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Showing posts from May, 2008

The Merkava and the Fulbright Scholar: The Israel "security" sham

In Today's Wall Street Journal "What's News" an item on Palestine reads:

"The White house predicted Israel will relent on its decision to deny visas to Gazan recipients of Fulbright scholarships."


This is irrefutable evidence of the irrationality and vindictiveness of the Israeli government in its dealing with the Palestinians.

Denying the visas to the Fulbright scholars is further evidence that Israel takes measures against Palestine under the pretext of security when in fact these measures are taken out of a sense of entitlement, colonial supremacy, fear of international scrutiny and transparency.

The "security" sham must not be allowed to continue.

Tolerant Nasrallah, Intolerant Malkin: It's More than a Garment Thing

McCain's daughter is pictured wearing a scarf that looks like the Arab scarf, the Kaffieh.

Rachel Ray wearing the same scarf in a Dunkin Donuts commercial led to pressure from right wingers. This pressure resulted in Dunkin Donuts withdrawing this commercial. Too bad. Ms Ray looked great in the scarf.

But Dunkin Donuts did not want to deal with the controversy and Rachel Ray did not need the headache of a tiny minority of zealots using the web to call her "Jihadist Sympathizer" among other things.

Thousands of miles away, Hizbullah held a rally in Beirut.

The news item of the event had a picture of a young woman, dressed in Jeans and T shirt, holding Sayed Nasrallah's picture. This young woman looked like any average young woman in a Western city.

As any visitor to the areas dominated by the Hizbullah finds great diversity in dress from the ultra conservative chador to the tight Jeans and T- shirt. Unlike the Taliban, the Islamists of Hizbullah, surprisingly but smartly, …

The Sunni- Shia Fitna: Two Fatwas-Shaykh Naim Qasim's and Shaykh Mawlawi's

Is there a Sunni Shia Fitna in Lebanon or not? It's good to know. Because if there is one, it should be dealt with before it festers and grows out of hand into something real ugly like what happened in Iraq.

MP Saad Hariri stated that the Fitna has happened due to the violations and trauma of May 7 events.

These comments have been faced with cynicism by the Hizbullah and its allies. Since MP Shaykh Saad Hariri and the 14th of March group are allied with the US- the charge is that it is the US (with its junior team member Israel), the convenient suspect for ALL Arab and Muslim ills, that is pushing for an alleged "Shia- Sunni Fitna."

The claim is that the US wants this Fitna and that its allies and friends are "shamelessly irresponsibly" etc. promoting this idea.

However, today in al Safir the leader of a Muslim Brotherhood group, al Jamaa al Islamiya, (which has the [bad] habit of other Islamists, that it blaming the US for everything and not giving it credit for a…

Palestine Supporters and the State of Palestine

Where is the support for a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza among Arab Americans, Muslims Americans and their friends?

Where are the massive grassroots campaigns to create a momentum for a Palestinian state?

From Madrid to Oslo- the formula agreed on is land for peace, as to Palestine- a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

This is the Palestine struggle today.

The real struggle today is the creation of a state in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians, their friends and supporters, need to keep the goal of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza, with Jerusalem as its capital, the center of their efforts.

But this is not the case.

There is too much energy spent on the Nakba and the issue of the refugees. These are core issues and should be focused on. However, the issue of a state on the West Bank and Gaza should be the centerpiece of action of the pro- Palestinian groups, Arab and non- Arab, Muslims and non Muslims.


Look at the events supporting …

It's "a Kind of" Apartheid- Haaretz & President Carter

In "Our debt to Jimmy Carter," The Israeli newspaper Haaretz editorializes on the Israeli debt to President Carter for the peace agreement with Israel writing in part:

"Israel is not ready for such comparisons [with South Africa], even though the situation begs it. It is doubtful whether it is possible to complain when an outside observer, especially a former U.S. president who is well versed in international affairs, sees in the system of separate roads for Jews and Arabs, the lack of freedom of movement, Israel's control over Palestinian lands and their confiscation, and especially the continued settlement activity, which contravenes all promises Israel made and signed, a matter that cannot be accepted. The interim political situation in the territories has crystallized into a kind of apartheid that has been ongoing for 40 years. In Europe there is talk of the establishment of a binational state in order to overcome this anomaly. In the peace agreement with Egypt, …

President Michele Suleiman : "Defensive National Strategy" and "Syria Diplomatic Relations"

It's official.

