Archive for Arab World

Celebrating Diversity in the Arab World


A Palestinian artist who painted an LGBT rainbow on a security wall in the West Bank has angered many within the area, where homosexuality is illegal.

Khaled Jarrar– who, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is now legal in all 50 states, drew the LGBT rainbow on the wall to draw attention to the Israeli “occupation”– was disappointed that his own people decided to abruptly paint over his art on a security barrier.

The painting “ignited angry responses and [Palestinian] activists whitewashed the gflad on Monday night, just a few hours after it was painted,” the Associated Press reports.

Jarrar told the AP that the whitewashing “reflects the absence of tolerance and freedoms in the Palestinian society.”

“People don’t accept different thinking in our society,” he added.

Muhammad al-Amleh, a lawyer, disagreed that Jarrar should have the right to free speech, telling the AP, “It would be shameful to have the flag of gays in our refugee camp.”

Another man named Muhammad, who participated in erasing the painting, said, “We cannot promote gay rights” in the Palestinian-controlled West Bank.

Just to stick the knife in a little deeper:

Israel, which sits on the other side of the fence, has a flourishing LGBT community. Earlier in June, over 100,000 people attended the annual gay pride parade in Tel Aviv.

Who’s the occupier?


Caption Contest!

Okay, Bloodthirstani tribespeople, caption this:

I’ll kick it off: “I’m having a bit of sciatica, so I hope one bow will do for all of you.”

Or how about: “I especially want to thank the Saudi dog catcher for his insights into regional security.”

Or even: “Thanks for coming, fellas, but we’re missing three spoons from the tea set.”

Caroline Glick’s is a little verbose, but on point:

In a clear vote of no-confidence in US President Barack Obama’s leadership, Saudi King Salman led several Arab leaders in blowing off Obama’s Camp David summit this week. The summit was meant to compensate the Sunni Arabs for Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

Salman’s decision is further proof that US-Saudi relations have jumped the tracks. For 70 years the Saudis subcontracted their national security to the US military. Deals were closed with a wink and a nod. That’s all over now.

A world in which Saudi Arabia—the spiritual and financial sponsor of Al Qaeda, the disseminator of virulent Wahhabism, the oppressor of women, the enslaver of minorities, the keeper of the most judenrein land in all the world—a world in which Saudi Arabia is the most honest broker for peace, and perhaps Israel’s only reliable ally… that is one [bleeped]-up world.

As-salamu alaykum, I guess. Which means, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.


Folks Waggin’

That word is my personal dog whistle. Any time I hear someone not named Jedidiah or Jethro use it, I smell BS:

“I continue to believe that a two-state solution is absolutely vital for not only peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but for the long-term security of Israel as a Democratic and Jewish state and I know that a government has been formed that contains some folks who don’t necessarily believe in that premise,” said Obama.

Obama said this as he emerged from a meeting with emirs and sheikhs—sorry, goatherds and camel minders—at Camp David. The emirs and sheikhs stayed away in droves.

But he also said this to cement his imbecility for all time:

The President said the current chance of reaching a peace deal, “seems distant,” and hailed what he called the, “incredible vision and courage,” of the Camp David Accords signed in 1978. He said that, “tough choices resulted in what’s now been a lasting peace between countries that used to be sworn enemies and Israel’s better off for it.

Let’s stipulate that the Camp David accord showed “incredible vision and courage” (even if the level of Salafist infiltration there now would never have happened under Israeli sovereignty). Let’s also stipulate that pulling up stakes from Gaza was a “tough choice”. Israel has ceded land almost three times its own size—23,166 square miles of Sinai, 139 of Gaza—roughly equivalent to the area of West Virginia.

What has it netted in return? From Egypt, a lack of war, if not actual peace. From Gaza, a decade of festering misery—not least for the Gazans. One of these things is not like the other. Obama thinks he’s making one point, but ends up proving the opposite. Israel knows there is neither “lasting peace” nor “long-term security” between itself and the so-called Palestinians, at least not as presently constituted. It has proven that point over and over, proofs written in blood, but Obama’s too stupid to get it.

