Harriet Sherwood mocks Bibi, yet respectfully cites the sage analysis of “journalist” Joseph Dana

I had to remind myself as I was reading Harriet Sherwood’s latest Guardian entry – openly mocking the Israeli Prime Minister – that it was not published at ‘Comment is Free’, and that it is supposed to be a serious news report.

In ‘Binyamin Netanyahu’s UN bomb triggers derision and admiration’, September 30th, Sherwood – commenting on PM Netanyahu’s speech to the UN in which he used a diagram of a bomb to highlight Iran’s quest to build a nuclear device - writes:

“It was certainly explosive, but did it bomb? Binyamin Netanyahu‘s show-stopping stunt at the UN general assembly went instantly viral, with memes, remixes and scathing tweets spreading across the internet like shrapnel. But while the ridicule quota was high, there was also admiration.

Twenty-five minutes into his address, the Israeli prime minister reached under the podium and pulled out a folded card. “This is a bomb,” he announced – words which in other circumstances might have led to security guards tackling him to the ground.

It was, rather, a crude cartoon of a bomb, complete with fuse, which Netanyahu rather unnecessarily pointed out: “This is a fuse.” He then talked through the three stages of uranium enrichment necessary before it could become a real bomb.

Finally in a moment of eye-popping theatricality, he produced a marker pen. After a summer of prodding, pleading, wheedling and commanding the president of the United States to publicly declare a red line for Iran‘s nuclear programme, Bibi was taking over the drawing board.

“Where should the red line be drawn?” he asked with a rhetorical flourish. Head bent towards his diagram, pen in hand, he went on: “The red line should be drawn right here.” And there it was, a thick, shockingly bright red line, across the 90% mark on Iran’s nuclear bomb.”

Then, in an apparent attempt to capture the mood of the ‘progressive’ street,  Sherwood adds:

“WE HAVE ACTUAL RED LINES,” tweeted the journalist Joseph Dana.  “Netanyahu is beyond parody at this point.”

So it appears that Joseph Dana, at some point, was promoted to the position of “journalist” by the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent.  

Dana, as we’ve noted previously, describes himself as a Jew who was brought up in America in a “Zionist indoctrination programme” but who was able to free himself from its iron grip.  He lived in Israel for six years but later moved to Ramallah where, unrestrained by the stifling fumes of Jewish nationalism, he finally was free to explore his Jewish identity with his evidently philosemitic Palestinian friends.

Here’s the video. (H/T Richard Millett)

 Dana’s keen journalistic instincts about Iran and Israel were on full display at the Aug. 14th book launch in Jerusalem for ‘After Zionism’, which I attended (and live Tweeted from).  He claimed, during the Q & A, that the “Iranian nuclear issue is manufactured by Israel to divert attention away from the occupation, and the media falls for it.”

One might be tempted to characterize Dana as an anti-Zionist Jew “beyond parody”. 

Antony Loewenstein imagines a Hamas-approved future ‘After Zionism’

On August 14th I attended a book launch for ‘After Zionism‘, at the Educational Bookshop in Jerusalem, which featured three of the book’s contributor’s: Diana Butto, Joseph Dana and Antony Loewenstein.   

(In addition to Butto, Dana and Loewenstein, contributors to the book include Israeli BDS activist Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Jeremiah Haber, ICAHD’s Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Saree Makdisi, John MearsheimerIlan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss of Mondoweiss.)

Here’s a photo I took at the event.

From left to right: Diana Butto, Antony Loewenstein and Joseph Dana

Butto is a Palestinian lawyer, former Berzeit University Professor, and former legal adviser to the PLO negotiating team. At one point during the Q&A of the Jerusalem launch Butto condemned the Palestinian Authority for cooperating with Israeli security, thus denying Palestinians the possibility of engaging in “resistance”.

Dana, an American Jew who (at some point in his life) had a political epiphany and, in his words, “broke free of the Zionist indoctrination program“, has contributed to the site +972 and now evidently lives in Ramallah where he claims he is now free to explore his Jewish identity. During the talk Dana evoked the South African model in characterizing how Israel will eventually implode and, at on point, without a hint of irony, mocked Israelis’ “siege mentality”, while simultaneously calling for the state’s destruction. 

Antony Loewenstein is a Sydney-based Jewish anti-Zionist commentator who often warns of the danger posed by the organized Jewish community in his country.  For instance, he has called for a public inquiry into the alleged power and influence of the Jewish lobby in Australia, and once warned that “old, connected Jewish men” are demanding the Australian government’s “blind dedication to the Jewish state.”

