These are all the Blogs posted on Tuesday, 19, 2011.
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Hard cases make bad law
Repulsive as the phone hacking scandal is, the Left must not be allowed to use it as an excuse for more state control. The Telegraph's Daniel Hannan makes mincemeat of the arguments of overpaid Eurocrat and Welsh windbag, Neil Kinnock:
How depressing to listen to Neil Kinnock just now. The former Labour leader, who once saw himself as a British radical, an heir to John Milton and John Wilkes, calmly proposed that the print media should be controlled by the state. Newspapers, he argued, should be “subject to a charter” which “requires balance”, and owned only by people approved by the government.
In their excitement at Rupert Murdoch’s discomfiture, some Lefties are over-reaching badly. There was utter revulsion against the hacking of the phones of murder victims and fallen soldiers; but this revulsion has not, as Kinnock and Ed Miliband seem to believe, turned into a general discontent with the idea of an unconstrained press.
Every censorious government uses the same argument. It doesn’t want to repress free opinion, it says; it simply wants to prohibit malicious lies. To which the surest response is the one offered by J S Mill:
We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.
No statute can guarantee neutrality, for the simple reason that no two people will agree on what constitutes neutrality. If you doubt this, consider the BBC, which is subject to precisely such regulation as Lord Kinnock wants for newspapers. In its own eyes, the Corporation is a model of impartiality; in everyone else’s, it is Left-wing.
The best defence against media bias is not legislation, but pluralism. The more news outlets we can choose from, the louder the din of clashing interpretations, the harder it becomes to repress the truth. In a free market of stories, the plausible narratives drive out the false ones. As Milton put it: “Opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making.”
It is easy to lose sight of the advantages of a free press, when that free press behaves badly. Two years ago The Telegraph was seen as public spirited for exposing MP expenses fraud. Would a Telegraph stuffed full of government cronies have done the same?
Australia: Sharia enforcers give new Muslim forty lashes as punishment for sneaking a few drinks
A young Australian who foolishly converted to Islam without, it appears, reading the fine print too carefully, and thought he could get away with sneaking a few beers with his mates, has copped a flogging from a bunch of grimly bearded sharia pushers.
This story is noteworthy for two things. It is noteworthy because, yet again, the great Australian public are confronted with the raw ugliness of Islam. It is also noteworthy because, when I first encountered it, the report I read - in the ABC online on July 17 - was so bleached of detail that it was not really news at all. Something about the nature of the attack, and the location - Western Sydney, which is where most of the Muslims in NSW hang out - made me go 'hmmm' but having other things to do at the time, and an ever-worsening local area internet connection that has only been fixed today, I did not go looking to see whether other sources might be able to tell me more. Now, however, a few days later, I find - thanks to the diligence of some of my fellow Australians who pass things on to Jihadwatch - that other news outlets did indeed have more to say, and that the itch at the back of my mind that told me that this curious incident had to do with Islam, was correct.
So I am now bringing it to your attention here.
For your grim amusement, I will supply first what 'Auntie' ABC thought fit to tell us when the story broke. I will then supply the somewhat more detailed account that appeared in The Australian and excerpts from later accounts, by the ABC and others, of the capture and charging of two of the floggers.
'A man has been lashed 40 times with a cable after he woke to find four men in his bedroom in Sydney's west.
'Police say the 31-year-old was asleep in his Silverwater unit when he awoke to find the four strangers in his bedroom.
'Three of the men allegedly restrained him on the bed, while a fourth used a cable to lash him 40 times.
'Forensic officers are examining the flat for evidence and detectives are calling for help to identify the men.
'The four men then left the flat after the attack.
'Anyone with any information should call Crime Stoppers...".
But why would they bother? The ABC didn't see fit to include in the above bleached-of-everything-really-interesting account the all-important information that did appear in the NSW police statement re. this attack:
"The man who carried out the lashing has been described as being aged 40 to 50, of Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean appearance, 175 cm tall, with a solid build and beard. He was wearing a T-shirt and track pants at the time of the incident. His three co-offenders have been described as being aged in their late teens or early 20s, of Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean appearance, 175 cm -180 cm tall, and bearded."
The Herald/Sun newspaper, to give it credit, did include that information in their report, which you may read here:
'Intruders whip Silverwater man, 31, for drinking.
'A Sydney man who was held down on his bed and whipped up to 40 times by strangers, had recently converted to Islam and was reportedly being punished for drinking...
'The attack lasted about 30 minutes and left the man covered in welts, the Seven Network reported today.
'The man reportedly told police he had only recently converted to Islam and that fundamental Wahabi Muslims were punishing him for having a few drinks with friends.
Cue the Muslim 'community' in Damage Control mode...CM
'Members of Sydney's Muslim community have condemned the attack. "This criminal act has no place in Islam (really? but doesn't sharia prescribe 40 lashes as the standard punishment for drinking alcohol? - CM). As Australian Muslims we are required to follow Australian law (yeah, sure, so he says...for the moment...while they the Ummah] build up their numbers...but the moment they deem there are enough of them, watch out!....CM), not take the law into our own individual hands", Ahmed Kilami, from the Muslim Village, told the Seven Network. "I hope these guys are caught, and face the full force of the law."
'The victim has moved out of his home, but hopes what happened to him will not distort people's view of his adopted religion, the network said.
He's an idiot. What happened to him is bog-standard Muslim operating procedure. And no amount of Muslim 'spin' can erase the fact that four Muslim men living in Australia felt fully entitled to break into someone's house and flog him savagely for having done something that, under Australian law and custom, is deemed neither illegal nor immoral.
