Thursday, September 29, 2011

Those horrible Israelis

Prof. Abukhalil writes about:

"Zionist perversions

"Bilal Tamimi (many of the village residents are part of the extended Tamimi family) said that soldiers often come to arrest villagers – including children – at night, a practice documented by B'Tselem, Defence for Children International - Palestine and other NGOs. But he said that, earlier this year, the army also came at night to photograph and record the identity details of children. He described what happened in his family:
"They came at 12.10am, and woke me up. They asked me how many children I have. They looked at my ID papers [where the children are listed] and asked me to wake up the two older ones, who are above 10 years. I said, they are sleeping. The soldiers said, wake them anyway. "They wrote down the numbers and took pictures of the boys. Then they said they could go back to sleep.""

It is indeed pretty scary and a damn nuisance to have your home invaded during the night by a bunch of soldiers and be compelled to disturb your kids' sleep at their pleasure.

Try searching the Professor's website for any mention of the way Palestinians invade and interrupt Jewish children's sleep and you will draw one big empty silence.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The wacky Arab corner

This incontinent post:

"Don't you like it when Ethan Bronner and Isabel Kershner co-write a story together dealing with Israel?

I mean to have their two names is so redundant given their obsessions with Israel propaganda interests. This is like asking Himmler and Goring to both defend the Nazi cause. "

should be enough to tell you everything you need to know about prof. Abukhalil's scholarship, knowledge, intelligence, decency and thinking.

Is he for real?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What is Turkishness?

tries to make his voice heard over the Erdogan's din and rumpus:

"If we are looking for a national cause, we could hardly find one that is truer and more urgently in need of a solution. After all, the cause is about who defines what constitutes “national.” This cause is about our future. This cause is related to whether Turkey will emerge with a new social contract through a period marked by a clash of values and whether it will be able to move ahead without being physically fragmented.

Will Turkey succeed in advancing its secular democracy and spread it to the masses while repairing its democratic roof? Or, in the end, will it be a country that is neither secular nor democratic? Personal rights and liberties, the rule of law, the freedom of faith, the liberty of expression, press freedoms and pluralism...

[-] ... if you happen to be looking at Gaza through the prism of the “Sunni Islamic Ummah,” then it is natural for you to see a “national cause” or even the subject of a “jihad” here.

In that case, it is also natural for your foreign enemy number one to be none other than Israel.

Your despotic and anti-democratic political culture would also easily allow you to see as the “enemy within” those who criticize you for the true meaning of your perspective on Gaza. In other words, those people represent for you “the advocates of the archenemy Israel,” “those who fill the vacuum left behind by Israel’s ambassador.” That is how a vital debate that needs to be conducted within the framework of fairness and mutual respect for our democracy’s future gets drowned by means of such fascistic style. It is also because you look at your own citizens through the prism of the Sunni Islamic Ummah that you see “sectarian solidarity” behind dissident and contradictory views over Syria that require democratic tolerance. Those who are not of your own sect, on the other hand, or those whom you do not count from among the ummah are also equal citizens of this country whose rights are constitutionally ensured.

[-] “Nine martyrs”... Agreed.

But I would also remind you of our armed citizens who roam the mountains of this country wearing a different uniform than that of the state and martyr more than nine people every week, as well as the cause of our citizens wearing official uniforms who kill just as many of these citizens of ours as a “requisite for being a state.” And that a certain section of our society sees those killed by the state as “martyrs”.

I also believe that far greater causes could befall upon this country as you consume this nation’s energies and resources on causes that are, in fact, nonexistent, without solving this real cause through this country’s prism."


The state or condition of being pusillanimous; timidity; cowardliness.

Bret Stephens pointedly asks:

"What is Israel's predicament? It is this: It is surrounded on nearly all sides by enemies who are aggressively committed to its destruction. And too many people who call themselves its friends are only ambivalently committed to its security."

This reminded me of Sartre's acidic wisdom about Jews and antisemites:

“The cause of the Jews would be half won if only their friends brought to their defense a little of the passion and the perseverance their enemies use to bring them down.”

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Arab Democracy

Professor AbuKhalil teaches political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley. He is a citizen of the US and one of the first principles he is entrusted, by the university, to teach his students is the meaning and practice of democracy, law and order. Prof. AbuKhalil, however, has a very different concept of democracy to the one the founding fathers had in mind when they declared America a union based on democracy.

