Archive for April, 2019

News and Analysis (4/28/19)

Sunday, April 28th, 2019

Anonymous students seek to silence Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Women’s March co-chair Linda Sarsour, Prof. Marc Lamont Hill  (“fired by CNN for supporting … a boycott of Israel”),  and Jewish critic of Israel Dave Zirin”:

“‘Kindness is a mark of faith. Those who aren’t kind have no faith -Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)” — caption from her viral Twitter post:

“A man in California … faces eight counts of attempted murder for injuring eight people, including a 13-year-old girl, … currently in a coma with severe brain trauma”:

Zarif’s comparison of an Iranian woman detained in Australia at U.S. request to Iran’s detention of a British-American woman has some thinking a swap might be arranged:

To help boost “the skills and competencies of … [advocates] for Palestine … [speakers] from the Jewish Voice for Labour addressed participants and discussed the definition of anti-Semitism”:

“Americans have more favorable views of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples than of their governments“:

An employee called the police to check on the welfare of a homeless woman washing up in the Muslim manner after using the restroom, but she was arrested when she asked for more time to clean up after herself:

Islam rejects the notion that the sins of the father are visited upon the children, yet hitherto the UAE has denied innocent children a birth certificate because their parents violated it marriage laws:

Having grown up in secular France, yet curious about her ancestral Iran, an investigative reporter lived there for a decade, and has written a book about how the experience affected her:

News and Analysis (4/25/19)

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

“Sri Lanka’s Muslim civil society movements and associations have called upon authorities to immediately arrest and punish the perpetrators of Sunday Easter bombings that killed more than 350 people” …

… and the leader of the group accused of the massacre was the subject of complaints “to authorities … since 2017”:

Against “the backdrop of an attempt to minimize the role of civil society organizations, Austrian Muslim organizations seem to function as a playground for implementing more authoritarian policies”:

Harsh policies towards Iran give “all those factions and centers of power who would normally want to rein in the Corps’ disproportionate amount of influence … no choice but to strengthen it” …

… while an expert calls a policy which lost a war in Syria and expended blood and treasure to strengthen Iran’s position in Iraq, and leaving our only reliable regional ally “an authoritarian, brutal state under a boy-king”:

“Implicit in Ramy and Nour’s interaction is the idea that Ramy’s reservations are not tied to a commitment to celibacy, but rather to his idea that sexual liberation (and impropriety) is reserved only for white women”:

Israeli officials foresee a scenario in which they are the foreign country is “dragged into” interfering in America’s next “presidential contest if Iran deal becomes a major issue”:

He fled violence in Iraq only to be taunted as a terrorist in the U.S.:

“This government for the first time in Pakistan’s [history] is dismantling any militant group in our country” — Imran Khan:

An “autobiographical manuscript has been translated from its original Arabic and housed at the Library of Congress, where it ‘annihilates’ the conventional narrative of African slaves as uneducated and uncultured”:

“Palestinians did and still are. They have always filled the labor-intensive sector of the construction industry. Everyone knows this, but it is the subject of widespread denial”:

The Israel Lobby and American Foreign Policy (2019)

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

[These are my notes from the 2019 conference on “The Israeli Lobby and American Foreign Policy” held at the National Press Club in Washington DC on March 22. These notes summarize my impression of highlights of the presentations and are not an attempted transcription. The entire program may be viewed here. ]

Walter Hixon (Author of American Foreign Relations: a New Diplomatic History). Israel’s Armor: The Israel Lobby and the First Generations of the Palestine Conflict

