Saturday, April 18, 2009

NCRI condemns Ahamadinejad's appeareance in Durban II conference

  Saturday, 18 April 2009
Iranian Resistance condemns Ahmadinejad's Participation in Durban II conference in SwitzerlandNCRI - The Iranian Resistance condemns participation of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, criminal president of the Iranian regime, in the Durban Review Conference of the UN World Conference Against Racism (known as Durban II conference) in Geneva, Switzerland. It also calls on the Swiss government, the UN Secretary General and all member states to oppose Ahamadinejad's visit to Switzerland and his participation in the conference.
Ahmadinejad along with the regime's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, are the most outstanding symbols of racism in the world. They have committed crimes against ethnic minorities and different races in Iran and ordered their suppression. His participation in the conference would only serve to discredit the conference.
Khamenei and his president are on the top of the list of those who should be tried for war crimes, crimes against humanity as well as suppression and discrimination against minorities.
The clerical regime with its president is the biggest enemy of peace and tranquility in the region and world over for terrorist meddling in the Middle East on one hand and efforts to acquire nuclear weapons on the other and it should not be allowed to exploit international conferences as a platform to press forward its ominous policies.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
April 18, 2009

Gay hell in Muslim Iraq

By Jim Muir
BBC News, Baghdad

Mobile video of gay abuse
Mobile footage of gays being abused is being widely circulated in Iraq

Grainy footage taken on a mobile phone and widely distributed around Baghdad shows a terrified young Iraqi boy cowering and whimpering as men with a stick force him to strip, revealing women's underwear beneath his dishdasha (Arab robe).

"Why are you dressed as a girl?" roars one of the men, brandishing his stick as the youth removes his brassiere.

The sobbing boy, who appears to be about 12, tries to explain that his family made him do it to earn money, as they have no other source of income.

The scene, apparently filmed in a police post, reinforced reports of a campaign against gays in Iraq which activists say has claimed the lives of more than 60 since December.

In the latest manifestation of the campaign, posters have appeared on walls in the poor Shia suburb of Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, listing alleged homosexuals by name and threatening to kill them.

Those named have gone underground, while gays throughout the city and in some other parts of the country also live in fear.

The phenomenon seems mainly to be affecting Shia neighbourhoods, where a number of clerics have given sermons seen as homophobic incitement.

Mobile video of police abusing a hermaphrodite
Another case of Iraqi police molesting a hermaphrodite

In Sadr City, Sheikh Jassem al-Mutairi used his Friday sermon to attack what he called "new private practices by some men who dress like women, and are effeminate".

He called on families to prevent their youngsters from following such a lifestyle.

Police sources say that in the past month alone, the bodies of six young men have been found in Sadr City, some with placards labelling them "perverts" or "puppies", the derogatory Iraqi term for gays.

"The campaign started in 2004, but now it's very much worse," said a Baghdad gay who goes by the name of Surour. He talked to the BBC on condition of anonymity.

"They kill the gays, they beat them up… I have a lot of friends that have been killed - 15 or 16, something like that, too much."

"Life has become like hell, believe me, like hell. Whenever I go anywhere, there are checkpoints, and when they see us, they know about us, they detain us and question us, and they want to touch me, yes, to molest me."

As though to underline the accusation, another piece of mobile phone footage circulating in Baghdad shows a group of uniformed police harassing a hermaphrodite they have caught at a checkpoint, obliging him to expose his well-developed breasts which are then gleefully manhandled and kissed.

One Iraqi gay who fled the country last week said he was detained for three weeks and beaten until a bribe of $5,000 (£3,380) raised by friends bought his release.

Clerical cue

Gay activists believe the campaign emerged as police, militias and tribes took their cue from the clerics.

But officials in all categories deny that they support the persecution or killing of gays.

"The Interior Ministry has no policy of arresting gays just for being gay," said Brigadier Diah Sahi, head of the Iraqi police's Criminal Investigation Department.

"There's no law to justify it, unless they commit indecent acts in public."

"It's a psychological problem in any case. Arresting people and putting them in jail isn't going to change anything," he added.

A Shia cleric in central Baghdad's Kerrada district, Shaikh Sadeq al-Zair, said he saw many young men dressing more effeminately than women.

"It's a phenomenon which has to be combated, but through treatment," he said.

"If these people are sick, they should be given therapy. But violence is rejected by all religions, especially by Islam, which is a religion of mercy."

A spokesman of the Sadrist movement - followers of the militant young cleric Moqtada Sadr whose Mehdi Army militia used to rule Sadr City - also said that there was nothing in Islam to say that gays should be killed.

