Sunday, December 31, 2006

AFP: More Booby-trapped toys

This is the third time I have posted something about toys rigged as bombs. One of those times the toy-bombs were evidently meant for Jewish children, ch"v. If this does not drive home the point that terrorism involves the ultimate depravity, then nothing will. The present case involves terrorists in India:
TWO suspected Islamic militants had been arrested with explosives hidden inside toys which they planned to blow up at a busy market in New Delhi, Indian police said today.

Samimullah and Ali Mohammad, both from Indian Kashmir, were arrested at a New Delhi railway station on suspicion of belonging to pro-Pakistan militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, senior police official Karnal Singh said.

The arrests came amid tight security in the Indian capital ahead of New Year festivities.

"We received a tip-off that the two men would be coming by train from Jammu (the winter capital of Indian Kashmir)," Mr Singh said.

"We detained them and during interrogation they admitted to being members of the Lashkar, and their plan was to plant two explosive devices."

In their luggage, a bomb disposal squad found two boxes with the toys - a toy duck and a toy bus - filled with explosives, he said.

"It took the squad around three hours to deactivate the two bombs."

Lashkar-e-Taiba, one of several groups battling Indian rule in Kashmir, was blamed for the October 29, 2005 triple bomb attacks in New Delhi, just ahead of the main Hindu festival of Diwali.

Those attacks killed 66 and injured at least 200 others.

The group was also blamed for the July 11 commuter train attacks in Mumbai this year that killed 186 people and injured about 800.

New Delhi has been under a security blanket for the past week ahead of New Year festivities and in the run-up to the country's 58th Republic Day celebrations on January 26.
(Hat Tip: Jihad Watch)

Linkim 12/31/06

Haveil Havalim 100 is up!

Carnival of the Insanities is up!

IRNA: "Tehrani worshipers overjoyed at Saddam's capital punishment"

My Right Word gives Norman Finkelstein a flunking grade in history.

Israel Matzav reveals "Saddam's last meal."

Shiloh Musings: Kassam attacks on Selma? Fowler next?

Mystical Paths: "The Fast, the Siege"

Steyn: "What we need in New Year is some resolution" (h/t: RCP)

Meryl Yourish presents "Saddam Hangman haiku."

Biur Chametz relates "A salty tale of intellectual property ferment."

Judeosphere observes that "Scott Ritter is Cautiously Optimisitic That Most American Jews Are Not Traitors."

Amir Taheri: "2007: War Clouds Thicken on the Horizon"

Saturday, December 30, 2006

IRIB Radio: "their claim is an exaggeration because only 3 million people were killed in World War II"

More from the Iranian press. The actual title of this article is "Holocaust Myth Conference":
The Holocaust Myth and the Massacre of Palestinians Conference began work last Wednesday in Cairo and was considerably welcomed by researchers and politicians. Leader of the Arab Socialist Party of Egypt Wahid Al Aqsari in a speech said the claim that Jews were killed by Hitler comes to portray Zionists as innocent and save them from being condemned for their crimes against Palestinians. He added that their claim is an exaggeration because only 3 million people were killed in World War II. He also said there is no sign that there were gas cambers in Nazi Germany.
The Iranians are a well-rounded people. Besides Holocaust Myth Conferences, they are obviously also into belles lettres, and they're not afraid of Virginia Woolf. ISNA reports on "Virginia Woolf night in Tehran":
The memory of the 20th century British writer, Virginia Woolf was honored at Iran's Artists Home, here.

In the ceremony, the editor of Bokhara Literary Monthly, Ali Dehbashi and the Iranian short story writer, Nahid Tabatabaei presented a brief biography of Woolf and also discussed her obvious influence on her contemporary colleagues as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the 20th century.

"In the 1920's there initiated a movement entitled "New Women" in Britain and the U.S. that ignited a new fire in women's call for independence," stated Tabatabaei.

"Women's opposition with the present laws led their demands and needs to the newspapers of the time and thereon to story writing. So that by the end of the 19 century we had more than 100 novels and thousands of short stories that concentrated on the Women themes," she went on to say.

"The second half of the 19th century was a time for the acceleration of women rights and modifications. New questions were posed for and by women: What is the nature of women? What is their role? What is their destiny? All these questions were classified as women questions," she added.[...]
Got that?

Reader Comments:

"What is the nature of women? What is their role? What is their destiny?"

Women questions? I don't know, these are precisely the questions that bothered me since puberty

Of course, now the urgency of these questions subsided for me, but I might venture a guess that there are few other males who are concerned with same. Maybe even in Iran...
SnoopyTheGoon | Homepage | 12.31.06 - 7:59 am | #

Der Spiegel: "Liechtenstein Bigger Than Ever"

I was in Luxembourg once, and the country impressed me as a sort-of giant clubhouse. I have always imagined that the even smaller Liechtenstein has that quality in greater abundance. The article features a picture with the caption "Liechtenstein's royal family can still see most of the country from their ancestral castle":
New measurements show that Liechtenstein has a longer border -- and more Alpine real estate -- than it previously thought.

Liechtenstein, the rich but tiny Alpine principality stuck between Switzerland and Austria, announced on Wednesday that it had grown: Its borders are 1.9 kilometers (1.2 miles) longer than anyone thought.

The country's Office of Economic Affairs' statistical yearbook shows that modern measuring methods had determined the total area of Liechtenstein to be 160.475 square kilometers (61.960 square miles) -- up from 160 square kilometers (61.776 square miles). Liechtenstein had not measured itself since 1980.

The new land lies high in the Alps, along Liechtenstein's border with Switzerland. No international tension between the two nations is expected, since Switzerland's border also grew in the deal -- also by 1.9km. Inquiries from SPIEGEL ONLINE revealed that Liechtenstein's embassy in Berlin on Friday morning did not yet know about the country's recent growth.

Liechtenstein, which has a population of only 35,000, remains the world's sixth-smallest nation. It has enjoyed independence ever since Napoleon convinced the principality to break away from the Holy Roman Empire in 1806. Like Switzerland, it's known as a tax haven, and the current ruler, Prince Hans-Adam II, is one of the richest heads of state in the world.

IRNA: "'Avoid engagement with Iranians,' Saddam's last words"

One of the weirder takes on Saddam's last moments:
"Avoid engagement with Iranians," it was Saddam's last words while being put to death on Saturday morning.

It was a lesson Saddam learned during his invasion of Iran in 1980 expecting an immediate victory. He had thought that the revolutionary leadership in Iran which had dissolved the Army inherited from the deposed Shah would not stand the US-backed invasion of Iran.

With repulsing Iraqi Army invasion and liberating Khorramshahr, Saddam understood that what a wrong dream he had dreamt and Washington had provided him with false feed-back to encourage him to go to war with Iran.

He afterwards committed another crime with invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Saddam admitted so far that his invasion of Kuwait was a cover-up to his defeat from Iran.

"Iranians were brave enough to defend their own country," Saddam said in 1990s.

Saddam was right in his last words before being hanged, Iranians have a spirit to stand to dictators. Saddam took with him a bitter experience of defeat from Iranians to the hell.

Telegraph: "Freed jihadis put Pakistan's war on terror 'back to square one'"

As I have noted previously, Pakistan is one of the weaker links in the war on terror:
Anti-terrorism forces in Pakistan have been told to brace themselves for a wave of atrocities. Intelligence officials warned that the security situation is now more precarious than it was before the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Senior officers say they are "back to square one" in their fight against international terrorist groups after the release of dozens of militants by Pakistani courts. High-ranking police officials say that as many as 80 hard-core militants are on the loose after being cleared by the courts or released on bail.

They are believed to have been involved in crimes including the attempted assassination of President Pervez Musharraf and a suicide attack on the American consulate in Karachi.

A memo sent by Pakistan's interior ministry to law enforcement agencies around the country warns of a plot to use suicide bombers to target Britons and Americans, including diplomats, in a coordinated campaign involving some of the country's most notorious terrorist groups. The ministry warned that the bombers were also believed to be looking at high-profile individuals and military installations as potential targets.