The Biltmore Conference 1942 was start of the Israel lobby. It quickly lined up both political parties in support of the new state. From the beginning the purpose was to insulate the new state from criticism. Palestinians and Arabs had no comparable lobby. Truman sided with his Zionist advisers against his State Department. Israel appeared vulnerable when Sharon executed the Qibya massacre, but the lobby successfully managed the fallout. In 1957 Eisenhower successfully pushed back on Israel’s invasion of Egypt, but Israel was rewarded with critical new navigation rights that enables it to precipitate the 1967 War. Kennedy announced the “special relationship with Israel” and in response Israel lied to Kennedy about Dimona and to this day has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In 1951 Isaiah L. Kenen, [who until that year was a registered foreign agent for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ “Israel Office of Information”] founded the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs (AZCPA), the forerunner of what has been known as AIPAC since 1959. In 1967, Israel launched the June war as a first rather than last resort, attacking a U.S. spy ship and exploiting the military victory to pursue a messianic vision of an expanded Jewish state. By 1968 Israel had achieved a stranglehold on American political life. Isaiah Kenen frankly asserted the policy was to write letters to the President to overrule the State Department. Diplomats were falsely accused of being pro-Arab or antisemitic. Palestinians and Arabs have made many mistakes, but the conflict is rooted in Zionist aggression and a host of actions in violation of international law. Israel, like the U.S., South Africa, Australia, Argentina, Canada and others, is a product of “settler colonialism.” For most of its existence Israel has been led by men who should be held accountable for war crimes. Like other settler states, Israel is not content to have its crimes overlooked, but demands praise and affection for its liberality and democracy. Israel has mastered the concept of tropes and manipulating them. While Ilhan Omar never used the trope of dual loyalty, the Lobby used it to accuse her of antisemitism. Such abuse of the trope of antisemitism undermines the force of the concept applied to actual antisemitism such in Pittsburgh and Charlottesville. Yet, it is perfectly acceptable to use the trope of Islamic terrorism to inspire atrocities like the Christchurch massacre. A tenacious propaganda campaign can cover up most crime. We live in dangerous times reminiscent of the antebellum era in this country. In 1858 Lincoln observed that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” That is as true today of Palestine/Israel as it was of the U.S. in 1858. The juxtaposition of Lincoln and Trump is reminiscent of Henry Adams’s observation “[t]he progress of Evolution from President Washington to President Grant was alone evidence enough to upset Darwin.” In 1864 Lincoln declared, “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.” I conclude in the same spirit: If declaring your right to exist while denying it to your neighbor is not wrong, nothing is wrong. If slaughtering children for throwing stones at their oppressors is not wrong, nothing is wrong. If supplying $125 billion dollars to finance a regime that commits such crimes against humanity is not wrong, nothing is wrong. If antisemitism is not wrong, nothing is wrong. If cynical deployment of baseless charges of antisemitism, however, to stifle criticism of such policies is not wrong, nothing is wrong.

Ali Abunimah (Electronic Intifada). What Does a Censored Undercover New Investigation Reveal About the Israeli Lobby in America?

The suppressed Al-Jazeera documentary on the Israeli Lobby is available at Electronic Intifada. It was censored after Qatar was intensely pressured by the Arab states. Qatar claims the film was stalled by “outstanding legal issues,” yet a comparable film was released about the lobby in Britain and, notwithstanding that the U.K. has no first amendment, every single complaint against that film was dismissed as without merit. Israel is running covert and semi-covert black ops from the ministry of external affairs in collusion with a number U.S. organizations not registered as agents of a foreign power, including the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD). Some operations were being run out of the Israeli embassy. An operative explains how Israeli operatives such as Israel on Campus Coalition use anonymous websites to sabotage anti-Israeli activists (mentioning Canary Mission as a model). In one case accusations that a young Muslim woman was engaged in late night drinking and sexual activity were used in an attempt to shame her and bring her into disrepute. The director general of the Israeli mission boasts that the FDD and other groups are working with the Israeli government, yet neither FDD nor its principals are registered as agents of the Israeli government. The film’s undercover reporter got an internship at the Israel Project, which works closely with the Israeli government. One of the Facebook sites set up called “A Cup of Jane” that describes itself a “sugar and spice and everything nice.” It tries to present itself as a progressive and cute site that weaves in pro-Israeli propaganda portraying an Israeli fighter jet painted pink in support of breast cancer awareness month, even as dozens of cancer patients (many of the women) died because Israel would not let them out of Gaza to get needed treatment. Facebook has partnered with the Israeli government to shut down pro-Palestinian pages but replied to complaints that the Israeli propaganda network did not violate any of their rules.

