Thursday, March 31, 2005
More on ancient Hebrews
People who undergo non-Orthodox conversions to Judaism overseas are entitled to Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, reports Ha'aretz.No thanks, I'll be a "gentile" (goy) and a good one at that. ;) But perhaps Arabs could use this technique to get citizenship and sabotage the state? Or do they do genetic testing to determine who is what before giving them "Israeli" citizenship? I see, no Arabs are allowed. Sorry, not Jewish enough.
"The Jewish nation is one," Supreme Court President Aharon Barak wrote in the verdict. "It is dispersed around the world, in communities. Whoever converted to Judaism in one of these communities overseas has joined the Jewish nation by so doing, and is to be seen as a 'Jew' under the Law of Return. This can encourage immigration to Israel and maintain the unity of the Jewish nation in the Diaspora and in Israel."
Simply Wrong or Simply a Lie
Bush says fundamental changes needed in spy agencies
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. intelligence community was "simply wrong" in its assessments of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities before the U.S. invasion, a presidential commission said Thursday.
"We conclude that the intelligence community was dead wrong in almost all of its prewar judgments about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," said a letter from the commission to President Bush. "This was a major intelligence failure."
I love the excuses the Bush administration uses in order to justify their lies in invading Iraq. The anti-war movement was saying from the start that Iraq is not and never was a threat to the US and that the US gov't is using WMD as a lie in order to scare Americans to support this imperialist war.
Whoever believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or that Iraq was an actual threat to the US is an IDIOT.
If the USSR, a nuclear armed superpower couldn't do anything to the United States you think Iraq can, i mean what a joke and those who believed it are so gullible or just like to be lied to.
Bush illegally invaded Iraq and all his excuses have turned out to be lies and now the brave Iraqi people are protecting themselves and their country and they are being labelled terrorist when the real terrorist is the US gov't for invading Iraq.
Now that this report is out, the US army needs to leave Iraq at once and let the Iraqi people rebuild their country and handle their own business, Iraq has been around as a great civilization before Christopher Columbus was born and when Europeans thought that the earth was flat and will be around as a great civilizaton after the US brings itself down.
On God and clerics
Victory for freedom of speech!
A Columbia University panel investigating student complaints of intimidation by Middle East and Asian studies professors said on Thursday it found no evidence that teachers made anti-Semitic statements.And an excerpt from CNN:
The five-member committee was formed in December after a videotape backed by a pro-Israel group showed Columbia students saying that professors had mistreated them and held pro-Palestinian biases. Since when are professors supposed to be unbiased when expressing their OPINIONS? Moreover, since when is anti-"Israel" = anti-Semite?
The Columbia panel said it found no cases where students were penalized for their views.
The report cited campus tensions dating back to 2001, with pro-Israel students disrupting lectures and teachers fearing they were being spied on.
Some students were upset that certain classes were canceled in April 2002 so that professors could attend a pro-Palestinian rally, according to the report. I thought those same students were the ones disrupting lectures? Huh?
The panel also found that Professor Joseph Massad did not exercise "responsible self-discipline" in an exchange with a student in 2002. The student said Massad threatened to kick her out of class for "denying atrocities ... committed against Palestinians." Massad denies the incident took place.
And here's what the Columbia University website says:
Bari Weiss, a 21-year-old student who co-founded the group Columbians for Academic Freedom (misleading name), questioned the thoroughness of the report, which she said was compiled by a "committee of insiders." Budding conspiracy theorist?
"We are pleased that we were able to drive Columbia University to acknowledge that they had a problem, that professors abused their students and disregarded their rights," Weiss said. What? The committee is supposed to look into exactly that, and its formation in no way is an acknowledgement of abuse (WTF?). "But unfortunately, it is clear that the university cares more about protecting the faculty and its own public image than about its students." Why don't you start your own university if you don't like it? (using a typical "Israeli" response, just for you).
In a statement posted on Columbia's Web site in November, Massad said the student-made video "is the latest salvo in a campaign of intimidation of Jewish and non-Jewish professors who criticize Israel. This witch-hunt aims to stifle pluralism, academic freedom, and the freedom of expression on university campuses in order to ensure that only one opinion is permitted, that of uncritical support for the State of Israel." Amen.
The Committee reaffirmed the principles of academic freedom for students and faculty alike. The findings of the Committee included one incident of inappropriate faculty behavior towards a student, in the 2001-2002 academic year. Two other incidents from the same time period were discussed in the report, but the Committee determined that these did not constitute student intimidation because of unclear information and other contextual circumstances. The Committee also found incidents of harassment of certain MEALAC teachers, apparently by outside visitors and auditors of classes. Joy! Those "outside" visitors could not have been pro-Palestinians, since if the professors were so pro-Palestinian, why would any pro-Palestinian ever harass them? So who are the troublemakers now? Could it be that those righteous pro-"Israelis" are the culprits? God forbid!Read the full report of the committee here. Another victory for freedom of speech!
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Racist "Israelis" (or dare I saw Jews?) boo French anthem
Israel supporters booed and whistled during the French national anthem before the crucial World Cup qualifying match in Tel Aviv today.
Fans expressed their anger at what they saw as anti-Israel comments made by France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez at the squad's training camp last week.
Barthez had said he feared for his safety and did not want to play in a country where the match had to be secured by armed guards. He also walked out of a news conference when an Israeli reporter tried to ask him a question.
"As a person and as a father, I don't like the idea (of going to Israel), I don't like it at all," Barthez was quoted as saying on the Israeli sports website ONE.
ONE later reported that Barthez had said his comments had been misunderstood and that would love to visit Israel again.
Israel FA chairman Iche Menahem appealed to the fans to respect the French anthem, fearing possible sanctions from FIFA.His calls went unheeded, however, with the noise drowning out the playing of the anthem by an Israel Police band.
Do the "Israelis" ever wonder why they're hated so much? Or maybe they just love playing the victim game so it doesn't matter anyway? Hooligans? No. Racists? Yes.
Good on Barthez. I have even more respect for the guy. In my miserable French accent, "allez les bleus!"*
* A French football chant
A little game
Identify the policeman in the Middle East's only democracy, which boasts of not having any militias as its northern neighbour does.
"Israel" honours terrorists
"Although it is still a sensitive situation, we decided now to express our respect for these heroes," President Moshe Katzav said after presenting the three surviving members of the bomber ring with certificates of appreciation at a Jerusalem ceremony.
Respect? Heroes? Bomber ring? Appreciation? Huh? For a moment I thought this was a scene of those terrorist Palestinians celebrating martyrdom and the righteous "Israelis" pointing out this monstrosity... What the...
But my dearest readers, do not be surprised. After all, this is "Israel", the land of the impossible, where an Arab bomber is a terrorist and a Jewish one is a hero.
Incidentally, this comes a month and a half after the assassination of Lebanese ex-PM Rafik Hariri. Could it be that this, too, was the job of "Israeli" agents? Am I simply a nutcase conspiracy theorist for not ruling out "Israel" as the culprit? The "opposition" argues that Syria has a history of assassinations in Lebanon. They seem to forget about the series of false flag operations that "Israel" has carried out in Arab countries. And we don't even know half the story yet. Who knows what else "Israel" is behind...
Mr. resident zionist's favourite source is Wikipedia, so I will cite it here. On the Lavon Affair it says:
Israeli Mossad agents from "Unit 131" planted bombs in several buildings, including a United States diplomatic facility, and intentionally left behind evidence implicating Arabs as the culprits. The conspiracy was intended to disrupt U.S. relations with Egypt but one of the bombs detonated prematurely and the Egyptian police swiftly found one of the terrorists."Israel". False flag. Agent provocateur. Yeah. That about sums it up.
