Plenty of Palestinian Passes – Plus Alan Dershowitz destroys in 4 minutes the global lie of “human rights”

1354by Noah Beck
Special to IPT News
February 9, 2016

Activists who genuinely want to see peace between Israelis and Palestinians need to internalize a memorably alliterative warning: plenty of Palestinian passes perpetuate the impasse. The more global opinion ignores or rewards irresponsible behavior by Palestinians, the more likely renewed violence (rather than peace) becomes.

There are enough instances of unfair and counterproductive “Palestinian passes” to fill a tome, but here are some recent examples.

PASSING ON HAMAS BELLICOSITY

Probably the most important pass currently given to the Palestinians is the global silence over news that Hamas is preparing to launch another war against Israel while distressing ordinary Israelis with their ominous tunneling sounds. Such silence by the world’s most important media, international bodies, political leaders, NGOs and academics helps keep Hamas in power, and when Hamas eventually launches new hostilities against Israel, many of the same voices that are now silent will blame Israel for the resulting suffering.

Hamas bellicosity is constant, and constantly ignored. Rather than prepare Palestinians for peace, Hamas glorifies death and promotes viciously hateful ideologies. A Hamas TV broadcast announces, “We have no problem with death. We are not like the children of Israel…we yearn for death and Martyrdom…Every mother…must nurse her children on hatred of the sons of Zion.”

Last April, Iran reportedly sent Hamas tens of millions of dollars to rebuild tunnels and restock missile arsenals destroyed in 2014 by Israel during Operation Protective Edge. Instead of global sanctions or censure over its support for terrorism, Iran was rewarded with a nuclear deal that just unlocked $100 billion in frozen assets, some of which are expected to support more terrorism.

Hamas regularly starts pointless wars with Israel that doom Gaza to inevitable devastation. Then, when international sympathy and donations pour in, Hamas diverts the resources to rebuilding its offensive capabilities/tunnels (rather than destroyed homes in Gaza).

Hamas recently accelerated its tunnel-digging program. Indeed, three collapsing tunnels killed eight Hamas diggers in late January and another two last week.

Such reports establish that Hamas is diverting resources from rehabilitating Gaza to attacking Israel, and yet the world still blames Israel for Gazan misery.

PASSING ON HAMAS ABUSE OF GAZANS

Ironically, those who claim to excoriate Israel out of their concern for the welfare of Gaza don’t seem to care when Hamas causes Gazan suffering.  At least 160 Gazan children died digging Hamas’ tunnels intended to kill Israeli children. Hamas tortures political prisoners next to a girl’s school and kills its critics (it executed 25 in 2014). Hamas executed 120 Gazans for breaching a curfew. Hamas kills fellow Palestinians when its rockets fall short. Unsurprisingly, in a poll last September, Gazans actually preferred Israeli rule to Hamas.

PASSING ON PALESTINIAN INCITEMENT

Facebook tolerates Palestinian incitement but quickly responds to complaints about Jewish racism. The company is clearly able to control the threats circulating on its site, as shown by Facebook’s recent decision to stop gun sale promotions, making thecontinued incitement against Jews and Israelis on Facebook all the more outrageous. Facebook has much to learn from its tech rival, Google, which is reportedly directing jihadi search queries to sites that deradicalize.

Global opinion seems indifferent to how incitement (including in Palestinian pop culture) contributes to Palestinian violence. Instead, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon blames Palestinian terrorist attacks on Israeli policy (settlements), which is like blaming the November Paris attacks on France’s policy against Islamic veils in schools (ironically, Israel actually allows such veils in its schools).

When Israelis kill knife-wielding Palestinians in self-defense, Sweden’s foreign minister calls for a probe into Israeli “extra-judicial killing,” but she was conspicuously silent after French police preemptively killed a machete-wielding Islamist trying to hack them in a Paris police station.

Except for attacks on Israelis, world leaders and commentators never try to blame the victims of Islamist terror. This hateful, blame-the-victim exception for Jews is not limited to the Jewish state. According to recent polls, many of the French believe that Jews in France are responsible for a rise in anti-Semitism.

DIPLOMATIC PASSES

Those who claim to want Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation should recognize that pressuring only Israel actually reduces the prospects for peace (as an architect of the Oslo Peace Accords observed about the Obama administration’s fruitless efforts). Unfortunately, France is repeating Obama’s mistakes with its latest threat to recognize Palestine if Israelis doesn’t make enough concessions to those trying to stab them.

PASSING ON ISRAELI VICTIMS

Phyllis Chesler shows how the New York Times employs a double standard in reporting on victims of violence. Palestinians are personalized with names, ages, and sympathetic eyewitnesses. That rarely happens with Israeli victims.

More recently, CAMERA highlights how leading U.S. papers downplay or ignore the recent Palestinian stabbing murders of Israeli women.

