Sunday, October 09, 2011

Mideast Media Sampler 10/09/2011

From DG:
1) Find the real headlines 
a) Imams stand in solidarity with burned shrine
And yet, during the "tunnel" riots of two weeks ago, there were incidents of murder and sacrilege. One occurred in Nablus, an Arab town under P.L.O. control. There is in Nablus a Jewish religious site, Joseph's Tomb. Under the P.L.O.-Israeli peace accords, it remained a tiny enclave peopled by devout Jews and, for protection, a few Israeli soldiers. On Sept. 26, it was attacked by a Palestinian mob throwing firebombs. Six Israelis were killed. Many prayer books were burned. This is the Middle Eastern equivalent of a mob of whites torching a black church, killing parishioners and burning its holy objects. Yet, while the tunnel received enormous coverage complete with diagrams, the desecration at Joseph's Tomb, if reported at all, merited at most a few sentences. And a similar Palestinian attempt to firebomb Judaism's third holiest shrine, Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem, received in the major American press no mention at all, save one in the New York Times--in a picture caption on page 12!
(From Desecration of Truth by Charles Krauthammer: )
b) Imams stand in solidarity with attacked shrine

Bullets were fired at Rachel's Tomb as soon as the riots began, from the Aida refugee camp between Beit Jala and Bethlehem, and from the roofs of buildings located to the west, south and east. Palestinian Authority security forces, who were responsible for keeping order, not only failed to prevent the violence, they actively participated in it. When the gunfire at soldiers and visitors increased, the Israeli army took to the neighboring roofs. Two Israeli soldiers were killed in the battles, Shahar Vekret and Danny Darai. Darai was murdered by Atef Abayat, a Tanzim operative who headed the main terrorist network in Bethlehem at the time.17 In his book Permission Given, Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman revealed that not only was Abayat not arrested, as Israel demanded from the Palestinian Authority, but Yasser Arafat personally instructed that he be paid. 
( From The Palestinian Authority and the Jewish Holy Sites in the West Bank: Rachel's Tomb as a Test Case by Nadav Shragai)
c) Rabbis stand in solidarity with burned mosque
More than a thousand rabbis from around the world have signed a statement denouncing the burning of an Israeli mosque as police arrested a suspect who is alleged to be a Jewish extremist. “We condemn those in Israel who exacerbate conflict and strife, and who insist that only one people or religion belongs to this land,” said the statement, which organizers say was overwhelmingly signed by U.S. rabbis.
Regarding those who insist "...only one people or religion belongs to this land," Palestinian Media Watch recently observed:
The day after PA Chairman Abbas delivered the Palestinian Authority's request for statehood to the UN, PA TV, which is controlled directly by Abbas' office, broadcast a map that erases Israel and envisions Palestinian sovereignty over all of Israel. The map includes both the PA areas and all of Israel (excluding the Golan Heights) wrapped in the Palestinian flag - a symbol of Palestinian sovereignty over the whole area - and has a key through it, symbolizing ownership.
The key I believe is a symbol of the homes the Palestinians claimed to have left while fleeing the Jews.  What's frustrating about the Rabbis who stand with the mosque is that they don't acknowledge that he is a fringe character in Israeli society. Every major politician spoke out against the arson. The Israeli police investigated and arrested a suspect. He will be tried and if found guilty, will be punished. He will not be celebrated. Contrast that with Mother of 4 terrorist murderers chosen by the PA to launch statehood campaign:
The Palestinian Authority chose the mother of 4 terrorist murderers, one of whom killed seven Israeli civilians and attempted to kill twelve others, as the person to launch their statehood campaign with the UN. In a widely publicized event, the PA had Latifa Abu Hmeid lead the procession to the UN offices in Ramallah and to hand over a letter for the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
Among the Palestinians, even moderate Fatah celebrates terror. 

2) A headline that you wouldn't have seen 30 years ago.
Arab Spring activists from Egypt, Tunisia and Libya observing Poland’s election

3) I get by with a little help from my friends As the end to the American military presence in Iraq is approaching, the United States is embarking on an a "Marshall Plan" for Iraq.
The State Department will take over operations in Iraq from the U.S. military by the end of the year, in its biggest overseas operation since the effort to rebuild Europe after WWII. The Washington Post reports that some 16,000 civilians eventually will work under the American ambassador to Iraq, the scale of which has raised concerns among lawmakers and others.
Iraq is demonstrating its gratitude.
More than six months after the start of the Syrian uprising, Iraq is offering key moral and financial support to the country’s embattled president, undermining a central U.S. policy objective and raising fresh concerns that Iraq is drifting further into the orbit of an American arch rival — Iran. Iraq’s stance has dealt an embarrassing setback to the Obama administration, which has sought to enlist Muslim allies in its campaign to isolate Syrian autocrat Bashar al-Assad. While other Arab states have downgraded ties with Assad, Iraq has moved in the opposite direction, hosting official visits by Syrians, signing pacts to expand business ties and offering political support.
The first article also reported:
U.S. military officials have said Iraq’s security forces are “good enough” to contain violence after the drawdown.
But the Washington Post reports that there will a delay in the pullback of Iraqi troops from cities:
The delay is an acknowledgment that even after four years of declining violence, Iraq’s police force is not capable of maintaining security on its own. The other worry is that violence will increase when American troops complete their own withdrawal from the country at year’s end.
I believed that deposing Saddam Hussein would remove a threat to the Middle East and open the door to a stable pro-Western Iraq. I guess that was overly optimistic.
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