Two of those Muslim sharia-pushers have now been caught and charged with crimes that carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, so we will get to see just how sincere Mr Ahmed Kilami was when he said hat he hoped the floggers would be caught and punished. How many Muslims will support the enforcement of Australian law in this particular case...and how many will there be, at the courts, during the trials, openly showing solidarity with the perps and making all manner of excuses on their behalf? - CM
'Man [sic: Muslim man - CM] bailed over 'sharia law' lashing'.
'A 20 year old man (sic: a 20 year old Muslim man - CM) accused of whipping a Sydney man 40 times as part of an alleged sharia law punishment for drinking alcohol ('alleged'? wherefore 'alleged'? Nothing alleged about it: sharia says, you drink alcohol, you get 40 lashes - CM) has been granted bail.
'Police say the 31 year old victim woke to find four bearded men (the beards are important; they are an indicator of zealous adherence to classical Islam - CM) in his bedroom..The men allegedly held him down on his bed and lashed him with a cable 40 times during the 30 minute ordeal.
'The victim has told police he was being punished under sharia law for drinking alcohol.'
He is correct. That is indeed the standard sharia punishment. - CM
'Detectives arrested the 20 year old man at his Auburn home last night.
His Auburn home. Auburn. Sydney's most heavily Islamised suburb. Auburn, where the Shri Mandir Hindu temple has been sprayed with gunfire by Muslims, and its priest and his family and the worshippers continually bullied and harassed. - CM
'He has been charged with aggravated break and enter as well as maliciously inflicting actual bodily harm - a sentence which carries a maximum jail term of 20 years.
Good. Throw the book at him; the book of Western law. - CM
'The man faced Burwood Local Court today.
'The police prosecutor opposed bail, saying the 20 year old's actions show he has no respect for the laws of the state.
Precisely. He is a Muslim who respects sharia and sharia alone, and despises all other laws and will breach them - and, indeed, seek to erase them altogether and replace them with sharia - as and when he thinks he can get away with it. - CM
'But the man's solicitor, Tunc Ozen (another Muslim? - CM) said his client was "a person of prior good character" and should be granted bail.
"He does not pose a threat to the community", he said.
I beg to disagree, Mr Ozen. This man, in company with three others, brazenly flouted Australian law by breaking into another man's house and giving that man a severe flogging. This man has shown that in order to carry out the insane and cruel requirements of sharia, he is willing to break Australian law. He is a clear and present danger...not only to slack Muslims such as his victim, but to every non-Muslim in Australia. If he carries out a flogging to punish someone for taking a few beers, today, he may be hatching mass-murderous Jihad plots tomorrow or the day after. - CM
'Magistrate Tim Keddy said although the 20 year old's charges were "extremely serious and violent" he believed strict conditional bail was warranted. He ordered the man to remain at home between 8 pm and 7 am and not to leave the residence without his mother or father. He was also told to surrender his passport and instructed not to visit any airports or other points of departure from Australia.
'This afternoon police charged a second man over the alleged lashing. The 43 year old will appear in Burwood Local Court tomorrow.
'In the search for the other attackers, police say officers were assaulted by a 16 year old boy during a search of another Auburn home.
'The teenager has been ordered to face court next mont charged with assault, resisting arrest, and hindering police.
'Police say they are still looking for the other attackers.
'Representatives of Sydney's Muslim community have condemned the alleged lashing attack.'
And a final report from The Australian with, at last, a name: a name that hints at either Turkish or Balkan Muslim connections (so much for the supposed greater 'moderation' of Muslims from those parts of the world):
'A Sydney man has appeared in court accused of helping to whip a victim with a cable as part of a religious punishment (sic: an Islamic religious punishment - CM) for drinking.
'Police prosecution said Tolga Cifci had disregarded NSW laws to allegedly target the man because he had done "something against Islam" but which was something many in the community (that is, the Australian non-Muslim community - CM) did "all the time".
'Mr Cifci, 20, was freed on bail after facing Burwood Local Court today charged with aggravated break and enter and committing an indictable offence...
'The court was told Mr Cifci and the three other men whipped the victim because of "religious beliefs".
'Police prosecutor George Lolis said Mr Cifci's actions showed "a complete and utter disregard for the laws of this state" and carried a possible maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
'He said Mr Cifci chose "a particularised usage of religious law" (no, Mr Lolis, just check out any standard book on Islamic law and you will discover that Mr Cifci's reading of sharia is absolutely mainstream - CM) to justify his part in the attack...
'The court also heard that a search of the accused's Auburn home uncovered an item "similar to a whip"...
'Earlier today, a second man was charged over the alleged attack. The 43 year old man was charged with aggravated breaking and entering with intent to commit an indictable offence, detaining a person in company with intent to obtain advantage, and two counts of stealing from a dwelling.
Oho. 'Two counts of stealing'. So they didn't just flog their deemed-to-be-erring fellow Muslim; it seems they robbed him, as well. How pious of them. - CM
'He was refused bail, and will appear in Burwood Local Court tomorrow".
BEIRUT — A spate of sinister killings in the central city of Homs is fueling fears that the popular uprising in Syria could descend into a version of the sectarian strife that has long destabilized neighboring Iraq and Lebanon.
The violence erupted over the weekend at a time when attention was focused on the huge and overwhelmingly peaceful anti-government demonstrations staged in many other cities around the country, including the largest protests yet to take place in the capital, Damascus.
In Homs, the weekly protests also went ahead, but under a cloud of sectarian tensions between the majority Sunni residents of the town, who constitute the bulk of the protest movement in the majority Sunni country, and the minority Alawites, the Shiite sect to which President Bashar al-Assad and most members of his regime belong.
Confirming the details of what happened is difficult because press access to Syria has been limited and the city is so sharply polarized along sectarian lines that residents gave starkly contrasting accounts.
