Ahead of the Curve…
The exercise of power is determined by thousands of interactions between the world of the powerful and that of the powerless, all the more so because these worlds are never divided by a sharp line: everyone has a small part of himself in both - Vaclav Havel
Mind you, it’s still early days. 'Roger' at Richard Millett’s blog (‘If Carlsberg did sinking ships’):
I have not seen this vile tripe and it sounds like a nightmare to watch, unmitigated soul torture. The makers of The Promise clearly share with the Arabs the same love of mendacity and moral inversion. From what you describe, there is no doubt in my mind that these people are Jew haters through and through…..another characteristic they share with the Arabs.
Every single item on Press TV concerning the fledgling Arab renaissance (and there are many, with regular programming thoroughly disrupted since Egypt) is preceded by a screen declaring ‘Islamic Awakening’. We get a lot of Press TV commentators (increasingly regime sock puppets) trying frantically to put an Islamic spin on the proceedings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Jordan and Bahrain, while it’s plain to see for all that an Islamic or Islamist factor is almost completely absent in these uprisings/demonstrations.
While the enlightened world, that is European states, are slowly being conquered by Muslim immigrants […]
Angela ‘multiculti is dead’ Merkel got a little pissed off with the Dark Lord (of the Rings) of Mordor, apparently…
A senior German source said Netanyahu had called Merkel on Monday, following the American veto in the UN Security Council last Friday and Germany's vote in favor of the Palestinian proposal to condemn construction in West Bank settlements.…”the prime minister and his advisers are desperately looking for a way to jumpstart the peace process”: first he was trembling, now he’s shaking. Let’s hope it develops into a bad case of the bends…
The conversation between the two leaders was extremely tense and included mutual accusations and harsh statements, the official said.
Netanyahu told Merkel he was disappointed by Germany's vote and by Merkel's refusal to accept Israel's requests before the vote, the source added. Merkel was furious.
"How dare you," she said, according to the official. "You are the one who disappointed us. You haven't made a single step to advance peace."
The prime minister assured Merkel that he intended to launch a new peace plan that would be a continuation of his Bar-Ilan University speech, given in June 2009, in which he agreed to establishing a Palestinian state, the official revealed.
"I intend to make a new speech about the peace process in two to three weeks," Netanyahu told Merkel.
The German chancellor and her advisers, who have been repeatedly disappointed by Netanyahu's inaccurate statements and failure to keep promises, did not believe a word of what the prime minister told her, the source said.
Lybia’s burning but the numpties of the British pro-Zionist Eustonite ‘Left’ have found a new flap to rally around: an attempt to take a Zionist wrecking ball to the British Greens on account of these not having a ‘policy on antisemitism’. The project is an undertaking by the usual coterie of ‘centre Leftish’ bloggers that gravitate around Engage online and the Brown Sauce (Harry’s place), battle stations manned by wankers like Modernity Blog, BobfromBrockley, Joseph W and quite a few others. Being a fairly closed circle they’ve clearly swarmed in on their prey like a bunch Internaut MLMers on the latest Tinkerwebs quasi legal ponzi-scheme.
Given what is happening in the Green Party, Richard's piece is very timely. Greens Engage (yes, the Green off-shoot of Engage), had for some time, been making constant allegations of anti-semitism to Green Party members, including Caroline Lucas, attacking them publicly and leaking internal documents, no doubt to restrict criticism of and action against, Israel. Then I came along......(For ‘Richard’ and the ‘EUMC definition’, please consult this link (scroll to above the fold) which also contains the above comment)
Meanwhile, after putting a lot of pressure on the party, a body within the party, drafted a statement on anti-Semitism which was not yet ready, but leaked by Greens Engage.. Unfortunately, it was written by 2 people who are not up on the issues, and they had incorporated the EUMC definition into it. Those of us who are up on the issues, including several Jewish members, were up in arms. I then proposed a motion at our London meeting, that our representatives on this committee would vote against this statement and it was passed and then at their meeting, it was voted against. This is why Greens Engage is so angry and why Toby Green has resigned. Good riddance, I say!
H/T JsF, source.
Inspiration: Tikun Olam.
I don’t think that one has to go that far because at the end of the day, I don’t think the majority of Israelis want to see themselves responsible for the Palestinians. We do not want to control the Palestinian population. It’s unnecessary. What we do want is to care for our borders, for the Jewish settlements and for areas which are unpopulated and to have our security interests served well. But also to take under our responsibility these populations which, believe me, are not the most productive on earth, would become a burden. We want to relieve ourselves of the burden of the Palestinian populations - not territories. It is territory we want to preserve, but populations we want to rid ourselves of.Here, at about 8:30… Right little charmer, inne?