Army Commander Michele Suleiman is the President of the Republic.

In his acceptance speech, he emphasized the need for "diplomatic relations "with Syria and for a "national defense strategy."

This is remarkable.

These two echo the demands of the 14th of March coalition.

President Suleiman called for a "calm dialogue" on the issue of the weapons of Hizbullah in order to develop a "national defense strategy."

In effect, this is what MP Jumblatt has been saying- a "defensive" strategy (not offensive) where Hizbullah does not solely have the country's war decision.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f0nktMjWjA

This is an auspicious beginning for the Presidency of Mr. Suleiman.

The impressive turnout of Arab and other dignitaries means that the days of Lebanon being monopolized by one medium power are gone.

The future of Lebanon is an Arab and international responsibility.

Hope the events of May 7 never happen again.
http://www.…

King Solomon and Splitting the Baby

Al Arabiya TV has a program on Palestine.

In this program Arabs and Jews are interviewed about the 1948 war and its aftermath. At one point, the interviewer, to illustrate the refusal of the Palestinians to accept the UN partition plan, asked a Jewish Israeli if he knew the story of King Solomon and the two competing claims for a baby.

The Jewish interviewee says yes. He told the traditional reading of the story. There is a more reasonable reading of the story.

As a judge facing competing claims for a baby, the common thinking is that King Solomon devised a plan to find out who the real mother is.

King Solomon proposed splitting the baby with the understanding that the real mother would not accept the splitting of the baby while the false mother would.

King Solomon, the story goes, figured out that the woman that accepted spliting the baby is not the real mother so he gave the baby to the other woman- the real mother.

A more reasonable reading of the story is that King Solomon took what we …

The Sunni and the Shia Urban Myths and the Challenge of Coexistence

The Sunnis and the Shia: Adventures in Medieval Thought in the age of SMS


After the misadventure of May 7, the question being asked is how can the tension between the Shia and the Sunnis be reduced in Lebanon and in the Arab and Muslim world.

It is going to be a very difficult job. Take Lebanon for example.

In Lebanon they embrace modernity- they love Western toys of all kinds.
In a nation of about 4 million people, there are more than one million cell phone lines. It seems that almost everyone has a cell phone and a satellite television access.

The internet is widely used with no censorship.
But education and modernity do not change medieval outlooks.

The Amal and Hizbullah supporters, for example, had to place their flags on the light poles in majority Sunni areas. The sight of these men gave their tribe members feelings of power over the Sunnis while the other tribe felt that the Shia are out to humiliate them.

That sight, to me, reminded me of Neil Armstrong's moon moment.

When Neil Ar…

Egypt's Mehdi Akif's Mujahid

The Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood, always criticize the US for not recognizing them and for distust of them (with the rare exception of the Turkish modern and democratic Islamists).

For example, the Palestinian Hamas always protests that the US is hypocritical for not recognizing them despite their gains in the Palestinian elections. They protest that the US as a believer and promoter of democracy should recognize them and engage them.

Voices from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood have called for the US to pressure Mubarak’s government to ease the pressure on the Brotherhood.

The Arab Islamists also have protested that not all of them are terrorists and that the US and the West should deal with them as the up and coming force in the Arab and Muslim world after the nationalists and the secular groups have been allegedly discredited.

Today an interview in Elaph, (if the interviewer has been accurate and truthful), raises serious questions about the Brotherhood's position reg…

Jumblatt in Al Shiraa

See in Al Shiraa of this week Hassan Sabra's analysis of the role of MP Jumblatt in managing the crisis of May 7.

http://www.alshiraa.com/alshiraa/details.asp?iss=1342&cat=1&art=1&id=13718

The Gains and the Losses of May 7 and the Doha Agreement

The May 7 2008 Hezbollah military misadventure in Sunni Beirut and the Muslim Druze Mountain and the Doha Agreement have handed the Saniora government and its allies major achievements.

Think of the reality before Doha.

The following is the reality of the political and economic stalemate that existed before the Doha agreement:

The Speaker of the Parliament, an ally of the Hezbollah had the parliament shut down thus making electing a President of the Republic impossible and precipitating the constitutional crisis of the vacancy in the top political position in the Republic.