“Watch the film the Israeli lobby didn’t want you to see. “ Even with the attacks on Ilhan Omar, we are seeing something that the Israeli lobby does not want: an open discussion about them. Eric Gallagher, Israeli project official, says that the foundation is rotting. I don’t think AIPAC is going to remain as influential as it once was.

Forget the explosive content of this film, consider, if Russia pressured a major news organization to suppress a film about Russian influence, Rachel Maddow and Jake Tapper would be shouting from the rooftops and Washington Post and the New York Times would have it on the front pages but in this case silence.

Dual loyalty is a trigger term that has been used in a way that suggests bigotry. This film does not use that term and is in no way antisemitism. This film focuses on certain organizations, the lobby is larger than that and the mass base of the Israel lobby are the Christian Zionists.

Legal antisemitism is real and visible and its ally is Israel. The far right parties in Europe are not only pro Israel but have close ties to Netanyahu. Netanyahu ordered the withdrawal of a statement critical of a former Nazi Victor Orbin. Israel is providing a whitewashing and laundry service for anti-Semites and racists of all kinds.

Grant F. Smith (Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy). US Foreign Aid and the Israeli Nuclear Weapons Program

Although Lyndon Johnson and Dean Rusk told Abba Eban that they felt strongly that Israel should sign the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons), Johnson caved under pressure and sold them planes without conditions. U.S. agencies and officials want to avoid confirming or denying Israeli possession of nuclear weapons, despite “prior official disclosure” such as the CIA 1974 Special National Intelligence Assessment which confirms Israel has a  nuclear weapons site and the DoD’s “Critical Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations” confirming Israel’s work on hydrogen bombs. “Nuclear Ambiguity” since 1993 has been maintained through “presidential letters” demanded and held by Israel, but two Senators were not satisfied. Stuart Symington and John Glenn in 1976 passed a law prohibiting foreign aid to any non-NPT country without a waiver. This law has never been followed and no waivers have been issued.

The Obama administration, notwithstanding it talked about a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, not only signed the nuclear ambiguity letter, but went so far as to promise to fire any employee or contractor who even mentions any fact from the public record contradicting the policy. Thus, former nuclear policy specialist James Doyle wrote an article that had been cleared for security issues in which he pointed out, “Nuclear weapons did not deter Egypt and Israel from attacking Israel in 1973, Argentina from attacking British territory in the 1982 Falklands War or Iraq from attacking Israel during the 1991 Gulf War in the Feb.-March 2013 issue of Survival. After a Congressional staff member noticed this, the Department of Energy retroactively classified Doyle’s story, raided his home, fired him, and took away his clearance clearances.

One measure of the cost of nuclear ambiguity since the passage of the Symington-Glenn bill is $260.9 billion dollars which does not include any of the black budget aid. This is far more than the aid spent to rebuild Europe under the Marshall plan. There has been $99.9 billion in aid to Israel just since 1993.

Susan Abulhawa (Palestinian poet and author of Mornings in Jenin, The Blue Between Sky and Water, founder of Playgrounds for Palestine.) Keynote Address.