Which is hardly a surprise.

Maybe hanging out with the inbred lesser cousins of the Arab royal families robbed him of his faculties.

Unless it was something else:


What’s Not to Love?

Arabs love themselves some IDF:

An Arab-language Facebook page posted by an Israeli Arab citizen seeking to paint the IDF in a positive light has surprisingly attracted adoring feedback from youths across the Middle East who have responded with expressions of love and peace.

The page, which was given the title Tzahal bistahal (“the IDF is worth it”), features pro-Israel messages about the country and the army as well as anti-Hamas images.

Yet what is most noteworthy were the numerous photographs sent by young Arabs from Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Morocco wishing to express solidarity and admiration for the Israeli military despite its image as an occupying power.

It’s a nice page. Check it out.


“Good evening. I am a young woman from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia,” one Facebook user is heard saying in a video sent to the site. “I am a member of one of the better-known tribes of the Hijaz, and I am showing you Darajeh Square, a famous landmark in Jeddah. I’d like to send a message of peace and love to Israel and its dear citizens. I know it is surprising that a Saudi Arabian citizen sends a message to the people of Israel, but it is a basic principle of democracy that everyone is free to voice an opinion. I hope the Arabs will be sensible like me and recognize the fact that Israel also has rights to the lands of Palestine.”

From your hijab to Allah’s ears.

PS: Don’t knock occupation if you haven’t tried it:


What if They Held a Mideast Summit…

And nobody came?

The White House was scrambling Monday to put a positive face on an upcoming summit of Persian Gulf states after learning leaders from four of the six invited nations are expected to skip.

While those nations are still sending representatives to the summit being hosted by President Obama later this week at Camp David, the absence of crucial heads of state — notably, Saudi Arabia’s new king — could present an awkward situation for the administration.

Hey, I bet Netanyahu would come. He shows up even when you don’t want him to.

Abdulkhaleq Abdullah, a professor of political science at Emirates University, told the Associated Press Gulf leaders were staying away to signal their displeasure over the nuclear talks.

“I don’t think they have a deep respect, a deep trust for Obama and his promises. There is a fundamental difference between his vision of post-nuclear-deal Iran and their vision,” he said. “They think Iran is a destabilizing force and will remain so, probably even more, if the sanctions are lifted. … They’re just not seeing things eye to eye.”

It’s not that Sunni/Shia thing, is it? You people have got to get over that.

Personally, I think Obama dodged a bullet (metaphorically speaking—no hate speech here!). Who would want to hang out with a bunch of scrofulous old goats (no offense) from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman for an hour, much less a weekend?

And which dog would he serve for dinner?

Comments (1)

Breaking News From 1973

Good luck this time, Arabs.

No, seriously:

Army commanders of Arab states have gathered in Cairo to discuss the formation of a joint force to be used to intervene in regional crises and combat terrorism.

Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby opened Wednesday’s meeting by saying that the force is not meant to be an “army against any country” but a “partnership” among Arab nations.

The creation of such a force has been a longtime goal that has eluded Arab nations in the 65 years since they signed a rarely used joint defense pact.

Well, they used it once, anyway.


War of Words Escalates

We’ve shared plenty of news of Obama’s jihad against Israel with you—we haven’t seen that many bombs tossed at the Zionist entity since the last war with Hezbollah.

But more than a few are coming back this way:

“… The Obama administration realizes quite well that the war on ISIS as it is currently being waged has destructive sectarian repercussions, which if not dealt with will blow up in everyone’s face. But has this administration…done a thing to correct how this war is being conducted?…Certainly not! This administration has acted, and continues to act, contrary to the fears that it itself has expressed.

Obama has gone further than that: together with Russia, he has given Iran a free hand in Syria to support the Syrian regime and crush the local opposition. Thus, the American president’s opportunism is very clearly exposed.

