Friday, January 8, 2010

My God is better than your God, My God is better than yours...

It seems that Muslims are to have the patent on the word "Allah" - at least in Malaysia. Three churches were firebombed there, even after the government suspended a Supreme Court ruling that Catholics can use the word "Allah" to signify God.
What a heart warming example of how religion brings people together and promotes harmony, so suitable for the Christmas season!. What a great illustration of how smoothly a multi-ethnic state can work given the tolerant traditions of Islam. Jonathan Swift could not write a parody about this, as it would not be believed.
It is obvious that God is all merciful and a promoter of peace, and that is the reason to firebomb churches. It is also obvious that someone has the wrong God and someone else has the right God, because there could not be two Gods, could there? Having the wrong God can be hazardous to your health.
 I have been told by experts that one must translate "Allah" as "God" in English because to do otherwise would promote Islamophobia. For example, "The Imam said, 'May Allah punish the Jewish sons of dogs and apes.'" is supposedly an Islamophobic translation. The correct translation would be  "The Imam said, 'May God punish the Jewish sons of dogs and apes,'" it is claimed.
Evidently it is not so, and if you translate Allah as God or God as "Allah" you may be firebombed. 

Three churches in Malaysia were firebombed early Friday as religious tension continues over a court decision that allows a Catholic publication to use the word 'Allah' for God, which Catholics claim is a long-standing practice.
By Tom A. Peter
posted January 8, 2010 at 7:05 am EST
Three churches in Malaysia were firebombed early Friday morning as its government works to quell religious tensions following a court ruling – and a subsequent government appeal – that allows the country's Christians to use the term Allah to refer to God. Only one church was seriously damaged and no one was injured.
Mosques throughout the country also small organized protests during their Friday prayer services and there are reports of cars with Christian stickers having their windshields smashed.
The controversy began when The Herald, a Roman Catholic newspaper in Malaysia, challenged a ban against the periodical using Allah in the Malay-language section of their newspaper to refer to God in a Christian context. Though Allah has been incorporated into the Malay language to mean God and the Koran teaches (Surah 29:46) that Christians, Muslims, and Jews share the same God, many Malaysian Muslims contend that Allah only refers to God for Muslims. Many allege Christians are using Allah in an effort to convert Muslims to Christianity, reports The Times of London.
Malaysian Christians argue that they have used Allah "for decades" in their Malay-language Bibles without any issues. In the court case, the Herald's legal team argued that Allah is an Arabic word for God and that they use it in their publication to serve the needs of their subscribers in Borneo. Time magazine reported that they rejected claims of trying to convert Muslims.
Meanwhile, tensions continue to mount between religious groups in Malaysia. Muslims constitute a slight majority, with Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists comprising the rest of the population. Although Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak originally supported protests against the court ruling that began last week, The Wall Street Journal reports that he is now calling for calm and asking citizens not to blame the government for inspiring the church attacks.

"There should be no over-zealous action that can harm the harmony of the country," Mr. Najib said.
Political analysts say Mr. Najib is attempting to tread a fine line between wooing the support of Malaysia's large ethnic-Chinese and Indian minorities, who make up around 40% of the country's population, and maintaining the support of an ethnic-Malay majority that has become increasingly defined by its Islamic faith in recent years.
As protests continue, there is concern among many Malaysians that the unrest represents an increasingly Islamicized government. In an interview with Al Jazeera Azmi Sharom, a columnist and law professor at Universiti Malaya, said that the government had been "pandering" to the groups of people who are now protesting for a long time.

He said the government allowed some groups to protest when others were banned because the main ruling Umno party - which depends on the Malay/Muslim demographic to remain in power - was "unwilling to do anything which would seem to go against what they think is the Malay/Muslim desire."
A report in the Malaysian Insider, however, warns that the attacks may be "triggering a blame game with opposition leaders pointing fingers at their political rivals" for stoking religious tensions. Additionally, it reported that a number of Muslims disapprove of the recent church attacks, while there are also many Christians who disagree with using the word Allah to describe God.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Create Dilemmas for Hamas


Guy Bechor suggests Israel change its negotiating tactics to fit rules of Middle East

Create Dilemmas for Hamas
by Guy Bechor
Published: 01.03.10, 23:40 / Israel Opinion,7340,L-3828124,00.html

Hamas' rejection of Israel's response on the proposed prisoner exchange deal was predictable and in complete contrast to the false information reported by the Arab media. Hamas has no interest in a prisoner swap – the negotiations only enhance the psychological warfare waged against the Israeli public and empower it.

