Media-ocrity of the Week
President Francois Hollande said the state would "mobilize all its resources to combat this violence", which has shaken depressed quarters of major French cities at regular intervals over the past decade and which Valls referred to as urban guerilla behaviour. [Emphasis added – Ed.]
Police and emergency officials in Amiens were on high alert on Tuesday evening and some, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they feared a further flareup of violence. Unrest is often blamed on a combination of poor job prospects, racial discrimination, a widespread sense of alienation from mainstream society and perceived hostile policing.
A crowd of about 100 “young men” met Interior Minister Manuel Valls when he arrived in Amiens to discuss two nights of violence apparently sparked by tension over spot police checks on residents.
"Calm down! Calm down!" Valls yelled as the crowd jostled him while he entered the town hall surrounded by bodyguards. (The Daily Telegraph, Aug. 15, 2012) [emphasis added; that the “youths” and “young men” and “urban guerillas” referred to in these articles are Muslims is made clear only by a reference, at the end of the Daily Telegraph piece, to a French study of “Islamic Institutions and Practices” in the French suburbs. – Ed.)
“This [Iranian] nuclear weapon is intended to create a balance of terror with Israel, to finish off the Zionist enterprise, and to end all Israeli aggression against the Arab nation,” – Hezbollah MP and retired general Walid Sakariya to Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV “The entire equation in the Middle East will change,” he asserted. ( Times of Israel, Aug. 9, 2012)
“Israel's reasons for a future strike on Iran's nuclear facilities are logical and clear: Iran armed with nuclear weapons threatens Israel's existence; the weapons can fall into the hands of terrorists; and it will undoubtedly ignite an arms race in the Middle East that could end in nuclear war. In light of these threats an Israeli government that chooses to sit by and do nothing will have betrayed its public.”—Prof. Benny Morris. (Israel Hayom, August 10, 2012)
"I don't believe they've made a decision as to whether or not they will go in and attack Iran at this time,”—US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday. "With regards to the issue of where we're at from a diplomatic point of view, the reality is that we still think there is room to continue to negotiate." he said. As to Israel’s military capacity, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, who also attended the press conference, said “What I’m telling you is based on what I know of their capabilities. And I may not know about all their capabilities. But I think that it’s fair characterization to say that they could delay but not destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities.” (Reuter’s, Aug. 14, 2012)
“The prevalent culture, created by the previous regime (is it truly previous?) is built on fear of Israel. This fear has bred hatred which the prior and current regimes have played on for their own daily purposes. Thus, Israel the country has disappeared and has been replaced by an entity ruled by villains. Villains, as we know, lie, so why should we believe their warnings?”—Egyptian playwright and A-Sharq Al-Awsat columnist Ali Salem—one of the few Egyptians to openly support normalization with Israel…“I clearly believe that the two sacked men [the governor of northern Sinai and chief of general intelligence] genuinely expressed the level of public awareness and level of education in Egypt,”—which led the country’s security forces to disregard Israeli warnings of a looming terrorist attack [in Sinai], claiming they “could not believe” that Muslims would kill Muslims on the eve of Ramadan. (Times of Israel, Aug. 12, 2012)
"Are we looking at a president determined to dismantle the machine of tyranny … or one who is retooling the machine of tyranny to serve his interests, removing the military's hold on the state so he can lay the foundations for the authority of the Brotherhood?"–Alaa al-Aswani a prominent Egyptian rights activist and best-selling novelist. "He must correct these mistakes and assure us through actions that he is a president of all Egyptians," wrote the secular al-Aswani before warning that Egyptians will never allow Morsi to turn Egypt into a "Brotherhood state." (Associated Press, Aug. 14, 2012)
