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5th August, 2006

A wider perspective on Israel and Middle East

by Katy at 5:01 pm    

This post has been edited and updated since it was first posted, and a substantial part had to be rewritten after a Wordpress disaster. Apologies to those who responded to the post as it was first written.

Like many Diaspora Jews, I am not an uncritical supporter of Israel and I am deeply unhappy about the current war on Lebanon.

What I would like to do is discuss and critique the conflict freely with anyone else who is interested in doing so, regardless of their background, colour, religion or nationality. But I don’t get much opportunity to do that, because I find myself having to rebut the same misunderstandings over and over again, sometimes in conversations outside of this blog, and sometimes on threads in this blog.

Even when, as Leon did recently, a thread is started with the aim of discussing how to end the conflict, it quickly turns into a battle between ill-informed tirades about Israel’s previous crimes and misdemeanours versus equally ill-informed tirades about the alleged intrinsic worthlessness of the Palestinian/Arab peoples. Neither of those lines of argument are going to get anyone anywhere.

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4th August, 2006

Cricket, politics and stupidity

by Sunny at 4:56 pm    

If examples need be provided that the police and our friendly Islamists are doing an idiotic dance together, then this is it.

A match involving the Israeli cricket team in Glasgow has been abandoned amid fears of demonstrations over Israel’s campaign in Lebanon. Organisers, the European Cricket Council, said it was cancelled because of public safety issues.

Osama Saeed, of the Muslim Association of Britain, said of the decision to drop the match: “This is fabulous news, though we would wish that the decision had been taken earlier by the organisers on the grounds of principle rather than practicality.” [BBC News]

Needless to say Osama Saeed is an idiot. Would he be saying the same thing if Iran were excluded from the World Cup for their human rights abuses? Or if Pakistan were barred from playing with England or India for their own government excesses? No. I suspect he would be crying Islamophobia like he always does over everything. He also doesn’t understand another point.

Our idiotic police should have let them legitimately demonstrate while the match went ahead. But they stopped for the simple reason because they believe in their own racist way: “These wogs are just going to cause trouble and start a riot because that’s what they do at every opportunity. Let’s just stop the match for everyone’s sake.” Hence the use of “public safety” terminology. Of course he doesn’t realise this but that is another matter.

Keep religion out of sports. Is that too difficult to understand Osama? If you’re going to have standards then apply them consistently or else you look like a fool.

Update: It looks like the weekend matches still went ahead. Despite promises of “mass-protests”, 70 people turned up and behaved peacefully. That’s how it should have been.

Filed under: Religion, Sports

Tony Blair’s “arc of extremism”

by Sunny at 3:23 am    

Tony BlairI used to think it was just the US President who was stupid and our Prime Minister was simply being sucked into his agenda. It seems that whatever Bush has, it is infectious. At least on foreign policy.

In a speech on Tuesday Tony Blair said we “must rethink” the war on terror. He also introduced a more silly phrases like “arc of extremism” and “how do we empower the moderates to defeat the extremists?”.

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Filed under: Middle East
3rd August, 2006

How can we stand by and allow this to go on?

by Leon at 12:30 am    

The Israeli invasion of Lebanon is making me increasingly partisan in my assessment of its developments. It’s nonsense that Israel is seriously threatened; they are virtually a regional super power (by the fact of billions of dollars in US ‘aid’).

The Lebanese people are paying thrice the price: one for the ineptness of their government, two for being neighbours to Israel and three for the provokations of Hezzbolah (although I suspect number three is viewed somewhat differently by them now…).

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Filed under: Current affairs
2nd August, 2006

Field Marshal Monty

by Rohin at 11:22 pm    

Monty Panesar seems to be all over the place now. ‘The Montster’ has not only garnered vast amounts of space in the sports press, with practically every broadsheet devoting inches to him this week, but he is to grace the cover of Esquire magazine.

Of course Monty’s storming eight wicket match haul against Pakistan last weekend is a huge element in the sudden interest, but his cult following has been growing since he first debuted against India in March. From the very off, I can recall England fans enthusiastically cheering his frequent fielding gaffes instead of lambasting him.

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Filed under: Culture, Sports

A battle of words and pictures

by Sunny at 3:08 pm    

Last week I wrote about the media war taking place in parallel to the conventional conflict in Lebanon. This seems no sign of abating.

Blogger and journalist Roy Greenslade today points to growing controversy over a British blogger accusing the BBC and photo-journalists of propaganda because of invoking the “shock value” of pictures. Let me get this straight. If women and children are being blown up, do these people want to see pictures of pretty flowers on their news screens? There was plenty of blood and crying when the pictures for 9/11 and 7/7 came out - should they have been suppressed too?

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Filed under: Media, Middle East

Ignorant Americans people

by Al-Hack at 1:10 pm    

The day after the stabbing of a Santa Clara grandfather left South Bay Sikhs reeling, prosecutors are weighing hate crime and attempted murder charges against his neighbor, who apparently believed the man belonged to the Taliban.

Iqbal Singh, 40, was waiting in his carport with his 2-year-old granddaughter around 10:50 a.m. Sunday when the suspect approached him and stabbed him in the neck with a steak knife, Santa Clara police Sgt. Kurt Clarke said. Singh was still in the hospital Monday with serious injuries. The girl was unhurt.

There are indications that Thompson, who may suffer from mental illness, believed Singh was a member of the Taliban, officials said Monday. Singh is not.

From Mercury News courtesy of Sepia Mutiny.
This brings up that old chestnut don’t it. It is right for Sikhs to declare “We are not Muslims”? Or, are they making this into a faith crime when the man was just mentally ill?

Filed under: United States
1st August, 2006

‘This madness must stop’

by Sunny at 4:45 pm    

Looks like the American administration is finally waking up. It isn’t the spineless Democrats but the Republicans who want a ceasefire.

Urging President Bush to turn all U.S. efforts toward “ending this madness,” a leading Republican senator Monday broke with the Bush administration and called for an immediate cease-fire in the Mideast.

“The sickening slaughter on both sides must end and it must end now,” Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel said. “President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop.”

“How do we realistically believe that a continuation of the systematic destruction of an American friend — the country and people of Lebanon — is going to enhance America’s image and give us the trust and credibility to lead a lasting and sustained peace effort in the Middle East?” asked Hagel, the No. 2 Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

From CNN , via Mash. He has the CNN news broadcast too.

BBC Panorama, Interpal and Hamas

by Sunny at 1:54 am    

Last night the BBC aired a Panorama documentary alleging that the British charity Interpal had tight links with Hamas. Actually it was more insinuation and smear than actual evidence since the BBC did not bring anything new and factual to the table. No investigation has been launched because, well, the Charity Commission has already investigated and given it a clean bill of health. Pickled Politics covered this before. You can watch the documentary online.

Given the charity has also successfully sued the Daily Telegraph, Jewish Board of Deputies and the Jerusalem Post, one wonders what the point of all this was?

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Filed under: Media, Middle East
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