But they are being killed, and the Shia militias are among the most oft-cited suspects.

Family honour

In some cases, it is believed that their own families are killing gays, out of shame for their behaviour.

Brigadier Diah Sahi says Iraq has no policy of arresting gays

"In Sadr City, four of those who died were killed by their own families, because they think it is better for their name, for their honour," said Surour.

Gays admit that their problem is as much with their own society and families as with the authorities, police or militias.

But the Iraqi government appears to be slow to take the lead in discouraging the homophobic campaign.

Amnesty International, which believes at least 25 alleged gays have been killed in Baghdad in the last few weeks, wrote to the Iraqi government last week seeking "urgent and concerted action" to bring the culprits to justice and protect the gay community.

The appeal has so far brought no response, and the government has yet to comment on the killings or take any visible action to combat them.

Dutch forces free pirate captives and pirates

Makes sense to me... :-( 
Dutch commandos have freed 20 people who had been captured by Somali pirates after the raiders attacked a Greek-managed tanker, Nato says.
The captives, Yemeni fishermen, were freed as the Dutch forces captured seven pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
They were aboard a pirate "mother ship" from which smaller craft attack commercial vessels.
The captured pirates are alleged to have attacked the tanker using assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.
A Dutch warship from the Nato force responded to a distress call from the tanker and saw the pirates fleeing toward a Yemeni fishing trawler, Nato spokesman Alexandre Santos Fernandes said.
Nato troops boarded the vessel and freed the 20 Yemenis who, he says, had been held hostage since Sunday.
The pirates were set free, the Associated Press news agency reports, because under Dutch law they could not be held at sea under the circumstances in which they were captured.

Iran's gift to USA: US journalist jailed for eight years

This is obviously another good will gesture of the Iranian government, responding to the US diplomatic offensive.
An Iranian-American journalist branded a US spy has been jailed for eight years by Iran, her lawyer says.
Roxana Saberi, 31, was arrested in January and went on trial this week.
She worked briefly for the BBC three years ago, and has also worked for the American public radio network NPR and the TV network Fox News.
Ms Saberi originally faced the less serious accusation of buying alcohol, then of working as a journalist without a valid press card.
"She has been sentenced to eight years ... I will appeal," Ms Saberi's lawyer Abdolsamad Khorramshahi told the Reuters news agency.
The US has previously expressed its concern at Ms Saberi's detention, dismissing allegations against her as "baseless".
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has demanded her release.
A US-Iranian national, Ms Saberi has spent six years in Iran studying and writing a book.
Her arrest and trial has coincided with speculation about a thaw in US-Iranian relations, with US President Barack Obama offering a dialogue with Tehran on a range of issues.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Washington Helps Curtail Iran's Covert Thrust into Egypt
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
11 April: Israel has repeatedly warned Egypt that an Iranian multi-branched covert ring would undermine Egyptian security in Sinai and the Suez Canal before turning against Egypt proper. From early 2006, Egyptian and Western security services and Israeli intelligence have been aware of Hizballah's smuggling operations for Hamas on behalf of Tehran and Iran's covert networks in Sinai and the Suez Canal cities of Port Said, Suez and Ismailia.

Last Wednesday, April 8, Cairo disclosed that Egyptian security forces had arrested 49 men, 41 Egyptians, seven Israeli Arabs, and one Lebanese citizen on charges of supporting Hamas and Hizballah. Iran was not mentioned. The arrests had begun last November and were continuing.

The disclosure sparked a slanging match between Cairo and Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah. The latter admitted that the network's head, Sami Shehab, belonged to Hizballah and had provided Hamas with money and logistical support, "for which we are not ashamed."

He thus confirmed a long-held Israeli intelligence contention.

An Egyptian source shot back by calling Nasrallah an Iranian agent and accusing him of organizing subversion against the Cairo government to divert attention from Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Neither party spoke of a major undercover Iranian network operating in Egypt for three years, eventually to hook up with clandestine Iranian cells in Somalia and Sudan, an outer safety belt as a counterweight to the US naval presence and deterrent against a strike on its nuclear facilities.

Six months ago, Cairo began rolling up the Iranian ring, but only after the US beefed up its naval strength in the Gulf of Suez and Red Sea and assured Cairo that more would be done.

Gates totally opposes Israeli strike on Iran
16 April: The US defense secretary Robert Gates Said again Wednesday: "A strike probably would delay Tehran's nuclear program one to three years, it would unify Iranians, cement their determination to have a nuclear program and also build into the whole country an undying hatred of whoever hits them."