Second, the Hezbollah and its allies erected about 1200 tents in the middle of downtown Beirut thus greatly suffocating the economic life in this economic and tourist hub and undermining investor confidence in Lebanon.

The Doha agreement has resulted in the decisions to reopen the parliament, and to elect the candidate nominated by the very same pro- government coalition, General Suleiman, as President of the Republic. T…

The Doha Lebanon Agreement: Many Winners and One Loser

The Doha success has winners and a loser.

MP Aoun emerges as the biggest loser.
He insisted on a “transitional government.”
He wanted so bad to become President and thought the juvenile but deadly move of the Lebanese Opposition would lead to his coronation over Lebanon. He comes back from Qatar a broken old man. Good. No President of the Republic title for him -he deserves the title the Don Quixote of Lebanese politics.

Lebanon will have a President and the Camp of shame in Downtown Beirut will be dismantled and the filth left cleaned by Sokleen. I was a witness to what the squatters in the tent city wrote on the walls of the beautiful downtown- filthy words from filthy dark minds and hands. The words and the filth should be pictured and documented so that we do not forget.

As to MP Saad Hariri the success in Qatar shows that militias and street people with guns are not the key to political participation and political influence. MP Saad Hariri emerges from Doha a modern leader with hands …

Holy Violence and Unholy Politics: Radical Islamists from Gaza to Beirut

The radical Islamist violence in Beirut, aided by a motley crew of has- been leftists, quasi fascists and nationalist groups, directed inwards, highlights the threat the radical Islamists pose to their own societies. Societies that have been sleeping while the radicals have been growing like wild and poisonous mushrooms on a spring lawn.

Despite their rhetoric that plays on legitimate national and economic frustrations, their goal is political power- unchecked- except by their own thoughts of what God really really wants.

Once in power, by ballot or by the gun, they would rule ruthlessly against others- just as their secular revolutionary predecessers communists did.

Some of yester year's communists have re-emerged, with the same old bearded face of leftist youth and folly, as radical Islamists. That seems odd but not really.

Both ideologies are rigid, absolutist, totalitarian and violence prone.

It’s disgusting the naïve and misguided support that they get from Western sources and a f…

Lebanon Vigil pictures

For pictures of the vigil held in Dearborn to protest the violence in Lebanon, check

www.futuremovementusa.com.

Western Islam and the Jewish Experience

In Migrations and Cultures: A World View, Thomas Sowell writes about the great migrations- among them the Chinese (the largest diaspora in the world) and the Jews.

It is interesting that his arguments on the Jews, in many ways, apply to the Moslems in the US today- explaining why they are better off as a group in the US than they are in Western Europe.

Sowell writes:

“Where anti- Semitism was strongest and most implacable- Eastern Europe being again a prime example- Jews tended to be least assimilated in language or culture. Where acceptance was greater in Western Europe and their offshoot societies in North America and Australia-Jews tended much more to become culturally assimilated, citizens and patriots.”

Now about the Jews in the Muslim world, Sowell writes:

“Among the factors influencing the better treatment of Jews in Muslim lands during the early Middle Ages was that Jews were less conspicuous , or only one of a number of non-Moslem minorities in the Islamic world, while they stood …

Arab American News Report on Pro- Government Vigil in Dearborn

See below a report in the Arab American News on the Vigil held in Dearborn on Tuesday in support of the government of PM Fouad Saniora and against the violence there.


The reporter, Khalil AlHajal, wrote a balanced and thorough report. Kudos to him and the Arab American News for this fine reporting that is on par with reporting by any of the renowned national media:

http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=Community&article=1062


Pro-government Lebanese demonstrate in Dearborn By Khalil AlHajal
- The Arab American NewsFriday, 05.16.2008, 02:25pm

Local supporters of both sides of the conflict weigh in on crisis in Lebanon


Dearborn — About 100 people gathered on the steps of City Hall here on Tuesday to protest violence in Lebanon over the past week that has left at least 65 dead and 200 wounded.
The protestors were supporters of the Lebanese government's ruling March 14 coalition, which has faced demands to step down from a Hizbullah-led opposition for the past…

Youtube Muslim Voters in the US- CNN clip

Hassan Sabra's "Second Invasion"

In this week's Al Shiraa, the Editor of the magazine Hassan Sabra analyses the new developments in Lebanon:

http://www.alshiraa.com/alshiraa/details.asp?iss=1341&cat=2&art=1&id=13706

It's al Nakba, Just Like It's the Holocaust

The Israelis are mad that the UN Secretary General used the word al nakba.

