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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Al Jazeera’

Al Jazeera: US ‘Increasingly Irrelevant’ to the Arabs

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

“U.S. policy in the Arab world has long been widely unpopular, to put it mildly,” on Sunday Sarah Mousa wrote in Al Jazeera. Although President Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo were met with great enthusiasm, she continues, “the Arab uprisings transformed many peoples’ views on the role played by the US in their region. While Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did offer verbal support to most of the protest movements, hypocritical selective support, initial American hesitation in backing the uprisings and past policies bolstering dictatorships were not forgotten.”

Mousa, a graduate from Princeton University and a 2010-2011 Fulbright Scholar in Egypt, states: “More crucially, it became clear to many that the outcome of the uprisings was up to them, and not to U.S. policymakers. In the case of Egypt, U.S. statements only called for Hosni Mubarak to step down when it became entirely clear that it was inevitable. While the gesture may have been appreciated by parts of the Egyptian opposition, it was not viewed as a significant turning point.”

Obama’s visit to Israel and the PA were received coolly by Palestinians, writes Mousa. “Young activists referred to the speeches as ‘insipid’ and ‘sycophant.’ The part of Obama’s Jerusalem speech that many Palestinians paid most attention to was an interruption by Palestinian audience member Rabeea Eid: ‘Did you really come here for peace or to give Israel more weapons to kill and destroy the Palestinian people? Did you happen to see the apartheid wall on your way here? There are Palestinians sitting in this hall. This state should be for all of its citizens, not a Jewish state only.’”

We’ve all seen the clip where, as the noisy Eid was being dragged out of the hall, Obama referred to the interruption as a good display of “lively debate.”

Recordings of the incident quickly spread throughout the Palestinian Internet. Obama’s failure to effectively address Palestinian rage on the student’s points, just as Eid was being dragged away and handcuffed, made him a mockery in Palestinian eyes, argues Mousa.

“The U.S. is increasingly irrelevant to movements throughout the region,” she concludes. “In his March visit to Cairo, Secretary of State John Kerry extended invitations to meet with members of opposition parties. Many turned him down. Distour party member Gamila Ismail explained her rejection of the invitation in a scathing letter to Kerry, in which she criticized self-interested U.S. policy that has supported repressive regimes in Egypt for decades.”

Ismail also wrote Kerry: “This is a revolution that will teach the world, as Obama, your president, has said. And we want to teach the world and be a model for it. And we will become different than what you see. Your embassy reports see that we do not deserve anything except this [limited] amount of democracy. And that this [limited] amount is ‘enough’.”

Interestingly, as America is achieving a steady decline in reliance on Middle Eastern oil, American foreign policy no longer views the region with the urgency it did only a decade ago – and the Arab intelligence gets it.

How I wish Benjamin Netanyahu would get it, too.

Why Hagel is Really Scary: He’s Typical of the Ruling Elite

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

“Joab came to the king [David] in his quarters and said, “Today you have humiliated all your followers, who this day saved your life, and the lives of your sons and daughters…by showing love for those who hate you and hate for those who love you. For you have made clear today that the officers and men mean nothing to you.” –II Samuel, 19: 6-7

If Chuck Hagel is so much dumber than you why is he the one being nominated by President Barack Obama to be secretary of defense? Answer: Hagel knows how to be dumb in the right way.

In other words, He’s simultaneously even dumber than you think but also, to use an old expression, dumb like a fox. Let me explain.

In his public self-management and especially during his confirmation hearings as secretary of defense, Hagel handled himself in a manner that showed he is incapable of fulfilling a cabinet-level position.

Here’s the main example.

Hagel said, “I support the president’s strong position on containment.” Now the truth is that there’s nothing wrong with that. He did not say the president’s position advocating containment of Iran. Contrary to the way that many writers are portraying it, what he said wasn’t incorrect, just ambiguous. He could easily have recovered.

So then some of his handlers asked him to clarify and what did he do?

“I was just handed a note that I misspoke,” he announced, “that I said I supported the president’s position on containment. If I said that, I meant to say that we don’t have a position on containment.”

Now this management alone is enough to bar him from handling one of the most important and complex jobs in the world. Let’s count the ways:

–Never admit that you’ve just been told you were wrong! He should have pocketed the note without mentioning it and simply added to his statement. What he did instead is on the level of stupidity of a television host being shown a cue card reading, “Wrap up the show, moron!” and then reading that aloud to the live audience.

