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al jazeera

The Propagandist's Allies are near and far, Comrade Grover says. Near. Far. Neeeeaarr. Faaaaaar. Neeaeaaaaarrrr! Faaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrr!

Here are the latest dispatches from the front lines.

Confusion to our enemies!...More >>

As revolution swept over Egypt beginning in January of this year, foreign news networks jostled over each other in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Camera equipment tangling in the feet of the crowds, well known anchors yelled their reports above the noise of demonstrators. It was the place to be. Live coverage of the protestors, the police and the speeches beamed over the airwaves of CNN, ABC, the BBC and other networks from around the world. The unsatisfactory response of Mubarak’s government was laid bare for the world to see, inescapable from the cameras, and the scrutiny of their audiences in living rooms from Moscow to Montreal.

In homes far away from the streets of Cairo, we were glued to our television sets, to the unforgettable images of the throngs of people who had flooded the square, refusing to back down until they achieved the overthrow of a regime that had long held democracy at bay and made freedom an abstraction. Soon, we would need to divide our attention back to the aftermath of the Tunisian revolution, and forward to the unfolding civil war in Libya.

There was little time left for the beginnings of other revolutions, in Yemen, or Syria. And...More >>

"Teach me how to drive so I can protect myself." That was the name of a Facebook group created by a group of Saudi Arabian women in order to protest their country's ban on female drivers. For this, Manal al-Sherif, one of the campaign's founders, was arrested the Saturday before last by Saudi authorities:

Authorities detained a Saudi woman on Saturday after she launched a campaign against the driving ban for women in the ultra-conservative kingdom and posted a videotape of herself behind the wheel to encourage others to copy her. Manal al-Sherif and a group of other women have started a Facebook page called "Teach me how to drive so I can protect myself", which urges authorities to lift the driving ban.

Al Jazeera's report on the issue can be seen here. Last Thursday, al-Sherif's detention was apparently extended by another ten days, and one Saudi cleric, Sheik Ghazi al-Shemri, has even said that al-Sherif "should be flogged in the women's marketplace as a model and a lesson," for having the audacity to feel like she should operate a vehicle without a man. Another Saudi Arabian woman...More >>

As mentioned earlier at The Propagandist, the "protests" that led to the murders and beheadings at the United Nations compound in Afghanistan most likely had a Khomeinist connection (not to mention, the Taliban, or the country's President -- Karzai himself riled up his population with yet more stupidities unbecoming a head of state).

Even if we knew who was behind the violence, both the self-appointed spokesmen for the mob and the reporters covering it seem complicit in a conspiracy of double-talk to cover up their crimes.

In this Al Jazeera video, Quran burning sparks deadly protest, one reporter with an apparent gift for the surreal describes the scene:

"This video shows a protester with an AK-47rifle and a United Nations staff being beaten by the crowd..."

In what sense is a man crouching in the shadows, holding an AK-47, presumably looking to plug any United Nations or Afghan security forces personnel, a protester?

In what sense is the mob beating of a United Nations official described as a protest?

It gets better. Here's the respectable Taliban plant teacher and Mazar Sharif resident, Ahmad Gul:

...More >>

The Al Jazeera anchor is defenseless against a barrage of straight talk from an Israeli soldier telling it like it is.

"There have been hundreds of missiles fired on the heads of our men, women, children and elderly, even in the last few days," says Israeli Defense Forces Captain Avichai Adraee on Al Jazeera. "Did anyone really think that we would not defend our citizens?

"... Instead of threatening and attacking us, they could have been investing their money in the daily needs of the Palestinians. This is the barbarism that I'm talking about."

More >>

israeli palestinian peace talks j street hamas jewish osama hamdanThe recent ‘Palestine papers’ leaks have ensured that even if the current caretaker Palestinian government does not collapse as a result of their revelations, it will now be exceedingly difficult  to resume the much-needed peace negotiations.

 From the media commentary surrounding the leaks, it is also perfectly obvious that such a situation is far from undesirable for some, and in particular Hamas, which rejected and did its best to sabotage the latest round of discussions. The rejectionist stance, as taken by Hamas, was expressed by its representative Osama Hamdan in a recent   op-ed in the Guardian.

“The Palestinian negotiators named and quoted in these documents have betrayed their people and the Palestinian cause. We are in no doubt that, as a result of these revelations, they have lost their credibility for good. It is unthinkable that the Palestinian people will ever approve any deal concluded with the Israelis by this team of negotiators, for they will always be suspected of selling out and of betraying the cause. The Palestinian people can never...More >>

middle east conflict israel palestinian peace talks palestine papers al jazeera

The broadcast and publishing of the leaked ‘Palestine papers’ by Al Jazeera and the Guardian puts a spotlight on some issues which are actually much more interesting and far-reaching  than the papers themselves. After all, it is only those who hold completely unrealistic ideas about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict who could claim to be surprised by their content; the rest of us know that in the end, the 2008 Olmert offer is more or less how the future will look because it represents the most Israel can give and the least that the Palestinians can accept.

Nevertheless, we have witnessed waves of selective outrage from foreign journalists and commentators – their words conveying a deep sense of betrayal. Horrified by the Palestinian negotiators’ pragmatism, indignant at the very idea of compromise, they rushed to brand them as traitors and sellers-out of the Palestinian cause.

What is interesting is that these voices are for the most part not coming from the people who would actually be affected by...More >>

Incredible. Al Jazeera journalists scour the Palestine Papers and discover that Palestinian security forces have actually been cooperating with the Israeli military. What a scoop!

Wait a second. These operations have been public knowledge for years. The point is to carry out security and anti-terrorism operations against Hamas and freelance thugs, so as to prevent cross-border attacks (not to mention a Hamas coup in the West Bank).

You don't need to go through secret documents to find out about this. Al Jazeera might have visited the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website back in August and got a regular update.

They would have discovered that since the beginning of the year 1,424 joint activities were coordinated with Israelis throughout the West Bank.

Just so we're clear, Al Jazeera's readers have a problem with Palestinians preventing genocidal attacks on their neighbors?

Would Mexicans have a problem with their cops preventing random terror attacks on Americans? Would Germans have a problem with German police preventing terror attacks on the French?

Unless Al Jazeera's constituency believes that terror attacks on Israelis are a good thing, why is this news?

Jonathon Narvey is...More >>

israeli palestinian negotiations talks concessions deal peace middle east politicsThe Palestine Papers featured on Al Jazeera documenting a decade of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations show that Palestinian negotiators were willing to give up claims to territory, pretty much including their claim on East Jerusalem, to get a state. Left-wing media, NGOs and European academics are not taking the news well:

Game over. No way back. An entire edifice of anti-Israeli demonisation definitively consigned to the scrap heap, never to be recycled again. This is the uncompromising message that comes out of yesterday’s revelations on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. To the horror of a European political intelligentsia which has been steadfast to the point of fanatical in its opposition to Israeli “settlements” in east Jerusalem, the Palestinian leadership itself, we now know, has long accepted that the vast majority of Israeli settlements can be considered legitimate and would become part of Israel under any reasonable peace agreement.

This is utterly devastating since it simultaneously shows that everyone from the British Foreign Office and the BBC to the European Commission and the

...More >>

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