Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Middle East Media Sampler 7/24/2012: Duck! You're On Egyptian Candid Camera

From DG:

1) Candid Egyptian Camera

number of bloggers have written about the MEMRI video of Egyptian actors appearing on a TV show under the pretext that it's an interview with a German TV station. Then it slips that it is really an Israeli TV show and the subjects fly into rages over the deception. In the end each one is told that it was all a joke and the hosts and producers are all good Egyptians and Muslims and all is well.

Elder of Ziyon offers an interesting contrast.

I was struck by this exchange between the first actor and the hostess. In his rage the actor, a beefy middle aged man, decked the hostess, a slight young woman. (Unsurprisingly, she did not appear to be amused by his reaction.)
You brought it upon yourself. Why did you fall so quickly?

Iman Mubarak: You hit me so hard.

Ayman Kandeel: It was just one slap.

Iman Mubarak: You see what can happen to the interviewer?

Amr ‘Alaa: People, let’s have a round of applause for Iman.

Ayman Kandeel [to Iman Mubarak]: After the show, come to my car with me. I’ll put some lotion on your back.

Iman Mubarak: I don’t want anything.
I assume that the first line here is from Ayman Kandeel, the actor. But it's pretty incredible that he comes on to her so blatantly, though given what we know of abuse of women in Egypt it's not all that surprising. (Though the offer of the massage wasn't an attack, it shows a lack of regard for the hostess as a person.)

2) Syria by the sea

Two weeks ago Jonathan Spyer wrote in an extensive overview, The Sovereignty of Violence of the civil war in Syria:
In Idleb, the army controls the main highways, but the troops now rarely venture too far away from the main road. In the open areas and in the villages, armed men wait to strike at cumbersome, unsuspecting patrols. 
It is a cruel, ugly and brutal conflict. Assad, aware that the walls are closing in, is employing his sectarian thugs in what looks like a systematic attempt to clear out non-Alawis from the Latakia Governate in the north-west. He appears to be creating a stronghold of Alawi population, which will form a safe zone and baseline for his side in the sectarian civil war now under way in Syria. 
His forces routinely butcher civilians. Whole families in Taftanaz, in Idleb Province. Children in Houla. These are only the examples that the news media or researchers managed to reach. This is a regime steeped in blood.
Yesterday, Lee Smith offered a similar assessment:
As Tony Badran, a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has documented, the regime seems to be waging a campaign of sectarian cleansing in order to carve out a rump state along the Mediterranean coast, reflecting the geographical contours of the traditional Alawite heartland, with its capital in Latakia. The regime has lost the -hinterland and may be on the verge of losing Damascus, but it is still counting on survival. If Assad can’t have all of Syria, then he and his Russian and Iranian backers will console themselves with an Alawite state on the Mediterranean. The Obama administration should ensure that this doesn’t come to pass.
In related news ... following up on a report that Michael Ledeen noted last week, Michael Rubin asks Where in the World is Qasim Suleimani?
Perhaps the IRGC doth protest too much. Suleimani, who during the past three years or so has built up quite a personality cult in the press despite being the head of a shadowy organization, has yet to be seen in public since the explosion, either in Syria or Iran. Should Suleimani, the mastermind of so many suicide bombs and terrorist attacks, perished in one himself, it is hard not to see an element of divine justice at play.
Suleimani's death is, by no means, confirmed. But his absence gives credence to the earlier reports that he was in the room that was bombed.

3) The Washington Post vs. Rogge the rogue

An editorial in the Washington Post, The IOC’s missed chance to honor Munich victims, takes the IOC's Jacques Rogge to task:
The Munich massacre was not just an Israeli tragedy; it was an Olympic tragedy and a world tragedy. Forty years after the awful event, the fallen athletes deserve to be remembered at Friday’s opening ceremony, in front of 80,000 spectators and an estimated 4 billion TV viewers worldwide. Mr. Rogge’s priorities do no credit to the Olympic movement.
Though the New York Times has reported on this travesty, its editors have not (yet) seen fit to criticize Avery Brundage's despicable heir.

4) Libels, libels everywhere nor any drop of truth

In Lies like Water, David Weinberg publicizes a recent study:
In an exceptional study published by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Gvirtzman shows that large differences in per-capita consumption of natural water between Jews and Arabs that existed in 1967, when the administration of Judea and Samaria was handed over from Jordan to Israel, has been reduced over the last 40 years and is now negligible. The Palestinian Authority currently consumes 200 million cubic meters (mcm) of water every year, with Israel providing more than 50 mcm of this – which, under the accords, is more than Israel it supposed to provide a full-fledged Palestinian state under a final settlement arrangement! 
Nevertheless, the Palestinian Authority claims that it suffers from water shortages in its towns and villages due to the Israeli occupation and it cites international law in support of its claims. These claims amount to more than 700 million cubic meters of water per year, including rights over the groundwater reservoir of the Mountain Aquifer, the Gaza Strip Coastal Aquifer and the Jordan River. These demands amount to more than 50 percent of the total natural water available between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. 
Gvirtzman refutes these claims and points to the real problem: The PA employs no sustainable development practices when it comes to water usage. It has done nothing to preventing massive leaking in its domestic pipelines, nothing to implement conservative irrigation techniques, and nothing to recycle sewage water for irrigation.
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