Taking issue with Gates, DEBKAfile's military sources note that he avoided spelling out the words "nuclear weapon" - as though to blur the fact that this is Iran's goal. As for his use of "undying hatred," in the future tense, he may not have noticed that the radical Islamic regime bombards its people night and day with their undying hatred for Israel and calls to "wipe the Jewish state off map."

The facade cracks


Friday, 17th April 2009

The BBC Trust Editorial Standards Committee has censured its Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen for breaching the BBC's rules on impartiality and accuracy in his coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The ruling was in response to a formal complaint filed by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and a similar complaint filed independently by a member of the UK's Zionist Federation about two specific reports.

The first point to note is that, using the narrowest possible criteria to judge the items in question, the Trust found only relatively minor failings – conclusions which managed with singular obtuseness to ignore the real sting of what Bowen had said. For example, in his report to mark the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War, 'How 1967 Defined The Middle East', the committee concluded about Bowen's reference to 'Zionism's innate instinct to push out the frontier'

that this statement had been unqualified and, as a result it had not been clear and precise and that there had been a breach of the guideline on accuracy in this respect.

'Unqualified' seems to be a reference to differing views about the 'innateness' of Zionism – including the absurd justification by Bowen that, since the first Zionists had started with one kibbutz, the frontiers had clearly been pushed out to found the state itself! But since the history of Zionism has demonstrably involved not a pushing out of the frontier but a successive pulling back of the frontier – with the British first shrinking the putative Jewish homeland in Palestine by some 75 per cent, and then proposing to cut it in half, and with Israel subsequently giving up Sinai and Gaza and having offered to give up most of the West Bank in 1967 and in 2000 -- to criticise this statement for being merely 'unqualified' and not 'clear and precise' seems, to put it mildly, understated to the point of obduracy.

On Bowen's statement that Israel showed a 'defiance of everyone's interpretation of international law except its own', the Trust found that

'everyone' was a loose use of language. It would have been perfectly possible to have qualified this as 'nearly everyone' or 'the vast majority', and that would have been acceptable.

This was a nod towards the fact that noted experts in international law, such as former U.S. Under-Secretary of State Eugene Rostow who was instrumental in drawing up the seminal UN Resolution 242, have said not only that the settlements are legal but have drawn attention to the fact that under still-binding Mandatory law Jews have been legally entitled to settle throughout the West Bank and Gaza for the past six decades.

What the committee chose completely to ignore was the innate (to coin a phrase) bias involved in focusing upon Israel's alleged illegal actions while ignoring altogether the sustained illegality of the Arab states and the Arabs of the territories in maintaining their belligerency against Israel's existence – in conspicuous defiance of international law since 1948; indeed, one might say since the 1920s – not to mention perpetrating acts of terrorism and promoting genocide. If the BBC's Middle East Editor is fulminating against breaches of international law in the Middle East, doesn't the most conservative interpretation of the word 'impartiality' in the BBC's handbook necessarily mean that the Arabs' egregious breaches of such law – the actual cause of the Middle East conflict -- should be acknowledged in such a report?

On Bowen's statement that

the Israeli generals, hugely self-confident, mainly sabras (native-born Israeli Jews) in their late 30s and early 40s had been training to finish the unfinished business of Israel's independence war of 1948 for most of their careers

the Trust found

that the phrase 'hugely self-confident' was used in this context to characterise the different attitudes to war between the native-born generals and the older, largely immigrant, politicians;

that this was a generalisation and that it would hold even if some of the generals had episodes of doubt or fear; and

that there had been no breach of the guideline on accuracy.

ii) On 'unfinished business'

that, although the Middle East Editor stated that he had meant it to be understood that he was referring to the capture of East Jerusalem, it would have been impossible for a reader of the article to know which 'unfinished business' had been meant; and that there had been a breach of the guideline on accuracy with regard to the use of 'clear, precise language' in this respect.

To say that this language wasn't 'clear 'or 'precise' enough is a judgment of quite perverse marginality. To accuse the Israelis in 1967 -- fighting a defensive war which they certainly had not sought; indeed, they were petrified of losing it and thought their end had come -- of trying to 'finish the business' of the previous war of self-defence they had fought in 1948 implies that both these events were wars of Israeli aggression rather than, as they actually were, defensive wars against annihilation. It's as if Britain's generals, after war was declared against Nazi Germany in 1939, stood accused of having been 'training to finish the unfinished business of the fight against German aggression in 1914-18 for most of their careers'. As CAMERA observed at the time of Bowen's report:

It is nothing short of shocking to read this last quote on the Web site of a mainstream media organization, as it absolutely turns reality on its head. It was not Israel, but rather the Arab world which by its own admission had sought to take care of the 'unfinished business' it had failed to achieve in 1948 — the destruction of Israel. This view was epitomized by Iraqi president Abdel Rahman Aref, who shortly before the war declared: 'The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948.'

