Friday, December 24, 2010
Back in May I wrote about Gita Saghal and her eventual resignation from Amnesty International because of its unseemly association with Moazzam Begg and his Cage Prisoners organization. You can catch up on that story here, too. Now, Harry's Place reports on one of the AI and Cage Prisoners poster boys, Abu Rideh, a UK resident who was under a restrictive "control order" from 2005-09, until AI's "action file" campaign was successful in winning Rideh's release.
According to HP:
CagePrisoners, whose Director Moazzam Begg believes that "securing the release of Muslim prisoners" captured during jihad is "obligatory" on all Muslims, devoted significant campaigning resources towards this case.
A few days ago, The Daily Telegraph reported:
Mahmoud Abu Rideh, 39, was said to have been closely associated with the senior leadership of al-Qaeda, including its deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and former leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, along with Abu Hamza, the radical preacher.
He was allowed to travel to Syria in September last year after promising that he would not return to Britain.
But an Arabic jihadi web forum associated with al-Qaeda reports that he has become a "martyr in Afghanistan" and was with a group of fighters when he died, the Daily Telegraph has learned.
HP gives a full account of what AI had every reason to know about who Rideh was. My May post was entitled "The Future of the Human Rights Movement." For a movement as resistant to self-examination and altered behavior as any nation its organizations report on, that future continues to look a sorry one.
[Further on this: On "martyrs" and enablers]
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Here's a good video of Philippe giving his presentation about a month ago for the Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, LA:
From the video description:
September 30, 2000, saw the creation and spread of the 21st century's first blood libel, a literally deadly hoax to which thousands of subsequent murders can be directly traced.
Orchestrated and perpetuated by French media determined to paint Israel as a barbaric nation of child killers, the Mohammad al-Dura affair made a celebrated hero out of a slanderous reporter, created "truth" out of pure fiction, and caused one media analyst to undertake an ongoing quest to set the record straight against the entirety of the French political, media, and legal establishment.
The now infamous al-Dura hoax, revolving around a France 2 videotape that purported to show Israeli troops killing a frightened Gaza boy trapped in the middle of firefight, circled the world in moments. The international outrage and condemnation of Israel fueled a genocidal anti-Jewish propaganda machine, which manufactured the pretexts for murdering thousands of Israelis and even beheading Daniel Pearl.
The incident, we now know, was staged for the cameras...
[The following, by Israelinurse, is crossposted from CiF Watch.]
Since the publication last week of CiF Watch's special report on the situation in southern Israel, further escalation has occurred, but a search on CiF's Middle East section - as well as the Guardian's World News, Israel, page - this morning shows a total absence of any attempt whatsoever to inform Guardian readers of these significant changes.Gabi Ashkenazi had reported that two weeks earlier a Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missile had been used against IDF forces patrolling the border with Gaza for the first time. This is the same type of missile which was used by Hizbollah against Israeli tanks in the second Lebanon war of 2006 and which is thought to have been supplied by Syria. Continue reading "The Guardian continues to ignore escalation in southern Israel"
Would one of you Israelis please tell your PM that it's OK to smile while wishing people a Merry Christmas? I mean, I know the guy has the weight of the world on his shoulders, and he's very seriously working for peace and all, but lighten up for a minute OK?
It's that time of year again! Honest Reporting has come out with their Dishonest Reporter Award 2010. Can you guess who the grand prize winner is? Here's a hint. It's not an individual person, and it rhymes with "slime."
Here are some of the sub-categories:
- Poison Pen Award: Jeff Danziger
- Least Reliable Source: Muawiya Hassanein, Gaza Health Ministry
- Most Disproportionate Photography: Reuters
- Most Peerless Medical Review: The Lancet
- Media Manipulator of the Year: Dahi Khalfan
- Worst Obituary: Octavia Nasr
- Most Ironic Unintended Consequence: Electronic Intifada
- Most Overdue Resignation: Helen Thomas
- Photography Tip of the Year: The Guardian
- Most Undeserving of Honor: Paul McGeough
- Special Achievement in Swinging to Extremes: Jane Corbin, BBC Panorama
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
[The following, by Vic Rosenthal, is crossposted from FresnoZionism.]
In 2007, the UN General Assembly passed resolution 61/295, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This past week, the US endorsed the resolution, after initially voting against it along with Australia, Canada and New Zealand. All four nations have now endorsed it, making it unanimous.
The intent is purportedly to protect people like Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians against exploitation and denial of rights by the majority culture. In fact, it represents a breathtaking invasion of the sovereignty of any nation that contains a subculture that defines itself as 'indigenous'.Continue reading "US Endorses Absurd Postcolonialist Resolution"
[The following, by Barry Rubin, is crossposted from The Rubin Report.]
