discarded lies: tuesday, april 24, 2018 7:34 am zst
Keep Calm and Carry On
daily archive: 10/05/2004
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Get down from the roof, you crazies
Yoel Marcus hits the nail on the head: Get down from the roof, you crazies

Now is the time to repeat the immortal words of Israel's former finance minister, Yigal Horowitz, for the benefit of the Palestinians: "Get down from the roof, you crazies!" What is the matter with these people? Why, every time the door opens a crack for some Israeli compromise or concession, do they suddenly have this urge to maim and kill?

Why, after the Oslo Accords, which Israel went through hell and high water to approve, did they unleash a campaign of bloody terror, blowing up buses, shopping malls, cafes, restaurants and markets? Why did they go on an indiscriminate murder spree, butchering citizens of all ages? Why did they launch another wave of terror at the split second that another opportunity arose for a settlement brokered by President Clinton at Camp David? Why is every senior American peacemaker sent here to tie up the loose ends of some deal always greeted by a terror attack that sabotages the mission even before it begins?

None of this is any clearer today. Why, when the patriarch of the settlements decides in his old age to disengage from Gaza - when he makes up his mind to clear out all inhabitants, businesses and military posts, and on top of that, evacuate four West Bank settlements to get the ball rolling - have the Palestinians gone on a rampage? Why are they attacking, ambushing, and wildly shooting Qassam rockets at Sderot? I say Palestinians, and not Hamas, because the Palestinian Authority has more power and say-so than we think. If the PA didn't want Sderot bombarded, it wouldn't be.

What is the point of all this violence in the Gaza Strip? The accepted theory is that Hamas wants to take credit for expelling Israel, which it needs for internal political purposes. But Hamas doesn't need to kill women and children now that the prime minister has decided on his own to pull out of Gaza. Everyone knows Israel is taking the first step because it hasn't been able to eradicate terror by force. Israel withdrew unilaterally and unconditionally from Lebanon for the same reason. So Hamas and the Palestinian Authority can boast just as well about kicking us out of Gaza without starting a new cycle of bloodshed.

(Hat tip: zulubaby)
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Muslim Arrogance
In the Qatari daily Al-Raya, Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, former dean of the Faculty of Shari'a at the University of Qatar, criticized the conspiracy theory in the Arab world that the Jews and the Israeli Mossad were behind the 9/11 attacks. In the article, Al-Ansari wrote that this theory is rooted in Muslim tradition and in the founding scriptures of Islam. Qatari Intellectual on the Islamic Roots of Antisemitism and 9/11 Conspiracy Theories
"The third anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11 has passed, and the Arab world is still asking itself who was behind it. Despite the clear-cut evidence, and the many confessions and investigations ... the Arabs are unwilling to accept that the ones behind the deed were a group from among us - the '19 Exalted Ones,' as they were called last year by the fundamentalists at their London convention.

"The Arabs keep insisting on their innocence and accusing the Mossad of planning the deed with the aim of launching an aggressive war against the Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq... But this tale clashes with the fact that Jews are cowards and do not commit suicide. So the theory was amended, and it was claimed that the Mossad had planned and funded [the operation], and a group from among our innocent young people was deceived and ensnared by the Mossad, and that it was they who carried out [the operation].

"I do not know how long this [Muslim] arrogance will continue. Why don't we want to acknowledge that these young people were the sons of a culture that is hostile toward the world, not idiots or mad. No one enticed them, and they did not suffer from oppression, repression, or poverty. They carried out the operation because of their belief that it was Jihad and martyrdom. They were our young people and our sons, and they were our responsibility."
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The Usual Demands
I would like to know when the Arab Nations will demand an end to the Hamas attacks on Israel. Apparently not today. Instead they'll complain about the "extermination" of Palestinians. No inflammatory rhetoric there, none at all. Arab Nations at UN Demand Israel Stop Gaza Attacks
Arab nations want the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution demanding Israel stop a major offensive in the Gaza Strip, but the United States raised objections at an emergency meeting on Monday.

Algerian U.N. Ambassador Abdalla Baali, the only Arab member of the council, said "taking into account the urgency of the situation" that resulted in at least 63 Palestinian deaths, he would like a vote on Tuesday.

"The Palestinian people are exposed to a virtual war of extermination," Baali, who called the meeting, told the council. "The unfettered use of brutal force is terrifying."

Israel launched the offensive, code-named "Days of Reckoning," after a Palestinian rocket strike killed two children in the southern town of Sderot on Wednesday.

On Monday, Palestinian militants fired rockets into an Israeli border town despite Israel's vow to stop such attacks from the Gaza Strip with the massive military offensive.

Palestinian U.N. observer Nasser al-Kidwa said his leadership condemned the "rudimentary" Qassam rocket attacks by Palestinians and especially the killing of Israeli children.

But he contended Israel over the last week had killed 83 people, including 20 children, wounded more than 350 others and demolished homes, using 2,000 soldiers, 100 tanks and a "massive use of helicopter gunships."

"Israel persists in committing war crimes and acts of state terrorism against the Palestinian people," al-Kidwa said. "There is no justification for this Israeli hysteria, for this widespread killings and deliberate destruction."


Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman told the council the latest attacks from Gaza were part of a long line of terror onslaughts designed to kill as many Israelis as possible, including five people over the last few months.

He said that despite protestations to the contrary, Palestinian leaders took no action to curb Hamas and other groups, who have claimed responsibility for the attacks.

He also attacked again U.N. relief operations, saying Palestinian "terrorists" had used them as a front.

Please note the quotes around the word terrorists. For you, with love, from Al-Reuters.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
What Saudi Kids Are Learning
Teaching Hatred in Saudi Arabia and Egypt: The UN Response
School textbooks are one of the most crucial means by which a nation passes on to the younger generation a certain worldview, determined according to parameters set by the educational establishment. As such they open a window on to what the education system in a specific country wishes to instill in the students’ minds.

Founded in 1998, the CIPM has been researching the school textbooks and teacher guides of Middle Eastern countries since 2000 as a means of deciphering educational attitudes toward peace and toward the "Other" in general. It has issued 11 reports in this key field, in regard to the Palestinian Authority, Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The CIPM survey broadened its perspective to include the Saudi Arabian outlook on Christianity and the West. The report also dealt with Saudi notions of government, women’s status and children’s rights as taught in schools. For the purpose of their research, 93 Saudi textbooks on various subjects for grades 1-10 (6 to 16 year-olds) were examined, mostly from the years 1999-2000, and some from 2001. All books except one were published by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education, the exception being a book issued by the female inspectors of the lower grades of girls’ education in the Riyadh Province.

The Report makes extremely distressing reading. Islam is presented as the only true religion, while all others are presented as false. Islam leads its followers to paradise, whereas all others lead their believers to destruction in hell. Saudi children are taught that they are superior, as Muslims, in both this world and the next. Christians and Jews are explicitly denounced as infidels, and are called the enemies of Islam and Muslims. They should not be befriended, nor emulated in any way, as this is forbidden. The West is the source of evil that has afflicted the Muslim world. Western democracy is totally rejected.

As for the Jews, they are a wicked nation, both in their relations with Arabs and Muslims, and in the context of world history. Their disappearance is, therefore, desirable. Even the fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion still holds an honored place in the curriculum, for Grade 10 (2001), under: Hadith and Islamic Culture (pp. 103-04), with that classic of racial hatred by Abdullah Al-Tall, The Dangers of World Jewry (Arabic), cited as an authoritative work of reference (p. 81, in CMIP Report). Israel is not recognized and a Middle East peaceful solution is not advocated. Rather war, Jihad and martyrdom is exhorted as a religious duty .

A French edition of CMIP’s Report on Saudi Arabian schoolbooks (compiled, translated and edited by Dr. Arnon Groiss) has just been published: La démocratie en danger: l’enseignement scolaire saoudien (Paris: Berg International, 2004) with a preface by Antoine Sfeir, director of the Cahiers de l’Orient and author of Dictionnaire mondiale de l’Islamisme [Paris: Plon, 2002], in which he gives a grave warning:

“At a time when the Islamist terrorist threat to Europe is becoming clearer, it is urgent to fully understand one of its essential components: the Islamic Wahhabite ideology. This ideology, whose principal target is Western civilization – that is to say, democracy and modernity – is known only to a few specialists. It seems to be largely ignored by the media, as it is by the political class.?
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A Jewish City
Noel Malcolm reviews Salonica, City of Ghosts by Mark Mazower
There is a strange symmetry between the modern histories of Greece and Serbia: both are countries which never really knew where they ended. In the 19th and early 20th centuries they kept extending their territories step by step, until, by the last stage of their expansion, they were taking in huge swathes of land where Greeks or Serbs were only a small minority.

In most of the northern territories seized by Greece (from the Ottoman state) in 1912, Greek-speaking villagers were heavily outnumbered by a combination of Slavs, Turks, Albanians and Vlachs. Many years of "Hellenisation" lay ahead - some of it well-intentioned, much of it brutally heavy-handed. Personal names and place-names were changed; local languages were suppressed; non-Greek inscriptions were even chiselled off old gravestones.

To a Greek official or politician contemplating the difficulties of Hellenisation at that time, however, the problems of the countryside would have paled by comparison with those of Salonica, the most important city gained in the war of 1912. For here was a great metropolis in which the absolute majority of the population was neither Greek-speaking nor Orthodox; nor, for that matter, were they Turks, who might now be persuaded to remove themselves to Turkey.