Last month, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, the head of MI5, warned of the growing threat from within Pakistan. She said young British Muslims were being groomed to become suicide bombers and that most of the 1,600 suspects being tracked by her agents were British-born but linked to al-Qaeda in Pakistan.

MI5 is reported to have compiled detailed dossiers on British Muslims travelling to jihadist training camps in Waziristan, on the border with Afghanistan, the region where the United States believes Osama bin Laden is hiding. At least two of the British Muslims involved in the Tube and bus bombings in London on July 7 last year are known to have visited training camps in Pakistan.

Anti-terrorism officers in Pakistan say they are deeply alarmed by the security situation. "We are back to square one and the situation is more precarious than it was before 9/11," one senior officer told The Sunday Telegraph. "They are planning more attacks. They have got huge backup. There are so many youths who are joining them. The old ones who are released from the prison are guiding and training the new cadres." [...]
(Hat Tip: Lucianne)

Fars News: "US, Zionists Feel Islamic Vigilance"

The Iranian press currently features a number of articles derived from the dying Supreme Leader's Hajj message. Predictably, it is dominated by the usual references to world arrogance plots and the "bloodthirsty Zionist regime":
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei stressed in a message to the Hajj pilgrims that the United States' administration and system of capitalism and the corrupt Zionist activists now feel the vivid truth of Islamic Vigilance . . .

In the area of politics, the cardinal purpose of hajj is to show the united identity of the Muslim Ummah. Detachment and separation among the brothers will open the door to those who bear malice toward us and will serve as a breeding ground for the seeds of division among Muslims.

The Muslim Ummah embraces various nations, races and followers of different sects in Islam. This diversity and the vast geographical stretch of the Ummah in a sensitive and important part of the planet Earth can be a source of strength. Our diversity has enriched and enhanced the Ummah's common heritage, culture, history and their effectiveness in the vast part of the globe, and has enabled them to utilize all forms of talents and human and natural potentials.

From the very first days of their entry into The Islamic countries the Western colonialist powers have taken account of this diversity and have consistently attempted to arouse divisive sentiments.

The colonialist politicians knew well that if a united Islamic identity is formed, the door will be closed to their political and economic domination. Therefore, they have planted seeds of division and discord by employing their concentrated and enduring efforts. To succeed in carrying out this nefarious policy and to advance their goal of domination over the Islamic countries, they have taken advantage of the unawareness of the populace and weakness of the political and cultural leaders in Islamic countries.

Suppression of liberation movements in the Islamic countries over the past century, the success of colonialist powers in consolidating their domination over these countries, creation or strengthening of authoritarian regimes, plundering of their natural wealth and destruction of their human resources and consequently keeping Muslim nations behind the caravan of progress in science and technology, have all been made possible under the shadow of disunity that in some cases reached the levels of internecine and fratricidal conflicts.

With the commencement of Islamic awakening which reached its peak with the emergence of the Islamic republic in Iran, the Western camp faced a formidable threat. The failure of political schools of thoughts of East and West, the recognition of the falsehood and the collapse of the values that were represented by the colonialists as the only road to humanity's happiness helped self-awareness among Muslim masses to take root, and successive frustrations of the arrogant powers in covering and extinguishing this divine radiance have sprung up the seedlings of hope in the hearts of Muslim nations.

A glance at today's Palestine which has a government that has come to power committed to the unchangeable principle of "liberation from Zionist occupation", and comparison of the present situation with the seclusion, isolation and weakness of Palestinian people in the past;

A glance at Lebanon in which the Muslims put their lives on the line to defeat the equipped Israeli army with the all the help that it received from the U.S., the West and other hypocritical powers, and its comparison with the Lebanon that the Zionists could easily encroach upon and move forward without any real obstacles;

A glimpse at Iraq, in which its proud people humiliated the pompous America, and bogged down the army and politicians that boasted of having a free hand in Iraq, in a quagmire of political, military and economic problems, and its comparison with previous Iraq in which its bloodthirsty leader brutalized its people with the encouragement of the United States;

A glance at today's Afghanistan in which all the promises of the U.S. and the West have turned out to be lies and the unprecedented military expedition of the united front of Western countries have produced nothing, except destruction, poverty, killings and the growing power of the narcotics mafia;

And finally, a glance at the youthful populations of the Islamic countries and the generation with growing tendency toward Islamic values and the rising sentiments against the U.S. and the West;

Looking at all these developments provide us with a clear and true picture of the falling fortunes and the failed policies of the arrogant powers, especially the United States, and augur well for the emergence of the united Islamic identity.

The American government, the domineering capitalism of the West and the corrupt Zionist political lobbyists have begun to sense the living truth of the Islamic awakening, and by admitting that their military might is useless against this truth, they are using all their power to employ political ploys and tactics.

The entire Muslim Ummah, whether the political, cultural and religious elite, or the masses of people, must remain vigilant more than ever before, and try to identify and foil the conniving schemes of the enemy.

One of the most effective schemes of the enemy is to incite the flames of discord and division. By spending money and rushing to put to use whatever they have in their power, they try to keep Muslims engaged in feuding and quarreling over their differences and once again to set us against one another by exploiting our negligence, narrow-mindedness and prejudices.

Today any divisive action in the Islamic world is a historical sin. Those who maliciously use Takfir to declare large groups of Muslims as unbelievers, those who insult the sanctities of various divisions of Islam, those who betray and put a dagger in the back of the Lebanese youth who are a source of honor for the Muslim Ummah, those who speak of the fabricated threat of a Shiite crescent in order to please the Americans and the Zionists, those who incite fratricidal hostilities and lawlessness in Iraq to defeat its Islamic and popular government, and those who put pressure on the elected HAMAS government in Palestine, whether intentionally or unintentionally, will be regarded as culprits, detested by history and future generations and looked upon as mercenaries of the brutal enemy.

Muslims all over the world must know that the era of humiliation and backwardness of the Islamic world has come to an end. We are all witnessing the coming of a new era. The flawed frame of mind that Muslim countries will remain enthralled in the cultural and political claws of the West and will continue to emulate them in their individual and collective behaviors have been eradicated from the minds of Muslim masses by the hands of the Westerners themselves, and as the result of their excessive arrogance and conceit.

The concept of the west especially after being lad by the US, through its flagrant acts of oppression and endlessly arrogant and illogical behavior, is now clearly seen as an anti-value in the Islamic world. Their treatment of the Palestinian people compared to their treatment of the bloodthirsty Zionist regime, their position with respect to the admission of the Zionist regime on possession of nuclear weapons, against their position on civilian use of nuclear energy by Iran, their support for military aggression against Lebanon and their defense for the aggressor, their hostility toward the defenders of Lebanon, who were prepared to sacrifice their lives, relentlessly blackmailing the western governments and constant surrender of the western governments to the demands of the Zionist regime, supporting insulters of sanctities of Islam and even open defamation of Islam by high-ranking authorities in the West, including the Pope, while making any inquiry into and questioning of Holocaust or the formation of the Zionist regime a punishable offence, military attacks against Iraq and Afghanistan and killing of civilian population under the name of democracy, while conspiring against democratic governments in Palestine, Iraq and in Latin America and in fact anywhere that their stooges do no come to power, all the hullabaloo on the war on terror while clandestinely talking with and supporting brutal terrorists in Iraq.

These irrational and malicious behaviors have provided clear proof to Muslim nations and have helped strengthen the Islamic awakening. Whether they like it or not, today a profound and deep-rooted movement has begun in the Islamic world. This movement will lead to the independence, dignity and rejuvenation of the Muslim Ummah.

This is a decisive juncture in history. The elite and the intellectuals have a huge responsibility on their shoulders. Any weakness, wavering, misguided actions and negligence on their part will lead to disaster. Ulema should not remain silent in the face of divisive actions, the intellectuals should not shirk their responsibility to impart spirit of hope in our youth, and politicians and leaders should not distance themselves from the people and must rely on them. And the Islamic governments should strengthen their ranks and solidarity and use the power of the people to overcome the threats of the domineering powers.