1353A CBS News headline last week provided a classic example after gunmen attempted a terrorist attack outside Jerusalem’s old city. Three terrorists died after killing a 19-year-old policewoman. The headline? “3 Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on.” Thankfully, the network apologized and changed the headline. But the original version would have been akin to a 9/11 headline saying, “19 Muslims Die in Plane Crashes.”

PASSING ON ISRAEL’S POSITIVE STORIES

A corollary of the pro-Palestinian pass on negative coverage is passing on positive coverage of Israel. There has been virtually no mention of Israel’s disproportionately generous humanitarian aid efforts, or its exceptional contributions to solving global problems relating to health, energy, agriculture, security, (as Israel has done in Africa).

If the world knew just how important Israel is to solving some of the planet’s toughest problems, and how Israelis can also be victims of war and terror, global opinion might be less judgmental and more protective of the only democracy in the Middle East, as the tiny Jewish state does its best to survive in the world’s toughest neighborhood.

All of these types of passes grow exponentially worse whenever war breaks out, usually after Hamas launches one too many missiles at Israeli civilians. When Israel can no longer accept about 40 percent of its population living in range of deadly rocket attacks and finally does what any normal country would do – take military action against those attacking it – the global media bias moves into overdrive, enabled by “Pallywood,” journalistic malpractice, and fear of Hamas retribution. Casualties inevitably mount, especially thanks to Hamas’s unethical use of human shields, emotions run high, and media outlets compete to get “breaking news” out first, resulting in less time to check facts and more groupthink pressure to favor the perceived underdog. The media slant then exacerbates the bias from world leaders, international bodies, NGOs, academics, and anti-Israel boycott movements.

Thus, with each war, Israel gets more demonized while Palestinians are increasingly presented as blameless victims. Tragically, these biases actually perpetuate the conflict. Those who genuinely want peace should focus global media attention, lobbying, and resources on Palestinian intransigence and Hamas’ obsessive focus on attacking and trying to “destroy Israel.”

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.

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Alan Dershowitz destroys in 4 minutes the global lie of “human rights”

Questions about San Bernardino Shooter’s Mosque go Unasked, Unanswered

bfc45634-803a-4fba-ab3e-67a534c0c491Town Hall, by Kyle Shideler, Dec. 21, 2015:

Following the jihad attack in San Bernardino, the media hurried to interview the head of one of two mosques that terrorist Syed Farooq frequently attended. In an interview with NPR, Mustafa Kuko of the Islamic Center of Riverside (ICR),described Farooq as being a very devout practitioner, who was in the mosque seven days a week, including doing early morning prayers there. The NPR’s reporter did not ask how it was that if Farooq was extremely devoted to attending the mosque; he reached the conclusion that launching violent jihad, possibly on behalf of Islamic State.

But there are some clues.

The University of California-Riverside (UCR) Muslim Student’s Association (MSA) describes ICR as being “closely affiliated”. UCR-MSA is affiliated with MSA National, the oldest Muslim Brotherhood front organization in the United States. MSA members have been linked to more than a dozen jihadist terror incidents in the United States, and a similar number in Canada. An NYPD intelligence report described some MSAs as “potential incubators” of terrorism.

Mustafa Kuko himself was one of the earliest founders of the Riverside mosque that was founded by UCR Muslim Students, and so it is reasonable to presume that Kuko was himself an early MSA member.

Additionally Kuko is a long time employee of the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia, according to an interview Kuko gave in 2011.
The Saudi Ministry of Education has been repeatedly noted for its publication and distribution of textbooks including violent anti-Christian and anti-Semitism passages. Despite launching multiple public relations campaigns aimed at convincing the world that the Saudi education system has cleaned up its act, expert Nina Shea has noted that disturbing indoctrination remains a key element of Saudi education.

ICR is one of the mosques of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, an organization whose leadership has long standing Muslim Brotherhood ties, including to Maher and Hassan Hathout, and Muzammil Siddiqi. Siddiqi himselfpersonally translated for the “Blind Sheik” Omar Abdul Rahman at a lecture the convicted terror leader gave at the Islamic Society of Orange County, which Siddiqui leads.

The Islamic Center of Riverside appears to have a close relationship with the Hamas-linked Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), with CAIR tabling and handing out pamphlets at the mosque per a photo on the Mosque’s Facebook page, posted by CAIR leader Hussam Ayloush. Ayloush was one of the primary speakers at a CAIR organized press conference that took place the night of the attack where Ayloush described America and the West as “partially responsible.”

Additionally, ICR has close ties with the Islamic Circle of North America, holding multiple events together with ICNA. While it no longer appears, ICNA once promoted the ICR on their webpage, according to an archived version of the site.
It turns out that Farooq’s mother Rafia Farooq, was close to ICNA as well, receiving a certificate of completion from the group’s Sisters’ Wing, as reported by the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross.

ICNA is the American front of the Pakistani based Jamaat-e-Islami, a revivalist Islamic movement close to the MB. Jamaat-e-Islami’s founder Abul Ala Maududi writing married Islamic doctrine with a modern language of “world revolution.” For example, Maududi wrote:

Muslims are in fact an international revolutionary party organised under the ideology of Islam to implement its revolutionary programme. Jihad is the term, denoting the revolutionary struggle to the utmost, of the Islamic revolutionary party to bring about Islamic revolution.”

JEI has a clear willingness to engage in violence in order to accomplish its “revolutionary” goals. During Bangladesh’s war of independence, JEI militias carried out a brutal campaign of genocide against Bengalis while fighting alongside the Pakistani military. In the past few years Bangladesh has carried out a series of trials against JEI leaders for their war crimes, with many convicted, andsome executed for their role in the atrocities.

One of those convicted was Ashrafuzzaman Khan, was the former Secretary General of ICNA. Khan was accused of directly overseeing the execution of 18 intellectuals at Dhaka University, including killing seven personally.

JEI continues following in Khan’s footsteps, as it responded to convictions with violent riots that <href=”#.utqyy97a5-i.twitter”>killed 46 people. JEI has also been accused of playing a role in the subsequent murder of secular Bengali bloggers. Additionally the Hindu America Foundation (HAF), accuses JEI’s student wing in Bangladesh of carrying out a series of bombing attacks, and of sending multiple recruits to fight with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

It is startling that neither the mainstream media, nor apparently federal law enforcement have expressed any interest in the nexus of JEI or MSA in the San Bernardino case.

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, French authorities have responded by increasingly investigating the role played by indoctrination in mosques, causingthem to shutter several. German intelligence warn that local German mosques controlled by Islamists may recruit otherwise non-threatening refugees to jihad and warned against Saudi funding of German mosques. Following the attack in June where an Islamic State gunman killed 38 in Tunisia the Tunisian government responded by closing numerous mosques where violence was suspected of being preached.

Yet in the United States the stridently pro-jihad nature of organizations linked to the shooter’s mosque is never even discussed, key clues from such organizations are left discarded at the crime scene, and instead the local imam’s words are taken as that of an unimpeachable character witness. Indeed, law enforcement in New York has faced lawsuits and aggressive media slandering over the surveillance of mosques and other organizations whose links to terrorism and violence are well established.

Until the U.S. is prepared to even consider the possibility that U.S.-based Islamic groups, their ties to the wider Global Islamic movement well established, may play a role in terror attacks on the homeland, there will be no prospect of effective U.S. counterterrorism.

Two Glaring NYT Displays of Ignorance About CAIR in One Day

by Steven Emerson
IPT News
December 15, 2015

1308America’s “paper of record” might be well served to spend some time reviewing actual records.

A day after the Investigative Project on Terrorism published exclusive stories detailing the Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood ties at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) from the moment of its birth, and the radical, pro-jihad views of a longtime national board member, the New York Times gave CAIR two free passes.

First, it invited CAIR-San Francisco director Zahra Billoo to write a column lamenting an increase in anti-Muslim threats and attacks in recent weeks. IPT readers know that Billoo has a long record of radical statements, including accusing U.S. soldiers of engaging in terrorism in 2012. Last year, she compared the Israeli army to ISIS, and she heads the chapter which posted an infamous “wall of resistance” poster sowing fear and suspicion among Muslims against federal law enforcement.

1307Last month, Billoo posted on her Twitter feed a toned-down, yet still dark image of a lurking FBI agent, calling on “Champions of Justice” not to talk with law enforcement without a CAIR lawyer.

Crimes motivated by anti-Muslim bigotry, such as last week’s firebombing of a Southern California mosque are despicable and should be prosecuted. The question here is the Times’ judgment in selecting Billoo, out of the universe of Muslim Americans who can speak on the issue.

According to Billoo, the anti-Muslim attacks are not connected to the San Bernardino shooting by two radicalized Muslims who pledged allegiance to ISIS before killing 14 innocent people – in fact, Billoo’s column barely mentions the attack – rather, they are solely due to “dangerous anti-Muslim rhetoric from some politicians.”

Billoo is certain that rhetoric can lead to violence. That’s an unusual position for a CAIR official, since the organization insists the attacks like San Bernardino, or Paris, have nothing to do with the terrorists’ Islamist ideology. “Terrorism has no religion,” CAIRrepeated last month. If there’s anything to blame, CAIR officials point to U.S. foreign policy.

1306Billoo seemed to hint at that message in a Nov. 29 Twitter post,writing that America “must take responsibility for the crazies it has created through its imperialism.”