Here is he is trying to satirize Israel as a state that distorts the meaning of democracy:

"Israeli definition of an Arab democracy is this: An Arab democracy is a political system that hosts an Israeli embassy and protects it.

PS The US supports this definition."

Mind you, this is meant to be a satirical formulation of the idea of democracy. That is, a perversion of correct and proper definition of what democracy is and should be. What is it like? It is as if I were to mock a teacher for believing that he is supposed to teach his students the values of decency and honesty. Not so, such mockery would imply. A teacher is supposed to teach his students how to lie, cheat and steal.

What do you think AA's definition of democracy is?

Try this, and this, and this.

AA's definition of an Arab democracy goes like this: An Arab democracy is a political system whose law enforcement agency stands by and does not lift a finger when the embassy of a country with whom it has signed a peace treaty, and with whom it has commercial contracts, comes under an attack by an inflamed, unruly mob that demolishes the embassy's fence and invades its premises with the intent of lynching the six embassy personnel that remain in the building.

An Arab democracy is a political system that does not provide security, prosperity, economic growth and a better future for its citizens. An Arab democracy is a political system whose one and only concern is the destruction of a neighbouring country and the massacring of its terrorist people.

And I wouldn't give this a second thought if I didn't know that AbuKhalil channels the sentiments and aspirations of the Arab Street democrats.


Egyptian Revolution and Sexual Liberation

Via: Camera:

"As a CNN crew filmed the embassy from across the street, another crew from American public television -- led by Egyptian television producer Dina Amer -- approached the building. The crew's Russian cameraman was preparing to film the embassy when a woman in the crowd began hurling insults at the TV team, Amer said.

"There was this older lady who decided to follow me and rally people against me," Amer recalled. "She said 'you're a spy working with the Americans.' Then they swarmed me and I was a target." A growing crowd surrounded Amer and her colleagues, as they tried to leave the scene.

Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, a producer working for CNN, rushed to help escort Amer through the angry crowd. But suddenly the two reporters were pinned against the railing of an overpass by young men who were accusing Amer of being an Israeli spy.

Yelling "I'm Egyptian," Fahmy managed to pull Amer another 10 meters down the road, until the pressure from the mob overwhelmed the pair.

Amer screamed as she and Fahmy were knocked to the ground and the crowd started to trample them. Other CNN journalists tried to reach in to help, but were pushed back by a wall of angry men. Fahmy lay on top of Amer, shielding her with his body.

"I was thinking, how powerless I was because there was no police to save us," Fahmy said. "I was worried that they were going to rape her."

Remember Lara Logan?

"A network source told The Post that her attackers were screaming, "Jew! Jew!" during the assault. And the day before, Logan had told that Egyptian soldiers hassling her and her crew had accused them of "being Israeli spies." Logan is not Jewish.

In Friday's attack, she was separated from her colleagues and attacked for between 20 to 30 minutes, The Wall Street Journal said...."

Maybe two events are not enough to suggest a pattern, and a suppressed motive. What do you think?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Storming the Bastille - Egyptian style

This is what Egyptian democracy looks like.

The window into the "Arab Street" mindset calls it ''the foreign policy goals of the Arab spring".

Let me remind you that some intellectual "pundits" thought Israel's muted reluctance to join in the general celebration of "Tahrir Revolution" was a "disgrace" to the Jewish state.

One wonders if, by the same token, German Jews exhibited an absence of proper patriotic-democratic solidarity when Hitler rose to power and restored the trampled post-WWI German honour to its former glory.


Update: Here is Bibi Netanyahu's address to Israel about these events:

"We will continue to keep the peace with Egypt. This is in the common interest of both countries. We will work toward preventing a further deterioration in our relationship with Turkey. We did not choose this sequence of events. To the extent that the matter depends upon us, we shall act to lower tensions and do everything possible to restore relations."

