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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.

Only a Strong, United and Consolidated Israel Will Survive the Coming War against the Sunnis

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Every Israeli would say that the alliance between Hamas and Iranis strong and firm, based on the shared world-view between Palestinian Islamic zealots who are Sunni, and Iranian Islamist zealots, who are Shi’ite. Iran has even stronger affiliations with other organizations like Islamic Jihad and the Committees of Popular Resistance, than with Hamas. The anti-Israeli, anti-American and anti-West interest, that Iran shares with these organizations has allowed the world and Israeli politicians to place Iran, Hamas and the rest of the terror organizations into a single framework of Islamic terror.

But matters are not so simple. The conflict between the Sunnis and the Shi’ites, which began approximately 1350 years ago, continues in full strength and severity, and is expressed gruesomely today in the civil war that is currently grinding Syria into dust. The Shi’ite coalition of Iran, Iraq, Hizb’Allah and the Syrian regime is conducting an all-out war against the Sunni coalition of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, which supports the rebels against Asad, most of whom are Sunni, with all of its strength and means. The number of fatalities in the massacre, which has reached almost 50,000 men, women and children, as well as the Iranian involvement in the genocide in Syria, raises a question regarding the Islamic legality of collaboration between Shi’ite Iran and Palestinian organizations, which are Sunni.

A short historical background: The Muslim Arabs conquered Persia in the middle of the seventh century CE and imposed Islam on the Persian nation. In 1501, sociological and political turmoil brought a group of descendants of a sheikh by the name of Safi al-Din to power over the Persian population, and they forced Persia to adopt Shi’ite Islam. Even today, the Sunnis are angry that the Persians adopted Shi’a, because many Sunni Muslims, mainly the Saudi Hanbalis, see Shi’a as a type of heresy.

From the moment the Hamas movement began to depend on the money, weapons and political support of Iran, the question arose as to whether it is permissible for a Sunni to accept help from a Shi’ite, specifically from those who were Sunni until 500 years ago, and have switched affiliation.

Muhammad Asaad Bayud al-Tamimi, an Islamist from a family that is identified with radical Islam inSamaria, published an article this month on the subject, which was “adopted” by hundreds of internet sites. The title of the article: “A Covenant with the Safavid Shi’ites (Iran) is forbidden by Islam, and if someone engages in such a pact, he forfeits his status as a Muslim.” The title makes clear his position that collaborating withIran excludes a Muslim from Islam as if he had become a heretic and converted to another religion.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that many do not agree with al-Tamimi’s approach. They take the logical approach that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and thus Sunnis may join hands with Shi’ite Iran in order to fight their common enemies.

It is also important to note that currently there are trends to bring Sunnis and Shi’ites closer together. The most eloquent spokesman for political Sunni Islam, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has called in the past for finding ways to bridge the differences between Sunna and Shi’a which were expressed in al-Tamimi’s article.

Ultimately, each organization decides for itself regarding this matter, and this decision may change over time: when Syria was an orderly state, there was no important reason for the leaders of Hamas to give up the support of Iran, but since the civil war broke out and the slaughter of Sunni citizens began as a result of demonstrations that began in March 2011, collaboration with Iran has become fairly problematic for Hamas. In his article, Tamimi calls on the last Palestinians who are still collaborating with Iran to leave it, and we must wait to see if this call falls on listening ears or will remain a solitary call in the desert. It depends on the desire of other states like Qatar,Saudi Arabia,Egypt or Turkey to support Palestinian organizations with weapons, money and political support.

Is this an impossible scenario? If the Marmara was possible then the possibility of similar developments in the future cannot be discounted. In the Middle East, several scenarios that seemed totally delusional two years ago are being played out today in front of our eyes. Slogans that politicians disseminate might become actual reality: if the Damascus regime falls, the image of Iran will become that of a loser; from under the carpet will come all of those sectarian anti-Shi’ite snakes that al-Tamimi fosters, the Sunni bloc will be encouraged and Israel – as we know – is not the favorite of Mursi, Erdogan and Sheikh Hamed of Qatar.