What was so outrageous about Bowen's article was that it rewrote history and inverted victim and belligerent to suggest Israel was the aggressor in 1967, was stronger than the Arabs and had a lust for war. As Sir Martin Gilbert pointed out to the committee, this was simply historically wrong:

The Arabs were not ready for combat …but they were in a stronger position overall so it's not an accurate reflection… To say 'the Jewish Goliath had never been stronger…' was not true – it was well armed to DEFEND itself against attack. I would disagree with that quite strongly.

But the reason the committee's criticisms of Bowen were so muted was that time and again it disregarded the opinion of Sir Martin Gilbert in favour of revisionist historian Avi Shlaim – Israel's equivalent of Jon Pilger with a chip on his shoulder the size of Iraq against the Ashkenazi world.

The second point to note, however, is that although the complaints against Bowen were only partially upheld the wave of reaction from the Israel-bashers to this limited censure of such obscenity has been enormous. This is because, regardless of the details, any finding of bias or inaccuracy by the BBC Trust against its most senior Middle East journalist is of the greatest significance. It is the first time the BBC has acknowledged specific bias in its Middle East reporting -- thus itself puncturing the assiduously created myth that any claims of such bias are merely a reflection of the absence of objectivity amongst those Jews who claim this to be so. The reputation of BBC News as a global kitemark of objectivity is accordingly badly tarnished – all the more so because, to fend off precisely such accusations of bias towards Israel (which led to the commissioning of a report on the BBC's Middle East coverage by Malcolm Balen, publication of which the BBC has actually gone to court to prevent and which remains secret to this day) Bowen was appointed Middle East editor in order to remove any accusations of bias.

Hence the foaming fury amongst the Israel-bashers, whose edifice of lies is maintained by casting critics who dare to call this by its proper name as a supremely manipulative lobby merely peddling their own paranoid propaganda -- and whose nefarious power is supposedly proved in turn by their very protests. Indeed, calls by Jews for this committee's findings to lead to further action -- along with criticism of the BBC's own attempt to paper over the crack that has now opened up in its own facade -- are being seized upon by the Israel-bashers as further confirmation of the World Jewish Conspiracy, just as criticisms by Jews of the committee's findings as weak are being seized upon as further confirmation of the World Jewish Conspiracy.

In the Independent, Robert Fisk appeared to be at risk of an aneurysm as a result of the committee's report. The 'cruelly named' Trust was

pusillanimous, cowardly, outrageous, factually wrong and ethically dishonest... pitiful... preposterous... nauseous (sic)

all because it offered highly circumscribed criticisms of a perspective that to Fisk cannot be gainsaid in any way, shape or form because the Original Sin of Israel is the Revealed and Perfect Truth. Just think what would have happened to poor Fisk's health had the BBC Trust upheld the complaints in full!

Indeed, so completely and utterly unbelievable is it that the Bowen /Fisk axis of propaganda can be faulted on anything at all that seemingly there can be only one explanation for what has happened. The BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee members are apparently incapable of having reversed the axis of the earth like this all by themselves. To Fisk, they have been manipulated into doing so by the evil of evils, the Israel lobby, which clearly has truly demonic power to take hapless BBC committee members, shut down their brain function and turn them into zombie-like pawns of the Zionazi conspiracy. It is the Protocols of the Elders of Portland Place.

Truly, Fisk is a national treasure. If there was ever any doubt that Israel and the Jewish people were up against a truly malevolent and irrational force, Robert Fisk repeatedly lays it to rest.

Bowen and Fisk -- the Mutt and Jeff of the Israel-bashing media world.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Is Iran taking the USA for a ride?

Though I would like to believe otherwise, I cannot find any argument to counter what Rubin writes below, and it is very easy to find additional evidence to support his view.

What Iran Really Thinks About Talks

It's a game of diplomacy without sincerity.


On Apr. 9, Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, the head of Iran's atomic energy agency, announced that the Islamic Republic had installed 7,000 centrifuges in its Natanz uranium enrichment facility. The announcement came one day after the U.S. State Department announced it would engage Iran directly in multilateral nuclear talks.

