10. Allen West is Allen West – Florida Rep. Allen West is known for making inflammatory statements about pretty much everyone, but he has particularly targeted Muslims. This cycle alone, he’s commemorated 9/11 by screening an anti-Islamic film, said that Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison “really does represent the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established,” and another time theorized that “George Bush got snookered into going into some mosque, taking his shoes off, and then saying that Islam was a religion of peace.”
9. Republicans go after one of their own – When David Ramadan, a longtime Republican Party activist and protege of Grover Norquist, ran for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates in 2011, the Islamophobia network sprang into action. Norquist, of course, is a secret Muslim Brotherhood agent according to these people, so his actual Muslim bud must be worse. Pam Geller called him an “Islamic supremacist,” David Horowitz warned Virginia Republicans not to “lie down in the camel’s bed,” and Frank Gaffney accused him of having ties to Hezbollah. There were nasty ads and exchanges at town halls, but Ramadan won the GOP primary and eventually a seat in the House of Delegates.
8. And again, but this time they call him a “terrorist” – The Islamophobia trickles down all the way to the local level, we found, in the case of Nezar Hamze, a Republican from Florida who tried to join the Broward County Republican Executive Committee but got turned down by a vote of 158 to 11. He met all the requirements, but people in his own party distributed pamphlets labeling him a “terrorist.” The basis? Hamze is head of the local chapter of CAIR.
7. Obama the closeted Muslim – Plenty of people have suggested that President Obama is a secret Muslim this cycle, but California Republican congressional candidate Sam Aanestad wins the award for his remarkable forthrightness: “I was asked, do I think [Obama]‘s a Muslim, and the answer is yes, that is his background. That is his beginning. Is he a Christian today? There’s no way that you or I can tell that. But his background, his upbringing, his tradition, his holiday observances all come from a Muslim background.”
6. Even worse than Allen West – After Allen West fled his old district after redistricting, the good people of Florida’s 22nd got a new Islamophobe to kick around: Adam Hasner, the former Florida House majority leader. The Republican is a close personal friend of anti-Islam bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, has invited notoriously anti-Muslim Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders to speak in Florida, and once skipped the Florida Legislature’s opening prayers because they were being delivered by an imam. When Salon highlighted his Islamophobic record in August, Geller said it was only a matter of time before we were “getting measured for a suicide vest.”
5. A real-life Muslim in Congress! – Democratic Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison was the first Muslim elected to Congress, so he’s used to it, but his Republican opponent, Chris Fields, accused him this year in a mailer of being “militantly anti-America.” That’s nothing compared to how Fields’ GOP primary opponent came right out and called him a “radical Islamist” in the statement announcing her candidacy for his seat. In fact, Ellison’s religion was her primary motivation for running.
4. A real-life Muslim in Congress! Part 2 — Democratic Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana was the second Muslim elected to Congress and has so far attracted less hate than Ellison, but when he was praising the innovative ways parochial schools remain relevant, including Muslim schools, it caused a grade-A right-wing freakout, complete with hyperventilating from Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh about how Carson wanted to force students to learn the Quran. One assumes that if Carson had praised St. Mary’s Junior High School instead of a madrassa, no one would have batted an eyelash.
3. Islamophobia-off 2012 – Rep. Diane Black managed to beat out Lou Ann Zelenik in the Republican primary in Tennessee that basically came down to an Islamophobia-off. The debate mostly centered around the planned mosque in Murfreesboro, which has become a lightning rod for anti-Muslim sentiment in the area and across the country. In fighting the mosque, Black charged that communities need to protect themselves from the “jihadist viewpoint.” But Zelenik, the executive director of the reliably Islamophobic Tennessee Freedom Coalition, thought Black’s stance didn’t go far enough, firing back: “I will work to stop the Islamization of our society, and do everything possible to prevent Shariah law from circumventing our laws and our Constitution.”
2. Joe Walsh (probably) causes a hate crime – Rep. Joe Walsh, the Tea Party darling poised to lose his seat in November, warned in August that “a radical strain of Islam in this country … trying to kill Americans every week.” “It’s here. It’s in Elk Grove. It’s in Addison. It’s in Elgin. It’s here,” he added. Hours later, a man shot at a mosque in the district, narrowly missing a security guard outside as 500 people prayed inside.
1. Michele Bachmann’s witch hunt – Then there’s the Tea Party queen herself, Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann. Bachmann is facing a tighter-than-expected race against Democratic hotel magnate Jim Graves, and she has possibly even outdone herself this cycle with allegations that Huma Abedin, a senior aide to Hillary Clinton, is tied to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and potentially part of a conspiracy to influence U.S. policy through her position. Bachmann also used a speech at the Values Voters conference to fear-monger about President Obama’s policy in the Middle East: “The fact is this administration is virtually outlawed understanding who the enemy is and at every turn the enemy the president is persistent on apologizing for who we are as Americans,” she said.
Whole story: Link
Ali Abunimah is co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of One Country, A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse.
This week, thousands of people from dozens of countries are attempting to reach Gaza to break the siege and march alongside Palestinians who have been organising inside the territory.
Each of the individuals traveling with the Gaza Freedom March, Viva Palestina, or other delegations represents perhaps hundreds of others who could not make the journey in person, and who are marking the event with demonstrations and commemorations, visits to their elected officials, and media campaigns.
Against this flowering of activism, Zionism is struggling to rejuvenate its dwindling base of support.
Multi-million dollar programmes aimed at recruiting and Zionising young American Jews are struggling to compete against organisations like the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, which run not on money but principled commitment to human equality.
Increasingly, we see that Israel’s hasbara [propaganda] efforts have no positive message, offer no plausible case for maintaining a status quo of unspeakable repression and violence, and rely instead on racist demonisation and dehumanisation of Arabs and Muslims to justify Israel’s actions and even its very existence.
Faced with growing global recognition and support for the courageous non-violent struggle against continued land theft in the West Bank, Israel is escalating its violence and kidnapping of leaders…
Read the rest at Al-Jazeera: Link
South Korea and Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding Dec. 18 on cooperation in the defense industry, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) here said.
“Egypt plans to equip its army with advanced self-propelled howitzers. The K9 Thunder would compete for the acquisition plan,” he said.
..the agreement calls for boosting cooperation between defense manufacturers in both countries in production and acquisition, according to the release.
Both sides will also establish a defense cooperation committee to explore ways of meeting each other’s defense needs, it said.
“This MoU with Egypt is expected to serve as a springboard for South Korean firms to export its defense products to African nations,” one DAPA official said.
A potential export item for South Korea is the K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer built by Samsung Techwin, the official said.
Defense News: Link
K9 is an indigenous system of an all-welded steel armour construction which is rated to withstand impact by 14.5 mm armour piercing shells and 152 mm shell fragments. The main armament consists of a 155 mm/52 caliber ordnance with a maximum firing range of 40 km.
The K9 has the ability to fire its shells in time-on-target mode. In the TOT mode, the K9 is able to lob three shells in under 15 seconds—1 shell every 5 seconds—each in different trajectories so that all of the shells will arrive on their target at the same time, creating three times t
he effect that of previous generation artillery systems.
This is good news for two reasons. Self-propelled artillery will allow Egyptian army units to stay mobile in any future war with Israel where battlefield conditions will be increasingly fluid and static weapon systems become easy targets for enemy aircraft and artillery. Also, Egypt is diversifying her sources of military hardware as opposed to relying solely on the United States. The U.S. does not provide Egypt with systems without the approval of Israel and any systems provided to Egypt are inferior in capability so that Egypt cannot successfully defend herself against Israel.
A very small example of the phenomenon of vile anti-Islam hatred that has recently been on display in the mainstream media.
Jewish fanatics, with the aid and protection of the Israeli government, have once again ethnically cleansed a Palestinian family from their home. Al-Jazeera makes a good point, the Palestinian house is “illegal” until Jews move in, then it is legal. Notice how the Jewish fanatic at the end of the video claims that Hashim gave him Palestinian land.
Here is the follow up to the previous post about Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinian families. These people had been living in a tent outside of the homes they had been thrown out of on orders of Israeli kangaroo courts. These homes have been occupied by these families for 50 years. Now they are illegally occupied by Jewish fanatics.
A study conducted by The Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a German-based organization, sheds more light on the Israeli policy of ethnically cleansing Muslims and Christians.
The study highlights that since 1967, Israeli governments developed building and planning policies that were designed primarily according to the current struggle occurring in Jerusalem. The central tool used by the Israeli governments was the expropriation of land from private hands,” the press release said, adding: “Since 1967, Israel has expropriated over 24,000 dunums, mostly from their Palestinian owners.
“The report, which was prepared in partnership with the Macro Centre for Political Economics, indicated that about 50,000 housing units were built exclusively for the Jewish Israeli population within the framework of new neighbourhoods/settlements, while for the Palestinian population, Israel has built fewer than 600 housing units since 1967 in the scope of government assistance, the most recent of which was built over 30 years ago.
The Jordan Times: Link
Israel has ethnically cleansed two Palestinian homes in Jerusalem of their Palestinian inhabitants and has already allowed Jewish extremists to replace them. Al-Jazeera, the world’s best news organization, reports from Jerusalem.
The United States of America does not have the will to force Israel to do the right thing and stop the illegal Jewish settlements and ethnic cleansing. Only a committed Arab effort to bring Israel to justice will yield positive results. Tragically, we lack the will to even defend ourselves, much less the Palestinian people. An effective Arab national defense does not only involve more aircraft and tanks. While our economies and militaries become stronger, Israel’s must be weakened. There will be peace in the Middle East only when the Palestinians achieve freedom, the Arab nations are free from the threat of an Israeli nuclear holocaust, and Israel is contained and brought to justice.
The United Church of Canada is considering a proposal to initiate a boycott against Israel.
The resolutions, which will be brought before the Church’s upcoming general council, call for a “comprehensive boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions at the national and international levels” and refer to the recent assault on Gaza as a “visible reminder of the ongoing Israeli regime of exclusion, violence and dehumanization directed against Palestinians.”
The United Church sees clearly that Israel is a terrorist state and has taken steps to punish it for its crimes. The United Church’s integrity and courage is to be commended in the face what is already becoming an Israeli effort to vilify the United Church and accuse it of the overused and now meaningless charge of “anti-semitism.”
“This puts the United Church in some very questionable company,” said Eric Vernon, director of government affairs for the Canadian Jewish Congress. “The use of boycott, divestment and sanction has been a weapon used by Israel’s enemies to destroy it. Those are elements of anti-Semitic behaviour in the contemporary world.”
This repulsive language continues…
“I am disgusted with the proposal,” said Frank Dimant, the chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “I think at a time when we are fighting Islamofascism around the world, when Canadian soldiers are fighting Islamofascism [in Afghanistan], the attempt by these resolutions is to hurt in a most profound way one of the countries at the forefront in that battle. This is an obscene gesture by a religious group and my hope is that Christians will turn their backs on this resolution.”
Notice how neither of these viciously pro-Israel extremists makes any attempt to prove that Israel isn’t guilty of crimes against humanity. Instead they both quickly adopt the Israeli strategy of using strong language and accusations against those who have the courage and integrity to do something positive to bring Israel to justice.
Rest of the article. Link
TIME article about the treatment of Palestinian children held hostage by Israel.
According to Walid, the two soldiers blindfolded and handcuffed him, dragged him to a jeep and drove away. All that his family would know about their missing son was that his shopping bags with meat and rice for that evening’s dinner were found in the dusty road near an olive grove. Over the course of several days in April last year, the boy says he was moved from an army camp to a prison, where he was crammed into a cell with five other children, cursed at and humiliated by the guards and beaten by his interrogator until he confessed to stone-throwing.
There will be peace when Israel is brought to justice.
Read the rest here. Link
The American backed Israeli airforce has once again attacked Gaza. The American government is blaming the democratically elected administration in Gaza for the destruction that has resulted in the slaughter of almost 600 Palestinians. I am not a fan of Hamas, or any organization that uses religion to garner support. Hence, I am not a fan of Israel either.
So the question is, who is to blame? The answer is first and foremost, Israel. But they are not the only ones. The Hamas leadership takes a portion of the blame, as does the United States and the Arab nations, especially Egypt.
The Palestinian people in Gaza have been under an illegal and vicious occupation for 40 years. The Israelis pulled their illegal settler terrorists out of Gaza but the occupation has not ended. During the last 18 months Israel illegally imposed a blockade on Gaza in an effort to starve the Palestinian people and force them to capitulate to Israel. That hasn’t happened, and that has enraged Israel. Understandably, the Palestinian people in Gaza have a desire and every right to strike at Israel for its inhumanity and criminality. The Israelis broke the ceasefire. That’s not debatable. But Hamas chooses to talk a tough talk, something the Israelis can do and the Palestinian leadership cannot. Sadly, there is no Palestinian airforce to take to the skies to bomb Israeli military installations and centers of government. There are no Palestinian armored divisions to launch incursions into Israel in pursuit of Israeli soldiers and settler terrorists operating from and living in illegal Israeli settlements. There are no undercover Palestinian Special Forces to slip quietly into Israel to arrest or assassinate the Israeli leadership. There are an estimated 10,000 Palestinians, including children, being held hostage in Israel, having been abducted by Israeli troops and thrown into overcrowded cells, to be used later as “bargaining chips”. There is only one Israeli soldier serving time in a secret Palestinian prison for knowingly and willingly aiding and abetting the Israeli occupation.
As for the Hamas led administration in Gaza, there is blame for them as well. It is unequivocally the right of every Palestinian to engage and kill or arrest any Israeli soldier taking part in the illegal occupation of Gaza or the West Bank. However, what is the point of launching unguided missiles at Israel? Has anyone in the Hamas led government ever thought to ask who benefits and who is hurt by those crude missiles? The missiles have done very little damage, killed very few Israelis and have only helped the Israelis to cultivate the “victim-of-terrorism” persona they otherwise could not dream of claiming had the Palestinian leadership limited all military operations to Israeli army and settler terrorist personnel and equipment. Indeed, The most recent Israeli attack is predicated on the need to stop the rockets, hence another Israeli slaughter. As an organization Hamas should be disbanded. There is no place in the Palestinian struggle for freedom, security and justice to be tainted by the targeting of civilians. Leave Israel to carry the burden of 60 years of terrorism on its shoulders alone.
Egypt also carries some of the blame for the Israeli onslaught. The tunnels from Egypt to Gaza are an essential lifeline for the Palestinians living in Gaza. They are also a blight upon Egypt because these tunnels should not have to exist at all. The Egypt-Gaza border should be wide open with food and goods crossing by the hundreds of tons on a daily basis, a countermeasure to Israel’s efforts to starve Gaza and a message to the world that Egypt will always support freedom over oppression and right over wrong. Included in those shipments should be Egyptian anti-aircraft missiles with which Palestinian forces could shoot down Israeli aircraft prowling the Palestinian skies looking for someone to kill. Add to that Egyptian anti-tank missiles to be used to destroy Israeli armor as they rampage through Palestinian neighborhoods and orchards, destroying crops, homes, civilian infrastructure and innocent life as they have for 60 years. That would quickly put an end to the Israeli dream of imposing its will upon the Palestinians by military means.
The Palestinian people have suffered under Israeli oppression and persecution for 60 years, yet in a stunning example of hypocrisy, the American government has chosen to support Israel financially, politically and militarily against people struggling for the very ideals that America claims to have been built upon. The illegal occupation, the land theft, the complete disregard for international law and the continuous attacks on Palestine; none of it could take place without the support of the U.S. government. Not even the most extremist or delusional Israeli or Israel-supporter can claim otherwise. However, the Arab-American community and our under-funded and far too timid organizations share much of the blame for allowing that to happen, but that’s another topic left for another day. As for today, our thoughts are with those Palestinians struggling just to survive, and those who have fallen defending their right to life and liberty.