, based on F.B.I. data analyzed by the research group.  But the rate of attacks has tripled since the attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 by Islamic State operatives, with 38 attacks regarded as anti-Islamic in nature, according to the analysis, which was based on reports from the news media and civil rights groups. Eighteen of the episodes have come since the shooting in San Bernardinoon Dec. 2 by a Muslim couple who were supporters of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, which left 14 people dead. The frequency of the recent attacks has not reached the levels seen in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when there were hundreds of attacks on Muslims, and some Sikhs mistaken for Muslims, but Mr. Levin said they were similar types of hate-crime attacks."