Proponents of engagement with Tehran say dialogue provides the only way forward. Iran's progress over the past eight years, they say, is a testament to the failure of Bush administration strategy. President Barack Obama, for example, in his Mar. 21 address to the Iranian government and people, declared that diplomacy "will not be advanced by threats. We seek engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect."

Thus our president fulfills a pattern in which new administrations place blame for the failure of diplomacy on predecessors rather than on adversaries. The Islamic Republic is not a passive actor, however. Quite the opposite: While President Obama plays checkers, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei plays chess. The enrichment milestone is a testament both to Tehran's pro-active strategy and to Washington's refusal to recognize it.

Iran's nuclear program dates back to 1989, when the Russian government agreed to complete the reactor at Bushehr. It was a year of optimism in the West: The Iran-Iraq War ended the summer before and, with the death of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini, leadership passed to Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, both considered moderates.

At the beginning of the year, George H.W. Bush offered an olive branch to Tehran, declaring in his inaugural address, "Good will begets good will. Good faith can be a spiral that endlessly moves on." The mood grew more euphoric in Europe. In 1992, the German government, ever eager for new business opportunities and arguing that trade could moderate the Islamic Republic, launched its own engagement initiative.

It didn't work. While U.S. and European policy makers draw distinctions between reformers and hard-liners in the Islamic Republic, the difference between the two is style, not substance. Both remain committed to Iran's nuclear program. Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, for example, called for a Dialogue of Civilizations. The European Union (EU) took the bait and, between 2000 and 2005, nearly tripled trade with Iran.

It was a ruse. Iranian officials were as insincere as European diplomats were greedy, gullible or both. Iranian officials now acknowledge that Tehran invested the benefits reaped into its nuclear program.

On June 14, 2008, for example, Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, Mr. Khatami's spokesman, debated advisers to current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the University of Gila in northern Iran. Mr. Ramezanzadeh criticized Mr. Ahmadinejad for his defiant rhetoric, and counseled him to accept the Khatami approach: "We should prove to the entire world that we want power plants for electricity. Afterwards, we can proceed with other activities," Mr. Ramezanzadeh said. The purpose of dialogue, he argued further, was not to compromise, but to build confidence and avoid sanctions. "We had an overt policy, which was one of negotiation and confidence building, and a covert policy, which was continuation of the activities," he said.

The strategy was successful. While today U.S. and European officials laud Mr. Khatami as a peacemaker, it was on his watch that Iran built and operated covertly its Natanz nuclear enrichment plant and, at least until 2003, a nuclear weapons program as well.

Iran's responsiveness to diplomacy is a mirage. After two years of talks following exposure of its Natanz facility, Tehran finally acquiesced to a temporary enrichment suspension, a move which Secretary of State Colin Powell called "a little bit of progress," and the EU hailed.

But, just last Sunday, Hassan Rowhani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator at the time, acknowledged his government's insincerity. The Iranian leadership agreed to suspension, he explained in an interview with the government-run news Web site, Aftab News, "to counter global consensus against Iran," adding, "We did not accept suspension in construction of centrifuges and continued the effort. . . . We needed a greater number." What diplomats considered progress, Iranian engineers understood to be an opportunity to expand their program.

In his March 24 press conference, Mr. Obama said, "I'm a big believer in persistence." Making the same mistake repeatedly, however, is neither wise nor realism; it is arrogant, naïve and dangerous.

When Mr. Obama declared on April 5 that "All countries can access peaceful nuclear energy," the state-run daily newspaper Resalat responded with a front page headline, "The United States capitulates to the nuclear goals of Iran." With Washington embracing dialogue without accountability and Tehran embracing diplomacy without sincerity, it appears the Iranian government is right.

Mr. Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.


Muslim Converts To Christianity In Egypt - is this going to happen?

Muslim Converts To Christianity In Egypt-A First?
April 13th, 2009 by Fred Stopsky

In theory, Egypt allows freedom of religion to Christians but there are limits as to what the nation's Coptic religion is allowed to do. Any Muslim is allowed to try converting a Christian to his religion, but freedom to convert ordinarily halts at the door of the church. Egypt's Coptic Church has for the first time issued a certificate of conversion to a person who was born into the Muslim religion and decided to become a Christian. Maher al-Gohari is seeking to change his religion on official documents to indicate he is now a Christian. This is the first time the Coptic Church has issued such a certificate. It is only the second time a Muslim has officially requested having his statement of religion changed on identify cards.
Last year a court rejected such a request by a Christian convert from Islam. Tension between Coptic Christians and Muslim continues in Egypt. Ironically, Muslims argue that Jews took the land of Israel from Muslims, but Coptic Christians predate Muslims in Egypt by hundreds of years.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Reformist Arab Writer: The Policy of Rejecting Normalization with Israel Is a Political Decision of Unmatched Stupidity

April 6, 2009 No. 2307

In an article posted March 26, 2009, in the Arab liberal e-journal Elaph, Jordanian-American author Dr. Shaker Al-Nabulsi criticized the Arab countries for rejecting normalization with Israel, in which, he argued they were motivated by negativism that is inculcated by self-serving political leaders into Arab mentality. Al-Nabulsi stated that it was Egypt and Jordan rather than Israel that benefited from their peace treaties with Israel, that Israel was disillusioned and disheartened by the Arabs' attitude towards it, and that it had no incentive to sign any more peace treaties with the Arabs.

Following are excerpts from Al-Nabulsi's article: [1]

If Not for the Arabs' "Brazen Negativism," a Solution to the Palestinian Problem Would Not Be So Long in Coming

"On March 26, 1979, Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty. Thus Egypt - the biggest and most important state involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict - became the first country to have peaceful relations with Israel. This took the entire world by surprise, caused an upheaval in the Arab street, and shook the foundations of the Arab and Muslim world. This upheaval, however, was nothing but a commotion raised by a flock of cocks who fell into a puddle of water, scrambled out, and were now shaking their feathers dry. The Arabs, who are not used to abrupt rational turns of civilization, went berserk. They resisted the impending peace, embodied in the person of their courageous and rational leader, President [Anwar] Al-Sadat, who had restored to Egypt everything it had lost on account of Abd Al-Nasser's political and military adventures, which had [brought it] destruction and devastation.

"Although Sadat installed Egypt in a place it well deserved in both the Middle East and worldwide, the Arabs were engulfed by a mad rage that knew no bounds. Today, 30 years after Sadat's historic move, they have begun to come to their senses and regret everything they did to Egypt and rejecting peace [with Israel]. They are gnawing their knuckles in remorse over their past acts of lunacy: expelling Egypt from the Arab League (aka the Fools' Café) and transferring the Arab League headquarters from Cairo to Tunis; boycotting books by Naguib Mahfouz and films based on them; employing all sorts of ugly measures against Egypt and placing it on the same cup of the scales with their worst enemy, Israel.

"The Arabs rejected normalization [with Israel] because [accepting it would have been] a positive [move], while resisting it was a negative [move]. It is much easier to say 'No' in Arabic, [inasmuch as] the Arabs are a negative people. [Indeed,] if not for this brazen negativism, a solution to the Palestinian problem and the establishment of the Palestinian state would not have tarried these past 60 years. The Palestinians will never achieve anything as long as the Arabs persist in their fanaticism and negativism, [fail to gain] self-confidence, continue nurturing in their minds the culture of war, and are unable to form a correct and realistic view of the future."

"The Culture of Peace in the Arab Countries Is Nonexistent"

"Why did the Arabs act in this way in 1979 and thereafter - [as if] they were controlled by demons [destroying] peace and angels [instigating] war? The most obvious answer is that, in the Arab world, the culture of peace is virtually nonexistent, while the culture of war predominates, due to declarations by mendacious political leaders concerning [everyone's] obligation to support armed struggle. In their own countries, these politicians are plagued by social and political problems, as well as [the lack of] economic development - which [prompts them] to opt for supporting armed struggle, in order to divert their subjects' attention from the problems that keep piling up in their countries…

"Moreover, sponsoring resistance movements does these regimes a great service, in that it enhances their power and influence, and at the same time enables them to hang their various problems onto one hanger, which is Israel and America. This, [in turn,] desensitizes the masses and inculcates their minds with the notions that the West and Israel are weak, that Israel will disappear in the near future, and that a miraculous political figure is about to come and restore to the Palestinians their [occupied] lands. Thus, the culture of peace in these countries does not exist, nor can it be cultivated, due to a lack of education and free media that would instill into the citizens' minds humanistic values, which - as Lafif Lakhdar has shown - are the backbone of the culture of peace. Neither do these states teach the young generation to think independently, to reason realistically and rationally, or to free themselves from obsession with [political] affiliations and religious fighting.

"The policy of rejecting normalization with Israel pursued by the two Arab countries that signed peace treaties with it (Egypt and especially Jordan) is a hideous political crime against the Palestinians, which is being committed, [albeit] unwittingly, by the Arabs. This policy, which is promoted by Islamist and pan-Arabist streams and by the proponents of rejectionism and deception, is a political decision of unmatched stupidity and foolishness. This idiotic policy of rejecting normalization has proved of great benefit to Israel, which is manifested in a number of ways:

1. Israel has been able to convey to world public opinion the following message: We want peace, but the Arabs refuse it, even though the [Arab] rulers have accepted it.

2. Israel presents itself as a country which is harassed and in need of protection by the West and the U.S., since all the Arabs are against it. Therefore, [it claims,] the political, financial, and military support to it must grow rather than diminish or stop altogether.

3. Israel's extreme right, led by Likud and Israel Beiteinu, have proved to the world that they are right while the Labor party and those who signed the two peace treaties with the Arabs were deluded and made a grave mistake. This resulted in a greater number of declarations by Netanyahu to the effect that the idea of 'land for peace' no longer exists, and that if Israel agrees to peace today, it must do so in return for peace rather than land. What prompted Netanyahu to make this claim is Israel's experience over the past 30 years, i.e., since the 1979 Camp David treaty - namely, the rejection and reticence of the Arabs, which has not encouraged Israel to sign any more such treaties."

"Israel Has Realized that a Peace Treaty with the Arabs Is Not Worth a Fig"

"4. Israel - its government, its public opinion, its Knesset, and its media - has realized and become convinced that a peace [treaty] with the Arabs is not worth a fig, or the paper it is written on. Consider Egypt. It got back the entire Sinai desert and also Taba, without losing one penny or one soldier. Moreover, not only did it allocate the funds which it would otherwise have spent on the army and weapons to various development projects, but in the past 30 years it has also received [U.S.] aid amounting to hundreds of billions [of Egyptian liras] (approximately 50 billion U.S. dollars). Yet the only thing Israel got in return is an apartment in Cairo, which they turned into an embassy, and in which the [Israeli] ambassador and the staff are [effectively] imprisoned. [Indeed,] they can move around only under the protection of the [Egyptian] intelligence and security guards. Israel is forbidden to participate in Egyptian public life, even in book fairs. In fact, Israel has no part whatsoever in Egyptian public life, and the same holds for Jordan.

"So how can we expect Israel to sign more peace agreements with the rest of the Arab countries, and especially Syria, after its [disheartening and] bitter experience with Egypt and Jordan. And nevertheless, without a comprehensive peace and despite all the above, over the past 30 years, Israel has progressed politically, militarily, culturally, and economically - while the Arabs lagged behind. The Arab [policy of] isolating Israel has given it strength and triggered its advancement. Except for some Arab countries, Israel is recognized by the entire world. Israel's army has become the strongest army in the Middle East. Its annual per capita income has reached $18,000, which amounts to the total per capita income for all Arab countries put together, excepting the Gulf states. Culturally and scientifically, Israel is one of the top countries in the world… Three of its universities (the Hebrew University [of |Jerusalem], Tel Aviv University, and Haifa University) are ranked among the 20 best universities in the world, while no Arab university is listed among [even] 400 best universities in the world (Cairo university is ranked 401)."

"Israel's Success and Most of Its Achievements Can Be Attributed to Failures and Defeats of the Arabs and Palestinians"

"All this Israel has accomplished in the shadow of [Arab] hostility and the media war waged against it by the Arabs. So what interest does Israel have in peace with the Arabs, which is illusory and fragile, which it [must buy] with precious Arab lands, and which - I repeat - is not worth a fig, or the paper on which [peace treaties] are written. We can conclude, therefore, that Israel's success and most of its achievements can be attributed to failures and defeats of the Arabs and Palestinians. If Israel's opponent were not the Palestinians with their stupid cowardly leadership, but some other nation, it would have established an independent state a long time ago.

"[Who were these Palestinian leaders?] There was Haj Amin Al-Husseini (an Al-Azhar student, who was kicked out of the university during his first year), Ahmad Al-Shuqeiri (an mediocre lawyer), Yasser Arafat (a civil engineer working for the Kuwait Minucipality), and Isma'il Haniyya (an imam at a mosque) - while, on Israel's side, there was [Theodor] Herzl (doctor of law) and the Rothschild family (the world's gold coffer). It is noteworthy, [by the way,] that the Rothschilds gave Harry Truman two million dollars for his election campaign on condition that he recognize Israel immediately upon his election - and this is precisely what happened. Then there was Ben Gurion, the outstanding leader.

"Whoever reads my book Settlement Train - A study in the Palestinian compromise, published in 1986, will realize what a great number of golden opportunities to establish the Palestinian state have been missed by the Palestinian and Arab leadership. The Palestinian leadership put their stakes on the Cold War between two superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and did not anticipate the sudden fall of the Eastern Bloc. [As a consequence,] in the 90s, they became dependent on the U.S. By that time, however, the U.S. had already been allied to Israel with a number of strategic treaties (beginning in 1967), on account of which it came to regarded as America's 51st state.

"In sum, as we have shown, it was the Arabs who benefited from the partial peace between Israel and Jordan, while Israel was the loser. Therefore, Israel will not sign any more peace agreements with the Arabs in the near future - and if it does, it will be with extreme caution and on demanding conditions. And peace be upon you all."

[1], March 26, 2009.

Jews for anti-Semitism

When an organization, regardless of its purported affiliation, supports racism, it becomes unworthy of the support of decent persons. That has to be true regardless of whether it is racism directed at Africans, Jews or Muslims. It must be true even. or especially, if the organization claims to represent the group it is slandering. Such organizations, and the groups and persons that endorse them, should be isolated and deprived of recognition, support and funding. A US 501(c) group that claims to be a pro-Israel group (though not just for Jews) in its mission statement but disseminates anti-Semitic propaganda, should lose its tax exempt 501(c) status, because it violated its mission. The KKK and Stormfront don't qualify as "pro-Israel" either.

Theater J of the Washington DC Jewish Community decided to stage a racist play and legitimize anti-Semitism. The supposedly "pro-Israel" "Jewish" 501(c)(4) lobby group, J-Street, endorsed the project. J-Street's Amy Spitalnick commented

The decision to feature Seven Jewish Children at Theater J should be judged not on the basis of the play's content but, rather, on its value in sparking a difficult but necessary conversation within our community. To preclude even the possibility of such a discussion does a disservice not only to public discourse, but also to the very values of rigorous intellectual engagement and civil debate on which our community prides itself.

As Jeff Goldberg noted, J-Street should, on the same logic, stage a reading of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Let's be clear: This is not about "criticism of Israel." The play is about Jewish parents. Not Israeli parents. All Jewish parents. It represents Jews according to timeworn anti-Semitic canards. More: J-Street: Jews for Anti-Semitism

Report: Dutch Labor party with bold new initiative for interfaith understanding, against Israel lobby

The Dutch Labor party is reportedly about to launch a bold new initiative for interfaith dialog and understanding, and against the Israel lobby. Sources close to Labor party's Martijn van Dam stated that their initiative to boycott Israel and get Hamas off the EU blacklist (see here ) is only the begining of a campaign for peace and interfaith outreach that will isolate Israel and the Israel lobby in Europe. Labor also wants to change Dutch and European laws that they call racist, because they discriminate against Islam and alienate Europe's growing Muslim minority.
Among the legislation and initiatives that Labor may consider are the following:
  • New legislation will make it a crime to criticize Islam or Islamic organizations. A source close to Labor Party leaders reportedly explained, "Criticism of Islam and Islamic organizations creates needless friction. We have only to consider the sad cases of Theo van Gogh and Hirsi Ali to understand that such agitation is undesirable, pointless and dangerous."
  • To raise the level of interfaith dialog and minority integration and make Muslims feel at home in Holland, Van Dam's party may propose that polygamy should be legalized, and that marriages to girls as young as age 9 should be allowed with parental consent  This proposal may be very popular among certain non-Muslim circles as well.
  • Another Labor proposal would legalize limited wife-beating in Holland. Labor party sources explained that according to Sharia law, it is a religious commandment to beat your wife if she is disobedient. Current Dutch law is racist, since it  prevents the proper exercise of the Muslim faith. Likewise, according to Labor party supporters laws should be liberalized, according to these proposals, so that Muslims can carry out punishment of homosexuals and adultresses in compliance with Islamic law, which prescribes death sentences for these offences. In the view of the Labor party, these are all matters of personal preference and individual and community conscience. Nobody will force anyone to have several wives of course, but the Muslim community should have autonomy to act according to its customs and Dutch law should not impose restrictions that are a provocation for extremists.
  • To show support for Hamas objectives, Labor will raise EU 50 million and equip an armaments ship to break the Gaza blockade and bring much needed supplies such as long range missiles to the Hamas.
  • To identify and isolate members of the Israel lobby, members of the Jewish faith may be required to wear an identifying yellow star They may also be confined to living in certain neighborhoods. This will help to limit their ability to spread their extremist right wing ideology and Islamophobic ideas.