At the event in Jerusalem he squarely blamed diaspora Jews for “enabling” Zionism, an ideology which he believes should (to paraphrase the loosely translated words of one prolific world leader) “vanish from the pages of time” – a sentiment he repeated in a ‘Comment is Free’ essay published on Yom Kippur (Sept. 26).

In his CiF piece Loewenstein argued that “growing numbers of Palestinians under occupation are talking about adopting the one-state solution and pressuring their leaders to follow“.

He also added the following on the evidently unstoppable momentum of his bold proposal:

“The status quo is beginning to crumble, though, with senior PA officials now talking about abandoning the two-state idea and pushing for a one-state equation. Hamas concurs. [emphasis added]

Yes, Hamas, which cites the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ in their founding charter, and openly supports the the murder of Jews – and not merely Israelis – grants their political hechsher.  One can assume that it’s only a matter of time before Jews world-wide will see the wisdom of the Islamist terror group’s enlightened ideology.

Loewenstein may be a marginal figure but his brand of “social justice” is quite ubiquitous among self-styled Jewish anti-Zionist progressives and, like so many Jewish enemies of Israel, is not self-hating but, rather, actually fancies himself a ‘better Jew‘.

He once wrote the following:

“I feel incredibly Jewish and am very proud of my religion’s dissenting traditions. I write extensively about Israel and the Palestinians precisely because I care deeply about the fate of the Jewish people, not because I want to shun my background.”

His love is so great that he believes in a final political solution which would potentially place six million Israeli souls in the hands of a hostile majority.

Arabs – who expelled the overwhelming majority of their Jewish citizens (from lands where they had lived for centuries), and today are compromised by endemic antisemitism – would, we are to believe, live in harmony with their Jewish neighbors, and benevolently rule over Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

While Loewenstein represents a crude caricature of genuine progressive sensibilities, the Guardian, by continuing to legitimize the extremely dangerous, typically malevolent (if incredibly unserious) proposal that Jews be forced to relinquish their hard-fought freedom and political independence, positions itself squarely within the moral plane of antisemitism.

Postcard from Israel – Mazkeret Batya

There are not many places in the Middle East (or in Britain, for that matter) in which one can still find an old fashioned British red telephone box with a working phone. In Mazkeret Batya, south-east of Rehovot, there is exactly that – a remnant from the days of the British Mandate – on the main street of the moshava, next to the museum

Originally named Ekron after the Biblical city, the agricultural community was established in November 1883 by ten immigrant families from Russia who were joined the next year by eight other families. The moshava changed its name to Mazkeret Batya in 1887 in honour of the mother of Baron Rothschild who, at the request of Rabbi Shmuel Mohilever of ‘Hovevei Tzion’, had purchased the land upon which the community was built. 

Now a fast-growing  town, Mazkeret Batya retains many of its delightful original buildings, some still with the terracotta roof tiles and original timbers imported from Europe, including the ‘new’ synagogue built in 1927, the original well from 1883, the Rothschild farm building (now a community centre), the smithy, the pharmacy and original cow sheds since converted into cafes or houses. A feature exclusive to Mazkeret Batya is the ‘Kazramot’, or dwellings built with a cow shed on the ground floor and accommodation for the farmers above – in order to get round the Ottoman prohibition of the time on house building for Jewish immigrants. 

During the war of Independence, Mazkeret Batya served as the site of a field hospital for the injured from battles at Latrun and a starting point for convoys to besieged Jerusalem. One of the old armoured vehicles takes pride of place at the end of ‘Route of the Convoys Street’. 

Mona Eltahawy is no Subway Mona Lisa

A guest post by AKUS

As by now many will know, the anti-Israeli Egyptian-American Mona Eltahawy was arrested for defacing public property and assaulting a woman who tried to prevent her from painting over a sign condemning jihadis in the New York Subway:

Here is the video of her taken by Pamela Hall, the woman assaulted:

And, here is the video taken by another videographer of the assault:

This is (a partially defaced) picture of the poster Eltahawy savagely attacked (she tweeted at #proudsavage for any who object to my use of the word “savagely” in this context). Note where the sticker on this poster is placed if you have any doubts about at least one of the objections to the poster:


Eltahawy and her supporters (see her twitter account) made the following leap of false logic:

Savages are not civilized men

Jihadis are savages

Jihadis, as she knows, are, by definition, Muslims.