–Instead, He should have said something like this: “I do not want any ambiguity in my clear statements of support for the president and for a tough policy on Iran. I support the president’s position of asserting that containment is insufficient and that our goal is to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, leaving all options open for doing so.”

In other words, he doesn’t just not know the facts; he doesn’t know how to be a high-level official at all. He doesn’t just not know the details of international affairs; his thought is simply not coherent at all. And unlike Obama and Kerry, he doesn’t know how to hide his radicalism behind smooth phrases.

–And then he makes it worse by saying that the administration doesn’t have a policy on containment! Of course, the U.S. government does have a position on containment of Iran! It is supposedly against doing that. [Accepting that Iran has nuclear weapons and then trying to limit the damage by isolating Iran, surround it with forces, installing anti-missile and early-warning stations, etc.] President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and two now ex-defense sectaries along with tens of others expressed it daily. [Of course, it is 99 percent likely that they will end up trying containment anyway.]

For Hagel, that’s a triple goof, sort of equivalent to an Olympics gold medal winning move by a figure-skater, only in reverse!

But I have a theory. As everyone knows, Hagel is a “Republican.” Perhaps Obama was conspiring to make Hagel secretary of defense, have him show how dumb and incompetent he was, and then lead the public to conclude that all Republicans are dumb and incompetent. Brilliant as always!

Want proof? How about Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, arguably the dumbest—I didn’t say most terrible but just dumbest—member of Obama’s cabinet who is a—wait for it—Republican!

Seriously though. Can you imagine the kind of mentality that would put the lives of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers and the national security of the country in the hands of a man like Hagel?

The Implications of Al Gore Joining Al Jazeera

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

What would you call it if a former vice-president of the United States had sold his television network to a fascist or Communist front group at a time when such forces threatened America? Nothing very nice. But now Al Gore has sold out his admittedly obscure channel to al-Jazeera and taken a position on its board. Here’s an interview of myself on this issue.

1.) Is Al Jazeera a news station a former American vice president should want to associate with?

Absolutely not. There are multiple reasons.

First, al-Jazeera was originally run by Arab nationalists but these people were replaced by Islamists about four or so years ago. It is thus a radical media outlet run by people who are anti-American, anti-Christian, antisemitic, and anti-Western. In other words, it is an instrument of extremist revolutionary movements. On a number of occasions it has lent itself to promote and be used by violent terrorist groups.

Second, while al-Jazeera is more open to dissenting views than previous state-controlled media this is misleading. It is more open in English than in Arabic but former staffers in the English-language section have spoken about how it is not a free agent but the news is slanted to please the Qatari government which owns it. (They wanted to moderate the tone but the management objected because the owners wouldn’t like it.) So al-Jazeera is also an instrument of concealed propaganda.

Third, when al-Jazeera does have on dissenting views it tends to follow a formula. On a discussion show there is a radical and a moderate. The host sides with the radical and the callers always seem to be 100 percent radical (this reflects reality but also very possibly a selection by the station staff). The moderate is insulted and threatened. Thus much of the nominal openness is used to create a frenzy of hatred. Incidentally, the former Berlin correspondent spoke up publicly about al-Jazeera’s lack of function as a free media outlet and dishonesty just a few days ago.

But there’s more! Qatar, except for the (possibly soon to be overthrown) Syrian regime, is the most pro-Iran Arab government. It brokered the Fatah-Hamas deal which soon led to the Hamas coup. Far from objecting to the bloody Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip, Qatar supported Hamas to this day. It is also the leading supplier of arms to the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria. On every issue, Qatar has taken a more radical, anti-American positions than all other Arab countries except Syria. It also was a key financier of the overthrow of the Libyan regime. This was in line with US policy but there are deep suspicions that it has its own candidates for Libyan leadership in future more radical than the current regime.

So Gore had every reason to know what he was doing.

2.) Is al-Jazeera is using Gore to gain legitimacy?

Of course. They did this before by setting up their own organization in the United States and hiring some legitimate journalists who ended up resigning in disgust–notably David Marash–when they saw what it was like. Remember that as a station Gore’s property is worthless. No one watches it. The thing is being bought only to gain its access into American homes.

Finally, a speculative point. Who is going to watch al-Jazeera most? Presumably the kind of individual who will find its ideology and indoctrination to be congenial. It will make them hate America, the West, real democracy and Israel even more. As they watch al-Jazeera’s exaggerations and fabrications of anti-Muslim violence as well as its glorification of terrorism, might they be more inclined to engage in violence?

3.) Is al-Jazeera anti-Israeli and anti-American?

Of course. And again, Gore should know this. Therefore his behavior is disgraceful. But consider what it means in this case to say anti-Israel and anti-American. The same might be said of the BBC, for example, but saying that is based on the fact that it is often or usually so. Al-Jazeera is always that way because it has a coherent political line that always must be expressed or the program will not be aired and the reporter will be fired. In other words, the former vice-president of the United States cannot tell the difference between a free media and a state-controlled propaganda organ, or–which is worse–doesn’t care. Incidentally, there are even Arab television options to al-Jazeera. If he had sold to al-Arabiya for example it would have been much more acceptable since it is more moderate.

Al Gore Gives Al Jazeera 40 Million US Homes, Taking $100 Million

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Al Gore, former politician, “founder” of the Internet, and Global Warming Guru has just traded entree into 40 million U.S. homes for $100 million from the Qatari-Royal-Family-Owned Arab media conglomerate Al Jazeera.  The operation will be called Al JazeeraAmerica.

The deal has left many questioning its kosher bona fides.

Perhaps the most traif aspect of the sale was the press release issued by Gore and his parter, Joel Hyatt, the co-founders of Current TV.  They wrote: “We are proud and pleased that Al Jazeera, the award-winning international news organization, has bought Current TV.” But the rest of the release bordered on self-parody, given that two multimillionaires were selling their ownership to a royal family which controls its citizens, and whose estimated worth is in the range of many $ billions.

Gore and his partner claimed they were selling their ownership to an entity that shares their views. Glenn Beck disclosed on Friday, January 4, that he reached out to Gore in an effort to acquire Current TV, but was rejected by Gore who said he wanted to “wanted to sell Current to someone ‘aligned’ with his values.”

The release by Gore and his partner described their efforts at Current Media as having been driven by a few central goals:

To give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling. Al Jazeera, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us.

The idea that Current TV, which was created by, and peopled by and for the progressive left is “a voice that is not typically heard,” is patently absurd.  The mainstream media in the United States is almost entirely by and for the “progressive left.”

But perhaps the claim that either Gore and Hyatt, or the Qatari royal family, will be speaking “truth to power” begs the question: who is “power” if not someone like Al Gore, a member of the metaphorical American Democratic Party’s royal family, or the Qatari Emirate and his family, who actually are royalty?

And then, of course, the stable of talent at Current TV ranged from left to further left, with “stars” like disgraced former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm – whose speech at the Democratic National Convention was so “animated” it set the twitter world aflame – and liberal lightening rod and former MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann.

Gore and Hyatt may have been correct when they said they were selling to a like-minded outlet; but it is much harder to make the claim that the views represented on Current TV and Al Jazeera are either diverse or independent.

It should be noted that one former American reporter who worked at Al Jazeera said he left the network in 2008 because of “cultural issues.”  Dave Marash, who had worked at Nightline, left al Jazeera in part because he said he sensed an ‘anti-American’ bias there.

And then there’s the outcry that such a public supporter of increased taxes on the rich as Al Gore closed the deal just before the end of the year, which means that Gore’s tidy profit will not be subject to the  new tax increases those other “millionaires and billionaires” will have to pay.

But what is really inciting hysteria by critics of the deal is that a non-free non-Western media outlet will be pouring out its version of what constitutes news to a largely unsuspecting American public.  The reason this is so objectionable is that Al-Jazeera, unlike other state-owned media outlets such as the BBC, FRANCE 24, and Voice of America, does not reveal the state-ownership and censorship by Qatar.

As Elliot Abrams of the Council on Foreign Relations put it: “The answer is not censorship, but candor; if al-Jazeera were called Voice of Qatar, and clearly labeled as that nation’s international broadcaster, the situation would be clear to its viewers.”

While Gore and Hyatt have made out handsomely, Al Jazeera’s immediate payoff will not be financial.  In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, Current TV had been struggling with low ratings for quite some time.

Al-Jazeera Acquires Al Gore’s Current TV

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

The Arab news network Al-Jazeera has acquired former US Vice President Al Gore’s Current TV.

Gore and partner Joel Hyatt announced the sale on Wednesday.

The statement issued by the pair said Al-Jazeera and Current TV share common goals “To give voice to those who are not typically heard, to speak truth to power, to provide independent and diverse points of view, and to tell the stories that no one else is telling.”

Widow Confirms Arafat Pre-Planned ‘Al-Aqsa Intifada’

Monday, December 31st, 2012

In an interview on Dubai Television on December 16, Yassir Arafat’s widow, Suha Arafat, confirmed what so many who have imbibed the Arab Palestinian narrative refuse to believe: the “al Aqsa Intifada” was not a spontaneous uprising ignited by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s walk on the Temple Mount on September 28, 2000.

The outbreak of violence that claimed the lives of more than 3000 Arabs and 1000 Israelis, was a calculated decision by Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.  Arafat responded to U.S. President Clinton’s efforts to forge peace between Arabs and Israelis at Camp David with his calculated plan to unleash brutal, organized mass killings and destruction because he viewed a positive response to those efforts  to be a betrayal of the Arab Palestinian cause.

Suha Arafat told the Dubai interviewer:

Yasser Arafat had made a decision to launch the intifada.  Immediately after the failure of the Camp David [negotiations], I met him in Paris upon his return, in July, 2001 [sic]. Camp David has failed, and he said to me: “You should remain in Paris.” I asked him why, and he said: Because I am going to start an Intifada. They want me to betray the Palestinian cause.  They want me to give up on our principles, and I will not do so.

The fact that the uprising had nothing to do with Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount was admitted by  Arab Palestinian leadership as early as 2001.  Marwan Bharghouti, the head of the Tanzim Arab Palestinian terrorist group admitted, “whoever thinks that this started as a result of Sharon’s despicable visit to Al Aksa [mosque on the Temple Mount] is in error.  It was planned since Arafat’s return from Camp David [where he] firmly stood up to Clinton and rejected the U.S. terms.”

Despite the admission by many Arab leaders and those with knowledge over the course of more than a dozen years that the 2000 uprising was planned as early as July, 2000 and was not the result of incitement by Ariel Sharon, most major news sources still endorse the blatantly false narrative.  For example, the BBC  provides its audience with this description of how the al-Aqsa Intifada began:

Ariel Sharon, then the leader of Israel’s opposition, paid a visit to the site in East Jerusalem known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, and to Jews as Temple Mount, which houses the al-Aqsa mosque – and frustration boiled over into violence.

Not surprisingly, al Jazeera also explains the outbreak of the 2000 Arab Palestinian uprising as resulting from Sharon’s visit, as does the Middle East organization, Adalah, “the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.” For some organizations ostensibly dedicated to truth telling and legal rights, a false truth, no matter how many times it has been exposed, no matter how long it has been exposed, and no matter by whom it has been exposed, if it fits the false Arab Palestinian narrative of victimization at the hands of Israel, it will continue to be told.

 

Supporting Hamas, Al-Jazeera Looking to Pin Arafat’s Murder on the PA

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Even as Mahmoud Abbas’ minions were extracting the bones of Yasser Arafat from his grave, the Palestinian Authority upgraded its status at the United Nations to “Palestine” and was accepted as a non-member observer state by the UN General Assembly. The timing of the request for recognition by the UN and the grisly exhumation of the PA’s “president” were part of the contest between Hamas and the PLO for Palestinian leadership. The contest was won by Hamas.

There are Palestinians who claim that the Palestinian Authority, which was unceremoniously expelled by Hamas from the Gaza Strip in 2007, rules the West Bank only from nine to five — the day shift; the night shift is run by Israeli intelligence. Otherwise, they say, the Palestinian Authority would long since have collapsed.

For quite some time the leadership of the new Islamic world — the one that grew like a weed after the Arab Spring — has been of the opinion that the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas are no longer relevant and should depart.

Before and during Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas received the support of the Emir of Qatar and was visited by senior officials from Turkey and Tunisia. Hamas received backing from Egypt and became the target of pilgrimages from Arab League representatives as well as a panoply of Islamic luminaries, who were all, like Shakespeare’s Brutus, “honorable men.”

They all gave Hamas a wind at its back, and, at the expense of the Palestinian Authority, supported it as the “victor” in the battle against Israel, despite the fact that Israel had just defeated Hamas in Operation Pillar of Defense — a retaliation by Israel for weeks of being bombarded by missiles and rockets from Gaza.

Meanwhile Al-Jazeera TV, owned by the Emir of Qatar, broadcasts that it suspects that the Palestinian Authority was involved in a plot to poison Arafat. Al-Jazeera TV in Arabic also accuses Israel of poisoning him, but hints that the deed itself was actually done by someone on the inside, one of Arafat’s loyal followers or bodyguards. That is why the Palestinian Authority gravediggers dug up Arafat’s bones with such serious, frozen faces. The skeleton in the closet is the Palestinian Authority, because Al-Jazeera wants to destroy the Palestinian Authority’s reputation by accusing its senior figures of complicity in Arafat’s death, and forcing an investigation into his “poisoning.” Al Jazeera’s objective is to bury the Palestinian Authority, such that gaining UN recognition for “Palestine” is the last act the PA will ever perform.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

King Abdullah in Trouble with Jordan’s Palestinians

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Last week, protests broke out in Jordan after a government decision to raise fuel prices. While protests have been taking place in Jordan for almost two years now, for the first time there is major involvement from Jordan’s Palestinians, with open calls for toppling the regime. With the future of Jordan’s King Abdullah in jeopardy, so is regional stability as well as Jordan’s peace with Israel. Pro-Western forces have critical options to consider.

The protesters, last week, started openly to call for the king to step down. The Independent noted that previously the protests had been “peaceful and rarely targeted King Abdullah II himself,” and reported that this time crowds “chanted slogans against the king and threw stones at riot police as they protested in several cities.”

Al Jazeera, as well, reported that protests have been taking place “across the width and the length of the country,” with “most chanting for toppling the regime.” Several of the king’s photographs – regularly displayed in public places in Jordan – were set on fire.

What came as a surprise in the recent protests, according to Al Jazeera, is that Palestinian refugee camps have been also participating to the fullest. These protests apparently broke out in the Al-Hussein refugee camp, close to Jordan’s capital, Amman. Protesters were seen calling for toppling the regime.

In another protest, Al-Hussein refugee camp protesters chanted: “Our god, may you take away our oppressor. Our country Jordan has existed before the Arab Revolution,” referring to the revolt against the Turks by which Jordan’s king’s great grandfather established the Hashemite kingdom.. Al-Hussein refugee camp protesters eventually marched into lively Douar Firas area near central Amman, where they were attacked by the fearsome Jordanian gendarmerie.

The gendarmerie officers were even harsher in the Al-Baqaa refugee camp, Jordan’s largest, where protests broke out for the first time, and slogans targeted the king with demands that he step down. Protesters reportedly burned tires, blocking the highway which borders the camp and connects Amman to Northern Jordan.

The Jordanian news website Ammon published a video showing an al-Baqaa refugee camp leader calling for “calm” within camps in Jordan, while admitting that the refugee camp’s leaders, usually favored by the regime over the Palestinian public, were not able to form a public committee to reach out to protesting youths. The Palestinian-dominated Jabal Al-Nuzha camp has also been the site of regular protests, with demonstrators also calling for toppling the king.

Other Palestinian-dominated areas are witnessing first-time protests as well, including Al-Ashrafiah, the Hiteen refugee camp and the broader East Amman.

It is not the Palestinians alone who are protesting against the king. “East Bankers” in Northern Jordan had generally kept away from the protest movements until last week, when the residents of Irbid, the biggest city in Northern Jordan, started calling for toppling the regime.

Other major protests have been taking place in several parts of the country. Tensions ran high in the southern city of Kerak, an East Banker-dominated city. A known opposition leader in Kerak, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he was expecting serious escalation from the regime, and alleged that Jordanian police were cracking down on protesters and arresting their leaders. His claim was consistent with footage that appeared on YouTube, exhibiting parts of the unrest. He also claimed that southern Jordanians “have made up their minds, they will not tolerate the king any longer …it is too late for him to make any reforms.”

The Muslim Brotherhood too organized a protest, in the city of Rusifay, east of Amman. Their demonstration, critical of Abdullah’s Prime Minister, Al-Nosuor, but with no criticism of the king or calls for toppling his regime, simply demanded that fuel prices be reduced.

On November 18, the popular Jordanian news website, Al-Sawt, published an article entitled: “Will the Muslim Brotherhood get the price for its realism and positivity during the fuel-prices protest?” In the article, editor in chief, Tarek Dilawani (also a seasoned journalist for the Jordanian daily, Ad-Dustor), claims that the Jordanian regime had “an arrangement with the Muslim Brotherhood not to surf the tide of the protests, and to keep their demands fixed on peaceful reform of the regime.”

Nonetheless, the supposed arrangement between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Hashemite regime has not worked. It has not stopped protests by either Palestinians or East Bankers. As The Independent recently wrote: “The protesters…were led by activists that included the secular Hirak Shebabi youth movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, and various nationalist and left-wing groups.” It is therefore possible that the Muslim Brotherhood is only a part of the opposition, and not “the opposition.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/king-abdullah-in-trouble-with-jordans-palestinians/2012/11/26/

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