It is wrong [for us] to remain silent in light of a policy that is dragging the region into more destructive religious wars just because Mr. Obama aspires to reach an agreement with the Iranians…”

Strong words. Strong Arabic words:

[I]n recent weeks dozens of articles in the Arab press, and particularly in the Saudi press, have harshly criticized the Obama administration’s policy in the region – especially its Iran policy, which they term “destructive”, “idiotic”, “dangerous” and “narrow-minded.”

“Why does Obama consider it necessary to reach such an agreement? Because the president’s objective is to tie the Iranians’ hands for 10-15 years, in hopes that by then, Iran will have a new leadership, and will become a different country – perhaps a democratic country with less of a desire for nuclear weapons. Obama seems to be basing his policy on this risky issue on hope, not on political considerations; thus, he is gambling with the future of the region…

“At the same time, the Arab countries must deal with the other aspect of the American position, which is no less idiotic and dangerous. This aspect is reflected in Obama’s response to events in the region – [a response] based on a nearly absolute belief that the danger currently threatening the world is Sunni extremism and the terrorism emanating from it, and that the only option for stabilization is through cooperation with Iran.

The choir of voices is swelling. I don’t think the Mormon Tabernacle can hold it.

It is inconceivable that there will be a nuclear Iran in the region while the rest of the countries of the region stand by. The response to the existence of an Iranian bomb will undoubtedly be an Arab nuclear bomb.

“[A]ll the relevant countries in the region must consider every possible option in responding to this absurd American move that can release the [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini genie – which will bring to the region nothing but destruction and civil war.”

Here’s another one:

“…The Americans should know that their reputation in the region… is poor and that those whom they consider their friends [among the Arab countries], and who are indeed [their friends], have grown tired of them, of their policy, and of their behavior, and repeatedly say – if not loudly then with a whisper – ‘Allah save us from our friends; our enemies we can handle ourselves.’

“Barack Obama is acting strangely.

One might say stupidly, but I don’t think so. In the Obama narrative, there may be no hero—but there is a villain, and we’re it. We are white, Western, imperial, Christian, and successful. Not one of those can be forgiven, consequences be damned. This will end in catastrophe.


Must-See TV

Democrats may boycott the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech before Congress, but there’ll be another demographic bloc who will be all eyes and ears:

Arab governments have been privately expressing their concern to Washington about the emerging terms of a potential nuclear deal with Iran, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing Arab and U.S. officials involved in the deliberations.

According to the report, the direction of American diplomacy with Tehran has added fuel to fears in some Arab states of a nuclear-arms race in the region, as well as reviving talk about possibly extending a U.S. nuclear umbrella to Middle East allies to counter any Iranian threat.

The major Sunni states, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, have said that a final agreement could allow Shiite-dominated Iran, their regional rival, to keep the technologies needed to produce nuclear weapons, according to these officials, while removing many of the sanctions that have crippled its economy in recent years.

Arab officials said a deal would likely drive Saudi Arabia, for one, to try to quickly match Iran’s nuclear capabilities, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“At this stage, we prefer a collapse of the diplomatic process to a bad deal,” an Arab official who has discussed Iran with the Obama administration and Saudi Arabia in recent weeks told the newspaper.

Arab governments have steered clear of aligning their statements with Israel, but share many of that country’s fears, U.S. and Arab diplomats said.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has been perhaps the most vocal critic of the deal with Iran, said last week that Israel knows the details of the planned nuclear deal with Iran and warned that it is a bad one.

“I think this is a bad agreement that is dangerous for the state of Israel, and not just for it,” said Netanyahu, adding, “If anyone thinks otherwise what is there to hide here?”

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki later questioned whether Netanyahu indeed knows “more than the negotiators” about the talks, saying “there is no deal yet.”

