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6/28/03

Pragmatism

First, this little treat from The Religion Of Peace™:

Cleric issues death threat to any Jew buying property in Iraq
A senior Iran-based cleric of Iraqi Shi'ite origin has issued a decree, or fatwa, ordering the killing of any Jew who buys real estate in Iraq.

Ayatollah Kazem al-Husseini al-Haieri, also said in his fatwa that selling real estate to Jews was forbidden for Muslims.

Then, this gem from your pal and mine, Muammar Qaddafi:

Qaddafi: Palestinians, Israelis should live in one state: "Israteen"
Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi called Friday for a complete overhaul of the 'road map' peace plan, saying it did not live up to the needs of peace in the Middle East.

In a speech delivered via satellite link from Tripoli to academics in London, Qaddafi called for the establishment of one unified state for the Palestinians and the Israelis.

Qadaffi said that the territory of Israel and the Palestinian territories was insufficient to accommodate two countries.

"The territory is too narrow to accommodate two states, and they would fight," said the Libyan leader. Gaddafi said he already has a name for this new country, "Israteen."

If recollection serves, this is not the first time he's called for "Israteen." One wonders how sane the dictator of Libya truly is, but then again, most Muslim nations call for the same thing. They say that Israel and the pals should all live in one nation, under Muslim rule, of course. They insist that the Jews will thrive under Muslim rule, as they fall under "the people of the book" category and are to be treated well by Muslims.

So answer me this: If the Jews are to be treated so well under Islamic rule, why is an Iranian cleric issuing a fatwa against Jews owning property in his native country?

Effing liars and hypocrites. Jews will never submit to being trod underfoot again. That's why we need Israel, Steven, and why your statistics of the deaths since the dawn of Israel's nationhood are meaningless. How many people have thrived in Israel because they haven't been victims of pogroms in the lands from which they came? Can you tell me how many would have died if Israel hadn't existed? No? Neither can I. But we can both see that anti-Semitism has not died, and seemingly never will die. Am Yisrael chai, and partly because Israel is there. Never again will Jews have to live under conditions like the fatwa above.

I am "pragmatic," because I recognize that the State of Israel exists, and that it is certainly on no shakier ground, morally speaking, than the countries surrounding it, as well as the fact that it houses many millions of people and that they must be protected from attack. In the long-term, I don't see the State of Israel surviving as it is; eventually, and hopefully sooner rather than later, democratic reform will take hold in most Arab countries, and they will become more benign theocracies than Israel, which will necessitate a democratic reform of Israel itself.

Not in my lifetime, nor in yours, is my bet. But it's nice to see a Jew has so much confidence in his fellow Jews that he thinks Arab nations, which have zero history of democracy, will surpass the state of Israel in democratic behavior. Why, you would think that Mohammed was the one responsible for all the democratic reforms in the world over the centuries, and Jewish laws and philosophy had no effect whatsoever on, say, the Founding Fathers of America. Sure. I see your point entirely. Because all of the Muslim nations are just overripe for those nascent democratic movements (like the one that overthrew Saddam Hussein), and the state of Israel made sure to become a fascist theocracy ruled by iron-jawed rabbis who forbid women to work or drive or leave the house unescorted by a male relative.

Way to be realistic, Steven. Back up your "pragmatism" with some facts next time. Because right now, it reads a whole lot more like fantasy.

TOP


6/27/03

The end of the story

Wind Rider has his version up of the Busch Gardens day. It's mostly accurate, no quibbles. But I'll fill in what happened to us after he and Anna left. The end of the night is our traditional repeat time, where we go on our favorite rides one last time before heading to Roman Rapids and out. The Alpengeist is mine, and we were right there to do it again. Then Heidi and Sorena split off toward Loch Ness Monster and Jaimie and I went for a couple of tame rides, as she doesn't do roller coasters (she stepped through and waited for us to ride the Alpengeist).