Strange is the logic of the Israeli government.

The Palestinians were uprooted and transformed into refugees, their homes and land taken forcefully.

Palestinian heritage, many parts of it, is being stolen and called Jewish Israeli heritage. Even the Middle Eastern dish of Hummus they want to call it "Israeli dip."

1948 is the year of the Nakba/national catastrophe for the Palestinians.

This fact does not negate the need for a political solution to the conflict. This does not mean that peace is not achievable. This does not mean that the Palestinians are not ready for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

The Israelis and their friends and supporters can celebrate all they want- and call the creation of Israel any and all they want- a miracle, the best thing to ever happen to humanity, etc.

But for the Palestinian people it was and is a catastrophe. For the refugees living in camps and for the occupied colon…

Debbie Schlussel: Lone soldier Pollard is better than Served her country with Honor Prouty

Kudos to the American legal system.

Today in the Free Press, reporter David Ashenfelter writes that the Judge in the case of ex-agent Nada Prouty “blasted [her] depiction as Hizbullah agent” by “one national media outlet.
Judge Avern Cohn stated that she had served her country with distinction in Iraq and imposed a minor fine on her.

On the other hand, Michigan’s resident Islamophobe and spy apologist, missing even an ounce of honesty or patriotism, has the gall of favorably comparing convicted spy Jonathan Pollard to Ms Prouty.

Ms Prouty violated her oath by making unauthorized inquiries in the FBI database. But-evidence was offered from other agents that she "repeatedly placed herself in harm's way and never compromised national security," the Free Press reported.

However, clearly Jonathan Pollard stole over one million classified documents and called himself a lone soldier for Israel in enemy territory [the nation of his birth and generous feeding, the USA].

Pollard is huge…

Schlussel Spy Apologist: Obsession with the Lone soldier Jonathan Pollard

Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard is serving a lifetime sentence in jail for spying for Israel.

Israel has tried to secure his release to no avail.

Israel tried to tie the peace process to his release but Clinton refused due to the admant opposition of the intelligence community. This opposition was communicated forcefully to Clinton by ex- CIA Director George Tenet as told by Tenet's book in In The Eye of the Storm.

Pollard calls himself a lone soldier.

He is not.

Debbie Schlussle is a soldier in his army. Any chance she gets she raises his issue.

Poor Pollard, he "rots in jail" because he spied for "an ally."

A spy is a spy is a spy- he betrayed the US and then called himself a lone soldier in enemy territory.

It is common to have certain women fall in love with convicted killers. Schlussel is a spy apologist/lover who is obsessed with this convicted spy and any opportunity to defend him from rotting in jail.

There is a website for the defenders of Pollard. http://www.jo…

In Defense of Dr. Nawal Saadawi

Dr. Nawal Saadawi is a controversial figure.

Long time before Oprah spoke about her sexual abuse- Dr Saadawi broke all kinds of taboos when she wrote about being sexually abused by a relative- I think it was her grandfather if I recall right.

In the 1980s, during one of Lebanon’s civil war episodes of insanity, we had to seek refuge in Sidon. Our neighbor was a fan of Dr. Saadawi. She spoke highly of her and her writings. She lent me her copy of the book, Woman and Sex. I was fascinated by Dr. Saadawi’s writing on this taboo subject.

Today her writings, given what most people around the globe see on TV and on the web, seem very tame.

Alquds Al Arabi of London writes that someone sued Dr. Saadawi for insulting God and asking to have her denaturalized and denied the right to travel. It’s amazing that a lawyer would do that to this doctor.

http://www.alquds.co.uk/index.asp?fname=today\13z34.htm&storytitle=ffمحكمة%20ترفض%20اسقاط%20%20الجنسية%20المصرية%20عن%20نوال%20السعداويfff&storyti…

Even Mr. Hoss Says: Stop Harassing the Beirutis

Ex Prime Minister Salim El Hoss is a gentleman.