The Lavon Affair also generated deep suspicion of Israeli intelligence practices and encouraged speculation and conspiracy theories that terrorist attacks against Arab and American targets could be the result of Israeli false flag intelligence operations or agent provocateurs working on behalf of Israeli intelligence, a belief that is still popular (especially in Arab countries).
"Death to Arabs"
You will ask me "what the hell are you talking about?" Well, it turns out that for the second time in a row, the "Israeli" national team (football) has been saved from a defeat by an equaliser by Arab players. The first by Abbas Suan (Bnei Sakhnin) against the Republic of Ireland, the second by Walid Budeir (Maccabi Haifa) against France.
Yet the same fans who celebrated both victories were previously booing and cursing Suan for no apparent reason other than the fact that he's of Arab descent. Moreover, the savior of "Israel" against France in today's game is none other than Walid Budeir, the grandson of a Palestinian man slaughtered by "Israelis" in Kufur Kassem in 1956. Here's a photo of his grandfather (4th row, 2nd from right). During a symposium titled "Kick Racism and Incitement out of Soccer", Budeir was asked the following question: "What's in your mind, and in your heart, when the national anthem is played before an international?" His reply? Much different than the "Death to Arabs" chant that Betar Jerusalem and other "Israeli" teams' fans have been chanting for many years now. Here's what Ha'aretz reports:
Budeir tried to brush away his embarrassment - "Where the heck did you come from?" was his riposte. He declined to speak his mind. When pressed, however, by Arab fans in the audience, he relented, saying he would "tell it straight - what I feel is that if, in, say, 50 years' time, another clause is added in to the anthem so that it comes also to represent me as an Arab Israeli, then I'll be able to sing it as well."I can see how it would go down for so-called "Israelis" if Arabs chanted "Death to Jews" during a football match. Racist? Intolerant? Nazist? YOU are all those things, not the Arabs, despite the fact that you have come to the land empty-handed and taken all of it from its rightful owners, whereas they've lost everything. If anyone would've been remotely justified in chanting "Death to [insert racial group]" it would be the Arabs. That's not to say that it's justified, but it's relatively more justifiable.
As always, I will have to thank the "Israelis" for proving once again that they don't deserve an ounce of respect.
* spelling varies due to transliteration
Arabs recognise, "Israelis" and Jews deny
12 Arab tribe leaders from Syria whose fathers mercifully gave shelter to the Armenian Genocide survivors in 1915 arrived in Yerevan yesterday to join the Armenians in marking the 90th anniversary of the Genocide.This is from yesterday's issue of the Armenian Daily Azg.
The 12 tribal leaders visited Dzidzernagapert today to honour the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
"They want to tell those* questioning the fact of Armenian Genocide that their fathers were eyewitnesses of the events, that all they told was true", Khachik Majikian from Aleppo said.
Armenia, by the way, does not deny the Jewish Genocide.
* Includes "Israelis" and most Jews
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Myth: "Israelis" are related to ancient Hebrews
The number of non-Jewish immigrants in recent years is estimated at 300,000. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 256,000 people were classified as "lacking religious denomination" in 2004. However, the number of conversions via the state's rabbinate among non-Jewish immigrants has been minimal in recent years - only 800 to 900 immigrants have been converted annually by the special conversion courts acting under the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate and the Rabbinical Courts' director.Nice try, but I'm afraid you've been exposed.
Ha'aretz, March 30, 2005
So much for our resident zionist's argument that "Israelis" have a right to that land because they are ethnically Jewish (where are your "studies" now? Are you also going to argue that those 300,000 converts are in some way related to the ancient Hebrews?) and "Israel" is the Jewish homeland.
Israel is an Apartheid State
I'll quote Chomsky several times, he has studied the Israeli system and law very well and can help those zionist who don't know Israeli law themselves see how Israel is an apartheid state.
First in a Znet interview Chomsky says:
"The function of the Palestinian Authority (PA) was to control the domestic population of the Israeli-run neocolonial dependency. That is the way the process unfolded, step by step, including the Camp David suggestions. The Clinton-Barak stand (left vague and unambiguous) was hailed here as "remarkable" and "magnanimous," but a look at the facts made it clear that it was -- as commonly described in Israel -- a Bantustan proposal; that is presumably the reason why maps were carefully avoided in the US mainstream. It is true that Clinton-Barak advanced a few steps towards a Bantustan-style settlement of the kind that South Africa instituted in the darkest days of Apartheid."
In the Guaridan on May 11, 2002, Chomsky again says":
"A year ago, the Hebrew University sociologist Baruch Kimmerling observed that "what we feared has come true - War appears an unavoidable fate", an "evil colonial" war. His colleague Ze'ev Sternhell noted that the Israeli leadership was now engaged in "colonial policing, which recalls the takeover by the white police of the poor neighbourhoods of the blacks in South Africa during the apartheid era". Both stress the obvious: there is no symmetry between the "ethno-national groups" in this conflict, which is centred in territories that have been under harsh military occupation for 35 years."
In the same article in the Guardian he says:
"At the time, West Bank Palestinians were confined to 200 scattered areas. Bill Clinton and Israeli prime minister Barak did propose an improvement: consolidation to three cantons, under Israeli control, virtually separated from one another and from the fourth enclave, a small area of East Jerusalem, the centre of Palestinian communi-cations. The fifth canton was Gaza. It is understandable that maps are not to be found in the US mainstream. Nor is their prototype, the Bantustan "homelands" of apartheid South Africa, ever mentioned."
"Israel has a technique for dispossessing Israeli citizens—non-Jewish citizens—that’s apartheid. One of the ways of doing it is to declare an area a military zone, so therefore for security reasons people have to get out, and it always turns out that it’s never a Jewish area, it’s Palestinian, and then after it’s declared a security zone, you build settlements afterwards. And that’s what’s been going on. Palestinian villages had their lands taken away."
Chomsky was interviewed by the Journal of South African and American comparitive studies (Safundi), Safundi asks him:
Safundi: So it’s similar to the forced removals that were happening in South Africa.
Chomsky: Kind of, yes. And then, after people have forgotten about it, you go in and you build an all-Jewish city. And that’s what was happening. Palestinian villages were restricted and they started building an all-Jewish city, Karmiel. This was a closed area, and Uri Davis went in, breaking the law, to protest what was happening. And that was the first serious act of civil disobedience.
Safundi: This was when?
Chomsky: Some time in the Sixties, I forget exactly when. We’ve been friends for years. Then later, he started doing scholarly work on what he calls "Apartheid Israel." And that’s the internal structure of the society—in fact, I’ve written about it, too—and Ian Lustick, whom you may know, a professor at Penn, has written about it. But internally within Israel itself, forgetting the Occupied Territories, there is an extremely discriminatory system. It’s subtle, you know. They don’t have a law saying "Only Jews," but it’s there.
Safundi: So it’s similar then to Jim Crow South.
Chomsky: Even more than that. Jim Crow South was kind of informal apartheid, but here it’s formalized. So, for example, if you look at the land laws, and decode it all, what it amounts to is that about ninety percent of the land inside Israel is reserved to what’s called "people of Jewish race, religion and origin."
Safundi: They use the term "race."
Chomsky: "Race, religion, and origin." That’s in the contract between the state of Israel and the Jewish National Fund, which is a non-Israeli organization, which, however, by various bureaucratic arrangements, administers the land. So it turns out to have a major role in the land administration authority.