Well, well, well. It looks like the most stupid (and most dishonest) attempt at defining antisemitism since Moses, the so-called “European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia Working Definition of Antisemitism” is basically a goner.
It seems Richard ‘I’m not a Zionist’ Millett, ‘independent’ ‘journalist’ (he gets pieces published in ‘The Jewish News’ - The what? Never mind - apparently) and Press TV’s ‘Mr Hamas’ has finally arrived. Well, almost...
Here’s a Jeera columnist who’s articulated for the first time (that I know of) what I’ve been pondering for a few days now: that the ME’s tumultuous rebirth must surely spell an end to al Qaeda (at least in the ME) and its various affiliations, including some radicalised Muslim youths in our midst? Possibly reduced to a few diehard individuals, ETA-style, who’ll continue their struggle against the will of the people they claim to represent (a claim often supported by self-serving rightwing Western pundits)?
[…] as evidenced by the fact that America's two primary antagonists in the Middle East, al-Qaeda and the Iranian government, have seen their standing sink in proportion to the rise of the pro-democracy movements.From this op-ed by Mark Levine titled Here we go again: Egypt to Bahrain ,warmly recommended in its entirety.
In any war, cold or hot, propaganda is crucial, and here it is impossible to lose sight of the fact that al-Qaeda has had little if anything to say about the Egyptian revolution precisely because it was a massive non-violent jihad that succeeded miraculously where a decade of al-Qaeda blood and vitriol have miserably failed.
As for Iran, the government's rhetorical support for the Egyptian revolution while it continues to suppress its own democracy movement is clearly emptying the Iranian regime of any remaining credibility as an alternative to the US-dominated order.
Vancouver Sun, via Al Jazeera.
"It's no longer anecdotal," Burman [Tom Burman, formerly CBC – now Al Jazeera English's head of strategy for the Americas] told Postmedia News. "There is, empirically, a real amazing demand indicated by Americans and Canadians in how AJE is covering the story."
The surging demand for Al Jazeera English's service, he said, is still seen mainly in the click counts on stories at AJE's website and in activity at its online portal for streaming of the network's televised news coverage.
"The web traffic to Al Jazeera English -- particularly to its live-streaming -- jumped 2,500 per cent in the 48-hour period at the beginning of the Egyptian crisis, and that's mainly from North America," said Burman. "There have just been millions and millions of page views."
At the same time, said Burman, U.S. cable and satellite providers are being deluged with about 4,000 requests a day from subscribers seeking access to Al Jazeera English's broadcast coverage of the unfolding drama in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and elsewhere overseas.
"The great difference with Canadians is that it's actually already available in their homes," said Burman.
"What we're trying to do with Canadians is just kind of telling them that -- and that it really requires them to tell their cable or satellite company that they want it."
… rightly asks As’ad AbuKhalil.
The events currently shaking the Arab world "were ordained from above" by a guiding hand, Israel Defense Forces Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Naveh said on Sunday. Naveh added that the Israeli army needed faith in God now more than its supply of planes and tanks. [Careful what you wish for, Yair!]
According the WSJ: our thugs are better than their thugs…
The regime in Tehran—aptly described by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday as “a military dictatorship with a kind of theocratic overlay”—feels zero compunction or shame about repressing political opponents. Hosni Mubarak and Egypt’s military, dependent on U.S. aid and support, were susceptible to outside pressure to shun violence. Tehran scorns the West.
To put it another way, pro-American dictatorships have more moral scruples. The comparison is akin to what happened in the 1980s when U.S. allies led by authoritarians fell peacefully in the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan, even as Communist regimes proved tougher.
The months following Britain’s declaration of war on Germany at the beginning of WW II was a period of deceptive quiet, known as the ‘phoney war’. And although the Arab 21st century renaissance has only just begun it’s clear the possible scriptwriters of any more meaningful steps towards comprehensive peace in the Middle East in both Washington and Tel Aviv are still operating along the parameters of previous (and now largely obsolete) calculations.
The United States on Friday vetoed a draft U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory after the Palestinians refused to withdraw the Arab-drafted text.
The other 14 council members voted in favor of the draft resolution. But the United States, as one of the five permanent council members with the power to block any action by the Security Council, voted against it and struck it down.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told council members that the veto "should not be misunderstood to mean we support settlement activity." She added that the U.S. view is that Israeli settlements lack legitimacy.
But she said the draft "risks hardening the position of both sides" and reiterated the U.S. position that settlements and other contentious issues should be resolved in direct peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, speaking on behalf of Britain, France and Germany, condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank. "They are illegal under international law," he said.
"Hezbollah remembers the heavy beating they suffered from us in 2006, but it is not forever, and you may be called to enter again," Barak told the IDF soldiers, adding that "we must be prepared for every test."Zion's Mad Dog deterrency must be maintained at all cost, you see? And still they wonder why their country is considered a splinter through the Arab world...
In the face of great danger and the urgent need to… erm… ‘recalibrate’ its attitude to the Arab world and the ‘peace process’, the smallish super tanker that is Israel hasn’t even started turning the ship’s wheel for the necessary (unavoidable even) u-turn. For now it seems intent on steaming ahead, possibly slightly rudderless…
From Max Blumenthal (for useful links read via source/link):
One of the first serious pieces that dares articulate what so many of us have been thinking from the earliest days of Tahrir Square: Zionism in the era of the Arab Renaissance...
In the end McBarak wasn’t slain but resigned and fled to some resort in Egypt. May the Egyptian people at some point successfully prosecute the former tyrant and grant him his wish of dying on the soil of (an) Egypt(ian prison cell).
"As long as we had Mubarak, there was no void in our relations with the region. Now we're in big trouble," he said.
Israel, Mazel said, had many reasons for concern. "From a strategic point of view, Israel is now facing a hostile situation. It's over, there is no one left to lead the pragmatic, moderate state."
[Still holding on to the old linguistic paradigm, eh Mazel? Dictators/repressive regimes/whatever in the service of t’Empire are… moderate??? My edit]
Mazel said it could take time before a new government was established in Egypt.
"The familiar governmental framework of the past 30 years has dissolved, and it will take a year or two or three before a new regime rises to power.
"The next stage is disbanding parliament, as the people won't accept a parliament based on fraud, and holding new elections. Naturally, the opposition will also want to run in these elections and will ask for a longer period of time to gain recognition. The Muslim Brotherhood will take action as well, of course."
"It's over, Egypt is no longer a superpower," former Israeli Ambassador to Cairo Zvi Mazel told Ynet. "Egypt has completely lost its status in the area, […]."
The colonialist arrives to the new land with a closed fist, as if to say, "this is all mine," but will leave with an open palm, as if to say "I took nothing with me," not even wisdom.
Suleiman, pimped by many like Martin Indyk as the reformer who’ll bring democracy to Egypt, in 2005:
Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman promised Israel in 2005 that he would prevent Hamas from gaining control over Gaza, according to a US diplomatic cable released on Friday.
According to the cable, which was leaked to WikiLeaks and published by Norweigan newspaper Aftenposten, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry’s Diplomatic-Security Bureau, secretly visited Suleiman, then the head of Egyptian intelligence, in September 2005. Gilad then reported on the visit to US diplomats in Tel Aviv.
Gilad and Suleiman discussed their common fear of Hamas winning the Palestinian elections set for January 2006.
Suleiman said to Gilad: “There will be no elections in January. We will take care of it.”
Suleiman did not elaborate as to how Egypt would stop the elections.
The US embassy in Tel Aviv wrote that Suleiman opposes Hamas because of fears that Islamic leadership in Gaza will strengthen the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
At Richard Millett's (who? Start pissing yourself now: a blogger who calls himself ‘not a Zionist’ and an ‘independent’ ‘journalist’ – don’t give up the day job just yet, Rich – the prose still reads as if you had to carve it in stone first):
Jews have a historical right to return. After x,000 years… [my edit]
Dammit, and still he refuses to go…
This so-called stability encompasses millions of Arabs living under criminal regimes and evil tyrannies.
This morning and tomorrow the House committee on Foreign Affairs is holding hearings on Egypt. The committee is now chaired by Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, an Israel hardliner. But the ranking minority member, Howard Berman, presumably had a hand in this too. The two Israel lobbyists are Robert Satloff of the thinktank started by AIPAC and Elliott Abrams (a Jewish nationalist who has written that Jews must stand apart from any society they are in except Israel). The other rightwinger is Craner, who works for a Republican institute and I'm told has the usual Israel fervor.
Cantor’s older brother, Stuart, is on the board of the congregation and of Richmond’s sole Jewish day school; in 2002, Stuart and his wife, Joan, also helped sponsor the annual dinner of the One Israel Fund, which provides aid for Jewish families living in the West Bank.
I’m thinking of turning my project of penitence – to write “I was SO WRONG about ‘Obama for President’!” 10,000 times with a dunce cap on my stupid head – into a charity sponsored run, with the proceeds going to the Egyptian people…
Uri Avnery on Egypt, Camp David and real peace:
H/T Phil Weiss.
Why this Obama administration is destined to make a fateful mistake in its Middle East policies
Up to the Carter administration, there were Middle East experts in government who could weigh in with their assessment of US interests in the Middle East, free of the considerations of what is good for Israel and its wars and massacres. It is fair to say that this is one of the most major challenges for the US in the region since WWII but there is not a single Middle East expert in the government who can give an assessment of US interests without being obsessed with "what is good for Israel" here. This is why the Israeli calculations are dominating the crisis decision-making at the White House, and the tone and substance of rhetoric. I mean, with people like Feltman and Shapiro (one at State and another at NSC--and both are Zionist fanatics), there is no Richard Parker or Richard Murphy or William Quandt or Gary Sick to offer an assessment of what is at stake for the US in this crisis. This is why the Obama ministration is following the script of Israeli best wishes--which could prove soon to be disastrous for the US. I remember on Sep. 11, I kept thinking without any realization about James Forrestal. I kept thinking of his warnings back in 1948. So there is not a single expert around Obama who can dare to offer an evaluation of the situation from outside the Zionist framework. Not one. You can argue that the Zionist lobby's biggest success since Reagan administration is to monopolize all appointments on the Middle East in the two main branches of government. But Israel's best wishes could be horrific for the US.
Now we know why they called him ‘The Laughing Cow’: because he was laughing all the way to the bank! Yesterday Jeera declared the Mubarak’s family fortune to be $40 – 70 billion and I thought I’d misheard or they’d dropped a bollock. $7 billion perhaps, but surely not 70?!?
On Mondoweiss a couple of commenters were complaining about the treatment of Mona Eltahawy at the hands of Bill Maher. Some searching yielded nothing, perhaps too early days. But drilling a little deeper around ‘bill maher eltahawy egypt’ yielded something older and more unexpected: As’ad AbuKhalil’s experience on Bill Maher’s show.
On Press TV’s ‘The Link’, there he was, stating categorically that there exists ‘only 1 form of democracy’. Presumably he meant the kind of corpocracy/kleptocracy that passes for democracy in the US…
George Bush, the former US president, has cancelled a planned visit to Switzerland next week.
While human rights groups have said the cancellation was due to the risk of legal action against him for alleged torture, organisers said they did not want to risk violence during protests by left-wing groups.
David Sherzer, Bush's spokesman, said the former president was informed on Friday by the United Israel Appeal that his February 12 dinner speech in Geneva has been called off.
Mad Mel lost it a long time ago. Then lost it. Then lost it again. Again and again and again. In Ziomel’s latest losing it, she discovers… wait for it… the ‘gay agenda’.
H/T David Osler. Thumbs up!
For, mad as this may seem, schoolchildren are to be bombarded with homosexual references in maths, geography and ¬science lessons as part of a Government-backed drive to promote the gay agenda.
In geography, for example, they will be told to consider why homosexuals move from the ¬countryside to cities. In maths, they will be taught ¬statistics through census ¬findings about the number of ¬homosexuals in the population.
In science, they will be directed to ¬animal species such as emperor ¬penguins and sea horses, where the male takes a lead role in raising its young.
Alas, this gay curriculum is no laughing matter. Absurd as it sounds, this is but the latest attempt to brainwash children with propaganda under the ¬camouflage of ¬education. It is an abuse of childhood.
And it’s all part of the ruthless campaign by the gay rights lobby to destroy the very ¬concept of normal sexual behaviour.
Not so long ago, an epic political battle raged over teaching children that ¬homosexuality was normal. The fight over Section 28, as it became known, resulted in the repeal of the legal requirement on schools not to promote homosexuality.
As the old joke has it, what was once impermissible first becomes tolerated and then becomes mandatory.
And the other side of that particular coin, as we are now discovering, is that values which were once the moral basis for British society are now deemed to be beyond the pale.
What was once an attempt to end ¬unpleasant attitudes towards a small sexual minority has now become a kind of bigotry in reverse.
Angry Arab (As’ad AbuKhalil) has now called Mubarak’s newly appointed vice President Omar Suleiman the Himmler of the Egyptian regime. Still, Hillary Rodham Clinton is willing to back him to buy USrael a bit of ‘thinking time’. Hey, once you’ve supported bin Laden (yep: al Qaeda!) and the Taleban, there’s not much lower you can sink!
Not a huge success, apparently. Press TV claimed about 3,000, the Beeb about 2,000. Both reports showed Zionist flags (yawn)…
Peres warned against the possibility that Mubarak's ouster would bring the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's best organized opposition movement, to power, saying the fundamentalist group won't bring peace.
"We're very worried about having a change in government or a change in the system of elections without introducing a change in the reasons that brought this explosion, this bitterness," Peres said.
The problem with Orientalist discourse of our commentators − which sees the world through the prism of the Shin Bet Security Service − is that it helps to seal off the ghetto into which we are gradually locking ourselves, a ghetto within the Middle East and within world history.That’s just the blurb but the rest is unequivocally and passionately correct. Take this bit for example:
But the person who deserves the prize for folly is Dr. Oded Eran, formerly our ambassador to Jordan. He suggested organizing elections in Egypt under European supervision, to ensure that monitors would turn a blind eye to fraud by the regime during the vote count.
For years, our Orientalists saw a danger in (secular) Arab nationalism. Both the right and the left examined Arab intellectuals with a fine-toothed comb in order to prove that they were “pan-Arabists.” What lay behind this, always, was a colonialist questioning of their right to self-determination on a par with our own standards.
Foreign policy: (in red some of the nonsense)
Israel's prime minister may well be having what Judith Viorst would call a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. You'd think that the region's only democracy would embrace the stirrings of people power on its borders. But with Egypt's direction uncertain and its peace with Israel at risk, that alone should make Netanyahu uneasy. Add to that the Hezbollah takeover of Lebanon, risks of uprisings in Jordan, the way these uprisings have distracted from efforts to contain Iran's nuclear program, and the potential further shift in global sympathies that might follow moves toward democracy among several Arab states, and Bibi faces a potentially seismic shift in Israel's strategic position unequaled in nearly a half-century. As one worried, smart, well-known Israel-watcher said to me the other day, "They shouldn't have located Israel in the Middle East. Too dangerous. They should have put it in the Middle … West." [My emph.] For sure, if Kansas and Nebraska were his neighbors, Bibi Netanyahu would be a much more relaxed man today.
Israelis are indifferent because we realize that whether under authoritarian rule or democracy, anti-Semitism is the unifying sentiment of the Arab world. Fractured along socioeconomic, tribal, religious, political, ethnic and other lines, the glue that binds Arab societies is hatred of Jews.Wait, t’is only the Glickster…
The Beeb’s coverage of the Egyptian revolution has been remarkably non-alarmist with respect to the ‘Islamist danger’. Last night we had a trio, including Douglas Murray, ‘author and commentator’, as well as scribbler of a bookiewook called… wait for it: Neoconservatism: Why We Need It (because I need the hole in the head?)
Snotty the goon, critically under-medicated member of a gang of one, is stuck in ‘islamist mode’. ‘Zionists freaking out’ as As’ad AbuKhalil is now fond of saying…
"Leave, leave you traitor, you sold your country to Israel"
You may be sure that if Angry Arab is supportive of this revolution, the results will be Hamas-like.
It is the unfortunate fate of the Arab upheavals that democracy doesn't grow out of them.
But of course, I wish to be mistaken.
The only thing that's clear is that the international structure which has been in place for decades is wobbling, and may well soon be gone.
Former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff after leaving office immediately founded the Chertoff Group to get rich real quick from government 'security' contracts and now smells even more money. On CNN (with Piers Morgan, of all people…) he was cackling on about ‘Egypt and al Qaeda’. This shortly after Peter Bergen, CNN’s appointed ‘terrorism expert’, had already quite knowledgably explained that the Muslim Brotherhood really was nothing to fear over there, never mind bin Laden.
Via Al Jazeera we heard him claim ‘Al Jazeera make their money blaming everything in the ME on the US and Israel’. He also claimed Al Jazeera was part responsible for 'stirring up trouble'…Billo, worst person in the world again, after Mubarak that is…
John McCain, but with the usual patriotic deference for the Weak One, categorically states: ‘Mubarak must leave’. A couple of days ago actually…
And now I find myself almost agreeing with Tom Friedman (NYT), he makes some good points:
By Focusing Only on Israel, [it] Encouraged Arab Despotism... he writes. No, seriously.
Due to its difficult international situation, Israel must do something, Blair says.
The American, Russian and European Union’s foreign ministers are to take part in the Quartet’s meeting in Munich to discuss the complete standstill in the peace talks. The talks would also touch on the U.S. administration’s apparent confusion about a solution to the crisis.
The Quartet’s closing statement is expected to support the World Bank’s prediction that the PA will complete setting up institutions in the coming months to enable it to establish a state.
The Americans have indicated to the European Union that they would not object to an especially harsh statement if the Europeans were the ones behind it, Jerusalem officials said.