Today the intelligence services of the U.S. and Britain in Iraq, Lebanon and in countries of North Africa, and wherever they can, are spreading the virus of religious division and discord. The congregation of hajj keeps us immune from this deadly virus and places this sacred verse of Koran in our full view: And obey Allah and His Apostle and do not quarrel for then you will be weak in hearts and your power will depart, and be patient; surely Allah is with the patient. Surah VIII: 46

Today distancing ourselves from Moshrekin is the heartfelt desire and the call of all Muslim nations. The season of hajj is the only opportunity when this desire can be expressed with full force . . .
A similar item: "Senior Cleric: Enemies' Plots Defused by Iranian Nation."

Saddam Hussein's execution: ambivalent headlines and disapproving blog-titles

USA Today: "Bush: Saddam's execution will not end violence in Iraq"

Reuters: "Saddam hanged but no let-up in Iraq violence"

LA Times: "Victims have mixed feelings about Saddam's death"

NY Times: "Hussein Video Grips Iraq; Attacks Go On"

Boston Globe: "For Bush, outcome is a victory at a heavy cost"

MPAC-UK: "Lynched by the mob"

Huffpo: Robert Scheer: "Silencing Saddam"

Huffpo: "The Word That Sums Up Saddam's Execution: Tawdry"

Dar Al Hayat: "The Execution of Saddam and the Execution of Iraq"

Daily Kos: "Bush Wants Saddam's Gun as Execution Trophy?"

Robert Fisk: "A dictator created then destroyed by America"

India "Saddam's execution is tragic news: Vatican"

Did I miss any good ones?

Poitical Dishonesty has a round-up of left-wing comments. Gateway Pundit reports: "American Liberals Protest Saddam's Execution"

Saddam Hussein's defunct

Saddam Hussein's
            who used to
            ride a Watersmooth-silver
 and gas onetwothreefourfive kurdsjustlikethat
he was a handsome man
                             and what i want to know is
how do you like your browneyed dictator
Mister Death

Friday, December 29, 2006

"We don’t have an army behind us. We don’t have a government behind us"

This story is incredibly maddening. From Arutz Sheva:
Following the recent escalation of Kassam rockets in western Negev communities including Sderot, residents and their regional councils are now making plans to evacuate if the situation gets worse.

The Shaar HaNegev Regional Council which is responsible for 16,000 residents and students is now formulating evacuation plans if damage from Kassam rockets becomes unbearable.

“The situation is getting worse and worse. We’re not strong. We don’t have an army behind us. We don’t have a government behind us,” said Mechi Fendel, resident of Sderot.

Over sixty-five rockets have fallen on the besieged communities during a month-long “ceasefire” between Israel and terrorist factions in Gaza. While Prime Minister Ehud Olmert clings to a policy of restraint against the terrorists, residents of the battered towns are growing scared.

This past week, two 14-year-old boys from Sderot were critically injured in a Kassam attack.

Local residents and leaders are growing increasingly concerned the situation may escalate even further over the next several weeks. Regional Council leader Alon Shuster has been in contact with members of the Israel Defense Forces, and is not encouraged by the reports.

“The generals in the area are warning that situation could become much worse due to three considerations,” Shuster explains. “First, the range of the Kassams could expand to reach a larger area; second, the number of missiles fired from Gaza may increase; and third, the quality of the Kassams could improve to carry a larger explosive payload, which would inflict a much greater damage on the population.”

If that happens, Shuster believes a plan must be in place to protect residents. “We shouldn’t be afraid to discuss this. First we discuss and then we act. It is better to talk about this situation now, then deal with it only if and when it comes.”

However, Shuster and many local residents are not convinced the government will come to their aid, even if the Kassam threat continues to grow. [...]

These particular Hajj pilgrims wouldn't happen to be from Iran, would they?

Somehow I don't imagine that Iran's nuclear progam is actually the hit of the Hajj. From IRNA:
A large number of Hajj pilgrims participating in the 'Disavowal of Pagans' ritual in this sacred desert on Friday issued a resolution condemning the United Nations Security Council anti-Iran resolution.

The pilgrims gathered in the Desert of Arafat, 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Mecca, chanting anti-US and anti-Zionist slogans expressing their hatred towards US hegemonic policies and the International Zionism.

Condemning the UNSC for adopting the Resolution 1737 against Iran for its peaceful nuclear activities, the pilgrims stressed in their resolution that Iranian people would continue their efforts to achieve the highest points of success relying on their faith to the Almighty and on the knowledge of the Iranian scientists.

Expressing their full support for the Lebanese Hezbollah, the elected government of Palestine and the Palestinian Intifada, the pilgrims voiced their hatred for the International Zionism urging all Muslims to unite in order to neutralize its satanic policies and eradicate it from the region.

They further condemned the hegemonic and war-mongering policies of the US and its allies that find expression in the occupation of Islamic states, massacre of civilians, torture of prisoners and establishment of secret and inhuman prisons.

Expressing antipathy towards the US government as the main cause of insecurity worldwide, the pilgrims condemned presence of the US occupying troops in Iraq as well as in other regional states.

They have also voiced their hatred for the US crimes against humanity including massacre of defenseless people and committing savage crimes at its notorious secret prisons.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

"Where the scenery's attractive, and the air is radioactive"

Any Tom Lehrer fans out there? This item from MENL is entitled "Iran Has 1,400 Uranium Mines":
Iran has reported 1,400 uranium mines in the country.

The Iranian Atomic Energy Organization said 1,400 mines were available for the extraction of uranium. The organization said the mines were located in central Iran and would be used for the nation's uranium enrichment program.

"The mines are scattered in one-third of Iranian territory particularly in the central areas of Saghand, south of Bandar Abbas, Khashouri, Narigan and Zarigan," IAEO deputy director Hossein Faqihian said.

In a Dec. 18 nuclear technology conference in Mashhad, Faqihian said Iran has been developing only a tiny portion of the mines. He said the uranium would be converted into yellowcake for eventual production of fuel for nuclear reactors.
Iran's press is also focused on nukes. Fars News has one of its usual stories asserting that Iran's nukes are non-threatening while IRNA declares "UNSC resolution will have no impact on Iran nuclear program."

Der Spiegel: "Hundreds of Iraqis Apply to be Hangman"

I just hope they execute him quickly. One of the problems in Iraq is that a dictator with a major personality cult holds many of his subjects under his spell to the ardently-to-be-wished-for bitter end.
An Iraqi judge has rejected Saddam Hussein's appeal and ruled that the former dictator must hang within 30 days. The execution may be controversial, but hundreds of Iraqis want to pull the gallows lever.

Saddam in court last August. An appeals court on Tuesday upheld a ruling that the former dictator should hang for crimes against humanity.

Saddam in court last August. An appeals court on Tuesday upheld a ruling that the former dictator should hang for crimes against humanity.

The death penalty against Saddam Hussein has survived an appeal in Iraq's highest court and a judge has ordered that the former dictator to be executed within 30 days. The verdict and the trial have met with criticism around the world, but in Iraq hundreds of people have applied for the job of hangman.

"From tomorrow, any day could be the day of implementation," the chief judge said on Tuesday. Saddam was convicted in early November for his role in the execution of 148 Shiite Muslims from the small northern town of Dujail, after a 1982 assassination attempt.

Saddam's half brother and intelligence chief, Barzan al-Tikriti, will also hang, and so will a former senior revolutionary court judge involved in the executions. There is no official job of "hangman" in Iraq, and an adviser to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki says the government has not officially advertised for the job. The executioner, moreover, will remain anonymous because Saddam's execution could inflame tensions in a country where people die every day in sectarian violence.

But hundreds of Iraqis have inquired about the hangman's job. The adviser, Bassam al-Husseiny, told the US network ABC News that he received about eight to 10 phone calls a day -- and 20 to 30 e-mails -- by Iraqis who wanted to execute Saddam. The candidates came from all three of the country's major religions and from all walks of life, he said -- from high-level government officials to "the tea boy." [...]
In the meantime, however, the UN, the world's premier support group for dictators, is trying to come to the rescue: UN Human Rights Commissioner: Wait with Saddam execution
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour called on Iraqi authorities to act with restraint in regards to the implementation of ousted tyrant Saddam Hussein's death sentence.