It is a free gift by the Israeli government, amplified by Israeli media – only last week we reported that the deal was imminent – but nothing has been finalized.

So how can we free Gilad Shalit at this point? By using our minds and the dilemmas tactic. We haven't created any dilemmas for the enemy, only for ourselves. Don't create problems – they will only be solved. Create dilemmas. Our enemy is far more sophisticated and versed in the art of negotiation than us. We have to create a situation in which every option before them is an evil, and they will have to choose the lesser one. In the meantime, it is the enemy that has created dilemmas for us.

At the end of this round of negotiations, for instance, with Israel elasticizing its stand so profoundly (Israel is willing to release almost all "heavy" prisoners, just not to their homes), we should have openly announced, in a special address, who the prisoners demanded by Hamas are, and that this is Israel's final say in the negotiations. Announce that from now on, if Hamas refuses the Israeli offer, we're going back to square one – i.e. one prisoner for another.

The first dilemma it would have created for Hamas is revealing the names of the prisoners they asked to be released – and worse for them – who they didn't. That alone will create chaos between Hamas and the families and the Palestinian public. Let them reap what they sow.

The second dilemma: Since Hamas isn't interested in a deal but in perpetual negotiations, it would be faced with the terrible dilemma of cutting the branch on which it sits. The prisoners' families will apply intense pressure on it to finalize the deal, and the Palestinian may view it as a failure – the loser that couldn't get anything. Hamas may singlehandedly undo all of its achievements.

Rules of play

True, this kind of Israeli stance takes courage and determination – which I'm not sure our leaders, or our public, have – but this is the way to negotiate in the Middle East. Force a dilemma on the other side, a sensation that they might get less tomorrow than they will today. Such a dilemma will force the enemy to accept the terms.

But what do we do? We signal the enemy that there's no problem, that we will continue with the negotiations forever. There's nothing for you to gamble on, we tell them, because every round of talks guarantees another Israeli concession.

An indeed, in its response, Hamas spoke of the "current" Israeli stand, knowing it wasn't the final one. The Israeli emissary will continue negotiating, especially since Hamas wants to drag these talks for many months to come. It only profits from it, gaining legitimacy, international recognitions and a sense of achievement and empowerment. Why should we give it all that for free?

As far as we are concerned, this is more than just retrieving a soldier. Absolutely not. This is another war, the continuation of the wars of the 2000s, which may determine how the current decade ends: With an Israeli failure and ambiguity of thought, like it started, with the Second Intifada; or with a chord of decisive leadership, stating that Israel is strong and determined.

The prisoner exchange negotiations bear a regional effect far greater than the release itself and we must understand that and act accordingly. Using our minds and applying the rules of the Middle East.

Egyptian-Based NGO 'Arabs Against Discrimination' – Created 'To Respond to MEMRI's Efforts' – Announces It Has Failed and Is Ceasing Operations

In 2003, a group of Arab journalists and activists joined together to create an NGO named Arabs Against Discrimination (AAD). According to the Egyptian English-language Al-Ahram Weekly,[1] its founders claimed that the new organization would be devoted "to respond[ing] to MEMRI's efforts."

One of its founders was Ibrahim Nafi', the former editor of the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram and chairman of the Arab Press Association, Nafi' had previously been indicted in France for inciting hatred for publishing an article spreading the blood libel, after MEMRI translated and distributed the article.[2]

Since its establishment, AAD has been almost entirely ignored by the media and political public of both the West and the Middle East. Virtually the only media who gave it coverage were the Egyptian media, as many AAD activists were also Egyptian journalists.

In an interview which aired on Faraeen TV on December 11, 2009, AAD announced that it was closing. Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab, a researcher at Ain Shams University in Cairo, said that AAD could not match the impact that MEMRI has had.

It should be noted that most of his other statements about MEMRI in the interview are inaccurate.

The following are excerpts from the interview announcing the closure of AAD. To view the clip of this interview, visit

"An Organization Called MEMRI... Monitors Everything That Appears in the Egyptian Media… And Distributes It Among the Intellectuals in Europe"

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "There is an organization called MEMRI, which monitors everything that appears in the Egyptian media – whether on TV channels, in the electronic or printed press, or in sermons in mosques – and distributes it among the intellectuals in Europe..."

