Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Sultan Knish - How Islamic Immigration Reverses Civil Rights in the West

Islam and freedom of speech - The Boston Globe

Islam and freedom of speech - The Boston Globe

Posted using ShareThis


BBC Digs Another Hole

In July 2008, we caught the BBC's shocking first response to a Palestinian bulldozer attack in Jerusalem. Offering a glimpse into the BBC's warped journalism, the initial headline read "Israel bulldozer driver shot dead".
While the BBC later amended its headline, this example offered evidence of the BBC's mindset - the initial instinct to portray Israel as an aggressor and a Palestinian as a victim even if that Palestinian was actively involved in a terrorist attack against innocent civilians.
Less than three weeks later, another Palestinian bulldozer attack took place. This time, in a virtual repetition of the first incident, the BBC's initial response the second time was a headline questioning whether an attack had taken place at all. The headlines on the BBC's web page went from "New Vehicle 'Attack' in Jerusalem" to "New Digger 'Attack' in Jerusalem," then finally settled on "Israel Hit By New Digger Attack."
Fast forward to March 5, 2009 - yet another bulldozer terror attack took place as a Jerusalem Arab rammed a bulldozer into a police car in the capital, wounding two officers before being shot dead. How would the BBC report this?
True to form, as the news broke, the BBC's initial headline read: "Tractor driver shot in Jerusalem". We watched as the headline evolved over the course of the next few hours. Bizarrely, in a semantic change, the next update read "Digger driver shot in Jerusalem".
A short time later, the BBC finally acknowledged that an actual attack had taken place as the headline was amended to "'New digger rampage' in Jerusalem" before finally settling on "'New digger attack' in Jerusalem". But why the quotation marks?

Evidently, somebody was sitting behind a computer giving some thought to the headlines and how to update the breaking news story. But once again, the BBC has demonstrated a clear trend that reflects negatively against Israel even when Israelis are the victims of a terror attack.

Headlines are important because they set the basis for the whole story, are the first thing the reader sees and the last message left in the reader's mind.

Typical BBC headlines we found in HonestReporting's past analysis of the BBC were: "Israelis kill militants in Gaza" (The "militants" had been firing rockets into Israel), "Children killed in Israeli strike" (the children were playing next to a rocket launcher), and "Israeli strike kills four in Gaza."

On the other hand, in actions carried out by Palestinians, the headlines took the responsibility for the attacks away from those who instigated them. Rockets, explosions,and clashes became the culprits in typical headlines such as: "Rocket injures dozens in Israel," "Gaza explosion kills two children", "Two killed in clash in Gaza Strip," and "West Bank clash leaves three dead."

Once again, in this latest bulldozer attack, the culprit is not the Palestinian who carried it out but the vehicle itself. While "Israel" or "Israelis" regularly feature in BBC headlines, the same cannot be said for "Palestinians" or "Arabs" who carry out terror attacks.

HonestReporting (http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/45884734/critiques/new/BBC_Digs_Another_Hole.asp)

Israel Matzav: The Obama administration's intelligence failure#links

Israel Matzav: The Obama administration's intelligence failure#links


There's this story going on about Chas Freeman, who has been appointed to some highfalutin advisory position somewhere within the Obama Administration. Lot's of people are cheering, others are groaning and kvetching. I haven't been following it too closely. My understanding is that it's not an executive position, nor is it top-tier. If here and there in the Administration there are people with nutty viewpoints, the United States of America is a big enough place to contain them. If the fellow challenges any potential groupthink, that can't be bad, either.

One of the advantages in being deeply and fundamentally right is that you can afford to be questioned by skeptics, contrarians, fools and snakes, all. So long as the the decision makers themselves are rational, there isn't much to be fearful of. In the long run, the skeptics may make some legitimate criticisms here and there, but they won't be able to cast serious doubt on a position that's fundamentally correct.

So far so good. Now you might want to cast a glance at Glenn Greeenwald's thoughts on the matter. They're long and wordy: Greenwald's like that. My understanding is that the central objective problem with Freeman is that he has been in the pay of the Saudis, who have a record of knowing why they pay nice sums to former American diplomats. In spite of everything Greenwald and others will imply, the vocal friends of Israel in Washington haven't been on Israel's payroll. They've made up their minds for whatever nefarious reasons, but being paid for them wasn't one. Greenwald, however, has this revealing comment to make:

There is, by design, definitely a chilling effect to these smear campaigns. Freeman is being dragged through the mud by the standard cast of accusatory Israel-centric neocons (Marty Peretz, Jon Chait, Jeffrey Goldberg, Commentary, The Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb, etc. etc., etc.), subjected to every standard, baseless smear, as a warning to others who think about challenging U.S. policy towards Israel in a similar way...
Ultimately, the greatest weapon to defeat these campaigns is to highlight the identity and behavior of their perpetrators. Just consider who is behind the attack on Freeman; how ugly and discredited are their tactics and ideology; and, most importantly, how absurd it is, given their disgraceful history, that they -- of all people -- would parade around as arbiters of "ideological extremism" and, more audaciously still, as credible judges of intelligence assessment.