"There were a number of concerns as to the fairness of the original trial, and there needs to be assurance that these issues have been comprehensively addressed. I call therefore on the Iraqi authorities not to act precipitately," Arbour said.
It's now a three-way race to Dictator Heaven. Saddam is currently in the lead, but don't count out Castro or the Ayatollah just yet.

IRIB: "Holocaust meeting opens in Cairo"

I suppose that this one is not under the auspices of the Egyptian government, but it will be interesting to see if there will be an increase in Holocaust-denial conferences in the Arab and Muslim world. Also, for those who argue that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, note the attack on the Talmud:
A conferance to discuss Holocaust issue and entitled "the myth of Holocaust vs. massacre of Palestinians", started in Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Wednesday, highly welcomed by international scholars, researchers and politicians.

Head of the Egyptian Arab Socialist party, Wahid al Qasri, was the first speaker of the conferance who assessed the claims of massacre of Jews by Hitler as a measure to blackmail the west and the world.

Al-Qasri reminded that about 50 million people were killed during the World War II, adding that in order to escape international condemnations, the Zionist regime has exploited the exaggerated killings of Jews.

"The Zionists claim that the killings of Jews is an unprecedented event in history while America's white invaders massacred over 60 million out of 80 million Indian population of the continent during occupation," Al Qasri said.

"Zionists abuse the myth of Holocaust as a cover for their killings and crimes in Palestine," he added.

Al Qasri quoting historians said that there is no sign to say that during the era of Nazists, there have been gas chambers in Germany.

He criticized the west for its restrictions in talking about the Holocaust, saying that Talmud, the religious text of Zionists, says that the Jews are superior to the world's other nations and have the right to commit any kind of crime, aggression and occupation.

According to what has been implied in the notorious Zionist protocols, the Zionists can capture others using any trick and deceit, because in their belief, aim justifies tool, Al Qasri added.

"If we accept the Zionists' claims on having the history of governing and civilization in Palestine, then we should give the right to Italy to recapture England and France, as what Arabs can do against Spain because of the 800 year old residence in the country," he concluded.

Daily Star: You, too, can smell like Hizbullah

This new perfume is the pièce de résistance?
If you've ever wondered what resistance smells like, then try a dab of "Resistance Perfume," which comes "exclusively" with a political message and a picture of Hizbullah's secretary general, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Apparently, the scent of resistance is a strong and musky one that comes with a single pledge - "a truthful" one.

"You are the truthful promise ... and I have great faith in you and I promise you divine victory," is the perfume's slogan, borrowed from one of Nasrallah's speeches during the July-August war with Israel.

A digitally manipulated picture of a sinking ship, meant to represent the Israeli warship damaged by a Hizbullah missile during the conflict, along with reprints of Nasrallah's speeches and messages from the "Lebanese prisoners in Israeli prisons" - are all part of the perfume's package, turning a cover into a political message.

"We thought it was a catchy idea, as now the perfume is more than something that smells nice, it is a political statement," said Mohammad Dekmak, who heads Bint Huda, a chain of stores in Beirut's southern suburbs that started selling the perfume this month.

The $1 perfume is being marketed as a unisex product, but is mainly popular with men.
I hope they're training the K-9 corps to recognize the scent.
According to Dekmak, the perfume's designer and producer, Hajj Ali Aaqil Khalil, dropped by the store several weeks ago, carrying 40 samples of the perfume in a plastic bag - and sold them all within minutes.

"It was creative, and timely, given the demonstration in Downtown and Christmas time and the general increased interest in anything related to Hizbullah," said Dekmak, who admitted he sent several sellers to Downtown to sell the perfume to the demonstrators and visitors to the sit-in.

Dekmak admitted that the scent of "Resistance" can be catered to the desires of customers: "We can put popular European brands" in the "Resistance" bottles, he said. "Versace, Chanel, Escada, white musk, floral scents, whatever scent you want, you can get."
What a rip-off! Purchasers of Resistance Perfume demand a unique scent. And besides, confusing the military dogs is cruelty to animals.
Several attempts were made by The Daily Star to contact Khalil - who, according to Dekmak, once sold "Hajj Perfume" - but none were successful.

Hizbullah "didn't give license" for the perfume. But several resistance members said they knew about it and did not see a problem with it.

"We don't like to encourage people to turn Hizbullah into a commercial venture, but since the perfume is called 'Resistance' and not 'Hizbullah,' we have no right to really prevent it from being sold as resistance is a broad ideology not limited to one party," said Hizbullah spokesperson Ghassan Darwish.

"Hizbullah-stamped merchandise are usually limited to books and posters," said Darwish, "not perfumes."

However, he added that the perfume doesn't "hurt" the resistance, and people have a right to "smell as they like and put on whatever perfume they want."

The Daily Star interviewed several demonstrators about their views on the perfume, and while most of them seemed excited about the new scent and its message, some opted not to try it.

"I am content with showering and using plain soap," said Ibrahim Ali, a Hizbullah supporter at the tent city.

"I don't like artificial smells," he added.
But its all-natural . . . call in the marketing guys! (Hat Tip: Martin Kramer)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mahmoud reaches out to Pope amid US plots

Here is a further sampling of what is in the Iranian Press today: many new denunciations of the UN resolution and an announcement of Ahmadinejad's latest letter. From IRNA:

Anti-Iranian UNSC resolution result of US plot against Iran
An Iranian official said on Wednesday that the anti-Iranian UN Security Council resolution is the result of the US plot against the Islamic Revolution of Iran.

Addressing a group of theology students, deputy head of Imam Khomeini Relief Committee for cultural affairs Hamid-Reza Taraqi said the US, which failed to face extensive influence of Iran's Islamic Revolution in independent Muslim nations and governments, has in a desperate move this time turned the UN Security Council as a lever to carry out its conspiracies.

Taraqi said the Iranian officials and people would be wise enough to thwart the plot through their resistance and vigilance.

"The anti-Iran UN Security Council resolution, presented through influence of the US and Zionist circles in Europe, cannot prevent Iran from gaining progress in peaceful nuclear energy."

He said the resolution is totally futile because Iran's achievements in nuclear technology stem from intellect and talent of its experts and youth.
From ISNA:

Iran FM submits Ahmadinejad letter to Pope
Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki arrived in Vatican this morning to submit the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's message to Pope Benedict XVI.

"In the message, the President emphasizes on the necessity of deploying joint religious traits and particularly returning to the path of unison and justice as a method for resolving the present human issues," informed deputy head of the presidential office for information and communications, Ehsan Jahandideh while also noting that Ahmadinejad's message was utterly apolitical.

He also stated that the Iranian President had asserted on the cooperation between religions to solve the main human issues, particularly the unfair and oppressive treatment of humans within the international system.

This is Ahmadinejad's fifth letter. He had previously sent messages to the U.S. President, George W. Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Jacques Chirac and Italian Prime Minister Roman Prodi. He also sent a message to the US nation.

IRIB: "Castro victorious, even at bed"

I'm always fascinated by the bits of inter-dictatorship solidarity that appear at totalitarian news sites. Is there a subtext of nervous worry here that Cuba will be back in the bosom of the World Arrogance the minute Fidel goes the way of all despots who trade their green fatigues for red jumpsuits?
"With or without Fidel, renewed US efforts to topple the revolutionary regime in Havanas can do no good," two-monthly Foreign Affairs wrote in its latest issue for January and February 2007.

Implying that the American policy has been defeated in Cuba, the magazine wrote, "The smooth transfer of power from Fidel Castro to his successors is exposing the willful ignorance and wishful thinking of US policy toward Cuba."

"The post-Fidel transition is already well under way and change in Cuba will come only gradually from here on out."

According to the magazine, ever since Fidel Castro gained power in 1959, Washington and the Cuban rebel defectors have been eagerly awaiting the moment when he would lose power. "But that moment has come and gone," it said in article by Julia E.Sweig, adding that none of what Washington and the rebels anticipated had come to pass.

Power has been successfully transferred to a new set of leaders, whose priority is to preserve the system, Sweig admitted.

"Cubans have not revolted, and their national identity remains tied to the defense of the homeland against U.S. attacks on its sovereignty."
Tags: Iran, Cuba, Castro,

Monday, December 25, 2006

Der Spiegel: "Fatah By Day, Hamas By Night"

Here's a valiant attempt at a sympathetic treatment of the Palestinian spiral of thuggery:
By day, he's a member of Fatah security forces. By night, he wages holy war with Hamas. With the two Palestinian groups fighting against each other these days, Abu Khaled's life has become a dangerous balance. If need be, he says, he would even kill his friends.

The private car heads north out of Gaza City. A rat-a-tat-tat of machine gun fire echoes through the side streets, belying what remains a fragile cease-fire between Hamas and Fatah in the Palestinian Territories.

Both the driver and the guide are talking nervously into their mobile phones. Instructions are delivered, detours ordered, until finally the vehicle arrives in an empty street and pulls up next to one of Gaza's typical yellow taxi limousines with two rows of back seats. Motors running, the bulletproof vests are quickly loaded from the car into the taxi. The journey then continues in the Mercedes limousine -- until it reaches the end of the road, marked by the wall that separates the Gaza Strip from Israel.

It's cold and the sun is about to set into the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, sweat is running from under Abu Khaled's beard when he jumps into the taxi. Hardly surprising really. If the other soldiers he stands guard with at the gate of an abandoned military base knew his story, the lives of everyone in the taxi would be in danger.

By day, the 23-year-old serves in the Palestinian security forces, which are controlled by Fatah. When Abu Khaled's workday ends, though, he goes home, changes his uniform, pulls out his weapons and transforms himself into a fighter with the Qassam Brigades -- the military arm of Hamas. If his fellow Fatah security officers knew what he did at night, he says, "they would open fire on us immediately."
The next paragraph, following the caption "No wonder the situation in Gaza is so confusing," is pretty incredible:
"We are not a rarity," says the fighter. He estimates that about 30 percent of the men who officially serve with the Palestinian security forces are secretly active members of militia groups with ties to Hamas -- armed men who change sides depending on the time of day. No wonder the situation in Gaza is so confusing. In most of the gun battles between Hamas and Fatah in recent days, it was almost impossible to tell who was shooting at whom, when they were shooting, and why. After each new incident, the barrage of back-and-forth accusations merely triggered the next shoot-out -- a spiral of violence that is difficult to stop.
Waiting for the anti-Israel propaganda to start? The author, the aptly-named Ulrike Putz, never disappoints:
As the taxi drives slowly through abandoned streets, Abu Khaled tells his story -- the story of a young man who sees no other choice but to fight the enemy any way he can. "The official forces are poorly trained and armed," he says. "They could never do much harm to the Israelis."

He's likely right. A visit to a Fatah training camp that morning was unconvincing. Although the camp's 50 recruits were able to perfectly recite Fatah's various slogans after three months of training, most were incapable of performing even the most rudimentary of combat maneuvers.

But Fatah, the party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, has recognized Israel and is no longer interested in doing damage to the country. Indeed, it is the party's moderation which has made it a negotiating partner for the West and Israel. Hamas, on the other hand, remains dedicated to eliminating Israel and has yet to renounce violence. Over the years, it has been responsible for numerous suicide attacks on Israeli citizens and is considered a terrorist organization in the West. [...]

He tells the driver to drive up and down a few more streets. Israeli cameras mounted on balloons hang over the wall and monitor their progress. It wouldn't be the first time a taxi was mistaken for a rocket launcher. "We expect the Israelis to attack at any time," says Abu Khaled. "They have broken cease-fires many times before." [...]
In some ways you have to hand it to U-Putz. There is some pretty stunning information in this article no matter how it's spun. Iran's growing Gulag

More evidence that Iran may be ripe for the overthrow of the Mullahs:
Well over half a million Iranians have been imprisoned by their regime since the start of the year, Director-General of the Cultural and Disciplinary Committee of the Iranian Prisons Organization Mansour Moqareh-Abed told Iranian newspaper Jomhouri Islami.

The interview was cited by the website of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an umbrella organization for Iranian opposition groups in exile.

According to the NCRI, Moraqeh-Abed added in the interview that "it is not possible to accommodate 'the cultural and disciplinary' needs of this many prisoners."

The NCRI noted that "everyday 2,600 people are sent to prison; thus, in a year the figure grows to 1 million," a figure described as an "unprecedented world record."

The NCRI added in its statement: "Obviously, the actual number of detainees in Iran is much higher than the official figure since it does not take into account various unofficial penitentiaries and prisons.

"In particular, the regime has stepped up suppression to an unprecedented level and street arrests have increased in order to combat the rising number of popular demonstrations and uprisings."

Calling for human rights organizations to take up the plight of Iranian prisoners, the NCRI drew special attention to political prisoners jailed for their opposition to the Iranian regime. [...]
(Hat Tip: Daily Alert)

Arutz Sheva: "Jobless Gaza Arabs Miss Jewish Employers, Turn to Drugs"

Now the main exports of Gaza are Kassams and irony:
Gaza Arabs, left jobless by the Oslo War and by last year's expulsion of Gush Katif farmers, have turned to drugs that are smuggled from Lebanon and Egypt, the United Nations reported.

Tens of thousands of Arabs worked throughout Israel in factories and in construction until the Oslo War broke out in 2000. The constant flow of terrorists from Gaza forced Israel to severely restrict traffic and to withdraw work permits, which terrorists exploited to carry out attacks.

Thousands of Arabs still were able to work for Jewish farmers until the summer of 2005, when the government forced 10,000 Jewish residents out of their homes, destroyed their communities and turned them over to the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Hopes for a robust PA economy turned to dust, and the former greenhouses (pictured above) became training grounds for terrorists. The situation has fostered a drug problem among the poor and jobless, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The U.N. agency cited the example of a 35-year-old man, Hassan, who worked for Jewish shippers and was left jobless after the Oslo War. "My life was normal," he said. "Everything was normal, but unemployment is difficult and poverty is more difficult. Bad conditions led me down a worse path. I have even had to beg for money," he said.

Since then he has been unemployed, a situation that drove him to drug addiction. To fund his habit, he first sold his wife's and children's clothes before stealing his brother's property to be able to pay for his drugs.

"Overall, drug on the rise, according to...police and doctors," The U.N. report said. "This, they say, is due to a sense of hopelessness among ordinary Palestinians and the lack of both effective policing to catch the dealers and of a clinical safety net to help those already addicted."

Husni Shaheen, secretary general of the Palestinian Supreme National Committee against Drugs blamed Israel for the poor economic conditions in Gaza but added that most of the drugs come from Lebanon and the Sinai desert in Egypt.

Arabs who still were working for Gush Katif farmers banked on a government and European Union plan to foster a PA agriculture economy.

International donors, headed by former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, paid $14 million for the greenhouses of Jewish farmers. The Christian Science Monitor reported last year, "That hope was jeopardized when Palestinian looters damaged many of the greenhouses, stripping them bare, for instance, of computers that the settlers used to monitor crops. Irrigation pumps were stolen, electricity networks paralyzed, and protective sheeting for the hothouses was torn.

"Before Israel forced them to relocate, Israeli settlers cultivated 1,125 acres of land... The greenhouses once employed 3,600 workers, the overwhelming majority of them Palestinians.

The report noted that one worker, "Awad, said he was tempted to join his Jewish employers in their re-located farm.

Iran is especially unhappy with the Big Satan at the moment

Two items from IRIB Radio:

"US Occupation Troops Kidnap 2 Iranians"
Iraqi president advisor has deplored the arrest of two Iranian officials visiting Iraq at the invitation of Iraqi president, Jalal Talebani, for helping restore security to the violence-hit American-occupied country.

Haiwa Osman, media advisor to Talebani said: The Iraqi president is very unhappy about this misconduct of the US occupation forces.

US occupation forces after kidnapping the two Iranians are holding them at an unknown location.

Iran has strongly protested to the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which hosts the American interest section in the Islamic Republic in the absence of diplomatic relations. It has called for their immediate release and warned of the consequences of such US lawlessness.
"UN Security Council, A US Tool"
Iran's UN envoy Mohammad Javad Zarif Saturday revealed the secret process of the drawing up of the controversial Security Council resolution against Iran.

He said the UN has issued a resolution against an NPT member while the illegal Zionist entity, which refuses to sign the NPT and does not permit IAEA inspection of its atomic sites, recently admitted having nuclear weapons.
Iran has allowed IAEA inspectors full access to its nuclear installations that led to several IAEA reports indicating Iran's nuclear program has not deviated in any way.

This unjust measure indicates that the EU trio of France, Germany and Britain did not even study the proposals presented by Iran, because right from the outset they intended to use the United Nations Security Council as a tool to impose sanctions on Iran to try to prevent it from the peaceful use of nuclear technology.
Tags: Iran, Iraq, UNSC, US, nukes

Sunday, December 24, 2006

(North) Korean News: "New Artificial Dura Mater of Brain Developed"

Here's a nightmare for you. It could be worse--they could announce the discovery an artificial substitute for one of the thinking parts of the brain.
Researchers of the Clinical Research Institute of the Kim Man Yu Hospital and Textile Research Institute of the Branch Academy of Light Industrial Science under the State Academy of Sciences have developed artificial dura mater of brain, the first of its kind in the DPRK. It is made with void-free polyester fiber.

The material is free from the adhesive with living body tissue and antigen-antibody reaction and is safe to acid, alkali and all inorganic and organic chemical medicines.

So far it has been transplanted to tens of patients, but no side-effects have been reported.
Aside from an enhanced appreciation of the undying feats of the Dear Leader.

Amir Taheri: "Wounded but Alive: Could Ahmadinejad Become More Dangerous?"

Taheri is always worth reading. Here are the closing paragraphs:
[...] Voting in Iranian elections is always problematic. Since all candidates are approved by the authorities in advance, most citizens are barred from running for office. Also, the results must be approved by a 12-man body of mullahs who could stroke anybody's name from the list of winners, often on spurious grounds. Nevertheless, many Iranians believe that even such limited and patently undemocratic elections could provide an opportunity for affecting the balance of power within the ruling establishment.

There is no doubt that this is what Iranian voters have done, at least as far as the AOE is concerned. The question now is whether Khamenehi, with the Damoclean sword that Ahmadinejad wished to hang over his head out of the way, will try to rein in the firebrand president.

Rafsanjani, possibly Iran's wealthiest man, represents the fears of the middle and upper classes that have seen the economy on the verge of collapse, businesses frozen and the outflow of capital turned into a flood, since Ahmadinejad's election. But it is hard to see what the Rafsanjani faction can do against an administration that has managed to maintain its base among the urban poor and remains popular within the segment of the Iranian population that still believes in the Khomeinist revolution.

The impact of Ahmadinejad's defeat in the AOE elections on Iran's foreign policy is even harder to gauge. Rafsanjani and his faction have no means of directly influencing decision-making in that field. But they could serve as a channel of communication between the European Union and Khamenehi and persuade the latter to offer at least some of the concessions needed to defuse the crisis over Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions.

However, that possibility may force Ahmadinejad to heat up his rhetoric further and adopt an even more aggressive posture to prevent any deal brokered by the European Union.

As always in Iranian politics under Khomeinism, good news comes mixed with bad. Ahmadinejad is wounded but still very much alive. And that, according to Machiavelli, is when a political animal is at his most dangerous.

Who will make it first to Dictator Heaven?

Castro or the Ayatollah? From Reuters:
A renowned Spanish surgeon has been rushed to Cuba to try to stop a steady deterioration in Fidel Castro's health, a Spanish newspaper reported on Sunday.

Jose Luis Garcia Sabrido, an intestinal specialist, traveled to the Caribbean island on Thursday on an aircraft chartered by the Cuban government, according to Spain's left-leaning El Periodico de Catalunya.

Garcia Sabrido was due to carry out tests on Castro to see if he needs another operation after undergoing emergency surgery for intestinal bleeding in July, the newspaper said, citing hospital sources.

The doctor's plane was carrying advanced medical equipment not available in Cuba, the newspaper reported.

Officials at Madrid's Gregorio Maranon hospital, where Garcia Sabrido is head of surgery, declined to comment, as did the Cuban embassy in Madrid.

Garcia Sabrido was among doctors who presented their work at a surgery conference in Havana last month, according to the conference's website.

Cuban officials say Castro is not dying and will return to public life. But he has skipped recent public appearances including his 80th birthday celebration, and appeared to be frail and walking with difficulty in video images released in October, fanning speculation that he is too ill to govern.

U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte said in an interview with the Washington Post published on December 15 that Castro was near death and had "months, not years" to live.

U.S. congressman William Delahunt, one of the leaders of a delegation that visited Cuba around the same time, said he had concluded from discussions with officials there that if Castro did resume a political role, it would probably be setting broad policy, not governing on a day-to-day basis.

IRIB: "Resistance only way for Palestinians"

Draw all the obvious lessons. The English is somewhat worse than usual, but this is yet another demonstration that the Palestinian position has hardened since the Oslo days. That means that the chances for a negotiated peace have gone from virtually nonexistent to resoundingly nonexistent.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary General described resistance as the only option before the Palestinian people, adding the current sufferings of the Palestinians are masterminded by America in a coup against the popular election.

Ramadan Abdallah Shalah told al-Jazeera that Americans are seeking to force Palestinians to abandon resistance by disturbing situation among Palestinian groups.

"The Palestinian issue is an Islamic issue. We defend also the Islamic ummah besides the Palestinian nation," he added.

Abdallah noted that the Palestinians are deprived a clear political system and still fighting to achieve their national liberty.

"The current regime have been adopted from Oslo agreement and the ongoing conflict (in Palestine) is underpinned by a hollow matter," he cautioned.

Abdallah noted that the current conflict is not between Fath and Hamas. "There are Fatah-linked agents, actually failing to represent the movement, and they are seeking to determine the Palestinian fate as America and 'Israel' wish."

Asked why Abu Mazen is ready to meet Ehud Olmert but refuses to meet Palestinian Premier Ismail Haniya, he said: "It is shameful that a Palestinian hugs enemy but refuses to hold talks with the brother or scions of his nation."

"Hamas stood vote following the principle of "choose the worse from the worst".

They announced they'd rather change the rules of game," Islamic Jihad senior official said.

Concerning America's failure in its regional plans, Abdallah affirmed that Americans have found themselves incapable in the face of the Iraqi resistance.

He then raised the Israeli defeat at the hand of the Lebanese Hezbollah Fighters months ago and the recent defeat of American Republicans in Congressional and Senate votes.

"They (Republicans) want to escape the scarlet of defeat in Lebanon and Iraq through a series of actions in Palestine," he noted.

"They realize that Palestine is not an easy bite. The Palestinian Resistance and the missiles they initially derided managed to force Israel out of the Gaza Strip," Ramadan Abdallah Shalah said, adding, "'Israelis' are now grappled with a big military crisis."

"Islamic Jihad will do its best to prevent any sedition," Abdallah vowed.
IRIB is also carrying a statement from Hamas today: "No truce offer to Zionist regime."

And while we're linking to stories from Iranian News Agencies, Fars News is currently dominated by reactions to Saturday's UN Resolution, finally imposing some sanctions on Iran:

"Parliament Speaker: UNSC Resolution Stems from US Fear from Muslim Progress"

"MP: UNSC Resolution Illustrative of Double Standards"

"President: UNSC will soon Regret"

"Iran Slams UNSC for Indifference to Israel's N. Weapons"

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Linkim Motza'ei Shabbos 12/23/06

Haveil Havalim 99 is up!

Jewish News of Northern California: "S.F. leaders teach Israelis to promote pluralism"

Elder of Ziyon: "The Khaleej Times on freedom of expression"

Bagel Blogger: "Kim Jong Il Hailed as Great Strategist by two other great examples of 'Stately Hood'"

Fars News: "Muslim Scholars Capable of Standing Up to Bullying Powers"

Washington Post: "'Nyet' on Iran"*

"Michael Costello: No merit in a delusional approach to the Middle East"*

LGF Watch discovers the Miriam Shear incident.

Arutz Sheva: "U.S. Pollster Blames the Jewish State for Bethlehem's Ills"

LA Times: "Aiding and abetting the Taliban?"

MOT News: "Freed Holocaust Denier Retracts Remorse"

MENL: "U.S. Blocks Arms, Technology To Israel"

*(h/t: RCP)

British Muslims face next Holocaust Memorial Day

The next British Holocaust Memorial Day is coming up, and the Muslim Council of Britain (which got a lot of bad press for boycotting the last one) is evidently trying to figure out what to do about it. Salma Yaqoob has written an editorial in the Guardian (with a comments thread) arguing that "Muslims need to take part." Rolled-up Trousers posts in support (also with extensive comments). The Drink-soaked Trotskyite Popinjays for War have an interesting, although profanity-laden, negative response (h/t: Simply Jews) to Yaqoob.

The big irony of all this, of course, is that putting a Pro-Palestinian spin on the Holocaust is the reigning cliche of Israel-bashing. Israel-bashers discovered the Holocaust before they discovered Apartheid. Every Pro-Palestinian rally features someone who looks like this:
In fact, the Pro-Palestinian Spin on the Holocaust comes in several varieties nowadays. The mildest version asks, "How can the Jews blah blah blah the Palestinians when they were blah blah blahed themselves?" The more direct equation of the Israelis and the Nazis is probably more common. Put "Palestinian Holocaust" or "ZioNazi" into a search engine and see how many hits you get. Then, there's the Norman Finkelstein variation, which (our protester with the Magen-David-Swstika sign notwithstanding) pretends that the image of the Holocaust is always used to further Zionist ends.

Actually, the MCB's refusal to participate in Holocaust Memorial Day is itself an act of putting a Pro-Palestinian spin on the Holocaust since it pretends that the Pro-Palestinian theme is the true and denied message of the Holocaust. Recently we have begun to see assertions that Muslims in general are the "new Jews." It might be said that Muslims in general are appropriating the Holocaust from the Palestinians.

One has to wonder if all this Pro-Palestinian spin on the Holocaust is just not enough anymore for the British Muslim community. The adoption of a Finkelstein-like official position may be necessary to avoid squabbling with and being embarrassed by the Muslims (however many there are) who have adopted the outright Holocaust denial now promoted by Iran.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Arutz Sheva: "Bush Signs Anti-Hamas Bill into Law"

Is this a positive development? It appears to accept the notion that Fatah is moderate and that "the development of democratic insitutuions" is just waiting around to be "promoted." I guess I can't complain about outlawing the funding of Hamas:
US President George W. Bush signed a law Thursday forbidding direct aid to the Hamas Authority - but not Fatah - until it accepts Israel. Two more men have been killed in Hamas-Fatah fighting.

The new U.S. bill, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, outlaws aid to Hamas, but specifically permits funding to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah. This anomaly is based on the split in the PA government: Hamas won elections a year ago, giving it the prime ministerial slot and a majority in the legislature, while Abbas (Abu Mazen) is the Chairman, parallel to the position of President.

Hamas and Fatah are greatly at odds, unable to agree on either a policy towards Israel, the formation of a government, or a date for new elections. Supporters of both terrorist groups have shot and killed each other over recent weeks, including in the last few hours . . .
And including in hospital corridors.
The new U.S. law also denies visas to Hamas officials. It demands that Hamas acknowledge Israel's right to exist, give up terrorism against Israel, and adhere to existing agreements with Israel. Hamas officials have said they do not accept these conditions.

The U.S. is anxious to bolster Fatah and Abu Mazen, at the expense of Hamas, which appears on the U.S. list of terror organizations. The new law "is designed to promote the development of democratic institutions" in the Palestinian Authority areas, Bush said in a statement.

Meanwhile, yet another ceasefire attempt between Fatah and Hamas has failed, both in Gaza and in the Shomron. One man was mortally wounded in crossfire between Fatah and Hamas terrorists in Shechem Friday morning. In Gaza City, a ferocious gun battle over the course of Thursday night left one person dead and another kidnapped. Hamas and Fatah fighters fired a barrage of some 2,000 bullets at each other, a witness told The Associated Press.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

MPAC-UK discovers the Miriam Shear incident

The charming name of the MPAC item is "Jewish Teleban: Any Outrage Yet?" Well, actually this story has generated mountains of outrage. Sorry MPAC, I wouldn't start concluding that the Taliban have been unjustly maligned just yet.

Fars News: "Ahmadinejad: Only one Short Step Left to Gain Full Access to N. Energy"

I wonder what the short step is. Reminding the engineer of what happened to the previous engineer?
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran is only one short step away from gaining full access to nuclear energy and pays no heed to the obstructions caused by the big bullying powers in this regard.

Addressing a large public congregation in Sar-e-Pol-e Zahab, Kermanshah province today, president Ahmadinejad added that the Iranian people will soon arrange nuclear related celebrations and join the list of the world's recognized states enjoying peaceful nuclear technology.

Saying that the US and a number of European states are already aware they are incapable of doing any harm to the Iranian nation, the Iranian president added that they think that the Iranian nation needs their permission for progress and construction, however, the Americans and Europeans should know that the Iranian nation has chosen its path which is none but dignity and glory.

Ahmadinejad said that the enemies of the Iranian nation are not worried about Iran's nuclear weapons rather what worries them is the progress achieved by the Iranian nation.

Making reference to the allocation of billions of US dollars by some US-based institutions, aimed at sowing seeds of discord among the Iranian people, Ahmadinejad reiterated that the Iranian people live under unity no matter what race or tribe they belong to and that they will resist the US to the last proving that the Americans have made another mistake.

IRIB: "Israel murdered Pierre Jumayel"

Israel, as we all know, has a great interest in eliminating prominent anti-Syrian Lebanese politicians:
A Zionist regime's aeroplane landed in Beirut's airport and stopped there for about seven hours on the same day that former Lebanese industry minister, Pierre Jumayel was assassinated, the Lebanese Islamic Resistance Movement, Hezbollah's official tv, Al Minar reported on Wednesday.

Al Minar tv said that after the Zionists' airplane landed on a direct flight from Tel Aviv, ten out of the eleven on board left the plane.

Al Minar named the type of plane as Falcon Alphafox and said the plane left Beirut to an unknown destination seven hours after landing.

Its against the Lebanese rule that an airplane which flies from the 1948 Palestinian occupied lands directly in Lebanon, so the official investigations should be undertaken into the issue, Al Minar urged.

Four American experts work on the second floor of Beirut airport, while their mission isn't clear, Al Minar said adding that they are paid 120,000 dollars per month.
And that's exactly the going rate for assassinating anti-Syrian politicians!
Former Lebanese industry minister, Pierre Jumayel was assassinated by unknown armed men on November 21, 2006.
Anyone out there who thinks that Israel did it to make Syria look bad is not thinking conspiratorially enough. Obviously Syria (or one of its allies) did it so that Israel would be blamed for doing it so that Syria would be blamed.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

NY Times: "Iran President Facing Revival of Students’ Ire"

If some sort of overthrow of the Iranian regime is possible, now would be a good time:
As protests broke out last week at a prestigious university here, cutting short a speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Babak Zamanian could only watch from afar. He was on crutches, having been clubbed by supporters of the president and had his foot run over by a motorcycle during a less publicized student demonstration a few days earlier.

Babak Zamanian, a student at Amir Kabir, in Tehran, is on crutches because of a beating earlier by supporters of President Ahmadinejad.

But the significance of the confrontation was easy to grasp, even from a distance, said Mr. Zamanian, a leader of a student political group.

The student movement, which planned the 1979 seizure of the American Embassy from the same university, Amir Kabir, is reawakening from its recent slumber and may even be spearheading a widespread resistance against Mr. Ahmadinejad. This time the catalysts were academic and personal freedom.

“It is not that simple to break up a president’s speech,” said Alireza Siassirad, a former student political organizer, explaining that an event of that magnitude takes meticulous planning. “I think what happened at Amir Kabir is a very important and a dangerous sign. Students are definitely becoming active again.”

The protest, punctuated by shouts of “Death to the dictator,” was the first widely publicized outcry against Mr. Ahmadinejad, one that was reflected Friday in local elections, where voters turned out in droves to vote for his opponents.

The students’ complaints largely mirrored public frustrations over the president’s crackdown on civil liberties, his blundering economic policies and his harsh oratory against the West, which they fear will isolate the country.

But the students had an additional and potent source of outrage: the president’s campaign to purge the universities of all vestiges of the reform movement of his predecessor, Mohammad Khatami. [...]

The triumph of junk food

I love this story. From Seattle PI:
It was a lunch that would horrify a dietitian: a bag of Tropical Skittles, a Jones soda, two Little Debbie marshmallow treats, a deep-fried pizza stick and a bottle of sweetened iced tea.

Even though the Seattle School District does not sell sugary sodas in its vending machines, students find other ways to get junk food. Latanya Lucas, 15, goes to a fast-food restaurant near West Seattle High School to get a Sprite at lunchtime.
The high-calorie, sugar-packed treats are standard fare for Cleveland High School freshman Tikisha Spires, who travels off campus for lunch each day.

It's certainly not what the Seattle School Board had in mind two years ago when it adopted a rigorous nutrition policy and canceled a lucrative vending contract with Coca-Cola. Chips and cookies were replaced in vending machines with granola bars and trail mix; sugary drinks are no longer sold in schools. Cleveland fell into line with other schools, offering healthier foods in its cafeteria and vending machines.

Teens such as Tikisha fell into line, too -- out the door to find their junk food off campus.

"Our health teacher tells us about nutrition, but we sit in her class and eat what we want," Tikisha said.

The district had little luck persuading kids to change what they eat, but did manage to slash an important source of revenue that has forced some schools to cut student newspapers, cancel annual events and end other popular activities.
There's an important lesson in there.
Here's why: The policy meant to discourage students from eating junk food has instead driven student business to the grocery stores and fast-food joints near the city's high schools.

That in turn led to a significant drop in revenue for middle and high schools, which in recent years have relied heavily on money from vending-machine sales to supplement their budgets for student-body activities.

District officials still are trying to determine the total financial impact, but say it's about $103,000 a year for the district's 10 comprehensive high schools -- not including the $190,000 payment the district received and passed on to schools as a bonus for allowing Coca-Cola exclusive access to sell beverages to students.

In all, the district had received about $340,000 a year from the Coca-Cola contract, according to district documents.

At most schools, the money had paid for academic club events, school newspaper and yearbook production, school dances, transportation to athletic events and other activities.

Some high schools coped this year by raising fees for Associated Student Body cards or holding fundraisers. But not all schools can raise enough money, and some have pleaded with district officials to help make up some of the shortfall.

School Board member Michael DeBell, chairman of the board's finance committee, said he supports the nutrition policy but was troubled when representatives from several of the city's high schools reported they were hurting financially.

"They thought they might have to drop spring sports or cancel events," he said. "That's kind of when the red flag went up." [...]

LA Times: "Baby is sent through X-ray machine at LAX"

Does airport security serve any function at all? I guess it does, but still I wonder sometimes:
A woman going through security at Los Angeles International Airport put her month-old grandson into a plastic bin intended for carry-on items and slid it into an X-ray machine.

The early Saturday accident — bizarre but not unprecedented — caught airport workers by surprise, even though the security line was not busy at the time, officials said.

A screener watching the machine's monitor immediately noticed the outline of a baby and pulled the bin backward on the conveyor belt.

The infant was taken to Centinela Hospital, where doctors determined that he had not received a dangerous dose of radiation.

Officials, who declined to release the 56-year-old woman's name, said she spoke Spanish and apparently did not understand English.

She initially didn't want the baby transported to a hospital, but security officials called paramedics and insisted that the child be examined by a doctor.

The grandmother and the child were subsequently allowed to board an Alaska Airlines flight to Mexico City.

The rare incident drew attention to whether officials are staffing often-busy security checkpoints enough to prevent such an accident. And it raised questions about the danger of X-rays used to pick out suspicious metal shapes in passenger bags, given the medical community's warnings that even low amounts of radiation can build up over a lifetime.

"Rather than focus on the radiation dose, which is a small amount, we need to focus on why this happened, so it doesn't happen again," said Dr. James Borgstede, a diagnostic radiologist at Penrose-St. Francis Health Systems in Colorado Springs, Colo., and president of the American College of Radiology. "Human beings weren't meant to go through those things."

In the several seconds the baby spent in the machine, the doctor added, he was exposed to as much radiation as he would naturally get from cosmic rays — or high energy from outer space — in a day.

Security experts said the incident underscored a more widespread concern about the screening process at LAX and other airports.

"The screeners are still reporting that they're being pushed," said Brian Sullivan, a retired Federal Aviation Administration security agent. "If a baby can get through, what the hell else can get through?" [...]
Baby Fernando woke up the next day to discover that he had acquired mysterious powers . . .

IRIB: "DPRK: America, planning to attack"

What will they say when the attack doesn't happen? (IRIB stands for Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, by the way.)
North Korean official media Wednesday accused America of planning an attack under the cover of talks now under way in Beijing.

"America is trying to pull a dirty business against the DPRK (North Korea) behind the curtain of talks," wrote an analyst in the newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

"This is clear proof that it is seeking to vanquish the DPRK with a military strong arm, whetting its sword of aggression under the mask of dialogue."
That sentence about "clear proof" doesn't seem to refer to anything. Was this excerpted from a longer article?

Update: The longer version has been located.

Der Spiegel: "Uncle Hamas Cares for Palestinians"

The author of this is the aptly-named Ulrike Putz, and the bit about "Uncle Hamas" is the real title, not a joke:
The West classifies Hamas as a terrorist organization, but in the Gaza Strip, the Islamist organization is widely respected for helping families in need. International aid groups also praise Hamas for being free of corruption.

Etidal Sinati's life in poverty began one night in March 2003. Israeli helicopters were flying air attacks on the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza City and Etidal's husband Mohammed and a group of other men from the neighborhood went out to assess the damage. But the Israelis weren't done; an attack helicopter returned and fired on the onlookers. Etidal's husband was killed, leaving her with seven children and no one to provide for them. Overnight, the Sinatis became a welfare case -- and loyal to Hamas. The radical Islamist group took the destitute family under its wing.

"My husband was not a Hamas supporter. In fact, he was for Fatah," says Sinati, now a widow. It is cold in her two-room hut; a mentally ill uncle sits in a corner occasionally laughing to himself and pulling his wool blanket over his head. "But without Hamas we wouldn't have survived, and even with their support it's been difficult."

The official pension for the wife of a "martyr" -- a Palestinian killed by the Israeli military -- is €100 every three months. For a large family living in Gaza, this is about enough for one good seafood meal, but is not enough to live on. "So Hamas adopted my children," says Etidal Sinati. The widow receives €15 a month in child support for each child, and all of her children attend a school run by Hamas free of charge. "I voted for the crescent in the January election," says the illiterate Etidal. The crescent moon is Hamas's symbol.
The next section follows the heading "A party for the poor"
At first glance Hamas, a party that looks after the poor with its money and charity, appears to be playing a well-known tune on the instrument of populism. On the other hand, every major international aid organization is singing the Islamist group's praises when it comes to the quality of its work. "In the International Crisis Group's 2003 report, the most important American NGOs gave perfect marks to Hamas's work; they couldn't have achieved a better result," says Helga Baumgarten, a lecturer at Birzeit University in Ramallah. [...]