The U.S. weakness in countering Iran and other radical forces in the Middle East is beginning to bear poisoned fruits. Jordan is already moving toward getting on Iran's good side; Lebanon has been captured by the Iran-Syria camp; Turkey has moved into its orbit, becoming an ally of Iran and Syria, while the Obama Administration only emphasizing how important the relationship is with that country despite differences (that is, the Turkish regime sabotaging U.S. interests repeatedly.
Now Qatar--which hedges its bets between cooperating with the United States on basing rights, sponsors the radical anti-American al-Jazira network, and works with Iran on regional issues--has also moved closer to Tehran. Qatar participated in joint war games with Iran and has now invited Iranian Revolutionary Guards troops for a visit including five warships to inspect Qatar's defenses. Deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards' navy, Alireza Tangsiri, said, "Such programs will definitely pave the way for mutual cooperation."
You bet.Continue reading "The Poisoned Fruits of Appeasement Come Home to Roost"
[The following, by Vic Rosenthal, is crossposted from FresnoZionism.]
The favorite argument of the Left is the demographic argument: that unless Israel gives up the territories, it must choose between its democracy or its Jewish character. Either Israel lets all those Arabs vote or it doesn't. Therefore, Israel must 'make peace' and give up Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem.
But analysis shows - and I'm not going to repeat it here, I and others have explained it thousands of times - that giving up land won't bring peace, that the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and indeed the great majority of the Palestinian Arab population see Israeli concessions as indications of weakness and stepping stones to the ultimate replacement of Israel by an Arab state. The kind of settlement Barack Obama and the Europeans want to see would simply set the stage for yet another war.
The two-state solution, in other words, is a mirage. There could be two states (for a while), but it wouldn't be a solution. So what to do?Continue reading "Israel Doesn't Have To Be a Big Tent"
Rick Richman at Contentions:
In the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Mary Anastasia O'Grady wrote [note: Link goes to Google search so you can hopefully get in to the WSJ and read the article.] that cables released by WikiLeaks show that the administration knew Honduran President Manuel Zelaya had threatened Honduran democracy -- but supported him in order to offer President Obama a "bonding opportunity" with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and a chance to ingratiate himself with Latin America's hard left.
O'Grady believes this helps explain why the administration went to such extremes to try to force Zelaya's reinstatement despite the obvious remedy once the Honduran Congress and Supreme Court had upheld his removal for attempting to thwart the election of his successor -- hold the already scheduled election between the already duly-chosen candidates, on the date already set, which was only a few months away...
I believe this explanation makes sense, though Richman offers another interpretation, more personal to Obama:
...I have a simpler explanation -- not inconsistent with O'Grady's analysis but closer to the common theme in Obama's foreign policy in other areas. The day after Zelaya was removed, Obama pronounced it a "coup." That snap judgment remained American policy even as more and more facts contradicting Obama's description emerged. After months pushing a reinstatement that virtually every element of Honduran political and civil society opposed, and even though the proper and practical solution was apparent, Obama still engaged in mystifying diplomacy, cutting off aid to a poverty-stricken ally. Three months into the "crisis," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley made this statement about the Honduran government's intent to hold its election:
There's a sense that the de facto regime was thinking, if we can just get to an election, that this would absolve them of all their sins. And we're saying, clearly, that is not the case.
Crowley asserted the election the Honduran legislature and judiciary sought to preserve would not "absolve" them of "all their sins." Honduras had apparently offended some sort of god...
I'm not sure how much I go along with this sort of Obama personality analysis, but the fact that it's fairly clear that the US Government knew that Zelaya was no good but went to bat for him anyway does nothing to dispel the notion that our behavior toward Honduras was a shameful chapter in US foreign policy history. If the administration were casting ideology -- and morality -- to the wind in order to score realpolitik points and demonstrate that they could achieve something with a former Bush foe, they certainly made a hash of both the politics and the morality.
Monday, December 20, 2010
There's a lot of interesting material in the Pew Foundation's latest poll of the Middle East, a survey that focuses on attitudes toward Islamism and revolutionary Islamist groups. The analysis that accompanies the poll, however, is not very good, so here is mine.
For example, in evaluating attitudes toward Hamas and Hizballah, Pew says that they receive "mixed ratings from Muslim publics [while] opinions of al-Qaida and its leader, Usama bin Ladin, are consistently negative...."
