Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ten Little Muslims is a song sung in an Oslo kindergarten to celebrate Eid.

One and two and three little Muslims,
Four, five and six little Muslims,
Seven and eight and nine little Muslims,
Ten little Muslims.

But hush, there was something whispering
Hush, there was something whispering
See, it was the deceiving Shaytan
Come, let us frighten him away

All children cry: Allahu Akbar!
All children cry: Allahu Akbar!
All children cry: Allahu Akbar!

See, there he's sneaking off.

And there was one and two and three little Muslims,
Four, five and six little Muslims,
Seven and eight and nine little Muslims,
Ten little Muslims.

The story behind this song, here.

Who is the Muslim Satan the kids are singing about?

Here is a partial answer:

"... hard-liners in Iran and elsewhere in the Muslim world have called the United States "
the Great Satan" and Israel "the Lesser Satan."

Here is a more comprehensive attempt:

"The Islamic Satan is different and so is the Jewish one. In Christianity Satan is the Devil. But in Islam Satan can be the Devil (Iblis) or some evil person or a synonym of general evil. In Islam Iblis (Devil) is sometimes used as personification of evil but certainly not always. Islamic Satan is often a synonym of evil. Even today some Muslims call USA the big Satan, would you accuse them for thinking USA is the horned winged “monster”?"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Playing the Antisemitic Card...

I found this blog calling itself "Hitchens Watch" which purports to counter the Hitchens-worshipping bloggers of "Drunk Trotskyites" (no longer operational, I believe. Something happened to it during the heat of August).

As the blog is a "Watch", I thougt it was a serious and thoughtful attempt to provide indeed an antithesis to Hitchens' assertive, eloquent and often persuasive positions. Those who embark on rebutting Hitchens should at the very least exhibit some of the characteristics which make him so readable and controversial, such as brilliance, intelligence, awesome literary and historical knowledge, pithy language, etc. So I was tempted to leave a comment on one of their posts in which it is claimed, with supreme confidence, that pro-Israel advocates routinely use the antisemitic card in order to silence "legitimate criticism of Israel". They even provide a youtube of an interview with Shulamit Aloni, repeating the mantra.

I've written often and much about these false accusations, which in themselves constitute a variety of anti-semitic intimidation. But I made the effort to respond to the post on Hitchens Watch with this comment:

Certainly, to criticize certain policies Israel undertakes is not necessarily antisemitic. It is absolutely correct and even desirable that Israel should be viewed as any other normal country, with its interests and its self-serving policies. Any government that does not take its own citizens' security and well-being as a priority betrays the people who elected it. This does not mean that these interests cannot be discussed or criticized.

The problem arises when Israel is treated as if it were different from any other country. When the expectation is that it should care more about its enemies' comfort levels than it does about the life of its own children. This is when the alarm goes on: what does it mean, when Israel is perceived as a criminal entity, not deserving to enjoy the same human rights that are freely and generously allowed to Palestinians? What do you call this singling out of Israel from any other country on earth? If it is not rooted in antisemitism, what is it rooted in?

People who call for Israel to put aside the security of its own men women and children, what do they mean? What is their ultimate goal? What is their final vision for Israel? Does anyone care to enlighten me?

You can see from the development of the "conversation" that it was extremely difficult to get any coherent or even relevant answers to my questions. Mostly it is some sort of pretend-autism from some of the blog's participants. However, finally, one poster managed to come up with an answer to the main query:

"People who call for Israel to put aside the security of its own men women and children, what do they mean? What is their ultimate goal? What is their final vision for Israel?"

Here it is:

"Just thought I'd chime in... Israel would not have a security issue if it had not appropriated the land ( through terror) that had a majority Palestinian Arab population on it. Furthermore it continues to supress the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people and this is why it's security is still "threatened."Also , mentioning the Holocaust in the context of Palestine is misleading. The Palestinian people had nothing to do with those horrific crimes. Based on what I've read, most Jewish survivors of the Holocaust opted to move to the U.S. and not Israel at the conclusion of WW2(as most indeed did). As for the vision of what should exist: a shared homeland for both people with a majority Palestinian govt reflecting the real demographic make-up of the area's population and a return of property to those Palestinian families who lost theirs during the creation of Israel." (Omar)

In other words, the destruction of the Jewish state, the subjection of its Jewish population to Palestinian (Arab-Muslim) rule and whim, the expulsion of Jewish from their homes, etc etc. The author of this solution does not specify where the expelled Jews are to go. If it sounds familar, it should. A mythic tale of Jewish perfidy, repeated and indoctrinated until it becomes an instinctive, irrefutable truth, and the proposed (natural and normalized) solution for its ending.

And this, gentle reader, is not antisemitism but a "legitimate criticism of Israeli policies".

But there should be no surprise that these are the kinds of ideas promoted by this self-righteous blog, if you understand how the Holocaust is defined by one of its founders:

"I've heard the name, and I expect you are referring to the genocides that took place in Europe during WW2, but I'm not very familiar with the plot. There have been so many holocausts in history, not to mention in fiction, and so many versions of different holocaust tales, that unless you're an enthusiast it's hard to keep up with it all. And being an old fart who got his formative education in the UK in the sixties, the subject never came up in school.

What I do know about the holocaust with a capital "H" is that in many countries you can be put in prison for denying it happened. " (greywolf)

If you are shocked by the callousness of this dismissive "definition" (coming, as it does, from one who pretends to speak for international law and universal human rights) , you might find it less shocking if you notice that greywolf's next comment relies on a quote from the antisemitic blog "Rense".

What is "rense"?

radio program and website,,[2] cover subjects such as 9/11 conspiracy theories,[3] UFO reporting, paranormal phenomena, Holocaust denial,[4] Zionism, tracking of new diseases and possible resultant pandemics, environmental concerns (see chemtrails), animal rights, possible evidence of advanced ancient technology, geopolitical developments and emergent energy technologies, complementary and alternative medicine among other subjects." (Wiki)

Well then, so much for "
"legitimate criticism of Israel" ..

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Their Celebrated Heros:

I. "In opening the congress, Fatah elder statesman and former chief Palestinian peace negotiator Ahmed Qurei announced "We have in our midst the hero Khaled Abu-Usbah."

What was
Abu-Usbah's "heroism"?

"Abu-Usbah's "heroism" derives from a 1978 terrorist attack that killed 37 Israelis. Time magazine (back then able to distinguish terrorists from "militants") described Abu-Usbah's mission: "The terrorists hijacked two buses filled with tourists and sightseers, took them on a wild ride down the road toward Tel Aviv, shooting along the way at everyone in sight, and finally destroyed one bus in an orgy of fire and death."

II. "The Lockerbie bomber received a hero's welcome in Libya last night hours after he was freed from a Scots jail.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was embraced by Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi's son, Saif-alIslam, on the steps of his plane at Tripoli airport as hundreds of supporters cheered.

The crowds waved Saltire flags and placards bearing the bomber's face as a man raised Megrahi's arm in a victory salute. Many also wore T-shirts carrying Megrahi's image. "

What was Megrahi's heroism?

"On 31 January 2001, he was convicted, by a panel of Scottish Judges sitting in a special court at
Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, of 270 counts of murder for his part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on 21 December 1988.[4] Megrahi was sentenced to life imprisonment. " (Wiki)

The New Centrist offers a more comprehensive view.

III. "We want to turn Dalal's funeral into a national wedding, a major celebration," the Fatah official said. "The operation she carried out off the shores of her hometown of Jaffa was heroic and exemplary. She will always be remembered as a symbol for the Palestinian women's struggle."

Who is Dalal Mughrabi? And what was her heroic deed for which she is feted?

"On the morning of March 11, 1978, Mughrabi and her Palestinian Fedayeen unit of eleven members, including one other woman, landed on an Israeli beach, killed an American photographer named Gail Rubin and hijacked a bus along the coastal highway. The Israeli army pursued the bus until it was finally stopped. A long shooting battle between the Palestinians and the soldiers ensued. Eventually, Mughrabi blew up the bus which became a large deathtrap of fire. Most of the passengers were killed, a total of 36 Israelis. Mughrabi and the other attackers died. The attack became known as the Coastal Road Massacre. Israeli military forces launched Operation Litani against PLO bases in Lebanon three days later."

IV. "Upon the arrival of Samir Kuntar, along with four other freed Lebanese prisoners, to Beirut airport, Kuntar was officially received by the Lebanese President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon Nabih Berri, some members of the Parliament of Lebanon, and Muslim and Christian clerics.

A public celebration was organized by Hezbollah in Dahieh (the Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut) where Hassan Nasrallah gave a welcoming speech to Kuntar.

On July 17, 2008, Kuntar paid tribute at the tomb of Imad Mughniyeh. Later that day, a homecoming function was organized in Kuntar's native village of Aabey, southeast of Beirut. The ceremony was addressed by Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt and the Labour Minister and Hezbollah official Mohammad Fneish.[36]

On July 19, 2008, Al Jazeera TV broadcast a program from Lebanon that covered the "welcome-home" festivities for Samir Kuntar. In the program, the head of Al Jazeera's Beirut office, Ghassan bin Jiddo, lavished praise on Kuntar by calling him a "pan-Arab hero" and organized a birthday party for him. "

Who is Samir Kuntar? What was his heroic deed?

"After taking the hostages, Kuntar's group took Danny and Einat down to the beach, where a shootout with Israeli policemen and soldiers erupted. Samir Kuntar shot the father, Danny, at close range in the back, in front of his daughter, and drowned him in the sea to ensure he was dead. Next, he smashed the head of 4 year-old Einat on beach rocks and crushed her skull with the butt of his rifle.[1]

Back in the crawl space, two-year-old Yael Haran was accidentally suffocated to death by her mother's attempts to quiet her whimpering from revealing their hideout, so that they would not be found by Kuntar's group.[2]"


And then there is this:

"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has just appointed Ahmad Vahidi as Iran’s new defense minister. He is one of the Iranians being sought by the Argentine authorities on suspicion of involvement in the 1994 AMIA massacre in Buenos Aires and he is the subject an Interpol Red Notice, for all practical purposes an international arrest warrant."