Update II: If you thought this lynch mob was comprised of the Muslim Brethren and their supporters only, Abukhalil, (you know, the professor who teaches students about democracy and such at the respectable University of California) has "news" for you:

I want to mention that many intellectuals and leftist activists also participated in the attack on the Israeli occupation embassy. Famed Egyptian director, Khalid Yusuf, participated in attacking the wall outside the embassy with a hammer. "

Who is Khalid Yusuf, or Khalid Youssef as he is known at wikipedia?
He is known to fight "against the values he believes are holding Egyptian society back." In view of his participation in a lynching mob hell-bent on tearing to pieces any of the Israeli personnel they could lay their hands on, one might well wonder what values does Youssef fights for? Chaotic recklessness? Lawlessness? Violence? Revengism? Mass murder? Breaking international treaties? Bad faith?

I see absolutely no reason to disbelieve AbuKhalil. I once linked to Tadros's article in which he said:

"The question, then, is not, how could an Egyptian “liberal” partake in a round of Holocaust revisionism? Rather, it is whether Ahmed Ezz el-Arab and others like him are in fact really liberals. That is, is it possible to be a genuine liberal and an anti-Semite at the same time? Of course not. Egyptian anti-Semitism is the starting point of a political ideology that has dominated the region for more than 60 years ..."

I would say that an "intellectual"
who ominously called for those who opposed the revolution to be "questioned for what they did, whether from show business or any other field" can hardly be rewarded by being referred to as a liberal. If he was calling to punish dissenters for disagreeing with him, how different is he from the oppressive regime he revolted against?

But in abuKhalil's universe he is a l "liberal" in the same way that Arab Democracy is a political system whose law enforcement agency stands by and does not lift a finger when the embassy of a country with whom it has signed a peace treaty, and with whom it has commercial contracts, comes under an attack by an inflamed, unruly mob that demolishes the embassy's fence and invades its premises with the intent of lynching the six embassy personnel that remain in the building.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A lesson in Irony

or, anger makes you stupid.

I. Thomas Friedman begins an article in the times as follows:

"Kishore Mahbubani, a retired Singaporean diplomat, published a provocative essay in The Financial Times on Monday that began like this: “Dictators are falling. Democracies are failing. A curious coincidence? Or is it, perhaps, a sign that something fundamental has changed in the grain of human history. I believe so. How do dictators survive? They tell lies. Muammar Gaddafi was one of the biggest liars of all time. He claimed that his people loved him. He also controlled the flow of information to his people to prevent any alternative narrative taking hold. Then the simple cellphone enabled people to connect. The truth spread widely to drown out all the lies that the colonel broadcast over the airwaves.

“So why are democracies failing at the same time? The simple answer: democracies have also been telling lies.”

That is, he starts by quoting the opening paragraph in an essay written by one, Kishore Mahbubani, a retired Singaporean diplomat.

II. Look how the professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley references this opening:

"Hannah Arendt and Thomas Friedman

There was Hannah Arendt who analyzed tyranny, and then there is Thomas Friedman. Here is his deep, profound analysis of dictatorial rule: "How do dictators survive? They tell lies. Muammar Gaddafi was one of the biggest liars of all time." I was thinking: imagine if you are a teacher and your student wrote this in an undergraduate paper. Would you not inform the student that such analysis is so unsophisticated and so simplistic?"

III. Now imagine you were a teacher and and your student wrote this in a paper. How would you clarify to him that he is a lousy reader, thinker and if possible, even a lousier writer?

III.i: You might ask him to consider what dramatic irony is:

In dramatic irony, someone is doing or saying something without being aware of the ironic clash with reality. The truth, which the reader is in a position to observe with great effort, is the real situation and the appearance is the speaker's assumptions. In this classical type of irony, the writer is being exposed for the Tartuffe that he is, safely ensconced in his thick impenetrable hubris, happily oblivious to reality. The reader reads on, transfixed, and cannot believe the levels of self-deception this writer is capable of.

III.ii: Then you might try to help the poor sod by posing the following the questions:

Is the subject of the article tyranny? If your answer is yes, explain then how the article develops into a discussion of truth and lies in politics.

Why is Hannah Arendt referenced here? In what way is her name and the fact that she wrote about her tyranny enlighten the comment you were trying to make? Or are you just trying to boost your credibility by dropping a few well-known names? Are you comparing her to Friedman? Why?

Whose words are you quoting? Are these the words of Friedman's, or Kishore Mahbubani's, whose essay Friedman is quoting? Do you think it is important to notice who says what, when and why?