But based on interviews with witnesses on both sides of the divide and a medical worker who tracked the violence and collected the bodies, it appears that the tensions soared after a crowd of Alawites armed with sticks surrounded a mosque in a Sunni neighborhood shortly before the noontime prayers on Friday and began chanting anti-Sunni slogans.
Sunnis responded by abducting three Alawites and on Saturday, their bullet-ridden bodies were found dumped in a Sunni neighborhood of the city. Alawites went on a rampage, looting and burning Sunni shops. In the melee, at least three Sunnis were killed, including a 27-year-old woman who was gunned down when she stepped outside her home in a majority Alawite neighborhood. One activist said that six Sunnis were killed, bringing the total number of deaths in the tit-for-tat killings to nine, though the medical worker who saw the bodies could only confirm a total of six.
Residents on Monday described a city gripped by fear, with most shops closed, bursts of unexplained gunfire and Sunni and Alawite residents fleeing those areas in which they found themselves in the minority.
“It’s on the edge of civil war,” said a Christian businessman, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared for his safety. He said he originally supported the protest movement, but now stands with the government after witnessing incidents of sectarianism that make him fear for the future of Syria's religious minorities.
A democracy activist in Homs, who also did not want to be named for fear of repercussions, said Sunni opponents of the government are just as scared.
“The atmosphere in the city of Homs is horrible,” he said. “People are afraid of genocide and we pray the night passes without us being killed.”
This is not the first time that Homs, Syria’s third largest city with 1.5 million people, has witnessed sectarian violence since nationwide protests against Assad’s rule erupted in cities across the country four months ago. On several occasions, groups of Alawite youths have clashed with demonstrators during the regularly scheduled Friday protests, residents say.
Most of the estimated 1,400 deaths in the uprising so far have been protesters shot by security forces, and human rights groups say at least 30 were killedFriday. But with the Syrian unrest now entering its fifth month, and in the absence of any sign of compromise either by the government or the protesters, the danger that the standoff will escalate into a wider sectarian conflict is real, analysts say.
The Syrian government has long blamed almost all of the protests on what it calls “armed gangs,” and repeatedly warns that continued unrest could lead to civil war. Democracy activists accuse the government of promoting sectarian tensions in order to justify the brutal tactics used to suppress protests, and to dissuade the international community from backing the protesters’ demands for Assad’s fall.
“The games and dirty practices of the regime in order to incite a sectarian fight to divide the citizens of (Homs) won’t work,” said a statement issued by the Local Coordination Committees, the most organized of the activist groups, in response to the violence. “We reaffirm the peaceful nature of the revolution.”
But there have been several indicators that the Local Coordination Committees, one of several groups involved in organizing and monitoring protests, do not exert full control over the protesters in Homs, or even in many other towns around the country.
A Facebook page that appeared last week, entitled Homs Revolution and featuring a picture of a masked man, offers one glimpse into the depth of the sectarian hatreds that are surfacing. Postings refer to Alawites as “pigs,” describe a plot by “nusariya” — a derogatory term for religious minorities — to purge Syria of Sunnis and urge Sunnis to take up arms against the government. The origins of the page, which has more than 2,000 “likes,” cannot be confirmed.
It is amazing to read about sudden "fears" that the Syrian Sunni uprising -- described as "pro-democracy" agitation --against the Alawite despotism, could "descend" into sectarian violence. Why should this surprise? This was predictable, and predicted. It was exactly what would naturally have happened, and the only thing that would surprise would be if such an outcome had somehow been avoided, or avoidable. How many surprises for Americans making policy, how many surprises for those commenting on, or trying to shape, as journalista, such policies? The world of Islam, the Camp of Islam, the lands where Islam and the reaction to, fear of, Islam explain everything -- it all keeps coming as one surprise after another.
And why should the Washington Post headlineread "Sectarian violence in Syria raises fears"? Why shouldn't it be a more neutral "Sectarian violence in Syria" or, still better if one wishes to ascribe emotions to Western readers, that is to the readers of the Washington Post, "Sectarian violence in Syria raises hopes." Hopes of what? Hopes of weakening Syria, an enemy country with a regime that is dangerous to the well-being of the West, because of its alliance with Iran and Hezballah and the attempt of its non-Muslim rulers, the Alawites, and other non-Muslims too, to curry favor with circumambient Muslims by being just as, or sometimes even more, anti-Israel -- if such were possible -- than the surrounding, outnumbering Muslims. And a country whose Sunni Muslims, oppressed by that same regime, are in their own way just as immutably anti-Western, though at least they would not be, one supposes, wedded to an alliance with Shi'a Iran or the Shi'a of Hezballah in Lebanon.
Why does the headline tell readers to "fear" this sectarian violence? Why should this be considered the only possible legitimate reaction? Common sense might tell you that your reaction of pleasure at the spectacle of such a permanent disruptive fissure, made ever wider and ever more violent, is the correct one. And you should not have to be embarrassed by, or feel apologetic about, such a reaction. Not in Syria. Not in Libya. Not in Iraq. Not in Afghanistan. Nowhere in the Muslim world.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with India's foreign minister S. M. Krishna on Tuesday to discuss counter-terrorism, a collapsing nuclear energy deal, trade and more. The WSJ's Paul Beckett and Amol Sharma analyze the talks.
NEW DELHI – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Pakistan has an obligation to prosecute the perpetrators of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai "transparently, fully and urgently" and expressed the U.S. government's "deep sympathy and outrage" at last week's triple bomb blasts in the city that killed 20 people.
She made the remarks after a two-and-a-half hour meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, part of a range of talks the countries are holding this week in an effort to strengthen ties in areas such as counter-terrorism, security, trade, and science and technology.
Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
From left to right: Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to India A. Peter Burleig and Indian National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon pictured in New Delhi on July 19, 2011.
Mrs. Clinton said she has urged Pakistani officials to swiftly punish militants on its soil who carried out a bloody siege of Mumbai in November 2008 that left 166 people dead. Pakistan has charged seven people but their trials have moved slowly and India believes the masterminds are still at large.
"We made it very clear that Pakistan needs to bring people to justice," Mrs. Clinton said. "There is a limit to what both the U.S and India can do, but we intend to press as hard as possible."
She also said she was "encouraged" that India and Pakistan are trying to restart broad-ranging peace talks, which broke off after the 2008 attack. The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan are slated to meet later this month.
Indian officials haven't named any suspects in the blasts that shook Mumbai during rush hour on July 13, but have said they believe the explosions were a coordinated terrorist attack.
Mrs. Clinton's visit follows a trip to India last fall by President Barack Obama and comes as the U.S. is trying to shore up India's support for its plans to begin drawing down troops in Afghanistan. India has raised concerns that a sudden or dramatic pullout could result in the Taliban gaining control and collaborating with Pakistan against India's interests.
Mr. Krishna said the U.S. must acknowledge the "ground realities" as it plans any draw-down of forces, to ensure that the Afghanistan government is "in position to defend itself from the terrorists sponsored by the Taliban."
Mrs. Clinton also met with India's Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi, opposition leader Sushma Swaraj of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and national security adviser Shiv Shankar Menon. She was scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday evening.
The biggest initiative between the countries in recent years, the 2008 civil nuclear energy pact that was supposed to pave the way for the U.S. to sell billions of dollars worth of nuclear technology to India, has stalled as the two sides try to resolve various outstanding legal issues.
The U.S. wants India to enact an accident liability regime that is more friendly to nuclear equipment suppliers, and is pressing India to ratify this year a treaty that allows countries to tap into an international fund to help pay damages in case of nuclear accidents.
"We need to resolve those issues that still remain (on the nuclear deal) so we can reap the rewards of the extraordinary work both our governments have done," Mrs. Clinton said.
Addressing Indian concerns about the 46-nation Nuclear Supply Group's recently tightened controls for exporting enrichment and reprocessing technologies, she assured Indian officials the changes wouldn't affect the U.S.-India nuclear agreement.
The countries signed agreements on Monday pledging to collaborate on cyber-security efforts and air safety and agreed to resume negotiations toward a bilateral investment treaty that would "enhance transparency and predictability for investors" and facilitate technology transfer, according to a statement from the State Department.
A Failure To Communicate -- And A Failure To Comprehend
Pakistan exists as a state of, by, and for Muslims. Hindus and Christians and Sikhs and others may live in Pakistan, but they are not full-fledged citizens of Pakistan, who possess legal or social equality. They live, instead, in a state of constant anxiety, and even fear. Pakistan's military runs Pakistan, and always has, even though a civilian government, and elections for that government, may take place. That military has one goal: to weaken, to threaten, to support those who attack, and to attack themselves, the people and government of India. For India is now Hindu-run, the Muslim yoke having been thrown off, thanks to the superior power of the conquering, non-Muslim, British, two centuries ago. And the Muslims of Pakistan cannot stand to think that they must accept, in perpetuity, Hindu India being run by -- Hindus. It's not right, it's not fair, it's not just, it's contra naturam.
When you read that Pakistan is "afraid" of India and Indian intentions, keep in mind that there has never been a single instance of an Indian-sponsored terror group attacking Pakistanis, while there is a long history of Pakistan's military supporting in every way Muslim terrorist groups operating against India. The most spectacular was the attack on Mumbai, by attackers who were trained and financed and armed by the I.S.I.
It is Pakistani troops that have attacked Indians, as at Kargil, and not Indians who have ever attacked the Pakistanis without being attacked, or threatened with attack.
That is Pakistan, a country whose generals have been conning and gulling and fiddling the Americans ever since the Dulles brothers fell in love with the idea that Islam "is a bulwark against Communism." For more than fifty years, ever since the comical and worthless military organization known as CENTO came into existence (and fell apart soon after, when Qassem's coup deposed the real ruler of Iraq, Nuri al-Said, known Homeric-epithetically as "strongman" Nuri al-Said), Pakistan has been inveigling aid -- especially military aid -- from the Americans. And it has managed to make the Americans think that Pakistan was something it never was, and never could be, that is an "ally" of the United States.
Only once have Pakistani and American interests coincided. That was when the American government decided it could use the conflict in Afghanistan to weaken the Red Army, and hence the Soviet Union, by supporting the local Muslims, and the government of Pakistan, that had trained and raised up the Taliban among Afghan refugees in Pakistan and was ready to send them back to take over Afghanistan once the Russians left, was delighted to take shipments of American missiles and American money, and to work "with the Americans" and -- with less guile -- the Saudis, too, to support those supposedly splendid muhajidin.
The Pressler Amendment -- which google -- was only one expression of the unhappiness of Congress over decades of Pakistani misdeeds and meretriciousness, an attempt to rein in the apparently limitlessly-gullible -- when it came to dealing with Pakistan -- executive branch of the government. It passed. But the Executive Branch continued to ignore it, apparently with impunity, and to indulge the Pakistanis further.
Now, at long last, Pakistan has been revealed even for the most unwary as the treacherous "ally" - or rather, as the Muslim enemy, it always was for those who followed its behavior with any vigilance.
Salim Hoss "Shocked" That Syria Would Settle For An Indefensible Israel, Instead Of Requiring Its Complete Destruction Forthwith
From The Daily Star [Lebanon]:
Hoss slams Syria recognition of Palestine based on ’67 borders
BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Salim Hoss condemned as a “painful development” Syria’s recognition of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.
“This [Syrian] position was shocking and unexpected,” Hoss said in a statement Tuesday.
“Syria has always been calling for the liberation of Palestine from Israeli occupation and ambitions. The latest stance, however, shows that [Syria] has given up on a national policy that has spanned several decades," Hoss said.
“This is painful development since it is tantamount to abandonment of a principle position adopted by all Arabs at one point,” he added.[what is that "principle"?]
“Why this abandonment of a national principle, and what is the motive behind it?” Hoss asked. “There is no motive except to satisfy international powers that seek to appease Israel.”
He urged Arabs to commit to their position on Palestine “no matter how long” it takes.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry said Monday that Damascus recognizes a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital within the borders in effect prior to the 1967 Middle East War.
"Syria recognizes a Palestinian state within the June 4, 1967, borders and East Jerusalem as its capital, and on the basis of the preservation of Palestinian legitimate rights," a statement said.
Karim al-Tamimi's mother, about to join her son in the police vehicle, right before she is pulled away by a Palestinian man
When an Israeli hoax video surfaced in June, Robert Mackey of the New York Times' Lede blog was all over it. There was this detailed June 27 blog post ("Israeli Video Blog Exposed As Hoax"), in which he goes to great effort to track down every angle about Israeli actor Omer Gershon impersonating a gay activist allegedly rebuffed by flotilla organizers. He mentions the Israeli hoax again on July 1, and gets further reinforcements from his colleagues Peter Catapano in the Opinionator blog and from Ethan Bronner in the print edition.
In contrast, when a Palestinian photographer is shown to have staged a scene, does Mackey apply the same no holds barred approach, holding not only the creators to task, but also the disseminators? Hardly. Instead, he posts a warm profile of photographer Narimen al-Tamimi, including the staged scene.
The scene in question shows the arrest of 11-year-old Karim al-Tamimi, who had thrown stones at Israeli police. The father later told Ynet that the Israeli police prevented family members from joining Karim in the police vehicle. Meanwhile, Hebrew speakers who listen closely to the video can hear the police telling Karim's mother to get into the vehicle at least half a dozen times. She is about to, when a Palestinian man pulls her away, and someone instructs in Arabic, "Don't get in." After the policemen closes the van's door, a Palestinian woman wearing a pink shirt pushes the mother towards the vehicle, and then the mother bangs on the door, a heartrending scene.
(The Israel Press Council ruled in CAMERA's favor against Ynet's coverage of this incident.)
All of this analysis was available on CAMERA's site for more than three months when Mackey posted his complementary piece on photographer Narimen al-Tamimi and her colleague Bilal. By Mackey's double standard, Israelis who stage scenes are exposed as liars; Palestinians who stage scenes are feted.
The New York Times Magazine– New York, 2000 - 2007 Researcher/Reporter. Published about two dozen magazine articles and interviews under my own byline. Fact-checked articles written by staff writers and freelance contributors. Wrote headlines and captions, contributed to the editing of articles and frequently provided additional reporting.
Guardian Unlimited – Washington, D.C., 2006 - 2007 Freelance Writer. Contributed three essays to the Comment is Free blog.
GQ – New York, 2005 Freelance Writer. Wrote an article on globalization and the wine industry.
The Al Franken Show – New York, 2004 Radio Producer. Wrote scripts, blogged and produced segments of the Air America Radio show during the 2004 election campaign.
TransWorld Sport– London, 1999 - 2002 Freelance TV Producer and Cameraman. Produced and shot three 8-minute television reports on sports and war - in Zagreb, Sarajevo and Belfast - for Britain’s Channel 4.
Wired – San Francisco, 2000 Freelance Photographer and Web Video Producer. Shot photographs to illustrate three articles in Wired magazine. Shot and edited a web video on architect Rem Koolhaas.
AP/ Worldwide Television News – London, 1995 - 1998 TV Producer and Editor. Wrote scripts, edited video and recorded voice-overs to produce news reports for a television news agency providing material to hundreds of international broadcasters, including ABC, CNN and the BBC. Worked to tight, frequent deadlines.
UNTV– Zagreb, Sarajevo, Belgrade, 1994 - 1995 TV Producer and Cameraman. Produced a series of television reports and short documentaries for a United Nations-sponsored program broadcast twice a week inside the former Yugoslavia during the last two years of the wars in Croatia and Bosnia. Several pieces were re-broadcast on European stations like ZDF and RAI.
American Friends Service Committee – Phnom Penh, 1992 TV Producer and Director. Wrote and directed a 20-minute, Khmer-language, educational docudrama for an aid organization in Cambodia.
Pacifica Radio News– New York, 1992 Radio Producer. Produced a series of reports for local and national broadcast.
New York University, 1993
Studied film and television production in the M.F.A. program at NYU.
University of Pennsylvania, 1985 - 1990
B.A. in English.
A taxi driver ranted racial abuse outside a Jewish school after getting stuck in a traffic jam. Taha Osman shrieked ‘All Jewish children must die!’ after his car was hemmed in by parents picking up pupils outside King David School in Crumpsall.
Two mums on the school run and a teaching assistant were singled out in a foul-mouthed and ‘frightening’ tirade witnessed by kids, Manchester Crown Court heard. Osman – an Iraqi Kurd who has settled in Britain – also shouted that Jewish people were ‘animals’ who ‘should not be allowed in this country’.
The 36-year-old denied causing religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress in a trial, but was found guilty by the jury.
Sentencing him to a community order, Judge David Stockdale QC said it was a ‘particularly nasty offence’ – but did not warrant a jail sentence.