Interviewer: "This organization has monitored us right from the start."

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "Tomorrow morning, you'll be at the top of its list."

Interviewer: "We've been at the top of its list ever since the show began."

AAD "Was Closed Due to Lack of Arab Funding"

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "I'd like to say something."

Interviewer: "Yes."

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "We founded an organization in Egypt, called the Arab Anti-Discrimination Organization, which operated from January 2004 to January 2009. This organization was shut down due to lack of Arab funding. I had the privilege of heading the organization's translation department. In the course of six years, I collected 6,000... not just me, it was a joint effort of brothers and colleagues in the media. We collected 6,000 reliable excerpts from Israeli newspapers and websites, and 1,000 excerpts from the broadcast media, which served to denounce Israel. There was a possibility that we would attend a congressional hearing, in which [we would present] the material denouncing Israel, but in the end... "

Interviewer: "Could we obtain a copy for the show?"

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "I'm afraid I don't have them. It is with the management of the organization – Dr. Ibrahim Nafi', the chairman, and Dr. 'Imad Gad, the secretary-general. They definitely have the material.

"The organization was closed due to lack of Arab funding, especially from the Arab League. [Arab League secretary-general] Amr Moussa refused to finance it, and I take full responsibility for what I say. The Arab League refused to finance it, and so did all the Arab brothers – Egyptian and Arab businessmen who initially financed it refused [to continue] to do so. The annual budget of this organization did not exceed $200,000, whereas the annual budget of MEMRI, which comes from rich Jews, is $40 million. Let's return to the main issue..."

"By Means of MEMRI and the Jewish and Zionist Lobby in the U.S. and Europe, Israel is Managing to Convince the Western World, and the U.S., that Its Narrative is True – And It is Managing to Portray Itself as a Victim"

Interviewer: "First let me tell you why we'd like a copy [of the organization's materials]. We are expecting to face a very large lawsuit soon..."

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "I will defend you and be a witness..."

Interviewer: "... filed by the Jews, although, by God, we love them."

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "Let me tell you something – you are not doing anything wrong on this show. First of all, the reliable material you presented came from the Israeli press. You did not fabricate material from the media."

Interviewer: "God forbid."

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "You bring news items and reports from the press, TV, and websites, so you don't have to be afraid, because you take a proper scientific approach. I would like to reassure your TV channel that you take a proper scientific approach, and they can sue you as much as they like, but they cannot harm you."

Interviewer: "My God!"

Dr. Mansour Abd Al-Wahab: "Another thing – to round off the issue of MEMRI and the Arab Anti-Discrimination Organization. By means of MEMRI and the Jewish and Zionist lobby in the U.S. and Europe, Israel is managing to convince the Western world, and the U.S., that its narrative is true, and it is managing to portray itself as a victim, facing the Palestinian hangman. In the war in Gaza, they portrayed the Palestinians as the hangman, and Israel as the victim. This is a media game, and Israel excels in it."


[1] Al-Ahram Weekly (Egypt), January 1-7, 2004.

[2] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 107, "French Legal Authorities Investigating Editor of Major Egyptian Daily for Antisemitism," September 6, 2002, .

A lie can travel halfway around the world
while the truth is putting its shoes on
                                        Mark Twain

Bahrain names Jewish ambassador
Bahrain's king has appointed a Jewish woman as the country's envoy to the United States.
Houda Nonoo said she was proud to serve her country "first of all as a Bahraini" and that she was not chosen for the post because of her religion.
She is believed to be the Arab world's first Jewish ambassador.
Ms Nonoo, 43, has served as a legislator in Bahrain's 40-member Shura Council for three years and is head of the Bahrain Human Rights Watch.
"It is a great honour to have been appointed as the first female ambassador to the United States of America and I am looking forward to meeting this new challenge," Ms Nonoo told the Associated Press news agency.
Her family is originally from Iraq, having moved to Bahrain over a century ago.
Bahrain has one of the world's oldest and smallest Jewish communities. It was, at one time, home to as many as 1,500 Jews. Today the community has a synagogue and numbers around 50 people.
Bahrain is a close US ally but has no diplomatic relations with Israel.
It has a Shia Muslim majority, roughly 65% of the population, but the ruling elite is Sunni.