Really? Well, in Jordan, for example, 55 percent say they like Hizballah (against 43 percent negative) while 60 percent are favorable (compared to 34 percent negative) toward Hamas. Yet this is even more impressive than the figures indicate. Jordan is a staunchly Sunni country whose government opposes the ambitions of Iran and Syria. Hizballah is a Shia group which also is an agent of Iran and Syria. For a majority to praise that organization--conscious of strong government disapproval--is phenomenal.Continue reading "Poll Reveals Frightening Popularity of Revolutionary Islamism"
And this street shoot-out, too:
[The following, by Richard Landes, is crossposted from Augean Stables with minor formatting edits.]
(My apologies for taking so long to post this. I wanted feedback from friends on my treatment of Tikkun Olam which is not an area of any expertise for me. I wrote this during the Thanksgiving break, but only post it now. I do think, however, that the issue I treat here is not going away.)
A good friend sent me the following piece by Bradley Burston with the comment: "It expresses how I feel." I find it so pervasively flawed that I have difficulty taking it seriously. But if my friend can (and he's one of the smartest people I know), then I have to, and it does raise, however poorly, a whole range of key issues. So, with great reluctance (because there are more interesting texts to sink one's teeth into), I fisk below.
First, a brief introductory note: One of the key contentions of Burston and the people he likes (J-Street, Jewish Voices for Peace, Young Jews for Peace, etc.) is that a) they love Israel and b) they know the best way to peace which, since Israel won't take that path, they must force upon her. Now all these groups locate along the "left" political spectrum differently. NIF disapproves of BDS but funds groups who do; J-Street disapproves of BDS even if they associate with people who do; Jewish Voices for Peace and Emily Schaeffer (below) support BDS in many forms.Continue reading "Does Burston really think it's legitimate to view BDS as Tikkun Olam?"
[The following, by AKUS, is crossposted from CiF Watch.]
In a recent article, A perfect example of the Guardian's appalling myopia, I pointed out how the Guardian overlooked a key event in a visit by a group of boys (no girls) from Gaza to the USA, and, specifically, the UN building in New York:
A Guardian video entitled, "Documentary follows 15 boys from Gaza on trip to US" contained the subtitle:Continue reading "Hamas outraged at Gaza's youth being educated about the Holocaust"
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Oh, very well done:
[Via Randy Barnett]
[The following, by bataween, is crossposted from Point of No Return.]
Beware contemporary historians who are busy rewriting the history of the Jews, especially in Morocco, to make it seem that Jews and Muslims always lived together in symbiotic harmony. This little gem, written by a 17th century English visitor called Addison (no philosemite, he), was unearthed by Elder of Ziyon blog. It conveys the impression that Jews were little more than slaves: "The Present State of the Jews," by Lancelot Addison, written in 1676:Continue reading "The 17th Century 'Coexistence' of Master and Slave"
[The following, by Matt, is crossposted from Huffington Post Monitor.]
To Whom It May Concern,
Hello, my name is Matt and I have been a loyal reader of the Huffington Post for two years now. I enjoy the HP's variety of articles, and in particular the World and Sports sections. I personally think you should cover the successes of the New England Patriots in more detail, but that's not why I'm writing to you today.
I was reading a blog post by MJ Rosenberg and I became very concerned about the ideas written "in between the lines" of the post. Rosenberg wrote about a recent bill passed through Congress condemning the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, but the focus of the blog post was on AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. I'm sure I don't need to tell you what AIPAC is, but I should point out that AIPAC members and lobbyists are all Americans. Something to keep in mind going forward.
What was truly disturbing about Rosenberg's post came towards the end, when he wrote his thesis statement:Continue reading "Huffington Post Monitor: My Letter to the Huffington Post"
[The following, by Daniel Greenfield, is crossposted from Sultan Knish.]
Liberals have never been too fond of democracy. Even when they win elections, they prefer to treat those victories as "historic events" that are almost supernatural in nature, to avoid dwelling on the fact that what really happened was that the votes were counted, and they racked up more than the other side. Instead they condescendingly describe their victories as a sign that the country has reached a new level of ethical and intellectual awareness. Like a kindergarten teacher handing out gold stars, liberals pat the country on the head (at least the right parts of it) for making the right decision.Continue reading "Monarchist Liberals Fear the Mob"
[The following, by Barry Rubin, is crossposted from The Rubin Report.]
The French news agency AFP is reporting that France is giving the Lebanese army 100 anti-tank HOT missiles in February to be used by the military's Gazelle helicopters. There are no conditions attached to their use.
Israel is concerned about the deal. In November, the U.S. government lifted a freeze on $100 million in aid to Lebanon when that government--which is basically though not completely controlled by Iran, Syria, and Hizballah--promised that it would not give arms to Hizballah and would try to keep that group from controlling the border and attacking Israel.Continue reading "France Gives Lebanon Anti-Tank Missiles That Would Only Be Used Against, Guess Who?"
The story of the ordeal itself is absolutely horrific:
...The police investigation is still underway into the attack that wounded Givat Zeev resident Kay Wilson, an olah from Great Britain, and killed her friend Kristine Luken, as they were hiking in the wooded hills west of Jerusalem...
...The body of Kristine Luken, an American citizen living in England who was visiting Israel, was found south of Mata, approximately 400 meters from the road between Mata and Beit Shemesh, police said. Her body was discovered around 6:30 AM.
Kay Wilson, a tour guide who worked part time for Shoresh Tours, a Messianic tour company, was seriously wounded and handcuffed, but managed to drag herself to the road. At the road she saw two families, who called the police. After giving a brief recount of the incident, Magen David Adom evacuated her to Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem.
On Sunday, police investigators interviewed her in her hospital bed for several hours. Her condition is improving and she is expected to leave the hospital in two to three days, a Hadassah spokesman said.
"[Wilson] had her hands tied up, and she was stabbed pretty bad in the upper part of her body," Rosenfeld said. "The obvious intention was to have her killed. This was not something where they were just trying to take her purse. It was a serious crime scene. We're talking about two women walking around Jerusalem forest, we're not even talking about Judea and Samaria."...
...Wilson described her ordeal, telling Hebrew media from her hospital bed how her attacker removed her Star of David necklace before proceeding to stab her in the chest where her pendulum had been resting.
[The following, by Vic Rosenthal, is crossposted from FresnoZionism.]Continue reading "Moty and Udi: California vs. the Middle East"
[Update 12-20-10: PMW reports that their account has been re-activated! (Probably due to the overwhelming attention the issue garnered.)]
This is outrageous. From Palestinian Media Watch:
1. "Hamas TV teaches kids to kill Jews" formerly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwN2M6ZIIRU
2. "Jews are a virus like Aids" formerly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYaGl3KjPUw
3. "Farewell video before suicide attack of Hamas suicide bomber Adham Ahmad Hujyla Abu Jandal" formerly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYdTudQhWM4
4. "Hamas suicide farewell video: Jews monkeys and pigs; Maidens reward for killing Jews" formerly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryc7RqXlVdE
5. "PA cleric: Kill Jews, Allah will make Muslims masters over Jews" formerly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjuDTO8fgqM
6. "Hamas suicide terrorist farewell video: Palestinians drink the blood of Jews" formerly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSftYIGH6-w
PMW urgently seeks to have this account reopened, since some of these videos have accumulated hundreds of thousands of viewings and the exposure is critical to our ongoing work.
If any of our subscribers could help, it would be much appreciated.
The work that PMW does is indispensable. And let's be clear here. PMW has not been posting terrorist snuff films. I wouldn't expect YouTube to allow bloody beheading videos. What PMW does is important educational work, translating mainstream Palestnian Arab sources in their own words and making them available to the general public. No other video hosting site can get the word out as effectively as YouTube.
PMW posts this material to denounce it and to speak out against it, not to promulgate the hate. Their important work on YouTube must continue.
Just a quick note that spammers have killed my commenting script. Actually, my web host turned off my commenting script because (I think) that so many spammers are hitting the site trying to get comments through that it's causing undue server load. If you've noticed the steady stream of spam comments that I've been swatting for the past few months, well let me assure you that many, many more are trying to get through for every one that does.
When comments come back up (
I will update this post when that happens Back Up), unregistered (anonymous) comments will no longer be accepted. You will need to log in either with an account you register here, locally, TypeKey, OpenID, or LiveJournal. Note that you can still be "anonymous," it's just that you will have to be logged in to comment. This will hopefully keep down server churn until I figure out another solution.
It's all quite silly, since the intent of spam comments is to steal my hard earned Google influence and bump the spammer's ranking up, yet no link in comments ever does so, since they all get 'rel="nofollow"' added to them automatically. Rel="nofollow" added to your link code tells the major search engines "Don't look at this link. Don't count it when determining your rankings."
Another good thing ruined by spam.
On another subject, if you are a Steam user (it's free even if you're not yet), I have one more guest pass for the full version of Killing Floor available on a first-come first-served basis. That means you can play the full game for free until January 15. I've played it just a little, and while it's no Left 4 Dead, it's certainly good for a few giggles. Just email/Twit/whatever me and I'll send off the guest pass.
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