The court heard Osman launched his tirade on October 5, after a traffic jam formed on Seymour Road outside King David School. Osman was on his way to Tesco when he got stuck in the congestion lost his temper at the driver in front of him, Sigal Bar-Ilan. Caroline Franks told the court that she had collected her children, aged four and six, from the school, when she saw him shouting at Mrs Bar-Ilan. When Mrs Franks got out of her vehicle to help the woman manoeuvre her car, Osman screamed vile racial insults at them both. Mrs Bar-Ilan said her daughter began to cry and her son asked ‘Why’s the man shouting at you mummy?’
Sentencing Osman, of Roch Bank, Blackley, Judge Stockdale said that his language had been of the ‘utmost offensiveness’.
He added: “Your rant on that afternoon crossed the boundary between what would have been ill-mannered, foul-mouthed loutish behaviour into the territory of criminal behaviour. This was because you launched into a racist verbal attack on the Jewish community in general. Your behaviour and language was precisely the language and behaviour the legislation is designed to prevent. This was a most serious offence of its type.”
Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is in Europe this week seeking to convince the Spanish and Norwegian governments to support the Palestinian bid to sidestep negotiations with Israel and have the UN General Assembly recognize Palestinian sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem in addition to Gaza.
The Palestinians know that without US support, their initiative will fail to gain Security Council support and therefore have no legal weight. But they believe that if they push hard enough, Israel's control over these areas will eventually unravel and they will gain control over them without ever accepting Israel's right to exist.
Fatah's UN gambit, along with its unity deal with Hamas, makes clear that the time has come for Israel to finally face the facts: There are only two realistic options for dealing with Judea and Samaria.
Either the Palestinians will take control of Judea and Samaria, or Israel will annex them.
If the Palestinians take control, they will establish a terror state in the areas, which - like their terror state in Gaza - will use its territory as a starting point for continued war against Israel.
It isn't only Israel's experience with post-withdrawal Gaza and South Lebanon that make it clear that a post-withdrawal Palestinian-controlled Judea and Samaria will become a terror state. The Palestinians themselves make no bones about this.
In a Palestinian public opinion survey released last week by The Israel Project, 65 percent of Palestinians said they believe that they should conduct negotiations with Israel. But before we get excited, we need to read the fine print.
According to the survey, those two-thirds of Palestinians believe that talks should not lead to the establishment of the State of Palestine next to Israel and at peace with the Jewish state. They believe the establishment of "Palestine" next to Israel should serve as a means for continuing their war against Israel. The goal of that war is to destroy what's left of Israel after the "peace" treaty and gobble it into "Palestine."
That is, 66% of Palestinians believe "peace" talks with Israel should be conducted in bad faith.
Moreover, three-quarters deny Jewish ties to Jerusalem, and 80% support Islamic jihad against Jews as called for in the Hamas charter; 73% support the annihilation of the Jewish people as called for in the Hamas charter on the basis of Islamic scripture.
As bad as Israel's experience with post-withdrawal Gaza and South Lebanon has been, Israel's prospects with a post-withdrawal Judea and Samaria will be far worse. It isn't simply that withdrawal will invite aggression from Judea and Samaria. It will invite foreign Arab armies to invade the rump Jewish state.
Unlike the post-withdrawal situation with Gaza and South Lebanon, without Judea and Samaria, Israel would not have the territorial depth and topographical advantage to defend itself from invasion from the east.
Moreover, the establishment of the second Palestinian terror state after Gaza in Judea and Samaria would embolden some of Israel's Arab citizens in the Galilee and the Negev as well as in Jaffa, Lod, Haifa and beyond to escalate their already declared irredentist plans to demand autonomy or unification with whatever Palestinian terror state they choose.
Living under the constant threat of invasion from the east (and the south, from a Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Egyptian army moving through the Sinai and Gaza), Israel would likely be deterred from taking concerted action against its treacherous Arab citizens.
As then-prime minister Ariel Sharon warned in 2001, the situation would be analogous to the plight of Czechoslovakia in the 1930s. Just as the Nazis deterred the Czech government from acting against its traitorous German minority in the Sudetenland in the 1930s, so Arab states (and a nuclear Iran), supporting the Palestinian terror states in Judea and Samaria and in Gaza, would make it impossible for Israel to enforce its sovereign rights on its remaining territory.
Israel's destruction would be all but preordained.
The second option is for Israel to annex Judea and Samaria, complete with its hostile Arab population.
Absorbing the Arab population of Judea and Samaria would increase Israel's Arab minority from 20% to 33% of the overall population. This is true whether or not Israel grants them full citizenship with voting rights or permanent residency without them.
Obviously such a scenario would present Israel with new and complex legal, social and law enforcement challenges. But it would also provide Israel with substantial advantages and opportunities.
Israel would have to consider its electoral laws and weigh the prospect of moving from a proportional representation system to a direct, district system. It would have to begin enforcing its laws toward its Arab citizens in a manner identical to the way it enforces its laws against its Jewish citizens. This includes everything from administrative laws concerning building to criminal statutes related to treason. It would have to ensure that Arab schoolchildren are no longer indoctrinated to hate Jews, despite the fact that according to the Israel Project survey, 53% of Palestinians support such anti-Semitic indoctrination in the classroom.
These steps would be difficult to enact.
On the other side, annexing Judea and Samaria holds unmistakable advantages for Israel. For instance, Israel would regain complete military control over the areas. Israel ceded much of this control to the PLO in 1996.
The Palestinian armies Israel agreed to allow the PLO to field have played a central role in the Palestinian terror machine. They have also played a key role in indoctrinating Palestinian society to seek and work toward Israel's destruction. By bringing about the disbanding of these terror forces, Israel would go a long way toward securing its citizens from attack.
Furthermore, by asserting its sovereign rights to its heartland, for the first time since 1967, Israel would be adopting an unambiguous position around which its citizens and supporters could rally. Annexation would also finally free Israel's politicians and diplomats to tell the truth about the pathological nature of Palestinian nationalism and about the rank hypocrisy and anti-Semitism at the heart of much of the international Left's campaigns on behalf of the Palestinians.
No, annexation won't be easy. But then again, the alternative is national suicide.
And again, these are the only options. Either the Palestinians form a terror state from which it will wage war against the shrunken, indefensible Jewish state, or Israel expands the size of the Jewish state.
Since 1967, Israel has refused to accept the fact that these are the only two options available. Instead, successive governments and the nation as a whole have set their hopes on imaginary third options. For the Left, this option has been the fantasy of a two-state solution. This "solution" involves the Palestinians controlling some or all of the lands Israel took over from Jordan and Egypt in the Six Day War, establishing a state, and all of us living happily ever after.
Given the Palestinians' overwhelming, consistent and violent support for the destruction of Israel in any size, this leftist fantasy never had a leg to stand on.
And since 1993, when the Rabin government adopted the Left's fantasy as state policy, more than 2,000 Israelis have been killed in its pursuit.
Not only has the Left's third option fantasy facilitated the Palestinian terror machine's ability to kill Jews, it has empowered their propaganda war against Israel.
Israel's pursuit of the nonexistent two-state solution has eroded its own international position to a degree unprecedented in its history.
Last week's meeting of the so-called Middle East Quartet ended without a final statement. It isn't that its members couldn't agree on the need to establish "Palestine" in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem. That was a no-brainer. The Quartet members couldn't agree on the need to accept the Jewish state. Russia reportedly rejected wording that would have enjoined the Palestinians to accept the Jewish state's right to exist as part of a peace treaty.
And this was eminently foreseeable. The unhinged two-state solution makes Israel's legitimacy contingent on the establishment of a Palestinian state. And it put the burden to establish a Palestinian state on Israel.
Since everyone except Israel and the US always accepted the establishment of a Palestinian state, and no one except Israel and the US always accepted the existence of the Jewish state, by making its own legitimacy dependent on Palestinian statehood, Israel started the clock running on its own demonization.
The longer Israel allows its very right to exist to be contingent on the establishment of another terror state committed to its destruction, the less the nations of the world will feel obliged to accept its right to exist.
As for the Right, its leaders have embraced imaginary third options of their own. Either Jordan would come in and save us, or the Palestinians would come to like us, or something.
The one thing that both the Left's fantasy option and the Right's fantasy option share is their belief that the Palestinians or the Arabs as a whole will eventually change. Both sides' imaginary third options maintain that with sufficient inducements or time, the Arabs will change their behavior and drop their goal of destroying Israel.
Our 44-year dalliance in fantasyland has not simply weakened us militarily and diplomatically. It has torn us apart internally by surrendering the debate to the two ideological fringes of the political spectrum. Actually, to be precise, we have surrendered 99% of our public discourse to the radical Left and 1% to the radical Right.
The Left's control over the discourse has caused its ideological opposite's numbers to increasingly disengage from the state. That would be bad enough, but the Palestinians' inarguable bad faith and continued commitment to Israel's destruction have driven the far Left far off the cliff of reason and rationality.
Unable to convince their fellow Israelis that their two-state pipe dream will bring peace, the Israeli Left has joined forces with the international Left in its increasingly shrill campaigns to delegitimize the country's right to exist and undermine its ability to defend itself.
This sorry state of affairs is exemplified today by the radical Left's hysterical response to the Knesset's passage last week of the anti-boycott law. The comparatively mild law makes it a civil offense to solicit boycotts against Israel. It bars people engaged in economic warfare against Israel from getting government benefits and makes them liable to punitive damages in civil suits.
The Left's hysterical public relations campaign to demonize the law and its supporters as fascists and seek its overthrow through the Supreme Court makes clear that the Left will wage war against its own country in pursuit of its delusion.
But aside from driving the public discourse into the depths of ideological madness, Israel's embrace of fantasy has made it impossible for us to conduct a sober-minded discussion of our only real options. The time has come to debate these two options, choose one, and move forward.
At tjhe website of Voice of America, a question is offered for readers' responses.
That question is: Behind the Numbers - How Disappointed are Arabs in U.S. Policies?
Then some alternatives that supposedly would make the Arabs better inclined, are offered, posted for a vote by visitors. The first alternative is predictable: The American government should pusheven harder for "Israeli-Palestinian peace." Other alternatives include pulling out of Iraq, pulling out of Afghanistan, and being more consistent in support for anti-government uprisings in Arab countries.
But this is not an innocent attempt to find out what people think Rather, it is an attempt to mold their thoughts.
No truthful alternative was listed to be voted on. What would that truthful alternative have been?
It would have been: "The Arabs will always be disappointed because they want from the American government what the American government will not, and should not, give them and, furthermore, Arab hostility is based on Islam, which inculates hatred of non-Muslims."
And even more disturbing is the way in which the VOA, that is an organ of the American government, appears to think, and to encourage others to think, that it is we who must worry, we who must placate, we who must change.
Why not say something else? Why not say: After spending four trillion dollras to make Iraq and Afghanistan places with better and less vicious governments -- by getting rid of theTaliban and Saddam Hussein -- and to promote national unity, despite sectarian and ethnic fissures, and to engage in many projects to help bring prosperity and better lives to people in Iraq and Afghanistan -- the Americans realize they are treated only as marks to be conned, as sources of more aid and more money, but not the recipients of true and lasting gratitude for the incredible effort that has now lasted almost a full decade.
Something like that should have been said, broadcast, by the VOA.
It wasn't. The script was read from the Arab and Muslim POV.-- not the American one.