A lie can travel halfway around the world
while the truth is putting its shoes on
                                        Mark Twain

Israeli PR should have contradicted Palestinian reports of terrorists killed by IDF

Epic Fail

Jonathan Dahoah Halevi  
Photo: AFP
Touring the Gaza border Photo: AFP


PR fails again

Israeli PR should have contradicted Palestinian reports of terrorists killed by IDF

Jonathan Dahoah Halevi

Published:  01.04.10, 12:53 / Israel Opinion

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) published in its weekly summary a report on an incident in which three Palestinians were killed by IDF fire: "On Saturday, December 26, 2009 at around 00:30 Israeli forces opened fire on a number of Palestinians who approached the border. As a result, three of them were killed. They were unarmed and apparently trying to infiltrate Israel in order to look for work."


The organization thus accuses the IDF of killing three innocent Palestinian civilians. In order to further exacerbate the Israeli "crime", the organization added details in the service of Palestinian propaganda in relation to the economic distress in the Gaza Strip, which it claims is the reason that the group of Palestinians attempted to enter Israel to find work.


Stories of this kind, about young people who were killed in an attempt to cross the border to find work in Israel, can be found in abundance in reports issued by Palestinian human rights groups as well as in reports on Palestinian victims issued by B'Tselem.


This case allows one to learn about the conduct of terror organizations, Palestinian propaganda (sometimes with the assistance of Israeli human rights organizations) and the ineffectiveness of Israeli public relations. In this relation it should be clarified that not a single Palestinian terror organization claimed responsibility for the incident. Does this mean that these were civilians and not terrorists? Not necessarily.


The IDF Spokesperson's Office issued a statement on December 29, 2009, which sheds some light on the incident:


"On Friday night an IDF force identified four terrorists approaching the border fence in northern Gaza in a military crawl, apparently in order to carry out an attack in Israel. The force fired at them using the 'see and fire' system, with the help of Air Force jets and forces from the Golani Brigade. The fire killed three terrorists and an additional terrorist was injured… In patrols held after the incident soldiers discovered a rope ladder and three explosive devices, among them a powerful device."


The story of the incident, as it is revealed by the IDF's version, is totally different from the report published by the Palestinian human rights group. The four Palestinian youths, three of whom were killed by IDF fire, were not trying to find work in Israel due to economic distress, but were sent either by a Palestinian terror organization or the Hamas government's security forces on a mission – to plant powerful explosive devices on the border with Israel.


The devices could have been intended for attacks on Israeli vehicles traveling on the road near the border, or as preparation for an attack intended to attract IDF forces to an area full of explosive devices near the border.


No PR strategy

The terror organizations work in a way that takes advantage of young Palestinians as assistants in terror attacks without identifying them as operatives of specific organizations. This is known from experience and requires a careful analysis of Palestinian claims regarding the killing of civilians by the IDF.


PCHR is doing extensive damage to Israel in the international arena. The data it publishes are accepted as reliable by UN agencies, which use them to condemn Israel. It also played an important role in feeding figures to the Goldstone committee on Operation Cast Lead, and influenced its conclusions. In addition, in recent years the organization's management has been conducting international legal battles against state and army officials in Israel, and was also responsible for filing legal claims against military officials in Britain, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, and other countries.


Israeli public relations organizations have so far refrained from contradicting the data published by PCHR, or confronting it with facts held by the IDF in order to harm its credibility. In the case of the four Palestinian youths all of the facts needed for a PR campaign exist, and according to the description in the IDF statement it can be deduced that the forces possess filmed proof of the gathering of weaponry from the incident.


So why doesn't Israel take advantage of the opportunity before it to attack one of the organizations held responsible for the damage done to the state and its image? The answer to this is simple and unfortunate. No proper Israeli PR plan exists, and there is no PR strategy but for occasional ad-hoc treatment of momentary crises.


From government to government the PR failure continues and it serves to undermine Israel's most vital interests. The continuing helplessness in the field of PR will not only cause hefty political damage, but will also destabilize the foundations of support that exist in Jewish communities abroad. This is a national emergency where Israel is concerned, and true leadership that can conduct change in the field of PR is desperately needed.