Then to Roman Rapids, late—and there were no Sorena and Heidi. I was worried that they were already on the ride, so Jaimie and I went through and I found a nice woman escorting three small girls who thought it would be fine if Jaimie rode with them. (I was not driving home an hour in wet clothes, and I'd already given Anna my spare t-shirt, so no water ride for me.) While I was waiting for Jaimie, Sorena and Heidi showed up, just as Jaime's raft came to the dock, which was perfect timing for Sorena to join them in riding as many times as they could until the park closed. Then Heidi and I went to the patio that held the machines that spray the riders, and waited. I had told the girls I was out of quarters. I lied. We got a few strangers, because, well, it's a lot of fun to soak people. Apparently, this is not a joy that leaves you with age. Okay, it's not a joy that leaves me, then. Along came the girls, I got a perfect, drenching shot on them as Heidi and I shouted to them, they waved their little fists in the air, and we laughed and high-fived. The night was complete. Well, almost.

"I thought you said you didn't have any more quarters!" Sorena said, highly insulted, as the girls came off the ride.

"Well, I fibbed," I told her.

It's a life lesson, you see. Kids simply have to learn that they can't even trust the people they can trust. Not when it comes to squirting water at them, anyway. Vengeance for dozens of wet-head hugs from Sorena. Heh.


What they're saying over there

First, congratulations to Laurence Simon, who is no longer an unemployed systems administrator from Houston. His expose of Senator Orrin Hatch's website copyright violations landed him a job. Mazal tov, Lair! You made Ha'aretz, you network administration in Houston, you.

Chuck Simmins, righty and Republican, keeps on posting things I agree with alongside the ones I don't. (Chuck, this post just proves what the Democrats have been saying about capital gains taxes all along: Lower them, and the wealthy get wealthier.) On the other hand, this post on the comments his posts on Indymedia have gotten is fascinating if only for the sheer stupidity of the commenters. And this one has a Photoshopped photo that made me laugh. And this one makes me think that perhaps Chuck ought to stop reading Indymedia so much. It's warping his brains.

Kate's got the IAEA's number on the centrifuge find in Iraq. Nice research, Kate. And her solution to the Spike TV problem—the name Kate proposes—sounds exactly right to me.


Saudi ERA watch

The Islamic kingdom of Saudi Arabia is lettin' its wimmenfolk speak out on television.

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Eight Saudi women appeared on a groundbreaking television program Thursday to criticize previously taboo subjects such as the right to drive, unemployment and political participation among women.

Wearing headscarves of red, blue and yellow - instead of traditional black - the participants complained about their lack of jobs, opportunities and public voice in this conservative kingdom, where women have less freedom than in most other Muslim nations.

Be still my heart: They wore colored headscarves! They bitched about not having jobs! They said they're not free! Say. Wonder if my correspondent was watching this program.

``We are handicapped in terms of personal freedom. We even need permission from a male guardian to get our identification papers,'' pediatrician Suad Jaber said on the program, ``Saudi Women Speak Out.''

But—but—just the other day I reported about a Saudi doctorate holder who said that Saudi women were free. She couldn't have been exaggerating, could she?

The show is part of an opening up of Saudi media since Islamic militants detonated vehicle bombs in Riyadh on May 12, killing 25 bystanders, and fought a deadly gun battle with police in the holy city of Mecca earlier this month. The attacks deeply disturbed the country and forced the government to allow greater freedom in the media.

Or, it's another effort of the Saudis to add a new coat of paint to a crumbling tenement because people are starting to notice how rotten the building is.

Siham Fatani, a professor of English at King Abdul-Aziz University in Jiddah, said the television program was unprecedented.

``This was something new,'' Fatani said. ``It never happened before. It was the first time Saudi women were given a chance to give their opinion publicly like that. Not everyone reads the papers, but everyone watches television.''

Really? Like we do here in America? But I thought you guys don't want our culture.

Abeer Mishkhas, a columnist, says the liberalization is also part of an effort by the Saudi government to improve its image abroad.

Uh-huh.

``Saudi Arabia is trying to show the world that there's more to us than terrorism and religion,'' said Mishkhas, a female editor at the Arab News newspaper. ``We are given more freedom to discuss things. We can now criticize government ministers and government policies.''

Uh-huh.

Owing to the country's strict interpretation of Islam, Saudi women are not allowed to drive, travel without permission of a male guardian, work alongside men or appear in public unveiled.

Uh-huh.

``Rights are not given. We have to ask for them,'' computer programmer Alia Banaja said on the two-hour program.

You can't ask for your rights, sweetie. You need to take them. Viva la revolution! Women of Arabia, unite! Indymedia, a cause! Unequal rights and cruel oppression of a people by the government that they didn't vote for! Oh, right. You're too busy protesting "Frankenfood."

Maha Fitaihi, wearing a red and yellow scarf and a brightly colored long dress, criticized the lack of women in the Shura council. The government-appointed body advises the king and is the closest thing Saudi Arabia has to a parliament.

Okay, let's stop here for a bit of reality. The Shura council is, in effect, a group of fat old men (joined by a few young men who become fat and old) that essentially bribe the appropriate member of the Saudi royal family (and there are thousands of them, don't forget) to do business the way they need to. It isn't so much governing as the true Old Boys Network. It ain't a parliament, boys and girls, not by any means. But boy, it sure is a great example of ass-kissing.

[...] Since the show was broadcast Wednesday evening, and again Thursday afternoon, the phones of the participants have not stopped ringing.

I'm thinking the religious posses took names and are waiting for you girls to step outside for a few minutes.

``This is just a feeler, a first step. We need to take things slowly so it doesn't backfire,'' said Fatani, who is not related to Siham Fatani, the professor.

Women came together to watch the program on the Saudi-owned satellite channel Orbit. For three days beforehand, women publicized the show by word of mouth and text messages on cell phones. ``A program on Saudi women Wednesday. Watch it. Circulate this to everyone you know,'' a typical message read.

[...] ``Driving is no longer a luxury, it's a necessity,'' said Samar Fatani. ``Some people have a hard time making ends meet and have to borrow money to afford drivers,'' she said.

Fitaihi, the social worker, said there were many important issues the show did not cover, such as domestic violence and divorce laws.

[...] Progressive Saudi women argue that in order to advance, they have to take part in decision-making.

``We need institutionalized reforms. They need to be official. Women need to be active participants in all the ministries and all the government sectors that deal with women and family law,'' Fitaihi said.

All sarcasm aside, this is a huge thing. But one show does not change a single law. When Saudi Arabia effects real change, I'll cheer loudly. So far, everything that I've read about points to the Saudis making PR statements about the issues the West complains about the most. When they remove the restrictions on women, I'll think that this "groundbreaking" show actually meant something other than window-dressing.

TOP


6/26/03

Jewish refugees from Arab nations

The refugees that nobody acknowledges are moving to make their cases heard:

Jews expelled from Arab countries accuse Arab regimes of ethnic cleansing
Linda Menuchum was born in Iraq in 1950. Her father, a prominent Jewish lawyer, was abducted and executed by the Iraqi government in 1972.

"After 1963, Jews were forbidden to leave the country," recalled Menuchum, who told her tearful story for the first time on Wednesday morning at Jerusalem's David Citadel Hotel, where Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC) which was founded only 18 months ago - presented their case for the rights and redress of Jewish refugees from Arab States, based on evidence pointing to collusion against Jews by Arab governments, compiled by 22 leading international law and human rights experts.

"It was in 1968 when the radio reports started to be very harsh on Jews. They were really inciting people against us," said Menuchum, whose father stayed in Iraq after she fled with her mother, brother and sister to Iran in 1970, wherefrom the family eventually made its way to Israel.

"At that time, Jews who were living in houses were given one month to leave. It was not permitted to travel more than 100 kilometers from the place where we lived. Those who worked in the private sector found themselves out of a job. Jews were not permitted to enter university. Several were taken in for interrogation. Phone lines were cut."

Menuchum is one of over 850,000 Jews who have been displaced from Arab countries since 1948, according to the JJAC report which states that 97% of Jews from Arab lands have left their countries of origin, leaving a mere 8,000-member population behind.

That 850,000 number seems familiar to me... why is that? Hm. Let's think. Could it be the number of palestinian refugees that the Arabs say left Israel in 1948? Why, it's awfully close. Funny how the Jews were absorbed by Israel, the U.S., and other nations, while the pals were refused entrance and citizenship by most Arab nations. But here's a really interesting numeric fact:

"Since 1947, there have been some 687 resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly, which have dealt with the Arab-Israeli conflict," explained Cotler. "101 of those resolutions dealt with the question of refugees. All 101 dealt with Palestinian refugees only. Not one resolution dealt with the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab lands."

687 resolutions. Let's see, there are 1,487 Security Council resolutions to date. I could not find a source for the total amount of General Assembly resolutions. My personal count of Security Council resolutions concerning Israel (as of October 1st, 2002) was 210 out of 1,436. The world's obsession with the supposed misdeeds of the Jews continues, as does the world's refusal to acknowledge the misdeeds of the Arabs against the Jews. Something to ponder during this so-called Road Map period. Russia wants Syria put on the table? I say put the plight of the Syrian Jews in, too. And the Iraqis and Egyptians and everything other nation that forced its Jewish population to flee for their lives, leaving everything behind. While we're at it, let's also talk about reparations for property stolen from them.

Then we'll have peace in the Middle East. Or at least parity.


Omigod, what happened to yesterday?

It's a giant blur. There were G-forces, plastic horses, the feeling of flying through the air, funnel cakes, Italian ice, and people with ridiculously phony German accents dancing to an oom-pah-pah band.

Busch Gardens: The call of the child. Wind Rider and his daughter met us at the park, and they got to see first hand what Sorena looks like in hyperdrive. We wore Anna out, though it may have been that she'd been up working until about two the previous morning.

We had a wonderful time, and I figured out how to rig one of those stupid carnival games in my favor, and won Sorena and her friend each a stuffed dolphin, with some help from Wind Rider. Heidi says I wasn't cheating, just using strategy. If the park were a little more crowded, I'd have strategized my way to a giant prize. Maybe next time.

And last night, as Heidi and I were letting the dogs out before collapsing in our beds, we found one of the reasons why I refuse to live in the sticks: Check this sucker out. (High-bandwith alert: I wanted to let you see the biggest possible picture of it.) That's Heidi's hand near the spider, or as close as she would get to it. We tried to get a comparison picture with it next to her sandal, but then the spider answered our question as to whether it was dead or alive and it fairly flew off the patio. And may I say: Ew.

Mom's coming to town today. I have some housecleaning to do. I don't expect to catch up on news until this evening, but I should be able to get her to watch TV or something while I post a bit later on tonight. I do believe that yesterday would be the first day in more than a year that I didn't put at least one post up. Now that was tired.

TOP


6/24/03

Indymedia Iran update

Chuck Simmins went looking for recent articles about Iran. Nope, still not on any of the Indymedia main pages, he says. Take a look, he's got more information than I'm willing to excerpt here.

And I received this letter last night:

Hi, as you may know, indymedia is an open-publishing site. we rely on readers to self-publish news to the site. in fact there have been several stories about Iran recently on sf.indymedia.org:

Please see http://www.google.com/search?q=iran+site%3Aindymedia.org

You will find articles about Iran on many local Indymedia sites, including sf.indymedia.org

iran.indymedia.org has not yet become a reality, given the difficult political situation there. Rather than develop an iran.indymedia site dominated primarily by Iranian expatriots or students overseas, we are fostering a coalition including many media activists and students still in Iran itself. For more info email [email protected]

--mark B./volunteer
sf.indymedia.org

I tried this search first, as I thought Mark's was missing an important term, and found the following from San Francisco's site in April:

Since the Iranian revolution of 1979, progress toward democracy has been made and will continue; but only if we actively support H.Res.59. The regime change called for by H.Res.140 will overturn the progress made through two decades of struggle and cause the sacrifices made by brave supporters of freedom to have been in vain. Indeed, H.Res.140 will bring back the instability that came directly after the revolution.

In the face of this threat, the time for action is now! We must speak out with one voice to tell our government that we will not allow our nation and the people of another Middle Eastern country to be dragged into yet another conflict. With wars continuing in Iraq and Afghanistan, we must speak loudly in favor of the continued struggle for a legitimate homegrown democracy in Iran that can serve as a beacon for other such movements throughout the region. Support for this type of reform is the only way to win the war on terrorism.

This was on the first results page of the search. Yup, I'm impressed. Well, no, not really.

Then there's this, an article copied from the Asia Times, I believe:

There is as yet no evidence to corroborate the allegations of the Iranian authorities that the US intelligence has been behind the current wave of student unrest. However, it appears to be true that, after repeatedly seeing the potential and clandestine operational capability of the pro-communist students of the universities, the CIA has started shifting its bets to them rather than placing them on the monarchists and the MEK for destabilizing the Tehran regime.

Certain Western-based students' organizations, such as the Students' Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran, which do not appear to be directly associated with the communists, have already been in receipt of financial assistance and guidance in agitprop methods from the CIA in the past. Now, an increasing part of this assistance is being diverted to those directly associated with the communists.

I like the comment on this article:

SMCCDI - the so-called "Student Movement Coordinating Commitee for Democracy in Iran" - has absolutely no relationship whatsoever with the genuine student movement in Iran. It is an example of how anyone can start up a website and call themselves whatever they want.

Yeah, that's what I say about Indymedia. Oh, the comment was on an article on the nascent democratic students movement, in January. Not another comment, though this was on San Francisco's site.

The Italy Indymedia page does have an article—on the front page—about the protests in Iran. Reader Tim M. sent it to me, and put it through Babelfish.

And while the students Iranians fight for the freedom of information and the left democracy the international press and the Europeans support without the minimal ability to critic the Khatami President.

Finally, I found one page dedicated to the democratic movement in Iran. It consists of reprints of various news articles about the movement, including Andrew Sullivan's column for Frontpage Magazine. Except, well, it's not an Indymedia site.

Clearly, Mark B. didn't click on the links in the search he sent me, but I did. I tracked back to see which were linked from the main pages of their specific sites. Only Germany Indymedia has Iran on the front page. Everything else is buried. Which is my point: The movement for democratic reform in Iran has ratcheted up in the last few weeks, and it is being mostly ignored by Indymedia. Oh, except for the effort to bring up an Indymedia Iran site that is not "dominated" by any group that Indymedia sees unfit to post on their open publishing sites.

Yeah, you folks go on ahead and do that. Let me know when it gets out of committee.

TOP


6/23/03

Small pieces, not really joined

Four prize-winners for the not-really-a-contest from last week: Momma Bear, Jack, Daniel S., and tireless correspondent Alex Bensky. If you put them together and averaged their age, they'd still all average over 30. Then again, I'm over 30, so I guess it figures. Plus, I grew up watching movie musicals on television with my mother, who used to have quite a good singing voice. Alas, the most I can do is stay on key; my singing is best saved for the car and the shower.

Lair Simon has a post on Powell's ridiculous claim that the pals are making a real effort to stop the violence. Thanks, Lair, my outrage for the day may have been used up already.

Summer has finally hit Richmond, which is good, because, well, summer has finally come to this hemisphere. And Tig just came indoors after lying in the sun. Ah, warm kitty fur. Lucky for him, the apartment is air conditioned.

Imshin's blog turned a year old last week, and I didn't get around to telling her how much her writing means to me. Keep on writing, Imshin. The world is that much fuller for the views from your little piece of it.

I have not tipped my hat to Dave Tepper in ages. Remedied.

I am still far behind on my email. Sorry. Been attending to other things. But I snuck a peek at Merde In France's mail and got this link. (I think Glenn got it, too, but hey, the more the merrier.) I will get to the rest of the mail, which discusses scientology and Indymedia's lack of support for Iran, soon.

Oh, speaking of that: Chuck Simmins, who is much farther to the right than I but knows the difference between a lefty and a lefty loon (thank you so much for that, Chuck), has been tweaking the Indymidiots by posting about the protests in Iraq. He has emailed me about it, but I must demand more: Follow-up posts on your blog, sir! Write up the results and I'll link it. Who knows, you might get Instapundit involved.

Okay, I have procrastinated long enough. Things to do today. The Creator is arriving Thursday evening. Housework, organization, grocery shopping, the usual.


The Zayed Center Purim conspiracy theorist rattles on

Okay, a brief recap: The Zayed Center is an organization that purportedly brings speakers to tell the "truth" about the wicked aims of the Zionists. One of their speakers was a Saudi woman who went into great detail about how Jews use human blood in their pastries for Purim. The woman has a Purim fixation, because she went on to insist that the war on Iraq was nefariously tied into Purim, as well:

Dr. Umayma Al-Jalahma briefed the Zayed Centre on April 9, 2003, and claimed that the U.S. war in Iraq was timed to coincide with the Jewish holiday Purim.[31] Dr. Al-Jalahma, a professor of Islamic Studies at Saudi Arabia's King Faysal University, made headlines last year when she claimed that Jews use human blood to make pastries for the Purim holiday. In an article published in the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh on March 12, 2002, Dr. Al-Jalahma wrote about "the Jewish holiday of Purim… for this holiday, the Jewish people must obtain human blood so that their clerics can prepare the holiday pastries… that affords the Jewish vampires great delight as they carefully monitor every detail of the blood-shedding with pleasure... After this barbaric display, the Jews take the spilled blood, in the bottle set in the bottom [of the needle-studded barrel in which they kill the victim], and the Jewish cleric makes his coreligionists completely happy on their holiday when he serves them the pastries in which human blood is mixed." Following MEMRI's release of a translation of this article,[32] Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer criticized the Saudi government and press. Subsequently, Dr. Al-Jalahma was prevented from writing for Al-Riyadh, but began writing for another Saudi daily, Al-Watan.

In her April 9, 2003 lecture at the Zayed Centre, "[Dr. Al-Jalahma] said that the American war on Iraq started in March to concur with [the] Purim feast, often celebrated in this month, which symbolizes the Jewish victory over Haman in Babylon [sic]." According to the Zayed Centre's website [Dr. Al-Jalahma] also said that "the Jewish woman is politically and socially oppressed… the Jewish woman lives in a miserable condition that requires the intervention of the international humanitarian organization[s] to protect her. The Jewish woman, she said, has been exploited and used for political purposes, and despite her noticeable contribution to the building of the Zionist society, she is still denied her rights as a human being. Injustice and oppression weigh heavily on her everywhere in society, particularly the kibbutz, or the collective farms, where she is even deprived of her children and extensively indoctrinated [in] the Zionist principles."

Well, apparently, Al-Jalahma is really pissed about her negative publicity, because she wrote a long, rambling article for Al-Watan, and Lynn B. sent me a copy. Here are some of the highlights (and I do use that word loosely):

No doubt, many people have read about the Zionist campaign launched against Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-up due to its invitation to me to lecture on a topic of my own choice(The Conditions of Jewish Woman in the Zionist Society).

Okay, now you've piqued my interest: The Conditions of Jewish Woman in the Zionist Society? Well, as a Jewish woman in Zionist society (because everyone knows, the world is controlled by the Zionists), I am absolutely fascinated to hear what you have to say.

[...] My choice of this topic has been dicated by the oppression and injustice Jewish woman suffers from in both fundamentalist and secular camps in the Zionist entity.

Hot damn! We're going to hear how Jewish women are being oppressed in the middle east—not Muslim women!

I do not keep secret if I would tell you that my hope was to arouse the interest of international human rights committees which constantly call for the respect of human rights, regardless of their ideologies. The committees, it seems to me, that overlook the deteriorating situation of Jewish woman in Zionist society. I was prompted by the hope that, by highlighting this issue, I could contribute, though little, to the uncovering of what could almost destroy a residue of woman’s dignity, even if she is a Jew. By so doing I thought I could evoke the enthusiasm of international western committees for human rights to do something to stop the oppression and humiliation against Jewish woman. But it seems like sailing against the wind.

Wow, how generous of her. "Even if she is a Jew." No, your bigotry isn't showing at all, is it? Oh, and here in America, we like to say "Pissing into the wind," but I expect you'd be, like, whipped if you wrote that in a Saudi newspaper, what with your being a woman and all. Oh, and may I add a tip: Editor! Hello! Editor? Help! Geez, woman. E-D-I-T-O-R!

It was also my duty, as a Saudi Moslem, to enlighten the audience about the Islamic law that protects man from the injustice of his fellow human beings, specifically the Islamic point of view towards woman in general, as Islam honors woman, forbidding her humiliation and injustice.

Sure, this has nothing to do with your hatred of all things Jewish. And the Islamic point of view towards women in general is quite well known. Say, sweetie, could you drive to the grocery store and pick me up a six-pack of Mecca Cola? What's that? You can't drive because you're a Saudi Arabian woman? Hey! That could be the subject of your next lecture.

However, the ensuing events that followed the lecture, have aroused my astonishment, as instead of running campaigns against the violation of woman rights in Zionist society, the campaigns are launched against Zayed Centre due to its hosting of a Saudi Moslem woman who has been highly appreciated by her people, something which angered others whose women still suffer from oppression and injustice. Such a situation is liable to continue unless world committees for human rights tend to interfere to put an end to it.

And once again, let me ask you something about the land of oppression and injustice for women: Can you leave the country without your husband's permission? Can you walk in your own town unaccompanied by a male relative? Can you wear a skirt that comes only to mid-calf in Saudi Arabia? Can you go out with your head uncovered? For that matter, can a Christian woman in Saudi Arabia wear a crucifix? Can a Jewish woman so much as enter Saudi Arabia if she's not Barbara Walters and being used as a PR stooge?

Uh-huh.

Those people have been provocatively enraged, not only by the facts uncovered in the lecture, which they tired to keep secret, but also by the discussion that followed the lecture where I have answered some questions. Some of these questions have been related to the lecture itself; others have been about the media campaigns waged against Saudi Arabia, those behind these campaigns, the West’s ignorant outlook into Islam, and the causes of that outlook, and also the current situation of the Arab woman.

Let's take a look at that current situation of the Arab woman Saudi Arabia with an unexpectedly hilarious admission about the Saudi view toward educating girls:

Although women in Saudi Arabia have a pre-eminent role within the family, it would be a mistake to think that the role of women in Saudi Arabian society is confined to home-making. The development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has brought with it increasing opportunities for women in both education and employment. In 1960 (1379/80 AH), the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia undertook the introduction of a national education program for girls. By the mid-1970s (1390s AH), about half of all Saudi Arabian girls were attending school. Five years later, education was available to all Saudi girls.

Wow. Around 1980, education was finally available to all Saudi girls. Imagine that. Say, if I point out that Jewish girls were required to be given a basic education for centuries, think it would piss off Al-Jalahma?

Other questions have been raised about Iraq war and the Zionist greediness towards Iraq and the region as a whole. I have explained that this war has been coincided with the Jews festival of the Purim, the occasion where they could kill 75,000 of their enemies; it is a sacred memory for Jews celebrated in March every year. This year, celebrations took place on 17 – 19 of March, 2003, as world news agencies have reported. The war on Iraq, however, has started on 19 March.

Yeah, and the October 1973 war was launched during Ramadan, and yet we don't see Jewish Ramadan conspiracy theories. Funny, that. (Schmuck.)

The connection between the two events is go in agreement with Israel Shahak, Zionist thinker who has negated in his book entitled “Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel” that the timing of the Ibraham massacre has happened by chance. This conclusion also coincides with what Shahak has cited in his book of a Zionist study published in Ha’aretz on 15 November, 1996 under the title “History of Denial” by Rami Rozen. The study states that the basic facts of the Jewish history in the last 1500 years show that the picture is different from our previous knowledge, as there have been massacres carried out by Jews against Christians and other events similar to crucifixion that have taken place in the Purim…! I had also to explain the Zionist greed in the Iraqi oil, and the region towards general.

Even the Wikipedia thinks Shahak was a nutjob. And if Rozen is quoted positively by Israel Shamir, he's as big a nutjob. Get better sources; these are the same tiresome ones we read over and over again. And if they're so right, tell me: Why aren't they mainstream opinion? Oh, I forgot—it's that damned Zionist conspiracy to hide the truth. My bad.

The campaign waged nowadays against Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-up are expected for those following up the Centre’s various activities. We have used to hear about such campaigns against the Centre. Yet, Zayed Centre did not yield, but continued steadily. As a reflection of this, local, Arab and world organizations and institutions have recognized its cultural activities and appreciated its attitudes.

Yeah, I can't imagine why people would think there's something wrong with an organization that has Lyndon LaRouche and Kurt Waldheim as their guest speakers. A convicted tax-evading conspiracy theorist and a former Nazi—those are two categories of person to take pride in having sponsored.

One thing you can say about the Zayed Center: It's consistent. And so is this lunatic.


Everyone's a Harry Potter fan

Gracie-in-a-box

Even Gracie.

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6/22/03

Action Alert: Indymedia protester attacked by U.S. Army

Protesters being attacked by Army helicoptersDr. Bruce Banner, former researcher in nanotechnology and nuclear science, was attacked by the U.S. Army while protesting peacefully in downtown San Francisco.

Banner, who now spends his time attempting to bring the world's attention to the nuclear industry and military-industrial complex that caused him to become a transmutant outcast, was simply taking a stroll in the San Francisco Underground when he was attacked by helicopters and fighter jets, endangering civilians as well as landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge. At considerable risk to himself, Transmutant Banner prevented a jet from crashing into the Golden Gate Bridge, saving dozens of civilian lives.

A protest in support of Transmutants against the Bush Military-Industrial Complex, and No! To Nuclear Modifications On Humans is scheduled to take place on Friday, July 4th at five p.m. Show your solidarity with Dr. Banner by painting yourself green and wearing purple pants. Protest signs will be supplied by ANSWER and Not In Our Name. Help stop the oppression of transmutant scientists by the Bush Administration!


Lileks smash!

Andrea is right. This is the funniest photoshopping of the Lileks pic yet. Hulk doesn't think so, but hey, he's not the brightest behemoth on the planet. Of course, I may be a wee bit prejudiced—but it's still funny.


Bombing for peace

In an Orwellian interview with Ahmed Jbarra, the longest-serving palestinian prisoner who was released as a "good-faith measure," the BBC (in an amazingly unbiased interview) finds out what Jbarra will be telling Arafat now that he's "special advisor" to the Chief Terrorist:

JR: Do you have any remorse for the bombing?

AJ: When we fight, we fight for peace. We never fight for (to) kill people. But, before you ask this question for me, ask for the Israelis if they make the same thing.

JR: But I often do - I often ask Israelis in the aftermath of attacks, which kill Palestinians how, they feel, and that's the question I asked you as 13 Israelis were killed.

AJ: They never feel sorry about that - they never.

JR: But what about you?

AJ: I had a home. I had land, I had a state, but now I didn't have anything. I didn't have anything now.

JR: Nevertheless 13 people were killed because of what you did.

AJ: The Israeli people, they killed many, many people of us.

JR: Does that justify killing on the other side?

AJ: Because they kill us. They kill us, they kill many children.

JR: But again, does that justify killing 13 people in the centre of Jerusalem?

AJ: The operation killed 13 people and injured over 78 people. But this is just (because) we (are) fighting for peace.

[...] JR: So you say that if they kill your people then you should continue fighting but you're also saying that you shouldn't carry out more bombings?

AJ: But there is (the) obligation to fight. We try to make peace. I am ready and the leaders of the Palestinian Abu Mazen, Dahlan, all the Palestinian leaders, is ready to sign the peace with the Israelis in 24 hours. But, let us live as people - we want a state - really. If they don't fight, the Israelis, if they give something, no more (war).

JR: So its only through fighting that you get concessions?

AJ: If the Palestinian will not fight for their rights, never be state for the Palestinians. The Israelis, they don't give us anything.

As Lynn B. put it: What state? What state would that be 27 years ago? Or are we talking about the state of life as a man who killed 13 civilians and injured dozens more.

"We fight for peace." I simply cannot believe they released this man. This is why I'm all for the death penalty for bombers in Israel. If they'd had one, the release of this mass murderer wouldn't even have been an issue. "Good-faith" measures. No, it's Israel contributing to her own destruction again.

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Last week's blogs are archived. Looking for the Buffy Blogburst Index? Here's Israel vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon. The Superhero Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try the Hulk's solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin Laden's diary and The Fudd Doctrine are also good bets if you've never been here before.

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