I met him one time along with a schoolteacher friend who was appealing to him her tenure case. He was Minister of Education at the time.

What I recall about him is that he is a good listener, and a polite man. He listened to her patiently and promised to see what he can do about it.

However, as a politician representing the Sunnis in the government, many see him as a disappointment. In the last election he was unable to win a seat for himself or for any other member of his electoral list.

The reasons are many.

One of them is his gentle demeanor, perceived in the jungle of Lebanese politics as passivity.
When the Amal Movement militia in the 1980s was attacking the Beirutis, a group of Beirutis went to meet him to complain and ask for guidance. His response was the Shia and Sunnis are brothers. Let us be the brother that is being killed and not the brother doing the killing. This story was relayed to me by a number of people including the affab…

Unholy Silencing of the Future: SSNP Flags, Hizbullah's Hand

While the flags hoisted on the attacked, looted and closed Future TV are the flags of the quasi- fascist Syrian Social National Party, those who shut down Future TV are the Hizbullah as the quote below from a Lebanese reporter shows:

“On Friday morning, Future TV, a pro-government private channel owned by family of Sunni leader Saad Hariri family, was prevented from broadcasting by Hezbollah, the Shiite militia. After warning the employees to evacuate in a well-calculated operation, men entered the station and cut key cables to prevent the channel from broadcasting.”

The pro- Hizbullah editor of Al Safeer, Talal Salman, wrote against this closure:

"We must raise our voices to protest and condemn the unjustified and unacceptable attacks on some of the media and cultural institutions in Beirut and specifically our colleague the Future newspaper and Future television," the editor in chief of Assafir newspaper, Talal Salman, wrote in a fiery editorial.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.c…

MP Saad Hariri on the War on Beirut

Einstein, God and Israel

Today the French agency AFP had a story on Einstein. “Belief in God 'childish,' Jews not chosen people: Einstein letter”

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=080513122249.m3ds3b6j&show_article=1

The story reads:


“Albert Einstein described belief in God as "childish superstition" and said Jews were not the chosen people, in a letter to be sold in London this week.”

“In it, the renowned scientist, who declined an invitation to become Israel's second president, rejected the idea that the Jews are God's chosen people.”

"For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions," he said.

"And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people."
And he added: "As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwi…

Bowing to no Militia: The Druze of Lebanon

Mount Lebanon in historically the home of the Druze and the Maronites of Lebanon. The Druze, while few in numbers, have been able to leave their marks on the histroy of Lebanon.

Though armed only with personal weapons they valiantly defended their homes, honor and dignity from the invading militias.

Today the Druze of the Mountain are awaking from the shock of Lebanese heavy weaponry used on them by fellow Lebanese- as the Lebanese al Akhbar reported.

Shaykh Naim Hassan, the spiritual leader of the Druze community of Lebanon said a few words words that capture the feelings of all the Lebanese that were attacked by the Hizbullah militia and its lesser allies.

"We are a people of peace not surrender, our sect does not bow except for God."



شيخ عقل الطائفة الدرزية: نحن دعاة سلم لا استسلام ولم تتعود طائفتنا على الخشوع إلا لله تعالى

Norton's Hezbollah: From Evolution to Devolution?

In his excellent book on the Hizbullah, Hezbollah(2007) , Augustus Richard Norton writes:

“Over the last fifteen years, Hezbollah has evolved from an Iranian influenced conspiratorial terrorist group rejecting participation in Lebanese politics, to a party with considerable autonomy and a talent for playing politics and winning elections.” (p. 6).

True until???

The 2006 July operation to capture Israeli soldiers in Israel provoked the July War or “Harb Tammuz.” The Hezbollah admitted miscalculating then and Israel unleashed a massive attack on Lebanon.

Did the Hizbullah miscalculate again by using their weapons in the ongoing May War "Harb Ayyar" against other Lebanese- regardless of the reasons?

Norton writes that the 1975-1990 Civil War in Lebanon resulted in 150,000 dead- in a country of a little more than 3 million people at the time.

What now?

Will the new version of Norton’s book have the same conclusion about the group’s evolution or is it going to write about a devolution?

Lebanese Al-Akhbar Reports from the Field: The Future Movement Has no Weapons

"Militia al Mustaqbal"-

A blatant lie that was spread in a manner that would make Paul Joseph Goebbels the German propaganda minister blush.