Jonathan Dahoah Halevi is a senior researcher and fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and Director of Research at the Orient Research Group

A lie can travel halfway around the world
while the truth is putting its shoes on
                                        Mark Twain

The EU's 'East Jerusalem' Christmas Gift


Moshe Phillips

Posted Dec 23 2009

Christmas came early for Israel's enemies this holiday season. On December 1 a draft statement from the European Union calling for the immediate restart of negotiations leading to a "viable state of Palestine ... with East Jerusalem as its capital" made worldwide news.
This is very curious because, after all, "East Jerusalem" does not actually exist. At least not yet. Let's remember that East Jerusalem is what the Bible means when it refers to Jerusalem itself.
Words and names have meaning. Especially in the Middle East. The European Union obviously chose to use the words of Israel's enemies deliberately.
So just what is "East Jerusalem" and why is adding the word "East" to describe part of Judaism's holiest city and Israel's capital of any serious magnitude?
East and West in Israel are not the simple geographic terms they are in the U.S. Northeast Philadelphia, the Upper East Side in Manhattan and East L.A. are used to denote neighborhoods and sections of a city. In Israel, where Judea and Samaria have been labeled the West Bank, things are different.
The term West Bank is used to de-emphasize the area's inherent Jewishness and to disassociate the land from the State of Israel. The same is true with the term East Jerusalem.
What is East Jerusalem? In the Christian Bible, every instance where a specific location in Jerusalem is mentioned it refers to an area the EU would like to see given to the Palestinians. The term East Jerusalem cannot be found in a Christian Bible. And that is because East Jerusalem is about as real as Santa Claus.
The expression "the Lights of Chanukah" refers to the menorah in the ancient holy Temple in Jerusalem. The EU sees the Temple Mount (the site of the Temple in biblical times) as part of this mythical East Jerusalem in its unholy Palestinian state. There is no East Jerusalem in Judaism.
According to Wikipedia, "East Jerusalem refers to the part of Jerusalem captured by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and subsequently by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. It includes Jerusalem's Old City and some of the holiest sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, such as the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher."
So East Jerusalem is Jerusalem's Old City and its surrounding neighborhoods. The original and oldest parts of Jerusalem are in this East Jerusalem. There has never been an independent municipal entity known as East Jerusalem. (For the record, there has never been an independent national entity known as Palestine. But that's another story.)
When anti-Israel partisans use the term East Jerusalem, it is to rip Israel's capital apart as part of their long-term quest to defeat Israel. This effort tragically gained full force with the Oslo Accords, as was explained in the B'tzedek Online Journal on December 30, 1996 in an editorial titled "The War Has Just Begun":
"The Oslo Accords are indeed the fulfillment of the PLO 'salami' strategy. That is to say, Israel shall be destroyed not through overt military action of Arab nations, but through the whittling away of Israeli resolve and slow but determined territorial expansion of a Palestinian state. Slice by slice Israel will be carved away by the knife of terrorism and world opinion, both deftly handled by the Israeli-created Palestinian entity."
The very name Jerusalem means city of peace, city of completeness and city of perfection. This was something Bible-believing Americans in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were taught. A Jerusalem that is not complete is just not Jerusalem.
The United States can do much to confront the EU on Jerusalem. The late senator Jesse Helms wrote in 1996 that "Israel is the only nation in the world denied the right to choose its own capital. This second class citizenship among nations must end."
Now is the time for friends of Israel to apply more pressure on the Obama administration to move America's Embassy. The U.S. government has failed to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv for more than ten years.
The Jerusalem Embassy Act was passed by Congress on October 23, 1995; the law stipulates that "Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel" and declares that "the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999."

"For Zion's sake I am not silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I do not rest," reads Isaiah 62:1. For Jerusalem's sake, contact your congressman today and demand that the Jerusalem Embassy Act be honored.



Moshe Phillips is a member of the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia chapter of Americans for a Safe Israel - AFSI. The chapter's website is www.phillyafsi.comMoshe's blog can be found at

A lie can travel halfway around the world
while the truth is putting its shoes on
                                        Mark Twain

Monday, January 4, 2010

Palestinians To Israel: Instead Of A Peace Summit, How About We "Escalate Our Struggle" Instead?

Palestinians To Israel: Instead Of A Peace Summit, How About We "Escalate Our Struggle" Instead?


The awesome thing is that the two statements came out on the exact same day, a nicely pointed illustration of the differences between Israel and its partner in peace. Netanyahu proposed a reinvigorated peace summit in Egypt, and promptly got his answer:

The secular Fatah movement led by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Thursday vowed to step up its struggle against the Israeli occupation with demonstrations and diplomacy. "Our programme emphasises the importance of a two-track approach, with the first being the escalation of the popular struggle to resist occupation," the movement said in a statement. The group said it would model the struggle on the weekly demonstrations in two West Bank towns, Bilin and Nilin, where residents hurl rocks and protest against the expansion of Israel's controversial separation barrier. Fatah, which marks the 45th anniversary of the start of its armed struggle on Friday, also vowed to "increase movement on the international level to pursue Israel, to isolate it and to force it to answer to international law."

The really elegant part is how they bundled together (a) threats of Palestinian violence and (b) international efforts to delegitimize Israeli self-defense in the face of Palestinian violence ("to isolate it and to force it to answer to international law"). Only Israel's Arab enemies could be so confidently brazen about crowing that they'll attack Israeli civilians and then whine about Israeli retaliation. Of course only Israel's Arab enemies are justified in that brazen confidence, so it's hard to blame them. The organizations behind the sentiment - Human Rights Watch, the UN committees who back Goldstone and his ilk, etc. - they might on the other hand be worthy of mild disapprobation.

Meanwhile - just should Abbas consider trying to reciprocate Israeli gestures - Palestinian civilians and Fatah soldiers want him to know there's more than enough violence to go around:

The killing of the three Fatah operatives in Nablus by the IDF over the weekend could trigger a third intifada, Fatah officials warned on Sunday. But the new intifada, they said, would be different from the first two - this time it would be directed against the Palestinian Authority. During the funerals of the three men, all veteran members and leaders of Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, thousands of Palestinians chanted slogans accusing the PA of collusion with Israel and calling for an end to security coordination with Israel and the dismantling of the PA.

Nothing that a couple square miles of Israeli territory can't solve. Because that's what this is about. Right? Right.

And lest you think no one could be so obliviously stupid, here's Barry Rubin's recent article to disallusion you. The phrase "pressures Israel" appears in the headline, after which the post continues at length and in detail. Turns out the Obama administration might well be exactly that obliviously stupid.

* Israel's Netanyahu proposes Egypt peace summit [Reuters]
* Fatah vows to escalate struggle against occupation [AFP]
* Fatah warns of intifada against PA [JPost]
* The Palestinian Authority Sets its New Strategy: Tempts Obama Administration with Instant Peace if it Pressures Israel [Rubin Report]

Related Mere Rhetoric Categories:
* Palestinians
* Anti-Israel Diplomacy
* Israeli-Arab Peace Process
A lie can travel halfway around the world
while the truth is putting its shoes on
                                        Mark Twain

Countering Bias and Misinformation mainly about the Arab-Israel conflict



Judge Goldstone encountered no allegations of organ stealing
Harvesting human organs
British military expert comments on the Gaza operation in BBC interview
DEIR YASSIN - old but startling evidence
About Maurice Ostroff
Open letter to South African Ambassador, H.E. Ismail Coovadia
"If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed;
if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed." (Mark Twain)

Eye Glasses, Spinning

Sadly, Mark twain's quip is possibly more relevant today than it was in his day. Irrational arguments have become commonplace, not only in alternative, but also in mainstream media. More egregiously, unsound arguments are often used in opinion articles disguised as news items.

This is especially true of the overwhelmingly strident commentaries and "news" reports about the Arab-Israel conflict. On both the left and right, extremism has become the vogue and rational discussion is too often replaced by the loud and the sensational.

In countering this type of bias and misinformation on this site, special care is taken to maintain credibility by checking the veracity of all data presented as fact and by adhering to rational, civil discourse and intellectual honesty. Efforts are made to acknowledge and suppress known biases and to follow the facts wherever they lead. 
Click here for an academic study of the power of political misinformation

A lie can travel halfway around the world
while the truth is putting its shoes on
                                        Mark Twain

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chomsky and Dershowitz debate Israel and Palestine (interview in 14 videos)

Noam Chomsky debates Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz regarding the future of Israel and Palestine


1 year ago 15,561 views


Fundamentally Freund: Iran: The last resort

They deem him their worst enemy who tells them the truth. - Plato


"The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see." -- Ayn Rand


Dec. 30, 2009
As 2009 draws to a close and the second decade of the 21st century looms before us, there is no greater danger facing the world than the prospect of a nuclear Iran.
As the events of recent weeks have made abundantly clear, sanctions and diplomacy have utterly failed to stop Teheran's march down the road to an atomic arsenal. The ayatollahs have gleefully ignored repeated warnings from the West, and stubbornly insisted on proceeding apace toward nuclear proficiency.
We can no longer continue to ignore this reality. Our future and everything we hold dear is at stake. The danger is simply too great, and the threat is too real. As frightening as it sounds, Israel must give serious consideration to bombing Iran before it is too late.
MAKE NO mistake. If a halt is not put to Iran's efforts, we will soon wake up to discover the would-be Hitler of Persia with his finger on the button, threatening Israel and the world with nuclear blackmail and destruction.
What the Nazi leader could only dream of accomplishing more than half a century ago, will soon be within reach of his Iranian disciple. Indeed, the clock is already winding down and we are nearing the end of the game, as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's scientists prepare to cross the threshold and storm past the nuclear goal line.
Speaking before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak gave a chilling account of just how close Iran is to meeting its nefarious goal. By early 2010, he said, the mullahs will have the technology to build a nuclear bomb, and they will be able to produce one within a year. That means that sometime in the next few weeks or months, Teheran will reach the technological point of no return, beyond which lies a future clouded in darkness and uncertainty.
And so, less than 1,000 miles east of Jerusalem, a new Auschwitz is steadily being prepared as the world dithers over what to do.
MONTHS AGO, Washington and its allies set a year-end deadline for Iran to accept a deal drawn up by the UN under which their uranium would be enriched abroad. But even this proved unacceptable to the hard-liners in Teheran, who are not exactly quaking in their boots at the prospect of additional economic penalties.
In a speech delivered last Tuesday, Ahmadinejad made clear that he remains unmoved by warnings from the West. The international community, he said, can give Iran "as many deadlines as they want, we don't care."
And why should they? The UN Security Council has already imposed three sets of sanctions on Iran with little to show for it. Does anyone really think that yet another round of injunctions and hand-wringing will do the trick?
In fact, just a few days ago, reports surfaced in the press that Iran was once again actively seeking to violate existing UN resolutions by trying to import 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan to further bolster its enrichment program.
This is just one more sign that the West's efforts to freeze Teheran's nuclear program have come up short.
MOREOVER, THE Iranians continue to improve their strategic missile capability, heightening the peril should they succeed in constructing a nuclear warhead. In mid-December Iran test-fired its latest missile, the Sajjil-2, a sophisticated solid-fuel rocket that is more advanced and more accurate than its predecessors. With a range of 1,200 miles, or nearly 2,000 kilometers, it can hit anywhere in Israel and even reach parts of Europe.
Iran's defense minister boasted on state television that the Sajjil-2 can be fired more quickly and reaches its target faster, which makes it harder to intercept or shoot down. Since it is a solid-fuel rocket, it can be prepped in advance and hidden in silos, thereby decreasing its vulnerability to a preemptive attack.
And lest there be any doubt about the ayatollahs' real intentions, the Times of London reported two weeks ago that Western intelligence agencies have obtained an internal Iranian document detailing plans for neutron initiators. These are the triggers which set off nuclear explosions, and they have no other use.
TAKEN TOGETHER, all these pieces combine to form a frighteningly unambiguous picture: Iran is terrifyingly close to becoming a nuclear power. With each passing day, this nightmare scenario moves one step closer to fruition.
And so we must look ourselves directly in the mirror and ask a simple yet very pointed question: Are we really prepared to allow the tyrant of Teheran to threaten our very existence?
An atomic Iran would transform the strategic dynamic of the Middle East, strengthen radical and fundamentalist forces and spark a region-wide nuclear arms race. It would raise the specter of terrorist groups allied to Teheran, such as Hamas and Hizbullah, getting their hands on the most devastating of weapons.
And we all know how Iran's leaders have repeatedly and brazenly vowed to exterminate the Jewish state and wipe us off the map.
The alarm bells are ringing and the danger is near. Iran can and must be stopped, and military force may be the only way to do so. Six decades ago, the world watched in silence as the Germans tossed us into Hitler's ovens and turned six million Jews into ashes. We cannot assume they will act any differently if Iran seeks to do the same.
So we dare not tarry. There is little room left for delay. If the world fails to act, the option of last resort may be our only choice.

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A lie can travel halfway around the world
while the truth is putting its shoes on
                                        Mark Twain