Since Israel announced that it plans to build in the area of E-1 between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim, a chorus of protest has arisen, led by Turkish President Abdullah Gül, who announced that “Israel is playing with fire.” Without getting too deeply into the Turkish announcement, nothing good can come from this, because this is Turkey’s way of encouraging Hamas, the ideological ally of the Islamic party that rules in Turkey, to do in Judea and Samaria what it has already done in the Gaza Strip since July of 2007: establish armed and aggressive Islamic emirates. Anyone who thinks or speaks about an Israeli withdrawal in Judea and Samaria must take into account that any area that Israel vacates might turn into a terror swamp, like Gaza. Can anyone promise it will not happen?

In facing a cohesive Sunni front, Israel must appear strong, united and consolidated behind its leadership which knows well that only those who are strong and invincible enjoy peace and stability in the Middle East.  In the arid, forsaken and violent area that we live in, if you beg for peace you get a kick in the behind and thrown out of the arena. Here, only he who is ready for war wins peace, and that peace will survive only as long as he presents a credible threat to anyone who dares to conspire to attack him. The Middle East is no place for bleeding hearts, rather it is for those of strong spirit, imbued with a sense of security and faith in the justice of their cause.

Al-Tamimi is an enemy who is not willing to give up his ideology for interests, no matter how important. The question for us is how much we stick to our ideology, and how ready we are to surrender it for other interests.

Originally published at Middle East and Terrorism

Next Secretary of State Kerry Was ‘Shocked’ by Gaza

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

According to ABC News, President Obama has decided to nominate Sen. John Kerry to be his next secretary of state, replacing Hillary Clinton.

The news will not be announced in the next few days for a variety of reasons, including the conclusion of the nomination process, and other, more pressing cabinet decisions. Also, the White House will want to wait until the national reaction to the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School subsides.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is recovering from an illness and a concussion she suffered when she fainted because of that illness, will retire from office in the next few weeks.

Massachusetts Senator and former presidential candidate John Kerry spoke at the Democratic convention about President Obama’s relationship with Israel, saying he “promised always to stand with Israel, to tighten sanctions on Iran – and take nothing off the table.” He also cited PM Netanyahu’s praise for American policy regarding Israel, adding his now famous zinger: “When it comes to Israel, I’ll take the word of Israel’s prime minister over Mitt Romney any day.”

But according to WikiLeaks (as spotted by breitbart.com), on a February, 2010 trip to the Middle East, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry told Qatari leaders that the Golan Heights should be returned to Syria, that a Palestinian capital should be established in East Jerusalem as part of the Arab-Israeli peace process, and that he was “shocked” by what he saw on a visit to Gaza.

WikiLeaks revealed that Kerry discussed the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” in a visit to Qatar during separate meetings with Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani and the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa.

Now, here’s a bit of un-prophecy (The opposite of prophecy? Complete misreading of the map by someone who should know better?): During that 2010 get-together, the emir told Kerry to focus on Syria as the… path toward resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

And listen to this: Kerry agreed with the emir that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a man who wants change.

OK, he also pointed Assad’s arming of Hezbollah and interference in Lebanese politics, saying those were unhelpful. But Kerry said that Assad “needs to make a bolder move and take risks” for peace, and that he should be “more statesman-like.”

Kerry also agreed with the emir that the Golan Heights should be given back to Syria at some point. “The Chairman added that Netanyahu also needs to compromise and work the return of the Golan Heights into a formula for peace,” the diplomatic cable reported.

Yes, let’s take advice on our fate from this man. Remember, the bloodshed in Syria began about one year after that call for reliance on Assad for Middle East peace.

In a separate meeting the day before with the prime minister, Kerry resisted the Qatari leader’s assertion that Hamas was ready to accept the existence of the State of Israel, but he agreed that urgent action was needed to rebuild Gaza.

According to the leaked diplomatic cable, the prime minister told Kerry, “We need to broker a quick reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah and move forward quickly on rebuilding Gaza… Senator Kerry asserted that HBJ [Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani] was preaching to the converted and told the PM he was ‘shocked by what I saw in Gaza.’”

In other words, our next Secretary of State was in favor of the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation which is happening right before our eyes – “You’re preaching to the converted,” he told the Qatari leader.

Anyone here wishing we’d have said yes to Susan Rice?

Snapshots From a Country at War with a Terrorist Regime

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Barely two weeks after our country and the terrorist regime in Gaza reached an understanding to bring the round-the-clock rocket firings at Israel’s civilian communities to a temporary halt, there are some things we have learned that we want to share.

First, the Hamas clique that dominates Gaza is today welcoming back into its bosom several more convicted murderers.

Former prisoners deported to Qatar in Gaza for Hamas celebrations Ma’an [Palestinian news agency based in Bethlehem] Published 05/12/2012

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – A number of former Palestinian prisoners who were deported to Qatar as part of the prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel have arrived in Gaza City to mark Hamas’ 25th anniversary. Sabir Abu Karsh, chief of the Waed prisoners association, told reporters that six former prisoners arrived in Gaza to join celebrations of Hamas’ anniversary “and the triumph the Gaza Strip achieved against Israel in the last military offensive Israel launched against the coastal enclave.” Gaza-based former prisoner and senior Hamas’ leader Tawfiq Abu Naim greeted the returning former prisoners in a news conference held by Waed prisoners’ association… Abdul-Hakim Hanani, a former prisoner who arrived from Qatar, said the “future stage will be based on the principle hit for hit, and blood for blood.”

From our records, this Hanani (a native of Nablus, whose name appears as Abd al-Hakim Abd al-Aziz abd Hanaini in the walk-free list) is identified as prisoner number 273 in the long and ugly database of 1,027 murderers and assorted terrorists released in October 2011 as Israel’s price for the return of the young hostage, Gilad Shalit. Hanani/Hanaini was serving a life sentence for (of course) homicide. Life in Qatar can’t be too difficult for people like him, but Gaza is where he really fits right in. And having an abundance of convicted murderers present for their silver anniversary will help the Hamas overlords set just the right celebratory tone.

Remember how we wrote yesterday about the ever-faster Syrian descent into hell ["4-Dec-12: Thinking about what Syria has become and what can be done"]? There’s a piquant side to this in Times of Israel, capturing a moment in which the Israel side, whose diplomatic representatives have not been having the most of pleasant of weeks in the forums of the United Nations, was able to smile and even cause some of the rest of us to do the same.

“Frankly, Syria, we don’t give a damn”

Times of Israel By Raphael Ahren, December 4, 2012, 11:45 pm On November 29-30, the International Anti-Corruption Academy hosted 350 state officials and international organization representatives for an assembly in Vienna. Israel is a founding member of the UN-affiliated organization and Hebrew University law professor Mordechai Kremnitzer, who holds no official position with the Israeli government, was elected last week to the board of governors for three years — all of this to the evident chagrin of the delegate from the Syrian Arab Republic. “The representative of Syria requested that his reservation on Israel be included in this report… We don’t like the idea that an Israeli is a member of the board.” [Ambassador Aviv Shir, speaking for Israel referred to the Syrian delegation's pompous remarks and then stated what every last one of us would have wanted to say:] “On the background of what’s going in Syria, we really don’t care about the Syrian recognition.” “They usually want to get into this debate, where they can say we don’t accept Israel, the occupier, and the poor Palestinians, etcetera. So he was a bit embarrassed because he was not expecting such an answer. He just shrunk in his chair.” [More]

It would be nice to think the barbarity being executed daily in today’s Syria would make moments like the one in Vienna unnecessary. How Syria’s official representatives can summon up the brazenness to walk into the room, let alone complain about an Israeli being there, is a puzzle.

It has to be said that a considerable part of the current tension in the air relates to decisions taken by Israel’s government in the wake of last week’s UN General Assembly decision to give the Palestinian Arabs in Ramallah (not those in Gaza, but it’s a distinction little understood outside our region) an upgrade. The result has been some odd diplomatic steps taken by states that we had hoped would show more understanding. Since that is not happening much, it’s good to see and hear some articulate voices speaking out for non-politically-correct viewpoint, like this one.

Did Israeli settlements in the West Bank kill the two-state solution?Spectator | Douglas Murray 3 December 2012When did the dream of a two-state solution die? When it became clear that there are already two Palestinian states – the Hamas-run Gaza and the Palestinian Authority-governed West Bank? Or when the extremists of Hamas fired thousands of missiles into Israeli cities? Or last week when the ‘moderates’ of Fatah once again refused Israeli offers to go to the negotiating table and instead moved to circumvent their only negotiating partner via a diplomatic coup at the UN? No, in the eyes of portions of the UK government as well as the international community, the two-state solution is threatened not by these consistent, physically and diplomatically violent moves; but by everybody’s favourite subject: Israeli settlement building….the blockage to peace is not Israeli settlement-building, unhelpful though that undoubtedly is. The bar to peace remains, as it always has been – as it was at Oslo, Camp David and over all the decades before and since – an unwillingness on the part of the Palestinians to accept the existence of the Jewish state and an almost completely ignored Palestinian insistence that the final-status Palestinian state should be completely and wholly free of Jews. [More]

Finally, a gem of an analysis from the ascerbic Sultan Knish blog – a rather biting explanation for those who need one – of where the real danger in this fraught, on-edge region is coming from.

Iran: Emir of Qatar Worked for Israel, Betrayed Hamas

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Iran’s Fars news agency is alleging that emir of Qatar, King Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani helped Israel kill Hamas terror leaders by placing tracking devices throughout the region.

According to Fars, Sheikh Hamad distributed several watches and ballpoint pens among Hamas leaders when he visited the area in October, and that those items contained transmitters which emit signals to Israeli satellites.

Qatar Strengthening Hamas in Gaza

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

The U.S. Administration has sought to downplay the significance of this week’s visit to the Gaza Strip by the Emir of Qatar, Hamad al-Thani.

“We have seen the reports that Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa visits Gaza today on a humanitarian mission,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. “We share Qatar’s deep concern for the welfare of the Palestinian people, including those residing in Gaza.”

Many Palestinians, especially the Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria -ed.], do not share the U.S. Administration’s position regarding the emir’s visit.

Palestinian Authority leaders do not see the visit as a “humanitarian mission,” but as an attempt to strengthen Hamas.

In fact, the high-profile visit of the emir and his wife to the Gaza Strip was anything but a “humanitarian mission.”

This was a visit that has political and economic implications, not only for the Palestinians, but for the entire region as well.

True, the emir promised to invest $400 million in various projects in the Gaza Strip. It remains to be seen if the Qatari ruler will fulfill his promise.

The timing of the visit raises many questions and sheds light as to the emir’s true motives.

Qatar has always been supportive not only of Hamas, but Muslim Brotherhood and many jihadi organizations.

If Qatar really had “deep concern for the welfare of the Palestinian people,” where was the emir during the past seven years?

As the emir himself pointed out during the visit, it was the so-called Arab Spring — which has seen the rise of Islamists to power in a number of Arab countries over the past two years – that paved the way for his visit to the Gaza Strip.

“Were it not for the Egyptian revolution and President Mohamed Morsi,” the emir said, “the visit would not have taken place.”

The emir came to the Gaza Strip to offer not only financial aid to Hamas, but also moral and political backing. The visit, the first of its kind by a head of state to the Gaza Strip since Hamas seized control over the area in 2007, was aimed at helping the Islamist movement break the state of isolation in which it has been since then.

The emir did not come to the Gaza Strip to try to persuade Hamas to abandon terror and recognize Israel’s right to exist. Nor did he come to the Gaza Strip to tell Hamas to endorse democracy and stop its oppressive measures against Palestinians, particularly women.

The emir’s visit is a huge diplomatic victory for Hamas and a severe blow to moderate Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian leaders in the West Bank were quick to express deep disappointment with the emir’s visit, rightly arguing that it would only enhance Hamas’s standing and empower the radical camp among the Palestinians.

The emir’s visit also means that the Gaza Strip has become a separate Palestinian entity that has no link to the West Bank’s Palestinian Authority, and which is capable of conducting its running its own economy and foreign policy.

The visit has actually solidified the split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, turning Abbas’s effort to establish an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines into a fantasy; if he tried to establish a Palestinian state on the West Bank alone, would be accused of “abandoning” the dream of creating a full, united, Palestinian state, and of dividing Palestine into two states.

Finally, the emir’s visit to the Gaza Strip also serves Qatar’s wish of becoming a major player in the region as well as in the Israeli-Arab conflict. Syria, Iran and Egypt, countries which once used to have enormous influence over Hamas, have been pushed aside by Qatar’s ruler and his promise of big checks.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Hamas PM: Qatar Emir Visit Breaks Gaza Siege

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that Qatar’s emir’s Tuesday’s visit to the Gaza Strip was helping to lift Israel’s blockade, the Ma’an news agency reports.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani was the first head of state to enter Gaza since Hams took over, back in 1999.

Analysts see the visit as an attempt by the emir to use his leverage with Western capitals to help rehabilitate Hamas in Western eyes, and move them into mainstream politics.

The tiny Gulf emirate, whose native population is only about the same size as that of the Gaza Strip, hosts one of the biggest US bases in the region. At the same time, it was a major supporter of Islamist groups during the “Arab Spring.” Qatar owns the Al Jazeera television network.

“You are today, by this visit, declaring the breaking of the unjust blockade,” Haniyeh told the Qatari leader in a speech at the site of a new town to be built with Gulf money.

“Today we declare victory against the blockade through this historic visit,” he said. “We say thank you, Emir, thank you Qatar for this noble Arab stance … Hail to the blood of martyrs which brought us to this moment.”

Embarking on what was a state visit in all but name, Sheikh al-Thani and his wife Sheikha Mozah crossed from Egypt at the head of a large delegation, to be greeted by Haniyeh and an honor guard.

Thousands of Palestinians lined his route, waving Palestinian and Qatari flags as the convoy with the sheikh in a black Mercedes limousine bumped along the rutted main highway that Qatar has promised to rebuild.

Qatar has called the visit a humanitarian gesture, to inaugurate reconstruction projects financed by the emirate. After initially earmarking $250 million for the schemes, a smiling Haniyeh announced the fund now stood at $400 million.

Haniyeh said the emir had agreed to fund additional projects and to increase funding of existing plans.

Qatar will build a $25 million city for released prisoners, and has increased its funding for another new city in the Gaza Strip by $15 million, he said.

The Gaza premier said Qatar had also agreed to grant $8 million to build a youth rehabilitation center and to donate an extra $13 million to a hospital so patients could be treated in Gaza rather than traveling abroad.

Israel said it was “astounding” that Qatar, a US-allied Gulf state whose oil and gas permit it to punch way above its diplomatic weight, would take sides in the Palestinian dispute and endorse Hamas, branded as terrorists in the West.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the emir, who has met Israeli leaders but not visited the Palestinian Authority of Abbas and his secular Fatah movement in the West Bank, had “never dignified the PA with a visit”.

“No one understands why he would fund an organization which has become notorious with committing suicide bombings and firing rockets on civilians. By hugging Hamas, the Emir of Qatar is really someone who has thrown peace under the bus,” Palmor said.

The Gaza Strip is all but cut off from the world, under blockade by Israel and Egypt by land and sea.

Sheikh Hamad has sought to mediate between Hamas and Fatah in the past, to end the divisions but analysts say there is for now no prospect of reconciliation between the two factions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-pm-qatar-emir-visit-breaks-gaza-siege/2012/10/24/

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