.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Egypt's argument against normalization

Firas Press quotes an Egyptian official who mentions that the White House is trying to get the Arab world to normalize relations with Israel as part of a peace agreement. Disingenuously, he provides a new reason why the Arab world can never truly be at peace with Israel:

Because it would destabilize the Arab regimes!
The official said that in the view of Egyptian and Arabs said that this pressure has reached the stage of an unacceptable and threatens the security Arab regimes and their stability.The sources mentioned "the beginning of tensions" in the relations between the administration of President Obama with many Arab capitals, including Cairo and Riyadh, on the background of Obama's attempts to convince the Arab world to normalize relations with Israel immediately.

The sources hinted that the "unofficial messages exchanged between Riyadh and Cairo, concluded that the American efforts ...would threaten the stability of the ruling regimes in the Arab region."

An Egyptian official told the newspaper, that "Americans want immediate normalization, which could put many of the Arab rulers in the line of fire in a direct confrontation with their people, and will lead to destabilization. If pressure is put in this direction it will only benefit the Islamic extremists in the region."

In this context, the Secretary-General of the ruling party in Egypt, Safwat al-Sharif, said that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, refused to establish any (US) military bases on Egyptian soil, whatever the reasons, saying that "Egypt has a strong army capable of defending its territory against attacks."
Actually, this is not a new excuse. It is one of the oldest Arab excuses ever made, normally referred to as "the Arab street." The rulers, whenever they are feeling pressured to do something they dislike, say that their people would have a popular revolution and overthrow them if they follow Western advice.

This argument is one of the oldest and most effective in the Arab lexicon, one that never fails to sway the West. The West has a huge fear of large numbers of strange, irrational, kaffieyeh-wearing men whose actions cannot be predicted (by Westerners.) Just as the British acquiesced to Arab demands in the wake of Arab leaders clandestinely fomenting riots in the 1930s, so does the rest of the West want to avoid any appearance of instability - and to reward the threat of it.

Of course, the argument is a joke. These are the same rulers who have no compunction against suppressing these same people violently and ruthlessly whenever they feel like it. Their entire leadership is maintained by force and by the armies under their command, not by popular will. They own their media and they play their people to act in ways they want them to. There are no mass riots against them because the despots don't allow them.

In other words, the people are not independent players in this drama, but pawns.

If the leaders would decide that they want to normalize relations with Israel, they could get their people on board in a matter of months. They could simply say, "The Palestinians have been homeless for sixty years; it is time to allow them to have their own state and to stop the senseless hate." The vast majority of the people only care about Palestinian Arabs because of the endless incitement in the Arab media; if the incitement ended so would the issue. Most Arabs care more about how to feed their own families than about a group of Palestinian Arabs who have said "no" to peace and compromise for over seventy years.

Sure, there would be some who are unhappy, there would be a brief uptick in terror recruiting, but the regimes could ensure that nothing happens - if that is what they want.

A very big "if."

Hamas threatens to overthrow PA

Bubbling beneath the surface, the animosity between Fatah and Hamas is increasing every week.

For a while they were holding unification talks in Cairo, but the talks went nowhere and even though they have not been officially called off, recent weeks has seen an uptick of rhetoric and tit-for-tat arrests, with the background of the Fatah conference next week.

Hamas has been systematically arresting Fatah members that want to go to the conference and is refusing any Fatah members from leaving Gaza. (Interestingly, Israel is allowing Fatah members to attend from many Arab countries, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and even Syria.) The PA offered to release a number of Hamas members to facilitate the coference, although it is unclear if they did.

The rhetoric became more severe today as a Hamas leader said that the coup that happened in Gaza could be repeated in the West Bank. The leader, whose name seems to be al-Raquob, led a rally in Khan Younis accusing the PA of collaborating with Israel and the US. He said repeatedly that Fatah leaders have not "learned the lessons of Gaza" and that Hamas could take over the West Bank if the PA remains set in its ways.

This is, of course, only one of the major obstacles to peace that Americans and Europeans seem not to grasp at all.

I scoop Commentary by two years

Commentary points to an article in NRO's Corner noticing that the US Consulate in Jerusalem webpage caters exclusively to Palestinian Arab activities and events, without a word mentioned about Israel.

Something I blogged about over two years ago, and then had a related post last year which generated a lively discussion about whether its two offices, in both the western and eastern portions of the city, cater to Jews (they do.)

Maybe I can get the writers for NRO and Commentary to go through my archives to find a whole bunch of material!

Anti-semitism on Egyptian TV

MEMRI puts together an amazing collection of pure Jew-hatred that can be seen on the al-Rahma TV network of our moderate Egyptian allies. Some of these have been seen before, but there is certainly a pattern of intense and systematic anti-semitism and incitement against Jews on that channel.

The full report can be seen here.

Here are just some screen shots:








I wonder if this topic ever comes up when the US hands billions over the Egypt every year.

(h/t Suzanne in the comments)

IDF report on Operaton Cast Lead

The IDF has released an official report on Operation Cast Lead. It is a seemingly exhaustive document, 159 pages long, that addresses every specific criticism of IDF activities during the war. (Even so, the IDF promises to release more information as investigations are still going on.)

The report describes the circumstances of every specific incident of major civilian casualties, attacks that damaged UN facilities, and attacks on mosques. It candidly admits its mistakes and why those mistakes were made. It describes the IDF methodology of investigating the incidents, the legal foundations for its actions, and a huge amount of background information that was previously not available or easily found.

Some interesting highlights:

In the worst incident of the war, where the al-Daia family was killed, the IDF intended to destroy the house next door to them, which was a weapons depot:
The IDF has concluded that this tragic event was the result of an operational error. An investigation determined that the IDF intended to strike a weapons’ storage facility located in a building next to this residence. However, the IDF erroneously targeted the Al-Daia residence, rather than the weapons storehouse. Although the IDF did provide warning shots to the roof of the Al-Daia residence, other warnings (such as the warning phone call) were made to the building actually containing the weapons, not the Al-Daia residence.


The IDF didn't target Nizar Rayyan, even though he would have been a legitimate target:
During this episode, which was widely reported by NGOs, Ri’an and members of his family were killed in an aerial strike that hit their home. Ri’an was a senior Hamas operative, but he was not the target of the attack, although the IDF legitimately could have treated him as a military target due to his central role in planning and executing terrorist attacks. Instead, the operational goal of the strike was to destroy Hamas’ central compound in the Jabaliya refugee camp. The compound included several buildings that served as storage sites for large quantity of sophisticated weapons. The IDF limited the planned attack to the weapons storage site and did not seek to injure or harm Ri’an or, of course, any members of his family.

In an effort to ensure that it destroyed only the storage facilities, and did not harm civilians residing in the buildings, the IDF issued several warnings before the attack. These included not only general leaflets and telephone calls, alerting civilians to avoid facilities serving Hamas and other terrorist groups, but specific phone calls to the residents of the targeted buildings, notifying them of the planned strike and warning them to evacuate the premises. The IDF also fired two separate rounds of preliminary warning shots with light weapons, 13 minutes and 9 minutes before the strike, providing sufficient time for residents to evacuate. The residents evidently understood these early warnings, as a group of them did leave the building, a fact confirmed by IDF surveillance before proceeding with the strike. The IDF observed this group evacuation and drew the reasonable conclusion that the buildings (including Ri’an’s house) were empty. Only then did the IDF launch the strike.

Following the strike, secondary explosions were visible. This confirmed that Hamas used the buildings for weapons storage, and therefore it was a legitimate military objective according to the Law of Armed Conflict. Only later was it discovered that, Ri’an and his family chose to remain in the building after others had evacuated, leading to their death.
The IDF similarly describes its use of white phosphorus as a smokescreen, the specific military advantages it gave them, and the carefulness of when deciding to use it:
Hamas’ anti-tank units, equipped with advanced anti-tank missiles, were operating in this
area. These units were located mainly near the northern side of the UNRWA compound,
so that the compound was placed between Hamas’ anti-tank units and IDF forces. The
threat to Israeli forces was credible and imminent.

The IDF’s primary rationale for deploying smoke screening munitions containing white
phosphorous was to produce a smokescreen to protect Israeli forces from the Hamas antitank
crews operating adjacent to the UNRWA headquarters. Such a smokescreen has
proven an effective response to the anti-tank threat, since it effectively blocks the enemy’s
field of view and prevents it from using visual observation tools (including infra-red). As
discussed in Section V.D(3)(a)(i) below, the IDF’s use of the standard smoke projectile —
which is commonly found in the arsenal of other armed forces of States worldwide — is
lawful for this purpose.

The smokescreen created during the fighting in Tel al-Hawa was effective in achieving its
military objectives. It prevented most of Hamas’ attempts to launch anti-tank missiles,
although one missile did hit an IDF tank. Hamas’ anti-tank units, which are mobile, had to
change their positions in order to be able to attack IDF forces. In the absence of the
smoke-screen, the fight would have continued in this area, and the IDF would have had to
use reactive fire to engage anti-tank units, with the likelihood of greater civilian harm.
The report is filled with such details about controversial incidents. The impression one gets overall is that the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty reports criticizing Israel were written by people who have little experience in how actual wars are fought. They make sweeping statements saying that there was no legitimate reason for the IDF to have acted in certain ways without knowing what they are talking about. They automatically assume that the IDF is acting maliciously or negligently despite the IDF's incredible (and improving) record of dealing with civilians in a war zone, which is second to none. As the IDF writes:
The final core proposition that runs through this Paper is that, while the principles of
customary international law may be “basic” and can be simply stated, they nevertheless
must be applied with analytical rigor. Reports by non-governmental organisations and
rapporteurs and committees acting under mandates from international organisations too
often jump from reporting tragic incidents involving the death or injury of civilians during
armed combat, to the assertion of sweeping conclusions within a matter of hours, days or
weeks, that the reported casualties ipso facto demonstrate violations of international law,
or even “war crimes.” Often, these leaps of logic bypass the most basic steps, such as
identification of the specific legal obligation at issue and explanation of how it was
violated. The depth of feeling in the face of civilian losses is understandable, but it does
not excuse this rush to judgment. It is a fundamental precept of the rule of law that any
legal inquiry about events relating to armed conflicts cannot assume the conclusion,
particularly a conclusion that — as shown below — proper application of the law does not
sustain.


The IDF report goes into aspects of international law, into details of Hamas war crimes, and into most other relevant information about the operation. It is well worth reading for anyone who wants to know all sides of the story.

Another fascinating detail uncovered in the report of particular interest to this blog was a footnote referring to a Hebrew report that determined that over 90% of all "police" killed in Gaza were in fact terrorists, far higher than the 67% we have identified. A synopsis of its findings are here (autotranslated), the actual report listing all the names of the terrorists in Hebrew is here. (The file downloads as a ZIP file but it is a PDF file; rename it and then you can view it.)

(h/t t34zakat)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Today's PalArab news 7-30-09

Another two were killed in two separate tunnel collapses in Rafah. Palestinian Arab "human rights" groups blame - Israel, of course, for not allowing free entry of weapons and weapons materials into Gaza.

Hamas arrested a number of Fatah leaders in Gaza, including a number of people who wanted to go to Bethlehem to attend the Fatah conference next week.

Our friends the Egyptians, in response to the idea of the US pledging to defend all countries from Iranian nuclear weapons, pre-emptively said that there is no way they will host any US bases on Egyptian soil. And Egypt can't stand Iran.

The Palestinian Arab finance minister declared Netanyahu's "economic peace" plan a failure. I guess the fact that the West Bank economy has made serious, visible gains since Netanyahu became PM is the evidence.

PalArab police warned people not to keep embarrassing pictures on their mobile phones. Thieves have stolen mobile phones and then blackmailed mostly women by threatening to publicize pictures of them that would mortify them.

The 2009 PalArab self-death count is now at 131.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Kotel, 1912

For my readers who observe Tisha B'Av, I wish you all an easy and meaningful fast.

Here is a description of the Kotel from a book written by Christian pilgrims in 1912, showing how much Jews would mourn over Jerusalem, not only on Tisha B'Av but every single Friday:
The scene at the Jew's Wailing Place is very touching. It is situated near the Temple site, in fact almost under the shadow of that place. The stone wall bearing that name is one hundred fifty feet long and nearly sixty feet high. Nine courses of stone at the bottom are made of very large blocks and the remaining fifteen courses are made of much smaller ones. The general shape of these hewn stone show that they were not designed by the same builder but that the lower courses were the work of a much earlier period, in all probability of Solomon's time. Here the Jews meet every Friday afternoon to engage in lamentation. About four o'clock in the afternoon as many as two hundred gather here to weep and pray. This beautiful prayer is sung, or rather wailed:

(Leader) "For' the palace that lies desolate,
(Audience) We sit in solitude and mourn.
(L) For the palace that is destroyed,
(A) We sit in solitude and mourn.
(L) For the walls that are overthrown,
(A) We sit in solitude and mourn.
(L) For our majesty that is departed,
(A) We sit in solitude and mourn.
(L) For our great men that lie dead,
(A) We sit in solitude and mourn.
(L) For the precious stones that are burned,
(A) We sit in solitude and mourn.
(L) For the priests who have stumbled,
(A) We sit in solitude and mourn.
(L) For the kings who have despised Him,
(A) We sit in solitude and mourn."

Another one equally touching and showing the Jew's idea of the return of their nation, not only to Jerusalem, but to power as well, is also given:

(L) "We pray Thee have mercy on Zion.
(A) Gather the children to Jerusalem.
(L) Haste, haste, Redeemer of Zion.
(A) Speak to the heart of Jerusalem.
(L) May beauty and majesty surround Zion.
(A) Ah, turn Thyself mercifully to Jerusalem.
(L) May the kingdom soon return to Zion.
(A) Comfort those that mourn over Jerusalem.
(L) May peace and joy abide with Zion.
(A) And the Branch spring up in Jerusalem."

Coming there at the time when these exercises are going on one can not help but feel that their sorrow is real and their prayers earnest because of the tear-stained faces; but earlier in the afternoon there may be seen a few people, especially women, in prayer and people coming here at such a time are apt to doubt the sincerity of these people. Several years, ago a party came here and heard several women wailing and as they were heavily veiled, one of the number said, "I do not believe that they are crying. I am going to inspect." He stepped up to one old lady and lifted her veil. Coming back to his friends he said, "I am sorry I did that. There were great tear drops running down over her cheeks."
In the merit of mourning properly over Jerusalem, may we be rewarded to rejoice in its complete rebuilding!

(See also last year's post on the same topic, and also my 2007 post on Tisha B'Av, 1948, the first year no Jews could visit the Old City.)

Today's PalArab news 7-29-09

Fatah said they have a deal with Hamas where they will release 200 Hamas members from PA prisons and Hamas will allow 400 Fatah members to travel to Bethlehem for the Fatah conference scheduled for next week. Hamas said, not so fast. But either way we have shown that Fayyad's comments that the Hamas members couldn't be released because of the integrity of the PA justice system were just another lie.

Another tunnel collapsed overnight, injuring 7 people. There are still some missing from the previous tunnel collapses over the past couple of days.

And who is at fault for the tunnel collapses? According to Palestine Today, it is the Shin Bet! Using flawless logic, PalToday noticed that the owners of the tunnels don't get killed in these collapses, but only the young men they hired. The obvious reason is that they collude with the Israelis to kill the tunnel workers - Israelis, of course, want to kill every man in Gaza - and this way, the tunnel owners can get out of paying them! (The fact that they lose their income is obviously not relevant.)

Speaking of collaboration, Hamas responded to Netanyahu's comments that Hamas will be overthrown by the people of Gaza by saying that this was evidence that the PA is colluding with Israel. I'm not quite bright enough to see the connection.

Al Quds brings us a picture of the Hamas religious police. Hamas has started patrolling the beaches of Gaza on horseback to ensure that men are wearing tops, that women are modestly dressed, and that single men and women do not mix. The article says that this is the first visible manifestation of Hamas imposing Islamic laws on the general population of Gaza.

Photos of "Jews desecrating Al Aqsa mosque"

Palestine Today has a series of photos captioned "the desecration of dozens of Jews of the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque."

Here are the horrible photos, showing in minute detail all the desecration going on. I'm warning you, it's shocking:


See all the rioting, the tearing up of holy Qurans, the rock throwing, the insults being screamed, and the Prophet being insulted?

I'm sorry to have had to show you such awful pictures, but the world must know exactly what terrible things the Jews are doing in the Al Aqsa complex. Like walking, meditating and maybe even - gasp! - praying. The horror!

By the way, here is a photo of Muslims (from Hizb ut Tahrir) showing how much respect they have for the Dome of the Rock, as they display their behinds to the holy spot:
(Yes, I know they bow to Mecca. That's the point.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Internet down open thread

On my trip I am relying on my broadband card to work, and it is having problems. So I can't blog tonight, and possibly not tomorrow either, and then is Tisha B'Av... Apparently, this is a good time for a long open thread.

The PA finds money for The Arafat Museum

Ma'an reports:
The Palestinian Authority will fund the building of a museum dedicated to the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, the cabinet decided Monday.

The PA will assume the costs of construction and operations of the new museum, which will play home to documents and artifacts from the history of the Palestinian National Movement, including many articles that belonged to Arafat.

The collection will take the form of a retrospective on Arafat’s life, and has a budget of 2 million US dollars for its first phase. Palestinian architect called Ja’far Tuqan is set to design the building.
Of course, the PA has no money of its own, and lives on donations, mostly from Western countries.

So we are paying Palestinian Arabs to build a huge incitement to terror.

Just a couple of days ago, Fatah's Mahmoud Dahlan proudly told PA TV that Arafat deceived the world when he said he was interested in peace. Which is exactly why Arafat is a hero in the Arab world - not because he was an alleged peacemaker but because he was a terrorisdt.

In other news...

After the weekend's tunnel collapse that claimed 7 victims, another one today has killed one with six more missing.

A tree collapsed on the Temple Mount, so naturally the Arabs are blaming Israeli excavations underneath.

An Egyptian man, who had a sex change operation, is suing Al Azhar University in Egypt for kicking him/her out.

Egypt is seeking the death penalty for some Hizbollah terrorists caught recently in that country.

The 2009 PalArab self-death count is now at 129.

Pakistan "dancing girls" victimized twice

This story in Al Arabiya is disgusting on two levels, one from what it says and one for what it does not. It starts off this way:
Clad in a low-cut dress and heavily made-up, 16-year-old dancing girl Shabnam used to spend her nights twirling gracefully for locals and tourists in Pakistan's Swat Valley.

Bejewelled dancers of Swat, famous for its beautiful, pale-skinned women, would beguile at house parties, stag nights and hotels, and Shabnam was just 12 when she followed her mother and sisters into the sometimes steamy profession.

But then Taliban fighters infiltrated the valley and her hometown Mingora. Terror forced Shabnam to flee and although some displaced civilians are returning to areas around Swat, she says she is too scared to go home.

"I don't think the situation will return to normality. The Taliban have terrified not only us dancing girls but the entire population in Swat. I think the Taliban can return any time," she said.
This article is clearly oriented against the Taliban and their religious zeal, and for the first six paragraphs the girls are described merely as "dancers," perhaps baring a little more skin than one would see in the streets but nothing else.

However, they were forced to do a bit more than just dance:
Such entertainment forms were branded un-Islamic and retribution was harsh, particularly as they are frequently associated with prostitution.

"If I dance at a party for a whole night, then do you think they will let me go without sex?" said Shabnam.

"It depends on the people, the place and the community where I perform. Sometimes I had sex with four to five people," she replied.

She left Swat after her cousin was killed.

"My cousin Shabana was the most beautiful and popular dancer of Swat. She was murdered in Mingora city's Green Square," she said. "She was shot dead."
Now look at the beginning of the article - Shabham was forced into prostitution by her own mother when she was 12!

English-language Al-Arabiya does not think this is strange or noteworthy; apparently this is just par for the course.

So Pakistani girls are victimized not only by the Islamic extremists of the Taliban but also by their own families and a culture that utterly demeans them as a matter of course.

Yemeni women abused mostly by sheikhs, upper class

Al Arabiya (Arabic) reports that 80% of abused Yemeni women are victims of "academics and intellectuals," which seems to include sheikhs when translated.

During a symposium on violence against women held today, the author of this study also said that violence against women in rural areas were "almost non-existent because of the customs and traditions in rural areas of Yemen."

In a related story, the "marginalized" women of Yemen suffer routine, extreme abuse by the upper class and religious leaders:
K.M.H, a marginalized girl, 8, was living in al-Odun, Al-Kema district when she was raped by a rich and powerful person with influence over local authorities, referred to as “Sheikh M.D.”

“Sheikh M.D came to our home every night and threatened that he would confiscate all of our possessions under the pretext that we are marginalized, and we have no rights to live freely,” the mother expressed.

The mother went on to say, “We went to the police station to complain about his constant intimidation, but no one would help us. When he knew that we went to the police station he threatened us by saying he would rape my youngest daughter.”

The mother concluded, “One day, while my daughter was walking alone on her path in our village, Sheikh M.D took advantage of the fact that she was alone and raped her in complete disregard of any morals. When she fought back, he broke her neck and choked her to death.” She kept on saying, “no one will punish him, and no body wants to protect us. He raped and killed my daughter. Moreover, he is walking around freely and living his life as if nothing ever happened.”

According to the Yemeni Observatory for Human Rights (YOHR), large numbers of marginalized women have been categorically raped and in many cases, killed afterwards.

S.M.H., a marginalized girl, 18, was raped by a man, referred to as “Sheikh M.T.”

S.M.H confirmed, “We live in Ureem-Aras district. My story is like all stories of al-Akhdam women. One day, there was a quarrel between us and Sheikh M.T. about a piece of land. One night, he came with about 40 armed men. They broke into our house, beat my family members, and then kicked us out of our house.”

She pointed out that, Sheikh M.T restrained her inside her house and raped her while threatening to kill her with his gun.

“We have to wait for the justice of God since there are no laws to protect us or punish people responsible for raping and exploiting us,” She added.

“Sheikh M.T. raped me, but like in many cases, received no punishment. I went to police station to complain, but they do no thing because Sheikh M.T. holds a high position in the community, whereas I am a marginalized girl,” she concluded.

According to the Yemeni Observatory for Human Rights, most of the crimes against marginalized women are committed by sheikhs, rich people, and people in high positions.

Unbelievable cruelty and sickening disregard for women, by people who pretend to be the moral guardians of the religion.

Saudi religious police arrest a sorcerer

From the Saudi Gazette:
A Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Hai’a) team has arrested an African man accused of practicing magic and sorcery which enabled him to gain full control over a Saudi family for two years.

The man was arrested after the Hai’a received information that he had offered to concoct a spell for the sum of SR8,000, and when a meeting was set up between the informant and the African man Hai’a staff were surprised to find a Saudi man arriving to collect the money.

The Saudi man told the Hai’a that he and his family of a wife and daughter had been under a spell the suspect cast on them when they turned to him with an unspecified problem, and that he had been living in their house for two years, during which time he turned them into his servants.

“We didn’t have a meal without him and we lived according to his instructions,” said the husband.

Such was the sorcerer’s power over the family that he even took the Saudi man’s wife and daughter to Africa for a visit, the husband added.

Among the African’s personal belongings in the Saudi house the Hai’a found incriminating letters from the Saudi’s wife to the spell-caster.

Some talismans and a variety of herbs were also found.
There are two ways that Islam can look at sorcery - as a real, independent power or as something that is completely fake but still forbidden. I found an article, written for a Western audience, that claims the latter:
Practitioners of magic (Muslims, that is) believe in magical power, a demonic power (as it is said that one cannot attain sorcery without seeking the help of the devil), and would often worship it. As such, they would then claim that there is other greater power aside than Allah when as Muslims, they are to, and must, accept only Allah as the one and only God, the powerful one. Believing in any other supreme being would be an act of disbelief towards Allah. Learning magic is also an act of disbelief because they claim to have magical powers, when such powers can only exist in the Almighty himself.
Which would make a certain amount of sense. However, the articles in the Saudi Gazette like the one above seem to imply that the Hai'a/Muttawa are fighting not charlatans, but real honest-to-Allah sorcerers. And indeed this article written by a Muslim for a less skeptical audience claims exactly that:
The Mu'tazilah (one of the groups who deviated in issues of Aqidah) rejected the existence of sorcery and sometimes ruled with kufr against anyone who claimed its existence. They claimed it is nothing but hallucination and imagination. As for the mainstream Muslims (Ahlus-Sunnah wa Al-Jamaa), we say that sorcery is real, it really takes place and when it occurs, Allah creates whatever He wishes. Thus, its effects do not come from the stars, the talismen, the knots or the sorcerer, rather Allah brings about whatever He wishes upon the occurrence of those things.
Campaigns against magic's legitimacy would be far more effective in stopping poor gullible Saudis like the family above. Take one guess as to what the sorcerer did to the wife and daughter.

Yet from the tone of the articles in the Saudi press, it seems that the mainstream Saudi opinion - including religious opinion - is that sorcery is real and a serious danger, which is why the Muttawa do not campaign against the reality of magic but against the practitioners.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"Honor killing" in Gaza

The father didn't just kill his 27-year old daughter for possibly talking to a man on the phone - he tortured her first:
On Thursday, 23 July 2009, Fadia Jawdat al-Najjar, 27, from Jabalya refugee camp was killed allegedly "to maintain family honor."

According to police sources in Jabalya, at approximately 09:30 on Friday morning, 24 July 2009, Jawdat al-Najar, from Jabalya, gave himself up to the police station in Jabalya. He confessed that he killed his daughter, Fadia, inside his home in a late hour on Thursday. He claimed that he found a mobile phone with his daughter and she was talking with someone, which he suspected as an illegitimate relation.

Sources of the forensic medicine department at Shifa Hospital reported that there were signs of torture throughout the victim's body, as well as a fracture in her skull due to her was hit by an iron chain.
This story did not hit the PalArab media until the PCHR wrote about it. In other words, a murder in Gaza was not even reported at the time it happened.

I wonder how many others I miss?

JPost gets it wrong

The Jerusalem Post has a story about a Hamas summer camp where the children are re-enacting the abduction of Gilad Shalit.

The photo looked familiar, and sure enough, I had published it back on June 4th, as a series of pictures on the commencement exercises of an apparent Islamic Jihad oriented school in Gaza (following an Islamic Jihad "arts festival.")

They very well might have been re-enacting Shalit's abduction, and Hamas summer camps very possibly do that too, but it just shows that the Jerusalem Post is sometimes sloppy in its material.

Afternoon Arab news

Lots of interesting items:

A book was published in Beirut on the history of Jerusalem that claims that Jerusalem was never really that important to Jews.

Hamas again said they would not let Fatah members leave Gaza to attend the Fatah conference next week, proving again who holds the keys to the "open air prison."

Arabs are freaked out over Jews "storming" the Temple Mount to perform the dreaded "religious rites."

A top Islamic Jihad sheikh says that Arab victory over the Jews is imminent. One of its top leaders said that terrorism is the way that they will prevail.

In Saudi Arabia, a mother is quite upset that the Muttawa approached her daughter for being in a car with a boy - who was her brother.

A former major Pakistani official is saying that he is being demonized politically by Jews. You know, all those Jews in Pakistan.

"Free Gaza" admits it supports terrorism

In a long, rambling article on the Free Gaza website, Ramzi Kysia (one of Free Gaza's leaders) shows that he and his movement really do support Palestinian Arab terror. He is careful to say that not all terror is good, but he all but says that some suicide bombings are.

Here are some excerpts:

On the Right of Resistance

We are often told that resistance is either unwarranted or impossible. Liberal apologists for Israel, such as Thomas Friedman, are constantly demanding that Palestinians lay down their arms, all the while exhorting Israelis to pick them up in ever increasing acts of violence and degradation.

...But even mainstream “peace” movements in the West try to delegitimize resistance by calling on both Palestinians and Israelis to renounce overt acts of violence, equating Palestinians who commit suicide bombings with Israelis who send F-16s, D9 military bulldozers, and Apache attack helicopters to level entire neighborhoods.

The problem is that the usually random and individual acts of violence by Palestinians against Israelis are not equal to the myriad structural oppressions and cruelties imposed on Palestinians through Israeli government policies. No Palestinian fighter jets bomb Israeli cities - because Palestine has no fighter jets....

Even immoral and self-defeating acts of violence against Israeli civilians (such as some suicide bombings are) cannot be equated with the daily humiliations, terror, and death that Israel inflicts on Palestinians by deliberate policy.

This is not to say that any and all acts of resistance are acceptable. Clearly they are not. But it grows tedious to continually hear well-meaning, but otherwise clueless, Westerners try to equate the two sides of this conflict. I am past tired of hearing white people passively whine, or shrilly demand, “Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?”

With respect, just because some people have chosen to remain ignorant of the long and deep history of Palestinian nonviolent resistance - from the 1936 Boycott to Bil’in today - does not mean that it does not exist.
The "non-violent" 1936 boycott was a three-year reign of terror killing many hundreds of people - mostly Arabs killing other Arabs, although they killed many Jews in that timeframe as well. In Bil'in today, some of the "nonviolent" protests include slinging large rocks at the heads of Israelis at high speed. This is what Kysia considers "non-violent."

But far worse is the fact that he is legitimizing "some" suicide bombings, probably every single rocket attack and a myriad of other deliberate attacks by Arabs against Israelis as being a "right." The Free Gaza movement is now explicitly condoning terrorism by Palestinian Arabs, using the logic that what Israel does is worse and therefore killing Israeli civilians is (sometimes) a praiseworthy endeavor. And he is upset that some people want both sides to stop violence.

There are of course multiple layers of illogic, absurdities and lies in this article, but the important point is that now we can say that Free Gaza, like the ISM that spawned it, is in no way, shape or form a "peace" movement. While it might not support its own members using violence, it welcomes Arabs to do all the violence against Israeli civilians that they think is needed. Additionally, Kysia has proven that when Free Gaza talks about "resistance," it is referring to violence no less than it is referring to non-violence.

Morning PalArab (and other) news 7-27-09

Remember the explosion last week of a Hezbollah weapons stockpile in Lebanon? Well, the moderate Lebanese government blames it on...Israel, saying that they were Zionist weapons, left behind in Lebanon for some inexplicable reason.

Minister Louis Farrakhan called Michael Jackson a victim of Zionist leaders, the US government and the media.

Three more bodies were found from a tunnel explosion in Rafah over the weekend.

An Arab columnist slammed Arab governments, pointing out that the PA has been building institutions and trying to do what's necessary to build a state, and yet most of its aid comes from the West, while Arab leaders give money instead to Gaza and Lebanon. He argues that a Palestinian Arab state must be economically viable and that Arab governments have been ignoring it.

Hamas says that a Hamas member who was tortured in PA prisons has died in a hospital in Jordan.

Hamas sponsored a wedding for 500 couples, in Damascus.

In a classic example of a tempest in a teapot, Shimon Peres said last week that Zionist pioneer Zeev Jabotinsky was "largely incorrect," giving as an example his desire to see a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan. Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin responded by saying that "Jabotinsky was not wrong, Mr. President. He is relevant today more than any other time in our nation's history," but not saying anything about Zionist aims on the East Bank. Today, Jordanian parliament members are calling on freezing the peace treaty with Israel because of Rivlin's comments.

The 2009 PalArab self-death count rises to 125; if there is indications that the Hamas member was really tortured it will go up again.

UPDATE: Two more bodies from the same tunnel; 127.
UPDATE 2: Paltoday has a total death toll of 7 from the tunnel. 128.

A distinguished nutcase visits the Elder

Only a couple of hours after my post about Leuren Moret and her insanity, she visits the blog herself with what can only be described as a classic comment that cements everything I wrote about her. First, her comment in its entirety:
Like radiation, Zionism respects no religion, no borders, and no socioeconomic class - both radiation and Zionism burn and destroy everything they touch. There are Christian Zionists, Islamic Zionists, Zionist Jews, Zen Zionists, Zoroastrian Zionists, Gnostic Zionists, Rastafarian Zionists, male and female Zionists, and Zionists in every nation. Zionism is about money... period. Zionists are those who follow and practice the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and the 1822 Secret Treaty of Verona written by Metternich of Austria. Weapons of Mass Destruction are for the Zionists to carry out their agenda of FAMINE, DEPOPULATION, LANDGRABS, COLONIZATION, STERILIZATION, AND OTHER CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES... It's about money.
What seems to have upset our esteemed Ms. Moret is that I wrote that the object of her hate was Jews, not Zionists.

So her response to my saying she hates Jews starts off by saying that there are Zionists of every religion that cause her to blabber incoherently, not only the Jewish ones. And her defense of this theory is - The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the most notorious anti-Jewish tract ever written!

But...read more of her incoherent ramblings and you can see how the twisted recesses of her mind work:
The treaty was signed by Metternich for Austria, Chateaubriand for France, Bernstet for Prussia, and by Nesselrode for Russia, on November 22, 1822, at Verona.

Basically this was a Zionist treaty, enforcing the principles embodied in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The definition of a Zionist would therefore be a person who prescribes [sic] to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and supports the body of social rules that include genocide, as well as other diabolical and illegal practices. Technologies have been developed such as mind control, gangstalking, and other methods of political control, used to enforce Zionist behaviors in the work force and all arenas of life. These principles and cultural and social practices have been designed to benefit the permanent International War Crimes Racketeering Organization known as the Zionist Anglo-American Economic Empire… the international financiers.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were later discredited by Russian Zionists and intelligence operatives, but they were the very same agents who carried out the Bolshevik Revolution, Famine in the Ukraine 1932-33, and the extermination of 70 million Christian ethnic Russians… all Zionist practices embodied in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
So Moret is pretending that when she says "Zionist" she really means "those who are part of the nefarious Jewish plot to take over the world" - and therefore she cannot possibly be considered anti-Jewish!

And her proof that the Protocols are legitimate is because the people that discredited them were all a part of the conspiracy defined in them, so therefore (by something that logicians would call "WTF?") the Protocols must be real!

So, Lauren, since in your worldview I am All-Powerful, my gift to you is to use my incredible powers of mind control to direct you to go to your nearest qualified psychologist to get you some help. Of course, you will think deep down that the psychologist is a Zionist herself, so you will resist these attempts to salvage your life - after all, by definition, anyone who thinks you are insane is part of my plot - but, hey, I control your mind to begin with so you can't really be sure if your thoughts are really your own, or if perhaps the "Zionists" are planting these thoughts into your head in order to make you write them down and therefore look really stupid, marginalizing you as an opponent to our plans for world domination and thus allowing the Zionist leaders with our big hook-noses to continue with our greedy, diabolical plots! The beauty of what I'm writing is that it has a self-consistency that cannot be disproven, so therefore it must be true!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Zionists control the weather!

I just came across another of the usual nutty anti-semitic articles in Pakistan Daily where they claim that Zionists have a plan to depopulate the world with depleted uranium. It quotes one Leuren Moret:
Leuren Moret is a US expert on radiation and public healthcare. In her 2007 interview, she said: “The leadership in the US, the Congress, the White House, and the Pentagon have been taken over by a shadow government – that shadow from Wall Street and the city of London. The US is bankrupt and is being carved up like a turkey by the globalists. Europe is too… the US government nuked its own people with atomic bomb testing, nuclear power plants, and now depleted uranium…..So it is very clear that depleted uranium weaponry is being used for the purpose of depopulation in the Middle East, Central Asia, Lebanon, Yugoslavia… and these areas of course are rich in mineral resources that the Zionist Anglo-American economic empire wants to control. ... The Zionist Anglo-American banking establishment is an international permanent war economy, a war crimes racketeering syndicate, the most vicious and ruthless in the history of the world: once again, they are the greedy bankers of the Wall Street and the city of London, and let’s include the British throne which will soon crown a Rothschild as king….”
Moret herself found this article at the Pakistan newspaper and commented on it:
Excellent article and just precisely what the Zionists are carrying out – global depopulation.
What are Moret's qualifications as an expert on these issues? According to her Wikipedia entry, a bachelors in geology and a masters in Near East Studies. And she claims to have worked at Lawrence Livermore labs for a few years, although it is unclear if she did any scientific work whatsoever.

She has already been exposed as a fraud for her claims about birth defects in Gulf War veterans, especially as she refuses to abandon her claims after they have been disproven.

But it seems that her vitriol about that world Joooo conspiracy is not limited to merely wanting to destroy the world food supply and radiate the planet. No, the evil Joooos are up to something even more sinister, as this interview of her from last year shows:
HAARP: ZIONIST SCIENCE

by Leuren Moret

If you are wondering about strange weather, we haven't seen anything yet... the Zionist environmental weapons are being rolled out. The citizens of the world are engaged in a global war with their own institutions. Our children are the real target of wars now.

The greatest weapons system in the history of humanity is now in play - HAARP. First man discovered chemical energy and developed weapons such as gunpowder. Then man discovered nuclear energy and developed atomic bombs.

Now man has discovered electromagnetic energy and developed HAARP, an undeclared global electromagnetic war. It is the utlimate weapon of the global Zionist conspiracy and it must be stopped:

ROGUE OCEAN WAVES documented Jan. 1, 1995 the year HAARP was turned on.

200 Supercargo ships have disappeared in the oceans without a trace in
the past 20 years. BBC report: 5 ships a week now are disappearing.

TECTONIC EVENTS triggered by HAARP:

Kobe earthquake 1995 - bankrupted (the Queen's) Barings Merchant bank,
City of London;
Military excuse to put seismic (surveillance) network around Taiwan
and Japan

Sumatra earthquake 2004 - Military excuse to put seismic (surveillance)
network around Indian Ocean and shipping lanes for Asia's energy to
come from Israel
- US/UK gas pump for Asian countries cut off from
central Asian pipelines

China earthquake 2008 - causing flooding and starvation; chaos before
Olympics; tremendous cost of disaster to China economy

WEATHER MODIFICATION - Hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, storms by heating
sea surface just 1 degree

Hurricane Katrina 2005 - attempt to implement landgrab in New Orleans
Black Sea Storm 2007 - environmental devastation of Black Sea created
at UK HAARP facility at Aquiteria, CYPRUS, as payback for Putin's
pipelines to Italy and southern Europe

Myanmar cyclone 2008 - flooded Myanmar one week before the rice
harvest; Myanmar produces more rice than the US, engineered famine
Iowa storms 2008 - destruction of major corn and soy crops, will drive
meat and dairy prices up in US, famine agenda in US
So when we joke around saying that we Jews are responsible for earthquakes, floods and global warming - people actually already believe it!

Even funnier, is that Ms. Moret has (claimed to have?) testified as an expert witness to various international committees and to have contributed to UN reports, which just goes to show that if you call yourself an expert, people tend to believe you, no matter how much of a quack you may be.

Egypt seizes 18,000 Viagra pills meant for Gaza

Palestine Press Agency reports on Egyptian officials seizing some 18,000 Viagra pills that were destines to be smuggled to Gaza in the Rafah tunnels.

I guess that the Israeli blockade really does leave Hamas impotent!

UPDATE 1: But don't blame Egypt....they were just trying to make sure that life in Gaza isn't so hard.

Frequent Flyer open thread

I am traveling today and will not be posting much more for a while.

Meanwhile, feel free to shoot the breeze.

Today's PalArab news 7-26-09

One more man killed in a smuggling tunnel collapse in Rafah.

Hamas' Interior Minister, who succeeded Said Siyam, vowed to hunt down all "collaborators." His predecessor was probably pinpointed by one of them, so he is saying he wants to make sure he doesn't end up dead.

The PCHR condemned Hamas' insistence that female lawyers in Gaza wear the hijab and jilbab.

One of the more popular, and extreme, PalArab English-language commentators thinks that the claims that Abbas and Dahlan plotted to assassinate Arafat are quite believable.

The Abu Rish Brigades of Fatah say they believe the claims about Abbas and Dahlan.

Hamas' minister of justice says he is ready to put anyone accused of assassinating Arafat on trial in Gaza.

The Sixth Fatah Conference is going to be a zoo!

Hamas is still threatening to stop Gaza Fatah members from attending the Fatah conference on August 4th, unless the PA releases a bunch of Hamas members from prison. In a hilarious response, PM Fayyad said that he doesn't have the power to do that, because the judicial system of the PA is completely independent of the legislative and executive divisions. It took him ten minutes to get that sentence out with a straight face. Fatah did say that the conference will go on without the Gaza members.

Also, Marwan Barghouti will nominate himself to the Fatah central committee from his jail cell in Israel.

The 2009 PalArab self-death count is now at 122.

Islamic Jihad's memorial parade!

Islamic Jihad held a rally in Khan Younis to memorialize the "martyrs" of Gaza, and it is everything you'd expect it to be. Here are only a few of the many pictures that Palestine Today published, with my own captions:

"He went that-away!" "No, he went that-away!"

"We protect our children with RPGs! Even Americans can't say that!"

Coca Cola - the official soft drink of Islamic Jihad.

"The enemy will not withstand our secret snake dance!"


Of course, ushers are needed to shoot any in the audience who spills popcorn.

The amount of ammunition is in inverse proportion to the size of ....

Target practice!

Five elite members of Islamic Jihad take aim at a particularly irritating fly.

And the fans go wild!


"Yeah, I'm covering my face on the hottest day of the summer. Make fun of me and I shoot."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Work accident!

Two Hamas members were killed in yet another "work accident" on Friday night in a "jihad mission" in central Gaza, Hamas announced.

The statement identified the victims as members of the Al-Qassam Brigades Osama Kamal Nabaheen and Bakr Jamal Nabaheen from Al-Bureij Camp.

Hamas announced deathd of the two activists over loudspeakers calling on Gaza residents to participate in their funeral processions on Saturday.
The 2009 PalArab self-death count is now at 121.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Saudi Arabia mulls minimum age for marriage

The good news:
A new law on child marriage from the Ministry of Justice which currently has the issue under study may set the legal age of marriage at 18 while also imposing greater restrictions on persons permitted to authorize the marriage of minors.
OK, the two clauses are slightly contradictory but any way you look at it, the number of sickening marriages of pre-teens to men triple their age in Saudi Arabia would be reduced.

The bad news:
Lawyer Adnan Al-Zahrani was quoted as saying in the report that guardians – the fathers - were permitted to marry off a minor of either sex and could contract marriage for their daughters even at the age of one. Al-Zahrani said that when girls reached the age of puberty they were permitted to choose whether to accept or reject a marriage contract.
At the age of ONE???

Today's PalArab news 7-24-09

Here are some interesting items I didn't get to this week....

A number of English-language stories came out about Jordan revoking Palestinian Arabs' citizenship. I mentioned that last month.

The current Mufti of Jerusalem condemned the publication of photos of the former Mufti talking with Hitler, saying it was "published out of context and was meant to incite violence against Palestinians." Actually, the context couldn't be clearer - his predecessor was a rabid anti-semite, terrorist leader, Nazi sympathizer and war criminal, and the current Mufti is defending him.

Maariv is quoted as saying that UNRWA head John Ging was threatened by Hamas and forced to flee Gaza. UNRWA denies it.

Children and the elderly are being discouraged from attending Hajj this year, as there is a fear that swine flu would spread among the millions descending to Mecca.

The An Nasser Brigades took credit for shooting "projectiles" towards Israeli forces near Gaza.

The Arabic press is again a-twitter over "far right" Jews visiting the Temple Mount again, which is of course "provocative." (In other articles it is described as "storming.")

Hamas now requires female lawyers to cover their hair and (apparently) wear veils in the courtroom.

Next year Mahmoud Abbas is expected to step down as "president" of the PA and Hamas plans to try to take over the position.

The Amazing Double Martyrs

Ma'an published an exclusive story detailing the "fact" that there are still many missing people from the Gaza operation presumed to be under rubble that has not been cleared.

While it is possible that there are still bodies in the rubble, Ma'an wants to add these missing people to the casualty count, to pad the total number killed. Even though the PCHR's list has 1314 people (of whom a few are duplicates of each other,) and the Palestinian Ministry of Health's list has 1352, Ma'an says"
At least 1,505 victims had been identified before Ma'an's investigation. From the Health Ministry's original list of 90 missing Palestinians, researchers determined that 31 of them have been found, identified and reburied.

The 59 Palestinians still thought to be missing are listed below, in order of age, along with the cities or areas in Gaza where they were last seen alive.

1. In'am Ra'fat Al-Masri, 12, Ash-Shati Refugee Camp
2. Abed Ar-Rahman Ahmad Al-A'tawnah, 15, Al-Faloja
3. Jihan Sami Al-Helu, 17, Al-Karama Tower
4. Ahmad Yousef Ibrahim Al-Batsh, 18, At-Tuffah
5. Sabrin Mohammed Abu Samaha, 18, Beit Lahiya
6. Jebreel A'teiyah Mansour (Abu Al-Hasna), 18, Ezbat Abed Rabu
7. Husein Sa'eed Abdallah An-Nuthur, 20, Ezbat Abed Rabu
...
The list of missing people is most interesting. Taking the first six of them, these "missing" people are already listed as killed by both PCHR and the PMoH.

As PTWatch noticed,
Maan #1 = PCHR #1372
Maan #2 = PCHR #1377
Maan #3 = PCHR #516
Maan #4 = PCHR #506
Maan #5 = PCHR #466
Maan #6 = PCHR #827

When I looked at the PMoH Arabic list I saw

Maan #1=PMoH #290
Maan #2=PMoH #54
Maan #3=PMoH #215
Maan #4=PMoH #73
Maan #5=PMoH #83
Maan #6=PMoH #792
Maan #7=PMoH #794

The pattern seems clear: these "missing" people have already been counted as dead for months.

I'm not certain about how much information is shared between the Gaza and Ramallah health ministries, but almost certainly Ramallah got its information from Gaza - and it includes where these "missing" people were killed, as does PCHR.

It sounds like the Gaza MoH and Ma'an are trying to pad the list of "martyrs" by counting dozens of people twice. Perhaps this is how the number of "martyrs" has gone up by nearly 200 since the war ended (the number who succumbed to injuries since the PCHR and PMoH lists were compiled that were reported in the Arabic press has been extremely low; I don't think I have seen more than five.)

Perhaps these "double martyrs" will qualify for 140 virgins now!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Arab News has classic anti-semitic article

Here are excerpts of the article, by Jeff Gates, subtly titled How Israel lobby controls US:
The influence-peddling process works like this. Candidates are summoned for in-depth AIPAC interviews. Those found sufficiently committed to Israel’s agenda are provided a list of donors likely to “max out” their campaign contributions. Or the process can be made even easier when AIPAC-approved candidates are given the name of a “bundler.”

Bundlers raise funds from the Diaspora and bundle those contributions to present them to the candidate. No quid pro quo need be mentioned. After McCain-Feingold became law in 2003, AIPAC-identified bundlers could raise $1 million-plus for AIPAC-approved candidates simply by contacting 10 like-minded supporters. Here’s the math:

The bundler and spouse “max out” for $9,200 and call 10 others, say in Manhattan, Miami, and Beverly Hills. Each of them max out ($10 x $9,200) and call 10 others for a total of 11. (111 x $9,200 = $1,021,200.)

Wow, Jeff Gates has discovered geometric progression! But why did he stop there? Each of the hundred can call ten more, and each of them can call ten more - and AIPAC would have not a mere million, but a hundred million dollars! How stupid those Jews are to stop at a mere million! And how stupid the goyim must be (besides Gates himself, of course) for not realizing how easy it is to make trillions of dollars by just adding to the pyramid!

But it gets better, as Gates drops the pretense of talking about Zionists and gets to those he really can't stand:

Of the Forbes 400 richest Americans, 25 percent are Jewish according to Michael Steinhardt, a key funder of the Democratic Leadership Council. The DLC was led by Jewish Zionist Sen. Joe Lieberman when he resigned in 2000 to run as vice president with pro-Israeli presidential candidate Al Gore.

Money was never a constraint. Pro-Israeli donors were limited only by how much they could lawfully contribute to AIPAC-screened candidates. McCain-Feingold raised a key limit. The full impact of this foreign influence has yet to be tallied. What’s known, however, is sufficient to apply the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Of the top 50 neoconservatives who advocated war in Iraq, 26 were Jewish (52 percent).

...To buy time on the public’s airwaves, money raised from the Israel lobby’s network is paid to media outlets largely owned or managed by members of the same network.

Yet Gates never quite explains how the vast majority of Jews managed to vote for the candidate that was against the Iraq war, or how the current administration of Zionist-owned America is now making larger demands on Israel than at any time since 1956.

But Jeff Gates doesn't need logic. He has a ready audience willing to drink up his dripping Jew-hatred - in Saudi Arabia's Arab News, as well as Middle East Online,

A Middle East political anecdote

Plans are underway for the first Fatah conference in twenty years to be held in Bethlehem in August.

One of the problems, though, is a question about whether Hamas and Israel will allow Fatah members from Gaza to attend. Israel has said it would study the matter.

Hamas, however, arrested some of the Fatah members slated to go to the conference, and one PA leader said that Hamas is the only obstacle to the conference right now.

Meanwhile, PA negotiator and serial liar Saeb Erekat met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki over the weekend. He wanted to meet with Israel's security chief Uzi Arad to talk about whether Israel will give permission for Gaza Fatah members to travel to Bethlehem, and Arad turned him down because of Israel's displeasure that its "peace partner" was meeting with a country committed to destroying Israel.

Now, Mahmoud Abbas has already said that he would not have any peace negotiations with Israel until there is a complete halt to all construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. This doesn't mean that Israeli and PA officials don't meet on other matters all the time, but that fact is not publicized very much.

So when the Israeli newspapers had headlines that Arad refused to meet with Erekat, it looked to the Palestinian Arabs like Erekat was a liar when he said that he wouldn't meet any Israelis for peace talks.

Instead of explaining that he anted to talk to Israelis to get the Fatah members out of Gaza for the conference, Erekat instead denied a story that never happened. He said that he never asked to meet with any Israeli teams for peace negotiations. That is true, but he made it sound like he was denying wanting to meet Israeli officials altogether, which is not true at all.

This way, Erekat plays to his audience, publicly showing off his intransigence, and implying that Arad is a liar, when in fact he is being purposefully deceptive secure in his knowledge that no Palestinian Arab reporter will call him on it.

Here's a story that shows a more accurate picture about Israel, the PA, Hamas and even Iran than the MSM ever covers. The simplistic story lines that Israel is running a "prison" in Gaza when Hamas is often the one keeping people in, that the PA is "moderate" even as they meet with Iran, that Erekat is flexible even as he brags in Arabic about how he will never compromise with Israel and won't even talk to Israelis, all to save face - this is what really happens. People who don't understand these multiple layers of what is happening will never get it.

Islamist territorial goals, illustrated

Recently, radical Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir held a rally in Gaza, drawing hundreds of people.


One of the speakers had an interesting presentation:

Now, it is well known that Hizb ut-Tahrir calls for the establishment of a unified Islamic caliphate. But what exactly would its borders be?

It seems we have the answer:
Greece, Spain, Albania, Romania, all appear to be Muslim territory according to HuT.

Not to mention China.

"Moderate" Fatah doesn't recognize Israel, supports terror

From YNet:
As the Fatah movement prepares for its upcoming leadership convention, a senior group member says the event will be used to display Fatah's commitment to the armed struggle against Israel.

Preparations for the convention, scheduled for August 4, are in full force at this time. During a series of preliminary meetings ahead of the event, senior Fatah official Rafik al-Natsheh said that the group will not be recognizing Israel.

'We will maintain the resistance option in all its forms and we will not recognize Israel," he said. "Not only don't we demand that anyone recognize Israel; we don't recognize Israel ourselves. However, the Palestinian Authority government is required to do it, or else it will not be able to serve the Palestinian people."

"I am certain that we will hinder all the traitors who wish to remove the resistance option from the movement's charter," Natsheh added.
The Palestinian Authority (as it stands today) is dominated by Fatah, that "moderate" alternative to Hamas.

al-Natsheh is admitting that the PA has to pretend to have peaceful intentions for political reasons, but in reality there is no change - Fatah is just as radical as Hamas, albeit less religious.

Fatah's constitution still calls for:
Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.
The only way to change that would be during this upcoming conference. That doesn't look likely.

Some people, including Israelis,
tend to say that the Fatah charter is irrelevant since it is subsumed under the PLO which has recognized Israel. But if Fatah is so irrelevant, why is this upcoming Fatah conference considered such a big deal to Mahmoud Abbas (who is the leader of Fatah as well)? Would it not be reasonable to ask him if Fatah is irrelevant?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Saudi Vice, episode 28: Don't brag about sex


Mazen Abdul Jawad is a hip, modern kind of Arab guy. He is macho and proud of it. So proud, that we went on Lebanese TV to brag about his sexual conquests. As Arab News reports:

Mazen Abdul Jawad appeared on the program last week in a red button-down shirt and open collar bragging in graphic detail about his sexual conquests.

In the segment, Abdul Jawad talks about having slept with a neighbor when he was only 14 and how this got him interested in sex. After discussing sex and foreplay in graphic detail and providing a recipe for an aphrodisiac, Abdul Jawad is seen getting into his vehicle at night on a Jeddah street.

“It all starts with turning my Bluetooth on while cruising around in my car,” he tells the camera.

Our heroes, the Saudi Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, sprang into action. How dare a Saudi man go on TV and brag about the women he scored with?
Ahmad Qasim Al-Ghamdi, director of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice for Makkah, told Arab News that speaking so openly about vice is a punishable offense and that everyone involved with the broadcast is culpable.

“It is wrong to host people on television to speak publicly about vice and issues against our religion,” he said. “The program presents anomalies and deviancy in society that are unacceptable and immoral and should be punished according to Shariah.”

For Abdul Jawad to be punished on the basis of admitting to pre-marital sex he would have to confess in a court-approved manner.

However, speaking publicly about vice is also a punishable offense. Both offenses are subject to lashing and/or jail time at the discretion of the court.
The world is a little safer now, thanks to our heroes at the Muttawa!

Prominent Christian attacked in Gaza

Palestine Press Agency reports that Constantine Dabbagh, executive director in Gaza of the Middle East Council of Churches Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees, was attacked along with his wife on Tuesday morning in his house.

The three masked intruders handcuffed the 70-year old man and his wife, ransacked his house looking for "radio transmitters and gold."