All of this is covered up enough so that nobody can say, "Look, here’s an apartheid law." You have to pull it out of the various regulations and practices, but it’s there. Effectively, it means that about ninety percent of the land, in one fashion or another, is reserved for the Jewish citizens of Israel. There is the occasional case of a short-term contract given to a Bedouin, but it’s close to…In fact it’s presented as a very progressive, socialist legislation. Because the land is nationalized, it’s not under private ownership, and this is regarded as very progressive, Western, leftist, you know, "this is terrific," but it’s just a technique for ensuring that the land would be reserved for Jewish citizens, not Arab citizens.
And then that shows up in every other way you can imagine, whether you have village development or schools, sewage—the usual things that just sharply discriminate.
So, in that sense, there is kind of an apartheid structure, and it’s built into the system. It’s also built into the immigration laws and all sorts of other things.
Safundi: You are making a distinction then between apartheid as it is understood internal to Israel, as opposed to the broader situation between Israel and the Occupied Territories.
Safundi: So you would apply "apartheid" to that broader situation?
Chomsky: I would call it a Bantustan settlement. It’s very close to that. The actions are taken with U.S. funding, crucially. U.S. diplomatic, military, and economic support are crucial. It cannot be done without that.
Safundi: And that is similar to U.S. support for South Africa during the apartheid period through the 1980s.
Chomsky: Yes. As I’m sure you know, the Reagan Administration—which is basically the current people in power, including people like Colin Powell—found ways to evade Congressional restrictions so that they continued to support the apartheid administration, almost until the end.
It is a very long interview and it goes on, read it yourself at http://www.safundi.com/issues/13-14/chomsky.asp
The late and great Edward Said also compared Israel to Apartheid. No body said it is exactly like what happened in South Africa but many parallels can be made. When inteviewed by Progressive Magazine by David Barsamian, Edward Said said:
"By the year 2010, there will be demographic parity between the two, Palestinians and Israelis. The South Africans in a country twenty times bigger than Israel couldn't for long maintain apartheid. And it's unlikely that a place like Israel--which is surrounded on all sides by Arab states--is going to be able to maintain what, in effect, is a system of apartheid for Palestinians."
In the Guardian Unlimited, Edward Said wrote an article on October 12, 2000, where he says:"An alternative peace plan and leadership is slowly emerging among Israeli, West Bank, Gaza and diaspora Palestinians. No return to the Oslo framework; no compromise on the original UN resolutions (242, 338, and 194) "mandating the Madrid conference in 1991; removal of all settlements and military roads; evacuation of all the territories annexed or occupied in 1967; boycott of Israeli goods and services. A new sense may actually be dawning that only a mass movement against Israeli apartheid (similar to the South African variety) will work."
Israel is an aparthied state that should be boycotted and dismantled. The majority of Jews in Israel today come from outside of Israel (i will post soon on the demographics of Israel and from where most Israelis come from, bascially outside of Palestine), whereas ALL Palestinians come from Palestine, not outside of it like the majority of Israeli Jews.
Jihadist or Jewhadist - what is the difference?
Jeffrey Goldberg, in his award-winning New Yorker series on Hezbollah (Oct. 14 and 21, 2002), described it as the world’s most fearsome terrorist organization. “Hezbollah is, at its core, a jihadist organization” wrote Goldberg.Will someone please tell me what the difference between a jihadist and jewhadist would be? I mean if we look at "jihadist" in the Goldbergian sense of the word (i.e. throwing all Jews into the sea - the fetishised victim role again!).
From now on I will call "Israelis" (does not include "Israeli-Arabs" according to one of the zionist trolls who comment on this blog) "jewhadists".
Israel is among the holocaust deniersGood article, but it's too shallow and doesn't touch on the more active denialist tactics that the "Israeli" government practises via its "diaspora" arm, which is also known as the "Jewish" lobby.
April 24 will mark the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, and the Armenian government is holding an international conference in the capital of Yerevan, dedicated to the memory of the more than a million Armenians murdered by the Turks. I was also invited, and I decided to attend. This month will also see the Hebrew publication of Prof. Yair Auron's eye-opening and stomach churning book, "Denial: Israel and the Armenian Genocide," Maba Publishing, which has already been highly praised overseas in its English-language edition.
As opposed to many other nations, Israel has never recognized the murder of the Armenian people, and in effect lent a hand to the deniers of that genocide. Our official reactions moved in the vague, illusory realm between denial to evasion, from "it's not clear there really was genocide" to "it's an issue for the historians," as Shimon Peres once put it so outrageously and stupidly.
There are two main motives for the Israeli position. The first is the importance of the relationship with Turkey, which for some reason continues to deny any responsibility for the genocide, and uses heavy pressure worldwide to prevent the historical responsibility for the genocide to be laid at its door. The pressure does work, and not only Israel, but other countries as well do the arithmetic of profits and loss. The other motive is that recognition of another nation's murder would seem to erode the uniqueness of the Jewish Holocaust.
Five years ago, on the 85th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, I was invited as education minister to the Armenian church in the Old City of Jerusalem. This is what I said at the time:
"I am here, with you, as a human being, as a Jew, as an Israeli, and as the minister of education in Israel. For many years, too many, you were alone on this, your memorial day. I am aware of the special significance of my presence here. Today, for the first time, you are less alone."
I recalled the Jewish American ambassador to Turkey at the time of the slaughter, Henry Morgenthau, who called the massacre of the Armenians "the greatest crime of modern history." That good man had no idea what would yet happen in the 20th century - who could have anticipated the Jewish Holocaust? And I recalled Franz Werfel's "The 40 Days of Musa Dagh," which came out in Germany in the spring of 1933 and shocked millions of people and eventually, me, too, as a youth.
Summing up, I said, "We Jews, the main victims of murderous hatred, must be doubly sensitive and identify with other victims. Those who stand aside, turn away, cast a blind eye, make their calculations of gains and losses, and are silent, always help the murderers and never those who are being murdered. In our new history curriculum I want to see a central chapter on genocide, and within it, an open reference to the Armenian genocide. That is our duty to you and to ourselves."
The Armenian community in Israel and the world took note of that statement with satisfaction. Turkey complained vociferously, demanding an explanation from the Israeli government. And "my government," of all governments, first stammered and then denied responsibility, and explained that I spoke for myself. And not a remnant survives in the new curriculum of the Livnat era.
Now it can be said. They were right. All the stammerers and deniers. I really did not consult with anyone else and did not ask for permission. What must be asked when the answer is known in advance, and it is based on the wrong assumption that there is a contradiction between a moral position and a political one? Just how beastly must we be as humans, or as Haaretz wrote then in its editorial, "The teaching of genocides must be at the top of the priorities of the values of the Jewish people, the victim of the Holocaust, and no diplomacy of interests can be allowed to stand in that way"?
The Israeli Foreign Ministry, and not only it, is always afraid of its own shadow and thus it casts a dark shadow over us all as accomplices to the "silence of the world." The Dalai Lama, leader of the exiled Tibetans, has visited here twice, and twice I was warned by "officials" not to meet with him. It would mean a crisis in relations with China, the exact same thing they say about Turkey. I rebuffed those warnings in both cases. I have always believed that moral policies pay off in the long run, while rotten policies end up losing.
And all this I will repeat in the capital of Armenia, only in my name, of course.
Monday, March 28, 2005
Follow-up on Anne's kind request
Academic responsibilities call me so I will not be able to write a long entry this time around, but may I remind Anne that if she wants the Palestinains to throw away their keys and forget that they ever had them, she should first ask that Jews get rid of their property claims that date back to WWII. I am sure Anne will contact the "Israeli" government and advise the current (or future) administration that it is necessary for Jews who fled the areas occupied by the Nazis to "throw away the keys". Seriously, those Jews (sic) should stop coveting what is not theirs...!