I will look at Israel from a number of angles that may seem unrelated. Every country has good and bad elements, but one can find an overall picture of societies and their impact. Spending is a useful tool. When we look at Israeli arms spending per capita it is second only to that other bastions of civil liberties, Saudi Arabia. From such absurd claims as that Israel invented falafal to that it is one year away from curing cancer, popular international media do not merely spin reality, they completely misrepresent the reality. Consider an article in Scientific American on Israeli desalinization efforts that recalls the myth that Israel “made the desert bloom.” Not only does it ignore the work of Arab societies on desalinization, but it ignores the fact that Ramallah’s annual rainfall exceeds London’s and Jerusalem’s rainfall is nearly on a par with London’s. Pollution in a Promised Land documents how rather than make the desert bloom, Israel has harmed the ecology of Palestine. Rather than “creating water from nothingness”, Israel has diverted water from the locals to try to recreate a European lifestyle in Zionist settlements that is destroying the Palestinian water systems. They transformed the al-Awja river (which they renamed the Yarkan) which was reduced from a life-giving river to a polluted trickle of sludge. Settlements have destroyed the land’s natural biological diversity. Massive forest fires have scorched the earth, and Palestinians’ olive trees have been deliberately destroyed.

Israel leads the word in death, surveillance, and suppression tactics. They test their weapons on Palestinians and Gaza is their primary laboratory for maximum control and minimum service to a population. Israel is 4th-8th largest exporter of arms (depending on year and currency), but this is an underestimation since off-record arms deals are not included. My own analysis based on the database of top arms exporters from 2010-2018 from CIPRI and the world population database from the World Bank shows that Israel leads the entire world in per capita arms exports with the peculiar except of a tie with Sweden in 2011.

Over 60% of global drone exports come from Israel. They boast of being “combat tested.” Only three weeks after Israel used still-in-test-phase Hermes 900 drones in the slaughter of 2200 people and maiming tens of thousands in Gaza, it was the hit product at a trade show. In South Sudan’s civil war Israel continued to provide the regime with weapons despite a U.S. and U.N. arms embargo. In the Bosnian massacres Israel sold weapons to the Serbians long after the U.N. embargo was imposed. Israelis at the highest levels were involved in the arms trade. Israel’s high court rejected a lawsuit on the grounds that exposing its role in the war crimes would harm Israeli interests. Israel sold arms to Myanmar long after the U.S., Europe and the U.N. instituted an embargo. Israel provided the rifles, ammunition and grenades that made the Rwandan massacres possible. An Israeli arms dealer boasted the he saw himself as a doctor who helped the victims to die quickly. Israel later backed a move at the U.N. to rewrite the history of the genocide. Israel was South Africa’s closest ally, its biggest arms supplier, and eventually its only friend in a world that had become intolerant of apartheid. The relationship went beyond trade and coordination. It was a spiritual affinity articulated by former Israeli chief of staff Rafael Eitan who said of blacks in South Africa that “they want to gain control over the white minority just like the Arabs here want to gain control over us. And we, like the white minority in South Africa must act to prevent them from taking over.” When school children went into the streets of Soweto to protest apartheid, they were mowed down with Israeli-supplied weapons. Israel had offered to provide the apartheid government with nuclear arms as far back as 1975. South Africa abandoned its nuclear weapons after the fall of apartheid. In 1987 Ehud Olmert warmed that Israel might one day face a South African style demand for equal voting rights and, that once that happened, the State of Israel was finished. There were many other examples of sub-rosa armaments and funding of unsavory and terrorist regimes and movements. Israel armed all sides of the Angolan civil war and Guatemalan death squads. It also provides surveillance equipment to oppressive regimes. It also provides wares and training to governments and corporations for suppression of domestic dissent. Cooperation between the Israeli military and American police departments came to light after the Ferguson uprising “in which robocop police appeared in military gear to suppress unarmed protesters.” In Dallas Texas a kind of robot suicide bomber was deployed to kill a suspect after the police chief was on a ten-day “anti-terrorism” training junket to Israel. And now we know Israelis have spied on American citizens and the Mueller investigation has revealed Israeli interference in American elections.