Salonica was in fact a Jewish city, and the Jews had formed the majority there for roughly 400 years. The language they spoke was (more or less) Spanish; after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, thousands had fled to the Ottoman Empire, where they found more tolerant treatment than anywhere in Western Europe. The Sultans had encouraged them to settle in Salonica, to strengthen it as a centre of trade and manufacture. And there they both preserved their customs and language, and developed a kind of symbiotic relationship with the dominant Ottoman culture.

Occasionally that symbiosis could take surprising forms. The most extreme example was the religion of the "Donmes", the followers of a Jewish pseudo-messiah of the late 17th century: these people, who were still a significant element of the city's population in the early 20th century, conformed officially to Islam but combined this with elements of Jewish doctrine and observance.

But you would have a hard job finding any Donmes in Salonica today. Indeed, you could walk for many hours through this city without seeing the slightest trace of its Jewish history. (Here and there you might notice some old stone slabs which, if only you could pull them up and turn them over, would reveal Hebrew grave-inscriptions on the other side.) Yet the obliteration of the Jewish past was due, in the first place, not to official Hellenisation, but to two quite different things: the great fire of 1917, which destroyed the Jewish heart of the city, and Hitler's Final Solution, which eliminated most of the Jewish population.

Compared with these, official Hellenisation was very much a secondary phenomenon. But it too had its effects, not so much on living people as on the evidence they had left behind. Just as minarets and Muslim graveyards were demolished to erase the traces of the Turks, so too the physical witness to Jewish culture was eroded, dismantled or "released" for redevelopment.

Salonica is thus, as Mark Mazower's title puts it, a "city of ghosts": there can be few cities in modern Europe whose present identity is built, so to speak, on such a deep foundation of absence. His fascinating study brings to life many of those absent elements, and helps to explain the processes by which they were removed.

(Hat tip: bigel)
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A watershed moment approaches Wednesday with an expected announcement from the EU head office on whether Turkey is ready to begin negotiating its way into the prosperous 25-country bloc.

Seventy percent of Turks hope it happens, polls say. But in Europe there is great unease about the prospect of a nation that is about 99 percent Muslim and will be the most populous country in the union in about 20 years.

But Turks are also deeply divided as to what it would mean — whether the country's Muslim values will have to be compromised to meet EU norms and requirements.

This is a society where Western values are upheld by army generals, but is led by politicians with roots in the country's Islamic movement who evoke democracy to push for both a ban on adultery and the right of women to wear head scarves in school.

For decades, Turkey has been liberalizing its society with a close eye on meeting EU criteria for membership — a stable democracy, a free-market system, respect for human rights.

The closed economy opened up to Western investment and a free market in the early 1980s, capital punishment during peacetime was abolished and parliament has just overhauled the legal code to outlaw torture and improve human rights standards.

Recent initiatives under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have granted limited cultural rights to minority Kurds and have scaled back the power of the military, whose officers spearheaded the founding of the modern secular Turkish republic in 1923, and has led three coups in the past 50 years.

But Erdogan, who began his political career in the Islamic movement, has been stymied by the secular establishment and especially the military in carrying out pro-Islamic reforms, such as permitting head scarves.

Where Muslims like Akturk see EU membership as an opportunity to rein in secular power, others are wary of European influences.

At a pastry shop, Gurkan Deligoz insisted that Europe's more relaxed sexual attitudes "are unacceptable in Turkey and being in the EU will not change this."

In a recent survey, 60 percent of Turkish youth polled said cultural values would be threatened, though almost the same percentage said they had never met an EU citizen.

But scholars say European values are already helping to reshape Turkish values.

"It is only a matter of time," said Ottoman historian Kemal Karpat of the University of Wisconsin. "The more intimate the association with Europe, the more it will liberalize further."

"There are going to definitely be clashes," said Sanli Gorson, a 29-year-old banker, as he walked down an Istanbul street wearing a blue Minnesota Twins T-shirt. "The EU is going to have to accept some of Turkey's peculiarities. You cannot strip Turkey of its values and impose European standards like it is a machine."

As for the Europeans, they face a dilemma. Admitting Turkey would anchor a major Islamic country to the West at a time when the world badly needs interfaith harmony. The Bush administration staunchly supports Turkish membership, and shutting the door on Turkey could expose it to militant currents from neighboring Iraq and beyond.

While many European leaders give an official blessing to Turkish accession — unable, perhaps, to come up with a convincing excuse to keep it out — they have often worked behind the scenes to block Turkey's bid.

"In the 1960s, the EU accepted the idea of Turkish membership in a fit of absent-mindedness," says Heather Grabbe, deputy director of the Center for European Reform, a London-based think tank. Now, she says, it is being forced to absorb Turkey "grudgingly and with great misgiving."

Many European governments are terrified by the prospect of waves of immigration coming from a poor country with different cultural roots and a history of conflict with Europe. Officials also fret that Turkey's large population will give it inordinate weight in European affairs.

An EU-commissioned survey finds that a third of EU nationals favor Turkish membership, while half oppose it.

Turks Divided on Meaning of EU Membership
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