Johann Hari: The loathsome smearing of Israel’s critics

Examples like this is why I get such a kick out of the complaints about the supposedly inordinate influence of CAIR and Muslims in general in American politics. As if Muslims can generate a fraction of the heat constantly unleashed by all these pro-Israeli pressure groups.But frank discussions of the predations against open debate by the imaginary yet curiously powerful and visible Israeli Lobby is to traffic in conspiracy theories, so I'll shut up. Conspiracy theories about pro Israeli pressure … [Read more...]

Tikun Olam on Hamas & the “destruction of Israel” canard

Richard Silverstein over at Tikun Olam posted a gutsy debunking of the latest "evidence" being held by war-mongerers up as proof of Hamas (and, by unspoken but unmistakable extension, all who support the Palestinian right to self-defense) being frothing at the mouth with genocidal anti-Jew hatred. This kind of hysterical and offensively dehumanizing rhetoric is not only misleading and dis-informative vis-a-vis the realities on the ground in the conflict, but highly counterproductive to … [Read more...]

The emperors will never realize they’re naked

so long as their tutors have a vested interest in them remaining so. Perhaps this isn't an entirely fair association given how Prince Alwaleed happens unlike so many of his kith and kin at the top of Saudi society to be cosmopolitan, reform-minded and professionally accomplished in the real world, but for me this picture from an article on his even-by-gazillionaire-standards extravagant purchase of a jumbo jet  (CNN: "Airbus: Prince buys flying palace", found via Muse's … [Read more...]

Khaleeji Consumption Disorder and other postcolonial malaises

There is something profoundly disturbing about the way a few of the more "modern" nationlets of the Gulf seem to frantically write out lavish checks  to prove themselves to their former colonial masters and new geopolitical patrons.  You name it--if it's a sign of prestige in the eyes of Westerners, they rush out to buy it, it seems. To the extent of the absurdity bribing African athletes to temporarily become their citizens and run for them in the Olympics. I have no doubt that some of these … [Read more...]

The eerie familiarity of Ehud Olmert’s problems

Doesn't this report about embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert have an eerily familiar ring to post-9/11 American ears? IPS : Peter Hirshberg - Noose Tightens Around Olmert It [a government report] accused him of going to war "hastily", of lacking a "detailed military plan", and of "a serious failure in exercising judgment, responsibility and prudence." Political leaders, public figures and most of the country's leading columnists have repeatedly called on the prime minister to resign. … [Read more...]

Israeli use of “human shields”

Only Arabs and Muslims are so cowardly and barbaric as to stoop to using civilians as human shields, right?  Wrong.BBC NEWS - Israel 'human shield' suspension The Israeli army says it has suspended a commander after the unit he led was accused of using Palestinians as human shields in a West Bank raid. Amateur video footage shot earlier this week showed Israeli soldiers apparently forcing Palestinians to stand in front of their armoured jeep.And before we write this off as an aberration, … [Read more...]

The West Side Story…set in the West Bank!

Haven't seen it yet, but this looks promising. I was sold as soon as I saw the tagline! "A little singing, a little dancing, a lot of hummus."  West Bank Story A musical comedy set in the fast-paced, fast-food world of competing falafel stands in the West Bank... David, an Israeli soldier, falls in love with the beautiful Palestinian cashier, Fatima, despite the animosity between their families' dueling restaurants. Can the couple's love withstand a 2000 year old conflict and … [Read more...]

Carter: Americans agree with me, not the MSM

I posted on about Jimmy Carter's claim at an event today ("Carter says majority in U.S. support views in book") that normal Americans share many of his concerns. || Carter: Americans share my concerns The article closes with an observation from  somebody on the other side of the issue."It seems from what he said today that Israel's occupation is at the root of the problem. But I would argue that Palestinian terrorism is at the root of the problem," … [Read more...]

WoPo online discussion of Wahhabism

You can submit questions ahead of time, or during the discussion. Should be interesting. Too bad he'll probably have to spend most of the time responding to idiotic neocon hysteria as opposed to talking about the real issues and historical factors.  The Rise of the Wahhabi Movement (The Washington Post) Monday, Feb. 5 at 11 a.m. ET The Rise of the Wahhabi Movement Professor Says Politics, Not Religion, Pushed Stringent Branch of Islam Khalid al-DakhilAssistant Professor of Sociology, King … [Read more...]

L.A. Eight vindicated

I just posted over at on the "L.A. Eight" case. || LA Eight's vindication a defeat for Islamophobia and victory for America Good news in the war on terror, bad news in the War Against Muslim Participation in American Life. A resounding blow has been struck for justice and rule of law in a decades old case of government-sanctioned pro-Israeli political persecution against American Arabs and Muslims.  The "LA 8" have finally been vindicated. A … [Read more...]