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Posts Tagged ‘Hamas

So Difficult: “Independent Info from Syria”

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Clock Tower

All the atrocities are coordinated and conducted from this clock tower. Of course, that's just my assertion (I thought it up), it may not be the clock tower's fault at all, and anyway, I have nothing to back the allegation up, but it sounds good, doesn't it? Besides, a number of people was hanged there by the regime, in 2007.

It is still extremely difficult to obtain independent information from Syria”,writes ARTE, a Franco-German television station. “Now, for the first time”, a journalist, Sofia Amara, succeeded in shooting pictures with a hidden camera, in Syria. Her project was supported by the oppositional “Syrian National Council”.

Yes, it must be extremely difficult to obtain independent information. In June this year, Jürgen Todenhöfer, a German politician, travelled Syria. A video journalist accompanied him and took pictures, too. Not as spectacular – but then, Todenhöfer didn’t need the “Syrian National Council’s” support – and that makes his report much more trustworthy than the one ARTE is mongering, on television, and online.

How did she verify the atrocities reported? How can she tell who commited them? At least on the video shown, ARTE didn’t ask her such questions. A German newscast (ZDF, simply took this into its evening news on October 14, and asked no questions either.

Sure – the Assad regime has failed. How to do business with Syria in the future – or how not to do business with Syria any more – is a legitimate question. Military action should be discussed as an option, too.

But for this kind of journalism, I prefer reading a big German tabloid.

For some more quality, see this interview, conducted by NPR (yes, ARTE, that’s an AMERICAN station).


Written by taide

October 15, 2011 at 8:41 am

Web Critic: a Website about Aleppo

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The best way to experience Aleppo, other than going there, is to view the pages of this website, Historische Alepposeife, which means Aleppo soap in English. The authors are clearly overweening, but their rambles through the city, its history and its specters is entertaining enough.

This is true for the North Arabian Diary in particular, from 2007, with words and pictures, and occasional ideological quarrels between Germans and Arabs, some news (more frequent updates there wouldn’t hurt), and an overview over Syria’s foreign-language media.

Written by taide

November 19, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Simply Put, “Genocide”

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Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (Wikimedia Commons): wish you were here.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (Wikimedia Commons): wish you were here.

I’m wondering if Ankara can see their demand for an Israeli apology – or severance of diplomatic ties – through. Does the Turkish government need something that would confirm and justify their own hubbub, in the face of the Turkish public at home? A face-saving operation from Tel Aviv?

Maybe Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s prime minister, and many of his fans, have become too used to their own rhetoric. “The incidents in China are, simply put, a genocide”, His Excellency reportedly said last year. And in the books of many other “critics” – not Erdoğan’s, to avoid misunderstandings -, there is “genocide” in the Gaza territory. If there is any nation that never committed one, it is, for sure, Turkey itself. “After all, a Muslim can never commit genocide.”  Allah be praised!

Just two estimates – from the CIA Factbook:

Category Gaza Turkey
Death Rate 3.36 deaths/1,000 population 6.1 deaths/1,000 population
Infant Mortality Rate 17.71 deaths/1,000 live births 24.84 deaths/1,000 live births

Granted – no information that stems from the Middle East should be taken without a pinch of salt – but if this spells genocide in Gaza, it must be a human right to be on the receiving end.

Written by taide

July 5, 2010 at 7:57 pm

From Tehran, for a Clearer Picture

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Iran has supplied sophisticated radar to Syria that can monitor Israeli air force sorties and threaten its ability to attack Iranian nuclear targets by surprise, Reuters quotes the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ quotes – unnamed by Reuters – Israeli and US officials.

A spokesman for the Syrian embassy in WashingtonAhmed Salkini, denounced the allegation as “classic Israeli PR stunts aimed at diverting the world’s attention from the atrocities they are committing in Gaza and other occupied territories”.

The tech transfer was reportedly carried out about a year ago. In 2007, Israeli fighter jets bombed a Syrian site that the Israelis said housed a nuclear reactor in the final stages of construction. The BBC points out that there has been a UN ban on Iran since 2007 to sell or supply weapons to other countries.

Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad travelled Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil, and Argentina last week. MercoPress (Montevideo) writes that Syrian communities are very strong and economically influential in Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina, advocating the establishment of “a new and more just international order” by including Brazil in the U.N. Security Council.

On June 29, Radio Damascus, in a commentary, noted that

The countries currently visited by president al-Assad – Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, and Cuba – all adopt stands that support the just Arab cause. At the same time, their stands confront the policies of hegemony, war, and terrorism in the whole world. Those states have suffered a lot from the American policies and interference in the affairs of states and peoples. The previous American administrations supported dictatorial regimes, and supported them against their peoples.

Now, Damascus apparently believes, it is time for America to support Syria’s dictatorial regime. And no more distractions, please.

Written by taide

July 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm

How Israel screws its Reputation

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Israel’s government press office passed on a link to a youtube video – by “Caroline Glick and the Flotila Band” –  to journalists on June 4, five days after the IDF raided the Turkish cruising ship Mavi Marmara on May 31 which was on its way to Gaza to “bring in humanitarian aid and supplies”, defying the Israeli blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory.

"Caroline Glick and the Flotila Band"

youtube video: "Caroline Glick and the Flotila Band"

The video, “We con the world”, had been posted on youtube on June 3, produced by the Latma website. Maybe the “joke” could have worked if it had lasted up to twenty seconds – but “We con the world”, based on the 1980s song by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie, takes painful five minutes, too long even if it had been a good skit. Israelis act as “Arab” and “Turkish” activists (or gangsters?), and with strained attempts to produce funny lines: “The greatest bluff of all”, “We’ll make them all believe that the Hamas Is Momma Theresa” (by the way, the old nun spelled her name Teresa) are not really funny.

The press office apparently had second thoughts about the “fun”, too. Der Spiegel quotes Dutch  news agency BNO as reporting that the office had contacting them with the intention to retract the email with the link.

The main problem with the video isn’t that it is using stereotypes. That could still be funny. The real problem, I believe, is that Mrs Glick and the Flotila Band didn’t enjoy their own show. It was a hasty propaganda measure, and the Israeli government’s press office dived for it like for a last straw.

The American “Center for Security Policy”, a conservative organization, is a major donor to latma.tv, Der Spiegel wrote on June 5. Caroline Glick, who took part in the “Flotila Band” production, moved from Hyde Park, Chicago to Israel in the 1990s and is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the “Center for Security Policy”. Yesterday, she posted another “funny” one: “The Three Terrors”, i. e. Ahmadinejad (Iran), Erdogan (Turkey), and al-Assad (Syria). The comments to her post don’t suggest that the viewers really had fun either. It’s fear, loathing, and little else.

It is obvious that the “Free Gaza” movement gives a rat’s ass on how life and Hamas are treating the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. The only thing that matters is what Israel does to Gaza. The “Free Gaza” movement wouldn’t have cared either if Hamas had taken the cargo from the Mavi Marmara and distributed it among the Palestinian people there in accordance with their allegiance to the Hamas regime.

But that doesn’t change the fact that the IDF raided the Mavi Marmara in international waters, and that the operation took the lives of nine “activists” who, after all, may have carried lots of knives and clubs – but no guns.

Sometimes, it would be nice if people like Mrs Glick and her Flotila Band would just shut up.

Their recent activities show that their mouths are no smaller than those of the people they fear and hate. Maybe they know each other only too well.

Written by taide

June 19, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Palestinian Leaders: Live with us in ONE State (and be very afraid)

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A government, or an elected authority, must act in the best interest of its people. It wouldn’t be easy to argue that Fatah always had the Palestinians’ best interests in mind in the past – or that the leaders will take their peoples’ interests into account in the future. But the Palestinian Authority might be in the process of finding a very effective position in the stalled peace process with Israel.

When Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office on March 31 this year, the Obama administration called on his government to halt all settlement building. But when confronted with Netanyahu’s blank refusal, Washington changed its stance and suggested that the most important thing was to get the negotiations going again. The BBC’s Jerusalem correspondent’s interpretation was that “on the issue of settlements, the Obama administration blinked first”.

Up to now, it seemed that lodging protests was the only option the Palestinian Authority had, apart from calling yet another Intifada, which would do nothing to make life in the West Bank any easier. Instead, PA president Mahmoud Abbas may simply not run for re-election in January.

To some extent, this may just be a face-saving operation, because it is hard to see how there could be valid elections in the West Bank and in Gaza anyway, if Hamas simply refuses to take part in them. And Abbas’ decision may not yet be final.

But there is a bigger picture behind Abbas’ reluctance to run again. In response to statements made by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday, in which she rejected the Palestinians’ demand for a full cessation of settlement construction as a precondition for the resumption of peace talks with Israel, both Abbas and PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat suggested that Fatah could abandon the idea of a two-state solution, and a one-state solution could become an alternative. After all, with as many Israeli settlements as there were in the West Bank now, a Palestinian state wouldn’t be viable.

This could turn out to be the smartest approach Palestinian leaders have taken in six decades. Let’s live together in one state, Mr Netanyahu, and we’ll outnumber and outvote your people before you can spell roadmap.

Then again, Fatah isn’t exactly the African National Congress. The ANC, in principle anyway, respected the human rights of all South Africans, whites included, and people, no matter to which ethnic group in South Africa they belonged, were never as broadly and deliberately targeted and killed, as Jewish people were in sucicide attacks before the building of the “security fence”.

If Fatah manages to make a one-state-solution plausible to a global public, and to paint Israel’s government as some kind of Apartheid regime, things could become very uncomfortable for Mr Netanyahu and his government. But that would require that the Palestinians respect the human rights of Jewish people, just as they demand respect for their own human rights. Every suicide attack would mute the effects of Palestinian propaganda.

And so far, too many Palestinians still argue that injustices are done to them  Muslims, i.e. as members of the global Ummah, rather than stating the violation of Palestinian individuals’ rights: children, women, and men – no matter if they are Muslims, Christians, “Infidels”, or whatever.

The Muslim-solidarity appeals may earn them sympathies – and some support – from Morocco to Indonesia, but not in North or South America, in Europe, or in East Asia.

Anyhow, the Palestinian leadership would have reasons to drop the two-state solution. If  Washington can’t even persuade the Israeli government to freeze the settlements for the duration of peace talks, there is little chance that America can play the role of an honest broker in the actual negotiations. And in the absence of negotiations, the demographic factor might be working for the Palestinians.

That would be a lousy perspective for the individual Palestinians. But so would be “peace negotiations” without effective mediation.

Written by taide

November 6, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Tehran: Taide taps Ahmadinejad’s Telephone

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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on the phone, reacting to Ruhollah Hosseinian‘s information that several top Revolutionary Guardians have been killed in a suicide attack in Southeastern Iran:

What the fuck?! A suicide attack without our permission?!”

Written by taide

October 18, 2009 at 12:08 pm