“Despite claiming to be the guardians and protectors of Jews everywhere, Israel has … courted some of the wold’s most notorious anti-Semites, as long as they support the occupation and buy their arms.” In 1976 Itzhak Rabin heaped praise on South Africa’s Nazi sympathizing PM John Vorster. Israel has cozied up to Brazil’s ultranationalist, homophobic, racist Jair Bolsonaro who calls refugees “the scum of the earth,” told a female colleague she was “too ugly to rape,” threatened to destroy or imprison his political opponents, spoke favorably of torture, lamented that the Brazilian cavalry wasn’t as efficient as the America soldiers who exterminated the Indians, and said he would rather hear his son died in a car crash than learn that he was gay. Israel is arming neo-Nazis in the Ukraine and opened its doors to the anti-Semitic prime minister of Hungary Viktor Orban who “praised his country’s WWII leadership that presided over the murder of Jews … and employed … anti-Semitic tropes to demonize George Soros.” Netanyahu signed a joint declaration with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki whitewashing Poland’s role in the Holocaust and even “went so far as to say Hitler isn’t quite the monster we thought he was but that … it was a Palestinian Hajj Husseini who convinced him to actually kill European Jews.” He crossed a red line with that last one and was given a foul card.

Finally there is Israel’s tireless effort to wipe out the memory of the many other religions and people who resided in the land before during and after the Jewish presence. Centuries old mosques and churches have been torn down. Non-Jewish places of worship have been turned into night clubs, animal pens and brothels. Non-Jewish cemeteries have been dug up and built over. Israel has weaponized archaeology. Whole neighborhoods have been destroyed on the pretext of archaeological research. In Silwan archaeology was the pretext for destroying a neighborhood to build what is being called a Jewish Disneyland. A 1200 year old village of mixed Muslims and Christians is now marked for destruction. No matter how good the Israeli National Orchestra makes you feel on tour, the way Israel exists in the world is “antithetical to life and liberty not only for Palestinians but to all people who struggle against tyranny, oppression, white supremacy, and ecological destruction.” Israel now wants to ban the adhan (Muslim call to prayer) for the first time since the dawn of Islam. “But I believe that Israel’s current escalation of their ethnic cleansing is in many ways a desperate though counter-productive response to the growing international repudiation of them, including by young Jews whose moral compass is not guided by Zionism. The conversation is changing here and around the world.”

Martin M. McMahon (Attorney at Law). The Legal Battle for Justice Against Israeli Settlers and Their American Financiers

[He filed a lawsuit seeking damages from illegal Israeli settlers and their American backers and those who enabled them to commitment war crimes including genocide against the Palestinians.] This is the first time ever that the political doctrine question has not blocked a lawsuit by Palestinians. It is a landmark case. We lost in district court and then won on appeal. Eventually we will start discovery and I will ask for defendant Sheldon Adelson’s last five years of tax returns. He writes off the weapons and body armor he gives to illegal settlers. 501(c)3s give two billion dollars a year to Israel for arms. This lawsuit will allow us to identify the founders of hate. Netanyahu’s people characterizing Palestinians as carcinogenic agents, savages, beasts, and snakes, not human beings, is evidence of genocidal intent. What happened in Charlottesville was a re-enactment of Kristellnacht. It was not an accident. Bobby Kennedy warned many years ago that more Americans turned to or became tolerant of violence as society teaches people to hate one another. Hatred is being taught to young settlers. Shin Bet has confirmed that settlers now have a how-to-do-it manual for burning down Palestinian homes. (Arson for Dummies?) An Israeli rabbi said that “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.” When an Israeli pilot refused to drop cluster bombs on Gaza on the grounds that it is a war crime, he was rebuked by a general who explained, “Don’t you know that Jewish actions must be evaluated from the perspective of Jewish superiority to the Arab, moral and otherwise.”

Saqib Ali (Founder of Freedom to Boycott in Maryland). Why I Am Suing Maryland to Protect My Constitutional Right to Boycott Israel.

When we defeated a legislative attempt to punish boycott of Israel, Governor Hogan issued an executive order towards that end. Governor Hogan’s overreach in requiring one to pledge not to boycott Israel even to just apply for a government contract gave me standing to sue him as having violated my civil rights by requiring me to give up my first amendment rights as condition of seeking to do business with the state of Maryland. We filed on Jan. 9 and the governor has attempted to block the suit, but we think we shall prevail. Claybourne v ACLU says political boycotts enjoy the highest level of free speech protection. We would live to see similar cases in the other affected states.

Brad Parker. Defense for Children International–Palestine. What Lessons Activists Take Away from Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act?

Every year the Israeli military arrests and prosecutes around 700 Palestinian children. Nowaytotreatachild.org has had success with narrow issues through “dear colleague” letters.  No matter with what a child has been charged, he has a right not to be tortured. We know not everyone in Congress will agree, but their opposition will come at a cost. We urge you to invite representatives from congressional offices to events.

Kathy Drinkard. How the VCHR (Virginia Coalition for Human Rights) Is Preventing Israel Affinity Organizations from Politicizing K-12 Textbooks

Edits proposed to Virginia textbooks would give an inaccurate picture of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Edits were submitted during the 30-day comment period of an annual textbook reviews.  The edits qualify Islamic claims as “expressing Muslim religious belief” while referencing those of Judaism as “God’s covenant.” They impose sanitizing language so that “settlements” become “communities” and the “wall” becomes the “security fence.” Arab culpability for crisis initiation is always emphasized and Israeli culpability never emphasized. Students are discouraged from conducting open Internet research. Labels on maps are changed, and any reference to “Palestinian Territories” is deleted. In describing the Rabin-Arafat declaration of principles, the “occupied territories” is changed to “West Bank and Gaza” on the pretext that “occupied territories” is a political term, even though it is actually their status under international law.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
Minaret of Freedom Institute
www.minaret.org

News and Analysis (4/22/19)

Monday, April 22nd, 2019

He went to Afghanistan to fight Communism and left after it fell there, but years later he was sent to Guantanamo where Americans torture and threats to rape his mother induced him to invent lies against innocents:

“No one has claimed responsibility for what Sri Lankan officials have described as a terrorist attack by religious extremists”:

The news “deflates the illusion of normalcy, … [is] molded into permanent formulas – with only the date and location changing[,] … [and t]hey don’t even reach the people who should hear them – that is, Israeli Jews” …

… Case in point: Soldiers shot a boy while he was trying to escape–but he was bound and blindfolded at the time:

Syria is courted by both pairs of competing allies …

… while “looking to expand trade with both as it looks to rebuild itself, 16 years after the … US invasion plunged the country into civil war” Iraq spearheads an “initiative to bring Syria … back into the Arab League”:

Men “may be the face of Islam, but women are the neck.  The face won’t turn unless the neck makes it happen”:

The “High Court issues injunction against Tel Aviv municipality building a homeless shelter on top of an Ottoman-era cemetery”:

“As the likes of Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris are quickly discovering, it is impossible to ignore the Palestinian issue on the campaign trail”:

“This sends a critical message to our Muslim-American children that they belong here, that they’re important”:

“I grew up in a town where I watched my gay friends struggle to come out to the religious community. And now I live in LA, where I’m a religious person struggling to come out to the gay community”:

News and Analysis (4/19/19)

Friday, April 19th, 2019

Candidate Trump correctly stated that American Middle East policy “made the Middle East more unstable and chaotic than ever before” but on Tuesday he “vetoed a resolution to do exactly that”:

“[O]wnership of about 90 percent of land in the eastern part of the city is not listed in the Israel Land Registry, Consequently, Palestinian … [landowners] cannot submit applications for construction permits”:

The winner’s choice of a running mate intolerant of “Shiites, Ahmadiyya Muslims, LGBTQ people, and more … shows how … Islamic credentials have become central to authority and credibility in Indonesian politics“:

Designed “to target Muslims, especially Muslim women wearing the hijab or niqab, … in also condemning kippot, the bill inadvertently calls attention to the profound affinity between Islam and Judaism”:

500 were placed in administrative detention, which allows detainees to be held indefinitely without charge or trial”:

“Intelligence officials reportedly were concerned about the report’s framing, saying they suspected it was painting Iran in a deliberately unflattering light rather than providing an objective assessment” …

… meanwhile, designating the IRGC a foreign terrorist organization threatens “the passage of bills that would have Iran meet international standards for combating money laundering and terrorism financing”:

“We do not have free media. We have a state-run TV and radio. If we had 500 media outlets, cyberspace would not have been so congested. [People resort to cyberspace] because they have no other place”–Rouhani …

… like criminalizing women who wear no headscarf, criminalizing those who don’t “is an extreme form of gender-based discrimination and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment that deeply damages women’s dignity”:

“Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said relations with Turkey are the best they’ve been in decades, while Rouhani struck a conciliatory tone amid Saudi and Emirati flood aid”:

“I think as the world increasingly becomes more polarized, there’s more people willing to listen to Palestinians”–Journalist and filmmaker Mariam Shahin:

News and Analysis (4/16/19)

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

“A fire broke out at Al-Marwani Prayer Room in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound yesterday, at the same time as the world watched Paris’ iconic Notre Dame Cathedral engulfed in flames”:

“Omar was arguably incautious with her choice of words… , but those who dragged her for this were engaged in ‘patriotic correctness,’ a right-wing variety of political correctness”:

“The counsel informed the bench that Muslim women were allowed to enter a mosque at the holy Mecca and also in Canada”:

The Urdu language Pakistani program aired in Britain contained vicious, unsubstantiated and even absurd (e.g., that the repressed Ahmadis enjoy a favored status over other Muslims in Pakistan) allegations:

“For the first time ever in the Israeli prisons, Israel agreed on installing payphones in the prisoners’ cells” to allow them to speak to their families after they threatened to escalate the no-food strike to a no-water strike:

“Amnesty International decried the ‘mockery of justice’ and ‘mass arbitrary denaturalisation'”:

U.S. blindness to the reality of Israeli occupation and to Palestinian politics means it cannot succeed in resolving the conflict:

“Airbnb cannot wash its hands by donating profits from unlawful settlement listings. So long as they continue to broker rentals on land stolen from Palestinians … they remain complicit in the abuses”:

Netanyahu’s “idea is to promote the lie that Iran could be hiding evidence of a nuclear project to back up the president’s statements about how we can’t trust intelligence sources or the IAEA”:

News and Analysis (4/14/19)

Sunday, April 14th, 2019

The attacker was charged “with simple assault, harassment, cyber harassment and disorderly conduct” but the victim has also been punished:

Political loss in big city municipalities threatens “the large patronage networks and clientelist financial structure that offers highly lucrative contracts to [Erdogan’s] cronies, including the media sector”:

A synagogue backed out as conference venue after an article charged “that some of the groups and speakers at the event have a ‘disturbing’ history of anti-Muslim and anti-gay rhetoric, and support for far-right causes”:

An authentic representation of American Muslim life that is above all funny, Hulu’s Ramy could be “could grow into one of those cultural mainstays viewers can’t stop talking about”:

Inspired by Trump’s reckless policy, the Iranian “Parliament passed an emergency bill requesting that countries that arrest U.S troops should hand them over to Iran to face trial as terrorists”:

“Netanyahu engineered a deal that will end up bringing the overtly racist and fascist Jewish Power party—whose members advocate the expulsion of Palestinians—into the next government if he forms it”:

Trita Parsi explains why the neocons are not only “pushing a clueless Trump closer to open conflict with Iran” but “will entrap future administrations … in a no-win enmity with Iran”:

Her lawyer says the supreme leader has pardoned her from the one year sentence for protesting mandatory hijab law:

The responses to the posts of the group of young people trying to speak out online about their desire to live freely are too hostile to be believable. Are they bots? Salaries employees of an Israeli ministry? Kahane supporters?”

News and Analysis (4/11/19)

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Trump’s unprecedented classification of a governmental entity as a terrorist organization not only threatens the stability of the region …

… and overlooks that “Iran has not posed a serious terror threat to the United States since the 1980s” …

… with Pompeo flaunting his ignorance by asserting a link between al-Qaeda and Iran in front of a Congressional committee …

…it also overlooks “that Trump ‘was a knowing partner in a likely Iranian Revolutionary Guard money-laundering scheme'” …

… and lays “the groundwork for a military strike – using the 2001 law as justification” and for an illegal war:

On the bright side by declaring the IRG a terrorist organization the Trump administration negates the only valid argument against declaring the IDF a terrorist organization:

Judiciary Committee members wept “during the testimony of Mohammad Abu-Salha, whose daughters and son-in-law were gunned down in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 2015″ six weeks after their wedding”:

The Act repeals all versions of Trump’s Muslim ban and prohibits religious discrimination in immigration “and restores the separation of powers by limiting overly broad executive authority to issue future travel bans” …

… and could end the irony of a ban that prevents an American-born Department of Defense employee from reuniting with “his wife, a Syrian native stranded in Turkey”:

All adult Uighers in Xinjiang are expected to undergo what police call “health checks”, which involve “collecting several types of biometric data, including DNA, blood type, fingerprints, voice recordings and face scans”:

News and Analysis (4/8/19)

Monday, April 8th, 2019

How and why the Saudis are changing their tactics for controlling the Islamic resurgence from donations promoting reactionary extremism to commercial investment promoting quietest conservatism:

The saber-rattling dance before the war:

“A handful of Muslims took a stand during the hundred days of slaughter. Their stance inspired thousands of Rwandans to become Muslim in what was once called Africa’s most Catholic country”:

The sacrilegious execution of Domineque Ray is only the tip of a very ugly iceberg:

Islamophobia trumps capitalism as a “French value”: elected officials are outraged by Decathalon’s defense of free markets, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion:

“I’ve never questioned my faith. I tend to question other religious leaders. … We’re stuck in the middle between two communities that cannot …even correspond with one another without being heard. It’s very frustrating” …

… yet sex-reassignment surgery has been legal in Iran since Ayatollah, Khomeini, moved by a trans woman’s plight “issued a fatwa allowing the procedure, which a cleric later compared to changing wheat into bread”:

“We will move to the next stage, the imposing of Israeli sovereignty” — Netanyahu:

“Haftar, with arms support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, launched a military operation to recapture Tripoli from the GNA” which is a “recognised member of the Arab League and the” UN:

News and Analysis (4/5/19)

Friday, April 5th, 2019

Brunei is characterized by a lavish lifestyle for the sultan and “Shellfarism” for the masses …

… Gulf state welfarism stands in the way of “copying China’s model of economic growth while tightening political control”:

“In what is now a region-wide phenomenon, moderation became a rhetorical tool to wield against opposition and consolidate state power”:

“American hackers who once worked for U.S. intelligence agencies helped the United Arab Emirates spy on … Arab media figures during” its 2017 confrontation with Qatar:

Twelve years ago she would have banned the niqab, but after seeing how “debates on how Muslim women dress or don’t dress really excite racists and Islamophobes … I’m not on either side. I’m on the women’s side”:

“The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran declined to comment. Iran has said the site is a carpet-cleaning facility. Israel’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment”:

New Zealand has gotten high marks in the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre, but racism and threats that have forced organizers to drop a Muslim prayer for security reasons are cause for “disgust”:

An Iranian company is proposing a blockchain solution to Iran’s (and the world’s) traffic congestion problems but needs to register the ICO in another country “because such offerings are currently illegal in Iran”:

The festival includes the documentary that follows the then professor at a Christian university, during a “firestorm that ensued following her social media post stating that Muslims and Christians worship the same God”: