The musician Prince is drawing fire for a new video that portrays an Arab-American girl envisioning herself blowing up an airport.
The video for the song "Cinnamon Girl" shows the girl, played by 14-year-old Oscar nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes of the movie "Whale Rider," facing harassment from schoolmates and witnessing racism in the wake of an attack that mirrors 9/11.
Steve Silberfarb, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota, said he applauds the anti-harassment message, but found a dream sequence in which the girl detonates a bomb at an airport disturbing.
"Even allowing for the right of an artist to express himself, I think it's misguided and offensive," Silberfarb said. "Her frustration is understandable. The violence is not."
Prince turned down an interview request through his Los Angeles-based publicist, Ronnie Lippin. She said his goal was to provoke a discussion about the issues raised in the video. "If people are reacting with concern, I think the conversation is starting," she said.
The London Arabic-language Daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that a headline in the weekly Al-Mustaqbal Al-Jadid , the official organ of the National Party's Policies Committee under the leadership of Gamal Mubarak , read "Proof of Mossad Involvement in the Explosions in Taba."
Dr. Abdallah Al-Ash'al , former assistant to the Egyptian foreign minister and lecturer on international law at Cairo University, was quoted on the internet site www.islamonline.net: "All of the signs indicate that Israeli hands were [behind the attacks]. The area is close to Israel, and Israel was the first to warn its citizens not to go to Sinai…"
General Fuad Allam , former deputy head of the Egyptian state security service , said to Nahdat Misr : "None of the suspects in these bombings – whether Egypt, Palestine, or Al-Qa'ida – have anything to gain [from carrying out the bombings], except for Israel. All of the evidence points to the conclusion that the Israeli Mossad is the first and last to gain from this operation.
"Some of us call these people 'conspiracy theorists' … but the undisputed truth is that this is a group of people who are either paranoid or insane."
Iran might be willing to give up its uranium enrichment capabilities but it wants many things in return -- above all a guarantee that no one will try to topple the Islamic regime, diplomats and analysts say.
North Korea has demanded similar security assurances from Washington, which listed both Tehran and Pyongyang as members of an "axis of evil," in exchange for relinquishing its atom bomb program. Iran's nuclear ambitions will be discussed at a meeting of senior officials from the Group of Eight (G8) industrial nations in Washington on Friday.
France, Britain and Germany have been struggling to persuade Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment program, which could be used to develop highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons. They will present their plan for a "carrot and stick" approach to Iran to the G8 meeting.
"Iran wants some political steps to be taken first," said a Western diplomat in Vienna familiar with the negotiations between Iran and the European trio.
Iran's top requirement was an "assurance of the status quo," he said, meaning a guarantee that there would be no Iraq (news - web sites)-style "regime change" undertaken in Iran, which has been an Islamic republic since the 1979 revolution.
While this was not a problem for the Europeans, diplomats said Washington would have trouble assuring Iran that it would not try to topple their regime.
Iran also wants a guarantee that it can maintain a peaceful nuclear program and full economic and diplomatic ties with the West, diplomats close to the EU-Iran talks told Reuters.
Stop stoning of the 13 years old child in IRAN
Join the campaign to save Jila 13 from prison and stoning!
The Islamic regime of Iran is going to stone a 13 year old girl in Marivan to death.
Jila has been condemned to stoning to death. She is pregnant due to a sexual relationship with her 15 year old brother. The Islamic regime of Iran wants to stone this girl. I ask all people in Iran and all NGO organizations which are active for children?s rights or other human rights in Iran and outside Iran to put pressure on the Iranian regime for immediate release of this child.
Jila is a child, a 13 year old child. She must not stay in prison one minute more. We are human beings, and we cannot witness the imprisonment of a child. Execution or stoning to death should be unimaginable.
I implore everybody, and all political or social organizations, to stand up to save Jila's life. Sign the letter condemning her arrest and sentence. We will guarantee that people in West hear your opinions and condemnation of this barbaric act. With millions of letters in favour of saving Jila and against the Islamic regime, sent to the United Nations and European Union, we can save her life. I ask all internet websites, web loggers, radios and TV stations which are humane, to broadcast this campaign to save Jila's life. You can sign the condemnation letter below, or write another letter of your own. You can translate this letter into other languages and ask people to sign it.
Please send a copy of your letter to us to make sure we work collectively.
"Hizbollah is a finger of Iran's hand," the senior Israeli security source said. "In the past year we can see increasing Iranian influence in Palestinian attacks on Israel.
"The same people sometimes receive money both from Arafat's headquarters and from Hizbollah. If the attack succeeds in causing fatalities, they get a bonus from Hizbollah."
Another security source said Hizbollah rewards Palestinian cells to the tune of $5,000 (£2,900) for each Israeli killed.
Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian "president" who has been confined to his Ramallah headquarters for more than three years, said this week that Hizbollah was trying to infiltrate Fatah.
He said Iran was financing radical Islamist groups, and denounced Iran's spiritual leader, Ali Khamenei.
He said: "Khamenei is working against us. He is giving money to all these fanatical groups. Khamenei is a troublemaker."
Mr Arafat implied that he retains control of Fatah cells. But Israel believes many of his armed followers are being directed by Hizbollah after many cells were broken up during Israel's re-invasion of West Bank cities in April 2002.
The security official said Hizbollah had a team of 10 "controllers" in Beirut dedicated to overseeing the cells.
An event of such earthshaking dimensions occurred on October 4 that it should go down in the Middle East history books: an op-ed piece in The New York Times by Michael Tarazi, the PLO's legal adviser, comprising a policy statement of prime importance.
Such an article would never appear without approval by that group's leadership and broad support from its cadre.
Its title, "Two peoples, one state," tells the story.
The PLO's position is now publicly and officially back to where it was in the 1960s and 1970s. Its open goal: Israel's elimination. To say this is nothing new because such has been the implicit aim all along would be a grave mistake. The fact that the PLO has come out into the open with such a position signals a very important change indeed.
This decision is one more sign that any chance for progress in the peace process is an illusion. While road maps, declarations, delegations, and other efforts may contribute to peace in the long-term, in the immediate context they are useless exercises in wishful thinking.
The key to understanding the history of the last half-century's Arab-Israeli conflict is that the PLO was never a true nationalist movement. Had it been, the problem would have been solved long ago.
For the PLO destroying Israel is more important than building an independent Palestinian state or relieving the Palestinian people's suffering. That is why Yasser Arafat turned down Israel's offer at Camp David as well as the Clinton plan, both of which offered a viable independent state with its capital in Jerusalem.
WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) -- Stung by allegations his administration has done little to advance spinal-damage research, President George W. Bush today announced a $10 billion government program to study the very latest initiatives in spinal care.Tim Blair has the whole scoop. Go read it, it's so funny you'll have kittens.
At the center of the study will be what the president described as a "breakthrough" in "pre-trauma spinal-maintenence therapy".
The first reason extreme Islam will prevail is the intellectual advantage that al-Qaeda leaders have over western European politicians. The latter want to believe that there is no clash of civilizations; that terrorism is just a product of misery and lack of education; that the solution lies in a multicultural, tolerant society; and that the stubbornness of the Americans and Israelis is to blame for all the problems.
What naïveté. An editorial in the March issue of Mu'askar al-Battar (an al-Qaeda newsletter) sets these fantasies right: "The war of cultures had begun long before the 9/11 attacks, before Huntington and Fukuyama. This war has been going on since there first were the faithful and the unfaithful." We might cite dozens of similar statements. The European leaders who still doubt the validity of Huntington's "clash of civilizations" theory are kidding themselves. The leaders of Islamic radicals are fanatics, but they are intelligent fanatics.
The second reason is the unification of foreign policy in the EU. In the UN, all member states of the European Union dutifully voted against Israel as a flock of sheep under the leadership of France. France is home to millions of Muslims, who are a decisive factor in its domestic politics. Their opinions, strongly influenced by radical Islamic propaganda, shape the French, and consequently also European foreign policy. The growth in the Muslim population makes French policy visibly more and more pro-Arab, pro-Islam, and anti-Israel. Also weighing heavily in European (not just French) politics is oil. The corrupt relationships between governments and oil companies are a well-known fact. Take the story of Elf Aquitaine, for instance. This is why European leaders literally lick the boots of Arab dictators. Just remember Romano Prodi kowtowing before Muammar Quadafi. But only the common foreign policy together with the adoption of the European Constitution will allow radical Islamists to pull the strings of all European foreign ministers at once.