Therefore, what the poster is saying, in her mind, is that all Muslims are savages.

Now, she may interpret it thus – and her twitter account shows she has a few dozen who approve of her actions and, evidently, her logic – but that is not what the poster said.

Perhaps the poster’s purpose was to demonstrate how easily some Muslim ‘activists’ (like Eltahawy) can be made to react to what they perceive as the slightest insult, but the poster does not reference Muslims by name or as a group.

Eltahawy, in her rage at a poster (remember those Mohammed cartoons?) and Pamela Hall (who she initially mistook in her blind rage for Pamela Geller), a woman trying to protect her court-authorized right to have that poster displayed, provided a perfect example of the “outrage industry” practiced by extremists. When they see something they do not like, they attack and destroy. 

(If I may digress for a moment to the comment threads of the Guardian, the following false syllogism is frequently presented:

“A Jewish group committed acts of terror during the period of the British Mandate

Therefore, all Israelis are terrorists and Israel is a terrorist state.”

I have yet to see an example of this type of comment removed or refuted by a Guardian source.)

Eltahawy was dragged away by the subway police, to the jeers of a crowd. She wrapped  herself in a figurative American flag (in NY she is American; in Cairo, Egyptian) by screaming that she was merely exercising her right to free speech by attempting to paint over something that offended her and assaulting someone who she could have blinded. She should, by the way, also be charged with resisting arrest – watch the video when the police appear on the scene.

Also, she apparently had a good time in jail:

For some reason she was allowed the use of her smart phone while in jail and her numerous tweets demonstrate a level of hysteria and use of expletives that is quite astonishing. One of her numerous tweets (she must have fingers of titanium to send out the number of tweets she does) says she will be charged with a misdemeanor.

Jewish Hamas supporting attorney Stanley Cohen has offered to represent her when she comes to trial.

Pamela Hall, the woman she attacked, will apparently sue her for assault.

The Guardian, of course,  rushed to Eltahawy’s defence.  

However, they were to be disappointed by the very first comment beneath the line:

Naturally, having lost a round, they followed up with another article asking if she has proved her point.

The comment, beneath the line, captured below is fairly representative and follows the same false reasoning as Eltahawy. It calls for New Yorkers to prevent the expression of anti–Islamic views (and remember, that poster actually referred to Jihadis, not Islam or Muslims as a group):

Click to Enlarge

But to wrap this up, and demonstrate again the prevalence of this Islamist outrage industry – the ability to summon up extreme outrage on the flimsiest of pretexts – the comment below surely takes the cake – or, should I say, takes the 6 inch Sub:

No doubt we will now have to have a cringing response from the Subway company explaining that there is no need to burn down their stores in the Middle East as they are not affiliated with the New York subway system.

And finally, you may have had a flashback to an earlier, better time:

To the tune of the Mona Lisa Song by Nat King Cole

Mona Elta, Mona Elta, the police have arraigned you

You’re so unlike the lady with the mystic smile

Is it only ’cause you’re lonely, they have blamed you

For that Mona Elta strangeness in your smile?

 

Do you smear posters to tempt a lover, Mona Elta?

Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?

Many dreams of destroying Israel have been brought to your doorstep

They just lie there and they die there

 

Are you warm, are you real, Mona Elta?

Or just a cold and lonely, unlovely piece of work?

Do you snarl to tempt a lover, Mona Elta?

Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?

 

Many dreams of revenge have been brought to your doorstep

They just lie there and they die there

Are you warm, are you real, Mona Elta?

Or just a cold and lonely, unlovely work of art?

Mona Elta, Mona Elta.

AKUS ‘dares’ to criticize Glenn Greenwald

A guest post by AKUS

Glenn Greenwald

Google “Glenn Greenwald” and “Israel” and you will come up with the most unhinged comments about Israel, Israelis and American Zionists. 

He is virtually unable to write a column without accusing Israel of something, and referring to Israelis in the most derogatory terms.

He is particularly active in warning of the influence of “Jewish money” and he may have coined the phrase “Israel Firster” (or, at least, popularized it) in an attempt to suggest that Americans (specially American Jews) who supports Israel are disloyal to America.

He was one of the most vociferous critics of Israel over the Mavi Marmara incidentevincing no compassion for the Israeli soldiers brutally attacked, only the terrorists killed, and in the same column, barely mentioned the thousands of rocket attacks on Israel which prompted Operation Cast Lead – which he referred to as a “barbaric attack on Gaza”.

Greenwald is also no slouch when it comes to slinging dirt at others. Here is what he had to say about Tom Friedman of the NYT, who, not coincidentally, is Jewish and, although somewhat critical, is largely a supporter of Israel:

Although Friedman’s expertise is often called into question, it is hard to deny that he is an expert in hate speech, given that he produced the last decade’s most obscene episode of hate speech when justifying the attack on Iraq on the Charlie Rose Show in 2003 (warning: this should not be viewed during or shortly after a large meal)

The passage was followed by a video clip of Friedman from 2003.

I am far from alone in my opinion of this as-a-Jew:

I don’t know anything about Greenwald’s Jewishness. He could be a Marrano Chabadnik for all I know, though, based on the way he writes about Israel and American Jewish organizations, I often suspect that some really bad shit happened to him in Hebrew school. (I mean, worse than the usual soul-sucking anomie). But about what he writes: I do know that he evinces toward Israel a disdain that is quite breathtaking. He holds Israel to a standard he doesn’t hold any other country, except the U.S. Now, of course, if you read certain things I write (like this, for instance) you could say that I’m also hostile to Israel, though I also exhibit affection for Israel, both the reality of  Israel (or at least many of its facets) and the idea that motivated the reality into existence.

Greenwald has consistently  used the term “Israel Firster” referring to supporters of Israel in Congress:

“Meanwhile, one of the many Israel-Firsters in the U.S. Congress — Rep. Anthony Weiner, last seen lambasting President Obama for daring to publicly mention a difference between the U.S. and Israel — today not only defended Israel’s attack (obviously) but also, revealingly, “Even if we are the only country on earth that sees the facts here, the United States should stand up for Israel.” In other words: who cares how isolated it makes us or what harm we suffer? What matters is not American interests, but Israel.”

Greenwald also has applied the concept of Israel-Firster, if not the term itself, to Eric Cantor (R-VA), who he accused of pledging allegiance to Israel.  When Glenn Reynolds and I called him out on it, Greenwald responded by claiming we were slurring him with an accusation of anti-Semitism.

Getting back to Greenwald’s column, Greenwald again defends the use of the term Israel-Firster and laments that a Think Progress blogger who tweeted the term deleted the tweets:

“One CAP blogger, Zaid Jilani, has now apologized for and deleted tweets where he used the term “Israel-firster” even though (a) everyone knows there are American political activists — both evangelical Christians and Jewish — whose political worldview is dominated by allegiance to Israel and (b) even long-time stalwart Israel supporters like Tom Friedman now describe how U.S. officials are “hostage” to the “powerful pro-Israel lobby” that can force them to place Israel’s interests over their own country’s.”

Most recently  he had to retract his hasty – may I suggest “gleeful? –  accusation that the creator of the “Innocence of Mohammed” film clip was an Israeli living in America , backed by 100 Jewish donors (there we have Greenwald’s  Jewish money theme again) so that the text now reads:

The anti-Islam film was originally reported by the Associated Press news agency to have been written, directed and produced by an Israeli real estate developer living in California, Sam Bacile. Later the news agency issued a fresh story having investigated further and traces the genesis of the film to a Coptic Christian, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, living in California. [see footnote]

But, as the Guardian shamefacedly retracted, and very unusually amended the actual text of a column that appeared on its website, the original wording was very different, and typified Greenwald’s eagerness to blame Israel and Israelis for all that is wrong with the world:

Greenwald was everything I suggested and more – an even more egregious example of the anti-Israeli “as-a-Jew” than Seth Freedman.

Friedman gets a point up on him for actually having lived in Israel at one time.

No, this isn’t a parody piece: Guardian confirms move into journalism training business!

H/T Gerald

When I first read David Leigh’s desperate plea to save the sinking ship known as the Guardian Group – which reported a year-end loss of £75.6m, and continues to lose readers –  what struck me most was the comically self-important tone of the narrative.

Leigh, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger’s brother-in-law, in ‘A  £2 a month levy on broadband could save our newspapers, Sept. 23, begins his piece, thus:

Having survived more than 40 years at the coalface of British journalism (longer than a term of service in the ancient Roman army), I have been feeling a bit depressed lately by the insistent predictions of media pundits that the internet is killing off quality newspapers

Yes, by “quality newspapers” he’s referring to the Guardian.

Leigh continues:

According to conventional wisdom, print is doomed. Circulations are collapsing because readers can get everything they want on the internet.

What does the end of print papers like the Guardian portend?

Leigh explains:

Yet when the day comes that the newspapers are forced to stop printing altogether, it will be a disaster for democracy

Yes, of course. The Guardian’s financial woes aren’t merely a problem for their shrinking staff and dwindling readers, but a dangerous omen for the future of the liberal West.

Leigh then offers a solution:

A small levy on UK broadband providers – no more than £2 a month on each subscriber’s bill – could be distributed to news providers in proportion to their UK online readership. This would solve the financial problems of quality newspapers, whose readers are not disappearing, but simply migrating online.

As The Sun so succinctly put it:

THOSE deluded and arrogant hand-wringers at The Guardian have come up with a bonkers scheme to impose a tax on broadband users to fund money-haemorrhaging publications like their own.

We have a more sensible proposal. Why not simply put together a product that excites and engages the British public.

Improve the product? Now there’s an idea.  

They could begin by addressing their sloppy journalism and extreme left ideology, toning down their obsessive focus on one particular cause, and ceasing to rally to the defense of illiberal, racist activists – thus giving more credibility to their claim of being a “liberal” broadsheet.

But, this is the Guardian, after all – a media group with an institutional reluctance to engage in anything approaching introspection, self-examination or humility.

Indeed, evidence that the Guardian won’t soon engage in an organizational soul-searching can be found in this recent story published by the Press Gazette.

The story begins:

The Guardian today confirmed it is moving into the training business by offering a master’s degree in journalism with digital media in conjunction with Cardiff University.

The course is set to start in September 2013 and is likely to be based at The Guardian’s Kings Place HQ and at another central London location.

Guardian News and Media is continuing to cut staff in order to reduce losses…so it may be that the course makes use of vacant space at Kings Place.”

So, the Guardian’s hubris is such that, not only have they failed to recognize a need to radically change course, but are convinced that aspiring British journalists should heed their example and boldly follow their shining path towards complete irrelevance.

To those who are so inclined, please let us know, in our comment section, the following:

What courses would a Guardian masters degree offer?

What books would be included in the syllabus reading list?

And, which Guardian Left ‘experts’ can we expect to be appointed as lecturers? 

Guardian’s Julian Borger avoids reporting on most of Ahmadinejad’s UN speech

Imagine for a moment that a Western head of state (let’s say America) was also a follower of a messianic religious cult considered outlandish and cranky by the overwhelming majority of Christians.

Imagine – that whilst addressing the UN General Assembly’s opening session – that head of state launched into a prescription for the world’s ills based on that cult’s predictions, which included the arrival of a saviour brought about by world apocalypse.

In such a situation, would the Guardian’s next day commentary have been confined to “unusually esoteric”, or would a barrage of analysis and criticism have followed? 

“Unusually esoteric” was all Julian Borger could find to say about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Wednesday speech at the UN GA, although he did throw in a quote from a ‘European diplomat’ who found the address “incoherent and incredibly boring”. 

Mind you, Borger also heard only one reference to Israel in the speech (there are three direct ones) but that is perhaps to be expected from someone who also seems to have doubts regarding the interpretation of remarks made by the same speaker two days previously. 

“No American diplomats were in the chamber for Ahmadinejad’s speech because of what Washington viewed as offensive remarks the Iranian leader had made about Israel earlier in the week.” [emphasis added]

The messianic rant (not his first) on the subject of the coming of the Mahdi, or Hidden Twelfth Imam, which closed Ahmadinejad’s speech does not even get a mention from Borger. It is difficult to imagine that the same would have been the case were Ahmadinejad the leader of a Western country.

And that in itself says an awful lot about the self-censorship arising from double standards of cultural relativity, as employed by Guardian writers in general and frequent writer on Iran Julian Borger in particular.  

Guardian on British plans for Sinai

We have often commented on the subject of the Guardian’s tendency to place articles with only the most flimsy of connections to Israel on the ‘Israel’ page of its ‘World News’ section. An article published on the ‘Egypt’ page on September 26th appears to be an example of the opposite: one which actually does have a connection to Israel, but was not placed on that page. 

Written by the Guardian’s chief political correspondent Nicholas Watt, the article’s oddness is not confined to the rather glaring spelling mistake in its strapline (later repeated in the body of the report itself). 

Without any accompanying comment, Nicholas Watt apparently repeats the words of a “senior British government source”, informing readers that:

“Britain is to provide military advice to the Egyptian government to help it crack down on militants in the Sinai Peninsula who are destabilising relations with neighbouring Israel.

In his first meeting with the Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi in New York, David Cameron will announce that Britain’s most senior military figure will travel to Cairo. General Sir David Richards, the chief of the defence staff, will lead a British effort that will also see a stabilisation team despatched to Egypt. The team, which will mainly consist of field experts from the Department for International Development, will advise on how to ween Bedouin tribes in Sinai away from smuggling.”

[Emphasis added.]

Those of us concerned about the future of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty in general and in particular the terror attacks emanating from the extremists’ paradise which the Sinai Peninsula has become in recent years – and all the more so since the advent of Egypt’s ‘Arab Spring’ – may just have found a new worry to add to our list. 

Not only does the British government appear to believe that the main problem in that lawless territory is ‘militancy’ caused by engagement in ‘smuggling’, but the Guardian seems quite happy to go along uncritically with that theory too.

Watt states that:

“Morsi’s move against militants in Sinai was seen as a particularly positive signal because Israel was acutely nervous about the election of an Islamist president in Egypt.” 

But Watt fails to point out that the new Egyptian president has so far largely confined his ‘move against militants’ to incidents in which Egyptian security forces or officials were attacked, displaying somewhat less commitment when Israeli civilians or soldiers have been targeted in cross-border incidents.

Watt also (apparently like the British government) completely ignores the fact that the terrorists (let’s call a spade a spade) in Sinai have Salafist ideological brothers holding the second largest number of seats in the Egyptian parliament as a result of the ‘Arab Spring’ – a factor which is bound to influence both Egyptian domestic and foreign policy.  

In fact, a recent statement by Egypt’s foreign minister appears to suggest that David Cameron’s plans may be less than welcome. 

“The situation in Sinai is an internal affair not up for discussions in international arenas, either at the United Nations Security Council or elsewhere, said Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr.

The situation is Sinai has no affect (sic) on international security and safety, Amr said in press statements Thursday 20/09/2012.

Egypt has told and will continue to tell the UNSC that the situation in Sinai is an internal issue not open for discussion, Amr said in response to a letter sent by Israel to the UN body criticizing the management of Sinai.”

Watt continues: 

“The UN, EU, US and Russia, which oversee the Middle East peace process, fear that instability in the Sinai Peninsula could disrupt the Camp David accords which led to demilitarisation of the area after the 1973 Yom Kippur war. Israel withdrew its forces from the peninsula on the understanding that it would be a non-military zone.”

Leaving aside the rather dodgy time frame (The Camp David Accords were signed almost 6 years after the 1973 war), it should be obvious that Israel did not withdraw from Sinai on an ‘understanding’, but under the terms of a written, signed treaty which lays out the terms of demilitarization in both words and maps. 

Both the Guardian’s chief political correspondent and – more worryingly – the British government do not appear to appreciate that Israeli concerns over the current volatile situation in Sinai extend to far more than the Bedouin drugs and arms smuggling gangs and people traffickers – to whom the Egyptian authorities have traditionally turned a blind eye. 

Without concurrent massive – and long overdue – Egyptian investment in the Sinai Peninsula, the disarming of militias, the ousting of foreign terrorist organisations and the  stemming of the flow of lucrative African migrants into Sinai, ‘weaning’ the Sinai Bedouin from their traditional livelihood of smuggling is liable to be a futile – if not impossible – exercise. 

The main issue at hand is not only whether the new Egyptian government has the economic ability to make the changes necessary, but also whether or not it has the will. Despite three decades of neglect under the previous Egyptian regime, during which smuggling also flourished, the Sinai/Israel border was, for the most part, a fairly quiet one. 

The recent deterioration in the security situation necessitates serious questions: perhaps uncomfortable ones as far as Western governments (and journalists) apparently unable to see anything other than the wonders of the ‘Arab Spring’ are concerned.

 Nevertheless, if the Israel/Egypt peace treaty is to continue to be upheld, responsible parties will also be examining the possibility that a new Egyptian president who ran for election on a blatantly Islamist platform and has since embraced Hamas and the Iranian regime might perhaps be somewhat less than wholly committed to the principles of Camp David, including demilitarization. 

They would then examine the additional possibility that continued unrest in the Sinai Peninsula might actually not go against the purposes of someone eager to change the status quo, but unable to take direct action due to an overwhelming reliance upon foreign aid. 

These questions (and many others concerning issues such as the nature of the as yet unwritten constitution and freedom of the press) are of the sort one would expect Western governments – and supposedly politically savvy journalists – to be asking before they rather condescendingly rush in to promote less than three months of Morsi’s presidency as ‘impressive’ on the basis of the fact that – in acting against armed terrorists on his own territory – he has been doing his job. 

Blurred reality: What a Guardian photo of Muslim protest signs fails to focus upon

The Guardian’s recent edition of ‘Picture Desk Live‘, Sept. 24, included this photo of more protests by Muslims over the anti-Islam film, as well as the recent caricatures of Muhammad by a French satirist.  This protest took place in Sri Lanka.

Here’s the caption:

I noticed the word “Jew” on one of the signs, but the shot was taken too far away to make out the words on the sign, so I Googled the image and was able to find a bit more information.

The Washington Post had a shot of the same protest, albeit with photos focusing much more closely on the scene.  Here’s what you can see:

Sign in middle reads: ‘Who’s behind the film? Jews’

Here’s the caption:

The following sign, from the same protest in Sri Lanka, is a reference to Charlie Hebdo, who published several caricatures of Muhammad (along with one of an orthodox Jew) in a French satirical magazine.

Sign reads: France, don’t fall victim to Jewish propaganda

As I observed in a post on Sept. 23 (and as Palestinian Media Watch reported on Sept. 24) the hypocrisy of the protesters’, in condemning insults to Islam while continually engaging in virulent antisemitism, is stunning – a cultural habit which results in the absence of natural feelings of guilt or embarrassment most of us experience when holding two inherently contradictory views. 

The Guardian, as with most of the mainstream media, in failing miserably to expose such groups to the kind of critical scrutiny which would necessarily challenge such moral hypocrisy, ensures that no lessons will be learned. 

The significance of the MSM’s gross moral abdication when reporting on the recent riots in the Arab and Muslim world can’t be overstated. 

AKUS’s take on recent Guardian reports and CiF commentaries

A guest post by AKUS

I picked up a few examples of the Guardian’s warped views that hardly seem worth a full article, but made me think again about their bizarre understanding of how the world works and their incessant attempts to show the West and Israel in the worst possible light.

 1. September 24th Guinea’s president promises to turn country into stable democracy, David Smith, Guardian.

“The president’s vision is under scrutiny, however. A year ago three protesters were killed during clashes between police and demonstrators at a banned opposition rally. Amnesty International warned: “It’s deeply alarming that President Alpha Condé is resorting to exactly the same brutal methods as his predecessors.”

In July, Condé’s security forces clashed with villagers demanding jobs in the village of Zogota, where Vale and the Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz’s BSG Resources are jointly seeking to develop an iron ore mine. Local rights groups claimed five protesters were killed, while the government has launched an investigation.”

Three protestors were killed … but I do not recall the Guardian placing South Africa “under scrutiny” when 34 miners were shot down, a few weeks ago, despite the overall positive tone of support for the miners themselves. But then, criticizing the current South African racism would be the ultimate admission of the failure of the Guardians world view (GWV).

Why the mention of “Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz’s BSG Resources” but the cryptic “Vale” for  “Brazil’s Vale (Companhia Vale do Rio Doce), the corporation with the most “contempt for the environment and human rights” which was named world’s most evil company” according to The Public Eye Forum? Obviously, when an Israeli is involved, to the Guardian this implies some underhand dealing that must be outed, while the machinations of the much larger Vale need not be brought to the attention of the anti-Israel faithful

2. The endless chest beating by Guardian writers and commenters over the West’s iniquitous behavior in not realizing that an obscure anti-Islamic film clip would upset Muslims reached pretty much everyone’s boredom threshold. For example (and generally Milne is the worst example of everything wrong at the Guardian though Glenn Greenwald seems to be in a race to the bottom for the title), Seamus Milne claimed:

“But it would be absurd not to recognise that the scale of the response isn’t just about a repulsive video, or even reverence for the prophet. As is obvious from the slogans and targets, what set these protests alight is the fact that the injury to Muslims is seen once again to come from an arrogant hyperpower that has invaded, subjugated and humiliated the Arab and Muslim world for decades.”

But why no mention at the Guardian that the real culprit was an Egyptian known as Sheikh Khalid Abdullah  who has a talk show on Egypt’s Al-Nas satellite TV ? He fished this clip up out of the obscurity it richly deserved and broadcast it to viewers, knowing full well that this would lead to mass demonstrations and rioting. Ultimately he has caused dozens of deaths, not only those of Ambassador Stevens and three of his guards.  Other papers (the Telegraph and the NYT for example) found this out with no difficulty:

The Atlantic Wire further pointed out that:

 “The New York Times Lede blog has described Abdullah as a man who’s “part of a school of particularly shrill religious demagogues who turn every possible event into an attack on Islam,” quoting Egyptian-British journalist Sarah Carr.”

Why was there no discussion at the Guardian of the fact that this film was deliberately used by the Egyptian equivalent of Pastor Terry Jones  as well as Muslim politicians and clerics around the world to whip up anti-Western fervor, particularly in places where a useful scapegoat distracts the mobs from their real economic and social problems?

Have there been any articles about the Iranian desire to capture and, presumably, murder the American who made the film? Or of the $100,000 bounty offered by a Pakistani cabinet minister for anyone doing the same? Or anything more than a dryly noted recognition that the Iranians increased the bounty on Salman Rushdie ?

3.  Glenn Greenwald, now the Guardian’s loony left outrage fomenter du jour, after previously spending two articles attacking CNN, suddenly discovers CNN’s good side – as long as he can take a crack at the USA:  State department attacks CNN for doing basic journalism.

But of course, he misses the real issue – not the diary, but the suppression of the news about how Ambassador was dragged through the streets of Benghazi, after being murdered by the newly democratic Libyan militias.

Why has the Guardian been so reluctant to show what life is really like in Libya?

Because after cheerleading the NATO invasion there – and now doing the same over Syria – with endless “live reports”, maps, moving pins, videos, commentary, editorials, columns by the whole stable of ME “experts” they keep in London, they don’t want to face up to the fact that in their enthusiasm for revolution everywhere (except in the Guardian’s executive suite) they supported the replacement of Gaddafi with a group even worse.

4. Greenwald is also the consummate Monday morning quarterback when it comes to criticizing the USA and Israel. A man who clearly has never been in a firefight or actual physical danger at his NY attorney’s office knows exactly what and why things were muddled in the reporting on Bin Laden’s compound and the riots in Benghazi and why the US deliberately lied and lies about it all.

But Greenwald is the commenter who, in typical Guardian style, rushed into print claiming it was an Israeli backed by Jewish money that made the film clip “Innocence of the Muslims”, leading to a rare retraction by the Guardian and an even rarer change of the language in his hasty article.

I never imagined it would be possible to find a lower species of Israel-obsessed as-a-Jew than Seth Freedman, but I must award that dubious honor to Greenwald.

5. September 21st: an Israeli soldier is killed and the Guardian manages to crank out an AP report that says Israeli forces kill three Egyptian ‘militants’ in border skirmish. No mention that an Israeli soldier was killed and that the “skirmish” was an ambush of a soldier taking water to North African refugees.

Even if at the time they did not know an Israeli soldier was killed by these “militants”, surely at some point this might have earned an update? After all, when Israel killed two terrorists – sorry, “militants” – in Gaza few days ago, within hours the Guardian even managed to put up a video clip with the title Israeli air strike on Gaza kills two Palestinian security officials – video  of crowds around the car in which they had been traveling. Amazing how they know who killed these “security officials” (pardon my laughter) but are profoundly ignorant when an Israeli is killed.

Since they relied on a press agency (rather than their woman in Jerusalem, Harriet Sherwood, who remains obstinately silent over this murder), how did they miss the report by Agence France which rather spoils the story the Guardian wants to tell:

“DUBAI — An Islamist militant group said it launched a deadly cross-border attack on Israel from Egypt’s Sinai in protest at a US-made film mocking Islam, SITE Intelligence Group reported on Sunday.

Ansar Bait al-Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem) termed the attack a “Disciplinary Invasion Against those who Dared Against the Beloved Prophet,” the US-based monitoring agency said, citing a statement posted on Islamist websites.”

Should there not have been a little outrage expressed by the Guardian that the soldier killed was ambushed while bringing water to African refugees trapped on the Egyptian side of the border, which they had reached after being smuggled through Egyptian territory? Or is that humanitarian gesture, when the person carrying it out is killed by “militants”, too far from the narrative of “justifiably-outraged-against-Israelis-Muslims” to be mentioned?

There’s nothing in these examples that is much different from the usual run of things at the Guardian – just the usual drip-drip-drip of articles attacking the US and Israel, and polishing the bright gemstone of Islamic extremism that the Guardian loves to support at their expense.