The argument, in other words, must be resolved by "highlighting the identity" of the discussants saying things we don't like. Not "let's refute their claims", but "let's paint them in garish colors".

PS. And no, I hope I don't do the same. Follow the tags and you'll see that when the Guardian or Juan Cole (rarely) say thoughtful or valuable things, I've taken note. They don't do it often, true, but it can happen. What's wrong with them is how they use their cognitive facilities, not the fact that they are who they are.
taken from:Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/)


Roger Cohen, a columnist at the New York Times, has a political agenda. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with that, of course. I've got a political agenda; most people who care about the unfolding story of humanity do. Being open about it is important, of course; holding up your positions and sources to scrutiny is even better.

Recently, Cohen visited some Jews in Iran, and deduced all sorts of far-reaching things from his visit. Jeffery Goldberg facilitated a visit for him with a community of Jews from Iran, now in Los Angeles; one assumes the narrative he'll hear in LA will be mildly different than the one he heard in Teheran, and we hope Cohen will tell us about this in a reasonable manner. You can follow this story as it unfolds either at the New York Times or at Goldberg's place, whichever.

Yesterday, Cohen published what he called a "reality check" about things in the Mideast.

The United States should follow the British example. It should initiate diplomatic contacts with the political wing of Hezbollah. The Obama administration should also look carefully at how to reach moderate Hamas elements and engineer a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation.

A rapprochement between the two wings of the Palestinian movement was briefly achieved at Mecca in 2007. The best form of payback from America’s expensive and authoritarian allies — Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan — would be help in reconciling Gaza Palestinians loyal to Hamas with West Bank Palestinians loyal to the more moderate Fatah of Mahmoud Abbas.

Now, I'm going to surprise some of you, or perhaps not, by being in favor of talks with Hamas. I don't think enemies need to pretend they aren't there, and if they can find anything to talk about: by all means, why not. Perhaps they'll stop being enemies, which would be great. If not, there's always the possibility one can wrangle some practical benefit from talking. The Zionists wrung some interesting concessions from the Nazis in the mid-1930s Haavara agreement; in 1944 and 1945 there were some marginal things that could have been achieved from talking to the SS, and even were achieved in April 1945.

No talking to the Nazis, however, would have prevented the Shoah. The Nazis murdered millions of Jews because they wanted to, not because the Jews weren't talking to them or weren't being nice.

I've got some arguments with Cohen about his facts, but my real argument with him is about this:

Israel, from the time of Ben Gurion, built its state by creating facts on the ground, not through semantics. Many of its leaders, including Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni, have been on wondrous political odysseys from absolutist rejection of division of the land to acceptance of a two-state solution. Yet they try to paint Hamas as irrevocably absolutist. Why should Arabs be any less pragmatic than Jews? (my italics)

Why indeed? That's the fundemental question, indeed, one of the most important questions facing mankind in the early 21st century. Cohen believes the answer is that Arabs aren't any different from Jews (or Americans, or Brits, or even Chinese far that matter). Since they're just like us, yet some of them behave so nastily, it must be because we're doing things to them that make them nasty; since we're responsible, we need to be better.

I, on the other hand, am stuck with the question. Why is it, indeed, that Arabs (or at any rate, many of them, and many of their regimes), are less pragmatic than Jews (or Americans, or Brits, or even Chinese, for that matter)?

So, while I'm in favor of talking to whomever is willing to talk to us, I insist on keeping the big stick within easy reach. Some of the people we'll be willing to talk to, after all, won't be willing to talk back. With others, there's nothing we can talk about. What could the Cambodians with eyeglasses have talked about with their Khmer Rouge murderers? (Yes, wearing eyeglasses was a capital offense). What could the Armenians have talked about with their Turk murderers 90 years ago? What could millions of Ukrainians have talked about with their Soviet murderers 8 decades ago?

Speak softly, but carry a big stick, as Teddy said.

taken from:Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/)


Yad Vashem, my erstwhile employer, is hosting a meeting of Vatican and Israeli historians. I'm not at Yad Vashem anymore, and I neither know the details nor am I asking. If anything good comes of the meeting, great. In the meantime, however, I'm holding back on gushing good feelings:

Israel has encouraged the Vatican to open its wartime archives to allow researchers to look for concrete examples of Pius' actions. But the Vatican has denied access to major parts of its archives, including wartime papers.

Shalev said Sunday he was pleased to learn that Benedict instructed the archive to speed up the process of cataloging the material and hoped it could now be completed in three to four years.

Yad Vashem said Shalev was informed of the development by Vatican archive officials and people who were in direct contact with the pope.

I've been in archives before, and know a thing or two about how they think. Blocking access to documents until the cataloging is completed is the archival corollary of a government setting up a committee. It could lead to something someday. Hypothetically. Maybe. Perhaps.

An archives that wants people to know what in its collections can always find plausible ways around the lack of a catalog.
taken from:Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/)


Football (soccer) fans in Israeli stadiums famously have a vocabulary of five (Hebrew) words: The Umpire's a SOB, when things are going bad, and God Exists, when their team is winning.

Well, here's the proof that God exists.

Though it does make one wonder. Israeli sports folk are pretty crappy. Could it be that antisemitism is God's way of improving them?
taken from:Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...