“I have wracked my brain trying to understand why Israel gets such a disproportionate measure of our moral criticism…I keep coming back to a very difficult conclusion, and that is that there remains an undercurrent of antisemitism in our church, and that disturbs me” United Church minister Andrew Love, the spiritual leader of Grace Saint Andrew’s United Church in Arnprior [Ontario], who has been trying to counter the calls for a boycott of ‘settlement’ goods by the United Church of Canada’s (UCC) Working Group on Israel/Palestine Policy. “I’m speaking of the United Church but this same debate has infected the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church and the Anglican communion, where Israel has received a disproportionate amount of attention.” (Jewish Tribune, Aug. 7, 2012)
"Reading the articles of this [CEDAW] agreement, dear brothers, sends shivers down your spine, and makes your hair stand on end, due to its hideous nature. One of the articles in this agreement, dear brothers, [calls for] complete equality between men and women. Any distinction between men and women is eliminated.…One of the articles states that when a girl reaches the age of 18, nobody has guardianship over her—not her father, her husband, her brothers, or anyone for that matter. She can act with complete freedom.” —Saudi Cleric Sa'd Al-Qa'ub commenting on the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. […]"They say that a girl younger than 18 has the right to decide when she will become sexually active. It means that she can decide when to exercise her right to commit consensual fornication. On the other hand, she does not have the right to marry before the age of 18.” (Middle East Media Research Institute, July 10, 2012)
"When shall I see that day, when we, the Muslims, march on Palestine and liberate Palestine for all the people in the world … and under Islamic law, they will live as equals,"—Zafar Bangash, an Islamic journalist and commentator from Toronto who is shown, in a video from last year’s International Al-Quds [Jerusalem] Day march in Queen’s Park, Toronto available on the website Shia TV, bellowing into a microphone. Bangash yelled, "The Zionists … claim that Muslims hate Jews … I challenge any Zionist … to come and prove to us that any Jewish people have been oppressed anywhere in the Muslim world." Jewish groups are calling out Ontario Liberals for permitting an "anti-Semitic hate rally" to be held Aug. 18 at Queen's Park [Toronto].…(Sun News Network, Aug. 9, 2012)
“I tell you out of my experience and the position I occupied that the regime is collapsing, morally, materially and economically. Militarily it is crumbling as it no longer occupies more than 30% of Syrian territory,”—former Syrian prime minister Riyad Hijab, in his first public appearance at a news conference in Jordan since defecting to the opposition. “Syria is full of honourable officials and military leaders who are waiting for the chance to join the revolution. I urge the army to follow the example of Egypt and Tunisia’s armies – take the side of the people.” he added. (National Post, Aug. 15, 2012)
“The bottom line is that Palestinian incitement is going on all the time….The phenomenon is worrying and disturbing.”—Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry director-general Yossi Kuperwasser. He said that “at an institutional level the Palestinian Authority was continuously driving three messages home: that the Palestinians would eventually be the sole sovereign on all the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea; that Jews, especially those who live in Israel, were not really human beings but rather “the scum of mankind”; and that all tools were legitimate in the struggle against Israel and the Jews, though the specific tool used at one time or another depended on a cost-benefit analysis.” (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 13, 2012)
MORSI FORCES OUT MILITARY CHIEFS—(Cairo)President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt forced the retirement on Sunday of his powerful defense minister General Hussein Tantawi and the Egyptian Army's' Chief of Staff General Sami Enan…Morsi has also cancelled the constitutional protections that the Egyptian military has enjoyed and overturned their edicts circumscribing his control over foreign and military policy. On Sunday, he replaced it with his own declaration, one that gave him broad legislative and executive powers and, potentially, a decisive role in the drafting of Egypt’s still unfinished new constitution.
The maneuvers by Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, cemented a major shift in power that began with his election in the face of intense opposition from the military. As Caroline Glick has noted in Front page magazine, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has declared, today Mors completed the Egyptian revolution. Egypt is now an Islamic state. Its leaders drink from the same well as al Qaida, Hamas and all the rest. Egypt, with its US armed military has reemerged after 30 years as the greatest military threat that Israel has ever faced. (New York Times, Front Page Magazine., Aug. 13, 2012)
A FAILING STATE? IN SINAI, THE PEOPLE PROTECT THE ARMY —(Rafah, Egypt) Those living in Rafah have military forces responsible for securing the border at their doorsteps. While this should be extra protection for the locals, on Sunday, it was the locals who struggled to save the soldiers undergoing a brutal attack. While local media and politicians alike are dramatically mourning the deceased soldiers, slamming the terrorist playground that Sinai has reportedly become, there is little attention to the incumbent state failure in the peninsula, as manifest in this incident, locals say. (Egypt Independent, Aug. 7, 2012)
EGYPT CLOSING UP SMUGGLING TUNNELS, HAMAS ANGRY—(Egypt) Sinai residents have reported to Ahram Online that heavy machinery of the state-owned Arab Contractors company is being used to destroy tunnels linking Egypt and the besieged Gaza Strip. The destruction of the tunnels is happening under the supervision of Egyptian military forces. Hamas leader Mahmoud El-Zahar confirmed that the Egyptian military was closing the tunnels and would abort any attempt to build new ones. Hamas denies that any Gazans were involved in the attack and is calling Egypt's moves "collective punishment." (Ahram Online Aug 09 2012)
RABBIS PROTEST AGAINST 'PROTOCOLS' MOBILE APP—(Berlin)A European rabbinical group said Tuesday it is protesting a mobile app of the notorious anti-Semitic text "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Brussels-based Conference of European Rabbis, said in a statement that he would contact Apple to urge that the company remove the app (which is a mobile phone program). The app, which was released earlier this year, is available only in Arabic and is attributed to the software developer Ahmed Elserety. The app notes a 1921 investigation by the Times of London and a series of French articles describing how the fraud was perpetrated. Still, Goldschmidt said, it is unacceptable to have such an app on the market. “Although the Protocols of the Elders of Zion can and should be available for academics to study in its proper context, to disseminate such hateful invective as a mobile app is dangerous and inexcusable,” he said, warning that it could be "used by anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists and their fellow travelers to pursue their racist agenda."(JTA, Aug. 15, 2012)
LEFT-WING JOURNALIST REGRETS GOLAN STANCE—(Jerusalem)“No one likes to admit they were wrong. I don't, either. But sometimes you have no choice.”—Ari Shavit, journalist for Ha’aretz. “Since reaching adulthood I believed in peace with Syria. The premises for my belief seemed rational and solid. Peace with Syria would prevent a terrible war and dismantle the array of northern forces that threatened the State of Israel… And now, everything has been upended. It's all been reversed…. I have to admit that if the worldview I had championed had been applied, battalions of global jihadis would be camping near Ein Gev and there would be Al-Qaida bases on the shores of Lake Kinneret. Northern Israel and the country's water sources would be bordering this summer on an armed, extremist Islamic entity that could not be controlled. So, does one conclude that we dare not try peace? No, we must try to obtain a realistic peace. But carefully, friends. Modestly. And always while listening seriously to the serious warnings of those opposed, and with a sober eye on the real world in which we live.” (Ha’aretz, Aug. 9, 2012)
HAMAS LEADER’S FAMILY TREATED IN ISRAELI HOSPITAL —(Petach Tikva)Suhila Abd el-Salam, the sister of Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, accompanied her husband for treatment in an Israeli hospital four months ago. According to Israel’s Ynet News, the sister’s husband was admitted to Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva, for immediate medical treatment following a serious heart condition. The couple could have gone to a more advanced medical center in Egypt but opted to come to Israel for medical treatment instead. Israel’s Civil Administration released a report in March stating that 115,000 Palestinians were treated in Israel in 2011, a 13% increase in comparison to the previous year. Meanwhile, Haniyeh refuses to recognize Israel and calls for Palestinian violence against the Jewish state. (Tazpit News Agency, August 7, 2012)
SYRIAN MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD FORMS FIGHTING BATTALIONS—(Syria)The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria has formed three armed battalions “for self-defence and to defend the oppressed,” the group’s spokesman Mulham Al-Droubi told Saudi owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat that the battalions were created three months ago and are deployed across Syria, but “especially in areas with intense fighting.” He said they operated under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army, which functions as a regular army but is composed of semi-independent units. Meanwhile, Brotherhood spokesman Droubi was named by the Free Syrian Army last week as a possible candidate for transitional prime minister following the ouster of Bashar Assad, Arab media reported. (Times of Israel, Aug. 5, 2012)
PALESTINIAN “PRESIDENT” NEARS RECORD—(Israel) “Next week, Mahmoud Abbas will enter the 92nd month of his 48-month term, and now has Yasser Arafat’s record in sight. Arafat was elected president of the Palestinian Authority in 1996, running essentially unopposed (his opponent was a 72-year old woman with no political party). In 2004, in the ninth year of his four-year term, he left office on account of death. His second-in-command was elected president less than two months later, running essentially unopposed (Hamas boycotted the election). Abbas is now midway through the eighth year of his own four-year term, almost certain to break Arafat’s record if he can just stay healthy." (Commentary, Aug. 8, 2012) (Top)