What does "unsophisticated and simplistic" mean to you? What does it mean to everyone else? Can you account for the gap in the two meanings?

IV: AbuKhalil is not an undergraduate student. As a PhD at a respectable university, he teaches undergraduate students. In this post, he actually conflates between AbuKhalil the teacher and Angry Arab the blogger. He attempts to criticize Friedman's writing by summoning up a superior kind of methodology: academic criteria. He actually believes this is a good example of how an academic mind evaluates and criticizes a given text. Don't you think this kind of sloppy reading, quoting, thinking and writing is a disgrace to the very academic standards Abukhalil is invoking in this post as the measure against which honest, coherent and legible writing and thinking are to be assessed?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The Sick Man of Europe

The massive Erdogan's tantrum has been building up pressure for a few years now. Anyone who declares himself surprised or caught off-guard cannot have been paying much attention. I have, though. Here are some reminders from past blogposts:

August 26, 2007

"The Turkish government is pressuring Israel in an effort to reverse an American Jewish organization's decision to recognize Turkey's massacre of Armenians during World War I as genocide.

A meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Israel's ambassador to Ankara, Pinhas Avivi, became "shrill," according to Foreign Ministry sources in Jerusalem. Gul expressed Ankara's "anger and disappointment" over the matter.

On Tuesday, the Anti-Defamation League announced that it recognizes the events in which an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were massacred as "genocide."

ADL's national director Abraham Foxman, said he made the decision after discussing the matter with historians and with Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel."

January 29, 2009

Ben Dror Yemini had something to say, sometime ago, about the profoundly hypocritical and crazy audacity of the Turkish PM, here:

"Shameless Erdogan

Even the shameless Turkish leader Erdogan, joined the critics of Israel. Shameless, because it behooves him to keep his mouth shut. His country legislated laws that forbid mentioning the crimes perpetrated against the Armenians. If Israel had adopted the Turkish model, a third of all lecturers in the faculties of social sciences and humanities in Israeli universities would be imprisoned, because in Israel inflating the "Nakba" and other anti-Israel rhetoric actually lead to academic promotions...

Let's remind Erdogan of the tens of thousands of Kurds killed or slaughtered in the campaign to keep them quiet and subdued. Let us remind him of Leyla Zana and the short speech she made when elected to the Turkish Parliament. She didn't support terrorism. She didn't praise the lobbing of rockets from Kurdish to Turkish villages. She didn't call the Kurds "Shahids." Nothing like that. All she did was conclude her short speech with the words: "I take this oath for the brotherhood between the Turkish people and the Kurdish people." Her crime? She had made that "terrible" statement, only that final statement, in Kurdish. According to Turkish law, speaking that language is a crime. She lost her parliamentary immunity and was sentenced to 10 years of incarceration. When she wrote something from inside her jail, a further two years were added to her sentence.

Tell this to the Arab members of the Israeli Knesset. If judged according to your own laws, Mr Erdogan, they would all be rotting in jail. Now you are the object of their admiration. Hypocrisy has always been a quality some of them admire most. Now it's your turn, as well.

The shameless Turk quoted Gilad Atzmon. Who is Atzmon? Some answers, here.

Gilad Atzmon once compared himself (humble guy that he is) to Baruch Spinoza. I thought I might remind people what Spinoza thought of Turks:

“In this the Turks have achieved the greatest measure of success. They hold even discussion of religion to be sinful, and with their mass of dogma they gain such a thorough hold on the individual’s judgment that they leave no room in the mind for the exercise of reason, or even the capacity to doubt.”

I would think they are well-matched, the quoter and the quotee.

January 30, 2009

Mr. Erdogan reiterated that his frustration is with the Israeli government, and not with Jews."

And if you believe that, here is another reminder of how Erdogan's mind works in a similar matter that he finds vexatious:

September 05, 2010

"ANKARA, Turkey -- Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday threatened that some 100,000 illegal immigrants from Armenia might be extradited from his country. "There are around 170,000 Armenians living in our country. Of them, 70,000 are Turkish citizens and the rest are illegal immigrants who have been on Turkish territory for over 10 years. If the situation continues to develop like this, we will have to review our attitude towards them," Erdogan said in an interview with the Turkish service of BBC. The statement came after a US committee and Sweden recently approved resolutions to brand the 1915 killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide."

At this point we may well be in dire need of some comic relief.

So here it is. Prophetic, wasn't it?


Simply Jews has a post and I left a comment

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The Self-Indulgent Corner in the Intellectual Mind

According to
GÖKHAN BACIK at the Turkish daily Zaman:

"Is Israel on the list of losers? This might surprise some, but the answer is no. Despite the fragmentation of its domestic politics, the Netanyahu government has been successful at keeping Israel's profile low during the Arab Spring. Israel has carefully refrained from attaching itself to any authoritarian Arab leader, even to its former ally Mubarak. Yet Israel's critical homework is clearly set: It must work out a way of adapting to the post
Link-Arab Spring Middle East. Its successful completion of this task is germane to the survival of the Jewish state."

According to M.A. Hoare, at Great Surbiton,:

" Our friendship and solidarity should rightfully go to the state and people of Israel, not to the current Israeli government, whose continued settlement-building activity reveals it to be an obstacle to peace unworthy of any solidarity, and which has further disgraced itself by its support for the Mubarak dictatorship earlier this year."

"disgraced itself" ??

Here is what happened:

"Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told ministers of the Jewish state to make no comment on the political cliffhanger in Cairo, to avoid inflaming an already explosive situation. But Israel's President Shimon Peres is not a minister.

"We always have had and still have great respect for President Mubarak," he said on Monday. He then switched to the past tense. "I don't say everything that he did was right, but he did one thing which all of us are thankful to him for: he kept the peace in the Middle East."

Why does the blogger at GS have to formulate his argument in such a sneering manner? Couldn't he make a case for supporting Palestinian statehood without the mandatory demonization of Israel? The vast majority of Israelis, including its PM and President support the idea of two states for two peoples and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to make this happen. It has been declared often enough. So why this attempt to de-legitimize Israel's position through such distortion of Israel's conduct and public expressions? This is the kind of language and distortion I expect from my favourite Arab blogger, not from a truly thoughtful scholar who knows what an evidenced-based, reliable argument is.

To paraphrase Irving Howe's sorrowful acceptance about warm hearts and cold corners: Even the most disciplined mind has a self-indulgent corner for Israel bashing, when it comes to that beleaguered country Israel.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Careful not to find

Prof. AbuKhaliil, the professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley and all that, has been sneering about an Haaretz report of a Lybian opposition figure who made a statement not totally hateful to Israel. He piles on the corrosive contempt for the very idea in two additional posts * and vouchsafes to his credulous readership that it was all a Zionist fabrication. He, Prof. AbuKhalil, went to much trouble googling "him in several languages a few weeks ago, can only be found in Israeli media. I find it really funny how desperate Zionists are." The man, Ali Shibani, is nowhere to be found except in Israeli media.

Well, I have3 done a little googling myself, and from Abukhalil's own formulations looked for key words: "the Libyan opposition" Israel haaretz, and found this, that led me to this article in Haaretz which seems to be the source for Abukhalil's phoney mirth and guess what I found?

It took me all of 60 seconds to find the proper name of the
Lybian opposition figure and to check up on his materiality


"Ahmad Shabani says recognition of Israel by future elected Libyan government is 'very sensitive question. The question is whether Israel will recognize us'.

is not the name the Angry googled and with good cause. As long as he was looking for "Ali Shibani", he could be sure that no such Lybian spokesperson could be found. And it was imperative NOT to find him, or else all those conspiratorial delights about Zionist media manufacturing news would have to be discarded, and we can't have that, can we?

Other sources that seem to suggest that Shabani (sometimes spelled Shebani) exists, alive, kicking and sentient, are:

This, from March 11, 2011:

"EU leaders are set to meet to further discuss the issue on Friday in Brussels. Shabani, the spokesman for the Libyan opposition council, told Al Jazeera that the "legal basis [for an intervention] is clear", and that the UN was ... "


"Ahmad Shabani, a spokesman for the Libyan opposition's national council, told Al Jazeera the opposition was heartened by the move. "We are very happy about that, hopefully it's not late... and hopefully it makes a difference," he said. "

I will say it again, in Hannah Arendt's words:

"the hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness
against himself... only the hypocrite is really rotten to the


* Looks like these two posts no longer exist on AA's blog. I wonder why. (Checked: September 10, 2011)