The Times was more justified quoting CAIR in a Tuesday morning news article, since presidential candidate Ben Carson called on the State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group and called on the Justice Department to “fully investigate” CAIR as a Brotherhood offshoot. Simple fairness dictates giving CAIR a chance to respond.

But it doesn’t justify blindly accepting discredited CAIR propaganda, as the Times did.

“CAIR maintains a section of its website dedicated to debunking claims that the group is a front for Hamas or a fund-raising arm of Hezbollah,” the Times reported. “The group condemns violence and works to improve relations between Muslims and other communities in the United States.”

CAIR does have a page claiming to debunk its connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, but the IPT found gaping holes and lies in the report. And CAIR’s connections are not really matters of interpretation. They are established in internal documents the FBI took from members of the Hamas-support network. The FBI read those documents and promptly cut off communication with CAIR “until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”

Here is a flow-chart the FBI created showing the network’s components.

The documents seized by the FBI were admitted into evidence in a Texas federal courtroom and available for the public, including the New York Times, to see for themselves. The presiding federal judge who saw the evidence determined there was “ample evidence to establish the” connection between CAIR, other Islamist groups, and Hamas.

A Lexis search indicates that readers who depend solely on the New York Times have no way of knowing this.

Worse still, Times readers were falsely told in 2014 that “[r]eferences to the group were officially expunged from the court records.” That story remains uncorrected 16 months later. That failure means any Times reporter today who might check the newspaper’s archives for background before writing about CAIR is being fed bad information.

Garbage in, garbage out.

IPT Exclusive: Witnesses Say CAIR’s Hamas/MB Links Cemented From Start

IPT News
December 14, 2015:

1303Like a good politician, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) repeatedly proves adept at inserting itself into national debates.

When presidential candidate Ben Carson said he could not support a Muslim president, CAIR gathered reporters to express outrage and call on Carson to drop out of the race. When a 14-year-old Texas boy was detained for bringing what he said was a homemade clock to school that a teacher feared might be a bomb, a CAIR official expressed outrage and sat by the boy’s side during news conferences and interviews.

And in the immediate aftermath of the Dec. 2 mass killings in San Bernardino by a radicalized Muslim man and his wife, CAIR called a news conference where its top Los Angeles official “unequivocally” condemned the killings.

CAIR’s aggressive approach, and a combination of media ignorance or laziness, generates uncritical television and newspaper stories throughout the country. This helps the organization reinforce its self-anointed and incorrect reputation as the voice for America’s roughly 2 million Muslims. CAIR is presented as a responsible, moderate organization.

But when cracks appear in that façade, journalists rarely rise to the occasion. Less than two days later, the same CAIR official who unequivocally condemned the San Bernardino killings appeared on CNN to blame “our foreign policy” for fueling radicalization that leads to such violence.

In blaming the United States for an attack by radical Islamists, CAIR- Los Angeles director Hussam Ayloush picked up talking points CAIR officials pushed in the wake of last month’s ISIS massacres in Paris. The aim is to keep the killers’ religious motivations out of any conversation.

“We are partly responsible,” Ayloush said about the United States. “Terrorism is a global problem, not a Muslim problem. And the solution has to be global. Everyone has a role in it.”

Anchor Chris Cuomo did not challenge this statement.

Such uncritical news coverage comes despite a well-documented record establishing CAIR’s own ties to terrorists. Internal Muslim Brotherhood records obtained by the FBI place CAIR and its founders at the core of a Brotherhood-created Hamas support network in the United States. It is a history so checkered that formal FBI policy since 2008 bars interaction with its officials except in criminal investigations.

On Thursday, CAIR legislative director Corey Saylor told the Wall Street Journal that the alleged Hamas ties were “put to rest by the Department of Justice in 2011 and now exists as an Internet story.”

This is a lie. Saylor knows that the FBI policy toward CAIR remains in effect, and it waspublicly reaffirmed in 2013. And there simply is no way to “put to rest” the internal records admitted into evidence in 2008.

FBI records recently obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism further illustrate why CAIR merits closer scrutiny, rather than free air time, from the mainstream media. The records cement CAIR’s connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas from its very foundation, including disclosures about the only executive director CAIR has ever had – Nihad Awad.

Before he helped create CAIR 21 years ago, Awad moved from Dallas to Washington, D.C. “in order to represent Hamas,” an acquaintance said.

Awad’s co-founder Omar Ahmad sought the blessing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to proceed with the new political start-up. That approval went as far as getting the global Islamist movement’s blessing over CAIR’s bylaws.

These accounts came from separate sources, each of whom ran in the same Islamist circles as Awad and Ahmad, during interviews with the FBI in 2005 and in 2009-10. They were among more than 1,000 pages of FBI records released to the IPT, via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The IPT sought records from the 2010deportation of another CAIR official, former national board member Nabil Sadoun.

Sadoun’s deportation resulted at least in part from his “connections to HAMAS, HAMAS leader Mousa Abu Marzook, and HAMAS front organizations,” papers filed in Immigration Court show. Sadoun was a longtime CAIR national board member and served as president of the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA), the 1,013-page FOIA response shows.

“MAYA served as a conduit for money to HAMAS, through the HLF [Holy Land Foundation], and served as a forum where HAMAS could promote its ideology and recruit new members,” a February 2010 declaration filed in Sadoun’s deportation casesaid. He also made anti-Semitic statements and advocated for violent jihad during an interview in a MAYA publication. (For more on Sadoun, click here)

Read more

Al-Jazeera Disclosures Deserve a Closer Look…By the Feds

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

by IPT News  •  Jun 24, 2015

Al Jazeera’s run of bad publicity got a little worse this week, when the online Arabic newspaper New Khalij published an article citing part of a cable from the Saudi Embassy saying the network answers to the Qatar government and is stocked with reporters who are part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Arabic language cable was among a batch of internal records published by Wikileaks.

“[W]hatever has been said about the impact of the journalists working in Al-Jazeera, having their weight and their agenda, and most of them belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood or being sympathizers with it, the final say in the end is with Qatari decision makers, with them the ones who determine its objectives, and the ones who identify the direction of the channel to achieve their objectives,” the New Khalij report says, citing the Saudi cable.

The cable added that “the existence of a number of prominent journalists belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood in the channel is a matter worthy of concern, as the rulers of Qatar and its Sunni people are of the Hanbali school, and believe in the movement of Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, and the Muslim Brotherhood does not have roots the Qatari society.”

Qatar wants to influence the political decision-making of neighboring countries through weaving good relations with the Muslim Brotherhood, the cable said. The reason the network turns to “religious leaders such as Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi and political ones such as Hamas derives from Qatar believing that in order to be effective in the region, it must have bargaining chips in many countries, and this is what is achieved for it by the Muslim Brotherhood in its global structural organization and its presence in most Arab and even Islamic countries such as Turkey.”

The Saudi assessments fit neatly with claims made in recent federal lawsuits filed against Al-Jazeera America (AJA) by former senior employees. The lawsuits claim the network’s U.S. branch discriminated against non-Muslim employees and deliberately pushed anti-U.S. and anti-Israeli biases.

Shannon High-Bassalik’s complaint claims that Al Jazeera is a place “where truth and objectivity are set aside to cater to the Company’s pro-Arabic prejudices.” Instead,employees were told that AJA was here to bring “the Arabic viewpoint to America,” which explained in part why it aired programs critical of the U.S., Egypt and Israel.

It’s a network owned and controlled by a foreign government that aims to influence U.S. opinion, and by extension, U.S. policy. The Foreign Agents Registration Act(FARA) provides an exemption to media organizations and journalists who act on behalf of foreign principals, but only within designated parameters. Among those parameters, the media organization must be one thatis not owned, directed, supervised, controlled, subsidized, or financed, and none of its policies are determined by any foreign principal defined in subsection (b) of this section, or by any agent of foreign principal required to register under this subchapter…

The recent allegations in separate federal lawsuits and now in leaked Saudi Arabian cables raises the potential for significant FARA violations by Al-Jazeera America, and appears to be ripe for investigation.

Videos! Media firestorm over Geller and Spencer’s tactics in the fight to protect free speech

freedom_of_speechI like Phyllis Chesler’s even handed assessment of this debate –

Many elitists and scholars favor  “nuance;” “sensitivity;” “anti-racism,” “inter-faith dialogue.” But they should favor freedom more and double standards less. Westerners have absolutely no trouble criticizing Christianity and Judaism. Why so much angst about criticizing one religion only: Islam?  If what Geller, Spencer, and Wilders have just done advances the cause of freedom of speech, we may not all have to follow their tactics, but we should at least acknowledge that we support their goals.

If not, what exactly are our alternatives?

There are so many videos coming out that I decided to post them all here. I’ll be adding more as they become available. If you see any good ones, please post them in a comment.

Update, May 6: 16 videos and counting! Some very good discussions going on. Say what you will about Geller – she has jump started the mainstream media into covering the threat to free speech! The people who attended the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest did so voluntarily with knowledge of the risk. And AFDI paid for their own security. I myself would not have used such a tactic but Freedom of Speech is an idea worth dying for. This is an opening to educate the public on just how close we are to losing it. It is interesting that Geller in the past has come out against Quran burning as being unnecessarily provocative and has said that book burning is not the answer…more speech is the answer. Going forward, I think it will be hard for her to pull off another event like this due to the cost and finding a willing venue. Spencer said it cost about 50 thousand dollars in all.

Update, May 10: Pamela has been pointing out something completely missing in the Garland jihad attack coverage –

If we had a responsible media, they would report more of the positive developments in light of the terror attack. The jihadists were the end of the line. By drawing them out, we exposed their network. We were able to expose the network without getting anyone killed. The FBI are now going after the sources. They are gleaning intel from their computers as we speak. We smoked out a terror structure.

The FBI has put more American terror suspects under constant surveillance following the deadly attack. Every city across US had “subjects of concern.” The military is taking the threat seriously enough to raise the threat level to one of the highest levels it has reached since 911.

Lawsuit Alleges Sexism, Anti-Semitism by Al Jazeera America Official

A man works at a desk in the Al Jazeera America broadcast center in New York on Aug. 20, 2013. Reuters

A man works at a desk in the Al Jazeera America broadcast center in New York on Aug. 20, 2013. Reuters

by IPT News  •  Apr 29, 2015

A senior Al Jazeera America manager is facing serious allegations of sexist and anti-Semitic discrimination after an employee filed suit Tuesday for wrongful termination.

Matthew Luke is seeking $15 million in damages from the Qatar-owned network. The complaint filed in New York state court accuses Osman Mahmud of sexist discrimination, such as removing female employees from projects and excluding women from emails and meetings related to their assignments. Mahmud also allegedly made anti-American and anti-Semitic comments, such as “whoever supports Israel should die a fiery death in hell.”

According to the lawsuit, Luke was fired 10 days after filing a report regarding Mahmud’s behavior to Al Jazeera’s HR department.

Mahmud denied the allegations in an interview with the Washington Post.

Among the other claims, Mahmud ordered a senior news official to replace a photographer, an Israeli national, with a Palestinian who was less qualified.

When the official complained, she was reassigned to a less prestigious position and replaced by a male colleague. The lawsuit describes Al Jazeera America’s chief executive as believing a correspondent’s reporting was too pro-Israel, even though Al Jazeera is notorious for its highly critical stance against the Jewish state.

The network’s Arabic and English outlets have been plagued by reports that its biases trump its stated objective of providing objective journalism. Nearly two dozen staffers resigned in protest of the network’s sympathetic coverage toward the Muslim Brotherhood after the 2013 ouster of Mohamed Morsi as Egypt’s president.

In January, in the immediate aftermath of the massacre of cartoonists, other staffers and police at the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, internal Al Jazeerah emails obtained by the National Review show executive producer Salah-Aldeen Khadr urging staff members to emphasize the magazine’s “racist caricatures” in their coverage.

He suggested they question if this was “really an attack on ‘free speech,'” and whether the spontaneous “I Am Charlie” signs held posted and displayed by outraged French citizens was an “alienating slogan.”

“Was this really an attack on ‘Free speech’?” one Khadr email said. “Who is attacking free speech here exactly? Does an attack by 2-3 guys on a controversial magazine equate to a civilizational attack on European values..? Really?”

The “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) signs were counter-productive, he claimed. “You don’t actually stick it to the terrorists by insulting the majority of Muslims by reproducing more cartoons – you actually entrench the very animosity and divisions these guys seek to sow.”

That sentiment was echoed by Qatar-based reporter Mohamed Vall Salem, who wrote, “what Charlie Hebdo did was not free speech it was an abuse of free speech in my opinion, go back to the cartoons and have a look at them!

“It’ snot [sic] about what the drawing said, it was about how they said it. I condemn those heinous killings, but I’M NOT CHARLIE.”

The Significance of Sisi’s Speech

Raymond Ibrahim, Jan. 7, 2015:

On New Year’s Day, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi—the hero of Egypt’s 2013 anti-Muslim Brotherhood revolution—made some remarkable comments concerning the need for a “religious revolution.”

Watch the video below or click here to read the excerpt:

 

Sisi made his remarks during a speech celebrating the birth of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad—which was ironically held on January 1, 2015 (a day not acknowledged or celebrated in the Muslim world as it is based on a Christian calendar)—and he was addressing the nation’s top Islamic authorities from among the Awqaf Ministry (religious endowments) and Al Azhar University.

Although Sisi’s words were directed to Islam’s guardians and articulators, they indirectly lead to several important lessons for Western observers.

First, in just a few words, Sisi delivered a dose of truth and hard-hitting reality concerning the Islamic world’s relationship to the rest of the world—a dose of reality very few Western leaders dare think let alone proclaim.

“It’s inconceivable,” he said, “that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.  Impossible!”

What a refreshingly honest statement to come from not only a political leader but a Muslim political leader who has much to lose, not least his life!  Contrast his very true words with the habitual reassurances of the Western establishment that Islamic world violence and intolerance is a product of anything and everything but Islam.

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Even after the appearance of the head-chopping, infidel-crucifying Islamic State, politicians like U.S. President Obama and U.K. Prime Minister Cameron insisted that the “caliphate” is not Islamic, despite all the evidence otherwise. Yet here is Sisi, the pious Muslim, saying that the majority of the terrorism plaguing the world today is related to the holy texts of Islam themselves:

That thinking [that is responsible for producing “anxiety, danger, killing and destruction” around the world]—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world.  It’s antagonizing the entire world!

As a Muslim, Sisi will not say that Islam, the “religion,” is responsible for “antagonizing the entire world,” but he certainly goes much further than his Western counterparts when he says that this “thinking” is rooted in an Islamic “corpus of texts and ideas” which have become so “sacralized.”

Recall that here in the West, Islamic terrorists are seen as mere “criminals” and their terrorism as “crimes” without mention of any Islamic text or ideology driving them.

The Egyptian president further invoked the classical Islamic teaching—the “thinking”—that divides the world into two warring halves: the Muslim world (or in Islamic/Arabic parlance, Dar al-Islam) which must forever be in a struggle with the rest of the world (or Dar al-Harb, the “abode of war”) till, in the Koran’s words, “all religion belongs to Allah” (Koran 8:39).

“Is it possible,” asked Sisi, “that 1.6 billion people should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live?”

Sisi made another important point that Western leaders and media habitually lie about: after affirming that Islamic “thinking” is “antagonizing the entire world,” he said that “this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.”

In other words, Islamic terrorism and chaos is not a product of grievance, territorial disputes, colonialism, Israel, offensive cartoons, or anything else the West points to.  It’s a product of their “own hands.”

Again, one must appreciate how refreshing it is for a top political leader in the heart of the Islamic world to make such candid admissions that his Western counterparts dare not even think let alone speak. And bear in mind, Sisi has much to lose as opposed to Western politicians.  Calls by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists that he is an apostate are sure to grow more aggressive now.

The critic may ask, “All well and good, but words aside, what has Sisi actually done to help bring about this “religious revolution”?  In fact, one popular journalist, Ibrahim Eissa, recently said just this on live television in Egypt:

Five months have passed since he [Sisi] became president, after his amazing showing at elections.  Okay: the president has, more than once, indicated the need for a renewal of religious discourse….  But he has not done a single thing, President Sisi, to renew religious discourse.  Nothing at all.

Yet it seems that Sisi has an answer for this, too: it is not his job as president of Egypt to reform the thinking of the Islamic world; rather, that role belongs to the ulema—which is precisely why he addressed them with such candid words.  Indeed, he repeatedly stressed that it is the ulema’s job to lead this “religious revolution.”

Thus, “I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move…. I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.”

Meanwhile, while Sisi was making these groundbreaking if not historic statements, the Western mainstream media, true to form, ignored them and instead offered puerile and redundant headlines, most critical of Sisi, like:

  • “Egypt President Sisi urged to free al-Jazeera reporter” (BBC, Jan 1; to which I respond, “Why, so Al Jazeera can continue lying and misleading the West about Sisi and Egypt’s anti-Muslim Brotherhood revolution?”)
  •  “Egyptian gays living in fear under Sisi regime” (USA Today, Jan. 2; to which I respond, “Homosexuals live in fear in all Islamic nations, regardless of Sisi.”)
  •  “George Clooney’s wife Amal risks arrest in Egypt” (Fox News, Jan. 3; to which I respond, “Who cares?  Only her innocence or guilt matter, not her husband’s fame”—which is the only reason Fox News chose the story in the first place.)

Whether concerning the true nature of Islam or the true nature of Sisi, here is the latest example of how unfathomably ignorant all those millions of people who exclusively follow the so-called “mainstream media” must surely be.

Also see:

In light of President Sisi’s comments, we ask for public clarification on the following points:

  • Is it the position of ISNA that the imams of Al Azhar have a responsibility to renounce the “mindset” of jihad, conquest, and, as suggested by President Sisi, genocide of the world’s non-Muslims?
  • Is it the position of ISNA that the time is right for a “religious revolution,” as President Sisi stated?
  • Is it the position of ISNA that jihad is a holy obligation for all Muslims?

Ex-AP Reporter – Media Imbalance Toward Israel Becomes Rooted

A Reuters truck drives through a bombed refugee camp in Gaza. (Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)

A Reuters truck drives through a bombed refugee camp in Gaza. (Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)

by IPT News  •  Dec 1, 2014

Life as a foreign correspondent often is portrayed as dangerous, sexy work for a journalist.

But it also can be insular – you’re a stranger in a strange land, often dropping in with little knowledge about history, culture and context. That can inhibit the breadth of reporting presented to the world, a glaring flaw when it comes to reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, former Associated Press Jerusalem correspondent Matti Friedman writes in an article for The Atlantic.

Journalists monitor each other’s work and tend to view human rights groups and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well meaning do-gooders immune from scrutiny. “Are they bloated, ineffective, or corrupt? Are they helping, or hurting? We don’t know,” Friedman writes, “because these groups are to be quoted, not covered.”

Over time, that arrangement helped entrench a narrative among foreign correspondents in Israel, writes Friedman, who reported out of the AP’s Jerusalem office from 2006-11. It is the second essay from the veteran journalist on how the media covers Israel. In August, Friedman provided first-hand examples of stories which were spiked if they made the Palestinians look intransigent, or made Israelis look good.

A “distaste for Israel has come to be something between an acceptable prejudice and a prerequisite for entry,” he writes in the Atlantic piece. “The Israel story” is “a simple narrative in which there is a bad guy who doesn’t want peace and a good guy who does.”

A New York Times editor unintentionally reinforced Friedman’s point last month when he took to Twitter to admit his willingness to ignore Palestinian incitement and bigotry until “they have [a] sovereign state to discriminate with.”

When events conflict with that narrative, Friedman writes, they are under-reported or not reported at all. So a 2013 rally at the West Bank’s Al-Quds University supporting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and invoking Nazi imagery was widely known among Western journalists but generated little coverage until Brandeis University suspended a partnership program with Al-Quds.

Or, more recently: “The AP staff in Gaza City would witness a rocket launch right beside their office, endangering reporters and other civilians nearby—and the AP wouldn’t report it, not even in AP articles about Israeli claims that Hamas was launching rockets from residential areas. (This happened.) Hamas fighters would burst into the AP’s Gaza bureau and threaten the staff—and the AP wouldn’t report it. (This also happened.)”

Hamas understands this reality and manipulates journalists to further advance it. So some stories hint that Hamas no longer is wed to its founding, anti-Semitic charter and its calls for Israel’s destruction. Others falsely cast Hamas as open to peace and moderation.

Friedman’s essay is important because he writes from experience, not anger. It is packed with too much insight to fully capture here. To read the full essay, click here.

Also see:

Hamas Intimidates Western Journalists, Kills 30 “Collaborators”

Media representative broadcasting from Israel's border with Gaza, on the second day of Operation Protective Edge, July 9, 2014. (illustrative photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Media representative broadcasting from Israel’s border with Gaza, on the second day of Operation Protective Edge, July 9, 2014. (illustrative photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

by IPT News:

Western journalists operating in Gaza have been threatened and harassed by Hamas for reporting instances of the terrorist groups’ use of human shields, according to a Times of Israel report. Israeli officials have noted that some reporters are intimidated by Hamas’ threats and have ceased documenting Hamas’ exploitation of civilians throughout the conflict.

The newspaper says it confirmed instances in which Hamas officials confiscated equipment and pictures from photographers exposing terrorists who were preparing to launch rockets from civilian structures and fighting in civilian garb.

Hamas continues to limit access to its terrorist operations. For example, Hamas converted Gaza’s Shifa hospital into a base of operations but reporters are prevented from showing that.

“We know that downstairs there is a Hamas command and control center and that Hamas leaders are hiding there,” an unnamed Israeli official told the newspaper. “No reporter is allowed to go anywhere downstairs. They’re only allowed to work upstairs to take pictures of casualties, the pictures that Hamas wants them to take.”

Last week, a French journalist told Liberation, a French daily newspaper, the circumstances of his interrogation in a Hamas office in Shifa.

“A few meters from the emergency room, where the injured from the bombings kept on coming in, in the outpatient ward, [the reporter] was received in ‘a small section of the hospital used as an office’ by a group of young combatants,'” according to the article.

The reporter said a Hamas interrogator confronted him, asking, “Who are you? What’s your name? What are you doing?” He also was asked whether he spoke Hebrew or had any relationship with the Palestinian Authority. “The young Hamas supporters insistently ask the question: ‘Are you a correspondent for Israel?'” he wrote. The reporter insisted that he contributes to French and Algerian media only and was eventually ordered to leave Gaza.

His account matches a report out of Australia. It cites television reporter Peter Stefanovic, who issued a Twitter post describing seeing rockets being fired from a civilian area near his hotel. Hamas supporters accused him of lying, asking “Are you working for the IDF” and issuing a not-so-subtle threat that “in WWII spies got shot.”

Meanwhile, Hamas has executed more than 30 suspected collaborators in Gaza, according to the Times of Israel reporting on Palestinian security officials’ statements to Palestine Press News Agency. The alleged spies were summarily executed after a brief investigation. Moreover, Fatah appealed to Hamas to cease harassing its members and placing them under house arrest.

Also see:

Scurrilous NYT Informant Story Ignores Successes

 

NYPD Surveillance Upheld Despite AP Campaign

NY Times Avoids Linking Morsi’s Anti-Semitism to Muslim Brotherhood Ideology

by IPT: