Archive for May, 2008

An Empty Package

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

By Jonathan Spyer

At this past Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert issued a public statement relating to the revived negotiations with Syria. The talks, the prime minister wished to assure us, were “serious” and would be conducted with “all due caution.” All the ingredients familiar from peace processes past were present in Olmert’s statement: the gravitas; the quiet sense that history is presenting us with a chance that must not be missed; the necessary discretion. However, in the manner now familiar from Olmert’s tenure as prime minister, what we were presented with was the form of something, without its content.

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The British are Coming: And They Still Want to Boycott Israeli Academics

Friday, May 30th, 2008

By Phyllis Chesler

The British are coming, the British are coming and if I could, so to speak, toss their tea into Boston (or Haifa) Harbor and ignite a revolutionary movement away from their poisonous influence, I would do so in a flash. Why are we ex-colonials still so enamored of the Mother Country? Americans love, love, love all the romantic movies about Queen Elizabeth, Virginia Woolf, and Jane Austen and we love Merchant-Ivory’s classy British celluloid countryside. Interestingly, the writer on their team, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, is a Jew from Czechoslavakia who escaped Hitler, grew up in England, married a Parsi, then lived in India for 20-30 years before moving to New York City. The vision of a stately, settled England attracts all those whom history has unsettled. And oh how we admire England’s savage, bracing wit and perhaps, how well the English language sounds when spoken with a British accent.

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UNRWA: Barrier to Peace

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

By Jonathan Spyer

Executive Summary: The United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) was created under the jurisdiction of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with the unique responsibility of solely aiding the Palestinians. Due to this special status, the UNRWA perpetuates, rather than resolves, the Palestinian refugee issue, and therefore serves as a major obstacle toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Like no other UN body, UNRWA’s definition of refugees includes not only the refugees themselves, but also their descendents. Moreover, refugees keep their status even if they have gained citizenship. UNRWA employs teachers affiliated with Hamas and allows the dissemination of Hamas messages in its schools. The Hamas coup in Gaza of July 2007 has resulted in a Hamas takeover of UNRWA facilities there. Therefore, UNRWA’s activities require urgent action. The Agency should be dissolved and its services transferred to more appropriate administering organizations.

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CAIR: Stereotyping Muslim Terrorists Wrong

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

By Andrew Whitehead

On May 23, the Seattle Times carried an article by religion reporter Janet Tu titled: “Does course on Islam give law enforcers wrong idea?”

Some local Muslims are apparently concerned that the program, “The Threat of Islamic Jihadists to the World”, conducted by Miami-based Security Solutions International (SSI), may promote stereotypes and ethnic/religious profiling.

Unsurprisingly, the Washington State chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) must rise to the defense of Islamic terrorists by implying that the program will somehow cause law enforcement officers to respond inappropriately when they come into contact with Muslims.

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Sex for Food, Oil for Food: Why Not? It’s the United Nations

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

By Phyllis Chesler

Save the Children, a civilian aid group, released a report today which confirmed that United Nations peacekeepers and civilian aid workers have continued to sexually abuse children in Ivory Coast, South Sudan, and Haiti. The UN peacekeepers, and in this instance, British charity aid workers, have been forcing children to have sex with them in return for food, water, and medicine. Brutal gang-rapes are also common.

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Syria isn’t Serious; Lebanon is

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

By Barry Rubin

Why is Israel negotiating with Syria and what happened in Lebanon? One of these events may be the Middle East’s most important development for 2008. Hint: it isn’t the first of them.

Let’s consider why the two sides are “negotiating” including the fact that they aren’t negotiating.

There isn’t going to be a deal. Both sides know it, yet have good reason to be seen talking, indirectly that is.

Start with six factors that account for Israeli government policy:

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CAIR: Islamists Masquerading as Moderate Muslims

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

By Andrew L. Jaffee

I worked with a Shiite Muslim for seven years, probably one of the best customers I’ve ever had. I avidly follow true moderate Muslim commentators like Fareed Zakaria, [1] Kamal Nawash, [2] Fouad Ajami, [3] and Mansoor Ijaz. [4] I hold democratically-elected Muslim leaders like President Megawati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia with the highest regard. So I find it disturbing that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a “media darling” claiming “itself as an advocate for Muslims’ civil rights and the spokesman for American Muslims” when it is indeed a Saudi-funded, Islamist front for whitewashing terrorism [7]. CAIR is far from moderate.

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The Fall of Lebanon

Monday, May 26th, 2008

By Barry Rubin

“If you have tears, prepare to shed them now…
Oh, what a fall was there…
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down.”

–William Shakespeare, “Julius Caesar,” Act 3, Scene 1.

May 21, 2008, is a date–like December 7 (1941) and September 11 (2001)–that should now live in infamy. Yet who will notice, mourn, or act the wiser for it?

On that day, the Beirut spring was buried under the reign of Hizballah.

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Staged Palestinian Hoaxes in the First Lebanon War or Telling the Truth Can Lead to More of Same

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

By Phyllis Chesler

It only takes one person.

If one person fights with all his might to tell the truth, (and today that person is Philippe Karsenty), if he or she risks everything to expose the Big Lie, takes on The Very Naked Emperor, then, one by one, others also start speaking out.

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The Hoax That Launched the Al-Aqsa Intifada: Mainstream Media Complicity and Silence

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

By Phyllis Chesler

IMG_0008b.JPG
An Historic Moment

Left to Right: Gilles Dreyfus, the author, and Philippe Karsenty at the author’s home.

The same mainstream media that ran front page photos of the Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Dura, allegedly being murdered in his father’s arms by Israeli soldiers–are, shamefully, not running any stories about the hard-won Karsenty decision in Paris.

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Karsenty Covered But Also Buried by The Times

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

By Phyllis Chesler

I have had it with the so-called “even handed” reportage that buries the truth in a barrage of lies. What, pray tell, am I talking about? While the online edition of the New York Times has actually covered Phillipe Karsenty’s legal victory, you’d never know it is a victory from reading the piece.

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CCD urges immediate action on eligibility of Qazi Hussain Ahmad to enter Canada

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Ottawa, CanadaThe Canadian Coalition for Democracies (CCD) is calling on the federal government to review the application for a Canadian visa by Mr. Qazi Hussain Ahmad, who has been invited to speak in Canada this weekend.

“Our research suggests that Qazi Hussain Ahmad is the name of a notorious Pakistani Islamist banned in 2007 from entering Egypt, and in 2004 from entering over 25 European countries for reasons of National Security,” said Alastair Gordon, President, CCD. “We have confirmed that a man by this name has been invited to speak at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) 34th annual convention endorsed by the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA Canada), and the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), and sponsored by Human Concern International (HCI).”

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Who Pays? New Study Considers Cost of Foreign Students

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

WASHINGTON (May 2008) – Lobbying groups frequently claim that foreign students are a benefit to America’s balance of payments, comparable to a booming export sector. For instance, the Institute for International Education (IIE) asserts that foreign students contributed a net $14.5 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2006-07 school year by paying for tuition and living expenses with resources from abroad, representing a net inflow of nearly $25,000 per year, every year, from the average foreign student.

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Is Turkey’s Government Starting a Muslim Reformation?

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

by Daniel Pipes*

Accounts from Turkey suggest that the government is attempting a bold re-interpretation of Islam.

Its unusually named ministry of religion, the “Presidency of Religious Affairs and the Religious Charitable Foundation,” has undertaken a three-year “Hadith Project” systematically to review 162,000 hadith reports and winnow them down to some 10,000, with the goal of separating original Islam from the accretions of fourteen centuries.

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“Stop the Israel Bashing in the Media and the Jews Will No Longer Be Hated:” An Interview with the Triumphant Phillipe Karsenty

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

By Phyllis Chesler

Newsflash: Read Karsenty’s own statment at Pajamas Media.

Well, our era’s Dreyfus has just been vindicated. Or, as an Israeli website would have it: “Pigs Fly Over the Eiffel Tower.” See my previous interview with Karsenty HERE.

A few hours ago, a French Appeals Court finally decided that Phillipe Karsenty did not libel Charles Enderlin of France’s Channel 2 in the matter of Mohammed Al-Dura. One wonders whether the world which was so eager to lap up the base, visual propaganda against Israel, will now just as eagerly lap up the truth. Somehow, I doubt it. Even if the world’s mainstream media now covers this legal victory widely, respectfully, and accurately, it may still not be able to reverse the revulsion towards Israel that this staged photo of the twelve year-old Mohammed al-Dura, (allegedly shot to death by Israeli soldiers), managed to provoke–and to keep on provoking as it was repeatedly aired, copied onto tee shirts, coffee mugs, posters, and banners at demonstrations.

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