Haven't we heard too much about how "disappointed" the Arabs are,
The United States may soon have the option of washing its hands of Afghanistan. But with an untrustworthy Pakistani military exerting greater influence, India does not.
BY SUMIT GANGULY|JULY 19, 2011
This week, the second U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue under the aegis of Barack Obama's administration will be held in New Delhi. While much attention will undoubtedly focus on July 13's horrific bombings in Mumbai, it's the impending drawdown of U.S. forces from Afghanistan that will likely consume most of the discussions.
India is a significant player in Afghanistan. It has the world's fifth-largest aid program there, having committed $1.5 billion in developmental assistance. It has played a key role in reconstruction and has developed training programs for Afghan civil servants and police. India has made these investments in the country because its policymakers are keen on ensuring that a radical Islamist regime does not return to the country, that Pakistan not wield a disproportionate influence on any future government, and that Afghanistan might serve as a bridgehead for India's economic ties to the Central Asian states.
But as the U.S. military drawdown has begun, there is growing apprehension in New Delhi that India's investments may be at risk. These fears are far from chimerical; India's past experiences with the Taliban regime provide much basis for serious anxieties -- and not just due to the radical movement's long-standing ties to Pakistan.
Above all, India fears that a reconstituted Taliban regime would allow a host of anti-Indian terrorist groups, most notably Lashkar-e-Taiba, to find sanctuaries and training grounds in Afghanistan. Some astute New Delhi-based analysts also worry that a resurgent Taliban may actually help broker a peace agreement between the Pakistani regime and Pakistani domestic terrorist groups like Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan. That, they argue, could redirect the collective wrath of various jihadi organizations from internecine conflict and focus it on India, and more specifically Indian-controlled Kashmir. Finally, they are concerned that a Taliban-dominated regime would forge links with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and other jihadi groups in Central Asia, thereby adversely affecting India's quest for access to energy resources and markets in the region.
Yet New Delhi also sees the writing on the wall. In mid-June this year, India dropped its previously unyielding opposition to any form of reconciliation with the Taliban when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh suggested that India would be open to any form of reconciliation that is Afghan-led. This concession was far from trivial, and reflects India's recognition that it needs to demonstrate a degree of flexibility as the U.S. withdrawal approaches to ensure that its interests are not wholly ignored.
According to an ABC poll conducted in December 2008 and January 2009, India is popular in Afghanistan, despite its past mistakes during the Soviet invasion and occupation of the country. Yet without security, it is far from clear that India will be able to maintain its current profile in the country. Thanks to Pakistani intransigence (with America's acquiescence), India has been unable to place any viable security contingent in Afghanistan and has also shied away from training the Afghan army. Even its substantial diplomatic presence within the country has been subject to routine Pakistani diplomatic barrages and, in all likelihood, at least one Pakistan-linked attack on its embassy in Kabul, in October 2009. Despite these pressures, India has stuck to its guns in the country and has continued with its developmental activities. India will not easily walk away from Afghanistan.
That said, India's policymakers have yet to devise anything resembling a viable plan for a post-ISAF Afghanistan. Neither the Afghan National Army nor the Afghan National Police are up to the task of coping with a resurgent Taliban, and most foreign troops are scheduled to leave by 2014. So far, India's plans consist largely of hand-wringing and facile hopes.
Key members of the policy establishment apparently believe that the gradual American shift from counterinsurgency to counterterrorism will work. From their perspective, the steady erosion of the Taliban leadership through airstrikes and Special Forces raids could weaken the movement sufficiently to enable President Hamid Karzai's government to survive the U.S. drawdown. In large measure, their analysis draws on the experience of Mohammad Najibullah's regime, which survived a full three years after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. Compared with that brutal, Soviet-backed regime, Karzai's government, while widely perceived to be corrupt and inept, still commands some shred of legitimacy.
India's historic ties to the Northern Alliance could be helpful. Yet New Delhi has yet to decide when to decisively mobilize its contacts to prevent a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, it appears strangely content with maintaining links with the Karzai regime and bolstering its developmental assistance programs in the country.
Given the stakes involved, a small handful of Indian security analysts has started to publicly argue that India should offer to train Afghan security personnel. They stress that such a policy choice would not only bolster the Karzai regime but would also enable India to help shape Afghan's political future. Sadly, the Indian political leadership has shown little inclination to act on this proposal.
Simultaneously, Washington has evinced little interest in promoting that prospect for fear that it would promptly elicit strenuous Pakistani objections. Quite predictably, its political and military leadership will argue that such a policy shift would grant India undue political influence within Afghanistan and prove detrimental to Pakistan's security. Such objections notwithstanding, Pakistan should not be in a position to exercise a unit veto over Indian policy choices.
Bluntly put, given the growing evidence of the Pakistani military's duplicity in sustaining the Taliban, its misgivings may have to be set aside. Despite its professions of cooperation, and after nearly $12 billion worth [NO: $30 billion, if debt relief, economic aid, and aid hidden in the Pentagon's overall budget, are counted] of U.S. assistance over the past decade, it has proved to be a Janus-faced ally. India's interest in ensuring a non-Talibanized Afghanistan actually dovetails with those of the United States. In this context, it is worth recalling that it was the Taliban that played host to Osama bin Laden after he was forced to leave Sudan. There is little reason to allow them to find their way back to power in Kabul, Karzai's recent overtures notwithstanding. Given that India shares a compelling strategic interest in preventing their resurgence and possesses the requisite institutional capacity to train Afghan security forces, Washington should prod it to assume that burden.
As U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her entourage sit down with their Indian counterparts, a candid discussion of the regional implications of the troop drawdown is more important than ever. The United States may have the option of washing its hands of Afghanistan, but India does not.