The opposition newspaper, not a friend of the Future Movement and its leader, reports from the Future- supporting- area of Tarik al Jadidah how the youth there are angry that MP Shaykh Saad did not provide them with weapons.

This is further testimony that refutes the grand lie of a Future Movement militia.

The citizens of Beirut were defenseless to the military attack of Hizbullah and its lesser allies.

The excerpt from the Al Akhbar, translated, reads:

"The youth of Tarik Jadidah are disappointed that their leader left them [defenseless] at such a historical juncture. They waited for him to provide them with weapons to defend their pride. He did not do so."

Of course he did not. The Movement is not a militia. The army and the police were supposed to defend the civilians.


http://www.al-akhbar.com/ar/node/73209

يعتب شباب الطريق الجديدة …

Suggestion: Let Shaykh Tofaili Write in the Arab American News

Irony. What an irony?

Mr. Ali Mansour of the Arab American News defends the bloody sectarian tinged coup in Beirut from Chase Street-Dearborn, Michigan- USA.

And the previous leader of the Hizbullah- from Baalbeck condemns it and shows more sensitivity and tolerance of others!

WOW!

Below is a translated excerpt from the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar:

"The former leader of Hizbullah, Shaykh Sobhi al Tufaili stated that Hizbullah's directing its gunfire toward other Lebanese has made these weapons lose their sacredness- regardless of the excuses [for this internal use of these weapons]. Hizbullah did not need to escalate the situation. In addition, the military deploment of Hizbullah [fighters] in Beirut opened the gates of hell and no one knows how they will be shut. [One wonder why the Hizbullah would make such a move]unless there are other reasons for what happened, reasons that we do not know [Hizbullah is not stating].

For this position, let's name Shaykh Tofaili an honorary …

Snuffing the Future, Enabling AlQaeda?

The Future Movement is not a militia.

MP Shaykh Saad is not a militia leader.

His father was not either. Both are modern statesmen with visions of prosperity and development for the country of Lebanon.

The Future Movement is a political grouping that is multconfessional and led by the Sunni MP Saad Al Hariri.

There were vile rumors that the Future Movement has a militia being trained in Jordan and Egypt.

These were blatant lies.

The Movement has no militia. It has a number of security personnel that guard its institutions. These security personnel are armed with light personal weapons. The suppporters of the Movement have personal weapons that they used to defend themselves and their homes. No heavy wepaons- no military training. What happened in Beirut was a one sided conflict- Beiruti civilians being run over by a trained and armed- to- the teeth military force driven with fervent exclusionist ideological zeal.

The rapid invasion and conquest of Beirut by the Hizbullah and its lesser allie…

MP Jumblatt Insightful Analysis: Lebanon and Hizbullah

In an interview with Al Arabiyah TV MP Walid Jumblatt raises sharp questions about the role of Hizbullah and the relationship with the Lebanese State, the war and peace decision, and the national agenda.

At this time when Hizbullah committed the sin of using its weapons against defenseless Lebanese citizens, this analysis is as relevant as ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f0nktMjWjA

Lebanese Future TV anchor appeal

Sahar Alkhatib from Future TV, a tv station destroyed by Hizbullah and supporters, speaks of the experience of the attack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfCkdbANYlE

Appeals from Lebanon

Appeal of the Mufti of the Republic regarding the attack on Beirut.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RACY9bubRVY

Aoun's sour Grapes

Listening to MP Aoun cheer the bloody coup in Lebanon as a new beginning reminded me of a quote from Khalil Gibran I read in Barriers to Democracy- The Other Side of Social Capital in Palestine and the Arab world by Dr. Amaney Jamal of Princeton.


“The Tyrant calls for sweet wine from sour grapes.” Khalil Gibran

Arab American News Writer Shameless Cheerleader for the Hizbullah Bloody Coup in Lebanon

In Beirut, Hizbullah supporters engaged in a bloody coup against the legitimate government of Lebanon.

The Opposition looted and burned the offices of the Future Movement. The Hizbullah and its allies burnt the Future TV station and the Future Movement newspaper.

The Hizbullah militants and supporters walked the streets of Beirut flashing victory signs and shooting their rifles in the air.

All that in the capital of Lebanon- Beirut.


Such a development has been widely condemned.

The US government condemned it. All other governments, except Syria and Iran, condemned this development.

The media coverage of the events in Lebanon showed chaos, shootings, frightened civilians, bullet holes on house walls, burnt cars, stone throwing, and groups of Sunni youth and Shia youth exchanging epithets.

Not a pretty picture.

Across the board condemnation of this ugly development?

And in Dearborn?

In Dearborn, in The Arab American News, these tragic developments were defended by a local writer , Ali Mansour, in…

Lebanese Attacked By Iranian Weapons- Iraq Style

Future Movement offices in Beirut have been attacked by Hizbullah mobs using Iranian weapons.

Beiruti civilians have been attacked. Beirut's streets closed by burning tires. The airport shut down by hoodlums and thugs.

This is open blackmail of the government of Lebanon.

There should be one army and one State- the Lebanese state and the Lebanese army.

This is a watershed event in Lebanon's history.

Either the state wins or a foreign sponsored militia wins. We will see.

The Lebanese state or the Ministate? This is the question

There is widespread chaos in Beirut today. The Lebanese state is facing the might and fury of the Syro-Iranian axis.

Seemingly alone.

MP Aoun at one of his rare lucid moments, while confronting the Christian Lebanese militias, asked the Christians of Lebanon an existential question:

Do you want the Lebanese state or the Christian ministate?

Years have passed on that rare lucid moment.

Now the question is for the Shia of Lebanon- about 30% of the population and the only community with a heavily armed militia:

Do you want the State or the Hizbullah ministate?

The steps the government of Saniora has taken that infuriated the Syro-Iranian axis are:

1. Removing the Shia head of airport security at the airport for suspicions of illegally collaborating with Hizbullah.

This relationship makes the airport a de facto Hizbullah run airport. The man could have easily been replaced by another Shia if the issue is whether a Shia heads that vital institution of the state. However, the violent reaction of the…

The Problem with Islamists- Palestine example II

Ex- President Carter met with Hamas leaders in Damascus. During these meetings, the exiled leaders reportedly indicated to ex President Carter their willingness to be part of the peace process and to accept all the elements it entails from renouncing violence to recognizing Israel.

After the meeting, not surprisingly, followed clarifications and follow ups on what Hamas really said and meant.

Mr. Carter should have known better.

Hamas is incapable of meeting the internationally accepted requirements of peace with Israel.

Hamas got invovled in elections in an entity, the PA, that was the product of Oslo. By participating in the electoral process, Hamas de facto accepted the process that produced this entity.

However, Hamas wants to have its cake and eat it too. They want to rule over Oslo's creation while refusing the premises of the Oslo agreements. This is disingenious.

Detaching themselves from modern political and diplomatic language, insead of peace, they offer a long term Hudna/tru…

The Problem with Islamists- Palestine example

There are many problems with the Islamists.

One of them is their lack of recognition of the nation state. Their goal is the implementation of Sharia on society.

If any foreign power rules over with Sharia- then this power is more legitimate than a Palestinian national secular authority. Sharia is above everything else- nation, country, language, customs, traditions, etc.

This explains the relationship/coexistence of Hamas and Israel up to the beginning of the Intifada. Some observers note that Israel nurtured or at least looked away when Hamas was being formed and activated in the hope it weakens the PLO and injects conflict into the Palestinian movement.

To Hamas, with its origins and political ideology rooted in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, secular rule is unIslamic/Kufr [some Muslims scholars have challenged labeling secular rule as Kufr- Ali Abd al Raziq and lately Imam Ali Al Ameen of Tyre in Lebanon], whether it is Israel or the PLO/PA that is ruling. From an Islamist point of …

Iran and the Shia Iraqi Militias

President Bush is right on Iran.

Iran should stay away from Iraq and stop aiding and abetting, plus arming to the teeth, the sectarian Shia militias of thieves, thugs and killers.

President Khatami in a way echoed President Bush’s statements. Khatami’s remarks about Iranian meddling in the affairs of others created a firestorm inside Iran- some questioning his Iranian patriotism.

If Khatami and President Bush are raising the same issues about Iran- it’s time the regime should start rethinking its foreign policy.

Today in the Wall Street Journal World News an item on Iraq reads:

“Iran called off further Iraq security talks with Washington until US forces stop their crackdown on Shiite militias.”

The item also reads:

“Washington has long accused Iran of arming and training some Shiite militia factions. The accusations were sharpened Monday as the military said detainees described being trained at bases outside Tehran by militants from Hezbollah, an Iranian-aided faction based in Lebanon.”

The S…

Between Khatami and Jumblatt: Questioning the Iranian Regime's Foreign Policy

Yesterday Lebanese leader Walid Jumblatt dropped a bombshell on the Lebanese political scence by making a number of sensational accusations backed by documents issued by the Lebanese army intelligence.
Jumblatt asked for the eviction of the Iranian ambassador and the ban of Iranian flights to Beirut. He accused Iran of sending armaments to Lebanon in violation of international resolutions and basic international norms.
Mr. Jumblatt’s comments are neither anti Shia nor anti Iran the people and the Persian civilization.
Incidentally, these comments, in a way, were echoed by former Iranian President Khatami, a charismatic man.
As an Arab and a Muslim, I want good relations with our important neighbor Iran.
But the hardline rulers of Iran have not been helping.
Criticizing Iran’s policies does not mean hate of the Iranian people or the Shia.
The French agency AFP reports from Tehran that “[f]ormer Iranian president Mohamad Khatami was under fire from hardliners on Monday after comments interpret…

Secretary Rice and the Israeli stranglehold over Palestine

Israeli roadblocks- in addition to the brutal occupation that involves massive theft of land and other resources- are a major source of Palestinian aggravation in the West Bank and Gaza.
The US has been trying to persuade the Israelis to remove them.
Israel yells “security,” the excuse for all the violations of human rights as well as basic decency in dealing with the colonized Palestinians.
If the Israelis could, they would put a roadblock inside each Palestinians’ home in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel hopes to make life so miserable to push the “undesirables” away from the land.
Dream on.
News flash for the Israelis and their crazed American supporters- the Palestinians are not going anywhere.
An item in the Wall Street Journal reads that Secretary Rice “leaned on Israel to lift restrictions such as roadblocks that anger West Bank residents and stifle the economy.”
Leaning won’t do it.
Only serious pressure would make the supremacist colonizers change their ways.
No peace while economic lif…

Debbie Almontaser, Ali Jawad and Daniel Pipes' "battle that's just really begun"

Ali Jawad. Imad Hamad. Debbie Almontaser.
They are all Arab and Muslim Americans.
They all have been the targets of anti Arab anti Muslim bigots. These bigots want to marginalize American Arabs and Muslims. Any political or economic empowerment of politically involved Arabs and Muslims is considered a threat.

The Ali Jawad episode with the McCain campaign reminded me of the vile conspiracy that led to the resignation of Debbie Almontaser as principal of the Khalil Gibran School in New York City
In “Battle in Brooklyn, a principal’s rise and fall- critics cost Muslim Educator Her dream School,” The NYT 4/28/08, by Andrea Elliott.

The hate mongers and the pro- Israel crazed crowd got its way with Ms Amontaser..

“Ms. Almontaser, a teacher by training and an activist who had carefully built ties with Christians and Jews, said she was forced to resign by the mayor’s office following a campaign that pitted her against a chorus of critics who claimed she had a militant Islamic agenda. In newspaper…

Defending America's Spies Kadish and Pollard; attacking American Patriot Ali Jawad: The Strange "Patriotism" of Debbie Schlussel

The Ali Jawad I know is a great asset to America.

He works tirelessly to be a force for integration of Arab Americans – economically, educationally and socially.

Think scholarships. Think Ali Jawad.
Community events. Ali Jawad’s name comes up.

A man of a humble background, a self- made man, who personifies the American dream. He is a living Horatio Alger story.
He opens his offices, at no charge, to community meetings that promote political participation and engagement.

The Fourth of July fireworks in Dearborn last year were sponsored by Ali Jawad and his friend and business partner Ali Berri, a man who enjoys many of the noble qualities of Mr. Jawad.
This is why he caught the attention of our state resident Islamophobe, Debbie Schlussel.
Debbie Schlussel et al want to marginalize Arab and American Muslims. This is why they target community activists especially those who are politically involved and help others get involved.

She questions Mr. Jawad’s patriotism and savagely attacks him because…