Many years ago, Mrs. BTL and I were in discussions with our school system about the proper education of the heirs to the Bloodthirstani throne. We were at loggerheads. The school psychologist asked, with pain and exasperation, “Why don’t you trust us?” The sirens and flashing lights that followed were not from a school fire drill, but from the BS alert system hardwired into our brains. The question was either irrelevant or it answered itself. Either we had a disagreement over the facts of the case—in which case trust did not apply—or the facts were not in dispute—in which case something else explained the disagreement.

But mostly it was the manipulative nature of the question that so pi**ed us off. It’s not about you, we answered.

It’s the same tone I hear from Jen Space Cadet. She implies that we should trust the regime. But it’s not about the regime, or not just. It’s about the Islamic Republic of Iran that has compared the “Zionist entity” to a “filthy microbe” and has sworn to wipe it off the map. Israel is not a disinterested party in these negotiations.

And who is Jen Psaki that we should trust?

Psaki began her career in 2001 with the re-election campaigns of Iowa Democrats Tom Harkin and Tom Vilsack. Psaki then became deputy press secretary for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. From 2005 to 2006, Psaki served as communications director to U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley and regional press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.[7]

Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Barack Obama, Psaki served as traveling press secretary.[7] After Obama won the election, Psaki followed Obama to the White House as Deputy Press Secretary and was promoted to Deputy Communications Director on December 19, 2009.[8][9] On September 22, 2011, Psaki left that position to become senior vice president and managing director at the Washington, D.C. office of public relations firm Global Strategy Group.[10][11]

In 2012, Psaki returned to political communications as press secretary for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.[12] On February 11, 2013, Psaki became spokesperson for the United States Department of State.[12]

She’s a Democrat political flack—which is fine; she’s obviously successful. But when one’s very existence hangs in the balance, as Israel’s does, does she inspire trust? She—and trust—are irrelevant.

Oh yeah, what about her second in command, Marie “Jobs for Jihadis” Harf?

Harf began her career at the Directorate of Intelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency as an analyst focusing on Middle Eastern leadership issues. She later became the media spokesperson of the CIA.[3]

During the 2012 presidential election, Harf helped craft President Obama’s national security and communications strategy, and also served as campaign spokeswoman on national security issues.[2][3]

In June 2013, Harf was appointed Deputy Spokesperson for the US State Department, where she currently serves as deputy under Jen Psaki.[2][3]

Better: she at least earned a job in the field of her expertise. But she too exists largely as a mouthpiece for others. And I seriously doubt her former colleagues at the CIA who have studied ISIS and its ideology agree that all we need to do to defeat it is find them positions as stock clerks at Walmart. At least I pray not.

Why don’t we trust you? The question answers itself.

Comments (2)

Brother, Can You Spare a Dinar?

Not as gratifying as a newspaper calling President Obama an “assclown” (see post below), but still a heartwarming story:

UN political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman told the Security Council that donors who had promised $5.4 billion to the Palestinians at the Cairo conference four months ago “have yet to fulfill the vast majority of their pledges,” according to AFP.

“This is, quite frankly, unacceptable, and cannot continue if we hope to avoid another escalation in Gaza,” Feltman told the 15-member council during a meeting on the Middle East.

In a sign of growing impatience with pace of reconstruction efforts, dozens of protesters forced their way into a UN office in Gaza on January 28, after the world body announced it was suspending an aid program to support home repairs and refugee shelter assistance.

Feltman described the situation in Gaza as “increasingly worrisome” and cited the slow pace of reconstruction along with security and governance problems as creating “an increasingly toxic environment.”

“This approach is neither sufficient nor sustainable,” he warned.

I can’t be sure which I’m enjoying more: suffering in Hamasstan, or the UN’s pique. Both, I guess! You can have your cake, and eat it too.

PS: Plus, of course, Arab betrayal. My cup runneth over.


Palestine Is Not a Nation, But It’s in the Midst of a Civil War Anyway

Who needs statehood when you can just get on with the internecine killing?

Despite having formed a unity agreement last April torpedoing peace talks, Hamas and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction seem to be slowly sliding into open warfare in Gaza, as an attempted assassination on a Fatah official on Monday caps off incessant back and forth car bombings.

Mamoon Sweidan, the Fatah official who serves in the Gaza office on foreign relations, told the Palestinian Arab Ma’an News Agency that on Monday two masked gunmen in a Subaru conducted a drive-by shooting, targeting him as he was getting into his car outside the al-Saadi building in Gaza City where he lives.

The official said two of his guards exchanged fire with the would-be assassins, and that both guards were wounded.

The assassination attempt is just the latest in a recent string of attacks that risk pushing Hamas and Fatah back into outright warfare; the two have been enemies since Hamas ousted Fatah by force in 2005, seizing control of Gaza, and the lukewarm unity deal has done little of substance to lessen that enmity.

On Sunday unidentified attackers set the car of Fatah official Abed al-Munim Ramadan Tahrawi on fire in the Nuseirat “refugee camp” before fleeing the scene.

That arson came just hours after the car of a senior Hamas official in the interior ministry of the terrorist organization’s government was likewise set on fire in Jabaliyah in northern Gaza earlier on Sunday.

Just over a week ago, the car of Hamas official Sheikh Sami Hams was bombed in Nuseirat.

The spate of back and forth car bombings was in full swing in January as well, with the car of Fatah official Adil Udeid set on fire in front of his Gaza home, and Fatah leader Ahmad Alwan’s car blown up in Gaza City.

Just prior to that the car of Administrative and Financial Manager of the Hamas-run military police, Helmi Khalaf, was blown up in Gaza City.

Did you know any of that? We follow this crap, and we didn’t. These are the so-called Palestinians, and these are the lovable underdogs so championed by world leaders.

Well, not all world leaders:


Like ISIS, maybe? Arab leaders don’t like existential threats from terrorists who threaten to wipe them off the map? Can’t imagine why.

Carry on, Hamass; carry on, Fatah. Car bombs and drive-bys may be an odd way of life, but who are we to judge?


Arab Spring a Big, Stinking Pile of Failure

Fifty million refugees can’t be wrong!

The two “ghost ships” discovered sailing towards the Italian coast last week with hundreds of migrants – but no crew – on board are just the latest symptom of what experts consider to be the world’s largest wave of mass-migration since the end of the second world war.

Wars in Syria, Libya and Iraq, severe repression in Eritrea, and spiralling instability across much of the Arab world have all contributed to the displacement of around 16.7 million refugees worldwide.

A further 33.3 million people are “internally displaced” within their own war-torn countries, forcing many of those originally from the Middle East to cross the lesser evil of the Mediterranean in increasingly dangerous ways, all in the distant hope of a better life in Europe.

“These numbers are unprecedented,” said Leonard Doyle, spokesman for the International Organisation for Migration. “In terms of refugees and migrants, nothing has been seen like this since world war two, and even then [the flow of migration] was in the opposite direction.”

If I read his point correctly, the “displaced persons” to whom he refers are those Jews who survived a nearly-global effort at their extermination. But let’s not dwell on that now.

“We know people who died – they used to live with us,” said Qassim, a Syrian refugee in Egypt who now wants to reach Europe. “But we will try again to cross the sea because there’s no life for us Syrians here.”

In Egypt, up to 300,000 refugees from the Syrian war were initially welcomed with open arms. But after Cairo’s sudden regime change in summer 2013, the atmosphere turned drastically, leading to rampant xenophobia against Syrians and increased arrests and detentions of those who, for understandable reasons, did not carry the correct residency paperwork.

The situation is even worse in Jordan and in Lebanon, which now houses more than 1 million Syrian refugees – more than a fifth of the country’s total population.

Those cheerleaders out there who told us that the so-called Arab Spring was the dawning of democracy…what have you to say for yourselves? Like everyone else, I looked at those young attractive Arabs in Tahriri Square—but I also looked at the dark hordes massing behind them. I couldn’t have imagined it being this bad, but I knew it wasn’t going to be good.

We in the West may be shallow and fatuous, but we can survive simple-minded liberal pieties (if only just). Egypt can’t. They went from strongman (Mubarak) to strongman (al-Sisi) with just a spot of bother (Morsi and the MoBros) in between. And they should count themselves lucky.

Don’t get me wrong: General al-Sisi is not my ideal leader. But he may be Egypt’s.

Indeed, he may be the ideal leader for the entire Arab World:

Many have called for a reformation of Islam, but for the leader of the largest Arab nation to do so has world-changing implications.

Here are the key parts as translated on Raymond Ibrahim’s blog:

I am referring here to the religious clerics. We have to think hard about what we are facing—and I have, in fact, addressed this topic a couple of times before. It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!

That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world!

Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.

All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.

I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.

“Boo-yah!” as the late Stuart Scott would say. “Ain’t that a kick in the head,” as Mark Steyn would quote Sammy Cahn. But you need to be a strongman—preferably a general—to say it.

I wish our metrosexual-in-chief had.

PS: I would not be truthful if I did not credit the one success of the Arab Spring: its source, Tunisia:

Tunisia is rightly hailed as the lone success story of the Arab Spring: the only country that has threaded a path from the uprisings of 2011 to genuine multiparty democracy today. Yet the future of freedom in Tunisia is far from assured. With the election of a new parliament and president in recent weeks, the most important experiment in Arab democracy is entering a difficult and potentially perilous new phase — one in which greater U.S. support and attention are urgently needed.


Man in the Arab Street

Let’s walk among the common people, shall we, and see what our Arab brethren think. And I use “think” in its broadest possible sense:

Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, the imam of a gay-friendly mosque in Paris, said: “I believe that it was Allah who created homosexuals… Allah does not speak against homosexuality in the Quran.”

Wow! How enlightened!

Who else?

In a statement posted on the Internet on December 18, 2014, Jordanian preacher Sheik Yassin Al-‘Ajlouni said that the Jews should be given a place of worship on the Temple Mount.

I call upon the Islamic world and upon the Hashemite sovereign to allocate for the peaceful among the Jewish Israelites a house of prayer within Beit Al-Maqdis.

Beit Al-Maqdis is the place sanctified by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, as well as by Jesus son of Mary and by the Muslims. There should be a special place of worship for the Jews among the Israelites under Hashemite and Palestinian sovereignty, and in agreement with the Israeli regime.

I might quibble a bit—Israel should have complete control of the Temple Mount, and allow free access to pious Muslims to their holy site—but even I have to admit this is a refreshing change from the typical “apes and pigs” rhetoric.

Which, we must admit, is never far from the surface:

In a recent Hamas TV children’s show, a young boy recites a song titled “I Do Not Fear the Gun”

Abd Al-Rahim Al-Zarad: I do not fear the gun. I do not fear the gun.

You are all nothing but herds of deluded idiots.

Jerusalem is my land, Jerusalem is my honor, Jerusalem is my life and my dew-covered dreams.

Oh you slayers of Allah’s pious prophets, you who have been raised on the shedding of blood – humiliation and suffering have been decreed upon you.

Oh sons of Zion, oh the most evil of creatures, oh barbaric apes, Jerusalem rejects you and vomits your filth.

Oh impure ones, Jerusalem is like a pious virgin.

Oh filthy ones, Jerusalem is pure and clean.

I do not dread barbarism, as long as I have my holy book and my city in my heart, as long as my arms [can throw] stones, and as long as I am free and do not sell out the cause.

I will not dread your masses and will never fear the gun. I will never fear the gun.

Let’s not leave it there. How about something a little happier:

In an Al-Arabiya TV interview, Egyptian playwright Ali Salem said that Hamas and ISIS, and not Israel, were Egypt’s enemy.

Amen to that, brother.


« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »