Despite what the Palestinian Authority's information office told us, the Hamas mouse has not gone off the air.
Hamas TV defies gov't request, airs anti-Israel children's show
Hamas's television station defied the Palestinian government on Friday by airing a show featuring a Mickey Mouse look-alike that urges children to support armed resistance against Israel.
Called "Tomorrow's Pioneers", the show that airs weekly on Hamas's Al-Aqsa Television features a character named "Farfur", an actor dressed in a full body-suit that resembles Walt Disney's famous cartoon character.
Click here for the rest of the story.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Despite what the Palestinian Authority's information office told us, the Hamas mouse has not gone off the air.
Posted by Joseph M. Hochstein at 2:13 AM
Human Rights Watch is seeking "highly-qualified applicants for the position of Researcher on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories." The job includes managing the Human Rights Watch office in Jerusalem.
Knowledge of Hebrew, the majority language in Jerusalem and throughout Israel, is not a requirement for this expert position.
Human Rights Watch states that the requirements include "excellent skills speaking and reading in both English and Arabic and writing in English."
Proficiency in Hebrew, while not required, is "also very desirable," according to the help-wanted notice.
Posted by Joseph M. Hochstein at 1:54 AM
Friday, May 11, 2007
Disney doesn't lose much time protecting its intellectual property--the Mickey Mouse show that encouraged Palestinian children to fight for Islamic global domination is now off the air.
If only Disney could clean up up the rest of hatred on Middle East TV? One can hope. --Wendy Leibowitz
Jihadi Mouse Show Off the Air
RAMALLAH, West Bank, May 9 (AP) — Hamas militants have suspended a television program that featured a Mickey Mouse look-alike urging Palestinian children to fight Israel and work for global Islamic domination, Mr. Barghouti said Wednesday.
He said the character, a large black and white rodent with a high-pitched voice, represented a "mistaken approach" to the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation. He said the program had been pulled from the Hamas-affiliated Al Aksa TV at the Information Ministry's request and "placed under review."
"You and I are laying the foundation for a world led by Islamists," the character squeaked on a recent episode. "We will return the Islamic community to its former greatness and liberate Jerusalem, God willing, liberate Iraq, God willing, and liberate all the countries of the Muslims invaded by the murderers."
Posted by News Service at 8:57 AM
Very worrisome. You wonder if things can get worse in Gaza. The answer is yes. Things can always get worse in Gaza.
--Wendy in Washington
Al Qaeda tactics expand in Gaza
The emergence of several new Islamist groups has Palestinians wondering whether local militants are aligning themselves with Al Qaeda's ideologies.
By Ilene Prusher | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
Over the past few months, a slew of Internet cafes and video stores have been attacked and forced to close.
Earlier this week, Islamists opened fire on an elementary school, killing one bodyguard and wounding seven, while the most senior United Nations official in Gaza was visiting the institution.
And now, nearly two months since the kidnapping of a British BBC journalist in Gaza, a group calling itself the Army of Islamhas released a video claiming responsibility for the abduction, demanding the release of all Muslim prisoners in the United Kingdom.
The startling events point in a direction that, until recently, many Palestinians thought was far from their reality: the appearance of groups driven by a fundamentalist, anti-Western agenda aligned with that of Al Qaeda.
Most Palestinians say they don't think Al Qaeda, with its global agenda that attracts Muslim militants from around the world, has any real foothold in Gaza. Palestinian Islamists – including in the ruling Hamas – have usually distanced themselves from Al Qaeda in favor of reminding all who ask that their goal is not waging war against the West in general, but in fighting against the Israeli occupation in particular.
But amid an unprecedented deterioration of security conditions in the Gaza Strip and a slide toward lawlessness, those agendas may have merged and blurred. Israeli officials have suggested for several months that they have indications that Al Qaeda groups have infiltrated the Gaza Strip through the Egyptian border.
More likely, say many Palestinians, is that Islamic groups here have taken inspiration from Al Qaeda's ideology and are trying to impose such a vision on the conflict. Not just the Palestinian conflict with Israel, that is, but the conflict among Palestinians themselves.
A troubling case in point: a shooting attack this week on an elementary school that was in the middle of holding a performance. The school in Rafah, one of the more unstable locales of the coastal strip, is run by the United Nations Refugee Works Agency (UNRWA), one of the few arms of international aid that maintains a major presence in Gaza despite the exodus of almost all foreign nationals.
A group of Palestinian Salafis, Islamists connected to the fundamentalist Salafi school in Saudi Arabia, was angry that the show featured a "mixed event" of boys and girls – aged 6 to 12 – performing together. The Salafi group opened fire, killing one guard of a Palestinian parliament member from Fatah and wounding seven others, including three children.
A more modern-minded member of the Palestinian parliament said the protesters wanted to take Palestinians "back to the dark ages."
Remainder at: http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0511/p06s01-wome.html
Posted by News Service at 8:42 AM
GAZA CITY (AFP) - A Hamas-run television station defied Israel and the Palestinian government on Thursday by refusing to axe a controversial children's cartoon in which a Mickey Mouse lookalike calls for resistance.
"Al-Aqsa TV refuses this pressure and refuses to cull its programme or alter any of its content," said Fathi Hamad, chairman of the Al-Aqsa Television board in Gaza City, lashing out at Israeli and Western "interference"
"This campaign of criticism is part of a plan orchestrated by the West and the occupying power to attack Islam on the one hand and the Palestinian cause on the other," he said.
"We have our own ways to educate our children and any criticism of this approach is shocking interference in our internal affairs," said Hamad.
""You and I are laying the foundation for a world led by Islamists,""
Posted by News Service at 4:53 AM
Thursday, May 10, 2007
"Should I remind you the visceral attachment of every Jew to Israel, as a second mother homeland? There is nothing outrageous about it. Every Jew carries within him a fear passed down through generations, and he knows that if one day he will not feel safe in his country, there will always be a place that would welcome him. And this is Israel." (From the book " La République, les religions, l'espérance", interviews with Thibaud Collin and Philippe Verdin.)
Sarkozy's sympathy and understanding is most probably a product of his upbringing; it is well known that Sarkozy's mother was born to the Mallah family, one of the oldest Jewish families of Salonika, Greece. Additionally, many may be surprised to learn that his yet-to-be-revealed family history involves a true and fascinating story of leadership, heroism and survival. It remains to be seen whether his personal history will affect his foreign policy and France's role in the Middle East conflict.
In the 15th century, the Mallah family (in Hebrew: messenger or angel) escaped the Spanish Inquisition to Provence, France and moved about one hundred years later to Salonika. In Greece, several family members became prominent Zionist leaders, active in the local and national political, economic, social and cultural life. To this day many Mallahs are still active Zionists around the world.
Sarkozy's grandfather, Aron Mallah, nicknamed Benkio, was born in 1890. Beniko's uncle Moshe was a well-known Rabbi and a devoted Zionist who, in 1898 published and edited "El Avenir", the leading paper of the Zionist national movement in Greece at the time. His cousin, Asher, was a Senator in the Greek Senate and in 1912 he helped guarantee the establishment of the Technion — the elite technological university in Haifa, Israel. In 1919 he was elected as the first President of the Zionist Federation of Greece and he headed the Zionist Council for several years. In the 1930's he helped Jews flee to Israel, to which he himself immigrated in 1934. Another of Beniko's cousins, Peppo Mallah, was a philanthropist for Jewish causes who served in the Greek Parliament, and in 1920 he was offered, but declined, the position of Greece's Minister of Finance. After the establishment of the State of Israel he became the country's first diplomatic envoy to Greece.
In 1917 a great fire destroyed parts of Salonika and damaged the family estate. Many Jewish-owned properties, including the Mallah's, were expropriated by the Greek government. Jewish population emigrated from Greece and much of the Mallah family left Salonika to France, America and Israel. Sarkozy's grandfather, Beniko, immigrated to France with his mother. When in France Beniko converted to Catholicism and changed his name to Benedict in order to marry a French Christian girl named Adèle Bouvier.
Adèle and Benedict had two daughters, Susanne and Andrée. Although Benedict integrated fully into French society, he remained close to his Jewish family, origin and culture. Knowing he was still considered Jewish by blood, during World War II he and his family hid in Marcillac la Croisille in the Corrèze region, western France.
During the Holocaust, many of the Mallahs who stayed in Salonika or moved to France were deported to concentration and extermination camps. In total, fifty-seven family members were murdered by the Nazis. Testimonies reveal that several revolted against the Nazis and one, Buena Mallah, was the subject of Nazis medical experiments in the Birkenau concentration camp.
In 1950 Benedict's daughter, Andrée Mallah, married Pal Nagy Bosca y Sarkozy, a descendent of a Hungarian aristocratic family. The couple had three sons — Guillaume, Nicolas and François. The marriage failed and they divorced in 1960, so Andrée raised her three boys close to their grandfather, Benedict. Nicolas was especially close to Benedict, who was like a father to him. In his biography Sarkozy tells he admired his grandfather, and through hours spent of listening to his stories of the Nazi occupation, the "Maquis" (French resistance), De Gaulle and the D-day, Benedict bequeathed to Nicolas his political convictions.
Sarkozy's family lived in Paris until Benedict's death in 1972, at which point they moved to Neuilly-sur-Seine to be closer to the boys' father, Pal (who changed his name to Paul) Sarkozy. Various memoirs accounted Paul as a father who did not spend much time with the kids or help the family monetarily. Nicolas had to sell flowers and ice cream in order to pay for his studies. However, his fascination with politics led him to become the city's youngest mayor and to rise to the top of French and world politics. The rest is history.
It may be a far leap to consider that Sarkozy's Jewish ancestry may have any bearing on his policies vis-à-vis Israel. However, many expect Sarkozy's presidency to bring a dramatic change not only in France's domestic affairs, but also in the country's foreign policy in the Middle-East. One cannot overestimate the magnitude of the election of the first French President born after World War II, whose politics seem to represent a new dynamic after decades of old-guard Chirac and Mitterrand. There is even a reason to believe that Sarkozy, often mocked as "the American friend" and blamed for 'ultra-liberal' worldviews, will lean towards a more Atlanticist policy. Nevertheless, there are several reasons that any expectations for a drastic change in the country's Middle East policy, or foreign policy in general, should be downplayed.
First, one must bear in mind that France's new president will spend the lion's share of his time dealing with domestic issues such as the country's stagnated economy, its social cohesiveness and the rising integration-related crime rate. When he finds time to deal with foreign affairs, Sarkozy will have to devote most of his energy to protecting France's standing in an ever-involved European Union. In his dealings with the US, Sarkozy will most likely prefer to engage on less explosive agenda-items than the Middle-East.
Second, France's foreign policy stems from the nation's interests, rooted in reality and influenced by a range of historic, political, strategic and economic considerations. Since Sarkozy's landing at the Elysée on May 16 will not change those, France's foreign policy ship will not tilt so quickly under a new captain.
Third reason why expectations for a drastic change in France's position in the Middle-East may be naïve is the significant weight the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs exerts over the country's policies and agenda. There, non-elected bureaucrats tend to retain an image of Israel as a destabilizing element in the Middle-East rather then the first line of defense of democracy. Few civil servants in Quai d'Orsay would consider risking France's interests or increasing chances for "a clash of civilizations" in order to help troubled Israel or Palestine to reach peace.
It is a fair to predict that France will stay consistent with its support in establishing a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, existing side by side with a peaceful Israel. How to get there, if at all, will not be set by Sarkozy's flagship but rather he will follow the leadership of the US and the EU. Not much new policy is expected regarding Iran, on which Sarkozy has already voiced willingness to allow development of civilian nuclear capabilities, alongside tighter sanctions on any developments with military potency.
One significant policy modification that could actually come through under Sarkozy is on the Syrian and Lebanese fronts. The new French president is not as friendly to Lebanon as was his predecessor, furthermore, as the Minister of the Interior, Sarkozy even advocated closer ties between France and Syria. Especially if the later plays the cards of talking-peace correctly, Sarkozy may increase pressure on Israel to evacuate the Golan Heights in return for a peace deal with Assad.
Despite the above, although Sarkozy's family roots will not bring France closer to Israel, the presidents' personal Israeli friends may. As a Minister of Interior, Sarkozy shared much common policy ground with former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The two started to develop a close friendship not long ago and it is easy to observe similarities not only in their ideology and politics, but also in their public image. If Netanyahu returns to Israel's chief position it will be interesting to see whether their personal dynamic will lead to a fresh start for Israel and France, and a more constructive European role in the region.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment by clicking here.
Raanan Eliaz is a former Director at the Israeli National Security Council and the Hudson Institute, Washington D.C . He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and a consultant on European-Israeli Affairs. He wrote this column for European Jewish Press, a Brussels-based pan-European news agency.
Gleaned from: http://www.JewishWorldReview.com
Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru
Posted by News Service at 6:28 AM
In 1967 Israel did not wake up one morning and decide to go to war - she woke up one morning and found she had to defend herself.
2007 marks the fortieth anniversary of the war the West terms "The Six Day War". The Arabs call it the "1967 War" or an-Naksah (The Setback). It has been said that for Israel this war was a question of sheer survival; for the Arabs it was one of credibility.
Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing, offering immense clarity over what could or should have been done. It is too easy to be judgmental in retrospect. So this site has tried to turn back the clock to give you a flavour of what it was like to be in Israel at the time, living with the tensions involved with a countdown to what Israel's opponents suggested would be anihhilation.
Posted by News Service at 6:00 AM
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
This is so upsetting. As with the British journalist held in Gaza, civilized people and governments are powerful when faced with despots. I hope the ayatollahs free this prominent scholar soon.
--Wendy in Washington
Tehran Jails Iranian American Scholar After Long House Arrest
By Robin Wright
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 9, 2007; A12
Iran yesterday detained prominent American academic Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Middle East Program at the Smithsonian Institution's Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, according to center president and director Lee H. Hamilton and Esfandiari's husband.
Esfandiari, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen who has lived in the United States for more than a quarter-century, has been under virtual house arrest since December, when the government refused to allow her to leave Iran after visiting her 93-year-old mother. Since then, she has been summoned repeatedly for interrogations by intelligence officials about U.S. programs on Iran. In particular, she was questioned about Iran programs at the Wilson Center, one of Washington's most prominent foreign policy think tanks.
Esfandiari was summoned by the intelligence ministry again yesterday but was then taken to Tehran's notorious Evin Prison, the sources said.
Esfandiari is one of three "soft hostages," all dual U.S.-Iranian nationals, whose passports have been confiscated by the Iranian government, rendering them unable to leave the country.
The United States has not faced such tension over Americans held in Iran since the 1979-1981 hostage crisis, when 52 Americans were held for 444 days. Until Esfandiari' s detention yesterday, the Wilson Center and her family had sought to avoid publicity in hopes that she would be granted a new passport.
Posted by News Service at 2:27 PM
Haleh Esfandiari, an Iranian-American academic who is prominent in Washington, was imprisoned yesterday in the Iranian capital of Tehran after being barred from leaving the country four months ago, said the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Ms. Esfandiari, the director of the Middle East program at the Wilson center, in Washington, D.C., had endured repeated interrogations since December about her work there and was taken to Evin prison yesterday, where she was allowed one call to inform relatives that she had been jailed.
"Whatever they think my wife did seems to be in their imagination; she hasn't done anything wrong," said Shaul Bakhash, her husband, a well-known Iran expert who is a professor of Middle East history at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. "I hope they realize that they made this mistake and let her return to her family."
Such events happen every day to Iranians and Syrians and Egyptians who are in no way less noble and worthy thanf Ms. Esfandari. But the New York Times would not have publicized this particular instance if the victim were not an American citizen.
Why did the Iranians do it? Because they can. Because the US demonstrated to them in 1979 that US citizens and diplomatic protocol can be abused with impunity.
Posted by News Service at 5:00 AM
UNITED NATIONS - Illegal arms traffic into Lebanon across the Syrian border, mainly to Hezbollah fighters, is reported to be taking place on a regular basis, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday.
In a report to the UN Security Council, Ban said news of arms shipments, including "detailed and substantial" reports from Israel, and other nations, showed the need for a team he was sending to propose ways of monitoring of the border.
Ban also singled out Israel Air Force jets and unmanned aerial overflights and said again he had asked the government to "cease fully" these "violations of Lebanon sovereignty."
Posted by News Service at 2:06 AM
CHERRY HILL, N.J., May 8 -- A group of would-be terrorists, allegedly undone after attempting to have jihad training videos copied onto a DVD, has been charged with conspiring to attack Fort Dix and kill soldiers there with assault rifles and grenades, authorities said Tuesday.
Five men -- all foreign-born and described as "radical Islamists" by federal authorities -- allegedly trained at a shooting range in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains to kill "as many soldiers as possible" at the historic Army base 25 miles east of Philadelphia. A sixth man was charged with helping them obtain illegal weapons.
FBI and Justice Department officials said the arrests were the result of a 16-month operation to infiltrate and monitor the group. It was portrayed as a leaderless, homegrown cell of immigrants from Jordan, Turkey and the former Yugoslavia who came together because of a shared infatuation with Internet images of jihad, or holy war.Authorities said the group has no apparent connection to al-Qaeda or other international terrorist organizations aside from ideology, but appears to be an example of the kind of self-directed sympathizers widely predicted -- and feared -- by counterterrorism specialists. The defendants allegedly passed around and copied images of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the martyrdom videos of two of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers.
Posted by News Service at 1:42 AM
"We demand from Britain that it release our prisoners and particularly Sheikh Abu Qatada the Palestinian and in this regard we do not forget our prisoners in other infidel countries and we say to all of them free our prisoners or we will do the same to you."We won't make an exception for anyone. If you need money to release our prisoners we will give you all you need up to the last dirham we have."
Posted by News Service at 1:29 AM
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
BBC ARTICLE MISREPRESENTS WHY JEWS LEFT IRAQ
Suddenly, Jews from Iraq living in Israel have become BBC news. The bad news is that, while its interviewees wallow in nostalgia, this article misrepresents the true context in which the Jews left Iraq in 1950 -51.
Jews from Arab countries never 'flee' - like Palestinian refugees - they always 'emigrate' - and for religious reasons. The article also assumes that the UN decision to partition Palestine in 1947 was the turning point in the
Jews' fortunes. In fact, conditions for the Jews began to deteriorate in the 1930s, culminating in the massacre of 180 Jews in the 1941 Farhoud, seven years before the establishment of Israel.
Posted by News Service at 4:45 AM
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Few things have damaged Israel's international reputation more than the security barrier it has been constructing to prevent Palestinian terrorist crossing into its territory and commiting outrages against innocent civilians. Invariably — and inaccurately — portrayed as a wall ('The Apartheid Wall'), the barrier has been pillored in the media almost everywhere. I've written at some length about this issue on an earlier blog, so I won't repeat myself here. One of the points I made in that blog was that, although the Israeli barrier is portrayed as egregious, even unique, it is, in fact, just one of many similar barriers around the world. Human rights activists protest about the Israeli barrier, however, yet remain silent about fences and walls that are longer, higher, and, in some cases, deadly. We need to protest this for its imbalance. By a great irony, the Guardian recently published a map of security fences round the world. It won't reproduce easily, so I have tabulated the basic data, which I reproduce below as a resource for anyone who has to talk about this issue.
Security fences or barriers to peace?
Information taken from a map published in The Guardian 24 April 2007
(Reformulated Denis MacEoin 4 May 2007)
US/Mexico Proposed. 3,360km. Several barriers already exist with Mexico (California, Texas, Arizona). This would cover the entire border. Anti-immigration.
Belfast, N. Ireland. Built early 1970s. Average 500m. Number around 40. Anti-terror.
Padua, Italy 2006. 85m. 3m-high, round mainly African Anelli estate. Internal.
Ceuta, Morocco 2001. 8km. €30m. EU-funded. Anti-immigration.
Mellila, Morocco 1998. 11km. Anti-immigration
Morocco/Western Sahara 1987. 2,700km. To keep out W. Saharan (Polisario) insurgents
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt 2005. 20km. Anti-terror
Botswana/Zimbabwe 2003. 500km. Anti-immigration.
South Africa/Mozambique 1975. 120km. Anti-immigration. Carries 3,300 volts. Has killed more people than Berlin Wall
Israel/West Bank Under construction. 703km. Anti-terror.
Adhamiyya, Iraq 2007. 5km. Anti-terror.
Cyprus 1974. 300km. Conflict zone barrier.
Kuwait/Iraq 1991. 193km. Conflict zone barrier.
Saudi Arabia/Yemen 2004. 75km. Anti-terror.
United Arab Emirates/Oman 2007. 410km. Anti-immigration.
Russia/Chechnya Proposed. 700 km. Anti-terror
Kashmir 2004. 550km. Anti-terror (India).
Pakistan/Afghanistan Proposed. 2,400km. Anti-terror (Pakistan).
Uzbekistan/Kyrgyzstan 1999. 870km. Conflict zone.
China/North Korea 2006. 1,416km. Conflict zone.
Korea Demilitarized Zone 1953. 248km. Av. 4 km wide. Patrolled by 2 million soldiers. Most heavily border in world. Conflict zone.
China/Hong Kong 1999. 32km. Internal barrier.
China/Macau 1999. 340km. Internal barrier.
Brunei/Limbang 2005. 20km. Anti-immigration.
Thailand/Malaysia Proposed. 650km. Anti-immigration.
India/Bangladesh Under construction. 3,268km. Conflict zone.
Posted by Denis at 2:16 PM
Britain teems with nests of serpents and scorpions of extremism who come from around the world: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Pakistan and other countries due to its flexible systems and the adoption of a policy to receive outcasts during the aftermath of World War II and the Soviet-Western conflict during which doors were opened to persecuted refugees who sought their rights....I think they must do what other Muslim and non-Muslim countries have done before themaccept fighting extremists by cutting off the oxygen that sustains extremist groups: their newspapers, radio stations, televisions, forums, mosques and websites. Through publicity, they can raise funds, recruit volunteers and secure popular support within foreign communities. The question is: how can the codified British system allow that? The answer lies with the hesitant legislators who are practically on the brink of a terrorist war today. After all, pursuing extremist Muslims today is better than pursuing all Muslims tomorrow.
Posted by News Service at 4:05 AM
If the Saudi authorities had been unsuccessful in uncovering the recent terrorist plot in the kingdom, the consequences would have resembled a destructive earthquake. The magnitude and the hideousness of the plans and the extent of their destruction are astonishing to any human being.
Tariq Alhomayed is the Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Al-Awsat,
Posted by News Service at 3:53 AM