On stolen land (aka "settlements") and mortars
The firing of the mortar comes after weeks of truce offered by Palestinian "militant" (i.e. non-sellout) groups for nothing in return (except raids and more arrests of "militants").
The "Israelis" shall withdraw under fire from Gaza, just like they withdrew from Lebanon. And soon from all of Palestine. That is what they get for stealing land, ethnically cleansing the indigenous population, and last but not least for making no compromises in return for numerous peace and goodwill gestures from the very people they have dispossessed.
Hamas 1, "Israel" 0.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
IDF bans Arab Israelis from entering W. Bank on Road 557
For the past few Saturdays, Israel Defense Forces soldiers have been preventing Arab citizens of Israel from entering the West Bank using Road 557, which stretches east from Taibeh and passes through the Avnei Hefetz and Einav settlements.
Eye-witnesses said Jewish citizens were allowed through the checkpoint on Saturday.
Ha'aretz, March 28, 2005
Article II of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid says that "the term "the crime of apartheid", which shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practised in southern Africa, shall apply to the following inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them":
(c) Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or groups, in particular by denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form recognized trade unions, the right to education, the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and associationNot apartheid? Nice try.
Zionists must hate Amira Hass so much by now.
Yes, they are land thieves. Yes, they should not be there (same argument they use for refusing entry to Palestinian refugees). Yes, they should be kicked out (and eventually out of all of "Israel"). And no, they have no one to blame but themselves. They brought the "disengagement" upon themselves. Had they not stolen that land, there would've been no need for any "disengagement". Having said that, I understand that it's not easy to leave your home (even if it never really belonged to you). Now maybe those "settlers" can imagine what it's like for the Palestinians who have been systematically dispossessed of their houses and land (and here we're not even talking about loved ones) so that the right kind of people can live there, according to some book written 2000 years ago.
Where is the humanity? Where is the understanding? How can you demand understanding for your plight when you have not been understanding of others' plight for more than 5 decades?? How can you demand respect from others when you've never shown it? More importantly, how can you demand peace from others when you haven't done anything (despite numerous initiatives from the other side) to give it a chance because you believe in something called "Greater "Israel""?
Understanding you tell me? Sure, I understand what it's like to be forced out of your home, to see others celebrating on the roof of the house that you once called yours. But isn't that what you've been doing for the last 57 years? It hurts, doesn't it? Let me tell you something. You are there based on ideology, not based on land ownership; that land never belonged to you. You are there based on your beliefs that the Jews have a legitimate right to that land, even if others have the deeds to it. You are there based on your belief in your right to dispossess others in order to populate their land with Jews. You are not there based on an immediate, internationally recognised right to that land. Your "case" is 2000 years old and has gone through a cycle of possession and dispossession that has not been perpetrated by today's rightful owners. Yet you insist that you are correct in dispossessing today's owners, and insist that doing so is just. You argue that your claim should be internationally legitimised. Yet you do not rely on international law in arguing that the land belongs to you. Yours is a 2000 year old book that you believe in; that is the only "proof" you have to show the UN or any other international body. If your "dispossession" of those lands pains you so much, imagine the amount of pain it has caused and continues to cause to thousands of Palestinians.
You insist that you are human beings just like those Palestinians. Yet you also insist on being treated by them and others in a way different from your treatment of them.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Dharma Chakra Revolution
More interesting, however, is the following: Following the killing of 4 Indian workers in 2 separate bombings in "Christian areas" in Lebanon, Indian workers have formed an opposition that heads a movement known in international circles as the "Dharma Chakra Revolution" (alternately named the "Lotus Revolution").
David Satterfield expressed grave concern over the situation and called for an international probe into the terrorist attacks that targeted Indian workers. He also called for a complete, unconditional withdrawal of Christians from the country, arguing that they bear the primary responsibility for the attacks, as they occured under their watchful eyes.
The UN continues to whine about Hariri probe, but ignores the situation in Lebanon
What I don't understand is why only Christian areas are being targeted... The opposition claims it has the support of the Druze and Sunnis, in addition to the Christians. So if the culprit is Syria, I don't see why they would only target Christians or Christian areas. It makes no sense.
UN report criticises Syria, offers no proof
The UN goes further and argues that "Syrian influence over Lebanon went beyond reasonable norms and created the climate for the killing".
The report concludes that "the government of Syria bears primary responsibility for the political tension that preceded the assassination."
I wonder, does the UN also belive that "Israel" bore the primary responsibility for the massacre of thousands of Palestinian civilians in Sabra & Shatila?
Enough said already.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Commemorating genocide or advancing national agendas?
I have criticised a group of "alternative Armenians" (who claim they're not like the rest of the Armenians -- but I beg to differ) for subscribing to a flag-waving mania. Those people believe that there is nothing wrong in having an ocean of Armenian flags during a genocide commemoration ceremony or a vigil. On numerous demonstrations in favour of the recognition of the Armenian genocide, Armenian flags were the dominant theme.
For example, this one in Belgium:
This one in the Netherlands:
The 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide is in sight. I am afraid we will have to ready ourselves for yet another ocean of Armenian flags. Now is the time to ask ourselves: what does the Armenian flag have anything to do with the Armenian genocide? Isn't it a shame that we honour the dead by waving flags? Is that all we can do? Isn't it a shame that we turn a human tragedy into a national agenda?
I will tell you what, don't wave that flag in my name or in the name of those who died at the hands of mass-murderers. The victims and survivors were real people with families, individual stories, losses, and your flag-waving is, at best, insulting to me and many others whose great-grandparents perished in the genocide.
Blaming the Palestinians for it all: 5 decades of "Israeli" policy
There is an interesting article on Ha'aretz about exactly that. The author of the article, Daniel Levy, says:
The framing of a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza as part of a process of disengaging from - rather than reengaging - the PA, has created a perception among Palestinians that violence succeeded where negotiations failed. The current round of so-called Israeli confidence-building measures was described recently by one senior, internationally-respected PA minister as "nickel-and-diming" Abu Mazen to death. It took more than six weeks to agree to hand over sleepy Jericho (when were we actually in Jericho?) and Tul Karm, which is now surrounded on "only" three and a half sides by fence and wall. A popular joke doing the rounds in Ramallah is that the Jericho checkpoint was moved - all of 200 meters down the road.On "Ma'aleh Adumim" and the Purim closures, Levy says:
Israeli inertia on these fronts is in stark contrast to the government's hyper-activity elsewhere. Every settlement expansion or tender for new neighborhoods between Ma'aleh Adumim and Jerusalem is ammunition for Hamas. So is every closure, like the one imposed to "celebrate" Purim, or every kilometer of separation barrier built on confiscated Palestinian land.So the next time anyone (and this post is aimed at Anne & co. at Boker Tov too) argues that the Palestinians just don't want peace, I suggest that they look at what the "Israelis" have done to deserve (yes, I did say deserve) what they're getting. After all, if the "Israeli" citizens are suffering because of their government's mistakes, why not revolt? At the end of the day, it is always easy to blame the Palestinians for it all. That is what the "Israelis" have always done, and that is what they will do until they learn from their mistakes. And until they do learn, they will continue to suffer, because they blindly support imposing suffering on others.
Where are the "Israeli" organisations, groups, etc. that support a just peace (i.e. not a peace that is on the "Israeli" government's terms, but a mutual one), return of the refugees, an end to apartheid, discrimination, racism? Where are those "peace-loving", "open-minded" "Israelis"? Or are they busy trying to find appropriate labels for "minority groups" in the so-called peace-loving country of theirs? "Ethiopian Jews"? "Israeli Arabs"?
Thursday, March 24, 2005
30th anniversary of the Lebanese "civil" war
I would've loved to be in the country at the time; unfortunately, I will not be able to until May 26th. That's right, today I booked my one-way ticket to Beirut. The plane is scheduled to arrive at Beirut International Airport on May the 26th in the afternoon. I admit, though, that I had huge doubts about wanting to go back. This was mostly due to some offensive comments mainly on the LFPM (Lebanese "Free" "Patriotic" Movement) forum, but also from other Lebanese in general (mostly Christians from the "opposition" side), that I was not Lebanese. Those who don't know me and my emotional attachment to the country (and the war) might not understand how offensive and depressing such a comment is. But I will not go there, as this is not a personal blog. At any rate, I have decided that I will go back because it makes no difference what others tell me about what I am and what I am not. At the end of the day, if I identify as a Lebanese, who are they to tell me otherwise? I have lived all my life in Lebanon, unlike the majority of those "patriots" who claim I'm not Lebanese and should be kicked out. Welcome to fascist (aka "right wing") "Christian" Lebanon; and don't forget: "George W. Bush is number one in the world. He is late, but better late than never ... We want foreign intervention to get rid of the occupation, and to protect us. We want them to protect us because Christians are a minority."
Anyway, for those who are interested, on April 10, 2005 there is a 5km marathon in Beirut.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
"Throw away ... the keys"
I wish they would start building a decent place for themselves instead of coveting what the Jews have built. [snip] I wish they would throw away -en masse- the keys they say are to their houses in Tel Aviv.Well, Anne, what can I say... I already commented, and I hope you would not delete my comment...
Until then, I will consider the Palestinian Arabs in general as a threat to Jewish life. It's just common sense. Hullo, they shoot Jewish children in their beds at point blank range, don't they? Some of them do. Too many of them do.
Throw away the keys to their homes and forget about it, you say? Why don't the Jews forget about the holocaust, then? Why do they want compensation? Why are they given back works of art stolen from their homes? I say, Jews should forget about what they lost 60 years ago, too. And when they can and do do that, you come back and tell me that the Palestinian people should throw away the keys to their homes and the deeds to their lands, and I will tell you that you are right.And please, please, please, Anne, shooting Jewish children in their beds at point blank range? Last I checked, the ratio of Palestinian to Jewish children killed is about 6:1. As for not "coveting what the Jews have built", I believe Anne is trying to get across, without sounding as cliche, the common saying that "the Jews made the desert bloom". It all goes back to some racist notion that Palestinians were uncivilised, filthy nomads, until the Westernised, civilised Jews came to the land and made the desert bloom.. Ironically, this was the same mentality behind the treatment of the Native peoples in America. So much for Anne criticising neo-Nazis.
Zoom out & count, we are the majority and we are 100% Lebanese...
Walla, we zoomed in instead of zooming out, and look what we found:
The Holy Spirit University (USEK) in Kaslik received a false bomb threat. An unidentified person called the university's rector, father Antoine Ahmar, and told him there was a bomb about to explode on the university premises. USEK students and personnel were immediately evacuated in order to allow security forces personnel to inspect the premises.But then something very interesting is reported.... For once the reported victims are not Lebanese (to be more specific, Christians), and the alleged perpetrators are not implied to be Syrians:
In the areas of Mansourieh, Achrafieh and Jamhour, cars left by their owners on the streets raised fear among the citizens, who asked the ISF personnel to check them.
At the Lebanese University Literature department, a leather suitcase left in the hallway caused unease among the students. Security forces checked the suitcase, which contained books and money belonging to a student.
The Syrian Social Nationalist Party's bureau in Shemlan was also broken into on Tuesday night by a armed group. The unidentified people rushed at the bureau, shooting and caused serious damages.I suppose the nutcase "opposition" headed by Walid beik will release a statement that condemns the attack and express its
But the entire article has an air of unbelievability to it. It certainly comes across as not reporting the already prevalent hysteria, but as attempting to create exactly the mass hysteria it claims is already present in the country...
A break from politics
The Fight Against CancerYou can check out the CCCL website here.
Nancy is three years old and she has cancer. Arriving at the Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon for her weekly session of chemotherapy, with an almost imperceptible layer of fuzz on her head where her hair used to grow, Nancy beams at all the friends she has made since first coming there several months ago.
"She knows the names of all the doctors, nurses, therapists, and volunteers and talks to me about them all the time when we are at home," says Nancy's mother. "She looks forward to her visits and feels completely at ease here." This is exactly the reaction that those who worked so hard to set up the Children's Cancer Center in Lebanon (CCCL) had hoped to achieve.
Situated on the grounds of the AUB Medical Center (AUBMC) and affiliated with the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, CCCL was inaugurated in April 2002. In the two and a half years since it was set up to work in association with AUBMC, the non-profit medical institution has treated some 196 children, both as inpatients and outpatients. It has covered the medical costs that are not reimbursable by third-party payers, such as the Lebanese Ministry of Health or private insurance, as well as total costs in cases where no other funding was available. At present, CCCL is committed to covering the treatment costs of 50 new patients per year, but the hope is that additional funding will increase that number.
"This center is the first of its kind in Lebanon," says Dr. Miguel Abboud, medical director of the CCCL and professor of pediatrics. "In this country, children with cancer are usually treated in general hospitals, but we believe in giving them the special environment for treatment they require."
The center offers a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of children with cancer, involving specialized pediatricians and nurses. Therapists are also on hand to help relieve the stress felt by children and their families as a result of the disease. "After all," remarks Abboud, "a cancer diagnosis can be catastrophic, not only for the child involved but also for the whole family...It can be very difficult for parents and other siblings when a child is diagnosed with cancer. We want to make sure we deliver the appropriate treatment, while minimizing the negative impact the disease has on the young patients and their families."
The atmosphere at the center where the children are received as outpatients, though businesslike in purpose, is warm and cheerful. With its brightly painted walls, well-stocked playroom, and smiling volunteers at the ready to entertain the youngsters through the several hours they have to spend over each treatment session, the center is not only intent on saving lives, but is also very concerned with helping alleviate the trauma of the disease for its most vulnerable victims.
A thriving volunteer program headed by Mrs. Christiane Makarem is an important component of the center's operations. Volunteers play with the children, join in craft and artwork with them, and read them stories. Others help them catch up with the schoolwork they miss while undergoing treatment. "We try to help the children continue to live their childhood," says Makarem. "We also talk to the parents and help them deal with the ordeal. A cancer diagnosis turns the life of the whole family around; everyone is affected and all family members need to learn how to cope."
AUB News Highlights, March 11, 2005
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Blast in Jounieh
Gee, I wonder why only the "Christian areas" are being targeted? I wonder what the warlords Walid Beik, Michel Aoun, and Samir Geagea's gang are up to these days?
It has been confirmed that the 2 victims are foreign workers: a Pakistani and an Indian. 3 people were also injured: 2 Sri Lankans and 1 Lebanese.
So what did Hezballah do now?? Oh wait, Hezballah disagreed with "Israeli" demands for it to disarm. I guess that means "Israel" has an internationally recognised right to violate Lebanese airspace....... But then again "Israel" will argue that they are at a state of war with Lebanon. They forget, though, that not too long ago, they complained and whined and whined to no end about Hezballah's violation of their airspace.
The Daily Star, in a February 25, 2005 report says:
"Since the Israeli withdrawal from the South in 2000, Israel has continuously breached Lebanese territorial sovereignty by conducting overflights, with the United Nation's Secretary General Kofi Annan repeatedly expressing concern over the breaches."
Moreover, "[T]he UN Security Council has urged Israel to stop violating Lebanese skies several times to no avail." To no avail? What is that supposed to mean? Why is "Israel" not being slammed by a resolution to put an end to such violations? Concerned? Sure. I'm concerned about the Syrian presence in Lebanon too. Why did we need 1559 then?
On another note, today is World Water Day. And on the occasion, I will point out yet another of "Israel's" double standards and resource-thefts.
Sharing precious water supplies can be a difficult and even dangerous process. Take the Middle East, where Israel has only one main fresh water reservoir, the Sea of Galilee. Galilee's water comes from tributaries of the Jordan River -- the Hasbani, Dan, and Banias rivers, which rise in the mountains along the Syrian-Lebanese border.So "Israel" threatens anyone who diverts the water that originates in THEIR country, while itself diverting water that comes from Arab countries....
Israel has been very touchy about any efforts to divert the waters reaching Galilee. It threatened military action in 2002 against Lebanon for planning to divert a tributary of the Hasbani. And in 1964, it actually did use punitive military action against Syria for trying to divert water from the Banias*.
Today, as a more positive climate for peace re-emerges, Israel plans to sell water to the Palestinians in exchange for natural gas.
RFE/RL, March 22, 2005
Avi Shlaim writes about this in The Iron Wall:
One of Sharett's first tasks as temporary prime minister was to deal with the crisis caused by Israel's project for the diversion of water from the Jordan River in the north....Two problems beset this project. First, the Jordan River was an international waterway, and all the riparian states enjoyed rights over it under international law. Second,...some of the work was carried out in the demilitarized zone [between Syria and Israel]......The driving force behind the diversion was Moshe Dayan. Dayan knew that Israel had no legal right to divert the waters of the Jordan River and that if the matter was referred to the UN, the ruling would go against Israel. He therefore decided to create facts on the ground that the UN would be powerless to reverse. In July, before Ben-Gurion went on leave, the cabinet decided to divert the Upper Jordan and transport that water to the Negev. The execution of the cabinet decision, however, bore all the hallmarks of the Dayan technique. Bulldozers suddenly appeared and started digging up a canal in the DMZ...The explanation given for "Israel's" firm beliefs in double standards is the following: "There is no reason for Palestinians to claim that just because they sit on lands, they have the rights to that water," Mr. Katz-Oz said. "The mountains do not own the water that fall on them. It's the same with Canada and the United States. It's the same all over the world."
Right, so that means Canada can freely move its bulldozers to the States and start working on water pumps... Awesome.
* "After Israel began pumping water from the Sea of Galilee into its National Water Carrier [canal] on June 5, 1964, Syria responded with a plan to divert the Jordan's sources into its own territory.... Israel acted to forcibly prevent Syria carrying out its plan and the Syrian water-diversion effort was finally halted in July 1966, when Israeli aircraft bombed a concentration of earth-moving equipment and downed a Syrian MiG-21 which tried to interfere." (Righteous Victims, p.303-04)
Edit 1: I have now removed Haloscan. I have changed the settings for the commenting, so you will be able to comment in a pop-up box instead of going to another page. Anonymous comments are enabled too.
Edit 2: I've been doing some "trackback", thinking about when was the first time I started having this problem with my blog, and I realised that the culprit might be the Google Ads at the top of the page... I have no idea where those came from! It wasn't there a month ago, but now all my pages have that at the top... I don't think it's part of my web host, and it can't be from blogger/blogspot. So I have no clue if and how I can remove it! I shall have to look into this. Hrmm..
Edit 3: I just found out that my web host is responsible for the Google ads... They added them without any warning or notice. How nice. Well, I'm afraid I will have to live with it until I get a paid-for website (which I will get when I move back home, most probably). So for now, refreshing the site once or twice will work. It's annoying, I know, but what can I do...
Monday, March 21, 2005
The two "p"s Sfeir loves
So Sfeir says, "opposition will join government if given half the seats in Cabinet". I wonder, is Sfeir worried that if true elections are held, he and his cronies will lose more seats than they had under the previous government (or regime as they like to call it)?
He also advises that "no one should let a political vacuum occur." But he forgets that the "political vacuum" was created by the very entity (giving it the benefit of the doubt re its unity) called the "opposition".
On Hezballah's disarming, the old wise man said, "It's a question for the three nations - Lebanon, Syria and Israel - to discuss."
What does Israel, or Syria for that matter, have anything to do with Hezballah?!??!
On sewage and peace with neighbours
The Israelis expect the Lebanese to.
I would not. You can point fingers and call me a terrorist because of that, but I will still not shake your shitty hand.
"General" Michel Aoun: the 'general' of all the Lebanese?
Exiled leader plans to return to Lebanon
Key opposition Christian will go home as soon as Syria completes withdrawal
By LUCY FIELDER
Reuters News Service
BEIRUT -- Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun said yesterday he hopes to end 14 years of exile and return to Lebanon within weeks, as soon as the Syrians have completely withdrawn from the country.
The staunchly anti-Syrian Mr. Aoun also said that Syrian-backed Prime Minister Omar Karami should resign because he will not be able to complete his task of forming a national-unity government with opposition members. If Mr. Karami refuses to quit, he should be pressured to leave, Mr. Aoun said.
Speaking by telephone from Paris, he said he would set a date for his return some time between a Lebanese-Syrian military meeting on April 7 to work out a timetable for the second phase of the withdrawal and the start of elections planned for May.
Mr. Karami resigned under intense opposition pressure on Feb. 28, but was reinstated 10 days later to try to form a unity government to end a political crisis sparked by the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri.
Mr. Karami should resign "right now, because he's not going to form a government," Mr. Aoun said.
Mr. Aoun, who was forced into exile a year after Syrian forces crushed his rebellion and ended the Lebanese civil war in 1990, welcomed the first phase of Syria's troop pullout, completed on Thursday.
Syria bowed to international demands for a withdrawal of its troops and its feared intelligence agents after huge Beirut street protests sparked by Mr. Hariri's death in a Feb. 14 bomb attack, for which many held Damascus responsible.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan expects Syria to fully withdraw before the elections, UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen said after briefing Mr. Annan on his recent talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad. He did not say whether Mr. Assad had committed himself to that timetable.
Mr. Aoun has strong support among a core of anti-Syrian Christians who have stepped up calls for his return, but it is not clear what political role he would play once back in Beirut.
Echoing growing fears within Lebanon of a prolonged political crisis, Mr. Aoun said he thinks the elections will not be held on time because a government has still not been formed.
In order for the vote to be completed before May 31, as required by the constitution, Mr. Karami must form a government and then quickly either draft a controversial law changing electoral boundaries, or agree to stay with the current one.
An election date must be set at least a month before polls start, which would mean by mid-April at the latest, and that looks highly unlikely. Lebanese elections are usually staggered over several weeks.
Druze chieftain Walid Jumblatt, the opposition's most prominent voice, said on Thursday no opposition members would join a national government while pro-Syrian President Émile Lahoud is in power.
Mr. Aoun took a softer line.
"The opposition may change its position and participate in a new interim government with a new prime minister," he said.
He also said he unconditionally supports United Nations resolution 1559, which calls for a complete Syrian withdrawal but also for Shia Muslim Hezbollah guerrillas to disarm. Washington, which has branded the popular group a terrorist organization, makes the same demand.
Mr. Jumblatt stands by the armed "Islamic resistance," which was allowed to keep its arms at the end of the civil war to fight Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon.
Mr. Aoun said it is the government's job to protect the people.
1) It points out (correctly) that Aoun is a Christian leader (which is much more than a simple reference to his religious beliefs -- you will understand this if you know how sectarian politics works in Lebanon).
2) The bulk of support that Aoun enjoys is Christian, which demolishes the argument that Aoun wants to secularise Lebanon.
3) He supports 1559, a zionist resolution (Aoun denies he is an Israeli agent).
4) He supports the disarming of the "Shia Muslim" militia (not "the" militia called Hezballah), which again points to his sectarian mentality.
5) Jumblatt does not support 1559, which shows that the "opposition" itself is not as united as it would like the world to think it is.
6) It exposes Aoun's attempt to change the facts: he argues that it's the government's job to protect the people, yet the government (and the army) did nothing to protect or free the Lebanese imprisoned by Israel and the SLA. Moreover, Aoun said nothing, no, more, did nothing, when Israel was occupying South Lebanon. This demolishes the claim that Aoun is 1) patriotic 2) not an Israeli agent 3) not biased against Muslims. In fact, Aoun should be the last one to talk about patriotism. Was he not the one who bombed Lebanese residential areas claiming he was fighting the Syrians?
Admit it, Aoun, you just hate Syrians and you don't care one bit about the Lebanese.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Bobby Fischer: Demise of a chess legend
Bobby Fischer's paranoia, obsessive behaviour and outrageous public statements have all but overshadowed his undoubted brilliance as a grandmaster.
The man who once said that "all I want to do, ever, is play chess" has played precious little of it at international level since he became world champion in 1972.
His remarkable defeat of Boris Spassky in the "chess match of the century" should have cemented his position at the very summit of the game, after a run of 20 consecutive tournament victories that is still hailed as the longest winning streak in world chess.
But instead of capitalising on his achievement, Fischer withdrew from competition. Three years later, the World Chess Federation stripped him of his title for failing to defend it against Anatoly Karpov.
Since then, apart from the Fischer-Spassky rematch in Yugoslavia in 1992 that provoked the wrath of the US government, America's greatest chess player has made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
His whereabouts have often been a mystery, but he apparently spent several years in central Europe before moving to Tokyo.
His reclusiveness, his anti-Semitic diatribes in radio interviews and - most unforgiveably for his fellow countrymen - his support for the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US have tarnished his legend.
"This is all wonderful news. It is time to finish off the US once and for all," he told a radio station in the Philippines after learning of the attacks.
BBC journalist and chess expert David Edmonds, co-author of the book Bobby Fischer Goes To War, says Americans were profoundly shocked by the transformation.
"To many people, he had been an American icon in 1972. The match had been presented as a classic Cold War battle," he told BBC News Online.
"The Soviet Union had held the world chess title since World War II and chess was an enormously important propaganda tool. Lenin was a keen chess player, so was Trotsky - even Karl Marx himself played chess.
"Bobby Fischer was held up as an archetype after that, and many people view what has happened to him with great sadness. They feel he has been letting not only himself down, but the US down as well."
Certainly Fischer's behaviour in recent years has been irrational to such an extent that many have questioned his sanity. He has repeatedly claimed that he is being hounded by a Jewish conspiracy, despite the fact that his mother was Jewish.
Even in his heyday, he was known for making unreasonable demands at tournaments, complaining about everything from the lighting of the hall to the amount of prize money on offer.
Fischer also had a gladiatorial view of chess. "I like the moment when I break a man's ego," he once said in an interview, adding to the sense of theatre surrounding him that helped elevate the game from an obscure pastime to worldwide front-page news.
"He did enjoy humiliating his opponents," says David Edmonds. "He could sense when his opponent was crumbling before him.
"But his style of playing was never flashy for the sake of showing off - it was clean, logical, ruthless and efficient. There was nothing ornamental about it.
"It was sometimes beautiful, elegant and harmonious, but he didn't try to please the crowds over the chessboard - he played to win the game."
Despite the scale of his downfall, Fischer has continued to inspire successive generations of chess players.
Many still see him as an artist with a unique charisma, and try to overlook the flaws that have brought him low.
But now that Fischer's violation of sanctions against Yugoslavia looks set to lead to a public trial, an endgame is looming that could destroy the last vestiges of his reputation.
I'm posting this because? Because Iceland has said it will give Fischer a passport.
On Wikipedia (Bobby Fischer on Sept. 11, 2001):
"This is all wonderful news," Fischer said. "I applaud the act. The U.S. and Israel have been slaughtering the Palestinians, just slaughtering them for years. Robbing them and slaughtering them. Nobody gave a shit. Now it's coming back to the U.S. Fuck the U.S. I want to see the U.S. wiped out."
Racism in "the Promised Land"
Promised land stained by spread of racism
Being an Israeli international is not good enough for a bigoted section of the Tel Aviv support if you are also an Arab or black-skinned, reports Dave Hannigan
As Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Bnei Sakhnin 2-0 at Bloomfield last Sunday night, a section of their fans seemed oblivious to the team’s return to winning ways. They were too busy abusing Salam Abu Siam, one of their own defenders. Abu Siam wasn’t playing badly. For some supporters, though, he was guilty of an unforgivable crime — namely, being an Arab. With the crowd calling him everything from “terrorist” to “martyr”, and repeatedly urging him to go and play in Palestine, Abu Siam eventually left the field in tears. Welcome to football in the promised land.
Baruch Dago scored Maccabi’s first goal that evening with a wonderful header in the fourth minute that probably spared him some rough treatment from the stands. Fourteen years after his family swapped Addis Ababa in Ethiopia for a refugee centre in Beersheba, Dago discovered the hard way that too many fans could not see past the pigmentation of his skin. Jewish and an Israeli international to boot, he was jeered because of his colour by Maccabi fans when he replaced Avi Nimni, a beloved veteran in their side, last year. “Go back to the jungle” and “dirty black” were among the most common epithets used.
“I was used to fans from opposing sides taunting and cursing me, but that would just motivate me to pay them back with a goal or a win,” said Dago. “But when it came from our fans — from Jews in my own country — when only months earlier I had helped bring the team the championship, I was really hurt. I see the problems with racism are only growing.”
Twelve years ago, Cameroon international Cyril Makanaky joined Maccabi Tel Aviv and broke Israeli soccer’s colour barrier. His arrival prompted the first cacophony of monkey noises from crowds and every black player, regardless of nationality or religion, who followed has had to suffer the same fate. If Clinton Morrison figures at the Ramat Gan stadium on Saturday, he’s likely to hear that chorus, too.
“As throughout Europe, black players in Israel whether from abroad, or Israelis of Ethiopian origin, are subject to monkey chants and other taunts,” said Itzik Shanan, director of communications at the New Israel Fund (NIF), an activist group trying to combat the menace. “A major goal of our New Voice in the Stadium campaign is to stamp this out.
“However, the racist abuse by Jewish fans against Arab players (and to a much lesser extent by Arab fans against Jewish players) is a much more complex and deeply rooted problem. It reflects attitudes throughout Israeli society and cannot be divorced from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet we are confident this racism can be eradicated, or at least greatly reduced.”
With two disparate threads running through it, this strain of racism became so virulent that in 2003 the NIF sent undercover monitors to Israeli Premier League games. Their mission was to catalogue every instance of racism and violence. At the end of last season, the NIF drew up a league table ranking teams in order of offences and Beitar Jerusalem, a club with links to the right-wing Likud Party, topped the poll. In May 2003 some of their fans handed out song sheets with explicitly racist lyrics about Arabs. Salim Toameh, a prominent Arab player with Hapoel Tel Aviv, is a particular target. Though he is a Christian, ditties about “Toameh the Terrorist” are often sung at games. “This is the Land of Israel, Toameh,” goes one verse. “This is the Jewish state. I hate you Salim Toameh, I hate all the Arabs.”
Last June, Josef Cohen, a 33-year-old Beitar fan, became the first person convicted of incitement to racism at an Israeli football match. In December 2001, Cohen had been among a group shouting “Death to Arabs” before Beitar’s game against Ironi Ashdod, just after a minute’s silence for a fellow fan killed in a terrorist attack earlier that day.
Cohen said in court: “There was nothing to it, just like you shout ‘Go Beitar’ you shout ‘Death to the Arabs’. There’s no contradiction between the two.”
More convictions have followed, a bill is passing through the Knesset outlawing racist chanting, public funds are being invested to promote tolerance between fans from both sides of the divide. As part of the ongoing effort, David Davies, Brendan Batson and Gary Mabbutt headed a high-powered FA delegation that went to Israel in November to share their experiences of tackling the blight.
Thirty years after the first Arab footballers started playing for Israel’s top teams and were subsequently selected for the national team, Wally Badir (whose grandfather was killed by Israeli troops in the Kafr-Kassem massacre in 1956) and Suan Abbas are two of the latest to bridge the religious gap. A midfielder and captain of the multicultural Bnei Sakhnin side that won the state cup last season, Abbas was still the target of relentless racist chanting from Israeli fans when he came on as a sub for Badir during last month’s friendly against Croatia in Jerusalem.
In terms of confronting the problem, the Israeli Football Association has come a long way in a short time. When Maccabi Netanya’s Itzik Zohar was cited for racially abusing Ziv Kabeda, the first Ethiopian immigrant to play in the league, four years ago, the IFA’s disciplinary committee had to admit they were puzzled. No rules governing such incidents were in place because they had never imagined their players would ever do that. Nobody is that naïve anymore.
Let's build more holocaust museums.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
The Daily Star vs Al Jazeera
But here, see the results for yourself:
Which one is more representative of regional (especially Arab) opinion? You decide.
"George W. Bush is number one in the world"
Bomb kills 1, injures dozens in Qatar
CNN, however, claims the nationality of the dead person is not yet known.
The blast in Doha came a day after a bomb went off in a Beirut suburb, and shortly after a bomb blast in Pakistan killed at least 32 people.
To be honest I don't know what the connection between the three might be.
Independence '05? But what about gay rights??
Newly founded Canadian-based NGO seeks to champion LGBT rights in Lebanon
(stolen from The Queer Arabs Blog)
Lebanon's gays find closet doors firmly closed
Beirut - Lebanon may pride itself on being the Arab world's most open society, but as far as its gays and lesbians are concerned the closet door is still firmly closed.
"I'm 'out' to friends and I eventually know which collleagues to tell, but I can't be out everywhere and to all," Ghassan said. "It's hard after going to university abroad to return to Lebanon and go back in the closet. You have to be careful all the time."
Although the Lebanese have a more relaxed attitude to sex than their conservative Arab neighbours, homosexuals say they are routinely picked on and discriminated against in a country where many people regard homosexuality as perverted and immoral.
And while Beirut's trendy nightspots have, in recent years, come to include a handful of bars and clubs that cater to an openly gay clientele, a recent case of two lesbians charged for having "unnatural sex" was an ugly reminder that homosexuality is not only frowned upon socially but considered a crime.
Lawyers say Lebanese law makes no specific mention of homosexuality but forbids "unnatural sex", which is punishable by up to a year in jail. Lawyers say that article leaves gay and lesbians with no legal recourse if they do face abuse.
After a few years in Lebanon, Samer -- not his real name -- avoids going out and is considering moving back to Europe where he was a student and lived his life as a woman.
"The comments people make sometimes are so hurtful. It's just obscene how people star, whisper to each other and giggle," he said over a coffee in downtown Beirut, wearing jeans and a T-shirt.
"I feel like saying what are you laughing at? I gave up some more flamboyant gay friends because I couldn't take the reaction any more, even though they're nice."
Samer, who appears feminine and considers himself a woman trapped in a man's body, says he eventually plans to have a sex change. In the meantime, he is considering seeking asylum in Europe, where he believes gay rights groups will defend him.
"Once, I was walking down the road with a friend and some guys on motorbikes kept driving around us and shouting abuse," he said. "Then they came back and started throwing eggs at us. I like going out but the reaction was just becoming unbearable."
Although homosexuals are unhappy with the situation in Lebanon, they admit attitudes can be more conservative in other parts of the region, such as Egypt, where authorities last year cracked down on a flourishing underground gay scene.
Often dressed in the latest European fashions and switching effortlessly between French, English and Arabic, many Lebanese pride themselves on being well-traveled and socially liberated.
But beneath the Western veneer, young people are expected to live at home until they marry and face tremendous pressure to raise a family, forcing many homosexuals to lead double lives.
"I try to bring it up with my mum but she doesn't understand," said 23-year-old Imad. "I'm an only child and my parents want grandchildren. They'd find it incomprehensible if I tried to explain I can still have a family."
On weekends, young homosexuals crowd into one or two sweaty Beirut nightclubs where they can flirt and swap numbers.
Lebanon has its share of dancers and celebrities whose sexual orientation is an open secret. A smattering of the capital's sleek bars quietly hold "pink nights" when gays who can afford the pricey drinks and smart dress codes mingle openly.
For others, finding sexual partners means nights spent fearfully cruising a seedy seaside strip just north of the capital or prowling notorious beaches for anonymous encounters.
Strict Social Rules
Social scientist Sofian Merabet says there is no cohesive group that can be described as a gay "community" in Lebanon, let alone a gay rights movement. And gay pride? Forget it.
"There is even a lot of homophobia even among people who would consider themselves gay," Merabet said. "If there's something about yourself you'd rather wasn't there, what do you do when you see that something in someone else?" he said, adding that such "self-hate" was brought about by pressures within Lebanese society to conform to strict mores regarding sexuality.
"There is a certain level of permissiveness that lets people follow a gay orientation to some point," said Merabet. "There are hardly any people who take risks and try to push the limit."
Many say it is simply too early to bring gay rights to the political agenda in a country still struggling with painful sectarian divisions following the 1975-1990 civil war.
Lebanon's handful of gay rights activists say they cannot wait forever. They believe a change in the law is needed to give the fledgling movement the push it needs to come into the open.
"Once the law changes, things will change," said one activist. "We need a push from the law first because once something is legal people begin to get used to it."
Nizar Saghiyeh, a lawyer who works on rights issues, said any campaign to legalize homosexuality would face strong resistance from politicians and religious leaders, comparing it to an ill-fated movement to introduce civil marriage.
In Lebanon, no legal procedures exist to allow individuals from different religions to marry, let alone members of the same gender.
Saghiyeh said cases of "unnatural sex" typically were prosecuted linked to other crimes -- as local media reported was the case with the arrested lesbians -- in order to preclude public debate on the issue.
"If it's only homosexuality, you can get sympathy for a couple as imprisoned for love, but if they are also charged with theft, the human rights groups won't touch it," Saghiyeh said.
Independence '05? Freeing Lebanon? How about freeing your pathetic sectarian, racist, sexist, homophobic brain, ya batryark Sfeir (your cronies too)?
Look who's talking about freedom (whose freedom is it anyway?).... If it ain't Patriarch Sfeir of all people!